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Sunday, July 18, 2010


If you think this season is driving the Beerleaguer faithful nuts, you really need to experience the broadcast frustrations on Twitter.

But hey, 1.5 out of the wild card, guys! Also, second place in the NL East! And the Mets consider this a great season so far!

Savery could become a SuperSaver if he pinch hits a home run and then pitches to close the game.

I totally understand Amaro not overpaying in prospects for an infielder or a average starter. But the one card he can play is Brown..and he's still sitting on it.

I don't know why Rosenthal keeps throwing that Werth for Vasquez rumor out there. How in the world does that benefit the Phillies? That would be just flushing two first round picks down the toilet. They would never offer Vasquez arbitration.

I bet the Yanks would trade Montero for Roy Halladay!

For those who believe in BP's Postseason odds, Phils are at 18.9 and the Mets, one loss worse, are at 21.2.

Phils have a game in hand, and one more home game. Must be the strength of schedule?

I used to like Rosenthal, until I realized he's just another one of those national guys who throws half-baked stuff out there, hoping that every once in a while something sticks.

Yeah definitely half baked. Like when he called the three team trade last offseason.

EFF: Clearly the numbers are biased against the Phillies. They must be based out of New York.

If you believe, as I do, that the Phillies should worry about the WC first & worry about the Braves later, then you need to be careful who you root for these days. A few days ago, we were chasing the Dodgers & Mets in the WC race, so I've been rooting against both those teams in their series against the Cardinals and Giants. My rooting has been rewarded, with both of my teams winning the first 3 games of their series. But this morning I looked up & now it's the Cardinals & Giants who are atop the WC standings.

bap: Which is why all that matters is that the Phillies win, and it's also why the Division might still be the best route to the playoffs. 4 games with only 1 team ahead of you is arguably as easy to overcome as 1-2 games with 5 other teams in the mix.

"Which is why all that matters is that the Phillies win, and it's also why the Division might still be the best route to the playoffs."

Agree with every word of that. The other thing is that I still firmly believe that either the Dodgers, Rockies, or Giants will catch the Padres in the West, which would relegate the Padres to WC contender. So I'm almost thinking of the current WC deficit as 5 games, since that's the number of games that we're behind the Padres. I fully acknowledge that that's some pretty convoluted reasoning, but sometimes abject a little imagination is required to sustain the level of abject pessimism that I try to sustain.

mike77phillies Agree 100%,let's hope Rube does also.

I think that the Phils' rotation would be better if they had Cliff Lee.

But the one card he can play is Brown..and he's still sitting on it.

And he best keep sitting on it...

Werth is the card that he's sitting on. He has no intention of moving Brown.

It would seem that a team that is willing to trade a full season of an inexpensive ace to "restock the farm" should pursue doing the same for a half season of a corner outfielder with a history of injury and a poor work ethic.

This is especially true when his successor is tearing up AAA pitching and ranked by many to be the best prospect in the game.

I'm pretty sure the "sitting on the Brown card" was referring to not calling him up, not trading him.

No one believes Brown should or will be traded. I believe the idea is that the Phillies "card to play" is to bring Brown up and hope he provides some offensive spark.

In the 16 games since losing Utley, the Phils are hitting .232/.291/.389 with 70 runs in 16 games. Why would they trade the guy second on the team in OPS+ (3rd in BA, 3rd in OBP, 2nd in SLG). The only guy besides Howard with OPS over .850?

The Phils need his bat in the lineup and should only trade him if they go on another 15 losses in 21 games funk. And if they do, they better get more than Vazquez.

Maybe, to give Amaro a little credit, nobody is offering anything (substantial) right now for Werth?

If all teams are offering is a couple of average prospects or crap like Vasquez for Werth straight up, I wouldn't do that trade either.

I'd want either a blue chip prospect plus an average prospect or two or a decent major league pitcher under team control for a few more years.

So if he's just getting garbage offers in return for Werth, I don't blame him for not trading him yet.

