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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

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Do we know if Utley starts on the DL, and Galvis takes his place, or is it possible that Utley remains on roster and Galvis is an extra man that requires them to leave off someone else?

Its clout Day and Galvis is posting a .773 OPS in 47 PA.

Maybe he wont be as bad as we fear...

... and Galvis has made "productive outs" too. He's also hit into a ton of DPs.

In case you were curious, that 47 PA is tied for the team lead in ST with Mayberry. They clearly are giving him as much time as possible to see what they have in him.

Purcey is already gone.

Capitalization wins out.

***He's also hit into a ton of DPs.***

Which is interesting because he his GO/AO isn't ridiculous. In fact, he's actually hitting it in the air more than grounding out.

Galvis' clout day numbers are more than offset by Mayberry's. They're counting on him to be the slugger in the middle of their lineup.

lorecore - Yup. Mayberry is going to be the key to this lineup in the early going since he likely will be an everyday starter in 1B/LF & hit 5th in this lineup.

Mayberry has struggled this spring & not been driving the ball well.

Clout day is the day when performances to date now mean something? I thought it was that performances going forward now mean something since the kinks have been worked out and the rust is gone. Or is it both?

Of course...the FO should have anticipated the possibility that Mayberry's 2011 campaign was a flash in the pan. If he falters, hopefully Nix, Wigginton and Podsednik/Pierre pick up some of the slack.

Or just call up Dom Brown and pray the ball isn't hit towards him that much.

Update: The Phillies optioned right-handers Michael Schwimer and Phillippe Aumont to minor league camp and also reassigned left-handers David Purcey and Jeremy Horst.

Mini Mart is the guaranteed utility infielder too at this point and going to get his share of ABs especially in the 1st half.

Frandsen's arguably been the worst positional player in camp so far. Orr is just a T-AAA journeyman filler at this point.

Mayber Frandsen really is ADD/ADHD and needs some ritalin...

AL: I treat it as both. It also depends on what you're looking at. If you're trying to assess an established veteran, like Jimmy Rollins, you measure this day forward. A newbie like Freddy Galvis, you look at the bigger picture.

So the lefty battle in the pen is down to Savery, Diekman and Valdes?

Assuming they even take a 2nd lefty after Bastardo...they very well might not.

If Bastardo is healthy.

The disappointing part so far has been that there doesn't appear to be an unlikely guy who will emerge and give this offense a much needed lift early going.

Mayberry's had a poor camp so far. Ditto Wigginton.

Nix has been injured and hasn't done much. Ditto Brown.

Polanco looked like he might be that guy but then he jammed his finger. Really tough break for him and the Phils.

Thome has had a good camp & looks like he can help this club but how realistic is it to count on a 41-year old with chronic back pain to play regularly?

Galvis and Mini-Mart to their credit have hit so far but what is their offensive upside this year realistically even in the most wildest projections? .250 AVG/.650 OPS? It would help if they aren't automatic outs.

Maybe somebody emerges the last ~10 days of camp or somebody gets hot once the season starts. Just tough to see that right now.

Maybe you include Podsednik into that mix if he makes the club. Forget to add him.

I think the Phillies would be ecstatic if they get a .650 OPS from Mini-Mart/Galvis.

Are we agreed that Savery is the clear front-runner for the 2nd lefty spot? It's hard to imagine Diekman skipping AAA altogether, and Valdes has pitched well but seems more like a depth guy.

NEPP - Yeah. They won't give the Phils an OPS over .600. Just a question of how bad they are offensively.

Opposing starters are going to love those innings where Galvis/Mini-Mart and the pitcher are due up in the early going.

If they take a 2nd Lefty, I would be shocked if it isnt Savery.

@MG: I'm moderately hopeful that Galvis might surprise us offensively...at least for a couple months. He's looked good at the plate so far whereas Mini Mart has seemed like he is hitting into luck more often than not.

"Opposing starters are going to love those innings where Galvis/Mini-Mart and the pitcher are due up in the early going."

I'd bunt all 3 times to ensure the pitcher has to atleast break a sweat.

