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Amaro Tabs Moyer as 5th Starter

General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told Fox 29 News that Jamie Moyer will be the fifth starter headed into spring training.

Moyer, who had two surgeries this off-season, told Amaro that he would be ready to pitch once the season starts.

“It’s his spot to lose,” Amaro also said.  If Moyer is unable to keep his job, Kyle Kendrick, Andrew Carpenter, or another minor leaguer could win the job.  Moyer, 47, is in his last year of his contract.

If your still thinking about how awesome the Phillies rotation would be with Cliff Lee, then you should know that Lee just had minor surgery on his foot.  Lee should not miss a significant amount of time, however.

115 Comments

115 Comments

  1. Jeff

    February 9, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    GREAT, Thats atleast 15 loses. Moyer is horrible. Not even a good pitcher. Dispy’s dad can pitch better. the philies will be horrible after DOC.

  2. Bill

    February 9, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Jeff you are so right. Jr. is so stupid for giving up on Lee. You had Lee, Doc, Hamels. Now you have Blanton who is a bum and Over the hill Moyer. That was so stupid. What a waste of space.

  3. Dan

    February 9, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Why can’t we get a 5th starter that isn’t ancient? What is with all this fixation over really old starting pitchers?

  4. WFC010

    February 9, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Can you morons just SHUT UP about Lee already!

    And Moyer is heading into SPRING TRAINING as the 5th starter, that doesn’t mean he’ll stay there if he does terribly.

  5. Trevor

    February 9, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Uhg, why can’t they just let Kendrick start? Hopefully Moyer’s first couple starts will be so dauntingly horrible that he’ll get bumped off before he costs us too many games.

  6. MP

    February 9, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Bill, how much baseball did you watch last year to call Blanton a bum? He and Happ carried the roatation until we got Lee. Blanton has more than proved consistentcy and durabilty to be a successful third.He’s way underrated and not given enough credit for his success last year.

    IMO, Moyer is a huge question mark and gamble going into the season.

  7. MP

    February 9, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    And yeah, if you’re not over Lee, please get over it. Were a week out, time to move on.

  8. Al in Seattle

    February 9, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Dunno where the Blanton hate comes from. He was a very steady pitcher and kept the Phils in most of the games he pitched. He was unlucky at times because either the bullpen would cough up the lead after he left or the Phils offense just couldn’t put enough runs on the board. He’s a solid number three, and if given a little more run support, he could have a very good year.

  9. Ed R.

    February 9, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Translation: I signed Moyer to an awful contract two years ago, he still has one year left so rather than admit my mistake and cut my loses. I am giving the old goat one more chance to prove to me and everyone else that he just doesn’t have it anymore. Then the young guys can battle it out for the 5th spot.

  10. Bill

    February 9, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Blanton is so good that Uncle Cholie did not use him at all in the Yankee series. He is average at best. You cant count on him, Cole, Moyer, or Happ. We are screwed boys…

  11. BS

    February 9, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    @Bill: Uh, did you actually watch the games, or are you conveniently ignoring game 4 where Blanton started?

  12. Don M

    February 9, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Bill.. if the Phillies suck.. who are the good teams we should watch next year?

    It’s Moyer’s job to lose, and has been all along.. if Kendrick, Contreras, or anyone else happens to WIN the job in Spring Training.. they will be the 5th starter

    Hamels will be back, Blanton is as solid a #3 starter as anyone in the NL, and Happ has been effective in every single role the Phillies have given him…..so I would expect he’ll be good as the #4 starter too

  13. Aaron

    February 9, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    I really wish they would use Moyer as the situational 5th starter, meaning they would use him if the matchup was right. Even if that means he pitches once every other week.

  14. Bill

    February 9, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Lets face it men the NL league is terrible. Thats why the AL kicks our butts in the allstar game. Please dont call the Dodgers great. They have no pitching. The Nats, Mets, Braves, Stros, Brewers, Pirates, etc. They are all just BAD. The Phillies have a good team but lets face it, if they were in the AL east they would be in 3rd or even 4th. Lucky we are not. We are just a product of being in baddd and watered down baseball. Sorry.

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  16. WorldFudgeChamp

    February 9, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    2010 Pitching Rotation:

    Doc, Hamels, Happ, Blanton and Moyer (which i am sure will change)

    Doc is doc. Hemels i think is going to have a GREAT (put my word on it) season, Happ is to us the ROY and should continue to do great next season. And Blanton for a bottom of the rotation guy is not that half bad. So already right there it is a GREAT rotation plus with a GREAT bats this is a GREAT team. I think we phillies fan need to remember that this greatness to the team would not last years like the Yankees.

    WorldFudgeChamp

  17. John

    February 9, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    To me this says just as much about RAJ’s lack of confidence in Kendrick as it does about Moyer’s status. On that same page, I feel like 12 or so wins with an ERA in the 4.50 neighborhood coming from the 5 slot and the job is done. From a personal standpoint, I would love nothing more than to see Jamie bounce back and show some consistency and with a little luck leave his playing days behind with another WFC!!!

  18. Bob

    February 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Fact: We now need to get over Cliff Lee.
    Fact: The Phillies do have 4 legit Major League starters
    Fact: The Phillies do need to find a 5th starter
    Fact: Kendrick deserves the chance before Moyer
    Fact: All of the seven position players on the field have been all-stars within the past two years.
    Fact: We have improved our bench
    Fact: We did go to the World Series the past two years
    Fact: Be happy, we really do have a great team to cheer for now
    Fact: The Phillies have a license to print money, so why did we not keep Lee…..i am sorry, i also need to forget it, as stated in the 1st fact (but i can’t, sorry)

  19. The Dipsy

    February 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    When Jamie Moyer rolls into June at a 5.50 clip, he will be replaced in the rotation for good and released. Ruben will swallow all that money lest he take a bullpen spot away from someone who would actually be effective. As its is, Jaime should wear a ski mask when he goes to the bank to cash his check. Kendrick is gonna win that job. Blanton “not half bad as a back of the rotation starter”? Hmmmmmm. Ya think? Blanton and Happ are getting better. I have a theory about Hamels’ curve (aside from the fact that it breaks about as sharp as a feather falling to earth) I also think it is ineffective because it is too close in speed to his change. What good is that? Throw a 65mph curve.

