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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

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Just read that Rob Qinlan probably won't be back with the Angels. He looks like the perfect fit for a super-utility role. Any thoughts?

aaarghhh .. Just noticed he doesn't play any middle infield. Still seems like an affordable bench player.. only hit 243 last yr. but lifetime .281

A few days ago I mentioned Omar Vizquel. No one really payed any attention, but defensively he would fit in well. His bat is probably pretty well washed up though. Spot starting him to rest Chase and Jroll while giving him 200 at bats seems like a good idea. Based on his statements he would likely take less money to play for a contender.

re Eyre: What is he looking to sign for? I was really hoping he would be back and that all the talk of only wanting to play for the Phils was true.

Greinke speaks of FIP. Old baseball scribes heads explode after reading?

I was reading about Omar Vizquel about possibly signing with the Phillies and I'm all about it. Hell of a replacement over Bruntlett.

Anyone else hear about DeRosa being favored to land with the Phillies? I swore I heard that on WIP this morning (we all know how reliable they are) but I was still waking up.

I like Vizquel...I could easily see him in Philly next year.

He only made $1 million last year so he's not prohibitively expensive.

My guess is that "priced himself out of our range" means that Eyre said "hey just renew me for $2 million again."

@NEEP Yeah that's how I read it and I don't see what the problem is. He had a better year even! He was pitching well with a bad arm and picking up more slack than he should have. I think he should be renewed for that much unless they think Bastardo and Escalona are ready for the big time.

Omar and bruntlet made the same amount of money last year. What a world we live in.

If Omar is only making that amount I don't see any downside to signing him.

I hope Eyre is just posturing and will take an deal with mostly incentives.

Greg V---- I just read in rotoworld that the Phils are the favorite amog a dozen teams to land DeRosa. Came from MLB.com blog.

Greg V: Eyre pitched 30 innings last year. He is not worth $2M given the huge number of available alternatives. Relief pitchers are very inconsistent year to year because of the small number of IP. If you think Eyre will have a 1.50 ERA again next season you're dreaming. Eyre's ERAs past 4 years:

1.50
4.21
4.13
3.38

He will be 38 next season and he had a 22/16 K/BB ratio this past season. I think Rube would snap him up for $1M, but $2M is a no go.

eff: thanks for the link. I'm glad they creditted Brian Bannister for the one behind the sabremetric talk, he is clearly the biggest stathead who actually can play the game at the major league level.

Although I don't think I agree with trying to serve up flyballs just because your one OFer has the highest UZR on the team...but hey it worked for Greinke apparently.

CY: The last time Vizquel had 300 ABs, he had an OPS+ of 45. He will be 43 years old next season. Jamey Carroll would be a superior alternative and possibly McDonald, who is a better glove man than Carroll, but Bruntlett-bad with the bat.

Matt Pouliot on Rotoworld offers the following backup catchers likely to be non-tendered:

John Buck (Royals), Humberto Quintero (Astros), Mike Rivera (Brewers), Wil Nieves (Nationals), Raul Chavez (Blue Jays), Dusty Brown (Red Sox), Eli Whiteside (Giants), Ryan Budde (Angels), Jose Lobaton (Rays), Drew Butera (Twins), Luke Carlin (Diamondbacks).

Quintero and Nieves would be BIG upgrades over Bako, both on offense and defense.

If Eyre leaves we'd better hope JC can come back strong. Don't like DeRosa's age, glove, nor recent health.

clout: The last time Vizquel had 300 ABs, he had an OPS+ of 45. He will be 43 years old next season. Jamey Carroll would be a superior alternative and possibly McDonald, who is a better glove man than Carroll, but Bruntlett-bad with the bat.

I think we all agree that Jamey Carroll would be a far better choice than Vizquel...he'll also cost far more and he has several teams interested in him. He probably will also want more of a role than the Phillies would give him (100-200 AB max).

In no universe would I see Vizquel getting 300 ABs with us. Maybe 100-150 and even then its gonna be a once a week start to give Uts/Rollins/Misc 3B a day off in a day game after night game scenario.

