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Friday, September 24, 2010


Adrian Cardenas - another washout - saw this from a blog:

"Adrian Cardenas, INF, Athletics (AAA)—Cardenas finally figured out Triple-A after the All-Star Break, hitting .313/.362/.385 after struggling there in late 2009 and early 2010. Still, he doesn’t show much power and fits best defensively at third, making him a sort of lefty-hitting Chone Figgins with less speed. Nice, but not Top 100."

Reposted from the end of the last thread:

Cholly should get Manager of the Year simply because when other teams lose all their stars to injuries, like the Mets last year, the teams suck and go nowhere. This Phillies team was crippled most of the year and, instead of complaining, they tread water behind a mid summer replacement division leader, only to come on like gangbusters to most likely end up with the best record in the league (and possibly MLB). Hell, Cholly deserves it for winning the All Star game, alone!

We love these guys when they are in our organization. We hope they all become superstars. We trade them and hope they suck. In reality, we should hope they do well, so that in future trades, our minor league prospects are respected and hold their value.

"In reality, we should hope they do well, so that in future trades, our minor league prospects are respected and hold their value."

Would teams making deals with us in the future look at players like Taylor and Cardenas and conclude that, as a general matter, talented-looking Phillies prospects tend to be washouts? I don't see how one could reason from what one batch of Phillies prospects did to what another batch might do. Even if you say that the Phillies tend to pick unrefined toolsy players who don't turn out so well (just as a hypothetical), I don't think that should affect your prediction of how one particular toolsy player will do.

If winning the All-star game gets you MoY, the award needs to be canceled post-haste.

As good a job as Cholly has done this year, when you become the 800lb gorilla of your league one of the things you get saddled with is expectations. We're where we are supposed to be, and no manager wins MoY for getting his team to where they are supposed to be. No matter how hard a journey.

Just like periods of extended success mean you can no longer play the under-dog card, being a pre-season frontrunner for the world series means you are no longer in play for manager of the year. It's a fair trade, and I think even Charlie Manuel would agree.

Very few prospects ever become difference-makers, but the Phils have been remarkably good (or lucky) at hanging on to the few that qualify.

Sorry if it seems like I'm picking on you LF, but I have to disagree again with your logic in the prospects post.

If another team's front office trades for our prospects based on *our* evaluation of those prospects, that front office needs to be fired, gutted, and rebuilt with people who can evaluate players for themselves.

Once a player is traded the onus of success or failure lies with the new franchise. They have taken on the burden by trading *for* them.

For example, if Aumont, Ramirez, and Gillies are all washouts this is not a failure of the Mariners. It would be a failure for the Phillies for having accepted them. If anything if prospects fail after a trade it is a reputation booster for the team that traded them, showing keen insight on who is worth keeping. This would *increase* the value of their prospects, especially those they are unwilling to trade.

Two guys who did get away:

Gavin Floyd: 10-13, 4.08 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 7.3 K/9 and an 106 ERA+. Not as good a year as his last year but he has pitched much better as the year went on. 39-37 now as a starter for the White Sox with an 110 ERA+.

Gio Gonzalez: 14-9, 3.36 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 7.7 K/9 and an 122 ERA+. Finally put it together this year. Definitely has benefited from pitching in the most pitcher-friendly park in the AL (2.53 ERA vs. 4.22) but he looks like he will be a staple of the A's rotation for the next 3 years.

It won't go down as the Fergie Jenkins trade but the Freddy Garcia deal was easily the worst deal the Phils have made in the last 10 years.

I look at the ages of most of these guys and realize it's far too early to pass judgment on the Lee trade. Carrasco, for instance. Or even the long-departed Gavin Floyd. Sometimes it takes awhile - and a few up and downs.


I like your point, but I don't think it's 100% fair to Manuel. He's gotten us where we thought we should be, BUT he's had a helluva time getting us here due to injuries to our key players.

Analogous to an airplane pilot: You get on a flight in Philly headed for Atlanta. Everyone on the plane EXPECTS to arrive in Atlanta with no problems. But along the way the pilot his turbulence, an engine goes out, a wing gets clipped, whatever, but the pilot lands with everyone relatively unscathed. The pilot, like Manuel, met expectations but showed us how cool he can be under pressure, too.

