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Saturday, July 30, 2011


Pouliot's comment is weird. This isn't 1998, anymore -- in the last four seasons, Pence is 10th in WAR and 18th in OPS.

Among MLB outfielders.

Goal right now is to see how many new threads the Comcast team can throw up in a 24-hour period.

Interesting that Hagen, like most of the other professionals including Manuel, makes reference to a window of opportunity something denied by posters here.

DH Phils: Who should be the starting RFer for the Phillies next season, Pence or Brown? Explain your answer while keeping in mind that Pence is a MLB OF with above-average range and a plus arm, which is why he plays RF.

OK, at JW's request, I'll give a scouting report on Zed.

Zed is chief agent of the Men in Black, charged with protecting earth from the scum of the universe.

He's pretty cool under fire, tossing off lines like, "We're not hosting an intergalactic kegger down here."

And, he...oh, wait. Wrong Zed.

clout: Zed's dead.

"I do have some fear that he's the type of player who we'll like less once we see him play every day"

On BL, that applies to almost every player on the Phils.
The one area he will help most is on defense, if one cares about such things. It's also nice to have another RH bat, but this not an earth shattering move, but that's OK. The
Phils didn't need an earth shattering move. A slight tremor was fine.

Just read the Phils and Cubs agreed to a Kerry Wood deal but he invoked his no trade clause. I appreciate that.

clout: I think that because Pence is an established RF with a good defensive reputation, it would make the most sense to keep him in right field. I never said/suggested otherwise.

My question is this: why do Brown's fielding problems project him as a LF rather than a RF? I understand that a RF needs a better arm than a LF, but I do not understand why a RF would need to be able to break on fly balls better than a LF.

In my mind, other than needing a better arm for RF, LF and RF are exactly the same position, with the same required skill set. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm already on record as calling Zeid a mediocre prospect, but let me play devil's advocate and see if I can make a case for him as a good prospect.

Yes, he's been old for every level BUT his K/BB is excellent, which bodes well for performance at higher levels.

Yes, he failed to make BA's Top 20 list of Phillies prospects BUT so did Bastardo back in '08 and '09.

Yes, his fastball tops out at 94 mph and he usually pitches 90-92 BUT he has a plus slider and has been improving his changeup.

Yes, he has a 5.65 ERA at Reading this season BUT his FIP in the AFL last fall was 1.70.

How am I doin?

The deal is fine, but people expecting Pence to be a star are simply wrong. His first half this year was an obvious fluke. He's a decent player, a .280/.330/.450 guy with some righty pop, though his career splits don't play out as a guy who mashes lefties (which is why it's confusing to see so many people say they *needed* to make this deal to hit LHP better).

I continue to insist that keeping Raul as a starter and demoting Dom is the absolute wrong move, but that seems to be a fait accompli. For what it's worth, Dom's OBP this year is the same as Pence's career OBP. Raul has the same OBP this year as Tomas Perez's career OBP.

What's that RF we just got,Von Hayes or didn't we give enough to get him?

Jack- who said they expect Pence to be a 'star'?

Also, do you think that because they're using Pence to replace Dom instead of Raul, this is essentially a lateral move?

I share clout's view that Pence still has a good chance to elevate his game a notch; I've actually thought that about him for several years. His minor league numbers, including his slugging numbers, were terrific; the potential for improvement would seem to be there. And homerun power is one area that often tends to improve as guys reach their late 20s and early 30s. If his homerun power improves, I've got a hunch his walk rate will go up too.

Not saying this will definitely happen, but it's decidedly possible and maybe even probable.

I am of a minority opinion here, but I think Dom should go to the minors for himself and not for the team. His number are equal to or better than Raul's, but they can be so much better. He needs to work on some things (including learning left field now it seems), and he can do it down there better than here. Bring him back up in September. Winning the division does not count on whether Raul or Dom play left field over the next 6 weeks.

I'd like to ask Drew (the author of this post) why this trade was one they *needed* to make. I think we're all in agreement they would make the playoffs no matter what, right?

