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Thursday, March 01, 2012

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Another Luna Landing!

Setback, schmettback. The real question: Why is Ryan Howard playing catch with an infielder's glove? Is he being considered as Polanco's backup so we can get Mayberry more time at first base?

Repost for MG and Iceman:

chneider started 35 games last year. He only finished 20 of those games. Of those 15 that he didn't finish, one was as a result of injury (he left in the 5th inning). The other 14, he was taken out in the 7th (3X), 8th (6X) and 9th (5X). Of those 14 times where he taken out, 11 were at the expense of Ruiz finishing the game.

The three other times must have been Kratz or Sardinha.

Did anyone ever sign that Soler dude?

Jack was asking about Kratz's defense. The reports on him have always had him as a defense-first catcher. His career CS% is 33%, which is very good.

As for offense, it's not unusual for a guy in his 30s to suddenly put up good numbers in Trip A. But keep in mind, even with 3 straight excellent Triple A seasons offensively, his career BA is still .257 with a .332 OB.

I don't think he'd hit MLB pitching. That said, he might be better than Schneider.

Schneider has been bad offensively and last year was defensively bad as well. He might handle Worley well, but outside of that I don't see any value in him.

lorecore: last I heard Soler was still working on his DR citizenship, which he needs to be a free agent for whatever reason, so he can't be signed yet.

""MG: "Chooch looked like a guy who didn't have his legs late and was notably slower on the basepaths."

It's OK to admit you wrongly accused Ruiz of wearing down, you dont have to keep making up things like how he was notably slower on the basepaths to avoid fessing up.

Posted by: lorecore | Thursday, March 01, 2012 at 09:15 AM""


lorecore, MG, who is ususally fairly accurate, is engaged in one of two things:

1) Hallucinatory confirmation bias

2) He's playing the mvptommyd card: he saw it with his eyes!

Frankly, I'm more surprised that anyone in the media even thinks that they're going to get any straight answers from the Phillies' Medical Staff. I'm not even sure why they waste their time talking to these dudes.

clout: It may not be unusual for a 30-something career minor leaguer to suddenly start putting up good minor league numbers but, whether unusual or not, it still means he has improved. And since we'd be getting the present version of Erik Kratz, I think those recent numbers are a much better gauge of his present abilities than his career numbers.

Let's put it this way: I don't know if Kratz could hit major league pitching or not. But I am at a complete loss to understand the mindset which says that a known entity (that is, known to suck both offensively and defensively) is preferrable to giving a shot to a strong defensive catcher with 4 straight AAA seasons of .800+ OPS .

Every time I write a post about Kratz, I feel like I'm becoming to Erik Kratz what davthom was to Chris Coste. But, then again, if you cut through the bizarre obsessiveness of his posts, davthom's initial point about Coste was 100% right: he WAS better than Rod Barajas and did deserve a chance to be on the major league roster.

awh, I believe you are confusing mvptommyd with dennyb (easy mistake, I know). dennyb even named the phenomenon 'DBE,' or 'dennyb's eyes.'

BAP, actually, I put you in the davthom/Coste camp in regards to Kratz long ago.

Then again, with clout, I'm probably Goosewurt's biggest PR guy, so I have a bit of a bias against the competition.

But at least we can all agree that either option is more than likely better than Schneider (who seems to be rather devoid of any fan club for whatever reason).

Not sure if it will be this year, or maybe next year, but I'm already DREADING Beerleaguer the night of/day after the Phils get eliminated from the playoffs by the 2nd WC team. The "playoffs are a crapshoot" crowd is probably already prepping for this.

(*note: this does not mean that I won't participate in piling on)

BAP: I agree with your point that Kratz, like Coste, deserves a chance.

I'm not as impressed by Kratz's numbers as you are, however. Regarding your Kratz/Coste comparison, one thing to keep in mind: Coste ALWAYS hit in the minors. It wasn't some fluky thing that happened in his 3rd year of Triple A.

"Schneider started 35 games last year. He only finished 20 of those games. Of those 15 that he didn't finish, one was as a result of injury (he left in the 5th inning). The other 14, he was taken out in the 7th (3X), 8th (6X) and 9th (5X). Of those 14 times where he taken out, 11 were at the expense of Ruiz finishing the game"

Even if Chooch wasn't fatigued or gassed a bit by the end of the season, this is just utter foolishness by Cholly.

