Is Happ Getting A Fair Shake? – Phillies Nation

Is Happ Getting A Fair Shake?

I thought last year was when JA Happ had to prove himself worthy of sticking around on a 25-man roster. The 26-year-old left-hander went 1-0 with a 3.69 ERA in eight games (four starts), pitching in crucial spots down the stretch. It seemed likely he would start 2009 in the Phillies rotation.

Then Chan Ho Park arrived. The righty is determined to win a starting spot, and Ruben Amaro Jr. has put faith in Park that he would battle proudly for the position. With four-fifths of the team’s rotation seemingly set, it looks as if only one of the Park-Happ-Kyle Kendrick-Carlos Carrasco will win out.

If Park loses, he could join the bullpen. If Kendrick loses, he’ll be back where he left off – in triple-A, a little younger. If Carrasco loses, he’ll just go to Lehigh Valley, setting himself for a late-season call-up. But if Happ loses, he’ll have to go back down. Again. At age 26.

Sure it wouldn’t be the end of the world for Happ, but it would be disheartening. Happ has conquered AAA batters, leading the International League in strikeouts while coasting through Lehigh Valley. He has proven himself to at least get a chance at a handful of major league starts. If he doesn’t make the 25-man roster, should he be traded? What is he worth? Or should he be sent back to the minors, hoping at some point Park blows up, or Jamie Moyer slips up, or something like that? What is your solution to the JA Happ quandary?



  1. Fran

    January 27, 2009 at 10:12 am

    I think Happ should get the 5th spot. I was down at the 2 games that he started and he was, for the most part, lights out. If he can get a string of 10 starts together he could become one of our best pitchers behind Cole

  2. Brian

    January 27, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Happ 5th spot, Park in bullpen (especially with the romero situation), Carrasco starts in LV. Not sure about Kendrick, he might need to build that confidence up more.

  3. maxhole

    January 27, 2009 at 10:20 am

    it’d be disappointing to see happ sent to the minors for long. he did come through in crucial moments this past year, certainly helped us to the post season. in starting, he could turn out to be another kendrick once players get used to seeing him, but his mound presence looks like that of an established veteran and less like a green back just getting his feet wet. if hes not helping our team, he deserves to help another not in the minors

  4. Manny

    January 27, 2009 at 10:20 am

    I think he’s definitely capable of beating Chan Ho for the 5th spot. But I think his fiercest competition will be Kendrick –I think this guy will rebound nicely. Somehow, I see them BOTH in our rotation… Happ gradually taking over Moyer’s spot.

  5. Matthew

    January 27, 2009 at 10:27 am

    We need to hold on to JA Happ for as long as we can with a death grip. That man will be a solid player one day and we will be kicking ourselves in the arse if we let him go.

  6. Maverick

    January 27, 2009 at 10:29 am

    I like Happ but he’s no Chan Ho Park. I mean Happ might give up a HR here and there and maybe a Grand slam but 2 grand slammo’s in one inning.. only Chan “yo momma” Ho Park can pull that off. Adam Eaton isn’t even capable of such bad pitching. I can’t believe we are letting this guy compete for a spot.

    Happ is getting the shaft.

  7. Griffin

    January 27, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Happ and Park will make the roster. One will be the long man in the pen and the other will be the 5th starter. Once straters go down with injuries, then Carrasco will come up to spot start. If the Phillies are ever forced to rely on Kyle Kendrick, they’re in trouble.

  8. Don M

    January 27, 2009 at 10:34 am

    I agree with Manny here, add the fact that Kendrick was booted from the rotation, so he’ll have more motivation than anyone to try to win a job..

    It’s going to be tough because Park cried over the fact he wasn’t going to play for his country in the WBC, because he was going to prepare for this coming season..

    Happ feels that he deserves the right to be the #5 guy in the rotation (and I agree)..

    Carrasco would have to have a sub 2.50 ERA and be completely Lights-Out for them to really consider him for the rotation instead of shipping him to AAA..

    If Kendrick doesn’t make the rotation, but pitches well, I’d have to believe he’ll ask for a trade somewhere.. once he gets more control of his sinker, he’ll be a serviceable #4-5 pitcher for somebody.. when he’s on, he’s very good.. but control is his main issue.

