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Thursday, November 17, 2011



hope we can lock him into a 2 year deal.

It has vesting options based on errors, passed balls, failure to stop runners and days on the DL. The more of each category, the more years/money that are tacked on.

Ugh. Worley better have a sub 3.00 ERA to justify this signing.

Let's hope that physical detects a lack of ability to hit.

I have details of the agreement:

Phils agreed to pay him lots of money and he agreed to stink again.

He DOES have a hot wife though.. just google Jordan Schneider.. So maybe losing out on Mrs. Traynor isn't as painful as once thought

To be fair, After Moyer was hurt, Schneider filled the integral old-guy-who-works-with-younger-pitchers roster spot.

When do we start getting younger?


ha, I love how all the commenters so far behave as if the quoted paragraph from clout doesn't exist; I often disagree with clout, but he is of course precisely correct in this case.

@Denny B. I'm not so sure that having a younger back-up catcher who is going to start 1/5 of the games is really that important.

Now, a younger nucleus of everyday players? Absolutely agree it is a direction we need to head to avoid having one or two regulars on the DL basically the entire season ...

Back-up Catcher? Not what the "youth movement" really shoudl be about. That's like saying we would help the team by having a younger LOOGY than a veteran in that role to pitch 45 innings ....

Jbird - "To be fair, After Moyer was hurt, Schneider filled the integral old-guy-who-works-with-younger-pitchers roster spot."

Why settle for Schneider when we can have Jamie?

When the dust settles, we'll probably have both. While we're at it, let's go dig Pedro out of retirement too.

There's been enough hyperbole on here related to the backup catcher that a few of you should consider jobs as GOP Presidential Communications Advisers.

Here is what I posted and debunk Clout's statement:

"clout - Schneider has thrown out 11 of the 61 (18%) attempted SBs the last 2 years.

Chooch has thrown out 43 of the 170 attempted SBs (25%) the last 2 years.

Average in the NL is 28% the past 2 years. Part of it is due to the fact that Dubee doesn't believe in making much of an effort to hold runners on. The Phils also really call pitch-outs either.

Still Chooch has a much better arm than Schneider at this point in there careers and the numbers clearly reflect that as the.

As for Schneider offensive numbers here they are:

Last 3 years: .212/.295/.326 (.621 OPS) 68+ OPS in 420 ABs
Last 2 years: .208/.297/.320 (.617 OPS) 67+ OPS in 250 ABs

I don't see as much variation as I just see a poor offensive performer. What's his upside next year if he rebounds? A line of say .220/.300/.330 in 125-150 ABs?"

Does anyone else remember the large majority of Schneider's throws either bouncing into 2B, being long looping tosses to 2B or clear into CF?

It wasnt a matter of holding guys on...he's just old.

I'm assuming this a 3 year deal

I'd like to see the Phillies pitchers do a better job of holding runners on 1st. Perhaps, our catchers' % would look a little better.

I'm guessing the front office cares more about the backup C's relationship with the pitchers than how effective he'll be in the 8 hole.

Also, Dubee's made it clear that holding runners is pretty low on the priority list for his pitchers, so I'm not surprised at the crummy CS%.

clout loves Schneider so he must be good.

gobaystars: you posted a question about Darvish and Cespedes. I ansdwered it twide, but Weitzel keeps adding threads, so if you want my answer you'll have to sort through the archives.

Way down on my "To Do" List is reading BL to check up on the latest back-up seldom used catcher news.

In other news, it appears that D-head Selig is going to announce the sale of the Houston Astros to a new owner contingent on the new owner agreeing to move the team to the AL. What a travesty! D-bag Selig should move his sorry Brewers franchise back to the league of their birth, instead. There goes my chance to see the Phillies in person once a year in Houston. It makes me sick. Oh, gee, I'll get to see a lot of the Angels, A's and Mariners on the tube. It makes me want to barf.

"Backups are like relief pitchers. "

So I guess if an aging relief pitcher sucks for two years, that's no reason not to sign him for a couple more, right?