    The Dipsy

  20. The Dipsy

    February 9, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    P.S. Was Ruben answering a question when he gave out this information or did he issue a press statement? Will Ruben manage now? Does Charlie know about this?

    The Dipsy

  21. The Dipsy

    February 9, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    FACT: There are eight position players a team fields for defensive purposes.

    The Dipsy

  22. Bob

    February 9, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Dipsy, sorry old buddy, but there are only seven position players on the field…..the catcher is in foul territory…..

  23. The Dipsy

    February 9, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Does a baseball field cease to exist outside the dimensions of fair territory? I’m sure Chooch would be dismayed to know that he doesn’t actually play a position.

    The Dipsy

  24. Chappdaddy

    February 9, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    I like the move, Moyer led the team in wins the last two years, the job should be his to lose. With that said I don’t think he’ll hold onto it but he should have the job going into spring training. What I really what to see and was really hoping to see it last year was for Moyer to get his 1st career save, there has never been a pitcher pitch as long as Moyer without recording a save.

    So seeing as how the Navy has me down in Georgia if anyone of yous guys up there gets a chance to speak to Cholly could you plant the idea of getting Moyer a Save.

  25. Red McNertney

    February 9, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Moyer will surprise everyone. He will have either a screwball or knuckler. He will be able to win 15 games averaging 6.2 innings per start with a ERA of about 4.00 per game.

  26. Bob

    February 9, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    He does play a postion, no question about that,,,,but his position is in foul territory, not on the field…..the field is between the white lines. I stand by my statement from my original posting. When you run out of the dugout, you are on the field when you cross over the white line, not before.

  27. jrollpatrol08

    February 9, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    wow great to see we had the 3 stooges start off this thread:

    jeff–moyer hasnt lost 15 games since hes been here. he led the team in wins in 08 and tied happ/blanton for the lead last season. IF he even passes through spring training, and IF he does land this 5th spot on the rotation, the phils wont let him get anywhere NEAR 15 losses. moyer is not their only option for #5 starter. relax.

    bill–your comments kill brain cells. cliff lee wasnt going to work out here, so just accept it. sometimes it makes sense to trade players at the peak of their value. its a part of the business. the phillies are not the new york yankees. this is a team that still has to consider payroll, flexibility, farm systems, and how to keep this good run going past 2010. if you dont understand this concept you should try watching a different sport. and blanton pitched in game 4 of the world series, and kept the phils in the game…must be you missed that one

    Dan–i hope by ‘ancient’ you arent making a reference to pedro martinez. for the small investment, which is the attraction to ‘ancient’ pitchers, pedro definitely produced above expectations. the guy is a hall of fame pitcher and there is something to be said for having that kind of experience around the clubhouse. and yea he got rocked in game 6 but only a few phillies showed up in that entire series. sure, in retrospect the moyer signing was pretty bad, but this isnt a ‘fixation’ on old pitchers

  28. Jeff of Nova

    February 9, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Man you guys are ridiculous!

    Moyer being the 5th guy is smart. He is experienced, and is crafty vet. Now I am not sure he will keep that spot, but he has been in the league for over 20 years he will compete.

    Now Kendrick I think could be a diamond in the rough especially if he has developed that other pitch.

    I think RAJ is just saying that it will be a competition but Moyer goes in as the incumbent unless he doesn’t perform.

    My prediction is that the rotation will look like this

    Halladay
    Hamels
    Happ
    Blanton
    Kendrick

    I think Moyer ends up in the pen.

    Also all those who think Blanton is a “bum” you really know little about baseball.

    Blanton would have had 16-17 wins last year if Lidge didn’t seem to blow most of his starts. Go back and look and you will see.
    You know you are getting a solid starter not a top of the rotation, but good middle of the rotation guy.

    I am so excited for pitchers and catchers to report, SICK OF THE SNOW!!

  29. Chappdaddy

    February 9, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Bob

    But isn’t the catchers box (not that any catcher stays inside it) inside of white lines that are attached to the batters box. Or are they not part of the white lines that you are talking about.

  30. The Dipsy

    February 9, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Bob – I disagree with your definition of “baseball field”. There is a diamond. That would certainly be the field and no more. But there are outs that can be made in foul territory and runs that can score as a result. The field is every thing that is grass and dirt.

    The Dipsy

  31. jrollpatrol08

    February 9, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    @dipsy–

    hamels curve ball will come back around. if you look at the difference between 08 and 09, he really didnt throw his curve THAT much more in his better 08 season. the problem was a lack of command/confidence in the pitch…which makes sense when you look at the fact that his fastball velocity didnt reach 08 levels until it seemed like june rolled around.

    my point–i think it was an overall lack of preparation/training during the 08-09 offseason. hamels himself came out and admitted this fact. his curveball is effective; he would’nt have been able to stage such a great 08 without it…hopefully he comes into spring training with better control/confidence/command of the curve…and he will be fine. the dude is 25 years old…im not a huge fan of his prissy attitude, but im not going to downplay anything mechanically quite yet

  32. The Dipsy

    February 9, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    jroll – Cole has always had a problem with his curve. I think that last year batters just stopped thinking about it when at the plate and concentrated on either his change or his fastball, knowing that if Cole did toss a curve, that it would be so slow moving and slow breaking that they could adjust to it easily, which they do. Perhaps a slider would be better for him. Even a baby slider.

    The Dipsy

  33. pheeling it

    February 9, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    i hear 47 is the new 22. IM ROOTING FOR YOU JAIME!

    love the position argument. lol chooch would be disappointed to find out he didnt actually play a position.

    and is that guys statement true? is our success really the ever steady collapse of NL baseball? i dont mind being the yankees of the NL, weve waited and cheered long enough.

    o harry, if only you could see this.

    if sarge says CADILLAC time for his son for the mets, i swear ill blow up the booth with him n scott. i vote merrill reese figure out baseball. IF JOE BUCK CAN CALL THE WORLD SERIES, merrill reese could do phils!

