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Wednesday, March 30, 2011


we hardly knew thee

Still rather have the devil that has been known to take a walk than the devil that has not been known to.

Great. Now we need to know if we have to force ourselves to like Danys Baez, since J.W. will be wearing his jersey starting Friday. Jason - what say you??

Great title, JW. :)

Jason: I'm with you... and I think everyone here knew how much I despised Castillo.

He's got the weakest bat in baseball. Every extra base it would be seeing eye down the line or a misplay in the OF, that's it. The guy can't drive a ball to save his life.

That means we're left with a "high OBP guy" who had an OBP of 337 last year (cue everyone telling me how low J-Roll's OBP is, as though that matters in this discussion).

Ah, so finally it comes out: jw isn't really clout at all. He's CJ.

One other thing... and the BIGGEST thing of all.

This says to me that the Phils are much more confident about a return of Chase Utley sooner rather than later. I'm putting the over/under as the first day of June.

Oh, and JW, not to nitpick, but if you are referring to the Judeo/Christian deity in the second word of your post above, it is considered good form to capitalize His name.

Just sayin'.

Scott: I don't know what you're talking about.

OTOH, if you are referring to BaseBaal or any other incarnation thereof, then lower case letters are appropriate.

It's official... Twitter beat folks say Mini Mart has made the team, "Charlie says he'll get to play a bit."

Hopefully the release of Castillo is because they're confident Polanco is healthy. I guess this also means both Young and Martinez make the team.

I'm not disappointed to see him go; after all, he is a .650 OPS 2B with bad defense (and that's if he's healthy), and a reputation for having a bad attitude. I am surprised though, because he brings one thing that none of the other 2B options do, and that is OBP/the patience to take pitches.

Oh well, no harm no foul.

CJ, I was thinking the same thing about Utley.

1. Fitting his final appearance in a phillie uniform was preceded by a little girl completely fouling up his name during lineups last night... (note to Phillies, if you are going to have a 10 year old girl do lineups... give her some practice will you?)

2. I roamed the stadium last night a bit... my personal spring training. A guy next to me, while Castillo was up, was complaining about it. "He's a met. Why are we keeping this bum. They shoulda kept Valdez. He's a bum." Castillo then proceeded to get on base. The guy... was a dead ringer for a young Burt Young. "bum" rolled off his tongue just like Paulie. He had a Phillies jersey, but just as well could have been a Meat Packing white coat on.

3. I actually liked his approach at the plate and the basepaths last night. He was really frisky in the first inning and gave Ohlendorf something to think about. Reminded me of all the times when he use to be a pain in the butt. Lets just say, I was warming up to him...

That said... glad he's gone.

More on Twitter from David Hale:

Charlie says Stutes will pitch in big leagues this year, but they're still debating whether he'll be on opening day roster.

On Martinez, Charlie says there was little debate. "he won pretty much everyone over."

Roster will be announced in next 24 hrs. 2 spots left for d young/p Orr and bastardo/Herndon/stutes.

Actually I thought of Castillo as more of a short-term fix so if anything it makes me less confident about the return of WFC man.

That was a nice shocker of a move there! I had him as a lock for the Opening Day roster. With that spot being cleared up on the 40-Man, I'm really interested to see where this is going. I love pre-Opening Day drama!

JW: damn you for bringing up the fact that they could still have a trick up their sleeve - now i'm all excited.. but likely for nothing.

Yeah, still not convinced about anything with Chase.

Re: HammRadio

Does Paulie know that Valdez was a Met too? Jesus, I get that they're are the arch enemy but people act like getting anything from the Mets is a waste. Can't wait to see how this town reacts when the Phils sign Jose Reyes next year!

I never bought into the whole "he's either a starter or he gets cut" thing in the first place. Seemed like a waste of time and this is not a surprise. However, I don't think this has anything to do with the return of Saint Uts.

24 hours ago, wasn't it the prevailing view on Beerleaguer that a guy with a .350-ish OBP and so-so defense could help the team more than a guy with a .300-ish OBP and good defense? But now that said .350-ish OBP guy has been cut loose, I see a notable absence of people espousing that view. I guess I don't find myself sharing in the communal joy. 24 hours ago, I thought Castillo represented an upgrade over Valdez & I still think that today.

