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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

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The progress of Greg Golson is very pleasing. I was ready to say the hell with him and release him, but he's finally bringing it all together...albeit at Double A.

Following up on the previous thread:

Willard Preacher, read in the paper that Lopes visited the team during the Mets' series, is doing well, and hopes to be back with the team soon. Nice that you asked, I had been wondering myself, and it brings you back to what is really important. All the best, Dave, if you're blogging, and come back soon. They (and we) need you.

Maybe it's pure coincidence but I'm really starting to question these late inning substitutions. I know Burrell is a mediocre LF at best, but he has an accurate arm; and my perception is that he doesn't drop or bobble balls he can reach and rarely makes mental errors in the field. In short, he seems to do what he can within his limitations.

Dropping or bobbling seems ridiculous at the ML level but given the performance of our subs, maybe not. Bruntlett's early errors and that drop Bohn made last night seemed like a window into how hard it is to step into a major league level role cold and perform adequately.

I'm not sure having Pat out there, who at least has been through it hundreds of times under all kinds of pressure and is in the flow of the game, isn't preferable to having someone (even if they are faster) come off the bench cold and nervous and screw up. Not sure about this, but Bohn has me wondering.

Bob: The problem with the people replacing the Manchine in the late innings is simple. The possible choices are neither Michael Bourn or Shane Victorino, two excellent defensive outfielders who could help out offensively when necessary.

This year in the late innings, we've got the choice of So Taguchi (who has been an above-average, but not excellent fielder and a somewhat adequate hitter throughout his career), Jayson Werth (above-average offense and defense for a backup, but is starting now anyway and in a platoon with Jenkins when he isn't starting), Geoff Jenkins (average to slightly-below average fielding, useless against lefties, and should be in a platoon with Werth anyway), Greg Dobbs (kind of an unknown in the outfield and certainly of more use as a pinch-hitter than replacement outfielder), and now T.J. Bohn (pretty much the definition of a AAAA player and not even a very good one at that).

In short, we've been spoiled the last two years with guys that weren't really 4th outfielders, but were kind of stuck in that role. This year we've got true 4th outfielders and they are what they are.

"In short, we've been spoiled the last two years with guys that weren't really 4th outfielders, but were kind of stuck in that role. This year we've got true 4th outfielders and they are what they are."

I disagree, in the last few years we have had true 4th outfielders. Now we have 5th and 6th outfielders acting as 4th outfielders.

Fair enough, Joe. It doesn't, however, change the fact that the guys that are available as 4th outfielders this year for the Phils aren't as good as the ones from 2006 and 2007.

I'm as happy as anyone that Golson is hitting well, since it sure seems that the Phillies are completely relying on him flipping the switch, but I think some of the praise is a little premature.

first, a 20:6 K:BB ratio is still bad, it's just not historically (i.e. 25:1) bad. and even though his batting average has spiked, his ISO is only in the .150s and he's sporting a BABIP around .460, if my math's right. (it's true that you'd expect a burner to have a high BABIP, but I'm pretty sure .460 is unsustainable.)

anyway, like I said, I really hope Golson has turned the corner, but I think it's worth waiting for more than 71 AB before rolling out the I-told-you-sos.

If ae's numbers are correct, Golson's BABIP is a little discouraging, but I really feel he is starting to figure himself out. I've been dissapointed with Taguchi thus far, his defense especially. It would be great if Golson progressed to the point that we could call him up around August. An outfield of Burrell, Vic, and Werth/Jenkins with Golson on the bench and playing all OF spots would be great, especically if Werth plays more than Jenkins.

Also, does anyone think that Marson has the potential to skip over Jaramillo on the organizational depth chart later this season. He really seems like the catcher of the future.

I could see Golson as a Sept callup for his speed, but personally, I'd let him get as much seasoning down there, as possible.

I see Marson skipping Jaramillo.

Bob, thank you for the update on Lopes. I couldn't help but think of him when Werth was smoking around the bases on the inside the parker last night.

