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Thursday, December 22, 2011


I too am surprised that we haven't extended Cole Hamels yet.

I would add that the powers that be may want to keep open the possibility of a 2013 outfield where Mayberry is surrounded by Pence and Brown (assuming he gets back on track), which would be far cheaper and potentially about as good. If so, Vic will be permitted to sign a big free agent contract elsewhere, as Werth was, and some of the money saved could go for signing David Wright (or another 3rd baseman) and/or getting another ace to replace Blanton in the rotation.

Yoenis Cespedes...then trade Vic.

Rube has one big move left in him this winter...Cespedes will be wearing red pinstripes.

Best player? I thought they already extended him another 5 years starting next season.

NEPP, I'm not surprised about Hamels. He's coming off of some surgeries - albeit minor - and they may want to see what he looks like when P's & C's report.

Also, remember the Nicholson Smith woute I posted yesterday? That's one writer, at least, who thinks Hamels could get a Lee type deal on the open market. If that's the case then Hamels and his agent know it, and have probably asked for something close to that (or will if talks haven't started yet).

Keep this in mind:

Hamels is a full 5 years younger than Lee and has had a better career up to this age than Lee did. Sure, Lee has the CYA, but if you remove that career year, Hamels has bee just as impressive, and arguably better.

Hamels wil be an FA at an age where he'll be 4 years younger than Lee was. Teams will be getting his prime years, and there's a possibility he could improve.

Who will be looking?:

Red Sox
Giants (if they can't extend Cain?)

In short, most of the big market franchises who can spend will at least check in on Cole.

IMHO is he's allowed to test free agency 2012 will be his last season in a Phillies' uniform. And that will be sad. He may wind up being the best home grown pitcher since Roberts or Jenkins (if you count the fact that he debuted as a Phil)

Two words: Yoenis Cespedes.




Two more words: Just kidding.

I'd be leery of extending Victorino when he's coming off what was seemingly a career year. Offensively, he's never even approached the numbers he put up in 2011.

NEPP, his SLG was the highest of his career in 2011, and that's what boosted his OPS and OPS+. His BA and OBP were pretty similar from 2007 - 2009 when he averaged .289/.353.

He's one of the better CF in the game today.

Also, consider this: Since 2003 where he started to break in he has committed eight (8) Errors - that's it. Adam Jones, Baltmore's highly touted young CF made 8 errors LAST SEASON. Vic is about as reliable as you can get out there.

A comparison (though as we know errors don't tell the whole story), Garry Maddox had made 64 errors by the time he was 30 years old, vs. Vic's 8. However, Maddox had played 3815 more innings in the outfield.

Still, Maddox made an error every 165 innings through age 30.

In his career Vic has made only one error every 843 innigs.

That's pretty impressive no matter how you look at it.

I like Vic a lot, but am leery of a long term deal.

Phils/Amaro have made it clear they wanted to get the other needs (bench/closer/jroll) done, then talk with Hamels. Amaro has recently said that's next.

Re last thread/Nats: I can see them looking at a Gio trade AND one of the big FA arms next year. Gio is becoming overrated, but is still solid. Nats have a deep farm and can get him. I wouldn't be shocked if they move Storen for a CFer as they were rumored to be doing at the deadline, then sign Werth's boy Ryan Madson.

"I would add that the powers that be may want to keep open the possibility of a 2013 outfield where Mayberry is surrounded by Pence and Brown (assuming he gets back on track), which would be far cheaper and potentially about as good."

"Potentially" being a big if...The two words that I would use to explain a reluctance to lock up Victorino for big money: "Dom Brown."

If he can develop consistency at the plate and in the field (the latter being, at this point, an even more serious concern), then you might have the option to slide Mayberry to center and flank him with Pence and Brown. As of now, neither Mayberry nor Brown can really be considered locks for anything. If--god help us, I know--they both tank this year, then Victorino's leverage goes way up and we'd be looking at really needing to lock him up, assuming he performs well this year. I'm not in any hurry to throw another big deal at an outfielder when there's the possibility of going cheaper and getting younger there and using that cash to fill holes at 3rd and in the rotation. And I hope to god not at 2nd...

awh - I'm skeptical about errors in the current climate however. Scorers only give an error if it was a pop-up that my grandmother coulda fielded blindfolded with her dentures. Any other misplay is called a hit these days.