Jbird, yeah, good point about Bourn. You can pretty much predict a guy's career value from his first 3 seasons of OPS+. I remember another speedy gloveman whose first 3 seasons of OPS+ were 82, 48, 71. Even worse than Bourn! PLUS he followed that up with 4 more double-digit OPS+ seasons. Ugh!

I'm sure you and BAP think Lidge would be worth 5 or 6 of that guy since his OPS+ was so poor. If you want, I'll look up his name for you, it's slipped my mind.

i'm devastated.. NOT!!!!!

They are really sold on Martinez? I think I prefer Castillo, at least he offers his OBP...

Rube duped some team into believing that the Phillies were going to go with Castillo just to lower the price. Hey, what's that to the right - Wagner unretiring?

Michael Young- maybe?? ( or justa dream?)

bap: Fair to say I've been pretty consistent about Castillo, correct?

Bastardo & Stutes...too easy

I think people are overthinking this Mets connection Castillo had. In fact, Castillo was an anti-Met who had more to do with screwing them up than almost anyone else. For that alone, people should have respected him more.

He got fat. He appeared out of shape and had leg problem because of that and his age. The Phillies got a guy who had lost weight, was running the bases better, and as far as we know wasn't disruptive for the major league minumum. His fielding has certainly suffered over the years. But what has he done in the last week to make the Phillies cut him? He never hit anything but dribblers for most of his career and that was what drove other teams crazy. His bleeders and spinning dribblers backed up exactly the same kind of at bats by Juan Pierre in FLA and led to quite a bit of success for that team.

I don't get this, unless they've got another move up their sleeves. I don't love Castillo, but what could they have expected when they brought him in that he didn't exceed while in camp?

Sam - Well said. Besides Martinez being next to useless even as a utility INF, I get the strong sense if he makes the Opening Day roster he will be on it most/if not all of the season.

It means he will get his share of PT. Cholly will play short-handed for most of the season especially when the Phils go thorough an inevitable period where a player is 'day-to-day' for a week & they don't put him on the DL.

You may recall that Rube hinted that Castillo will either be the starting secondbaseman or he won't be on the team. The staff was focused on his glove and his range. They knew he could get on base.

Obviously, they concluded that Castillo's range and glove were so bad, his OB could not offset that weakness. That would confirm what scouts were saying before Castillo was brought in.

Castillo was cut because he refused to sign a three year $37.5 million deal. Oops! I'm getting my stories confused! :)

Cholly called me the other night and took my advice about naming Contreras as his closer. Cholly let me know his prime principle in making player decisions: "When in doubt, pick the older guy."

What about Gregor Blanco we was released by KC? The Phils have been said they would like a reserve that can play CF.

On Martinez, Charlie says there was little debate. "he won pretty much everyone over."

Well, everyone except for MG and Clout. Is it eh dreadlocks? Didn't you feel the same way about Valdez last season? And isn't it interesting that the guy played second as well as Valdez and short flawlessly, yet he still "stinks" in the field?

The kid is not a world beater or a starter. But he's got more speed than Valdez and can field all around the infield well from what we've seen. And "he's won everybody over" means the Phillies on field personnel and brass agree with me.

So, he definitely needs to be cut immediately or season=over.

People need to get a clue. If this kid hits over .220 and fields well at multiple positions and can be an upgrade as the occasional designated runner, he's a bargain.

I'm truly wondering what he's done during his time in Phillies' camp to engender such hatred.

clout: "Obviously, they concluded that Castillo's range and glove were so bad, his OB could not offset that weakness. That would confirm what scouts were saying before Castillo was brought in."

Consider me among those "scouts." That was my point from the beginning. This was really about how he performed in the field. We're a pitching and defense team... not an offensive force.

Amaro is just fascinated by Rule 5 players. If he had an option there is no way Martinez would be on the roster.

