Phillies Release Geoff Jenkins; Park Wins #5 Spot

Per Todd Zolecki.

Jenkins is classy, though:

What’s there to be mad about? I picked a great year to be here. I wish it worked out better and I could be with them, but I don’t regret one minute. I wouldn’t change a thing being with these guys going through what we went through last year.

Thanks, Geoff.

The Phillies had two left-handed hitters — Jenkins and Matt Stairs — vying for a spot on the bench and with the left-handed Greg Dobbs guaranteed a spot, one of the two clearly wasn’t going to make it through spring training.

Due to Jenkins’ large salary ($6.75 million for ’09 and a $1.25 buy-out for ’10), he was essentially untradeable. Stairs is only owed $1 million through 2009 and will become a free agent after the season, thus he can be appealing to a team looking for a lefty masher at the trading deadline.

Gary Sheffield was also released by his team, the Detroit Tigers, as well and Zolecki thinks he fits in with the Phillies:

Sheffield is a right-handed, power-hitting corner outfielder.

The Phillies are looking for a right-handed, power-hitting corner outfielder.


the Phillies only would have to pay Sheffield $400,000. In essence, they would be paying Sheffield $8.4 million to get a right-handed bat for their bench compared to paying Jenkins $8 million.

Aside from Sheffield, there aren’t any other right-handed outfielders that the Phillies would be interested in, so the right-handed bat could be Miguel Cairo or John Mayberry. At this point, the chances of Mayberry getting that spot are slim. Although he impressed spectators with his power during spring training, he still needs a lot of polish (including better knowledge of the strike zone) before you can trust him with 150 at-bats.

Additionally, while Mayberry — offensively — would likely outperform Cairo, who has a career OPS+ of 75, he lacks versatility; he’s just an outfielder. Cairo can fit in at any infield or outfield spot, giving the Phillies plenty of versatility.

Back to Sheffield: whether you like it or not, his effect on the team’s chemistry will be a factor brought up with the Phillies’ brass. He’s been a troublemaker plenty of times throughout his career, and it may not be a wise move to import a player with such baggage. I’m not advocating this as a reason to keep him away; it’s just the elephant in the room.

Further, Sheffield is on the cusp of a career milestone and baseball history as he sits on 499 home runs. That certainly would be a reason that more fans would come out to the stadium, but with the Phillies, would that really have an effect? They just won the World Series and tickets have been selling like hotcakes. In other words, would Sheffield making history — which is dwarfed in importance by the Phillies’ World Series championship — give the organization a significant and worthwhile return on its $400,000 investment?

Elsewhere… Zolecki reports that Chan Ho Park has beat out J.A. Happ for the #5 spot in the starting rotation.

Happ’s fate with the team has not been decided, although Amaro said Happ, Gary Majewski, Jack Taschner and Bobby Mosebach are comepting for two bullpen jobs.

BDD: Phillies ’09 Preview and Ryan Howard

I have two articles up at Baseball Daily Digest today.

The first is a preview of the defending World Series champions. One of my bold predictions:

Don’t Be Surprised If…

A Phillie wins both the NL MVP and Cy Young awards.

Also, I have hopped back on the Ryan Howard bandwagon:

When it comes to Ryan Howard, we make a lot of assumptions based on not a whole lot of actual evidence. We pigeonhole the guy, calling him a one-dimensional out-of-shape tub o’ lard who is going to crash and burn in epic fashion.

The truth is that we really don’t have enough information — fancy that — to make a reasonable conclusion as to how best to project him. In other words, we are unable to reject the null hypothesis that Howard will be more like his 2005-07 self than his ’08 self. 

Phillies trade Paulino to Giants for Jack Taschner

Associated Press:

The Philadelphia Phillies acquired reliever Jack Taschner from the San Francisco Giants on Friday for catcher Ronny Paulino.

Taschner was 3-2 with a 4.88 ERA in 67 games last season. He gives the Phillies another left-hander in the bullpen to go with Scott Eyre. J.C. Romero was suspended the first 50 games for using a banned substance.

An initial glance at Taschner’s career statistics doesn’t give you any reason to get excited, and a look at his splits reveal no noticeable difference against left- and right-handed hitters.