So what you're saying then is this a trade they needed to make to win 11 games in the playoffs. Please explain. I think the trade was fine, it makes them somewhat better, but the idea that this was a *necessary* trade doesn't make a lot of sense to me. It's a luxury trade that they paid a pretty high price in prospects for.

As noted, Pence doesn't have strong platoon splits--he hits lefties at an .832 OPS clip, which is decent enough, but below guys like Willingham, Quentin, and Ludwick. So what *need* does he address, except potentially RF defense?

Iceman: No, it's better than a lateral move. Pence is an upgrade over Dom for the next two months. But he'd be a bigger upgrade over Raul.

I wrote a LONG post this morning about why Raul is actually the better option than Brown. The post was so long that BL didn't accept it. But I block-copied it & still have the content, & Jack's 1:09 post inspires me to try again. I'm splitting it into 2 posts, so maybe it will get through this time. Here goes:

This is one of those times when I think Cholly is right & the conventional BL wisdom is wrong. The conventional BL wisdom is that, while Raul will keep starting because Cholly favors veterans, Dom is the better option.

The main stat cited by those in this camp: Dom's superior OPS and OBP. It's a fair point but not the definitive one that its proponents make it out to be. Since their batting averages are essentially the same, & Ibanez's slugging pct. is .25 points higher, that OPS all comes down to Dom's walks. And, while walks are nothing to sneeze at, they're simply not as valuable as hits -- especially extra base hits. It's no accident that Raul averages 7.25 PAs per RBI & Dom averages 11; Raul's ISO is much better. His hits tend to be better than Brown's.

Here's the other thing about Raul: his walk totals are due for some upward reversion. Being 39 affects one's ability to make contact, but it doesn't affect one's batting eye. Raul has averaged around an 8 to 10% walk rate in past years -- and just last year he was being criticized on the ground that all he could do anymore was take walks. His walk rate figures to go up.

BABIP is another argument often cited on behalf of Dom. His BABIP is anomalously low, it is said. I don't know how we can possibly say that, since he has no major league history to which to compare his present BABIP. But putting that aside, the exact same argument can be made of Ibanez, who has a career BABIP of .303 and a 2011 BABIP of .269, despite a line drive rate that is precisely the same as Dom's. So if Dom, with his .276 BABIP, is getting unlucky, Ibanez is getting even MORE unlucky.

I'd love to hear a psychologists opinion of trades and fan reaction. First people say a rumored trade is great and what has to be done, then they say it would be giving up too much. Then, when the trade actually happens, they say it's great again until the next day when they look at it again and say it isn't that great and we once again gave up too much or got the wrong guy or might not think he's all that good when we see the real thing. Kind of like the process of grief or something, there has to be a "process of going through a trade for sports fans" or something because the pattern is showing up all over the place on here.

When Manuel refers to a window of opportunity, he is considering it from a personnel perspective. The real beauty of the current Phillies business model is that they have found a way to pay the best talent to be in Philadelphia, thereby making current personnel much less significant to ongoing sucess. I'll try to illustrate the difference with Ryan Howard. If he's no longer producing after 2016, it diminishes the teams capabilities. Countering that is the $20mm available to hire someone approaching their prime, like a Freddie Freeman, perhaps. It may not be Freeman, but someone in the top three first basemen will be a free agent, and few teams will have that kind of money built into their operating budget. We're seeing this now with Pence replacing Ibanez next year.

With a business model that perennially supports a 175mm payroll, the window of opportunity to at least make the playoffs and possibly win it all will continue to stay open after current players are gone. The Phils are now a large market team. The Mets, the Dodgers and the Cubs are also large market, but are nowhere as well managed, either as a business or regarding personnel, as the Phils.

Jack: It was more for next season and the year after, in my opinion, than for now. Raul's gonna be gone, we needed a new OF and needed a RH bat. His signing gives you better RF defense and another RH bat in the lineup to de-leftify it.

DH Phils: Brown is projected to be a LFer because he's on the Phillies. Where else would you play him?

bap...awesome post.

And the rest . . .

