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Monday, March 19, 2012

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Dont worry guys...Rube is on it:

From MLBTradeRumors:
The Phillies are looking for a backup catcher, ESPN.com's Buster Olney tweets. The front office would like to improve upon their current internal options if possible.

Brian Schneider projects to back Carlos Ruiz up, and Erik Kratz and Sebastian Valle are also on Philadelphia's 40-man roster. Ivan Rodriguez and Ramon Castro are the only free agent catchers who spent significant time in the Major Leagues in 2011, so the Phillies may look to complete a trade. Royals GM Dayton Moore is also on the lookout for catching depth this spring.

This is why we shouldn't have given Brian Schneider that 3 year deal back in 2010. What's that? We just resigned him this winter? WTF?!?

I'm concerned about offense and defense.

I do feel good about our starting pitching and our closer.

Here's what Murphy said about Wiggy starting at 3B today:
Wigginton's defense at third base will be something to watch as the Phillies try to make some sense of there infield situation, which was partly cloudy heading into spring training and is now overcast. We wrote about the defensive questions in today's paper. Wigginton has always been known more for his bat than his glove. It's unclear how much faith Charlie Manuel will have in him at the hot corner. In yesterday's game, a single got past him and ended up leading to a pair of Blue Jays runs. It looked like a play that Placido Polanco could have made.

Haha - Complaining over a $800k contract.

Phils' coaching staff thinks Schneider is done? Shocking.

I think they came to that conclusion on their own last year by August.

It is amazing how the Phils keep signing veteran defensive catchers who can't really play defensive any more yet this is the primary criteria supposedly for which they are signed.

Gillick is probably standing over Amaro's desk pointing at names on the current roster and shaking his head "no".

Redburb - It is the fact they resigned Schneider despite the fact that the coaching staff constantly pulled him out of games in the 2nd half on Chooch's off-days.

It was really strange bordering on ridiculous. Given that there were plenty of other veteran backup catchers out there too offseason, makes the Schneider resigning that much more puzzling.

Harder to put down?

Zombies, backup catchers, or LOOGYs?

Willard,

It was a terse statement, for sure. If Utley misled them about how he was feeling or did not work on rehab in the offseason, they would have cause for some frustration with him. However, I feel it is the TEAM's job to verify the status of injuries and not rely on the player's take of the situation. And I cannot conceive that Utley would not have done everything he could to take care of himself.

As to the transparency, I support the idea of keeping your cards close to your vest in general. To me anyway, it would be more important that Rube not compromise his negotiating posture by revealing to possible trade partners how much the team might need infield support, than it would be for him to keep the fans informed. I don't have a problem with them not keeping us informed about everything they are planning before they take action.

My problem is I have a hard time seeing (1) how the team should not have been better informed about what they were dealing with earlier, and (2) why they did not address this earlier, before it became a crisis.

Allow me to preemptively channel BAP when I say "what the hell are they looking for backup catching for when they have Kratz, Valle and Goosewurst - all capable enough to handle the modicum of innings requested of them when Ruiz is sure to again see the vast, vast majority of playing time?"

MG - And my point is that it is $800k which is a drop in the bucket for a team with a $170 million payroll. There are bigger issues to complain about than a backup catcher.

Considering the backup catcher market was extremely thin, they seem to be waiting for a name to shake loose at the end of ST.

NEPP~ The Phils are looking for another catcher? Why the hell did they re-sign Schneider in the first place?

Boy, RAJ, based on what he said about adding offense per Salisbury is really screwing the pooch when it comes to the offense. Maybe he should grab a bat. Oh wait, he wasn't that good of of a hitter anyway.

On the one hand, I'm glad they're going with Galvis at 2nd instead of Mini-Mart. Galvis will be awful offensively, but at least he brings some things to the table in terms of defense, speed and being able to lay down a GD sacrifice bunt.

