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Thursday, June 22, 2006

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At least we can all take solace in a much-welcomed off day before the all-DH road trip. Since people are so high on Victorino, this will be an opportunity to get some playing time and either continue backing up the high praise he's been getting or perhaps prove otherwise. My take on him is that he's about as wild a swinger as there is on the roster, but I love the energy and intensity he brings to the lineup when he's in there. Trying to get a feel for just what role he may be able to play in the future will be something to keep our eyes on as the season plods on. We should be saying the same for Carlos Ruiz, but for some completely illogical reason, he's in Triple A.

Favorite non-news of the day is Larry Bowa and beat reporters trying their damndest to put words in Bobby Abreu's mouth. Don't worry Bobby, it won't be long now, and you won't have to utter a syllable.

Final thought: where's David Bell's bad back when you need it?

Can Vic, Burrell or Delucci play 1st? I hope so otherwise we are looking at three days with Nunez and Bell in the same line-up. We'd be better off with the pitcher hitting.

7-8-9 has become those "automatic outs" that you used to tease your competition about way back in Little League. I'm curious to see how the DH is used (let's remember that Manuel DID do a pretty good job as manager in the AL).

Jason, I think you're right. I think I need to put a positive spin on things. I'm tired of getting upset and turning off a game when the Phils get down by 5 runs late. Maybe my expectations were a little too high going into this season. After all, at least it's not Steve Jeltz, Juan Samuel and some of those other notorious teams. I'm going to start my optomism with the fact that we (along with about 95% of the rest of the NL) are still players in the Wild Card contention. Maybe a Mets losing streak isn't too far off and I can raise those expectations.

DH will be Burrell, right?

It ain't getting better this year, that's for sure. My question is...we gave Ed Wade 8 years to make an impact, we can't give Gillick, a proven winner, 3 yrs? Gillick's operating under a salary cap of ~90 million, and it's hard to do much with so many heavy Wade contracts.

And for those of you who think we should fire sell those guys deemed "unworthy" in order to copy the Marlins, let's not forget the difference between the two. The marlins got rid of older players, yes, but not the ancients the phils have hanging around. The problem is that the marlins got legitimate prospects for their starters, unlike the Phils who would get nothing (in fact having to pay part of their contracts) for people like Lieby, Lieber, and Bell.

Burrell's on the cusp of this point, and Abreu's just a pain in the butt. His OBP would be attractive to other teams, except he demands to bat lower in the order.

Utley's definitely hitting a sophmore slump, which isn't helped at all by all the times he gets to see exactly one pitch from the on-deck circle. There's no excuse for the kind of slump he's in, but it can't help to have rollins in front of him.

I was hoping Burrell would play first, Victorino in left, and Howard DH. But that kind of movement is beyond our manager.

Beckett, Schilling, and Wakefield (pretty sure the phils sucks against the knuckleball) 0-3 is quite the way to start a road trip.

Ya, thats what I was asking in my post above Will, who will play 1st?

Last time Cholly sat Howard, he put Utley at 1st, and Nunez at 2nd. I would rather see Burrell DH with Vic or Delucci in LF then Nunez AND Bell in the line up.

By the way, where has Delucci been, it seemed like he was finally starting to warm up and then disappeared.

Haha, Jason, just curious - if it's not as simple as Burrell=DH and Victorino in left, what will be your thoughts on Manuel then? It really does seem like the logical no-brainer move. My bet is that he wants to DH Howard, though.

Well WP, it does seem like Burrell is moving a little better out there, and Howard (and I love the guy don't get me wrong) has been struggling a bit in the field.

Oh I completely agree, Nunez, Bell, and Fasano, would be an awful combination.

Burrell played first in AA Reading, but that was ages ago. but really how much worse would he be than Howard?

It's already been reported in the Inquirer. "Charlie Manuel said Burrell could be the designated hitter this weekend in Boston, with David Dellucci or Shane Victorino in left field."

Personally, I don't like the thought of Burrell at first, even the way Howard has struggled there. It's a good opportunity to rest the foot, and maybe showcase his DH-ness.

Good point, this could be Pat's AL audition.

"There is every reason to think it will only get uglier. Why shouldn't it?"

Just when things appear the most bleak the Phils turn it around and go 11-4 here on out until the All-Star break!