We'll have to see how the market develops...if the Brewers end up getting a haul for Hart (a worse player) while we are sitting on Werth, I'll be steamed.

OTOH, if nobody can get a good deal, that just shows the market isn't there.

I've been in favor of calling up Brown for quite some time now ut, for what it's worth, Raul has 2 hits in each of his last 2 games, & is hitting .298/.353/.426 for July. If they've waited this long without calling up Brown, I'd probably hold off for another week or two & see if Ibanez can turn this little run into the type of genuine hot streak that we've been waiting for all year.

Can people please stop referring to Domonic Brown as Werth's future replacement? The Phillies are NOT going to replace the only right-handed power threat in their lineup with yet another left-hander. It's just not going to happen and they would be completely insane if they did let it happen.

If you're RAJ, it would make sense to trade Werth if you know you're not gonna re-sign him. But if you do, where is your RH bat in the lineup? You don't have one. And one would not be forthcoming in a trade. And Werth for Vasquez? No thanks.

So as long as you're in contention Werth cannot be moved. This is a problem RAJ knew he was gonna have. What he should have done if he could have, was to re-sign Werth, then Howard, But Howard was signed first. It appears the only way they re-sign Werth is to move Ibanez, and no one will will take that salary (re-fer to my post last week). And RAJ should not trade Brown unless it's for a stud starter and a bat and I would include Blanton in that deal. The starter would take his place. He's shown me that he's not worth the money they gave him albeit reasonable.

You can't get rid of Werth because a) he's your only right-handed bat and b) he's playing poorly right now and you won't get that much for him.

The odds of Werth snapping out of this funk and playing like he did last year are better than the odds that you'd get back a great pitcher for him right now.

Jack, you are correct. I meant calling Dom up not trading him.

timr: I usually agree with your posts. But, if we did trade Werth, I find it pretty hard to believe that his trade value would be diminished because he's had a 3-week bad stretch.

bap: Brown is certainly Werth's future replacement, just next year, not this year.

You really don't think that Brown will replace Werth as the starting RF next year? What do you see happening instead?

first of all to trade werth its gotta be to a playoff contender, who may be only renting him for rest of season. In that case what contender is going to give up any player thats worth anything. No non tending team will want to rent him, Sounds like its a no brainer Werth does not get traded.

Every dirty dog will have its day

fljerry: It would likely be a prospect(s) in return and/or a 3 team deal.

Thank you fljerry. I get tired of posting about suc scenerios every trade deadline. Contenders trade youth for rental veterans, also rans trade rental vets for youth. How does Werth fit in this situation.

bap: Brown is most certainly Werth's replacement. There's no question about it. The only question is whether it happens during the year or after Werth leaves as a free agent.

And when that time comes, you can expect to see Francisco get additional at bats as the RH bat in a lineup against a LHP.

Francisco has not proven to me that he can play everyday. What has he done to even be a bench warmer? Brown is lefty and most of team is lefty, hard to see him being a replacement for Werth at this time. we complained when we got Ibanez in lieu of Burrell because he was left handed.

Jack/CJ: I'd be willing to bet money that Brown is NOT going to replace Werth. No GM in his right mind would use a lineup that includes 4 straight left-handers in the middle of the order.

What do I think will happen? I think they will acquire a right-handed bat to replace Werth. Brown will replace Ibanez, who will become a $12M bench player.

fljerry: What has Francisco done?

Three consecutive seasons of OPS+ 105 or higher.

But whatever...

fljerry and bap:

Are either of you suggesting that Brown will not be in the starting lineup next season?

bap: I guess we'll see. I remember when it was insisted that Burrell would not be replaced with a LHB. I guess we saw how that turned out.

Cj when Ibanez rplaced Burrell we still had Werth - big difference - by the way what has Francisco done this year that you are so hot for having him play everyday or even platoon?

