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Thursday, May 25, 2006


i dont get it...
why is bobby unpopular ?

These are hunches, of course, but here we go:

1. I see Bobby being traded to either the Yankees or Orioles before the end of the year. The Cubs might be another option. If he goes to NY it will be for the entire balance of his salary primarily and not what the Phils get in the way of a player.

2. Shane Victorino will take over in right. He can make the adjustment in the field. It's too early to know how well he will hit over time, but one thing I have noticed is a hitch in his swings from the left side.

3. The Phillies are going to acquire a catcher before the start of next season if not earlier. Mike Lieberthal's health precludes re-signing him even for a one year deal. It will be Carlos Ruiz backing up someone to be named later. Sal Fasano will retire and open a Pizza shop in South Philadelphia.

4. David Bell is going to re-sign for a one year deal. The Phillies have no one in the minors who can take his spot; they haven't any interest in Nunez playing there even on a platoon basis; and more importantly, they have bigger holes to fill. The only question here is, will he want to return?

5. The bullpen will see the departures of at least Aaron Fultz and Rheal Cormier as things stand. Ryan Madson's future there depends entirely on Gavin Floyd and Cole Hamels. Is Rhodes worth another $3.7 million next year? Not if they are going to use him like they have been.

6. Speaking of Hamels, comments in today's papers make it fairly clear the Phillies are not counting on him going forward. How could they? Gillick sounded less than sanguine.

7. If Randy Wolf returns this season and pitches reasonably well, the Phillies are likely to try and re-sign him. It's hard to imagine many other clubs taking a chance on him...even Kansas City.

8. Pat Burrell will still be here next season. For one thing, they cannot trade both Abreu and Burrell because there is no one other than Victorino who looks ready to step in.

9. If Victorino becomes an every day player, the J-Roll experiment at the top of the order will be over with. There are many folks who believe it should have already come to an end. I remain mixed on that topic though I have no good argument againtt moving him down in the order.

WHile I'm not against trading Abreu per se, I think we would need to get either and near all-star C or #1 or #2 starter in return. Vic has been great but he is not nearly as valuable in RF as he is in CF...assuming Abreu is traded for a P, would the lineup look like this?

Rotating Stiff

Well, that doesn't look so bad after all. Assuming we get a legitimate starter in return, a trade could help the team. The problem I see is that if we trade Abreu now, there is no way you will get equal value. I don't see anyone on the Yankees or Orioles I would want.

Add up Abreu's horrible defense, declining stats, and his salary and Gillick has Mission Impossible.

Speaking of Rollins... He has the lowest OBP of anyone on the field, save Ruiz and Fasano's moustache. His career OBP is lower than any of the regulars' this year, even Bell's and Lieberthal's. The only leadoff hitters with OBP as bad as Rollins' this year are Juan Pierre, Julio Lugo and Jose Reyes. Pierre and Lugo have better career OBP and Reyes, well, at least he swipes 60 bags a year with 80% success (though he's still a bad leafoff hitter). Yeah, I think this long-running experiment needs to stop.

Good interview, Jason. Congratulations.

FWIW, I believe the appeal of blogging is not just in stats (although true) but in accountability. If one of us makes a ridiculous statement, we can be called on it and must justify our opinions with something other than ad hoc attacks. Therefore, good bloggers tend to have credibility. It's a good thing to have one's opinions valued.

Fair point PK. Related to that is that blogging helps avoid is the 'stephen a. smith effect'. No one feels the need to toss out a truly outrageous statement just because they need to look sharp to their editor, or have a reputation for being caustic.

The flipside though is that I think it does take a long time to get a feel for when you should ditch or put up a piece. You have to learn to be pretty tough on yourself as an editor.

Half of the trades posed for Abreu on this site on outright foolish. Couple of things about Abreu's contract:

1. Abreu will make $15 million in 2007
2. Abreu has a no-trade clause through the life of his contract
3. Abreu will likely only wave his no-trade clause until his option for $16 million in 2008 is picked up.

Only way Gillick will be able to trade Abreu and get anything decent in return is if Phils eat a portion of his contract in 2007 (and most likely in 2008) or pick up other contracts near in value.