Against Taschner over his career, lefties have a .345 BABIP as opposed to the .288 BABIP of right-handed hitters. Factor in that he is moving from a very spacious ballpark to a smaller park, and that he will have baseball’s best defense behind him, and that BABIP should regress quite a bit.

The Phillies definitely accomplished their goal of acquiring a lefty to take Romero’s place for the first 50 games of the regular season, and it didn’t cost them anything but an expendable catcher. It may have been wiser to simply sign free agent Will Ohman (who still doesn’t have a home) but GM Ruben Amaro repeatedly said that they didn’t have the funds available to do so.

UPDATE: The Giants turned right around and traded Paulino to the Florida Marlins. Per the San Francisco Chronicle:

[…] the Giants traded just-acquired catcher Ronny Paulino to the Florida Marlins for 21-year-old right-hander Hector Correa, Florida’s fourth-round draft choice in 2006.

Paulino must be having a lot of fun over the past few months. Pittsburgh to Philly to San Fran back to the East coast to Florida.

Phillies Sign Domingo Santana

The Phils’ international scouting department signed 16-year-old Domingo Santana from the Dominican Republic. Santana, a 6-foot-5 outfielder with a strong throwing arm, received a $300,000 signing bonus. He had also been pursued by the Yankees.

A 6’5″ 16-year-old from the D.R.

Color me surprised, yet skeptical. Cross your fingers and hope he didn’t lie about his age, like everyone else seems to do.

Related links: Phuture Phillies

BDD: L.A. Dodgers 2009 Preview

At Baseball Daily Digest, you may find a preview of the Manny Ramirezes — err, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

PECOTA is high on the Dodgers despite losing a huge chunk of their league-best pitching staff over the off-season. Gone are Derek Lowe (Braves), Brad Penny (Red Sox), Greg Maddux (retired), Takashi Saito (Red Sox), Joe Beimel (Nationals), Chan Ho Park (Phillies), and Scott Proctor (Marlins). The only pitchers they’ve brought in are Randy Wolf, Guillermo Mota, Shawn Estes, and Claudio Vargas.

We have saved the best for last, however. On March 30, the 30th and final preview will be posted by yours truly, focusing on the WFC’s.

In Honor of John Brattain

It is with great sadness to report that John Brattain has passed away. Brattain wrote for a number of websites including Baseball Daily Digest and The Hardball Times.

The thread at Baseball Think Factory shows just how many lives he touched with his quick wit and great outlook on life.

John was my mentor and likely my first loyal reader here at Crashburn Alley. He was always available to talk — about anything whether it’s baseball, writing, or just random things about life. The advice he gave me was indispensable and he’s likely the reason why Joe Hamrahi of Baseball Daily Digest decided to add me to his staff of writers.

Here’s his last note at Baseball Daily Digest:

See ya on the other side…

This will be my last post for a little while–I go under the knife for the ol’ ticker at 7:15 AM Monday. Again, thanks for all the notes and well-wishes; once I’m fixed…er, repaired, I’ll be back with a vengeance. I’ve submitted a column for SMSN Sports that will run next week–beyond that it’s wait-and-see.

My deepest condolences to the Brattain family as well as to anyone that had the privilege of knowing him.

You will be dearly missed, John.

BDD: Leave A-Rod Alone!

At Baseball Daily Digest, I have given yet another reason why we should lay off of Alex Rodriguez.

Other athletes, who we’ve yet to catch, will look at our treatment of A-Rod and conclude that there is no incentive for them to come out with the truth either on their own or when they are prompted. Look at their options:

A) Don’t admit to using. Media and public presume I used anyway, assassinating my character in print and on the Internet. With presumption, media and public suggest altering my statistics, taking away my accomplishments like MVP or Cy Young awards, and keeping me out of the Hall of Fame.

B) Admit to using. Media and public assassinate my character in print and on the Internet. Media and public suggest altering my statistics, taking away my accomplishments like MVP or Cy Young awards, and keeping me out of the Hall of Fame.

