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Tuesday, January 04, 2011


I think we should kick the tires on Dye. He's a corner outfielder who was a good hitter. He could be a good influence on Dom Brown too.

Better to just let him continue to Dye.

Oooo...Larish and Meyer....intriguing!

I'm sticking with Scott Hairston's versatility as a CF(and even a bit of 2B), and career vs LHP OPS north of .820 as a solid 25th man.

Didn't we get Orr, too?

This post would have been much more exciting with the Bundesliga lady reading it.

Dye? He hasn't played in over a year and has supposedly turned down several one-year offers because he was looking for 8-10 mil per, possibly on a multi-year deal. And he's one of the worst defensive OFs around.

No thanks.

Larish doesn't intrigue me at all and Meyer is just AAA bullpen depth. The only non-roster invitee I find intriguing is Matt Miller, who has posted monster minor league numbers (albeit, in the thin air of Colorado).

Actually, I'll make an addendum to that last post. I have a soft spot for minor league journeymen who put up big numbers but don't get any love from major league teams. So, even though it's only a token gesture & he has no plausible chance of making the team, I'm happy to see Tagg Bozied getting a look-see. You might even say I'm moderately intrigued.

Scott Hairston at 1 year $1M would be a nice signing.

What about Andruw Jones for backup outfielder, pinch-hitter blaster?

I'd like the Phils to try and sign Flores, Byrdak, or the recently released Clay Rapada to a minor league deal.

Clay Rapada? I officially nominate you for elevation to Beerleaguer Elite status.

I would be just as excited about Clay Rapada signing as Vic Darensbourg. Really. Hard to believe but exactly as excited.

Scott Hairston would be a great 25th man. Love it if that happens.

Beltre to the Rangers for 5 years, $90-100 million with a vesting option for a 6th year supposedly.

Yeah, they're gonna regret that one.

Howard's deal is looking better all the time.

I wonder how much Jose Guillen will get paid by someone this year to produce less than 100 OPS+. Someone's bound to do it. I seriously doubt Junior will.

Rube would never sign a guy like Guillen. Our FO cares way too much about character and team guys to do that.

NEPP - The three most similar players to Hairston?

Wily Mo Pena
Karim Garcia
Art Shamsky

So, I guess, yeah 25th man. Not 24th. Never 23rd.

If Beltre plays out the string like every year is a contract year, he'll be worth that deal. Of course, we know, based on history, that he will immediately regress to his non-contract year norms.

If he was able only to sign annual contracts Adrian Beltre would be bound for the HOF.

Maybe I'm missing something but I've never understood all the Scott Hairston love on Beerleaguer. Fine, he can hit left-handers a little -- but not nearly well enough to offset his absolutely horrid hitting against right-handers, whom he'll be facing in a good 60% of his ABs (more if he actually has to start for any length of time).

Man, remember all the "Lets trade for Wily Mo" discussions there have been on BL over the years.

BAP, its because he's versatile and he'd be a 25th man. Nobody's suggesting he should ever or could ever be a starter. Also, he sucked in 2010 but he was pretty solid for the 3 years prior to that.

Either Hairston would work for me. Though Jerry would probably be a better fit for a 25th man utility guy as he can play more positions.

Hard to believe a team that already has Young would overpay that much for Beltre. Boras must have some kind of advanced mind meld technology that he uses on weak minded GMs. There's no other way to explain it. And if you watch Boras closely, he's clearly not human.

ARod, Chan Ho Park, and now Beltre. I know ownership is different now, but what is it with that team and overpaying Boras clients? Not one of them has turned into what they thought they would, but the Rangers continue to sign Boras' clients.

****If Beltre plays out the string like every year is a contract year, he'll be worth that deal.****

Hell, if he could do that, he'd probably be worth a Howardesque deal.

****Hard to believe a team that already has Young would overpay that much for Beltre. Boras must have some kind of advanced mind meld technology that he uses on weak minded GMs. There's no other way to explain it. And if you watch Boras closely, he's clearly not human. ****

Its the classic "well we missed out on the guys we wanted but we still have all this cash burning a hole through our pocket so lets sign someone" deals. Its like when a shopper goes out at 5am on Black Friday for that $200 HD tv deal at Best Buy, finds out they're already sold out and "settles" on the $400 HD tv that they didnt really want.