I pissed and moaned abut it last year because it was so odd, Cholly had no real logic for it when asked about it besides vague notion of 'wanting to win', and the workload it placed on Chooch.

If you have a backup catcher who is so pitiful defensively (as deemed by the manager who consistently starting pulling him late in game in the 2nd half), that he can't even finish games on your starting catcher's off-day then he has no place on the MLB roster. That's ridiculous.

Even Coste said in a post-game last year that he couldn't remember a manager doing something like that. He's right because I can't either. Even managerial-happy LaRussa wouldn't pull LaRue and put in Molina late in games consistently on Molina's off-day.

Meant Laird.

I did ask one of the docs I work with what Howard's injury meant. Said a minimum of 2 weeks before he can return to baseball-related activities. Also Phils probably know by know where the infection that Howard is more serious since they would have gotten the samples back from the lab. If it is MRSA or bacteria-resistant antibotic, he's going to be out a lot longer.

Iceman, thanks for the correction!

I want to see the Goose on a MLB roster, hopefully the Phils.

What I'd really love to see is him get playing time in a nationally televised game on a Sunday night, and listen to the announcers try to make sense of his name.

Has it been long enough yet? Is Oswalt ready to sign now?

How about now?

Who do you think is called up when Scheinder/Ruiz go on the DL this year? I think Kratz, but Tuffy is in consideration i'm sure.

Yeah, I think Kratz will get his shot this year, because I don't see Schneider getting through the season without missing significant time to injury.

Might as well just get this out of the way now.

The playoffs are a crapshoot.

MG: I think you're conflating 2 separate issues. The first issue is whether Schneider should even be on the roster. The second is whether it was foolish for Cholly to bring in Ruiz in the late innings of his off days.

On the first issue, I am totally on board with you. Like many backup catchers, Schneider can't hit at all. Unlike most backup catchers, he also can't play defense any longer. Why he's on the roster is as big a mystery to me as the Big Bang.

But he IS on the roster -- which brings us to the second issue. I pretty distinctly recall that on most, if not all, of the occasions that Cholly pulled Schneider from the game, it was because Brad Lidge was coming in. With Lidge, you absolutely need a catcher who is adroit at handling balls in the dirt. Ruiz is among the best in the game in this area; Schneider is decidedly below average. Hence, I think Cholly was absolutely correct to make the switch. I seriously doubt that catching 1 or 2 innings on some of his "off-days" is going to have any long-term deleterious effect on Ruiz's performance. And, as already noted by other posters, the available evidence completely refutes the notion that it did.

Lidge isn't on the team anymore, so I expect that we'll see Schneider finishing more games than last year.

I guess, knowing that I need to pick a specific offensive or defensive skill set for a backup C, I'd opt to go with someone who can handle the staff well (call a good game) and who has a good arm and can throw out baserunners. Basically, I'd like a guy who can work well with these top tier pitchers (as that's most important), but who also has skills that we don't necessarily have in Chooch (who doesn't throw out baserunners at an especially good clip).

While I'd be shocked if they STARTED, and part of the peanut gallery decrying the decision, it would have been nice to have someone to limit some of the SB's we gave up in the playoffs. Also, if Chooch isn't swinging a hot bat, might as well have some good defense in the game while he's resting, knowing you'll good mediocre to sub-par offense anyway.

"Defensive specialists" aren't especially common behind the plate, but I'd be fine with sacrificing the offense (no mgr really uses the backup C as a pinch hitter anyway), to compensate for where we lack with the starter.

BAP - That's a really good point. I don't loathe Schneider. He's really no worse than a couple of guys that got signed including Treanor.

If he is on the roster, Cholly needs to use him and let him finish games on Chooch's off-days.

One thing I am going to be really interested to see this year is how Cholly handles a roster that is going to need frequent juggling & shuffling especially with the real likelihood that Howard is now out until June 1st at least.

Phlipper - I am glad you survived the winter atop the Ben Franklin. Luckily, it was one of the mildest recorded winters since valid records began in the 1880s.

BAP, it had nothing to with Lidge. It was just that Manual wanted better defense/offense late in close games.

Of the 11 games that Chooch came in for Schneider and finished the game, 6 of them took place before Lidge even came back from the DL.

