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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

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I hope teams still have interest in Lieber after this latest debacle. Nice job holding that lead, Big Jon.

Yeah, what a joke this team has become. Every time they score a run, someone is there to piss it away.

The madness continues. Lieber bunts into a double play to end the second inning. Nice strategy. Nice execution. Lesson learned: Next time, just forfeit the at bat and let Lieber run to the concessions for a soft pretzel.

Wow, first pitch HR by Coste.

bah... that HR by coste is an illusion! he has no power, cant hit in the big leagues, let along over 300. he's an old man who belongs in the geriatrics home.

(tongue firmly in cheek)

can we please give him more playing time?

more playing time for coste? do you realize that lieberthal makes a lot of money? that is how you get playing time, you sign a nice contract, then the team feels obligated to play you. ask abraham nunez or ryan franklin, they'll tell you how it's done...

Or David Bell. Or Jon Lieber...

I remember when they used to call Lieber "the poor man's Greg Maddux." Looks like he's become Greg Maddux's Donut Taster...

yeh, i'm sorry, obviously we need to be playing our expensive guys so that we can "get our moneys worth", instead of.. you know, playing the guys that will help us win games.

and an RBI double for Coste.

Send Him Down! who does he think he is?

Oh I get it, Joe is being sarcastic.

yeh, a little sarcasm to highlight the too-old rookie's accomplishments... :-)

the man has a sweet, sweet swing. i think that he's going to be productive for as long as his body holds.

maybe, just maybe, we already have a competent 3B who's stuck playing catcher.

Coste now has as many rbis (10) as Lieby or Fasano in just 50 ABs.

Off topic, but if anyone read Salisbury's piece today on Phils sorry minor league system. Curious why Josh Kroeger is not even mentioned. I know he is not doing much at SWB, but at 23, I thought he was considered a MLB hopeful at least.

would not have minded seeing burrell bat there for dellucci. he's hitting .321 with 9 HR versus southpaws. but i guess he really needs the rest, big off-day tomorrow, has to get ready for a whole day of marlboro's and bicardi 151...

maybe, just maybe, we already have a competent 3B who's stuck playing catcher.

I say we find out. Drop Nunez, move Coste there and bring up Ruiz to complement (complement?) Lieberthal.

Yep, you're right Joe. Coste is a sure .300 hitter with 20 HR power and solid fielding at 3B if only they'd play him every day. 50 MLB at bats are a very sound indicator of what someone will do over a full season, regardless of his skills or minor league numbers.
(Should we have a sarcastic contest?)

There is no way Coste should lose his roster spot or any playing time to Fasano. It's time to keep Sal in AAA (backing up Ruiz).

Hopefully we can move Lieberthal for a bag of chips and promote Ruiz. He and Coste could handle the staff the remainder of the season.

Bobby Abreu... nicely done!!

I still don't feel comfortable...

Only a 10 run lead will guarantee a win with this pen.

why did that not surprise me at all? It's nice to see defensive strategy work as planned _against_ the phils.

ok, now I feel comfortable...

I forget - am I supposed to be happy they won, or not?

what a well-played game....

I forget - am I supposed to be happy they won, or not?

Not until after the trade deadline.

Clout: Do you have no shame? Give the Coste bashing a rest! Coste is proving you WRONG every time he steps on the field these days. Quit while you're ahead and you have some dignity left And whether it was you, or some other (now demonstrably wrong) naysayer, who eroineously claimed that "Coste has no power", I just looked at the replay on MLB.com . . . THAT WAS A *LINE DRIVE* UPPER DECK BLAST WHICH WAS STILL RISING WHEN IT HIT THE UPPER DECK SEATS!! Anyone who said Coste "has no power" was conspicuously ignorant of Coste's 20 dingers in AAA last year, and Coste's 89 RBIs, the third most in Scranton Wilkes-Barre club history. For those who still have the desire to trash Coste in the face of his performance - - this just isn't your time any more, and you simply have no factual basis with which to talk the guy down. Clout, Coste's major league perforemance with the Phillies thus far is *entirely consistent* with the entire pattern of Coste's minor league career, with the exception of the six weeks at the beginning of this season at Scranton Wilkes-Barre when Coste was clearly devastated at being unjustly made the Phillies final cut after Spring Training. Coste criticizers . . . bring it on baby! We'll talk stats when you raise your heads out of the ground, now.

The Phillies need to pick up Shea Hillenbrand.