Crashburn Alley Fantasy Baseball Continued

Continued from the last post… here’s a look at each team by position. In parentheses are other positions at which the player is eligible.

Crashburn Alley

C: Russell Martin (3B), Mike Napoli
1B: Lance Berkman
2B: Ian Kinsler
3B: Aramis Ramirez
SS: Alexei Ramirez (2B, OF), Jhonny Peralta
OF: Matt Holliday, Jermaine Dye, Johnny Damon, Torii Hunter
UTIL: Carlos Pena (1B)
SP: Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Zack Grienke, Jordan Zimmermann
RP: Joe Nathan, Carlos Marmol, Joey Devine

Jack Bauer’s Army

C: Jorge Posada
1B: Kevin Youkilis (3B)
2B: Dustin Pedroia
3B: Felipe Lopez (2B, SS, OF)
SS: Hanley Ramirez
OF: Nick Markakis, Magglio Ordonez, Raul Ibanez, Chris Young, Rick Ankiel
UTIL: Derrek Lee (1B)
SP: Tim Lincecum, Dan Haren, Joba Chamberlain (RP), David Price, Erik Bedard, Chien-Ming Wang
RP: Francisco Rodriguez, Brad Lidge, Trevor Hoffman

Cust’s Club

C: A.J. Pierzynski
1B: Albert Pujols, Carlos Delgado
2B: Mark DeRosa (3B, OF)
3B: Aubrey Huff (1B), Jorge Cantu (1B), Mark Reynolds
SS: Michael Young
OF: Carlos Beltran, Manny Ramirez, Ryan Ludwick, Randy Winn
UTIL: Nate McLouth (OF)
SP: Josh Beckett, Ricky Nolasco, Ryan Dempster, Derek Lowe, Kevin Slowey
RP: Mariano Rivera, Brian Fuentes

Hat Guy

C: Joe Mauer
1B: Prince Fielder, James Loney
2B: Howie Kendrick, Robinson Cano
3B: Ryan Zimmerman, Adrian Beltre
SS: Jose Reyes
OF: Ichiro Suzuki, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jay Bruce, Denard Span
UTIL: David Ortiz
SP: Johan Santana, Francisco Liriano, Carlos Zambrano, Matt Cain, Brett Myers
RP: Max Scherzer (SP), Huston Street

Niagara Stars

C: Matt Wieters
1B: Adrian Gonzalez, Jason Giambi
2B: Brian Roberts
3B: David Wright
SS: Stephen Drew
OF: Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Quentin, Vladimir Guerrero, Corey Hart
UTIL: Travis Hafner
SP: Felix Hernandez, Rich Harden, Scott Kazmir, Javier Vazquez, Chris Young
RP: Brandon Morrow (SP), Mike Gonzalez, Hong-Chih Kuo (SP), Grant Balfour

The Beast

C: Pablo Sandoval (1B, 3B)
1B: Chris Davis (3B)
2B: Mike Aviles (SS)
3B: Evan Longoria
SS: Derek Jeter
OF: Grady Sizemore, Carlos Lee, Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell, Shin-Soo Choo
UTIL: Nelson Cruz (OF)
SP: Cole Hamels, Brandon Webb, Roy Halladay, Yovani Gallardo
RP: Joakim Soria, B.J. Ryan, Frank Francisco, Matt Lindstrom, Chris Ray

Shooter’s Swingers

C: Brian McCann
1B: Miguel Cabrera (3B)
2B: Chase Utley
3B: Alex Gordon
SS: Rafael Furcal, Miguel Tejada
OF: Adam Dunn (1B), Andre Ethier, Jayson Werth
UTIL: Milton Bradley
SP: C.C. Sabathia, John Lackey, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Clayton Kershaw, Jair Jurrjens, Justin Duchscherer
RP: Bobby Jenks, Matt Capps, Chad Qualls


C: Geovany Soto, Chris Iannetta
1B: Ryan Howard
2B: Dan Uggla, Kelly Johnson
3B: Alex Rodriguez
SS: Troy Tulowitzki
OF: B.J. Upton, Matt Kemp, Vernon Wells, Lastings Milledge
UTIL: Joey Votto (1B)
SP: Jake Peavy, James Shields, Aaron Harang, John Danks, Scott Baker
RP: Jonathan Broxton, Jose Valverde, Brad Ziegler


