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Thursday, November 26, 2009

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Well, carrying over from the last thread (if you can't beat 'em, join 'em), I do know how things work, I just sometimes find it a bit silly. Passionate fans + Internet = People who act like pitbulls when it comes to "winning" arguments that ultimately can't be won.

I don't expect the format of the site to change, even though it might be cool to have separate "threads" for game threads, injuries, height, facial hair, geriatric prospects that Amaro is fascinated by, Charlie's IQ, etc.

"the last man on the Phillies' bench never, ever plays."

Is that a cause or an effect? My impression was that the reason Taguchi rarely played in 2008, & Bruntlett rarely played in 2009, was because both guys were hideous. I thought the idea this year was to find someone who ISN'T hideous so that Utley & Rollins could get more days off.

How was it that Taguchi went from God-like status in St. Louis, to Gnome-like status in Philly? I know sometimes these questions have no answers, but the drop in performance level was pretty surprising. The Taguchi signing seemed pretty good on paper at the time. Looking at his stats, maybe he was so hideous because he played rarely, rather than bap's theory. He produced more consistently when he played more consistently.

Ironically, it was Bruntlett who hurt Taguchi's playing time most, getting all the action as Burrell's OF defensive replacement and pinch runner.

I prefer Hoover to Bako to be honest. He hit a hell of a lot better and was a decent backstop. I don't look for the back up catcher ot be anything special.

So...Phils sign Beltre...the chant from the stands is, "Yo Adrian!"

So here are the lineups we're discussing:

A.
Rollins-Vic-Utley-Howard-Werth-Ibanez-Beltre-Ruiz-Pitcher

B.
Figgins-Vic-Utley-Howard-Werth-Ibanez-Rollins-Ruiz-Pitcher

C.
Rollins-Figgins-Utley-Howard-Werth-Ibanez-Vic-Ruiz-Pitcher

D.
Figgins-Vic-Utley-Howard-Werth-Ibanez-Ruiz-Pitcher-Rollins

I prefer (A) myself.

Taguchi was Ruthian compared to Bruntlett. I dont think we appreciated his greatness at the time.

Hoover hits better than Bako? And you deduce that from what? From his 4 ABs in the last week of the season?

I hear Hoover is a vacuum behind the plate...

I'd prefer Mike Ryan to Bako. The guy was allegedly a good defensive catcher. I was shocked at how poor he was.

I'm pretty sure Hoover will fill the same role he filled last year: AAA starter & emergency big league backup. But, given their unwillingness to spend money on bench players, I think it's safe to say that the backup catcher will be another 35+ year old fringe major leaguer in the mold of Bako. Among the FAs, the names Chad Moeller & Jason Larue jump out at me as guys who would be right down the Phillies' alley.

Taguchi is only 40. We might see him back in a few years...

"So here are the lineups we're discussing:
A.
Rollins-Vic-Utley-Howard-Werth-Ibanez-Beltre-Ruiz-Pitcher
B.
Figgins-Vic-Utley-Howard-Werth-Ibanez-Rollins-Ruiz-Pitcher
C.
Rollins-Figgins-Utley-Howard-Werth-Ibanez-Vic-Ruiz-Pitcher
D.
Figgins-Vic-Utley-Howard-Werth-Ibanez-Ruiz-Pitcher-Rollins

I prefer (A) myself." said CJ


E. Victorino-Figgins-Utley-Howard-Werth-Rollins-Ibanez-Ruiz-Pitcher

could work, better situation hitter in the 2 hole.

FA signings so far:

RP John Grabow: $7.5MM/2yrs (CHN)
SS Alex Gonzalez: $2.75 MM/1yr (TOR)
SS John MacDonald: $3MM/2 yrs (TOR)
SS Omar Vizquel: $1.375MM/ 1 yr (CHA)
SS Juan Castro: $900K/1yr (PHI)
OF Andruw Jones: $500K/1yr (CHA)

We'll see how the 3B market plays out, but if I had to take a guess, Feliz will get paid more than $3MM/yr to be some team's starting 3B; more along the lines of at least $4MM/yr.

I'd like to see the cheapest of Figgins, Beltre, Glaus or DeRosa with the Phillies next year; and save the money to pay for mid-season trade reinforcements. Also, the Phillies might want to take a look at picking up Kearns if the price is right.

If the Phillies could bring back Feliz for $4 million, should they?

mikes77phillies: I think there's little chance Ibanez gets moved down to the 7th hole. That just doesn't make much sense.

