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Monday, April 20, 2009

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Pat Burrell plays baseball. Raul Ibanez is a ballplayer.

I'm glad to have the latter.

If we traded Coste to, say, the Nationals, I wonder if DavThom would become a Nationals fan.

Condrey has done very well so far, and there was no reason he should have been pitching to Dunn in the game where he gave up the homer. Eyre ended up relieving him in that inning anyway, and should have definitely been pitching to Dunn in that situation. I was yelling at my tv about having a day off the next day and that being the whole reason you have Eyre, etc. Fortunately it did not cost the Phils the game.

I'm not looking forward to DavThom's rant about how good Coste was in the independent leagues so he's a great player and the phillies should never get rid of him ever.

i love chris coste...what a great story and by all accounts a great guy. he was certainly a major-league caliber player for the last 2 seasons. still, he just doesn't look right this year. i wonder if he's got some nagging injury or something.

at the end of the day, you should go with the 25 guys who give you the best shot at winning (don't tell that to miguel cairo, i guess). it's ironic that coste was almost certainly one of those top 25 going into 2006, 2007, and 2008 yet continually struggled to get a fair shake. yet, this year, he looked out of sorts, produced awful spring stats, and still made the team. i'm sure he somehow had a laugh at that.

My radical idea for next year's roster is Marson as the 2nd catcher, Donald at 3B, and Mayberry (assuming he shows something in AAA this year) and Slayden as the 4th and 5th OF. Then take any money you save by having that many pre-arb guys and spend it on pitching. I think it would make Charlie nervous to have such a lack of veteranosity on the bench, but its not like Coste or Cairo really instill much confidence right now.

Marson should definitely be 50/50 right now with Coste because Coste just isn't hitting well.

Tough call when Ruiz comes back especially if Ruiz takes a little longer to come back and Marson continues to hit above .260 or so.

Coste got a pass this spring because of what he has done the past 2 seasons & Paulino obvious struggles. I don't know if he will get another one if he continues to really struggle offensively the next 2-3 weeks with lots of PT.

Chris Coste was given the perfect ending to a new book on a silver platter when he won the World Series, now he's just f'n it all up.

Boy JW, why all the Coste hate so soon? People on this blog constantly mention sample sizes - why does that not apply to Coste? If he, by the end of the season, hits .250 - .270 as a BACKUP catcher, I'll wager with anyone here that that will put him in the top 5 of all backups in MLB.

Seriously, guys, go do some homework, go to a stat site (any one will do) and take a look at what is masquerading as backup MLB catchers. Then, be exhilarated that the Phils have the depth that they have.

Take a look at the Cubs. They are in big, BIG trouble if Soto goes down for an extended period. Or, if Coste goes to AAA, you better believe Ruben's phone would ring with Hendry on the other line. Right now the Cubbies are running one Koyie Hill, he of the lifetime .199 .270 .299 line (and, no, that's not a typo). When he plays it's like having two pitchers in the lineup.


As I mentioned two threads ago, I was at the game yesterday. Coste hit the ball hard. His GIDP was on a ball he smoked up the middle (and if Eric Bruntlett was the opposing team's SS, it goes for a hit).

As for his defense, well, he ain't Carlos Ruiz.....but then you already knew that.

Besides, as far as the bunt single was concerned, there aren't very many MLB catchers who could make that play.


I posted this before, but the most GLARING thing to me yesterday was Bruntlett's lack of range at SS. HUGE falloff from JRoll. HUGE.

Fortunately for Coste he has some more time to show that he will be of use this year. I don't think anyone is calling for him to be sent down now or benched, just for a more even split between him and Marson.

Oh, and don't confuse me with davethom.

It's this simple:

Chris Coste will not hit .190 this season.

Raul Ibanez won't hit .386 either.

Relax, and focus on the pitching.

That's what it's going to be all about anyway.

I think Lauber is being a little too laudatory when it comes to Raul's defense. I haven't been impressed -- a Seattle friend sent me an entire video of Ibanez defensive bloopers (and there were many) in the offseason, and yesterday's play would have fit right in. He takes some bad routes to balls, and is a little risky when it comes to making plays like yesterday's dive.

