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Friday, March 09, 2012


Chooch is traveling with the B team. Schneider must have the starters job locked up.

TMac is doing the A-10 Tourney play-by-play including the Temple game on CSN.

Heard before he is a better play-by-play guy for college basketball. I would agree. His energy & endless verbiage translates much better to the quicker and more dramatic pace of college bball. He also doesn't have as much down time to rattle off nonsense & jargon either.

Still uses plenty of overused cliches though.

The divine one is throwing batting practice to Quad-A journeyman Eric Patterson today. Two bombs off Doc.

Pence - Who are these guys?

Chooch - No se, compadre.

Pence - I never seen them before.

Chooch - Yo tambien.

Pence - Does Chollie know they're out here on the field?

Chooch - Creo que si.

Pence - Really?

Chooch - Verdad.

{long pause}

Pence - Do they have names?

Chooch - Seguro: Iron Pigs.

Clearly Patterson owns Doc. Must be nice to have a power hitting 2B.

I guess this Spring we're going to find out about a couple of players, and Clout.

Why Clout? Because he has assured us that Gillies is a non-prospect and Galvis will never hit major league pitching.

The watch begins.

aksmith: what made you post that comment right now? seems to have nothing to do with anything of recent conversation.

...and if we examine the current evidence at our disposal, then clout seems right.

you cats with an ax to grind against an internet poster crack me up...

ya heard.

Spring training is all about confirmation bias. I was horrified when we signed Laynce Nix and, after his first week of spring training, I am prepared to state, unequivocally, and with 0% chance of being wrong, that he will turn out to be the worst Phillies free agent signing since Adam Eaton.

lorecore - Because Gillies and Galvis are getting a good chance to play in major league camp. Though it might be a nice time to bring it up since Clout is convinced minor league numbers outweigh actually seeing the players in action.

Of course, we can't see them today. But from what I've seen, both guys look like they have major league actions on the field. And that's really all you can determine from seeing them. My guess is that they'll perform well in the minors this year and be ready in either a year or two for significant major league roles, if not starting roles.

aksmith: "My guess is that they'll perform well in the minors this year and be ready in either a year or two for significant major league roles, if not starting roles."

You are in the pretty select minority if you think both end up as MLB starters in the next two years. Galvis' defense looks to be very strong while Gillies' speed is impressive, but they dont seem to be on the fast track to starting in the majors in the least. Gillies can't even stay on the field and it took Galvis 4 years to even hit a lick.

Oh no! Doc has a 7.20 ERA this year. He must have arm problems or age has finally caught up to him...

or it's just meaningless spring trainings games.

Lorecore - Significant role, if not starter, after either a year or two more in the minors is not "starters in the next two years."

This is a Cloutian maneuver. Let's say that I can see them with another year or two years in the minors being more than the fifth outfielder (fourth?) or second infield utility guy (more likely primary utility guy).

That would make them significant contributors to the major league team after another year or two in the minors. Which would mean at fastest, next season (unlikely for Gillies) and at most, three seasons out.

Is that clearer?

Lorecore - I posted a reply that seems to have vanished into the interwebs.

But you quote what I wrote, then proceed to say I said something else. Very Cloutian, but not quite correct.

And it just reappeared after my next post. How slow are the electrons today?

GM- it's OK we got a back-up Roy available after spring tornado season.

Papelbon said I'm smart

lorecore: aksmith thought Mini-Mart was a major league player too.

As always, aksmith is dishonest about my opinion on these two. Gillies is absolutely a prospect. He's got major league speed and defense. I am skeptical about his bat, however. If he can hit anywhere outside of High Desert, my skepticism will disappear.

On Galvis, he's already got a major league glove. Last year was the first time he showed some offense. Most scouting reports I've seen say he'll end up as a major league utilityman. I have posted in the past that I think he can be a starting SS on a bad team, but that UTL is probably his ceiling on a good team.

Because of his age, he ought to spend a year at Triple A.

This is an outrageous statement: “I remember there were a few people that were skeptical of Halladay being able to live up to his Christ-like billing when he was traded here,” one reader responded. “As far as I'm concerned, it has already been confirmed: he is, in fact, Jesus Christ.”

Just awful. Everyone knows JC was a lefty.

ak: It seems as though you share the exact opinion as I(and clout basically) do about the two players - that in 1-3 years they are likley bench players in the big leagues.

Which brings me back to my original post of being curous why you commented that we'll find out about Gillies and Galvis this spring in spite of what clout has said, if you basically share the same thoughts.

I'm already tired of fake games. How long till the games count?

Kevin Goldstein over at BP ranks the Phillies prospects. What's it say about the farm that a bullpen guy (Aumont) was third and a utility infielder (Galvis) was fourth?

"Kevin Goldstein over at BP ranks the Phillies prospects. What's it say about the farm that a bullpen guy (Aumont) was third and a utility infielder (Galvis) was fourth?"

System pretty much has been emptied out.

Sebastian Valle just walked: See, he has plate discipline! let's convert him to 1B and bring him now to start on opening day.

