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Friday, November 20, 2009

Comments

I agree with Sophist. I was trying to make that point a few threads back.

Lets spend the money on 3b where we will get production every day.

Bull pen and bench are crap shoots, so I would rather skimp there if given a choice.

From the previous thread:


"He is not remotely as bad at the position as Dobbs."

clout, if I recall correctly, you have even advocated platooning Dobbs at 3B in the past, because of the relative lack of chances a 3B can get.

In several of the postseason games Feliz got very few chances.

My point is that if indeed that is true, than DeRosa is unlikely to be as much of a liability defensively as having, say, Ronnie Belliard fill in at SS.

From the last thread~

Sophist~ That's my point exactly. Boras will ask for the moon and hold out for a long as he can. Amaro won't play games with him, just like he didn't with Toronto on the Halladay thing. Regardless of what is being read and said, Amaro will strike quickly and sign who he wants, not who the phans want.

awh: I agree. BTW, when Feliz was out in 2008 and Dobbs got about 20 starts or so his fielding improved quite a bit. But at this point it's a moot point.

hear, hear

CY - I think part of what I was thinking is that skimping when it comes to the bench in particular means very little. The cost and production differences between these guys are very slim. Some go wild over Jerry Hairston, Jr. but just look at is production the past few years. Since 2005, OPS+: 82, 36, 41, 126, 86. He'll be 34 next year. Is the money saved on Feliz worth the cost of having Feliz? I can't see it.

Figgins also helps the bench by giving more plate appearances to Dobbs rather than a utility infielder who can play up the middle but can't hit.

It's not my money, but $10 million x 4 years seems like a better investment than $5 million for DeRosa plus whatever they spend to upgrade the bench.

I hope Feliz lands on his feet. For all the warts in his game, he was a contributor in Philly. I am looking forward to an uptick in offense at 3B and DeRosa should provide that if he signs here. As for counting on Dobbs in a platoon, I wouldn't say I'm wildly optimistic but, hopefully last year was just a lost season for him.

My first preference to replace Feliz remains the least likely one - that the Phils swing a trade for a younger guy who could occupy 3B beyond next season. Perhaps that thought and signing DeRosa to play 3B next season aren't mutually exclusive. DeRosa is very intriguing as a potential bench player on the 2011 Phils as he's a guy who could be a ninth starter spelling players or platooning at multiple positions in the infield and as a 5th outfielder. But, the 2010 team's just not going to set up that way.

DPatrone, from what I've read I get the sense that Amaro is waiting it out.

Which is a better investment:

- Chone Figgins and a weak bench (Francisco, Dobbs, Andy Tracy making league minimum, Quintin Berry making league minimum, and a catcher making league minimum); or

- DeRosa/Polanco and a strong bench?

Pedro Feliz and a non-existent bench got us to a Game 6 in the WS against the best team in baseball. Anyone else and we likely are lookingat Back to back championships.


I think the bench concern is overstated in that light. I'd much rather have a great starter/weak bench than a good starter/better bench.

JR - Who makes up this "strong bench"? Do you really think those are the only options out there?

New to the Beerleaguer...stuck in Vermont and surrounded by Yankees/Red Sox fans, so it's good to talk some Phils.

As for the 3rd base options, DeRosa would represent a significant upgrade to the lineup offensively, even if he has started to decline. Feliz was one of the worst-hitting everyday players in the National League, if I remember correctly. I'd hate to see the Phils sign Polanco, though.

Sophist: I have no clue. I am COMPLETELY happy with Andy Tracy, Quintin Berry, and a cheap catcher who can hit lefthanded pitching (like Chros Coste, circa 2006) if it means having a starting thirdbaseman with an OBP of .380+

My point is similar to yours in that I'd much rather spend the money on a guy who plays every day, especially if that guy can be Rollins' and Utley's backup and give an excellent bench player like Greg Dobbs more plate appearances. To me, it's win-win-win-win. An excellent use of $10 million times 4 years.

You guys must not have read Dave Murphy's blog entry about our bench in the postseason:

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillies/Phillies_FA_Preview_The_Bench.html

Quoting:

"The six non-regular position players on the Phillies postseason roster combined for 31 at-bats during the playoffs.

They finished with just one hit -- an RBI single by Matt Stairs against A.J. Burnett in the World Series.

1-for-31.

They were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, 1-for-14 with men on base.

In the World Series, when just one extra base hit might have turned the tide of the series, they combined to go 1-for-16.

In the 2008 postseason, the Phillies' six bench players combined to go 11-for-32 with four extra base hits and three RBI. In the World Series, they went 3-for-9 with two extra base hits.