Relief pitchers (especially backend reliever who will throw 65+ inning of generally moderate-high leverage) are a lot more important than backup catchers.

Lake Fred - do we know the reasoning behind why the Astros were the candidate to move and not another team?

My candidates to move would have been the Brewers, Rockies and Diamondbacks. The Brewers have roots in the AL whereas the Rockies and D-backs haven't been around long enough in the NL (less than 20 years). I don't understand moving the Astros (50+ year history in the NL) unless you really want an in-state rivarly with the Rangers. But with increased interleague wouldn't you have that anyway? It makes no sense to me.

RBill, if Worley has a sub 4 ERA, the signing will be justified. (And I'm only half kidding.)

The pending physical is to reassure the team that Schneider is still worn out and sucks.

I loook forward to another year of a backup catcher where our manager respects his defense so much that he'll continually use Chooch as a defensive replacement in the later innings.

"While we're at it, let's go dig Pedro out of retirement too."

Quite frankly, if you could get him in a bullpen role, Pedro would probably still be an asset to this (or most any) team.

Redburb, I don't know. Here's some possible reasons:

Punishment for the state of Texas not being politically correct.

Selig probably didn't like the Brewers playing three series in Houston each year.

Selig is an idiot.

MLB had 15 players wanting to be starting DH's next season. They needed another team.

The AL wanted Wade's great GM skills in their league.

The AL wanted another team to pad the other teams' win column with.

"Lake Fred - do we know the reasoning behind why the Astros were the candidate to move and not another team?"

Because the Astros were the only team MLB could strong arm into moving? Since they were up for sale, they basically told Crane that his sale wouldn't be approved unless he agreed to move. And MLB still gave him like $35 mil as inducement to move.

Imagine how much moohlah MLB would've had to shell out if it was another team. Nobody wants to move from the NL to the AL because the AL is the more difficult, and more expensive, league.

RedBurb - my take on the move of Houston is two-fold. The league wants to maximize returns in the large markets in Texas and they think putting these teams in direct competition will increase interest in baseball there. And, they have leverage over the Astros through the approval process on the pending sale, so they have an efficient means to accomplish those ends.

Redburd: It's because every other owner could veto a league switch and no one wanted to do it. B/c the Astros are getting a new owner, he couldn't veto it. Though, last I read, he was getting a $70m rebate on his agreed upon sale price. Not too shabby, if you ask me. There were also some geographic considerations as well, I suppose. Wouldn't have made sense to move a team like the Marlins into the AL West, had to be a Western NL Central team.

This season feels like a loss.

So Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus has a list up on ESPN (insider) of possible packages for Cole Hamels. Only one didn't make me immediately want to throw up. The only one I'd consider was:

Texas Rangers: Martin Perez, LHP; Mike Olt, 3B; Jorge Alfaro, C; Roman Mendez, RHP

And even in that one I'd try to swap out the last 2 for Profar. A deal of Perez, Olt, and Profar wouldn't be that bad. . . if the Phillies were trying to re-build instead of win WFC II.

A sample of what the others looked like:

Chicago Cubs: Brett Jackson, OF; Andrew Cashner, RHP; Junior Lake, INF

Washington Nationals: Brad Peacock, RHP; Derek Norris, C; Michael Taylor, OF; Stephen Lombardozzi, INF

I guess that makes sense. No owners would want to move, so let's make the new guy move. Just seems odd that a team like the Astros would move, with their history being in the NL and all.

"This season feels like a loss."
Maybe this is sarcasm, but if the season feels like a loss when your team is favored to win the World Series, I don't even know what to say.

Jbird: I feel the same way, but also think if Hamels was dealt, I'd have to believe he'd go to NYY or BOS.

Bed's Bear: Here's his mythical Sawks and Yanks packages:

Boston Red Sox: Will Middlebrooks, 3B; Jed Lowrie, INF; Brandon Jacobs, OF; Felix Doubront, LHP

New York Yankees: Manny Banuelos, LHP; Hector Noesi, RHP; Austin Romine, C; Mason Williams, OF.