Bringing Feliz back at $4 million is almost the same as simply using his original $5 million option. We already cut him a $500K check.

cj,
It makes more sense to have Ibanez in the 7th hole than Jimmy Rollins. If Rollins bats 7th it wastes his speed. From the 7th hole, every time he tries to steal with 1 or more outs, they would walk Ruiz to get to the Pitcher.
Also, his switch hitting gives the opposing manager more to think about when trying to match Lefty-Righty against Howard and Werth.

Taguchi didn't help his cause by badly misplaying easy fly balls as a 'defensive' replacement during the early months of the season.

mikes77phillies:

Raul Ibanez slugs 40 points higher in his career than J-Roll. He slugged 129 points higher in 2009.

It would be crazy to put Rollins 6th and Ibanez 7th. You want Ibanez as close to the heart of the order as possible to take advantag of his slugging. The lower he is, the less valuable it becomes.

CJ, You want Ibanez higher in the lineup to get more at-bats than Rollins, not nec because of slugging.

Putting Rollins in the 7th hole makes him nearly worthless. You lose more from Rollins in the 7th than you lose from having Ibanez 7th. That is, IF you think Rollins is capable of a bounce back year.

mikes77phillies: Well, my preference is to sign Beltre and bat him 7th leaving J-Roll and Vic at the top. If we were to sign Figgins, my preference would be to move Vic down to 7th with J-Roll and Figgins at the top in whatever order.

With the way our lineup is stacked, I'm not as interested as other in moving J-Roll way down.

I like CJ's B. Rollins has done a lot for this franchise but keeping him in the leadoff spot is fairly senseless. He doesn't get on base enough and bringing in Figgins would be worth it just for the sake of moving him down in the lineup.

Can Miggy Cabrera still play a somewhat adequate 3B? Maybe get Detroit to pay 1/4 of the 6-yr contract (about $31MM, or $5MM/yr) and throw in a 3B prospect; the Phillies can send them cheap pitching in the form of KK or Carpenter. He would add about $15MM/yr to the payroll if this happened, but the Phillies would get one of the league's best hitters entering his prime. And he could take over for Howard at 1B in a couple years. (Howard will make way more than $15MM/yr by then) Of course, they'd have to send Cabrera to Ryan and Jeter's workout clinic in Florida, along with some footwork stuff with Perlozzo.

Now THAT would be an upgraded lineup:
Rollins, Werth, Utley, Howard, Cabrera, Ibanez, Vic, Ruiz.

A guy can dream, right?

TNA - I would think Cabrera would cost way more than partial salary plus a middling prospect.

KK for Miguel Cabrera? You're kidding right? Even if Detroit is determined to be rid of him, I am fairly sure you'd be talking about a Domonic Brown/Kyle Drabek type of package.

The last two seasons teams that have generally signed players very early have set the market artificially high only to see the market come down in price especially for MLB journeyman in the mid-to-late 30s. I expect to see the same this offseason.

Avg. MLB baseball attendance was down nearly 7% a game which translate into 9 teams up with 21 down. It is also important to note that the declines outpaced the increases.

Attendance actually held up pretty well all things considered but I would bet that all teams with a handful of exceptions are going to see decreased season ticket sales & individual ticket sales this offseason compared to last because the high unemployment.

If Castro were a younger player who actually was a decent defender who had some speed. You could easily live with his likely .600-.625 OPS or so.

Castro is a guy at the end of the road who likely won't be able to contribute in a useful way over the course of a season. In fact, it is easy to see him hitting around .200 with an OPS around .550 with below average defense.

I would be surprised if he is on the roster by Sept. 1 and if he is he will be buried on the bench.

Cabrera? Seriously? With all of his offseason crap at the end of 2009, I can't see Amaro touching him with a twenty-foot pole. The Phillies seem to value clubhouse harmony way to much to sniff after someone who is veering into Milton Bradley-esque issues.

Pitching remains the issue with this club. Counting on Moyer to really contribute seems be a real stretch (recent surgical complications don't help) and this team has a bullpen very much in flux right now.

3B is important but less so compared to what Amaro does with the pitching staff.

Re: my Cabrera post, "offseason" should have been "off the field."