For example, Gnome made 18 starts in 2009 and had 118 PAs.

Funny Stat: Gnome OWNED the Mets in 2009: 4 for 12 with 3 BB in 15 PA. .333 AVG, .467 OBP.

Vizquel, Derosa, Eyre... Are we trying to put together a team of only 35+ guys? I'd be much more interested in considering trades for younger arb-eligible guys on teams who can't afford them. For an example, see the Red Sox picking up Hermida. There HAS to be a way to improve the team without adding guys closer to AARP eligibility then arbitration.

Where are you, Danny Sandoval?

NEPP: Assuming no injuries, I agree. But I think Rube will pick up someone who Charlie could feel comfortable giving 300 ABs and Omar isn't it.

ozark: Danny was in Double A last season with the Rockies, his 4th organization in 3 years. After a big season in 2000 he was thought to have a slim chance of making it as a utility guy, but his bat, not much to begin with, never advanced.

***But I think Rube will pick up someone who Charlie could feel comfortable giving 300 ABs and Omar isn't it.***

I hope so. I'd much rather get a Jamey Carroll than Omar Vizquel.

" I hope so. I'd much rather get a Jamey Carroll than Omar Vizquel."

This is the $20 million dollar question.

This is exactly why you sign Beltre then with the extra $2-3 million you save on Figgins, you now have the room to sign a QUALITY utility guy like Carroll rather than dedicating too much money for 1 need where you now don't have the room to move.

If I were Rube I would dedicated $7 million to 3rd, $7 million to the pen on 3 guys and $6 million to the bench for 2-3 guys. That would be ideal and absolutely upgrade our club, along with meeting the brass' demands of about a $140 million payroll.

Red Sox catcher George Kottaras was just released.. Is it possible to have a young guy as a backup? He's a left-handed hitter

I think Kottaras was considered defensively suspect, but he's an interesting bat.

I don't see Vizquel as a great fit for the Phils. he hit okay this year, but he was at Bruntlett levels in 2007 & 2008. granted, he's much better defensively than Bruntlett, but I think the Phils would be better off with a guy who can hit a little.

I actually had a dream last night that I went to a Giants game & ran into clout and MG. I'll take that as a message from my subconscious that I spend too much time on Beerleaguer.

(On another note, I agree with Jack about Rube's excessive fondness for old players.)

Surely there HAS to be a Molina out there somewhere....

***On another note, I agree with Jack about Rube's excessive fondness for old players***

That's why I think Vizquel is a strong possibility.

It'd be nice to have a guy on the bench that can actually hit a little bit. Having a dynamic fielder is great, but if he can't get get a hit in a key moment late in the game, he's useless.

I say pass on Vizquel. No more wheeze kids, please.

we need Nick PUnto back

Todd Zolecki: "I want to be a starter again," Park said in The Korea Times earlier this month. "Being a starter is more attractive for me, because I can take over a whole game."

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday that Park is a reliever as far as he has been told from Park's agency."


NEPP's Read: Purely a negotiating ploy by Chan Ho. He simply wants a bit more money out of the Phils to come back as a pure reliever.

clout: I was merely reminiscing, not seriously desirous of his return.

Last week I had mentioned Josh Bard on my wish list for the Phils. He's a switch hitter with some pop and did his best hitting while Petco was his home park. Also a pretty good def catcher. Will he pssibly cost too much? He's a pretty good fit

Isn't Bard the guy that got crucified in Boston for not being able to catch Wakefield's knuckleball?


Looking at his statistics, he has gotten run all over during the last few years.

http://www.drivelinemechanics.com/2009/10/13/1082419/2009-catcher-defense-filling-in

"Pitch blocking: As for the actual "catching" part of catching, the best in baseball this season was the Phillies' Carlos Ruiz, at +5.6 runs."

Not surprised one bit. Ruiz is a beast behind the plate. The Flyers should tender him a contract as a goalie.

This may upset the Moyer contingent but why not bring Chan Ho back under the same circumstances as last year? Allow him the opportunity to start and if it doesn't work out you still have him as a serious weapon in the pen. Last years performance aside, he certainly still has the stuff to start.