Phils' ownership is notoriously thriftly at times and fans should remember they already gave $22 million to the White Sox in the Thome trade this winter. No way the Phils will give another team $10-$15 million to take Abreu.

Abreu's contract is a millstone around the Phils salary structure. Ideal scenario is the Gillick is able to duplicate the Thome trade. I would love for the Phils to trade Abreu for immediate help at the big-league level (Catcher, Third Base, or 2nd or 3rd starting) and get 1 or 2 decent prospects.

Another important point about Gillick is that he is still in the early stages of remaking this team. This team is still almost entirely Ed Wade's roster (good and the bad).

While Gillick hasn't been afraid to makes changes or admit mistakes (goodbye Gonzalez), I don't see the Phils being able to make alot of big moves this year besides changing the manager. Not alot of prospects for the Phils to trade and Phils' ownership seems reluctant to take on a big contract.

From the way things are shaping up, the 2007 Phils will have alot of different faces including a new catcher, new 3rd, new RF, entirely new bench, and a bunch of new faces in the bullpen.

Victorino is batting leadoff today. Rollins 6th.

despite all the hand-wringing about Abreu's "declining stats," he's got a .274 average and OPS in excess of .900. I will go out on a limb and predict that Victorino will never reach that level (much as I like him as a player), and the improved defense will not come close to filling the gap. Abreu's certainly having problems with his power this season (although I wouldn't bet against him eventually hitting 25 or so HR), but he's still on pace for 40+ doubles, 30 stolen bases and over 100 RBI. Abreu's closest comparison is Bernie Williams, who somehow managed to post several very good offensive seasons at age 32 and beyond.

I don't have any problem with trading him, but I really hope Gillick doesn't share the completely unfounded alarmist attitude taken by some (most?) Phillies fans. because that's a good way to get into Rob Neyer's Baseball Blunders II.

Thank you, Cholly!

My Pal Sal's Pizza Emporium. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

I think it may be premature to annoint Victorino as Abreu's successor. To be sure, he's a gamer who plays good defense, has some pop in his bat...and he's handled himself very well in Rowand's absence. But I don't know what the results would be over 150 games. I like him more as a fourth outfielder. I have a feeling he'd give you something like 15 HRs and a .260 average as an everyday player. Serviceable, but far from ideal...and no, not nearly as good as Abreu despite the more intense level of his playing.

As far as him being a leadoff hitter, I'd say that if anything, Victorino's even more of a wild hacker that Rollins, so that's not the answer there. Although I have to agree if Jimmy's not going to get on base, you have to try something else until he gets it going again.

Meanwhile, I can't believe Reyes hit yet another homer. Unreal.

Jason, your guy just pulled off a smart move as floyd eased off base too far, and got tagged for his troubles on a pickoff. I hope sal retires and chico eases into the majors at backup. Defensively, he's plenty sharp.

One thing which occasionally puzzles me about the "trade Abreu" faction: Why the heck would we trade our best hitter (other than arguably Chase Utley)? How are we going to replace his bat in the lineup?

I like Victorino a lot, but his hot start is not, I think, indicative of his overall ability. Bobby is much more consistent even in his slumps, and is getting on base at a strong clip and showing signs of life with the bat lately.

The only reason I'd have if I were Abreu for wanting to be traded is I might get lucky enough to go to a team such as Boston or Oakland, where my strengths were appreciated rather than my shortcomings harped on.

PK - I think teams like Boston or Oakland are the teams we have to look at trading abreu to. If they want him, we get good value for him. He's the moneyball manager's dream. And oakland is usually not short of tradeable youngsters. pity we couldn't get chavez in return . . .

Good to see Chico got another hit. nice one.

Thanks MG for the perspective on Abreu...although to call him a millstone on the salary structure is going to far. He makes what, $13, $14M a year...I'm pretty sure that's the going rate for a guy who consistently puts up a .400 OBP, swipes 30 bags, hits 65-75 extra-base hits and has plus arm.
I think the team should apprach a trade from a perspective of strength, meaning make a team overwhlem you with an offer in order to make a trade...don't do it for some BS chemistry reason.

It's been disappointing that Ruiz and Roberson haven't been able to contribute. Hopefully Ruiz can have a strong finish to his abbreviated tenure with the team. I'd MUCH rather see him in there than Fasano regardless of his average, but I know that isn't going to happen.