I just figured out what you meant, Cable.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2524415

By all means necessary, they need to pick him up. Start rebuilding now...

I come not to praise Coste but to but his performance into perspective:

-He has hit HRs at a rate of 38 ABs/HR in his minor league career. Besides last year, he had better power numbers early in his career in the Northern League (Ind. BB)
-His career minor league SLG is .458 which is ok but his better SLG numbers came early in his career.
-While he hits for AVG (.306 in minor leagues) but he nevers walks (.067 BB/PA).

While he has only had 51 ABs this season, his performance mirrors his minor league numbers. He can hit for AVG (.333) but he doesn't walk (.019 BB/PA) and his ISOp (.118) demonstrates that he is a singles hitter.

Basically what does this mean - Coste definitely has shown he has value to this team and that he deserves playing time over the dead wood on the Phils bench (Fasano and Nunez). Yet I guarantee that brain dead Manuel with continue to go with the veteran losers. Still, Coste is not a starter and his limitations would get exposed if he played everyday.

Ideally, the Phils would release Nunez (no way this happens since he is guaranteed over $1 million next year) and use Coste as a super sub at 3B/1B with the occasional emergency start at C.

Another so-so start by our supposed "ace" tonight. If Lieber had pitched well since coming off the DL, the Phils might have been able to move him for something a little better. Given his below average performance this season and the money he is owed next year ($8 million), the Phils will be lucky to get more than a marginal prospect or a career bench player for him. So go ahead and eat some more donuts Fatty.

I agree, they must persue Hillenbrand. Baggage and all, he is still a better third baseman than David Bell and the weak free agent crop at that position this upcoming off-season.

the answer to the third base problem just landed in our laps. get hillenbrand here!

anyone know about hillenbrands makeup? the article makes it sound like he's another locker room cancer.

Hillenbrand is more first baseman than third baseman. He would seem to be a good fit for San Francisco, or even San Diego, who released Castilla.

HIllenbrand would still be a good bridge until we get someone permanently. We should jump on him.

the only way the hillenbrand trade would work is if we traded Bell for him. Otherwise, we'd release Nunez, then Bell and Hillenbrand would have to split time. Manuel would never split time with Bell.

Of course, we could always get rid of manuel too, but let's not talk crazy

it seems odd to me there haven't been morgan ensberg trade rumors. both those guys would be upgrades for us.

Why not trade Bell and Nunez for Hillenbrand? Give the Blue Jays some "options" to play with. I don't care if he's not much of a 3B, I'd be much happier seeing him hit 7th (or likely higher) everyday than watching Bell ground into another DP. You know who else would be a better option at 3B than Bell? Placido Polanco. I'm still bitter.

That's a good idea, Steve. Trade them both. And Polanco is still the best option of all.

The Phillies will never get Hillenbrand. It makes too much sense. Better to just get the most out of David Bell before his expensive contract runs out. Mark my words: they won't even make a run at him. They won't even think twice. Or once.

"They wonder why they are not winning," Hillenbrand said {about the Blue Jays}. "It's the atmosphere."

Sure, the Phillies can handle that kind of frankness. He's clearly their type of player.

I'd rather have them take a look at him after the season anyways. I don't know much about the Jays, but since they were thinking about trading him anyways, they probably have a guy playing third right now, which means they won't take Bell. And noone would take Nunez if you gave him to them. If you dont make him an everyday guy, Hillenbrand will blow up in your face.

Not to mention the fact that the last thing the management is looking for after the Myers situation is another press problem waiting to happen. And honestly, I don't want a guy to come here, play for a few months, get sick of it and then put the idea in everyone's (read: Howard and Utley's) head that they'll never win in this city.

The Blue Jays have Troy Glaus playing third base (I think Hillenbrand was mostly DHing this year anyway, hence his complaint about playing time). They wouldn't need Bell either. For the Phillies to end up with Hillenbrand, it'd probably need a complicated three-way trade... and why bother when the Yankees would probably be happy to buy Hillenbrand instead?

One would hope with the Jays in actual contention with the Yanks this year, that they wouldn't be foolish enough to give them Hillenbrand, and I doubt they are that foolish.

Would you rather have the Braves win another division title......or have the Mets collapse and forever erase the '64 phillies as the greatest collapse?

I think for the one to happen, the other would have to as well. Ridiculous as it sounds, I just can't shake that feeling that the Braves will somehow pull away with it again....