I would sort of like to see them spend an extra million on a veteran back-up catcher with a bit more offense. Charlie never lets the back-up catcher PH anyway (thus creating some of those still-rare ABs for player #25), but it would be nice if the drop-off wasn't quite so steep on days he starts. It was pretty obvious what they valued about Bako more than anything else, his pitcher-handling (and the fact that he didn't have to be removed from the game to handle Lidge), and those results do speak for themselves. Unfortunately there's no such thing as an affordable free agent back-up catcher who gives you good defense and pitcher-handling for 162 games and also hits well enough to became an impact bench bat when you need one in the playoffs.

Cabrera can't even play a decent 1B let alone 3B...barring anything else.

It is nearly impossible to prove/disprove a catcher's ability to "handle a pitching staff" quantitatively but Bako was below average defensively by other measures.

If the Phils are going to have largely no-hit players on the bench, it would be nice if they weren't 37 or 38 year old journeyman at the very end of their ropes who aren't good defensive player anymore either.

Older guys who couldn't hit in the first place and who aren't even average defensively or speed anymore don't have much value.

NEPP: Feliz's option was for $5.5 million. With the glut of the 3B market it was reasonable to assume that he might come back for less than that.... until he got his feelings hurt.

As for Cabrera, that would make no sense whatsoever in terms of cost and what the Phils would need to give up for him. His conditioning issues don't portend well for playing 3B long-term. Of course, he can blow a breathalizer .100 points higher than Bruntlett's OBP....

The same Cabrera that blew a .26 6am on Saturday morning after partying all night with ChiSox players the final series - going 0-11 that weekend. That a sportswriter gave him a first place MVP vote is a joke.

---
The same Cabrera that blew a .26 6am on Saturday morning after partying all night with ChiSox players the final series - going 0-11 that weekend. That a sportswriter gave him a first place MVP vote is a joke.
---

Yeh, seriously, the phils are trying to build a family-friendly environment in the bank, and in the lockeroom. i can't imagine the phils bringing in guy that got arrested at 4am the morning of the biggest game of his career for a domestic dispute.

Ok. Sorry about even bringing up Cabrera's name as he would be a poor fit in the clubhouse. That said, some people eventually mature after bad incidents like he had, and he IS only 26 years old. Maybe he learned his lesson and is ready to get down to business. In any case, his talent is undeniable. I'd like to see what DET gets in return for him. It's not nearly as extreme as the Alex Rios situation, but I bet it returns less than the relative value differential between Rowand and Thome.

Also, saw on ESPN.com that Duchsherer's son lives with his ex-wife in NJ and that one of the reasons he was depressed was because his son was so far away. The Phillies should definitely take a look at him if he's looking to play for a team that's closer to his son because he's versatile as a good to great whether it's starting or coming out of the bullpen.

Are all athletes monsters impervious to rehabilitation?

Cabrera can barely play 1B (he's actually quite terrible at that position) and he was never a legit 3B.

If nothing else was an issue, that alone would kill it. Its a non-starter.

Duchsherer might be a nice addition for the 4/5 starter.

Kalus, no they are not impervious. But Cabrera will wind up as a fat DH. Cecil Fielder redux. He had "diet" problems before the other issues emerged.

It's a shame too. I remember when he came up as a skinny 20yr old. My, my how things change.

Happy Thanksgiving, all.

Hmm...wonder why the Fish decided to build around Hanley (hardly a saint himself) instead of Cabrera..

I think its hilarious that the Tigers were able to "convince" the Fish to throw in Dontrelle as well...must have been a tough decision for them.

The idea of getting Miguel Cabrera for a 3b prospect and kyle kendrick is funny. First off, if we had a good 3b prospect, we wouldn't need to get Cabrera or sign someone else. And secondly, Kendrick has essentially zero trade value.

Regarding Cabrera's behavior, people love to make moral judgements from their high horse around here. What Cabrera did was dumb, but if you think he's the only player to get drunk during an important weekend series, you're nuts. Does anyone remember the stories about Mickey Mantle? Guy is an American legend because he played big games hungover. And as far as the domestic dispute goes, I find that sort of behavior repugnant. But a lot of people here supported Brett Myers for years. So let's not act as though wed never want guys with "character" issues on our team. If you follow sports, chances are you've rooted for plenty of those sorts of guys.

The Mick wouldn't have gone 0 for 11...