  9. Monktavian

    January 27, 2009 at 10:36 am

    They say that competition brings the best out in athletes. Let them compete for the number five spot, or other spots. Happ may be a diamond in the rough and we would be foolish to let him go. I hope he WINS a spot in the starting rotation.

  10. mbtoole

    January 27, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Who knows how serious the Phils are about actually letting Park compete for the 5th starter job? Maybe it was a wink and a nod “sure we’ll let you compete for the the 5th starter job” sales pitch, when all along he is intended for the same role he filled last year with the Dodgers.

    Maybe it also adds a little extra motivation to Happ, that he won’t just be handed a rotation spot.

  11. Maverick

    January 27, 2009 at 10:42 am

    You would agree with manny. Clearly both of you are clueless.

    Kendrick or/and Happ will be traded before the july deadline. Ho will be reduced to a swing man and Carrasco will pick up some starts.

    Phils will likely add a 3/4 starter before the deadline based on Moyer’s age and Meyers lack of consistency.

  12. Iceman

    January 27, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Maverick is right!

    Hey Mav, you seen Goose around? I’ve got two Bogey’s on my wing and I can’t shake-em

  13. Manny

    January 27, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Let’s not forget that Happ was superb in his 4 starts in ’08: ERA 2.28… Held opponents to a .188 avg… This guy has tons of potential, plus the composure needed to succeed in MLB. This guy came in a NLCS game when the Dodgers were whooping Jamie Moyer’s a** and pitched 3 solid innings. He can take the heat.

    I would really HATE to see Chan Ho grabbing his [deserved] spot.

  14. Geoff

    January 27, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Short of them miraculously signing ben sheets for cheap and him being healthy enough to start the season, JA Happ will be the 5th starter and he should be…I think if he doesnt make the rotation, they owe it to him to trade him and give him an opportunity to start for another team because he is good enough to be a starting pitcher in major league baseball. if kendrick doesnt make the rotation he should be traded as well to someone who can fit him in their rotation because the phillies put a timetable on him being traded as tim mentioned a few months ago.

  15. Richie

    January 27, 2009 at 11:08 am

    I think if Happ doesn’t win the fifth spot he has to be traded, we can’t have him down in LV. It doesn’t make any sense, he has done very well in AAA, and if he isn’t our fifth starter, get a nice righty bat for him.

  16. Scott B

    January 27, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Agree that Park should go to the pen for at least the first 50 games with the Romero situation. I’d def keep Happ at #5. has more upswing in my mind and will either prove he is worthy or not.

  17. Maverick

    January 27, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Ho needs to go

  18. Geoff

    January 27, 2009 at 11:18 am

    how do you know? he has only really shown pretty good work, hes young…and cheap and has more promise than park or kendrick….

  19. deal

    January 27, 2009 at 11:35 am

    I like Happ’s chances for the 5th spot, topaChp

  20. deal

    January 27, 2009 at 11:36 am

    and I like bringing in Park to challenge Happ. It is also another starter if one of the top 4 have issues.

  21. Manny

    January 27, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Does Happ have a fan group @ CBP? You know, like Moyer’s Lawyers, Sal’s Pals..

    Maybe something like Happy Happs.. or It’s HAPPening

    What about Kyle Kendrick?

  22. Richie Allen

    January 27, 2009 at 11:51 am

    I dont care much for Park’s chances . He’s had like one good year in the last 8..
    I would like to see Happ go from day one as the 5th man,I think he deserves it after the way he pitched last year.
    We are going to need help in thebull pen because of Romero.Put Park there .
    Kendrick reportedly needs a shrink after last year.Dont think there is much help from him.
    Carrasco is still young,But if somebody cant handle the 5th spot,give him a chance later on.Overall its good that we have these options.