Also, Michael Young should get the ultimate team player trophy or something. 3 times he's had to switch positions for them due to a FA signing.

Sentimentally, it would have been nice to see Taylor Bucholz in a Phils uni - he's a local kid.

Did he sign with the Mets because he felt there was a better chance to make the team?

aksmith, Boras has the ability to threated Texas management with a power that was exhibited in the movie "Scanners".

If they don't do what he says he'll make their heads explode.

Incidently, bap, I agree on Miller. It will be interesting to see what he does in ST. He's hit at every level. And even though some of that might be skewed by his location, his BB/K is pretty solid. He kinda looks like a RH Rizzoti who can play corner OF.

Hey man, Karim Garcia and Wily Month used to the EA sports game.

Okay my BB turned "Mo " into month.

NEPP, agree. Texas must have felt like they had to do "something" after their WS appearance and after missing on Lee. IMHO, though, they would have been better off waiting Beltre out.

However, it's possible they signed him, in part, not only to make themselves better, but to keep LAA from getting better.

Still, I'll bet anyone here a case of beer that, based on Beltre's track record, they'll regret that contract in a year or two when he's right back to the old tricks he pulled in SEA.

Horrible signing then, and IMHO a horrible signing now.

"Its because he's versatile and he'd be a 25th man"

Is he really that versatile? He played 2nd base in 2004, but he has spent all of 1.2 innings there in the last 6 years. He's essentially a backup corner outfielder, who can play CF in a pinch. I like the Andruw Jones idea much better.

"If Romero flunks his physical,"

No chance of that happening as long as he keeps taking his supplements.

***Is he really that versatile? He played 2nd base in 2004, but he has spent all of 1.2 innings there in the last 6 years. He's essentially a backup corner outfielder, who can play CF in a pinch. ***

I confused my Hairstons...I was thinking of Jerry when I wrote that.

I'm actually liking the Andruw Jones idea better lately as well. No idea how much his bat has slowed, so it's not a slam dunk. But he's at least likely to be an average corner outfielder who could play center, badly, in a pinch.

If he'll sign for 1.5, I don't see why they wouldn't take a chance. Unless they like Martinez a whole lot more than the rest of us probably do.

But I'd rather see them keep a guy like Sweeney on the roster and use one less reliever whenever possible than just pick up a warm body for the outfield or keep one too many relievers. At least the guy can still hit a little and not complain about playing time.

Benny Fran
Domo Brown




The Four Aces and Blanton


I think you could subtract Baez from this list and have a team ready to go, if they really want to keep Martinez.

I saw Wily Mo play for some CT based team vs. Lancaster this summer. He looked fat and his swing was LOONNNGGG. He also got drilled (Possibly by Alfonseca, who looked FFFFFAAAATTTT) big time.

I think you guys are underrating Beltre. He is a truly great defensive third baseman, for one thing, so he provides enormous value there. And, while his offensive numbers have indeed fluctuated, remember that they were suppressed by Safeco for years. He should do much better in Texas (though possibly not as well as he did last year in Boston). Also, how does his relatively weak final year for Seattle not count as a 'contract year'?

I admittedly overrate Scott Hairston because of how bad he's raked against the Phils, especially at CBP. But all in all, still would be a fit in my opinion. The Andruw Jones thing is a pretty cool idea too. He probably would be more of an impact as pop off the bench from the right side.

Thats really what I think this team is lacking - power off the bench from the right side and a capable CF option to spell Victorino. Jones and Hairston are really the only ones who can be said to do both at this point in free agency - obviously with degrees of how well they can do it.

Non sequitur time. Here’s a bizarre, semi-rant by a NY Times “sportswriter” regarding Jack Morris not making the HOF:

If Pee Wee Reese and Phil Rizzuto are in, why not? Morris appeared to be the best of a brief era defined by when he pitched (praising with faint damns?).

That article is terrible. Morris had nothing close to a HOF career, big moment or not. If he were actually borderline, then, yeah, I can see the argument that the big moment pushes him in. But he's not borderline. He was about the same quality pitcher as Al Leiter.

