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Friday, February 10, 2012


Pundits are goofy. If they weren't goofy they wouldn't be called a goofy name like pundits.

Afraid to comment, parody?

As a related aside, one of the criticisms of WAR is that it goes ga-ga over players who play "scarce" positions but it doesn't reward players who have a scarce skill, like the ability to hit lots of homeruns. The same might be said of scouting.

I thought he would possibly get a call up. That is to back up Mayberry until Howard was ready.

I'll show them love when John Bowker becomes an adequate major league player. Didn't he "mash" in the minors?

Plus no one has mentioned Derrick Mitchell in AA hit 15 as an outfielder.

aksmith is right. Baseball history is littered with guys who were super power hitters in the minors and outmakers in MLB.

Ruf was playing in the FSL last season at age 25. That's ridiculous and renders his stats worthless.

Overbeck has a hole in his swing the size of a pizza and strikes out once every 4 ABs, but you can get by with that in the minors, especially at age 25, because you face a fair amount of unseasoned pitchers and a fair amount of will-never-make-it pitchers.

Rizzotti is the textbook Quad-A slugger. Old at every level because he can't run and can't field, he feasts on less experienced pitchers. His plate discipline is better than Overbeck's, which means he has a chance to play in The Show. I think he'll continue to post good numbers in the minors, but fail in MLB because he can be beaten inside with fastballs. His hands just aren't that quick. This flaw doesn't get much exposed in the minors because most pitchers lack good command and if they miss inside they'll get ripped. At the big league level, this is not the case.

Of those 3 I think only the Rizz will ever have a cup of coffee in MLB and it will be as a bench guy who'll hit .230 with a little pop as he yo-yos between The Show and Trip A.

Mike Cervenak is a Hall of Famer.

So is Andy Tracy

hook: Derrick Mitchell, aka "The Paw Paw Pounder," has a K/BB ratio of nearly 5:1. This suggests poor plate discipline and only a vague knowledge of the strike zone.

He does have fair power, but his career minor league slash line of .244/.302/.409 is unimpressive.

He turned 25 last month and ought to be moved up to LV to see if he can repeat the 19 HRs, but he's the longest of longshots to see much time in the big leagues.

Overbeck interests me if he can improve plate discipline. Imagine if he can cut downs the whiffs and up his average around .275. Might be worth a bench spot someday.

There is only one way to make the haters go away....SOLER POWER!

I meant to say keep his average around .275, while improving plate discipline. Cut downs some K's, add some walks and Overbeck becomes a much better player.

clout, nice analysis. None of these guys will make any mark at the MLB level.

Carson: If Cody Overbeck could cut down his Ks, increase his BBs and field a bit, he wouldn't be Cody Overbeck. He'd be someone like James Loney.

But, alas, when he wakes up tomorrow he'll still be Cody Overbeck, a guy who struck out in 25% of his plate appearances last year, 24% the year before and 27% the year before that.

Worth noting: Bowker has a career minor league OPS of .865 and struck out at a far lower rate than Overbeck or Rizzotti.

I hate to say it, but "Ruf, Ruf." These guys are dogs.

Only 9 days 'til spring training & a lot of names still on free agent list, including Roy , Raul & Ross from our last years edition.
Collusion against R named players?

Seriously, there are homeless players out there, some of them a whole lot better than some of the employed.

A few aging catchers on that list Mr. Schneider.

And if Overbeck had stuck at third he'd be Mike Costanzo.

Wow!! I can’t believe it took me so long to find you! THANKYOU!

Pundits are goofy. If they weren't goofy they wouldn't be called a goofy name like pundits.

Pundit comes to us from Sanskrit via Hindi. Pajamas is a funny word too.

You think Beane would be all over those guys and we'd work out a trade for the two good players left on the A's

We all know these guys arent going to make it. I was just throwing paw paw name in the mix. That's why I keep stressing about this year minor league season with all the picks from last year. Greene Walding a big season for James too! We need a topic on non pitching prospects. We all know about all the Pitchers from a to aaa. But we need to start looking at the positional players too.