  34. John

    February 9, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Just was looking at Hamels 09 stats. Interestingly enough, during the month of July Cole pitched 37 innings and had a whip of 0.97 & .220 BAA. Pretty nice… Yet for the month his ERA was 4.38. Looks like a bit of a discrepancy and would seem to reinforce the ‘bad luck’ theory that has been discussed by others, albeit in a small sampling.

    Also, we know RAJ shopped Blanton and obviously Lee this winter, but I wonder if there was maybe some shopping of Cole going on. Not sure about all of you, but I think I like Halladay/Lee better than Halladay/Hamels.

  35. Greg V.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    I’d designate Moyer the 5th starter against the Marlins.

    In all seriousness, he’s earned a chance in Spring Training (and is being paid for one as well) so why not give him a go?

  36. The Second John

    February 9, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    To me, Amaro just said whoever had the best spring training will get the 5th starters job. I don’t get why that’s a bad thing. If Moyer beats out Kendrick, and Carpenter and whoever else, that means he was the best pitcher. The good thing is we have options.

  37. Manny

    February 9, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    People..don’t pay too much attention to this…

    Remember in 09? When they said that it was Kendrick’s job to lose….

    What happened? It was Chan Ho, then Happ. No Kendrick.

    Now for 10, we could have MOyer, Kendrick, Carpenter, Contreras… we’ll see. We gotta wait till spring training is over.

  38. pheeling it

    February 9, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    haha cliff lee had foot surgery. i hope it falls off!

    i mean, not really. cant b mad at the guy. i know, i know, i know we gotta get over it but i love that guy….

  39. Phylan

    February 9, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Cole’s curve has always been a token 3rd pitch. He doesn’t need a true third pitch, his fastball has great velocity for a lefty and his changeup is devastating.

    There is absolutely no reason to try and shoehorn another pitch into his repertoire that he doesn’t need, especially a high-stress pitch like a slider.

  40. Phylan

    February 9, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Also, the 5th starter is really not that important. It’s perfectly fine to rotate below average pitchers in and out of that spot, and I doubt Moyer will make it through the spring with his body intact anyway.

  41. Keystone

    February 9, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    http://blog.cleveland.com/sports/2007/07/indians_send_cliff_lee_down_to.html
    He’s human. I’m over the Steve Carlton treatment for a guy who pitched 3 months for the Phils.

  42. Phylan

    February 9, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Yeah, the issue in 2007 and also in his awful late August – end of regular season (6.13 ERA in 39.2 IP) is that his pitching depends so much on incredibly precise location that when he has problems with that everything goes to shit.

  43. Ed 2

    February 9, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    Bob, message boards arent the place for ball busting. These are sacred places only for the most advanced minds to voice their opinions so the rest of the world can be enlightened with their facts. Please, there is no room for fun, sarcasm, or even optimism in a place like this.

    The Ed 2

  44. Ed R.

    February 10, 2010 at 8:17 am

    The fact that someone is arguing over whether the catcher position is actually a defensive position because it is in foul territory might be the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Ever. Passed balls, % of runners thrown out when trying to steal are both defensive statistics. I could go on but it’s really not worth it to dedicate an entire post to that.

    Also, the AL won the All Star game 4-3, thats hardly kicking the NL’s but.

    For the record, we are talking about the 5th starter here…name one team whose 5th starter is anything but a filler? Go ahead…take some time…I’ll check back in a little while to see the list that you all come up with…or don’t because its a ridiculous argument. It’s the 5th friggin starter. I’ll put our top 4 up against just about any teams top 4 any day of the week. There are two teams in the majors with better 1-4 options IMO…The Red Sox and the Mariners, that’s it. And if we get back to the Series, we will only have to face one of them at most.

    Calm down…if you want to piss and moan about Moyer getting a chance to start then wait until after spring training to see if he is actually given the job or not.

  45. The Dipsy

    February 10, 2010 at 8:42 am

    For the record, no less an authority than the Official Rules of Baseball provides, explicitly and not by implication, that foul territory is part of the baseball playing field. You could look it up. Ed R. – You are right about the fifth stater. Nobody has a good one and ours will most likely be good as any. Phylan – Name me a fabulous starting pitcher (hall of fame or hall of fame caliber) that relied or relies on just two pitches. I can think of MAYBE three or four.

    The Dipsy

  46. George

    February 10, 2010 at 9:48 am

    The problem I saw last year with Hamels’ curve wasn’t its poor break, but its inconsistency. The first one he threw in his World Series start had a nice break downward, was located perfectly, and fooled the batter badly. The next one was a hanger, but was missed. The third was a little better, but not as good as the first, and the one thrown to Petitte was truly a dog (Petitte’s mother could have hit it).

    Other than someone like Koufax, HOF pitchers do usually rely on more than two pitches. But I wonder how many of those pitchers went a few years before their third and fourth were any good. And even HOFers have off days when one or another pitch is only good enough to be “shown,” and can’t be used in the strike zone.

    I’m not worried about Moyer as fifth starter. Just so long as he’s healthy he’ll give them a good enough performance, and may even be better than many of the Moyer haters here want him to be. I am, however, worried about his health and don’t feel there are good options behind him, with the possible exception of Kendrick. I’d still like to see more depth, because there are sometimes other starters who get injured, too. I don’t like the idea of a rotation with BOTH Moyer and Kendrick, or Carpenter and Kendrick in it, and if Conteras is forced to start, the bullpen will lose an arm.

  47. WFC010

    February 10, 2010 at 10:06 am

    If the reports about Kendrick’s other pitches are true, he has the potential to surprise a lot of people. Everyone seems to think that his earlier successes were “flukes” but I feel there may be more to his talent than some would like to believe. When Spring Training starts, we should have a better idea on what the options are going to look like.

