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Monday, March 23, 2009

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Texas wasn't able to land Buchholz for Salty or Teagarden. Why would the BoSox bite on Marson? Buchholz has apparently been putting on a good show at ST, along with Bard (he of the 100+ heater).

I bet the Boston Red Sox-Globe complex is leaking this so that Texas and/or Seattle lowers their price for a catcher.

Makes sense given their pursuit of Montero and Saltalamacchia. I'd guess their hesitation with the Rangers involves a similar offer.

I'm not sure I believe this. The Phillies need Marson, in my mind, and while you can never have too many pitching prospects, I don't see an immediate need for Buchholz or Bard.

If this report is true, it tells you that, after evaluating him in ST, the Phillies have concluded that Marson isn't the real deal and they're trying to sell high on him. I still like Marson as a prospect but, based on some of the scouting reports I've read about him, I do think there's reason to question whether he can be a decent hitter at the major league level. Of course, the RedSox are no dummies, so I'll be intersted in seeing how this plays out. I doubt very seriously that the Phillies are able to get either Buchholz or Bard.

Oh Teagaarden. Montero is the Dbacks backup. Not nearly the talent. Although the Sox were shopping for him as well.

Doc - are you saying that you wouldn't trade Marson for either Buchholz or Bard if they were available?

Have good young pitching is great (Phils have some now and on the way), but Ruiz/Paulino aren't a longterm answer at catcher, so Marson will be needed sooner rathe than later.

BAP - I don't read it that way. Sox call the Phils either with a sincere offer or no and in one way or another ask what it would take to get Marson. Phils say, I don't know, one of your top pitching prospects. Globe reports it. Either that or there was no conversation at all and the Sox got the paper to just report it. This doesn't have to be a sign that the phils aren't sold.

It becomes more believable when you remember what the catcher position has become in Philadelphia: Defense and game management first, offense a distant second. The Phils lived with Ruiz's limp bat all year and weren't phased.

Ruiz isn't a long-term answer at catcher?!? Maybe we should reserve judgment after this year, but the team did blow through the playoffs last year with him exclusively as a catcher. (a really inexpensive catcher at that)

As for Marson for Buchholz or Bard, I would do that deal in less than a heartbeat. Buchholz has a higher ceiling than Carrasco and Bard is eventually going to be a dominant reliever (think Zumaya) with his stuff and makeup. In terms of value, that's way more than what Marson will likely provide over the course of his career.

TNA: Good thinking. There's zero chance the Sox would deal Buchholz for Marson. Bard is more likely as his high heat and lack of secondary pitches makes him a setup or closer type, assuming he improves his walk rate.

the Red Sox are actively looking for a future catcher. They have no one. Truth is, there are more Baed's than Marson's out there.

Nor were they fazed. Hey, if they got Masterson for Marson it would be good for the PHils. I'm worried about how many scouts think Marson will be only a singles hitter. I don't think he's any more a long-term solution than Ruiz or Paulino.

But I guess as far as negotiations go, it doesn't hurt to determine the borders of the the ZOPA.

Trading Marson for good young pitching? That's an easy one.

Not only do the Phils currently have Ruiz/Coste/Paulino, but Marson may not even be the best catching prospect in the Phils system right now.

I doubt the Phils could get Buchholz without sweetening the pot, but if someone is high enough on him (and it sounds like the Red Sox may be), we might be able to get a useful young arm.

I'm with TNA, if Redsox offer either of them, I'm jumping.

Buchholz would immediately be at the top of our farm system and in my opinion, the front runner for the 5th spot. Kid's got a NoNo under his belt already, thats enough of a sign right there that his upside is off the charts. And Bard's stuff is electric. Never saw the kid pitch, just heard very good things from boston fans. Looking at his numbers, he dissolved his BBs in his second year in A to almost nothing, then was moved up to AA and continued to impress: 1.99 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 64/26 K/BB in 50 IP.

The thought of Marson coming in and giving us a bat out of the catcher spot was pretty nice to have, so I can understand some people's reluctance to part ways. I think Ruiz is due for a bounce back year, so maybe that is why I pull the trigger on this deal faster than most.

Interesting note to the people who ridiculed the "Verducci effect" and whether teams paid attention to it with their young pitchers. Here's a quote from Arizona GM Josh Byrnes:

Byrnes: "Including the Arizona Fall League and instructional league, Scherzer threw around 140 innings last year. We will try to moderate his innings throughout the season and shoot for a range closer to 170 innings."