  23. Don M

    January 27, 2009 at 11:54 am

    That is the biggest thing, is that there are options… whoever is the #5 pitcher out of Spring Training will be there because he won the job, not because we were desperate as we’ve been in past years, or like whoever picks up Adam Eaton will be this year

  24. Nationals#1

    January 27, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Happ will win the 5th starter spot. I think his starts alone show that he’s earned his spot. His bullpen stints should be ignored, he’s not a relief pitcher and never shoud have been pitching out of the pen in the first place.

    ho park is washed up and obviously won’t win it, and frankly it would be a mistake if they let him have it. he will definitely be in the pen this year, that’s why they picked him up.

    kendrick has shown that he can’t hack it in the bigs and unless he’s improved drastically he will start in aaa, or he’ll be traded.

    carrasco will start in aaa, as he should.

    don’t count on a surprise ben sheets deal, it’s not going to happen. we already have our 5 starters.

  25. NJ

    January 27, 2009 at 11:58 am

    Is anyone here not really expecting Park to be a key cog in the pen and Happ not to be the 5th starter…

  26. Georgie

    January 27, 2009 at 11:59 am

    I agree with that, Richie, I think Happ did earn that 5th spot already. Does anyone think that prank they pulled on Kendrick messed him up? I know when I saw that for the first time, It didn’t really strike me as funny, just cruel. I enjoy a warped sense of humor at times, but the poor kid looked like he was going to faint or throw up. Note to Brett, let’s not do something like that to any more young guys, it might backfire again.

  27. Andrew R.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    If Park wins the #5 spot, good. He WON it. I’m pretty sure it will only be short lived until the real Park stands up. Happ could start in the bullpen and be our 2nd lefty. And as Romero gets set to return, we could start extending Happ and slip him in at the #5 spot. Than Park battles Condrey for mop-up.

    I think Kendrick needs to learn an off-speed pitch. Hard fastball, hard sinker. Nothing soft to keep anybody off-balance. Brandon Webb is the same pitcher but he’ll throw anywhere from 10-15 change-ups just so hitter have that in the back of their minds. Kendrick definately needs some polish.

    I wouldnt be surprised if Carrasco is ready and we deal Myers at the deadline for whatever piece we need. Are we going to resign Myers? Probably not, depends on the market. Could Happ have Myers spot in 2010? Yes. Myers is not a true #2 anyways. I think we just sit tight this year with everybody. You know somebody will get injured at some point.

  28. Manny

    January 27, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    I think they got the memo, Georgie. I think it was very funny but in a IN YOUR FACE, POINTING FINGERS kinda way. Poor dude.

  29. Griffin

    January 27, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Happ can not replace Brett Myers. Myers has much better stuff and a much higher K rate.
    Happ is a nice #5, let’s not get carried away here.

  30. T Marty

    January 27, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    go with the kid, he made a fine starter, but keep him outta the bullpen, don’t think that was his bag. i really hope we don’t trade him. Moyer can’t pitch forever (can he?) i like having two lefties in the starting rotation.

  31. Justin

    January 27, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Happ and Park make the roster one will be in the rotation the other will be in the bullpen, always good to have a 6th starter in waiting in case of injury. But mark my words, those 2 will be on the Phils 25 man roster unless Carassco or Kendrick dominates the competition.

  32. Richie Allen

    January 27, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Well it will be whoever EARNS IT…even if it is Park.
    Georgie,you have me thinking about the prank on Kendrick.Maybe that was the start of his problems..who knows..I was pretty surprised that they carried it on for so long and publicized it so much.The guy must have felt like crap.

  33. philsphan

    January 27, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Happ needs to take the fifth starter’s spot. We’ll need Park in the pen and Kendrick and Carrasco need seasoning at AAA.

  34. Chuck P

    January 27, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    This is a great debate… it will surely be settled on the field.

    If Park’s fastball is up around 93 again, he will get a shot and I agree with that decision. I think that Park is out to prove something and, given his history, it’s tough to doubt him… I never knew his story but it is quite remarkable…
    I suggest you guys read this:

    Personally, I think that Happ is a low ceiling player… I don’t think that anyone expects Happ to be a 20 game winner but he is consistent and that’s important as a fifth starter. He locates his pitches and changes speeds well but he doesn’t have knee-buckling stuff. I worry that teams will catch up with him the second/third time around and we should be prepared for that. With that being said, if he can stay in the 3’s until August, that’s great… just in time for Carrasco to hit the scene. Happ will be a major contributor this year, regardless whether he is our 5th starter to open the season. He’ll be called upon to win games at spots this season and I think that he’s perfect for that role.

