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Thursday, December 15, 2011

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FACT: "sizzle" is the stat most directly correlated with wins.

I thought that your post of Bowker leaving for Japan qualified as pretty damn positive.

Mota got 1 yr/$1M; Shoppach got 1/$1.35M; Punto got 2 yrs/$3M

All are better options than the Phils will likely employ in similar roles next year (Herndon; Schneider; Valdez) but I understand the need for the Phils to squeeze some bucks here and there & they have tried to upgrade the bench this offseason.

RAJ's offseason so far:

How do the Phillies at this point in the offseason rank against the 2011 Opening Day version:


1) Better Bench: Yes or No?

2) Better Bullpen: Y or N?

3) Better Lineup: Y or N?

4) Better Rotation: Y or N?


My answers:

1 - Yes.
2 - No.
3 - Maybe, if Rollins is re-signed. Pence is a huge improvement over Benny. RFD is/will be an improvement over Raul, particulary defensively. Utley will be in the lineup. Howard will not. If RFD is at 1B then LF may be a problem, even with Nis/Wiggy platoon.
4 - No. No way can Vanimal(4) and Blanton/KK(5) be considered better than Roy O and Blanton.

"I thought that your post of Bowker leaving for Japan qualified as pretty damn positive." -MR

I wholeheartedly agree.

MG, 1 +1.35 + 1.5 = 3.85

vs.

.6 + .8 + .9 = 2.30 (estimate for Herndon/Scheid/Exxon)

Any questions?

the latest update:
the phils still have no shortstop
but added sizzle

How is the bullpen not better? As good as Madson was last year, Papelbon was better, and he's much more established as a closer. Bastardo and Stutes have a full year under their belts, Contreras can hopefully offer much more than he did last year, Willis is likely to be tough on lefties, etc.

awh, why is bullpen a definitive "No"?

Here's a wild thought, with no basis:

RAJ operates a great deal with stealth.

No mention at all af the Phillies as bidders for Yu Darvish.

Would they shock the baseball world again this offseason?

Is that why they've been reluctant to meet Rollins' demands?

I think, at worst, the bullpen is about the same as last year but it will likely be slightly better.

Does anyone actually think Nick Punto is that much better than Valdez? Yeah, he had a nice year in 2011 in all of 160 PA but his 3 year average isn't that impressive (79 OPS+) and he's going into his Age 34 season. Also, his defense isn't nearly what it was a few years ago.

Is that really worth a 2 year, $3.5 million deal when you already have Valdez who will likely get around half that amount of cash and doesnt require a multi-year committment into his mid-30s.

Usually I'm in lockstep with you, awh. Not this time around with the bullpen. Not eons better, but improved for the reasons that Ryan states. Pap is long established as a (the?) premier closer in all of baseball.

Getting Darvish would be awesome.

Getting Cespedes (who I still think is a possibility) would be awesome too.

Getting both? Rubetastic!

quincy, IMO though Papelbon is the closer - which I believe is an upgrade - the balance of the bullpen is not - right now - as good as opening day last season.

Too many question marks, i.e. D-Train, Big Truck, Stutes, Herndon, is Bastardo really as good as he pitched last season and is he going to be healthy?

Even with Lidge out to start the season, IMO the 2011 BP was better with Contreras/ Madson at the back end.

Now, my ponion may change by Opening Day if Contreras throws well beginning in Jan. and Bastardo looks like he's healthy and filthy.

***Pap is long established as a (the?) premier closer in all of baseball.***

No, its still as follows:

#1: 42 years young Mo Rivera
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
..
#2: Jonathan Papelbon

Mo is still the best there was, the best there is and the best there ever will be....WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

I love it. Having lovable spare parts counts.

NEPP, I agree. There's still no one around close to MO.

All that sizzle talk is making joe blanton hungry.

NEPP, signing Darvish would be awsome, but unless the Phillies going forward have a LOT more payroll flexibility than we believe, 2012 would probably spell the end of Cole Hamels' time in Philadelphia.

awh - Yeah I was just saying. Herndon has a chance to be as good/maybe even better than Mota but I would rather have Punto/Shoppach respectively.

If you are going to pay the kind of big-dollar contracts though the Phils have paid, you have to squeeze a bit somewhere to round out the roster.

MG, we agree. On that part of the roster, they'll pinch pennies wherever they can.

Punto is slightly better than Valdez but he costs way more and needed a multi-year deal (something that is always harped on around here). He's also getting old to be given such a deal when you already have a decent internal option for backup SS.

