The deal is done. The Phillies sent 2009 runner up for Rookie of the Year, pitcher JA Happ, minor league outfielder Anthony Gose, and short stop Jonathan Villar to Houston in exchange for Roy Oswalt and a yet-to-be-determined amount of cash. It may be around $11 million.
As I said earlier, I think Happ was too high a price to pay for Oswalt. Not to mention the depletion of the farm system that Ruben Amaro Jr. used as an excuse to send Cliff Lee packing. If he was going to rob the farm, why did he not just keep Lee? Frustrating.
How the trade pans out remains to be seen. Of course, Oswalt is a great pitcher. Just hope he stays healthy. He will pitch tomorrow in DC against the Nationals. Roy Halladay also made his debut for the Phillies against the Nats in DC. Coincidence or fate? If he pitches anything like Halladay, that would be great.
I still feel bad for Happ who I think got a raw deal here with all the Phillies have put him through the last several years. And who pitches better in the 2nd half will be interesting to see. Amaro’s legacy is now riding on the combined trades of Halladay, Oswalt and Lee, plus the severely weakened farm system. Only time will tell how it all pans out.
Call me crazy, but I am not thrilled about the impending deal which would bring Roy Oswalt to the Phillies. According to CSN Philly, Oswalt has approved the trade which sends JA Happ, OF Anthony Gose and another farm player to Houston.
Why am I not happy? Take a look:
First the stats: Last year, Oswalt was 8-6 with a 4.12 ERA. Happ was 12-4 with a 2.93 ERA. Happ has only pitched 3 games this year, so I do not think it is fair to compare those stats, although he has a 1.76 ERA in those 3 games. So, as for 2009, even if you add in the dreaded “sophomore slump” for Happ, he still at least matches Oswalt.
Plus Happ is younger, cheaper, under team control, composed and, looking at the performance, has pitched as well, if not better, than Oswalt. Also, CBS Sports reported that Oswalt wants to avoid a place with “a large and aggressive media contingent.” What that says to me is, Oswalt prefers to avoid pressure. This does not inspire confidence.
What also does not inspire confidence is that Oswalt is injury-prone and has a recurring back problem that many say will require surgery very soon. Oswalt will be 33 years old in August. His age, plus the injury history make me nervous. Remember the Freddie Garcia $10 million dollar disaster? Garcia arrived injured; the Phillies failed to give him an MRI and basically got damaged goods, losing $10 million dollars in the process. Before his surgery, Garcia got ONE win for the Phillies.
Not only does this trade smell just like the Garcia deal, but it also seems to be the GM, Ruben Amaro Jr. trying to make a trade just for the sake of making a trade. Amaro can’t say he did not make a move when the criticism rolls in and bad flashbacks to the Cliff Lee deal continue to surface.
Also, didn’t Amaro say the whole reason for the Lee deal was to replenish the farm system? So, now he is going to deplete that very same farm system for a less capable pitcher than Lee? Because you know it won’t just be Happ; talent from the farm system will be going too. If he was going to trash the farm system for Oswalt, why didn’t he just keep Lee?
So call me crazy, but this deal smells very, very bad to me. Nothing is final yet, so we will all be awaiting the decision and the details. Oswalt has been a top of the line pitcher, no debate there. But would you rather have a guy nearing the final years of his career who already has back issues, or a younger pitcher with big potential for many, many years to come? There are no guarantees in life, but the odds favor youth. Of course, that is just my opinion. Feel free to disagree :O)
The Phillies got behind early against the Reds last night who scored 3 runs in the 2nd inning, but Chase Utley was not giving up so soon. In the 3rd, Utley hit a ball which bounced off the centerfield wall as he rounded the bases; Utley was so fast that he scored standing and the Reds did not even bother throwing home. Here are a few shots from that home run:
After that, back-to-back doubles from Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth brought the Phillies within a run. Werth also hit a solo homer, the over-the-wall kind, in the 6th; it was his 4th consecutive game with a home run and his 20th of the season. In fact, that home run made history for the Phillies; they are the first National League team ever to have 4 players with 20 home runs before the half way point of the season.