... the Phillies will also monitor Ty Wigginton (1B) Kevin Frandsen (3B) and Michael Martinez (SS). Each utility man has struggled defensively.

Defense doesn't slump. What we've seen is what we'll get. I loathe Martinez w/ an intensity that defies the laws of physics. Having to read mangled Charlie quotes RE: how wonderful Martinez is in the field makes me want to take & summarily execute hostages.

"The battle to become the second loogy has become an interesting four-way dance between Joe Savery, Raul Valdes, Jake Diekman, and to a lesser extent, David Purcey and Jeremy Horst."

You know the team is in trouble if there's a four-way battle between five players.

** Jack - apologies on that previous thread. I saw you posting about Brown starting and jumped the gun. Although you have to admit, your mancrush on the guy has been going on for three years now.

I'd bunt all 3 times to ensure the pitcher has to at least break a sweat.

So it'll be three Ks on three third strike fouls, then?

I'd like to see Savery get that spot too. Seems to be having a very nice spring and worked himself through various stages of a minor league career.

Considering UC has ripped the team for defense, its important to note that 10 of the 14 errors this spring are attributed to Mini-Mart, Wigginton and Frandsen. Add in Dom's 2 and that gives you 12 of the 14 and the fielding issue doesnt look that bad.

Hopefully Wigginton and Mini Mart arent out there that often in the regular season...hopefully Mini Mart gets released at some point too.

I hate Mini Mart....4 freaking errors in ST and probably double to triple that if we counted for misplayed balls/mistakes where the scorer gave him a pass. Worst fielder in history for "all glove utility fielders"

"your mancrush on the guy has been going on for three years now."

As it should be, right? I will admit to a "Mancrush" on Brown as well. He's a talented youngster who still has potential. Basically, what this team needs more of.

"The disappointing part so far has been that there doesn't appear to be an unlikely guy who will emerge and give this offense a much needed lift early going."

MG~ There isn't anyone new who's gonna give this offense a lift at all, save bats coming off the bench, which is very important, but nothing on a regular, consistant basis. You can blame Amaro for that. Even woth Utley out, along with Howard, he still won't budge. This offense will struggle. maybe people should start to listen.

I'll go out on a limb and say that Martinez is not necessarily a lock for the team. Hector Luna has had a strong spring and, if the Phillies are going to go with a no-bat, all-glove 2nd baseman, there is something to be said for having a backup who can't play much defense, but can hit. Especially, I might add, when your other option is someone who can neither play defense nor hit.

Can Luna play a passable 2B in an emergency? If so, he could make the team as its easy enough to just move Galvis over to SS if Rollins goes down. Luna can play 3B too so I guess you could move Polly to 2B and Galvis to SS.

"The 'i told you so' attitude of posts are hiliarous. Its f'n spring training.
The same self proclaimed geniuses spent last March talking down on the Phillies FOR THE SAME ISSUES and they set the franchise records for wins.
Or in other words, Shut the f up you whiny douchebags. You were proven wrong last year, deal with it.

Posted by: lorecore | Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 09:58 AM"


lorecore, it's very simple. They've been doing it for years, and sooner or later they'll be right.


Let's go back in time and pretend it's 1976. What would the Pissy Pants Posse have done then?:

1976: "The Phils finished 6-1/2 games out last year. No way they make that up." Result: Won 101 G and the division
1977: "Well, they won the division last season, but there's no way they do it again. They don't have Dick Allen anymore, there's no way Hebner replaces his production, Cash is gone, and Schmidt can't possibly hit 38 HR again the way he did the last 2 years". Result: Won 101 G and the division
1978: "OMG, how do you expect to win anything with relics like Kaat and Lonborg in the rotation. And Schmidt can't possibly do it again. If he has an off year the're doomed." Result: Won 90G and the division.

Lo and behold, in 1979 the PPP would actually have been right.

But they also would have done their patented PPP Dance in 1980, and we know what happened then.

As I wrote, sooner or later the naysayers are right. How hard is it to predict age related decline from a core of players who are about the same age?

Tell us something we don't know.

"Can Luna play a passable 2B in an emergency?"