  48. Brooks

    February 10, 2010 at 11:21 am

    So the absolute worst things that could happen, aside from injuries of course that would be disastrous – Hamels still in a funk, Lidge not coming around, Rollins staying flat as he was for a huge part of last year –
    These are within the realm of things that have already happened – what about the totally unexpected? Howard, Werth, Utley all going flat? Ibanez playing like he did in the second half of last year?
    Anything could go wrong and likely something will not go right. Chahlie has an excellent pool of talent to work with and he will find a way to win, again. Ya gotta believe in ole slim!

  49. Philly Texan

    February 10, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    People, people. Everyone knows there are eight position players in baseball. Whoever said the catcher doesn’t count has too much time on their hands.

    As for Cole’s curve ball, it sucks. The reason he doesn’t throw it much is b/c it’s not an effective pitch and he has no confidence in it (and rightfully so). How many of his curveballs got hammered last year? A lot.

    His curve starts high and slowly and calmly drops into the strike zone right over the heart of the plate — where it gets crushed by any hitter looking changeup.

    I do think he could throw a third pitch more often, but not one that just hangs there, breaks slowly right over the heart of the plate and — have to agree with Dipsy here — is the same speed as his change.

    I’ve been hoping Cole develops a cutter that runs in on righties and away from lefties. Cole had terrible numbers last year against lefties (because his changeup isn’t as effective against them).

    I think Hamels will have a better season. But he wont be truly elite until he learns another pitch that’s better against lefties or learns to throw a better curveball.

  50. keng

    February 10, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    hey, heres another take on not keeping lee just to help everyone get past this and feel better: we have a better roster than last year – and hopefully lidge and hamels are stronger and more consistent – which, of course, will make us significantly better/stronger – then, in august, if it looks like we have a real shot at getting to the series again but feel like we need help or will need another big gun to beat a team like the yankees in the series, we add a lee type to the mix just like we did last year! – in reality, we may be better positioned this way and have more flexibility this way without lee than we would have had with lee! – who knows, in the biggest twist of all maybe at that time we give back all of seattle’s players for lee if it doesnt look like they are going to make the playoffs or be able to sign/keep him!! – fun to play manager! – will be interesting to see how all this plays out – another reason to think this may have been a consideration is that the other reasons alone cited so far are not that compelling and we know ruben is not dumb – so if u assume he’s smart – maybe even samrter than us! – what i just said may have been in the back of his mind and ultimately part of his thinking/strategy!!

  51. The Dipsy

    February 10, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    The cutter would totally be sweet. If he could throw that then he would be golden. Wow, this is a lot of snow. I read the baseball info in the Daily News today and it said that Roy is already working out a Bright House. He gets there at 7am and stays for 3 or 4 hours, five days a week. If I’m a Phils pitcher, I get right down there and work out right along side with him. Cole? Hello? Put those eye brow tweezers down and jump a plane to Clearwater!

    The Dipsy

  52. Chuck

    February 10, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Exactly, Dipsy…take advantage of working alongside one of the best pitchers of this era. He (Cole) could learn a lot.

    ___

    I read some of the earlier posts…figures Jeff would lead this whole thing off with “the Phillies will be horrible after Doc.”

    And Bill saying that Blanton is a “bum.”

    You guys need therapy.

  53. The Second John

    February 10, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    It wasn’t really surprising Cole had a “down” year. He threw about double the innings than the year before. It just proves the Verducci effect. Also, he obviously needs to get a better curveball. Make the pitch at least just serviceable.

  54. The Dipsy

    February 10, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Hey Second John. You keep saying that. So he threw 272 innings in 08? Whupdee. All starters that make it to the Series throw that many. So what? I think making commercials and making babies had more to do with it.

    The Dipsy

  55. jrollpatrol08

    February 10, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    yea im confident cole will return to form. as a young pitcher with experience with the curve ball, i see him tweaking and refining that pitch rather than trying out something totally new. and if you look at 08, the pitch was effective. im not saying it was the best in the game, but he threw it with enough confidence and command to at least keep MLB hitters guessing. even with an average curveball, hitters still have to figure that into the swings they take.

  56. jrollpatrol08

    February 10, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    i think what john meant was that he did it so early in his career. that definitely makes a difference

  57. The Second John

    February 10, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    I agree that the lack of preparation had a lot to do with it, but a lot of pitchers struggle after they had success early in their careers. Here are some examples.

    Cliff Lee: 5.43 ERA in his third year in the majors
    Roy Halladay: 10.49 ERA after he threw 149 innings in the majors just his second year.
    Chad Billingsley: had a 51 inning increase and he had a 4.03 era, which was up from the 3.14 era he posted the year before.
    Justin Verlander: He posted a 4.84 era after the year he threw 201 innings.

    btw, I might be wrong, but didn’t Cole Hamels have his baby in the post-season?

  58. bfo_33

    February 10, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    There was a lefty starter who pitched for the Phils a while ago, his name escapes me. I think he did ok with only two pitches, even won a CY young (or 4). Would a cutter or an improved curveball help Hamels? Sure. Does he “need” it? no.
    Dipsy, once or twice is funny, but you are starting to sound like a homophobe. The 2nd John keeps bringing it up because it is true – he’s still a kid, pitched a ton in 2008, had great success, hit the banquet circuit, didn’t have a good off-season routine, and had an off year. I expect him to have a great year in 2010. He dealt with great success as well as an upset fanbase in just over a year – probably figured out that success is more fun, and will be pitching behind an incredible competitor whose pitching style couldn’t be more different. I wouldn’t get the Cy Young engraved yet, but he’ll be a great number 2 pitcher, more mature, and on his way to a staff ace (and his 2nd ring).

  59. bfo_33

    February 10, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Interesting article from Dave Cameron at Fangraphs on opposite field power. An excerpt:

    I can’t end without giving a nod to Ryan Howard, however. The big Phillies slugger is known for his opposite field moonshots, and the numbers bear this out. Here’s Howard’s breakdown.