Still, I have been overwhelmed by how well he has played thus far. I'm just worried that he won't be as strong defensively as someone like Scott suggests.

Coste is a great story, and he's fun to root for. I apprecaite all the things he's done for the Phils during his time here, but I agree with Weitzel that he seems to becoming less worthy of big league status. Marson is young and seems ready to handle at least backup status, possibly half-time status. I hope Manuel gets Marson into more games here and tests him while Ruiz is DL'd.

@AWH

The drop off in range from Rollins to Bruntlett really concerns me. The Phillies tout Bruntlett as a serviceable short stop and he only seems to make the plays that are hit right at him. Is this what it would be like if Donald was are everyday guy in the hole? Ew.

I would agree with that, banana.

While I still resent Ibanez's contract (in relation to PTB's), he is making it impossible for me to resent him as a player.

In fact, I am really starting to like the guy. Occasional gaffe in left field aside, he has so far one-upped Pat's April from last season. It's hard to dislike a guy who is leading the league in OPS through the first two weeks.

"Condrey has done very well so far"

Jonesman, for the 7th guy in the bullpen, Condrey has pitched very well for the better part of two seasons.


I've posted this before and I'll do it again:

If the Phillies released CC tomorrow, at least 20-25 teams would look at him, as he has been better than most 7th BP arms the last two season.

Instantly, the Nats come to mind (he wouldn't make it past them on the waiver wire), but he'd also get a job with a lot of other clubs, including some contenders.

(Oh, and I don't have a man-crush, but I do, like many of you, pay attention to performance around the league.)

banana - That is what I have been saying but when you say Ibanez is at best below average defensively (if not outright stinks) you get savaged on here.

He is in no way a good defensive or steady LF. If he hits .280 or better with 25-30 HRs though the only thing that really matters defensively this year is that he plays within himself defensively. Unfortunately, this means playing a bit deeper and maybe giving up some singles in front of him but better than balls getting behind him if he dives or over his head because he doesn't have the wheels to back on it quickly enough.

"but I agree with Weitzel that he seems to becoming less worthy of big league status."

Carson, I agree with you a lot, but on that we differ. Take a look at my post above.
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Chris Coste is a lot like Clay Condrey:

He is seemingly less of a player/player on THIS team, and perhaps in THIS organization - which happens to be a championship calibre club with TWO perrenial MVP talented players on it.

But, if either one of them got outright released by the Phillies, they would have a job somewhere by the end of the next day.
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Carson, Coste may not be good enough to last with the Phillies this season, but as I said above, take a look around MLB.

He IS "worthy of big league status" somewhere. That's how bad the catching depth is, and how fortunate the Phillies are.

Ummm, that should have said "player/pitcher".

AWH: "Chris Coste will not hit .190 this season. Raul Ibanez won't hit .386 either."

From what I read on Beerleaguer, you are in a small minority holding that view.

Oh, and I have a question for all of you:

If Shane Victorino had made the same play Ibanez made on that linedrive yesterday (essentially a two-base error), wouldn't many of you have singled him out for making a "boneheaded" play?

That's is, basically, what it was.

AWH - Marson probably should get sent back down when Ruiz comes back in 2 weeks because he really needs to get his share of ABs. If Ruiz does come back, I can't see Marson starting more than 1 (maybe twice) a week.

clout, yeah, I know. I actually pay attention to career stats.

It's amazing how when Ibanez goes on a hot streak (which as fans we all enjoy and root for) memeber of the Sir Alden Trio come out of the woodwork.

I wonder what they're going to do when he slumps - especially if Burrell gets hot in Tampa at the same time?

I like the chances that Coste will hit closer to .190 than Ibanez to .386.

I dream of the day when we can enjoy a Ibanez hot streak and not have to hear how well/bad Burrell is doing.

And regarding Coste, just b/c he could be on another team's roster, doesn't mean he has to be on the defending champs' roster.

I don't think it was a 'boneheaded' play. He got to the ball, it just clanged off his glove. He has made a couple of plays similar to that this season. If he played all of those safe, letting them drop as singles, I think it would be a net negative for the Phils. It would be nice if his execution were better, but I have no problem with the attempt to catch the ball.

I think it is April and too early to make any major categorical assessments amount anyone.

