Monday, November 03, 2003

The Players to Be Named

Besides Brandon Duckworth, the Phillies gave up minor leaguers Taylor Buchholz and Ezequiel Astacio to obtain Billy Wagner, according at a brief story posted recently on the Inquirer/Daily News Web site.

You'll hear the words "change of scenery" wafting up hopefully from Houston between now and Opening Day as Astros fans try to convince themselves that all the 27-year-old Duckworth needs is a new place to pitch. But the real key to the deal is Buchholz, a 22-year-old on whom the Phillies have been high for a while. He spent last season at Double-A Reading, where he went 9-11 with a 3.55 ERA. Astacio turns 24 tomorrow; he was 15-5, 3.29 at Single-A Clearwater.

Buchholz is the kind of guy Ed Wade wouldn't part with in order to rent a player as the trading deadline approached. I would have preferred to see the Phillies be bolder than they were last July, but Wade has moved swiftly and surely again this off-season. In Wagner the Phils get a proven, top-shelf closer, which to me is worth the risk that Duckworth will rediscover his mojo or that Buchholz will continue to blossom into a good big league starter.


Post a Comment

<< Home