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Wednesday, March 30, 2011


repost: "JJG: "Because most posters here wanted to believe it was a steal, wanted to revel in the joy of the WS, and wanted to throw more dirt on Ed Wade's grave that they prematurely closed the book on the deal a few months after it transpired."

Some may have done that. There are also plenty here that are looking at this very rationally. The Phillies traded their backup CF for a reliever for a bullpen coming off an awful previous season

That reliever had a great year and was the anchor in winning the 2nd world series in franchise history, which is directly linked to the exhuberant skyrocketing payroll and overall value of the franchise which transformed it into one of the greatest baseball franchise investments in the league which the greatful ownership willingly spends on high priced talent.

All that return for a CF'er who probably can't even start over the one the Phillies still have today."

Any word on Stutes or Herndon for the last bullpen spot?

Thank goodness. I wouldn't want to upset Terry-dactyl with a new player nickname.

Congrats to Mini Mart. I like his nickname (who gave it to him?). I'm hopeful he's as successful as our last Rule 5 hitter!

Let the hand-wringing about him on the roster for another day. At least give him some credit for earning himself a spot on a major league roster for the first time in his career.

Kudos to him!

85 year old lady across the street regarding Chris "rug" Wheeler "Now that's a handsome fella"

Although I don't really follow his line of logic on the merits of the Lidge trade, clout does raise a good question about who won the Doyle Alexander-John Smoltz trade. True, Detroit didn't win the WS, or even the ALCS (no trade could guarantee such a result, anyhow). But they did win a tight divisional race by only 2 games, at a time when there was no WC. Without Alexander, they're probably on the outside looking in that year. It's also worth noting that Smoltz was hardly some world-beater of a prospect. He was a 22nd round draft pick with a Kendrick-esque strikeout rate and an ERA over 5.68 in the year he was traded. In short, he was a throw-away prospect. If he were in the Phillies organization today, he'd be Drew Naylor at best.

So, cutting to the chase, good trade or bd trade for the Tigers? Depends on your criteria. Viewed at the time it was made, it was a no-brainer that any GM would have made. Viewed in complete hindsight, knowing that Smoltz had a HOF career & the Tigers didn't even make it to the WS that year, it's probably fair to say that, if the Tigers could undo the trade, they would. But it's not exactly fair to judge a GM negatively based on a trade that made total sense at the time & turned out even better than he could have imagined in the near term but which, because of totally unforeseeable events, turned out bad in the long term.

If Andrew Baldwin (the fringe prospect we traded for Moyer) turns into a Hall of Famer, are we going to be gnashing our teeth over the stupidity of the trade? Well, actually, we probably are. But my point is, sometimes you make a totally reasonable trade that accomplishes everything you set out to accomplish, & sh*t just happens which makes you wish you could take it back 10 years after the fact. This was one of those times.

CJ - I believe I was the first one to call him Mini-Mart, after finding out how tall he is, but clout picked up on it really fast and used it frequently.

The major league minimum is a nice little chunk of change for a fringe player, about 5.5 times what he'd make in AAA. In one season Mini-mart could earn about 20% of what the average college graduate makes in his or her lifetime.

Jack of all trades, above-average of none"

No trade for Lidge in 2008. But you do have Bourn who put up a .588 OPS that season. It is safe to believe that whoever replaced Lidge as closer might blow 4 saves. That means the Phils miss the playoffs. After the disappointment of the sweep in 07 and just missing the playoffs in 08, fan interest wanes just a bit. A slight dip in season ticket sales and less sellouts in 09. Less tshirts and jerseys sold.
The front office is a less willing to jack up the payroll at this point. No trade for Cliff Lee at the deadline. Leading to Roy Halladay less likely being willing to accept a trade here and resigning at a discount. Leading to no Roy Oswalt (especially without Lidge to recruit him). Then no triumphant return of Cliff Lee. Philadelphia is not quite the hot destination for free agents (or Phils hitting the free agent market). This whole rennisance of Phillies baseball maybe doesn't happen without the Lidge trade.

