Searching For Arms

June 24, 2007

The long marathon journey to October baseball has gotten a little more treacherous for the Phillies. 

Not good news on veteran starter Jon Lieber.  He now joins Brett Myers, Tom Gordon, Freddy Garcia and Francisco Rosario on the disabled list.  As you’ve read in all the news reports, Lieber’s stay may be a lengthy one.

Pitching is such a rare commodity.  It is razor thin. 

According to Dave W. Smith of, Jamie Moyer was one of six pitchers over 40 years of age to start on Friday. That has not happened in the last 51 seasons. 

Yesterday in major league baseball, there were 14 games played.  Complete games? Try zero! A total of 76 relievers were used. 

The Phillies have used 14 pitchers in the pen this season.  Only two were on the active roster when the season started on April 3, Antonio Alfonseca and Geoff Geary.

The rotation now exists of Moyer, RHP Adam Eaton, LHP Cole Hamels and rookie Kyle Kendrick.  Only Hamels was with the club a year ago at this time.  Kendrick was at Reading when this month started.

There’s a day off tomorrow and again on July 5, but in the meantime there are 10 games in nine days starting Tuesday, including a day-night doubleheader with the Mets on Friday.

What will the Phillies do?

Trading for pitching is difficult simply because the demand exceeds the supply.  Plus, any team that now may have pitching to deal knows the Phillies’ situation so the price goes up.

Waiver claims are a potential, but slim.  Signing a pitcher who was released is another avenue to travel.  Lefty reliever J. C. Romero, signed Friday by the Phillies after being let go by the Red Sox, is someone worth taking a chance, as was Jose Mesa. Romero is currently with the Gulf Coast League club in Clearwater getting in some work. 

Homegrown is another option.  Over the next few days, the Phillies will be checking with their minor league staff so see what options exist. 

It appears as if the Phillies are going to be busy in the transactions department this week.


In hindsight, the Phillies should have dealt Lieber earlier when a mutual arrangement may have been worked out. Now, they have a salary without contribution. As for Pat Burrell, his value is so low, maybe a AA or A ball prospect could be acquired. Another sad case of a player with all the gifts, with financial security who can’t return the effort he should to the club that gave him a free lifetime ride.

I may be a transplanted Mariners fan but I guess I’ve
sort of adopted the Phillies as my “National League” team. As much as I like Wes Helms as a player might the answer to their 3rd base woes sitting on the bench in sunny

SoCal ?? Why not take a chance

on Wilson Betemit ?? A change of scenery might do both players good. Betemit is young, has power, can play more than one position and seemed to do better than ok filling in for Chipper in Atlanta. Personally, i think it would be a steal.

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