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Saturday, January 15, 2011

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Looking at that line it is amazing how little Francisco got into the line-up considering how much Raul and Victorino struggles.

I wonder if Krazy Kyle goes to a hearing. On paper he's probably worth more than what the Phillies want to shell out for him. 11-10 with a 4.76 ERA and 180.2 innings isn't exactly a bad season for a 5th starter.

I have always been a fan of Beerleaguer. Over the past several months I have noticed that the only thing we see is what is already posted on the Phillies Web site. Where has the insight gone?

Will Schweitzer: "As for Manny's "perfect swing" I couldn't care less. That's like dating a girl who has the perfect ass, but you caught her cheating on you. Do you stick around because she says "no, honey...that time you caught me was the ONLY time it ever happened. I never did it before, I promise." Please!"

I dunno, Will. A "girl with a perfect ass"? Wouldn't that at least give you pause?

MG: Unless I misunderstood you, on the last thread you said BJ Rosenberg was a better prospect than JC Ramirez. I'm guessing you didn't mean that.

I've seen my share of Rosenberg. I don't see that being the case.

gobaystars: "Looking at that line it is amazing how little Francisco got into the line-up considering how much Raul and Victorino struggles."

Francisco's line is .263/.329/.446

Raul's is .284/.347/.476

Vic's is .279/.342/.428

Considering how inferior Francisco is to those two, I'm amazed that you're amazed.

Maybe, but only if she slept with Werth. Utley's wife can't get all of the action.

Will Schweitzer: "As for Manny's "perfect swing" I couldn't care less. That's like dating a girl who has the perfect ass, but you caught her cheating on you. Do you stick around because she says "no, honey...that time you caught me was the ONLY time it ever happened. I never did it before, I promise." Please!"

I'm sorry she hurt you, Will. But it wasn't Manny's fault.

Perfect?

One man's perfection is another man's pillow pet.

If Manny showed up at the doorsteps of the Hall with perfect breasts begging "PLEASE" there would definitely be a pause.

I'm going to do it guys wish me luck.

Clout, you've got a point. There is a reason why Raul and Vic are starters, obviously. Still when players struggle they are more likely to get days off. This is partially because the manager thinks the bench player may perform better, but mainly because the manager thinks the starter will benefit from a day off. The fact that Ben Fran could only find his way into the starting eight 28 times is something. Although, it probably says more about Charlie than Francisco, Ibanex or Victorino.

Clout - No. I am just interested to see if Rosenberg can regain the form he showed in '09 at Lakewood.

No I don't think JC Ramirez is a good starting pitching prospect. My bet is that if he does contribute to the Phils at MLBdown the road it will be as a reliever out of the pen.

"If Manny showed up at the doorsteps of the Hall with perfect breasts begging "PLEASE" there would definitely be a pause."

With all the female hormones he's been taking to cover the HGH, that's not an entirely unrealistic expectation.

Gobay: I just want to wish you good luck. We're all counting on you.

Surely you can't be serious.

For a thread that contains just 16 posts (now 17), this one sure does contain an eclectic mixture of topics.

So far we have 3 posts about Ben Francisco (the header topic), one post about Kyle Kendrick, 3 about BJ Rosenberg and JC Ramirez, 1 about the decline of Beerleaguer, 2 with obscure and irrelevant "Airplane!" references, and 6 about the girl with the perfect ass.

First of all, Train, I am serious. Secondly, don't call...etc.

b-a-p: It's sad that the Phils got nothing from trading Abreu. And I wonder if we'd make remarks about Manny's breasts if he were a scrappy white guy.

In reality, as good as Vic's and Ibanez' final numbers were, clout, there were times during the season that they were struggling. Ibanez, for instance, didn't crack .250 for good until July 23. That being said, I agree with your basic point which might have been stated thus:

Replacement players do not get very many PAs unless there are major injuries. Since all three OFs were pretty healthy this year, it is not surprising that Francisco got only about 200. He did play, however, in more than half the games.

A more surprising stat, relative to substitutes, might be that Dobbs gathered in more PAs than Gload. Yeah. Figure that one out.

And now with the relatively cheap contract, I wonder if the Phils will include Francisco in the Hamels/Upton deal.

