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Thursday, January 19, 2012


Wigginton starting & Mayberry & Nix platooning? If that's how it pans out, it means that the best player of the three will get the least number of PAs.

We're all geared up to make a serious run at third place in the NL East

You never know Scotch Man, it could very well happen. But they are still the favorites in the East, and probably by a wide margin.

bap, Charlie may have the common sense to play RFD at 1B some of the time with Nix in LF.

We'll have to see.

The discussion of RFD and the Phils offense is why BL is one of the best in the business. It is backing up statements with stats and not just throwing statements out there. Yes the Phils offense isn't what it used to be but league wide offense isn't what it used to be. I've used this argument so many times with co-workers, friends and acquaintances and it gets exhausting year after year.

First rule of being a Phils fan: Don't believe Ruben.

"Charlie may have the common sense to play RFD at 1B some of the time with Nix in LF."

Even more commonsensical: Mayberry in LF & Nix at 1st (against RHP, that is).

I absolutely will not believe that they're going to platoon Nix until I actually see him out there on opening day. I refuse to believe it. You're really planning on giving this guy ~300 ABs while letting Brown sit in the minors?

Even giving Mayberry a shot at RHP as a full-time LF makes more sense than putting Nix on the field in any kind of platoon role. I absolutely refuse to believe it.

Take Amaro's comments with a grain of salt until spring training starts but it wouldn't surprise me if things play out that way.

Smart choice is to make Mayberry the full-time starter in LF because of his defense and his speed on the basepaths. If they want to spot start Nix vs. a veteran RHP with a good changeup (offspeed pitch that Mayberry generally struggles with) that's fine.

Wigginton is the worst player at this point of the 3 because of his severe defensive limitations, his lack of speed, and an offensive game that has atrophied considerably.

Since '09, Wigginton has had one really solid streak of about 4-6 week of really good offensive production & then his bat slumbers for the rest of the year.

Really hope that Cholly doesn't make the mistake of giving him 350-400 ABs but that will be the case if he is going to be the full-time starter until Howard is back at 1st.

Iceman: I have no problem with a Wigginton-Nix platoon until Howard gets back. Nix v. RHP is still probably a better matchup than Wigginton v. RHP. Of course, the wild card is Thome, who is a better matchup against RHP than either one of them. At least against RHP, Cholly should start Thome as often as he is physically capable of playing -- which probably isn't very often.

May should feel honored to be the top prospect, since in most systems he'd be honored to crack the top five.

Increasingly it looks like the Prince is going to spend all summer on his throne in front of the 55-inch eating vegetarian cheez doodles..

Wow. BLer's are really expecting Wiggie to suck. Unfortunately, I think BLer's are right this time. I have a feeling the guy is shot.

Remembering that Chollie likes to go with the "hot bat," I have to think that Mayberry will play regularly until Howard is back with the platoon being Nix and Wigginton. Heck, Nix might only be used as a defensive sub and a LH PH threat (to get the LOOGY into the game to actually face Wigginton).

donc - Base case scenario for Wigginton is that he gets a majority of the PT early, give the Phils an unexpected boost through May (say ~.800 OPS) with one of his hot offensive spurts, and then starts seldomly the rest of the year with his offensive production diminishing gradually lower.

bap, Nix has played less than 50 innings at 1B in his career, but is apparently a competent LF.

Some here have said that he's nearly as good as Mayberry - or inferred it anyway. Personally, I don't know how good Nix is in LF, but I do believe Mayberry would be one of the top defenders in MLB at the position.

So, the question is (keeping in mind the defensive spectrum):

If there is a dropoff at 1B with Nix there instead of Mayberry, is there enough of a defensive pickup in LF to justify the dropoff at 1B, and does it even matter?

awh - Did Mayberry play much 1B at Stanford? I know he was an infielder.

Fascinated to watch to see how this bench of veteran players performs though especially with Howard out early since they will get a fair amount of PT. Filled with veteran players who Cholly should have confidence in & actually use.

Last time the Phils had a really competent bench was '07 and even then they had No-Hit and Helms (what I think Wiggy will end up giving them with slightly better offensive numbers) on the bench when Dobbs started at 3B.

"Since '09, Wigginton has had one really solid streak of about 4-6 week of really good offensive production & then his bat slumbers for the rest of the year."

Sounds disturbingly like our old pal Raul.

MG, I don't know for certain, but IIRC (someone posted here in the past) he was a 1B in college.

BTW, the numbers below are Nix's splits the last 3 years vs LHP.

2011 - .111/.226/.185, 31 PA
2010 - .313/.389/.500, 19 PA
2009 - .156/.206/.250, 34 PA

Feel free to comment.

awh: I was under the impression that Nix had played a little more 1st base than that. Maybe it was in the minors, or maybe my impression was just mistaken. Of course, I don't think Mayberry has played much 1st base either and, from what little I saw of him at that position, he looked fairly crude.

I know Nix is considered a good defensive outfielder -- though probably not quite as good as Mayberry. Ultimately, it likely won't make a big difference which player plays where. The only issue on which I have particularly strong feelings is that Mayberry should be in the starting lineup nearly every day, until and unless he proves not up to the task.

