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Friday, May 26, 2006

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Can we please stop the Ruiz man crush and admit the guy is no better than a 3rd catcher and borderline major leaguer? Wade and the rest of the minor league scouts knew what they were doing when never over hyping him despite his recent minor league success. He must have done it with smoke and mirrors cause the guy struggles to hit the ball out of the infield. I just brough up his hitting chart and almost 90% of his outs have come via K or ground ball/popout to an infielder...which is pathetic.

ok maybe its just me but i'm dying for the .250 hitting Lieby. At least he'll get a hit every once in a while to turnover the lineup. The catchers right now are really killing me i mean they're barely hitting a combined .150 since Lieby went down which is flat out pathetic. Pitchers of the other teams are hitting over .250 against phils pitching which makes our bottom of the lineup look even worse.

Having Rollins in the 6 hole makes this lineup even worse in my opinion. He's just a pop up or fly out machine at this point. He's in one of his funks which he has every year. Along with Bell, name your minor league Catcher and our pitcher the other team has an automatic 4 outs which kills any potential rallies. BTW why does everyone rave about our starting 8...i look around at almost every team and there are good hitters throughout baseball right now...there is nothing special about our lineup. Go ahead and look at the other teams and you'll see most have guys hitting about .300 with power throughout their lineups.

did anyone notice Roward step up and give Roberson some advice before running out to 2nd base and he was really pumped after Rollins moved Howard to 3rd?

He seems like he's becoming very vocal and "the" team leader and a kind of player which Bowa asked Wade to get for years.

I know Bourne is supposed to be the CF of the future and Rowand is on the last year of his contract but I think Gillick would be committing GM suicide if he doesn't extend Rowand's contract to ensure the old guard (Abreu, Burrell, Rollins) that the team will not except losing and sloppy play.

Excuse the ignorance, but is it legal for a fielder to push a runner's hand off the bag as Koskie did to Howard? Harry and Wheeler aren't being much help here.

Has Nunez gotten one out of the infield this season?

"Can we please stop the Ruiz man crush and admit the guy is no better than a 3rd catcher and borderline major leaguer?"

Dear gutless anonymous poster: I will never, ever, end my man-crush on Carlos Ruiz, and I couldn't care less if he's not even a borderline Pioneer Leaguer.

I like him, I don't have a good reason why, I just do. Feel free to search my archives for the article in which I call him anything more than a potential major league backup catcher, with nothing more than an outsider's chance at becoming more.

So to answer your question: No, I won't end the man-crush. I like Carlos. There are ways to get your point across without taking a cheap shot at me, and something that was meant to be a positive, innocent nod to a guy nobody expected much from.

Now, as I was about to write ... no, in his brief duty with the Phils, Ruiz is not good enough back there, and neither is Fasano. That is why Gillick should explore getting something else, and allow Ruiz to go back to the minors where he is better suited. Unfortunately, the minor leagues are so thin thanks to Ed Wade, this is all they've got. They can't even afford to think about releasing or trading anyone.

Perhaps next season, Ruiz will get a look as a backup. But even if he's playing his next season in Siberia, I'll be on a plane.

Cops and Roberson yet again. At what point will Charlie realize the diminishing marginal utility of putting him in the game?

Alright Cholly, here we go again.

Why is your only legitimate power hitter leading off the 8th when your down by 2?

And where is Fasano in the 10th? For all Sal's deficiencies, wouldn't you rather have him bat instead of a kid with 12 major league AB and ONE major league hit? So what if you use up the bench, take your chances to win the game.

Am I just a frustrated Phils fan with 20/20 hindsight or one with a legitimate gripe?

Tough loss. That's about all one can say about it. Lidle wasn't good enough tonight, wasn't making his pitches. Five walks and some hit batsmen.

The big mistake by Manuel and his crew, including third base coach Bill Dancy, was not appealing that Weeks play at third.

I said before this homestand, if the Phils have a poor showing here at this point in the season, I wouldn't be surprised to see some changes. I think it's a safe bet Manuel is now on the hot seat.

I think Sal and Roberson would have produced the same result in that spot, a quick out. The double play in the bottom of the 9th was very unfortunate, it really looked as if they were going to put this one away somehow. Foghorn Leghorn did the best with what he had. I also think that they should release Nunez and call me up from my little league team to take his spot. Okay, he's still better than I am, but come on...

The only ounce of positivity that we can glean from this evening is that the Mets lost one to the woeful Marlins. However, I can feel the wind from the chops of the Braves.

And the coaches talk about the importance of fundamentals.

So while the Mets get embarrassed by the Marlins, the Phillies drop yet another one-run game to the Brewers and slide into third place. Must feel good to be a Braves fan about now.

At least Roberson is gone and Rowand is back, so maybe the Phillies can beat the Brewers once or twice now.

Never thought I'd see the day, but Lieberthal will probably be greated to a hero's welcome when he comes off the DL.