I look at the big picture with Burrell. I don't see much out there that's all around better. Pat ran down a ball Sunday against the Mets that was amazing. I know it's the same guy that tried to stretch a sure fire single into a double, but with the season he's having and the glove he has, do you get anything better than Greg Luzinski. You have to ask yourself, how much do we miss Rowan? And what did we get to replace him? Did we improve? Forgot about the injury to Victorino, I think not. I would like to re-sign Burrell to a two year deal before the year is out. I think Pat would take a reasonable offer. I know these cheap sob's won't, but the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know.

MG: Agreed that Dobbs should be playing at least every other start against a right-hander. He is a solid hitter against righties and he seems to be locked in pretty well right now. I'd start him tonight if we're facing a righty.

Feliz has had 3 errors, but I'm not worried about his defense over the course of the season. Rollins had 2 or 3 errors in his first 8 games or so and Chase has been shaky in the field as well (excepting that play last night of course). Howard's defense doesn't even need to be discussed here. I would be surprised and disappointed if Feliz doesn't rank in the top 5 of 3rd basemen in most defensive categories at the end of the year. If he doesn't, we aren't getting much value out of him.

Bed's Beard: At this point, Marson is a much better bet of being a productive ML player than Jaramillo. Already a better prospect.

For Taguchi to have real value to this team, he has to play solid defense, make wise decisions on the basebaths, and hit in the .280-.290 range.

Still, when Victorino gets back in 10 days or so Taguchi will go back to being the 5th OF again.

Marson may be the better offensive prospect, but the Phils are quite high on everything else Jaramillo does as a catcher.

Jaramillo's been atrocious throwing out runners so far. Granted, there are other factors in SBs, but rate is very poor and defense is his "speciality".

Jack: Comparing Feliz's glove to Chase, J-Roll and Howard doesn't make a whole lot of sense considering those three are amongst the best offensive players at their position in all of baseball and Feliz is among the worst. The point is that if Feliz's offense will be as bad as advertised (or worse) then his glove better be much better than he's shown thus far.

Davegas: I think we'd be smart to try and lock up Burrell in a month or so, assuming he doesn't mimic last season's performance of that time. We should offer him something in the 2yr/22mil 3yr/30mil range. As I've said before, with CBP's small OF and short porch in left, he is more valuable to us than he is any other team. If we wait until the offseason, and he puts up an OPS in the .930 range, he's going to cost us a lot more. I think we could've gotten Rowand for much cheaper if we had gone the same route.

Even I have to say - given both the way Burrell is hitting this season, and the fact that the options of defensive replacements are not marked improvements (especially considering the strength of Burrell's arm), Manuel should not be taking him out of games as often as he continues to do. It might have made more sense when Michael Bourn was around and Burrell was hitting .230, but not now.

Why wouldn't Golson be up on the big club instead of TJ Bohn? Is there a reason beyond the upper management's stupidity? I'm pleading ignorance here.

TK: TJ Bohn is a non-prospect. He's an organizational filler. Greg Golson is a prospect who required regular at bats in order for the Phils to determine whether or not he'd be a legitimate major league player in the future. Frankly, there's not much reason right now to call up Golson to be a defensive replacement/pinch runner who would get one at bat a week. He's got plenty of learning to do and should stay where he is.

TK: Golson needs a lot of maturing as a hitter. Bringing him up right now and using him irregularly would cut into that at a time when he's starting to have some consistent success and showing that he may potentially be developing.
Also, there's a good chance his hot start for the first 20 games is just that, and/or anything more than a streak of good luck(very high BABIP, still crappy K/BB ratio).

then why not Roberson? Is he still with the club? He filled in pretty well last year (sans the Atlanta debacle in September)

Neither the Phils nor Golson would be best served with him up right now. Cholly would be reluctant to use him and the Phils already have a guy (Harman) that Cholly will utterly refuse to use unless he has to. Plus, if Golson is going to improve he has to play everyday. Sitting on the bench and getting in 1 or 2 games a week serves no purpose for him.

