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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

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Shut him down, get him healthy for the playoffs. A real shame considering how effective he's been with the bat the last few weeks!

He played last night, so did he aggravate it during the game?

Do the Phillies think it is in the bag and they are just having it looked at?

It's puzzling to me why the Phillies keep pushing the envelope with injured players. First, Happ. Now Ruiz. The next one in line to re-aggravate his injury is Pedro, who is scheduled to pitch on Saturday despite leaving his last start with neck soreness.

With an insurmountable division lead, what is the point of all this? Why are they in such a rush to push injured players back into action? It's crazy.

Bako could replace Lidge as our weakest link.
Hope Chooch is OK.

"Why are they in such a rush to push injured players back into action?"

bap, I imagine it's because they want to keep them sharp for the postseason.

It's a fine line they're walking, and Amaro said they don't think Ruiz is serious and that the examination is precautionary.

Still, I am on record advocating giving Hoover the start last night if they won the first game - which they did.

Another day's rest wouldn't have hurt Chooch, and as we all saw, his presence in the lineup last night didn't make any difference in the W-L column.

bap, to add to it, chooch obviously told them he felt well enough to play.

At some point the player is responsible too.

The Phillies normally say every exam is precautionary regardless of circumstances, I don't know that that means anything.

This is where Marson would be a huge help. I wouldn't mind seeing a few starts thrown Paul Hoover's way. But the idea of Bako and Hoover on the postseason roster if Chooch can't go makes me squeamish. I'd shut him down until game 1, he's our most indispensable player. Period.

Following up on the MVP discussion. Voted for Utley but didn't have a chance to post.

I understand how at various times many of the players were indispensable to the team and could have been argued to have been the most valuable for a given game, or for a certain time period. They are almost all very important cogs in this Phillies machine. You can make a case for just about any of the players listed.

But I feel that Chase, on a season long basis, has to be the MVP. I cannot support it with stats, but my feeling is that if you took him out of the lineup and replaced him with an average second baseman, the Phils would suffer more than if you did the same with any other player on the team. Then throw in some "intangibles" like leadership, baseball smarts and presence, it becomes kind of a no-brainer for me while he is producing at or near this level.

I agree with CJ, that he is (arguably) the second best player in the NL. I think you could also make a case that given the other players on the Phillies and how Utley fits into the Phillies mix, that there is not a single player in MLB that you would trade him even up for. By way of example, I would contend that Pujols is the only better player in the league. But I would not trade them even up, because with Howard as our first baseman, the deficit created by the subtraction of Utley would be far worse than any benefit the addition of Pujols would provide.

Chase has not had a career year, but his "typical" year of 2009 is equal to most player's career years.

I commented before that I had heard him compared to Bobby Grich in being the type of player who does so many things so well, night in and night out, that despite their excellence, they almost get lost in the shuffle or are taken for granted. He may have been headed for a career year when he broke his hand a couple of years ago. Would love to see him put another season like that together.

He is certainly appreciated here in Philly, for sure. But amazingly enough, he may be most appreciated when he's gone. Thankfully, that is not a Phillies problem anytime soon. And on that subject, is there any added "value" to the fact that he IS committed on a long term basis to the team at a very reasonable salary point?

The one major complaint I have with Ruben Amaro, aside from giving Moyer 2 years and big bucks, is trading away all the catching depth- Marson, Paulino, Coste, Jaramillo.

A postseason with Bako and Hoover frightening.

carson, they didn't trade Coste, and got nothing for him.

Nothing.

They traded Jaramillo for Paulino, who they then traded for Taschner, so you could really argue that, the way it worked out, they traded Jaramillo for Taschner.

Marson et. al. got them Lee and Francisco, and we really can't argue that trade.

However, simply releasing, when he still had options, Coste, who, yes, seemed to be declining, was a little bit shortsighted.

Who knows, maybe he asked to be released so he could catch on elsewhere.

After seeing some lousy play by Paulino yesterday, I don't miss him in a Phillies uniform.

That said, I sure wish we had someone better than Bako/Hoover to back up Ruiz.

Wasn't the wrist already checked? It's possible that something happened to it last night, but I agree that he should sit for the next few games regardless. It may explode some heads to see Bako play, but Chooch needs to be rested for the post season.