  35. Manny

    January 27, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    If by low-ceiling you mean ‘capable of shutting the Braves for 6 full innings,’ then yea.

  36. Chuck P

    January 27, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    That’s my opinion… I don’t see him as anything more than a 5th starter. Low-ceiling players can be effective but I doubt that he has the tools to be a top of the rotation guy in this league. I would love for him to prove me wrong…

  37. Joe O'Phillie

    January 27, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Happ doesn’t DESERVE anything. He pitched well for a few starts last year and will have a good chance to win the position in spring training. If he doesn’t win it and won’t fit in the bullpen, he should be sent to the minors to be ready for a call up or to impress further in AAA and used as trade bait.

    That being said, he will likely win the job and Park will start the season in the pen.

  38. Eric

    January 27, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Happ could pitch in bullpen in JC Romero’s spot until June. The other factor that people seem to forget is you never know how Brett Myers is going to pitch. They may need both Park and Happ as starters.

  39. Matt Kwasiborski

    January 27, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I think Happ will be in someone’s rotation this season. He will either make ours or we will trade him for some bench help or even make a bigger deal. True, Happ could be the other LHP in the bullpen and I think that is what will happen. Longterm he is a starter and deserves to be on a roster.

  40. Manny

    January 27, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Note this: if Happ gets to be our No.5, we’ll have 3 lefty starters, which greatly decreases the need to have 2 lefty arms in the bullpen. Teams will configure their lineups to hit our lefty pitchers and what we’ll need for those games will be (in most cases) right-handed relievers. Happ is a starter, he’s being doing that for a while –and has had considerable success doing that in AAA and even in MLB. No need to keep messing around with an above-average young pitcher.

  41. Tyler

    January 27, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    i like happ and think he deserves much better than AAA

  42. PhillyCooke

    January 27, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    This is no quandry. Remember when the Phillies started spring training with six guaranteed starters in 2007? And then by the end of April they had four. Happ’s in the same position every ballplayer is who isn’t Santana or Sabathia. He should make it impossible for the Phillies to send him back to Triple A. I really hope he does because that’s great for the team. I hope Kendrick does the same. Ideally, the Phillies will leave spring training with 8 or 9 guys who have all shown they deserve to be on the Major League roster. Now, that’s a problem I think Ruben Amaro would be happy to have sleepless nights about!

  43. Doug

    January 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Luckily, the Phils have the “problem” of too many good arms to compete for a #5 rotation spot. The Phils control Happ, Kendrick and Carrasco well beyond this year, and they don’t owe it to anyone to trade them if they don’t make the team. There is no need to trade anyone, although not’s not to say that someone won’t get traded during the season. But you know the old adage – you can never have too much pitching. Be happy we are in this situation. It wasn’t so long ago that we had no pitching prospects ready to challenge for a spot in the rotation and we had to go out and sign…gag…Adam Eaton…Park will be on the 25-man roster coming out of Clearwater (unless he gets injured during Spring Training), most likely in the bullpen. Carrasco will probably end up in Reading getting more seasoning (he’s only 21). And the loser of between Happ and Kendrick for the the #5 spot will be pitching (and staying sharp) in AAA, acting as an insurance policy in the event of an injury (or maybe ineffectiveness) in the rotation.

  44. Tyler

    January 27, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    so does anyone see sheets bein signed cuz of this dilemma

  45. jan

    January 27, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Metsblog > phillies nation

  46. Griffin

    January 27, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    winning a championship > choking again

  47. Eb

    January 27, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    What didn’t Happ do to earn the #5 Spot???

    That is the question I have been thinking about.

    Kendrick and Park lack consistency, Carrasco lacks experience, and Eaton lacks pitching ability. I feel he is the clear cut #5 starter.

  48. KM

    January 27, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    I totally agree with this post. Happ should have a chance at a handful of starts in mlb. If they are not going to give him a fair shot to succeed, then they should trade him. If they send him back down again his confidence and trade value will be completely shot.

    Personally, I don’t see them giving him a shot at this unless he sets the world on fire in spring training and does extraordinarily better than Park. If he just barely beats out Park, I think that Park will end up as the 5th starter, because of his contract. If you need evidence of that, look no further than Adam Eaton last season.