Re: Coste, AWH is certainly right in saying that he's not going to hit .190 this year, and that reports of his demise have been somewhat exaggerated.

That being said, when you have a choice between two catchers who are likely to give you comparable performance, don't you have to go with the Door #2 (the future) over Door #1 (the backup)?

Marson needs to be getting regular at bats at this point, so if the Phils are going to call him up, he should at least be splitting duties with Coste. This isn't a knock on Chris; it's just the reality of the situation. However, if when Ruiz is healthy the organization decides that he's the starter, then I actually disagree with Jason -- Coste should stay as the backup, and Marson should head down to Lehigh Valley, where he'll continue to get his regular at bats (and presumably ready himself for a run at the starting job in 2010).

It's a shame the Phils' pitchers have been scuffling. Utley, Howard, Ibanez, Werth and Feliz have all done their part to avoid a typical Phils april:

3. Utley (.366, 4 HR)
4. Howard (.341, 2 HR, 1 3B, 4 2B)
5. Ibanez (.386, 5 HR, 1 3B, 4 2B)
6. Werth (.275, 1 HR, 1 3B, 2 2B)
7. Feliz (.314, 2 2B)

If the Phils were pitching like they did at any time in 2008, that line-up would be doing some damage. Even Carlos Ruiz was 3-for-11 (.273) with a double and a walk before going on the DL.

Jonesman - An OF should generally never attempt to dive for a ball especially with runners on base. You get it in front of you and try to get yourself well-positioned to make a throw to prevent the runners from moving up (especially on a ball hit to LF with a runner on 1B).

AWH: I agree on Coste. It strikes me as strange that we used to complain about Coste not getting a fair shake and then suddenly most of the people on this board can't wait to get rid of him. I'm not opposed to the argument that Marson is ready and can or should take his place, but to say he's not "major league caliber" because of a cold streak is unfair. Let's not forget that Pat Burrell and Ryan Howard spent most of the first halves of 2007 and 2008, respectively, hitting under .200.

"I like the chances that Coste will hit closer to .190 than Ibanez to .386.

Posted by: ozark"
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ozark, I usually try to keep my comments from getting personal, but that is the most breathtakingly stupid comment I have read on this site in a long time, even if sarcasm was intended.
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I think we need a name change here, as there seem to be more candidates for inclusion.

The "Sir Alden Trio" needs to change to the "Sir Alden Club".

Three spots are definitely too few.

AWH,

Lay off the coffee!

it seems to me, after watching years of Pat the Bat, the Ibanez is just more of a "baseball" guy, sticking to core fundamentals and doing the little things that have noticeable payoffs. average glove, similar to PTB's, but may end up contributing a little more. And he's a great teammate, so overall I am happy with the addition.

Coste is a borderline backup catcher, I'd give the younger guy with more upside a shot right now.

And the pitching is just horrible, they have given up a ton of runs, and you cant win these games when you have to constantly score more than 8 runs / game.

King - Or if JRoll or Vic were getting on. Here are the splits for the 1 and 2 holes through 11 G:

.173/.184/.357 and 3 runs
.283/.348/.631 and 9 runs

Phils have already scored 59 runs through 11 games (its early but that works out to around 870 runs this season which is much more like the '06 and '07 seasons). Just think if JRoll had gotten on base a couple of more times. Easy be around 65 runs or so right now.

Wonder if this spring/early summer works out more like '06 and '07, a team with a pretty prolific offense but some shaky middle relief and not enough starting pitching.

AWH: Actually what he said makes sense. If Coste hits .250, Ibanez would have to hit over .326 for that statement to be false.

So:

.250 .326+
.260 .316+
.270 .306+

for that statement to be false. So I don't see the radical sheer stupidity of the statement.

Let's not confuse "Coste hate" with my actual point, which is that Coste isn't exactly selling himself as a Major League player at this point.

Jonesman, I was merely inferring how much "reputation" has to do with how we assess performance.

Vic has a rep for making a dumb play now and then, particularly one the basepaths.

We don't know Ibanez very well. But he should have kept the ball in front of him in that situation. It is boneheaded for a player with limited defensive skills to try to make that play unless the game is on the line.

