-Clay Condrey will not be returning to the Phillies in 2010. That’s because he signed a one-year pact with the Minnesota Twins. Still doesn’t make much sense as to why the Phils would not look at Condrey as an option for the bullpen again this season. His numbers were very good when he pitched, and although he was a tad injury-prone, his 3.00 ERA last season and .233 average against verify his ability to get batters out. In this time of bullpen need, it seems odd that RAJ would not bring him back given the overall health of the pen.
-Jamie Moyer is going under the knife once again. The 47-year old will have his right meniscus fixed and is doubtful to return for opening day. Moyer had surgery in the latter stages of the 2009 season to repair a sports hernia, then was admitted to the hospital over Thanksgiving due to a blood infection.
The elder statesman of the Phillies staff will get an opportunity to start once he is deemed healthy; but when will that be? Missing spring training is a huge setback for a guy who needs all the time he can to ready himself for a grueling season. This reinforces the fact that the Phillies must go out and sign a cheap starting option. Here is a link to a few we talked about yesterday.
-With Moyer’s surgery looming, the question then becomes: “who will be the fifth starter.” The in-house options include Kyle Kendrick, Andrew Carpenter, new aqusition Ryan Vogelsong, and possibly, Joe Savery. Kendrick has the upper-hand, and may have been the favorite anyway, although Moyer was going to get every opportunity to win the job.
Carpenter may be more of a relief pitcher and Vogelsong was in Japan a year ago. Savery is still in the mix after having a sub-par season at both double and triple A. I don’t mind Kendrick being the fifth guy if they can’t find a FA to jump into the mix in spring training. He’s better suited as a #5 than he was a few seasons ago as the Phillies #3.
-Here is a complete hypothetical: The San Francisco Giants are looking for a new left fielder. The Phillies have one in Raul Ibanez. They also have a pretty capable backup in Ben Francisco.
The scenario: The Phillies trade Raul to SF for some more prospects to stock the system (throw in one of their top-notch relievers, too). Francisco plays left for the Phillies for a year (not the worst thing in the world) and the Phillies save money that will enable them to pay Jayson Werth, and possibly Shane Victorino, on a long-term contract. Ben Fran keeps the position warm for Dominic Brown in 2011 and the Phillies will have a top notch outfield for at least the next five seasons.
In no way am I calling for Raul to be traded. Like I said, it’s a complete hypothetical for those looking to keep Werth and Victorino around for several years. I think Ibanez is slightly overpaid and hinders the Phillies from locking up other players, but I do think a healthy Raul is a huge key to the success of the team in ’10. The Giants are reportedly looking at Johnny Damon for left field, or, moving Mark Derosa there and signing Adam Laroche for first base.