(ignorant reference comparing Vic shoving his hands down his pants between innings and Bill Conlin's actions)

Vic had the highest FB% of his career and one of the lowest basically he hit a lot of balls to the OF last year. That basically explains the jump in power.

Where do people think the Phillies are getting all of this money for these blockbuster moves that Rube is allegedly going to make? Unless he unloads a lot of salary, Rube can't have much room to play with. Look at the 2012 payroll (I've posted it a few times, linked to spreadsheets, etc.). And there are still pivotal signings to make (Hamels, Pence, etc.)

Where is this money coming from?

Vic is a good CF and I can't pretend to have watched Whitey play - but Vic takes some flat out stupid routes sometimes and blows multiple plays a year that he turns himself around 2-3 times while back tracking a ball. His speed and arm makes up for some of the route running, but not all the time.

i.e. his game blowing play in the 7th inning of Game 2

lore - Ashburn was fast AND ran good routes. He had an astoundingly good arm, too. No power to speak of, but he could stand at the plate and foul the ball off for hours.

The Phillies are correctly taking a wait-and-see approach with Vic's contract. You can only give out so many multi-million dollar deals and the decision on Vic will turn, in large part, on how Mayberry & Domonic Brown perform in the coming year. The other thing is that, as good as he was last year, my memories of the 2010 Vic have not easily dissipated. I need to see one more strong season to be fully convinced that Vic's newfound power does not come at the expense of .40 points of batting average. I also need to see him avoid any major injuries for at least the first half of this season before I even consider trying to lock him up long-term.

Fact: Shane Victorino did this in an NLDS.

Fact: Shane Victorino also did THIS in an NLDS.

"awh - I'm skeptical about errors in the current climate however."

Andy, true dat, but scoring errors has always been subjective.

From what I've read about DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak, there were a couple of infield hits along the way that could/should have been scored errors.

And back then, IIRC, it was a local sportswriter who did the "official scoring", which really may have led to a lot of "homerism".

Lake Nostradamus pulled out the old crystal ball and tried to see the futures of Vic, Dom and RFD. The ball glows bright for both Vic and RFD. When I look into the old crystal ball for Dom, the ball clouds up and goes dark.

Re Werth being shopped in summer, 2010:

It is worth recalling the Phillies' circumstances when these rumors were surfacing. The Phillies were but 2 games over .500 on July 21; on July 22, they were still 7 games behind Atlanta for the division lead. 7 games isn't an insurmountable deficit but, if 7 games turns into 9 or 10 games, then you would certainly have to think about trading a guy who's going to walk at the end of the year.

My point: the only way I can see the Phillies trading Vic in mid-season is if a whole lot goes wrong & we end up many games out of the playoff chase by late July. If we're remotely within striking distance, we won't be trading him -- even if Mayberry is having a solid season & Brown is lighting it up at AAA.

Errors aren't a good measure but they can be used to compare two guys playing in the same error, to a point. Right now they basically measure drops and over throws. Vic doesn't have many of those. He will one in a while take an ugly path or a wrong turn or allow for an extra base via boneheadedness. Still, I am fully aware that these critiques are a sign of just how spoiled we have been over the last half decade by this team that does so many things well.

As Susan Powter, 'Stop the Insanity!'

Extending Vic makes no sense given several factors (e.g., future payroll commitments, desire to sign Hamels long-term). You let him walk next offseason when he signs a 3-yr deal at over $10 AAV & take the compensation pick.

For once this offseason, Amaro did exactly what people thought he would do (resign JRoll & an elite closer) while trying to make moves to upgrade bench.

BAP, you are correct. For years, BLers were moaning about the need for a good CFer. Remember all the getting Vernon Wells chatter on BL back in the old days? We now have Vic and we are solid in CF. Why would we want to trade Vic? If I could only have one or the other, I'd rather have a real good CFer than a real good 3rd starting pitcher. I think the Cole Hamels trade rumors make more sense than Victorino trade rumors.

"Extending Vic makes no sense given several factors (e.g., future payroll commitments, desire to sign Hamels long-term)."

There are too many unknowns right now to say that Vic should or should not be re-signed. What if Vic puts together another big year, while Mayberry reverts to pre-2011 form next year, Dom stinks it up again at AAA, Tyson Gillies continues to flounder, & Cole makes it known that his terms are more than the Phillies are willing to pay? Suddenly, re-signing Vic starts to look like a pretty prudent move.