The 2011 "opening day lineup" isn't really the right comparison base. On opening day 2011, Oswalt looked like a 4th ace; Madson's ability to close was a question; Bastardo's ability to be a quality major league reliever was totally unproven; Utley's status for the season was in doubt; Blanton was regarded as pretty solid but Worley was a huge unknown. We're not trying to build on those question marks; we're trying to improve upon (or at least match) the actual results. That will be difficult in some ways; for instance, Papelbon may have a better long-term track record than Madson but he doesn't have a long-term track record of being better than Madson was in 2011. In other ways, though, it won't be as challenging as it seemed on opening day last year. For instance, if Blanton can make nearly all his starts & have one of his "good" years (a 4-ish ERA) which he has every 2 or 3 seasons, there won't be a big drop-off from Roy Oswalt 2011. Worley matching his 2011 performance is another matter; I just don't see it.

I dont see Worley having a 3.01 ERA ever again but I could easily see him as a 4.00 ERA type guy.

Yankees will surely outbid the Phillies for Yu Darvish. Do we really need another pitcher? I mean we lost game 5 of the NLDS 1-0!

Of course, there wouldn't even have been a Game 5 had Lee done his job and held a 4 run lead.

I wouldn't be shocked if the Rangers went all in on Darvish. They need to replace Wilson. Thier window to win is now and they had 3 NPB vets on thier WS pitchign staff last year.

"In other ways, though, it won't be as challenging as it seemed on opening day last year."

Ugh. That sentence was the product of multiple thoughts merged together, with the end result being a sentence that made not the least bit of sense. What I meant was: in other ways, it will be easier to improve upon the actual results of 2011 than it would be to improve upon the 2011 opening day lineup, since some of what we expected from that opening day lineup (i.e., Oswalt being a 4th ace) didn't actually happen. More coffee needed.

bap - Comparing rosters, opening day is all you can do. (How are you going to compare the results of 2011 against anything from 2012?)

I forget who was in the opening bullpen from 2011. One factor which makes this year look better already though. Two LHPs out there, maybe. If so, it'll be the first time Manuel's had two lefties in the pen to start the season since he's been in Philly.

I seem to remember that the Phils opened the season with Herndon and Baez out there. We're worse than that now?

I cant really bash Baez after his herculean 5 inning performance in that 19 inning marathon vs. CIN.

Yeah, he sucked in basically every other outing but he was awesome that night.

I can't (I can, actually) imagine the uproar on here if the Phils signed Punto for 2 years.

Such a deal would be villified for months if not years. But suddenly its "Why didnt we sign Nick Punto?!?"

"The Sox have Punto, why would they want Rollins?!?!"

Andy: Obviously, all you can do is project. My point is: we can eliminate half the projecting by at least comparing this year's roster to what actually happened, rather than what was expected to happen. I mean, many of us thought Ben Francisco would have a breakout year & Domonic Brown would take over in LF and become an All Star caliber player. Are we trying to improve upon what we thought Ben Francisco and Domonic Brown would do last year or are we trying to improve upon what actually happened?

The gamble with Punto is that his defense lapses especially at 2B/3B. He still walks at a really good clip & defensively he is a better all-around player than Valdez especially at 2B.

Offensively, it is generally a wash.

No argument from me on Punto being better...its that he's not worth a 2 year deal at double what we're paying Valdez. Valdez will likely get around $800-900 K next year. Punto will be making $1.75 million (AAV as I dont know the breakdown on his 2 year deal)

Not worth it.

Frankly, I'd take doing exactly what happened up until the playoffs.

But it's not realistic to compare the apples of one year's opening day roster against the oranges of another year's results. I guess a more appropriate critique of the exercise, at this point, is that we don't even know what the opening day roster will be. Who will, actually, comprise the bullpen and bench?

What if Nix spends the Spring striking out against everyone and Dom lights up Florida? What if D-train has left the station? What if Kentucky Joe retires? What if they trade Kendrick to Japan or make one of those unexpected Prince of Darkness signings suggested above?

Even if all you're doing is saying is "to this point" you're in trouble, because the bench can't be better until there's someone actually playing shortstop on the depth chart. Moving Valdez into that spot makes the line-up AND the bench worse than last year.