OK, I'm done making analogies. Coffee is good this morning.

Zudok - Maybe but it looks really bad and I would be surprised if just 1 of thes guys winds up making the Phils' roster at some point and contributing. I would be really surprised if any of them contributes in a meaningfuly way for 2-3 years for the Phils.

People will likely overlook the Lee trade in years to come because of Oswalt (especially if they win another WS). It will likely go down though as a pretty poor move.

Cliff, good one.
With the lineup that started the season, yes, The Phillies were "expected" to win. Essentially, they haven't had that lineup all year, and yet managed to be where they are now.

This was from an article about The Dodgers.

"Loney's notion of the Dodgers having good players without winning and not playing as hard as other teams would sure seem to be an indictment of Joe Torre. Sure, you can point to players who underachieved or failed to hustle all the time, but ultimately isn't it a manager's job to deal with such things and keep them from getting out of control? Or, put another way, when a team is playing well isn't that exactly the type of stuff managers are endlessly praised for?"

You don't get manager of the year for doing what you're supposed to do, but the team was projected as # 1 only BEFORE injuries to Rollins, Howard, Utley, Polanco, Victorino, Ruiz, Madson and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few. I agree with Lake Fred's point.

Frankly, I think Charlie's only chance of winning Manager of the Year is for the Phils to win 100 games. I think he should be the winner, but I think the expectation game hurts his case. Bud Black is still a top candidate with the Padres in the playoff hunt and Dusty Baker will get some consideration as well. Neither the Padres or Reds were supposed to be in the playoffs.

14-9, 3.36 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 7.7 K/9 and an 122 ERA+.


How can you just toss a guy in who's that good? What were you thinking Pat??????

Agreed on Black and Baker. I don't necessarily think Manuel is the best candidate for MoY, but the job he's done this season needs to be acknowledge and, hopefully, rewarded with a WS victory.

Actually, thast was me. I haven't been Edwin Starr since I last posted on WAR.

Manager of the Year should be renamed Manager of the Team that Most Exceeds Expectations.

I'll go out on a limb. If the Phils lead the league in wins, Chollie gets MoY. The team will have reached the playoffs 4 years in a row, all under him. They'll recognize him this time.

From Hardball Talk NBC Sports: Can Anyone Beat the Phils?

The Phillies have won ten in a row. Fourteen of their last 15. Twenty-two of 26. It's getting a bit difficult to find appropriate superlatives, so let's just throw out some stuff and try to grok how great things are going for this team at the moment:

The Phillies used only two relievers -- Madson and Lidge -- in their three games against the Braves, for a total of five innings.
Roy Oswalt, who turned in the best performance of all of the big three in the series, has allowed one run in his last 22 innings. In 11 starts since the trade which brought him over, he is 7-1 with a 1.76 ERA. The Phillies have now won 10 straight Oswalt starts.
Cole Hamels is 5-0 with a 0.49 ERA and is holding batters to a .173 batting average over his last five starts.
As Todd Zolecki notes over at, while the Phillies offense hasn't been hanging eight or nine runs a game on guys lately, they have been knocking opposing starters out of games early lately, and getting into the bullpen. This is less sexy than high scores, but it's proved to be an effective means of winning via a war of attrition.
Any reason for concern? It's hard to find one that gets you animated.

They bumped Roy Halladay back a day for his next start. He could very well be tired at the moment -- he gave up a whopping three runs in seven innings against the Braves, the sad sack -- so it makes sense that they need to rest him, what with him not having done this pitch-in-October thing before.
Jimmy Rollins is still hurt -- he's expected to play before the regular season is over -- but they survived much of the year without him, and are thriving without him at present.
I also suppose the Phillies would have liked to seen the offense put up more runs on Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor, the two rookie starters the Braves thew at them on Monday and Tuesday, but hey, who needs runs when you got the Big Three? I think they'll sort it out.