One year after leading the league with 64 pinch hits and finishing second with a .253 average, Phillies pinch-hitters hit just .186, the second-worst average in the National League and 45 points below the league average. Though they tied for the league lead with nine pinch-hit home runs, they struggled mightily to make contact, striking out an NL-high 71 times."

I've never thought the bench was a huge deal, and I agree with you all that there has to be more impact from a regular in the lineup than from the bench, but I have to say this bit by Murphy really grabbed me.

I wouldn't be happy with Andy Tracy as the bat off the bench. A bench of Tracy, Berry and X catcher sounds like it belongs in AAA.

in waiting for my favorite page of the baseball calendar to turn, i think the essence of this bench question boils down to versatility. that should be your most prized asset in building a competent bench on a contending club. a 3B who can slide around the diamond and offer versatility in the lineups can open opportunities for bench players to see some time, keeping them sharper and more likely to contribute.

in the early years of our run here, we had some notable deficencies on the field (ahem, Wes Helms) and also got bit by the injury bug (Chase, Jimmy, Rowand) which opened up opportunities for the bench players to see some time (Iguchi, Bruntlett, Dobbs, Werth) and in those years we got good contributions from the bench. in fact, you can argue that Werth and Vic may still be seen around baseball as bench players if those opportunities hadn't opened the door for them. short of expecting a significant injury to your starting nine or opting to platoon players when constructing the bench, a versatile 3B would provide the opportunity to strengthen the bench just by giving them time in the field. i don't think it's strictly a matter of contract money. Beltre may leave more to spend on the bench (relative to Figgins), but he'd leave them ice cold.
Figgins- spend the money. he's what we need.
DeRosa
Polanco
Beltre

Phillies bench players got 31 at bats during the playoffs.

Their starting third baseman got 56 plate appearances.

Bed Beard: Tracy, Berry and X catcher do belong in AAA, but it's a question of resources. An ideal bench would be two lefthanded hitters, two righthanded hitters, and a guy with speed (with one being a backup catcher, one able to play the middle infield positions, and one who can play center field).

Even if all of those players are arb eligible or signed at reasonable dollars, you're looking at around $2M for each (a little less for Ben Francisco and a little more for Greg Dobbs).

So, for $10 million, you can have an ideal bench. Or, for $10 million, you can have a starting position player with a high AVG, a high OBP, who also gives more plate appearances for your top lefthanded bench player. Then you have to make due with AAA players who have limited skills.

GBrettfan: wasn't it pretty much the same guys on the bench in '08 and '09 with Francisco being an upgrade over Taguchi? That's why bench players and bullpen pitchers are considered a crapshoot.

those 31 ABs should be treated as they're meaningless?

Of course not, but I don't want Ruben to focus on those 31 ABs at the expense of the 56 plate appearences for Feliz.

Also, most of those bench ABs should be split between Greg Dobbs and Ben Francisco (they are the obvious choices for DH and the first two pinch hitters in a national league park). Signing Figgins would open up a lot more playing time for Greg Dobbs, which would better prepare him for the postseason. As for Francisco, Charlie needs to get him a lot of starts in place of Ibanez against lefthanded pitching.

Further down the bench, here are Andy Tracy's career minor league stats vs. RHP: 0.263 AVG, 0.376 OBP, 0.497 SLG, 0.873 OPS. Quintin Berry over the last 3 years: 55 SB, 51 SB, 48 SB. Is it an ideal bench? Of course not. Could you live with it if it meant having Chone Figgins getting 500 PAs rather than Mark DeRosa?

I get J.R. King's point: Skimping on an everyday player to save money for the bench is stupid. Only mvptommy would argue otherwise. But I think we can do a helluva lot better than Andy Tracy for very little money.

This is the last thing I'm going to post on this subject because I'm getting a little tired of it, but I'm about to "undewhelm" b_a_p one last time.

Actually, I think this will give him "underwhelm' overload:

DHPhils had a good post on the last thread about the 2009 OPS+ numbers for the starting OF in the NL East.

The following are the LIFETIME OPS+ numbers for OF on all the teams - starters and guys who got significant AB during 2009. (Caveat: Some are recent call-ups and have small sample sizes.)

The list, with the help of Excel, has been sorted from highest to lowest OPS+.