Not a lot to get excited about unless you combined the 2 deals and made it Banuelos, Middlebrooks, Lowrie, Jacobs. I mean, what do we need Romine for? Goldstein must have compiled the article before the Schneider signing broke.

Beerleaguer is so white! And the old logo is back! Brian Schneider was the much needed kick in the ass!

Schneider will be playing Uecker-style defense. When a ball gets past him, he'll simply wait until the ball stops rolling and then go pick it up.

Heather - I think you nailed it.

From Wikipedia on Scheider:

2004: For the second straight season, he led major league catchers in throwing out base-stealers, with a 47.8 percent success rate. Schneider finished the season with a fielding percentage of .998, setting a new franchise single-season record for a catcher.

In 2005 Schneider threw out a majors-leading 38 percent of would-be base stealers. Between 2003 and 2005, he threw out 43.5 percent of base-stealers, the best ratio in baseball over that period.

2006: For the first time since 2002, Schneider did not lead either the major leagues or the National League in percentage of base-stealers thrown out, gunning down just 27%.

Although some can say he is on the decline Scheider is still only 34 and has an impressive resume for a backup.

Add in that BS knows the pitching staff which is a huge intangible and this is a good signing although not sexy.

Catchers are like caddies, it is hard to really substantiate their actual worth.

I believe the thinking behind move the 'stros is because they never won a World Series in that city. I can't remember who said it but one of the commishes (70's OR 80's) said they would never want to move a team that has a good history, a great fanbase or has won the whole thing. The 'stros fit the profile. I cannot remember what I deamed up the last time we had this discussion but I believe I was in favor of contraction and knocking out TB. I don't think the Brewers fans made a big deal when they switched but in any case Selig was in charge so it didn't matter what anybody wanted.

Hwo does the 10 playoff team system work, has MLB announced?

If the 4th and 5th seeds have to face off first before the division winners play, then I guess I'm OK with that. It'd be almost like a play-in round a la NCAA.

If the 4th and 5th seeds have a chance to play for the Divisonal Crown, then this is a travesty to the 162 game regular season.

I think it's going to be decided on run differential, or best budgeting for 3 years from now.

aladou - sarcarsm

FG WAR will be used as a tiebreaker from now on. Whichever team has the best WAR/Budget ratio wins the World Series. No more playoffs, no more travel, etc etc.

JB: "Catchers are like caddies, it is hard to really substantiate their actual worth."

Maybe half of the time, but when they are taking up a lineup spot, it is very easy to measure their worth. Now if after helping a gofler to the green, he had to sink the putt himself, i'd agree with you.

Maybe the team with the most hideous uniforms wins the WFC. Marlins vs. Mariners.. GO FISH!!

I was hoping Rube would wake up and this deal wouldnt go through. However, I knew it would go through. Im pretty sure Schneider is like i cant believe they sign me to another year. He is practicing Iam the luckiest man alive speech right now....SMH! Rube thought we where getting younger? Dont mean the Ballgirls i mean the actual team. I say this again about his winning record when he is catching. It is an almost meaningless stat. Youre starting pitchers are Cliff Lee, Roy H, Roy O and Cole. Any catcher that is at least an average catcher will have a winning record. This pitching staff call their own game a good part of the time.

"While we're at it, let's go dig Pedro out of retirement too."

Is that Feliz or Martinez? ;)

Luis: Good point on ball girls. Just imagine the talent they could bring in if they took the difference between Schneider's deal and the $400k they'd owe some MiLB'er who prolly is at worst - just as good as Schiender.

"Phillies re-signed C Brian Schneider to a one-year, $800,000 contract. Jon Heyman of reports that he could make an additional $200,000 with incentives. Schneider, who turns 35 later this month, batted just .176/.246/.256 with two homers and a .502 OPS over 139 plate appearances this season. They could have found an upgrade elsewhere, but the Phillies are apparently comfortable with him as Carlos Ruiz's primary backup catcher."

750-800k is what I thought he would get. Even if the Phils had used Kratz at the minimum league next year ($411k), it would have only saved them 300k.