I'm not one to make bold, confident predictions -- baseball just doesn't lend itself to that sort of thing -- so I won't make one now. I will say, however, that I have a hard time seeing anyone go toe-to-toe with Philadelphia once the playoffs come. If they get the best record in the NL -- which is highly likely - they'll be able to pick a division series schedule that allows them to use only three starters. After that, they can just go for broke with Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt and plan on resting them up all winter.

The only thing that can derail them? The very nature of baseball itself. Strange things can happen in the playoffs. For years people said that no one could match Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz in the playoffs and -- on paper anyway -- that was true. With the exception of 1995, however, someone always managed to find a way. The NFL has the "any given Sunday" reputation, but it's in baseball where anything can truly happen.

But yeah: if you put a gun to my head right now, I say it's the Phillies title to lose. Does anyone really think otherwise?

Joe: The Phils have been getting a lot of love from the national media recently. A little late to the party, but that's usually how it goes.

But no love from the sabr-crowd. Which is annoying, because I love me some sabremetrics.

I couldn't help but notice that JW neglected to include single season UZR metrics in his prospect recap. What good are statistics without single season UZR?

Joe C- A pearl of wisdom in that last post:

"The only thing that can derail them? The very nature of baseball itself."

As long as the Phils win the World Series, I don't care if they get no love from the sabremetrics crowd or Dave Cameron, or any national media. I don't care if Doc gets the Cy Young. I don't care if Cholly gets MoY. All I want is another championship.

Whoever suggested "From the Boot" in Lafeyette on germantown pike in a thread a day or so ago - you are the man.

Just went to lunch with a buddy there and was amazed. Chicken cutlet with sharp provolone, broc rabe, drizzled with olive oil and pine nuts, and friend had a chicken parm that he also loved. Best lunch eats in awhile.

it's not that I care if they get love; but, frankly, work is boring, and I like reading about baseball, in particular the Phillies, and it surprises me that the sabremetric guys can apparently find nothing of interest to write about (pro or con!) in the way the Phillies season has unfolded...

I think it should be noted that Jonathan Villar played in High-A after traded to Houston.

People are mistaken if they think I am taking anything away from Charlie. I think he's done an excellent job this year. I just don't think how the MoY is awarded is conducive to Charlie winning this year. Ollie is right when he suggested the rename the award.

Nice article posted by J. Cowley. A Stranger in a Strange Land reference in a Phillies column? I can dig that.

It seems like some years the MoY is given to the manager with the best record, and other years given the manager whose team exceeded expectations.

Old Phan: I think it's usually awarded to the manager who is already thought of as a genius by the media, and then they come up with some narrative that suits their prejudice.

Daydreaming a bit over here:

It looks like one of the worst stretches this year was May 18 - June 12 when the Phils went 7-16. If you take those games out, they are 85-45, which is a .654 average. If you apply that average to a whole season, that would come out to just about 106 wins!

I dont believe Charlie is a shoe-in, but I am pretty sure he'll finish top 3 no problem.

The Phillies injuries were well documented all year long and they're taking home the best record in the bigs. I think he's got a very good shot.

Who would have thunk that Ruben Amaro will likley be among the GMs nominated for Exec of the Year the same calendar year he traded away anti some-dude.

I posted my thoughts and feeling on UC as manager of the year on the previous thread, so I won't rehash.

But has anyone seen anything from any of the national sportswriters yet pointing out that UC should be manager of the year? These things tend to get a little bit of press beforehand. They rarely come out of left field. The national media decided last year, long before the actual awards were presented, that Jim Tracy was going to win Manager of the Year. It's all you heard about. "He's done such a great job, turning those guys around, etc etc."

I have heard no such things about UC...a few about Bud Black, though.

If you honestly think UC will win manager of the year, we'll see more than a few articles published in the next few weeks or so about what a great manager he is, and how worthy he is of the award. If you don't see any, you can forget it.

I really think the national media are acting like we've had Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt all year, and that they pretty much haven't given up a run among them the whole season. It's pretty crazy when you think about the hitting slump this team went through, the early bullpen issues, getting shut out for a whole series against the Mets, etc. But no, we basically bought the championship this year.

ditto on the "Boot"

BYOB in Lafayette Hill and full bar at the one in Ambler.

Very little hype for a Mets-Phils series in late September.

Funny how different the vibe now could have been if this was a few years past.