Hillenbrand was splitting time between 1B/DH. Jays have Overbay at 1B and Hinske as part-time DH so Hillenbrand wasn't getting a start everyday.

Does anyone on this thread actually know anything about Hillenbrand? The last thing the Phils need to do is pick up Hillenbrand. Hillenbrand is a terrible defensively at 3B. Saw that plenty of times firsthand with the Sox. Additionally, he always hits like crazy until June. After June, his production markedly declines.

Hillenbrand is also a noted hacker who never walks, strikeouts alot and never sees alot pitches. The Phils don't need another hitter like this in their lineup. Early have plenty of guys (Rowand, Rollins, Bell, whoever play C) that do that now.

The Braves just picked up Wickman from the Tribe. I am not a fan of Wickman's, but he is an upgrade over what they had.

"The Braves just picked up Wickman from the Tribe..."

And I just added new Indians closer Fausto Carmona to my fantasy team.

Hillebrand doesn't whiff that often. In '05 he whiffed 79 times in 594 ABs, in '94 he whiffed 49 times in 562 ABs, in '03 he whiffed 70 times in 515 ABs. Granted I don't know what an ideal strikeout percentage is, but that does not seem all that bad, especially when you factor in his career .288 average coming into this year along with 83 HRs and 391 RBIs from '01 to '05. If you look at this years stats, they are even better. He is currently hitting .301 with 12 HR and 39 RBI. He is worth a gamble for the rest of the year and if you don't like what you see, I am sure you can make some kind of trade in the off-season.

'04, not '94

Oh, I would root for the Braves in a heartbeat, I would give anything to see the Mets and their bratty fans humbled. Not that I believe it would happen, but if the Mets were to crash and burn, it would give me something to be glad for in 2006, after all.

MG, Hillenbrand's liabilities notwithstanding, wou'll have to forgive Phils fans for believing a guy with a .300 average and more than 10 homers at third is an upgrade on David Bell, even if he only caught every other ball hit to him.

I wouldn't say he's the answer, either, but I think the idea here is: please, *anyone* but David Bell. Even for ten weeks.

Davthom, allow me to vouch for Chris Coste. He's proved himself to be much more than a "feel-good story". He deserves to stay over Fasano, and for that matter, he deserves to start over Lieberthal and his invisible bat. Lieby's days as a starting catcher are history. They already should be, and certainly no one would sign him as anything other than a backup for next year. Obviously, the team thinks nothing of Carlos Ruiz, or he'd still be with the team. If they go with Lieberthal and Fasano, they aren't putting their best available options on the roster, period. Experience? That and a handful of change will get you the highest starting pitcher's ERA in the league.

I'm not excited about Hillenbrand either, MG. I don't see any upside there. He has a nice bat, but he's 31. He's been given less and less playing time at 3B in every season since his debut, and the Phils would need to enter a potential bidding war to get him. San Diego, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, San Francisco Giants are among the contending teams that could use him. The Phillies are in no shape to be adding veterans, especially ones that are on the way down and can't hold a regular job at one position.

MG,

I don't care about Hillenbrand one way or the other; my point is I'd take anyone (including Hillenbrand) at 3B over the dynamic duo we have working there now. And I'd trade Bell and Nunez for anything. If we got a serviceable player like Hillenbrand, great. If we got a box of baseballs, fine. I'm all about giving Coste some PT at third too. I don't think he's going to hit .300 forever and I don't know what he'd be like defensively, but no matter what he does it's not like he's essentially stealing $4 million a year like Bell. I wish I got paid a tenth of that to be terrible at my job.

Coste ?
can anyone say Joe Roa ?

You're all missing the point. Coste gets paid the minimum. Anything positive he does is a bonus. If he tears up the league for the next two months, he'd be happy to come back to the Phillies for $500,000 next year. If you play him and he's terrible the next two months, release him after the season. Either way he's a worthwhile investment because you're not locked into paying him anything; there's only upside. The reason I can't stand Bell so much is because in any other business you wouldn't keep someone around who is terrible at what they do, doesn't earn their salary, and pisses off all of your company's (team's) customers (fans). That only happens in sports and at least some teams are smart enough to cut their losses (D-Backs with Russ Ortiz). Other teams aren't that smart. I'm thinking of one right now.