BAP - No it doesn't. Paying big dollars for a CF who really depends on his legs/speed for his game while entering his mid-30s is just a likely poor invvestment.

If the Phils also pay $12M AAV over 3 years through '15 just doesn't make sense given the commitments they have already made to Lee/Papelbon/Howard/JRoll.

If Amaro is going to resign someone long-term, it should be Hamels. Halladay's signed through '14 if they pick up his option but Hamels is the one guy I would rather they invest the large dollars in. Not Vic.

Halladay's option is a vesting option, not a team option.

Only way the Phils should trade Vic is if they completely tank and are decimated by injuries (several games under .500 at the trading deadline) or if they would get Cespedes which isn't going to happen.

Hopefully you watch Rizzo then sign Vic next offseason to a 4 yr/$50M deal.

NEPP - Yeah I know I am assuming it vests and he is here through '14.

Phils are going to have to make a choice very soon on whether it is Hamels/Halladay long-term.

Halladay will be 38 years old in 2015...that's not really a hard decision.

bap, excellent post.

To sum up your point, circumstances change, and teams do not operate in vaccums.

What we ass-u-me, at one point, will happen in the future (Dom Brown breking in and becoming a top RF, KK crapping the MLB bed and becoming a AAA lifer, a player suffering a career altering/ending injury) may not actually transpire.

And we cannot assume we know all the facts as they exist today, i.e. has Vic's agent approached the Phils about an extension? Has Cole's? Have the Phillies approached their agents.

The one thing we do know about Amaro is that he doesn't negotiate in public and doesn't like it when agents do, so I am of the absolute belief that there is much about the Hamels and Vic situations that we do not know.

I am not advocating either a 'let's get younger for getting young sake' by any means but continually resigning players who are entering their mid-30s to large deals is a recipe for a disaster. Greatly increases the odds that instead of having a slight dropoff & remaining competitive that your franchise goes back to being a perennial sub. 500 one for several years.

Several franchises I can think of that readily come to mind with the most vivid being the late 90s O's being probably the most glaring example.

"Paying big dollars for a CF who really depends on his legs/speed for his game while entering his mid-30s is just a likely poor invvestment."

MG, only if you ass-u-me that his legs will give out.

Yes, Vic has had leg injuries, and you take that in consideration when offering/negotiating a contract (i.e. dollars, length), but it doesn't mean that you categorically reject signing a guy to an extension.

With the current rules, you really only want to build a team that you think has a high probability of making the playoffs. Amaro's done that. It doens't matter if it is via the WC or as a division winner.

With the rule changes though coming into effect in 2013, that changes a bit because the WC winners will get punished & winning your division has a lot more meaning to it.

Braves/Nats are both positioned incredibly well right now to contend in 2013 & 2014 and will do so with a somewhat diminished and aging Phils' roster.

"Halladay will be 38 years old in 2015...that's not really a hard decision."

Really, NEPP.

Suppose he pitches 230+ innings the year before, and wins 20 games with an ERA of around 2.90 - 3.20?

And suppose he's willing to sign a 3 year deal to stay in Philly?

Do you really tell him to take a hike?

awh - I am sure Amaro will make Vic an offer. Its foolish to simply let him BB but I can't imagine that Vic won't receive a more attractive offer somewhere else if he has another strong offensive/defensive season.

I could see Amaro offering him next year say a 3 yr/~$30M deal but that another club will come in and beat that offer with a 4th guaranteed year. Basically plays out like Werth did.

Vic is a good/very good player but just not a guy I want to see the Phils invest large dollars in long-term beyond '12.

"Braves/Nats are both positioned incredibly well right now to contend in 2013 & 2014 and will do so with a somewhat diminished and aging Phils' roster."

MG, true, which is why having dominant pitching is so valuable. Great pitching can get even aging and/or inferior offensive teams to the playoffs - and there, anything can happen.

***Do you really tell him to take a hike?***

That depends on how much he wants, how much budget we have and if the options are him or a still young dominant Hamels.

MG, IMO the plan was to have Gillies develop and be ready to replace Vic in 2013.

As things stand right now that may not happen (an probably won't).

Andy - I did see Whitey Ashburn play at the end of his career, and while he took great routes and was still very fast, he had no more than a rag arm. In fact, it was more like Juan Pierre than Vic. Great centerfielder, but only because a centerfielder doesn't really need a great arm the way a rightfielder does. And my father always used to say Ashburn never could throw, even before I was watching baseball.