Dave Cameron is blowing the Giants staff over at fangraphs. Surprise, surprise.

ed: There is actually a middle ground between making BA's Top 100 prospects list and being a "washout" and Cardenas falls into that middle area.

I don't recall anyone projecting Cardenas as a HR hitter. He was seen as a guy who had high-average, gap-power potential. He's hit .299 and .304 the past 2 seasons (AA-AAA combined) and had 41 doubles in 2009, so that seems to be on the money so far.

His bat plays better at 2B than 3B and at age 22 he's got time to improve his defense.

Let's see where he is at age 25 before we call him a "washout."

Slugga: 17 straight games of allowing only 3 runs or less will do that.

I found the From The Boot in Ambler decidedly middling. And that's being kind. Also, when I was there it was a BYOB. With a bar-like structure that didn't serve alcohol.

Going on Sunday, here's hoping that's the day...

speaking of recognition, how about Greg Gross for batting coach of the year?? Things improved offensively after he replaced Milt on July 22. Phils went from 12th in NL team batting avg at that time up to 5th now; from 12th in OBP up to 5th; from 6th in runs scored up to 3d; and from 6th in slugging % up to 5th.

Burt: I don't know what kind of effect Greg Gross had... and he may be the reason for the improvement... but the Phils also managed to get healthy over that time as well.

I dont know if GG should be credited too much with the turnaround, I think it was more the decision itself that sparked them as well as hungry bench players and the starters getting healthy again.

Burt: GG totally turned this team around. It couldn't possibly be things normalizing over a long season. Just as Jayson Werth's horrible numbers with RISP and 2 out couldn't possibly be the result of a small sample or that his numbers would improve as the sample got larger.

Comments from David Wells on Torre for lobbying for Mets coaching position:

"I don't like him at all. As a manager, I think he's terrible," Wells said. "He wasn't a fair manager. He didn't treat people the same. He definitely didn't treat me the same."

After saying he is "curious" about being the manager of the Mets next year on Monday, Torre apologized and said it wasn't his intention to make people believe he wanted to manage the Mets.

Wells recounted that when he was pitching for the Yankees, the team's pitching coach told him he was going to sit out in the first round of the playoffs.

"That's pretty degrading when you have your manager tell your pitching coach to tell you, 'Hey, you're going to sit out,' rather than telling you himself," Wells explained. "That's what Joe Torre is to me, a coward."

After the games on July 22nd, the Phils were 2 games over .500... and 11.5 games behind the Yankees for the best record in baseball. Today, they're tied.

Interestingly enough, the Twins were a mere 1.5 games ahead of the Phils that day and remain a .5 game ahead of them today.

I'd rather have the Giants in a best of 5, where we can stick to our big 3, than in a best of 7, where we might be throwing Blanton against, say, Cain or Sanchez. That's one deep rotation (even if, at the top, ours is better). 17 straight < 3!

"Burt: GG totally turned this team around. It couldn't possibly be things normalizing over a long season. Just as Jayson Werth's horrible numbers with RISP and 2 out couldn't possibly be the result of a small sample or that his numbers would improve as the sample got larger"

So it couldn't possibly be GG with a different approach.

It couldn't possibly be Jayson Werth looking at video, discovering problems, and fixing them.

Wow. I can do this too. :-)

If David Wells was respected throughout the game as being a stand-up nice guy, his criticism of Torre might have some resonance.

Anyone remember the incident where he compared the media trying to get a story to sexual assault? Yeah.

As it is now, it's kind of like Mark McGwire criticizing Hanley Ramirez for not playing the game the right way.

Blanton against Cain or Sanchez? Last I checked, Cain was one the Giants' top 2 pitchers & Sanchez was a clear No. 3. Blanton was our 4th.

Of course, playoff pitching matchups don't always pit 1 against 1 & 2 against 2 -- particularly once you get deeper into the playoffs. But if Joe Blanton is matched up against Matt Cain in the NLCS, it would follow that one of our Big 3 would be matched up against Barry Zito, who is the Giants' 4th best starter.

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like the Phillies haven't played in a week? I'm jonesing for some Phillies baseball!

