Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Does Feliz Deal Mean No More Pitching?

I have been hearing mixed opinions as to whether the signing of Pedro Feliz was good or bad for the Phillies. My post yesterday was mostly negative, as I pointed out that he is a poor hitter who makes too many outs. He is also another hitter who can't take a pitch, and at there are already plenty of those types of players in the Phils line-up. Yes, he does have some pop, and we are possibly looking at an infield that will hit 140 home runs, but it feels like adding more of the same kind of player. To me, the positives for Feliz begin and end with his glove, as he is known as one of the better fielding third basemen around.

More importantly, does this deal mean that the Phillies are done signing players this off season? If that is the case, then I think they have failed to accomplish what they set out to do: get more pitching. The hitting was not a problem last year, as the Phils led the NL in runs scored. It was their pitching that held them back. Their only significant off season pitching acquisitions were Brad Lidge and Chad Durbin. The Phillies lost Geoff Geary, Kyle Lohse, Jon Leiber, Freddy Garcia, Jose Mesa and Antonio Alfonseca. While not all of those players were very useful, that is still a lot of depth that is leaving the organization. The trade for Lidge was huge, because it gives the Phillies a closer and allows Myers to move back into the starting rotation, but the team is still left one starter short. And anyone that thinks Chad Durbin is going to be that starter is mistaken, he is only going to be a long relief guy. The bullpen appears to be set, and actually might be quite good if Tom Gordon returns to form, so that leaves the rotation as the main worry.

Here is the current Phillies rotation:
1. Cole Hamels
2. Brett Myers
3. Kyle Kendrick
4. Jamie Moyer
5. Adam Eaton

That is a decent group, but the Phillies failed to add a fifth starter that could either push Eaton or replace him completely. If the Phillies used the money they used to signed Feliz on someone like Kyle Lohse, the rotation would look a lot stronger. We all know that the Phillies work on some kind of invisible salary cap, so let's hope that have a little bit more money left to spend on one more starting pitcher. If not, we could be looking at a lot more 10-8 and 12-7 games.

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