Just think there were better alternatives on the FA market especially given his injury track record (guaranteed to go on the 15-day DL next year and likely miss at least a month), defensive failoff, and many offensive decencies.

All catchers get hurt - you almost need 3 of them. If you use Kratz as your major league backup and he gets hurt, you're suddenly giving playing time to Tuffy Gosewisch. An extra $400K to have Ruiz-Schneider-Kratz instead of Ruiz-Kratz-Gosewisch seems reasonable to me.

Looks like the band is getting back together.

Schneider used to be a Phillie killer. I will leave it to everyone else to decide what he is now.

Rube seems to be trying to alienate the fans. Maybe he wants to find out what it's like to GM a team with a lower payroll. For all those who think the bench isn't important, I seem to remember a playoff game where Charlie let a bunch of slop go to the plate in the 8th inning of a one run game rather than use that elite bench. I wonder if having a better player on the bench or two might have made a difference. Maybe, maybe not. But we'll never know.

Since Schneider is back, maybe Rube might want to go get Doumit now. Not as the backup catcher, but as a true third catcher and 1st base/OF occasional fill in and switch hitting pinch hitter. I'd give him Benny Fran's money plus Minimart's money to do that job. That would be a huge upgrade and allow Charlie to more easily hit for Scheider late in games without wasting Chooch's days off.

When the GM of my favorite team goes out and signs the best FA closer on the market, I feel alienated. I'm oppressed.

aksmith - Rube is trying alienate the fans by signing Schneider? C'mon man.

Just thought there were some slightly better alternatives on the market. That's all.

Doumit is a poor fielder and has spooky eyes.

aksmith: Didnt Ruben just sign Jim Thome? Hard to see how that alienates fans and ignores the bench.

I worry about how Rube will disappoint me tomorrow.

aksmith - Really? Trying to alienate the fanbase by signing a backup catcher? Dude you need to get your priorities in order.

Check backup catcher off of the list of things to do this off-season

Deciding which cheap warm body to sign as a backup catcher will not make or break the season. Choosing between one of the two top available closers will not make or break the season. It's what Amaro does with the rest of his dough (SS, LF, maybe 3B, bench upgrades) that'll decide 2012.

Andy: I have no love for Schneider, just sayin' you can't tell much from one bad season. And that, like relief pitchers, backups are prone to wild statistical swings.

MG: Your refutation refutes something, I guess, but not my post. See my note to Andy above if you didn't understand the point of my post.

DH Phils: What's wrong with giving PT to Goosewurst as your third string catcher?

clout - But he hasn't been bad for one season & it is pretty clear that he is at the end of his rope. He's been bad overall since '09 offensively, injured every year since then, and has been well below average in throwing out runners the past 2 years compared to Chooch.

Schneider's is simply a washed-up player at this point.

Jbird: If a package of Philippe Aumont, J.C. Ramirez & Tyson "Can't Miss" Gillies can get you Cliff Lee why couldn't one of those packages get you Cole Hamels?

MG: Is this "bad" for a backup catcher?

.240/.345/.384 95 OPS+

Career wOBA for Ryan Doumit: .336
Career wOBA for Francisco: .333

Granted Doumit is more versatile, but not a lot of difference offensively.

That is kind of a genius plan in theory. Instead of signing a pitcher for market value, you trade him for prospects for a year and then sign the same pitcher to the market value deal anyway.

The problem with that plan is exactly what happened to Ruben though - the prospects can suck and ruin the whole plan. And of course the risk of the pitcher going elsewhere in FA is always present, but Ruben is too smug to let that bother him.

clout: sigh. I'm hoping Amaro's learned his lesson from that fiasco.

MG: I get your selective stats thing. It's what you do to make your points. But if you look at his past 6 years he's gone: Good year/bad year/good year/bad year/good year/bad year.

Now, maybe you're right. Maybe he's washed up at age 35. But you have zero evidence to support that view. As I say, stats for backups, like relief pitchers, have wild swings.

Jbird: Me too.

clout - No its not but do you think Schneider duplicates his career high in % BB (12.9% in '10 vs. 9.6% career) or his highest ISO number since '05 (.144 in '10 vs .090 career).