Sure it is all conjecture, but it is not that difficult to see how things could have happened that way. I am not saying Lidge is solely responsible for all this success. Obviously there are a ton of variables that have contributed to the success. But Lidge was a huge part of winning the WFC in 08 which has continued to help create a winning environment in Phillies land.

Bourn is a nice player. I for one am glad that he was traded away.

BAP, agree that it is very interesting.

The only problem with what you wrote is that clout doesn't raise that question at all. He emphatically states that unless you think that the trade is a terrible, terrible mistake for the Tigers, your view is warped by "emotional fanhood." There's no question or discussion at all.

Charlie Morton - HOF 2046

Earning it?

.239/.257/.366 (.623 OPS) in 71 ABs with 2 BBs, 12 Ks. 2 SB, 2 CS.

4 errors in 31 games.

Valient in the effort? sure. Earning it? Not really.

For all of the inevitable (last man on the bench doesn't matter posters and you know who you are), you are banned from any criticism of Mini Mart.

By the way, Doyle Alexander was traded for John Smoltz from 1987 - 1992. He signed an extension with the Braves after 1992 and then again as a free agents for a few years.

Obviously Smoltz was still great in the early 90s and they debate still stands - but they didnt get a HoF for Alexander, they got a good young pitcher who gave them 4 really good seasons.

While Victorino was a nice pick-up, the Rule V draft talent pool was significantly diluted in 2006 when the exemption period before eligibility was extended for a year. Not sure of the wisdom of the Phillies in mining it so diligently.

History tells us Mini mart is a very bad hitter and given his age, it'll be quite a surprise if that changes.

lorecore: Well . . . I dunno about that. I think it's fair to say that it was a lot easier for the Braves to re-sign Smoltz when he was already on their team.

The Phillies actually offered Victorino back, but he was not wanted.

MG- thanks. I'm one of those people and I'm pretty confident with how enraged you've been about Mini-Mart since day 1 you can dole out enough criticism for quite a few fans.

BAP - it was easy for the Cubs to re-sign Maddux, but they didn't

one of my favorite subplots of the Phillies-Dodgers playoff series has been watching Werth & Victorino perform against a team that gave up on them.

BAP: I mean you're probably right, but bottom line Smoltz played for the Braves past the 1992 season because of the money they gave him, not because they exchanged Alexander.

Luis Castillo:

.280/.368/.300 in 50 ABs with 7 BBs, 6 Ks. 1 SB, 1 CBs

1 error in 18 games.

Castillo is a stop-gap solution at best but I would have him starting at 2B with Valdez on the bench.

JBird: That's neither here nor there. I just think it's getting awfully far afield to say that, in evaluating the Alexander-Smoltz trade, you're only allowed to evaluate the portion of Smoltz's career that occurred before the Braves resigned him. That's just too attenuated for me.

BAP - I'll agree with you that there are some bonus points to be awarded if Smoltz gave the Braves a hometeam discount or signed before he could negotiate with other teams, but I have no idea if he did or not. But Smoltz's whole career vs. Doyle Alexander's stay with the Tigers is a less than fair comparison also.

Dating back to 2005? How dare we forget the epic 1990 Rule 5 haul of Head Hollins and...uh...Sil Campusano?

JBird: How about Ryne Sandberg's whole career vs. Ivan DeJesus's 3 years with the Phillies?

BAP - don't need to, Ryne Sandberg won an MVP during the time he would have still been controlled by the Phillies. Plus, Dejesus was no Doyle Alexander.

I'd take Head Hollins on the current roster, actually, and move Polly to 2B (you, know, after HE gets off the 60-day).

On the '08 Playoffs:
If we had kept Bourn and didn't have Lidge and Myers is the closer, this would never have happend:

MG: So... Mini Mart doesn't belong on the roster because he showed nothing in spring training (as your slash line shows), but Castillo should be the starting 2B because of his slash line?

