Eagles Trade Kolb to Arizona (Finally).

Get Ready to be Disappointed, 11.

I was never a Kevin Kolb fan.  In a lot of ways he reminds me of the pitching prospects that have been moving through Philly in recent years.  Kendrick, Happ and now Worley.  Some success, some promise, but nothing really dynamic.  It’s always best to sell high on these guys in my opinion.  Because, isn’t Kolb really just a more polished A.J. Feeley?  The deal sending Kolb to Arizona for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd round pick was finalized Thursday afternoon, and it allows the Eagles to get on with the business of signing Michael Vick and not having any linebackers.  Kolb will receive an extension from the Cardinals.

Kolb’s real value is simply that he’s a rarity.  It is a lot harder than you’d think to find someone who can play the quarterback position with any aplomb.  There are 32 teams and far fewer quality quarterbacks.  Depending on your definition, upwards of 20 teams could honestly use an upgrade.  They just aren’t out there, though, and so teams constantly draft them high or overpay for unproven guys like Kolb.  The mentored backup seems to be a popular route to getting a quarterback these days.  People see Aaron Rodgers, or even a guy like Matt Schaub, Matt Cassell and they think that any quarterback they pluck from a good system is going to flourish.

I doubt that will be the case with Kolb.  He could very well be serviceable, if he can stay on the field.  He lasted all of 1/2 of football last season and that more than anything sealed his fate in Philadelphia.  You had to be able to run and hide to play quarterback in Philly last year and Kolb couldn’t do either.  I just don’t see a skill that is going to allow Kolb to progress to elite status.  His numbers, on a good team with plenty of talent around him were not good.  A touted accurate thrower Kolb completes 61% of his passes (not an eye-popping figure, especially in this offense), he’s thrown 14 picks to 11 INTs and his career rating is just 73.2.  I honestly have no idea why Larry Fitzgerald was so interested in getting him to Arizona.  I guess a year of working with DA, Max Hall and John Skelton can skew your perspective.  Kolb probably looked like Jeff George out there casually throwing lasers.

But even with Fitzgerald and the decent receiving corps in place, Arizona is not the sweetest landing spot.   The Cardinals yielded 50 sacks last year and Kolb is no magician in the pocket.  The running game in Arizona is a mess. They were dead last in the league in 2010 in rushing yards per game.  This isn’t going to be like Aaron Rodgers stepping in for the Packers, and it isn’t even going to be like Kolb taking over the reins for the Eagles.  Kolb is given a 5-11 team and asked to make something happen.  It’s a huge risk by the Cards, but like I said, they don’t have much choice.  Burn more picks?  Kyle Orton?  Pick your poison.

The trade for the Eagles will get a lot better if the Cardinals don’t have a good year and that 2nd rounder turns into a high pick.  Otherwise, Rodgers-Cromartie is definitely an upgrade for the secondary, but still plenty of questions on defense for the Eagles, like who is going to make tackles?  Bottom line?  See you later, Kolb.  It was a nightmare while it lasted.


Learning From Armchair GMs.

Listen Up, Ruben.

Beltran to San Francisco and Cain beats Hamels all on the same night.  Bitter pill.  I said last week that I wouldn’t be thrilled if Beltran ended up in San Francisco, and I still wouldn’t call it good news.  Look at San Francisco’s outfielders. They’re all worse than Beltran by a good margin.  He’s not going to rejuvenate their whole offense, but he gives them some one swing potential that they were sorely lacking.  And, not only was that trade completed, but the Phillies played out a little NLCS deja vu last night that has sent a good portion of the fan base into a panic.  Matt Cain, if you haven’t heard, is now Bob Gibson.  With Kendrick going against Lincecum tonight, they might as well cancel the rest of the season.

It certainly wasn’t a great effort from the Phils last night.  I sat there in the stands and watched them collect four hits and one fortunate run, but I saw them hit some balls hard.  It’s not like Cain piled up 16 strikeouts.  He was very good, I’m not saying the Phils should have scored 5 or 6 runs, but they had some chances.  Chase Utley ripped a ball to center with the tying run on base in the 8th, but to read the game story it sounds like a can of corn.  And, I think that’s because part of the fan base (and the writers who cater to them) wanted this to happen.  They want to jump out of their chairs and yell, “See! We lost to the Giants again!  We’re not good enough!  I told you so!”