Through Age 27:

Hamels: 181 G, 3.39 ERA, 126 ERA+, 1.141 WHIP
Halladay: 165 G, 3.89 ERA, 123 ERA+, 1.299 WHIP

Thinking back, I think Ashburn had one great throw before I was born (1950?). But I believe I've seen a replay of it, and he caught the ball really shallow and made an accurate throw.

"continually resigning players who are entering their mid-30s to large deals is a recipe for a disaster."

I agree with that. But Vic isn't entering his mid-30s. He just turned 31. I can think of quite a few speed-oriented outfielders who retained both their hitting & base-stealing abilities into their mid-30s. Kenny Lofton, Bobby Abreu and Johnny Damon spring right to mind. And Vic is worlds better than any of those guys defensively.

Ashburn did not have a very good arm. Thats why Dodgers ran on him in 1950 and Whitey threw him out by a lot. Best throw Ashburn ever made.

They need to get Hamels done first, but I think they can extend both guys. Shane already has 9.5M built in to this years budget. If they can get him for 12.5 a year going forward that would be workable with Polanco and Blanton coming off the books. The problem is they have to fill 3B after Polanco goes. They might decide it makes more sense to go Dom/Mayberry/Nix/Gillies for LF and CF and spend the money on 3B and extending Pence.

I would really hate to see Shane go. If he'd sign for anything like 3-4 years/10 mil per I say do it now. Hamels will get his deal, from the Phillies or someone else. And it will likely be 20 million per for at least 5-6 years. He has earned it.

I think if Rube could go back in time, he would let Howard walk so he'd be better able to keep everyone else. If you could look into his heart, I'm sure that's what it would say. If a heart could actually talk. But I've seen hearts up close and personal, and that would be really grizzly.

I saw Ashburn and I saw Vic. It isn't even close. Ashburn played in a much larger ballpark than Vic does. Connie Mack Stadium was 447 to dead center with power alleys of 420 in left center(next ot the Alpo ad) and 405 in right center(the light tower to the left of the Ballantine scoreboard). Ashburn also had four seasons with over 500 putouts. No other player in major league history has had more than one. Mays had one, the vaunted Andruw Jones never came close. Ashburn didn't hit for power but was a better average and on base pct. hitter than Vic. Ashburn won two batting titles against better competition than Vic (Mays, Aaron, Musial) and Ashburn could work a count with the best of them. Ashburn also didn't make routinely stupid decisions on the bases (getting picked off, thrown out stealing third with less than two outs etc.) which Vic does as a matter of course.

Nobody is saying Vic is the all around player that Ashburn was. But he's a very good player. The one thing he has at the plate is more power than Ashburn had. And it's not close that Vic has a much stronger arm than Ashburn ever had.

Of course, if the choice for centerfielder today was Ashburn or Vic, you choose Ashburn. But sadly, we don't have that choice.

But I could see Mayberry being very good in center if can maintain his hitting.


Re read the top of this thread where JW suggests that Vic may be the best defensive center fielder in Phils history. Not a chance. Vic is a good player with great raw talent but I submit his baseball instincts leave much to be desired. He is not and never will be the fielder Ashburn was, let alone the complete ballplayer.

"and you can bet David Wright's name will become a hot topic this summer, not necessarily in a straight-up deal for Victorino, but in a deal nonetheless."

What else do you think the Mets would give us for Shane?

If MG had his way we'd sign no one to a contract of more than 2 years, Nick Punto would get 500 PAs a year and the back of our bullpen would consist of Zach Duke, George Sherrill and Joe Nathan.

Iceman - Zach Duke would be in Lehigh and Punto would only got 200 PAs.

I did want to see the Phils upgrade the utility INF position given the health concerns/age of Utley/JRoll/Polanco. Valdez isn't a terrible player but Punto is a better option especially defensively at 2B/3B. He is also a guy I would rather see in the 8-hole. The problem is he is making $1.5M vs. a likely $900-$950k that Valdez is making.

Yeah, I would have rather seen the Phils sign Sherrill for the money he got than Willis but Willis wasn't a bad signing by Amaro. Frankly, I kind of liked it has an 'out-of-box' type signing.

