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Thursday, March 10, 2011


"Ramirez looks like prospect to me."

How dare you! We all know the only return we got for Cliff Lee was a bag of magic beans!

The Ben Fran thing today is not really as bad as you're making it out to be. He got picked off but it wasn't falling asleep or anything on the bases. The pitcher started his wind-up and Ben Fran started to move towards second and the pitcher threw over behind him and Fran was dead to rights. Wasn't a boneheaded play but more a play where he was trying to be overly aggressive.

It looks like Mayberry is tired of AAA ball.

Francisco got 2 hits, drove in a run, threw a guy out on the basepaths, and is hitting .345 for spring training. I think we can give him a pass for getting picked off 1st.

Lake Fred: I said a few threads ago that the Brown injury is a HUGE opportunity for him. He'll come north with the club and should get some real chances to show what he can do.

Ramirez had a fantastic fastball today, located low in the zone and on the corners and with good sink.

His off-speed stuff, though, needs serious work.

Jack: Really good looking fastball. "Heavy" as they call it. The slider was really inconsistent.


The problem with Rizzotti is that he doesn't have Cust's power. He can hit and he's got some patience, but he doesn't have enough raw power. Cust isn't really a good comp at all, actually. Cust was a TTO player (walk, strikeout, or HR), while Rizzotti puts the ball in play much more.

His best-case scenario is like a .280/.360/.470 hitter with negative defensive and no baserunning value. So Hideki Matsui last year.

That doesn't get you all that far if that's your maximum upside, and that's only been based on hitting bad pitching at low levels.

"That doesn't get you all that far if that's your maximum upside, and that's only been based on hitting bad pitching at low levels"

FWIW, wasn't Rizzotti's ceiling 2 years ago seen as MAYBE getting to AA?

Heather, I know nothing about Rizotti's history or what the scouts projected, I just know he's blocked by an untradeable contract at the MLB level.

That's why I asked what he might fetch in a trade.

Also, even if he got called up if Howard got DL'd again, does anyone seriously think he'd start over Gload?

But if he continues to hit, maybe they can get something of value for him.

Hey, are there any teams that have lower level SS or 3B prospects which with they might be willing to part?

The Phillies used to have another outfielder who got picked off a few times last year. Can't remember his name.

Call me crazy but I am liking Mayberry's chances of being a pleasant surprise this year if they use him properly with about 200 ABs with 70-80% vs. LHP. I could see him giving the Phils a line of .260/.320/.460 with 10-12 HRs.

It just keeps getting worse for the New York Debts, errr NY Mess, I mean NY Mets.

Now, their clubhouse manager if being investigated for profiting from memorabilia and possible gambling activities.

They should just fire the Wilpons.

MG: With Brown out, I expect Mayberry to make the roster out of ST for sure.

I also think that line is definitely a possibility, especially if they give him the majority of the ABs against lefties. If a lefty throws him a mistake, he can hit it out of the park. That's a skill that, while it won't on its own get you a regular job, should give you a spot on an MLB bench somewhere.

MG: If that happens,do we have to let mvptommyd back on here?

Michael Stutes > Danys Baez. I don't care if Baez throws hitless ball for the rest of the Spring, I want Stutes on the Opening Day roster.

MG: Totally agree with you. Mayberry has lots of value if used correctly.

Jack: Was it you or someone else who bet me that Ramirez would have the least value in that trade and Gilles the most? I can't recall.

Have the Phillies been talking to the Rangers about Michael Young?

If a Phillies spokesman has denied that, you should take it as confirmation.

Scotch Man: Stutes isn't even on the 40-man roster at this point. There'd have to be a collapse of a couple of bullpen arms before he'd come north with the club. He's ticketed for AAA and is likely more of a factor for next year.

Scotch Man: Wow. Just how good of a prospect do you think Michael Stutes is?

And why?

clout: I don't think they denied talking to the Rangers. They said they inquired but that was it.

