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Thursday, January 15, 2009


I was holding out hope that the Phils would come up with a right-handed power bat to round out the bench, but it looks like the injuries will force a multi-utility bench situation not unlike the Ramon Martinez / Tomas Perez / Danny Sandoval / Jose Hernandez teams of yore. I really hate that. I predict Pedro Feliz starts sliding into that role this season as well. Third is an awfully good opportunity for players to step up in this organization. If only Mike Costanzo could play.

Does this mean that Donald wont get a chance, or is this just extra protection in case he can't handle it?

off topic, but did anyone notice andruw jones is available for a the major league minimum - $400k. Would the acquiring team be on the hook for future years? Sure he is in a (steep) decline, but why not? Does he have clubhouse problems?

(Shakes head)
Why didn't we just keep Tad Iguchi?

Ozuna is a poor man's Abe Nunez. I wish he was half the hitter Tomas Perez was.

So. Who cares? Another nothing, cheap signing. What did we expect?

Good Morning.

Oh dear.

Stop the presses!

I believe Ozuna's performance in the Dominican winter League prompted the move (along w/ our fun injury situation). Baseball America has this line in a summary of the DWL:

"Pablo Ozuna, a 34-year-old third baseman, must have found the fountain of youth. What else to make of his time there? When the playoffs got under way, he was the regular-season batting champ and led in on-base percentage and was third in slugging in finishing .390/.467/.568."

This obviously mean very, very little aside from Pablo basically using the DWL as a tryout for ML clubs. But he was "staying sharp" indeed. If he does wind up filling in hopefully he can sustain some of this success....

I'm sure by now you've all heard the devastating news: So Taguchi signed a 900K deal with the Cubs.

In what F#*#ed up bizarro world is Taguchi worth a major league deal?

Good to see we got that positive thread finished up with right quick, so we can go back to whining about our lousy front office. All is right with the world.

So Taguchi signed with the Cubs...there's a head-scratcher.

I'm not sure I follow the negativity on signings like this. We're stickpiling bullpen arms and utility fielders. It's not like this is a significant waste of money.

Perhaps he wowed them with his 2 WS rings...

...and incriminating photos of their upper management folks.


I think we're getting a bit head of ourselves when we start overanalyzing stupid little moves like this. They're taking a flier on a veteran who might pan out to be a decent bench option. That doent necessarily mean that the Phils found out Chase/Feliz are out longer than expected - I actually think the opposite - with such worthles additions that must mean that Chase and Feliz should be fine. If there were problems they'd actually address it with ML talent(i'd hope).

Having experienced guys in the minors in case of an emergency is a good thing. Amaro has a ton of warm bodies ready for the Lil Piggies roster this season. A 55-89 record will not repeat, hell they may even challenge for a playoff spot now with some of the Quad-A players Rube inked.

Luis Rivas, Ramon Martinez and Craig Counsell are still out there; I wonder what's holding up Junior from his appointed duty.

Oh, Omar Vizquel! Where's my shopping cart?

If Brown is the new Black, is Utility Infield the new Murderer's Row?

Yes, I would take a shot on Andruw Jones but Amaro probably won't.

JW, my heart nearly stopped when I read the name "Danny Sandoval". Then, I started to have nightmarish flashbacks of 2006. Sandoval adn Alex Gonzalez started to appear before my eyes.

Terrifying.....downright terrifying.

The only surprise to me was that Carson didn't post a comment identifying any of these players as a N-T A-C.

NEPP: Taguchi was a member of the WFC champions right? Therefore no criticism is warranted (using your logic against you.)

re: andruw

I read that if a team signed him this year, that the Dodgers would have to pay the remaining 20+mil that he is still owed. I wouldn't be surprised if a NL West team signed him just to stick it to the Dodgers. And it'd be even better if he actually made positive contributions once inawhile too.

I'd hope that if the same situation came around in the NL East that the phils would do it in a haertbeat.

Some of the comments re: Ozuna suggest to me that some of the posters are unfamiliar with Ozuna's skill set, particularly Skeeter's comparing him to Tomas Perez and Abe Nunez. Pie Man and Black Hole were both very good defensive players. Ozuna is a bad defensive player.