Ramirez LAD 155
Braun MIL 143
Blanks SDP 140
Giles SDP 136
Holliday STL 133
Dunn WAS 132
Jones PIT 130
Coghlan FLA 122
Mccutcheon PIT 122
Ethier LAD 122
Willingham WAS 119
Beltran NYM 119
Ludwick STL 117
Lee HOU 117
Kemp LAD 116
Ibanez PHL 115
Bradley CHC 115
Pence HOU 115
Werth PHL 114
Diaz ATL 113
Soriano CHC 113
McLouth ATL 109
Duncan STL 109
Venable SDP 109
Ross FLA 108
Church ATL 107
Gomes CIN 107
Cameron MIL 107
Francisco PHL 106
Hart MIL 106
Headley SDP 106
Gerut MIL 105
Dukes WAS 104
Anderson ATL 104
Tatis NYM 102
Rowand SFG 102
Hermida FLA 101
Morgan PIT 101
Lewis SFG 101
Pagan NYM 100
Victorino PHL 99
Stubbs CIN 99
Winn SFG 99
Ankiel STL 98
Bruce CIN 98
Hairston SDP 98
Fukudome CHC 96
Michaels HOU 96
Johnson CHC 95
Francoeur NYM 92
Milledge PIT 91
Maybin FLA 89
Young PIT 89
Rasmus STL 88
Schierholtz SFG 88
Pierre LAD 85
Moss PIT 82
Velez SFG 81
Harris WAS 80
Gwynn SDP 80
Bourn HOU 79
Nix CIN 76
Torres SFG 76
Taveras CIN 68
Schafer ATL 62
Carroll FLA 56

So, while several of these guys are recent call ups who I would take over Benny Frank (Bruce, for example), there are also several veterans with higher OPS+ numbers (Giles, for example) who would have 10 foot pole marks all over them if they came near my team.

Still, Benny Frank ranks 29th out of 66 players on this list, WHICH INCLUDES STARTERS.


bap, be undewhelmed if you must, but based on what else is out there, I'm pretty happy to have the guy as my FOURTH OF.

He's a better player than a lot of guys who start on other NL teams.

JBird, true, true. And Bako had replaced Coste, but yeah, and there was no more Jenkins. Dobbs and Stairs didn't have nearly the years in '09 that they had in '08 - that's only my perception, I haven't checked numbers. I would surmise that between his own injuries and lack of injuries to starters, Dobbs saw much fewer ABs in '09, resulting in being less effective. Good point, however.

Clout: Right. I'm not saying trade for Arod/Pujols and put them on the bench, but the idea of living with a bench of Tracy, Berry, etc. isn't a smart policy, either*

*To be fair, I was thinking J.R. was saying start the bench with those guys. Forgot that Benny F and Dobbs are already there. Big difference.

"I'd much rather have a great starter/weak bench than a good starter/better bench."

I agree with that, but I also think it's a false choice. Signing a more expensive starter like Figgins or Beltre would undoubtedly mean less money to spend on the bench. That probably means you won't be able to sign most, if any, of the veteran reserve players you see on the FA lists. But, the vast majority of these players are bad risks anyhow. By definition, we're talking about guys who are old (or they wouldn't be eligible for free agency) and aren't very good to begin with (if they were, they'd be starters). Sophist made the point with Jerry Hairston, Jr., whom many see as the answer to all our bench problems, but who actually kind of sucks & is 34 years old to boot. True, he sucks less than Bruntlett, but so do half the posters on Beerleaguer, and I'll bet anything they'd work for league minimum.

My point is, when you're dealing in the realm of 30-something year old guys who aren't very good, the upside is pretty marginal and the bust potential is high. Look at the Phillies' own recent experiences with bench players. So Taguchi looked like a good bench acquisition on paper, and he was terrible. Geoff Jenkins was signed as a very expensive platoon player & he turned out to have nothing left. Matt Stairs had always been a good pinch hitter, but he was terrible this year. Going back a few more years, there were also Shawn Wooten and Alex Gonzalez, who both seemed like good bench players on paper & didn't even last half a season. Dare I say, even Eric Bruntlett, at the time of acquisition, looked like an acceptable bench player. Then when we got him, his offensive fell off the earth completely.

So let's not pretend that guys like Jerry Hairston and Jamey Carroll and John McDonald are some sort of can't-miss prizes that are sure to bolster out bench. They are all old, they all pretty much stink, & they all easily have the potential to turn into the next Eric Bruntlett or Shawn Wooten. In terms of risk/benefit analysis, it's much more prudent to shell out a few more dollars for a starting caliber player like Figgins or Beltre, and to go bargain shopping for bench players. Occasionally you'll hit pay dirt with a bargain basement signing and, even if you don't, the odds are still pretty good that the guy will be better than Stairs or Bruntlett or Bako.

Versatility is really it with bench. They won't add another thumping specialist like Stairs. They probably view Dobbs as that guy. I don't see much on-field action for Dobbs going forward.