Phillies 2011 bullpen:

Closer: Madson
Setup: Contreras/Lidge
Setup 2: Bastardo
LOOGY: Romero/Perez
Other guys: Herndon, Stutes, KK (when he was relieving, which wasn't often)
Miscellaneous arms: Blanton, Schwimer, Baez

Phillies opening day bullpen if 2012 started today:

Closer: Papelbon
Setup: Bastardo
Setup2: Contreras
LOOGY: Willis
Other guys: Herndon, Stutes, KK, Sanches
Miscellaneous arms: Schwimer, DeFratus

The verdict:

Closers: Push. Papelbon has been better than Madson historically, but he hasn't been better than Madson was last year.

Setup: Push. For all his struggles to throw strikes, Lidge got good results when he pitched last year. Before his injury, so did Contreras.

Setup2: Considering Contreras's age and health issues, this looks like it could be a huge problem area.

LOOGY: Can only be an upgrade, though how much of one is in serious question.

Other guys: Potentially could be improved with Sanches, continued improvement from Herndon & Stutes and, hopefully, Schwimer or DeFratus.

Bottom line: assuming that most of our younger guys don't take steps backward (as young guys often do), this year's bullpen looks to have better depth than last year's. But it also looks weaker at the back end, which is a lot more important than the miscellaneous guys who fill out the last 4 spots.

Based on starts and IP, the rotation last season was Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Oswalt and Worley.

On paper, the current rotation is identical except for Blanton replacing Oswalt. Oswalt had an ERA+ of 105 last season, which is 6 points higher than Blanton's career number. On that basis you'd have to say this year's is weaker, but not by much, unless you think Worley will collapse.

MG, I really don't see how you classify Nick Punto as a better option than Wilson Valdez. Punto's career line is (AVG/OBP/SLG).249/.325/.327, Valdez is slightly lower at .243/.290/.330. They both have no power, Punto just walks a bit more (i.e. if he were to start 162 games, he'd have about 55-60 walks where Valdez would get 25-30) but also strikes out more. Either way, Punto's got a poor statline.

The one clear advantage for Punto is that he is a switch hitter. But he's the same age, same speed, same defense. And he's more expensive than Valdez. Valdez made the league minimum last year, $560K, I strongly doubt he'll get a raise higher than Punto's $1.5mil/yr deal with Boston.

So what a minute, why didn't the phils take a flyer on nakajima? He has an .880 ops and our manager speaks japanese!

I realize that doesn't mean he'd play to that same level in MLB, but, his posting fee was only 2m. Would have been worth the gamble.

***our manager speaks japanese! ***

He also supposedly speaks English and I still need to reference Babelfish when listening to one of his press conferences.

When was the last time we won a world series without a Japenese player. YOu have to go back to 1980. So that's enough for me.

related to Yu Darvish, Is "Ham Fighters" not the best team name in sports?


(yes, I know it's really only "Fighters" but ESPN had it as "Ham Fighters today)

Im not a big Papelbon fan, but he's younger and better than Madson.

When Madson signs for ~$10M less than Papelbon, I'll be pretty pist - but when you want to compare strictly performance he is beter than Madson.

Not sure where BAP got the idea that Papelbon hasnt been better than Madson was - hes been a closer the whole time and consistently has a lower WHIP and better K/BB ratio. He's been double digit K/9 every single season(Madson just once).

Godfather - Punto has nearly 2x the career rate that Valdez has (10.2% vs. 5.9%) and chases stuff out of a zone at a much higher clip (32.4% vs 23.0% since '07).

Valdez is a hacker who goes up the plate without an approach. He just swings (early a lot) & generally hopes he gets a grounder through or drops one in the OF grass in front of an OF. I take a few more Ks for a guy who has much better plate discipline & ability to get on base.

Defensively, Punto is simply the better player. He's much better at 2B and a bit better at 3B. It might be a wash at SS.

He also is a pretty good bunter. Valdez isn't.

I understand not giving Punto a 2-yr deal but he's a better player than Valdez & a more ideal utility infielder.

Punto is a guy I really wanted the Phils to sign last offseason because is value was done. Punto only got $750k from the Cards last year & was a great add.

Meant Punto chases stuff out of the zone much less than Valdez which shouldn't surprise anyone who watches the Phils that often.

"...this year's bullpen looks to have better depth than last year's. But it also looks weaker at the back end, which is a lot more important than the miscellaneous guys who fill out the last 4 spots."

bap, "weaker at the back end" is exactly why IMO 2011 was a better bullpen going into the season.

How much work is the front-end expected to see?

clout, please define Worley "collapsing".