Ozuna is, however, a better hitter than those two. His career OPS+ is 76, which is gaudy compared to the wretched 62 for Nunez and 64 for Perez. Ozuna also has the ability to get extra base hits, unlike the terrible two.

In fact, Ozuna's OPS+ of 76 is within shouting distance of the 84 OPS+ of Beerleaguer's most passionately defended star, Pedro Feliz.

***8NEPP: Taguchi was a member of the WFC champions right? Therefore no criticism is warranted (using your logic against you.)****

No...that just means I won't ever boo him...or any other member of the team. They've earned that right.

Clout: Ozuna's best offensive days are behind him, though. But you are correct on the defensive part, and I wanted to get that into the story but forgot. That's why Los Angeles didn't keep him apparently, and the White Sox went with Juan Uribe and not Ozuna. He's marginal at best defensively. The Perez comparison was more about the "good soldier" factor.

What are units of OPS+? Not the factors, but the units. Like what does 10 points of OPS+ mean? Does 10 points below 100 mean that you are 10% less valuable of a hitter of a normal player or did they collect 10% less total bases than another person?

i can't find the answer anywhere, was hoping someone here could.

The curse may just be over in Chicago. They've signed the glue to our championship club "Say it isn't So Taguchi" is gone

Accoridng to Rosenthal, Madson turned down a 3yr/12mil extension

phaithful: OPS, of course, is OBP + slugging pct. Divide that by the league average OPS in the player's home park, then multiply by 100 to get his OPS+. 100 is, by definition, an average OPS, since it would mean that the player's OPS is the same as the league average at his home park.

Can't become No-Talent Ass-Clowns until they appear at a Phillie.

If that report is true about Madson, then GOOD-BYE after '09. He's not worth more than $4M a year.

thephaithful: OPS is on-base percentage plus slugging percentage, equally weighted, which makes it a quick but rather dirty measurement of offensive value.

OPS+ is still pretty dirty but somewhat better, since it adjusts OPS to reflect park-adjusted league averages:

- You take the ratio of the player's slugging to the park-adjusted league average slugging (for a completely average player this is 1:1 -- it's greater than one for a good player and less than one for a bad player).

- You add to that the ratio of the player's OBP to the park-adjusted league average OBP. (Again, for totally average player, this is 1:1, or 1.5:1 for a very good player, or 0.5:1 for a bad player).

- Subtract one, and then multiply by 100 to get OPS+. So for a totally, completely average player, you would have (1 + 1 - 1) * 100 = 100, which is league-average OPS+.

But because you're adding the slugging and the OBP, the ratios of the individual components are sort of distorted when you do the OPS+ calculation, which is partially why OPS+ is not a very intuitive stat, and misleading if you don't understand how it's calculated.

GM-Carson: heres the excerpt

Around the Horn

First baseman Ryan Howard and left-hander Cole Hamels will be the Phillies' biggest challenges in salary arbitration, but right-hander Ryan Madson will be no pushover. Madson, a free agent after next season, is represented by Scott Boras, and already has turned down a three-year, $12 million offer, according to a major-league source. After the Phillies won the World Series, Boras compared the combination of Madson and Brad Lidge to Mariano Rivera and John Wettleland ...

Ozuna actually hit .312 over 2755 minor league ABs between 1997 and 2004, and he even has a .282 career average over 677 major league ABs. In his 2 seasons with the WhiteSox in which he got around 200 ABs, he hit well. The next year, his average dipped, leading to less playing time. Then he was traded to the Dodgers, where he got just 32 ABs last year.

He's 34 and has hit just .252 over the last 2 seasons, so conventional wisdom would hold that whatever hitting ability he once had is no longer there. Allow me to propose an alternative theory. Maybe Ozuna is still a pretty good hitter, but he has just not been given an adequate number of ABs to prove it over the last 2 seasons. As clout notes, his defense isn't too stellar and he doesn't hit for any power. Methinks his diminished playing time may have more to do with the fact that he's getting the Chris Coste/Jeremy Slayden treatment, than with his actual ability to hit -- which I suspect may still be a lot better than anyone is giving him credit for. Frankly, I'd rather start the season with Pablo Ozuna as my utility man than Eric Bruntlett.