    To Left: .701 (!!!)
    To Center: .480
    To Right: .327

    Ryan Howard’s slugging percentage on fly balls to left field is a staggering 1.138. That’s not his OPS – that’s his SLG. 71% of all of his balls in play to left field are fly balls, and 27 percent of those leave the yard. You may remember from yesterday that the league average HR/FB for a lefty to left field was 3%. Howard’s HR/FB to left is nine times the league average.

    We don’t have the historical evidence to prove it, of course, but I’d wager that Ryan Howard may just be the greatest opposite field power hitter in the history of the game.

  60. Chuck

    February 10, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    All indicators pointed to Cole having an off year..There are too many instances historically that prove that…..(good examples, Second John).

  61. Johnny

    February 10, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Terrible. There at least should be an open competition.

  62. shag beta sigma delta

    February 10, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    I get it that is Jamie’s spot to lose, why is it such a big deal? The guy did have 12 wins last year before he was sent to the bull pen. He also had some good long outings out of the Pen if I remember correctly. Give him his shot as the the #5 guy, if it does not work out send him to the pen where he can come in a pitch 3,4,or 5 inning in relief when a starter is having a bad day, so you do not burn out all you bull pen pitchers. There is no way he lose 15 games, but if he wins 12 from the #5 spot I would take that. Doc gets 22 wins, Hamels 15-18 wins, Big Joe 13-15 wins, Happ 12-14 wins and 12-14 wins out of the #5 spot that would be pretty good starting pitching IMO.

  63. The Dipsy

    February 10, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Many more good pitchers DON’T have early career slumps than do. Now, would you like me to go thru the list of guys that didn’t have one? It would be 10 to 1. That said, while I do believe that all those innings was an adjustment for Cole, It appears that he could have done more in the off season. I know some players do take their talent for granted at a young age. While not OK, its almost understandable. I just hope it doesn’t happen again, thats all. Cole, next time you wanna pick up a doob, pick up a barbell instead, knowwhatImsayin? bfo – Lemme guess….uhhhh…hold on. Wayne Twitchell??? While his best pitch and out pitch was his slider, Steve Carlton had a battery of pitches to choose from. Some of you guys need to sit down and watch a “Recent History of the Phillies” educational video for god’s sake. And I’m not even old.

    The Dipsy

  64. shag beta sigma delta

    February 10, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    I watched Carlton pitch Live at the Vet. and I would not say Steve had a Battery of pitches in his arsenal. He did throw mostly fastball, slider, but he did have more than 2 pitches. He was a classic power guy. He never had the options of Maddox. Don’t get your panties in a bunch now, I am not saying Maddox was a better pitcher he wasn’t IMO not even close. But he did have more variety of pitches

  65. The Dipsy

    February 10, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Carlton had a LEGIT curve. In fact, he was a fastball/curve guy and didn’t have the success he did until he went to the slider, which he could change speeds on.

    The Dipsy

  66. The Dipsy

    February 10, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    As I recall.

    The Dipsy

  67. shag beta sigma delta

    February 10, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I remember in 71 72 73 his slider was his out pitch and was devistating, and yes he did have a curve ball that was legit, that was my point. I agree with you that you need more than two pitches, but if you have two dominant pitches and an average to above 3rd you can be great. I was just splitting hairs with your choice of words about Carlton’s options of pitches.

  68. shag beta sigma delta

    February 10, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    And yes he had different speeds on the slider, and if Cole could come up with a cutter or split finger so his fast ball changes speeds that could be all he needs. So his range would go from low 90’s to 65 to 85. and that might be enough for him to dominate

  69. The Dipsy

    February 10, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    I totally agree, shmeg. A cutter. My kingdom for a cutter. I think thats all he needs.

    The Dipsy

  70. Ed 2

    February 10, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    “…heading into spring training” does not sound like the be all, end all vote of confidence that comes with a rotation slot. Im sure this is a political move by the front office. Moyer was given a promise to start, the same type of promise that was given to Chan Ho Park last year. The Phils do their business with the long lost art of integrity; they give their word and it means something. That being said, im sure his leash is not very long and each potential 5th starter will be given an equal shake in proving their worth. Say what you want about Park during the first few weeks of the season, but he earned the job in Spring Training. If Moyer isn’t cutting it, Kendrick and Ko. will be ready to jump in.

  71. Ed 2

    February 10, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    And the Verducci Effect is damn near a scientific truth at this point, just like 380 carry running backs (380 carries for a running back? Andy Reid is just laughing).

  72. Andrew

    February 10, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    I like Moyer. He deserves to go into spring training as the 5th starter. Let him lose the job. I dont care if his era is 8 if he has another winning record please shut up people I do not care if he throws junk and doesnt have good K ratios. He has a 47- 31 record in 3 + years here.
    Maybe we should hope the wonder boy Hamels comes out of his cry baby stooper.
    Cliff lee? I have forgotten him already the rest of you need to do that too.

  73. The Dipsy

    February 10, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    So, let him be the fifth starter……just because. I guess. Cuz he’s nice? Or cute? Or a real gamer?

    The Dipsy

  74. Andrew

    February 10, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    by the way Hamels has a lower wining percentage the last 4 years.
    I know its just all that bad luck Cole has and how lucky moyer is. Hamels has exactly 1 more win and 3 more loses.
    You play to win the game I thought. Or some play to have better WHIP and opponents batting average statistics i guess.

  75. The Dipsy

    February 10, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    OK….great. Than if YOU were managing, the rotation would be: Halladay, Moyer, Hamels, Blanton, Happ, correct? You would put Halladay in front of Moyer, right?

    The Dipsy

  76. mikemike

    February 10, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    If Hamels doesnt come back ,cant see us winning,,I believe the braves are much better, mets suck, national suck, but the braves have a good rotation. so moyer fifth means nothing

  77. The Second John

    February 10, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Dipsy, all I am saying is that Cole Hamels probably fell to the affect of the Verducci effect. While yes, it is true that some pitchers don’t have that problem, there are lots who do. Especially in recent times when the pitchers are babied in the minors and so on.

