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Thursday, August 09, 2007


To pick up where I left off in the last thread, I would like this move in Sept., like the Randall Simon move mentioned by JW, but when you have expanded rosters. I dont like it now.

Branyan? Ugh. Yet another "Value Village" special by Gillick.

I can see how Cholly would like another experienced bat off the bench right now. Kind of short-handed by carrying an extra pitcher and I doubt Cholly has much faith in his guys on the bench to PH including Roberson, Nunez, and Helms.

Still, I think Roberson's speed/defense and Condrey's ability to be a long-guy bring more value to this team right now. It will be interesting to see what roster move the Phils make to accommodate Branyan.

Prediction: After Branyan strikes out in a few PH situations, I bet the Phils fan will start to get on him. Branyan has never been a high energy guy and for some reason I don't see him meshing well with the Philly fans.

Well it's a little discouraging if he's that much worse as a pinch-hitter, since that's the only role where he really makes sense.

I've always been unimpressed with Branyan. He's got pop if he can make contact, it just seems he doesn't often enough. It's a minor move for the bench though. Who does he replace on the roster? Condrey again?

I question this move. Yes, he is better than Roberson or Nunez off the bench, however I wouldn't want him getting four ABs in a game more than once every two weeks. He reminds me of Wes Helms in the field, and doesn't even come close to Helms' mediocre average of .254. What the Phils should have done is gotten themselves an upgraded back-up middle infielder (a SS-3B kind of guy) and parted ways with Nuni.

I'd send Branyan to Ottawa till 01Sep. He played last night for Buffalo, went 0-4, 3k's against a horrible team, Ottawa.

Have to agree with martin; send him north, and maybe bring him up on September 1. Even if he's an improvement over Helms, he couldn't possibly be THAT much of an improvement. And a guy who strikes out a lot and doesn't hit a lot of homers anymore isn't a guy who's going to scare other teams.

This is exactly the kind of guy that the team could use in September. I asked yesterday if Costanzo would get a September call up. Just to give that "threat" of driving the ball, late in a close game. Now, Costanzo won't be needed.

Nunez and Roberson can't do that. Branyan can. With his IMMENSE power, he doesn't even have to hit it good to get it out of CBP. Just a flick of the wrist, and it leaves. Just gotta make some contact.

Just what they need someone batting .197

I, too, vote to send Branyan to Canada until Sept. 1. If we put him on the Phillies bench, that will be tough on Cholly, who'd have to think, "Do I want to pinch hit Werth, Helms, Nunez, Dobbs or What's His Name?, oh, yea, Branyan. Too complicated a decision. I'll go ask Jimy what to do."

BTW, JA Happ has got another gem going today. Through 5 innings at Buffalo, 0 runs, 1 H, 0 Walks, 6 K's.

That is 0 runs and 1 hit given up in his last 12 1/3 innings pitched.

Mr. Eaton better pick it up. The line to replace him in the rotation is getting longer.

But if he's a career .112 pinch-hitter, how much of a threat is he? Almost seems like you have to start him to get any production.

I'm with you Dennyb. I don't care that much for Branyon, but this isn't a move that too big a deal. A little pop off the bench.

Well I had Branyan on my MVP 05 Phillies (2008 season), and he was my top bench player, hitting about .380 before trading him to clear up space for a prospect.

So if that's any indication...

At least the option would be there to send Branyan to Canada, unlike other recent garbage heap pickup Julio Mateo.

In more important news, the Braves are up over the Mets 7-3 in the 8th. We have a nice chance to pick up a game tonight.

Forgive me if this has been posted here already, but as of today the Phillies have a 34.4% chance at making the postseason.

Check out this great site to see all the different ways it could happen:

The Phillies Playoff Picture

I can't imagine Branyan hitting .380 anywhere, but in my youth in the 60's, we played Strat-O-Matic baseball all the time, and one year Clay Dalrymple won the batting title. He was a career .233 hitter in real life.

Personally, I'd prefer Branyan in a pinch hitting spot over Roberson... so if that's the choice on the bench, give me Branyan. Roberson will be back up by September to give us speed and defense.

Nunez has hit .059 as PH in 17 ABs this season, with no extra base hits, yet he's had the 4th most pinch-hit appearances for the Phils this season. Someone else should be taking those hacks, but Nunez has value as a defensive replacement. A low average hitter with pop and no glove is NOT an upgrade to the active roster right now. It's not like this team struggles to score runs, y'know ...

ajc1: I don't think it's that the team has trouble to score runs... I think it's that this team has done poorly in 1-run games and I think that's, in part, because we've seen too many pinch hits by guys like Nunez when it matters.

