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Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Unfortunately for what Coste showed last year - this probably means Barajas starts, Ruiz backs up and Coste is the 25th man on the bench....

I don't know about anyone else, but I've felt all along that Gillick is angling to use Ruiz as trade bait.

I'm begging Gillick, Give Coste a chance! He's definitely earned it with the 2006 campaign. What does the guy need to do to get noticed? He was arguably one of the best clutch hitters we had, and isn't that one of our major needs for this club, clutch hitters?

The team is fine with Ruiz and Coste, this move would mean more depth - not a bad idea. Jaramillo maybe ML ready by August as well with Marson a sleeper canidate by 2008. Not a bad idea to add several extra players and stash some in AAA, especially since there are very few position players in the upper system that are legit prospects.
Jacobs is a good sign - however Werth a righty with lots of SO, you got to wonder if he fits in to this team. I figured a lefty contact hitter. Werth was probably signed since Roberson showed very little last year and is struggling mightily in winter ball. They will likely battle each other for a spot on the roster.

Ruiz and Coste are good defensively with strong arms and good game calling. Is Barajas able to do the same?

I must have missed it when Barajas played in Seattle : )

I like it, the more competition the better. Bring in a truckload of cheap relievers as well. 15 man Battle Royal for the empty BP spots.

Barajas? How about Werth and Coste as super-utility guys and no Barajas?

There's zero chance that the Phils will shell out $3M+ for a backup catcher and zero chance that Barajas will settle for less than that.

Agreed Barajas will demand $4M+. Disagree the Phillies wouldn't offer it to a backup. Weren't they considering Piazza earlier?

Gillick is underwhelming me. Barajas is a .240 hitter at best. He'll probably want to start a good portion of the games. I am perplexed. Coste and Ruiz are fine with me. Pick up a cheap dog catcher to gather up the scraps, letting Ruiz and Coste to handle the bulk of the load. Maybe RSB is right and Ruiz is coveted by some unknown to us team; and Gillick needs to have a catcher in place before the big blockbuster trade that includes Ruiz.

ZachT i'm with you. coste and ruiz are both good enough defensively that even if one or both stink it up at the plate (as opposed to behind it) it won't matter.

rsb - are you saying barajas would mean a ruiz trade which would open up the 2008 job for jaramillo? that definately sounds like a possible plan, but i'd rather just do that next year. i wonder what ruiz could bring in return.

again, we don't know anything about how good ruiz and coste are at gamecalling. i don't know understand why people just assume they're good at it. based on what evidence? we do know that when coste is catching, charlie frequently calls pitches from the dugout. ruiz and coste are both essentially rookies in terms of handling a major leaue staff and this team's weakness is startiong pitching. so, if gillick wants to bring in a guy who theoretically is good at that, it makes sense. barajas, however -- the guy who stood as the running draft day joke in the book 'fantasyland' -- doesn't seem like much of an answer.

barajas seems like Sal Fasano, without the cool facial hair.

gr - I disagree that starting pitching is this teams weakness. It was the '06 teams weakness, but after the acquisitions of Moyer, Garcia and Eaton, I think that we're OK in this dept. Hell, I'd even go so far as to say, that our starting 5 is better than league average.

Where did you find that Cholly was calling pitches when Coste was catching? I've never heard that.

And, I think that we have clear stats (if ou believe in CERA) that show that Coste and Ruiz were by far the best defensive/game calling catchers we have.

Player Inning CERA
Lieberthal 484.0 4.74
Coste 434.1 4.48
Fasano 365.2 4.80
Ruiz 176.1 4.13

I just don't see the need for a 3rd catcher, unless its just to stash him in the minors in case of an injury.

The bullpen needs help, but not that much. It is improved simply because the starters have improved.

Maybe Ruiz can bring us a reliever of some type. If so, then I have no problem with Barajas and Coste doing the catching this year.

Another head-stratcher. Mabye Gillick is just unsold on Ruiz/Coste and wants a stop-gap for a year. Still, if Barajas is coming to Philly, he is going to want to get paid as a starter ($3-$4 million/year) vs. backup ($1-$1.5 million).

Unfortunately, I think if Barajas comes to Philly, he will wind up the starter by default. The absolute worst thing would be for the Phils to sign Barajas to a 2- or 3- year deal.