What about Wilson Valdez?
317/369/417 in 60 ABs with 5 BB, 6 K, 3 SB, 2 CS
0 E in 8 games

Thanks, Shane. I can never get enough of that.

BAP - still, your bringing up a couple of the most lopsided (longterm) trades in Baseball history. If Sandberg & Smoltz sign their 1st free agent contract with someone other than the Cubs & Braves respectively, does it change the dynamics of the trade for you? Does how Lidge performed after we signed him to an extension devalue that trade for you?

Andy deserves all credit for the Mini-Mart nickname. I picked up on it because it was a great nickname.

Yes he earned it. The Phillies are probably electing to keep him over guys like Orr and Young who are guys that have played int eh majors before. There is something about Martinez they like and elected to keep him.

So even though MG doesn't like the guy and I'm sure will spend inordinate amounts of time constructing posts to bash him- the guy earned his spot in the eyes of the coaching staff.

Eerie parallels?

Player 1: Short (5'11"), Caribbean born minor leaguer, who hit for low average, with little power and poor plate discipline in the minors, then was drafted by a Pennsylvania team in the Rule 5 draft and went on to a Hall of Fame career.

Player 2: Short (5'9"), Caribbean born minor leaguer, who hit for low average, with little power and poor plate discipline in the minors, then was drafted by a Pennsylvania team in the Rule 5 draft and . . . went on to a Hall of Fame career?

Let the Roberto Clemente comparisons begin.

bap: You mean we broke camp with Roberto Clemente and Johan Santana!?!?!?

MiniMart could be Roberto Clemente, just like the Phillies could have won the world series in 08 without lidge and the one in 09 with bourne.

"Does how Lidge performed after we signed him to an extension devalue that trade for you"

No. The Phillies traded for one year of him. The extension was a separate choice and should be judged separately. But when you trade someone away (as opposed to trading FOR someone), you're giving up the right to make future choices about him. So you can't really say, "Well, the other team ended up resigning him & we might not have." The point is, you traded away the right to have that future choice.

I do see what you're saying & you have a point. I just don't really analyze trades that way. If you inject too many "what-if" variables, it becomes impossible to really judge any trade. And, if we can't judge trades, Beerleaguer would cease to exist.

Great article today in the Inky on Placido Polanco. I feel bad how much his elbow hurts him but i do know we def really need him hitting in our lineup:

Also funny article on the female Phillies fan and Cliff Lee in the Inky today...If you've talked to any girl in a bar in Phillytown during a Phils game, you prob already knew the content of this article:

CJ: The next Clemente & the next Santana, but no Luis Castillo. So it all cancels out.

CJ - Castillo still has a set (AVG/OBP) that is still valuable for this team especially on a lineup filled with average/below average OBP guys.

The perplexing thing is how the Phils are pimping Martinez's defense this spring. Besides the 4 errors, the bits/tidbits I saw on him were that he made some really nice plays but struggled too especially at 3B because he doesn't have the arm.

Yeah its tough to be asked to play a number of different positions but you would expect him to have played better overall defense.

Mini Mart won't be the worst player in MLB this year. My bet is he will be one of the Top 10 though who gets at 100+ ABs.

MG: Suddenly errors are the way to measure a players defense??!?!? ;-)

To be honest, the staff has a lot more information about Mini Mart and his skills than we do. Either Charlie and Ruben do really like what they see there... or Ruben has decided he wants to keep another Rule 5 players, performance be damned. I suppose the latter would be true, but I just don't see Charlie as the kind of guy who would go out of his way to toe the company line to the media on something like that.

MG: And, by the way, I'm not advocating Martinez over Castillo. I don't think Castillo should be our starting 2B... I think Valdez should be. And with Valdez starting at 2B, we need a utility IF, which Castillo isn't. I'd prefer a number of other players both in our system and available on the open market. Mini Mart is not my choice.

