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Saturday, November 20, 2010


Ryno pronanly wet himself from excitement waiting for this group.

Seeing that Jose Contreras might be the biggest signing for the Phils this season, I live for all the minor league guys brought in. Just think, where would the Phils have been without Wilson Valdez last year? Certainly not 97 wins.

Dem 'Pigs is lookin' gooooood, baby!

No if Rube can sign a real RH RF and a real LH RP, we'll be happy.

(Actually, having Barfield stashed at LV does make me a little more relaxed on the UT front.)

That's supposed to be: "Now if Rube..."

Barfield is nothing special on defense, but he's got more bat than Valdez.

Moss was a legitimate prospect at one time, but it's now clear he can't hit at the major league level.

Matt Miller is the most intriguing of the bunch to me. His bat (.845 career OPS) is good enough for MLB. The problem is, his defense is mediocre and he has no speed or power. Thus he is limited to corner OF. Plus he's kinda old (2011 will be his age 28 season). Still, he's the only name on that list that I think has a chance to make the team out of ST. Given the same number of ABs as Ben Fran, Miller would outhit him IMHO (although he wouldn't outhomer him.)

Surprised that clout likes Miller, given his age & PCL-aided numbers. I, too, think he's intriguing, as I am a sucker for big numbers, even when they're posted in the thin air of Colorado.

Moss is worth a shot as a reclamation project; might be a late bloomer

BAP: Yeah, I took the park factor into account. He's hit elsewhere and the scouts love his bat. Even if you knock 10% off his numbers, they're still good. But Ben Fran has the advantage of more power, more speed and the ability to play all 3 OF positions. Miller would only make it if they decide to carry 2 RH bench bats (not including the UT INF).

So, Clout, you've decided Ben Francisco is a star now? Interesting.

aksmith: Ben Francisco is a fine 4th outfielder. Unlike you and others here, however, I don't believe he is an acceptable replacement for Jayson Werth.

Ben Francisco is not a platoon player or an everyday player on a championship-caliber club. A fringe major leaguer at best. His misplayed fly ball helped cost the Phillies NLCS Game #4 and he took a called 3rd strike with a runner on 3rd base with 1 out in NLCS Game #6. If the Phillies think that he can step into a platoon role in LF or RF, they are kidding themselves Check back mid-2011 and see how you feel about this guy.

If the Phillies substiantially re-did their entire outfield for 2011, it would be effort well spent.

You'll find no greater Ben Francisco detractor than I, but he's certainly not a "fringe major leaguer." He is what clout said he is: a 4th outfielder. A "fringe major leaguer" would be, for instance, Greg Dobbs, John Mayberry, Jr., or Josh Barfield.

BAP- You are right; The term fringe major league player might have been a bit of a mischaracterization on my part. He's a 5th outfielder type. Occasional pinch hitter, but clearly not a starter or frequent platoon player.

I hope that Jiwan James and Jon Singleton are as good as adverised,because the Phillies will have some outfiled openings in the not too distant future.

So, clout, Miller's kind of a RH Rizzotti?

Marc - Jiwan James would have to show significantly more than he has to become more than a fringe major leaguer. Singleton needs to learn OF if he's gonna play in it.

James is your quintessential toolsy Phillies project. He has shown a bit more hitting aptitude than other toolsheds like Golson & Hewitt, but he would still have to improve enormously if he's to have any kind of major league career. After Brown & Singleton, Gillies remains the Phillies' best OF prospect. He had bad numbers last year, but he also lost a ton of time due to injury. He gets a do-over this year.

From my recollection, Jiwan James had a monster 2nd half with a long hitting streak. The Phillies have also conlcuded that Singleton is athletic enough to play the outfield

If the Phillies think so much of Gillies, why arte they chancing losing him in the Rule 5 draft? Actions speak louder than words. JC Ramirez, Aumont and Gillies will only get to Citiziens Bank Park as patrons.

Andy: Good comparison! Miller's a better fielder, though.

Jiwan James is a total toolshed, but I like him better than other Phillies toolsheds like Anthony Hewitt, D'Arby Myers and Zack Collier.

James held his own in the Sally League last year in only his second year as a position player. The kid was a pitcher all thru HS and in his first pro year.

