Phillies Shave Off The Beard – Phillies Nation

Phillies Shave Off The Beard

Today the Phillies removed Eric Bruntlett from their 40-man roster to make room for some minor leaguers to be added to protect them from the Rule 5 draft.  This essentially means that Eric Bruntlett will not return to the Phillies in 2010.  Tyler Walker, Paul Hoover, Andy Tracy and John Ennis were also taken off the roster, though there is a chance Hoover, Tracy and Ennis could return next season.

In two seasons with the Phillies since coming over from Houston in the Brad Lidge deal, Eric hit .202 with a .550 OPS on top of two homers, 22 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.  Looking at those numbers, especially on the heels of a dismal 2009 campaign,  it’s surprising he even lasted this long.  However his contributions during the 2008 season – filling in for an injured Chase Utley – combined with his efforts in the post-season will remain his best memories in red pinstripes.



  1. Phils fan in NYC

    November 17, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    i know he gets blasted on this site all the time, but i liked the guy. He scored key runs, filled in on defense admirably, had a great beard and was never a jackass. Whenever there was some wild comeback, he was always one of the guys scoring. Sure, he was pinch running for some slowass, but hey, the guy was scoring key runs.

    I was at the game at citifield with the triple play, i’ll always have love for him for that alone. As a native new yorker who laughs at the mets, it was a great subway ride home.

  2. Ben

    November 17, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    I’m pretty sure that was Jimmy Rollins he filled in for, not Chase Utley.

  3. Don M

    November 17, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    The problem with Bruntlett is that he didn’t hit …. the problem with the fans is that for some reason everyone expects the “Utility Fielder/ 25th Man” to hit .400 with double-digit HRs

    Bruntlett played solid defense at numerous positions, whenever he was called upon.

    He won’t be greatly missed.. but he will be replaced by a similar unproductive-offensive player.. because those are the guys that fill that role.

    If your 25th Man was capable of hitting .300 and winning Gold Gloves.. he wouldn’t be available to your team as a 25th man, because he would be starting for some other team.

    Lets keep that in mind when we sign Player X this offseason..

    I was a fan of Bruntlett because he was on the Phillies.. and he hustled … that’s good enough for me! I wish him well

  4. The Original Chuck P

    November 17, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I posted this on one of your threads yesterday… sounds like somebody had a case of the Mondays.

  5. Geoff

    November 17, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Just because hes the 25th man doesnt mean its ok for him to suck. Itd be nice to have a 25th man who does not suck.

  6. The Original Chuck P

    November 17, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Don – you’re a Bruntlett supporter and I respect that. I don’t think that he’s a terrible player (he’s a good base runner, he doesn’t hit into DP’s, he can bunt and he can adequately field multiple positions) BUT we’re moving forward without him and I understand why. There are other tastier fish in the sea and we might be able to land one of them… if we don’t end up with a super utility guy, a minor league replacement is not going to kill this team and it would save us some money. I would rather see us roster one decent bench guy and one minor leaguer than two non-productive bench bats (a la Stairs/Bruntlett).

  7. Amazinsux

    November 17, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    So long, Grunt! The fact you lasted two years on the Phillies roster is about two years too long. Won’t be missed one bit. Happy trails!

  8. Don M

    November 17, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    I said all year long last year, that if we could find someone BETTER than Bruntlett.. I would be all for it

    Its not that I’m a Bruntlett fan really.. its just that I refuse to knock guys for no reason. If you NEVER get to play.. how are you supposed to produce in that rare chance you get at the plate??

    And I said like two weeks ago..

    Considering our previous “25 Man” were guys like Tomas Perez, So Taguchi …

    Eric Bruntlett wasn’t too bad .. people get way to caught-up on Offensive Numbers for BENCH PLAYERS

  9. Georgie

    November 17, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    I wonder what level of suckiness is acceptable for the Phillies 25th man? Alot depends on what they do with 3b, but I think Ruben and Co are of the mindset that their regular line-up is pretty much sufficient in the offense dept, probably looking for someone who can fill in defensively and not hurt you. I don’t see them going all hog wild over a bench guy, but I could be wrong.

  10. Don M

    November 17, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    That’s the whole point… if you are really concerned what the last guy on your bench does with the bat … maybe you should have planned out your lineup a little bit better

    That is why they won’t get DeRosa or someone as a bench guy if they cost $3+ Million … you can’t go spend Monopoly money .. so you pick the best out of the guys that are willing to play for the League Minimum, or just above that ..

  11. Jeff G.

    November 17, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    The problem is that The Beard does not belong in the majors. Get rid of him. Trade for Cole. Send Cole and two AAA players for Doc. Dock, Lee, Drabek, Blanton, and Happ. Bring in Figgins or Beltre. Get a few bench players and build up the pen.

  12. Don M

    November 17, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    And increase the payroll to $200 Million.. and charge $65 for Outfield seats..

    sounds like a plan

  13. Havoc

    November 17, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Love how everyone is still on the trade Cole idea. 25 year old lefty who two years ago was MVP of the world series… you’d have to be out of your mind.

    Pitchers have bad years. We all love Cliff Lee and he’s an amazing pitcher to watch, but in 2007 he went 5-8 with a 6.29 era and had to be sent back to the minors. Kind of puts that 10-11 season into perspective. Let’s see how Cole does this year before we give up on the guy, Lee bounced back in 08 winning the cy young award.

    I think it would be an expensive, but i’d like them to sign Beltre for third (Better defense and higher offense potential) and Derosa as our utility guy. My reasoning is that the team really seemed run down in September this year when they were trying to clench. Having a guy like Derosa would really give the team the option to spread out some offdays without sacrificing too much offensively or defensively. It would also let us have a bench guy getting fairly steady work to keep the bat alive.