Martin: My brother and I spent hours and hours playing Strat-O-Matic baseball in the late 70s and early 80s. Randy Bass was MVP & Luis Salazar was the runner-up. Maybe the Phillies should sign Luis Salazar to play third base next year.

Johnny Callison was another Strat-o-Matic stud. Good in real life, but triple crown card for a couple of years.

CJ - good point. But with the addition to the active roster, who goes? Roberson? When we're still down Vic and Bourne?

I assume Roberson goes down for now. The more complex question is who goes when Victorino gets back. It has to be Branyan.

Happ will likely be pulled after 7 innings. Has 100 pitches through 7.

Line today 7 IP, 2 H, 0 Runs, 0 BB's, 7 K's.

His last 3 starts (if Ottawa wins today, he will be 3-0):

19 2/3 IP, 8 H, 2 Runs, 4 BB's, 21 K's. And, doing it for a team that is 30 games under .500

The problem in close games has been holding leads, not failing to get them. Without Roberson, who subs for Burrell?

Well maybe if we didn't incessantly pinch-run for our hottest hitter, he might help us hold the lead.

How, Tray, by wallowing like a water buffalo toward fly balls?

By getting another at-bat in which he might homer, hit, walk... he can help get you an insurance run, or, if the bullpen blows the game, get the lead back.

OK, assuming Roberson gets sent down. That makes Werth the de facto left fielder for this team until Victorino gets back. That's a negative defensively. Also, Burrell will not have a defensive replacement on the bench, save for Dobbs, the best pinch hitter on the team. Since Dobbs will be held in reserve, assuming Nunez starts at 3B, there's no speadster to pinch-run for Burrell either. The domino effects of this signing all seem negative to me for someone whose sole upside is maybe pinch-hitting pop.

speadster = speedster

I agree Alby. I thought Roberson was basically Bourne's replacement. He just made that spectacular catch! I guess that was the kiss of death.

Roberson's not going anywhere as long as this team is hurting for outfielders like it is.

My guess is Condrey.

Mets making a game of it in the bottom on the ninth. Wright hit a 3-run dinger to cut the lead to one.

Werth becomes the de facto right fielder, of course - god, I'm dense today

What does Baron von Hayes think about Branyan?

Guess that Braves bullpen still needs some work.

Mets get 3 in the 9th, but fall to the Braves 7-6.

I'm with you on the pinch running, Tray. 1 or 2 times this year, Bourn/Roberson made a catch that Burrell wouldn't have made. Far more often, what has happened is that the other team came back & tied the game and Bourn/Roberson came to bat in a key spot when they'd be much better off having Burrell at the plate. I'd say that has happened 20 times this year.

If the Branyan for Roberson swap means a temporary end to these pinch running shenanigans, the move is probably worthwhile for that reason alone.

Good! The hated Mets fall. Let the Braves and Mets beat each other up.

If Condrey gets sent back to Ottawa, they should rename that flight "the Clay Condrey Special", just like the Blue Route was nicknamed "the Mike Williams Expressway" during the 90's when Williams was a frequent commuter.
My hope is that Branyan will take over the pinch-hitting opportunities from Nunez, who has been killing rally after rally for the Phils as a pinch hitter.

Does anyone think that it is a bit demoralizing to be given away for cash? It's not like getting a prospect or two where it could be seen as "you still are a decent player, but we need to rebuild," or "we needed some pitching," etc. He was given away for cash. I'm assuming that it wasn't a whole lot of cash, either.

In the last thread, BENTZ posted the Phillies W-L record by team. Only against the Pirates have the Phillies won three games more than the lost. The record is pretty even across the board.

Hamels stellar W-L record has been offset by our lame bullpen and guys like Eaton. I'd like to see Happ in Gavin Eaton's slot. I feel Eaton Crap has not pulled his fair load for this team.

The cash was for taxi and plane fare reimbursement out of town.

Where does the "Gavin Eaton" come from? Making fun of both Adam Eaton/Gavin Floyd? Keep meaning to ask.

I was hoping they would release Nunez, but then they would not have a backup for Rollins.