    Andrew are you saying Cole is worse than Jamie Moyer? If you go just by career wins, then Jamie Moyer is better than Bob Gibson, Pedro Martinez, ROY HALLADAY, Curt Schilling, Don Drysdale etc.

  78. Andrew

    February 10, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Ha ha
    Just making a point about perceptions. And how things like stuff come into a persons thought. No I thnk Moyer should compete for the 5th spot. Heck Id like to see kendrick take it and be a really good pitcher even. I also am tired of the endless Moyer bashing. And the Hamels protection element. Coming out and saying Moyer is penciled in as a 5th starter is a good move is all. Not inked in just penciled.

  79. PhxPhilly

    February 10, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Moyer was pitching poorly mid last year and Pedro needed a chance. Moyer pitched great during those rain delay games so maybe he still has something left. Then he got injured.
    As others have noted, he has lead the NL Champs in wins each of the last TWO seasons. I know wins are a ‘luck’ stat but the object of the game is to get them so I am certainly willing to let the wins leader be the 5th starter.

    How does this not make sense? If Moyer is terrible in the Spring then he likely goes on the DL and they give him some rehab starts and go from there.

    Kendrick still has options and can start in the minors and continue to work on his changeup. When we need a starter due to someone going on the DL he can be called up and hopefully perform as a mid-rotation guy.

  80. Andrew

    February 10, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Career wins? LOL
    I am not stupid.
    It is a fact that the last 4 years on the EXACT same team Moyer has a higher winning percentage than hamels. And exactly 1 less win.
    with the exception of Hamels play in 08 playoffs they are very comparable. Add in hamels dismal display in the 09 post season and you could say I have enjoyed Moyer pitching the last 4 years more than Hamels. Just my opinion though.

  81. The Dipsy

    February 10, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Andrew, I need your opinion on something. Does this dress make me look fat?

    The Dipsy

  82. Andrew

    February 10, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Send a photo 🙂
    I guess everyone else is snowed in also so good to have a little debate. Dipsy never let facts get in the way of a good debate.

  83. James Kay

    February 10, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Where else could you find a reference to Wayne Twitchell but here! He was a big bad right hander who as a Phillie All Star in 1973 posted a very impressive 13-9 2.50 1.213 line with 5 sho. His career was essentially ended by an offseason knee injury during an informal basketball game in NJ.

    Relax about the fifth starter. That spot in the rotation is reserved for transients, migrants, and criminals. Always has been. It adds suspenseful variety to a long season. At best, it provides an entry point for promising young arms or final glory veterans who have mastered a new trick pitch. The Phillies will win consistently every fifth day with whomever is assigned that starting task.
    .

  84. The Dipsy

    February 10, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Well said, JK. AND the only reason “Twitch” was on the All Star team is that those were the days you had to take at least one player from every team. I think its gonna be Kendrick.

    The Dipsy

  85. The Second John

    February 10, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    As long as its a competition, it doesen’t matter who the 5th starter is. The important thing is we have depth, which we do. I agree Dipsy, I think its going to be Kendrick.

  86. shag beta sigma delta

    February 10, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Look at our fifth starter last year, Moyer 12 wins, Bastardo had a few OK starts, Lopez, Carpenter had one good start if I remember correctly, he won his first start, KK did he start a game?, then Pedro/ Moyer rain delayed games, then Pedro had a couple, am I missing anyone? So how important is the 5th starter? I wouldn’t mind Moyer pitching on 7 or 8 days rest and throwing KK or Carpenter out there in between, I know that would never happen. But if they could have signed Pedro cheaply, I think those two could pitch every other 5th day, and in the post season decide if you need either of them in the Pen.

  87. shag beta sigma delta

    February 10, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Dipsy, there is still one player from every team on the All Star team unless I missed something. Every team has to be represented in the summer classic. And I liked Twich, him and a little later, sht now I forgot his name, was it Randy Leach, (man a little to much smoking in the 80’s for me) where my favorite pitchers, Leach Learch something like that I think hit two home runs in one game in the 70’s or had a home run in two consecitive starts. I should look that ;up

  88. The Dipsy

    February 10, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Randy Lerch did have two homers in a game once. He was one of your favorite pitchers? Man, talk about low expectations. That was a bad time for Phils pitching. Although I actually had a thing for Nino Espinoza.

    The Dipsy

  89. shag beta sigma delta

    February 10, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Hey I was a kid and the guy hit two HR and it wasn’t like they were a good team, Larry Bowa was my favorite Phillie maybe because I played SS and liked to choke up on the bat and had no power.
    Sometimes I miss sitting in the box seats on the third base line at the Vet in the early 70’s not a great team but only being 7 it was a blast and they always won when I went to the games and have the programs with box scores to prove it still.

  90. George

    February 10, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Carpenter’s one start last year was a dog. He only lasted 4 innings, but got the win because the Phils scored a lot and the game was shortened due to rain and some obscure scoring rule. Lopez is gone, Pedro is gone, and Bastardo is projected to be a lefty reliever. The only depth behind Moyer is Kendrick, because Carpenter and Savery can’t be counted on, in my opinion.

    I’d like to see the signing of at least one more major league experienced starter, just in case. I do hope he’s a little better than Randy Lerch or some of those other duds the Phils had in the early seventies.

    I remember Twitchell’s good year, but never knew he’d messed up his knee. Too bad arthroscopic surgery hadn’t been invented yet.