He has actually played more major league games at 2nd base than at any other position, though most of them were a long time ago. I have no idea if he can still play there, but the Phillies owe it to themselves to find out. When Mini-mart is the compeition, the bar isn't set super high.

I'd like to see Savery make the big team. He could be a pinch hitter off the bench on his rest days, or save a pinch hitter on the bench by being the pinch hitter to replace a pitcher, then be the pitcher on the mound at the top of the next inning. He would fill two roster roles while only occupying one MLB roster spot.

"Andy: Although it feels like Ruiz has batted 8th in every game of his career, he actually has more than 650 PAs in the 6 and 7 spots. His OBP out of both spots is actually WAY higher than in the 8-hole. He does draw fewer walks in those spots, as you'd expect. But he makes up for it with much higher average, which also makes sense since you would figure him to see more fast balls in those spots & he absolutely kills fast balls.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 10:28 AM"


bap, is it safe to say he probably sees more strikes in those spots as well? He probably sees a lot more pitches out of the zone with the pitcher batting behind him, no?

"How hard is it to predict age related decline from a core of players who are about the same age?"

Not hard at all.

So why didn't Rube and the front office see it coming?

Wow, Mayberry and Galvis lead the team with 47 whole PA?

I didn't know that we can draw conclusions from those sample sizes, especially since a lot of them were against MiL players with no hope of seeing the 'show' this season?

Oh, I know why, it's Clout Day!

DomPatrone, your Amaro bashing has become predictably hilarious.

awh - Give it a rest. The schtick gets old.

Mini Mart is making the roster simply due to his versatility and ability to switch hit. Phils need a backup SS and he is it.

He is one of the worst players to put on a Phils' uniform since I have been old enough to understand the team. If he was solid defensively and a good baserunner, I could understand why the Phils would see some value in him even with his offensive limitations.

He's not though. Arguably one of the worst fundamental players I have seen. Been much of the same again this spring with several defensive and baserunning gaffes. He's hit but I do wonder how much of that is because he's faced his share of AA/AAA/spring invites.

Jack: I guess Ruben went ran out of money to make upgrades while betting the under 97.5 win total like you said any smart person should do.

**AL: I treat it as both. It also depends on what you're looking at. If you're trying to assess an established veteran, like Jimmy Rollins, you measure this day forward. A newbie like Freddy Galvis, you look at the bigger picture.**

I'm looking at the bigger picture (Galvis, Martinez and Wiggington) and looking forward (Halladay, Utley and Howard [or lack thereof]). Given what has been seen and what has not, I'm taking a somewhat GtownDave approach in analysis of 2012 spring training: This could be the summer of our discontent.

GTown has never had s summer, or moment, of "content".

Jack, you have been predicting doom and gloom for years, even before Utley's knees manifested themselves and Howard tore his achilles tendon.

Rube and the FO DID see it the age-related decline coming, and addressed it by improving the pitching staff tremendously - unless, of course, you thing the staff today isn't better than the staff in 2008.

What you are ripping them for, is not addressing the problem created by the Utley and Howard injuries, one of which (Howard) was impossible to forsee. Howard was a pretty productive player last season while playing on a back leg, whcih eventually gave out. (His contract is a different issue.) Utley's injury is apparently a 50/50 proposition, and perhaps they could have brough someone else in, but what decent 2B would have come to Philly knowing that if Utley was healthy he'd be picking splinters for most of the season?

So, other than 3B, where ARam was available but unaffordable, where would you have improved theis team?

Catcher? Chooch is probably the 2nd best defensive catcher in the NL, and in the top 5 overall.

1B? The DID address that with Wiggy, Nix and Thome. You may not LIKE what they did, but they attempted to address it.

2B? Again, who signs here if he know Utley kills his playing time? If you were one of the guys who was available would you have taken that risk?

3B? See above.

SS? They re-signed Rollins, and are apparently correct in their assessment that Galvis will be an adequate fill in if Rollins has to go on the DL for a ahrot period.

LF? Nix, Wiggy, and of course, Mayberry, who is more than adequate against LHP.

CF? Sure, let's find an upgrade from Vic. Oh, wait...

RF? They addressed that at the trade deadline last season.