Danny Sandoval made this thread. Wow, he's the original "No Talent Ass Clown". I named me fantasy team after him 3 seasons ago.

On Vizquel, he's old, but still excellent defensively, has decent speed, and is a switch hitter. For 1 year, $1M, I'd do it. I would rather have Jamey Carroll though.

Gsl - indeed. Why not?

GSL: 6 years of horrific results say he DOESN'T have the stuff to start. You apparently forget that his stuff as a starter is not the same as his stuff as a reliever.

I'm fairly bothered by Amaro's absolute love affair with old players. DeRosa. Viquel. Eyre. Matt Stairs. Matt Stairs? Seriously? Is Rube on crack?

Now is the time when we should be bringing in some young blood to fill complementary positions and, hopefully, improve enough to be part of our core in a year or two. Within the next couple of years, our star players are going to start leaving via free agency. It won't be pretty when it happens.

****This may upset the Moyer contingent but why not bring Chan Ho back under the same circumstances as last year? Allow him the opportunity to start and if it doesn't work out you still have him as a serious weapon in the pen. Last years performance aside, he certainly still has the stuff to start.****

How do you figure? He was TERRIBLE as a starter last year.

He throws 90-91 as a starter and 94-95 as a reliever and for him its a huge difference in his hittability. He's a completely different guy out of the BP. His K rate nearly doubles, his BAA drops signficantly.

NEPP - That defensive ranking was interesting but I still bet there is a considerable amount of variation in year-to-year in the numbers.

Ruiz scores well overall at +5.4 runs but he actually has a negative rating for his arm at -1.5 runs. Makes sense although they don't have a metric in for blocking the plate and Ruiz excels at that too.

Interesting to see that Bako was rated one of the worst catchers defensively in MLB baseball last year (-3.3 runs). No surprise there really. For all the rhetoric you heard about him being a great defensive catcher, he had an average arm at best and was pretty poor behind the plate last year at blocking pitches/fielding bunts. Just an old guy who Piniella was right about in spring training - no-hit catcher who wasn't a good defender anymore.

The real lesson though to take away though is that defense is likely overrated at catcher in general because most of the catchers utilizing this methodology were only +/- 2 runs.

BAP: You're right, he hasn't put up great numbers as a starter in a long time. I still don't see the problem with letting him battle for the #5 spot in spring training. If it doesn't work out then it doesn't work out. In that scenario, wouldn't both sides be able to say we gave it an honest shot and now we can confidently focus on his role in the bullpen?

Channeling DavThom - Coste (+1.0 runs) was rated a much better defender than Bako (-3.3 runs).

Now Coste did turn out to be washed up offensively too last year but never understood why he got ripped in Philly so much for his defense and his pitch selection.

Actually Michael Bolton was the original NTAC, but I can live with Sandoval as the first NTAC athlete!

MG: That defensive ranking was interesting but I still bet there is a considerable amount of variation in year-to-year in the numbers.


I'm sure there is. I'd like to see Ruiz get a full season of PAs as a catcher (mid 400s-500) instead of his near-platoon numbers he's had since he broke into the majors.

2007 - 429 PA
2008 - 373 PA
2009 - 379 PA

NEPP: The thought of Ruiz ice skating, or attempting too at least, just made my afternoon.

If he can play 3B, he can ice skate.


Though it would be interesting to see him try to call time and skate to center ice to have conferences with Pronger.

bap - We don't even know that Amaro is infatuated with older players. DeRosa and Vizquel are only rumors, he had to give Stairs a shot (maybe not over Jenkins, but a roster spot for sure) after what he did at the end of last year, and it looks like Eyre won't even be back.

For all the reported rumors/non-rumors on Eyre, you still haven't really heard anything about his current medical status. Health status is much more of an issue than the money.

I don't want Visquel or De Rosa (at least not as my starter). We need to get younger not older. De Rosa is a Philly-area guy who probably wouldn't cost as much as Beltre. That's why they'll sign him. He did ghave good offensive numbers last year. But he is not the answer long-term. Beltre fits that bill if he's able to stay healthy.