JRoll signing was a good move by Amaro even if he basically caved on the 4th year. Really didn't have a great alternative unless he gambled on Furcal which really was a stretch.

Yeah, I hated the Papelbon signing because signing a closer to that length (potentially 5 years) and dollars is likely to end badly for the Phils. Likely quite badly as the contracts for Lidge/Gordon did. The one upside there is Papelbon's injury history.

Vic is a guy in CF that as soon as he starts to lose that 'sprinter's burst' that he has & heavily relies upon to close on balls late his defense in CF is going to notably slip.

I'm not a big Victorino fan. He makes some of the dumbest mistakes imaginable, disappeared for the final two months of the season, and had a horrible NLCS defensively.

The Phils can't afford to have both he and Rollins at the top of the order. Let him play out 2012 while we get a better read on Mayberry. If Mayberry can play everyday, move him to CF, let Vic go and sign a 3rd baseman with power.

I would completely support a 3 year extension that kept Vic around through his Age 34 season. At worst, he could move to a corner OF position but his defense is currently elite so there's no reason to think he'd have to move even by that year.

He's a very very good player.

The Phils can't afford to have both he and Rollins at the top of the order.

Citation, please!

Seriously, is clout staying away just to feed the speculation?

I'll say this about Vic: if he has 600+ PAs and hits to an .847 OPS again, he is going to get a "Werth-esque" 5-year deal somewhere. I can't imagine that somehwere would be Philadelphia.

Can anyone seriously imagine him taking a contract somewhere else if he got a reasonable offer from us? That man has cried on public television brimming with love for Philly. He's certainly a face of the team and of the city for his charitable work. He'll stay at a reasonable discount.

"is clout staying away just to feed the speculation?"

Must admit, that thought crossed my mind too -- especially since this Asbhurn-Vic discussion is right down his alley.

From the years 1951 - 57 Ashburn had 103 assists from CENTERfield (a few more when he was playing corner OF, including RF), 17 a year, basically. During that six year span he also participated in 34 double-plays.

This year, maybe, Vic will get his 33rd ASSIST from centerfield. If he gets to 34 double plays any tiome soon (he only needs 20 more), I'll let you know.

But forget facts, if you want, and continue to labor under the impression that Whitey had a noodle arm and people used to run on him at will.

Oh, yeah. Forgot to mention. Ole noodle-arm led the league in OF assists in three of those years.

Nats just traded for Gio Gonzalez

How much did they overpay by?

Andy - Assists aren't the standard to judge an outfielder by. In fact, the weaker the arm, the more people run on you. The more opportunity for assists.

Whitey had an accurate arm, but even he admitted he had a weak arm. How much of him did you actually see? Because from what I saw, he didn't have a strong arm.

Gio will help them. While Our Leader brings in pieces & tweeks here and there. Right now we're not as good as last year. The Nats & Marlins are better.

We're not even in the runnung for Beltram, whom wwe can really use. Get ready for a dogfight.

Hey, looks like the pitching in the NL East is getting better fast. Buehrle in Miami and Gonzalez in Washington? Makes me wish the Phillies had improved their offense. I'm pretty sure NOBODY could have foreseen the need to do that.

Nats trade their #3,#4,#9 and a mid level for Gio = Ruben is a moron, season = over!

4 prospects for Gio. They had to give up their 3rd, 4th & 9th best prospects to get him. He is a major upgrade from Jason Marquis.

The A's have now traded their two best starters and are about to trade their closer. All these players are young and relatively inexpensive. Isn't it about time for Bowie Kuhn Selig to step in and stop this atrocity?

Either dissolve that pathetic mess of a franchise, move it, or make the owner stop selling off every useful moving part every time he fails to sell a hot dog.

So is billy beane ever going to actually try and win anything, or would he rather just be remembered for making great trades. Guy should be a used car salesmen, not a gm.

I thought for certain cloutlin wouldn't be able to refrain from reminding R.Billingsly that money -- or a lack thereof -- is a total non-issue in MLB. r00b could easily sign all of the best players in the game to record-shattering deals, but he chooses not to do so as a personal challenge. Gotta keep that Stanford mind sharp & all.

AK~ He shoulda upgraded the pffense REGARDLESS of what other teams do or did. But he just doesn't see it. He thinks that when Howard comes back he'll be the player he once was... I beg to differ. At least not this year. What do they do if he's out until the ASB?