On the other hand, this is as close to an offensive apocalypse as you can get. We all laughed at the notion of Galvis being able to replace for Rollins, and now he's going to be asked to replace a far superior offensive player. We are actually going to have to count on Ty Wiggington and John Mayberry from keeping the team from being bottom-feeders in terms of offensive production. That we have to place so much in the hands of those two to hit and be extremely productive in the middle of the order is pretty horrifying.

And for the love of God, Manuel better move Ruiz up in the order this year.

Speaking of Peyton Manning, Chase should look to get whatever overseas surgery he got to fix his neck. Kobe and Dirk Nowitzki also took overseas trips to get procedures on their knees that aren't widely used in the US to help wear and tear. I am actually surprised we didn't hear any of those types of stories about Utley who I would say is similar in competitiveness to Kobe.

And to the point on a FO not being totally forthcoming and transparent, I don't think anyone wants every detail to the point where RAJ is giving away any leverage he might have. However, regarding the Utley situation, it's not like all of MLB didn't realize he was of some concern (already minimizing any leverage). And more so, I think that the concern isn't necessarily that we weren't kept in the know on Utley's exact status, but that RAJ has shown absolutely no plan to address an Utley injury outside of Mini-Mart/Galvis and now he's in "scramble mode."

It doesn't take a Stanford grad or prescient future-telling abilities to know that you might want to have a plan in place for the guy with the chronic injury that is a major lynchpin for this offense and will be difficult to replicate output.

Redburb - It is but still a foolish signing. The market was awash with marginal veteran backup catchers this year including Whiteside, Laird, Treanor, and Synder. There were also several veteran catchers who were signed to minor league deals.

Question: Why isn't Halladay starting today on normal rest and they have Elarton going? Is Halladay starting the next few days?

Why do I feel like today is the day that RAJ is going to throw a ton of money at Oswalt to deflect all of this?

r00b has no one to blame for his bad day but himself. Age, injuries & a rapidly declining offense have been discussed practically non-stop on this blog for 2+ years. It's difficult to imagine people w/in the Phillies organization haven't at least attempted to express similar concerns.

Here's video of Rube talking about Utley, if anyone is interested.
http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=20223987&c_id=phi&partnerId=aw-8019972441663398436-1040

Halladay started on 3/4, 3/9, and 3/14. It was his normal spot in the rotation today. Is he starting normal or the next few days?

MG - Question: Why isn't Halladay starting today on normal rest and they have Elarton going? Is Halladay starting the next few days?

Halladay is scheduled to pitch tomorrow. With the off day on Wednesday the starters are all on a 6 day schedule.

GTown: I agree...Amaro really hasn't done a great job at rounding out the roster like Gillick had. All his signings are looking very suspect.

MG- Halladay was moved to tomorrow to line him up for the regular season. Forget where I read it, but he is getting an extra day for that reason.

Robg202 - Thanks.

"Question: Why isn't Halladay starting today on normal rest and they have Elarton going? Is Halladay starting the next few days?"

Rube doesn't want to deal with another crisis today, heh.

$800k by itself is not a big deal necessarily, but when you combine it with the random middle relievers, the Papelbon overpay, and the less-than-useful Nix and Wiggington signings, it seems pretty clear that you're talking about a significant chunk of money that could have been used on backing up a transparently fragile infield. For any given player you can say "It's only a small part of the payroll," but when you have obvious internal alternatives you're still hurting yourself in a tangible way when it comes to what else could have been done with the money.

fumphis - Papelbon money aside, which backup middle infielder would've signed for $1 million or less? The available FA middle infielders all signed with teams that offered them a chance to start. Again I'll say this, the Phillies couldn't offer that to them.

Redburb: I think part of the point is that regardless of money, how good can a signing be when you are looking to replace the guy before he has played a single game?

RAJ, the same RAJ who was the GM of 3 division winners, is now a bad GM? Methinks the ladies doth protest too much.

Iceman: "On the one hand, I'm glad they're going with Galvis at 2nd instead of Mini-Mart."

When was this said?

Jack - The fact that it could be easily remedied is not worth the consternation of complaining about it.

I haven't been following BL much since last season - can anyone tell me what the opiniong were around here about Utley playing many games this or any other season? This can't really be a suprise to anyone, can it?