Right now, there is virtually no downside to Coste. He's cheap, he's got options left in case he *has* to go down, and he's pounding the shit out of the ball.

plus, he can play everywhere except SS and CF (including emergency-pitcher).

the way he's swinging a bat right now, and the way his defense is, (does anyone think that lieberthal or fasano would have recovered that wild pitch last night in time to stop the run?), he should be playing every damn day, or at least until he cools off/scouts figure him out.

its funny, but i think that david bell may feel coste breathing down his neck, and has stepped up his performance.

I think that the roster moves are pretty clear: cut Nunez, or have Sal stay on the DL until Lieberthal gets hurt (and he will, its his favorite position, the DL)

>can anyone say Joe Roa ?

Kenny Rogers?

Ummmm...

"From Jayson Stark:

It's beginning to appear that the Phillies and Mets have the makings of a Richter Scale kind of deal -- one that would send Abreu to Flushing Meadow for an earth-rattling package topped by the Mets' marquee position-player prospect, Lastings Milledge. Two weeks ago, Milledge had a "Do Not Touch" sign pasted on his cap. But suddenly, a number of Mets people have been floating his name to friends in the business. And they've been sending signals that the one available player they would prefer to trade him for is Abreu. The Mets' original deadline shopping list started (and essentially ended) with starting pitching. But clubs that have spoken with the Mets say they've concluded there is no gettable starter with better stuff than the just-recalled Mike Pelfrey. So they have turned their attention to the one guy on their list they think could be a major difference-maker -- Abreu. The Phillies, on the other hand, are still pushing Pat Burrell before they even seriously shop Abreu. While that's only a matter of time, they would then have to decide whether they would risk shipping their No. 3 hitter to a team they would have to face 19 times a year. To do that, they'd initially indicated that the package would have to center around Pelfrey. But in the meantime, according to one baseball man, they've also done their homework on Milledge -- and haven't found anything negative except a mild case of immaturity. Sources who have been in touch with both clubs say nothing is imminent -- because the Phillies haven't posted that "Open For Business" sign on Abreu's back yet. And with Abreu's agent, Peter Greenberg, telling ESPN.com he would want his $16-million 2008 option picked up to waive his no-trade clause, the teams also would have to work out who pays what of the $37 million or so Abreu has coming. But with the Tigers and Red Sox showing no more than kick-the-tires interest, and the Yankees balking at dealing anyone in the upper tier of their prospect pool, this is the one burner on the Phillies' stove where you can feel the heat building around Bobby Abreu's fabled casserole. "

guh! not the mets! please no!

I'm all for the Mets getting involved. They're going for it this year. It's a great thing to start getting names like Milledge involved in any discussion for Abreu.

my feelings exactly... if we get milledge in a package for abreu, that's a success in my book. and i think it's fair that part of the reason that that's so is b/c milledge is something we just don't have in our system - a young, exciting positional player who's a true "elite prospect".

Ugh... no thanks. If Bobby must go anywhere, I'd hope it would be to a west coast team, and preferably an AL West team (like the Angels). He's going to be one of those Mets like Piazza, Paul LoDuca or Reyes that slugs the snot out of Phillies pitching.

Sure, ideally you don't want to make a division rival better. The point is, you start getting names like Milledge involved, and the next thing you know, Boston starts throwing out Lester, the Yankees start mentioning Hughes, and maybe the Tigers, who should also go for it, give you something better than Miner. Maybe they give you Sanchez.

you guys that don't want hillenbrand are letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. it's not like this is a team built around defense, or even that david bell is a good defensive player (i don't care what defensive stat anyone has - i have eyes). he is the best available option right now - there is nothing better than him in free agency next year. if charle replaces him late with nunez we'll be fine. as for bobby - i would not trade him to the met.

Bobby to the Mets! Bobby to the Yankees! Bobby to the Red Sox! Bobby to the Tigers!

I'll believe it when I see it.

A funny line from a drunk guy behind me at Petco park the other night, after it was flashed on the scoreboard that Abreu was acquired from the Devil Rays for Kevin Stocker:

"Bottom line, he's from Tampa Bay!"

Is anyone dismayed that the Phils only getting marginal interested in Abreu? I can see why teams are cold on Burrell (injury factor and a ton of money in '07 and '08) but it doesn't seem like any teams are willing to give up decent pitching for Abreu. Gordon might be the only chip the Phils have to get a decent starter.

I bet Abreu would just tank with the mets anyway.

