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Monday, December 19, 2011


Late breakfast.

I came to the site today ready to ask if the offseason moves had come to an end. This was my answer.

Snakes just signed Kubel.. This probably means that Gerardo Parra is their 4th OF.. He bats LH Does AZ need anybody we have?.. He would be a good platoon player w/ Mayberry and when Pence or Vic need rest. Spillborghs avg and OPS are fairly equal vs lefties/righties. One interesting aspect of Spillborghs.. He'd be the only Belgian Guatemalan the Phils have ever had.

Juan Pierre has always intrigued me, mostly for his ability to swipe bags.

Still don't see where this extra bat would fit on the roster. I guess if Howard starts the season on the DL, it would clear one more spot temporarily. To me, that spot would be better used on a young guy with some plausible upside. Spillburghs is older and he stinks. You'd be getting the .679 career OPS player that he has been on the road.

If the Phils were going to sign a defensive/speed guy who could play all 3 positions well, that was Endy Chavez who just signed with the O's for $1M. Imagine since the Phils though have Posdesnik in the minors they weren't interested in him.

It will be a RH bat since they have Thome to PH and already signed Nix.

Spiborghs looks really attractive until you take a look at his home/road splits since '09:

Home - .292/.366/.461 (.827 OPS) in 438 ABs
Road - .207/.282/.323 (.605 OPS) in 455 ABs

If you look too, he's numbers the last 4 years all show he is chasing more stuff out of the zone and increasingly swing & missing. Screams 'declining bat speed'

Given his defensive limitations (he has horrible range with a bad arm) and his problems on the basepaths especially last year, he's a guy who I would want the Phils to stay away from. His best attribute at this point is that he takes his share of BBs.

Johnson is a better fit but Phils are adding another brutal hacker to the bench. He's better defensively and on the basepaths though than Spilborghs without the health concerns.

There are a couple of veterans I am sure the Phils are kicking the tires on including S. Hairston, Ross, Ludwick, Gomes, and DeRosa.

Phils probably aren't going to go over $1M though so it really limits there choices. Johnson is likely available at that price. Ditto DeRosa.

Hairston is probably a bit closer to $1.5M or so but he isn't a guy I would mind on the bench at all.

When will Dom Brown be up with the Phils this year?

Brett - He won't be unless the Phils' OF is decimated by injuries. Honestly I wouldn't mind that at all either. Let him play out of the limelight in Lehigh, get comfortable everyday in LF, and hopefully put up solid numbers.

Too bad that it was at the end of the last thread where no one will see it, but the Truth Injection writes an interesting analysis regarding the lower salary (lowere than expected a month ago) from the JRoll signing, that leaves the expected Phillies 2012 salary totals to be lower than the 2011 totals. I found that to be interesting.

Brett: When the Angels win the pennant. (which doesn't carry the same meaning anymore, thanks to Albert)

Lake Fred - I agree, I would take it one step further that I'm pretty excited about the fact our payroll is a bit lower going into the season.

I like the fact that in July RAJ will have some room to maneuver and go out and get us what we truly "Need" at the time, rather than spend those dollars now on what we "think we need" ....

RAJ will make a move in July if we're in contention - which we are all but assured to be pending an Eagles type disaster. I think that is when we'll get a difference maker. Not any of those out there right now that I can see.

Scott Hairston wouldn't bother me on the bench. But how about those DBacks?! They are loading up. Cahill and Kubel. They can rake already plus they've added a good bat, and now they are deep in their starting staff. I think they just jumped way over the Giants for the next few seasons.

Remaining FAs who would be of interest to me on a low-risk contract:

Kelly Johnson
Cody Ross
Jeremy Hermida
Jorge Cantu
Lastings Milledge

All but Cantu can play the OF. All are coming off bad years or multiple bad years, but have hit well (or at least reasonably well) in the past. All except Ross (31) are under 30. All except Hermida have good numbers against LHP.