Is there any official word as to why specifically or did he just suck too much? Offensively, he was doing fairly well after the first 2 games. I look forward to Mini-Mart's .550 OPS this year.

clout: do you think Lidge 2008 for Bourne's next 5 team controlled seasons was a bad trade for the Phillies?

Will S has already said so, are you another with the same opinion.

I was actually looking forward to the Castillo experiment...not heartbroken, but tiny bit disappointment.

That is until Valdez makes about 50 outs in his first 75 at bats and then I'll be much more disappointed.

I was actually looking forward to the Castillo experiment...not heartbroken, but tiny bit disappointment.

That is until Valdez makes about 50 outs in his first 75 at bats and then I'll be much more disappointed.

Clout, you think Michael Bourn = Ozzie Smith? Interesting.

there's only 1 thing i hate more than the phillies, and that's luis castillo. be thankful you guys don't have to watch him. happy opening day, and good luck this year.

aksmith: I actually liked the Valdez move last season. You could look it up. Unlike Mini-Mart, Valdez had shown he could play in the big leagues and had a superior glove.

If you think .220 helps the team, you're clueless.

As for what you've "seen," he has a fairly extensive minor league career on which to draw conclusions. Of course a bunch of spring training games against minor league pitchers and guys just getting their work in is a much better measure.

But like I said before, I hope you are right and his minor league stats and the scouting reports are wrong.

Mini Mart is terrible...and he will show us just how bad he is over the next 162 games as Rube will never get rid of him.

clout: Is it your view that trading Michael Bourn for one year of Brad Lidge was a mistake?

von Hayes: Well done! No, I don't think Bourn will be a Hall of Famer. But based on Ozzie's first 6 or 7 years you, BAP, lorecore and Jbird would've said Lidge was the more valuable player.

My point is that a fast Gold Glove defender at one of the 3 most important positions on the field can't be measured solely by OPS+

sure clout, I'll bite. enlighten me. and it's 5 years of Bourn, not 5 or 6 Bourns. There's a difference. Anyway, after the controlled years, you have to pay market price just like everyone else. We're already 3 years into the 5 and Bourn is 28.

lorecore: My comment wasn't about the trade, it was about judging a player like Bourn by his OPS+

But, since you asked, if you can tell me exactly what Bourn is going to do over the next 2 seasons, I'll be happy to tell you who got the better of that trade.

Without Bourn's UZR/150, I really can't form an opinion. I mean, I know he's won a couple Gold Gloves, but is he a good defender?

BAP: I honestly don't know. Was trading John Smoltz for one year of Doyle Alexander a mistake? Two years after that trade was made, you'd have said the same thing then that you say now about Lidge/Bourn.

Anyone read the article on ESPN of the "experts" picks this year? Almost every one has the Phils meeting the Red Sox in the WFC, and 90% of those picked the Sawx. Even Dough Glanville. Et tu, Doug?

Clout: I know you like to read and quote selectively, but my original comment stated that there was value in the glove. I'll still take the WFC over the Bourn's controlled years 7 days a week.

Bourne OPS+ 110 for the next two seasons AND plays the same level defense.

Mistake by the Phils?

Clout - I fail to see that fielding against minor leaguers is any different than fielding against major leaguers. I keep asking and you keep deflecting. What have you seen in his defense that makes you think he's as bad as you seem to believe?

Manuel is not one to throw idle praise around to the media. Just look at all the lack of praise he's heaped on Benny Fran since becoming his manager. And he thinks Mini-Mart is a very good fielder. I think I'll go with my eyes on this one, and Charlie's eyes, and you may need now specs.

FWIW, Alexander carried the Tigers down the stretch in 1987. Did the playoff revenue they made from that post-season run make up for the lost revenue that Smoltz would have given them?

He went 9-0 with a 279 ERA+ for the Tigers in 11 starts.

I guess this means the end of the Castillo Scoring Meter.

Bourn could go to the Hall of Fame and it would still have been a great trade for the Phillies.

Wow, thankfully Shakespeare had more to work with. 'Et tu, Doug' just doesn't have the ring to it.

"I guess this means the end of the Castillo Scoring Meter."