His raw tools are unmistakable: Power, speed and a great arm. The challenge will be to shape the tools into skills. Right now his plate approach is terrible, sapping his natural power, he has no clue of how to control the zone and his base-stealing skills are crude.

But taking a guy like this in the 22nd round is way smarter than burning 1st round picks on the likes of Hewitt and Collier. This kid just needs to keep playing every day and show that he has a learning curve.

taken from mlbtr-

Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer says you can bet on the Phillies adding an "older pitcher on a non-guaranteed contract" to compete with Kyle Kendrick and Vance Worley for the team's fifth starter spot.

let the predicting begin

Zach Duke???

Marc H: I have my suspicions about Gillies, whose numbers were bloated by High Desert and fooled numerous posters here, most notably my bud Jack.

But I wouldn't give up on either Aumont or Ramirez just yet. Aumont was wrecked when the Phils tried to make him a SP and change his motion. They need to put him back in the pen and leave him the eff alone.

Ramirez still has great stuff and lousy command, which hurt him in Reading. He needs to work on his command again in Reading, at least to start, and if he shows progress, push him into Trip A. But a 21-year-old who throws mid-90s and has a H/IP below 1 and a K/9 of 7.7 is someone you need to keep.

oh and Mark H, both Gillies and Aumont are not eligible for the Rule 5 draft, per Matt Gelb as well

Clout: Last year was a lost year for Gillies, no doubt.

But you yourself just used PCL numbers in support of Miller, and said even if you knock them down 10%, they're still good. Well, let's do the same for Gillies. Even if you knock down Gillies' numbers at High Desert, they were still quite good, and there were some underlying skills (plate discipline, namely) that were very encouraging.

Gillies has a make-or-break year here, absolutely. But I'm not ready to give up on a potential plus defensive CF with his speed just yet. If he hits .280/.350/.420, he'd be...Shane Victorino.

Pb---you're right---I didn't see his edit

Jack--or what Shane Victorino USED to be. In NLCS Game #6, his baserunning error in the 8th and his horrible at bat in the 5th (taps a ball back to the mound with on the second pitch with the bases loaded) killed the the Phillies. Andrers’ Torres ball in the 3rd inning of Game #6 was a tough play–no doubt. Not catching it helped to shift the momentum in that game (The Phillies didn’t have chance to nurse their early lead and try to build on it). A good defensive centerfielder (which Shane is) gets to the ball ; a great one catches it.

The 3 year contract was a total mistake; he’s anopthetr one who has let success go to his head. Cut your losses and trade him, Rube

I'm also optimistic about JC Ramirez. He had the best year of any of those guys last year, and was actually one of the better pitchers in the organization, considering his age.

His underlying stats were all better than his ERA might indicate. He had a very solid 2.8 K/BB ratio. Clout says his command is lousy, but walks weren't really his problem--he gave up 2.6 BB/9, which is pretty good (Cole Hamels had the same walk rate in the majors this year). The problem is he just gave up a bunch of hits. We have no idea if those were poorly placed pitches, a lack of stuff, or simply bad luck.

But were he a stock, I would still be buying a 21-year old with his K and BB numbers who is already at AA.

Marc H: You are right. Victorino's 3-year contract was a terrible mistake because of one play in a playoff game. Good call.

Yeah, he wouldn't be my first choice either, were he another team's free agent. But he's going to be relatively cheap and he's already on the team. Those are the only reasons we're even discussing him. Frankly, before the Phillies traded for him, I had barely heard his name. And acceptable is a relative term. He is adequate, considering his cost.

Now, here's my usual Clout Response (TM):
So, you think he's a FINE 4th outfielder? All Star fine? Or just star fine? See how this works, Clout?

The above post got separated from the one it was answering. I was writing about Benny Fran.

Jack-his overall season was poor, especially against right handed pitching. I'll be anxious to see if he comes in hungry next year.

Don't understand why Francisco gets the hate on here he does. He is a guy who would give you a .775-.800 OPS if you platooned him. How can a guy who has a career line of .263/.329/.446 who isn't a defensive liability be a 'fringe OF' or a '5th OF?'