  14. Lucky

    November 17, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    I really liked Walker…He showed potential last season, though Manuel never really used him in too many Key situations. Not to mention he would of came cheap.

  15. psujoe

    November 17, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Phils aer looking at Jamey Carrol for Bruntlett’s rol. Me likey.

  16. Max

    November 17, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Bruntlett, like many former Phillies, will not leave without his fair share of memories. Most former Phillies, however, didn’t have blogs petitioning for their release, like we were. It’s a happy, happy day at FEB.

  17. George

    November 17, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Who, really was the 25th man, Bruntlett or Stairs? One bad bench spot I can see, but not two. This year, the bench didn’t perform at all offensively, and it needs an upgrade, because even defensively the bench players weren’t all that good.

  18. Don M

    November 17, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    I was surprised when Stairs was kept over Jenkins at the start of the season..

  19. Don M

    November 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    even Dobbs only had like 150 at-bats …

    It doesn’t matter if you have ICHIRO on your bench .. if he only gets to the plate once every 10 games, he’s not going to feel comfortable, or have any success

  20. Bob in Bucks

    November 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Bruntlett was a decent utility guy but we can still expect .230 from that kind of guy, not 170.

    Let’s move on.

  21. joedad

    November 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    You cannot expect a DH-quality player on your bench in the National League because, if they were DH-caliber, he would play DH in the American League and be paid like a DH in the American League.

    Don, Jenkins wasn’t picked up by any team during the season so he must be toast.

  22. MOAB

    November 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Havoc, I’m just dumbfounded that Happ is always listed last in everyone’s pitching rotation…

  23. The Original Chuck P

    November 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    I think that if we go out and get a guy like Carroll or Derosa, we can get them enough AB’s to have success… the problem with Bruntlett and Stairs is that neither of them are well rounded enough to rely on. You’re essentially giving up something by using either of those guys for an entire game… if you had a guy that could play a little defense and swing the bat and play a few positions, you could afford to rest Utley, Feliz and Ibanez (without severely hurting your lineup).

  24. shag beta sigma delta

    November 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    I liked the Beard, he hustled, played every position except catcher and pitcher, was a good team guy. And when he got some playing time at the end of the season and played 3 out of 4 days he had like 4 hits. Cut the guy some slack, I am not saying they should keep him, but he was on the team that won a WFS and then went back the next year. So he will be remembered. I wish him luck and thank him for two quality years of service to the Phillies.

    I agree with the point the starters need a little more rest during the year, not just to rest the regular guys but to keep the bench guys sharp and in the game. Look at Dobbs compared to 08, he had many more at bats, then in 09 and he was a better hitter then. I do think the bench guys need to be able to defend their position in the field more then Stairs could

  25. Jeff

    November 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    I dont care is Cole is the next coming of Carlton, which he isnt. He has a terrible mindset to play in this town. I dont like what came out of his mouth. The league has caught up to him. Yes if we have to pay 65 for seats thats fine. They yankees do and they have the RING.

  26. Havoc

    November 17, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Hey MOAB, I’m pretty sure that right now Moyer should be listed last on everyone’s rotation unless he decides to retire or the Phils plan on eating a huge amount of $$. I like Happ as the #4, but at the sametime (Setting aside payroll restrictions) if the Phils could get Halladay for Happ, Taylor, & a carpenter/savery type I’d make that deal in a second.

  27. Havoc

    November 17, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Jeff, If you want to dream about the Phils have a 200 million dollar payroll like the Yankees that’s fine, but be prepared for dissappointment. If we can get to 150 I’ll be more than satisfied.

    Cole is a strange guy who’s gonna say strange things, we can put up with him if he can help us win. I think we need more than one bad season to be sure that he can’t. Let’s see how his offseason goes from what I hear he’s going to be working on pitching 2-3 days a week during the winter, I pray to god he learns to throw a cutter.

  28. Don M

    November 17, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Phillies can’t get Halladay for Happ, Taylor, and anyone besides Drabek or Brown

    Best chance to get Roy Halladay, is as a Free Agent next year, when we lose Cliff Lee

    Geoff Jenkins could at least play defense and run the bases …. Matt Stairs had ONE of Five Tools … POWER .. and all that power got him 5 HRs

    I bet that Stairs isn’t picked up this year either.. its nice to have a Power Threat on the bench, but I would have kept Jenkins because he can do a few more things

  29. Havoc

    November 17, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Can’t see having to pay the trade dealine price for Halladay now that it’s just a one season thing, but I guess we’ll see how it goes.

  30. psujoe

    November 17, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    I think these 4 signings would improve the club. Money wise it’s plausable.

    J. Carroll as a utility infielder (R)
    E. Chavez as a 5th OF (L)
    M. Derosa at 3B
    R. Betancourt in the pen as insurance

  31. joe

    November 17, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    who scored the winning run of the world series?

    not every can be utley, howard, rollins

    ease off

  32. MOAB

    November 17, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Pinch running for Burrell, joe? Anyone with average speed could have done that. I”m not dogging the guy, but that’s hardly an accomplishment. Maybe if he hit himself there…

  33. Dan S

    November 17, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    jeff, you scenario will never happen. First of all Drabek is NOT ready for the majors he still hasn’t pitched in AAA. Also, as it was previously stated the phillies don’t have enough money. They would need to get 1 starting pitcher(Drabek is not starting the year in the rotation), new third basemen, 1 or 2 bench players and at least 2 bullpen pitchers. Thats 5 new contracts not to mention Roy Halladay’s contract. Also, add in all the players who will file for arbitration which include victorino who will most likely get a long term deal, and blanton who will get a decent amount for next season. This look like around a $200-250 million dollar payroll. reality check…that is not happening

  34. psujoe

    November 17, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Forgot the backup catcher. I like the write-up on Henry Blanco on mlbtraderumors. Says he throws out 40% of runners against him. That would make

    J. Carroll as a utility infielder (R)
    E. Chavez as a 5th OF (L)
    M. Derosa at 3B
    R. Betancourt in the pen as insurance
    H. Blanco back up cacther (R)

    Important that the Phils improve against left handed pitching which is why I’d want a right handed hitting catcher.

