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Friday, March 11, 2011

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Now that they've locked their manager up, the Phillies are moving on to the front office. The Phillies and GM Ruben Amaro Jr. are progressing toward an extension that is "virtually done," according to Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News. The sides are putting the "finishing touches" on the agreement, according to Hagen.

OK, this is total rumor, but maybe JW can work to confirm it somehow, but I heard from a friend of a friend who knows some of the medical people surrounding the Phillies, that Utley banged his knee late last season creating some trauma and didn't say anything to anyone.

Again, total rumor, but it does sound like Utley.

If Mayberry breaks camp with the Phillies I hope he has a good year.

Heck, I hope all the Phillies OF have good years! With Utley on the shelf they're going to need to.

27 year old rookie puts together a good year when given the chance and earns his spot as the everyday starter over a more veteran player...sounds about right for the Phils

"today the Phillies make their first batch of roster cuts"

Why is Michael Martinez still in a Phils uniform?

With everyone else getting extensions, when does Weitzel get his?

How dare they extend the megalomaniac Amaro!?!

Maybe I missed it, but I have yet to read anything about how this knee injury happened with Utley. Has anyone asked this yet?

robbie: patella tendonitis is associated with overuse/extended workouts.

The knee problem with Utley has been something that he has always dealt with. The tendinitis would come, and would usually get better. The problem now is that the tendinitis hasn't gotten any better.

thanks for this--Wes Chamberlain was my favorite Phillie on the '93 team. (Honest!)

i thought i remembered that wes could actually hit the breaking ball but got tied up with the fastball. i distinctly remember a two-homer game he had at the vet where he crushed a couple of curve-balls.

f4f: was it against a lefty? Mayberry can hit lefty benders, too.

@kiko- Wes Chamberlain's arms seemed to me super-humanly large at the time (I was 14 in 1993), but looking through the old pictures of him, they look much more normal compared to the players (like McGwire & Sosa) who came later.

This post was so good it is worth reporting:

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.

Posted by: mainerob | Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 10:31 PM

Maybe we can start a list:

1. Convert Aumont to SP even though his only success was in the bullpen. Check.

2. Mess with Dom Brown's stance even though he's torn up the minor leagues. Check.

3. Convert Jonathan Singleton to OF even though it is very unlikely he'll have th range to play the position and it may cause him to lose focus on his offense. Check.


f4f - You definitely could be right. His career splits indicate that he was much, much better against finesse pitchers than power pitchers on Baseball Reference:

Power (333 ABs) .207/.258/.315
Finesse (493 ABs) .286/.332/.495

I always remember sliders though from RHP pitchers away eating Chamberlain up as he would just awkwardly swing and lunge at them way too often.

I don't see a good year out of Mayberry out of the realm of possibility. That's the funny thing about bringing guys up in their peak - you only get the best out of them, which for Mayberry might equal 'adequate'.

We could use a little RH power off of the bench.

I haven't been keeping up here the past couple of days, but is anyone else annoyed about Utley not mentioning his injury to RAJ, Cholly or the trainers in the offseason? I'm sure it didn't happen the day he showed up for ST.

With some more notice we could be fielding a better replacement than Exxon Valdez. Don't call in sick ten minutes before your shift starts!

Both guys were pretty highly touted too with this gem I found randomly searching Google quickly:

"In 1992, the STATS Scouting Report book told us that Phillies outfielder Wes Chamberlain was "one of the proudest acquisitions of the Lee Thomas era ... and should occupy the third to fifth spot in the batting order for many years."

Phils did get the better end of the deal because Carmelo Martinez was pretty terrible but this was a trade so typical of the Lee Thomas era. Trading secondary/minor players for potentially slightly better secondary/minor players but in the grand scheme not amounting to much accept in '93 because their prospects generally never panned out and they were bit players in FA with a few notable horrible exceptions in from the mid-80s through the end of the 90s (Parrish, Tartabull, Jefferies).

I've been referring to Mayberry as the second coming of Wes Chamberlain since he first came up, & in no way,shape or form is it meant as a compliment.

Also, the mainerob/clout post above is dead on.

Couple points:
1. Chamberlain is also a Phillies favorite of mine. I remember watching him in the minor leagues and being amazed by his linebacker-esqua stature.

2. Mayberry can be productive. In brief MLB experience thus far he's done alright for himself and I could see him being a nice 4th outfielder/occasional start at 1st base and pinch hitter. Manuel said- "Mayberry has gotten better over the last couple of years," manager Charlie Manuel said. "It's time for him to really take off and show he can handle a Major League job. We have him at first base now for a reason. When we want to rest [Ryan] Howard, Mayberry hits lefties good. When we want to rest Howard, we can. And he can play all three outfield positions. ... John has to show he can hit right-handed pitchers." Manuel realized Howard needs a breather sometimes and that breather should come against lefties because of his struggles against them.