Visquel still has a tremendous glove but at 43, not the answer.

"If it doesn't work out then it doesn't work out."

By that logic, why don't we bring back Eric Bruntlett to compete with Chase Utley for the starting 2nd base job? If it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out.

Boy, would that not work out.

Maybe Gnome will bat .350 again in Spring Training and we'll guarantee a roster spot...again.

Competitions in Spring Training are a waste of time. ST is not real baseball. Statistics from it mean nothing.

Non-Phillies comment: I think if the Yankees traded for Halladay and signed Lackey, I'd stop caring about baseball. That would simply be ridiculous. When the discussion on your team is "who is the 4th starter? Lackey or Burnett?" there's something wrong.

"We don't even know that Amaro is infatuated with older players."

Fair enough. Rumors are rumors. But we do know that he signed Moyer to a 2-year deal, resigned Eyre, brought in Pedro, kept Stairs over Jenkins, and signed 36-year old Chan Ho Park, 37-year old Paul Bako, 37-year old Raul Ibanez, and 35-year old Miguel Cairo. The results were decidedly mixed, which shows that there is nothing inherently bad about old players. I just wish he'd mix in a few younger players now and then.

Actually that is not my logic at all BAP. No one wants to bring Bruntlett back but they do want to bring Park back. Difference #1. Difference #2 is that Bruntlett obviously couldn't challenge Utley but Park could challenge Moyer. If you want to make the argument that Chan Ho = Bruntlett and Moyer = Utley I am all ears.

3b- I don't necessarily need a "long term answer". Give me someone with a bat that can play credible defense for the next couple of years. Trading for young stud 3b X sounds great, but very unlikely.

Just say No to bringing Chopper back under the "shot at a starting gig" auspice.

Re: Omar. I don't see the downside in signing someone with a great glove to a cheap 1 year deal. Granted Carrol is better, but obviously would cost more.

Omar's value would come as a spot starter. We could stand the downgrade in offense for those starts in order to spell our big guys. Offense is not our problem.

We still have bench spots left. Grab a RH that can pinch hit.

Omar, Ben Fran, Dobbs is a good start. Omar just takes Bruntlet's spot, I am surprised to see anyone having a problem with that.

Figgins + Omar or Beltre + Carrol?

I would take the former.

Yeah. If the Yanks get Roy Halladay...well that would be all kinds of messed up.

CY - I'll take the latter.

CY: "We could stand the downgrade in offense for those starts in order to spell our big guys. Offense is not our problem."

Then why cut Bruntlett?

GSL: Park could NOT challenge Moyer. Park was the single worst starting pitcher in the major leagues for 6 years. When he was given his chance last year to prove that things were now different, he failed miserably.

There was a reason I used Bruntlett as my example. If the Phillies had created open competition for the 2nd base job in last year's spring training, Bruntlett would have won that competition in a landslide. My point: if you know that you don't want a particular guy as your starter, don't let him compete for the starting job. If you do let him compete, he might win.

Agree with clout's take on Bruntlett. If offense is unimortant in a utility player, why dump Bruntlett? He's as defensively versatile as anyone, but he sure can't hit.

Didn't the Phillies learn their lesson with Bruntlett? Defensive versatility is nice, but your utility player's primary job during the course of the season is actually to pinch hit. If we wind up with another .200-hitting utility player, who is versatile on defense, Amaro will get a big fat "F" for the acquisition.

BAP- "If the Phillies had created open competition for the 2nd base job in last year's spring training, Bruntlett would have won that competition in a landslide."

LOL.

Hugh : figgins makes our lineup better 7 days a week. Carroll would make the lineup better 1 or 2 days a week and be a better bat off the bench. Close call, and I would be very happy with either. Just slightly prefer the Figgins Omar combo.

Clout: Because Omar can play solid defense at 3 positions and costs the same. Would you really rather have bruntlet over Omar at the same price?

****Then why cut Bruntlett?****

Well, he's clearly declining in the most important offensive statistic there is:

World Series Game Winning Runs Scored:

2008 - 2
2009 - 0

A strong downward trend.