    As far as Carrasco goes, I don’t see them bringing him up until September at least. And they will make sure that he doesn’t get enough service time in to qualify as more than a rookie. This organization has a track record of not bringing players up until the last possible moment, as in the cases of Utley and Howard. They don’t want these players coming up and acquiring major league service time, and allowing them to be arbitration eligible sooner.

  49. Griffin

    January 27, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    KM, I have to disagree with your statement “They don’t want these players coming up and acquiring major league service time, and allowing them to be arbitration eligible sooner.”

    Check out this article on Hamels and how if they waited 19 extra days before bringing him up, they would have set his arbitration clock back a year:

  50. Ryk

    January 27, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    I think having Happ, although in my opinion the best starter out of the candidates, in the rotation is a mistake. If he were to make it into the #5 spot, here’s the rotation…..
    If this were the case, once Happ had his scheduled start, the rotation would roll back over to Hamels, another lefty. Do the Phils really wanna go 3 LHP in a row all season long? A way to fix this would to be to swap Moyer with Blanton, but do the Phils wanna go with 3 LH starters this season……..

  51. Greg V.

    January 27, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    The Phils suck at bringing up young talent. They always have. J.A. Happ is no different. I hope he is the No. 5. He’s a much better pitcher than Chan Ho Park. Happ has this old school style to him and I think he’ll be effective. I endorse him for the 5 slot!

  52. jan

    January 27, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    me > griffin f*ggot


    January 27, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Happ (151 so) actually lost the International League strikeout championship to Bill Murphy (152 so) of Syracuse by one K.

    Happ spent 46 days with the Phillies, Murphy none with the Blue Jays.

  54. Griffin

    January 27, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    jan=poopy head

    I can make an unwitty comeback as well!

  55. Fran

    January 27, 2009 at 8:13 pm

  56. Don M

    January 27, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Utley was blocked by Placido Polanco, who was traded once they were sure that Utley could play everday.

    Howard was blocked by Thome.. Hamels came up as soon as they thought he was ready.

    While the Service-Time arguement is true for lots of teams, and lots of players, I can’t say the Phillies are guilty of that.

    Evan Longoria- 3b Rays was thought to be held back in AAA right out of Spring Training last year because of that, but I think an injury forced him up in mid-April.

    Jay Bruce- OF Reds (May 27, 2008), was clearly ready to play everyday in the big leagues, but was held in the minors for what appears to be salary reasons.

    I think they said the Twins were doing that with Francisco Liriano last year too?? He was trying to come back from an injury, but if he was in AAA, it didn’t count as MLB service-time, eventhough he had been up before??

  57. Griffin

    January 27, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Don M., you’re right about Utley being blocked by Polanco in ’04. The Phillies actually brough Utley up as a pinch hitter that season. So his arb clock started before he was even an everyday player.
    Longoria is a perfect example. He was good enough to start for the Rays on Opening Day.

  58. jan

    January 27, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    griffin is gay hehe

  59. Griffin

    January 27, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Oh and the Twins were most definitely doing that with Liriano last year. They stuck with Livan Hernandez in the rotation just to halt Lirano’s art clock.

    That Liriano move cost them a playoff spot. That and trading Johan Santana for a bag of balls.

  60. Don M

    January 27, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Santana would have been a Free Agent this past offseason though right? So they were def going to lose him anyway, that is the difference between an in-season, and a pre-season trade..

    If you trade a guy at the deadline, the other teams are limited as to who else they can acquire.. in the offseason there are 20 players they can get if they need an OF, or a Relief Pitcher.. which is why I think Howard gets dealt at the deadline next year, or the year after… a few months before we’d lose him as a Free Agent (or 1.5 years before…but I doubt that early)

    Jason Donald to me is the most interesting guy to watch this season..Marson isn’t ready, Carrasco might be, but Donald has nowhere to play in Philadelphia… so do they move him to 3b in hopes he takes Feliz’s spot next year.. or shift him from SS to 2b so he can take Utley’s job who would then move to 1b when Howard moves along..