He sucks offensively at this point even by the standards of a backup catcher. Even if he rebounds a bit next year, it means he likely hits in in .210-.220 range with ~.600 OPS. That would be alright if he was still a good defensive catcher but I would argue he isn't that either.

Combined that with his brittleness and negative speed, he doesn't bring anything to the table except his experience as a very established game caller.

"experience as a very established game caller."

Valued at $800K.

MG: I guess what I'm saying is that based on the wild swings in his stats over the PAST SIX FREAKIN YEARS I am not as certain as you are that he'll come in around .210 next season.

OTOH, his age raises the question of whether he is indeed washed up. And that's why you have scouts. Obviously, the Phillies scouts told Rube that they don't think he's done.

clout - Why would you go back 6 years? How is a 29-30 year old Schneider even remotely comparable to a 35-year old Schneider?

2 of the last 3 years he has been poor offensively.

The last 3 years everything points to a guy who is in serious decline including a notably increased swing & missing rate while making a lot less contact.

Let's make a little wager. I will take the 'under' on Schneider finishing the season with an OPS of .600 (minimum of say 100 ABs to make the bet valid)

When Brian Schneider wins the National League Most Valuable Player in 2012, a lot of us are going to look pretty foolish.

Schneider certainly isn't the best option out there for backup catcher, but over 150-200 at bats, the difference between him and the best backup catchers on the market comes to what? 8-12 hits and a handful of walks over the course of a season? The difference between a .300 obp and a .330 obp over 150 AB is an extra 5 times on base. I personally would have signed someone else, but it's not the worst thing that could have happened to the team. The "upper echelon" of backup catchers weren't on the market this year anyway, unless you count the Type A FA Ramon Hernandez as a backup.

I think a flyer on Shoppach might have been worthwhile b/c he at least has some pop. See if he could bounce back from his terrible years in TB. . . But he was pretty terrible.

Paulino is either available or non-tendered.

Lake Fred, as a fellow resident of Houston and a zealous Phillies fan, this is indeed a dark day.
But doesn't Rube's signing of Jim Thome look smarter now that we'll have at least 5 series in AL parks throughout the year...

Would that be the same Paulino that was on the Phils roster for 2 weeks(?) before the dumped him?

The difference between Schneider and most backup catchers is negligible given they will likely only get about ~150 ABs. I will readily admit that.

What I do hope is different next year is that Cholly doesn't play Chooch as much as he did. Playing a catcher in 132 games (especially one who is 32) just wasn't that smart this year.

Part of though stems from the fact that Cholly thought Schneider sucked & it showed in how he used him.

Hell in the 22 games that Schneider started after he returned in June, Cholly lifted him half of the time (11 times) in the 7th inning or later with Chooch appearing in 10 of those games. So much for giving your aging starting catcher a real day off.

MG: Based on the swings in his stats, IMHO he is just as likely to finish under .600 as he is over .700.

I know we're talking past each other, but my point is that you have no freakin clue what he will do this season. You are just guessing.

I have to think the Phillies scouts do more than guess.

"Deciding which cheap warm body to sign as a backup catcher will not make or break the season. Choosing between one of the two top available closers will not make or break the season. It's what Amaro does with the rest of his dough (SS, LF, maybe 3B, bench upgrades) that'll decide 2012."

I think this is exactly right. I also think the reason that things have been so silent on these issues is that all of them get wrapped together in whether Rollins is back. It would not surprise me if Amaro has a trade set up to go soon after either Rollins declines arbitration or signs elsewhere. As a result, Amaro has been doing the things he can do which are not dependent upon the Rollins decision.

Likely the only other things on his list are locking up Hamels and signing some veteran relievers, and it would not surprise me if something were done in the next week or two on one front or the other.

clout - Why is he as likely to finish under .600 OPS than he is under .700 OPS? He is much more likely to have another >.600 OPS that is injury-plagued.