The more teams interested in Abreu, the better! I don't care if we ship him off to the Mets, as long as we are getting value in return. Milledge and Pelfrey both should be pretty good major leaguers. I am interested to see what they actually will throw our way. Maybe we can ship one of our starters (Lieber or Lidle) off to them as well. If anything, maybe with the Mets offering a pretty good prospect will lead the Yankees to consider moving Hughes. 10 days to go!

HG, marginal interest? I haven't seen this much of a walking trade rumor since Rolen in 2002. He's been liked to nearly half of the teams in baseball with some rumor or another, and certain teams repeatedly. There is obviously very strong interest in him. The question is whether Gillick is just waiting until the last minute to guarantee the best return - which isn't necessarily a guarantee since good offers this week can be withdrawn next week for any number of reasons - or is just going to be a stupid ass and hold on to him.

I am in Indianapolis, and just attended the Indianapolis Indians-Norfolk Tides game here tonight, in which Lastings Milledge was up four times, and had three *absolutely terrible* at bats (3 K's with two called third strikes) but also a triple as well. Milledge exhibited excess "tude" during his at bats, making head snap gestures to the ump after the two called third strikes against him. The lack of "maturity" in Milledge, mentioned in one of the posts above Milledge, was clearly evident tonight. Milledge unquestionably is a superior athlete, but he seemed to have serious trouble catching up to 87-92 m.p.h. fast balls tonight. While admittedly this was just a single game, and but one "snapshot" view of Milledge for me in person, Milledge seemed overmatched by the Indians' journeyman starter (former Expo Brit Reames), and I think Milledge is at least two years away from being a productive regular in the big leagues. If the Phillies are ok with that, fine, but seeing what I saw tonight, Milledge will not be able to step into the big leagues as a starter, this year for sure, nor likely next year either. As gifted an athlete as Milledge clearly is, it may be worth getting him for possible returns in two years or so, though.

davthom73: Is Coste a family member? Your emotional, wild rants are truly bizarre. I'm not a Coste basher. My point is simply that 50 MLB ABs are not a good indicator of future success. I absolutely think he should stay with the team. I also think you're nuts if you think he can hit .300 with 20 HRs if he plays every day or is the answer at catcher. Like I said before, maybe he's the 1 in a million guy who becomes a star at age 33. But the odds favor my point of view, not yours.
Re: Hillebrand. He cannot field at the major league level and he's a cancer in the clubhouse. He's a good DH though.

Clout: Your suggestion that I am a "Coste family member" is as false and incorrect as it could possibly be. However, your making that accusation, in a complete factual void, isreally rather stupid, in my opinion. Again, I do not know Chris Coste, I am not related to Coste, I have never met Coste, and I likely never will. Coste is from Fargo, North Dakota. I am a 53-year-old lawyer who grew up in New Jersey, who played college football at the University of Maine in the early 1970's, and I now live in a midwestern state (not Indiana). Later, I was one of four principal owners of an independent baseball league franchise during the years 1996-1997. Be advised that I gain nothing, save simple satisfaction, in my defense of Coste from "know-it-all-while-knowing-nothing" detractors. Clout, on the field, the only place it really matters, Coste is progressively proving me right, and you, and others like you, wrong, with each passing day. The problem with your naysaying, vis-a-vis Chris Coste at this point, is the fact that Coste's *performance*, both offensively and defensively, has put the lie to his attempted detractors, you included. By any rational and objective standards, Coste's 10 RBI's in 51 at bats, with a .333 batting average (.412 in his last 10 games), and solid defensive performance, well more than justifies our seeing a lot more of Coste on the field for the Phillies *right now*. Furthermore, by Coste having played a great amount of third base and first base in the past few years in AAA, and multiple positions in his minor league career, Coste is actually a "young 33" from a catcher "wear and tear perspective", particularly in terms of Coste's knees. In terms of physical condition, in this regard, Coste far more closely resembles a 27 or 28 year-old catcher, than the broken down 34 year-old Fasano or the now-injury prone and production declining Lieberthal. Clout, you may have your own subjective *belief* that Coste will ultimately fail, but to this point, all of the *evidence* -- fropm Coste's actual performance on the field at this point -- serves to eviscerate your persistent and increasingly discredited opinions on this player. Lets see a lot more of Coste, in the near future, but in the meantime, why don't you simply be fair and give Coste his due? OK? Starting major league catchers don't grow on trees, and the Phillies can't possibly lose by, as Manuel said today on the Phillies web site, "riding the wave" with Coste "to see where it takes us."