Of the remaining 5, twice Ruiz came in AFTER Lidge had already pitched and exitted the game, twice Chooch came in at least 1 inning BEFORE Lidge entered the game, and only once did the two moves coincide.

All of the games where Ruiz relieved Schneider were close games (3 runs or less at final), except for one game; the game where Ruiz pinch hit for Schnedier in the seventh inning (Phils were leading by 1 at the time), and hit a grand slam, and then knocked in another run later.

Now you can claim that Charlie put Ruiz in there because of Bastardo/Stutes sliders, but I just think Charlie trusts Ruiz a LOT more late in close games than he does Schneider, regardless of any other infomation. And he should, he just shouldn't do so at the expense of his indispensable starting catchers much deserved days off.

MG: "Phlipper - I am glad you survived the winter "

Another topic that I disagree with MG.

Now we just need to wait the arrival of CJ, and we can officially call it a quorum to begin Spring.

Fat: Well, I stand corrected. I do have a distinct memory of debating MG about this issue, and of making the point that you want Ruiz in the game when Lidge is pitching. Maybe it happened in one of those 3 games where Lidge hadn't yet entered the game. Or maybe I'm confusing Lidge with Stutes, who also has control problems & tends to throw sliders in the dirt.

BAP, I don't dispute that it often probably had something to do with the relief pitcher entering the game (though, like I said before, probably just one of many factors why Cholly would prefer Ruiz over Schneider late in a close game). I guess the bigger point is, if you don't trust your backup catcher EVER in a close game, then your starting cather is going to enter a lot of games that he wouldn't otherwise.

That just puts a lot of strain on Ruiz, and even if it didn't affect him last year, that's no reason to assume it won't going forward.

clout: "Regarding your Kratz/Coste comparison, one thing to keep in mind: Coste ALWAYS hit in the minors. It wasn't some fluky thing that happened in his 3rd year of Triple A."

Most of Coste's big years were in were the Independant Leagues. Here are Kratz and Coste's year by year numbers in the minors (Coste was 27 by time he made minors):

Age 27: Coste .834, Kratz .748
Age 28: Coste .730, Kratz .819
Age 29: Coste .816, Kratz .807
Age 30: Coste .578, Kratz .875
Age 31: Coste .758, Kratz .838

Career Minors: Coste .760, Kratz .771

I am excited for bap's attempt to be Kratz' davthom. That schtick was amongst my favorite.

Progression of a topic:

awh posts Chocch's numbers in the second half of 2011.

Later in the thread, MG comments on Chooch wearing down in teh second half.

lorecore takes issue with MG's characterization of Chooch wearing down.

MG obfuscates a bit and attempts to defend his point using terms such as "noticably slower on the basepaths".

awh jumps in supporting lorecore.

The topic morphs into a discussion of chooch having to replace Schneider in ceratin games last season.

I love BL!

How's this for optimization:

Start Schneider 162 games per year, batting 8th

Sub in chooch before #8 in the order ever comes up, except when -4 runs already or something.

This gets you Schnieder catching for 2 innings of most away games, and first 3 of most home games.


You then sacrifice very little of Chooch's offense and still get him ~25% of the season off.

Thoughts?

You're also maximizing his marginal utility by using him in close games where he can have a bigger impact.

I guess you'd need someone else as a 3rd emergency catcher too.

Biggest drawbacks I see: not familiar for pitchers (is this really that sacrosanct? or is it one of those unquestionable baseball truths that can't be questioned until it is. as a former HS/college level catcher even I'm not sure), not sure if 25% less innings is fungible as I'd like it to be...

Just saw the highlights from yesterday's "game."

Nice short-hop pick by RFD on the long throw from Galvis. (nice play by Galvis to get to that ball deep in the hole)

STS: If you were looking to move towards a maximization of innings like that, it'd be safer to sub out Ruiz once the game is considered low leverage than sub him into games are high leverage.

If you are subbing in, rather than out, then you are always taking away a point of flexiblity in a high leverage game by burning a player.

Fun idea to think about it.

Re: Galvis

That was a nice play at SS he made. I want him to start the year at Lehigh as the starting SS but I wonder if he isn't already a better player than Mini Mart. Defensively at SS he certainly is. Offensively, I imagine he would struggle mightily at the MLB level but what is Mini Mart's ceiling this year offensively? Say .230 AVG/.600 OPS?