Now, uh, excuse me while I try my flak jacket on for size.

"I was hoping Burrell would play first, Victorino in left, and Howard DH. But that kind of movement is beyond our manager.

I hate to defend an idiot like Manuel, but Burrell can't play 1st. I would bet against righties it's Burrell as DH, Delucci in LF.

Per Sportsline...

"Manager Charlie Manuel said LF Pat Burrell probably will be used as a DH in most of the upcoming nine games in AL cities.

Analysis: OFs Shane Victorino and David Dellucci will get more playing time because of the DH. Burrell has seven walks in his past four games. His 52 RBI tells you to start him in all leagues."

Blow it up! Everyone is expendable except Hamels, Myers, Utley, Howard, and Rollins (only if he agrees to hit 6-7-8 the rest of his career). Get these stiffs that have been stuck in mediocrity the hell out of here. I'm sick of the excuses.

I'm with you Tony. Like I said yesterday, back up the truck. Time to retool around the guys that WANT to win.

It truly pains me how mediocrity is accepted by the front office.

Well, the ballpark was pretty full wasn't it and that's the bottom line..............

Can anyone explain why Delucci was kept on the bench as a pinch hitter-down 2-0 w/ a man on. He brings in Nunez????
As evidenced by Phil Sheritan's article today in the Inquirer-this team is filled w/ guys who refuse to step up. Keep Utley,Howard & Rollins & build around Hammels + Myers. I've watched every game this year-team always lets us down. Not sure why I waste my time.

I think they are afraid to say “This isn’t working, we are going to make some changes and rebuild” in fear that the fans will abandon ship. And I'm not saying they don't WANT to win (everybody wants to win), it's just they have absolutely no clue HOW to win.


In regards to the players:

I’m tired of seeing the same guys make the same kind of errors (Bell and Abreu).

I’m tired of the same guys bouncing into double plays and popping up with a man on third (Bell, Lieberthal).

I’m tired of being told that we have a good team, we just need to play better (everybody)

I’m tired of the leadoff hitter swinging at the first pitch 2 out of every 3 AB’s

I’m tired of the announcers making excuses for them (Wheeler and Anderson)

I’m tired of the managers stupid excuses after the game, and his babbling mumble (FLUSTRATED)

I’m tired of the players whining about the fans booing.

Please, just BLOW IT UP!!!!!

A nine-game AL road trip might be just what this club needs right now. They're a streaky team and they're due for an "up" run - I seem to remember them going on a little tear last year when they were playing first- and second-place teams on the road. They won't make the playoffs this year regardless, but if that happens (big "if" of course), we could have some hot commodities approaching the trade deadline. Then we'd get to really see what Gillick is made of, and personally I'm optimistic.

As far as I'm concerned, there's no reason to keep Rollins if we can find a good deal for him, even if he is young. And Abreu needs to go to a team with a manager who doesn't give a crap what he "demands". That, or we keep him until next year, when maybe we'll have that manager.

Zach, why would you want to trade Rollins? He's one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball, and come year's end, he likely will continue to solidify himself as one of the better offensive shortstops as well. He's just coming into his prime and he plays with about as much energy as anyone on this lifeless team. You may not like what he does as a leadoff hitter, but separate that from the player as a whole.

Some may feel he's part of the problem because he's been in the same mix that's produced all these second-place finishes and because he hasn't become all that different a player from what he presented as a rookie, but I disagree with this sentiment wholeheartedly. The flaws may be aggravating at times, but you are not going to find many better shortstop options in the game than Jimmy Rollins. Out of all the players who have been here since the Vet Stadium days, Rollins is the one - the *only* one - who ought to stay put.

RSB - your right about rollins being defensivly solid, but he is not coming into his own offensively until someone gets him to have smart at bats. I wouldn't trade rollins at all. Ask the Red Sox, they moved Renteria last year cause he was a liability defensively, and we have plenty of bats for him to suffer.

Bell is a liability at the plate and in the field and is therefore a much bigger liability.

Rick what are you talking about? Have you ever seen Rollins play? Sure he's good defensively but they are 700 kids in the Dominican that can field just as well as he can. And I thought this was the year that he was going to establish himself as an offensive player after that hitting streak last year. How's that working out? Rollins should be traded for 2 broken bats and a bucket of balls.