Next up is the recency argument: Dom has been getting better. It's quite true, but it's true to an even greater extent of Ibanez, who (despite a terrible June) has had an OPS over .800 since that godawful April. Because Dom is a rookie, it's widely assumed that his improvement is some kind of permanent state of affairs. But we thought the same thing back when he was hitting .300 in May -- and he turned around and hit .165 in June. His jump in numbers may represent real improvement or it may just represent the normal viscissitudes of a .250 hitter's season. Even at 39, I still say we've seen the worst of Raul and, while he'll have his terrible stretches, his offense over the last 3 months suggests that his final numbers are going to end up somewhere between where they are now & where they were last year.

At the risk of sounding like MVPTommy, there's also the "my eyes tell me" factor. My eyes tell me that, for all his problems, Raul has still delivered some very clutch hits for us this year. I said that before I looked up his RISP numbers, but those numbers bear me out: .284 with an .821 OPS. My eyes also tell me that, in important moments, Dom is a virtual lock to come up small right now; hence his .196 average and .544 OPS with RISP. And those numbers are padded, as he has had several key "hits" that were really errors. Yeah, yeah, hitting with RISP isn't a "repeatable skill;" I'm not saying Dom will never be a good clutch hitter. But he's a young, inexperienced player & it doesn't exactly strain credulity to imagine that he gets tense in key situations & that it's affecting his performance in those situations.

Finally, Raul's defense is poor, but Brown's is worse. A lot worse. Raul is slow but he catches what is hit to him. Sometimes he even makes a tough catch. Brown turns every fly ball into an adventure, routinely turns singles into doubles, and his next tough catch will be his first one.

It also needs to be said that there's some bias in the BL evaluations. Ibanez is 39 and we're all conditioned to believe he's got to be cooked at that age -- even though he had a career year at 37 and was still pretty good at 38. On the other hand, Dom's a fresh face. He's the first touted prospect since Hamels whom we haven't traded away. We want to see him do well. The bias shows up in our comments: when Ibanez strikes out, it's because he was overmatched; when Dom strikes out, he gets praised for fouling off 5 pitches before doing so. I think the bias is also affecting the evaluations of who's the better option for 2011.

In short, Ibanez is not entitled to start over Brown because of seniority. But he deserves to start over Brown because he gives us a better chance to win right now -- which is what Cholly is trying to do.

Question for anyone who knows the answer: aside from the throwing requirements of the 2 positions, is there an actual difference in fielding chances between RF & LF?

Best BAP post ever.

BAP - one of the better posts i've ever read on BL.

A standing O for BAP on those posts. Definitely has me reconsidering my position a bit.

BAP: Moreover, it allows Brown to get real experience in a learning environment in AAA to learn LF's ball trajectories for the next month til he comes back in September.

"Best BAP post ever."

Is that kind of like being the best skipper on the Titanic?

So... bap basically wrote what I wrote last thread, but took 3 times as long to write it ;-)

The world has to worry when bap and I make the same argument.

Raul is the better choice right now and likely through the end of the playoffs. Brown is the right choice for every day after that.

Look at the Braves and Jayson Heyward. He's struggling pretty regularly in his sophomore year and there is actually talk of acquiring a corner OF to replace Heyward for the rest of the season. Prospects take time. No reason to force it.

Thanks, bap, for a well thought out, well-argued explanation.

I have only one disagreement. As someone who has actually passed age 39 I would take exception to the statement:

"Being 39 affects one's ability to make contact, but it doesn't affect one's batting eye."

At age 39 I moved into the bay area (since departed) and had to install earthquake strips on the tops of bookshelves and other furniture etc. I had to fasten mending plates on the back of a two piece, heavy chunk of furniture as well. I moved it out from the wall (with much grunting) to about a foot and a half - enough room to get the screw gun behind it. And then, for the first time, I noticed I could not focus enough in the space provided to find the threads of the screws. Guess what? My vision at 39 was not what it was at 35.

Ibanez has much athletic ability that I have never had. He keeps himself in superb shape. But to say, in a blanket and general way that an aspect of his vision is not affected by age is, um, short-sighted. I think your argument is convincing and right. But it is indeed possible that Raul does not have as good strike zone judgment as he once did.