Bap says he's underwhelmed by Francisco? So what. Everybody has certain players they just don't warm up to. I think Francisco is a prototypical 4th outfielder, but that's my opinion. I know we beat the hell out of minor points here on Beerleaguer, especially in the offseason, but this is really extreme. I believe even bap has said this is way down on the list of priorities. Third base, bullpen, bench. Let's keep our eye on the ball. Hope there is at least a little action today to keep things interesting.

donc, it's that obvious I'm bored, huh?

Good news!!!!

Ken Rosenthal tweets:
"White Sox close on Vizquel. One year deal to be backup"

Scratch one aging FA off of Amaro's list!

I'm certainly a big proponent of upgrading the bench -- which was a huge problem last year. But, as bad as it was, I think the need for costly changes is being overstated. First, we've already got Francisco for a full year, which wasn't the case last year. Second, Dobbs was absolutely horrendous last year; I would expect a bounce-back this year. Third, I think there's a very good chance Michael Taylor will fill a key bench role in the 2nd half of 2010. I also think Mayberry could be considerably more useful than he was last year, and he should certainly be given a chance to win the 5th outfielder's spot out of spring training.

We're really talking about 2 bench positions: backup catcher and utility infielder. Backup catcher is easy. The list of backup catchers on the FA market is long -- and the list of guys who would be better than Bako is almost equally long. Utiliity infielder is really the only tricky area on the bench.

bap's post is 100% dead on.

Francisco is the 4th OF/RH PH
Dobbs is the corner IF/corner OF/LH PH
5th OF could easily be filled in house

Backup catcher shouldn't be hard to find.

The key, I believe, is the utility infielder. It won't be tough to find better than Bruntlett. The question is how much we're willing to spend on this.

AWH:Yeah. I know me too. I rarely bitch about what others are posting so sorry. That's really none of my business. Just can't wait for some real news.

JW: Wouldn't you rather Dobbs get an occasional start than a backup middle infielder? Hasn't Dobbs shown he's a much better hitter when he gets an occasional start? I remember him filling in very well for an injured Ryan Howard and being the best hitter of the three-headed monster of Helms, Dobbs, and Nunez. Also, his defense at third improved with playing time.

BAP makes a lot of sense above. Though, I don't have much faith in Mayberry.

Bed Beard: I agree completely. BAP's post is right on the money but I want nothing to do with Mayberry. I would love to see Taylor up here sooner rather than later making a contribution. If he's ready that could be a huge upgrade. I know that is a BIG if.

Any interest in bringing in Chien Ming Wang as a potential fifth starter/reliever candidate if the Yankees do indeed cut him loose? I'd also be looking at Duscherer and Escobar as starter/reliever options. I'm torn between Polanco and Beltre. Beltre seems to be the better player with a far greater upside, but he's go a similar skill set to Feliz and could end up producing similarly, though his upside is still quite high given his relative youth. Polanco is attractive for his low strike out totals and high batting average, something this lineup generally lacks, though he's really dependent on hits for production.

If you look at the numbers from year to year, bench production is a huge crapshoot...It's very rare to have a pinch-hitting "specialist" who consistently hits well year to year. Sinking a lot of money into that area would be a poor choice. The same goes for the bullpen...obviously they need to find someone who could step into the closer role for Lidge if necessary (Brandon Lyon anyone?), but for the most part bullpen production fluctuates wildly year to year. You spend money on productive everyday players and starting pitchers, you fill in around them where you can...and the bullpen is an ideal place to break in young pitchers like Bastardo and Matthieson, which provides some cost control as well.

Bed Beard and donc:

I hear you on Mayberry, but I don't think he should be discounted as a 5th OF.

Adequate speed, good defense and some pop with his bat. He hit 4 HR in 57 ABs in his first trip to the majors.

No one is suggesting he's going to develop into a star, but he's certainly a candidate for 5th OF.

"No one is suggesting he's going to develop into a star."

Actually, there HAVE been a couple people who suggested he will develop into a star. MVPTommy is one. And there was that poster awhile back (whose name escapes me right now), who attended a few spring training games and became convinced that Mayberry was the next Ryan Howard.

It appears, at this point anyway, the Michael Taylor will be a better MLB contributor that Mayberry.

That said, he would probably be in a position to help the team more the second half of 2010.

One thing you are forgetting, though, is service time, and the Phils' reluctance to call up any player "prematurely".

They will probably stash him in AAA to get more AB and regular playing time, even though he may be the 5th best OF option in the whole system right now.

If he continues to rake the way he has at every level of the minors, they may view him as a cheap replacement for Werth in 2011.