The Luis Castillo Scoring Meter™ lives on. I'll regularly use it to score such offensive forces as: Wilson Valdez, Michael Martinez, Delwyn Young, Pete Orr and Josh Barfield.

Jbird: That is the prevailing mentality. No matter what the future holds any trade that helps win a pennant or championship is a good trade. Thus the Tigers clearly got the better of the Smoltz/Alexander deal by that logic.

I just look at things differently.

I am glad that I will continue, in some manner, to contribute to this fine blog.

NEPP: That's certainly the mentality around here.

Is Castillo eligible for nomination to the Phillies Wall of Fame?

It was a magical 9 days in Spring Training.

I just don't understand why the Phils picked up Castillo to begin with if they were going to release him. The man is pretty much a known quantity at this point. What did they see during these 2 weeks that they didn't see during Mets spring training and didn't see last year? If anything, it seemed her performed better than expectations.

No big deal, just odd.

clout, we won a world series directly because of that trade. We probably dont even make the playoffs in 08 without that trade. It was worth it.

NEPP: Don't you mean Wall of Shame?

Some feel that one players WAR, UZR, and XYZ are more important than winning a WFC.

lorecore: Yeah, I'd take the Bourn end of that trade.

One of the many problems with the childish logic that a WFC makes everything right is that you have no clue how many WFCs they would've won without that trade. Without Lidge they might've dealt Vic for a closer who beat the Yankees to win the WFC in 2009, no?

You can't assume the Phillies wouldn't have won a championship without this guy or that guy when you don't know who would be replacing them.

This could have been all Valdez's idea. Maybe Luis owed him some money.

Clout: some trades can be win-win. Phillies got what they wanted and the Astro's got a little better than they were hoping for. That's what happens sometimes when you trade prospects. Sometimes you giveup a useful player and sometimes you give up a handful of magic beans and sometimes if you are really unlucky you give up a HOFer like Smoltz or Sandberg. But, does that mean you should never trade a prospect to get you over the hump? If Smoltz decides to sign his 1st free agent contract somewhere else (back with Detroit?)is it still a slamdunk case in your mind?

Something I think clout has some sort of auto-post program on his computer, which allows him to automatically type certain responses whenever certain words appear within 2 lines of each other. So if someone says, "Bastardo is certainly a better bet than Zagurski," the auto-post writes something about Beerleaguer regarding Bastardo as the greatest prospect ever. Or if someone writes, "Herndon was better than Baez last year," it writes, "Where did I miss the greatness that is David Herndon?" Or if someone writes that Madson's 82 MPH fastballs are a sign of an injury, it writes, "Beerleaguer has taught me that velocity, and the ability to strike people out, are all that are important to pitching."

As for the auto-post on Michael Bourn . . . I don't think anyone attempted to assess Bourn's future prospects & I certainly don't think anyone implied that the Astros got raked over the coals in the Lidge trade. It was a fair value trade, in which both teams got what they wanted. The Astros got a pretty good centerfielder for multiple years. We got our closer, without whom, there would have been no WFC. Hence, a good trade. No one needs to be raked over the coals in order for a trade to be a good trade. And saying it was a good trade is not demeaning Michael Bourn.

***You can't assume the Phillies wouldn't have won a championship without this guy or that guy when you don't know who would be replacing them.****

Something about one in hand instead of two in the bush comes to mind.

Jbird: "But, does that mean you should never trade a prospect to get you over the hump?"

Absolutely not. In fact, since most prospects fail, I'd rather deal a prospect for an established player to get me over the hump.

But recall what my original point was: You can't measure everyone by OPS+ and then declare it was a great trade.

I'm glad they got rid of him, but I don't see any correlation between this move and Utley coming back sooner.

Flushing the commode doesn't imply you're going to be farting rose petals later on...

Bourn could retire with 15 GG, 3500 hits and 1200 SB and I'd still say it was a great trade for us.

clout: The Tigers didn't even make the World Series that year. Hardly comparable to a trade that helped a team win it's first World F-in Championship in 28 years!

But keep holding on to "what if Michael Bourn becomes Willie Mays this year!?!?!?"

If anything, Valdez owes me money. After all, it was him who screwed up my hotel reservation.