  35. Dudley Monk

    November 17, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    The Phightens need Juan Uribe as their infied utility player. He can play ss, 3rd and 2nd and hit for some power. He can also ensure that Jimmy Rollins does not cruise, but hustles all year. He can also pinch hit. If someone gets hurt for a period of time, he will be a valuable and effective replacement. Someone is bound to break a toenail at one time or another. Uribe is only 31. Much better than Bruntlett.

  36. Dudley Monk

    November 17, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Derosa would be solid at third, so would Beltre.

  37. shag beta sigma delta

    November 17, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    I for one like the fact that you can get decent seats at the Bank for reasonable prices, we have a ring, and do not pay $70 for nose bleed seats(not that there are any really at the bank,) If that means we only get one ring every 3or 4 years and are always in the playoffs or in the hunt for the WS, like that much better, then eliminating much of your fan base because they can not afford to go. IMO DeRosa is not an everyday 3rd basemen but that is just me.
    Uribe is a interesting chose, I kind of like that idea, or a player like that, that can spell whoever is at third and rest Chase a little more.
    I see Dobbs as having a rebound year, maybe not 08 pinch hit numbers but better then 09. I say you concentrate on re-signing Lee for 3 years and hope some of the prospects(Drebek) will be ready by 2011 to solidify our rotation. Cole deserves another year to see which one shows up. If he can be a solid #2 guy with Blanton, and Happ for next year. Then when these minor league guys are ready to step up you end up losing Blanton before 2011 and go from there. Build from the farm up. I still hold out hope for Feliz to resign at about 4 mil. and get a good bench guy that can rest him, DeRosa would be great for that, but I think he would be too expensive for that roll. I like Beltre but I worry about his ability to stay injury free, same goes for De Rosa.

  38. Manny

    November 17, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    I would’ve kept Jenkins over Stairs, too… but oh well.

    Re: Beard. Thanks for the hustle and for filling in when needed, but we gotta move on. There are definitely better options out there.

  39. MikeB

    November 17, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    I too thought that they should have kept Geoff Jenkins on the team last spring instead of releasing him. Believe that he was 35 years of age and declining in ability but still would have had quite a bit more left in the tank than Matt Stairs. Amaro Jr. was wrong on this one as I believe that Jenkins would have done a much better job pinch hitting compared to Stairs and Bruntlett and would have been a much more capable outfield replacement and fill-in. The Phils gave up on a great team player and player-cheerleader on that bench. If I remember correctly, Amaro Jr. was talking about bringing in Gary Sheffield or Andruw Jones at the time with neither of those possibilities panning out.

  40. Jeff of Nova

    November 18, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Bruntlett was a good guy, but very inconsistent and lets remember that he made many key errors. If your role with the team is as a bench player you need to be one or 2 of the following.
    A long ball hitter, contact hitter, or a solid glove.

    This season he was none of them.

    Don, your claim of the 25th man is fine, but hitting .0something and not making good defensive decisions makes him suck!

    saying your 25th man hits .125 or worse shows very little expectation for that spot. Shoot I should try out.

    I look at Ben Francisco as a 25th man type player.

  41. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 9:36 am

    I look at Ben Francisco as the 4th Outfielder.. and your top RH pinch-hitter

    In the National League.. that means a lot

    It means that he should play in almost every single game, in some role

    Bruntlett, however, is there in case of an injury, etc.. so that if Rollins or Utley were to go down during a game, you wouldn’t have Greg Dobbs playing SS

    They are looking to bring Miguel Cairo to Spring Training … he’s that same type of player. You guys can’t expect everyone on the roster to excel at hitting .. when a guy’s main role is to be a UTILITY MAN

    Bruntlett had a few errors this year, and that’s why he is being let go.. they could care less about his hitting

  42. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Yea Honestly… I think the real problem is that people expect the Phillies to have a team where a player like Ben Francisco.. or Greg Dobbs .. is the worst player on the team

    and that isn’t going to happen, ever ..

    Francisco could start for multiple teams in MLB.. and Dobbs is one of the best pinch-hitters in baseball over the past 3 years

    For some reason, since we started winning, people forget what the makeup of a Major League Roster is …

    things you need include:
    A Defensive-Minded Utlity Player..capable of playing multiple positions
    One or Two LONG RELIEVERS in the bullpen (often these guys have ERA’s at 4.50+) ..

    And those are the guys that fans say “SUCK” .. we’ll they don’t suck if they are playing in the majors.. but they aren’t AWESOME either .. they are guys in a role in the majors ..

    we’ll have those same types of players this year.. and I’m really looking forward to reading all the negative posts in May, when Player-X is batting only 3-for-24 but gets used to pinch-run, play defense, and get random starts in Day games, after Night games

  43. joedad

    November 18, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Think about what you are saying about Jenkins vs Stairs….

    Stairs was tearing it up at the plate during the early part of the year. Remember Harry’s last home run call?

    Jenkins could have been had for the MLB minimum salary last year but was NOT picked up by any team.

    ADAM FRIGGIN EATON could have been had for the MLB minimum salary and was picked up by TWO TEAMS.

    If Adam F. Eaton was picked up twice and Jenkins was not picked up, what does that tell you about Jenkins ability?

  44. Manny

    November 18, 2009 at 10:23 am

    joedad: You could make a similar argument for Pedro Martinez… nobody wanted him… and he was just sitting there waiting for a team all season long (salary-wise there wasn’t that much of a difference between what Pedro got pro-rated and the league-minimum salary).