I don't think RAJ would force Charlie to keep a Rule 5 player like Martinez - especially since he's not really young and the alternatives like Castillo wouldn't cost anything either. From the tweets emanating from reporters in Clearwater - Charlie likes the guy. It may be a hunch among a slew of mediocre possibilities but it is what it is.

Another triple from Pete Orr... is he going to make the team over Young?

There's a utility infielder in our system you like better than Mini Mart, CJ? I sure don't. Orr was below average in the field and Barfield even worse. Young didn't do anything to distinguish himself. I don't think any of them are really good choices, including Mini Mart, who is likely no better than average replacement utility guy. So, who is better?

Picking between all the players in the Phillies system for utility guy is very much like judging the tallest midget contest. And it's that way almost every year.

aksmith: Unless Mini Mart's defensive skills are dazzling, I like Orr or Young for their superior bat. Doesn't mean their bats are significantly better... but I like them better.

Like I posted weeks ago when most gave him no chance.Phils wouldn't have picked him if they weren't planning on keeping him.Becoming cheap way to fill out the roster each year. $$$ trumnps talent @ #25!

Yep... those cheap a$$ Phillies and their $160M payroll!!!!

CJ - Cholly doesn't criticize a particular player in public. He hasn't really his entire tenure here. He has started to question the overall team's worth ethic/demeanor at times to the media especially last year in a more harsh and negative tone. That has changed a bit.

Hopefully Cholly is right and Mini Mart becomes a late inning substitution dynamo who gives the team some speed late while playing above average defense at multiple positions this year. That's best-case scenario.

How are the Phils' possibly 'cheap' when picking Mini Mart vs. Castillo?

Both are minimum salary types with Castillo a bit more because of the veteran league minimum. Money had nothing to do with that decision.

aksmith: Do you actually have any basis for believing that Mini-Mart can somehow be an average major league utility infielder? Or are you just assuming that the Phillies generally know what they're doing and, therefore, must be right on this one? Because there's nothing in Martinez's minor league numbers, or his spring training numbers, which would warrant a belief that he can be any better than even a AAAA player like Pete Orr.

For all of the ink/characters entered:

I still never saw a single piece that adequately addressed just how healthy Castillo really was this spring. Instead it was bit and pieces about how previous injuries and how they had effected to some degree especially the hip injury he had.

Wonder if Mini Mart didn't make the roster because he is 100% healthy and Castillo is damaged goods the Phils don't think can make it through a few months as an everyday starter from a health perspective.

If that's the case, releasing Castillo makes more sense.

READ Says at #25 not total!

jr - Seriously? Your grousing because of Mini Mart's salary? Your a bigger miser than me.

It will be interesting to see if they try to stash a Rule V position player though on their roster for an entire year.

When was the last time the Phils did that?

MG: Good question... there's only 4 workable pieces on the bench (backup catcher doesn't count) while there are generally 7 bullpen arms. Much easier to hide a guy in the bullpen.

By the way, Mets will be starting a Rule 5 guy at 2B this year.

jr: Money might well be a factor in the Phillies' decision, but not in the way you're suggesting. The difference in present salaries between these guys is infinitesimal, relative to a $160M payroll. But maybe the Phillies see Martinez as a guy who could be their main utility infielder for the next few years. Personally, I don't see any basis for this belief, but they may well believe it. If so, it would give them a cheap option for 3 or 4 years, which would prevent them from having to pay $1M or so to a major league veteran.

The Phillies offense shines in their final tune up, ready for the season! Rollins and Orr provide the only 2 hits.

I can't wait for Friday!

Giants release Travis Ishikawa to keep hot prospect Brandon Belt.

CJ: Belt looks like a future star & Buster Posey looks like he'll be right up there with McCann for the top catcher in the league over the next few years. The key to their offense is Pablo Sandoval, who lost 38 pounds in the off-season. If he can have a season anywhere close to the one he had in 2009, then they should have an elite 3-4-5, plus a top leadoff hitter, to go with their elite starting rotation.

But, as I was told repeatedly on Beerleaguer last year, only a chronic pessimist would be worried about the hapless Giants.