C: Ryan Doumit, Bengie Molina
1B: Mark Teixeira, Conor Jackson (OF)
2B: Brandon Phillips
3B: Chipper Jones, Edwin Encarnacion
SS: J.J. Hardy
OF: Ryan Braun, Jason Bay, Curtis Granderson, Xavier Nady
UTIL: Hunter Pence (OF)
SP: A.J. Burnett, Edinson Volquez, Justin Verlander, Ben Sheets, Matt Garza
RP: Jonathan Papelbon, Francisco Cordero


C: Victor Martinez
1B: Justin Morneau, Carlos Guillen (3B)
2B: Chone Figgins (3B), Jose Lopez (1B)
3B: Garrett Atkins (1B)
SS: Jimmy Rollins
OF: Josh Hamilton, Carl Crawford, Alex Rios, Justin Upton, Brad Hawpe
UTIL: Shane Victorino (OF)
SP: Ervin Santana, John Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Adam Wainwright, Josh Johnson
RP: Kerry Wood, Brian Wilson

Crashburn Alley Fantasy Baseball Liveblog

Round 1

Jack Bauer’s Army: Hanley Ramirez

Cust’s Club: Albert Pujols

Hat Guy: Jose Reyes

Niagara Stars: David Wright

Crashburn Alley: Ian Kinsler

The Beast: Grady Sizemore

Shooter’s Swingers: Miguel Cabrera

Toothsome: Ryan Howard

Todak: Ryan Braun

IWS:  Josh Hamilton

Round 2

IWS: Jimmy Rollins

Todak: Mark Teixeira

Toothsome: B.J. Upton

Shooter’s Swingers: Chase Utley

The Beast: Evan Longoria

Crashburn Alley: Lance Berkman

Niagara Stars: Alfonso Soriano

Hat Guy: Johan Santana

Cust’s Club: Carlos Beltran

Jack Bauer’s Army: Dustin Pedroia

Round 3

Jack Bauer’s Army: Tim Lincecum

Cust’s Club: Manny Ramirez

Hat Guy: Prince Fielder

Niagara Stars: Carlos Quentin

Crashburn Alley: Matt Holliday

The Beast: Carlos Lee

Shooter’s Swingers: C.C. Sabathia

Toothsome: Alex Rodriguez

Todak: Brandon Phillips

IWS: Carl Crawford

Round 4

IWS: Justin Morneau

Todak: Jason Bay

Toothsome: Matt Kemp

Shooter’s Swingers: Brian McCann

The Beast: Cole Hamels

Crashburn Alley: Aramis Ramirez

Niagara Stars: Vladimir Guerrero

Hat Guy: David Ortiz

Cust’s Club: Ryan Ludwick

Jack Bauer’s Army: Kevin Youkilis

Round 5

Jack Bauer’s Army: Nick Markakis

Cust’s Club: Nate McLouth

Hat Guy: Ichiro Suzuki

Niagara Stars: Brian Roberts

Crashburn Alley: Russell Martin

The Beast: Brandon Webb

Shooter’s Swingers: Adam Dunn

Toothsome: Jake Peavy

Todak: Curtis Granderson

IWS: Alex Rios

Round 6

IWS: Shane Victorino

Todak: Jonathan Papelbon

Toothsome: Geovany Soto

Shooter’s Swingers: Rafael Furcal

The Beast: Roy Halladay

Crashburn Alley: Alexei Ramirez

Niagara Stars: Adrian Gonzalez