Um, am I wrong for rooting for the hated Mets to win these games? Well, actually I'm rooting for them to split so I guess it worked out ok, but I'd rather gain the lead in the wild-card race than be a game closer to the Mets but with the Braves still ahead of us. It's probably a few weeks too early to be scoreboard watching every day, but I don't think I'm being pessimistic by saying our best chance is at the wild card and not the division. Most important thing though is that this team keeps scoring runs and winning games...

They wouldn't take a flyer on Ensberg, but they will on Branyan? I think every Branyan at bat I've ever seen has been a bomb or a strikeout. The vast majority being strikeouts.

Bill - Anyone any good has already been traded for something, even if only a Dubee. It's bargain bin time. Half price, cash & carry only.

Gillick loves these clearance sales.

Russell Branyan, just another warm body. he could end up being a good pick up. Look what gooch has done for the team so far. The Phightens need to seal the deal tonight. I think folks are looking forward to the Braves series right now, they still need the sweep.

I've been rooting for the Mets myself. If we can get some distance between the Braves, the wild card will basically be a two-team race between us and the Padres - that is, until they overtake the Diamondbacks. Either way, we can pass those teams, but I don't see us passing the Mets.

Branyon was certainly a cheap move. He could help them in Sept. though. We'll see. This is the kind of move that ther cheap owners would allow Gillick to do and he did it. Can Branyon be any worse than Barajas? Doubt it. Let's see what happens.

"I think every Branyan at bat I've ever seen has been a bomb or a strikeout. ."

Now who does that sound like...

BAP: I agree... the number of games lost or won because we had the improved late game defenseive replacement for Burrell is likely dwarfed by the missed opportunities when those weak bats came to the plate in place of Burrell in tight games.

Bed Beard, I think Carson coined the "Gavin Eaton" moniker a week or so ago. I found it funny and enjoy carrying on the fun. Both Gavin Floyd and Eaton Crap have had their moments of good promise, but they've had more moments of stinking up the joint.

CJ and BAP, Burrell does catch balls hit towards him in the outfield. His defensive replacements are card carrying member of the Black Holers Hitting Club.

I was rooting for the team that was behind us in the standings, and if we win tonight they stay behind us

Well to be fair Bourn can hit a little, I don't know if you can call him a Black Holer.

from the district: Exactly, we're already ahead of the Braves but chasing the Mets. Easy choice. Root for the Braves to beat the Mets.

Just checked out the Muts boxscore. I see John Maine took the loss, getting nicked for 6 runs in 5.1 innings.

I can't believe people have anything negative to say about this pickup. Branyan's OPS+ over the last 4 years:

2004: 120
2005: 126
2006: 110
2007: 101

While his numbers this year aren't as good as the last couple, his BABIP is also no where close to what it's been in the past either. Who was that guy on the Phillies who wasn't hitting that had a BABIP way off his career line? I can't remember if he started hitting or not.

This is a tremendous pick up for the Phillies considering it was for cash only. Branyan is a way hitter than anyone on the Phillies bench. Hopefully this means Nunez won't see another start at third for the rest of the year.

Tray, you're right. I like Bourn. I forgot about him because he's on the DL. I was thinking more of Roberson as a card carrying member of the Black Holers Hitting Club.

The weather isn't looking too good for tonight's game. I've heard mentions of "large hail."

Wow, this move should just vault the Fightin's right into the playoffs. Are you kidding me? NOBODY in the system is better than this stiff?? If that IS the case, Gillick must be smoking something to go along with his "island themed wardrobe". Maybe this is just a move to set up the big one that they are going to spring on us, huh? Why do they keep showing us how unimaginative they are. Should've saved the cash & put it towards next years free agent pitcher signings that they so desperately need.

jeremy: I'm with you. For a utility bat off the bench, it's a good move. The guy will offer much more at the plate than many of our other late game options.

He's not going to replace anyone in our starting lineup. He's a utility guy who's going to get a handful of at bats.

And we got him for cash. If he doesn't produce, he doesn't get at bats. We already know how worthless much of our bench is in pinch hit situations. It can't hurt to give someone else a try!

New Royal (former Brave) Kyle Davies got off to a good start with his new team:

6.1 IN, 3 H, 0 R, 5 K

Put me in the "Not excited about Branyan" column.