Davthom, at first I was put off by your posts, but I'm growing to appreciate your style. If we all thought and wrote the same, it'd be pretty boring. And Coste is making you look better by the day.

Wow, never seen someone get so worked up over an accusation that he is someone's relative...does insanity run in the Coste family?

I hate Bell as much as anyone, but Hillenbrand would not represent an upgrade, for all the reasons MG mentioned above...besides, do we really want someone who writes "play for youself" on the clubhouse wall...pass

Jason Whitlock on PTI called Hillenbrand a "worse teammate than TO"!! hahahahahah -now, c'mon. TO singlehandedly brought down the whole franchise last year.

But that said, if someone is willing to even make that kind of overstatement about Hillenbrand, well, perhaps "where there's smoke there's fire" applies here. I'll pass on him too, as much as I hate Bell and want a real 3B (see my posts about what we need to trade Abreu for).

I think Hillenbrand would love playing under Charlie Manuel, if Bell were gone. Think about it, who else plays people regardless of their prior performance? Hillenbrand would KNOW he would always be in the line-up. Hence no "personality conflict." Now if Gillick is secretly scheming to get Pinella in there next year, then obviously Shea shouldn't get a second look.

I take Whitlock for a grain of salt. He was just taking the opportunity to make TO seem less outrageous. If you've ever read his ESPN stuff, you know he has a certain "viewpoint".

i don't watch whitlock. he's either racist or stupid. either way he's not worth my time.

davthom73: I have no doubt you're a lawyer. You ignore the points I make, attribute to me positions I don't hold and then argue against them. I never said Coste shouldn't play for the team. I never said the Phils shouldn't give him a long look see. I never said he'd ultimately fail. Let me try again so you can ignore my points again:
1. I don't believe that 50 MLB at bats constitutes enough of a sample to project a player's season-long performance.
2. I don't believe 1 HR in 50 Abs constitutes a power hitter.
3. I don't believe Coste projects as a quality everyday catcher. He should not be viewed as the solution to the position.
4. So far, he's been a good player off the bench and I would favor keeping him over Fasano.
5. I don't believe he can duplicate his one great year at Wilkes Barre in the bigs.
He's a backup catcher at best. That's not an insult.
P.S. Your posts are nearly identical to the posts being made on this board about Shane Victorino this spring. I caught quite a bit of heat for insisting he was nothing more than a 4th or 5th outfielder.

Davthom73,

Please stop using quotation marks for every other phrase.

Thank you,
Zach

Clout, Weren't you the one that said that Victorino was a Quad A player at best and likely will wind up a Triple-A lifer ? Now, it seems you've upgraded him to a 4th or 5th outfielder. I don't see any part of Rowand's game that is superior to Victorino other than slightly more power. Victorino has a much stronger and accurate arm, more speed, and strikes out a lot less.

victorino's relative: I have the guts to keep using my same screen name, you don't.

Clout: To respond to the numerically-designated points in your post above:
1. Certainly, taken in isolation, a player's performance in 51 MLB at bats is not itself "enough of a sample to project a player's season-long performance." However, in Coste, you can see a trend of a player who has stepped up his game to a markedly higher level in the last couple of years, when you add into the evaluative equation Coste's superlative 2006 ST [41 AB, .463 BA, .500 OBP, .805 slugging average, & 11 RBI's], and Coste's 2005 AAA All Star season at Scranton Wilkes-Barre [506 AB, .292 BA, .466 slugging average, & 89 RBI's (3rd most in club history) and 40 walks, third most on the S W-B team], the picture of Coste's game being on an upward plane becomes clearer. The guy is upgrading his game in his early 30's.
2. I "don't believe 1 HR in 50 Abs constitutes a power hitter", either. However, I do call Coste's upper deck HR in San Diego this week a demonstration of substantial power. Additionally, when you consider that Coste went 0 for his first 12 or 13 at bats in the bigs, while he clearly fought some early nervousness at the plate, I call Coste's following major league hitting numbers very impressive: .412 BA with 9 RBI's in Coste's last 10 games; .333 overall BA, .451 slugging average, & 10 RBI's in 51 at bats.
3. At this popint, with Coste having been given only 51 MLB at bats, I respectfully submit that you cannot state conclusively that "Coste (does not) project as a quality everyday catcher" and/or that Coste "should not be viewed as the solution to the position." With free agency, injuries, and ever more common unforseen collapses of performance by players in the space of a single year's time, just how "long term" are the intended "solutions" to the positional needs of any team any more? I am simply saying that Coste should be given a chance to demonstrate that he could be even a temporary "solution" to provide better overall performance at the Phillies' catcher position. Already, Coste has demonstrably outplayed both Lieberthal and Fasano, when all three catchers' performances are compared to one another, straight up.
4. "So far, (Coste has been) a good player off the bench and I would favor keeping him over Fasano." Clout, as you might imagine, we have no disagreement there.
5. "I don't believe (Coste) can duplicate his one great year at Wilkes Barre in the bigs." I do disagree with you here. The thing is, Coste's "one great year" at Scranton Wilkes-Barre happens to have occurred occurred *last year, 2005*. I do believe that if Coste had 134 games in the big leagues in any one season, he could well hit 20 HR's, produce 89 RBI's and hit in the .300 range. I actually believe that Coste has upgraded his game in the last 18 months (even playing around the calendar, catching about 60 games in Mexico this past winter). While it is unlikely that Coste will ever be given a chance to play in 134 games in MLB, I believe that he will produce proportionate stats, for whatever number of games be *does* play. We'll see. Interesting and provocative post, though, Clout. I mean it.