Francisco should be the guy who starts vs. LHP next year in LF regardless of what happens in RF. Every year he has been MLB, he has hit LH starters at a .800 OPS or better with career numbers of .283/.353/.481 in 360 ABs.

Francisco has also been productive at CBP with a line of .272/.359/.447 in a limited 103 ABs.

Bill James has him at a line of .271/.336/.446 with 10 HRs in 301 ABs next year. That is exactly how I would like to see him be used. 300-350 ABs.

Ibanez is going to get the majority of the playing time in LF next year. That was almost guaranteed when they signed him to that contract that was heavily backloaded and with a no-trade clause. He still can be a useful player. Just not a guy who should be starting everyday given his defensive limitations, age, and past history vs. LHP.

A .782 OPS or so doesn't sound that great but it would have put Francisco 48th among all OF in MLB last year (out of 114) who had at 250 ABs or more. Eve if he only was at say .760, he would still be 60th.

That would have put him ahead of a number of more notable OFs including Kemp, Kubel, Vic, Bay, Sukuzi, BJ Upton, Ross, Guillen, Rivera, C. Lee, etc.

The only available OF free agents with an OPS of better than Francisco last year are:

A. Jones

Werth and Crawford are both going to command huge deals which excludes them. Ordonez is likely looking for something that if it is a 1-yr deal is too rich for the Phils. Hinske is left-handed so that leaves him out of the mix. So you are left with Burrell and A. Jones.

Burrell can't play defensively in RF although I bet some NL team will get a decent bargain for a guy who will give you decent offensive production out of LF. Just a question of whether he will take a moderate, 1-yr deal. Braves supposedly expressed interest and Giants are considering resigning him supposedly.

A. Jones is the 1 FA who I can see the Phils at least taking at look at although having modest interest. He probably would come relatively cheap even with Boras as his agent (1 yr/~$2M).

My bet is that is an option of last resort and that Amaro is killing the tires on the trade front as hard as he possibly can though the GM meeting that take place the 1st week in Dec.

If he isn't able to make something happen by the end of the GM meetings, my bet is that he signs Diaz sometime in mid-Dec after he isn't tendered by the Braves the first week of Dec.

It wouldn't surprise me either to see Amaro give up some key prospects either to get a corner OF he wants. Amaro has shown (right or wrong) that when he settles on something that he moves quickly to make it happen. Personally, I think this is a pretty a$$ine way to run things but just his managerial style.

Contrary to Clout, I do think the Phils could get by offensively with an OF of Ibanez/Franciso in LF and a Brown/Diaz mix in RF.

Do I think the Phils could get a ~900 OPS with 30+ HRs out of a mix of Brown/Diaz? No way.

Do I think the Phils could better than league average production of Diaz/Brown in RF? Yes, yes I do.

Diaz hits in CBP. Yeah, yeah limited sample but his numbers .329/.363/.645 in 76 ABs aren't bad. Diaz would get a lift playing in CBP.

My bet is a Diaz/Brown platoon next year in RF would give you something along the lines of a .260-.270 AVG with 20-25 HRs & an OPS of .775-.800. Not great but right around the NL RF average of .264/.334/.443 with 23 HRs last year.

Jack: Command is control within the strike zone. Control is the ability to throw strikes. Ramirez can throw strikes but he's probe to hittable strikes. That's what I mean by lousy command.

There is a reason that one of the thriftiest teams in the league cut Moss even though he would have cost almost nothing next year - he stinks.

The only guy from this list that has a legit shot at making the team without a rash of injuries in spring training is Bonine. My bet is that he competes with Herndon for the mop-up/long-man role out of the pen in spring training.

Clout: Ok, fair enough. Then I suppose I would agree, with the giant caveat that I (and presumably you) have not actually seen any of Ramirez's starts, and thus haven't really seen his command (or lack thereof).

I usually post on but since it appears to be down(and from what I read it might not be back) I've been reading some of Beerleaguer.

How do you guys seriously beleive Ben Francisco is NOT a defensive liability. I'm pretty sure someone on this site a while ago saying something like "you guys must listen to the radio when Francisco plays". I cringe everytime a ball is hit towards him and when he's at-bat he tries to hit a home run every single time.