I agree with R, put Al in the hall!

I saw Wily Mo coach 1st base for the Chattanooga Lookouts back when he was in the Reds Organization. He was no Lopes, but I felt like he did solid work over there...Do we still have an opening at 1b Coach?

re: prospects

I was reading some projections of the farm assignments for the Phils this year, and looks like Clearwater's rotation is set up like this:


That is a pretty impressive minor league rotation in terms of depth and prospect status. Everyone knows the top 3, but Pettibone and Shreve are both 6'5 +200lb righties coming off good years. Pettibone will be 20 and is someone the Phillies busted slot in a pretty big way and his pitched to his potential so far, while Shreve is a couple years older and coming off his first year since an early tommy john surgery.

Most of the attention will go on the top 3(as it should), but both Pettibone and Shreve could pitch themselves up the prospect list this year in a pretty big way - with everyone's favorite sleeper julio rodriguez knocking on the door in Lakewood.

Jason: Hopefully May carries over his improved control from the end of last season. If he does that, he could move up to AA at mid-season and Julio Rodriguez would replace him at Clearwater.

Yeah, nice looking rotation there. I think Shreve's my pick for Prospect Most Likely to Impress* this year.

*other than the guys who are expected to do well.

Trevor May's BB/9 in each of his first 3 pro seasons: 5.2, 5.0, 5.4.

I suppose you could say his last half season is the accurate reflection and 3 full seasons are not.

I wouldn't say that.

Here's what I say: Let's see if he can improve on his 7.8 BB/9 in 16 games at Clearwater last season in his second try at that level.

jason/phaithful: Totally agree with you on Pettibone and Shreve.

Pettibone made great strides in improving his K/BB last year and will need to continue that since he's not overpowering. Shreve was old for the level in the Sally, but he was strictly a lottery ticket coming out of college because of the TJ surgery. He threw as hard as 96 in college before the surgery, reportedly was around 90-93 last season. His changeup has plus potential and my guess is that pitch will ultimately determine whether he makes The Show or not. Both are well worth watching this season.

"Heres what 'I' say:"


BBeard: Yeah I will be rooting hard for that pick to come true, Shreve is also one of my favorites to check on as well. The fact that the Braves drafted and tried to sign him the year prior almost is a lock that he's got some potential - every arm they touch seem to have an edge over others.

clout: where did you see his fastball numbers? I never saw them before.

Isn't the rule of thumb that TJ doesnt hurt velocity, and can even increase it?

Count me as not impressed by May. But I do look for both Pettibone and Shreve to do well. That is a very good (RH) rotation. I wonder how long the season will progress before a couple of them head to Reading.

jason/phaithful: I saw it somewhere, possibly the "scouting the sally" blog. TJ certainly can increase velocity. But it is also true that some pitchers never come back from TJ surgery or when they do, their stuff never recovers. It doesn't have a 100% success rate. In any event, the second year back usually tells the tale on TJ surgery and if he's already at 90-93 he should be fine. Even if his velocity stays at that level he'll be fine as long as the changeup continues to improve.

Is it possible that in 5 years the Phillies will be what many posters here have long wanted: A light-hitting, small-ball team with great pitching and defense?

"Is it possible that in 5 years the Phillies will be what many posters here have long wanted: A light-hitting, small-ball team with great pitching and defense?"

5 years? It sounds like you just described next year's team.

BAP: at least your consistent.

Sports story of the future:

"The fleet 2015 Phillies outfield trio of Jiwan James-Aaron Altherr-Domonic Brown stole 200 bases and scored 300 runs to set a team record while also hitting a total of 25 HRs."

"Firstbaseman Jonathan Singleton led the team with 15 HRs, a career best, and a .470 slugging average."

jason: Not entirely. I stepped out of character a bit by saying we have great pitching and defense.

BAP: I know you can't tell from reading Beerleaguer, but the Phillies finished second in the NL in runs scored last season.