Of the 5, I think Johnson & Ross are near-locks to get guaranteed deals somewhere. The others, probably not.

bap: Kelly Johnson accepted arb arleady, and is estimated to make around $6.5-7M

Dbacks are definitely starting to get a very weak division too.

One note on Spilborghs problems:

He's being used for the bench . You're not going to find a player who's a good hitter that you'd be comfortable starting. If they guy was capable of playing even 80 games well, the Rockies would not have cut him. Same thing with Pierre.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, these are the existing RH OF bats available on the market, (S) denotes switch hitter:

1) Beltran (S), Type A 2)Milton Bradley (S), 3) Pat Burrell, Type B, 4) Yoenis Cespedes, 5) Coco Crisp, 6) Mark DeRosa, 7) Jonny Gomes, 8) Scott Hairston, 9) Bill Hall, 10) Reed Johnson, 11) Andruw Jones, 12) Ryan Ludwick, Type B, 13) Xavier Nady, 14)Magglio Ordonez, Type B 15) Cody Ross, 16) Spilborghs, 17)Marcus Thames

Beltran, Cespedes, Crisp, Ross and Ordonez are going to sign contracts to start, or at least for more money than you pay a bench player (Ross, for example, made over 6 million with SFG in 2011). Regardless of other issues, you wouldn't sign Ludwick, Burrell, Beltran, or Ordonez anyway because they're Type A/B, and why give any kind of draft pick to another team for a bench spot? Bradley is a head case. Nady, DeRosa, Ordonez, are all old or big injury liabilities. Hall and Thames were awful in 2011. Gomes is a defensive liability anywhere in the field.

That leaves Jones, Johnson, and Hairston. Johnson is the better hitter of the 3 with higher average and OBP for the past 3 years, Jones has the most power and is the most expensive (likely needs a 2 mil contract as his bench numbers are very good), Hairston is 4 years younger (age 31) and less power than Jones but also cheaper. I'd prefer Hairston for those 2 reasons. Francisco received 1.175 million in 2011 and probably would have received a raise to 1.5 million for 2012. Ideally such a signing would be less than that.

But, as BAP points out, this is for a roster spot which no longer exists when Howard returns. So it's really not much of an issue.

Assuming 12 pitchers and a healthy Ryan Howard, there aren't any spots to be filled. Is the thinking that they'll temporarily fill Howard's spot with a guaranteed major league contract for an OF, or that Spilly, Pierre, Johnson, etc could be had on a minor league deal. What am I missing? Here's the 25-man I'm working from:

Herndon/De Fratus

"Still don't see where this extra bat would fit on the roster. I guess if Howard starts the season on the DL, it would clear one more spot temporarily."

bap has it right. Since we have a space only until Howard is back, and Thome, Nix and Wigginton have guaranteed contracts, we will need someone who can be sent down to the minors if necessary. I think it's likely Pete Orr or Podsednik.

i liked the milledge idea when we all were discussing last season, and still like it this year too.

Hit .295/.364/.441 in 505PA for chisox AAA and is younger than Mayberry. Even his disappointing young mlb career still has him at a .793 OPS vs LHP.

lore: Ok, forget Johnson. For some reason, he was listed as still available on the list I was looking at.

"I think it's likely Pete Orr or Podsednik."

As I struggle to suppress a gag, I remind you: don't forget Mini-Mart.

Let's say after 2-3 months, Brown is playing terrific ball (~.950 OPS) still no call up?

Can we lock down Hamels now?

I read or heard (maybe during the season ticket holder questions video) Ruben leave open the possibility that Brown will be up with the club. I can't recall the exact quote but it was along the lines of "we'll start Brown in the minors and see what happens". This was not the full season of AAA that we heard before. I like bring up the kid.

If the Phils are going to spend another $1M on a guaranteed contract, I would rather they look to add another arm for the bullpen & see an intriguing veteran shakes loose that could give him 40-50 solid innings of middle relief.

Brown will be on the big league roster if two things materialize AFTER the season starts:
- his AAA performance (both offensively and defensively) is improved and consistent
- if/when an injury allows for his call up

As noted with the above 25 man commitments, there's no spot for him right now. This team is older, however, and injuries can and will occur. He has to do one thing to get an opportunity - not suck in AAA.