    Maybe there was something else about Jenkins that we didn’t know? Injury?? But he was solid –even in 2008 and DESPITE Matt Stair’s historic moonshot– he was still the better bench player for this team.

  45. MattXner

    November 18, 2009 at 10:25 am

    I am relieved that Eric Bruntlett won’t be returning next season. I enjoy my men clean shaven…everywhere. Furthermore, Bruntlett was way to versatile of a player. You could put the man in almost any position. Nobody wants a player that can play almost every position. I just want a man that can play one position…catcher.

  46. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Bruntlett was an “emergency catcher” if that helps you at all ??

  47. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 10:38 am

    This is almost the perfect summary of my arguement, as to expectations:
    From Andy Martino, Daily News…

    “So here is what Amaro needs to find: A guy who can play shortstop, and is willing to accept a bench role, and can handle the bat well convince Manuel to use him.

    One problem. That guy probably does not exist.

    “If the ideal guy was there, he would be playing every day in the major leagues,” Amaro said. “The likelihood is not great that we’re going to find a guy who can hit enough and field enough. You’re going to have to make a sacrifice.”

    So where will Amaro make that sacrifice? On offense, apparently. He is seeking someone who can play the difficult position of shortstop, and has played that position regularly. By cutting ties with Bruntlett, the Phils sacrificed their only player who could sub for Rollins if the shortstop were injured for a significant period of time.

    “Shortstop is a specialized position, almost like catcher,” Amaro said. “You would err on getting defense over offense.”

    That would seem to eliminate the following names from the super-utility hunt, among others who haven’t played much shortstop lately, if ever: Jamey Carroll and Ronnie Belliard.”


  48. bfo_33

    November 18, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Thanks to the Beard for playing hard for two years. Good luck.
    I think the Cards do it better than anyone – a few core guys, good starting pitching, then a bunch of role players. Bench players and the bullpen (with the exeption of closer) are usually filled with older players whose best days are behind them, guys with an injury history trying to make it back, or one dimensional players. The Phils have done a pretty good job with this over the past several years, even generating 2 all-stars (Werth and Vic), and getting one of the best single season pitch hitters ever.
    I think Cairo is an upgrade over Bruntlett, could certainly live with him starting 3 or 4 times a month spelling Utley and Rollins. I thought I heard that Dobbs was injured to begin 2009. While I don’t expect a repeat of 2008, if back to health, feel good about him starting at first, third, and left here and there, the primary lefty pinch hitter, with Francisco the righty pinch hitter and 4th outfielder. Off the bench, all you really need is a lefty power bat.
    The other hole remaining is another righty starter. Pedro wants to pitch another year, wouldn’t be a terrible signing. Start him once/week, with Moyer and Kendrick filling in the gaps. Won’t really help in OCt though. I’d still love to see Halladay in red pinstripes, and don’t think he’s going to cost all that much. Jays want to shed salary, and don’t want him in the AL east. Cubs and Dodgers are in a financial mess, and the Mets don’t have much to offer (unless they agree to take Well’s salary). Their finances aren’t strong either. Detroit has starting pitching, and the White Sox have too many holes to spend all their money on 1 guy. I think the Phils could get away with an mlb ready starter (Happ?) and an outfield prospect. The competition is probably limited to the Angels (unless they sign Lackey), the Rangers, and maybe the Braves. I have also heard on the 4 letter network that Halladay is looking for a 3 year deal, while Lee is looking at a Sanatana/Sabbathia type contract when this contract is up. Hamels and Halladay for 4 years, with 1 year of Lee looks pretty good, and may not break the bank.

  49. Georgie

    November 18, 2009 at 10:59 am

    “You would err on getting defense over offense.” EXACTLY. If you have to sacrifice a little offensively to get a guy who can adequately fill in for Jimmy and/or Chase defensively, so be it. I see Jeff (G) has put in his 2 cents, hope he has more than that to spend for Phils tickets if they increase the payroll and start spending $$$ like the Yanks. And Cole is not going anywhere this year, knock it off.

    MattX, thanks for sharing, but that’s a little tmi….

  50. Manny

    November 18, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Ditto, Georgie.

  51. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 11:11 am

    I’m positive that Blue Jays don’t care if Halladay plays in the AL EAST.. if the Yankees or Red Sox are the team that trades them the best or the most prospects..

    The Blue Jays asked for Drabek and Brown … so you can’t give them Happ and Taylor and expect them to say YES

    And why trade those guys away, when in 12 months, you can get Halladay without giving up prospects … is it worth that one World Series ring in 2010 to mortagage your future beyond 2011

    I think this is about the same thing it was when we traded for Cliff Lee INSTEAD of Halladay … lets put the best team that we can on the field, while still maintaining a strong core of prospects

    that is the only way to stay competitive for a long stretch of time.. and by keeping your prospects, you at least have a chance to manage your payroll

  52. Manny

    November 18, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Omar Vizquel. VERY INTERESTING. Goes along with what Amaro said about defense over offense…. from MLB TRADE RUMORS:

    “You could hardly think of two more dissimilar players than Omar Vizquel and Nick Johnson, but Evan Brunell of The Hardball Times took a look at where these two free agents may end up playing in 2010.

    First, Vizquel. Brunell thinks that Vizquel’s desire to play for a higher-profile club than Texas may stem from the fact that playing for a big-market team may improve Vizquel’s chances of being voted into the Hall of Fame when his career is over. There’s also the fact that the 42-year-old shortstop would no doubt love to get another chance at a World Series title after coming so close with Cleveland in 1995 and 1997.

    With these factors in mind, Brunell feels that Philadelphia is the ideal destination for Vizquel, as he can serve as a backup to Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and whomever the Phillies get to play third base. Vizquel’s presence as a late-inning defensive replacement would also mean that the Phils could focus their third baseman search on finding a solid hitter, not necessarily a top gloveman.”