  61. KM

    January 27, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Griffin, I see your argument, and it is a plausible one in the case of Cole Hamels. But, if you remember, the reason Hamels was brought up was because Madson was blown up a few times as a starter. They really had no other choice but to bring him up, or risk falling farther behind the Mets in the division.

    By the way, I agree that the Twins definitely screwed Liriano.

  62. KM

    January 27, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Don, I believe that Utley is the 1B of the future, with Donald at 2B. They just have to let it play out another year or two. I could also see a scenario where Donald would play 3B when Feliz goes, and they plug someone else in at 1B, maybe Dobbs. Howard’s price will eventually get too high, and he’ll end up with the Yankees or Red Sox. I could also see him with a team like the Angels, but they play fundamental baseball with sacrifices and hitting behind runners so I don’t see him fitting in there whatsoever with his feast or famine approach..

  63. Griffin

    January 27, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    I didn’t disagree with the Twins decision to trade Santana, I just think that they should have gotten more for Santana. Once the Yankees dropped out, the Muts were the all trade partner. The Muts offered slop and the Twins decided that slop was better than nothing.
    As it turns out, they would have been better off keeping Santana, making the playoffs, offering him arbitration and gaining the extra picks.

    KM, you’re right about ’06. Madson was getting blown up.


    January 27, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Will the Phils continue to develop Happ as a starter or use him out of the bullpen, as they did in the playoffs?

    I think Park will end up in the pen.

  65. Don M

    January 27, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    I think they had to trade Santana …. draft picks, especially those picks (after the “1st round” but before the 2nd) they hardly ever amount to anything..

    I just looked up the Santana trade to check the stats of the guys the Twins got in return, but in reading that, found this:

    “The Twins

    The Twins side of the deal is the most analyzed. For the Mets it is straight forward: they are obtaining the services of Johan Santana—a known quantity; an ace. First, we’ll look at the trade from the Twins’ side of the fence.

    For GM, Bill Smith, it was a simple equation. One more year of Santana … and then what? Nothing. Nada. Well two draft picks. Casual fans (and many analysts) vastly over rate the value of draft picks. A first round position player has less than a 30% chance of being a regular or better; that falls to 20% for a pitcher.

    In other words the most likely outcome for the Twins would have been to secure one regular and a duffer. The deal on the table was a year of Santana for a perpetual .260/.330/.400 hitter. Would you make the trade? Didn’t think so.”

  66. Don M

    January 27, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Twins got:

    OF- Carlos Gomez, played in the MLB last year, .258, 7 HR, 59 RBI, 79 Runs, 33 Stolen Bases …. not great, but not bad for a 23 year old

    P- Philip Humber, was nasty in college, and in 2006 for 6 games at the AA level, a 2.88 ERA.. he’s had Sept call-ups to the majors each of the last 3 years.. but the majority of his past two seasons were AAA (2007 = 4.27 ERA, and 2008= 4.56 ERA).. looks like he was a college MISS.

    P- Kevin Mulvey, in 3 seasons in the minors, he’s got a combined 3.37 ERA, 1.27 WHIP … he gives up almost a hit per inning, but his strikeout-to-walk ratio is 3/1 … looks like he’ll be pretty good, unless the stats lie.

    P – Deolis Guerra, only 300 innings pitched in 3 years, mostly in the Florida State League (A+ ball).. Im guessing he’ll be in AA this year? He’s got a career 4.21 ERA, 1.38 WHIP… Telling Stat: 71 walks, and 71 Strikeouts last year, with 10 Wild Pitches added in.

    If Gomez gets better with age, and Mulvey continues to throw well, it will turn out to be a nice trade for the Twins… its another wait and see a few years later kinda deals

  67. KM

    January 27, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    I didn’t think the Santana trade was terrible for the twins. Let’s face it, the twins did not have the resource$ to pay Santanta down the line, so they make the deal with the mets. Carlos Gomez is destined to be solid player if he can overcome his ego. He has potential to be a top of the order quality player. He definitely has the potential to be a .290 hitter, 100 run, 50+ sb, gold glove caliber center fielder in this league. As far as the pitchers they got back in return, I have only ever heard of Humber, and apparently he was a hell of a college player, as Don M mentioned. Either way, Santana got money from the mets that he would have never seen in Minnesota, the kind of money that only the Yankees and Mets toss around.