BAP - don't understand how it would be an "F"

Omar would spot start and be valuable there.

Don't we have room to sigh him AND another RH to pinch hit?

BTW, the aforementioned Pouliot predicts Beltre will sign with the Phillies for 3 years, $27M.

Omar could give Rollins fielding lessons and we could finally have a GG SS...oh wait.

3 yr/$27M is way more than I would pay for a good glove/PED bat 3B.

CY: My concern is that Omar, at age 43, wouldn't be able to outhit Bruntlett. I understand Amaro's desire to emphasize defense over offense in these backup positions, but I think he wants the offense to be better than what Bruntlett has provided.

CY: Vizquel is a better hitter than Bruntlett. Anyone is. He's also a much better fielder, even at 43. But he's an offensive zero at this point in his career. Do you really want him in the lineup once or twice a week?

And, no, we DON'T have room to sign one defense-only utility player. There are only 5 spots on your bench. One of them is the backup catcher, who probably can't hit very well & who you don't want to use as a pinch hitter anyway. That leaves 4 spots and, in the National League, there's a decent chance that all 4 of those guys will have to hit in a given game. That means all 4 of them must be able to hit, at least a little bit.

I played SS in little league...perhaps I should send an application to Rube. If he were to pay me the league minimum, I'd at least be willing to take one for the team during any PH situation.

GSL: I posted this before, but the post never showed up. You scoffed when I said that, if there had been open competition for the 2nd base job in 2009 spring training, Bruntlett would have won the job. Are you scoffing because you dispute the point?

Chase Utley's 2009 spring training numbers: .231/.326/.385.

Eric Bruntlett's 2009 spring training numbers: .355/.479/.526

I played SS in high school. I had a good eye at teh plate, too. At least, that's my interpretation of the fact that I had more walks than hits.

I was actually a pretty good SS but they moved me to CF as I got older as I was usually the fastest kid on the team and I was good at judging flyballs.

Bap - I get it.

Dobbs, Ben Francico and 3 more spots.

Catcher, a Utilty infielder and a bench player who's primarily going to PH.

I would love to see a better hitter as our utility player, but I would also rather go cheap there with Omar and spend more on 3B and the Pen.

Real quick - has anyone seen this?

http://www.dutch2012.com/

Anybody catch Eyre on XM this noon? He said his arm had bothered him for a few years, that he couldn't even touch his fingers to his shoulder, that the Phillies offered to do the surgery whether or not he decided to come back, that he'll have to learn to pitch again with a now-straight arm.

He also said Charlie walks through the clubhouse in his uniform after a loss (said he hadn't seen that before) to make sure guys are doing ok, not getting down about it. That Mick Biltmeyer does the best Charlie impression (Scott did one, too) and is very funny and a part of the reason Scott would like to come back to the Phils. That Brad Lidge credited his better home record to the fans' support. That there's no one on the team - no superstar, no player or coach - that can't be teased "Don't say that to that guy, he'll get pissed."

Oh, and he was asked point blank about Ruben's comment. He hadn't heard it, said at the end of the year Ruben told him they'd see about signing him, said his agent wasn't happy he'd told the media he only wanted to be a Philly b/c it could make the team lowball, said it's not about the money for him - but that at the same time, you don't want to be the guy that plays for nothing and your baseball career is short enough you'd like to earn a good living at it while it lasts.

It sounds like there is room to negotiate here, so unless Ruben doesn't want him enough to offer him a salary close to what he made last year, I think it's hopeful. While Eyre always mentions his kids and wife being ready for him to be home, he also makes it clear that he loves to play and would love another shot at a WS.

He was an entertaining guest - In fact, Seth Everett said he was entertaining enough to be a regular on Power Alley.

That sounds like he'll get a 1 year, $1 million base with some incentives (some reachable, some pipedreams) to make it a bit better.

Clout: It would be nice to get some offense off the bench, but I think that is near the end of the list. Getting someone who can fill in and spell some guys for cheap is higher on the list (any offense would be a bonus).