$1.5M for a utility infielder is really on kind of the high-side but given the questionable health status of this infield it is a position I wouldn't mind if the Phils' upgraded a bit from Valdez. That's all.

Even if Punto goes back to being an offensive dreg this year, he still BBs at a good clip & is a better defender. I would rather see him everyday in the lineup in the 8-spot than Valdez.

Phils are putting all of their 'bullpen eggs' into the basket with Contreras & Bastardo.

Contreras isn't going to start throwing again until Jan, had serious offseason surgery, is a geezer, and has had health issues every year for the past several years. If the Phils get 30 IP out of year that are decent over 2-3 months, probably would break in their favor.

Bastardo is the enigma. Is he the guy who was lights out for the first 2 months or the guy who struggled the last months with rumors of health issues? I honestly have no idea how he performs this year or he if stays healthy. His stuff is the best in the bullpen by far besides Papelbon. Phils need him to give them at least 60-65 IP of decent relief next year or they run in a real problem late in games in the 7-8th inning.

BTW, per MLB Trade Rumors, Jason Bartlett is on the trading block--could that possibly work as Rube's backup plan in case Rollins won't come down from the Five-Year Plan? Bartlett was offensively worse than Rollins last year, but he had a monster year as recently as 2009; we could always hope that his stats have diminished from playing in the cavernous Petco. I'd take him over Yuniesky Betancourt any day.

lore: You're completely missing my point. Papelbon has undoubtedly been better than Madson over the course of their careers. But LAST YEAR, Madson had 32 saves in 34 opportunities. Even for Mariano Rivera, it would be pretty difficult to improve on that.

MG: I think you are misremembering Bastardo being lights out for just 2 months. It was actually 5 months, i.e. the whole season except for the last week of August til the end.

AT: another day, another peice of crap 'candidate' you've came up to replace Rollins. Give it up.

lorecore - It was a typo lorecore.

Middle relief is going to be the single most compelling thing in spring training to watch because it will be the only unsettled area with 2 spots literally open & 3 if KK gets shifted into the rotation.

yeah, lorecore, eez up om NG. tipos hapen.

Just like on the team bus, blanton will fill two of those middle relief spots himself.

bap: still disagree.

Papelbon: .933 WHIP, 12.2K/9, 1.4BB/9, .546 OPS against
Madson: 1.157 WHIP, 9.2K/9, 2.4BB/9, .593 OPS against

AT: As Iceman frequently reminds me, I once mentioned Jason Bartlett as a potential Rollins replacement. My suggestion was based on the same premise as your post: he had a monster year in 2009. But we're now 2 full years removed from that monster year and he's 32. Considering that he has been perfectly hideous over the rest of his career, that 2009 season kinda looks like one of the great anomalies of recent baseball history.

Dontrelle looks like Mushmouth from the Cosby Kids.

hah yea, poor Jason Bartlett - Petco stole all his power! He was ISO'in like a full .100 before Petco ruined him!

lore: I understand all that. But, even if his peripherals weren't as good as Papelbon's, Madson lost 2 games and blew 2 saves in 34 chances last year. Since one of those blown saves was also a loss, the end result is that Madson cost us 3 games all year. Papelbon is a terrific reliever and I expect he'll be very good for us this year. But if he costs us fewer than 3 games all year, I'll be very surprised.

bap, even if your'e right about Papelbon/Madson, what do you think the probability is that Madson repeats that kind of season?

bap: well I guess I see your reasoning. So basically, if papelbon never allows 1 base runner in his entire season - he'll still only be 3 games 'better' than Madson in 2011. Odd way to look at it - but i guess thats how you're viewing it.

Wow, just want over to mlbtr for a peek. Heyman is reporting/implying that Fielder/Boras is loking to surpass the deal that Pujols got.

Seriously.

Damn, but the hatred from the Rollins rooting section is palpable. Let me say it again: Re-signing Rollins is fine by me, so long as it does not tie up too much of our team's already-stretched payroll. The offensive difference between Rollins and some no-hit wretch like Bartlett, Barmes, or A-Gon is noticeable, but it's not as huge as lorecore and the redoubtable Iceman seem to think, and the gap between Rollins and the field will only narrow in coming years. Again, given the choice between a cheap, no-hit-good-glove SS/power-hitting 3B-LF on one hand, and a good-glove SS who's fading offensively but wants to be paid like an All-Star on the other, I'd take the first option as better for the team. And don't give me this "there is no other option" nonsense--Ramirez and Willingham have both signed for sums that would have been within the Phillies' budget and left money over for a Barmes or a Bartlett, if the Phils had been willing to forego the pursuit of Rollins.

