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Friday, October 28, 2005


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In Arbuckle's defense, I would say:

(1) Phils have traded a number of guys away (Carlos Silva comes to mind, but I'm sure there are others I am blanking out on) that ended up being decent major leaguers;

(2) Phils have traded some prospect, that while they ended up flopping, they were thought highly enough of while prospects to net us good players (e.g., Duckworth, Buckholz, and Astacio for Wagner or Estrada for Millwood - well, we thought Millwood would be good); and,

most significantly, (3) he has been really handicapped for several years in a row, as the Phils keep signing free agents at the cost of giving up their first round pick.

Jason: Thanks for fleshing out Arbuckle's resume, a service to us all. I would have to agree with kuff6 that Arbuckle did labor under the distinct disadvantage for several drafts when the Phils gave up picks as compensation for free agent signings. In his four years as head of scouting and development he has done a more than credible job under the circumstances. When we look at the Phils drafts over the years, before and after Arbuckle, we also shouldn't forget the name J.D.Drew.

I hear you loud and clear, kuff, and apologize because I should have made those points clearer - especially on draft picks.

Here's a question: As head of scouting, what's there to scout when you don't have high draft picks and your GM won't trade for prospects?

Whilst we have developed a number of players under arbuckle, I can't help but look to the braves and how much more ready the majority of their prospects (particularly pitchers) are when they hit the major leagues. Our inability to do same must in part be down to arbuckle. Granted, in recent years, our position players who have been promoted have done well - the exception is byrd - so perhaps we're better at producing them.

But with the exception of Silva, those of our pitching prospects who have been traded away have been average at best, and often worse than that - and it feels like much the same with the starting pitchers we have retained. Would arbuckle's influence over how we draft and develop pitchers continue if he was GM?

I don't think arbuckle's tenure has been bad, but his preference for high-school pitchers, and his rigidity in the face of sabremetrics (Does anyone remember his interview with Neyer on ages ago? He was fair spikey when sabremetrics came up) makes me feel we could do with a new approach within the organisation. I hope he looks to go if he doesn't get the post.

erm, I must apologise - I've found a link to that original interview, and arbuckle doesn't come across as nearly as spikey as I remembered. In fact, much more measured than I remember, although somewhat conservative in his answers. For anyone interested, the link is:

It seems to work even if you don't have insider access.

Oisin: Thanks for that Arbuckle interview. It is very illuminating.

Jason: Re: a discussion we were having the other night. Wade did start out as a PR intern according to the interview cited above.

All very interesting. Arbuckle comes off as someone who plays things close to the vest.

Tom G, I agree with what you're saying about arbuckle. Having re-read the interview, I'm not nearly as opposed to the idea of him as GM . However, I retain my concerns about our coaching at minor-league level, and I strongly feel that as well as some players have come along, they have arrived at the major leagues with holes in their games (Jimmy's impatience, Burrell's swing, Myer's emotional make-up).

Our inability to develop more well-rounded players is down to coaches' approach and the person who clearly makes those decisions is arbuckle - and that, Jason, answers your question about what a head of scouting and minor league development should be doing if he can't get the best prospects - get the best out of the prospects we have.

Oisin: As Jasson pointed out in one of his posts a few weeks ago, the Phillies haven't always had the best people managing and teachng at the minor league level. It's difficult to know at whose feet those missteps lie. As I mentioned this AM on Swing and a Miss, Mike Schmidt was one of those bad decisions to manage in the minors. Fortunately, he removed himself after one season.

Hooray, about time they interviewed Hunsicker!

Please, please give him the job NOW!

I agree that Arbuckle's hands were tied somewhat, but he does bear a certain amount of responsibility for the minor leagues.

Did anyone notice that Schmitty is interviewing for the Tampa Bay manager's job?

Guess he changed his mind!

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