Oh, and here are their career stats AWH:
Coste/Ibanez
.285/.287

Coste
Ibanez
.285 - .190 = .095
.386 - .287 = .099

.099 > .095

Based off career stats, Coste hits closer to .190 than Ibanez hits closer to .386

Want to change your opinion on how dumb his statement is?

khaiokien, it was absurdly stupid because of the relative degree to which both batting averages were out of the hitters' normal ranges.

Perhaps I should have just said "Duhhhhhhhh".

"Let's not confuse "Coste hate" with my actual point, which is that Coste isn't exactly selling himself as a Major League player at this point.

Posted by: J. Weitzel "


Jason, except for that pinch hit HR yesterday, in the batter's box JRoll isn't either.

Or. do you expect more from backups than starters?

Ibanez certainly has better range than Burrell, but Burrell made fewer mistakes and had a much better arm. Overall, I'd give a slight edge to Ibanez, but the difference is pretty slim. Of more importance than their actual defensive abilities is Cholly's perception of their defensive abilities. Cholly believed that Burrell's defense was so bad, and LF was such an important defensive position, as to justify removing his bat in the 6th or 7th inning of a 1-run game -- even if it meant replacing him with Bruntlett. He doesn't believe this about Ibanez, so he does not replace him. That alone is more important than any actual defensive upgrade that Ibanez provides.

AWH: the statement by ozark is a perfect over/under in my mind, just as khaoiken presented. There is nothing 'duuhhh' or 'breathtakingly stupid' about it.

bap - Why thing I wonder if is Bruntlett or Ibanez is better in LF? I would probably lean toward Ibanez just because Bruntlett has limited experience in the OF and just doesn't play there on any kind of frequent basis.

I am glad though this year we don't have to watch the Phils remove one of their best hitters late in a game for a defensive substitution (that really wasn't much of a defensive upgrade to begin with).

I would much rather see Ibanez out there for 9 innings than Burrell for 6 and Bruntlett for 2-3.

Hey Guys: Can someone help me find a really obscure statistic?

With 2 outs and a runner on second, how often is the number 8 hitter intentionally walked to get to the pitcher?

If anyone finds a source for this information, I'll gladly buy them a beer. (It seems like something the hardball times would discuss, but I can't find it.)

It's stupid because it's completely irrelevant.

jr: retrosheet

I'm wondering why, if we're all much more advanced about baseball stats than we used to be, we're still in this day and age arguing about batting averages.

This FO and Cholly are in love with old men. Performance peaks roughly around age 28, which mean we basically have a whole team past its peak. The kids will start showing up on our roster before the year's out.

Sorry if I missed this, but any word on how long exactly Carlos is expected to be out?

AWH: Let's be rhetorically precise with our classifications. Ozark's comment was technically accurate and was, at worst, a premature and unduly negative assessment of Coste's prospects. If premature and unduly negative assessments got a person admitted to the Sir Alden Club, I, myself, would be a card-carrying member.

The Sir Alden Club is reserved for those who are mindless apologists for anything management does -- even if it means having to twist themselves into circles (as Sir Alden often did) in order to make their case. If the Phillies traded Ryan Howard for Willie Bloomquist, Sir Aldenites would argue that it was a good trade because we filled our need for a right-handed bat off the bench, and opened a spot on our roster for Andy Tracy. They would then remind you that we're WFC, and that it's unthinkable the guys who brought us the WFC could ever do anything wrong. They would end their post by pointing out that anyone who would second-guess management's decisions, after management brought us a WFC, is obviously not a real fan.

Someone once mocked a post about how to gain membership into the "BL Elite".

I could point out a dismissive attitude toward others, ridiculing posters who have another opinion, copying and pasting statistics which they scarcely understand (which sometimes have little relevance to the discussion) and a general know-it-all attitude which suggests that you are right even when you're wrong, providing that a backpedal of "no one could have predicted that..." (or something along those lines) is included somewhere in the post.

However, I think the true test of whether or not you are BL elite is the use of the term "Sir Alden" in reference to other posters. I expect that sort of childish nonsense from children talking to one another on MySpace, but when it comes from adults, it's just plain sad.

AWH: But Jimmy brings you the leather even when he's in a funk at the plate. So I think your analogy falls down there.