No one in MLB--including the Phils' front office, it seems--believes that Rollins is every going to recapture his 2007 and 2008 seasons, except for his cultists here on Beerleaguer. I agree that Bartlett is probably washed up offensively--then why is Rollins, a year older and fading fast, likely to be worth the huge investment he seems to be insisting on?

"...given the choice between a cheap, no-hit-good-glove SS/power-hitting 3B-LF on one hand, and a good-glove SS who's fading offensively but wants to be paid like an All-Star on the other..."

AT, who's the "cheap" player you're referring to instead of Rollins?

Oops, I meant to ask who's still available to play SS and 3B in lieu of Rollins and Polanco, and how much would it take to sign them?

Hey, I'll even let you work a trade out for a SS, 3B or both. Have at it.

Jbird - As long as Blanton's on the roster, the Phils should go by "the Donut Phighters."

AT - I don't mind the idea of Bartlett, if the trade is more expansive. Get the deal to include Headley, for Polanco, Blanton/Kendrick/Worley, some cash considerations and a dude or two and it would be more palatable. I think Bartlett/Headley comes closer to replacing Rollins/Polanco than just a straight Bartlett for Rollins substitution.

awh - I think the point was that it doesn't really matter who the "cheap" player is. There are a bunch of them around and they could be had for low dollars. The question is this: who is the power hitting 3B/LF? If it's Cuddyer, I don't think he's much of a 3rd baseman. Maybe they'll bring back Dobbs to platoon?

I don't see any of that as likely. It looks like Rollins has few options, and I don't mind a bit of Rube wants to wring every dollar possible out of him and push him back to two years and an option.

There is no way this franchise can continue to bring in fading talent that is overpaid or at the very least signed for a year or more too long. That seems to be Rube's specialty and maybe he finally got religion.

AT, I also think you're misrepresenting the "cultists" here. No one expects a repeat of Rollins 2007, at least I haven't seen a post to that effect.

And since we're talking "repeats", do you think it's more likely that Bartlett repeats 2009, or his 2010/2011?

smitty, why sign anybody?


Jason Bartlett 2010/2011:

1150 PA, .250/.316/.327, OPS+ 82


Wilson Valdez 2010/2011:

663 PA, .254/.300/.351, OPS+ 76

Don't they almost have "Jason Bartlett" on their roster alreasy? If "no-hit" is the criteria, they have minimart and Galvis as depth.

Why spend any more money at all?

Rollins and Polanco compiled 6.6 WAR last year. If you're replacing them with a replacement-level SS (Valdez, Galvis, Betancourt, etc.) and a big-bat third baseman, it better be one hell of a big bat.

Bartlett is making $5.5M. Barmes signed for 2/10.5. Furcal signed for 2/14. Alex Gonzalez signed for $4M. The "cheap" options to pair with a Willingham or Aramis Ramirez aren't nearly as cheap as their supporters are implying - they're about half the cost of Rollins for about half the production or less.

I don't understand the interest in a Willingham type. The Phillies have 2 MLB-ready cost-controlled hitters in their entire system and both are left-fielders. Why sign a left-fielder?

Ham Fighters is the designation given to the Front Office team who are responsible for pulling Blanton's pants up every game.

DH Phils: word.

I'm not advocating doing it, I was just explaining what the original poster meant.

But I don't think Minimart or Galvis are likely to play better than Bartlett this coming season. If as the poster said, the Phillies could work the deal to involve Headley, then I'd say do it. But I think it's pretty certain Rollins will be coming back. My only hope is that Rube knocks him down to fewer years and fewer dollars than I think he's going to do. I don't want to see another Jamie Moyer extra year deal that never needed to happen.

I was just perusing the Adam Jones for Jair Jurrjens trade rumors, and thought "What would it take to get Jones from Baltimore?"

Vic & Worley & a lot more.

Then, I took a look at Jones defensive statistics and noticed that he made 8 errors last year - which is as many as Shane Vistorino has made in his whole CAREER.

For a tema built around pitching would that make sense? IMO, no.

According to MLBTR, the pads are asking " for the moon" for Headley.

smitty, I'm all for upgrading as long as the FO thinks they can afford it, but I don't see jason Bartlett as much of an upgrade from Valdez, at least not based on the last 2 seasons. Also, he's cost a lot more.