The Giants are a good team, and if the Phillies met them in the playoffs it would be a stout test, because you aren’t going to score a ton of runs off them (add whichever bat you’d like it doesn’t matter) and I fear that Charlie will perpetually be outmaneuvered by Bruce Bochy.  I still can’t fathom why Rollins is bunting a guy over last night.  All due respect to Mikey Mart, but I’m taking my chances on Rollins getting a base hit.  Especially since he doesn’t bunt much and Wilson Valdez is very slow for a man of his dimensions.

But forget about that, the result last night triggered quite the reaction online.  If you ever want to see Phillies fans reduced to their simplest ingredients, the comment threads at Philly.com are always a good place to look.  Now, in response to the game last night, you can’t take them too seriously.  It’s just raw emotion.  You might as well run over someone’s dog and then ask them for a comment.  That’s what happened last night.  But, what about on wounds that aren’t so fresh.  Surely there are educated people out there.  What about the Beltran deal?  And Pence, what are the thoughts on him?  Let’s take a look.  A sampling of the 125+ comments from yesterday’s Philly.com article:

“Neither Beltran nor Pence have fantastic numbers batting RH this year–the main reason we need them.”

–Of course, Hunter Pence is a right-handed hitter, so this year, hitting right-handed his numbers are: .307/11/62

The only “sure thing” about Ed Wade is that he’s getting fired at the end of the season.”

 –Well played.

“This is the dumbest article Bob Brookover has ever written.”

–The article was written by Matt Gelb.

“The Giants are a threat in the post-season because they always get hot at the right time like they did last year.”

–Of course, before last year, they hadn’t been hot at the right time since 1954.

FIP, WAR.  You should stick to fantasy baseball, Gelb.  Maybe you can become a GM…and acquire high UZR and high WAR players that should win 120 and then complain how unlucky it was when they finish under .500.”

–It always comes back to the metrics.

“Relax girls, keep are panties pulled up…plenty of time.”

–If only the are/our hadn’t crossed him up.

“Again, what has friggin Dominic Brown shown anyone to warrant such elite status in the organization?! Are you serious?! He’s a butcher in the field and can’t hit. He’s the LAST guy I want in the field in the latter portion of Game 6 or 7 of the NLDS, NLCS or World Series! The LAST! Dom Brown untouchable is a laughable premise. So please, let’s keep it real up in here: Hunter Pence is one of the best outfielders in baseball, and is an above average hitter. INCLUDE BROWN IN A TRADE FOR PENCE, IF NECESSARY!”

–Not sure if this was written before or after Dom’s adventure last night.

Dom Brown has the same potential that Jeff Stone had.  How many All-Star teams did Jeff make?  ZERO.”

–Brown reminds me more of a poor man’s Von Hayes.

Using advanced Sabermetrics, we can determine with a high degree of accuracy Vance Worley’s likely stats for the rest of his career.”

–Sarcasm.  I chuckled.

How about thinking out of the box when it comes to a blockbuster deal? Would the Phillies consider trading Howard and a high-rated minor leader prospect for Pence and another relative high-paid veteran prospect (Brett Meyers) cand help the Phils now or be traded for someone else useful. For Houston, this arrangement would help reduce the burnden of taking on Howard’s contract. The Phils could throw in a few million if need be. They could also bring up one of the presently blocked, left-handed first badmen. Houston’s GM, given his ex-Phillies ties, might be interested in acquiring Howard if it could be done without breaking the bank.”

–To summarize that’s Howard and a prospect for Pence and a “veteran prospect” like Brett Myers.  The Phils will then have room for Matt Rizzotti.  And, if it’s too much of a burnden (sic) for Houston, just toss in a few million.

“Dom Brown is a mutt.  I’d drive him to Houston if that’s what it takes.”

–The Astros are stingy with relocation allowances from what I hear.

See that?  The answer is in there somewhere.  You just have to know where to look.