RedBurb: First, $800K may not be a lot but, when you keep giving out $800K contracts to useless players, it can add up pretty fast.

Second, it's not the $800K. It's that, after watching him for 2 full seasons, they gave him a guaranteed contract -- only to (apparently) conclude, from a few weeks of the ensuing ST that he's washed up. That is just incredibly bone-headed.

Has the FO ever done anything wrong in your estimation?

lore - Salisbury tweeted today that Galvis is going to be the Opening Day 2nd.

lorecore: Amaro said Utley is "doubtful" for Opening Day. Said Freddy Galvis looks like the Opening Day second baseman. (per Todd Zolecki tweet)

... on the other hand, r00b says lots of sh*t, so who really knows.

Miguel cabrera injured trying to field routine grounder. Ball broke his sunglasses and cut his face.

No Utley or Howard? Hunter Pence will see about 3 fastballs all season.

On TV straight from Rube about Galvis: "He's as good a candidate as we have, and we'll go with him until further notice."

I think we're gonna see a lot of 3-2/3-4 wins and losses this year, at least for the first third of the year. I also think this makes Dominic Brown much more likely to make the team, we can sacrifice some defense if the rest of the team doesn't hit.

BAP - I rip the Papelbon contract all the time. I'm not an FO apologist, but I can understand why the FO would give an $800k contract to Schneider instead of over a million to get someone like Pudge. I'm just not concerned with complaining about backup catcher when the bigger issue is how the Phils plan on replacing Utley and Howard.

Oh wow, did not see that.

Well, good luck Freddy, you'll be better than Martinez - which isn't really saying alot.

Also a nice jump from me saying I think complaining about Schneider is dumb to implying that I've never disagreed with anything the FO has done.

I get that Wigginton can't play 2nd. But surely he can play 3rd at least passably. So, if Polanco is back by opening day, why wouldn't you just move him to 2nd & play Wigginton at 3rd? And if Wigginton can't play either 2nd or 3rd at least passably, why the hell did we trade for him?

BAP, did you see this I posted from Murphy?

"Wigginton has always been known more for his bat than his glove. It's unclear how much faith Charlie Manuel will have in him at the hot corner. In yesterday's game, a single got past him and ended up leading to a pair of Blue Jays runs. It looked like a play that Placido Polanco could have made."

As to why get him if he's bad defensively, I think we were looking for offense.

To be honest there is a mild upside so far this season. You've got a upgraded defense in both OF corners for the whole season, plus a forced defensive upgrade at first. Galvis can hang defensivly at 2nd. Should he even be a mild suprise to his predicted offensive numbers he gets close to what Utley was delivering with his heralded return last season.

Elarton's throwing a lot of batting practice today. Guess they stash him at Lehigh but if they have enough starters at Lehigh he gets released outright.

My mind is being blown that the FO knew it had 3 injury prone guys on the left side of the infield, one that has a chronic condition, and the backup plan was Michael Martinez and a marginal prospect.

I thought they must have known something I didn't, but evidently....NOT.

GBrettfan: I think BAP's point was that if he's so bad that you can't even play him in an emergency like this, then what use his offense at all?

good thing the Phillies didn't trade some of those golden prospects away for a guy like oswalt.. ( oh wait)

jason donald would look good right about now

Just so you know, if the Phils had Jason Donald still, there would be no Cliff Lee in Philly.

And if there was no Cliff Lee in Philly, maybe there'd be an Adrian Beltre instead. Don't get me wrong, I like Cliff, but....

red - i know that.. just throwing some unreasonable comments out there...


was jason donald the center piece of that trade? i thought it was knapp/ and cc


it's going to be a longgggggggg summer

Donald was probably the 4th most important guy in that trade going over to Cleveland as Carrasco, Knapp and Marson were are higher prospects than him...so that's a silly comment to say the trade would have died. They probably could have tossed in a guy like Edgar Garcia instead...

NEPP

YOU ARE CORRECT SIR!!