I agree with Clout on the matter of people who use fake names (ie., "Victorino's relative" or "Coste's mom") in making posts to this board. In my opinion, the practice diminishes the credibility of the posts themselves,as well as the overall quality of discussion on the string, reagrdless of the substantive opinions that are being expressed at the time.

...I think it was meant as a joke.

A reality check for DavThom73: Chris Coste is 33 years old. It really doesn't matter that he "stepped up his game" over the past two years -- the odds of him even staying at his current level, let alone improving, are in the 10 percent or below range. Beyond that, he does not have the defensive skills to play catcher on an everyday basis. I agree that he would be an upgrade over Bell at 3B, but then who wouldn't? The point of playing people for this year is long gone anyway; he's not so much better than Bell that he'll help overcome the lousy pitching. His future is as a backup, and they should keep him, but let's not get silly about it. Based on the impassioned nonsense, I understand why someone accused you of being a relative. I know it's hard to keep a clear head in the midst of a disappointing season, but really.

Alby (a/k/a/ "Another Master of Baseball Cliched Conventional Wisdom and Thinking Inside (But Never Outside) the Box": You said *before* tonight's dramatic 6-5 win against Atlanta: "A reality check for DavThom73: Chris Coste is 33 years old . . . the odds of him even staying at his current level, let alone improving, are in the 10 percent or below range . . . . Beyond that, (Coste) does not have the defensive skills to play catcher on an everyday basis." After Coste's 2-run homer in the 4th inning tonight to put the Phillies on the board, and the 6-5 win, starting pitcher Cory Lidle said: "I haven't been able to get that far in a game in a long time. I found a good rhythm earlier and carried it through eight innings. It's big for me." And just take a look at the performances by pitchers in games in which Coste has caught, and compare those performances to the performances of the same pitchers throwing to the three others, Lieberthal, Fasano and Ruiz. Ken Mandel's piece on MLB.com said: "Rookie Chris Coste, who smacked his first career homer on Wednesday, stayed hot with a two-run blast off Smoltz in the fourth." And Sam Carchidi writes in the Inquirer: "With Sal Fasano about to come off the disabled list, the Phillies soon will have to make a decision about their catchers. Chris Coste is making part of that decision easy. If the Phils decide to keep just two catchers on their roster, Coste has shown he deserves to be one of them. Tonight, one game after he slammed his first major-league homer, the 33-year-old rookie ripped a two-run home run to give the Phils a 2-0 fourth-inning lead against John Smoltz . . . After being promoted from triple-A Scranton, Coste went 0 for 14. Since then, he has hit a staggering .450, boosting his overall average to .333." Coste may well be an exception to the "inside the box" world of MLB scouting and player evaluation conventional wisdom -- but a welcome exception Coste is to the Phillies right now, nevertheless.

Well, DavTHom, aka "I'm as giddy as a schoolgirl over someone's first 53 ML AB's," suppose you show me all the previous examples in major league history of someone converting to catcher at age 33 and becoming a contributing starter for any length of time that surpasses a couple of months. Accepting that they're cooked for this season, do you really expect someone to go into next year with a 34-year-old starting catcher with virtually no experience? Grow the hell up.

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EST. 2005

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