There were rumors that Kerfeld was scouting Young, but I saw some beat reporters shoot that down on Twitter.

Rosenthal's recent column suggested the Phils were not players for Young.

CJ: Maybe yes, maybe no.

"CJ: Really good looking fastball. "Heavy" as they call it. The slider was really inconsistent."

Yup, and that's his problem. His slider is great...when he can throw strikes with it.. When he can't, he's only got that fastball. Consistency is a big problem for him.

John Mayberry '11 = Wes Chamberlain '93?

- Both are 27
- Both had serious questions coming into the year about whether they could hit RHP and offspeed stuff.
- Both guys kill fastballs
- Both guys are noted for struggling behind in the count chasing their share of junk out of the zone
- Both guys were moderate pull hitters although not extreme

Chamberlain had played a fair amount in '91 and '92 largely because the Phils were terrible and their OF stunk with the exception of Dykstra in CF. Chamberlain was more of a known commodity at that point but still managed to have a very productive season in '93 while platooning in RF with Eisenreich.

For some reason though Fregosi (largely an inept dumba$$ who doubled as a chimney and didn't have the charm that Cholly does) actually had Chamberlain face more RHP than LHP pitching that season but it didn't matter. Chamberlain killed LHP pitching that year to a line of .328/.374/.612 with 9 HRs in just 134 ABs.

I don't think Mayberry has a 116+ OPS season in him like Chamberlain did in '93 but he has two things that Chamberlain didn't bring to the table - defense and speed.

Basically could see Mayberry be a fixture on this team this year who ends being a 1.0-1.5 WAR player.

Stutes could end up as a nice middle reliever...I dont see it happening this year barring several injuries to guys ahead of him.

That BB/9 rate is brutal.

Stutes is the kind of guy who is a 'flash in the pan' reliever type who you might get lucky with over a year with about 35-40 IP with an ERA that wasn't bad (say 3.75).

Just doesn't have the offspeed stuff though to stick at the MLB level though as a legit reliever

NEPP: Certainly wouldn't be the first pitching prospect who needs to refine his secondary stuff.

Definitely. The raw ability is there with him. He needs lots of work though.

Stutes biggest problem is his age. He was drafted out of college, but his stuff wasn't good enough to zip through the minors and his secondary pitches were unfinished.

He is already 24 years old and has yet to pitch a full season in Triple A. In 40 IP there last year he had a BB/9 of 5.1 and a HR/9 of 1.1.

This is why he's not on the 40-man.

goody - Possibly. Golson has played sparingly with the Yanks (6 games) and hasn't shown much so far:

1-10 with 1 HR and 2 BBs and 1 K.

Likely will get a callup at some point though if the Yanks have an injury or two in the OF.

Stutes has had a great spring, but it's not even clout day yet. He's going to be in AAA this year. We'll know a lot more about him come September. Who knows, if he's having a great year, he might get a cup of coffee when rosters expand. But my guess is he doesn't make 40-man roster until next year, assuming he has a solid AAA season.

Stutes didn't look to me to have as good stuff as Ramirez. I wasn't impressed just watching him.

Clout: I think I did have Gillies potentially producing the most, at the time of the trade, because he could provide plus defense at CF and potentially a decent bat (obviously his numbers at High-A have to be discounted heavily, you don't need to say it). That wasn't a knock on Ramirez, though, and obviously that was made before Gillies' completely lost year due to injuries and personal problems.

I actually like Ramirez and think he pitched better than he got credit for last year--his peripherals were pretty solid.

It is not like the Phils have a couple of stiffs on their 40-man roster. I know Babock is on and I suspect at least 1-2 more stiffs are too.

Jack - Family friend who is a scout thinks Ramirez will make it to MLB with the Phils but as a fastball/slider reliever with the ability to be a decent setup man if he can master his slider.

Gillies could move quickly if he's healthy. His numbers in the high desert were good even if you adjust them for ballpark.