I would imagine Galvis could duplicate those numbers or get close and play superior defense.

One advantage though that Mini Mart has is that he did play a fair amount of 2B in the minors and even some 3B. Galvis has been exclusively a SS in the minors so far. Phils say he can play the OF but he played there very sparingly in the minors & looked terrible in the OF last year in spring training and regular season

Couldn't help but notice Scott Palmer's job title in the highlights package - Director, Public Affairs.

I assume he took over that role when Werth fled town?

MG, I'm one of Galvis' biggest detractors. That said, I don't have any doubt that he could provide what Mini-Mart does, outside a little bit of that "versatility" (which is only relevant if you think he can play other positions adequately - I do not).

Personally, I'd love to see him in the Mini-Mart role, but I only feel that way because I doubt that he has a future as anything more than a middle-of-the-road offensive starting SS. I can certainly understand the other side who I respectfully disagree with - that he'll be a starting SS in MLB, and would benefit from regular playing time in AAA over limited time on the big club.

I'm also of the mindset that even if RAJ were to agree with me that Galvis probably isn't the answer at SS in the future, there's no harm in keeping him at AAA to keep any trade value at it's highest. I suspect a part time role would only diminish his value.

With the introduction of this 1 game playoff with two Wild Card teams, I wonder if the rigid-old school baseball minds will start having to explore new strategies with (at least) two impending win or go home game at the end of every season. Pitching multiple starters a game, cutting backend relievers, adding specialized position players, pinch hitting earlier, more defensive switches, etc.

lorecore: Don't get your hopes up. I cannot possibly replicate davthom. For one thing, I'm unwilling. It would mean that I'd have to immediately cease and desist from posting on any Phillies topic other than Erik Kratz. I would also have to find fault not only with everything Schneider does (that part would be easy), but also with everything Ruiz does. Like, for instance: "If Ruiz hadn't called a cutter when everyone in the park knew that a cutter was coming, Halladay would have pitched a perfect game instead of a mere no-hitter. Of course, we've got a guy in the minors who excels at pitch calling, but Amaro and Cholly are on a campaign to ruin his career by keeping him at AAA until he retires."

I must admit, though, I liked davthom's schtick too. It was unique. My favorite one ever was the time he wrote about 10 long posts, working himself into an absolute frenzy in the process, because the umpire had charged Coste with a passed ball, when he should have charged the pitcher with a wild pitch.

I'm not willing to part with BAP's overwhelming negativity for ALL things Phillies, just to enhance his negativity toward the catcher spot in an effort to pimp Kratz.

This offense and an overall roster prone to being frail and slumping sets up nicely for BAP to excel with a much more well-rounded arsenal. Frankly, I've been waiting for months for this.

Maybe we can unearth davthom and convince him to take us the Kratz cause?

Let's see if this brings him around via Google alert:

Chris Coste was a nice surprise, but at the end of the day, he really was nothing more than a flash in the pan, and a recipient of some very good luck, coupled with convenient timing. He's probably not even among the best "feel good" stories in the last 5 years, with the likes of Mike Sweeney and Jim Thome in the picture.

Nice try WP but, davthom's interest and advocacy does not extend to players who have not cut their teeth in the independent leagues.

The best thing about Davthom is that he would be absent from the forum for weeks on end, but as soon as Coste's name randomly emerged in a conversation, he would be back within two posts to weigh in.

I don't think BAP could disengage long enough from Beerleaguer to recreate Davethom's dramatic reentries.

On Kratz i think he will make a fine defensive catcher and put up Sardine man numbers at the plate. Lets just pray and hope that Ruiz doesnt get injured. The Phils are extremely weak at this position. A tandem of Kratz/Schneider and Gosewisch as the emergency call up wont be pleasant. This furthers the thought of how valuable Ruiz is to the Phillies.

I think JJG is right on- davthom's appeal was that he was completely absent from the board at all other times but seemingly had an alert on his computer when Coste's name was mentioned and he'd appear in 30 minutes or less. He was more reliable than a pizza delivery guy. BAP is too frequent a poster to pull that off.

Better luck next time, BAP. Seems no one here believes in you. Shucks...

This is in no way an endorsement of Schneider, but what makes anybody think that if Kratz was the backup instead of Schneider, Charlie would trust him enough to leave him in the game in situations where he took Schneider out?