Why Andy? Can't you hear the future cheers when Ben Fran is up to bat...MVP MVP MVP MVP!!!!!!!

(rg - I just wanted to get the Hamels/Upton sure thing trade into bap's eclectic thread.)

I do have to wonder what WAR tells us about Francisco in this particular case. How meaningful is it to use WAR when you're talking about a "replacement player" to start with. Maybe he should have a "presumed WAR" of 0 until he becomes a regular again.

Also, I forget how tall he is? Can he be taught to play 3B, or would that be a waste because of height limitations?

Bob: it's January, dude.

(Although, rg, I am sure once we trade Francisco away he will immediately, like our traded prospects, improve his value at least threefold.)

Trade Ben and he will triple his salary with a couple MVP's, a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove.

Bob: It's been a busy week. But Cliff is correct. There isn't exactly a lot to write about these days. I'm not interested in doing "year in review" pieces either. Nobody reads them.

I'm glad Ruben signed Howard to an extension last April. He took care of business. Now he can sit back and be entertained with the St. Louis situation with Albert.

It's not an expensive contract by modern baseball standards, but I'm still not convinced that Ben Francisco is anything more than a spare part/5th outfielder on a good team. Ultimately, I think that the right fielder will be a in-season pick acquisition.

Meyer - This is not brain surgery. Albert Pujols signs with the Cards for 28-30 mil per season for the next 6-7 seasons. How hard could it possibly be to get that contract done? They will find the money if they have to comb through the owner's coin jar and underwear drawer.

Pujols is a once in a lifetime player and a sure hall of famer if he retired yesterday. And he is as consistent at putting up great numbers as BL is at causing high blood pressure. If St. Louis doesn't just pony up and give him the contract I've outlined, they're insane.

aksmith: I can't help but to believe that the money the Yankees saved by not signing Cliff Lee will be used to top whatever offer St. Louis can come up with.

Will - Where would they play Albert? They have a pretty good hitting, gold glover at first already. And he's already earning pretty good money. Even the Yanks have to figure their first base is covered for quite a while. And I don't think Albert can play third at this point in his career. DH or outfield? Yeah, they could do it. Money is certainly no object to them. But the Yankees need starting pitching a whole lot more than they need hitting at this point.

After half a season at Reading- MG has written the book on JC Ramirez.

aksmith - I think if the contract you laid out is what it would take to sign Pujols, the deal would be done already. From what I've read the ARod contract at 10/270 (+30 mil in "milestones") is the starting point for Albert.

aksmith, you are right about my consistently high meds-less BP numbers. It's my lifestyle. I am just guessing on the once-in-a-lifetime contract for Albert given the four week deadline given by his agent. To achieve separation with lesser than once-in-a-lifetime players his agent will start at just that number that will settle in around 32 milestones per annum.

TTI - I was waiting for the inevitable JC Ramirez alert.

Just wonder if we get the inevitable "Reading's pitching staff is pretty loaded with talent" proclamation we haven't gotten the past few spring trainings despite the fact they will likely only have 1 legit starting prospect (JC Ramirez) and 1-2 guys possibly in the pen (Aumont, De Fratus) depending upon where they get placed at the start of the season.

I will likely go to a few R-Phils games this year since I usually get free tickets but it isn't a team I would pay to see at the start of the season.

"It's not an expensive contract by modern baseball standards, but I'm still not convinced that Ben Francisco is anything more than a spare part/5th outfielder on a good team. Ultimately, I think that the right fielder will be a in-season pick acquisition.

Posted by: Marc H"

Marc, what criteria would you use to define what a starting MLB OF should be?

Just curious?

It wasn't meant as a personal attack on Ben Fran's character. Through his career, he has shown himself to be a capable reserve when used in a clealry defined role. There's no shame in thbat--Greg Gross made himself a nice career that way. At age 30, there's a reason that Ben Fran has never been a regular and he has shown me no reason to beleive otherwise,especially in the NLCS last year.

I think they can do better,that's all. Matter of opinion.

Ben Francisco is a journeyman who is held in awe by many posters on Beerleaguer who have an overinflated notion of what he'd do if only management would unleash him.