Clout: Agreed. You would think 10 straight wins and our Win % when H20 starts would elicit some sort of article, no?

I really like Fangraphs, but it seems they are either biased or they don't care when it comes to the Phillies.

When they do post about the Phillies, one of their writers finds a way to sneak in a "Ryan Howard is over-rated" comment.

Charlie can't possibly get M o Y. There's no way a "moron" could win that award.

Right Heather?

Best David Wells quote, from his call to a 9-11 dispatcher after getting into a drunken brawl at a NY diner when he was with the Yankees, after the dispatcher asked where the diner was located:

Operator: Okay, but that's in Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, or Manhattan?

Wells: Yes

Boo Hoo. The national media doesn't like the Phillies. Who gives a sh*t. We love them.

"Charlie can't possibly get M o Y. There's no way a "moron" could win that award.

Right Heather?"

Is that what I even said? Focus, Phlipper, focus.

If you really care what I think about Charlie and the Manager of the Year award, go back and read the end of the last thread. I never said moron, but actually made a pretty coherent argument. If I do say so myself. And I do.

Werth just woke up and realized a strong finish could earn him an extra $30 million or so.

What about Josh Outman? He put up great numbers until his elbow popped. He should come back strong next year and resume what was looking like a very solid career.

Slugga: The Phillies have been slobbered over by the national media for the last week. Every single sports website I've been to has an article of some sort talking about how the Phils are the best team in baseball right now and have dominant starting pitching.

The Giants' pitching is also fantastic right now, and probably deserves a ton of attention as well. I would MUCH rather face the Reds or Braves in a playoff series than the Giants. I know their offense stinks, but I don't want to face that rotation.

Slugga was referring to an earlier exchange in which I (not clout) expressed surprise that there has been nothing from the sabremetric sites, not the MSM, about this run of the Phillies'.

I dont think it's a coincidence that once Werth got settled on an agent he got hot.

I really doubt the Braves will even make the playoffs at this point. The Rockies and Padres are right there and both are playing better than the Braves. Atlanta just looks disheartened...I can't believe their President made those comments before the Phillies, talk about sending the whole signal to your team...

Jack: I try and stay away from big sports websites. I was just commenting on the writers at Fangrpahs, as we have been talking about it on and off over the last few days.

Bay: I honestly think Dave Cameron dislikes the Phillies. Not in an totally vehement hatred way, where it is immediately obvious.

Rather, in a more subtle way, I think Dave hates the Phillies for not confirming his preconceived notions.

Dave thinks RAJ is a moron, UC is a senile old man, and the entire roster is overrated and overpaid (with the exception of Utley and possibly Werth). The only thing he will concede as being great is the starting 3 pitchers.

Yet, the Phillies win.

I think it sticks in his craw that the Phillies aren't following his model of what he thinks success should look like, yet are somehow succeeding.

Just my $.02.

Carrasco looks like a guy that could end up as a legitimate #3 in the Majors. His development curve was a bit slower than some but its hard to remember that he's still a pretty young guy.

Its pretty much too early to tell about any of the guys on that list...even Taylor could be a late bloomer who comes together at 25 or 26 and has a few productive MLB seasons in him.

All were solid trades for us though.

Heather: what's frustrating about that is, why not investigate it more deeply? That's the most important lesson I took from Bill James all those years ago. If something appears to not match up with what you think you know, look into it. You might surprise yourself.

Carrasco struck me as a young Vincente Padilla- headcase who routinely follows 5 perfect innings with a crooked number.

Heather: Could be a lot of things. If you read my post I was suggesting there may be reasons other than Greg Gross' genius. What are you suggesting?

The other thing is that, to a certain extent, sabermetric sites exist somewhat as alternative media sources, which is to say part of their raison d'etre is to cover interesting stories that the mainstream media isn't covering.

Say what you will, but the Phillies are a pretty obvious story right now getting tons of coverage from the mainstream media. If an alternative media source wants to cover a different story that they perceive as being underreported, good for them. That's part of what they do, and it's part of the value they provide.

Back at then end of 2007 mr. cameron ranked all the MLB Teams. He ranked the Phils 24th. Since that time the Phils have won over 90 games 3 seasons in a row.