I completely agree about Rollins defensively. And it's easy to agree that his offensive numbers will get better towards the year's end, because they always do. They have to, to make up for his slow starts. And he's our best runner excepting Victorino.

So, I like him. I didn't say I wanted to trade him, it's just that if the right deal comes along, why not? He's no longer cheap like Utley and Howard, we've got other needs and we could fill the hole (Victorino). Same deal as Abreu.

"...he likely will continue to solidify himself as one of the better offensive shortstops as well."

Wow, RSB. Usually your comments are insightful as hell, but that's just b.s. Sorry. Rollins isn't improving at all. Rollins is 11th in the NL in batting WS and 10th in overall WS, among shortstops. He's not improving, and why should he? He plays SS and leads off every day no matter how poorly he plays.

on another note, I just want to say a big thank you to J. Weitzel and those of you who post good comments. Other blogs (philliesnation for one) is clogged with morons.

is anyone else just so sick of hearing about Roger Clemens on ESPN. The whole 1 hour show was devoted to him! YUCK. They even broadcast his stupid minor league games! The guy is such a sell out

Have I ever seen Rollins play? Yeah, about 800 times, now that you mention it. I and every other major league executive be glad to hear your informed scouting report on the other 700 Dominican shortstops, though.

John, I freely admitted that Rollins hasn't really improved offensively since his rookie year. But if he is what he is, I'll take it. He gives you double figures in doubles, triples, homers, can steal 40-50 bases, and will usually hit in the .270s. For a shortstop, is that really so horrible? I'd take those stats from any middle infielder in baseball, regardless of whether there are a few who may be better.

RSB- Sure Rollins has offensive talent but when is he ever going to use it. You say that he could steal 40-50 bases which I agree with but it seems as if he doesn't want to. You also don't exactly want your leadoff hitter batting in the .270s but that would be the manager's fault. His other problem is that he thinks he is a home run hitter. If he didn't pop so many balls up, I would like him a lot more. Also if he learned how to bunt for hits or ran out his ground balls like Utley does.

If Rollins, Rowand & a legit defensive C were our 678, no one would be bad mouthing J-roll. He is good, he should not be leading off.

I agree that J-Roll should NOT be leading off. I don't think that they should trade him, he is pretty awesome defensively.

He COULD be an offensive force if he put his mind to it and worked on his pitch selection. This is where the coaching staff comes into play. If they showed their unhappiness by moving him down in the order, perhaps he would respond. Maybe if they made him do push ups like Willie Mays Hayes in 'Major League' he'd get it.

As I stated previously, Abreu should be leadoff right now, like it or not.

But for whatever reason (?) Elmer doesn't want to make that move, Elmer doesn't want to rock the boat, Elmer doesn't want to get his poor ballplayers upset.

I thought the object was to WIN not pacify your players and keep them happy.

Does anybody here remember Dick Williams when he ran the A's? They hated his guts but he didn't care, he made the moves and pissed them all of, but they won!

Oh, the modern ballplayer..........

See, this is the problem. Everyone's so caught up in what Rollins *doesn't* do, they overlook all the things he does do. Would you rather have Desi Relaford, Kevin Stocker, Kim Batiste, Dickie Thon, Steve Jeltz, or Ivan DeJesus as your shortstop? Those were the world-beaters who played the position between Bowa and Rollins. What I'm saying is you don't get a shortstop of his caliber too often.

By the way, Mike, Rollins has stolen over 40 bases twice in his career and I'd bet you anything he does it again this year.

Rollins is solid and above average defensively. He has energy and can make things happen when he's on base. He is not a patient hitter. He has some power, but is basically a line drive hitter.
Given that profile, it is up to management to recognize how best to use him. Who's fault is it if he is a poor leadoff man, his or the management that keeps asking him to do what he is not capable of doing?

I also try very hard to remain optimistic, but I cannot allow my optimism to be based on the hope that players will suddenly start over-achieving, and that's what has to happen with the starting pitching, with the catching, and with 3B. If those positions all play 100% to their potential, it is still not good enough for the Phillies to be a contending ballclub (a couple of starters have promise).
As Howard's 7-rbi night showed all too well, the rest of the lineup cannot consistently carry the load alone and expect to win.