If he were on the Mets, he would be a subject of mockery on this blog.

But, clout, if he were a Mets prospect, he would be the second coming of Willie Mays.

MG: First time I've checked the site in a week or so and you didn't disappoint in this thread. Poking Ramirez, poking the way the PR department builds up their farm teams. You'd be a horrible marketing guy for a team.

"Um..please go see Reading. We don't have much talent but we have a hot dog vendor guy and Screwball. Who doesn't love Screwball? Seriously, please come."

Marc, statistically, when he got significant playing time in 2008 and 2009, Ben Fran's OPS+ of 105 ranked him in the top 35 OF who had had more than 350 PA ein each of those 2 seasons.

Sure, on a contending team ideally he'd be a marginal player, but take a look around MLB at what (or who) poses as starting OF.

There are a lot of teams for whom he could and would start in the OF.

clout, no overinflated notion, just an understanding that there're a lot of lesser talents in the OF putting on MLB uniforms.

An you know this to be true.

Clout: You're the guy who advocated Bill Hall as the starting RF, right?

Career lines:

Hall: .250/.310/.443 for a 94 OPS+
Francisco: .263/.329/.446 for a 105 OPS+

Hall is probably better defensively (he played a year in CF) but he has only played 27 games in RF in his life. Talk about glorifying role players. You do it all the time.

Since Jack already posted Ben Fran's career slash line, I'll add this:

Ben Fran is an OF who hits for slightly above league average BA [.263 vs. .255 (2010 #s used)], slightly above league average in OBP [.329 vs. .324] and about 33% more power than league average - 1HR/32 PA vs. 1HR/41 PA.

To wit, he's not a great player, but above average for an OF.

What is replacement level for an OF?

Scratch that, I did the math wrong:

Ben Fran hits for about 28% more power than league average.

awh: Are you using all numbers for those league-average stats or just OFs? Because if you're using all positions, you can't then claim that Francisco is above average for an OF.

If you're using numbers for OFs, then yes, you're right and I agree with you.

Weitzel: I'll read pretty much any words you post here.

I can certainly imagine it's not fun, especially in January, searching for angles from which to produce column-inches of Phillies content.

Jack, good point. Used Lg avg. I'll go average the OF and get back to you.

Probably tomorrow.

What do you think the probablity is that I get a result that's radically different?

TTI - Doesn't matter if the talent at Reading is mediocre or much learner as it often has been in the past 20-25 years. Not what really attracts people to the games at Reading.

Reading has a long-standing relationship with the regional MLB team, has consistently upgraded the stadium & it its amenities including a bunch of upgrades this offseason, and runs almost an endless stream of promtions/in-game & post game entertainment options to keep fans amused. Literally, there is something happens between every half-inning to keep fans entertained.

Hell, a lot of times the baseball game is almost secondary to the families that brings their young kids their for what is really a relatively affordable entertainment option for a summer evening.

How many people do you see keeping a box score at an R-Phils game nowadays? It is almost zero to the games I have been to in the past few years.

The only thing pisses me off about the Reading Phils that pisses me off to no end to see a city that is literally bankrupt engaging in what is really just corporate welfare in contributing to the financing of the ugprades this offseason. Just ridiculous. Then again so is alot of other corporate welfare that local and state governments engage in this state at much larger scales.

Screwball is a pretty crappy mascot but the R-Phils have largely downplayed him over the years. He is still far and away superior to the 'Rubbish Ranger' who advocating recycling/putting trash in bins during games in the late 80s/early 90s.

TTI - I will say this in the R-Phils defense though. At least they aren't raising ticket prices for the 2011 season. They also have free & abundant parking which isn't always the case at minor league stadiums.

Phils' prospects will continue to come through Reading as they have since '67 because if I recall right the R-Phils have a deal signed with the City of Reading through 2022.

My 2 cents:

Personally, I would like to see Domoninc Brown spend another year in AAA, espcially to refine his defensive skills. John Mayberry Jr, has runs well and has a good arm, but seems to have a bit of a loop in his swing that makes him vulnerable to breaking pitches.

