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Sunday, December 18, 2011


bap: "I made what i thought was an educated guess"

I think your exact words were "theres no way in the world" it would happen.

Ah well, my original point was to try and show how the dontrelle deal wasn't some no risk/all reward type move - it basically took us out of the LOOGY market after taking a much less reliable option without even saving money.

"He'll make the team but I can't see him as a bullpen guy for too long. This guy is designed for starting."

Disagree. That ship has sailed. He hasn't been a viable major league starter in 6 years. If he can maintain passable control out of the bullpen, I could see a best case scenario where he becomes more than just a LOOGY. But I can't see any scenario where he becomes a starter again -- and certainly not with the Phillies.

lore: Actually, I looked at the post this morning & my original words were "There's no way in the world" he'll sign for $1M per year. And he didn't. And I suspect that, once we learn what the incentives are, we will find out that his likely-to-be-paid salary is substantially more than the $1.1M base.

But I don't disagree with your basic point. Any time you sign someone, & give him guaranteed money, there's an opportunity cost to doing so. The Willis contract is no different.

But, BAP, the Willis contract isn't guaranteed money. And that's not a small point. I expect Willis to make the team, but the Phillies can cut him without paying him anything.

And there is the added factor of his bat. I don't think I'd ever have Sherril bat. Willis will win at least one game, maybe two, with his bat this year (TM).

I was going to say. It's not Reading without Spidale and it's not Lehigh without Thompson!

Andy: My dad was a LH3Bman, but that was 90 years ago.

Ruben Amaro missed out on the Greg Golson sweepstakes?!?

"Andy - Quite right. Didn't think that one through at all. .....

Posted by: aksmith | Sunday, December 18, 2011 at 01:26 PM"

The above is an example of a post which one should NEVER make on BeerLeaguer. Period.

Nice week of winter ball just concluded for Freddy Galvis and Derrick Mitchell in Venezuela. Freddy has hit in his last six straight games there and went 12 for 28 and drove in eight runs during the period. D-Mitch just finished his first week in the Caribbean, hit in all five games in which he got an at bat to go 6 for 19 with a homer and a double for a .316 average and a .935 OPS. Sure better numbers than the 2 for 29 Domonic Brown put up in the Dominican League last winter before he was brought home.

You forgot Brandon Moss has been snatched away !!!

In re: LH 3Bs

When I was a kid there was a local little league with 4 teams with, like, a dozen players on them. One year, my brother was on a team that only had one RH throwing player. Because th league supplied all the catchers' equipiment, that kid was the catcher. Everyone else - the entire infield, pivoting for their throws - threw lefty.

At that level it really wasn't a problem. But it was kinda strange.

In re: Willis as a PH

What exactly, in Charlie's history of making decisions, leads anyone to believe that he would willingly (i.e. with any other "position player" options) use a relief pitcher as a pinch-hitter? My guess is that if he had a RHP on the mound, a runner on second in a tie game, with the pitcher's slot up and only Mini-Mart on the bench and Willis in the pen, Martinez would be called upon to pop-u...errr..."bat."

That's just how Charlie rolls.

I don't see Dontrelle getting many ABs this year as a PH. Not that Charlie is afraid to use a pitcher to PH when he has exhausted his bench, but I can't see him "burning" a BP arm simply to PH. It doesn't make any sense. If Hamels or Lee is not starting, one of those two will get the nod before Willis. It just doesn't make any sense to have Willis come in from the 'pen to PH. If you're that deep in the game that a pitcher is needed to PH, you'll most likely need to save your 'pen arms.

Sorry, aksmith, I can't see how "Willis will win at least one game, maybe two, with his bat this year". It just doesn't seem plausible.

I will say this, though. There may be a scenario where Willis pitches an inning and Charlie allows him to hit in order to save the bench. He could simply hit in the 9th spot in the order without the use of a double switch.

So, I guess there is a scenario where he could see some ABs. But if there is a bench option available, Charlie will PH for Willis 99 times out of 100.

Andy: Great story on LH kids. My parents were both LH, but I was the only 1 of 5 kids. My parents both wrote RH, as they were whacked over the knuckles with a ruler if the tried to write LH in those days.

I remember a LH catcher. I think he had a special made mitt.

R.Bill: Willis could also PH if Cholly is bringing him in the next inning.

In the mid-1890s the Phils had a LH catcher, iirc, named Jack Clements, who could hit poretty well. Part of that 1894-5 killer batting order.

Yeah. Clements 1895 slash line
.394/.446/.612/1.058; his 171 OPS+ made him the third best hitter on the team.

goody: Do you think Charlie will have Willis run in from the BP, take a few practice cuts, have an AB, then go to the mound? I don't think he would, but stranger things have happened.

In re: the topic of the day

Thompson and Spidale are almost as much of the Phillies organizational history as Mike Schmidt and Robin Roberts. They oughta get a mention on a wall in the big league stadium somewhere. Maybe up on the back wall behind the cheap seats.

AkSmith: That's true. It's not a guaranteed contract to Willis & that does reduce the risk. But I believe some portion of it is guaranteed and I believe the whole thing becomes guaranteed if he makes the team out of ST. And there's still an opportunity cost in the sense that, guaranteed contract or not, the Phillies seem to be couting on Willis as Plan A for filling the LOOGY role. Once they signed him, they weren't going to pursue Sherrill or any other LOOGY who requires a guaranteed contract.

BAP - Yeah, there has to be some cost associated with it, directly or in opportunity. However, Charlie has always been sort of LOOGY allergic. I don't ever see him using any pitcher as strictly as LOOGY. That's why I think Willis will hit a little more than people think. Not necessarily as a pinch hitter, but he'll certainly stay in the game if he finishes an inning to hit and save someone on the bench. He'll certainly hit more than Schneider ever pinch hits. And I think Nix is going to play as a starter more than Gload ever did, even when he was healthy. So that makes Willis your second lefthanded pinch hitter behind Thome, assuming Martinez is working his magic in Lehigh Valley.

Yes a bullpen arm is generally more valuable than a PH, so if Willis gets used it is as a pitcher. He'd be available to PH only if he is not available to pitch. This isn't a Charlie issue it's the same decision any manager would make. Simply put, imagine a game where you ru out of PHers. now imagine a game wehre you run out of Pitchers.
Also, there's the whole issue of good hitting starting pitchers being pitched to differently than PHers.

Speaking of LOOGYs:

Grasbow signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers. Figured he would be one of the guys the Phils would look at given he would either come at the veteran minimum or a minor league deal.

How does JC Romero keep getting MLB deals - latest is $750k base with $750k in incentive potential with the Cards?

Yeah he gets LH bats out (.238/.345/.313 since '09 in 147 ABs) when he doesn't walk them (20 BBs and 5 HBPs).

I guess he is somewhat better than some of the other veteran LOOGYs left (Reyes/Miller/Grasbow) but giving him a guaranteed MLB deal is puzzling. Definitely struck me as a minor league deal or a split deal at best.

Even Duncan can't work miracles.

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.

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