He's not a star but he could end up as very good 4th OF on a top team/starter on a 2nd division club.

MG: I was all set to jump all over you for your Chamberlain/Mayberry comparison when you defused me by mentioning the big gap in defense.

Wes was a flat out bad defensive player. Mayberry is already above average and with experience could be a lot better than that.

Mayberry in his peak years could be a valuable platoon level guy. There's value in that.

So, Mayberry is Chamberlain with a little better defense?

Sounds like Rizotti is Incaviglia-esque?

If Blanton is really going to stay, then Kendrick will presumably be the long man. That leaves only one vacancy in our bullpen and that spot will very likely go to either Baez or Herndon, depending how each pitches for the rest of spring training.

Stutes has pitched nicely but he has very little chance of making the opening day roster.

Tigers looking for replacement for Zimaya.Maybe they'll take Baez. Would trade for any offer.

jr - Who should the Phils choose - Will Rhymes or Scott Sizemore?

Perhaps Mat Gamel is worth a shot (with Polanco moving to 2B)? How bad is he at third and what would he cost? If I'm not mistaken Milwaukee has no farm system and no real place for Gamel, so perhaps they'd take two or three younger prospects to refill they're lower levels.

Lekh- I think Gamel is their insurance play if/when Prince leaves after the season.

clout - That's fair. The biggest difference might be in their attitude/work ethic. From what I have heard is that Mayberry is a guy who listens to what the coaches have to say, works very hard, and keeps himself in great shape. He looks absolutely ripped this spring and just kind of glides around the bases.

Chamberlain was a guy who supposedly was very difficult to coach & even by the time he was traded from the Phils in '94 was kind of chunky.

Even I forget the Phils had dealt Chamberlain for Quantrill and 'Bighead' Billy Hatcher in a classic 'my junk for your junk' trade between two GMs (Dan Duquette for the Sox and Lee Thomas for the Phils) who were well known for making those kind of trades.

Like almost everything the Phils did in the mid-90s, it ultimately backfired. Phils foolishly made Quantrill a starter which he was ill-suited for and traded him for nothing of value to the Blue Jays where he turned into one of the best relievers in the AL in the late 90s.

That's funny,
I have only the dimmest, fuzziest memory of Hatcher as a Phil.
Was it the '94 strike year?

I actually remember when Wes Chamberlain came up & was being touted as a future star. And a look at his Baseball Cube page shows that he was actually the 25th rated prospect in baseball when the Phillies acquired him from the Pirates for the absolutely horrible Carmelo Martinez.

I mean, I know Wes Chamberlain didn't exactly work out. But, at the time, a lot of scouts evidently felt he was going to be very good. You really have to wonder what the Pirates were thinking, trading the 25th ranked prospect in baseball for Carmelo Martinez.

I blame bad scouting. If you look at his numbers, the warning signs were there on Chamberlain.

I also remember when the Phils got Chamberlain. It seems to me, the Pirates screwed up somehow and didn't file paperwork (of some kind) properly thus leaving Chamberlain unprotected. Not sure if he was available on waivers or what but I think the Bucs were going to lose him anyway.

Or maybe they realized what a bucket-head he was and just cut bait. It's a shame about that guy...lots of talent, no clue upstairs.

I remember him in an interview talking about his contract and he wanted to make more than the "average American." When asked how much he thought the average American made, he said $100,000.00. This was what...1990? It's now 20 years later and the average American still doesn't make 100 G's.

I saw on this website that the Phillies are ranked #1 over the Red Sox! Awesome! Good Power Rankings.

NEPP: Mayberry is 27 this year. These are his peak years.

Yes Jack...I know. He might have a career year and give us value is my point.

NEPP: Ok, we're on the same page then. I agree. I just wasn't sure if you meant that a few years down the road he could develop into something.