The 5th OF (Bohn) isn't the problem with this team right now from a positonal player perspective. It is SS. Not knocking Harman but Cholly just isn't going to use him unless he is absolutely forced to. Basically like playing a man down by default and for a manager like Cholly who burns through players this is a big deal.

CJ: I agree, and I said as much, saying that if Feliz doesn't end up as a top defensive 3rd basemen than we havent gotten much value from him. I'm still confident in his defensive value. Even with the 3 errors, watching the games you get a much better feeling with a ground ball hit to 3rd than you ever did with Helms or Dobbs manning the hot corner. We'll see though. As I said, for right now I'd like to see Dobbs get a few more starts against righties, especially with J-Roll and his offensive production out.

on a minor league note:

I believe I read in a post here several days back that the Phils could end up ultimately trading Ryan Howard and then moving Chase Utley to first and slotting in Adrian Cardenas at second. It really got me thinking if this is something the Phils would actually consider.

Trading Ryan Howard - really just not a relevant issue at all 'til say 2010. As Rosenthal, I do pity the Phils' GM (even Amaro) who might be forced to deal him.

TK: Roberson was dealt to Baltimore.

The other thing about calling up Golson or some other legitimate prospect is that it would start his service time clock running, which would mean less time until he's arbitration eligible. If Vic is really only going to be out for a week or 10 days, it probably makes sense just to grin and bear it with Bohn for that time, rather than starting the arbitration clock on someone who might actually help the Phillies down the road.

Still, even by that criterion, I'd have rather they called up Val Pascucci, who is too old to be a real prospect but has still posted much better minor league numbers than TJ Bohn.

JW - You forget that bag of baseballs and all of the discount coupons to various events in NYC that the Yanks sent to the Phils as a part of the Abreu. The bag of baseballs was very useful to save some money on minor league operations and the Monty and Co. have yet to use all of the discount coupons they have received.

But, then again, Pascucci is big and clumsy and slow, so he wouldn't be of much use as a late inning defensive replacement for Burrell. Unlike Taguchi and Bohn, who have been tremendous defensive replacements.

I think that when we call Golson up it should be to stay. It would be great if he could be the 4th/5th OF next year much the same way Victorino was in 2006. Could we have a bench of Golson, Marson or Jaramillo, Donald, Dobbs, and Jenkins/Werth in 2009?

Are my eyes deceiving me, or am I really reading Chris Roberson nostalgia?

I'll stipulate that TJ Bohn is awful, but his promotion to the big leagues isn't exactly at the top of the Phillies' list of problems. The Phillies already have 1 more major league caliber outfielder than they can fit on their 25-man roster. It just happens that 2 of them are injured now -- neither of them seriously. We don't need Kenny Lofton. We don't need to call up Greg Golson. We don't need to wax nostalgic for Michael Bourn. And we sure as hell don't need Chris Roberson back. The TJ Bohn era is only going to last about a week. I'm far more worried about our 3 through 5 starters, and our offense's woeful lack of production, than I am about the fact that TJ Bohn will be our 5th outfielder for the next week.

Off topic but here in the UK we were able to watch the Brewers v Cardinals game this evening.

Lohse had a poor outing but more importantly for the Phils in the next couple of days is the Brewers bullpen is spent

Bourn developed more quickly last year as a role player with the Phils than spending time in AAA. He now is a starting ML center fielder. Golson would develope more quickly in a Bourn role than wallowing in the losing Phils minor league system. In a recent Reading Phils podcast Golson credits learning how to prepare to hit from Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino in spring training and who would not want him studying under Davey Lopes on base stealing. His catch in ST won him second place of all of ESPN's ST webcasts. After watching So and T.J. in left how could Greg not help this team win now!

Mets got blown out again today. Given their lack of pitching depth, I think they are going to be highly inconsistant all season. Not the juggernaut that many in the national media were expecting.