Guys, look at the guys numbers. He's brutal. Why so much dislike for Nunez? He is a vaccuum at the hot corner. His glove has helped save runs in quite a few games, and the way the pitchers give up hits, it is a much needed luxury. He proved at the end of last year that he can hit if he plays a more regular role. Besides, Iguchi will get the bulk of time when Utley returns. As long as Helms isn't butchering the position, I'm happy with a Iguchi/Nunez third base combo, with Wes getting ph duty when Charlie feels a need to. Besides #2: They need pitching!! They score runs by the busload. P-I-T-C-H-I-N-G. Do I have to spell it? Oh, I did...

Bedrosian's Beard- "Gavin Eaton" is one of WSBGM's creations (my blog). We've also brought you Gas-Can Geary, No-Hit Nunez, and Fence-Face Rowand. I was always partial to Chris "Coast to" Coste, but nobody picked up on that one. Oh yeah, Danny Sandoval also became everyone's favorite No-Talent Ass-Clown. I'd like to think I contribute more than silly nicknames, but for now I'll take it.

Oops, just occured to me I never answered the Gavin Eaton question. Yes, it makes fun of Gavion Floyd's sucky tenure in Philly and Adam Eaton's current sucky stay in Philly at the same time.

Too bad Barajas is already on the DL, I'd really like to remove him from the active roster (more permanently).

My guess is that Roberson stays for late inning defensive help. We could see another mystery trip to the DL for someone (probably in the 'pen). The Branyan move is obviously to attempt to upgrade at 3B, so what is the point of keeping both Helms and Nunez? I doubt either will go, but one (or both) should.

GM-Carson - you're not taking credit for the phrase "no talent ass clown" are you?

That is a beautiful little ditty that was lifted from the movie "Office Space," when the character Michael Bolton refers to the the singer Michael Bolton.

The more I look at it, the less I think this move is about third base. I think it's a utility guy, available to fill in mulitple positions if there's an injury, but more importantly, a bat with some pop off the bench. That's all.

It's not a move to get anyone excited. It's a no-risk move that, if it pays off, is the kind a GM has to make in a pennant race.

FTD...good catch.

My favorite follow up quote, "Why should I change my name? He's the one who sucks."

Branyan has no business being on this team until the roster expands Sept. 1. Poor OF at this point in his career and only an average 3B at best. Better than Helms/Dobbs but clearly below what Nunez offers.

Plus, the only thing he gives you is some power and an occasional walk. Horrendous PH his entire career who strikes out at a ridiculous rate.

The only rationale I can think on why Gillick made this move is back to his odd point about a month ago about needing to acquire more power from the corner OF positions.

That is why this move is so odd since Burrell has really picked it up the past month and the Phils don't need power from the corner OF right now.

What they need from their RF position until Victorino gets back is some capable defense and adequate offense which Werth/Roberson have been providing.

MG: I guess we'll see... but I don't expect Branyan to get many starts anywhere. To me, this is strictly a bench utility pick up, nothing more. If you're saying you'd rather have Nunez/Roberson pinch hitting late in a game than Branyan, well... that's your choice.

Uh oh. I'm getting that ill feeling in my stomach that we might see Branyon tonight at 3B. Please tell me he won't start.

Well said MG. Totally agree.

If Branyan can give them two or three big hits down the stretch, it will be worth it. Remember when they got Michael Tucker? This is similar. I forget the opponent, but I remember Tucker delivering an eventual game-winning hit, making the acquisition worth it in my book. Tucker was added a little later in the season if I remember correctly. That's all I expect here.

The Phillies don't need two long relievers, so I'd expect Condrey to get designated again.

It's a fussy move by the Phils, but I don't have much of an issue with it, less than most of you. The Phils feel they need more corner power. I can't explain it. It's like an addiction. I wonder if Cholly put in the request. It seems probable.

No Hit Nuni was a natural word association. I know I was using it without any reference to Carson's blog. The "No Hit Nuni" Oak tree dropped "No Hit Nuni" acorns in both our brains about the same time. The term "no talent ass clown" has been around awhile, however, Carson did introduce it in a Beerleaguer context. Ouch! There's that "context" word again.

Speaking of "context", ESPN Classic had a Five Reasons show about Barry Bonds. After viewing it, I now know beyond the shadow of a doubt that Barry Bonds, although he has talent, is a big time ass clown. He doesn't deserve any respect.

Do you think Condrey would lend me a few of his frequent flier miles?

Honeymoons are expensive!