I agree this story does not indicate at all that the Phils have given up on Marson and are trying to sell 'high' (whatever that means). From including him on the post-season roster, to other symbolic gestures, it's pretty clear that the Phillies think highly of him.

Carson: So you think Marson is the long-term answer at catcher?

Interesting.

From SoxProspects.com:

Scouting Report: Live arm with a smooth delivery. His fastball looks effortless, and consistently hits 97-98 with decent command but minimal movement. When he reaches back, he can reportedly 101 mph on the radar gun. Two-seamer shows a bit more break and sits in the low-to-mid 90s. Secondary pitches are decent, but need some refinement, including: (1) a high 80s cut fastball; (2) an 84 mph slider; and (3) a circle change with some downward movement. Previously Bard's breaking pitch was a high 70s slurve, but it was converted to a slider with more velocity in mid-2008. Needs some improvement on keeping all of his pitches down in the zone. Struggled through major control issues throughout the entire 2007 season, particularly with his slurve. Has a strong frame and a mature demeanor, but has some confidence issues. Bard took well to a bullpen role in the Hawaii League in 2007, and was converted to a full time reliever in 2008. He changed his delivery by lowering his arm slot prior to the 2008 season, adding a little bit of life to his fastball. In the 2008-09 off-season, Bard altered his delivery slightly, starting his hands by his chest rather than his waist, eliminating some unnecessary movement.

MLB Comparison: Kyle Farnsworth

I have read numerous times that Marson tends to hit everything on the ground. If that's true, then his high minor league batting average isn't likely to translate to the majors. The Phillies might feel that Ruiz and/or Paulino are capable of holding down the starting catching job for the next few years until D'Arnaud is ready. They are probably right. Ruiz's defense is obviously much superior to Marson's and I think last year's terrible offensive season will prove to be an outlier. I actually expect a pretty decent offensive season from Ruiz this year. If the Phillies really do have doubts about Marson's future, then they would be right to sell high on him.

note: that scouting report is for Bard, not Buchholz.

thephaithful: I agree with the above. I think the catcher position is one spot where the Phils' offense can actually approve. Ruiz won't become Pudge with the bat, but there were reports that he was distracted all last season by his mom's fight with cancer(?). His bat's gotta be a bit better than it was last year.

I wonder if Kendrick would be part of any deal.

That prospect post is about Bard, of course.

Beard - according to Cholly, not only can Ruiz improve greatly, but also Ryno, Feliz, Utz, J-Roll, and Werth. that's more than half the lineup. the only person missing is Vic, but that shouldn't be surprising given what Vic put up last year, and that Cholly generally has pretty low expectations of Vic as a professional batsman.

Bed's Beard: Somehow I doubt the Red Sox have interest in Kendrick. Their org philosophy towards pitchers tends to veer towards high K guys, especially in a ballpark where hits get turned into runs as quickly as they do in Fenway. I think a team like the Twins could take a chance on Kendrick. They've had success with that style of young pitcher in the recent past.

kendrick to the minors according to lauber.

****Carson: So you think Marson is the long-term answer at catcher?

Interesting.
****

You think that Marson isnt a long-term answer at catcher.

Interesting.

Granted D'Arnaud may have more upside but he'll be starting at Lakewood this year and he is far from a sure thing.

Yes, I think Marson has the capability of being a long-term solution at catcher. Long-term 4-6 years.

Kevin Millwood also has a no-hitter under his belt, but I wouldn't trade our catcher of the future for him. OOPS

Sophist- Interesting timing on Kendrick - still 2 weeks to go in ST.

I would trade Kendrick to the Pirates right now.

Today's lineup versus the Steinbrenner's:

Bruntlett, 3B
Werth, CF
Utley, 2B
Howard, 1B
Ibanez, LF
Stairs, RF
Donald, SS
Paulino, C
Happ, P

Someone wrote last year when the Phillies were swooning before the All-star break, that Ruiz had to 'man up' and take control of home plate and the pitching staff or something to that effect. He certainly did that increasingly well as the season progressed.