"[davthom] would be absent from the forum for weeks on end, but as soon as Coste's name randomly emerged in a conversation, he would be back within two posts to weigh in."

Totally true. And it would often be the most innocuous of comments that would get him worked up. For example, someone posts, "I'm surprised Coste called for a high and tight pitch, considering how well the low and away stuff worked the last time." davthom would have been all over this statement -- declaring that Coste did call a low & away pitch but: (1) the pitcher missed his spot; (2) Schneider and Ruiz flashed in "high and tight" calls from the dugout because they were worried about Coste taking their jobs; and (3) Cholly and Amaro overruled Coste's call because they want to see him fail.

"Offensively, I imagine he would struggle mightily at the MLB level but what is Mini Mart's ceiling this year offensively? Say .230 AVG/.600 OPS?"


MG, I'll take the "under" on that. IMHO, there's no way mini-mart hits those #s this season.

If Kratz is a decent defensive catcher, why in the world would Ruben have paid Schneider to return? I have to wonder if the Phillies are not convinced of this aspect of Kratz' game. Because it would be hard to be worse offensively.

But on the same subject, the Phillies were convinced that Ruiz was not a good enough defensive catcher to start in the majors and they felt he would never hold up to a full season of catching physically. They also didn't think he had any power at the plate. Turned out they were 1 for 3.

I actually did a Google search for the terms "coste davthom73 beerleaguer." My search returned a great hit from an 8-02-06 discussion thread in which davthom was waxing extravagant about Coste's future greatness, and clout was saying essentially the exact same things he said about Kratz earlier today. All of which led to this rather amusing riposte from davthom:

"And, assuredly, we *shall* see, Clout. But you know what, Clout, your largely reasonable post above (allowing for the fact that I strongly disagree with your foundational premise, and that Coste's numbers firmly support my position, not yours), in its own language, detracts from its own credibility, by being *needlessly* infected with your unsupportable hyberbolic reference to my supposed "absurd statements." Where, as here and now, Coste has proven *you* toi be wrong through this point in time, such demonstrably false overstatement makes *you* look the fool. However, from reading other recent strings on this board, it is clear that you are intrinsically and constitutionally incapable of re-assessment of your prior positions. Truly, I have never seen you admit you were mistaken in any respect. Amazing, and neither mature, nor beneficial to you, or your credibility."

Ruiz isn't exactly devoid of any power, either. he still hits a fair amount of doubles , and around 5-10 homeruns a year, so IDd just say that the organization was almost completely wrong.


btw, it seems like Victorino is trying to get noticed by the Front office before the season begins and we see what we have in Mayberry and Brown.

I think they bought up Schneider back mainly because they where so thin at the position. Then it would go Ruiz/Kratz and Gosewich. If Ruiz was to go down then it be Kratz/Gosewich do your really want a 3rd and 4th stringer type of guys one with little MLB experience the other with none. I wasnt too crazy when they resgined Schneider. Maybe RAJ/Cholly where hoping he had a real down year with the bat and we could get him to a .220 BA this year.

It will be interesting to see what an extended "non-baseball" activities period would do to Howard. There is typically an MLBer or NFL player who has an infected surgery site every season and the last few I remember came back below playing weight and crazy weak. I was in Cleveland when everybody on the Browns got staph and I remember an NHL guy who got sick from dirty shoelaces. This stuff ain't no joke.

Victorino's comments really seem to be coming out of nowhere. We get it Shane, we want you back, too. Let it all play out (Hamels first, preferably).

Surely he's not insecure enough to think that Juan Pierre is a candidate to take his job, right? I mean, I know he's a bit high strung, but it's not often you see someone repeatedly lobbying for a discounted contract before they've even lost their job.

So now we're bashing a player who openly says he loves playing in Philly?


I mean, I look at that as a good thing and I'd love to have Shane back.

NEPP, I love the guy too (and he's heads and shoulders above any alternative). His comments are just a bit of a head-scratcher, that's all.

I hope he gets extended, and I hope that RAJ thinks he also got a good deal. I don't see the need for him to be chatting about it in the media, though...

Vic seeking a 5-year extension? Goodbye Vic.

So was Jimmy...so they compromise on a reasonable 4 year deal or even a 3 year/4th year vesting option type deal.

Its just part of the negotiation.

lorecore: Regarding your dishonest comp between Kratz and Coste, a few points.