There are a million reasons we'd never trade for Cabrera, so it barely even warrants any discussion. Still, I find it funny to see the overwhelmingly negative reaction, considering that we're talking about a 26-year old who is already one of baseball's true superstars. Something tells me there's an element of sour grapes at play. If we really did trade for him, I suspect people would quickly forget about these relatively minor off-field issues.

Comparing Miggy Cabrera to Milton Bradley is a lie that should be cast back into the devil's red teeth! Yes, I'm sure that Detroit is ready to rid themselves of Cabrera for KK. Please, let's use our noggins.

backup catcher Josh Bard, 3B Adam Kennedy,infield Ronnie Belliard. That should leave money for the pen.

Josh Bard would be nice.

So would Henry Blanco (or did he sign already, I dont remember).

Spending big money on the pen never works out for teams.

TNA: Character issues aside, the notion that the Tigers would deal Cabrera PLUS a 3B prospect AND pay half his salary in exchange for KK or Carpenter is beyond laughable.

There's that too. The Tigers aren't gonna dump salary by trading one of the Top 10 players in the game. Their money issues are a 1 year issue. Most of their most obnoxious contracts are done after 2010:

Ordonez - $18 million off the books (unless he meets the vesting option which will be hard to do if they limit him to the same amount of PA he had this year)

Bonderman - $12.5 million
Willis - $12 million
Robertson - $10 million
Inge - $6.6 million

That's almost $60 million coming off the books for them after the season. That's why it makes no sense for them to dump a guy like Cabrera who is at least earning his paycheck...the same with Granderson.

> That's why it makes no sense for them to dump a
>guy like Cabrera who is at least earning his
>paycheck...

Yes, when he's not getting arrested for domestic battery and blowing several times the legal limit at 4 am before the most important of his career.

He may have just made himself into Milton Bradley malignancy.

I mean, he ate himself out of a position at 3rd (and his D was acceptable), is obviously a Vincente Padilla level alcoholic, and can still hit the ball real good.

they may dump him just because of how hard the detroit fans will be on him.

In other News - Jaime Moyer back to hospital for more groin work. If this goes on much more, we may be looking at time to hang up the spikes/late start to the season.

****Yes, when he's not getting arrested for domestic battery and blowing several times the legal limit at 4 am before the most important of his career.****

And again, they still wouldn't dump him for that incident. Padilla was a league average pitcher, not a superstar. Cabrera was already dealt with by the team.

I brought up Josh Bard last wk... I was wrong though. He can't throw an elephant out stealing with a howitzer. We don't need a back-up who can't play defense. A decent bat would be icing on the cake. I hink Jason LaRue might do the trick. He's been a back-up to Uadier without complaint.

LaRue would work.

I like Blanco personally...he's good defensively and he can even bat over .200.

No matter how you rationalize Amaro's signing of Castro, we are going to see this guy in numerous key pinch-hitting situations, which, simply put, is a disaster.

My criminal defense lawyer instincts compel me to clear up some misinformation about Cabrera. He was NOT arrested for domestic battery. He was drunk & the police were called to his house over a "domestic dispute," which might well define something as innocuous as a loud argument. Cabrera was taken to the police station & put in the drunk tank for the night until he could sober up. To my knowledge, he was neither arrested nor charged with domestic violence. In fact, the only one who emerged from the situation with any injuries was Cabrera himself, who had some scratches on him. A 6'4", 240 pound professional athlete beats up his wife & she hasn't a scratch on her body? Sounds to me like no domestic violence ever occurred, at least on Cabrera's behalf.

Contrast that situation to Brett Myers, who beat up his wife in public, in full view of 3 witnesses.

Jack: Interesting comments from Billy Beane on our fave prospect, Brett Wallace:

"BILLY BEANE: Well we don't know for sure yet, but we won't take him off third base until he proves he can't handle it. His bat has come very quickly, he was just a year out of college and hit well in Triple-A. The bat looks special to us. Sometimes with guys like that, the glove gets panned by scouts just because the bat has come so quickly and they are looking for something to criticize. Also, I think Brett's defense gets panned unfairly because of the way his body looks.

Q: It looks to me like he has a strong arm and decent hands, but his range is limited.

BILLY BEANE: Maybe, but third base is a big hole in our system, and if he can make it there it would fit very nicely into the plan. The other factor is that Brett believes he can play third base, he's committed to it, and it is foolish not to let him try. So we're keeping him there until he proves otherwise.

****Q: It looks to me like he has a strong arm and decent hands, but his range is limited.****

So he's Pedro Feliz?