Their rotation also isn't as formidable as last year. And I fear they're gonna have problems scoring runs. RAJ shoulda got a hitter. Period. And they have the money. Who cares if they go over the luxury-tax threshold.

Did the Nats overpay for Gio? Yes. Did the Marlins overpay for Buerlhe and Reyes? Yes. But that's what you have to do sometimes. We know that as RAJ has done it in the past.

But instead of going out and getting a proven hitter who can play 5 times a week,
He goes out and signs to Minor Leaguers with invitations to ST. Yeah, that'll really help.

As soon as Howard went down he should been planning for SOME type of offensive replacement. He didn't.

"Right now we're not as good as last year. The Nats & Marlins are better."

Considering that the Nats and Fish finished 21.5 and 30 games behind us last year, they have quite a bit of making up to do. To be sure, both teams have gotten better. But it's not at all clear that the Phillies have gotten worse.

For the Phils to get better, you have to count on a lot of things going right. Here's what has to happen just to stay the same:

Howard coming back as some semblance of himself.
Utley being healthy the entire season.
Pence's knees hold up the entire season.
JRoll playing 150 games.
Wigginton/Nix can't suck.
Mayberry has to be second half Mayberry.
Blanton has to pitch better than Oswalt.
KK has to repeat his career year.
Worley has to be a 3.00 ERA pitcher.

That's not even taking the pen into account, which had lots of saves and few blown saves.

If all those things happen, the Phillies will hold serve, but win fewer games because the Fish and Nats are much improved. Oh, and the big three are all going to need to repeat their near-Cy Young seasons.

Lots of hope, but another bat would have been really nice.

Ok with all the moves happenIng in the east. When is Ruben gonna pull the rabbit out of a hat? We need the saints to heal St utley and have Vic and Rollins take the Pete rose approach to hitting. Everyone who bitched and moaned about how bad the east was. Well boys time to put on the big boy pants and get to it. Every game vs braves nats and marlins important. Gotta take 14 games from muts at least. this is gonna be fun. Our three doc cliff and Cole. Steve jordan and Gio. Maybe werth was smart to go to nats. Time will tell.......

Beane stated shortly after the wrap of the 2011 season that he anticipated going one of two directions with the A's this off season.

1) If it looked like the A's were going to finally be able to get their new ballpark built, then he expected to make a lot of trades in an effort to be able to be competitive when the A's open in their new 2-3 seasons.

2) If it didn't look like the A's would be getting a new ballpark in the near future, then he would try keep his budget about where it was last season and build on the players he currently has.

As much as I loathe seeing Cahill and Gio dealt, I have faith that the fact of their being dealt means that Selig will be making an announcement about the A's move to San Jose within the next two months.

Look no further than the Giants ownership (first) and Selig (second) when it comes to the A's having to exist in their seeming perpetual state of baseball limbo.

Go A's!

aksmith- you are becoming a cartoon character.

DPatrone getting restless per usual. Your ineffective banter is exhausting as I'm convinced you will truly never be happy with roster. what would you suggest Rube have done differently?

It's been reported (by Kieth Law) that the A's get right-handers A.J. Cole, Brad Peacock, catcher Derek Norris and left-hander Tom Milone. A's beat writer Susan Slusser says she has not had those names confirmed by the A's as part of the final deal yet - or even if the deal is officially done

Iceman - High praise, indeed, from you.

Noticed today on baseball reference, most similar to Roy Oswalt at age 23: Vance Worley.

aksmith: I agree that Howard and Worley are wild cards, where we could potentially go backward. But, even allowing for those possibilities, if everything else on your list were to occur, we would be far BETTER than last year, when:

Utley started only 100 games and had healthy knees in none of them;

Rollins played only 142 games;

Pence wasn't even on our team for 2/3 of the season & the assortment of players manning RF during that time were well below league average;

Mini-Mart and Gload were key bench players and both sucked to far greater degree than Wigginton or Nix could possibly do.

Mayberry played like 2nd half Mayberry in the 2nd half, & was no worse than Ibanez, Brown, or Francisco in the first half; and

Oswalt made only 23 starts & was little better than league average (not a great difference from Blanton).

BAP: But every other team can only get better and will absolutely perform like they should on paper, whereas the phillies are in a vacuum of mediocrity that will result in poor results because a guy who strikes out 150 times a year will only be in the roster for half the season and somehow, 3 of the best pitchers in baseball in their prime will suddenly NOT be difference makers.

oh and we DIDN't sign the 2nd best reliever in the league behind Mo Rivera. He's NOT playing for us. If only we could have had room for Michael Cuddyer or Josh Willingham.