We'll know how Cholly uses him though. If he starts PH for Schneider late in games on Chooch's off-days, we will know that Cholly thinks Schneider sucks too.

Clout: Be careful, MG's has had his anti-Schneider talking points going for 2 years now.

If a guy can hit AND play good defense behind the dish, he probably isn't a backup.

Whatafinish: Thome is only signed for 2012, the division alignment won't go into affect until 2013.

I always love that small sample sizes are terrible until the person who says they are needs to keep it small. Then it's a-ok.

***Thome is only signed for 2012, the division alignment won't go into affect until 2013.***

I agree...Rube needs to extend Thome on a multi-year deal immediately!!!

Not sure why the Phils need scouts to look at Schneider. He's been on the team for 2 years already. I think they know what they are (and aren't) getting.

The only good part of them signing Schneider is that he can't sign with another NL East team. Because if he did, you KNOW he would turn into a Philly killer.

MG: This is becoming circular. Look at the wild swings in his stats over the past 6 years.

BTW, if it were up to me I wouldn't be afraid to roll the dice on Kratz und Goosewurst but I would bring in a vet on a minor league contract just in case they flop.

SLO Phan: By scouts I mean the guys who examine game film and medical records. If Schneider were washed up it would show up in his reaction time, reflexes, swing, defensive technique etc. Scouts study all that stuff. I have no doubt that the Phils staff discussed that with Amaro before the decision was made on Schneider.

If there's one thing clout and I are firmly in agreement on, it's the unquantifiable value that Goosewurst brings to this organization. It's sad that he's not yet been given his chance to flourish.

MILWAUKEE - Get ready for sudden-death baseball.

Major League Baseball announced Thursday that an additional wild card team will be added to each league, creating a one-game playoff after the regular season ends.

“It’s an extra playoff game,” Commissioner Bud Selig said after the owners’ meetings were completed. “The one criticism we’ve had is that we didn’t put enough on winning the division. Now we have. Now we have in a big way."

Selig said the new postseason format could go into effect as soon as the 2012 season, though it’s possible it might not happen until 2013.

Baseball saw one of the most exciting nights in history on the final day of the regular season, as the Rays and Cardinals overtook the Red Sox and Braves for the wild card spots, something that would not have happened with the new format. Selig recognized the excitement of this past Sept. 28, but believes the new format will be beneficial for the game.

“The addition of two wild cards will really help us in the long run; people are really excited about it,” Selig said. “Like everything else in life, you’ve got to take the long run when you look at it."

The Daily News first reported in Thursday’s editions that MLB would use a one-game playoff format for the two wild card teams. Selig said each member of his 14-man committee was in favor of a one-game wild card format rather than other alternatives such as a best-of-three.

“The only guy that had some concerns about it was me,” Selig said. “It will be dramatic."

MLB also approved the sale of the Houston Astros to Jim Crane, announcing that the team would move from the National League Central to the American League West beginning in 2013. Crane paid $615 million for the Astros, getting a $65 million discount for agreeing to move the team to the AL, leaving 15 teams in each league.

Each league will consist of three five-team divisions, resulting in Interleague matchups throughout the entire season.

“Like many changes that have gone on in this sport, I’m proud of the changes - but you want to make sure you’re doing the right thing,” Selig said. “It won’t be perfect; I don’t think any schedule is ever perfect. But this will be very good."

No new collective bargaining agreement was announced, but Rob Manfred, MLB’s executive vice president of labor relations, was optimistic a deal would be done in the near future.

“I’m really confident; I think we will finish an agreement,” Manfred said. “The process, it’s hard to predict exactly when anything is going to happen, but we’ve made good progress and I’m hopeful that we’ll push it across the finish line."

I know that the number of Astros fans has diminished over the years, but ask the Rangers fans what it's like to be part of the AL West (though a weak division doesn't hurt).

Basically, you know all of those late start games when the Phils make a West Coast trip? Imagine 1/2 of all divisional games being of that ilk (though the difference is just 2 hrs, rather than 3). Gotta be tough to be in tune on a daily basis with a team whose games aren't over until after midnight 1/2 the time.

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