That's why @bap is beerleaguer elite. Hall of fame post. Deserves it's own thread. Also I look forward to bap changing his position when Raul goes 0 for 3 with 4 lob tonight. :)

I've always heard that because fielding balls slicing away from you is more difficult than those slicing toward you, right field is more difficult. Because there are more righthanded batters a right fielder deals with more balls slicing away from him. For that reason right field has been regarded as the more difficult position. I tend to think that is a pretty small difference but I believe that was always the conventional wisdom. As for arm strength requirements in RF vs LF, that's pretty obvious.

clout: I'm not disagreeing with that. I was responding to MG's original post that implied that Brown's value to other teams had dropped because of his bad defense in RF that made him projected as a LF. The implication was that LF is an easier position than RF, which I disagree with, aside from needing a better arm in RF.

BAP: My guess is that because more hitters are RH, the LF sees more balls than the RF but the RF tends to see more inside-out opposite-field hits, which may be more difficult to read. I don't know which of these effects are more significant - my guess is that they approximately cancel.

Doms biggest problem seems to be on balls right at him. He seems to freeze on them at the crack of the bat. It takes him a second to determine how well the ball is hit. I recognize the problem because I had the same problem as an otherwise decent outfielder as a kid. Dom seems to get an ok jump on balls hit away from him to either side, but he's slow as molasses on the ones right at him. Of course once he gets to them is a whole different story. That's when things get really interesting.

I've been pretty busy since yesterday afternoon and missed the last few threads. Has anyone apologized to Ruben Amaro yet for their idiotic posts from yesterday? *coughNEPPcough*

bay_area_phan has turned me around. Upwards regression is the wave of the future, and as such, the Phillies ought to pursue Adam Dunn for center field.

I mean, I have to admit that I have soured on Raul partially because I am just so traumatized by the cold streaks he has gone on this year that whenever he comes to the plate in a big situation, I just expect failure. That's pretty much it. I do recognize that he's put up respectable numbers since he got out of that horrific 0-fer.

There are also many an AB, specifically against LHP (and more specifically LOOGYs) where he just goes up there and doesn't have a clue. But the same thing could be said for Howard, I guess.

So I think when it comes down to it, I see Brown as a fresh face that at least looks like he has a clue when he goes up most ABs, and I feel like he's more of an asset in the lineup than Raul. But his defense is just as bad, if not worse. And walks aren't necessarily what this lineup needs. Raul has more potential to get you a big XBH (albeit not by much), and I guess when it comes down to it, yeah, that makes him slightly more valuable than Brown at this point.

BAP, you have brought me to your side. There is a first time for everything I guess.

Clout, I do love that you latch onto my posts, searching for any and all flaws in my argumentation, eager to pounce on anything found, and then display it to the masses in all its glory. But, PLEASE only point out the things I ACTUALLY say. If I'm talking out of my ass about something, call me out on it, but don't make stuff up. It's getting tiring man. Really tiring.

Anyways, you said that I don't think Pence is going to improve during his peak years. I, of course, said no such thing. What I said was that Pence hadn't actually improved much yet this year in a lot of key areas, so I saw no reason to see his OPS+ as being indicative of a massive improvement this year. As evidence for that opinion, I stated the following facts:

Career BB%: 6.8
2011 BB%: 6.9

Career K%: 18.1
2011 K%: 19.9

Career ISO: .190
2011 ISO: .163 (this number has decreased every single year he's been in the league)

Career SWS%: 11.1
2011 SWS%: 11.1

Career LD%: 15.7%
2011 LD%: 17.5% (he's improved here..I'll give him that)

Career BAbip: .326
2011 BAbip: .368

There's more, but I don't feel like posting about his plate discipline numbers, which show that he's swinging at a lot more balls this year than ever in his career. What we see here is a guy who doesn't walk much, who hasn't improved at all in that regard this year, strikes out a lot, who's actually gotten worse this year in that regard, and has been hitting for less and less power every year he's been in the league. His LD% is up all of 2%, yet his BAbip is up my 40 plus points. Maybe the extra 2% line drives is causing that, but consider me skeptical. He's certainly a fine player, and he can definitely improve, as many players do, but the evidence shows that he's not improved much at all this year. He's the same player he was last year, but for some reason or another, a lot more balls are falling in for hits than last year.