There isn't a single reason that I can see to trade Werth right now. The only acceptable move would be to acquire a starter under contract for the next two years while the window is open for this core, ie: Dan Haren. If not, I would just hold Werth and try and make a run, and if he is willing to craft the right deal to stay in Philly after the season, you sign him. He's a very good player and he could play some CF next year.

Francisco is still on the roster he will fill the void left by Werth. At least I think that is their intention.

Rizzotti keeps hitting at Reading. His numbers are as good as Brown's, if not better, after the same # of AB's. Toolshed he's not but he can rake.

Addendum to my 2:01 post: if Ibanez has a decent 2nd half, there is also a good chance he would be traded. The Phillies would have to eat a substantial amount of salary, and would probably get very little in return. But they might well do it anyway, just to clear roster space & recover whatever money they can recover on his 2011 salary.


Agreed. But he would have to go to the AL as a DH right?. I don't of any AL team that is looking for that right now. If tere were, I think RAJ would have pulled the trigger already.

Unless Werth is actually a problem in the clubhouse (which I don't believe), it doesn't make sense to me to trade him. We're in the thick of it and he's a vital part of the 2010 team's success going forward. His slump isn't gonna last forever.

The four-start lefties thing is overplayed a bit, given that Utley hits lefties just fine.

3 year averages:

vs LHP: .293/.402/.521
vs RHP: .305/.391/.544

FWIW, Brown has hit minor league lefties just fine.

"His slump isn't gonna last forever."

You're right. It just feels like forever! It's that .169 w/RISP that makes it seem so bad.

fljerry: Perhaps you think OFs who put up an OPS+ of more than 105 over their first 1000+ plate appearances just grow on trees.

Obviously he's had a bad start to the season. I suppose you believe 110 plate appearances this season are more indicative of the player Francisco is than the 1000 plate appearances prior to this season.

If that's the case, there's no use discussing this with you.

Yeah, the RISP's been a killer for Jayson. I guess it's the Blind Optimist in me, but when a very good offensive player is in a prolonged slump, remembering "regression to the mean" actually gets me excited about the future. An awful July means a great August, etcetera.

It isn't exactly blind optimism to expect a good hitter to hit.

i've bene away for a bit, but just wanted to throw in my:


that Castro has been released.

But watching the way Werth has been swinging the bat for a while now demands at least near-sighted optimism.

Isn't it odd that just about the time Castro is released, Fidel starts showing up all over the media in Cuba? Just a thought.

Oh, and the Wade curse continues. Oswalt taken out of the game injured before the fifth inning today. Line drive to the ankle. Can that guy ever catch a break?

CJ Francisco is such a good replacement that he was a throw in the Lee deal. Get a life best he will ever be is a bench or late inning replacement player.

ak, It's when Werth doesn't swing that I get annoyed, but you're right. Still, I have a hard time believing that he has all of a sudden forgotten how to swing. I'm not a shrink(and I dont play one on TV) but I think 90% of Werth's problems are half mental.

"Line drive to the ankle. Can that guy ever catch a break?"
Sounds like he just did.

RK: "The question remains whether the Lee trade was ordered by ownership or cooked up by Amaro. If it’s the former than of course we need not discuss it because its clear these guys will pull the rug out from underneath us for a few dollars. If it’s Amaro than in some ways that is good because we can then pray for his departure.

The problem is we won't know until someone talks."

This was from my post yesterday which triggered a short avalanche of BL posts ranging from “banning” further posts to “enough already about Lee ..It’s over…there is no use continuing this…and so on.” I think if you reread my post which I believe triggered the brief avalanche the relevant point was not the trade.
The crux of the matter is not to revisit the trade (which we more or less all agree was not the best idea) but to keep the pressure on to find out how the decision was arrived at and whose idea it was.