Forgot to add that the real millstone are J-Roll's and the last year of Wolf's contact.


I don't normally sink this low (honest!) but I feel I have to share the following gem with you. According to SNY's commentators, Reyes is always looking to 'pull off' because of his 'quick hands'.

Nary a snigger.

would that more Phillies were "content with receiving walks."

Further comment on Lieber's pitching. SNY called Myers our Number One.

That's right, now that Rollins is going through a cold spell, he's suddenly worthless and his contract is a millstone. Okay.

Victorino just took a great catch - ran hard to his right, dived and snagged the ball before it touched grass.


This might be the single silliest thing I've read in years.

And Rick, I agree that Rollins' contract is a pretty good estimate on his actual value.

it's kind of hard to complain about Rollins when The Ten Million Dollar Man, Renteria, is in the same division.

Myers is up to 100 pitches now. Please, lord, don't let cholly take him out.

Interesting comments today on Abreu. I can see a clear division between fans who appreciate Abreu and those who just see him not go full-out all the time and therefore want him gone regardless of his production. Listen people...Manny Ramirez dogs it too, but you don't here Boston complaining about his production, so we shouldn't be complaing about what Abreu has done for us over the past 8 seasons. And it was nice to see Abreu go deep in the if he were reading this blog.

Speaking of today's game, we're crapping the bed again! Score 3 in the 1st then shut the offense down. Myers doesn't look great, but he doesn't look bad either, he's pitching well enough that he should win.

Ruiz needs to stay! His defense alone should keep him up and I'm convinced he'll figure out how to hit.

MG: Good points about Bobby. Still, I think he would approve a trade to NY and they can afford him.

RSB: I agree Victorino is probabl not much more than the hitter you describe.

That said, there is a feeling Bobby's time here is done and that comes largely from Gillick himself. There is no secret he tried to move Abreu and couldn't By end of July there will be another opportunity, not unlike when the Cardinals picked up Larry Walker at the same juncture in 2004. Bobby's departure is in the cards if not the stars. The issue now appears to be where, for how much and for whom.

He also seems "content" to score 100 runs per year, drive in 100 runs, hit 40 doubles and 20 homers.

Here are some other candidates for the "cancer" of the team:

Lieber - 10 Starts, 5.83ERA
Floyd - 9 Starts, 6.07 ERA
Madson(although obviously great two nights ago) - 6 starts, 5.98 ERA
Ruiz - 28 ABs, .299 OPS
Fassano - 64 ABs, .634 OPS (actually better than I thought)
J-ROll - .310 OBP at leadoff
Nunez - 53 ABs, .374 OPS!!!

To look at a team with this many key contributers puting up terrible numbers and blame the RF is to really miss the point.

I have faith Lieber will at least return to league avereage and that the catching tandem can improve, but J-Roll and Floyd are the two problems I would address (though there's nothing you can do w/ J-Roll other than drop him in the lineup).

What the hell...Jermi Gonzalez? He's horrible, why can't we score? By the way that was a rhetorical question, I'm fully aware of our struggles at bat.

Rollins is obviously a better player that what he's shown this year. It's frustrating when he goes in these prolonged tailspins, but I don't think he's going to end up with a .240 average. He's still as good as it gets in the field and he can help carry a team when he gets hot. Let's keep a little perspective.

MG, to say that it is easier to find a RF w/ a .900 OPS then a CF or SS is sort of specious...I mean it's easier to find a RF with a 1050 OPS too...but that doesn't mean it is EASY in and of itself.

In today's baseball economy, Rollins is worth every penny of his salary.

Carson, do we actually agree?

RSB...looks like we do agree. I think we've reached a milestone today (you and I).

Did you ever think Phans would miss Lieby so much?

Fassano - 64 ABs, .634 OPS
Ruiz - 28 ABs, .299 OPS
Lieby - 64 ABs, .735 OPS

RSB, I just took a look at Jimmy's stats over the past 4 years, and his bb's for april and may are pretty much the same year for year. His hitting was actually better in 2002-2003 (he managed 64 hits over april and may in '03) I agree with you - he won't finish on a .240 average, but having looked at those numbers (assuming jimmy's always going to stay the contact hitter) I wonder whether he will ever improve. We could certainly do with a better option at lead-off. The only noticeable different this year is that he's seeing more pitches at the plate - if not much else is changing, I wonder whether a bolt of lightning is ever going to strike.