"Does 10 points below 100 mean that you are 10% less valuable of a hitter of a normal player or did they collect 10% less total bases than another person?"

It means he is 10 % less good (in regards to OPS production) than the average player, or, put another way, 9/10ths as good as the average player.

"Frankly, I'd rather start the season with Pablo Ozuna as my utility man than Eric Bruntlett."

Again, all teams must carry backups who can play up the middle -- C, SS-2B, and CF. The primary role of the utility IF is to fill in at SS when necessary, meaning Ozuna can't fill the role.

Klaus: no, that's not what it means, and this is precisely why OPS+ is a tricky statistic.

Let's take this example: park-adjusted league average SLG = .500; park-adjusted league average OBP = .250. So, the park-adjusted league average OPS = .500 + .250 = .750

Imagine a hitter who outperforms both of these by 20%. So, his SLG = (.500)(1.2) = .600. His OBP = (.250)(1.2) = .300. His OPS = .600 + .300 = .900, which is 20% more than our league average OPS of .750.

But now let's look at the same player's OPS+. In that case, we take the ratio of his SLG to the league average:

.600 / .500 = 1.2

Then we add to that the ratio of his OBP to the league average

1.2 + (.300 / .250) = 1.2 + 1.2 = 2.4

The we subtract one and multiply by 100:
(2.4 - 1) x 100 = 140

So, his OPS+ is 40% higher than league average of 100, whereas his OPS was only 20% higher than league average.

Thanks for the help guys. My main struggle with OPS+ sometimes is finding what difference in OPS+ really shows a measureable difference. So at what point would you consider someone's OPS+ as truly a better player: 5-10, 10-20, 20+ ?

Beings that Mad-Dog turned down the Phils offer and is represented by Boras, he'll test the FA market next year. Maybe we should try to move him if we can get a decent return. If not, then there's another guy who'll walk away.

Organizational filler-type signing. Nothing more. Hard to determine though if these signings (Giles, Ozuna) indicate that the Phils just don't have much in the way of ready middle INF prospects or that the Phils are much more concerned about the health of Feliz/Utley than they publicly admit. Probably a bit of both.

Still wonder what the Phils really think of Donald. If they seem him a possible starter at 3B next year or as more of a super-utility type guy who might be utilized at multiple positions off the bench even though he doesn't have much time at 2B or 3B in the minors.

Madson simply put wants big-time money. He won't get it as a starter. That was a failed experiment and I don't see any other team trying to sign him as as starter.

However, it is pretty clear that Boras is going to position Madson as a closer and try to get him the money that a closer on the FA market commands (6M+/year vs. 3-4M/year for a setup man).

Correction to a previous post of mine: Taguchi actually signed a MINOR league deal worth UP TO $900 K...not a guaranteed MAJOR league deal worth that much.

That makes much more sense.

Oh, and Madson is gone after this a Type A guy along the lines of Juan Cruz this year. That means we could easily kill his value by offering arbitration if the economy continues to suffer. He might actually look quite foolish turning down that 3 year deal.

we would definately offer him arb next yr if we dont resign him

i find it funny that Boras is going to get Madson closer money when Madson has never been a closer or aside from the 08 playoffs has shown any signs he can handle that kind of situation..uh...o....k...

"offer him arb next yr"
That we should offer him arbitration next year to gain the extra draft pick is the surest indication that the FO will turn it down.

clout, in re: "using your [NEPP's] logic"
After a couple threads ago, I figured out that the Phils would not have won the WFC if they hadn't signed Vic Darensbourg during the previous off-season.

Yeah, that's what we were all saying about Moyer and Burrell this I said "if" because I don't yet know how this FO thinks.

thephaithful: at what point would you consider someone's batting average as truly a better player: 5-10, 10-20, 20+ ?

at what point would you consider someone's slugging pct. as truly a better player: 5-10, 10-20, 20+ ?

The other interesting news is that Hewitt is coming to ST, too.

Over under on percentage of Ks per PA? a minimum

The Cubs just signed Taguchi as a good luck charm.

I still think Jason Donald will outplay Bruntlett, Giles and Ozuna in spring training, and might make the Phillies opening day roster is Utley isn't ready.

