Tagged: Starting Pitchers

Winter Meetings Day 3: Morning Rumors

Well the Winter Meetings are more then half over, and the Phillies have been quiet.  It doesn’t mean there’s no chatter.

–  Tad Iguchi is now willing to return to the Phillies as a third baseman.  You would have to assume that the only reason Iguchi is considering this is because he’s been unable to find a starting job at second base from any other team.  I like Iguchi and the role he filled.  Playing for the injured Chase Utley was a big lift down the stretch, and his bat off the bench in the last month of the season gave the bench depth other teams in the division didn’t have.  I prefer him in that role.  Iguchi has never played a game at third base and I question if he was the arm for it.  His bat also isn’t ideal for the position either.  I think there are better options out there.  The only reason Iguchi would be considered for third base is if it’s about money, where Iguchi could be had cheaper then any third baseman via trade.  Didn’t Pat Gillick state earlier in the week, it’s not about money?

–  Julian Tavarez is hoping to be traded to a team where he can start.  I like the fire Tavarez has.  He’s intense, and isn’t afraid to throw inside.  What makes me afraid is Tavarez starting.  Throughout his career he’s always been a better pitcher out of the pen.  His career ERA as a reliever (3.90) is over a run higher as a starter (5.08).  The upside of Tavarez is his salary is less then $4 million dollars.  Even for only less then $4 million a season, he’s not worthy of a rotation spot.

–  The Phillies have spoke with Cardinals GM John Mozeliak about pitcher Anthony Reyes.  This is an interesting rumor coming out of St. Louis.  Reyes was the Cardinals #1 prospect in 2005 and 2006 according to Baseball America.  While he’s had success in the minor leagues (23-10, 3.26 ERA), he’s yet to transform that to the majors.  In 43 career appearances (including 38 starts), Reyes has been a dismal 8-23 with a 5.42 ERA.  He’s still only 25 and is young enough to turn it around.  A change of scenery might be all he needs.  Given his questions, trading for him is a good IF another starter is brought in as insurance should Reyes struggle again.

All is quiet in Nashville.  How long can it last?

Kyle – Keep Throwing the Changeup!

Lohse_1 In all honesty, I’m not a fan of Kyle Lohse.  He’s always been one of those floundering pitchers with potential, who just can’t seem to get it together.  Although when the Phillies picked him up at the trading deadline I thought it wasn’t a bad trade given what they gave up. 

The more I’ve watched him since he joined the Phillies I’ve learned to like him less.  He seems to tip toe on the outer half of the plate once he gets ahead, and doesn’t have the ability to finish off a batter, and won’t challenge them.

The Kyle Lohse last night is a pitcher I haven’t seen this season.  He pitched seven strong innings, something the Phillies haven’t seen in a while.  After watching him pitch, there’s one distinct change.  He threw a lot of change ups.  It had great movement, and seemed to dies as it crossed the plate.

The funny thing is I didn’t know Lohse even had a change up.  He never throws it.

After doing a little research many consider the changeup Lohse’s best pitch, but he doesn’t have the confidence to throw it.  As a result, he pushes his slider and gets behind in the count.  Once that happens, he lives and dies by his fastball, and when it’s over the plate he becomes very hittable.

Last night Lohse wasn’t very hittable, and the reason is the changeup.  He doesn’t have another start this season (though don’t be surprised if he comes in Saturday, relieving Adam Eaton), but hopefully he can follow up last night’s performance in October.

If Lohse can have confidence in that changeup, he could be a very good pitcher for years to come.

Adam Eaton – I Believe

081107eaton Tonight is another must win game for the Phillies in Washington, and Adam Eaton is on the mound.  Yes…  Adam Eaton.  The Adam Eaton who has the worst ERA among starters (6.36), in all of baseball.  The Adam Eaton who hasn’t won a game since July 20th (9-9 record).  The Adam Eaton who hasn’t had a quality start since early July.  Not exactly the guy you want to hand the ball to in a big game.

There is a bright side.  It’s better then JD Durbin trotting out there.  Not to take anything away from Durbin, I think he’s a talented pitcher, but he’s still a rookie who needs to refine his skills before he will have an impact on the league.  Eaton at least has the experience.  This will be the stage where he rises to the occasion.

Bright side #2…  Eaton has given up 30 home runs this season, you could say it’s been a problem.  RFK Stadium isn’t exactly a hitter’s park, so expect the home runs to be minimal. 

I’m not going to lie to you, given Eaton’s track record this season, part of me is frightened to watch him pitch tonight, but I believe.  As frightening as he might be, he’s going to get it done…

My prediction:  6IP, 2ER, Eaton picks up his tenth win of the season.