My guess: Howard will miss at least the first 2 months and our offense will miss him far less than conventional Beerleaguer wisdom believes.

We'll certainly miss his ability to hit .298/.422/.497 with RISP, and .288/.390/.507 with runners on base. I doubt very seriously that whoever bats cleanup can replicate those numbers. But I'll go out on a limb and predict that our cleanup hitter hits better than .219 with a .301 OBP with the bases empty, and that this increase in OBP will create runs that would not have been created with Howard (at least the 2011 version of Howard) in the lineup. I'll also go out on a limb & predict that having a cleanup hitter who isn't an automatic out against lefties will help force the opposing manager into late-inning matchups that are a lot more favorable for us than Howard against a LOOGY.

-Cespedes, seriously. Gillick is too old to scout players we're not serious about.

-2nd half Mayberry's bat and contract would be valuable in CF. I'm not going to do the WAR comparison vs Vic but it would be worth someones time. Mayberry will have a chance to prove it wasn't a fluke, but if he does, starting in CF in 2013 isn't out of the question.

-Vic's D in CF is overrated(or underrated depending where you sit). He was better in right. Defense alone doesn't justify Vic starting in center and of course his bat is solid, but Mayberry demonstrated somewhat surprisingly last year that he's not a defensive liability in center.

-Defensively in centerfield: Mayberry or Werth?

BAP - Fair points all, except for Joey B. He is not league average most years, and with his health questions, I think that's a whole lot to expect.

DPatrone: How miserable are you when the Phillies don't put up triple-digit wins?

Also, Beerleaguer posters have gotten so negative that BAP is now a moderate on the pessimism-optimism spectrum.

Through Age 27:

Hamels: 181 G, 3.39 ERA, 126 ERA+, 1.141 WHIP
Halladay: 165 G, 3.89 ERA, 123 ERA+, 1.299 WHIP

Posted by: NEPP | Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 01:21 PM"

NEPP, given the run differential in leagues, that's pretty much a wash, no?

"Ashburn also had four seasons with over 500 putouts. No other player in major league history has had more than one."

JMB, while I agree that OF putouts are one measure of an OF's ability, you have to take the stat in context. The type of pitcher is on the mound can have a huge effect on that stat.

For instance, the Phillies rotation last season tossed a LOT of groundballs - Halladay and Hamels, and to a lesser extent Lee - all threw a very high percentage of them, and when that happens OF's just don't get the chances.

I know Roberts was a FB pitcher. Were the other Phillies pitchers with whom Whitey played similar?

i think the phils want michael bourn back in cf and at the top of their lineup may try to reacuire him through free agency next year
letting vic walk or trading him at deadline
almost everything phils do on offense depends on howard's recovery and successful return to the lineup i think

"the weaker the arm, the more people run on you."

The reason more drunk guys get bit by poisonous snakes is not because those snakes look less poisonous when they bite. It's because the guys are not paying attention to the probable consequences of their action.

Name a player currently in anyone's outfield who has led the league in assists three years who has a weak arm.

Quick. I'm waiting.

The Phils are now the 3rd best team in the division. I didn't want Rollins back; would have preferred Furcal and Ramierez. Furcal could have been dropped to 7th or 8th in the order and played stellar defense. Ramierez would have put much needed pop in the lineup and allowed Polly to spell he and Chase.

The Howard contract will plague this team for years to come. Rueben will need to eat half his salary and deal him to a team needing a DH. Come July the Phils will be sellers.

I really have no idea what Rizzo is doing. Gives up his 2 best starting prospects, another arm (Milone) who looks like he will be a solid back-end starter, and his power-hitting, defensive catching prospect.

If you are trading for a Kershaw or a stud starter like Halladay, you make that deal. Even for Hamels maybe but for Gonzalez even if his controlled through 2015?

Shaping up to the 2nd straight offseason where Rizzo flat out screws up.

"The Phils are now the 3rd best team in the division."

Braves have done what to improve this offseason so far? Fish and Nats are really better than the Phils?

regular season = 4-way tie

this whole discussion is insane. the 2012 phillies are another 100 win team with the best rotation in baseball.

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EST. 2005

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