Victorino just walked to lead the 7th. HE'S A CANCER TO THE TEAM AND HAS TO GO!!!!!

PK: That was beautiful.

OK, my bad, I thought J-Roll was at $10M per year, but I checked and it's only $7.5M. I would say however that his .310 OBP is not far from his .328 career number and that what we are seeing now is probably what we will see for the next four years.

Was the Renteria comment a joke? He's hitting .322/.408/.441.

Chase Utley is awesome!'re cracking me up today. I agree that walks are wonderful and I'm also all about the OPS stat. Walks are the same as a single in most cases, and walks really kill a pitcher's confidence and run up pitch counts. When a player walks a lot it's a sign that they are an intelligent yes I am saying, Abreu is smart at the plate. Yeah, I wish he would get a game winning hit all the time, but I don't think he should be getting blamed for what he does.

By the way, watching Victorino run is something of beauty. Also, I'll say it again, Utley is the best 2-sacker in the game.

V-Fer-Victorino can sub in for Jimmy anytime he wants. He Walks, he scores.

(he runs very hard).

Even for what he is, even if he never improves, I'll gladly take Rollins on my team.
As a leadoff hitter, he does leave much to be desired. I think he always will. I think that until they ever do get a true leadoff hitter, however, that he works okay there when he's hitting well, and can be moved down accordingly when he's slumping.

GREAT AB by Victorino to get on there. Awesome job.

When Rowand returns I fully believe that Victorino should get at least 3 starts a week. 1 for Abreu, 1 for Burrell, and 1 for Rowand. This plan keeps Victorino sharp and allows him to produce like we're seeing he can, and it also allows for the other 3 OF's to get needed rest to keep them healthier.

Repeat after me, Bobby on third...nobody out...


Let's saty it again, Bobby:


Why do you want a walk there? Do you want the run or is it someone else's job??

Carson, I agree and well said. Both Bobby and Pat are getting a little old (in baseball years) to be playing every day. Vic's was a great offseason pickup, and greatly needed off the bench.

That hideous sound you're all hearing stateside? That's my teeth grinding hard with SNY's epic platitudes on Apparently good teams overcome adversity, but bad teams fall apart and blame extenuating circumstances. Guess which the phils are meant to be. The mets of course never whinged about players in the lockerroom during post-season play. They just came together. And lost.

By the way, I'm interested in seeing which team has the weakest bench in baseball and worst hitting pitchers. I'm pretty sure the Phillies have the worst hitting pitchers, they're absolutely lousy!

Ryan Howard!!! You are the man!!!

I hate it when Abreu proves you right RSB. But let's not forget his hr in the 1st. By the way, are you still on the "hate Burrell" campaign? The guy is proving to be quality.

*We better not blow this lead!

Oisin, I have the sound off. I'd rather listen to a car alarm for three hours than the Mets' announcers.

J-Roll is slumping bad. I hate it when this happens to him. It comes once or twice a season...just have to wait it out. It is oh so painful though!

hmmmmmmm. JRoll just swung at the first pitch to end the inning with a DP.

Everyone who is shocked, say "Aye!"

All those completely unsurprised, say "Nay!"

Thank you so much Ryan! If that run hadn't come home someone might of noticed I looked at strike three with NO outs and a man on third, your my hero!

kdon, re: Renteria, I wasn't joking. he hit unbelievably well in April, but by the end of the season he'll be around .280/.340/.400 as per normal. he's a quality (albeit aging) shortstop but he ain't worth $10 mil.

I don't hate Burrell. I just want him out of here. But let's not start that again while we are in a temporary peace accord.

Yet another chance at redemption for the bullpen...well, I guess Myers is still in there, but after firve consecutive road games lost in the late innings, it's hard to have too much confidence here. Cross your fingers and hold on.

RSB, thank you for making the obvious suggestion. That's what my mp3 files are for. doh.

Eric Valent hit for the cycle? That's crzy.