Ryan Spilborghs anyone?


Spillbourghs was on my "harassment list" (I sat with a bunch of people chanting "spill-bourghs") when he visited the Phillies. He joins other luminaries such as Sul-leh-vaan, Mark Eellll-is and Laaangerhaaans.

Just watched "baseball's seasons: 1980" on MLB channel. That 1980 NLCS is probably one of the greatest of all time.

Here was the post from the end of the last thread

Did anyone else see Matt Gelb's piece yesterday?

"With Jimmy Rollins finally under contract for 2012 and beyond, the Phillies have a better idea of their payroll for the upcoming season. As noted in Sunday's Inquirer, it's wholly possible the Phillies have a lower payroll in 2012 than 2011, but the numbers will be similar.

The Phillies finished 2011 with approximately $176 million in payroll. They currently have guaranteed $135 million to 16 players in 2012. That figure will rise with raises through arbitration to Cole Hamels, Hunter Pence, Kyle Kendrick and Wilson Valdez."

Gelb puts in what he thinks those arb numbers will be and they are:

Hamels- 14 million
Pence- 11 million
Kendrick- 3.4 million
Valdez- 910,000

That would get you to around 164 million dollars for 20 players. Then you figure in guys not listed on the site: Bastardo, Mayberry Jr, Worley, Stutes, and probably another bullpen arm for around 500,000 a piece (and factoring in maybe a low projection or two) you have a 25 man roster making somewhere between 166-169 million. We ended last season at 176 million. Going to be interesting to see how this shakes out.

MLB ranked it 3rd behind the Yankees w/ Brett Booneand a series I can't remember off-hand but with 4 games going extra innings it should have been #1

I've always had a soft spot for Marcus Thames. He seems to have a 2 weeks span in him every year where he becomes able to hit everything thrown his way out of the park. He gets these streaks where he hits 8 homeruns in 11 games.

Spilborghs has always crushed the Phils.

I would rather they re-sign Ibnez than go after Spillborghs.
Not at all sure of Ibanez' current price or availability though.

preacher: I agree, DOM performing very well precludes anything else, but I see two more legit possbilities to your scenario of him getting MLB time.

#1. Howard missing more time than expected and Nix/Wiggity sucking(thats kind of a definite moreso than an if) forces Mayberry into 1B time with DOM taking over LF

#2. Mayberry duplicates his early 2011 performance instead of his late 2011.

There is an opening on the bench until Howard comes back. Amaro keeps insisting he will be back in May. I would imagine it would be more towards late June.

Even if the Phils are willing to pay $1M to say Hairston, does a veteran really want to sign here with the knowledge that there PT will be limited & the uncertainty about tenure on the roster after Howard returns?

Let's get Cody Ross just so there's no chance he faces Roy Halladay in the post season.

would have taken Pierre in a heartbeat over Nix. Would love his speed on the team and have some ability to manufacture runs. I don't see it happening now though.

My ideal choice for that last spot would be someone who can play 3, whether they hit right or left. Most relievers are RH, so it really isn't much of an issue to only have one RH bench bat. Guys like Eric Chavez (if he doesn't retire) or even Greg Dobbs could give the Phils some value if they come cheap. I just don't trust Polanco anymore. Hopefully Wigginton can take over if need be.

And by 3 I mean 3B

Polanco OPS+ last 3 years:

2009: 90
2010: 94
2011: 85

Wigginton OPS+ last 3 years:

2009: 86
2010: 98
2011: 87

If you dont trust Polly, I dont think you should be holding out any hope for Wigginton either.

MG, I see your point. I imagine that they'll fill that final temporary roster spot internally for that very reason (Martinez? - anyone but Bowker!).

If they do, however, go externally, it tells me that even they don't buy into their May timetable for Howard.