If that's the case, he may get called up before September so they can really see how well he performs against MLB pitching.

The one problem with that is playing time. he's always taken a little time to adjust to the next level, and if they call him up and just stick him on the bench they may not be able to make much of an evaluation at all.

CJ: I am really down on Mayberry. Kind of like BAP being underwhelmed by Francisco. I just can't warm up to him. He can't hit righthanders even a little bit and he struggles against all but the weakest lefties. I don't think he will ever be a major league hitter. He certainly has some power and the speed to be a decent defensive outfielder but I saw him loaf after a few balls in the outfield on the very few times he actually played in the field. I may be wrong, in fact I hope I am, but I don't think he'll ever prove to be a major leaguer. And to be honest he is the kind of player (toolsy anyone) that I usually get excited about. Wonder if I'm somehow related to someone in the Phillies scouting department.

I doubt anyone would argue for Mayberry over Taylor. However, they're not gonna start Taylor's arbitration clock to get 50 ABs off the bench.

BAP: That poster was named Doc. He was hilarious. I think he may have been John Mayberry Sr. he was so in the tank for RFD. He disappeared quickly enough when Mayberry shockinly didn't even make the roster out of ST. Absolutely one of the most bizarre short term posters I can remember.

The truth is this: Francisco has made Mayberry redundant. I still think he can develop into a platoon OF vs. LHP, but he no longer fits on this team. Ideally, the 5th OF will bat lefty, assuming the new UT INF is a righty.

NEPP, I agree to a point.

If indeed they view Taylor as Werth's replacement (and he's not traded during the season) doesn't it stand to reason that they'll want to call him up sometime this season to see if he can handle MLB pitching?

Ideally, he'd be a lefty but I'd be comfortable having Dobbs as the primary LHB off the bench. We should go for the best player available, not the best LH bat available.

Dobbs seems like he's always nursing a hidden injury. I just wonder where he's at physically.

I usually am not so quickly negative on a guy with obvious athletic ability. In Mayberry's case I immediately thought he had an incredible lack of plate discipline and pitch recognition. Not fatal in a 20 year old but at his age...well I doubt he will ever overcome those obstacles.

donc: Yeah, Doc. That was the name that came right to mind, but I wasn't sure. Actually, I spend the last 10 minutes of my life perusing through the March, 2009 archives to try to find his posts. I couldn't find any, but I did find this timeless classic which is certainly worth reposting:

I don't know what the lineups are going to be, so I'm going to compare [the Marlins & Phillies] by position.

C: Baker >> Ruiz
1B: ??? (MacPherson?) <<<< Howard
2B: Uggla < Utley
3B: Cantu >> Feliz
SS: Ramirez >> Rollins
LF: Ross < Ibanez
CF: Maybin < Victorino
RF: Hermida > Werth
Bench
Marlins << Phillies (Dobbs, etc.)

Pitching:
Hamels > Nolasco
Johnson >> Myers
Volstad >> Blanton
Sanchez > Moyer
Miller >= Park/Kendrick

Lidge>Lindstrom
FLA Bullpen << Philly Bullpen (read: FLA bad, Philly average until Romero gets back)

If you tabulate all the <'s as a point each, FLA is way ahead based on the strength of their rotation.
You could argue that Ramirez is NOT 2>>'s better than Rollins, but offensively, I think he really is that much better. More speed, more power, more contact.

Posted by: b00b | Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 02:28 PM

"Hermida > Werth?" You can't make this stuff up.

"the best hitter of the three-headed monster of Helms, Dobbs, and Nunez"

I laughed out loud to the point of spitting out my coffee at that one.

God Bless you, BAP. I needed a good dose of the carefully calibrated b00b rating system.

Re: Vizquel, I can see how this makes sense for the Chisox. They plan to start Teahen at 3B and he's one of the worst fielders in baseball at that position (he's passable in OF). Plus Beckham is shifting from 3B to 2B. If Ozzie gets sick of Teahen, he can shift Beckham back to 3B, Alexei back to 2B and install Vizquel at SS. That would improve all 3 positions defensively.

bap: That post goes in the Beerleaguer Hall of Fame.

donc: When you say he only has success against the weakest lefties, I assume you're putting Andy Pettite in there?

****If indeed they view Taylor as Werth's replacement (and he's not traded during the season) doesn't it stand to reason that they'll want to call him up sometime this season to see if he can handle MLB pitching?****

I think he'll be called up the first time one of the 3 starters goes down with an injury. He might not start more than a few games but he'll still likely get called up. They're definitely gonna want to avoid any chance of him getting Super Two status as at this point he's already basically penciled in as the starting RF in 2011 after Werth departs via free agency.