The Braves, though, may be better than many had expected (including myself)

The Braves bullpen is quite a mess at the moment due to injuries and they are another injury in the rotation away from real trouble to the entire staff.

Their offense is really impressive, though. It looks like Yunel Escobar is going to be a heck of a baseball player for a long time and Chipper can still rake. And Mark Texeria should NEVER be pitched to at the Zen. Ever.

Dull: "Bourn developed more quickly last year as a role player with the Phils than spending time in AAA. He now is a starting ML center fielder."

I love statements like this that have absolutely no basis in fact at all. I mean, you'd have to live in an alternate reality to believe this.

Before being called up, Michael Bourn had more than 1000 ABs at AA and AAA in which he posted OBPs of .364 and .385 in 2005 and 2006 while swiping 85 bases while being caught just 17 times.

Greg Golson had 153 ABs at AA last year and has never had an at bat at AAA. Last year at Reading, he posted an OBP of .255 and had just 5 SBs. He walked twice and struck out 49 times.

Michael Bourn developed at AA and AAA. Greg Golson hasn't developed... and he won't develop on the bench in Philly.

This idea is crazy. If someone knew of a word that means crazier than crazy, I'd use that.

The Phillies already have 1 more major league caliber outfielder than they can fit on their 25-man roster. It just happens that 2 of them are injured now -- neither of them seriously.

well, the first problem there is that Snelling has an established history of being unable to stay healthy, so counting on him is not a good idea. and regarding Victorino, I think his health is also becoming a legitimate concern. his speed is really an essential part of his game; a hobbled Victorino (as he's been in 2 straight years now) is a problem.

still, you're right that it's not necessary to panic and that there are other problems facing the team at the moment.

Figueroa had the kind of outing that the Mets' fans should start to expect today for Figueroa: 5 or so innings with more than his shares of hits and walks.

As long as Figueroa and Pelfrey are in the back end of the Mets' rotation, they are going to have share of issues with their starting pitching just likes the Phils.

See you later! Golson just took a hanging curve ball deep for two runs.

When/If the Phillies trade Ryan Howard, it will end up being an albatross over the organization for years unless they get maximum value for him. I highly doubt that they would as it rarely happens. There are a lot of "prospects" and less guys that can perform in the MLB. There is a reason that you get multiple prospects in any deal for a guy like Howard. Most never pan out. So for all that were pandering for Ian Kennedy or Phillip Hughes last season in a trade for Howard, it is perhaps a bit short sighted (or maybe tunnel vision) to believe that all is well when you get a 5 for 1 deal. Its not always what it is supposed to be, and based on what Howard will do for another team, it would take a lot for the incoming to equal the outgoing.

Am I allowed to throw in a "Let's Go Caps!" here?

Although I'm a lifelong Philles and Eagles fan, I was born a Caps fan because of my Dad.

Shut the F up, CJ

Well, that's not very civil.

Our AAA team lost yet again today. Travis Blackley, that hot prospect who Gillick stole in the Rule 5 draft (and who kdon thought should make our 25-man roster), pitched .2 innings and allowed 6 runs (all earned) and 4 walks. He is 0-3 with an 8.22 ERA. JD Durbin is also on that team and is 0-4 with a 7.45 ERA. J.A. Happ, who I must admit that I once liked as a prospect, is 0-3, 5.59. The leading hitter on their team is Brandon Watson, who is hitting .260. The leading slugging percentage is Gookie Dawkins, who is slugging .357. The team is 2-18 and 11.5 games out of first place. This may be the worst team in the history of professional baseball. If we matched our Triple A team against an average Single A team, the Single A team would win 3 games out of 5.

Since everyone knows Ryan Howard won't be traded for at least another 3 years, why does the hypothetical return for him keep coming up in every thread? We have no idea what his value will be by then, if they'll want to trade him or who own the Phillies by then...The players we'd get for Howard are probably all in college and high school right now.

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