Good post, clout.

hook: Position players worth keeping an eye on, besides Greene: Seb Valle, Freddy Galvis, Jiwan James, Maikel Franco, Harold Garcia and Roman Quinn.

Valle is the only one among them with power potential and his plate discipline is very poor at this time. But he's quite young and could certainly improve.

Quinn is interesting simply because he was a hot HS prospect and the Phils went over slot (2nd round) to keep him from accepting a full ride to Fla. State. He has tremendous speed and plays SS.

clout -- Anyone in the pipeline for 2B? I still have a foreboding that if Chase Utley goes down again, he may not get up.

Garcia and Hernandez. Cesar is ranked in top ten in all of minors I think 7th has speed and hits alleys. Not much power but could develop some.

I really wonder what they are going to do with Quinn Walding and the other short they drafted. The one put on 15 to 20 pounds and had moved to third. Tall has great glove and power what are your thoughts on that.

Walding is going to 3b.

hook: BedBeard is correct, as Walding's range is doubtful for SS. He's LH, which is nice at 3B, but there are questions about his power. Scouts love his line-drive stroke and think he'll hit at higher levels and he showed good plate discipline in HS. He was another above-slot signing.

Garcia is closer to the big leagues than Hernandez, but he's 4 years older. I think he's got more gap power, although neither is a HR hitter. Both are good defensively, but neither walks much. Hernandez has better speed.

I see them as 2 peas in a pod with slight variance in speed & power. But the 4 year age diff gives the edge to Hernandez, whom I should've included on my guys to watch list.

Ibanez due in NY...WFAN says meeting this afternoon with the....Mets? What the?

At this point, I wonder if it even makes sense to trade Blanton. How much salary relief could we possibly receive? $2-3 million? Who could we sign with that amount?

I think we're basically stuck with Joe for (at least) the season's first half. If he remains healthy and pitches to the tune of a mid-4's era, he becomes exponentially more valuable at the trade deadline than right now.

If he is a total bust, there are enough pieces to replace (outperform) him.

If we sell now, assuming there are any buyers, the return in insignificant. The best move for Blanton is no move at all.

Saving two or three mil on Blanton could be enough to combine with a couple mil more and get you Oswalt. Maybe. Might be worth it. But i can't imagine a team being dumb enough to give anything for Blanton at this point.

OMG it is almost Phillies season. I have been slowly rotting away, but back to beerleaguer! Love this place.

Blanton is here to stay. 2012 will be Victo's swan song in Philly. This might be glory's last shot.

Also, any news on Soler? I know the Phils liked him. Cespedes looks like a beast. Wish the Phils would take a chance on one of them.

Mitchell put up OK numbers last season playing in center between AA, playoffs and Venezuela in about 150 games combined, he hit 21 homers, drove in 88 runs and stole 22 bases. Can't find power, clutch hitting and speed in the same player in too many places in the organization.

Yeah I think they like soler better then cep. I really think this will be VIC last year. With Cole and hunter money needed. Hope he can help us win it even more. Prospects will be key with outfield going forward. Brown and James. James is easily the best defensive center in system. Had plus arm range and speed. Now if he could get that damn swing down. Brown James and pence would be a nice young outfield in future. Doubt Gilles will do anything. Bullpen And OF has chance to be cheap and really good in future.

Pitchers. Catchers. One week.

The Phils are not bringing Oswalt back, people need to get over it. If they trade Blanton, it is purely for salary relief so they have some wiggle room to make a move during the season. Little Roy is gone. Let's move on.

Now that she's dead I can admit it. I banged Whitney Houston's great grandma in 2004.

Jiwan James will never play in the best he gets a cup a coffee due to his glove.