I mean defensively...

Cabrera went out and hit a double and a homer in that playoff game. Talk about overreaction . . . Some people just like to take their grief out on others.

He was probably sober by that point...

NEPP: Sounds like it. Pedro Feliz with an .850 OPS.

.850? That would be, by far, the worst year of Cabrera's career.

b_a_p: Sure, but then you are dealing with his cost in terms of salary and in terms of what the Phillies would have to give up to get him and the issue of where he would play through the life of his contract. He may recommit himself and be able to play 3B, but maybe he won't. That's a risk that compounds the dual costs of trading for him.

KLaw recently wrote that Cabrera will be a DH by the time he's 30. If he were capable of playing 3B, he'd be playing 3B. He only played there regularly for two seasons, and his fielding stats for those years look pretty weak. I don't think it's really an option, even if the other problems were overcome.

MPN: Obviously we're not trading for a guy who makes $20M per year. I was merely trying to point out that there seems to a significant dosage of sour grapes in the reasoning that's going on here. People know we have 0% chance of ever getting Cabrera, so they start making up reasons why one of the best players in baseball would actually be a bad acquisition.

BAP: Talkin' about Wallace not Cabrera

clout: Oh . . . well, never mind, then. When I read the .850 comment, I was thinking that perhaps you needed your morning coffee. But it seems I'm the one who needs it.

ESPN Insider via MLBTR: ESPN's Buster Olney hears that Halladay's preferred destinations are the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, or Phillies.

Too bad SP, let alone Doc, isn't a priority for Amaro. :\

If brett wallace ever comes close to pedro feliz defensively, then I think its pretty safe to say I will have been wrong in my predictions about him.

That said, I read nothing in that piece that gave me anything new about Wallace. And did you really expect his own GM not to say good things about a top prospect? That would just be dumb.

COLE: Heidi, did you see that Erin scratched Tiger's face bad because she thought he was cheating on her? You wouldn't do that to me, would you?
HEIDI: No, sweetie, because you're too much of a wimp to cheat on me. Besides, you need that pretty face to make more commercials. Now go walk the dog.
COLE: But Heidi, its cold out. Can't I let the doorman do it.
HEIDI: If you do, his tip comes out of your allowance.
COLE: But Heidi, I already spent this week's allowance to take you out to eat for Thanksgiving.
(under his breath) I can't wait for spring training to get that meal money.

Couple of comments on various recent threads.

-Best of luck to Jamie, but I also would not be surprised if it turns out that one way or another, he has pitched his last game. Hope I'm wrong, for sure.

-Someone suggested that having Chase lose 3-5 games per season would be a waste of his talent - why wouldn't we want him in there all the time? Well, he seems to show a track record of slumping as the season wears on. I would take the loss of three percent of the games he plays (assuming they were judiciously picked) if it increased his production by three percent in the remaining games and reduced his injury risk. True, this is pure speculation; at this point we don't know if some rest would help his production or not. I believe it would be neutral at a minimum to an easily noticeable improvement, and is worth a shot, particularly since he is not getting any younger.

-Too soon to tell, but my sense is that Amaro may play the fringes pre-season, going with some sort of value village platoon at third, trusting in his own ability to pull off a deal during the season if the platoon doesn't work out.

-Just finished "Hard to Believe". Some great insight into the people behind the scenes that make the whole Phillies organization work. To me, the neatest thing was reading the day to day entries that have not been edited with the wisdom of hindsight. You don't read someone saying, "At this point, fans were becoming a bit concerned. But Jimmy Rollins was about to turn things around the next day." You read something along the lines of "Right now, this team is almost unwatchable. Ruiz was the only one who came to play today." It brings you right back to the day to day, in the moment, emotion of each game. I could almost remember some of the BL posts that went with some of the games.

-Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Sadly, the long weekend is winding down.

Has any SABR geek ever figured out if resting a player once more a month makes him avoid wearing out?

Inspired by goody,

Heidi: Cole, I've been thinking. Erin Woods used a golf club on her hubby. Do we have a baseball bat up here in the Penthouse?

Cole: No, we only have baseballs.

Heidi: For Christmas, can you get me a long light baseball bat with a thick heavy head?

Cole: What do you want a bat for?

Heidi: Just you never mind and do what I tell you, wimpster!

Bob, thanks for the review on "Hard to Believe". I'll forward a link to my daughters for a Christmas hint.

Yo, newer thread

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