As my post makes clear if we knew it was management than at very least we know that the analysis going on here from here on has to be much more financially oriented. In other words we can stop talking about Brown coming up because we know that if he comes up it will cost a year of arbitration.
Similarly it is unlikely that Werth will be traded regardless because his replacement will cost ownership more. And you can certainly forget about Ibanez’s departure unless another team picks up a significant portion of his salary and we know that is not going to happen.
So yes we can move on from Lee but there is much more we can stop discussing if in fact Montgomery made the decision. OTOH if it was Amaro than we have a different kind of problem and we can expect Rube to do all kinds of wheeling and dealing because everyone knows we were a sure shot to face the Yanks again and if it does not happen it’s his behind that is out of here—as well it should!

actually, he probably caught a bruise.

And Werth's not swinging is actually part of his swing problem. He has completely forgotten how to hit. Every once in a while he runs into a pitch but as far as knowing where a pitch is or where it's going, he's clueless.

Yeah, he's too talented for that to happen for very long for any physical reason if he's not injured. But mentally, he truly has looked out of it since before the season started. I'm not a psychiatrist, but I did have to work with a lot of psych patients in the ER and take a bunch of rotations in psych during school and residency. And everything about his demeanor tells me he doesn't want to be out there this season. I have my own suspicions why, but no way to prove them.


AK, do you think it's the pressure of the looming contract? That's what I would attribute it to. That and there is a good chance the Phils will not re-sign him and that can't make him too happy. I know people will say he's a professional and shouldn't let that stuff get to him, but that's easier said than done.
Still, I think he will snap out of this funk. As many others have stated, his numbers are really not that bad.

This is certainly some reasons to trade

1. 'Change for change' sake - Normally I am not a proponent of these types of move but in this case you have a rookie who has hit lits out this year and you could always platoon him with a Francisco in RF.

2. More importantly though you have no idea what you will get in return. I would be stuneed if Werth is here next year. So you have to measure the 2 compensation picks and what he would do for you the last 2+ months vs. what you might get in return.

It isn't a move that I would be a huge proponent of because I think Werth's trade value is diminished right now (has very little to do with his play on the field but the teams that the contenders that would be interested in him and the strong likelihood the Phils' would want players either already on a MLB roster who could fill a hole for them or MLB-ready talent). Phils won't trade at the deadline for a few guys in A ball who are 2-3 years away.

People need to understand what they're talking about when they try to pretend like not calling Brown up is for financial reasons.

Bringing him up now will NOT cost them a year of arbitration. If he is called up now or on September 1st, that's the exact same situation. Either way, he will be eligible for arbitration going into the 2013 season. And, if we not only didn't call him up now but didn't call him up September 1st either, he'd STILL probably be arbitration-eligible going into 2013 because he would likely be a Super Two player, assuming that he starts the season with the big club next year. Finally, if Brown is the type of player we think he is, there's a good chance the team will work out an extension with him anyway before arbitration (see, e.g. Hamels, Howard, Rollins, Burrell, Utley, etc.)

Brown is NOT being held down for financial reasons (unless you consider Ibanez's contract as the reason that he hasn't been called up). Brown is in AAA because the team, rightly or wrongly, does not feel like it's best for him to be in the major leagues right now, baseball-wise. Simple as that.

Old Phan - No way for me to know the why. You could be right. It could be the coming contract. But we know and he knows he's either going to be very rich or very very rich. Not a lot of pressure there in reality.

All I'm saying is I have seen his reluctance to be out there from the pre season. And I know that weakens my argument, since he started out very hot. And he had one other good spell inside his slump.

But his body language has been just awful all season. And his carping at the umps, usually after watching absolute strikes zip by for strike three, is his latest symptom.

And it may sound silly, but part of what I see has been the Grizzly Adams beard and mop of hair. Those and a pair of sunglasses can be nothing more than being a kid and experimenting. But at Werth's age, it's a little more than that. I think you can imagine.

Werth just needs to start taking batting practice left handed so he can meet his twin brother.

aksmith: I'm not sure that I can imagine. What are you implying?

Or, visually:

Odd, I posted prior to the bong smiley, but is doesn't seem to be here.