  91. philsgirl

    February 10, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    How can I not poke my nose into a thread where not only Steve Carlton, but Wayne Twitchell (!), and Randy Lerch are all mentioned! You’re thinking about Lerch in, was it 1978, when he hit 2 homers in the game that won us the division over the Pirates (geez, still feels weird to me they’re not in the NL East).
    Mikemike, you said it. If Hamels does not come back this year we are toast. I know we look better on paper than at the end of last season, but other teams have improved even more, and Atlanta scares me. I do hope Hamels is a pleasant surprise this year. But if he is going to stay with 2 pitches and *not* improve his curve, then he is going to be better this year *how*? We’re really just chalking 2009 up to an “off year?” or the Verducci effect :-)? It would’ve been nice to see Hamels reporting early this spring training season, if he was at least going to try to demonstrate his commitment this year, if not improvement. Oh wait, he is a new dad, though..
    Nice to remember the old days at the Vet, 3rd base-line box seats was my first Phils experience, makes me want to dig out my old lucky shirt…

  92. James Kay

    February 10, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Randy Lerch is listed as number 100 on the Phillies Nation 100 Greatest list. You can look it up from the home page.

    Nino Espinosa was a classy pitcher who was one of those oddities who did time with both the Phillies and the Mets. Can you name 10 more real fast. Nino tragically died of a heart attack at age 34 on Christmas Eve in 1987.

  93. George

    February 10, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    My second sentence is sure lousy. I meant to say that Carpenter won despite pitching only four bad innings, due to an obscure scoring rule concerning rain-shortened games.

    I fear I’m still not wording that well, but at this point, I don’t care. I’m too tired to care.

  94. George

    February 10, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Are you talking about 10 more pitchers, or 10 more anything? There are a lot more of these “oddities” than one might think besides the obvious Billy Wagner and Pedro Martinez. I believe Paul Byrd, Turk Wendell, Jerry Koosman, and maybe even Robin Roberts all pitched for both teams. I could research this, but I’m not going to. With free agency, waiver wire claims, and players traded from team to team to yet a different team, players serving time on rival teams is not really all that extraordinary. Who knows; next year we may see Cliff Lee as a Met. (I doubt it, though!)

  95. James Kay

    February 10, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    For hard core National League East fans who have watched the Phillies battle the Mets over the years, the list of players who played for both the Phillies and Mets in the following link may be amusing:

    http://www.ultimatemets.com/oppteams.php?ThisTeam=07&tabno=B

  96. Brooks

    February 11, 2010 at 5:02 am

    Moyer as the 5th starter will only be icing. We probably have the best looking 1 thru 4 starters. None of us were seeing a mirage in Cole Hamels starting in 06 until last years heroics in the WS – he just needs to straighten his skirt and tighten his bolts. He will be one of the premier young lefties in the league once more. To go along with the best RH pitcher in either league as our #1. Happ and Joe will pick up probably 30 victories (hopefully) between them. Add the icing and are we close to 75 wins by our starters? As long as our offense holds up, like it did last year (until the WS), Jimmy has an average season for him, we now have a bench and a contact hitter as our third baseman.
    Icing, dressing if you will a garnish.

  97. George

    February 11, 2010 at 6:02 am

    That list of players was interesting. I knew a few rather famous Phils had also played for the Mets (I somehow confused Ashburn and Roberts, however!), and I’d even remembered a few more names before falling asleep last night. The most interesting thing was the number of lost causes on this list. They’re the ones who usually got moved before free agency began. Very few were in their primes.

    75 wins from our starters would be great, but it’s not likely because of the way pitching staffs are handled these days. I doubt if any team will ever again have four 20 game winners in the rotation, like Baltimore did years ago. Halladay may be used enough to get 20, but Hamels’ best so far is 15, Blanton’s 16, and Happ is still learning. Oddly, Moyer is the only pitcher on the staff besides Halladay who has won 20 or more. I doubt he’ll do it again, though. If he does, AARP will raise an army and take over America. As much as I’d like to see him win 20, I have second thoughts, because I don’t want Betty White running the country.

  98. j reed

    February 11, 2010 at 7:57 am

    man…i rather get blown by a Bengal Tiger than watch Moyer pitch.

  99. The Dipsy

    February 11, 2010 at 8:39 am

    My opinion that Jamie Moyer will have a poor year based on the following:

    – Now, he 47!
    – He presumably has not trained in about 5 months;
    – He’s coming off two surgeries;

    Would I take a 11-10, 4.39 out off Moyer this year? You bet. But he’s got a lot of things working against him.

    The Dipsy

    p.s. I wouldn’t think that Randy Lerch would make no. 100 in a list entitled “Greatest Pitchers named Lerch” list. But, what do I know?

  100. Brooks

    February 11, 2010 at 9:03 am

    George, with the numbers you mentioned – Halladay 20 wins, Cole 15, Happ, 12, Blanton 16 – then what the Dipsy said even an 11-10 season from #5 starter – right there is 74 victories. But, that is if everything goes right and something is bound to not go right.

  101. SteveW

    February 11, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Why do you people want to “get past” the Cliff Lee fiasco so badly? It’s impossible! It was a stupid deal and its going to come back to haunt them. As soon as Hamels or Halliday miss a start with injury or Happ comes back down to earth, its going to come up. Again and again and again. And it SHOULD come up, because it was a screw up the highest order.

    Fortunately, this team is good enough and the rest of the NL bad enough that it probably won’t stop them getting deep into the playoffs again. But if that injury to Hamels comes in late October and Lee is tossing BB’s for someone else, I know I’m going to be yelling my head off.

  102. Pingback: Milestone Watch: 2010 | Phillies Nation

  103. Philly Texan

    February 11, 2010 at 11:45 am

    From this morning’s inquirer story:

    “The Phillies’ belief in Hamels, who plans to add a cutter or slider to his repertoire of fastball, change-up, and curveball this spring…”

    Cole’s working on a cutter!!!! Praise the lord!

    If Hamels can throw a cutter even somewhat effectively, watch out for a huge season.

  104. Brooks

    February 11, 2010 at 11:58 am

    McNally – 21-5 (he started only 30 games due to injury)
    Palmer – 20-9
    Cuellar – 20-9
    Dobson – 20-8

    1971 Orioles pitching staff – never again will we see results like this.

  105. Geoff

    February 11, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Well…whatever. No big deal.

    Halladay
    Hamels
    Blanton
    Happ
    Moyer

    thats fine to start the season, Moyer will be replaced again later when he starts to get hit again. Until then I dont really have a problem with it.