George, that's a great point about management.

The players play, but it's management's job to put the players in the best place to succeed. That is the crux of the matter.

Is Elmer and Company doing that? Not that any of us can see, obviously.

My optimism was blown away for the rest of the year after Howard knocked in 7 and our boys still lost.

At this point I am hoping that Mr. Gillick is using this period of losing for evaluation and when the time comes he will act accordingly, I am willing to still give him the benefit of the doubt at this time.

Right on, George. Too much air gets wasted complaining about the Phillies better players -- Rollins and Abreu to name two -- when the real problems with this team are the horrid 3rd base and catching situations and the sub-par, to put it kindly, pitching. If Abreu started satisfying everybody's definition of "clutch" and "heart" and Rollins raised his OBP to .380, the Phillies would still stink because they lack pitching, have an over-the-hill and never was very good anyway third baseman and seem to have concluded that a B-movie character actor makes a perfectly serviceable catcher.

standing in the shower thinking (this morning), it occurred to me that if gillick was to make some small changes to the bottom of the line-up, we might get a bit better. If the big trade for pitching is not going to happen then at least trade cormier (and throw in bell) for a offensive platoon option at third to swap with nunez, bring up ruiz and use him to split games with lieberthal, dump sal the turtle and his passed balls.

Lieber traditionally has a better second half than first (he can't be much worse), lidle is steady and servicable, hamels and myers should always give us a chance, and hopefully 7 innings each. if we could get more consistency out of madson, so much the better. But much as I would like to, I'm not holding my breath.

Finally, just a reminder that this team, is not drastically different from last year - we're plus a rowand in CF, hamels in the rotation and gordon as closer, and minus the ever predictable padilla, the lofton/j-mike offensive platoon and the self-regarding southern whinger. In june last year, things looked lousy too. You may hate to hear it, but the team does have potential, and last year they proved they could play up to it.

(And before everyone ignores that last comment as complete idiocy, I should say first off that I meant offensive potential. As apart, say, from being potentially offensive. They've already managed that.)

Would you trade Rollins if you could ship he and Abreu to Baltimore for Tejada and a pitching prospect? I'd do that deal in a heartbeat! Abreu would most likely waive his no trade waiver to go there too. He would be playing alongside his buddy Melvin Mora, no doubtedly being more happy with one of his Venezuela buddies. It would have went down last year too if Tejada would have agrees to play third (it was a straight up Abreu for Tejada swap then), but since he didn't want to play third, I say we throw in J-Roll and get a prospect of some sorts in return for him. We then could have Victorino in right and Tejada (a legit right-handed bat to mix up our lefties in the line-up). Ahh, one can dream...

*agreed

Did you see Charlie's lame ass quote in the paper today:

"We need to get to the all-star break over .500, or as good as possible," manager Charlie Manuel said.

Which one is it?? Way to set that bar for your players Elmer...

I can care less about any offensive stat for Rollins except OBP (at least while he's still leading off). He will be judged by that and that alone in my eyes. Unfortunetly, I think at this point he is what he is, he's never going to become a more patient hitter, as studies have shown players either are patient or they're not. You can't "make" a patient hitter. What is funny about all of this is how all winter in the middle of his streak he was telling us how he was going to change the way you look at leadoff, well, how is that working out Jimmy? Abreu should be moved to the 1 hole. Yes he has a little more power then what you'd like for a leadoff hitter but he is the best option at this point.

Watching the Twins-Stros last night Luis Castillo got an infield hit, stole 2nd on the next pitch, and then scored 2 pitches later on a hit. Man it would be nice to see that once in a while instead of sitting around praying for 3 run bombs.

Back to the game, there are interesting matchups in this Series with Boston. Madson and Beckett's records and ERAs are similar for tonight's game. Saturday is ace vs. ace with Myers against Schilling. Sunday is dog day with L'idle against Wakefield. In each game, each team has a chance. Fenway Park is special. Let's hope the team can play decent and outslug these guys.

With regard to blaming management for not putting the players in the right batting order, allow me to relate an anecdote stated by Bowa in a recent interview on 610AM:

The phils were in rut and Bowa asked Abreu to bat lead-off. Abreu said no. Wade came to Abreu and convinced him to bat lead-off for a week and if he didn't like it, he could go back. Abreu agreed. The phils went 5-2 that week. Abreu didn't like it, and went back down in the lineup.