Funny thing is, I've seen posts by Sir Alden on PhuturePhillies, where he actually seems normal, well reasoned and backs up his thoughts with facts and his normal sunny nature. When he's on here, though...

MG: I agree about Ibanez. Seeing some of his play in Seattle and his early days here, I'd say his biggest problem is poor pursuit of the ball. Pat wasn't a stellar OF, but I always appreciated his ability to make the plays he could and not muck up the plays he couldn't.

Yesterday was a perfect example of an adjustment he'll need to make. That's a single. You only dive for that ball if you're in the gap and you've got Shane running behind you to cut it off.

bay_area_phan: out of sheer curiosity, what do you call a Beer Leaguer who complains about every decision made by the FO, management or player that goes against their previously held opinion?

example):

August 2008: Pat Burrell is a bum.
October 2008: Pat Burrell should be offered arb/resign
December 2008: The FO are idiots for signing Ibanez over Burrell because Burrell had more 9th inning doubles in the month of August.
April 2009: Ibanez's performance doesn't count because it's a small sample size, and I'd like to see what you think in July when he's hit a slump and Burrell is on a hot streak...

etc, etc...

I was going to offer a joke that you call these negative posters simply "Phillies fans", but I've known far too many fans who don't fit into the stereotype of self-loathing, negative, drunken fan that boos their own team, Santa Claus, crippled veterans, premature babies, etc...

Ruiz can come off the DL Sunday, but it sounds like he'll need more time.

PhilsGal: Ruiz's DL stint will be over this Sunday, but I've heard some grumblings that he may have to sit a bit longer.

Per the Inquirer, Ruiz took around 20 swings in the cage and played some catch in the outfield yesterday and was quoted as saying "soon" while answering when he would be back.

I would not rush Ruiz. His type of injury is one that can linger if it doesn't fully heal.

hey guys, this has nothing to do with coste or ruiz or marson....what are teh chances this game gets played tonight with the weather thats forecasted?

D Murph says not very good.

How come when I pointed out 2 weeks ago that Coste's 15 minutes were over, no one agreed with me. Now Weitzel writes it and he's right on! (That's not a shot at you Jason)

I have to think that part of the quick hook mentality on Coste has to do with the fact that we have what appears to be a pretty damn good prospect behind him. If it was Rony Paulino starting at AAA Coste wouldn't look quite as bad. I would love to see Marson get at least half the playing time until Ruiz gets back. See what he can do. I know I'm liking what I'm seeing of him offensively and defensively too. I think the Phils are missing an opportunity to get a look at the future. And I am actually one of those on board as a Ruiz backer. The team scores runs. I think we can sacrifice offense at the catcher position because Ruiz is a good receiver.

"bay_area_phan: out of sheer curiosity, what do you call a Beer Leaguer who complains about every decision made by the FO, management or player that goes against their previously held opinion?"

Mac: A better question is what I would call someone who badly mischaracterizes the opinions of those who do not reflexively agree with management on every decision. I would call such person a member of the Sir Alden Club. It's a small club but, through your hard work this off-season, you definitely earned entry.

I'm with donc. They should split time 50/50 until Ruiz gets back. Then let Marson go back to LV and play (almost) everyday and get some regular ABs. It doesn't make a lot of sense to keep him with the big club if he's only going to play about once a week.

If Coste is still hitting under .230 at the All Star break, then consider cutting him loose and bringing up Marson. Or even if Coste does start to hit, I'd consider bringing up Marson and using Coste mostly as a PH and cutting Cairo loose (assuming he hasn't already been jettisoned by then).

Hey, lets play the Padres at 440 AM. Worked out OK last time.

EFF: Haha, my husband was at that game. We don't have Mitchypoo to hit the GW single, but maybe Myers can PH?

Name the catcher who has been behind the plate in the 9th inning of all 5 Phils wins this season?

dull: which starter is undefeated in a phils uniform?

On Marson being sent down after Ruiz's return, I'm hesitant to agree. I'd like him to catch Lidge and Madson everytime either pitches in non-game situations so that Charlie is comfortable with Lou handling their stuff late in games.

I think one problem with Marson right now is having him catch Lidge.

Not sure if Charlie wants to put either of them in that position (Lidge or Lou) which limits Marsons opportunities.