Maybe Dom Brown can trade his glove for a cup of coffee too.

Is Jiwan James = Greg Golson?

I'm starting to get oddly "optimistic" about Blanton. But I have low expectations. 160 IP, 1.400 WHIP, 90-95 ERA+. Something between Blanton 2009 and Blanton 2010 but with fewer IP.

As long as he stays out of the AL East, Oswalt will probably have a much better year than this. But I'm with Chris in VT. Phils have no room for Oswalt. Wonder how little he'll sign for? Tendering Kendrick for over $3M -- wonder if that will be a significant chunk of 1-year of Oswalt.

Handicapping Jiwan James is a bit of challenge because until 3 years ago he was a pitcher. That puts him squarely behind the development curve of other prospects his age.

The comparison to Golson is a good one in that he's got speed, a good glove and - so far - has shown little skill in mastering the strike zone.

One hopeful difference: Golson's K/BB ratio is nearly 5:1. James is 3:1. Also, James is faster than Golson was.

That said, James make or break will come at the AA level, either at the start of this season or later. He's going to have to show that he can make better contact and lay off bad pitches. If not, he won't make it.

sophist: Write this in your memory book. Oswalt will sign with the Cardinals and go 13-5 this season in 150 IP with an ERA of 3.38.

James to is like a CF version of Galvis from what I've read. Defensive ability to be a starting CF and his lack of ability at the plate mitigated by an excuse (with Galvis it's age/level, with James it's his late start/switching positions/conversion project status).

He'll sink or swim at Reading this year, so I agree with clout that he'll be someone to keep an eye on. But it was much easier to get excited about him when he was 20, a fresh convert to CF, and putting up good numbers in low A. He took a step back in Lakewood and a small step forward in Clearwater.

Golson had a different path through the minors. More polished player (compare their SB/CS) and hit for power. James hasn't hit for any power, which makes his inability to walk or make much contact (Ks well over 20% of the time) a big liability. At this point seems like his chances of learning to take a walk are pretty slim.

clout - Yeah 150+ IP, 10+ wins, sub 4 ERA in the NL Central. That's seems pretty probable. Thing with Oswalt is that the risk seems pretty high (at least for a 1-year deal). He either pitches to roughly career averages in limiting innings or he flames out.

Just seen that a Boston writer said that the phils are going to sign either Vlad, mags, nady or manram? What is he smoking?
To pinch hit and play of every once in a while

So the NL has gone to the DH?

Where would any of them play?

"Just seen that a Boston writer said that the phils are going to sign either Vlad, mags, nady or manram? What is he smoking?"

None of them score highly on Amaro's valued 'versatility' factor (Mini-Mart is a 9 and not a 10 because of doubts about his ability to pitch) for the bench.

Give me 9 Mini Marts...and good locations and I could probably hang with Wawa.

Nah, Wawa is awesome and probably the #1 thing I miss from living in the Philly area. I would kill for Wawa. Seriously, if any of you are Wawa execs and need something "taken care of", I'll do it if you build a Wawa in VT.

Neep my thoughts exactly. Where the heck would any of these AARP guys play at? And since Vlad is close to 3000 and 500 he wants all the abs he can get in the next two to three before retiring. And plus all those guys would not take minor league deals 850000.

To clear it up: Nick Carfado (a pretty good baseball beat guy) said to "Not be surprised if Vladimir Guerrero, Xavier Nady, Magglio Ordonez or Manny Ramirez ends up with the Phillies because they are seeking a right-handed hitter for the bench and want a guy who can pinch hit and occasionally play the outfield"

I know there are limits as to where some of those guys can play and none of them- especially Vlad or Manny- are going to be renowned for their defensive prowess anymore. Also with Manny, you have a suspension to wait out.

I would love one of those guys for the bench though as a right-handed thumper. Imagine late in games if you have Thome from the left side and Manny or Vlad from the right sitting there waiting. That would become a scary bench.