I think that Donald will outplay those 3 and make the IronPigs Opening Day roster.

I think you guys are being a little tough on "C.J." Hewitt.

Just really tired of them not doing anything. There's no news of avoiding arb. with anyone. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. No signings, trades etc. The RH bat we need will be ine of the minor league deal signees.

Amaro is proving to be too much of a "yes" man and shows no indication that he can get the players that are needed. All of which makes for a very boring off-season. BUt hey, the WS trophy tour has begun and ST tix are on sale. UGHHHHHHH!

Well, if Madson performs for all of '09 the way he performed at the end of '08, then he probably does deserve closer money. But it's a long season, and I'm not completely convinced that he'll be able to do it. Still, if he can, I'll be content to watch them ride a full season of Madson-to-Lidge all the way to a second World Series!

I'm glad Hewitt is coming to ST; if anyone can turn him into a major league hitter, its Charlie Manuel. In a few sessions of batting practice, Charlie could probably give Anthony stuff to work on all year.

I have to believe Charlie had a small part in the drafting of Hewitt. We know Hewitt's session in Citizen's Bank Park heavily contributed to his selection, and Charlie must've been in attendance. Gillick respects Manuel as a hitting guru, and probably asked his opinion. If Manuel told him this kid doesn't have a chance, I'm not sure we would've taken him. Who knows- maybe thats exactly what Charlie said, but I doubt it.

baxter: What did Charlie tell him about Golson? How about Moose Mattair? And, of course, C.J. Henry?

Alby: Feliz has played SS and, if Rollins were ever to go down in mid-game, Feliz could fill in for the rest of the game. If Rollins were going to miss any significant time, Donald could be called up.

You only have 5 players on your bench and I have just never liked the idea of having one who is an automatic out. This is even more true when your bench lacks any semblance of a right-handed bat. Over the course of a season, Bruntlett is going to see far more pinch hitting duty than shortstop duty, and he is very ill-equipped to handle that pinch hitting duty.

****I have to believe Charlie had a small part in the drafting of Hewitt.****

I hope you're right in that guess...seriously.

baxter - I actually agree on Hewitt to ST. Let him get a taste and maybe he'll be even more motivated to develop the baseball sides of his considerable athletic talent.

I also agree with NEPP that his k/PA against ST pitching will exceed .500.

It'd be nice if some of the thousands spent on stocking up utility guys was spent on a RH bat and a LHRP. Optimistically, I guess we should drink a bit of red stuff and believe that Rube has an iron or two still in the fire.

clout, I was referring to Tomas Perez's performance when he was a Phil (which had 3 of his 6 seasons with an OPS+ of 87 or higher). Ozuna only has one season with an OPS over 86. In 96 ABs last year he had 5 extra base hits, in 78 the year before he had 3.....color me unimpressed.

Does anyone really expect Ozuna on the opening day roster?

I think Chase Utley's physical therapist has a lot more to do with the '09 season than some guy named Ozuna.

Of all the photos they could've chosen, the stock image of Circuit City on MarketWatch appears to be a bank of TVs showing PtB being congratulated by Howard at home plate.

Still struggling to see how signings like this indicate that Amaro is a "yes" man. I would encourage people frustrated by this signing to check out the list of moves made prior to the 2007 & 2008 seasons. You'll see just as many insignificant moves... Seems like a lazy classification resulting from a lack of big name signings, but there is something to be said for depth. Phils were fortunate injury-wise last year. I'm glad to see that Amaro seems to be acknowledging that similar fortune is not guaranteed.

clout -

Mattair has an advantage: some day in the future when he disappoints the Philadelphia fan base, he can imagine that what they're really saying is:

Pablo Ozuna?

"Who's this fuc**** guy?"

If someone has 20 points of SLG% over another player I know exactly how much better he is, because it tells me that he earned that much more total bases per at bat.

Park adjustments are 3 year averages to try and eliminate outliers, but i still dont think that it eliminates team factors. If Team A goes out and gets a lineup full of quality hitters while forfeiting the quality of their pitching, that plays more into the ballpark's numbers than its dimensions and altitude/wind conditions. Put a minor league offense with a all star pitching staff on a team in Coors Field back in the 1990's and see what the Park Factor woulda been.