Even if they replaced Werth's production with only what Francisco did extrapolated over 162 games and Howard-Rollins-Utley repeated their down years, the Phillies would STILL be in the top 5 in runs scored this coming season.

clout, as long as team ace Cole Hamels has an ERA of 0.71, and the rest of the staff pitches accordingly, they should be just fine.

with regards to the original post; it appears Capuano is slated to compete for the back end of the starting rotation for the Mets. Best guess is that they are worried that Santana is out much longer than originally expected and are adding some depth.

Ralph, Not Ralph: That's correct. In fact, the Brewers let Capauno go because he wanted to be a starter and they only had interest in him as a reliever. I think he's a good cheap signing by the Mets.

I actually thought Capuano was headed for stardom back in 2005 & 2006. Ever since, I've been hoping the Phillies would take a flier on him. At this point, though, I share the Brewers' view that he's best suited to pitching relief. I suspect that's where he'll wind up this year and it wouldn't surprise me at all if he were quite effective in that role.

"Best guess is that they are worried that Santana is out much longer than originally expected and are adding some depth."

bap, as is, last I heard Santana was expected to miss the first half of the season.

Not that the Mets are expected to compete this season, but even if it's only until then they'll still need to add depth.

From what I understand Santana's injury/surgery is so rare that they don't have a lot of data to extrapolate/predict what his recovery might be.

NYC Spanish language sports radio says Durbin and Phils exchanged offers and he wants a raise from his last contract. Ballsy.

****In any event, the second year back usually tells the tale on TJ surgery and if he's already at 90-93 he should be fine. Even if his velocity stays at that level he'll be fine as long as the changeup continues to improve.****

I heard reports on his velocity as lower than 90-93 but who knows. Minor league radar guns are iffy sometimes. Shreve could be in line for a breakout year or he might never develop due to the time missed.

****NYC Spanish language sports radio says Durbin and Phils exchanged offers and he wants a raise from his last contract. Ballsy.****

Dont let the door hit you in the arse on the way out, Chad.

I am cautiously for bringing Durbin back. He's been quite the horse of the pen the past 3 seasons. At the same time though, I have this nagging feeling he's due for one of those dreadful seasons relievers have where they can't record an out without loading the bases first. I read Gelb today say both sides are talking and feel they can work something out.

Bringing him back is him a raise is not.

No room ; raise or not

There's room...if Worley starts off in AAA and/or Blanton is traded.

But, considering that, I dont see Durbin back...especially with a raise.

Durbin's back in Limbo?

Just read a couple NL East tidbits:

Dan Uggla agreed to a deal with the Braves for 5/62. It's supposedly the highest AAV for a 2B ever. (What's Utley's AAV? For some reason I thought it was higher than 12) and Adam LaRoche agreed to a deal with the Nats.

probably a good move for the Braves for the next 1-3 years (age 31-33 seasons) at most. Can't see him holding up well after that. I'd bet on nothing higher than 105 OPS+ production from him in his 33-35 seasons and he won't be at second anymore. Not great from a $12M+ corner OF. Geoff Jenkins mid-30s but a bigger financial commitment. Maybe not.

well, maybe a bit better than Jenkins. Jenkins was out of baseball after 33. Thought he was closer to 35 in 08.

Durbin since joining the Phillies:

194 G, 226 IP, 188 K, 109 BB, 7.9 K/9, 4.3 BB/9, 1.367 WHIP, 3.62 ERA, 117 ERA+

An short DL trip in 2010 and an injury plagued 2009 where he wasn't very effective have dampened enthusiasm for him, I think, but if you look at his overall track record since being in Philly, when he's been healthy he's been just about as effective as any middle reliever in baseball. Granted, the numbers above are skewed by a fantastic 2008, but 2008 cancelled that out. If his 2010 ERA, 3.80 (admittedly not the most important stat for a reliever), is what we can expect, than for a middle relief guy, that's pretty good. The big question, IMO, is can he stay healthy.

Now, these are seperate questions from whether or not he deserves a raise, and with the top 4 guys in the rotation, how much need will their be for him?

Mr. Amaro really screwed the other GM's by the whole "mystery team" thing. Now Pavano's agent has one.

Good golly, I thought we'd heard the last of Durbin when they signed Cliffie.