JW makes a good piont about Dobbs' injury concerns. It seemed like he was basically hurt all year with some minor ailment or another. I wonder if his hamstring has ever recovered from whatever was wrong with it. (or whatever muscle was injured if it wasnt the hammy).

BAP:Classic. I am surprised that you couldn't find those Doc posts. I hope I'm not blaming the wrong guy. I'm pretty sure he was the one but his posts were a scream. He spoke as if he alone had discovered baseballs next big superstar slugger. And I remembered he ended every post with "be well pal" or something similar. Very memorable. Had to love his enthusiasm even if it was misplaced.

Vizquel will likely get far more playign time in Chicago than he would with us and he likely knows it. He also gets to go back to a division he's intimately familiar with.

bap: The irony of his post? I added up the >'s and got:

Phillies 13
Marlins 12.5

"If you tabulate all the <'s as a point each, FLA is way ahead based on the strength of their rotation."

Hahahaha.

CJ:Touche. Blind squirrel, acorn.

Mayberry can handle himself OK as an extra outfielder. The problem with him is in that position, it sure helps to be a good PH. He is not. Way too may K's and not enough power to say the K's are worth it.

That said, overall he'd be OK for the Phils b/c he won't be needed very much with the 3 starters we already have.

The most important bench position to upgrade is Bruntlett's. We need a guy who can play in the middle of the infield who in not an AO.

I think it will be up to Taylor as to how soon they start his clock. If he keeps raking like he's been, on a consistent basis, they'd be foolish to not find a way to get him some big league AB's.

I remember him (Doc) continually telling me that Mayberry was a better prospect than either Dom Brown or Michael Taylor because he was in the Majors while they were both at AA and A+ respectively. Bringing up the fact that Mayberry is several years older than either and that Taylor's AA numbers dwarfed Mayberry's was simply ignored.

I expect to see both Drabek and Taylor contribute at the MLB level at some point in the next year.

I seriously hope the whole clock thing doesnt determine when Taylor makes his big league debut. I know I know. I sound ridiculously naieve.

Sophist~

Yeah Amaro is waiting it out alright, until everyone of decent age and ability are gone and he signs who's left. I can't wait to hear his spin on things: "He's a guy we really wnated blah, blah,blah." Pulease. They had their run of winning and now his 3b-man, and his bench are gonna be old. And who knows about the bench. Forget Halladay and they won't extend Lee.

We're gonna have lots to talk about but I'm afraid nothing to be happy about. Just got that feeling that's all.

bap, thanks for the reminder on thE b00b's post.

Hilarious.

It belongs the same place in the B*L Hall of Fame as Bruntlett's stuff does in Cooperstown.

Dobbs apparently had a nagging calf injury.

Preacher, NEPP raises a legitimate "concern" that the FO has regarding service time, but, if they really are in "win now" mode, then it also make sense to put the best 25 guys in Philly - service time be damned.

The main reason they may leave him in AAA is to get regular playing time, as opposed to getting 4-5 AB/week in Philly.

DPatrone: Your gut has been saying the same thing for years, despite the fact their payroll increased, what, $40mil last year?

donc: Excellent memory. I did finally find a few of his posts and he did end every post with "Stay well." He also thought that 31-year old Jason Ellison, (.261 average, .671 OPS at AAA last year) was an up and coming player. On Mayberry, he wrote (in early March):

"Suffice it to say that Mayberry is a bona fide stud who has not struggled at any time during spring training."

Mayberry ended up hitting .246 in spring training.

****NEPP raises a legitimate "concern" that the FO has regarding service time, but, if they really are in "win now" mode, then it also make sense to put the best 25 guys in Philly - service time be damned.

The main reason they may leave him in AAA is to get regular playing time, as opposed to getting 4-5 AB/week in Philly.
****

I agree completely. However, the combination of him not getting ABs and wasting service time is more than enough to keep him in AAA unless regular playing time is available.

donc: I'm not trying to make a big deal out of this, but John Mayberry's 3 HRs against lefties came against:

Andy Petitte
Mike Gonzalez
David Price

I just don't want us to sell Mayberry short. He can be a legitimate threat against lefties. That's all I'm saying.

So Eric Bruntlett and John Mayberry Jr have both homered off David Price?

I think that's more an indictment of Price than praise of those two.

NEPP: Fair enough :-)

NEPP: You can't be serious! As we all learned last October, David Price is a sure fire 1st ballot Hall of Famer who is in line to win the net 5-7 Cy Young Awards.