Jesus RSB, that was a terrible call! Even Hernandez said if wasn't a strike on the Mets broadcast. If he reaches out to hit it, he's probably going to pop up or hit a tapper to the mound...then we can complain about him "pressing" at the plate.

fortunately I'm at work and have to mute the broadcast. are the Mets guys even worse than the Brewers'? I find that hard to believe...

Renteria is a small step above Rollins offensively, but don't let Renteria's gold glove fool you...just like Jeter and Abreu have won the "pretegious" award. Rollins is better with the glove and I feel is vastly underrated in that department. One thing I think Jimmy could do more of is steal bases. For that matter the Phillies as a team could and should steal more. But instead they play like an American League team waiting for the 3 run homerun.

I was just messing with ya RSB about the Burrell thing. I know how you feel and you know how I feel on that viewpoint. Let it be known that I haven't always disagreed with you, but when we do disagree we have a tendency to go at it.

I don't know whether the bullpen should pay myers out of their wages for making them look goo or mug the guy for constantly taking work from them. Whatever, he's doing well right now. Him I'll start fussing about post all-star break.

So reach out and hit it! Who cares if it was a strike or not? He's supposed to be a great hitter, isn't he? You don't need a hit there to get the run in - an infield out will do. Give it an effort! That's crap. He's ready to fling the bat away, as always. To look for a walk leading off an inning is one thing. Not with a man on third base!

Myers appears to have settled down after the home run by Muscles Reyes.

nice chatting this afternoon, but I'm out for the time being. When I return the Phillies better have won this ballgame!

For everyone's information:

Abreu's contract details:

$3 million signing bonus

$8.5 million in 2003

$10 million in 2004

$12.5 million in 2005

$13 million in 2006

$15 million in 2007

Either $2 million buyout or $16 million club option in 2008

Plus these escalator clauses:

If he finishes first in MVP voting, base salary goes up $275,000 in each succeeding year, including option year; or $150,000 if second in MVP; or $100,000 if third.

Plus: $100,000 for World Series MVP; $50,000 for LCS MVP; $50,000 for Gold Glove; $50,000 for Silver Slugger; $50,000 for making All-Star team; $50,000 for postseason Sporting News or Baseball American all-star teams; $100,000 for MVP (or $75,000 if second, or $50,000 if third).

Plus: complete no-trade clause through the life of the contract.

ae - yeah, the mets fans are significantly worse. They speak with the received wisdom of the mets many winning seasons. They know great baseball, apparently. Much worse than the brewer's relentlessly bigging up the home team.

sorry. I meant commentators. Not fans.

RSB, while we're on good terms, I'm wondering if you ever falsely posted as mjm_41? If not, cool, if so, funny and still cool.

RSB, I love your comments but I don't think you will make it as a hitting instructor.

"So reach out and hit it! Who cares if it was a strike or not?"

C'mon man, it was a ball, and the umpire made a mistake.

It's called situational hitting. You shouldn't be up there trying to coax a walk there. The point is not whether it was a ball or a strike. Bobby Abreu's opinion of the pitch does not matter. He's a hitter in the middle of the order, he should be looking to drive the run in. If it's close enough to be called a strike, it's close enough to get your bat on the ball.

Joy. Rhodes warming up in the bullpen.

No, I'm a one-alias poster.

Rick, if Bobby had sharply grounded out to short, which either resulted in Utley getting tagged out at home or having to stay on third, would that have been better?

Of course he could have got his bat on it...and hit a dribbler somewhere.

AE, I'm definitely not a big REnteria fan, I saw him play almost every day last year and I agree he is a significantly worse defender than Rollins at this point in their career, but J-ROLL has 4 more years after 2006 while Renteria has only 2 left and Renteria is a much better hitter.

PK: In my mind, yes. At least it shows he's trying to get it done himself.

It's good to see bell giving us both defense and some reasonable hitting. That play to get delgado out at first was nice. You just wonder whether he can go a whole season - if nunez subbed in every fourth game, don't we have better odds of having a decent bell who doesn't have to play through pain and louse up his offense as a result?

Charlie, no wait, wait, what's happening, could it is...YESSSS!!!! A mid-inning switch!!!! A good move!!!! I'm so happy now I think I might cry.