Weren't half of you flipping out like whackjobs when Brown was called up 2-3 weeks before September and complaining how "he needs to play every day or his development will be hindered" and now most of you that said that now want to PLATOON him?

Some of these comments are really ridiculous.

Bozo - Francisco isn't a better defender than Ibanez in LF?

Brown was called up at the end of July because Vic went on the 15-day DL. Brown did start a bunch of games (9) over that stretch until Vic came off the DL in mid-August.

The only real decision at that point was to send him down for another 2 weeks before Sept. 1 callups. I don't remember a single person on here arguing that would hamper his develop. Some people wanted to see him start in place of Ibanez but that began a moot point when Ibanez heated up in August.

Sitting on the bench in August & Sept did hamper his development a bit. Even the Phils said as much and it is the primary reason why they sent him to the Dominican League this winter to get additional ABs and time in RF.

As least your handle was an apt description of your post. Bozo indeed.

Using someones screenname to make an insult is very clever. That's sarcasm just in case you didn't pick that up.

99.9% of the time Ibanez will make a better decision than Francisco in the field. Playing the ball on the hop/off the wall instead of leaping for it like an a**hole.

Pretty much everyone on every Phillies blog I read(TheFightins, TheGoodPhight, Beerleaguer) were debating whether or not the 2 weeks would hamper Brown. He was probably going to Winter Ball regardless of those 2 weeks.

Almost the entire fanbase and media since the Phillies lost has turned on them and don't know their a** from a hole in the ground and contradict themselves on a consistent basis.

Bozo- just since the Phillies lost? Go back and read some of the comments on this site from May-August. Most posters had this team dead, buried and sold-off by July 4th. And if you call them on what they've said in the past they'll get as defensive as MG just did.

Ibanez is also a pretty big whipping boy around here even though he was far from the main reason the team ended up falling short in the playoffs. As for Francisco, most people seem to beg for him to play when he's on the bench- then he gets in a game and they yell for him to get back on the bench. You could do much better and much worse than him, which is why it would be ideal if you could maximize his strengths at the plate in a platoon situation.

However the chances of Manuel actually platooning for Ibanez in 2010 are very close to zero. And I don't necessarily think he should, at first. I think you give Ibanez the month of April to show that he can hold his own against LHP- if he shows nothing, yeah, Francisco should probably take some of his playing time.

I too find the rating of Francisco to be unexpectedly high, especially given that Cholly wouldn't play him toward the end of the season - if the Gut doesn't trust him, neither do I!

Ben Fran might start on some teams. But that only means that they have no better options available. He is well suited to be a #4 outfielder, capable of providing a slightly above average RH bat with slightly below average defense. Not too slow. Not too lousy at anything. He might fill in as a platoon, but it would be much better to seek an option which actually adds something to the team minus Werth. Ben Fran would simply keep it from sucking as badly as if we ran Gnome out there in RF.

Bozo: Yeah, Ibanez is great at making decisions on balls at the wall. Like that time in Game 1 of the NLCS where he jumped at the wall and caught Burrell's long fly ball.

Oh wait, he screwed that play up and we lost the game.

Jack - Yeah. Francisco is probably below average in RF because of the poor decisions he makes. Brown will likely be next year too for most/if not all of the year.

Ibanez is just a pretty poor fielder at this point though. Even at CBP, his initial reaction is slow and it takes him forever to get going. His arm is also average at best. Probably a bit below at this point. He generally does make the sound decision (e.g., hit the cutoff man) but if something is hit down the lines/in the gap it is going to drop almost every time.

I really hope that Cholly doesn't make him the everyday LF right out of camp but he will almost certainly will. Can Ibanez probably play in ~155-160 games next year? Yeah, as long as he doesn't tweak something which becomes a real issue by our late 30s/early 40s.

I would rather see Ibanez be a guy who starts 130-135 games next year instead and plays in 150 games (PH late). Can't imagine the additional rest wouldn't help but keep him a bit fresher over the course of the season.

If he does start to get into one of his hot streaks for 3-4 G, then you play it out until he cools off for a series. If he isn't really hitting, I would rather not see him out there vs. a LH starter next year.