Bob -
Here are the stats to back that up:

Utley, Wins Above Replacement: 8.0
Pujols, Wins Above Replacement: 8.3

The next highest second baseman in terms of WAR is Zobrist, with 7.3 (heavily influenced by defense, which, to my layman's eye, isn't *that* special). After that, a steep drop to Pedroia at 5.1

So, you're right, it would be insane to trade Chase straight-up for Pujols because no one really comes close to the value Utley provides the Phils.

Also worth noting is that the 'standard' monetary value of one WAR is $4.5 million. Which means that Utley is worth $36 million this year (and is only being paid $11 million). From 2010-13, he will get $15 million per year. The Phils are reaping tremendous value by having locked him up early.

So much for the earlier comment about changes in the ATL dugout next year. Looks like BCox is staying on for just one more year (probably since he came so close this year). Staying on in a "consulting agreement" after 2010, too.

Coste has been horrible offensively in Houston and the Phils didn't make a mistake in releasing him for Bako.

C is really the only position that the Phils' have generally mismanaged the past 3 years.

Bobby Cox will retire after next season, reports AP.

MG: Mismanaged except for having one of the better catchers in the league.

BA's top 20 prospects from Gulf Coast League:

"The Phillies have an affinity for signing raw athletes who offer projection but require plenty of polish, so it was no surprise that they led all organizations with four players on our GCL list: righthander Jarred Cosart, first baseman Jonathan Singleton, outfielder Domingo Santana and shortstop Jonathan Villar. Philadelphia's top pick (second round) in the 2009 draft, outfielder Kelly Dugan, didn't make the Top 20 but showed some potential as a switch-hitter with a solid frame and average speed."

Kutztown: Were you watchng when Paulino got his 3 hits, or only during the 2 times he made an out?

I just have a strange notion that we'll all be watching Domingo Santana someday. And sooner instead of later.

CJ - Meant backup catcher. Chooch has been a capable catcher option given the relative lack of talent at the MLB-level and his contract.

Petey Pablo,

Interesting, thanks very much for the statistical follow up.

danger: By sooner do you mean the next 6 years?

awh: I'm not usually one to second-guess medical decisions that I know nothing about. But, when you're relying on the player himself to inform you about the status of his health, it's important to keep in mind that players want to play and, therefore, will invariably minimize the extent of any injuries. With a comfortable lead in the division race, I come from the school of thought that you wait for the player to say he's ok, then wait a week longer. We need Ruiz & Happ in the playoffs a lot more than we need them right now.

i heard from a reliable source that chooch has a "tear" in a ligament in his wrist.

does not look good.

Scoop- I hate your source. Find another source with a sunnier prognosis.

Bob,
No problem. For whatever it's worth, you can get the WAR for position players here:

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=6&season=2009&month=0

Werth: 4.3
Howard: 4.2
Ibanez: 3.8
Vic: 3.2
Rollins: 2.1
Ruiz: 2.1

Yeah, scoop, your source sucks even if he's right. Still, a torn ligament in the wrist, how bad could that be??? More of a flesh wound.

The Phils gambled with their pathetic catching depth and it looks like it may come back to bite them.

Losing Ruiz would be a bad blow. And Rube should get a lot of blame for not having a suitable replacement above A ball, should this day arise.

Torn ligament would be enough to keep Chooch out of the lineup.

The WAR data is eye opening. I'm assuming this is data that reflects this year's performance. If you looked at the data on a basis of say, their "typical" year, purely on gut feel, I would not have placed Vic, Ibanez, and Werth quite so high; and would have placed Rollins a little higher.

So are we believing Scoop's mystery source over all of the beat writers who say no structural damage?

Yeah, those WAR numbers are all from 2009. I was surprised that Rollins was so low, especially because WAR incorporates a positional 'bonus' for shortstops and a positional penalty for corner OFs.

It's really a testament to how crappy Jimmy has been at the plate this year. In his MVP year, Jimmy was worth 6.7 WAR. Howard was worth 7.0 in his MVP year.

If you take '05 and '06 as 'typical' years for Jimmy, he averaged 4.5 WAR, which sounds about right.

If you can't believe an anonymous poster named scoop, who can you believe?