Any thoughts on Austin Kerns as our 5th OFer? He is young and has some upside. He has had a few bad years obviously.

I would take a look at Kearns. God knows we've been rumored enough to look at him the last couple years. Now that he's cheap, its a good possibility. He's a good defensive OF.

Isn't he RH though? Do we want to have 2 RH reserve OFs (Francisco, Kearns)?

BAP- I scoffed because I never said make the decision based solely on spring training numbers in a vaccuum. Spring Training would just be a factor in the competition. But I would rather have Park as an alternative to Moyer and a guy you could add to the pen especially if he leaves otherwise. I can not confidently accept that Moyer, at 47 and coming off an injury, is a guarantee to be penciled into the rotation. I understand that you are not fond of the idea of Park starting but the whole Bruntlett thing is an extreme reach, at best.

I think Moyer and his contract will hae the first shot at the 5th spot. If he can give us an approximation of what he did in 09 (sub 5 ERA, 150+ IP) then we'll be doing better than most teams. We definitely need a few Rodrigo Lopez types in AAA and that's something Rube will do in Feb-Apr as he rakes through the scrap heap.

In 08, it was Taguchi
In 09, it was Gnome

Who will be 2010's scapegoat? I cant wait to find out.

NEPP - yes he is RH. I guess it would depend on who you get at Utility for the INF. If you land a switch hitter then you certainly can have another RH on the bench.

If we get a RH for the infield then maybe Hinske for the 5th OF?
I wonder how much he will command.

Hinske would be a good pickup. He's even a decent fielder.

And we could use him to help build Lidge's confidence during practices.

NEPP: I've liked Austin Kearns for so long that I have to keep reminding myself he has been godawful the last 2 years. Still, he might be worth a spring training invite. It seems like he's been around forever, but he's still not even 30.

Agreed about Hinske too. He's what Matt Stairs was supposed to be for us last year.

Lost my last post (I think)

Hinske made 1.5 mil last year and posted an OPS+ over 100 the last 2 years.

Kerns made 8 million and is due for a pay decrease.

****years. Still, he might be worth a spring training invite. It seems like he's been around forever, but he's still not even 30.***

That's what I was thinking of. I can't imagine he'd get anything other than that from a team after his last couple years. Maybe he's been hurt or something or maybe he's just not that good. I'd like to see what he could do on a good team.

"NEPP's Read: Purely a negotiating ploy by Chan Ho. He simply wants a bit more money out of the Phils to come back as a pure reliever."

Chan Ho does want to pitch for a contender but that almost guarantees him giving up on starting. I don't think he is willing to give that up this early in the process. I think he will give starting pitching one more go if there is an offer. His agent mentioned yesterday that there is one team that expressed interested in giving Chan Ho a shot like what the Phils did this year. If that's the case, I doubt he will re-sign with the Phils before 12/8.

CY: I'd take Kearns or Baldelli as a 5th OF. I'm guessing some weak team will offer a bigger role, however.

luckily for Tracy, they dont account for postseason happenings in manager of the year awards - he looked down right moronic the entire series.

BAP: There's no way Kearns will have to settle for a spring training invite. He'll be signed to a major league contract, probably at least 2 years.

Good thing for Tracy. He was a terrible manager in the post-season. He actively hurt his team.

Check out Dave Murphy's current blog entry, about the bench and possible candidates for it:

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

Hmm. Clout mentioned Rocco Baldelli. Wanted him last year but was afraid he couldn't play frequently enough to be of much use. He only got 150 AB in 62 games. I wonder why he was used so sparingly. Was his health still keeping him from playing back to back games? If he can play enough I'd love to get Baldelli. Good ballplayer.

****There's no way Kearns will have to settle for a spring training invite. He'll be signed to a major league contract, probably at least 2 years.****

What team would be dumb enough to give him a multi-year deal?

Last 2 years:

.209 AVG, .320 OBP, .312 SLG, .633 OPS in 568 PA.

That's not getting it done as a corner OF. Even his usually great defense fell off big time in 2009.

Wasn't Kearns plagued by injuries that caused him to miss a lot of playing time?

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