He could be like Greg Dobbs. Couple decently productive years in his late 20's and then disappear back to replacement-level or below.

Having been around the game since 1950, this is the scenario I fear will play out in Dom Brown's career: 1. Philly phenom is labeled a can't miss. 2. He struggles out of the gate in his first extended call-up from the minors. 3. He withers on the vine as an after-thought for the balance of the season and into the postseason. 3. Out of playing shape, he gets sent to the Caribbean to play winter ball. 4. He fails miserably and his confidence is shot.

5. The so-called experts play around with his batting stance. 6. He almost goes 0 for the spring. 7. He gets a hand injury, which requires surgery.

8. Now here's the fun part: a decision is made to revert to his hands-raised-high stance. 9. He recovers from his injury, but is far behind in terms of readiness to play at the major league level. 10. He gets sent to the minors and doesn't get another call-up from the parent club. 11. As a throw-in in a 5-1 deal with the Red Sox for Josh Beckett, a fully mature, 5-tools phenom emerges and has a Hall-of-Fame career.

Yes, the cynic in me has been outed once again. Bottom line: It scares the daylights out of me when coaches do more than tinker with batting stances. It often screws up a hitter for a long time, if not for a career.

I'm a little confused on Brown's batting stance.

I thought that the Phils were trying to get his hands in the same position they were when he had success in the minors. I had the impression that Brown only started holding his hands very high after he went up to the big club in 2010.

Now, it's sounding like Brown always held his hands high and the Phils have been tinkering with his stance.

Can anyone explain what's been going on?

A few points...

1. Loved Stutes mound-presence today. Buzzed the tower of Swisher. Swish got pissed and focused. Stutes went right back to work and got him out on flyball to CF. He went out and got Cano, Swisher and Granderson with ease. Stutes has some bulldog in him and seems to have little fear. I think he's got a chance with another good AAA bullpen year to help the Phils either late in 2011 or in 2012.

2. Mayberry actually looks pretty natural around the bag at 1B. Granted he's played there before in college and a little in AAA. But you could do a lot worse for a extra 1B guy then him. He also hit all 3 balls sharply today, finally blasting a high change-up for a HR on a line to LF. I think he is going to make the club going north. And he deserves to.

3. I continue to like what I have seen of Barfield. He needs more time though to see if he can keep it going. He has some speed and handles himself fine at 2B. He hit that 3B today hard to the gap. It might have gotten out on a different day.

4. I already miss Davey Lopes.

5. You almost forget after you haven't seen him pitch in a while, what a machine Doc is. Just a clinic today.

denny -- just wondering if Davey Lope's "spilling the beans" on Chase's knee in '10 greased the skids of his departure.

Davey Lopes leaves Phillies after failed contract negotiations

Sure the article is very old news, but this quote is oddly revealing:

In light of those numbers and the dozens of articles praising him over the past 3-4 years it definitely seems odd that the Phillies would let him walk over a difference in money that presumably amounts to a fraction of the MLB minimum for players.

Let's just say he was gently encouraged to leave the fold after he wondered aloud about Utley's knee. Why do the Phil's keep injuries so hush-hush? Damnit, it was clear Utley's tank was close to empty at the 2010 season's end.

Heather- that was a funny video.

I had a foul ball I once caught at a phillies-cardinals game off the bat of Felix Jose that I got Ozzie Smith to sign after. A few months later I got Wes Chamberlain's signature on the same ball. . . I'm pretty sure I destroyed the value of the ball that day.

Jbird - I it was too but Lopes basically directly contradicted on what Amaro had just said earlier live on DSL that night about Utley being healthy.

Imagine that Amaro is a bit of a megalomaniac manager type who doesn't tolerate things like that from subordinates.


I once gave my son a ball autographed by Hank Aaron. I told him to put it away and not to have it autographed by any other player. He promptly went out and had it autographed by (wait for it) John Wockenfuss. Kids just don't listen.

Yo, newer thread

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