This goes back to the Soriano/Nationals fight in spring training this year. More teams need to grow some spine, and be willing to sit a $13 million player (Abreu) for a while if he refuses to do what you tell him. I'm tired of hearing from people that you have to "ask" Abreu to bat first. You go to Abreu and you say "you're leading off today" and then you walk away. If he complains, you start Victorino.

Oisin's following comment is foolish and uninformed: ". . . (B)ring up Ruiz and use him to split games with Lieberthal, dump Sal the Turtle and his passed balls." The facts: Sal Fasano has only two passed balls in 44 games at catcher, a stat that compares favorably to those of virtually all other starting catchers in the game today. A few quick examples: Jorge Posada (58 games, 4PB), Yadier Molina (53 games, 5PB), Michael Barrett (53 games, 6 PB), and A.J. Pierzinski (61games, 6PB). Secondly, although Fasano is a "streaky" hitter, his batting stats are more than decent for a catcher in the big leagues right now (.258 BA, .419 Slg.Pct.,4HR, & 10 RBI in only 124 AB in 36 catching starts). Also, little need be said about the brittle Lieberthal in this midnight phase of his career, with his two trips to the DL already. Finally, if anyone's recent memory needs to be refreshed, Ruiz "tanked" in his recent audition with the Phillies (14 games, 35 AB, .143 BA, .143 Slg.Pct., .162 OBP, 1 RBI), and Ruiz's AAA batting average has even dropped 50 points since he was sent down on May 29th. Having given up 4 solen bases in one game since going to Scranton Wilkes-Barre (6/2 against Indianapolis), and giving up a 70% stolen base percentage in AAA overall this year, at best, Ruiz needs to play regularly in AAA, at least until roster expansion on September 1st. However, I am far from convinced that Ruiz is the Phillies "catcher of the future", or even if Ruiz will be a long-term quality backup in the bigs, ever.

Abreu isn't going to wavie HIS no-trade clause to join a losing club in Baltimore. If he is such a good friend of Mora's, they can spend time together in the off-season.

I too think it makes sense to give Ruiz another shot as the back-up. He should have been given that shot as soon as Lieberthal went down. You can't tell me that Chris Roberson or Chris Coste are more valuable players on this team right now than Ruiz could have been.

Back to Fasano. I am tired of this over-played love affair with him. Phillies brass will never axe Fasano, especially with Lieberthal being so injury prone this year. Sad as that may be, next year could be even sadder. I can see the Phils brass resigning Fasano for like a 2 or 3 year deal after this season, since he is so likeable to the fans (see his tiresome fan club). Phils brass should be checking out sites like this where we can call out Fasano for what he really is (a back-up AAA catcher with not a very good shot at making it back to the majors - see A.J. Hinch).

Depends how bad he wants out of here, plus Baltimore isn't that much worse than the Phils are right now.

Orioles 33-41
Phils 35-37

dave thom, I stand corrected on Fasano's passed balls, although I would wonder how many wild pitches have been attributed to pitchers while fasano is catching. any game I've seen of Fasano he has been slow to shift off his feet if a pitch is wayward. although the slugging percentage is decent, his obp at .303 is not.

My point with ruiz and lieberthal is this - lieberthal was putting up okay numbers prior to his injuries. Ruiz's initial run in the majors is not enough to damn him, and he's certainly fast for a catcher. whilst up here he performed his defensive duties well. I'm not saying he's the answer, but an extended tryout for a younger, fitter pitcher who's knees aren't grinding is no bad thing right now.

In other news....

Posted on Fri, Jun. 23, 2006

Brett Myers arrested, charged with assaulting wife


ASSOCIATED PRESS

BOSTON — Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Brett Myers was arrested Friday and charged with assaulting his wife on a downtown Boston street.

Myers, 25, who was scheduled to pitch Saturday against the Red Sox, got in an argument with his wife at about 12:20 a.m. at the corner of Boylston and Dalton streets, according to David Procopio, a spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

Myers’ wife, Kim Wickman, and two witnesses told police that the pitcher hit her.