Hat Guy: Jacoby Ellsbury

Cust’s Club: Mariano Rivera

Jack Bauer’s Army: Dan Haren

Round 7

Jack Bauer’s Army: Magglio Ordonez

Cust’s Club: Josh Beckett

Hat Guy: Joe Mauer

Niagara Stars: Corey Hart

Crashburn Alley: Joe Nathan

The Beast: Chris Davis

Shooter’s Swingers: John Lackey

Toothsome: Troy Tulowitzki

Todak: Hunter Pence

IWS: Victor Martinez

Round 8

IWS: Garrett Atkins

Todak: Chipper Jones

Toothsome: Dan Uggla

Shooter’s Swingers: Chad Billingsley

The Beast: Joakim Soria

Crashburn Alley: Cliff Lee

Niagara Stars: Stephen Drew

Hat Guy: Ryan Zimmerman

Cust’s Club: Aubrey Huff

Jack Bauer’s Army: Francisco Rodriguez

Round 9

Jack Bauer’s Army: Brad Lidge

Cust’s Club: Michael Young

Hat Guy: Francisco Liriano

Niagara Stars: Felix Hernandez

Crashburn Alley: Jermaine Dye

The Beast: Bobby Abreu

Shooter’s Swingers: Andre Ethier

Toothsome: James Shields

Todak: J.J. Hardy

IWS: Chone Figgins

Round 10

IWS: Ervin Santana

Todak: Ryan Doumit

Toothsome: Jonathan Broxton

Shooter’s Swingers: Alex Gordon

The Beast: Derek Jeter

Crashburn Alley: Roy Oswalt

Niagara Stars: Rich Harden

Hat Guy: Jay Bruce

Cust’s Club: Carlos Delgado

Jack Bauer’s Army: Derrek Lee

Round 11

Jack Bauer’s Army: Joba Chamberlain

Cust’s Club: Ricky Nolasco

Hat Guy: Howie Kendrick

Niagara Stars: Scott Kazmir

Crashburn Alley: Carlos Marmol

The Beast: Yovani Gallardo

Shooter’s Swingers: Bobby Jenks

Toothsome: Joey Votto

Todak: A.J. Burnett

IWS: Jon Lester

Round 12

IWS: Daisuke Matsuzaka

Todak: Edinson Volquez

Toothsome: Jose Valverde

Shooter’s Swingers: MattCapps

The Beast: Mike Aviles

Crashburn Alley: Zack Grienke

Niagara Stars: Matt Wieters

Hat Guy: Carlos Zambrano

Cust’s Club: Mark DeRosa

Jack Bauer’s Army: Raul Ibanez

Round 13

Jack Bauer’s Army: David Price

Cust’s Club: Ryan Dempster

Hat Guy: Matt Cain

Niagara Stars: Javier Vazquez

Crashburn Alley: Carlos Pena

The Beast: B.J. Ryan

Shooter’s Swingers: Jayson Werth

Toothsome: Vernon Wells

Todak: Justin Verlander

IWS: Adam Wainwright

Round 14

IWS: Kerry Wood

Todak: Francisco Cordero

Toothsome: Lastings Milledge

Shooter’s Swingers: Clayton Kershaw

The Beast: Pablo Sandoval

Crashburn Alley: Johnny Damon

Niagara Stars: Chris Young (Padres)

Hat Guy: Brett Myers

Cust’s Club: Brian Fuentes

Jack Bauer’s Army: Jorge Posada

Round 15

Jack Bauer’s Army: Chris Young (D-Backs)

