Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Return of Me and the Departure of Germano

I'm back and I'm full of excuses.

Actually, I have a legitimate reason or two that explain my absence of late - I've been doing a little bit of "paid" freelance baseball watching and writing (I hesitate to say scouting because I'm not a scout nor do I have aspirations to ever be one...I'm just a guy who watches way too much baseball) for an up and coming (hopefully) amateur draft website right here on the world wide web. It was only a "paid" gig in that they hooked me up with a free subscription to the site (and the cheapest subscription at that...not that I'm complaining, I just find it funny), but I was in the neighborhood of some good college baseball and I would have been attending plenty of games anyway, so it made sense for me to go for it. Don't worry, I've been keeping up with the Phillies as much as ever...it's just now I've also filled my already overcrowded brain with stats and firsthand observations of Andrew Brackman, Josh Horton, and Sean Doolittle. This little project has taken up a good chunk of my free time lately, and as a result, Phillies Baseball (I can't believe I've stuck with such a bad name for so long) has gotten the shaft. I have plenty of ideas for new content as we approach the start of the MLB season, but not enough hours in the day to get everything I want to say out in a coherent, readable manner. That won't stop me from trying though...

I guess what I'm trying to say is this - if you are a regular who doesn't mind checking in every now and then and being disappointed by looking at Jim Jackson's face for over 2 weeks, then keep on hanging in there. I'm hopeful your patience will be rewarded one way or another. This site was created as an outlet to share my views about Phillies baseball (and all things baseball really) and it's served me well over the years. As long as it remained fun and I had the time, I said I was going to keep on doing it. Though time has been harder to come by lately, keeping this up has remained a lot of fun. So I'm going to keep on doing this in my sporadic, update when I can kind of way. I realize that this isn't the ideal way to run a website, but it's better than nothing, right?

Just to add some value to this post, let me just say that I am utterly confused by the news reported earlier today that Justin Germano was lost on waivers to the San Diego Padres. I know Germano was out of options, but it's hard to lose an interesting young arm (and an extreme groundball pitcher to boot) for nothing. Germano's GB% in 117 innings at Louisville (AAA) was 53.1%. He improved upon that upon being traded to the Phillies organization where he pitched 38 innings for the Red Barons with a ridiculous GB% of 60.5%. His K/9 may not as been as high as you'd like, but that is forgivable considering his groundball tendencies and his impeccable control. Germano's number one PECOTA comparable according to Baseball Prospectus is Charles Nagy - not a bad career there, especially through his peak years. It's hard to believe that Antonio Alfonseca is a better bet for the 2007 Phillies let alone the 2008, 2009, and 2010 squads.

Time to play devil's advocate for a moment and set forth opposing arguments. To be fair, it is interesting that Germano lasted all of the way to San Diego's turn on the waiver wire - you would think a pitching starved organization like the Nationals would have been all over the possibility of adding a cheap back of the rotation kind of arm. The loss of Germano can even be spun in a positive light - the Phillies truly believed he wasn't one of the better candidates to win a big league bullpen job and instead of just keeping him around for fear of losing him for nothing, they bit the bullet so the 25-man roster will be as talented as possible (again, in their eyes) come opening day. Another silver lining is Germano's ouster makes it more likely that Rule 5 draft pick Jim Warden will make the team. Warden has impressed this spring and could be a valuable ROOGY in 2007. At the very least, he has already made if farther than the other Rule 5 pick, Alfredo Simon. Simon was returned to the Texas Rangers earlier this week after disappointing the team mightily this spring.

My bottom line: it all comes down to trust. If you trust Pat Gillick and the Phillies, the move makes perfect sense. If you don't, it's a head scratcher. I suppose I'm just a mistrusting lad by nature, because I have a hard time wrapping my head around this one. Prove me wrong, PG, prove me wrong...


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