Looking more and more like Gillick is going to stop the bench with veterans retreads (Conine, Werth, Nunez) and marginal talent (Roberson?, Sandoval). I foresee alot of PH-futility again this April & May.

Ruiz and Lieber (and Burrell?) packaged up with a bow on top would make a nifty present for someone... like Boston... for Manny.

excuse me, i'm just fantasizing here.

at the games, i've seen coste constantly looking in the dugout before giving signs to the pitchers. that, coupled with the story about hamels when he shook off charlie's sign in one of his first starts leads me to make that conclusion. its an "i watch the games" point, i guess, but i'm pretty confident its the case. and joe, our staff may be upgraded, but until i see them actually perform at an upgraded level, our weakness is (has been) still starting pitching. certainly, the bullpen might be more of a thorn this year. but its all one and the same related to gamecalling, really.

I agree with joe. This makes no sense. All they need is a 3rd stringer up in Ottawa in case someone gets hurt.

I've tried to see wheich teams have catching needs (assuming a Ruiz trade). Houston (Ausmus), Pitt , Arizona(don't remember if they said Snyder/Hill combo-- not good). Colorado.. and Texas (Laird only). Now you can look at trade possibilities for Lieber plus Ruiz for bullpen/bench help..

joe, i understand the ERA stats, i just don't know how much that is attributed to gamecalling by the catchers, especially for ruiz and his small sample size. lieby and fasano caught a majority of the games when the staff was worse (floyd & madson) and the team was bad overall. was one the cause of the other? i have no idea. i don't think its a forgone conclusion that ruiz/coste are solid game callers for an entire season (whatever relevence that really has in the end). i think they are probably better than fasano/lieby, which, lets be honest, is somewhat akin to the concept of being the world's tallest midget. that said, i find alot to like about our new pair of catchers. i think they're both better hitters, for one thing.

I agree with clout and joe. Gr brings up an interesting observation. Our assignment for next season is to watch Coste and Ruiz and see who is calling the pitches. We can publish stats like: Pitches called in Game - Ruiz, 15 pitches; Cholly, 130 pitches.

Well, two things about Lieby:

* First, it is telling that every veteran pitcher that came to Phillie wanted a personal catcher besides Lieby. I have heard that he has a reputation as a boneheaded signal caller.

* Lieby was a *much* better hitter than any of the other catchers, when he wasnt injured.

As for your observation from the game re: game calling. I didnt catch that, but I may have missed it...

Doesn't this HAVE to be prepping for a trade? I'm not sure I get it. The only real positive I can see is in comparison vs. last year. Would you rather have one of these "veteran retreads" up in a big spot, or Bourne or Sandoval? On second thought, don't answer that - Randall Simon is proof enough against that argument.

Willard, your bewilderment about this proposed Barajas deal seems to be shared by many on the Beerleaguer poster board.

The way the Phillies seem to ignore Chris Coste, if I was one of the teams Rob mentioned, I'd be inquiring about Coste. Maybe Coste is the secret trade bait?!

Not to get us on a tangent, but I think it would be more like Coste - 20, Manuel - 10, Manager-In-Waiting Jimy Williams - 130....

Tim, it just appears that the Phils don't really believe in Ruiz or take him seriously as an everyday catcher, or perhaps even a part-time one. They left him in AAA to rot for no good reason in the first half, and scarcely played him through much of the second half - a curious strategy at best to wean a guy who supposedly was going to be the number one after Lieberthal left. Judging from this and various implications made in comments by both Manuel and Gillick, I just get the feeling they aren't intending to have him be a part of the future with the Phillies.

It's been a long time since the Phillies had a catching prospect graduate to the majors. It's not a process that happens quickly, or cleanly. Ruiz wasn't going to start the season in Philadelphia no matter what, plus he missed most of ST catching for Panama in the WBC. With everything that was going on in the rotation, and all the injuries at the position, it was a goofy year to break in a catcher. Plus, he struggled in his first callup, otherwise he might have stayed on.

I also have certain doubts how much the Phillies see in Ruiz long-term, but the latest implications are they want to give him a shot. In the latest organization report in BA, written by Salisbury and dated Dec. 1, Manuel and Gillick had this to say:

"Right now, we want to give Ruiz a chance to play," said general manager Pat Gillick.