Bozo - People were upset about the loss and understandably so. Might have been the last time this current team has a real legit shot at winning a WS anytime soon. Where is this any indication that people /media have 'turned on this team?'

Might people give Howard or JRoll some crap next year in April if they start slow? Probably. I wouldn't say though that is an indication though they have turned on this team. Just Philly fans largely being Philly fans. Say the same for a number of other cities too.

Given how strong season ticket renewals have been early on (CMO mentioned in a talk we had the other day in his conversation with their medical staff), I would be willing to bet that tickets are tough to come by again next year too with a number of sellouts again.

Iceman - Thought this team would make the playoffs even in July and at the ASB. Just thought it would be as the WC. It has been ridiculous how this team has played since the ASB every year now since '07.

Bozo - They were debating it at the time but in the grand scheme of things it is just an oversight. 2 weeks effecting a player's development? Nah.

With Werth gone, who would you like to see in RF?

"Not too lousy at anything"

At first glance, I thought this comment was the single most descriptive phrase ever written to describe Ben Francisco as a ball player. But then I remembered that clutch hitting is a sub-group of "anything" and I realized the description isn't quite 100% accurate.

I like the Barfield and Moss signings...both could surprise us with emergency callups.

Miller is interesting but a lot of that is PCL wackiness most likely.

Upside wise, Barfield is probably the clear favorite. The rest are emergency callups at best who MIGHT give us a good couple of weeks or they might (more likely) bat .180.

Still...the Pigs should be good this year...and maybe even have an average age under 30.

I wouldn't call Gillies season a total loss, I bet he learned quite alot actually.

Isn't UC known for teaching players how to hit?

Might that not be part of the thinking regarding the invitation to Brandon Moss?

MG: Contrary to clout? I was one of the first posters here to suggest Diaz. I'm disagreeing with the folks here who say Rube shouldn't bring anyone in to replace Werth.

clout - Fair enough.

I'd put Brown in RF full time assuming Werth isn't back. Considering someone brought up someone's(Bill James?) projections earlier in the thread for Ben Francisco(10HR in 300some at-bats) it's probably fair to mention that he projected Brown at .280AVG 25+HR and 25+SB(I forget the exact numbers) which would be fantastic although I'm sure most of us would be just fine with 20HR/20SB.

The balls Ibanez has leaped/dove for are usually within his reach MOST of the time(not to say he doesn't make bad plays) but when Francisco makes pays like this not once, but twice in one game is unacceptable in my book and I'm sure Charlie notices it too.

I'm sure if you go through all the games Francisco started you'd see plenty of these plays.

Now about the large amount of contradictions/bullshit:

The Phillies are "old" yet they were in the "prime" of their career at the beginning of 2010.

Most of the injuries the Phillies had this year were NOT from old age.

-Torn thumb ligament sliding into second
-Sprained ankle stepping on second
-Hit on the elbow with a pitch
-Hit on the back of the head with a bat
-Foul ball off foot(J-Roll when he was getting really hot in late July)

Guys not having their career averages MAINLY because of injuries even though most people don't mention them/ignore them.

Ibanez being washed up even though the Phillies aren't in the playoffs without him. He still had a respectable year and I'm sure most MLB teams would gladly take .270 16 HR and 37 2B and 85 RBI from an OF/DH.

Someone saying Victorino "wasn't hungry" in this thread because he struggled against RHP. If he wasn't hungry then why did he perform so well against LHP?

Over-reacting to every single MINOR league signing or claim.

The J-Roll hate is way too much. Small sample size, etc

Before first injury:

6G 7BB 4SO 17TB 2SB 8R and a line of .391/.516/.739

Before second injury:

5G 3BB 2SO 9TB 3R and a line of .278/.381/.500

When Rollins was playing healthy he was playing pretty well this season. Let's not forget that Rollins had 4 seperate stints where he didn't play between the two calf injuries, the foul ball off his foot, and the hamstring. Yet most fans are ready to write him off.

There's just way too many people being overdramatic on pretty much every Phillies blog.

And if you want you can add on the people who say the Phillies are getting "old" yet the same people would sign Cliff Lee or Werth to a 7-year deal.

Also left out the overconcern of a left-handed heavy lineup.

Yo, newer thread

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