Realistically, assuming they didn't re-sign Jimmy, who's left that really would be enough of an upgrade at 3B to make up for the downgrade a SS?

People here pine for more offense as if we're the Mariners, but are also advocating a functional swap of Bartlett/Headley for Rollins/Polanco? At best, that's a wash. At best.

We're talking about Jason freaking Bartlett here. The undervaluing of Rollins by some people on BL is ridiculous.

I don't think it's so much of undervaluing Rollins as it is not wanting the Phillies to tie their hands to an aging, declining shortstop with well-document and seemingly irreparable flaws for the next three, four, or (egads!) five years. There's a difference, Iceman.

I'm not a big fan of the Yu Darvish move. My reason is Japanese pitchers usually don't finish strong because the Japanese season isn't as long. It takes them a season to get the stamina, and the Phillies issue the past two years has been in October.

"We're talking about Jason freaking Bartlett here."

Iceman, did you mean Wilson freaking Valdez?

Buddy Ryan, out of sheer curiosity, what is the importance of "2008," of all years, regarding Buddy Ryan in your handle?

Young up and coming third baseman and a mediocre, healthy shortstop vs a broken shell of a slap hitter at third and an aging, can't stay healthy formerly top shortstop who wants a five year, big money deal.

Yeah, I can't see the difference there. Looks like a complete wash, Iceman.

Get me Cuddyer. I will buy the jersey.

I'm happy to have Willis on the team. When he first came up, he was such a blast to watch and nobody has anything but great things to say about the guy. He'll be fun to root for and if he can continue to get lefties out (and not left in there against a line up of righties like most of Charlies LOOGYs) he should be alright.

grandpa, consider this:


Cuddyer 2009-2011:

1909 PA, .276/.341/.465, OPS+ 117

Mayberry 2011:

296 PA, .273/.341/.513 OPS+ 130

Mayberry 2011, after returning/changing batting stance:

179 PA, .301/.358/.607 (no OPS+ available)


OK, the big problem with Mayberry's numbers are their reliability based on the sample sizes. We simply don't know if they're repeatable.

However, if you're the Phillies and you think that they are, isn't Cuddyer an expensive luxury once Howard returns?

Mayberry had a .825 OPS against RHSP he faced in 2011 (164 PA). If the Phillies believe that's repeatable then there's probably zero possibility that they want to spend 3/25+ on Cuddyer.

Besides, if Mayberry can repeat those numbers isn't he a better player than Cuddyer, especially when defense and baserunning/stealing is taken into consideration?

Headley is up and coming? He's 27 this is his prime this is as good as it gets and it isn't very good.

Re: Japanese pitchers. I agree. They pitch longer outtings but have more rest, usually 5 days between starts. There are more off days worked into the season and less travel. I want to see Darvish do well and it would be fun if he were on the Phillies but $100 mill over 5 years or whatever it comes to after posting fees is not worth the risk.

Of course, according to this, the Phils are in the mix for Cuddyer:

http://harding.mlblogs.com/2011/12/15/2067276/

Buddy Ryan, out of sheer curiosity, what is the importance of "2008," of all years, regarding Buddy Ryan in your handle?

WP: the screen name is old, from 2004 when Kerry was running against Bush. I was living in DC and clamoring for somebody else to run in 2008.

Headley would be the youngest position starter on the Phillies, and he's nine years, two hernis, hip arthritis, and a bad back younger than Polanco.

If this is as good as Headley is going to get, he's still pretty good. Not great, but decidedly above average at a position where it's hard to find offense these days. Keep in mind that he plays his home games in the pitcher's equivalent to Coors Field. If he played almost anywhere else, his numbers would probably look considerably better.

Awh,
I consider Howard to be out or a mess at the plate for more than half a season. I also realize we will need somebody at third for DL spells (I assume more than 25 games; that is even without trading Polly for a bag of oranges) and an OF for another few 15 day DL spells.
We will need Mayberry and somebody like Cuddyer.

Other than the fact that Rollins is a markedly better player than Bartlett in every phase of the game, Rollins has played in more games and had more plate appearances than Bartlett in every year since 2007 except one. But Rollins 'can't stay healthy.'

Although this is coming from a guy who thinks Steve Jeltz was the shortstop for the 1993 team, so I guess my expectations should be lowered.

Headley might be OK but his best year is distorted by his lack of PAs. He only got 439 PAs and his ops was 40 points above his career mark. Not sold and Jason Bartlett stinks.

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