If Marson starts the game UC will probably have Coste catch Lidge if he comes in the game which he did last week & that leaves him a little limited on the bench.

The way the bullpen is pitching this is probably not another risk they want to take.

I'm with AWH on this one...Coste may seem more over-exposed than Tom McCarthy at this point, but we should all know the man is pretty streaky...he's liable to turn on the jets and start cranking doubles and homers at any time. It looks like it's a matter of timing with Coste, the same way it's been with Rollins. Yeah, we know Coste pretty much has to hit in order for him to have real value as a backup, but I think that after what he's shown the past three seasons, it's harsh and premature to suggest he doesn't belong in the majors. I think he deserves a lot more leeway than that.

The one thing that is kind of interesting to note, however, is that Paulino is playing pretty well for the Marlins. But we're two weeks into the season.

Incidentally, it isn't fair to claim that Ibanez is a ballplayer and Burrell isn't. I think Burrell became a much smarter hitter in the past couple of seasons, for one thing. He played hard, and I don't know how many mistakes he really ever made. Long-time readers know I'm not exactly a knee-jerk defender of the guy, and I definitely prefer Ibanez on this team. But while Burrell may not be quite as well-rounded a player as Ibanez, but he was every bit as much a "ballplayer".

Looks like we can add Chris Coste to the Mt. Rushmore of Phillies you absolutely can’t critique on Beerleaguer. Like JW said-there is a difference between “Coste hate,” and just stating a fact that is apparent right now

AWH: It’s not about expecting more from backups or starters. The difference is, Rollins is indispensible to this team. There is no one to replace him and no one close to him. So you need to suffer through his scuffles unless you have a better option. By becoming a starter you earn yourself some extra rope. A backup catcher is replaceable. What hurts Coste is he seems less likely to come in and be a starter for an extended period of time. Also against Coste is the fact that Marson is right there. He is showing a decent bat in his first little bit of time and his defense looks very good compared to what the reports said. It could be a mirage. The question is though: which one figures into the team’s long term plans? It’s most likely not the 35 year old catcher.

I like Coste. Hard guy not to root for, but sometimes you have to make a tough decision on a good guy. That’s unfortunate, but it’s life

"A better question is what I would call someone who badly mischaracterizes the opinions..."

bayarea: Wow...talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Weren't you the poster who, in this very thread, mischaracterized the opinions of those who disagree with the following quote:

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"If the Phillies traded Ryan Howard for Willie Bloomquist, Sir Aldenites would argue that it was a good trade because we filled our need for a right-handed bat off the bench, and opened a spot on our roster for Andy Tracy.
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Unless you're referring to an actual incident in which someone advocated a Howard/Bloomquist trade (which I don't recall making), I suggest that it is you, sir, who mischaracterize others in order to strengthen your arguments. By your own definition, I welcome you to your own Sir Alden clique, my elitist friend.

phila fan in dc: I see your point about wanting Marson to get the experience of handling the "important" guys in game situations. But at the same time he's still just 22 and developing as a hitter as well as a receiver. That's tough to do if you're only getting about 5 ABs a week.

I'm all for bringing him back up to the big club sometime this summer; he may even play an important role. But I think another 1/2 season of playing full time in AAA would be good for him at this stage of his career.

I'm pretty sure Mac Tonight actually IS Sir Alden.

Mac was just making a point. Being overly critical of any poster is generally uncalled for.

I actually thought SirAlden was a solid & knowledgeable poster. The only issue really was that he ALWAYS defended Gillick even when it was pretty apparent that he didn't make a good/sensible move.

I'm open to Jason's 'critique' of Coste. I just think we need longer than two weeks to assess whether he still rates as a quality backup catcher. The problem with using Marson as a second-stringer is that it potentially inhibits his development. The Phillies will have to decide if they want to bring him along as a major-league apprentice, as they did with Mike Lieberthal, or throw him right in there as a regular in his rookie season, as they did with Ruiz. And they also have to know what exactly their timetable for Marson is. One would assume that if he isn't traded and continues to hit well, he will be starting next season. No one's said as much, probably out of respect to Ruiz, but it sure sounds like Marson has a lot more ability than Ruiz. I personally think it's a better idea to have him play regularly in AAA this year, but I think he should be playing more while he's up here now; if he were to be called up in September, there might be another pennant race on and no window for Marson to play and adjust at that point. Particularly as Coste is struggling right now, Marson ought to be playing more.

