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Will Schilling Return to Philly?

October 16, 2007 | By RotoRob | comment on this post

No, we’re not even done the playoffs yet, but for teams who are now on the sidelines, the Hotstove Lounge season has already begun.

Today, we’ll examine a few potential moves that are gaining momentum in Philadelphia. Word is spreading like wildfire that Curt Schilling will return to the Phillies this offseason on a one-year deal with an option for a second season.

Schilling, of course, toiled for the Phils from 1992 to 2000, so he’s no stranger to the City of Brotherly Love. His hit rates weren’t bad this year, but he definitely benefited from an excellent infield defense behind him in Boston (not that Philadelphia’s is much worse, if any).

This could wind up being a good move, providing the Phils with another veteran starter to help beef up a pitching staff that was decimated by injuries this season. Of course, Schilling isn’t exactly as durable as he once was, is he?

The Phillies are also said to be targeting Mariano Rivera, assuming the Yanks will let him leave. If that happens, will Brett Myers be headed back to the rotation? It’s definitely something keeper league owners need to consider.

This season, Rivera had the highest ERA of his career, save his rookie season, when he split the year as a starter and reliever. But his second-half numbers ” including an ERA of just over 2.50 ” suggest he’s far from done. And after spending his entire career baffling American League hitters with one pitch, imagine how long it will take NLers to catch on to his stuff.

Re-signing J.C. Romero is another move the Phillies will explore. Pitching in the NL obviously agrees with this lefty specialist. He was untouchable after landing in Philly from the BoSox (15 hits allowed in 36 1/3 innings), making him one of the more dependable left-handed set-up men in the game. I can’t see him coming close to those kinds of numbers again, but as long as they don’t sign him for longer than a year or two, it will be a wise investment.

There’s also talk Philly will try to beef up the pen further by going after David Riske, who enjoyed an excellent season in KC. Adding him, yet another reliever who has spent his entire career in the AL, could be a great move if the price is right. Riske was quite durable last year, and he’s hard to hit.

Finally, veteran infielder Mark Loretta’s name has been bandied about as someone the Phils could eye this winter. I have always liked Loretta, but I sure as hell hope the Phils aren’t considering him for anything but a super-sub role. If they think he’s the answer for the revolving door that is third base in Philly, this is a real bad idea. Loretta works best as a secondary performer, someone capable of filling in at any infield spot and doing a decent job with a maximum of, say, 450 at-bats.

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