Cust’s Club: Derek Lowe

Hat Guy: Max Scherzer

Niagara Stars: Brandon Morrow

Crashburn Alley: Jhonny Peralta

The Beast: Nelson Cruz

Shooter’s Swingers: Milton Bradley

Toothsome: Aaron Harang

Todak: Ben Sheets

IWS: Josh Johnson

Round 16

IWS: Brian Wilson

Todak: Matt Garza

Toothsome: John Danks

Shooter’s Swingers: Miguel Tejada

The Beast: Frank Francisco

Crashburn Alley: Torii Hunter

Niagara Stars: Mike Gonzalez

Hat Guy: Huston Street

Cust’s Club: Jorge Cantu

Jack Bauer’s Army: Rick Ankiel

Round 17

Jack Bauer’s Army: Erik Bedard

Cust’s Club: Kevin Slowey

Hat Guy: Robinson Cano

Niagara Stars: Hong-Chih Kuo

Crashburn Alley: Joey Devine

The Beast: Pat Burrell

Shooter’s Swingers: Ted Lilly

Toothsome: Scott Baker

Todak: Edwin Encarnacion

IWS: Justin Upton

Round 18

IWS: Brad Hawpe

Todak: Conor Jackson

Toothsome: Chris Iannetta

Shooter’s Swingers: Jair Jurrjens

The Beast: Matt Lindstrom

Crashburn Alley: Mike Napoli

Niagara Stars: Travis Hafner

Hat Guy: Adrian Beltre

Cust’s Club: Randy Winn

Jack Bauer’s Army: Trevor Hoffman

Round 19

Jack Bauer’s Army: Chien-Ming Wang

Cust’s Club: Mark Reynolds

Hat Guy: James Loney

Niagara Stars: Jason Giambi

Crashburn Alley: Randy Johnson

The Beast: Shin-Soo Choo

Shooter’s Swingers: Justin Duchscherer

Toothsome: Kelly Johnson

Todak: Bengie Molina

IWS: Carlos Guillen

Round 20

IWS: Jose Lopez

Todak: Xavier Nady

Toothsome: Brad Ziegler

Shooter’s Swingers: Chad Qualls

The Beast: Chris Ray

Crashburn Alley: Jordan Zimmermann

Niagara Stars: Grant Balfour

Hat Guy: Denard Span

Cust’s Club: A.J. Pierzynski

Jack Bauer’s Army: Felipe Lopez

* IWS, Todak, Toothsome, and Hat Guy had teams that were auto-picked because they did not attend the draft.

Mets Have 2009’s Built-In Excuse Prepared

In 2007, it was bad luck.

In 2008, it was injuries to a depleted bullpen.

In 2009, what are the Mets going to claim prevented them from achieving success? If third baseman David Wright has nagging problems related to his WBC injury, it looks like Jerry Manuel is going to blame… the WBC.

The New York Mets third baseman stayed in Wednesday’s World Baseball Classic game against Venezuela, despite believing he’d broken his toe fouling off a pitch in the first inning. He realized he’d escaped with nothing more than a cracked toenail only after an X-ray of his left foot was taken after the game.

So the fact that Wright limped to the finish of a game that affected only seeding for the WBC’s final rounds didn’t please Mets manager Jerry Manuel.

“He probably shouldn’t have played if he felt he had a broken toe,” Manuel told reporters on Thursday. “No question about that.”

Another important question to ask is, “How will Omar Minaya overreact to the Mets’ failure during the season?”

Following the ’07 collapse, Minaya went out and signed baseball’s best starting pitcher in Johan Santana. During June last season, he fired Willie Randolph after a win in the first game on a West coast road trip. Over the recent off-season, he acquired not one, but two lauded relief pitchers in Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz, a response to Billy Wagner’s injury that will keep him out for all of ’09 as well as the noxious odors emitted from the bullpen last year.

I’m going to wait for the Mets to really clutch at straws and say something like, “We’re not playing well because we haven’t adjusted to the new stadium yet. We’re so used to Shea.” I should probably copyright that phrase in case someone in the Mets organization happens upon it, at least I can collect royalties every time they use it.

Now that I think of it, I think a new category, “NL East Whining”, would be fitting given the complaints of Chipper Jones recently:

The third baseman, who left the U.S. team this week due to injury, blasted both the format of the tournament and the city that hosted his team earlier this month for the opening round.

“Just way too many days off,” Jones told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the event’s format. “We stayed in Toronto for a week and played three games. I don’t know if you ever stayed in Toronto, but it’s not exactly Las Vegas. To say that we were plucking our eyebrows out one at a time would be an understatement.

“You’re not getting the work in that you should. You’re getting reps, but you’re not getting the at-bats that you need.

“Getting to share a clubhouse with the guys and getting to know people on a different level is the cool part about it. But when you’re talking about a three-week tournament, and you could literally play eight games in three weeks, it’s just too much down time for spring training.”

Jones added he won’t play for Team USA again unless the format is changed.

Whining isn’t exactly a new thing for the Atlanta Braves. I’ve written about it twice back in 2007, though I’m sure there was plenty last year that went unnoticed.

This new category adds a whole ‘nother element to the NL East “rivalries”! I’m so excited!