But UC would never use them as he'd have to use yet another player in the field for defense after the PH.

At most, each would get 20-30 PH appearances. Otherwise, he's playing with a 3 player bench where one of those 3 guys is Brian Schneider.

Just seem too limited defensively and do the Phils have any room on the roster? I guess you can bump Mini-Mart but then who plays SS in a pinch, but I'm pretty sure there isn't any other space for a position player.

Besides, the Phils already have one non-versatile player on the team, and Thome can hit LHP just as well if not better than these guys.

2011 v LHP

Vlad: .288/.323/.386
Thome: .253/.385/.493
Manny: N/A
Nady: .248/.292/.410
Ordonez: .292./331/.385

Who cares what hand you are if you can hit lefties?

Remember when UC would PH with Gload over Mayberry against RHP...because Gload was a LHB?

Those were fun times. Sure Gload had a bad hip and couldnt hit RH or LH pitching...he was still a LHB and thus a better option than Mayberry against RHP.

What was clearing up needed. Topic posted people commented. Boom done. Guess we needed the "truth injection" to finish the discussion.

Zo posted Rollins' contract details. Among other things, things either 600 PA in 2014 or over 1100 PA in 2013-2104 for his fourth year to vest.

He had 1025 PA these last 2 years, so it does protect the team a bit. He'd need 130+ starts at leadoff to get to 600 in 2014.

Just because they won me Fantasy Trophies and I would love to hear lesser informed fans mangle either of their names weekly, I would sign Magglio or Vlad if either would come dirt cheap.

sophist: Write this in your memory book. Oswalt will sign with the Cardinals and go 13-5 this season in 150 IP with an ERA of 3.38.

Posted by: clout | Sunday, February 12, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Or DFA'd by the ASB with chronic back issues: 0-2, 5.45 ERA, 35 IP.

I just hope nothing bad happens in his hometown or else he may have to be a jerk again and help out.

MLB pitchers = FEMA + Red Cross.

Thanks I understand it now.

I don't really think James has much of a future, because he simply doesn't have the bat.

But it's worth noting that he had more walks and fewer strikeouts in less PAs this past season, at a higher level. So that shows improvement.

The bigger issue is the lack of ability to hit over .270. If you can't do that in the minors, and don't have power, you probably can't hack it in the bigs.

Lil Roy,
Thanks for saving New Orleans.

I dont know...had I left my job on no notice without permission and done the same and then injured myself to not being able to do my job effectively again, i'd probably be fired.

Employers are odd like that.

NEPP: Yeah, but you're not one of the best 25 people in the world at what you do, and what you do isn't worth millions to your employer, and you probably aren't part of the most powerful union in the country.

Other than that, though, it's probably a pretty analogous situation.

Yeah, its probably easier for my employer to deal with me being gone for that period than the Phillies were with losing Oswalt for an extended period. That's actually a bigger strike against him.

How is that's bigger strike against him? If anything it furthers the argument that you are more replaceable than he is, and thus much easier to fire for a transgression like this.

He's just a tad more valuable and thus shouldn't just leave like that.

Also, he easily could have just opened up his bank account to deal with the problem.

That vesting option isn't really as "easily attainable" as we were led to believe. If he struggles with injuries, like he did in 2010, or if his play really declines, to the point that he's losing playing time to Freddie Galvis (or whoever), he won't get 600 PAs. On the other hand, if he stays healthy & substantially more productive than whoever is backing him up, then he'll attain it. But if the option vests under that scenario, I doubt anyone will be complaining.

Besides the fact that the collective bargaining agreement probably precludes it, even if Oswalt were expendable (like NEPP is at his job), just imagine how good the PR would be.

"Roy Oswalt goes home to check on his family after freak tornadoes devastate his hometown--gets cut by Phillies in response."

Would make the Bush administration's response to Katrina look like a model of humanitarian compassion.

