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Monday, December 18, 2006

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Jason: I know it's the off-season, but is the next headline going to be, "Phillies clubhouse man switches to Tide"?

Hey clout, he looks like an interesting guy, certainly a better chance to hit major league pitching than Roberson.

I'm always amazed that their are players like So Taguchi and Tony Womack in the league and guys like Jacobs that have a .911 OPS in AAA never get a shot.

According to baseball cube, he started out as a pitcher, but he looks to have gap power (not many homers but a lot of doubles) and fairly good plate discipline. For all I know, he may be a butcher in the field but I can imagine him getting a few ABs this year if he is at least servicable in the field.

But the real question is: Does he have heart?

Clout, I'm only sorry that I wasn't the one to start this thread off.

I'm assuming that Jacobs has an invite to the big club's ST, and once there, if he gets a few at bats, I think Jacobs will impress. While Jacobs' chances of making the big club are probably next-to-non-existent, the guy may well end up at AAA, and be worthy as a spare part later on. Like a surprising number of hitters who have come out of the independent leagues, Jacobs is a converted pitcher, became a hitter after several minor league seasons -- being a "late bloomer" as a hitter. And Jacobs has had some substantial hitting hot streaks. I saw Jacobs play twice for the Kansas City T-Bones in the Northern League last summer (in Fargo and Winnipeg), and the guy hit the cover off the ball, off different types of pitchers.

A number of Northern League guys have gone successfully from that league to major league-affiliated AAA, and shortly after that, to big league service. The quality of the baseball in the Northern League is far better than many outside of Northern League cities understand.

By the way, Clout, I just responded to your post on the Phillies' catching situation on the Livingston thread.

And Jason, for my part, I *loved* that post.

Oh, duh, I just read that he was the top defensive player so he certainly should get a chance. I can say with all honsesty that I would rather see Jacobs on the team then Conine or Roberson.

Did this guy play with Coste in the Northern League?

Reviewing his career, I don't think he played with Coste.

The term "purchased contract" goes along with an addition to the 40-man roster. They have plenty of room on their 40-man for Jacobs, which sits at 35 at the moment. This transaction hasn't been reported in too many places, just on USAToday and ESPN from what I've seen. As of tonight, he's not included on the 40-man roster on Phillies.com.

Interesting signing. Probably better than Roberson. Worthy of a look and nice insurance at AAA if he doesn't make the team. Are we officially Seattle-East yet?

question: why do i not own a kansas city t-bones hat?

Speaking of minor roster moves, does anyone else think that the bench will potentially be horrible again to start the season?

You have three players who are essentially worthless with a bat (Nunez, Sandoval, Roberson). Also, Conine really faded down the stretch and I am not counting on him to show much this season. That only leaves only Coste as a legimitate PH-option.

Gillick did an absolutely horrendous job last year of acquiring bench players (Fasano, Gonzalez, etc) to start the season and I don't any reason to be much more positive so far this offseason.

MG, agreed that Gillick is doing the same thing he did last offseason: namely, not nearly enough to shore up the bullpen and the bench. Seeing how these lackings seriously hurt the Phillies last season, you'd think he would be more apt to make a better attempt this time around, but so far - nothing. It's worrisome and somewhat inexplicable.

Well okay, Pat, at least you're trying. Jayson Werth? I remember him having a monster game at CBP in '04. But his power was way down in '05, and then he didn't play at all last year. And he's right-handed. And oh my lord above, check the strikeout rate from '05: 114 Ks in 337 ABs?! What's that about? Please tell me this guy's just a non-roster invitee...

Don't know, RSB. I will hazard a small prediction and suggest we're not going to pick up an A-gon like we did last year. Gillick keeps digging up these AAA guys to take one last look at. I can't complain too much, given the low cost of the strategy both in terms of money and long term committment.

I will cede the point that he's gambling a lot more on the players going into ST - if not enough of them work out, we will be left short.

Werth could be a nice surprise, he appears to have some real power and even some speed - but he's a gamble at best and I just hope Gillick is just picking up up for the kind of depth you mention, Oisin, rather than counting on him to play a primary bench role. I'm all for adding depth and taking cheap chances, but as I've said before, we need to see a little more substance from Gillick's transactions - people who aren't just auditioning, but who are more of a sure thing going into spring training.

Is Werth the best we can do? I sure hope not. I am rather disgusted at the lack of moves being made to try and shore up the bullpen and the bench doesn't look much better. There is never a sense of urgency when it comes to these two areas. I don't get it...

Villone, or a left-hander like him, should be signed today! I don't like having Smith and Castro as being the only lefties down in the pen. Does Gillick really think he is going to get two bullpen pieces for Jon Lieber? I just don't see that happening...

Dude used to be a pitcher and now is converted to outfield. I saw we try to mold him into a Brooks Kieshnick type player where he can relieve, pinch-hit, and play outfield on occasion.

But seriously, I have no problem with the Phils taking chances on guys like this. This is creative baseball at it's best. If Jim Ed Warden pans out from the Rule 5, Gillick looks genius. If Jacobs pans out from the Independent League, Gillick looks thrifty and smart...nothing really to lose, only to gain.

Angus, Coste last played in the Northern League in the 1999 season, with the Fargo-Moorhead Red Hawks. Jacobs was playing during the years 1998-2001 in the Angels organization at the Class A level, so Coste and Jacobs never played in the Northern League at the same time.

Saw the Gillick also inked Jayson Werth- hoping it's a minor league deal. He gives us insurance at Ottawa or backup outfielder in the event someone actually wants Conine or Roberson via trade.

For what it's worth, I can find no mention of Jacobs as a legitimate prospect in material from the late 90s to 2004. Coste was a 1 in a thousand who made it and davethom has it right when he says, "Jacobs' chances of making the big club are probably next-to-non-existent."

What's significant about this is that the Phillies had 5 openings on their 40-man roster. Normally those openings would be used to protect prospects with 2-3 years experience. This team basically has very few worth protecting.

Werth is fine as a NRI, but unless they dump Conine, I don't know where he fits. He's never been able to hit RHP (career OPS .746). He's a way better fielder than Conine, but that's about it. I'd rather use the roster spot for Bourn.

Worth or "Werth" mentioning is that Werth was a catcher in the minors.

Clout: That's overstating it a bit with that 1 in a thousand business. There are more ex-indie ballers that have found success than you might realize, specifically as role players and in the bullpen.

Hold off on your Werth posts for now; I'll get a fresh post on it a bit later this morning.

It's certainly better than signing some 38 yr old retread simply because of what he did 5 years ago.

This guy was a star at Cal State Fullerton and did great at Tacoma for Seattle. Fluke injury cancelled a call up to Seattle. Can hit the cover off the ball. Always a pure hittter, dispite the pitching attempt in the Anaheim system. Complete steal with enormous upside. Beat the Indians to this guy.

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