1. Independent Leagues equate to high A in minor leagues, no need to toss them out.

2. Coste played a half season and a quarter season in the two off years you list. Kratz, in his 2 best years didn't even have 280 ABs, so there's a sample size issue.

3. You omit Coste's last full season, when he had a .817 OPS.

4. Probably the best comparison is their career slash lines:
Coste: .298/.350/.445
Kratz: .257/.332/.439

This confirms (the offensive side) what the scouting reports have said, that Coste is a better hitter than Kratz, while Kratz is the better defender.

I get the use of partial stats to prove a point, but even by your routinely dishonest standards, I thought this was pretty weak.

Shane's 3 year WAR average:

B-R.com: 3.67
FG.com: 4.43

That's pretty good...one of the best among all CFs in the game actually. Sure, he's no Matt Kemp but he's a guy we should want to keep around.

Loved Coste and his time with the Phillies. But he had a very long minor/independent league career. Kratz has had a pretty long one too. I get the at bats issue here, but how are batting averages from when you were 25 having any bearing on how you hit at 33?

Let's not call this debate dishonest. Let's just say the samples are not always equivalent. Especially since Coste actually started out as a pitcher.

Look at the last three seasons of each of their minor league careers because that would seem the most relevant. And just note if one player had a lot more plate appearances than the other. Seems that they might be more on par that way. And if you think Kratz is better defensively, seems like he might be exactly the type of guy to be an average, or at least adequate, backup at the position, which is more than we can say for Schneider. Btw, Schneider used to be a good catcher both offensively and defensively, at least against the Phillies. He's simply past it.

That doesn't really seem like a stretch.

NEPP: Brotherly Glove has a nice article about Vic with a bunch of numbers already run.

BAP - That's a great find re davthom. Treasure from BL past.

clout: i posted exactly what i described, same age seasons and excluded the independent leagues. You can disagree with using those numbers, but no place calling it dishonest.

Coste had a ~.850 OPS in the IL and a .760 in the minors, his career numbers are heavily aided by those numbers.

Kratz seems to be a comparable hitter to Coste, going by their minor league numbers and age-by-age seasons. That doesnt mean I think he'll bust on the scene with a rookie year like Coste, but I could see him matching overall value of Coste in the same amount of playing time.

Victorino is a very good player, probably underrated by most in baseball. He has been one of our top 5 most valuable players over the last 4 full seasons.

All that said, no way on earth do I give him a 5-year deal. I wouldn't even give him a 4-year deal. A 3-year deal with a vesting option for a 4th is the highest I would go.

Assume that last season is his career year, and you're looking at a 105-110 OPS+ hitter with good defense and baserunning entering his 30s. That's a guy to give a good amount of money to up front, but not to invest in for the long term.

Adonis Garcia is a 26yr old cuban free agent listed as a utility player, including SS, but played mainly LF this season in winter ball.

I wouldn't mind the Phils taking a shot at a foreign free agent who can play SS and get Minimart off the team for good, but reports are that Yanks/A's are offering $16-18M over six years...definitely wouldnt want that type commitment to a utility player.

Jack: Would you give Vic JRoll's deal? 3yr/$33M with a 4th option?

Sophist: Actually, I left out the real treasure, which was the original clout post that begat davthom's rant. Here it is:

"I hope I continue to be wrong about Coste. It has nothing to do with being negative. It has to do with reality. Very, very few 31-year-old minor league lifers suddenly blossom into productive everyday players, your absurd statements to the contrary. The record books back me up on this. But in the 2% of cases where it does happen, it's a beautiful thing and fun to watch. I just hope it continues. I should note that many wrote similarly glowing reports on Shane Victorino earlier this season when he was hitting .330. I caught quite a bit of heat then by predicting he'd end up at a level appropriate to his talent: A fast, good glove backup outfielder with a horrible BB/K no power and an average around .260. The posters who made those posts no longer mention them or change their names when they post about the subject. I sincerely hope Coste fulfills your prediction of a .300 season with 20 HR power because that's good for the Phillies. But past history on guys like this forces me to be skeptical."

It's not easy to impeach clout with his own past statements because he rarely goes out on a limb and makes predictions. To find a 6-year old post in which he was provably wrong twice in the same post is like striking oil in your back yard.