I think Werth is gone after free agency this year, so I would expect Michael Taylor to get at the very least a september call up to see how much more work he needs before the start of 2011.

Its a shame that Figgins is coming from the Angels, one of the select teams this offseason that are willing to spend $$ to keep him. If he was coming off a season from about 22-24 other teams I think the Phils would be taking much more of a shot, especially the way nonyankee FA signings have scaled down.

Hmmm... Doc = donc ?
Coincidence maybe.

BedBeard-

You're right. I have been saying the same thing for years and regardless of how much their payroll increased last year, money always is a factor. Why would they not go after Beltre from the jump? Because Boras is his agent and he'll cost more than De Rosa, that's why. Why are they waiting to, or not trying to extend Lee? Because he's gonna want big bucks. Why not nake a play for Halladay? Because of what they'd have to give up AND what they'd have to pay in salary. THAT'S WHY. The guy for the BP i'd go after is Gonzalez but no they're linked to Rodney and the reason is money.

Their payroll increased last year because signed Ibanez (who was yearly less than Burrell) and because he locked up the remainder of his core players. Good for him. I said that last year if you recall.

Now, it seems to me that he's going for the older, cheaper player to fill needs. That's not gonna get them back to the WS for a third-straight year is it?

He won't pay Figgins (who is not worth it anyway) or Beltre. Lee and Werth are probably gonna leave after next year. I'd lock up Werth if I could. He'll be easier than Lee.

Let's face it, we all LOVE the fact that they've won for 3 years and I want to see it continue. Don't you? and the only way it will, is to bring in the best players available, which usually equals spending more $$.

You see, the window of opportunity for the team to win is small. There are no quality infilders in the Minors. Good pitching prospects and Of'ders, yes. And I believe they have depth (bodies) at catcher.

But when most of these guys are gone their window is too.

When they sign whom their gonna sign to satrt at 3b and bring in older, cheaper players for the bench and everyone starts complaining, don't complain to me. If I'm wrong then I'll happily admit it.

Sophist - Your argument though about the difference between Feliz and his replacement is somewhat bogus though. Let's say the Phils sign Beltre who is supposedly looking for 3-years minimum and likely close to a double digit deal.

Are the Phils better with Feliz at $3M and having the extra $6-$7M to spend on bullpen/bench or signing Beltre for $9-$10M at 3 years?

I go with the former scenario because this bench has 1 legit bench player right now (Francisco). Dobbs will be back because of his contract but I wouldn't count on him next year. In fact, I bet that Phils would have been 50/50 on bringing him back next year if he wasn't signed to decent amount for a bench player.

The biggest misnomers floating around on the Phils are about their pitching staff. Its likely that both Lidge & Romero will be healthy and effective next year. There is also this ridiculous assertion that the Phils have enough internal options to round out their bullpen even if Park or Eyre aren't resigned. They don't. Not even close. Maybe 2 spots but not the 3-4 spots unless you want to see the largely mediocre/terrible bullpens the Phils had in '06 and '07 because Gillick took that approach.

Still wouldn't mind seeing the Phils sign a quality swing man either. Everybody keeps mentioning their starting pitching depth but again the 4/5 spots are largely up for grabs and counting on much of anything from Moyer is going to be a real stretch next year. He will likely get every chance in spring training because of his ridiculous contract (nearly $9M next year) but the candidates for the 5th start are Moyer & KK.

hard to get on board with FO bashing after 2 straight WS and after a year where they increased payroll and are top 5 in the league.

I have faith in Rube and think that he will bring in quality players. What combination, who knows.

DPatrone: "If I'm wrong then I'll happily admit it."

You've been happily admitting a lot recently so I would expect that to continue.

You also fall into the trap of thinking more money = better team. Just ask the Mets how that's worked out the last few years.

It's not about spending more money. It's about spending the right money.

But that won't stop the Beerleaguer whine patrol from doing what they do...

What does $6-7 mil get you in bench and bullpen? Cant imagine it would outweigh the upgrade in offense and defense of Beltre for over 600 PAs next year.

Why dink and dunk a few mil here and there to get mediocre players when you can concentrate that money into an impact player - whether it be an arm or bat.

"it's not about spending more money. It's about spending the right money."

Exactly right.

Bedbeard: eh, not necessarily. You dont win the world series based on some type of $$/Win efficiency rating.

The more money you spend, the more room for error you have. I'd think the best way to secure success would be to increase your margin of error as much as you can.

Didn't Gammons twitter the other day - someone poster it here - that the Marlins have won more game the last 7-8 yrs, won more playoff games, and a WS for:


$600 million LESS than the Mets have spent.