  53. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 11:16 am

    While I like the idea of Vizquel as a backup..

    I find it hard to believe that the Phillies want to get themselves into a situation where they have both an OFFENSIVE and a DEFENSIVE 3b

    If you get Beltre, he can play solid defense at 3b

    Also on that page somewhere it said that multiple teams are interested in Mark DeRosa .. so the idea that we could get him cheap to be a Bench-Player should stop .. and he can’t play everyday at 3b .. so I think he should be officially off our radar

  54. Geoff

    November 18, 2009 at 11:45 am

    The more and more I think about it. Beltre is our guy. Has to be. Vizquel is long in the tooth. I want someone younger who can sub adequately defensively for extended periods of time if needed. He has to be able to hit better than bruntlett, but not necessarily that much better really. Because if he can hit well then he wouldnt be a backup.

  55. Geoff

    November 18, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Figgins is a good player, but not worth 10M a year. But if they feel taht they can afford it Im not opposed to him. However, WHEN Figgins loses his speed he will become a bad contract on the books. Be wary of that. DeRosa will get paid somewhere to start. Beltre is the guy for this team. He would slide right in confortable.

    As far as a backup utility man, If he HAS to have played SS recently, why not bring in Juan Uribe? He can handle a glove still.

  56. psujoe

    November 18, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Figgins $$$ just isn’t going to happen. Todd Zalecki says the Phils are the favorite to land Derosa. If the Phils could land him for $10 million over 2 years why not? The combination of Derosa and Vizquel would give Charlie a ton of fleaibility. Derosa won’t need to play 150 games with Dobbs and Vizquel on the bench.

    Can Endy Chavez field? Decent left handed hitter as a potential 5th outfielder.

    Derosa and Uribe are both starters in their minds so I don’t see either as a utility player.

  57. psujoe

    November 18, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    I like the idea of waiting on Halliday. It’ll be tough to outbid the Yanks and Sox $$$ wise but with Lee and Moyer’s money off the books that’s 17 million so going 3 years $60 million isn’t out of the question.

  58. jman

    November 18, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Don M, You are quite a Bruntlett apologist. Nobody but you has said that fans want bench players to hit .300. Most of us would be happy if he could just out-hit the pitchers he’s pinchhitting for. And make no mistake, although Bruntlett SHOULD have only been used for defensive emergencies, Manuel had him in the regular pinch-hitting role for much of his time here. He strikes out far too often to be used as a pinchhitter. (And don’t excuse him with the old “how’s he supposed to hit well if he doesn’t play much?” argument. Other players have done well as pinchhitting specialists over the years.) You would think a 2-time NL champion team could find sonmeone interested in filling that role here!

  59. pb

    November 18, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    I think Derosa and Scutaro will comand pretty similiar salaires and years, I’d perfer Scutaro. Signing Scutaro would remove the need to find that light hitting solid middle INF for the bench instead sign a guy like Joe Crede to play occasionally. (which would hopefuly keep him healthy all year if he was only used twice a week)

    scutaro, vic, and rollins are interchangeable hit them were you like

    utley off rollins off howard off
    3b scutaro 2b scutaro ss scutaro 2b scutaro
    cf vic cf vic cf vic cf vic
    2b utley lf ibanez 2b utley 1b utley
    1b howard 1b howard 1b howard rf werth
    rf werth rf werth rf werth lf ibanez
    lf ibanez ss rollins lf ibanez ss rollins
    ss rollins 3b crede 3b crede 3b crede
    c ruiz c ruiz c ruiz c ruiz

  60. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Pinch-hitting specialists … which was never, and will never be Bruntlett’s role
    That is what Matt Stairs, and Greg Dobbs are

    As for the “how’s he supposed to hit well if he doesn’t play much?” arguement

    You don’t think that has an effect on guys???

  61. pb

    November 18, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    sorry lineups would look like this

    3b scutaro
    cf vic
    2b utley
    1b howard
    rf werth
    lf ibanez
    ss rollins
    c ruiz

    (utley off)
    2b scutaro
    cf vic
    lf ibanez
    1b howard
    rf werth
    ss rollins
    3b crede
    c ruiz

    (rollins off)
    ss scutaro
    cf vic
    2b utley
    1b howard
    rf werth
    lf ibanez
    3b crede
    c ruiz

    (howard off)
    2b scutaro
    cf vic
    1b utley
    rf werth
    lf ibanez
    ss rollins
    3b crede
    c ruiz

  62. shag beta sigma delta

    November 18, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Why could we not sign Lee to a 3 year extension this year. Is that so out of the question. That is what I would look for instead of paying Doc. Plus he will not make it to the off season, if he is not traded before the season starts the Jays will trade him at the deadline to get something for him. Lee Hamels Happ Blanton(one more year) then the #5 guy from Moyer, Kendrick, Bastardo, Pedro, Carpenter, or a guy like Lopez who pitched well until he got hurt. Then by 2011 Drebek.

  63. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Lee is said to be seeking AT LEAST a 5 year deal.. there have been reports that his agent will not give any home-town discounts, or discounts of any kind.. and that he will be seeking a CC Sabathia type contract

  64. shag beta sigma delta

    November 18, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Those line ups are nice but you forget Charlie will not move JRoll out of the lead off, he will not hit 7th, That is one reason you will not see Figgins in Red Pinstripes. Get used to it, JRoll is the lead off hitter for 2010 and probably 2011.
    The big reason you need a guy who can play once a week is because DeRosa, Beltre, or Feliz, need time off during the year as well as Utley. That is why if you can get Feliz to re sign for 4 million, you can use the extra 1.5 million you saved on a decent bench guy that can play infield for 50 or so games during the year. And fill in if injuries occur

  65. Chuck

    November 18, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    “Manuel had him in the regular pinch-hitting role for much of his time here.”