On second thought, I guess, technically, he wasn't really wrong about Coste: he did NOT blossom into a "productive everyday player." He did, however, blossom into a productive part-time player for about 3 years -- which is still a decidedly better career than pretty much any scout ever foresaw for him.

Other than the fact that Coste was not an everyday player, Clout was pretty obviously wrong about both Coste and Victorino.

It's easy to say every player is going to be less than a superstar. That doesn't make you an expert. But you'll be right more often than not. Witness MiniMart. But that doesn't make you an expert. It just means you can read BA and BP, just like everyone else who can read.

Wow. BAP really had to do some digging but he found a pretty devastating statement by clout re: Victorino. The Romney or Obama campaign should be hiring him ASAP as a dirt-digging "consultant."

In fact, you could frame that into a nice campaign ad. "clout has made a living on calling BLers morons for statements that are proven wrong using 20/20 hindsight. But if he considers them morons, what does this 2007 statement about 2-time All Star & 3-time Gold Glove winner Shane Victorino make him? Do we really want clout sitting in his ivory tower casting stones at others when, if he had his way, the Flyin Hawaiian would be a bench-warmer?

*paid for by Friends of BAP"

BAP: I've admitted many times that I was wrong about Victorino. I wasn't exactly alone on that.

Davthom said Coste was good enough to be an everyday catcher in the bigs and I disagreed.

Congrats on your excavation! Guess you don't have enough clients to keep you busy, huh?

aksmith: "It just means you can read BA and BP, just like everyone else who can read."

That's it in a nusthell. Scouting reports are available to anyone who bothers to read them.

That's why it's so amazing when you make statements about players like Mini-Mart and others that show you know nothing about them. A little research would go a long way for you.

lorecore: Dishonest was too strong a word. You simply cherry picked stats to try to prove Kratz is as good a hitter as Coste, despite what the scouting reports say.

Kratz has only had 42 MLB ABs, not much of a sample size. Perhaps he'll get more ABs this season, allowing more of a comparison to Coste.

Iorecore: Yes, I would most definitely give him Rollins' contract.

In fact, I would give him some more than that. 3/36 with a 4th option. Now that I think about, I think I would also go up to 4/42, if just to lower the AAV and thus give the team more flexibility in each season.

Victorino, of course, should rightfully expect more than that on the market. If he can find it, I would let him go.

I would also note that it's hard for me to evaluate this independently of the Hamels' decision. If it's one or the other, I have to re-sign Hamels.

Yeah, Clout. I make statements about "others" besides Minimart that show I know nothing about them. Who are you talking about? Just for the record, I predicted a couple of months ago that Austin Hyatt would be the next Kendrick/Worley type find. Is that what you mean by "others?"

Then there is the fact that I saw Victorino a bunch in AAA and was sure he'd be a very good player. But hey, you saw scouting reports and that's more important. You and Ed Wade must have had a major confab on Vic before he offered him back to the Dodgers at a loss.

Okay, so Clout, you need to see Kratz in the majors so he can be compared to Coste. Why the heck didn't Rube think of that? It makes decisions so much easier.

Wait, if Kratz is even close to the hitter Coste was, but better defensively, doesn't that cut in favor of a roster spot for him over Schneider, considering Coste was on our roster for parts of 4 seasons?

Sounds to me like Kratz is a perfectly reasonable backup catcher. But we'll see.

Schneider does not have to be the exclusive back-up catcher for the entire season , I'm sure we will see some of our minor league depth from time to time at the MLB level, even after the expanded roster periods.

And if they play well enough, Schneider can take some extra vacation time at Lehigh, Reading, DL or whatever.

It's not like we have multiple millions or years committed to him. He's just a veteran MLB catcher who provides the team some security

To all -- I don't know who davthom73 was, or if Coste ever had a shot at anything other than a part-time player.

Regardless, here's the intro to a cool song; Curtis Mayfield's (God rest his soul) "It's Alright":

Say it's all right (it's all right)
Say it's all right (it's all right)
It's all right, have a good time
'Cause it's all right, whoa, it's all right

Sometimes the geezers just got it right...

My dream Phillies' outfield for 2013-2015 is Brown in left, Vic in center and Pence in right, with Mayberry off the bench. Everybody else, fuhgettaboudit.

"Guess you don't have enough clients to keep you busy, huh?"

Too busy for Beerleaguer? Of course not.