So, it seems your major criticism comes down to them being short in the middle IF, no? Well, if you check the archives I was critical of them trading Valdez, but as many have noted, myself included, he's a BACKUP UT player for a reason?

But as I asked above, given the chance Utley 'might' play, and looked like he 'would' play given that he finished the season last year, who would have signed in Philly?

Additionally, you're critical because they didn't "plan" for major injuries to some of their regulars.

So I ask you Jack.....what team does?

"awh - Give it a rest. The schtick gets old."


MG, I didn't address you directly, but since you saw fit to attack me, let me point out that you DID comment (at 10:41 and 11:03) on Mayberry's performance based on 47 ST PA.

Obviously, you must feel that those 47 PA ae a meaningful sample size or you would have included a caveat in the comment, no?

I nominate awh's 1976-1980 hypothethical rant for "Worst Strawman Ever".

AWH~ Yeah maybe, but look at what he hasn't done. There could be a lot of 3-2 wins, but there could be a lot of 2-1 losses. I keep tellin you, in the grand scheme of things the regular season doesn't mean all that much. We will get to the playoffs, and what if we struggle again? What will you say then. I know what I'm talking about. I can see it.

The once might infield isn't so might now is it? Collectively the team is old and hurt. he should brought people in who could've helped on a regular basis. If they falter, don't blame me. It's not my doing.

You can't tell me that your overly happy with the way some things played out. I told you Howard wouldn't be back until the AS break and I was laughed at. Well guess what, looks that way doesn't it. And now Utley's a HUGE ?. I'm tellin you, the reason he hasn't broght a decent every-day in here is the luxury tax and you'll never convince me otherwise. So it may be hilarious to you, but it just so happens to be the truth. People just refuse to believe it and you don't have to be a roket scientist to figure it out.

awh - It wasn't an attack. No reason to name and use meaningless crap like PPP and such. that's all.

So DPat has adapted what some of us have been saying for months about the playoffs but has twisted it to fit into his warped thinking.

If the playoffs are unpredictable, how can you possibly say that bringing in someone like A-Ram will be the difference maker in a series? Pence was brought in to be a difference maker and didn't do jack in the postseason.

Again the trick is to make the playoffs. After that is luck. You've admitted to that but yet have tried to twist it to fit your idealogy, which isn't possible.

"We will get to the playoffs, and what if we struggle again?"


DomP, not again? The best team does not always win in the playoffs. The 2010 and 2011 Phillies proved that. So have several Yankees teams of the last decade, despite the fact that they had the most wins in the AL and MLB.

We've been over this dozens of times. You obviously either refuse to understand or cannot.

As to your point about the luxury tax, apparently the penalties are onerous enough that it has affected the way that even the Yankees do business, and the Phillies don't have the Yankees revenues.

Are you saying that they should go over the luxury tax even if the financial penalties compromis their ability to compete in the future?

awh doesn't even need to use a hypothetical. The same people have been saying the same things for the last three years. And he's absolutely right- one of these times, they will be correct. But this being the fourth year in a row, it's tough to take it seriously anymore.

Although, as a realist, the team's status going into opening day is as tenuous as I can remember dating back quite a few years.

Sounds like a bunch of little kids arguing over toys or some $hit. Wow the season hasn't even started and the tension is high!!

If DPat would be beating the drum that with such little offense the Phils will struggle to make the postseason, his argument becomes stronger. However, he keeps bringing up the fact that they could struggle in the postseason, which weakens his argument and it's Groundhog Day all over again.

Iceman, I try to be realistic too.

Last season, I predicted 97 wins because I wasn't sold at all that Utley would even make it on the field. I provided the caveat that Utley was worth 1 more win than Valdez/nini-mart for every 30 games he would play. Well, I was wrong on both counts. Utley did make it back, and they won 1 more game than my calculation would have predicted. In short, they were a better team than I thought.

In 2010 I predicted 95 wins - they won 97. They were better than my pre-season assessment.

But because I'm not a dooma nd gloom Negative Nancy, that somehow gets morphed into being accused of being an unabashed cheerleader for this team and an apologist for the FO.