Andy: Well, he walked a lot last year & it strikes me as unlikely that his eyesight has gotten THAT much worse in one year. Maybe his walk rate has gone down, in part, because there's some pitches that he could foul off at 38, but can't foul off at 39. Still, my suspicion is that his walk rate will go up somewhat.

Iceman: See, those lawyer tricks can sometimes work.

In my ideal world, Cholly would use either a platoon or, at the very least, a semi-platoon with Ibanez & Mayberry. And, if we're winning after the 7th inning, Mayberry would take over on defense. That seems like a no-brainer.

BAP, that was an excellent post on Raul, and while I do favor OBP very highly, I think you are dead on. Raul's ability to slug at the bottom of the order has more value than Dom Brown being on first base when Ruiz and Halladay are the next two batters in the order.

Great post.

Fat: Thanks.

I think this might be the first time in BL history I've ever convinced people of something. Maybe I'll copy the post and throw it into my next appellate brief.

BL's are easily convinceable, as long as you're willing to type 1000 words. we're a reasonable bunch.

BAP- to be honest, I don't have a problem with lawyers. My fiancee went to Berkeley, Brown, and now is at Yale law. Too many arguments with wanna-be JD's over the past several years. Just giving you a hard time.

cut_fastball's quote is a BL classic.

Is NEPP still with us, or should I be checking out the Burlington, Vt. paper's obits for a suicide?

Hard to believe that BL is just now coming to grips with the obvious:

LV just got a new left fielder too. Guy named Dom.

Posted by: curt | Friday, July 29, 2011 at 09:20 PM

I'm still around...been busy all morning.

Rube did okay to get his man but he paid top dollar to do it.

With Pence now added, Polanco and Oswald on their respective ways back to the roster , who are the three surplus players.

Candidates for my vote are: Carpenter, Valdez, Francisco, and Gload.

I would guess Valdez stays , unless Polanco is truly healthy.
I would take my chances with Brown over Gload 'cause I no longer see any plus side to more seasoning at AAA for Brown. The roller-coaster between the bigs and the minors is worse than bench time in my view.

Gload to me is a less capable bat off the bench than Brown because of Brown's speed, power and ability to be used in the field as well as PH.

I like Pence. THink we paid a lot for him, but I'm happy to have him and still have Brown.

Buster Olney tweets the Braves are pissed because they think the Astros asked for much more from them than they got from the Phillies... the Braves also think their offer (centered around Mike Minor) was better than what the Astros got.

Boo hoo.

Also, Keith Law thinks the Astros should have gotten more for Pence.

CJ, considering how secret the offer was from the Phillies, the Braves clearly have a right to be upset. Its not like there were ANY indications whatsoever that it was a deal centered around Singleton and Cosart. This entire trade was like a super secret black op from start to finish.

B_A_P, well done. I applaud you for your measured thoughtfulness, and I slide you a lager from the other side of the bar.

bap - I've read in a lot of places that Raul is "cheating" more than any hitter in the league right now. That ism he's startinghis swing extremely early in fastball counts because that's the only way he can catch up to a 90+ FB. From what I've seen, I think this is true.

Wouldn't that be adversely affecting his pitch selection, and therefore walk rate, as he has to decide too early to recognize FB or offspeed? If so, that's not something that's going to get better.

Cosart's uncertain upside as a #1 > Mike Minor's more certain upside as a #4

I'm not over the moon for Pence, but the Braves just sound like sore losers.

If the Astro's were shooting for pure upside, they got a couple good ones. If they wanted a safer bet, Minor would have been the choice. But Minor has zero "Ace" potential, and Cosart is dripping with it. The value really depends on what they were looking for.