“The evidence at this point leads us to believe the victim was struck in the left side of her face,” Procopio said.

One of the witnesses told investigations that Myers also pulled her hair.

Police responded to a 911 call and found Myers’ wife crying with a swollen face, Procopio said.

Officers found Myers nearby and arrested him. He cooperated with police, Procopio said.

Myers was booked by Boston police and his wife posted his $200 bail.

Myers pleaded not guilty to assault charges at his arraignment Friday morning in Boston Municipal Court, Procopio said.

A Phillies spokesman had no immediate comment.

Myers and his wife have a 3-year-old daughter.

Myers’ next court date is Aug. 4. A judge ruled over the objections of prosecutors that he did not have to attend the hearing in person, Procopio said.

Crap, well at least he didn't doust her in gasoline and set her on fire like a certain set-up man we know.

His head is apparently just as f-ed up off the field as on.

Baltimore plays in a tougher division, with 2 heavy hitters, boston and NY, not to mention Toronto ahead of them. I couldn't see Abreu agreeing to a trade to there, but then he doesn't seem to care about winning....

So, Jon, you think that "it makes sense to give Ruiz another shot as the back-up (catcher)", and that Ruiz "should have been given that shot as soon as Lieberthal went down"? Hey, Jon, do you mean the very same Ruiz of the .143 BA in 14 games, zero extra base hits, and only 1 RBI in 35 at bats, during his "flameout" with the Phillies ending less than a month ago, and the same Ruiz whose AAA batting average has dropped 50 points since he went to Scranton Wilkes-Barre on May 29th? It would not even be good for Ruiz's confidence for him to be brought back so quickly after bombing out after having been given ten starts within a month's time. Also, Jon, you say no one can tell you "that Chris Roberson or Chris Coste are more valuable players on this team right now than Ruiz could have been"? Roberson is a talented guy whom I believe has a bright major league future someday, but he has not even had two months yet in AAA, and he should be sent down when Lieberthal comes back. Also as a third backup outfielder, Roberson is a luxury the pitching-short Phillies cannot afford at this time. Delucci and Victorino should be getting get more outfield time as it is, if you ask me. As far as Coste is concerned, in Coste's third and most recent start last Friday, Coste had two hits in four at bats, drove in the Phillies' first run of the game, and scored a run. And anyone who saw Coste throw out Reyes, the NL's leading base stealer, during the home series against the Mets, with a rifle shot delivered from Coste's knees, knows that Ruiz has never made that throw. Also, Jon, people who think this is a "Coste vs. Ruiz" "catcher only" discussion simply don't get it. Clearly, the Phillies have been losing most of their games exclusively because of the team's incredible pitching collapse, where it be starting pitching, middle relief, or short relief, or all three, experiencing meltdown in the vast majority of the Phillies' games. With Coste, a guy who has been a AAA All Star third baseman last season, a AAA All Star at first base before that, and a guy who can play left and right field, the Phillies can carry two or three extra pitchers. This is vital right now. Whether the Phillies are to bring up pitchers from AAA, AA, or to the club by trade, or the waiver wire, the Phillies need all the roster space for pitchers that they can find. Coste can cover at least three bench position player slots, on his own. And, as Coste demonstrated in his third and most recent catching start, Coste will eventually hit major league pitching, if given a chance, with some starts thrown into the mix. Having less than half of the at bats, and less than a third of the starts, that Ruiz was given, Coste has already matched Ruiz' RBI total (1), with Coste having three times Ruiz' runs scored (3). I have watched Ruiz in Moosick last season, and this one, and as far as I am concerned, Ruiz is in no way the Phillies' starting "Catcher of the Future." However, for his own good, Ruiz needs to get a full season under his belt in AAA, until roster expansion on September 1st.


Davthom, when you're done extolling Chris Coste's minor-league all-star appearances, you might want to consider that while Ruiz may have slim major-league potential, it beats the hell out of the flat *none* which Coste presents. You're ready to give up completely on Ruiz because he "tanked" in his first handful of games? Do me a favor, omnipotent one. Dig up Ryan Howard's numbers from his first stint with the Phillies last year before being called back up at the end of June. I'd say it looks like he "tanked" as well; by your logic, they should just have traded him for Kip Wells while they had the chance.