If people think that they should check the archives.

Even without Howard/Utley, this offense should be good enough to score enough runs to make the playoffs.

What is really hard to predict though is how this team will look come even mid-season. Going to be a lot of changes & the Opening Day roster is going to look quite different I bet than the one even by early August with several roster changes.

I am looking forward to a season where the Phils won't just run away with it and likely will be in a real dogfight & with a bunch of close games.

"I am looking forward to a season where the Phils won't just run away with it and likely will be in a real dogfight."

I'm not looking forward to that at all. I much prefer the seasons in which they run away with it.

The last two seasons were practically a lock for the Phillies before the season even started. This season there is no such luck. If they want it, they need to play for it. The team that tuned out just because they could last season won't be afforded such a luxury this season. There will be hard fought wins, demoralizing losses, and I could really see this season going either way. Part of me sees the 2010 Giants in this team. Part of me sees a third place team. We just don't know.

As far as second base is concerned, I'm not penciling in Galvis just yet. I get that he's the guy if nothing happens but I think Amaro slings a nice cheap and easy trade. They could always end up with some team's cast away too. The 25th man is rarely in Clearwater these days.

I may need to double up on the medication strickly based on the calibrated radar gun today.

Losing 8 in a row in September and not caring until October was a pretty awesome feeling, I could go for that again.

Interesting question (and one maybe JW wants to put in a poll up top):

Who will be the Phillies starting 2nd baseman on September 1st?

A: Chase Utley
B: Freddy Galvis
C: Placido Polanco
D: Someone else currently in the organization
E: Someone else not currently in the organization

In re: Chooch
I'm not convinced that he would maintain his OBP at lead-off, particularly as the season drags on. I'm just skeptical that way. That doesn't mean I don't get the generally unacknowledged advatages of a line-up built on OBP instead of:

Base stealer guy
Bat-control guy
All around hitter
Biggest slugger
Second biggest slugger
Best hitter left
Better of whomever's left
Worst of whomever's left

2) I was around from 1976 - 83 and was the same skeptical wet-blanket type (as were most of us pre-1980 phans) and I do not remember thinking anything at all like what was posited about us.

3)In re: problems with the line-up
I contend that the current problems with the line-up begin with managements dependence on Utley to make up for never getting a strong hitter at 3B. The Phils have been lacking a 3B with any kind of offensive prowess since Rolen left. (Polanco has shown some spurts of ability when he's healthy; but when is that any more exactly?)

Jack: Interesting question. I think I'd put the probabilities at Utley 40%, Organization 25%, Galvis 15%, Out-of-Organization 15%, Polanco 5%.

"The last two seasons were practically a lock for the Phillies before the season even started. This season there is no such luck"

Eh.. i guess its less likely then 2011, but I think most informed baseball minds would take the chances of the Phillies winning the NL East then any other team winning any other division.

Wigginton with a RBI in his first clout day AB.

Iorecore: The Tigers are likely bigger favorites to win the AL Central, for one. And while the Phils might be favored by a good bit compared to other specific teams, I'm not sure Phillies vs. the field in the division wouldn't be close to a 50/50 bet given our injury situation.

I think the front-office bashing is over-the-top with respect to Utley. If you have $15MM invested in a 6-7 win player at a position, I don't think it makes sense to spend scarce payroll dollars on a 2+ win contributor at that position.

I think you're better off investing money elsewhere and hoping the superstar stays healthy. The fact that it didn't work out doesn't necessarily mean it was a bad decision (I know, this concept is lost on many).

Jack, my heart wants to say A or B, but I believe that E will be the correct answer.

Jack: good call

Tigers +125
Phillies +150
Yanks +170
Angels +190
Rangers +205
Giants +240
Reds +240

NL East only

Phils +150
Braves +690
Marlins +750
Nats +800
Mets +6750

Many years from now we will have a day for me, and our keyboards will be wet.

DH Phils: I can only speak for myself, but I certainly understand the idea that a process can be correct even if the result doesn't work out. And I get your scarce resources argument, for sure.