Meanwhile in FLA the B team is hittin a little bit.

Carlos with a 3 run shot, that'a boy.

BAP - The few times I have seen Nix his motto seems to be 'swing early, swing often, swing hard.' Reports of him having fairly poor discipline are pretty much as advertised.

Quinten Berry with an appearance. Wonder how many people were giving him 1-3 seasons to be a significant MLB player after a couple good years in Reading's CF back in 06'ish.

When was Wes Helms signed? Before or after Eaton?

He went from a 149 OPS+ to a 69 OPS+ in one season. His OPS dropped by .300 pts. I understand he was coming off a career year, but he was dreadful in the field and at the plate when he was signed to be a significant contributor from the right side of the plate.

Nix isn't expected to contribute that much. I'm not sure you can compare him to Eaton at all. How about we compare him to So Taguchi and his .580 OPS (51 OPS+) for the WFC? He can't possibly be that bad.

lorecore: Berry was listed on both BA and Sickels' top Phillies prospects lists, although I'm not sure he made the Top 10 either place.

Quint was a college player with great speed and defense and a good plate eye. It became apparent fairly quickly, however, that while he had a good eye and would take a walk, he also struck out a ton for a guy with no power.

As he advanced, he cut down on the Ks, but it took him awhile and he wound up being old for his leagues. He didn't get a taste of Triple A until last year, at age 26. If he can repeat his AA stats at that level this season he'll get a taste of The Show.

"Watching" on Gameday.
Seems like Chas. has them running aggressively - to a fault.
Rube's off season advice ?

Iceman: I was laying it on a bit thick. Nix probably won't be as bad as I'm making him out to be. In fact, if he hits like last year, he'll be an upgrade of sorts since, unlike Raul, Cholly won't be under any illusions that Nix should ever start against LHP.

I'm not a big fan, though. If you're gonna hit for low average, like he does, at least draw some walks. And, with Howard's injury, an unsettled LF situation, and Vic's inevitable stint on the DL, I suspect we'll be seeing a lot more of Laynce Nix than you care to believe. I foresee somewhere between 350 and 400 PAs.

"Kevin Goldstein over at BP ranks the Phillies prospects. What's it say about the farm that a bullpen guy (Aumont) was third and a utility infielder (Galvis) was fourth?"

Not strong, but look at 5 years ago, courtesy of Baseball Prospectus. Here's teams picked because they are good now. 3rd and 4th prospects are a hit and miss proposition.

Excellent Prospects
1. Eric Hurley, RHP WHO?
Very Good Prospects
2. Edinson Volquez, RHP
Good Prospects
3. Thomas Diamond, RHP
4. Kasey Kiker, LHP
Average Prospects
5. John Mayberry, RF (Added for grins)

Excellent Prospects
1. Delmon Young, RF
2. Evan Longoria, 3B
3. Reid Brignac, SS
4. Jeff Niemann, RHP

Excellent Prospects
1. Cameron Maybin, cf
2. Andrew Miller, lhp
Very Good Prospects
3. Gorkys Hernandez, cf
Good Prospects
4. Jair Jurrjens, rhp

Excellent Prospects
Very Good Prospects
1. Colby Rasmus, cf
Good Prospects
2. Jaime Garcia, lhp
3. Adam Ottavino, rhp
4. Bryan Anderson, c

Excellent Prospects
Very Good Prospects
1. Carlos Carrasco, rhp
2. Kyle Drabek, rhp
Good Prospects
3. Michael Bourn, of
4. Josh Outman, lhp

Almost forgot about Carrasco. Another prospect we rightly sold high on.

BAP- I definitely agree with you that Nix will suck. But when you look at guys like Helms and Taguchi, he would almost have to go out of his way to suck that badly. At least he's got a little bit of pop in his bat.

I bet Manuel will use Nix mostly as a late pinch hitter in hopes he can hit a home run. In games that we are down a run or two. The guy doesnt seem to able to hit for average but does seem to have some power. Manuel will get disillusioned into thinking he will be our secret weapon.

I'm with Luis. Nix will be this year's Gload (and might be an upgrade over Ben Fran in a similar role last year), along with Thome. Of course, all bets are off if injuries do force him to get regular PT and 300 AB's (a la Valdez/Mini Mart last year). Nix is not appropriate for that kind of a role.

I think of him as a slightly younger Matt Stairs.

Iceman: In 2006, coming off a career year, Abraham Nunez dropped from an OPS+ of 85 to 47.

Writers, bloggers and fans over value prospects. GMs, especially ones with money, know they aren't worth a ton. Broke GMs know fans love them and get as much mileage out of getting "a good haul" for thier best players.

Put this one in the win column...

I was kinda looking for hope that Nix could repeat his 2010. But when you look at it, there isn't much there. He had less than 200 PA, and his BA/OBP bump was entirely BAbip fueled (.294 career, .361 in 2010 -- his BB% only took a small increase). His HR/FB was way down, his ISO down with it.