People who rationalize and twist stats to meet their own agenda just kill me. "Coste has already matched Ruiz's RBI total, and has scored two more runs!" Are you for real? This matters? Look - we have no catcher for next season. Ruiz represents the closest possibility anywhere in the organization to at least play some role as a member of the catching staff next season. He's not a .143 hitter. He should be up here playing NOW. Fasano brings absolutely nothing to the table which Ruiz could not bring, and *needless to say* neither does Chris Coste, your ever-informative statistical comparison aside.

Amen RSB, Amen!

RichSchuBlues, I understand your position, because to support the presence of catcher-only Ruiz on the Rhillies, you have to ignore Ruiz's sad stats during his big league stay. You apparently misunderstood the foundational point that my recitation of Ruiz's statistics, vis-a-vis those of Coste, simply documented the fact that while Ruiz failed in his big league audition, Ruiz nevertheless had been given a solid chance to play, from the time he was promoted on May 5th. While no one is saying Ruiz will never be productive in the big leagues, this trip, Ruiz couldn't touch a big league curveball, despite being given 10 starts, including back-to-back starts on more than one occasion. Coste, on the other hand, despite having led the Phillies in hitting in 2006 Spring Training [.463 BA,.805 Slg Pct.,.500 OBP, & 11 RBI in 25 games in 41 AB], since being brought up on May 21st, has been given only 3 starts, in a total of 8 games, and only 16 at bats, interspersed over a month's time. And as of today, Coste has not been given an at bat in a week, despite going two-for-four with an RBI last Friday night. In other words, Coste has not been given anywhere near the shot that Ruiz was. And that was the central point of my prior post. It is true that Coste is 33, but I believe that Coste, if given even the opportunity to hit major league pitching that Ruiz had, will show that he can hit, and even pinch-hit, better than most of the rfest of the current bench. Because catcher-only Ruiz can't play third base, first base, second base, and the corner outfield positions, as Coste can, if Coste shows he can hit big league pitching, once given even the chance that Ruiz was given, Coste unquestionably will be far more valuable to the pitching-poor Phillies. Whether Coste will be given that chance, or whether he will simply be unfairly victimized by the kind of "no prospect" labeling, such as yours, RichSchuBlues, I just don't know.

Well, this much I do know. If you're 33 before you get your first big-league at-bat: you're not a prospect. That's not opinion, that's reality. And let me tell you what triple-A and spring training numbers mean.

SQUAT.

Ruiz had only a handful of starts, and only once did they come back-to-back. Fasano was still the everyday catcher while Ruiz was up. I don't call that anything resembling an adequate, definitive major-league trial.

You're wrong. First of all, the facts are that Ruiz was given ten (10) starts, more than a "handful" by most humans' understanding, but perhaps you are blessed with an extraordinary number of fingers. You're also wrong in that Ruiz was given back-to-back starts on at least two occasions, May 9th-10th, and May 20th-21st. Check the boxes for those dates. Furthermore, Ruiz is actually no kid either, as he's going on 28 years of age himself. Furthermore, my point was not that Coste is a "prospect" per se, but rather that because of his positional versatility, Coste is potentially much more valuable to the Phillies right now than Ruiz would be at this point, and that: (1) Coste thus should be given more of a chance to hit big league pitching, with some starts thrown into the mix; and (2) going back to my earlier post, Sal Fasano brings more to the Phillies' table right now than Ruiz has, or can, nothwithstanding your perpetual, irrational, and statistically-unsupported hatred of Fasano on this blog.

What is Uncle Cholly afraid of with Abreu leading off? Sure he has more power than traditional leadoff hitters(obviously by that home run derby performance and then the encore in the second half of the year) but Rollins has more HRs than he does. Its also not like he runs slower than Uncle Cholly himself. Anyway today's game is different than it used to be. Speed is a very small part of the game. Many teams don't have it and those that do use it do their advantage(see Red Sox and Dave Roberts). But neither Rollins nor Abreu has that kind of basestealing ability so why not put the man who is on base half the time in the leadoff spot. The Red Sox seem to be doing pretty well with the Greek god of walks, Kevin Youkilous in the leadoff spot(see tonights score). He isnt exactly your traditional leadoff guy but he gets on base for Manny and Big Papi

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EST. 2005

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