    Huh??…..Last I checked, last year Bruntlett’s primary role was filling in for Chase and being Pat Burrell’s late-inning defensive replacement….two roles where he did an adequete job.

    I guess I’m “apologist” too but cut the guy some slack….he did what he was asked to do….without moaning or complaining….and did it with as much desire and hustle as anyone could in that role. Are there better options?? Sure, of course.

    I appreciate what Eric Bruntlett did to contribute to this team and hope he has future success.

  66. shag beta sigma delta

    November 18, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    I still think if Lee pitches well in Philly and say they go deep into the playoffs again next year, I do not care what they are saying now, it will change, Even the Yankees only have so much money. Even though I do not think any pitcher should get a 5 year deal, I would give one to Lee against my better judgement.

  67. Manny

    November 18, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    If we don’t get Figgins or Beltre, we should seriously consider bringing back Feliz. He’s still a better option than DeRosa and all the other “third-basemen” who will cost us defensively.

    Figgins and Beltre are the only upgrades… if we can’t get either, please bring back Feliz the Glove.

  68. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    How much can we offer Lee.. when we also have Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins etc all coming-up from their contracts in a few years

    The CHEAPEST you could get Lee would be $20 Million per year.. and that is probably a low figure..

    He’s gone after next season..

  69. Chuck

    November 18, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Thing is….and I like J-Roll…..but are his numbers declining enough and will continue to do so to consider NOT bringing him back??….to free up payroll dollars….

    My argument is… where are the priorities with payroll..??…with a Cy Young-type pitcher the likes of Cliff Lee or with the Jimmy Rollines and Chase Utleys and Ryan Howards??…Obviously, you can’t sign them all..

    I don’t know…just thinking here…

  70. Geoff

    November 18, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    You still have to try to lock him up. See what happens.

    Crede? Scutaro? Scutaro wants to be well paid and they wont spend all that money on a backup. I would stay as far away from Crede as possible. Boras client, injury history, attitude history, etc.

  71. shag beta sigma delta

    November 18, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Don you have to have a little faith in the fact that maybe he likes playing here, and if they continue to via for a WS title every year he will stay. Not everyone is a money grubbing whore. I’ll give you Chase and Ryan, but JRoll will not cost an arm and a leg on his next contract, plus they may all give home town discount to be in the series every year don’t you think. I do not care that his agent is now saying there will be no home town discount, winning changes a lot of minds

  72. Georgie

    November 18, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    This is the part I hate, you’re ruining the little fantasy I have going that Cliff Lee is the perfect man. I just fell in love with him this season, always looked forward to the games he started, and you knew you weren’t in for a 4 hour game, quick-hand Cliff is on the mound! The fact that he’s hot doesn’t hurt, oops, tmi. But now you’re telling me he’s just going to go with the team that gives him the biggest contract? I really thought he might be different and stay where he will be appreciated for his amazingness and always pitching to a full house with fans who support him 100%. Maybe you’re wrong Don, maybe he’ll tell his agent to stuff it, and give us a home town discount.

  73. shag beta sigma delta

    November 18, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Hey for once I agree with Geoff, You have to try an lock him up for 3 and if you have to 5 years, I am not saying you trade JRoll or not resign him, I am just saying he will not be a top dollar guy in 2 years. Chase and Ryan will give home town discounts to a degree if they keep showing they are willing to pay to win, including locking up guys who are proven winners. I say you give Lee 3 years 55 million with an option for the 4th even if you go to 60 million it would be worth it, and the extra income from the playoffs will pay for it.

  74. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    The teams that pay those huge contracts.. are usually the same teams that are also making playoff-runs every year

    TOP Free Agents get to choose between:
    Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, Phillies, Cubs, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants, Angels …probably missing a team or two

    But I promise you that Ryan Howard isn’t giving a home town discount, since in his mind.. he’s already short a few million dollars based on them holding him in the minor leagues

    If you listen to Jayson Stark.. he said last week that Cliff Lee WILL NOT sign the 3 year deal similar to what we gave Brad Lidge

    he will be seeking AT LEAST 5 years … with his agent looking for CC SABATHIA type dollars.

    I’m not making this stuff up to argue with people, or to shoot down ideas .. Im just saying what will and will not happen

    Cliff Lee MIGHT resign with the Phillies.. if we are willing to greatly overpay him for more years than we would want to

  75. Chuck

    November 18, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    3yrs/60 mil with a 4th year option is a nice contract….will Lee take less than a guaranteed 5 years, though?…

    Money has a way of getting to players…even Cliff Lee….and is he wrong for wanting to get the most he can??…

    Hopefully, Ruben can get something done with him BEFORE the end of the season…because anything relatively close to the kind of season he had this year and his value skyrockets…to the point where he’s then unsignable.

  76. Georgie

    November 18, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Don, I’m sticking my tongue out at you now, just so you know…

  77. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Cliff Lee would get AT LEAST

    5 years, $100 Million as a Free Agent .. he’s not going to leave any money on the table to stay in Philadelphia

    the teams trying to land him will be the contending teams: Boston, NY, Philly, etc..

    So its not like he’s going to take some crazy contract from the Nationals just to play there.. he would take the next best thing for a contending team

    Next year, Cliff Lee will be 32 years old… and with his one chance to sign a contract that will set him and family up financially for the rest of their lives

    I would LOVE if we could get him for 3 years, $60 Million … but he’s not going to leave $40-50+ Million on the table just to stay in Philadelphia

    Next Year, a 3 year- $60 Million contact could easily land us Roy Halladay

  78. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    I’m really not trying to rain on everyone’s parade here, but people need to get in touch with Baseball-reality … which tells you that Cliff Lee is going after a HUGE contract

    How many $15-20 Million per year players can we afford to have on our roster??

