Philly Holiday

By jason keen
Updated: December 3, 2008

I sit here and listen to Howard Eskine on the radio, not becuase I like him, not because I value his opinion, but becuase others do. I listen because I love to argue and prove that his pompass, know-it-all solutions are not always right.

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year. Major league team representatives extend Halloween into a week long event seeing who can give the most tricks and receive the most treats.

Today, I am listening to two possbile trade talks on the radio, both involving Matt Holiday. One that would include Jason Werth and Carlos Corasko and one that would include Ryan Madson, Jason Donald, Lou Marson and Greg Golson.

Ruben Amaro, newly appointed Phillies General Manager, would have to be completely out of his mind to give away too many prospects for a high calaber player for one year. If this post-season has taught us anything, it is that pitching and defense wins championships. The Rockies are losing Fuentes to free agency and are in dire need of a closer. Would I be happy with Corasko, Madson and Werth, absolutely not, for multiple reasons.

First, Madson improved by leaps and bounds in the second half of the season throwing in the mid to upper 90′s when his innings were trimmed. Since his move to the 8th in pitcher in September, Madson had a small .064 ERA in 13 appearances, striking out 17 in 14 innings. In the playoffs he posted a 2.13 era going 1-0 and striking out 12 in 12 and 2/3 innings.

Second, Jayson Werth has obviously proven himself as a big league starter who in his last 673 at bats has 116 runs, 190 its, 32 dingers, 6 three-baggers, 119 ribbies, 101 walks, 27 stolen bases, with a .282 batting average. Of course he will not have tally 673 plate appearances next year but these are not bad numbers for a guy who was splitting time in right field the last two years.

Third, Jason Donald is a star in the making. In 92 games at Reading last year, he hit .307 with 19 doubles, 4 triples, 14 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 13 chances. In 21 games in winter ball he is hitting .400 with 9 doubles, 2 triples and 3 home runs. This is not a guy who is getting lucky. In 134 games in 2007 he hit .304 with 31 doubles, 8 triples and 12 home runs.

And how did he play against the world’s best in the Olympics this past summer. He led the team with a .381 batting average, a .571 slugging percentage and a .536 on base percentage. Not too bad for a guy who was known for his fielding in college.

Sure, the Phillies are trying to win back to back and need to pick up a starting pitcher and a left fielder. The majority of Burrell’s $14 million contract will go towards several of our players are arbitration eligible including Hamels and Howard. Phills fans should be much more inclined to pick up a left fielder from free agency like Milton Bradley then trade away three great prospects.

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