3. Manuel extended and now Amaro. Madson next?

Nothing stands out about the comparison, but the repercussion would be reduced playing time for Ben Fran, correct?

Yes, lets start a list with "may cause X to lose focus" speculation. That will be very informative.

4. Encourage Victorino to bunt more often which may cause him to lose focus on playing centerfield. Check.

Would giving Ibanez a day or 2 off a week against lefties and giving Mayberry those starts really be the worst thing for a 39 year old outfielder?

Jbird- exactly! It will help Ibanez, help Mayberry, and help the Phillies. Mix and match when appropriate. Isn't that what managing is about?

Mayberry doesn't remind me at all of Chamberlain, who was a totally graceless player. Despite incredible strength and build, Chamberlain was one of the most unnatural ballplayers I've ever seen. He was totally awkward as a hitter and even worse in the field.

I do believe Mayberry is capable of making a contribution to this team, however, and that was MG's point...

Ive read from a few sources that Singleton has average range/arm for LF and initial reports have been promising. However it is a concern that the position change may affect his developing bat.

lorecore: Actually the lose focus was number 3 on the list not "the start," which makes you wrong -- as usual -- under whatever screen name you're posting lately.

Carry on.

MG: To be fair, the Wes Chamberlain trade was a forced deal. No baseball pro would think Carmelo was equal value.

The Pirates screwed up by accidentally placing Chamberlain on waivers a second time in the season. Any player can be pulled back the first time he's put on waivers, but if he's put on waivers a second time in the same season the waivers become irrevocable, which meant the Pirates either had to accept whatever trade offer they could get for him or release him.

Clout - How stressful could moving to leftfield of all positions, possibly be? Philadelphia has a long and proud history of some atrocious leftfielders.

I wrote to Wes Chamberlain to get his autograph, and he responded. I respect him.

Well, as mego says, with a young player you worry about a position change impacting his developing bat, which is clearly the kid's best asset.

Viewed at the time of the trade, I can see why Lee Thomas would have considered the Chamberlain trade to be a real feather in his cap. As I posted on last night's thread, Chamberlain's Baseball Cube page says that he was actually the 25th ranked prospect in baseball when the Pirates traded him to us for Carmelo Martinez. That's obviously some bad scouting but, bad scouting or not, there were obviously those around baseball who thought very highly of Chamberlain. If the Pirates' scouts didn't share that view, good for them. But bad for their GM for getting nothing more than Carmelo Martinez in return.

BAP: See above.

clout: Ah, that explains it. What a blunder. Good thing for whoever made the error that Wes Chamberlain turned out to be Wes Chamberlain.

I don't mind trying out Singleton at LF. Scouts have said he could be passable defensively and has a chance to stick there. You always keep young players as far up the defensive spectrum as you can, to maximize their potential value, until you have to move them down.

I will say that at age 19 and at Low-A, I hope the move was made because they genuinely think he can do it and be a more valuable player there, not just because of Ryan Howard's immovable contract.

You don't mess with a kid just because you're tied up in the big leagues at that guy's position.

Wes Chamberlain trivia: Near the end of his career, Chamberlain was traded from the RedSox to the Royals for another former Phillie outfield phenom at the end of his career: Chris James.

Come to think of it, John Mayberry actually reminds me more of Chris James than Wes Chamberlain. James was also a better all-around player than Chamberlain.

John Mayberry reminds me of Darryl Strawberry.

Wait... what? Who are we talking about?

John Mayberry Jr. is starting to remind me of John Mayberry Sr, without the talent.

Stutes survived the first round of cuts. Beat reporters tweeting:

Phils optioned to minor league camp: De Fratus, Naylor, Ramirez, Garcia, Hernandez, Rivero and Rizzotti.

Phils reassigned to minor league camp: Bass, Bonine, Carpenter, Feierabend, Schwimer, Naughton, Bozied, Quinlan and Miller.

Jack: "You don't mess with a kid just because you're tied up in the big leagues at that guy's position."

My point exactly.

i doubt a move to leftfield would mess with singleton that much, if at all. it's not like we're moving him to catcher.

I think starting Aumont in AA last year may have been worse than making him a starter.

I'm glad Ruiz was moved to catcher.

I think moving Chase around all over the diamond during his time in the minors really screwed up his knee.

You should really pick a position for a player at age 18 and leave him there.