I suggested that the implication was that he needs to get his head:

a) out of the weed bag


b) out of somebody else's wife, which is the other rumor du jour...

Yeah, you can imagine. And I won't say it because I do know you already imagined it. And I have zero proof. Just years of experience having dealt with it.

And no, I'm not talking about anyone else's wife. No idea there and I think nobody else had any idea either. Except maybe Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson.

RK: "because everyone knows we were a sure shot to face the Yanks again" with Lee.

Of course. It was a certainty. What could possibly have gone wrong?

Jack: "People need to understand what they're talking about when they try to pretend like not calling Brown up is for financial reasons.

Bringing him up now will NOT cost them a year of arbitration. "

Then can you explain how I am reading this wrong?
"A player with at least two but less than three years of Major League service shall be eligible for salary arbitration if he has accumulated at least 86 days of service during the immediately preceding season and he ranks in the top 17 percent in total service in the class of Players who have at least two but less than three years of Major League service, however accumulated, but with at least 86 days of service accumulated during the immediately preceding season. "

Bringing him up now is different then in Septemeber if I am reading this correctly. Becuase now he will have more then 86 days of service if he stays up here.

Jack: aksmith's mention of Werth's long hair and beard suggests he thinks Werth has turned into a hippie, which means he's smoking pot.

What I'd like to know is: What is aksmith smoking?

RK - We'll know you are correct if he comes up when it's only possible to have 85 days of service. I wonder if that counts off days or just game days. Because if it's game days, he'd already be up. And if playoff and WS games count, they could be waiting until that's no longer a factor.

Clout - You have hit on only one possibility. But his facial and head attire along with his body language and demeanor this season says a lot. I suppose you have extensive experience in the field, so you can say I'm wrong. In fact, it's all probably easily explainable with statistics.

I really want to comment on aksmith's veiled Werth hypothesis but propriety compels me to abstain.

And for that tiny handful of Beerleaguer posters who care about reality:

Jayson Werth OPS+

Career: 116
2009: 128
2010: 130

We now return you to Beerleaguer Fantasies.

Werth is really just the understudy for an off-Broadway musical production of "The Big Lebowski"...

Here's the thing. A lot of people remember Werth's "drunk" games. So, is that "veiled" reference really that outlandish?

Just to relate a little story. When I was in med school, Daryl Porter was a friend of a friend. He hid his drinking problem a lot better than Jayson has. And that was a darn shame.

I freely admit that I have no "proof." But were I the Phillies, I'd have Dickie Noles looking into it. There are a lot of reasons for slumps. But I felt the same way regarding Jayson when he was playing well. Some people can function very well under the influence, for a while.

There are fewer than 85 days left in the season. I don't think it includes postseason time. Could be wrong.

Then I would assume they don't think he's ready or they just don't want to DFA anyone to make room.

Yo, new Raul thread

RK: You read it wrong, because you skipped the "AND ranks among the top 17 percent in total service." Brown would be eligible by having more than 86 days of service, but he would not be in the top 17 percent of service time, because so many other rookies have been called up and played since Opening Day. You might remember that Strasburg, Santana and Buster Posey were all called up around the same time in early June--this was when teams had estimated that the top 17 percent cutoff had been made.

At this point, Brown would not be eligible for Super Two status if called up right now. It's not a financial decision.

aksmith has moved into the realm of biggest jacka$$ in Beerleaguer history.

He's decided a guy in a slump because he is regularly smoking marijuana. His evidence?

1) Shaggy hair.
2) Shaggy beard.
3) Sunglasses.
4) Arguing with umpires.
5) The suggestion that he has "years of experience dealing with it" which I take to mean he's a pothead himself.

And that's my last comment on the most ridiculous theory in Beerleaguer history.

Great post and now I know what to do, thank you! Actually this Blog post helped me a lot. I hope you continue writing about this kind of entry.

The Phillies haven’t been gift-wrapped a win lately, not since the early days of the season when the Braves were stuck in the basement and the Nats were still a laughingstock

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