Friday, December 08, 2006
-Gavin Floyd’s career as a Phillies was basically done. No amount of minor league reclamation was going to erase the stain of Gavin’s 2005 and 2006 campaigns. He really struggled in the minors in 2005, posting a 6.16 ERA with the Red Barons, numbers that ought to have been a sign to the Phillies that their prized prospect needed more time to regain his touch rather than being tossed back into the rotation as he was in '06. Gavin did better with the Red Barons in 2006, lowering his ERA to 4.23 and posting respectable stats (0.70 HR/9; 2.97 BB/9; 6.65 K/9), but I suspect there was just too much bad karma there. Time for Gavin to go.
-Unfortunately the Phillies also had to part with Gio Gonzalez, a talented lefty who played with the Reading Phillies in 2006. Gonzalez struggled a little (7-12, 4.66 ERA), but has some good stuff. His loss is somewhat mitigated by the fact that the Phillies have a stable of young arms who pitched at Single-A Lakewood in 2006 and are poised to advance to Clearwater and Reading next season. With Floyd unlikely to return to his old form and the good talent coming up through the system (and no gaurantee Gonzalez would make it to the majors anyway), both decisions make sense. So all the Phillies did was surrender a prospect and a reclamation project. What did they get?
-I think Freddy Garcia has some talents that will come in useful with the Phillies in 2007: for one, he doesn’t issue many walks (2.00 BB/9). Not a big strikeout artist (5.61 K/9), but he does have a very healthy 2.81 K/BB ratio. Meanwhile, he does allow a decent number of home runs (1.33 HR/9), which is troubling for a pitcher about to work Citizens Bank Ballpark. As Garcia's ERA spiked to 4.65, you’d be hard-pressed to say that 2006 was a good campaign for him, but he can do better and has. I think that Garcia will fit in well in the Phillies rotation and strengthen the unit.
-Apparently the White Sox talked to the Phillies about dealing Aaron Rowand as part of the Garcia deal. I wonder what the stumbling block was to the deal: were the Phillies utterly opposed to such a move? Is Aaron Rowand still on the block?
-Bringing in Garcia makes one pitcher in the Phillies rotation expendable, and it isn't Brett Myers, Cole Hamels or Jamie Moyer. Jon Lieber is now on the block, which makes a lot of sense: he's struggled as a Phillie and this is his walk year. Better to deal him now. I suspect that he'll be bound for either New York to play for the Yankees or possibly to the Brewers as part of a multi-player deal. I guess we'll see.
-Look for the Phillies to sign pitcher Octavio Dotel soon to round out their bullpen.
-Apparently the Dodgers signed Jason Schmidt and Luis Gonzalez to the team, completing a rotation that includes Brad Penny, Randy Wolf and Derek Lowe. They also added a veteran with a big upside. I’d have to say that the Dodgers are a better bet to dominate the N.L. next season than the Mets.
-Barry Zito will be a Met. He’s a flyball pitcher, so Ryan Howard ought to be very happy.
More on Monday.