With two weeks to go before the start of the season, and opening day tickets safely secured, our silence in these parts shouldn’t misconstrued as apathy. We’re just letting our job overwhelm us, as well as the task of starting our own indie record label. The second item has been made more difficult by a third factor, the continuing elusive whereabouts of our debut CD, currently lost somewhere in a UPS facility in Georgia (the state not the country, thank God). For those that have been following along, our first CD, called Caught Looking only because we really like the title and felt compelled to use it for something, will be officially released as soon as Brown can do something for us. For a sneak peek at the music, you can always hop on over to here.
Once the season starts, however, it will be back to baseball for this site and the dispatches from the music front will be kept to a minimum. We’ve been trying to figure out how to sustain this thing, considering we’re out of market and the explosion of Phillies blogs since last season has made the room a bit crowded. So, we think this year’s niche will most likely be pitching. Not that we don’t love the hitters and all, but really this season’s success is going to be made by how much improved the starters turn out to be and how much luck the club squeezes out of its seemingly overmatched bullpen.
Unlikely late-hour trades not withstanding, it will be interesting to see how the team solves the Lieber quandary. Move him to the pen and he may turn out to answer some questions, but doing so probably drops his trade value to an all-time low, all but quashing the hopes of landing a Scott Linebrink unless something catastrophic happens on a mound somewhere in another division. Flip him for a reliever or what-have-you and then answer me this? Who starts when Eaton gets hurt? How comfortable are you with Eude Brito (who may just make the team as the second lefty out of the pen – the Castro spot) or JA Happ starting a game in the major leagues?
In anycase, we like the Lieber out of the pen idea as a forced solution. The walks are low, he hasn’t really had arm issues since surgery, and as relievers like Bob Wickman demonstrate, it’s a good place to go when conditioning is an issue. Bringing the round guy in from the pen is almost a baseball tradition in the modern age. Lieber doesn’t necessarily hold runners on well and his fielding is lacking to say the least, but he works quickly and is a sinkerballer. On this team, 100 average innings out of the pen might be worth more than 200 average innings out of the gates.
No way to know now, but it’s worth thinking about. Especially since it looks like it’s going to happen.