"Carlos got his feet wet and convinced us he can play in the big leagues," Manuel said. "We're going to turn him loose and see what he can do. I feel good putting him in there."

joe: sure, lieby was a better hitter -- in 2002. i'm talking about last year and going forward. and i'm aware of some pitchers' aversion to lieby. however, myers and lidle seem to throw to him regularly. lieby had no take charge in him. sal fasano seemed to have a lot. half-assed undermanagement is not really any better than half-assed over management. i just think the signalcalling thing is overrated. and as i said, all the "evidence" of ruiz and coste being good signalcallers is pretty much speculation. if they're competant defensively, that's good enough for me. i want ruiz to earn and be the starter. he could be pleasant surprise.

If Gillick signs Barajas I will be pissed. I usually try to find positives in any addition to the Phils, but in Barajas case I cannot grant that. Ruiz is better defensively and offensively. Coste may falter, but he's the backup. We don't need some guy bitching about not starting making millions on the team as a 3rd catcher...not worth it!

I'd like to see if Werth can still do some catching. Although he's 6'5" and that's a long way to crouch.

IMO, this Barajas thing is for real -- for real, principally, because Gillick doesn't believe in Chris Coste, and never has. And that's a shame.

If they aren't going to give Coste a shot I hope they trade him to a team that will play him a decent amount--the guy deserves it.

They'll find a spot for Coste on this team. Even with another catcher, there's room.

Here is a post called "Guess that retread." I will post two players career stats (per 162 games)

Player A: .240 18 .282 .410 .692
Player B: .221 19 .296 .398 .694

Both players are eeiry similiar to one another. Occasionally hit a HR but usually they are walking back to the dugout. Player A is the topic of this thread. Player B has a fu manchu.

Ken Rosenthal just posted 1 hour ago that free-agent catcher Rod Barajas is leaning toward signing with the Phillies. It sounds like you all are pretty down on him, but I was impressed with his defense with the D'Backs when they won it all in 2001 when he was platooned with Damien Miller. His ability to throw out base stealers is exceptional compared to what we've had in recent years. He threw out 50% of base stealers last year, 52% in '04 and '05, and 65% in his last year in the NL ('03). I love Coste's bat, but he only threw out 24% last year, combine that with Ruiz's 27% and questionable at and this is an upgrade defensively at catcher.

If Rosenthal and are right (and Barajas passes his physical), it will be interesting to see which catcher is chosen by which pitcher - hopefully Coste will catch at least one guy regularly. If the decision was based on what they actually have already achieved in the majors, Coste and Barajas have earned the majority of the starts, but Coste's versatility will probably cause him to be the odd man out.

"questionable at and" should have been, "it is not questionable that"

Normally I wouldn't be fussed about this acquisition. Coste got a taste of things last season, and I disagree that Gillick doesn't like him. He got a fair shot at the show, and he's very useful coming off the bench. So I don't see the barajas acquisiton as a threat.

But . . . my fuss is that charlie is going to start consistently going with a non-productive catcher just like last year, when we have two guys who deserve a shot. And his lousy OBP doesn't help a lick. It just seems like an acquisition that will play to charlie's weakness.

Amen Oisin, dumbass Charlie is the problem here. Now that he has his veteran (Barajas) he's going to hinder the progression of Ruiz. Ruiz if given the chance will most likely prove to be a far superior offensive catcher to Barajas and probably better defensively too. I like the idea of Coste as pinch-hitter, occasional catcher and corner infielder, but that means we're trusting Manuel to make the proper moves which he has shown to be incapable of in the past. I HATE MANUEL!

I am quite shocked by this signing. Apparently the market for Barajas wasn't what I thought it was, and the Phillies see him as far more than a 3rd catcher. It is going to be very interesting this season to see how much worse the offense is with an OF of Burrell/Rowand/Victorino-Werth and Barajas catching most of the time, which is quite likely. They see Coste as strictly a PH and don't think Ruiz can handle a starting job.

Hahhahahaahhahahahahha ya right. The phillies are not going to sign baajas hes to good for us! i will bet you he will sign with the rockies or the braves. If we sign him that will be great but phillies fans everywhere dont get ur hopes up of sighning this catcher he is a D in contact a C in power and a A- in catching and Ruis is a D in cntact a F in power and a C- in catching

Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111 i was wrong i just heard that they offically signed him to a 1 year 2.5 million dollar deal yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i think he will bring the phillies closer to winning the world series hes step 1 out of 10! i am so happy we signed baajas i think he is much better than coste or ruiz!!

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