Jamie Moyer struggled last night, but the offense picked him up and even got him the win with a final score of 9-6. Moyer pitched 5 innings and allowed 6 runs on 8 hits and a walk. Chan Ho Park was amazing through 3 innings of relief pitching and did not surrender any hits. Park has really found his groove in the pen and triumphed over his disappointment about not starting. He appears so happy and relaxed that on Wednesday, he danced around the field with a “Vote Victorino” sign and then last night, I watched during batting practice as he played catch with a bunch of kids in the stands for a good 5 minutes. Park has really found a home here in Philly and, more importantly, in the bullpen.
Rumors abound that the Phillies are close to a deal with former Met, Pedro Martinez. Many teams have scouted Pedro, but none have shown any interest. Martinez returned to the Mets in 2008 after a hamstring injury and was simply not the same pitcher after that. No one picked him up in 2009 so he continues to try to prove he can still pitch. In my opinion, this guy is done and the Phillies need not take out the trash. But if you follow the Phillies, you know that they have a penchant for doing just that. It is the trash to treasure mentality. Sometimes it works out (ie: Scott Eyre) and sometimes, it is a disaster (ie: Freddie Garcia…the 10 million dollar disaster). To me, Martinez is a disaster waiting to happen. He is almost 38 years old, appears unable to recover from injury and has a long history of mental issues. Not to mention, can every other team in major league baseball who has passed on him be wrong? It is a scary thought.
Phillies fans united this week and voted Shane Victorino into the All-Star game! Victorino thanked the fans last night as he waved to the crowd during warm-ups. He will join teammates Utley, Ibanez and Howard in St. Louis for his first All-Star experience. Congratulations to Shane!!!!!
And as always, here is a Photo Album from last night’s game. I did not have great seats, so these are not as fun as the ones I usually post, but it is a different perspective :O)
And finally, I would like to dedicate this blog to the memory one of my best friends, Fuzz the cat, who had watched Phillies games with me for the last 15 years. He was a big fan as well and I will miss him very much :O(
Photos by Jenn
After two blown saves Friday and Saturday, the Phillies rebounded last night while riding the back of rookie pitcher, Antonio Bastardo. Although they should have swept the 4-game series against the Dodgers, coming away with a split is a relief after the drama of the last several days. And Bastardo must be relieved as well to get a 2nd major league start, and 2nd win, under his belt. Bastardo, who threw mostly fastballs in his first outing, calmed down a bit last night and began to mix in a change-up and a slider. He allowed only 2 runs on 7 hits in 5 innings. Not bad, especially considering he faced the team with the best record in baseball.
But the Phillies have the 2nd best record in all of baseball, and the offense finally showed everyone why that is last night. Three home runs led the way; a two-run shot from Carlos Ruiz and solos from Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard in a park that many consider to be unfriendly to the long ball. Jimmy Rollins was moved from the lead-off spot to #6 in the line-up and it worked. Rollins went 2 for 4 in the game. Charlie Manuel will likely not keep him there, but the change seemed to make him concentrate more on getting his swing back in line.
Now the real question is, could the rookie Bastardo be to 2009 what Kyle Kendrick was in 2007? Kendrick was called up to temporarily fill a hole in the rotation after an injury to Freddie Garcia. He did so well though that the Phillies kept him and Kendrick helped get them to the playoffs that year. But in 2008, Kendrick struggled and has since been sent back to the minors. Bastardo is now filling in for the injured Brett Myers. Could this kid be the answer for 2009? So far, he looks good; but then again, so did Kendrick. We will have to wait and see…
And if you really want to know what went wrong with Kendrick, here is my theory. He took one too many pitching lessons from Adam Eaton. By the way, after being released by the Orioles last month, Eaton singed a minor league contract on 6/6/09 with the Rockies. Good luck to them!
So, after travelling to New York, the Phillies will have the day off today to rest up for a 3-game series with the Mets. Going back to a normal East Coast schedule (thank goodness!), the game will begin at 7:10pm on Tuesday with JA Happ facing Johan Santana.
Photo by Jenn
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