That leaves a Franciso/Gload platoon. To some of us old timers, it evokes memories of the Jay Johnstone/Ollie Brown platoon in 1976. With this starting pitching, the Phillies might be able to get by with it during the regular season. Butr as we saw last year, every weakness gets magnified in the post season.

Ideally, Dom Brown would spend at least a couple more months in AAA but with Werth gone, there's a ton of pressure to bring up the young phenom immediately.


Still, I dont think they'll start the season with him in RF barring a huge spring training from him.

Jack: You ignore the fact that Hall is not only a superior defender to Francisco, but he plays more positions, has more power and has more speed.

Hall will outslug Francisco this season and provide more of the RH power, speed and defense that the team is losing in Werth.

Jack: In any event, the discussion wasn't Francisco vs. Hall. It was Francisco vs. Ibanez and Victorino.

Do you think Francisco should start over those two guys?

awh: I guarantee you that the average NL corner outfielder did NOT hit .255/.329 with a HR every 41 PA.

Not even close.

Clout: So you just made the Pedro Feliz argument for Hall (defense and some pop makes his horrendous AVG and OBP acceptable)? Interesting.

Also, since 2006, Hall has stolen 28 bases and been caught 23 times. He's a real burner out there, huh? In that time Francisco has stolen 26 bases and been caught 12 times.

Try again.

Bill Hall has slugged more than Ben Fran once in the last 4 years.

http://www.fangraphs.com/comparison.aspx?playerid=4677&playerid2=1605&playerid3=&position=OF&page=2&type=full

In those four years, he has never had a better OBP.

http://www.fangraphs.com/comparison.aspx?playerid=4677&playerid2=1605&playerid3=&position=OF&page=1&type=full

I mean, I doubt that Benny will turn into a new Werth, but there is nothing wrong with the guy as a 4th outfielder, and/or platoon guy. Clout maybe you're right that some folks are too bullish on Benny, but it sounds like you're overly pessimistic about a capable role player with maybe a touch of upside left.

Is Francisco a good starter for a championship team? No. Should he start over Ibanez or Victorino? Definitely not everyday, though he should start against a good amount of lefties for Ibanez.

Is he as good or better an option than Bill Hall? Yes.

Marc H: I think the argument you make about the Phils being able to afford a subpar platoon is actually a counter to your stance of wanting Dom to stay in AAA to improve.

The best experience/training Dom can get is in the majors, so if you think the team can afford to carry a less than stellar RF, wouldn't that be the perfect situation for Dom to start?

A chick with the perfect ass gives pause. Ben Fran doesn't.

Do we have pictures of this perfect ass?

I mean, the thread seems lacking without.

A's sign Balfour and now a deal (pending a physical) on Fuentes.

Interesting.

A's seem to have been quietly going about their small payroll business with aplomb.

OOML: For sure, they've had one of the best off-seasons in all of baseball. They look like the favorite to win the AL West this year.

b_a_p: I like the moves they have made thus far, including the non-signing of Beltre. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the notion of the A's being the division favorite...like setting them up for some kind of jinxed failure, a la the Mariners of last season.

It wouldn't be too surprising if Billy bundled up an arm or two in exchange for a "big bat" but if not, I'm okay with the incremental improvement they've made with the addition of Willingham & DeJesus - along with the nice pitching additions.

They've still got five players who are arbitration eligible, who have yet to be signed...tap, tap, tapping my fingers.


Whoops...

Musn't forget about Matsui. I don't expect greatness out of him, but I expect he will be incrementally better than Cust was as the A's DH. (I will miss Cust, btw.)

Represent Philly with a free t-shirt. How to get one? Enter our contest. Details here.

Jack: I know you've written more words of praise about Pedro Feliz than any other Phillie by wide margin, but Hall has considerably more power than he does. And speed is not defined by stolen base %. And Hall plays all over the diamond, a fact you keep ignoring. That makes him more valuable than Francisco.

In any event, Hall is not coming here and, again, that was not what the debate was about. It was about whether Benny Fran should play more often ahead of Ibanez or Vic. You seem to be saying yes.