Bruntlett is going to be on the roster all next year. That is pretty much a foregone conclusion when he was resigned at $1M. The only way I would see the Phils replacing him is if he is horrendously bad to start the season (say Alex Gonzalez bad with an AVG south of the Mendoza line) and doesn't show any improvement through the 1st half. I don't think he will hit that poorly though.

The real issue with the bench and the infield isn't if Utley is healthy (eventually he will be back) but if Feliz will stay healthy with a bad back.

My bet is that Feliz doesn't stay off the DL and plays in less than 120 G this year which means the Phils are likely going to use a bunch of AAAA-type guys (Giles, Ozuna) unless they think Donald is ready to call-up or make a move.

Must need some warm bodies for ST infield positions with Rollins and Harman probably playing in the WBC and Utley and Feliz rehabbing. Donald will see a lot of playing time at SS until Rollins returns.

Carson, I stand corrected on the N-T A-C designation, and when it should be used.

phargo, was that "oh dear" this morning in reference to the Ozuna signing, or was it in reference to the weather you're experiencing?

NEPP, are you keeping warm?

Re Madson: It was pretty clear after Boras' comment that he is positioning Madson a a future closer, assuming he can replicate his Aug - Oct '08 performance for the entire '09 season.

I don't know what he's likely to get in arb for '09 ($3-4 MM?), but if he does perform, AND STAY HEALTHY, he'll probably get at least what Gordon got when the Phils signed Flash.

Besides, the Yankees have already shown they're willing to pay $6MM for a setup guy (Farnsworth), and Boras could be thinking that a similar deal will be available, particularly since Rivera is aging, and the Yanks will want someone who can step in if Mariano gets dinged up.

Just a thought.

I'm looking for pictures of the Brian Hunter(s) in Phillies uniforms. I have a couple of Brian Hunter the 1st baseman, but none of Brian L Hunter the outfielder. Please email me any pictures you find at


We have 10 arbitration eligible guys. As Jayson Stark reported recently, "'That team [read: the Phillies],' one AL executive said, 'is about to walk through a mine field.'" So before we start hyperventilating, let's relax DADP.

I have to agree with Carson and NEPP earlier that if Madson really doesn't want 3 years, $12 million then we need to start looking in another direction. At that point, I might even be willing to punt on our 2nd round pick and bring in Lyon or Cruz, wait until Romero is back, and look to trade Madson to a contender looking to make a playoff push for prospects, or else call Madson's hand, offer him arbitration after the season and seek to recoup draft picks if he signs elsewhere or else bring him back on a one year deal.

I thought a 3yr/12mil deal was very generous of the Phillies to Madson. As someone pointed out earlier, He will likely be an arbitration case because the Phils would definintely want his services for 1 year at a fair price, and then he would be stuck with a Type A status that has never closed, which wont open too many checkbooks up as Boras/Madson would hope.

As i brought up months ago, Madson should be shopped around very actively. If JC comes back well rested, Park stays strong in the pen, Durbin isn't overworked as before, and Eyre handles his LOOGY role as before, then I think the phils could afford to lose a half season of Madson to pick up another peice somewhere else to improve the team.

thephaithful: "Put a minor league offense with a all star pitching staff on a team in Coors Field back in the 1990's and see what the Park Factor woulda been."

Yes, that happens all the time so it's a good reason to discount the value of OPS+. Can't fool you a bit can we?

the phaithful: "If someone has 20 points of SLG% over another player I know exactly how much better he is."

In keeping with your theme of absurd examples, what if one guy plays in a park where the fences are 500 feet from home and the alleys are narrow, while the other guy plays in a park wehre the fences are 280 and the gaps very wide? Do that and see what happens to your SLG%.

Carson: Re Brian R., are you doing a feature on lefty firstbasemen who fielded righty (i.e. the worst of both worlds)?

According to MLBTR, Phils avoided arbitration with Dobbs...2 year deal worth 2.5 million

It's on as well..

"Over the past two seasons, Greg has been one of the best pinch-hitters in the game and has also contributed significantly as a third baseman," Proefrock said in the release.

Yo, new thread

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