Zo missed the Dontrelle Willis clause in J-Roll's contract.

He didnt go home to check on his family...a simple phone call does that. He went home to jump on his tractor and clear debris...something he easily could hire out with his vast wealth.

BAP - Yeah, seems pretty fair to both sides.

NEPP takes this way to seriously.

im so sad when i heard that Whitney Houston is no more...sad sad sad sad sad

im so sad when i heard that Whitney Houston is no more...sad sad sad sad sad

im so sad when i heard that Whitney Houston is no more...sad sad sad sad sad

im so sad when i heard that Whitney Houston is no more...sad sad sad sad sad

Yeah, Whitney Houston. Got it.

I am so sad to hear one of the dudes on the Mary Hartman show died. So sad.

So people actually think he didn't tell the Phillies he was going to go help? Do people truly think he didn't have the team's blessing to do it?

Seriously guys- say you are a couple hundred miles from home on business. A tornado rips through your neighborhood and destroys your hometown and your friends and family are left trying to clean things up. Are you really just going to settle for a phone call home and hiring someone? Are you seriously not going to try and get your boss to let you postpone or cancel some things so you can go home and be with your family? MLB has a 40 man roster which means you can carry a bunch of pitchers and ask a guy to step in if you need to go take care of real world things. Baseball is just a game.

***Do people truly think he didn't have the team's blessing to do it? ***

Considering Rube said basically the exact opposite when it happened publically? No, I dont think they were cool with it.

He left the Astros a year earlier b/c a tornado destroyed his parents home/home he grew up in. Amaro knew he was going to Miss., I think the issue is driving the tractor, or whatever, and whether it aggravated his injury.

No they were not cool with it at all. Inside sources say they were pissed he left, and on top they couldn't get a hold of him. He lost his mojo to pitch. From 10 to last year. I think he really didn't like the cliff lee signing. I don't want someone in that club house dragging his d:ck in the dirt. As a famous coach once said. "I want winners". I want people that want to win.

"Inside sources say they were pissed he left"

Were these the same inside sources that informed you about his dislike of the Cliff Lee signing, and the consequent dirt-dick-dragging?

The debate about Oswalt re: tornadoes and tractors has been rehashed ad nauseam, with no clear answer.

Let's move on and start discussing whether Oswalt was wrong to drag his dick through the dirt about the Cliff Lee signing, a made-up allegation from The hook's imagination.

you are the first one to live deep in my heart )-(

You cannot divide these issues. Technically dragging your dick through dirt is, in essence, plowing. You can plow with a tractor, these are not exclusive activities.
I have been drinking tonight and I am going to sleep now. I still cannot believe that woman brought the Pope to the Grammys.

I know this is on a different note. Does anyone love Rube's interview. He doesnt say anything and usually says the same stuff. Its like a waste of time hearing them.

I thought I was not a Jiwan James fan as he was putting up so-so numbers in short season ball and was just 'talent'.
However, I think he is being written off too early now. At each level he has hit .270 with speed. His K/BB is certainly better than Valle, Hewitt, and Golson. The power is less likely to come than I hoped. But if he puts up the same line in the majors with Gold Glove CF defense, that seems like a useful player (not much different than Bourn).

Oh his K/BB is better than Hewitt's? Good. Pencil him into the 2016 outfield. Hewitt's K/BB is something like 12:1.

Comparisons to Valle and - wow - Bourn are way off. Valle can at last hit for power but his K/BB, BA/BAbip etc. still show lots of questions when it comes to his bat. At least he's young.

Bourn was a polished college player (.350 MiLB OBP, 80%+ SB%, hit for average, average power). When you subtract Bourn's BB%, ability to hit for average, steal a bag like a pro, moderate power, you don't have something not much different from Bourn.