Even though spring training is an imperfect training grounds (small sample sizes being just one of the limitations), it would be nice to think that there are some real contests for roster spots out there. Is Dom doomed to AAA no matter what? Is Schneider safe just because of his bond with Worley? Does Galvis or anybody else have a chance of kicking Minimart to the curb? I understand there will be some competition at the back of the pen and the last OF spot, but I get the feeling there's a bit of kabuki theater going on this spring.

Because of injury and the team's mismanagement of his career, Brown already has accumulated one Year of Service with very little to show for it. For this reason, I favor Brown's starting 2012 in AAA. This will delay his free agency until after the 2017 season and will also mean he is under team control through age 29.

derek - your rationale (soulless as it is) implies that you believe Brown provides equal or greater value to the team, now, if he plays LF than the presumptive starter and/or platoon mates (Mayberry, Nix). Due to injury, I don't know that we've seen how Brown's bat will play at the pro level. We do know he's an adventure in the field and, for the latter reason, I think he should start the year in AAA. However, if he shows competence in left in the minors, continues to hit like he has at that level and, if Nix and/or Mayberry are not carrying their weight at the plate by mid-season, I would strongly favor calling Brown up, just like I did last year. Service time be damned.

If only we could teach Mayberry or Dom to play 3B...

Jack: I agree on Vic, just checking your thoughts since you started out pretty strongly saying 'no way on Earth for 5yr deal', but seem to be on same page as me. Right in on the fence of 3-4 yr deal with around $10-13M AAV depending on length.

Hugh: DOM's bat definitely 'plays' at the pro level. He surly didnt excel, but he showed that he belongs at the plate, unfortunately his defense was just unacceptable.

If you threw out the dynamics of the team/future/finances/etc. and were just picking a roster to play a pickup game, DOM would probably be the 8-9th best position player taken off this roster.

lorecore, I heartily agree that Brown held his own at the plate in his time in Philly. He already displays very good strike zone judgment. I just don't think we've seen just how much he can contribute as a corner outfielder. He has a hole in his swing on the inside part of the plate and he didn't hit for much power, yet. So, to my mind we haven't seen what he will be and, we won't know until he gets some more at bats at that level. Right now, I think his glove (and possibly his focus) is going to keep him down.

Jack: "Wait, if Kratz is even close to the hitter Coste was, but better defensively, doesn't that cut in favor of a roster spot for him over Schneider, considering Coste was on our roster for parts of 4 seasons?"

Thats what i was trying to get at. Kratz numbers aren't too far off from Coste's at all and apprently has the edge defensively.

While Coste was sort of a unique player, its not like Kratz would need to be league average, he just needs to be better than freakin' Brian Schneider.

I'll just expand on the aside about Brown's focus. Many regularly accuse the Phils of 'handling' Brown and "his career" poorly. The Phils gave him a nice shot, and I can't criticize them for it. It's up to Brown to seize it and, how he reacted to last year's demotion is on Brown, not the Phillies. They have every reason to want him to succeed and to put him in the best position to improve and excel. It's up to him to do it, regardless of where he plays.

cut: The reason you don't know davthom73 is because you arrived on the scene after Chris Coste had already left.

If you think of Beerleaguer as having generalists and specialists, then most of us are generalists who post about all things Phillie. But there are a few specialists with a particular focus. Sophist and Schenkman are numbers specialists, for example, & Raul's Grandpa specializes in one-liners. Well, davthom73 was the ultimate Beerleaguer specialist. Not only did he only post about one topic, but it was as obscure a topic as anyone has ever specialized in: Chris Coste. And the dude was seriously passionate about his subject matter. If anyone dared say something even the tiniest bit negative -- i.e., "Coste just swung at ball 4" -- davthom would show up on Beerleaguer within minutes, and write 10 long posts taking him to task.

Hugh - I agree with you that it is up to Dom to prove how valuable he can be to the team. RAJ didn't want to call him up last year and Charlie convinced him that it was ok. Then later in the season after some struggles (which happens with every player), Charlie decides to bash him in the media and say that he was disappointed with his progress after half a season. If I was a young player in that situation that would defnitely have an impact on me. That's player mismanagement at its finest to me.

By all reports, Brown is on a mission to win a job out of Spring Training. Hopefully he shows that he can rake at the MLB level and play adequate defense.

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