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Phillies looking for left-handed bench bat, but will Jim Thome or Jason Giambi get to them on waivers?

Aug 18, 2011, 12:16 PM EST

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Last week the Phillies signed Jack Cust to a minor-league contract as a potential left-handed bench bat, but Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that they’re still looking to add a lefty swinging veteran for the stretch run.

Jim Thome would be the most obvious solution, as he played for the Phillies from 2003 to 2005 and remains very productive in a part-time role for the Twins at age 41, with Minnesota perhaps open to trading the future Hall of Famer after he reached 600 homers Monday.

Another, similar option is Jason Giambi, who said last month that he’d be interested in re-signing with the Rockies for next season even if they traded him this year. Giambi has hit very well in a limited role behind Todd Helton.

They would both represent significant upgrades over Ross Gload and Brian Schneider while giving manager Charlie Manuel a late-inning weapon in the playoffs. Of course, Brookover speculates that other NL teams would put claims in on Thome or Giambi just to block the Phillies from potentially dealing for them, in which case calling up Cust or recalling Dominic Brown might be their best option.

  1. spudchukar - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    They should be concentrating on 3B first. Also keep in mind they will need a DH, if they get that far, and lefties like Wilson, Holland, Harrison, Sabathia, Lester, and Bedard could cause them trouble, so emphasis on a righty off the bench might be a second need before Thome or Giambi.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:26 PM

      Charlie will use Ibanez as the DH and Mayberry Jr. in left if they get that far. Not saying I agree with keeping Ibanez in the line-up, that is just what he will do.

  2. drmonkeyarmy - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    Schneider gets a pass from me because the Phillies have some ridiculous record in games he starts…like 23-3 or something. I know it is a statistical anomaly and has little to do with him because he is not very good but I give him a pass anyway. As most people know, I think Gload is useless this season, so I will skip over that. What they should consider doing, is starting Mayberry Jr. in left field more frequently and see if Ibanez is able to be a PH. Of course, Ibanez’s stats against power pitchers this year are terrible.. worse than his overall numbers and most likely he would be facing a power pitcher out of the pen, so I don’t know if that is the answer either. I guess they can give Brandon Moss a look see in September. Not thrilled about any of the options really. However, the addition by the subtraction of Gload is bound to be an improvement in and of itself.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:59 PM

      Ibanez is only good in spurts…like he’ll go 1-40 then 10-25. You can’t bring him off the bench cold because he won’t be effective that way….least IMHO.

      I’ve said it time and time again…if the Phillies are at the point where a left-handed bat off the bench is the difference between winning and losing a series, then it doesn’t matter if you have Babe Ruth coming off the bench. This team wins and loses with it’s pitching. Sure, I’d love an upgrade over Gload, but if he is all they have, and they need him to win a series, well…in the words of Quint…

      Farewell and adieu to you, Spanish ladies,
      Farewell and adieu to you, ladies of Spain;
      For we’ve received orders…….

      • kellyb9 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:25 PM

        “it doesn’t matter if you have Babe Ruth coming off the bench. This team wins and loses with it’s pitching.” Unless, of course, Babe Ruth is coming off your bench as a pitcher ;-)

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:48 PM

        Yeah, I realize that about Ibanez. His career numbers as a pinch hitter are also appalling. While I don’t necessarily think a left handed bat is an extreme difference maker, I’m just tired of watching the person formally known as Ross Gload bat. It is driving me crazy.

      • firedude7160 - Aug 19, 2011 at 12:16 AM

        I don’t want this to be taken as me defending Ibanez. This is just my opinion. I believe that Ibanez might benefit from not having to play the field. I think he would be better served with just focusing on hitting. I know this does not help us now, but I wanted to get some other opinions

  3. Jonny 5 - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    I’d get a boner if they picked up either of these guys for the bench. Wait, did I just type that?

    • Alex K - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:50 PM

      You know we can’t unread that, right? *shudder*

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:01 PM

        Sorry Alex. For my coworkers sake I hope that if a deal does get done, it’s on the weekend.

  4. nategearhart - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    Holy crap, you guys. Giambi has 28 hits this year, and 12 of them are homers. That’s unreal.

    • firedude7160 - Aug 19, 2011 at 12:19 AM

      And three came in the May 19th game against the Phillies. I would much rather have him hitting them for us

  5. jimeejohnson - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    While not a Phillies fan, I fully expect them to win it all this year, and wish them the best. Don’t expect them to implode like last season.

    • b7p19 - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:59 PM

      Very clever, going with the jinx method…

  6. cakrywyj - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    Concentrate on 3B in waivers? That won’t get you anything better than what they have now. Polonco should be back by the weekend so I’m assuming they don’t think they need any help at 3B. If they were to get Thome, there’s your DH and bat off the bench. Worst case Martinez plays 3B and hits 8th. Polonco would hit 7th anyway so it’s not devastating if he’s not in the lineup

  7. mikedi33 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Hideki Matsui supposedly gas already cleared waivers and he fits the bill perfectly

    • seanmk - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:29 PM

      great suggestion.

  8. bleedgreen - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    I hate to say this, but the way everyone else in the offense has been producing since the ASB, we don’t really miss Polly’s bat. And someone with a hernia playing 3B isn’t going to help much as he can’t jump or dive for balls. Martinez and Valdez are fine defensive replacements, and while you can combine their offensive contributions they may approach a healthy Polanco, the way everyone else is clicking right now, we don’t NEED it. Of course everyone could go cold at the same time again, but I doubt it. Seems every game, theres someone going 3-4 with a walk, or something. Last night it was Pence, night before it was Utley.

  9. stackers1 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    Jack Cust – I seen him eat a rockin’ chair once.

    • bjavie - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:21 PM

      Thumbs down?!?! That’s funny stuff.

      He didn’t eat a car, did he?

  10. rjmarrella - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    Bring Big Jim Back!

  11. macjacmccoy - Aug 19, 2011 at 7:15 AM

    Actually there best option would probably be starting John Mayberry in Left Field and using Ibanez as the Left Handed bat off the bench. Mayberry has out performed everybody the Phillies have played in the outfield this year except Victorino (Pence too but he doesnt really qualify, he hasnt been here long enough). For a guy who has basically been on the bench all year his counting number totals are pretty good he just hit his 10th HR 35th RBI and scored his 22nd R last night in his 175th at bat. Better then a lot guys with 300+ AB. The Kid deserves his shot.

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