Let's see how Benny Fran does this season. Maybe he'll change my mind.

jason/phaithful thinks it's absolutely inconceivable that Dom Brown might not be ready to be an everyday player on a championship team, but Conlin raises some issues:
http://www.philly.com/dailynews/columnists/bill_conlin/20110117_Bill_Conlin__Phillies_are_looking_for_Mr__Right_field_.html

clout: thanks for the link, i wish i could comment on it, but i had to stop reading after Conlin opened up a paragraph: "Francisco is a fine outfielder".

I'm suprised that MLBTR posting hasn't inspired anyone to propose a Blanton for Joba deal on here yet.

Just for the record. There are two Bob's who post here. The other one Bob is the one griping about insight. For me, I'm happy to get ANY news about the Phils in these gray days.

JW gave that Bob some insight.

I fed my hopeless optimism by listening to the talking heads on MLB's Rookie Career Development Program.

"It was about whether Benny Fran should play more often ahead of Ibanez or Vic. You seem to be saying yes."

Actually, I said this: "Is Francisco a good starter for a championship team? No. Should he start over Ibanez or Victorino? Definitely not everyday, though he should start against a good amount of lefties for Ibanez."

Clout's reading comprehension skills must be laughably bad. I obviously said Francisco should NOT start over Victorino at all, and he should only start over Ibanez against some lefties. That would be nowhere close to "more often."

Jason Tp:

You make a valid point--Brown would have the luxury of not having to be a star on a line up filled with so many weapons. My concern is that he will struggle at the outset, press and have his confidence hurt in the long run. Major league baseball is filled with examples of players who have been rushed, most recently Marlon Byrd, who later became a fine major league player after struggling for years. I just think that a player who is not widely known to be available now will become available as the season progresses and team want to shed payroll. I am hoping for a 1 year rental, let Brown develop and then have Brown play full time in 2012.

clout: "jason thinks its absolutely inconcievable that Dom wont be ready as an everyday player on a champinship team"

Thats weird, every single post this entire offseason I have made on the subject has called for a right handed platoon mate to help Dom out - but clout says I find it inconcievable that Dom wouldn't be an everyday player.

I guess clout doesn't understand the definition of everyday vs platoon, cause if he did that would mean he is changing another poster's words around to fit his argument... and we all know he wouldn't do that.

Marc: Also a very valid point, and you are right, there have been plenty of examples of players coming up too soon and ruining their confidence and affecting their development.

My opinion is that i'd rather take that gamble with Brown then take the gamble of hoping a quality rental shakes loose or that a current available player has the ability to give the Phillies enough performance.

It truly is mid-winter if we spend this much time and energy arguing whether Francisco's mediocre skills leave him slightly above or slightly below average. I still think it's enough to give him an honorary WAR of zero.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not overly optimistic about Francisco's coming 2011. I'd much prefer we had, say, Holliday, McCutcheon or Braun in the OF (and line-up). But that ain't happening. So we live with a small, minor, negligible hole in the line up to go with the best starting rotation in baseball. I can live with it.

" It was about whether Benny Fran should play more often ahead of Ibanez or Vic."


Wow, I must have missed that part of the debate.

All I've said about Ben Fran is that, based on lifetime OPS+, he's a slightly above average hitter, and he's better than a lot of other OF who start for other teams.

Just thought I'd stop in to see what's going on at Beerleaguer.

Imagine my shock to read this thread where clout is consistently misconstruing what other people say in order to - in his mind but not in any other reader's - win an argument.

Shocking.

Apropos of nothing - this is an interesting article about the next HOFer to go into Cooperstown with a Phillies' hat...

http://www.reclinergm.com/who-will-be-the-next-phillie-in-the-hall-of-fame/

Pete - a Sheryl Crow quote! It adds to bap's eclectic count nicely.

Pete-way to crosspost your "blogpost" on all Phillies blogs.

/It's a good read, though.

Jason,
Ben Franc is a "fine OF" line from the story reminds me of the local-ish TV legend Ernie Kovacs' line. "Television, a medium...so called because it is neither rare nor well done."

flipper/phlipper: Once again proving his obsession, with 98% of his posts directed at me.

jason/phaithful: You are correct. I should have omitted the word "everyday."

Allow me to rephrase the statement to make it accurate:

"jason thinks it's absolutely inconcievable that Dom won't be ready to play on a championship team"

awh: Please list the starting corner outfielders in the NL who aren't as good as Benny Fran.