Considering we only had to give up A ball prospects, this was an excellent trade. It's pretty much that simple. Yes, Cosart may end up being the next Roy Halladay, but right now he's just grinding along in the minors. And will be still in 2013 most likely, when our window ends. An outfield next year of Vic, Pence and Brown is more than acceptable. I also have to agree that perhaps, the best thing to do would be to send down Brown until septemeber and work on his defense, which is atrocious, and that's being kind. Hopefully he can improve on that a bit. I'm less worried about his hitting, his instincts are good and the rest will come along sooner than later.

I wonder if Cosart will end up "pulling a Knapp" and never being heard of again...that'd be funny.

bap: Very good post.

That said, wOBA is a stat that takes into account many of the things you're talking about--that hits are worth more than walks, etc. It assigns a linear weight to each outcome (so a single is worth 1, a walk is worth something like 0.8, double is worth ... etc.)

Brown wOBA: .325
Ibanez wOBA: .310

Fatalotti: I apologize for misunderstanding your earlier posts. I don't recall those posts acknowledging the possibility that he can improve, but you do in this one.

BTW, would you like to make a friendly wager about Pence improving over the next 3 seasons, including this one? And, if not, then what's the point of all your posts trying to show that he's stagnant?

I also think that gross is actually making his hitting worse, not better. Brown does have a good idea, and should be looking to swing at more first strikes.

Good eye, i meant to say, brown has a good eye.

Can someone give me a rundown of all of clout's current bets?


I bet clout the Phils will be in contention for the next 123 years or until the world ends, whichever comes first.

Who else?

Jack: Is that number since the beginning of the year or since Brown was called up?

CJ: Someone bet me that Dom Brown will hit more HRs in his career than Colby Rasmus, but I forget who.

b_a_p -- Wow. As an attorney, you must type 100 wpm to knock out a tome like that in your "spare time" since I’m pretty sure lawyers don’t have spare time. Never heard of any “number of characters” limitation on this board’s posts (pun alert!). Nice work.

Thanks again for the succinct summation of the Pence pluses last night. You and Fata brought together a concise summary of what Pence can bring. Pence is a definite upgrade over Dom. A healthy Phils team here on in suddenly feels like a 105-win juggernaut.

I will also go on the record saying that Cosart will never be a #1 starter.

Time to cut bait with Francisco and install Mayberry as 4th OF. Amaro can try get back a Josh Zeid level prospect for Francisco. If not, just release him.

Cosart's injury risk scares me, including the infamous "inverted W". I do think Singleton will be a very good hitter, but I doubt he plays anywhere but 1st base, which is obviously occupied here.

CJ: Those are their numbers on the year. Obviously Brown wouldn't have numbers from April. Am I supposed to pretend Raul's April didn't happen?

Ibanez has obviously had a streaky season:

April wOBA: .223
May wOBA: .398
June wOBA: .252
July wOBA: .353

Brown's numbers:

May wOBA: .389
June wOBA: .274
July wOBA: .351

I see no reason to believe Brown won't be as good or better offensively going forward this season.

clout - agreed, but only because I think imjuries will derail his career.

BTW, who was saying a couple weeks ago that Cosart was a "once-in-a-lifetime" prospect? He must be crushed today.

"Being 39 affects one's ability to make contact, but it doesn't affect one's batting eye"

Well, it can, actually. If your bat speed slows, you're going to have to start your swing sooner to catch up to the ball. Start your swing sooner, you're going to get less of a look at the pitch before you have to swing, leading to some bad swings at bad pitches a player with more bat speed might not have made.

Clout has me beat on a bet this year over who would have more HRs this year, Raul or Francisco. I think we can probably call that one.

Bow down before Zeid

I see Chris in VT already said the same thing I did about Raul...great minds.

Here's an interesting question. I guess it's good Brown is getting everyday ABs in Lehigh Valley, if they really do insist on starting Pence in RF and Ibanez in LF.

But everyone wants Dom on the playoff roster, still, right? I would take him over either Gload or Francisco. Others will insist on Gload because he's a "professional" hitter, but Brown is the better player, hands-down.

the rasmus/brown one is me.

rasmus 2
brown 0

so far...

Jack and I (amongst others) said this was an under 100 win team before the season started and said the Braves would get the WC or challenge for 1st. I will officially consider this a 96 win team now.