I didn't notice him wincing or anything last night. Hopefully it's nothing serious, especially since he has played a few times since it happens. I gotta believe they'll find a way to keep him on hte field given the deplorable alternatives.

Interesting that Chuck Domino is moving on as President from both the RPhils and the Iron Pigs. Been a very successful guy and really has boosted the profile of the RPhils and played a big role in Allentown getting the Iron Pigs.

From Merck Manual: "In a grade 1 sprain, the ligaments may stretch, but they don't actually tear...but a mild sprain increases the risk of a repeat injury. In a grade 2 sprain, a ligament tears partially. In a grade 3 sprain, a ligament tears completely....Sometimes a moderate (gr. 2) or severe (gr. 3) sprain causes problems even after the ligament has healed...a small nodule can develop, causing friction in the joint, leading to chronic inflammation.." While this addresses an ankle sprain, the prognosis for moderate sprain is 3 weeks rest...

Let's hope for the best, and I agree, rest Chooch now rather than risk reinjury!

Speaking of WAR . . . Feliz is at 1.3 which is among the worst of 3B in MLB. He'll be back next year but actually spending a couple of bucks this offseason on a legit backup utility INF wouldn't be the worst thing to do either.

My barely drug-induced notion says 3-4 years

Crazy, I know...

MG -
DeRosa is going to be a free agent and posted a 2.1 WAR thus far...he's a butcher in the field, though.

danger: Suppose it's possible, but that would put him in The Show at age 20.

He looks like a great Latin signing, a rarity for the Phils, but I'd bet against him being up at age 20. The reports I've read say he's got great power potential but is pretty raw and can't hit breaking stuff, although not too many pitchers in the GCL have good breaking stuff.

clout, I think I read a report that said Domingo had amazing plate discipline for that league, even more crazy considering his age. Is that right, or am I confusing him with someone else?

It's often said that the difference between a good major league hitter and a good minor league hitter is the ability to hit a breaking ball.

"C is really the only position that the Phils' have generally mismanaged the past 3 years"

I know Feliz has somewhat solidified the situation, but I still feel like you've got to include third base in this discussion. Ever since they traded Rolen, then mishandled Polanco and ended up with Bell, its been problems. Remember how often we saw Abe Nunez play third? That wasn't so long ago.

I know its fun to find fault in Amaro and all, but do other contenders have solid options for backup catchers? Other contenders and their backup catchers (2009 OPS): Yankees - Molina (583), Angels - Mathis (597), Cardinals - LaRue (602).

Yes, the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Rockies have slightly better options than Bako, but its not like other teams have Joe Mauer on the bench.

honestly, i have a buddy who works within the temple medical system and he texted me the word was torn ligament in his wrist. that's all i got.

i hope i'm wrong and my friend was just having some fun with me, or misheard, or whatever.

all i can tell anyone is what he heard and passed on to me. not trying to cause unnecessary alarm.

Spitz, other teams have better options then Paul Bako and Paul "1 XBH in 74 career MLB AB's" Hoover. Not saying there are any Mauer's out there for most clubs, waiting in the wings. But, we are literally scraping the bottom of the barrel, with Bako and Hoover.

One of the areas Rube has gambled on is the catching position. He literally has no one above A ball, who can play the position and he was banking on Ruiz staying healthy. Before, we had Jaramillo. We had Marson. We had Coste. We had guys, who at least, were competent, should the #1 or #2 guys go down. We didn't have that this year.

If Ruiz is out, the Phils are screwed. He has had an underrated and very important season for this team. The dropoff from Ruiz to Bako is a big one.

scoop - Ciccotti is at Rothman Institute and almost certainly would have seen Ruiz at Jefferson and not Temple.

As for texting you, that is a big no-no especially with the new HIPAA privacy regulation that went into place today.

I think your "scoop" is of the imaginary type.

mg - i hope you are right. we shall see.

lovely - friend just confirmed he is full of sh*t. never been happier to have been hung out to dry.

Smoky: I think you might have the wrong guy. Santana had a ridiculously high strikeout total (44 in 118 ABs) and not a particularly high number of walks (15). That's not suprising, since he just turned 17 in August. But it definitely doesn't qualify as amazing plate discipline.

You might be thinking of Jonathan Singleton, our other 17-year old GCL stud. He had 18 walks and only 13 strikeouts in 100 ABs.

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