Wait - is Charlie actually bringing in Gordon in the eighth inning? Even...even though he's the designated *ninth* inning pitcher? Be still my beating heart.

Y is Gordon in? Was Rhodes that bad?

Thank you, Rick. I respect your answer although I disagree with it.

My position is that generally a player of Bobby's caliber knows whether he can do something with a certain pitch or not. It's not lack of nerve or character which causes him to take a pitch that is a) outside, and b) he couldn't do anything with anyway. Rather, it's his understanding of what he's trying to do out there and the best way in which to do it.

That's why I sometimes get upset when people get down on Bobby's perceived lack of effort. Bobby is playing the game the very best way he knows how. If he changed the way he played, it is unlikely he would improve. After all, he's learned this way of playing through a lifetime of training and struggle.

That's what I mean when I say we should appreciate Bobby's strengths rather than harping on his weaknesses. Mariano Rivera can't hit. He can't run. He's not the best fielder. He can't throw the ball at 100 MPH. He doesn't really have much of a second pitch. However, I think we all can appreciate the cutter he throws.

Personally, I think it speaks rather well of him that he refuses to change the way he plays from what he believes the best way to play is, despite occasional pressure from fans, talk radio, etc.

Nice to see cholly admitting that maybe tom gordon is good for more than three hitters. I wonder whether this was forced on him by the overuse of the bullpen in the 16 inning game?

Abreu is a good player and brings alot to the table. I am not saying the Phillies should trade him just for the sake of trading him. That would be incredibly foolish.

Still, Abreu is not a great player and his stats are on the decline. Also, Abreu is a corner outfielder and it is easier to replace an OPS of .900 at the corners outfield position.

Say, the Phils payroll is $85 million next year. That means that Abreu $15 million takes up nearly 20% (18% exactly). Too much for one player who is not an MVP-type candidate. Abreu at $8-$10 million is a good value. That extra $5-$7 million would go a long way to getting another good starting pitcher.

Additionally, Vlad and Sheffield are both scheduled to make less than Abreu in 2006 and I would take either one of them over Abreu.

Four pitch walk! I'm turning of the game cast.

yt, you don't leave a LHP who has been strugling in against Nady when your stopper is fresh. If it were not for the two lefties to start the inning, I would have used Gordon for two today.

ooof. Tom gordon is some bargain. that ball hit back at him nearly eat him up, but he stuck with it and got the out no problems. nice.

there are currently exactly 13 OFs in the NL with a .900 OPS, and two of them are already on our team. I think you're kidding yourself if you think we can just plug some random guy in the corners and expect him to put up numbers like that.

I guess it can't hurt Rhodes's confidence to finally leave a game with the same score he entered it. Though I would have loved to have Kaz lead-off the ninth.

for all of ye desperate to read signs into anything, my real player on random just coughed up strikeout by hardfloor (old school techno band who did a whole album's worth of tracks named after baseball phrases). Of course whether that's us or them striking out is for the fortune tellers to work out.

Didn't say you pick up anybody and expect them to put up an OPS of .900. Still, it is much easier to find a corner outfielder with those stats than say a 2B, SS, or C. A SS who produces with an OPS of .900 is very valualbe in comparison to his peers.

PK, I'll respect your position as well, but I don't see how refusing to make adjustments is something that speaks well of him. It's a matter of subjectivity whether Abreu spits on a 3-2 pitch in that situation because he knew he couldn't handle it, or whether he just didn't want to bother making the adjustment and putting the bat on that ball. I don't mean to seem like I'm trying to get the last word, and I'm not saying you're wrong, but I feel like there's a place for being selective and a situation like that is not one of them. If Bobby "is what he is" and can't be changed, then I'd prefer that his passive approach could be displayed elsewhere.

MG, of course it's "easier" to find a RF w/ a .900 OPS than a SS or CF, but that's not the point. It's also "easier" to find a LF who has hit 73 HR or a RF with a 1050 OPS than a SS or CF, but the important question is whether it is easy, in and of itslef, to find a RF w/ a .900 answer is no.

kdon, that looks at first glance like you're discussing an advanced calculus problem.

Also, Bobby career OPS is .923 and has never played fewer than 151 games as a starter. THat narrows down the list a bit too.

The comments to this entry are closed.

EST. 2005

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