  68. Griffin

    January 28, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Carlos Gomez is absolutely lost at the plate. He has no strike zone recognition evidence by his 25 BB in 602 plate appearances. Ouch. That lead to a .296 OBP which is absolutely horrendous for any player, let alone a leadoff man. He is a great glove in center, but he’s a long, long way from being an everyday regular.

    Humber is just not that good. He’s a recognizable name because he was a first round pick, but he’s been disappointing ever since then. I’d be surprised if he’s not out of baseball in 5 years.

    Guerra, who was the key to the deal, was reportedly throwing 98 MPH while with the Mets. The Twins found out that that was not so true. He’s a very young arm but without the ton of upside that they had previously thought.

    That leaves Mulvey, who is a back of the rotation starter.

    So the Twins traded a year of the best pitcher in baseball for a defensive replacement OF, a possible 5th starter and a young arm who is a longshot at this point.

    If the Phillies had traded Howard for this package, would we be happy? No way.

  69. Don M

    January 28, 2009 at 11:09 am

    We’d be pissed… but that is why I think Howard needs to be dealt before the trade-deadline.. teams are much more willing to give up prospects if they can add a “right-now” piece to their team that might lead to a Championship.. Howard is a game-breaker, difference-maker, whatever you want to call it.. and teams will outbid one another, as long as the Phillies don’t ask for anything crazy from the start.

    Let the RedSox make an offer that the Yankees feel they can top with no problem (Chien Ming Wang and a AA/AAA prospect, plus some other A or AA prospects with upside).. that was what Kruk mentioned to Mike Missinelli last week as a type of deal that could work.. not to start any rumors with those names

  70. Don M

    January 28, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Sorry, I meant “before the trade deadline” as in during the season, not the offseason.

    In the offseason, it doesn’t matter if you lose on Howard because you can add other Free Agents, at the Trade Deadline, your options are very limited, so you have to pay that much more to get what you want, especially if another team is involved… with Howard, you’d have to think that a few teams would want him, even if just for a half a season rental, like the Brewers just did with Sabathia

  71. NJ

    January 28, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Agree Don, This is definately somewhere where VORP comes in. There’s no doubt Howard is an extremely good and explosive player but he doesn’t have the commitment to the game yet to be one of the true modern greats, he will demand and get Tex money at the very least and that’s not somewhere the Phils should go, look at what the A-Rod contract did to Texas or even Suzuki with Seattle. When you tie yourself to one guy you sacrafice other areas and the short-cuts don’t work as we’ve seen ourselves with guys we’ve signed.

    Howard sells tickets, he’s the face of a championship time but a lesser player could have contributed at other times of the year and this team isn’t lacking in firepower, it is in it’s ability to to grind out wins in close games. You deal Howard early and your talking about upgrading to one of the best farms in the game at the very least and with the money to address other areas, the drop off can be addressed by commitee- Rollins, Vic, Werth, 3rd base and 1st as we saw with Boston and Pedroia, Youklis, Bay. I’d like to see a hitter in the deal but Don’s suggestion is very good, that said you set the mark at Texas’s deal for Tex which included two of the best prospects in the game in Salty and Perez.

    Howard’s gone, got to be brutal and set this up right to come out on top because it’s not the end of the world window closing scenario that some make out. You don’t win by having the best names, it’s strategising to know you’ll see October the next year without any doubt in your mind.

  72. Griffin

    January 28, 2009 at 11:30 am

    My point on trading Howad is that the Phillies have to get something like Chien-Ming Wang and not something like Carlos Gomez and slop if they decide to trade Howard. If they can’t get a good package, then just keep him and get the draft picks.
    It’s not hard to find slop like Gomez/Humber/Mulvey/Guerra in the first two rounds of the draft. The Twins did not receive any can’t miss prospect in that deal, and that’s why they should have kept Santana and made the playoffs.

    But, if the Phillies are in contention at the deadline, just keep Howard and see how the season plays out. This is a win now team and Howard gives them a better chance to win in ’09 and ’10 than prospects do.