RSB - Physically no. Just alot of other similarities. With Brown out of the picture for the foreseeable future, Mayberry now makes this team & my bet actually gets his share of PT in the early going in a lineup that will need some pop.

MG has a point, that this team needs power, which is why Mayberry might contribute.

Other than Howard, is there anyone in the lineup you would project for 20+ HR if Utley misses significant time?

A far cry from the four 30+ HR seasons like we had in 2007.

You know who Mayberry reminds me of? A random black man caught on TV by Fox.

2-run 1st inning homer by Ibanez. The Phillies had better cool it with all this offense they've shown in the past few games. They're ruining my whole Beerleaguer schtick.

Couldn't Raul end up with 20+? I know he had 16 last year but Bill James has him at 20 and Marcel has him at 19.

I know that is very little comfort.

He did just hit one, FWIW.

bap: It was wind aided and against a pitcher lucky to start the season at A-ball. That's my assumption, at least.

That being James' and the Marcel system's projections, I should have said.

Cliff getting rocked again. Lead off single followed by a DEEP fly ball that became a triple.

season = over

Question for the minor league experts: Who is the player in the Phillies system - besides Dom Brown - who is most likely to help the starting 8 get younger fast? I guess that's a backwards way of asking who the best position prospect is at the AA level.

MizterZoomer: Sure, he absolutely could. For that matter, so could Victorino, who had 18 last year

But, I personally wouldn't project it. My guess is Ibanez ends up at around 18 HRs.

BobbyD: There are none.

Unless you don't mind having two pitchers' spots in the lineup, in which case Freddy Galvis could play SS at the MLB level right now.

CJ: Raul guessed fastball &, fortuitously, it turned out to be a changeup -- which meant that, with his slowing bat speed, he actually happened to catch up to the ball at precisely the right moment. Then the wind, and the small park dimensions, did the rest.

Cliff goes ground out, ground out, strike out after the 2 lead off hits.

3-2 Phils.

bap: That's more like it!

Charlie's comments make it sound like Mayberry would have to fall of a cliff in the next 2 weeks to not make the club.

Stutes has earned some more big league time this spring too. Him retiring Cano, Swisher and Granderson is order yesterday was big for him.

He is very unlikely to make the club, but he is at least putting himself in prime position to be one of the first in line for a callup if an injury or if someone struggles.

Lee gives up another hard hit ball in the 2nd, but just one hit, no runs, no walks.

Vic singles, Raul doubles, Howard sac fly. 4-2 Phils.

RE: Utley,

Based upon the tidbits I've read regarding Utley's knee diagnosis, it would appear that his knee problems aren't as simple as one incident causing an injury, but rather this is a wear & tear/degenerative type problem.

The bone inflammation part makes me wonder if the inflammation is the result of his tibia & femur literally grinding against each other because his articular surface has been damaged or seriously degraded. The eventual result of this kind of damage is osteoarthritis.

I believe the type of surgery that is done to help slow down the onset of the osteoarthritis is called micro-fracture surgery, which involves several small holes being drilled into the bone in order to create scar tissue which then acts as the cushioning between the bones.

I am not an orthopaedic surgeon or doctor of any kind but I very recently had knee surgery, and prior to the doctor actually getting in there, it was thought that I might require this micro-fracture surgery, actually prepared for it. Fortunately, my knee wasn't that bad yet....but, it's coming.

If this were the 1960s, Galvis would be a perfectly acceptable everyday shortstop on a winning team.

Adam Jones goes deep to dead center. 4-3 game now. Lee is not sharp.

clout: Maybe even two years ago, he'd have been fine on a Phillies team that had massive offensive advantages.

Cliff Lee doesn't seem like he's really sharp today. 3 ER, 3 innings.

Danys Baez with a clean inning. I hope Jason has that jersey ready...

Vic doubles, his second hit of the game.

In regards to cuts, wouldn't it make sense to assign Brown to MiLB camp, due to the injury, to free up a spot for one of the younger guys to keep playing? Or is it still possible that Brown makes the squad and is put on the DL? What dynamics are in play here?

I can't see how he's not starting at AAA, so why not put him there now?

WHOA! OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION!

BobbyD - no one unless Teh Rizz suddenly figures out how to play gold glove level 3b. . . If Gillies lights the world on fire, I could see him getting to the bigs midway through 2012. But I would think that'd have to be an everything goes right and he hits his ceiling sort of scenario.

Vic doubles, Raul singles (3rd hit), Howard with a long HR, Gload goes back-to-back, Young doubles

The bats are alive today.

8-3 Phils.

Barfield apparently just made a spectacular play down the 3rd base line... at least according to the radio announcers.

Yo, new thread.

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