But I believe the criticism stems from the fact that, unlike with Howard, this wasn't an injury that came as a surprise. The team has obviously known for quite a while that Utley has chronic conditions that have been deteriorating his body longterm-- missed two months due to this last season, and they've obviously known enough in the offseason to know that he wasn't ever ready to play in a ST game.

Of course we don't know what they know, or when they knew it. But this strikes me as something that certainly could have (and arguably should have) been foreseen and been planned for. You know?

So I see Doc already gave up a run.

Anybody with eyes on the game who can offer insights?

He's hitting 90-92 on the gun according to the beat writers.

***He's hitting 90-92 on the gun according to the beat writers.***

And honestly, that's all that matters. As long as he's healthy, the rest is gravy.

Yeah, his average fastball last year was 91.3 mph, so 90-92 definitely makes me feel alright.

Jack: In theory, "planning for" Utley being hurt makes sense. In practice, what does that mean?

Decent players like Aaron Hill, Mark Ellis, Clint Barmes and Jamey Carroll took multiyear deals with lots of playing time for $7M - $11M. I think one of these guys would have been ideal, and would provide ~2 win production, but I doubt they would've signed here. I think trading Valdez was unexplainably dumb, but he's probably only a ~1 win player.

There just aren't that many good contributing second basemen in the league. It's not realistic, resource-wise, for the Phillies to have two of them.

Valdez projected as a 0.4 Win player this year...

Mini Mart projects as a 0.0 Win player...which is optimistic as he's honestly below replacement level.

The only move advocated in the off-season that would have provided a buffer against Utley's potential unavailability was to bring in a free agent at 3d and relegate Polanco to a high-priced utility infielder. They were never going to bring in a good 2B to be Utley's understudy. Being that the only real option available was Aramis Ramirez, I'm not going to be too critical of Amaro for folding on that hand. They seem to be planning to tread water for a couple months then make a move in June / July.

Wiggy two-for-two so far; he's having a memorable Clout Day.

how many dp's have the phillies hit into today

nice patient at bats


great approach !!

GIDPs result from lack of patience at the plate?

roy - you are the man!

Anyone know how Doc is looking?

Dman, 21 strikes and 1 ball for Halladay today.

While hitting into DPs no doubt sucks, I don't know that it has any relationship to "approach," or lack of patience, at the plate.

Fat: Those ST ball/strike trackers are inaccurate.

Martinez draws in the third baseman, then smashes a grounder past him down the line for a double.

Just thought I'd write something about the worst player in the history of baseball.

Sadly, he reminds me of Benny Fran. He has some physical tools, but he is somehow less than the sum of his parts.

And Martinez apparently gets a poor jump off second and gets wiped out on a bunt.

Less than the sum, again.

Get to work everyone!

Retired. But it is time to fire up the grill and cook lunch.

The rest of you? Back to work. Ha.

BAP, considering it's Halladay's, I'm inclined to believe that it's, even accidentally, accurate.

Also, he has 4 SOs, 0 BB, and 4 GB outs to 2 Fly ball outs.

That's the Halladay we know and love.

Halladay with 23 strikes, 1 ball according to gameday. Damn.

ST gameday ball/strike counts are never accurate as they almost never count balls...only strikes.


FWIW.

As a mathematician might phrase it:

Sum of Ben Francisco's parts > Ben Francisco > Sum of Mini-Mart's parts > Mini-mart

Yeah...now that i'm listening to the game, that seems ridiculous.


"ST gameday ball/strike counts are never accurate as they almost never count balls...only strikes."

Yes. This comes up every spring training and I'm always reminded of the apocryphal story from 4 or 5 years ago, in which Pedro Feliz had something like 100 spring PAs and MLB.com showed him with a grand total of 6 balls taken -- 4 of which came in one PA. For a brief moment, Beerleaguer had a lot of fun mocking his plate discipline -- until we had the misfortune to find out that it was a bogus stat.

Of course, this is one of those cases where it doesn't really matter that the story wasn't literally true. The very fact that Beerleaguers didn't dismiss the "statistic" off-hand tells you all you need to know about Pedro Feliz's plate discipline.


MG: You still panicking about Doc or are you ready to admit you just completely overreacted?

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