Lock and Gloaded

"Wes, I told you to stop trying to dance with me."

"Wes, I told you to stop trying to dance with me."

See, this is funny because I was just talking to Michael Jong about how I empathize with him for having to pay Wes Helms to be a giant slug.  We both had a hardy laugh about how Helms and the Marlins’ back up first baseman, a certain Ross Gload, were experts at wasting space.

And now Gload, a man whose name sounds more like a bodily fluid (“Dude, there’s still some gload stains in the carpet.”) than any other I have ever heard, is wearing a Phillies uniform.

Okay, the guy led the majors in pinch hits  last year (21) and is a lifetime .308 pinch hitter.  He can play first and anywhere in the outfield, even though Greg Dobbs can backup first (Remember when Howard got hurt in 2007 and Dobbs took over for like a week or two and went on a god damn tear, hitting about as many home runs as Ryan would have hit anyway?  Ha ha, memories).  So it’s a safe bet that Gload’s job is to be the new Matt Stairs; a guy who can come into the game when we need a hit (Although that’s pretty far from what Stairs was by the end of things).

You might say he’ll find a better home in the Phillies roster, as he is coming into a bench that really fell off its game in 2009.  Dobbs is not the definitive offensive pinch hitter he was, Matt Stairs is going to be offered a minor league contract, and… uh, who else was there?  Oh yeah.  Eric Bruntlett.  Ha, ha, ha.

So Gload’s bat will come in handy.

With the bullpen being the last item on Amaro’s check list of offseason management, you might be wondering, “What the hell’s going on?”

Well, I’ll tell you. Chan Ho Park claims he is a starting pitcher again, and has had interest from six other clubs.  Though he has never said whether they are offering him a starter’s role.  And Scott Eyre is pretty much staying mute.

Amaro seems to be getting sick of this crap (I mean, you’re going to wait until the eleventh hour to change your position, Chan Ho?) and doesn’t seem to care if he has to cut these guys loose, giving Antonio Bastardo and Sergio Escalona more time in 2010.  He’s also putting a lot of his eggs in Chad Durbin and Clay Condrey’s baskets, desiring to reach an agreement before the arbitration deadline as well (Dec. 12).

Amaro has claimed he’s perfectly willing to stick Scott Mathieson and his dual Tommy John surgery-ed arm in the bullpen after he showcased a dangerous fastball in Reading this year.  Ruben’s clearly a guy not afraid to try new things and take everybody’s advice, which I appreciate now with Park and Eyre dragging their feet.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to see both relievers come back to the bullpen, they were both effective and skillful in their appearances.  If Park thinks he’s going to make the starting rotation on a World Series-bound club, he’s living in a dream world.

Topics: Arbitration, Chan Ho Park, Offseason, Philadelphia Phillies, Ross Gload, Ruben Amaro, Winter Meetings

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  • http://marlinmaniac.com/ Michael Jong

    But here’s the thing, Justin. Gload’s only effective position is first base. While I’m sure he’s not Matt Stairs-bad in the outfield, he likely isn’t a whole lot better.

    And the so-called “pinch-hitting” skill? Well, take away this season’s strong pinch hitting and you have a career .287/.309/.404 pinch hitter. Of course, we could project it, and you’d expect something in between. Now consider that you now have two guys off the bench who can only pinch-hit, and they’ll be splitting those duties. If he gets 60 PA as a PH, he’d be lucky to be worth very little; anything less and it gets worse.

    In short, you’re paying whatever you’re paying ($900K a year?) for “veteran leadership.” Enjoy your veteran-tude! As you say it, when you have more worries on the plate to be spending even that kind of small amount on, you have to wonder why your GM is throwing money away filling in bench players.