    Technically, we can sign anyone.. but I like being able to afford going to 10-15 games per year .. and I don’t feel like paying $65 to sit in the 400-level at Citizen’s Bank Park

    Keep the team, payroll, and ticket prices competitive for years to come..

  79. Manny

    November 18, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    If Cliff Lee has a “down” year (I’d say that is somewhat likely given the incredible number of innings he pitched in 2009), we could offer him an extension mid-season… and lock him up that way?

  80. Manny

    November 18, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Nah Don.. you’re not raining on our parade… you’re taking a dump on it!!

  81. shag beta sigma delta

    November 18, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Don you are missing the point what people say now does not mean anything, Ryan did not go to arbitration last year and up till he signed everyone out there was saying there is no doubt he is going to arbitration. Well he didn’t. If Cliff has a year like he did last year, you mean the guy that was in Cleveland, and the first 4 starts in Philly, or the guy who was very hittable in his next three starts, or his playoff run. I am no means dissing the man he was awesome and would love to see him in Philly for a long time. Just saying again even the Yankees and Red Sox only have so much money. And what an agent says in November really does not mean anything.
    I say winning and being in a City that supports theirs team, and fills the ball park every f’in day can change some peoples minds.
    So you can believe what you want. All I am saying is you got to try, and if you over pay a guy like Lee for the last year of a 5 year deal it is worth it, as long as you do not sell the farm along the way.

  82. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    There is a huge, huge, huge difference between an Arbitration eligable player…

    and a Free Agent…

    If Lee is having a down-year … do we want to re-sign him, or do we want to wait a few more months and get Roy Halladay instead??

  83. shag beta sigma delta

    November 18, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    So 60 million or so for 3 years and anther 20 for four years is not going to set this guy and his familly up for life, where do you live Don. Plus he is 32 and unlike the steriod guys like Clemens and Petite, can this guy pitch till he is 38 or 40 at a 20 million dollar clip. Other than the Yankees, and Maybe the Red Sox I do not see many teams comiting that kind of money in the next few years for guys. Other than CC and AJ to the Yanks what team overed paid any player, even a pitcher.

  84. Georgie

    November 18, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Boooo, Don’s taking a dump all over our Cliff Lee parade!

    I know Don, you’re speaking logically, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree or like it, no offense.

  85. Chuck

    November 18, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Dude…your not raining or even crapping on my parade…I agree with you…

    And people need to realize that Cliff Lee is just like any other player is wanting to get the best deal he can…

    He’s not being as a$$hole for doing that..

    All that said….Ruben SHOULD try to sign him to the best deal HE can….within reason….

  86. jman

    November 18, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Don, Again, I’m not sure you and I have watched the same Phillies season: In a World Series game, the Phillies were down by a few runs and Ruiz was on 1st. Who pinch=hit for the pitcher? BRUNTLETT. That is who Manuel turns to at an important point of an important game? BRUNTLETT?

    Yes, playing everyday keeps a player in tune, but there are many guys who pinchhit that can maintain a .240 and above average. BRUNTLETT IS NOT ONE OF THEM!

    All of your comments either excuse Bruntlett’s offensive shortcomings because he’s some kind of defensicve wizard (he’s not), or that a team should be satisfied with a 25th man that’s a Mendoza-line stiff that can merely avoid making errors in the field (not Bruntlett EITHER, as his 2 errors set up his triple-play opportunity). Maybe the Nationals should aspire to such a 25th man, but the Phillies can (and should) do better. Their starting 8 (7 anyway) are good, let’s now address the rpoblem of impotent pinchhitting.

  87. Chuck

    November 18, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    The Phillies will “do better”…..Bruntlett’s gone…

    Let’s just move on…

  88. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Listen to Jayson Stark.. on with Mike Missanelli (Larry Bowa, and Ricky Botalico too)

    At the 44 minute mark.. they start talking about Cliff Lee

    “They are going to try to extend him .. they have NO CHANCE”

    If anyone has lots of time to listen while working.. its a very interesting discussion.. Stark touches on Polanco being a great-fit in terms of years and dollars, and he doesn’t strike out a lot, etc..

    lots of good info there

  89. jman

    November 18, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Chuck, you said:
    “Huh??…..Last I checked, last year Bruntlett’s primary role was filling in for Chase and being Pat Burrell’s late-inning defensive replacement….two roles where he did an adequete job. ”

    Filling in for Chase and Burrell? Chuck, that was 2008. Let’s get up to date. Bruntlett was horrible in 2009 in the roles Manuel had him in:

    1. Occasional starts with multiple at-bats per game.
    2. Pinch-hitting in crucial situations when better hitters were still on the bench.

    To me, the only times we should be seeing Bruntlett are:

    3. Late-inning defensive replacement, where he got minimal at-bats.
    4. Pinch-running.

    Based on some descriptions by you guys here, this is how you characterized his 2009 role. It’s roles 1 & 2 where he (actually, ultimately Manuel) killed us.

    I don’t fault Bruntlett for doing the best he can, and hanging around as long as he did. I fault Amaro & Manuel for having such a player on a Phillies roster this year. The Phillies of 1994-2005? Yes; The Nationals or Pirates? Yes; But a Phillies team of this calibre can to better (even with their 25th man!)

  90. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Bruntlett only played in two playoff games this year..