Truth: "his defense looks very good compared to what the reports said."

I find this an interesting comment. I saw him make a couple nice blocks in the dirt and I saw him throw out a guy who misread a wild pitch and broke thinking the ball had gone to the screen. I also saw him look a bit awkward in his footwork and get badly beaten on a straight steal. Scouts say his arm strength is borderline so he must be quick in his release and accurate to throw out runners. I haven't seen nearly enough to say the scouts are wrong. His bat, so far, looks fine.

MG: Sir Alden's other attribute, shared by many here, is the belief that every Phillies prospect will be a big leaguer someday and most of them will be stars.

I agree with Truth. I could have been reading things wrong but I was under the impression that he was deficient defensively. So far he looks pretty good. Absolutely need to see more but he looks like he could be a quality receiver. And I saw the play Clout mentioned. It was incredible. So incredible, in fact, that it was probably lucky. But he still made a great play and for that you must give him credit. The one thing that I like about him defensively is his athleticism. He seems very quick behind the plate. It may just be a function of his youth, but athleticism behind the plate is a much prized commodity. And as Clout said, he looks like a nice hitter. As he matures he could end up with some decent pop in his bat. He appears to be a pretty smart hitter with a quick bat. I am definitely excited about him. When Chooch comes back though, if he's only gonna play once or twice a week, he needs to go down.

clout: I'm not necessarily saying I think the scouts are wrong. I saw the same things you did. The footwork while awkward wasn't terrible and is fixable. A few scouting reports I read almost made it sound like you were going to have a guy who was a defensive liability and I didn't see that. Maybe it's just lowered expectations.

The wild pitch I think Marson did a great job on. If I'm not mistaken that was a pitch that he scooted to his right to block and he knocked it down but it still kicked to his side some. He pounced on it quick and got the runner.

His offense and offensive approach seemed right on with what the scouts said though.

clout: With all due respect, who cares. I've been here for a little while now and have yet to see a post from "Sir Alden."

At what point do you let it go? If someone believes that a prospect (say, Marson) will be a MLB success, it makes for a pretty uninteresting and pointless discussion to have a half dozen members make elitist, dismissive comments, each of which contains an inside joke referencing an ex-member.

We're adults, aren't we? That type of nonsense is better left to a Star Trek forum populated by high school freshmen.

Mac: If someone believes that a prospect (say, Marson) will be a MLB success, it makes for a pretty uninteresting and pointless discussion if that poster has no facts to back that up. Then you're just a high school cheerleader. We're adults, aren't we?

onc: Just to be prerfectly clear, what was great about that play was that he blocked the ball, not that he threw the runner out. The runner broke very late, thinking the ball was past Marson. You could've thrown the runner out.

It is my considered opinion that once Star Trek is mentioned, JW should immediately start a new thread. Please.

Two wrongs don't make a right.

What do you have to gain by doubling the number of childish comments with an Alden reference? Do you mean to tell me that you maturationally unable to avoid posting a schoolyard taunt over the internet simply because you don't believe that others could have a valid opinion if it goes against your own?

Really. Elite isn't a strong enough term. You seem to know your baseball. Why sink to such levels?

Mac: I was not purporting to characterize anyone's opinion. I was using a ridiculous example to make a point. And that point was that Sir Aldenites will defend even the most indefensible of moves -- and their defense usually consists of nothing more than saying: "Management brought us a WFC, so how can anyone dare second guess their decision?"

People who complain that there is a "BL Elite" are the same people who just hate to be disagreed with.

Clout and Sir Alden are very similar in that they twist arguments to suit their point. They just do it from opposite sides of the fence.

Chris Coste is nary a big leaguer. But he's not alone on this team as of now.

Beerleager should be a tv show on Comcast...on sunday morning. Sort of a 'Sports Reporters-esque...'

JW could be Saunders/Schapp
bap could be Albom.
MG could be Bob Ryan.
clout is obviously Conlin. Surly bastards both.