Conjecture is fun and swell but the reality is that the Phils won the WFC and Lidge made a major contribution to it. It's easy to say that they could have won it with this guy or that guy blah blah blah, but they didn't. It was a good trade, period. If one wants to complain about the contract extension, that's another discussion.

clout...if your question is: "by the year 2015, if Michael Bourn turns himself into a roughly 100 OPS+ hitter, and emerges as quite possibly the best CF to ever play the game, do you still make the trade?" And given that the Lidge helped us win the 2008 World Series (and most importantly, ignoring anything that happened to Lidge from 2009 to 2011 b/c it's irrelevant to the question), my answer is a resounding "yes." This says nothing about whether or not I think Brad Lidge is <> or = to Ozzie Bourn.

Baron: So it is inconceivable that the Phillies might have won the championship in 2009 if they had Bourn in CF and a closer other than Lidge?

Heather: As I said back when he was picked up, I think a lot of attention would be paid to his defense. I'm guessing they didn't see enough there.

Old Phan: I get your mentality. Believe me. "We won the WFC so it was a good trade no matter what happens in the future and you're a traitor if you suggest otherwise." Honestly, I get that. I was 9 years old once myself.

No, not at all. But we're playing this game with the benefit of hindsight. We won in 2008. We were right there in 2009 and 10. Should be again in 2011. Not sure the trade did irreparable harm, it's not like we traded away the farm for one shot at glory. So I'm with NEPP, a bird in the hand...I'm fairly confident that's a reasonable opinion.

Let me get this straight...

A team with more than 10,000 losses and just 1 World F-in Championship in its history wins it all in 2008...

But we're to believe it was a bad trade because Michael Bourn could have been the linchpin to multiple WFC?

clout reaches MVPtommyd territory.

So who's the closer brought in for Vic? Would they have tried Myers instead? Madsen? Who cares?

CJ: The point is how silly your logic is. If the Tigers HAD won it all then by your definition, the Smoltz trade was great for the Tigers, right?

Nothing on BL is more gratifying than a debate on a "what might have been" in some sort of alternate reality,.. none of which can be supported or proven.

You guys are like the Alan Drury/Harry Turtledove of Philles history here...

Bah,.. misspelled the damn team name.. I need meh glasses

CJ: You're right. Everything the Phillies did that year and will do forever more is perfect and unworthy of criticism because they won a championship in 2008. They are incapable of making mistakes. And Lidge didn't suck against the Yankees in 2009.

I don't know what came over me. Forgive me.

"I get that. I was 9 years old once myself."
What, 3 or 4 years ago?

Luis, I get you this gig and you complain about the hotel I reserved for you. You come to Philadelphia and again you complain about the hotel. It's you man and where is my money.

Old Phan: I'm 11 now. Do the math.

I don't think you can measure the value of the Lidge/Bourne trade on what might've been in 2009, clout. Is that what you're doing?

Teams not named the NY Yankees or ST Cardinals dont really win all that many WS. Winning one is a historic event that every fan remembers. I'd much rather win 1 WS and suck the rest of the time than be very good but not win for several years.

clout: No time for your strawmen. I'm making no statement about other moves.

If you want to argue that Brad Lidge was not absolutely essential to the 2008 WFC, you can live on that island. It won't be very populated.

And if you want to argue that keeping Michael Bourn could have lead to even more WFCs, that island is even less populated.

clout: "Without Lidge they might've dealt Vic for a closer who beat the Yankees to win the WFC in 2009, no?

I can't see any scenario where someone could say the Phillies would have beat the Yankees in the world series if their closer performed better.

Vic in 2009: .803 OPS, 110 OPS+, won a gold glove and made the AS team
Bourn in 2009: .738 OPS, 97 OPS+, won a gold glove.

I'd personally rather have Vic but I'm weird like that. Our OF was pretty damn good in 2009.

"I can't see any scenario where someone could say the Phillies would have beat the Yankees in the world series if their closer performed better."

I can. It's called making sh*t up.

Listen... Michael Bourn = WFC

The Houston Astros are locks for at least 2 or 3.

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