  106. philsgirl

    February 11, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    I am just so fascinated to see the Lee trade still mentioned in almost every thread! People want to get past the “Cliff Lee fiasco” so badly, SteveW, just *because* it is such a travesty. Everyone who says “just get over it,” thou protesteth too much. That thing we should just “get over already” keeps coming up because Philly fans were justifiably excited at the prospect of having probably the premier starting rotation in both leagues, with an awesome core, and most likely looking at another ring. Not so likely after 2010 in any case. Opinions about losing Lee, whether encouraging in a playful sort of way (sorry, Keng, wish I could agree, but don’t think there was chessmaster-like genius behind this move, sometimes a trade is just a mistake), or negative, or welcomed on this board, will not go away anytime soon. There certainly will be lingering avid interest in how well Lee does during the season, and if it *is* well, there likely will be continued rumblings and ruminations, no matter how *we*, including Hamels, are faring. In fact, unless we take the trophy, only Lee essentially crashing and burning in 2010 (not that I either expect that to happen, nor wish that on anyone, especially someone who so helped our organization and was happy to be here for the time he was) will sadly ever really put that gnawing feeling to rest for many. I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ll read “just get over it” re: this trade, not only on this board, and it’ll be following yet someone else’s just-as-valid opinion that this was a trade with an explanation that doesn’t justify the end.
    I unfortunately agree with what Ed R. said earlier about teams with better 1-4 starting rotations this year. We *could* have eliminated the Mariners from that short list and been more than up to the task of facing the likes of Lester, Beckett, Lackey should we ever get to that point. Here’s hoping we get there. Yeah, maybe no starting pitching staff (thanks for the cool historical facts, Brooks!) will ever be the ’71 Orioles, but it would have been nice to see what we could have been.
    I know many, including myself, have posted before about this but to have to worry about our 5th starter or whether Cole develops another pitch in time to make him a force this year still peeves me given what I’m not supposed to be thinking about.

  107. The Dipsy

    February 11, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    This is how I feel about Cole:

    He started the season not so hot because he didn’t train that much in the off season. As a result, he had some problem with location on both his fastball and change and the beginning of the season and he got hurt early. Then everyone started harping about the “third pitch”, which he actually does need. So he tried to throw one, his curve. But his curve stunk and got hit. Now he can’t throw that, so he has to go back the fastball and change up that he can’t locate the way he wants. And he still gets hit. It was just that kind of season. I expect Cole to train harder, prepare better, work on something different to throw at hitters, and have a great season. There will be a team with 4 20 game winners again. History always repeats itself. Didn’t the 48 Indians do it?

    The Dipsy

  108. Philly Texan

    February 11, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Dipsy,
    couldn’t agree more about Hamels (except about the 20 game winners — we’ll be lucky of there are four 20-game winners in all of baseball this year.)

    I agree with all your reasons. I also think the increase in innings from 2007 to 2008 contributed. The numbers are overwhelming for guys who increase innings that much—they always have a down year. The good news for Hamels is that the numbers also show that pitchers bounce back next year (two years after the increase) big time.

    Cole will have a good season.

    The guy I’m really worried about is Lidge…..

  109. j reed

    February 11, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Don’t worry Lidge is worried about Lidge…

  110. Paul Boye

    February 11, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    It’s funny how Cole threw a significantly larger amount of curveballs in 2008, but it’s a noticeable problem in 2009.

    His curve was pretty poor in ’09, but his fastball actually fared worse.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=4972&position=P#pitchvalues

    The curve isn’t the huge issue it’s being made out to be. It needs work, sure, but it could just be a one-season blip (like Hamels’s ERA).

  111. Paul Boye

    February 11, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    And sure, I recognize that pitch value is cumulative and Cole threw a great deal more fastballs. Still goes to show that the curve wasn’t the only thing that got hit.

    But that goes back to BABIP and bad luck and all.

  112. The Dipsy

    February 11, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Paul – When Cole is locating his first two pitches, he can get by with a middling to poor curve every once in a while. But when teams know you’re throwing it more because you’re struggling with your top two pitches, the element of surprise is lost, and it has little to no effectiveness. So it gets drilled along with everything else. And the curve is a huge issue if you wanna be a three pitch pitcher. None of his pitches worked in ’09.

    The Dipsy

  113. George

    February 11, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    I’ll agree that for some, the Cliff Lee trade is hard to get past. But it wasn’t for me. He had some stinko starts in his Phils uniform, along with the good ones. He’s been a Cy Young winner, but also did a stint at AAA. In other words, he’s been up and down, and there’s really no telling who will show up, although he’s better at showing up than Brett Myers ever was. We got him fairly cheap, and that should show that he’s not the apple of every scout’s or GM’s eye.

    I’m waiting to see the three prospects. They may turn out to be really good, and help the Phils in future years, at a low salary for their first few. Lee was never going to be “low salary”, not even as cheap as Halladay, and may have left the team with a huge rotation hole after 2010 if he couldn’t get what he wanted out of Amaro. If Lee is lights out for the next few years, and the prospects suck, then and only then will I complain.

  114. George

    February 11, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Location was Hamels’ biggest 2009 problem, which is the first symptom of the “Verducci Effect.” That’s why his fastball was hit. His curve will never be a Koufax curve, but still can be effective if he spots it well and doesn’t insist on heaving five in a row. He got by for two and a half years with his current arsenal, so he must have something in the way of third pitch. Two-pitch pitchers generally don’t win for more than one year before the league catches on.

    Still, another pitch would be a huge bonus. So will a better off season program and fewer injuries at the beginning of the year.

  115. Bruce

    February 14, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Hip hip hooray for Amaro in supporting Moyer as 5th starter for 2010 season. I’m having a good laugh in reading all these rants by the Moyer haters. Same old, same old. LOL Oh, by the way, I remember the former columnist for this site, Tim Malcom and his infamous 2009 preseason prediction for Moyer. (more laughter)

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