Mike Drago of the Reading Eagle is reporting Lieberthal will play Saturday and possibly Sunday in Reading. On Saturday, he will catch five innings and get three at bats.

Afterward he will be reevaluated. Lieberthal, commenting on ComcastSportsNet, said his personal timetable to return is Monday or Tuesday.

Rejoice, Rejoice

Rowand will be back tomorrow and Lieby is not far behind (never thought I'd be saying that about the catcher).

Roberson is being sent down to make room for Rowand. I like Roberson and wish him the best of luck but he's clearly not ready for the big time yet.

There were a couple of times tonight when I thought Rowand looked like he was going to grab a glove or a bat and put himself in the game. He really looks like he's chomping at the bit to get in there. It will be great to see him back, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's a bit over-eager at first.

A real crusher, but you know what? I like that the Phillies came back hard not once but twice, down to Milwaukee in the 9th and 10th. It didn't end well, but that kind of spirit will get them somewhere if they can maintain it.

It would have been less of a tough loss if they'd gone quietly for a 5-3 loss, but I think it's better the way it went down.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Pat Burrell had a hell of a game. He'll never be my favorite player, but he is putting together a pretty solid season on one good foot.

Yet again, another 1 run, late inning loss. This kills a team mentally, makes them feel like they're in a no-win situation at the end of games.

By the way, I was critical of Manuel's move for pinch running for Burrell in the 16 inning game and how Roberson's at bats came back to haunt the Phillies. Well, there ya go again Charlier ushering in Roberson to run for Burrell and then Burrell's spot comes up in the 10th with bases loaded but he's not up to bat it's that no-hit Roberson. Manuel has his mind made up that if Burrell gets on in the 8th or 9th inning he's pinch running for him. That's a crappy strategy as we've seen it back fire now more than once. I'm tired of Manuel!

RSB, thank you for acknowledging Burrell's season thus far. He doesn't have to be your favorite player, you don't even have to like him, but you must respect that production.

For example, I never liked Rico Brogna, in fact couldn't stand him, but I always gave him credit for his production.

Here's all you need to know about last night's loss:
The final 3 outs in the 10th inning were made by Nunez, lifetime .248 hitter (1 for 19 as PH this season), Coste, lifetime .000 hitter, and Roberson, lifetime .077 hitter.

P.S. Jason I believe you said at one point that Ruiz would likely be the everyday catcher next year for one year as a fill in after Leiby leaves. While he's shown nothing so far with the bat, his defense is good enough to warrant that kind of role on a non-contending team if he can hit .240 with 10-15 HRs, which I think is possible.

Clout. I think at one point in a comment, I mentioned that Gillick could explore getting one of the Pittsburgh catchers to go halves with Ruiz next season, if they wanted to save money at the position. This is what I woud recommend. Ruiz is still the team's primary in-house answer at the position for 2007, so if they do not sign a catcher, Ruiz could still be the everyday man. I think it's unlikely, however. I wish he was hitting better, but there are few complaints about his defense. He's handling himself great. Catching seems like a tough climb. Paul LoDuca had a similar slow climb.

The injuries to Rowland and Lieberthal have really exposed the lack of depth the Phillies have this year. Besides Victorino, no one else on the bench has contributed anything. Once Rowland comes back though, the outfield reserves (Victorino and Dellucci) are adequate.

It is the rest of the bench that has shown nothing. While Manuel will never be mistaken for a master strategist, it is hard to make a move when your other reserves are Ruiz, Coste, and Nunez. I have no faith in any of them to deliver a hit or get on base.

Unfortunately, Nunez is here to stay. His 2-yr/3.35 million contract guarantees it. Probably Gillick's worst move of the offseason. After watching Nunez play, I don't see one significant factor he brings to this team (defense, speed, or contact). Never though I would long for Tomas Perez and his whipping cream pies. Ugh.

As for the catcher position, it is a real mess. Ruiz is a defensive upgrade over Fasano but just hasn't shown anything with the bat. While Fasano plays hard and is a fan favorite, he doesn't bring much to the table. Even worse, he has had at least several notable mental lapses in games this season. That is inexcusable for a MLB veteran.

Hopefully Gillick will be able to trade one of the surplus bullpen arms for a backup catcher. Send Ruiz down to T-AAA, release Fasano, and use a platoon of Lieby/backup catcher for the rest of the year.

That run Geary gave up last night drove me bonkers. While the Phils bullpen has been adequate this year, it seems that they manage to give up runs in timely situations or that come back to haunt them.

Being down 1 run vs 2-3 runs totally changes the way Manuel can manage and makes it so much harder for a rally.

MG -- good post. I think Gillick being an AL GM did not place enough emphasis in getting bats on his bench and that in the NL bench is about pinch hitting. I recall Gillick referring to fielding and position versatility when discussing Gonzalez and Nunez. I actually even think he toyed with 3 utility infielders with Perez and/or Kata making the team early in March. The bench will be better with Victorino. I also agree we need to look for a reserve catcher as Fasano and Ruiz are not capable of catching 40 % of the games for a contending team.