"jason thinks it's absolutely inconceivable that Dom won't be ready to play on a championship team"

I don't think it's "inconceivable" (nor do I believe that anyone else does), but it's far from a certainty.

There are arguments to be made that he can/will/should spend the season in Philadelphia, but I'm more convinced that a full season in Allentown is more likely and more beneficial for both Brown and the team.

No one is arguing that Francisco is > or = Ibanez, Victorino, Werth or anybody else, but he bats right handed and he's logged a lot more time in the majors than Brown, and their career numbers in the minors aren't dramatically dissimilar.

Francisco: .291/.357/.459 (124 SB in 7 seasons)
Brown: .296/.373/.464 (89 SB in 5 seasons)

From Conlin's article

"Both Francisco and John Mayberry are fine outfielders but neither has the range or arm of Werth. Both are average-to-slightly-above runners, but neither has the long-striding, straight-line speed of Werth."

One thing that gets constantly overrated at this point is Werth's range/arm. He notably struggled in the 1st half yr defensively at times and he looks to me like a guy isn't nearly the 'Glove-Glove caliber' he gets made out to be anymore.

Still a decent defensive OF but he has the looks of a guy who should be playing LF full-time in 2 years.

Vic defensively:

He will likely have to really earn his Gold Glove this season if he wins another one because Ibanez has little range to his left and most nights he will be playing with a mediocre fielder in RF.

Still won't be as bad though as Rasmus. Hoped he practiced a lot of running this offseason becasue an OF of Holliday and Berkman respectively in LF & RF promises to be one of the worst ones defensively in the NL in a while.

I would say Fransisco is not "fine" as in "fine china" but fine as in " o he's not sick , he's fine".

MG: Werth's arm is very good & his speed allows him to make some plays that other right fielders wouldn't make. But, much like Utley, he misplays far too many routine balls to be considered Gold Glove caliber.

Two Bobs? Hmmmn! One of you needs to come up with an adjective for your name. You could, for example, be Disco Bob, Philly Bob, Altoona Bob, Mainline Bob or Lehigh Bob.

As for Ben Francisco, IMO he's a bench player. Dom will be the starter.

Not that it was a direct comparison, but if I can't get any assurances that Dom Brown>>Marlon Byrd in the long run, then screw the argument about starting him in RF to start the season. Frankly, I expect a bit more.

Like I said, I know that wasn't the direct comparison and the point was on rushing him to MLB, but it made me cringe a bit. Bird has had a fine career, but unless I'm crazy, DB's expectations are slightly higher.

I'm struggling to understand why so many think he's a lock to start back in AAA. They thought enough of him to put him on the postseason roster and that was before Werth walked....

clout, I said MLB, not just the NL. "Starting" OF are not definite, as some guys platoon, so I used guys who got at least 250 PA in 2010.


Also, since you used the term "aren't", I'm going to ass-u-me you mean present tense, or currently. Some of these players may develop into better OF than Ben Fran, but so far they have not demonstrated such.


List of MLB corner OF who, IMO, are not as good as Ben Fran (taken from team lists on b-r.com):


clout

Zobrist
Joyce
Lewis
Pie
Patterson
Pierre
Kearns
Duncan
Gordon
Saunders
Rivera
Gross
Sweeney
Parra
Jackson
Spilborghs
Hairston
Denorfia
Schierholtz
Milledge
Tabata
Harris

OF who are marginally better:

DeJesus
Seth Smith (maybe)
Venable (maybe)
Ross
Fukudome (maybe)
Nady (maybe)
Gomes (maybe)
Morse (maybe)
Francouer (maybe)


Now, if you want to include CF (even though Ben Fran ain't a great CF) then you have:

Crowe
Maier
Gomez

Zobrist went from the best player in all of baseball to worse than Ben Fran

not that i want to get involved, but awh, if you want to name starters, you gotta up the PA count to at least 400ish. 250PA includes all the platoon guys.

jason.tp, exactly. Who are the "starters"?

Guess how many corner OF got 400 PA last season? (and some of them subbed as DH)

Yo, newer thread

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