The first org rankings He ever did, posted just after the 2007 season ended:

Again, this is after the Phils already made the playoffs in 2007 he thought they were only the 24th best organization. He doesn't know what he doesn't know, or maybe a different way to say it is he is so smart he's stupid.

****Carrasco struck me as a young Vincente Padilla- headcase who routinely follows 5 perfect innings with a crooked number. ****

Sometimes all those guys need is a change of scenery, a new coach, a bit of growing up, etc. The talent was always there and still is obviously. I'm not saying I regret giving him up as it was a good trade...I'm just saying he could end up as a legit MLB pitcher for a while. Same as Floyd or Gonzalez or even Outman (assuming he bounces back from his TJ surgery last year)

Joe Sheehan (formerly a BP writer) wrote a piece a little while ago about how he thought he consistently underrated franchises like the Phillies who don't conform to what he perceives as the type of front office that would sustain long-term success, and that he probably overrated franchises which did. I thought that was a valid self-critique.

It is entirely possible this occurs as well with writers like Cameron. So be it. It doesn't really strike me as something to get furious about, but I guess that's cool.

Not furious at all, Jack, just curious. And, like I said, I'd simply like to read more Phillies-related articles from that perspective, because I find that stuff useful. Happily, several of the BP writers are Phillies fans, so you see Phillies players as their examples for things more often than at Fangraphs.

@Heather -- "Dave thinks RAJ is a moron, UC is a senile old man, and the entire roster is overrated and overpaid (with the exception of Utley and possibly Werth)."

Maybe Heather is Dave Cameron???

Charlie will not win MoY because now it's all about H2O and how could you not win with three aces? All those DL issues will be forgotten. Except by us, that is. I'm with Kutz - give us another WFC and keep all that other stuff. I'm sure the team would agree.

R: Yeah, that's true. If you read BP, the Phillies actually end up probably getting more than their share of coverage just because a few of the writers are Philly-based or Phillies fans. It's nice.

The funny thing, of course, is that while fans on here think that sabermetic-type writers hate the Phillies, most of them have been championing Chase Utley as far better than he ever gets credit for. Most stat-heads hold Utley in a far higher regard than the average fan does.

"Charlie will not win MoY because now it's all about H2O and how could you not win with three aces?"

Ask Tony La Russa.

Can't we all agree that Jen Utley busted Werth's RISP slump?

Jack: those same stat heads then hold it against the phils for paying Howard more than Utley as proof that the Phils are not a well run organization.

Did I hear rumors that Dave Cameron was interviewing for a GM job? I totally could of made that up.

"@Heather -- "Dave thinks RAJ is a moron, UC is a senile old man, and the entire roster is overrated and overpaid (with the exception of Utley and possibly Werth)."

Maybe Heather is Dave Cameron???"

I certainly don't think Manuel is a genius, RAJ the second coming, etc etc, but Dave Cameron takes all this stuff, dials it up to 10, then proclaims "organization = fail", which is not the case.

On the flip side, he overrated the Mariners this year because I think their moves and management looked to him like they were very saber-friendly. Even if you take out all the Mariner's bad luck this year, the fact is, he still overrated them, based on his own internal biases about what he thinks successs looks like.

Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as you recognize you're biased. Unfortunately, I don't think Cameron does.

Again, this is just my $.02 on Cameron...admitting the possibility I could be wrong. It's always kind of hard to really evaulte people based on their writings exclusively.

****On the flip side, he overrated the Mariners this year because I think their moves and management looked to him like they were very saber-friendly. Even if you take out all the Mariner's bad luck this year, the fact is, he still overrated them, based on his own internal biases about what he thinks successs looks like. ****

It didn't hurt that he's also a Mariners fan...

Charlie has the love of his players and I'm sure that's more important to him than MoY. It was no more evident than earlier this week after one of the wins when the players were going down the congrats line with their high 5s. After slapping each of the other players, when the SP (was it Doc?) got to Charlie he gave him a big hug (no, not Sweeney).

Yo, newer thread

If you'll make a guy delighted, tend not to add to his possessions but subtract from his needs. Did you concur with me?

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