It wouldn't have seemed like such a lack of depth if guys like Roberson and Ruiz were able to come up and actually contribute. That's one of the most outstanding differences between the Braves and Phillies: every time the Braves experience injuries, they call up some no-name and he hits .340 or pitches lights-out. When the Phillies have to reach down in their system, they call up guys who play like minor-leaguers. It's depressing.

A stronger bench could have literally meant the difference in that game last night, but again I don't know how much I blame Gillick. It's not as if he didn't try - he totally revamped the entire set of reserve players from last season. It just hasn't worked out. He's gotten virtually nothing from everyone except Victorino, who of course has had to start most of this month.

Tell me why the Phillies will be better off when Victorino goes back to the bench?Considering all the offensive holes noted in this thread, they need his bat. Rowand is a career great field/mediocre hit guy-a lot of rah-rah BS from Aaron won't change that.

I'd characterize Rowand's hitting ability as several notches above 'mediocrity'. Apparently you have something against Rowand because you prefer ballplayers should be robots like Abreu who don't risk injury in the field. That's fine, but please be objective. Aaron Rowand has a few solid years of regular playing under his belt, including one for a World Champion. Besides that, his .310 before the injury is nothing to scoff at. Any suggestions that the Phillies would instead be better off with a guy who has never proven he can start on an everyday basis, I'd say are a little misguided.

I guess I've about run out of things to say about Ryan Franklin. So bear with me if I repeat myself.

How many times are they going to get burned using this guy before they realize he has absolutely no business being out there in close ballgames? How much more obvious can it be?

Again I ask what has Pat Gillick done to improve this team ? Franklin supposedly was one of his key acquisitions. As much as I hate to defend Manuel, he doesn't have the pitchers to win.

Unlike Manuel, where the Philly fans and media have a pretty good idea of what to expect, it is too early to make final judgement on Gillick's offseason moves.

So far his two major moves (Gordon vs. Wagner and Thome trade look ok). Gordon has been great and Howard has picked up from last year. More importantly, it will be another year or two before the final judgement will be out on these deals.

Where Gillick is ripe for criticism is his construction of the bench and the bullpen. These are the two most difficult areas to piece together each year on a team. Always alot of variation. Still, not one of Gillick's bench player acquisitions (Fasano, Dellucci, Nunez, Gonzalez) has shown much at all. Additionally, Franklin and Rhodes have been mediocre out of the bullpen.

While I am not a big Manuel supporter and I feel that his game management decisions are somewhat lacking, it is hard to win a gun fight with a couple of sticks.

MG, Calling Franklin and Rhodes' performances so far this season mediocre is generous. Franklin has given up 6 HR in under 24 innings. Rhodes is allowing nearly 2 baserunners an inning. This team needs pitching help pronto, and I fault Gillick for not addressing this need in the offseason and giving $2.6M to a stiff like Franklin. Also I want to give some credit to the Brewers. That is a terrific young lineup they've assembled.

I was at the game, and it's official, Floyd is more painful to watch in person than on tv. Floyd needs to be traded or demoted...it's as bad as "Lima Time" out there when he pitches.

Ryan Franklin is a lost game/homerun waiting to happen. The place was juiced up* (pun intended) after Howard's hr, then in comes Franklin to promptly surrended the game.

I don't know how to go about saying this in a "dignified" way, but this teams sucks. If it weren't for that lucky 13 out of 14 streak, the Phillies would be way below .500, and will probably end up there after Sunday's game. I've said it all along that this team is not a playoff team, that people were being fooled, I did NOT flip-flop!

Is Manuel officially on the hot seat yet?? Good managers don't have teams that win 13 of 14 and then drop 9 of 11, let alone having those streaks back to back. I know the players are paid to produce, but its the manager and coaching staff that need to get the most out of them.

Same old crap once again. Manuel makes bonehead moves and Franklin is overused in crucial situations. Its really pretty sickening...

Speaking of sickening, I am tired of watching Floyd. I used to be a Floyd supporter, but I am reaqlly starting to have doubts about him. I am curious to see how the Phillies handle him once Hamels is back from the DL. Will they leave Madson in the rotation if he pitches well today or will they keep Floyd there with Hamels when he returns? Its a tough call with the way Floyd is pitching and the way the bullpen sucks. I also would like to see how Lieberthal works with him. I am tired of the "Fasano is there to give him a pat on the butt when he needs it." Hey Charlie (yeah, you with the bonehead moves), his ERA is the second from the bottom in the NL, so lets see a game with Lieberthal back there when he is off the DL.

I hope Gillick makes some kind of change, whether its a trade or a firing, and makes it quick. This team is falling fast.

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