I think that it would be a different story, though, if the injury were toward the end of the season, and they'll look for semi-permanent help. I just suspect that RAJ thinks he can "ride out" Howard's injury (especially if he thinks its just May), even if it costs a game or two due to the downgrade vs. a FA.

Wow, I just re-read that and I make no sense.

Basically, since it's an injury to start the season, I think they'll stick to an internal player for the roster, as they can take a "wait and see" approach. A late season injury, however, and they'd look to fill externally (as they did when Utley was hurt a few years ago).

I guess my hope for Wigginton is that if Polanco gets hurt again they will actually rest him and try to get him healthy in time for the playoffs since they have a more credible fill-in.

When we're all old men and they write about this era of Phillies baseball, I hope they use this picture.

Angles shopping Abreu. 1st base option for us until Howard comes back?

The opening for a RH bat in the OF was filled by Wigginton. There's no need for Spilborghs and I'd be shocked if the Phils signed him, unless it's for LV.

Rube said he considered Wiggy to be a corner IF.

The wall is way too close to 1st.

Has Aubrey ever played first? Watching him last year, Abreu had no power, but still great plate discipline, great OBP. And he still stole a decent amount of bases, despite not being very fast anymore.

Obviously the Phillies won't acquire Bobby but he has moved into the stage of his career where he knows how to play the game despite not having the physical skills. You see it more with pitcher (moyer) but it is cool to see a hitter do it.

I would have preferred Johnny Damon to Nix. Right after the NLDS, Rube stated we needed more guys who can handle the bat and strike out less. So he went out and signed Thome, Nix and Wigginton...3 guys who strike out a lot to go with our other hitters who strike out a lot. Damon plays better OF, puts more balls in play and steals more bases.

Now that Rollins is signed, I'd like the Phils to make two more changes to the roster before the season begins.

One, add a strong utility IF, through trade, if necessary, to fill in for Polanco, Rollins and Utley. Those three are likely to miss 70-100 games combined; I don't want to give Valdez that much playing time; and Wigginton's versatile glove is a negative at 3B and 2B.. My choice is Maicer Izturis, who is versatile and has a good glove and a useful bat. When Howard returns, a roster move would be necessary.

Two, re-sign Roy Oswalt if the medical reports are acceptable. He should be much better than Blanton, Worley and Kendrick. If Oswalt is re-signed, one of these three should be traded.

All these names being tossed about. It's a waste of time. Amaro's secret weapon until Howard gets back is none other than the great John Bowker.

add a strong utility IF, through trade, if necessary, to fill in for Polanco, Rollins and Utley. Those three are likely to miss 70-100 games combined; I don't want to give Valdez that much playing time; and Wigginton's versatile glove is a negative at 3B and 2B.. My choice is Maicer Izturis, who is versatile and has a good glove and a useful bat. When Howard returns, a roster move would be necessary.

Two, re-sign Roy Oswalt if the medical reports are acceptable. He should be much better than Blanton, Worley and Kendrick

Since we have insurance in Podsednik who put up decent numbers last year, meh. Podfather can still run too. With Nix (and Wiggy), not sure we need any more insurance but if you can get him for the minimum sure. He might want to go somewhere where he isn't as far down the pecking order also.

Oops, Podsednik out most of last year with injuries including foot injuries, his 2010 numbers were decent.

strong utility IF, through trade, if necessary, to fill in for Polanco, Rollins and Utley. Those three are likely to miss 70-100 games combined; I don't want to give Valdez that much playing time; and Wigginton's versatile glove is a negative at 3B and 2B.. My choice is Maicer Izturis, who is versatile and has a good glove and a useful bat. When Howard returns, a roster move would be necessary.

Two, re-sign Roy Oswalt if the medical

disabled list this season with plantar fasciitis in his right heel, limiting him to 98 games and a .210/.283/.305 slash line. Like most Rockies, his home/away splits are totally skewed toward Coors Field. If not Spilborghs, who could be seeking more playing time, or the often mentioned Reed Johnson, does Juan Pierre and his even righty-lefty splits intrigue anyone, knowing the Phils could use another

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