Suffice it to say, it ain't all about the money.

Which would be better for the Phils long-term?:

Re-signing Werth, signing another $10MM+ OF like Raul when his contract is up and letting Howard and JRoll walk, or using Brown and Taylor (assuming they CAN play at the MLB level) to replace them and extending Jimmy and Howie?

I think you're trying too hard. DPatrone is whining that the Phillies won't spend money and keep their successes going, based on god knows what-his opinion of the Phils ownership of years ago or something.

CJ~

I never equated spending more $$ to having a better team I said basically it'll cost more to bring better players and for the most part that is true. Just look at the Yanks and what they did last off-season. Now that did not guarantee them winning the WS but it gave them a better chance.

Now as far as me being worong, that's just a matter of opinion, which everybody has. Let me just say most of the time I know what I'm talking about and that is not to say others don't.

What Amaro is telling us is this: "We will not go overboard with reference to spending to fill our needs". Now I agree with spending wisely. And they don't have unlimited resources as the Yanks do. So he will have to draw the line somewhere. Usually that means cheaper talent.

I certainly know for a fact that they won't spend "CC Money" for any pitcher. And that is not a matter of opinion. If they get DeRo as their starter instead of Beltre, what would you attribute that to?

CJ: Ok I guess I was guilty of a little exageration at Mayberry's trouble with good lefties. I still don't see him doing much on the major league level. I would dearly love to be wrong and it certainly wouldn't be the first time.

Mayberry ran into a few pitches and I loved every one of them. On the whole, though, he had no business batting against any major league right hander and, he generally struck out something like 40% of the time he was with hte big club (albeit, that was brief). He was brutal to watch and, while I am not going to sweat the 5th outfielder, I'd rather they dragged Otis Nixon out of whatever undead / zombie video game modeling gig he has and bring him back to play.

CJ; "It's not about spending more money. It's about spending the right money.

But that won't stop the Beerleaguer whine patrol from doing what they do..."

And to CJ, everything the Phillies do is right!

I was looking over the tenders list and one name jumps out at me.

Should he become available (and I'm not positive he would becasue I can't see why the Indians would not give him an offer) Ryan Garko would be a real nice addition to the bench. He could spell Howard at first against some tougher lefties and he can play some corner outfield to give Werth or Ibanez a blow if necessary. Plus the guy hits left-handers at a pretty good clip.

Would be a good addition for around a million at most should he not be offered anything by the Indians.

awh: "Which would be better for the Phils long-term?:
Re-signing Werth, signing another $10MM+ OF like Raul when his contract is up and letting Howard and JRoll walk, or using Brown and Taylor (assuming they CAN play at the MLB level) to replace them and extending Jimmy and Howie?"

Unless the Phillies pull off some spectacular trades in the next couple years, it has to be the latter. The closest thing to a quality INF prospect is Freddy Galvis and it's probably 50-50 if he'll hit enough to play everyday. There is nothing else.

Brown and Taylor, on the other hand, are two of the top prospects in all of baseball.

BedBeard~

I am not whining. I bitch but I don't whine. And I'm not saying they won't spend. I'm simply saying that they have limits. It appears that they are at that limit. When they sign De Rosa instead of Beltre, I will tell you especially "I told you so".

TTI, Ryan Garko was traded to the Giants last year. Since the Giants only other 1B is Travis Ishikawa, I'm assuming they will keep him.

TTI: Garko isn't on the Indians. He's on the Giants. He's arb eligible and earned about $500k last season, which means he'd get close to $1M in arb most likely. He was not very good after he came over from the Indians at mid-season and is very likely to be non-tendered.

He's only played 12 games in the OF in his career and he's not very good on defense, which is why he's a 1B/DH.

He would have big appeal to Rube, however. He's a Stanford grad.

DPatrone: Characterize it anyway you want... but you are complaining on the first day of the FA signing period because the Phils won't spend enough money to satisfy you. If you don't see the whining qualities in that, I don't know what to tell you.

You seem to be upset that the Phillies... like all teams... have a budget. Perhaps you don't realize that the Yankees actually cut their budget from 2008 to 2009.

You know I looked at the list and saw him listed with a CLE behind his name but thought he had been traded. I couldn't remember where he went so I just assumed they were right. They were not.

I still think he'd be ok and I stand by the post except for the team listed.

Why would you tell me "i told you so"? Could it be they LIKE DeRosa more than Beltre and think he's a better fit charcater/talent/salary/health? My only issue with you is that you've been posting for 3 years that they won't do anything, when it's not really true. I hope you just post that so when they do something, it makes you feel good.

yo new thread!

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