Clout: I completely agree. The runner was sure the ball wouldn't be caught so he took off. When he was wrong, he was dead meat. It was an amazing short hop pickup though. It was enen back-handed if I'm not mistaken. I may be harsh saying it was kind of lucky. I don't think he could make that play more than 1 or 2 out of ten but it showed a lot of ability.

Re: Marson's defense, the book on him is that he's athletic and still improving behind the plate. I remember reading that those who saw him in person several years ago say he's come on by leaps and bounds since then. He's more of a quick release guy (as opposed to someone with real arm strength), but he projects to be average defensively when all is said and done.

danger: Conlin is my idol.

I don't think making fun of Sir Alden is so childish. Personally I thought we've had worse posters, but they were more scattershot, while Alden had his pro-Gillick agenda. It's just a harmless inside joke, especially now that he's not around (apparently) to take offense. As for Coste, if he manages to hit .260 on the season, that would be good for a backup catcher. However, Ruiz isn't necessarily going to hit too much, so we could use a more productive backup catcher, and, like most here, I don't see why Coste should be given that whole season unless (a) Marson starts looking overmatched on the big-league level or (b) Coste turns around soon.

clout: Two other things I'm interested in getting your take on as well in regards to Marson.

1.)I thought he has been very good with framing pitches. He hasn't had a huge sample size with this yet becasue for the most part when the Phillies pitchers have missed it's been by a wide margain. However, I thought he was quick with his glove to pull pitches onto the edges of the zone.

2.) The other night it seemed like him and Madson couldn't get on the same page with the pitch they wanted to throw. Madson stepped off the rubber and got Marson to go through the signs again. The next pitch went for a ball and ran the count to either 2-2 or 3-2. They couldn't get together again and Marson went to the mound to talk to Madson about it. They finally agreed on a pitch and Madson threw a great changeup to strike the hitter out. Marson made the catch and then pointed right out to Madson and gave him credit for the pitch. I thought the whole sequence showed some really good maturity on Marson's part. He was fighting for his pitch and when they couldn't agree on it he went to talk about it with his guy and they got together to get an out.

Tray: The way I interpret Mac's comments is that he doesn't think anyone should criticize another poster no matter how lame the post. Good luck with that.

PhillyFriar is right as far as I can tell about the general scouting opinion on Marson's defense. Clout or Truth Injection: do you have links or examples of the scouting reports that said his defense was poor or even below average? Everything I have read says he started catching late in High School but since has shown great improvement and is now considered a solid catch-and-throw guy behind the plate.

bayarea: I was doing the same thing with my Pat Burrell example, which prompted a response of "what I would call someone who badly mischaracterizes the opinions of those who do not reflexively agree with management on every decision. I would call such person a member of the Sir Alden Club. It's a small club but, through your hard work this off-season, you definitely earned entry." Double standard?

danger lad: I don't mind a bit when people disagree with me. I fully expect it. It is the way in which people voice their disagreement that I have a problem. If you have a counter-point that explains your side of the argument, I appreciate the reply. I'm sure most BL members know as much or more about the game than I, so I appreciate the give and take. However, when the reply is snide, dismissive, insulting and, well, elitist, it adds very little to the discussion and seems like an excuse to make someone else feel stupid in order to make themselves look intelligent. It's unnecessary. To clout's credit, he has (more often than not) treated me with respect despite some of my less-than-popular views, but I think the community, as a whole, should engage in some self-reflection before they dispense with the insults and inside jokes.

Maybe we've got it all wrong. When Ruiz comes back maybe he should be the backup for Marson. Of course we won't know that until Marson gets a real shot. With a week or possibly more until Chooch gets back, I think he should get that shot. If he still looks like the real deal, he should get a shot at a platoon with Ruiz. I don't think any of this will happen, mind you. But in reality, that is how major leaguers are usually broken in. Either way I think the Phils are missing a chance to evaluate Marson's potential. He is clearly the catcher of the future.

clout: If the comment is absurd, ignore it. If you disagree with it and wish to say why, go for it. However, if you disagree with someone and jump full steam ahead to insult the poster...what do you (or anyone else) have to gain from that?

Such comments truly say more about the person dishing out the childishness than their intended victim.

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