If they have room to sign Durbin, and GASP, give him a raise, they should have gone for one of the more expensive lefties.

Pavano gets his three year contract. Blanton looks like a deal in comparison and the Phils sign Durbin. Ruben is a genius. We're probably still the mystery team.

I would like to see Durbin back although if they keep Blanton it helps blunt that a bit.

No way he gets a raise from any team though. I am frankly surprised he is looking for a raise instead of some team willing to give him a 2-year commitment at larger overall dollars with a smaller annual price tag.

Something like DJ Carrasco got from the Mets with a slightly higher 2-year total than $2.4M.

Wasn't Durbin supposedly (or at least his agent) trying to float the possibility of him waiting to return to being a starter too earlier this offseason?

Utley's contract 7/85 has an AAV over the life of his contract of $12,142,857.

62/5 is $12.4 MM.

Oops, last sentence @ 8:15 should say "there" instead of "their".

Rather sign A. Jones than Durbin at this point.

Phils are still going to be a team that hits at least 150 HRs and finishes in the top half in the NL in HRs next year. Not exactly a 'light-hitting team.' Just a far cry from the team that we got accustomed to mashing 200+ HRs this past decade on an annual basis.

Uggla is going to do a 60 day stint on the DL this year and then they can complain about the ballpark measurements again.

Has anybody seen young Andruw recently? Is it worth it? Yanks supposedly like him too. I justs don't see him as that versatile anymore nor do I think he can take over for Dom if he sucks it up.

After his performance in NLCS Game #4 last year, how can they seriously consider bringing Durbin back??

Not that I like Romero any better than Durbin. Charlie's reluctance to use him against Sandoval in a key situation spoke volumes about his confidence level in JC. Romero is 35 years old; suddenly he's going to find control??

I hope that players are still as upset over losing the NLCS as I am. Maybe they'll come back hungrier in 2011 than they were in 2010.

MG, 2011 hypothetically, assuming a rebound from Howard, Utley and Rollins because they actually stay relatively healthy:

Howard - 42
Utley - 28
Rollins - 17
Ibanez - 24 (10 HR in 340 PA in 2nd half vs 6 in 296 in 1st half)
Victorino - 16
Chooch - 8
Ben Fran - 11
Brown - 8
Polly - 6

...might be what we can expect from the starters, assuming they stay healthy.

The above totals to 160, so how many would the bench hit? Another 20? Maybe? The bench hit 36 last year.

Marc H, way to judge a guy by his entire body of work.

Does that mean we should dump Oswalt because he blew Game 4?

Interesting stat from Crashburn Alley on JRoll:

"Nearly 46 percent of Rollins’ batted balls were on the ground last year, which is a good thing when he’s healthy and able to use his speed to its full potential. Although Rollins appears to be in decline, he was mostly BABIP-unlucky on ground balls in 2010. Rollins’ BABIP on 147 total ground balls was .137, much lower than the league average .236. Had Rollins benefited from a .236 BABIP instead, he’d have had 15 more hits to his name and his batting average would have risen to .286 from .243."

Durbin's been a fine middle reliever but the question is where does he fit unless Worley is in Triple A. If Worley beats out Kendrick for the 5th starter spot, then Kendrick will become the middle man. Barring some kind of ST fiasco, I am betting that both Worley and KK go north with the club in April.

On the other hand, if they're willing to eat the rest of Baez's contract, then Durbin may have a role.

I can see Durbin coming back. But I can also see him not. He's like Romero in the sense taht at least you know what you've got. He wants a raise but I doubt the Phils will give him one, and I also doubt that Durbin has offers from other teams. I mean, he could have, maybe another team would have signed him already.

On the Blanton trade front, I fear RAJ will trade him to move the salary and get nothing in return. Woth pitching at a premium as always, value should be coming back. Of course, there's no hurry. One thing they should not do is trade him and eat salary unless they get a nice RH bat in return.

Perci Garner, the pitching equivalent of a toolsy position player. He's 22 and pitched 4 innings at Williamsport. He was a high-strikeout power pitcher at Ball State who signed late. Might have some control issues.