  73. Geoff

    January 28, 2009 at 11:30 am

    I agree with that assessment…the pieces are in place now for most teams so howard wont attract as much interest despite my ire at his inappropriate behavior..but wait until the yankees and red sox or the angels are MAD desperate in july, which they will be…and ill be willing to guarantee that he gets moved for a good package of players…wang is not looking like they want to keep him around for some reason. hed fit in well here though..sinkerballer…solid rotation piece to pick up mid-season

  74. NJ

    January 28, 2009 at 11:36 am

    I’m not so sure the deal for the Twins was bad, they now have an outfield of Gomez, Cuddyer, Span and Young so their set and have the ability to flip either Gomez or Young for a stud pitcher. Jones or the Pie deals weren’t the best for Baltimore but now their outfield could be the best in the game in a couple of years time.

    On the otherhand if you can add a soft ace in the deal with a top prospect then you go the Braves route and stand out as the best pitching team but whatever happens we have to do the right thing. If Boston can win without Manny, we can win without Howard (and don’t think Howard doesn’t sulk, it just doesn’t get written about because he doesn’t make a big deal of it but you could see it in his face almost all year)

  75. Griffin

    January 28, 2009 at 11:45 am

    NJ, I agree with your assessment of winning without Howard, but I have to disagree on the Twins trade.
    Carlos Gomez can’t hit. He is allergic to walks and never gets on base. OBP is not something that players are usually capable of drastically improving. If a guy can’t judge the strike zone by the time he’s 23, it’s probably not going to ever happen (with few exceptions). The pitchers they received are nothing to write home about.

  76. Don M

    January 28, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Orioles will put some runs on the board this year, I think they’ll be calling C- Matt Weiters up at some point (he’s being compared to Joe Mauer)..

    with Brian Roberts, Mick Markakis, Jones, even an aging Melvin Mora.. they’ll be good.. I was going to say Tejada too, but I think he’s in Houston right?? Shows how great he’s been since the steriods stopped flowing

  77. NJ

    January 28, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Houston have big sign over Tejada’s head saying we’re not going to say he’s on the market but make us an offer… The Orioles have understood their not going to get back into the thick of things with how they were doing it, they desperately need pitching but that’s a hell of a core they’ve got to start with.

    I think the jury’s out too early on Gomez, I think he’ll continue to make a bigger impact as the skillsets around him improve. I did think the deal at the time was strange considering Humber seems to be nothing to write home about but we know the Twins did their homework (more so than the Mets).

  78. NJ

    January 28, 2009 at 11:54 am

    ^Isn’t Weiters projecting more like Mike Piazza as a guy who could retire with his name next down from Yogi?

  79. Griffin

    January 28, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Weiters is a stud. He can flat out hit. He would be a top prospect even if he played 1B, but the fact that he can be a gold glove catcher further enhances his value.
    I expect the Orioles to do what the Rays did with Longoria last year, start him in the minors and then bring him up a month or so into the season in order to halt his arbitration clock.

  80. Berg

    January 28, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Lets all remember that Eaton should’ve been motivated to do well this year and didn’t. I don’t think Kendrick has the stuff. His rookie year he got by because no one was expecting a guy who tops at 88 mph and pitches a game like “painting”. People figured out his timing in 2008 and the facts came out that he’s simply not that good.

    I’ve always liked Happ. Even in the debut he lost two years ago, his outs were strikeouts and he looked like he had good command. I find it very hard to believe he wont be pitching in the rotation this year.

  81. houtz

    January 29, 2009 at 9:18 am

    I think Happ should and will be the 5th starter. When the Phillies got Ho Chan Park I was a bit shocked. We got a player that like someone else said, had one good year.

    Send Carrasco to AAA and let him know to be ready late in the season. Try whatever we can to give Eaton away.

  82. TJ

    January 30, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    We’ll see what happens in spring training, but it seems that Park belongs in the bullpen, and Happ will win a starting spot unless Kendrick has gotten his act together.

  83. New smokeless cigarettes

    July 1, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    What I want to know is why you didnt believe to consist of the other side of this matter? There are numerous points that youre missing the following that I dont see how you could truly form an intelligent opinion for the topic. Its like you didnt even look at that there me be a different aspect below. Im kind of disappointed.

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