    The game where he got to Pinch-Hit…

    The Phillies were trailing at the time, by two runs, with Andy Pettite on the mound for the Yankees

    in the 6th innings, Happ (who had replaced Hamels) was lifted for a pinch-hitter

    with two outs already, and a LHP on the mound.. the Phillies went with Bruntlett.. he flew out to Right-Center

    Our Bench was: Matt Stairs, Greg Dobbs, Eric Bruntlett, Ben Francisco, and Paul Bako

    In hindsight, Francisco should have been used… but when you still have the 7th, 8th and 9th innings to play, you should save the better players for the more important situations, which Manuel did

  91. Chuck

    November 18, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    jman….what I said was LAST YEAR that’s what his primary role was…and he was fine LAST YEAR…

    He had a different role this year and didn’t do as well….and I do agree that more at-bats and more playing time would have benefited him to the point that he would have hit at least .200…maybe higher..

    Enough with the Bruntlett thing…let’s move on…

  92. shag beta sigma delta

    November 18, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    yea I am going to listen to guy like Stark who is wrong more than he is right, and a bunch of talking heads in November on what may or may not happen in Feb. or March or for that matter June or July. I really do not think you give some of these guys credit, the total amount of a contract is not all they look at. Yea you got guys like A-Roid who blew out of Seattle for Texas for a gazillion dollars. But you also have guys that will leave 10 mil on the table to win, and be in a place they like and go to the playoffs every year. And not everyone wants to go to NY or can play in NY, Randy Johnson any one.
    You put a good contract in front of the guy, that over pays him for the 4 and or 5 year of the contract and say sign if he says no so be it. Is there really that much difference between 85 mill and 100 mill. You want to go to just for 15 million of which you could never spend in your life time. Come some players have a little more heart and would rather win than that. I am not saying Lee will stay, but you have to give it a shot.
    And it does make them greedy whore a$$holes if all they look at is the money.

  93. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Jayson Stark is one of the most dead-on baseball guys out there….

    “OVERPAY for 4-5 years” ????

    Doesn’t that bother you.. the fact that you would have to OVERPAY for anyone

    Wouldn’t it make so much more sense to get Halladay next year as a Free Agent? Especially since Halladay would balance the rotation, and would be much more willing to sign a contract that is team-friendly in YEARS and DOLLARS ??

  94. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    I like how the “talking heads” are a former manager of our team.. and now a coach for the team we played in the NLCS the past two years

    and a guy who used to pitch for the Phillies, then work for our AAA team, now covers the Phillies everyday as an analyst

    these guys know more than the rest of us combined..

    But you don’t want to pay any attention to what they say.. you spend time talking about YOUR ideas for next season, but you don’t think that their educated-opinions and ideas hold any weight? Interesting..

  95. psujoe

    November 18, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Lee is not signing an expension so let’s hope nobody gets Halladay in a deal so we can offer 3/60 next year. At his age that should get it done and it won’t kill the payroll with Lee and Moyer off the books.

    What’s the status of verlander and Hernandez in 2011? Are they still under team control?

  96. Manny

    November 18, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    My prediction is that we won’t sign either since Hamels will win CY Young next year and we’ll sign him for 2 extra years… booya!

  97. psujoe

    November 18, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Manny, I do think Hamels will come back strong. we’d still have a void in the rotation though.


  98. shag beta sigma delta

    November 18, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    No it does not bother me to over pay a guy at the end of his contract if he brings titles and rings to the city in the begining of his contract. It is called paying for past perfromace. I would rather overpay a guy at the end then sign a kid to 8 years and pay someone who has done nothing for this team. My point about the talking heads is that is what they do they talk. And at this point in the year no one knows what anyone is thinking. Did Manny think he was getting a big deal last November YES, did he no, what he get one year with play option. That is the point it is November, so to say some team has no shot at re signing a guy or getting a FA is just that talk.

  99. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Manny got $45 Million over two years… that’s a big contract..

    he’s also been a Free Agent before, and already had his MONSTER contract when he signed with the RedSox before

    When guys get their first shot at Free Agency, they usually chase the money.. the fact that comments from his agent agree with that.. tell me that he’s not going to want to accept any contract for less than he feels he’s worth

    And if I’m him.. I become a Free Agent, and tell the Phillies i’m still interested in playing in Philadelphia, if you are willing to pay me market value

  100. Chuck

    November 18, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Yo Manny…..I like your position on Cole…..Hey, we gotta think positive!!



    Seriously, I DO think he’ll rebound…maybe not to 2008 levels but probably MUCH better than 09….still….what to do with Lee is critical…if we can get him, fine…but everyone needs to realize what that will cost and whether or not that’s worth it moving forward.

    We all still have stars in our eyes from his performance this year… reality sets in and that reality isn’t necessarily very attractive…..

  101. psujoe

    November 18, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    How much will Beltre cost, seriously? 3 years ? money? I’m guessing 3 years 18 million. Is that realistic? Is it worth it?

  102. Chuck

    November 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    And heres the thing….Lee can tell the Phillies to pay him market value…the Phillies are one of probably 6 or 8 teams that can do that…pay market value for a guy that wants 100 mil for 5 yrs…..

    The question is whether the Phillies WANT to do that…and I wouldn’t necessarily fault them for not wanting to….if they feel that it wouldn’t make economic sense for their organization in the long run.

  103. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    It would suck to be paying a 37 year old pitcher $20+ million

    Of course, the flip side of that arguement is that is how old Halladay will be at the end if we signed him to a 3-year deal NEXT offseason

  104. Manny

    November 18, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    37 is the new 25. Just ask Rauuuuuul 🙂

  105. Don M

    November 18, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Bottom line is that Cliff Lee is MOST LIKELY going to test the Free Agent market at the end of next season.. regardless of what the Phillies try to do with him before then

    So lets not hold our breath waiting for him to sign an extension..

    I’m more interested in the 3b candidates..

    and the little talked about guys to this point, like Miguel Tejada, Brandon Inge as the Tigers look to cut payroll?

  106. shag beta sigma delta

    November 21, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Tajada is older than dirt I do not care what he says his age is its a lie, and he is a steroid user, do not want him.

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