Redburb, to add to the discussion about the Phils offensive decline vs. the league average decline since 2008...

If the Phils had scored 14 more runs in 2011 - 0.086 PRG - their offensive decline would have been less than the league average.

Now, that does translate into one more "pythagorean" win, but I'll take the 2011 offense and the 2011 pitching any day.

Phillies pitchers allowed 22.2% less runs in 2011 than they did in 2008 (529 vs. 680). At the same time league offense declined about 10%.

That's the difference between 92 and 102 wins.

awh: Nix is utterly hapless against LHP. In an odd sort of way, I consider that a positive, not a negative. Last year, Cholly gave Ibanez 138 PAs against LHP, whom he hit to the tune of .211/.232/.353. Unlike Ibanez, Nix has never hit LHP and Cholly can be under no illusions that he'll ever be able to do so. Therefore, of those 138 wasted Ibanez PAs from last year, all but a handful will go to a RH hitter this year.

awh - Good stuff. It really puts into perspective the groupthink that the Phils offense is terrible and the outcry for more offense when there is downward trend league-wide.

With the precipitous decline in offense over the past few years league-wide, that puts a premium on great pitching. Hopefully the Phils can get a deal done this year with Hamels.

i'm with bap across the board so far. Wigginton offers absolutely 0 advantage over any of the counterparts on the roster except that his vsLHP numbers are better than Nix - thats it.

Also like the idea that Nix is so extremely bad against LHP that Charlie will have no choice but to follow the platoon splits correctly, regardless of his gut's feelings on a particular night.

Wigginton's advantage is they got him for nothing and if he is as bad as BLers believe he'll be, he can be cut.

Beard - There still paying him $2M though and the Phils have had a practice of not releasing positional players on the roster. They just bury them. What I imagine will happen with Wigginton once Howard returns.

Mayberry is the guy who should get the most PT out of the trio of Nix/Wigginton/Mayberry because he simply is the best all-around player of the three. Especially like this speed in the lineup.

Mayberry can go from 1st to 3rd/2nd to home consistently on a single & even steal some bags occasionally if Cholly lets him run a bit more. In a lineup that likely will be lacking power early without Howard, I would prefer to have Mayberry's speed in the lineup everyday. You could also argue that he has the most power potential of the 3 too at this point in there careers.

Mayberry isn't going to duplicate what he did last year but even if he drops back to a .750-.770 OPS player, he still a better all around player than Nix/Wigginton especially if he is in LF.

Other knock on Nix/Wigginton is that neither guys BBs much. Nix sees his share of pitches/PA but hardly BBs (career 5.7% which in part explains his sub par career .303 OBP) and Wigginton isn't exactly that great either (career 7.3% rate).

I liked the Nix signing except for the fact of the 2nd guaranteed year. Amaro probably had to give him that though for him to sign here early in the offseason. There weren't exactly a ton of decent LH bats in FA this year either.

If used properly (playing LF predominantly and facing RHP almost exclusively), Nix can be a positive asset for a team. Mayberry too although ideally he would sit vs a crafty RHP veteran who has a good cutter/changeup.

Playing Wigginton everyday at 1B is just the worst move the Phils can make because of what he brings to the table. It means that Nix get a majority of the PT in LF and Wigginton at 1B.

Its a puzzling move whether from a saber-perspective or even a traditional one (subpar on defense even at 1st, is slow on the basepaths, and hits for a modest average at best) making Wigginton an everyday starter.

Only way I can see why the Phils would do that is if they feel that Nix/Mayberry can't handle 1st but it is not exactly like Wigginton is even average there defensively either. He stinks anywhere in the field. Part of the reason why the Rockies got rid of him.

Lee and Pence are the bobbleheads this year.

I agree with MG 100% here. Especially without Howard, Mayberry's presence in the lineup is needed everyday. If they platoon Nix with Wiggington at 1st, that's fine I guess. But Mayberry should be playing every day to start the season because A) As MG said, he brings defense and speed to the table along with some power, and B) He has earned the right to get a shot at the full-time job.

I really like how everyone, optimists and pessimists alike, are pretty much writing off Wiggington before he even puts on the uniform. I'm in the same boat. He looks very Helmsish to me.

"He looks very Helmsish to me."

Come on Ice. I've got to sleep at night. That gives me the Willies.

Wow, when I said Wiggy looks to be Helms Part II, I got lambasted here. Now, people say it and nary a peep. Maybe Clout and awh need to tell me where I was wrong so the world won't spin off its axis.

These are Wiggy's splits against RHP the last 3 seasons:

2009 - .285/.313/.437, 275 PA
2010 - .252/.307/.436, 476 PA
2011 - .235/.292/.413, 319 PA

He looks like he's become someone who should be on the bench when a RHP takes the hill.

Here are his splits vs. LHP:

2009 - .252/.317/.333, 161 PA
2010 - .237/.324/.355, 173 PA
2011 - .259/.370/.426, 127 PA

It's not like he's killed lefties the last 3 years either, though 2011 was an improvement.

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