Now for those of you thinking that Marson is a long-term solution at catcher, why wouldn't you also consider Ruiz as a long-term solution at catcher. I'm personally not sold on either as long-term catchers, but I'm curious as to why you think one, and not the other, is such a player. (and we may as well include Paulino in this debate).

At least this allows KK to finally focus on learning a new pitch and stop competing (poorly, I might add) for that 5th spot.

It does give us one less thing to talk about though.

like what i've seen of marson but would take such a trade in a heartbeat! offense from the catcher position is obviously an area they could improve in, and i think carlos ruiz will have something of a bounce back this year. don't think he's ever going to flash the power he showed in the minors, but i think he should be able to improve upon last year. is he the catcher of the future? probably not, but if he ups his offense a bit and continues handling the pitchers as well as he did last year, he should be more than adequate until someone like d'arnaud arrives. besides, an offense as good as the phillies can handle a below-average hitting catcher.

as an aside, carlos ruiz has done some promotions with my former boss, and i've been told that he was pissed about his batting performance last year and worked much harder this offseason. hope we see some results.

"Truth is, there are more Baed's than Marson's out there."

Posted by: Sophist


Sophist, that was the best post on the thread.

I have posted about that over the last week, especially when discussing Coste vs. Paulino:

The one position on MLB rosters where there is a bigger shortage of talent than on the mound is behind the plate.

Let's review:

Chris Coste had 9 HR and 36 RBIs last season. While at first glance that does not look anything but below average, one must look at it in context:

The HRs rank him 16th among ALL MLB catchers, and the RBIs put him at 27th.

This is despite

His OPS of .748 ranks him 14th among ALL MLB catchers.

I don't know anyone here who would say Coste is a top talent, but that shows you how big the dropoff is from the McCanns and Mauers of the world.

My point is this: If indeed the Phillies still feel Marson is the catcher of the future then they are right to ask for either Bard or Buchholz.

If Marson is traded then the Phils will have to patchwork their catcher position with the Ruiz/Coste/Paulino until someone else in the system is ready.

And who would be more valuable....a hitting catcher (Marson) who can handle a staff and catch 120-140 games, or a reliever who might make 60-70 appearances (Bard)?

Oh, and for those of you who mentioned Salty above, he didn't exactly tear it up offensively last season.


Sophist's point is correct.

AWH/Sophist:
1. There are more Bards than Marsons out there; as much as I want that to be true, that's really hard to prove, much less believe. But I believe the Phillies could use Bard more than Marson given that they are stocked at catcher and don't need to rely on a consistently productive bat.

2. Yes, the Red Sox are looking for Vtek's long-term replacement, someone who is a really strong defensive catcher who can catch Wakefield THIS YEAR. Marson, despite his talent, is not likely that guy.

3. Yes, there aren't many McCanns and Mauers of the world. But Marson is no McCann or Mauer. He's more like Kendall (better leader, but worse defensively).

4. The Phillies don't have a patchwork catcher situation. Ruiz is clearly number 1 and Coste and Paulino are his backups. Ask most of the Phillies' pitchers. They have complete confidence in Ruiz.

5. AWH asks: Who would be more valuable, a hitting catcher who can handle a staff and catch 120-140 games, or a reliever who might make 60-70 appearances?
First of all, it depends on who's already in your organization, but secondly, I ask: Who would be more valuable, Joel Zumaya or Jason Kendall? And this I ask within the context of the Phillies and Red Sox organizations.

6. Salty is a higher-regarded player than Marson. Given the leverage, Salty was the core of a package that had a return of Teix. No way Texas makes that deal for Marson, all other things being constant.

AWH: But let's not look past the fact that Marson may not be as good as many believe. I'm not saying that's the case, but perhaps the Phils know his value will never be higher and that he won't be the offensive force in the majors that he was in the minors last year.

The red sox might be higher on marson then most people think, I remember in the summer they wanted him for manny so its not a shock that they want marson and some scouts have said that travis d'naurd will turn out to be better than marson

I don't think the Phils would even think of this deal if they didn't have d'Arnaud, who is the REAL catcher of the future.

There is no way on God's green earth that the Red Sox will give up Buchholz for Marson. Bard, perhaps - and if I'm the Phils, I look long and hard at that deal.

Marson's been an OBP machine in the minors, but with no power and unexceptional speed that's not going to continue in the big leagues. MLB pitchers will pound the strike zone and make him hit.

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