I thought it was pretty cool that the Phillies asked the players to mingle with the fans, and that they did so, these last two exhibition games. What fun!

I'm not allowing myself to worry one whit about the offense until at least Friday.

CJ, they DFA's Ishikawa. Don't they have some time to trade him?

Herndon gets the last spot. Stutes to AAA.

Pete Orr beats out Delwyn Young for the final spot.

awh: That's right... it was a DFA.

Final look at the team:

CF: Victorino
3B: Polanco
SS: Rollins
1B: Howard
LF: Ibanez
RF: Francisco
CA: Ruiz
2B: Valdez

Bench: Schneider (C), Mayberry Jr. (1B, RF, CF, LF), Gload (1B, RF, LF), Orr (2B, 3B, SS), Martinez (2B, 3B, SS, RF, LF, CF)


Contreras (Closer)
Madson (Primary Set up)
Baez (Secondary Set up)
Romero (Primary LOOGY)
Bastardo (Secondary LOOGY)
Herndon (Middle relief)
Kendrick (Long man/Swing man)

David Hale tweets:

"One reason Orr made the team is his ability to play 3B. Charlie says he's "concerned" about Polanco's elbow."

"Utley, Lidge, Brown, Bocock & Schlitter to DL"

Matt Gelb tweets:

"Indeed Jimmy Rollins will bat third Friday."

The Phillies' infatuation with versatile players is like an obsessive-compulsive's obsession with germs. Being reasonably mindful of germs is perfectly appropriate. Being absolutely obsessed with germs at every turn is abnormal. Ditto, the Phillies' obsession with versatility for the sake of versatility. I mean, how many .230-hitting utility infielders does a team need? It's absolutely bizarre.

pitching and defense wins championships, brah

Anyone remember the last time the Phils opened a season without J-Roll leading off? And who was that lead off hitter?

No cheating!

noname: The 2010 Padres, A's, and Mariners might all beg to differ.

CJ: Off the top of my head, Doug Glanville.

bap: Ha... the reason they didn't win was the 2010 Giants (same reason we didn't win). And were the Giants blessed with a great offense? Hardly.

CJ: Well, a good offense is certainly helpful. Or at least an offense with a pulse. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea that, on a bench with only 4 usable parts, it's more important to have 2 backup infielders with .280 OBPs than it is to have a starting 2nd baseman with a .350 OBP.

Rollins not leading off? It will probably snow Friday.

And now for something completely different:

Nationals’ Werth Is Following Through

A cave man migrates south. Rule V player strikes effin' gold. Hard to believe, Harry.

Do we catch lightning in a bottle 2x? BTW, the NY Times sportswriters seem a tad awestruck of the Phils.

Wes Chamberlain - I love the scenario that you put out there concerning the Lidge trade. We will never know how it would have turned out, but that was a great, well thought out scenario if there ever was one. Salute!

Sidenote: I was, and still am a Bourne fan (gotta love his speed) but without Lidge we would still be rooting for a one-lonely-win WS team.

cut, I think the "awestruckness" has something to do with teh fact that they still haven't gotten over this:

Werth makes a point, but I don't like the way he phrased it at the beginning.

Asked if his departure could have an adverse effect on his old team, Werth did not hesitate.

“I hope so,” he said. “I mean, I hope so in the short term versus the long term, too. That team’s getting older. That was part of my decision, too. I was looking at being there four, five, six years; where was their team going to be toward the end of my contract? That was a negative for them. Nothing against those guys — I love all those guys over there — but that was something that really made me look hard at this team, because toward the end of this contract, these guys are going to still be in their prime.”

According to NE Sports, Luis has a tryout/physical for Blue Jays tomorrow.

Yeah, those guys may be in their prime but he will never have such a productive season again and he is going to be past his prime in a year or so.

Anybody know what's behind this quote?
“He can play for a period of time, but he does get tired,” Manuel said.
Did Luis Castillo show up today and ask for the day off or something?

Yo, newer threads

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