I would guess this move had a lot more to do with Amaro Jr. and Gillick than Charlie

Let's put it this way - Branyan is definitely a 3rd-tier move and won't really do much either way.

As for PH options, the Phils have two class of hitters right now off the bench. The first group includes Coste, Helms (who has been quietly producing at a better clip since late June), and Dobbs.

I group Branyan into the dregs category with Nunez and Roberson. The real option is whether you want to see Nunez ground out or Branyan strikeout. I guess Branyan can't ground out into a DP like Nunez has done at a high rate this year.

Lake Fred - Your continued concern for my whereabouts is heartwarming. You are a gentleman and a scholar. In return, I disavow my promise to fade away into the sunset, and shall attempt to add to the discourse.

I am most certainly not atwitter at the news of the Branyan signing. But when the fringes of your roster include names like Condrey and Roberson, does it matter? Any name that approaches the waiver wire seems like it would fit or help in some way. Milton Bradley? He is high-energy!!! Mike Piazza? An intimidating late-inning pinch hitter!!! Wily Mo?? What tools!!!

In the end, I believe Jason is right. It's not a bad move, it's an innocuous one.

I can't wait for the first time that Cholly has to choose between PH either Branyan or Nunez. Like making a choice about either get kicked in the balls or punched in the face.

Nevermind about Helms. He has stunk since the All-Star break and as a PH this year (although good numbers for his career).

Way too much time devoted to a scrub like Branyan. Time to get some work done.

MG: Ha... I like the comparison... but...

If you pinch hit Nunez, best case is maybe a double. Maybe...

If you pinch hit Branyan, best case is over the wall.

Sometimes you take need to take a shot at one swing.

The move ain't much... but I have hard time saying it's bad unless Manuel begins overusing the guy.

And...Bavos beat the Muts 7-6. It would be great to see a win tonight...

stay ahead of the Braves and pick one up on the Mets!

Lineups are in:


1. J. Rollins-SS
2. T. Iguchi-2B
3. P. Burrell-LF
4. R. Howard-1B
5. A. Rowand-CF
6. G. Dobbs-3B
7. J. Werth-RF
8. C. Ruiz-C
9. K. Kendrick-P


1. H. Ramirez-SS
2. A. De Aza-CF
3. M. Cabrera-3B
4. J. Willingham-LF
5. D. Uggla-2B
6. M. Jacobs-1B
7. M. Olivo-C
8. J. Hermida-RF
9. S. Mitre-P

Baron, glad you're back. Keep the Beerleaguer seat warm for me. I'm hitting the road tonight, driving back to New Orleans from Houston, scanning the pitiful AM dial for the Phillies scores after 740-AM with the Astros game fades out as I cross the Texas-Louisiana border Sabine River on I-10. Go Phillies! G'night!

OK, ladies and gentlemen.

Since sooooo much energy has been devoted to dissecting Seattle Stew's latest acquisition, Mr. Branyan, let's do an over under on the number of at bats he gets the rest of the season.

I say the over under is 12-1/2.

Where do you think he ends up?

nothing to do with the phillies but check out the cardinals new outfeilder...rick ankiel!! thirty something bombs in memphis and he is with the big club. hillarious.
as for the phills. i don't care about branyan. its him or pitcher number 13. no need for a million relievers when you only trust 2 or 3. i think branyan is better than eaton as a last bat off the bench. so i'll take it for what it is until victorino is back.

Gillick on comcast right now-Refuses to back off his 3-3 homstand stance. Says the "Marline are a potent offense"
says the chances of playing Iguchi at 3rd are very remote.

I've about had it with PG. Why can't they give Iguchi a look at 3rd? I'll ask the same rhetorical question I asked last year regarding Coste at 3rd: what is the harm in giving the guy one start to see how he handles it?

If Iguchi (or Coste) goes out there and embarasses himself, fine. Yank him, put Nunez in, experiment over. But seriously what is the downside to just trying it out for a game?

Stubborness rules this organization.

I don't know why everyone thinks Iguchi needs to play third. He's never played there in a major league game before. What the heck, why can't Utley come back and play third? Oh, that's right, we already tried that when he was in the minors and it didn't work. I'm sorry, but I'm much more comfy with Dobbs and Nunez out there (not Helms). I'm not sure Iguchi's arm is strong enough, either.

By the way, I wasn't trying to take credit for inventing "no talent ass clown", but was only saying that I pinned it on Danny Sandoval.

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