Who is saying the trade would've died? I just made reference to the fact that he was part of the deal that brought Lee to Philly.

"jason donald would look good right about now"

eh, not really.

Donald was decent offensively in limited MLB action the last 2 years and he does play SS (poorly), 2B (poorly) and 3B (poorly)...so there's that.

He's had a pretty weak spring so far though (.581 OPS I believe)

He's not "the answer" to our problems though...

Can Jeremy Horst play second base?

2ND Base roll call

Let's see Pete Orr, 'orr'
Kevin Frandsen 'orr'
Mini mart. 'orr'
Chase @ 1/2 speed 'orr'

Jason Donald...

I guess it's even - call it a draw

How about-
is Freddy g... yes, better --- than JD

"He's had a pretty weak spring so far though (.581 OPS I believe)"


NEPP, please don't tell me you're going to rely on an ST sample size?

Wigginton with another error today

***NEPP, please don't tell me you're going to rely on an ST sample size?***

I'm not...I'm just tossing it out there as I had it in front of me and thought people would be curious.

Its not like we're going to be trading for Donald anytime soon regardless.

Just searching for 2nd base options...

When Michael Young was available a couple yrs ago...what did Texas want for him? -

Dom Brown? i really don't recall...=== just asking..

"And if there was no Cliff Lee in Philly, maybe there'd be an Adrian Beltre instead. Don't get me wrong, I like Cliff, but...."

Heather's always good for some comic relief.

If I needed a 2B right now for a MLB game, then Yes I'd take Jason Donald over any of our current options. But I don't think the marginal improvement would be much to even measure.

***When Michael Young was available a couple yrs ago...what did Texas want for him?***

Quite a bit more than Dom Brown...IRRC. Given that he was a monster at the plate last year, I doubt he's even available at this point nor could we afford him (in prospects or $$).

Looks like Rube has been reading BL all Winter. He must have concluded, along with the front office apologists (you know who you are, even if you won't admit it in print), that the Phillies will be fine. No matter that he signed two scrubs like Nix and Wigginton, who are less than adequate if they have to play more than a few days in a row. And no matter that they signed a backup catcher who NOBODY thinks can play anymore. And no matter that Rube thinks Martinez is just fine as the primary backup to the halt and the lame who populate the Phillies infield.

I have been assured all Winter that all is well on this Phillies team, and complaining about players who don't make much money is stupid.

Well, I'm glad to have everyone aboard now with the notion that Rube fiddled while the Phillies burned this Winter. And I'm sad to see that just about everything I thought was wrong, IS wrong and being exposed for everyone to see.

On the bright side, Galvis is taking well to second base. And Rube is two moves away from salvaging the infield. He can sign someone like Pudge and drop Schneider and he's only lost a little money. And he can swing a deal for some kind of infielder who can hit and catch the ball even passably. Then things will not look quite so bad.

I still love that he gave Nix a 2 year deal. I also love that we'll be looking at that deal next off-season with another "WTF Rube" myriad of comments.

Heather, Adrian Beltre has just had two terrific seasons back to back, and neither one of them was as valuable to their team as Cliff Lee's last two seasons were to his teams. And the two years before that for Beltre were very mediocre seasons. The two years before that for Lee: Elite level production.

I'd like to have them both, but if I had to pick, I'll take Lee every time.

Donald: mini Mart as Barry Bonds:Scott podsednik

Or maybe that's just my irrational hatred of mini mart talking.

phillyinnyc does express the prevailing BL view at the time of the trade that Donald was a "golden prospect" despite the fact he didn't have the range to play SS or the power to play the corners.

I had doubts about Marson too, although I was pretty high on Carrasco and Knapp. Both have been ruined by injuries.

Excuse me, Beltre had a season that wasn't mediocre 4 season ago, but it wasn't elite level, either.

Vic just pulled up lame in the ST game. A

Rube also seems to have gotten a little lucky with Podsednik's health. That should make Nix a deep bench player for two years.

Well, in Donald's defense he's posted a 99 OPS+ while seeing time at all 3 utility infield positions that last couple years...and he's still playing primarily SS for the Indians this spring.