DH Phils: Balls hit the opposite way(RF by RHB)tend to have crazy spin on them. More RHB=more tough plays for the RFer. Whitey and others always said CF was easier because most balls hit their way were straight.

Thank you BAP. It's comforting to know there will be at least one profoundly knowledgeable fan in the Bay Area during my visit next week.

Chris in VT is right on Minor: He is an off-the-shelf finesse Lefty and there's an ample supply of those guys.

I found scorecard in my desk from 2010 and I have Gload listed as number 3, is this possible?

Brown absolutely needs to be on the post-season roster over Gload. Not even a close call.

Great post by BAP. Also,glad that so many BLers are still backing Raul. That is until he cools off for a bit in a couple of weeks.

What kind of law do you practice, BAP?

Clout: I agree with you on Brown/Gload. But I'm sure many posters will take Gload's veteran bat, and I'm not convinced the Phillies won't either.

RE Pence: Very happy that Brown wasn't included. Due to his ARB contracts the next couple of years, I am pretty certain either Jimmy or more likely Madson will not be returning.

OT: I had tickets for tonight's game but am unable to go so I gave them to my brother-in-law and his son. Mad I can't see Pence's 1st game as a Phillie in person.

Do we have a legit DH when we go to the WS? Gload? RFD? Raul? I hope not.

Single A guys are lottery tickets plain and simple -- for every hit there are a ton of misses. On the other hand, Pence doesn't move the needle significantly from what we had in Brown/Mayberry. It still comes down to Jimmy, Chase and Ryan showing up in October.

bap - Part of my point was that at age 38 I could have seen the threads in the screw. As you age, your eyesight can deteriorate unexpectedly quickly. Agina, I'm not saying you're wrong, nor disagreeing with your valid point. I'm just saying that there is a possibility at Raul's age that his eyesight might be less than what it was even a year ago.

Andy, no question about it. Not only do you start suffering from CRS, but you also suffer from CSS, and it really starts in your late 30s/early 40s.

clout, all I was doing was combatting the ideology of some posters on here (admittedly, there were a lot of posters on this board yesterday who weren't regular visitors) that Pence was "must have" and that his All-Star status warranted us giving up anything for him, including Domonic Brown.

Pence is a good player, and one that I like on this team. If you remember correctly, I advocating bringing Pence here back in late April, and made reference to it several times over the next couple months, believing that he'd be a fine player to man one of the corner OF spots for the next two years. I like him here, and although I think they paid steeply for him, I'll root like crazy for him to succeed.

I just wanted to cool the hysteria that he was the answer to our prayers of rhe offense, because he isn't, and two, this offense didn't have any prayers anyway. Where his impact will be felt most is in his defense.

As for your wager, I'm with you in thinking that he'll improve. Although some of his numbers don't bear out too kindly for him, I don't know how those relative changes bear out against the league. Perhaps most players around Pence's age haven't seen some of their peripherals improve, and he's nothing out of the ordinary.

But for the sake of the bet, and so that youhave something to berate me about later, I'll say that Hunter Pence's OPS+ as a Phillie won't be any higher than his career OPS+ of 117 right now.

Fair enough?

Jack: If Dom goes down, I think he returns by Aug. 31st to make the playoffs. I also think he becomes the 6th bench man. With VW and KK in the pen, they can drop 1 of the dregs.

I think Brown or Gload in the playoffs is a false choice. Carrying only 4 starters gives them an extra bench spot. I doubt they carry 2 utility infielders in the playoffs so they probably keep Martinez, Schneider, Gload, Brown, Francisco, and Mayberry, giving them 2 bats from each side of the plate.

Funny thing and a huge positive...odds are that Brown wont be a Super 2 now if he spends all of August in the Minors. We'll get another full year of control out of him as a result of sending him down.

So there's that...which is nice.

Overall, I like the trade.

If everyone is healthy and the Phillies don't make any more trades, I'm guessing the playoff pen sets up as Madson, Bastardo, Lidge, Contreras, Stutes, Kendrick, and Worley. If Contreras isn't healthy, I guess they'd keep Perez as a 2nd lefty.

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EST. 2005

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