What level do you start him this year?

clout - If it isn't as a starter, I don't think Worley goes north with the club.

awh - Part of it is 'luck' but how many weak grounders last year did JRoll pull? Seemed like an awful lot of them.

Hey remember that Braves 3B countless errors in key games. I'm Looking for Uggla to do the same for the next 4 years.

I'm all for the Phillies to be done and re-tool bullpen or RH bat during the season.

I think Mayberry gets a shot before Martinez or Sweeney

Also, Durbin or Bastardo/Scott M. some more innings and see what they can do. Plus we are paying Baez, letts give him the mop up time. I still think with the Phab 4 with Blanton/Kendrick, I say we need a smaller bullpen and would like to see platoons in left and right - a deeper bench with more at bats throughout - makes it better when we need it.

Perci is likely a 3-4 starter in Lakewood in my opinion. Julio and Biddle above him.

Regarding roster space for Durbin . . . everyone is assuming that Bastardo is a lock to make the team as the second lefty in the pen. However, he does have options left and, if he has a bad spring training, it's not inconceivable that he could find himself back at AAA to start the season. I don't think it will happen and I don't want it to happen. But it's not outside the realm of possibility, particularly if we do bring Durbin back.

awh - I don't think Utley hits 28 HRs nor do I think that Ibanez hits over 20 HRs either although I am curious to see how he looks again in spring training (which has almost always been an indicator on how he will start out in April).

It is conceivable the Phils could hit below 150 HRs though but unlikely as long as they stay relatively healthy.

Bill James for what is worth:

Howard - 43
Utley - 26
Ibanez - 20
Victorino - 16
Rollins - 15
Francisco - 10 (330 PAs)
Ruiz - 9
Polanco - 8
Gload - 4 (145 PAs)

151 with the WC being Brown. James has him at 26 HRs and getting 596 PA. Obviously, that full-time regular in RF which is pretty unlikely.

Unless the Phils add somebody likes A. Jones, my bet is the Phils hit less HRs than they did this year (166 HRs) but more than 150 HRs. They will also only have two 20+ HRs guys for the first time since '02 (Burrell had 37 and Abreu had 20).

****What level do you start him this year?****

I'd guess that he starts out in extended spring training and then goes to Williamsport again. Maybe Lakewood if he has a really strong spring but he's very very raw.

MG, I just took a look at their historical HR/PA stats and tried to extrapolate it myself. Interesting, because I'm not that far off of James' number.

He has one less HR from Utley and Howard than I do, and one less from Francisco, though I had Ben Fran getting 350 PA, which probably accounts for the difference.

I also believe Ibanez will be closer to his historical HR/PA (27.1 since his age 35 season) than people think, because IMO he essentially played hurt the last half of 2009 and the first half of 2010 (post-surgery). Even with his 2009 injury, his '07-'10 HR/PA of 27.1 is an improvement from the 27.7 he posted from ages 29-34, albeit in less HR friendly parks. Thus, if he's healthy and has been able to do is typical offseason conditioning program I think he'll hit for more power than you or James do. AAMOF, I think he's a good bet to go on one of his hot streaks like he did in the first half of '09 (though probably not THAT hot) and you'll see Charlie bat him behind Howard again.

It's interesting that James is more optimistic about Chooch and Polly than I am, and waaay more optimistic about Dom Brown.

I realize Brown had growing pains and didn't play a lot last season, and I agree he has the "tools", but I didn't see anythink last season that leads me to believe he'll hit for more power than Rollins. That's just my opinion based on what I saw and is obviously at odds with many scouts and Brown's historical numbers, but from what I saw of the player, that's what I think. I would love to be proven wrong.

IMHO I's be happy with a .269/.330/.416 season from Brown in about 400 PA. As I posted above, I have him at 8 HR, and I think 4 triples and 25 doubles is about what he'll have (though I may be optimistic on those).

Way late on this, but I wouldn't mind seeing the Phils put in a call to Marcus Thames. All the guy does is crush lefthanded pitching. Worst case scenario he could spot into the 5 hole and break up the middle of the order against LH starters, or keep LOOGYs from tearing through the middle of the order. Wouldn't mind Andruw Jones either, though I'm not sure what kind of range he has at this point.

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