I see 105 wins for this team for sure now.

Yeah, in a vacuum I'm taking Lee too. They also have slightly different price tags. Beltre is 6 yrs, 96. Cliff lee 5 yrs, 125.

Also, by fangraphs WAR, Lee has had about one more win over the last two years than Beltre. Big whoop.

NEPP- was that a joke about Vic?

Rube's plan of leaking that their looking at other backup options to distract BLers from the Utley situation is working.

i read the news today oboy

1/2 the phillies team is the dl

and though their salaries are sky high..

the re-tread replacing them are not......

***was that a joke about Vic?***

No...apparently he's limping around per my brother who is watching the game.

The only position at which Wiggy has positive UZR is OF.

Here's his UZR for the past 3 years in the INF:
1B: -5.2, -2.3, -3.7.
2B: -2.5, -0.2; -3.4.
3B: -6.5; -2.0;-2.8.

The 2B numbers are a small sample size because he is so bad there he doen't play much (not at all in 2008 or 2011).

i read the news today oboy

1/2 the phillies team is the dl

and though their salaries are sky high..

the re-tread replacing them are not......

Posted by: phillyinnyc | Monday, March 19, 2012 at 02:31 PM


ROFL...I missed the reference the first time but damn that was good for a laugh.

Wait aksmith is the bar for this team 105 wins?

Hey, if the whole team goes down to injuries, at least the season will be over sooner.

#tryingtolookonthebrightside
#itsnotworking

"As to why get him if he's bad defensively, I think we were looking for offense."

What Jack said. If Wigginton is your backup to Polly, then you've got both 2nd and 3rd base covered (since Polly can move to 2nd) in case of an injury. For a backup 2nd/3rd base option, Wigginton's .720-ish OPS is pretty good. But, if all he can play is 1st base and corner OF, that .720 OPS is incredibly underwhelming. Dom, himself, can probably do better than .720 & a Dom/Mayberry platoon could do better still. And a guy like Derek Lee, who's still floating around unsigned, could cover 1st base and surely hit for a better OPS than .720.

aksmith - Who set the bar at 105 victories also? Or is this just you creating a straw man to argue with?

I heard Shane was limped off the field after his last AB, too.

Galvis just hit a triple. Maybe he'll surprise us.

It's like the Cinton trials all over again!

Is Wigginton capable of playing 3rd base?

That depends what your definition of "is" is.

Derrek Lee posted a .773 OPS the last 2 seasons as a full-time starter...good for a 108 OPS+.

It would have been nice to sign a guy like that given our offensive issues.

BAP - Did Lee have injury problems at the end of the year last year? Not saying he wouldn't be a bad pickup but I remember reading something about a bum wrist. Could be why teams are steering clear.

Clout: Does Polanco have the power necessary to play the corner at 3rd base?

Donald is basically a super-utility guy, but he could play as a regular 2B in the NL and be better than any other option we currently have. By no means, of course, was he the centerpiece of that deal. He was probably the 4th best prospect, as others have correctly noted.

NEPP: Take a look at Donald's UZR150 at SS. It's only 492 innings, but still eye-poppingly bad.

Clout citing small samples of UZR.

Be still, my beating heart.

@clout: Definitely, I'm well aware of what a poor defender he is there.

On Lee: He played every game in Sept last year and posted a .968 OPS on the month...couldn't be hurting that badly.


aksmith - Who set the bar at 105 victories also? Or is this just you creating a straw man to argue with?

Posted by: RedBurb | Monday, March 19, 2012 at 02:38 PM


I'm pretty sure he was just joking.

Find Pedro Feliz (last sighted in Camden) and move Polly to 2nd.

NEPP - Oh very nice. Yeah definitely a guy to take a flier on then.

Lee would have been a guy to take a flyer on over Thome...as Lee can play 1B regularly. However, my guess is that at the time the Phillies FO thought Howard would only miss April and they had no need for a big $$ 1B replacement like Lee whereas Thome would serve as a nice PH all year long.

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