Seems like he just hit a ton of GB singles in a small number of PA. He hit 17 singles on 50 GB where the year before he hit 20 in 91. In ~200 PA, 5 singles is the difference between .290/.355 and .254/.320.

My expectations are diminished, but still could be a solid backup OF.

Aaahhh, nice to see danger lad back!

Still no timetable for Utley to play

"Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. reiterated Friday that Chase Utley will be ready for the April 5 season opener in Pittsburgh.

Utley has not played in any of the team’s eight games this spring and team officials will not say when they expect the second baseman to see action. Utley has a chronic knee tendinitis condition that must be managed. The team is closely monitoring his workload to keep him fresh for the long haul. He has been taking batting practice daily and participates in some fielding drills.

Amaro estimated that Utley would need just 30-40 at-bats to be ready for the season. Some of those at-bats could come in minor-league games. Phillies minor-leaguers begin games on Monday."

If Utley hasn't played by Clout Day (March 20), Amaro's been fibbing about Utley's health status this spring.

Also said Howard's foot is going to be in the boot for another week at least putting his return in May in doubt.

Phils have the most decrepit projected INF in MLB.

Off topic but some posters were talking about LOOGYs earlier & I happened to notice that Mike Gonzalez is still unsigned. He's not that good anymore, but he can still get lefties out and he's better against right-handers than Willis has been in recent years. If Willis flames out, he would probably be worth signing -- unless the Phillies decide to go without a LOOGY or to fill the role internally.

MG: For someone with a chronic irreversible knee injury, Utley's spring training progress is just fine.

bap, I would bring Gonazalez in too.

The question is: Why hasn't he been signed?

I suspect that he wants a contract in excess of what teams are willing to risk. He probably won't take a MiL deal.

Howard won't be back before June, at the earliest. I'd guess it's close to the ASB. Achilles injuries are no joke.

I have zero problem with the Utley situation right now. If they are just starting his spring training later because a long spring will do more harm than good, then good. Why do we want Utley playing now anyway?

I am concerned about Utley. If they are worried about a long spring affecting his health, what about a 162 game season?

They ought to have put him in a cryogenic chamber the day after the Cards bounced the team out of the playoffs back in October and not thawed him out until Opening Day.

Someone (me) mischaracterized Clout's opinion on prospects? The outrage is palpable because Clout NEVER does that to anyone else . . . oh, wait.

I find it hard to believe that anyone, anyone without a gaping head wound would aspire to Clout's level of civility. But, knock yourself out, if you're not already unconscious.

So Utley knees are so bad that he cant even play a couple innings here and there. Imagine when the regular season starts...Maybe its for the best either way. Ive notice Utley sometimes takes awkward looking slides which im sure dont help the problem. I especially hate when he does that slide then pops up in one motion like he some 19 year old with knees made of stone. Either way i smell some bull here.

This is a example im no Doctor but im sure this isnt too good for them Faberge knees...

If there wasn't a history of the team downplaying injuries, the logic of giving Chase a short spring training would make a lot of sense.
But there is that history, so like a lot of people, I'm uneasy and will be 'til Chase comes out of the trainers room and on to the ball field.

Like I said a few days ago, I wasn't worried about Utley until Ruben opened his mouth about it. I actually am fine with his habitual dishonesty, and I think it's a good business strategy, but the man doesn't open his mouth without telling at least one lie. We all remember how he wasn't interested in Pence last year.

And it's even worse with injuries. With how much he's talking about Howard's foot, I'm half expecting to find out next week he had it amputated.

Iceman -- Serious pessimism from you. Unfortunately, I agree.

really a unfortunate issue ..

Pretty much Iceman...

Every passing day that Howard continues to be in a boot, I am that much happier our smug GM decided to bid against himself and pay Howard 5 yr/$125M. So smart!

Don't worry about it, clout and company still agree upon Howard's great value to the Phillies this year. He'll probably just kick that boot off in a week or so. He's probably just sandbagging.

I have a really strong feeling that Howard is going to get back in late June/early July, under perform the rest of the year since he won't be 100% yet, and the fans will turn on him with a vengeance.

Degree of angst/boos (I do predict Howard will start to get booed this year on at least a semi-regular basis) directed at Howard depends largely on how the Phils are doing in the standings & just how much production the Phils are getting out of 1B from Mayberry/Wigginton/Thome.

People should probably give him a pass this year or expect a ton of production out of him but they won't.

Good thing is that Contreras actually looks like he should be back see some pitch before the end of spring training.

Getting him back would be a nice lift because the back-end bullpen of Contreras/Bastardo/Papelbon allows Cholly to use him 'paint-by-numbers' approach instead of having to mix-and-match with various relievers in the 7th/8th more.

The Phillies are going to be seeing way better pitching in the NLE this year. Don't know if the others can score enough runs to beat them out of a playoff spot, though. No way they go to the WS with this old team. They will break down in the heat of August & September

I'm also uneasy about Utley and will be until I see him on the field. Not quite adding up to me.

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