21 SAL .315/.431/.467 -- 85 BB / 88 K
21 SAL .270/.321/.365 -- 35 BB / 132 K

Same age, same level totally different results. One guy was a baseball player and another is a long shot to be anything more than a September call up. James gets a bit of slack for changing positions -- and he doesn't need to be Bourn himself to be valuable -- but the chances we ever see him in CBP are pretty slim. .270 in Lakewood =/= .270 in MLB when you can't make contact or recognize pitches.

I know that Valle is a different hitter than James but has a terrible K/BB ratio, like Hewitt. Valle is much younger and plays a much more valuable position so he is certainly a better prospect. But that facts thus far say he cannot take a walk.

Correct that Bourn was a more polished player when drafted and therefore had less to learn in the minors, so I would expect Bourn to put up better minor league stats since he is more advanced than the level he was playing against. Also Bourn does has no power, not moderate power in the majors.

If James still has an upside and can translate his Minors stat line over 2+ years to the Majors: .268/.325/.365 with good speed (his steal % is poor now) and great defense that is not much different than Bourn's career line: 271/336/.358.

James could be out of baseball after this year but I think that he still has potential as a second tier (below average) starter in CF.

While I do enjoy reading the comments on this site, I was left scratching my head on the comments re: Oswalt and circumstances on how he left the team to check on his family. I had to use google to make sure my memory was correct on what occurred.

Guess Roy and his wife (who was with him in Arizona at the time) could have just continued to call his in-laws to check on his 3 children. I’m sure everyone here would have just picked up the phone to check on their 3 small children who had to run to a storm shelter during a tornado?

While continuing to question exactly what Roy did as far as the clean-up and the ramifications on his back injury, I don’t fault the man for leaving to check on his family.

bernie. good post.

Joel Sherman has a piece on baseball's financial superpowers and how the new CBA is going to impact the game.

And yes, the team who call the 'Zen their home are mentioned.

I would check on my kids.
Maybe not my parents but that's my own bizarre family stuff.

And when I got there, seeing that everyone who could be hired to clear debris was (most probably) already hired out and doing it, because there was, like, a tornado recently, I might jump on a tractor to get the home my kids were staying at habitable (like accessible for ambulances and fire trucks and such).

Take just a minute and compare playing baseball to real life. Now, granted, playing baseball is Roy's job. And there should be some consequences relative to his leaving and getting injured. But the way contracts work is the way it works. And he is, actually, facing consequences this off-season. No team located where he wants to be is hiring at the rate he wants.

Just like you have to say "Tough," to the Phils last year, you have to say, "Tough" to Roy this off-season.

In re: Thumpers, Pundits et al

The Phils farm system is finally facing the consequences of trading away talent (albeit for good reasons) and drafting lots of pitchers. The position player pool is running low. Having someone like Maikel Franco, who's never played above A-ball and only had one good year, consistently listed in the top ten of prospects is evidence of that. BUT...

On the bright side, the draft team really concentrated on position guys this year and have several with significant upsides beginning their pro career this year. Few of them will pan out in any way (which is reality). But if the ones who pan out are Larry Greene and two of the infielders it will make a significant impact on the Phils of the late 2010s.

Andy, bernie, you're missing the point. Oswalt is very rich having taken all that money to pitch. He should have sent his man Jeeves down the road and made a better offer to those folks his elderly neighbors hired. The stuff about his kids is just PR his agent put out. The guy was obviously unable to let go of his anger over having Cliff Lee in the rotation and, indulging his tractor fetish was a natural outlet for him to stick it to the team.

hugh: You're missing the point. Oswalt cares about his family, and isn't a "send jeeves" kind of guy. His back was already balky, and MAY have gotten worse while in Miss., but there's no real evidence he hurt it there. That is speculation.

Where does this "anger at Cliff Lee" stuff even come from?

Bedrock - You're missing the sarcasm. I believe teh poster known as the hook is the source for his Cliff Lee problem. I find the continuing resentment of Oswalt based on murky details of his personal and medical issues to be astounding.

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