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Saturday, March 31, 2012

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move over Miguel Abreu

Oh good. Another guy the Nationals didn't want. This is bound to end well. Whomsoever is in charge of scouting these rejects should be forced to watch women's basketball on a continuous loop. Ah, screw it. They probably like women's basketball.

In other news, T-Bag actually described the Phillies' Spring as "spectacular" ... & he meant it in a good way. Now that's a level of ass-licking obliviousness you're almost forced to admire. I'd love to hear his spin on the Holocaust.

I like it. White Andy, if healthy, should be upgrade even over Exxon. He has GIDP'd 10 times in 654 PAs (MLB; 62/2312 in the minors) which is fewer than Valdez did in his first Phils season.

A team of 8 White Andy's would beat a team of Mini-Marts 246 out of 247 times.

Please spare us Herndon.

Blanco is instantly the best utility MI in the Phillies organization, including Galvis, who will ultimately be the better player but is unlikely to hit major league pitching in 2012.

Blanco was a prospect in the Royals system 5-6 years ago and scouts projected him as a potential Gold Glover at either SS or 2B. He didn't have a lick of power and his weak plate discipline suggested he'd be a low-OB guy in MLB, but reports said his glove was so good he might be an everyday player anyway.

He never did get a shot to be an everyday player, partly because his no-power, no-OB ways never changed and partly because, while he had great range, he made a lot of errors when playing SS, the position where his bat was most acceptable.

In 751 innings at SS he'd made 17 errors, which projects to 24 errors over a full season, something you can live with if you have Starlin Castro's bat, but not if you have Andres Blanco's bat.

He's played fewer innings at 2B, but remains above average defensively. He's a switch-hitter whose splits are pretty even.

I'd put him on the 25-man roster right now and let him play his way off.

And I also concur with Andy's analysis: Blanco is a slightly better player than Valdes. His glove is a hair less at SS because of the error rate, but on par with Wilson everywhere else and he's got much better speed. The bat is a wash.

I show how much I know about baseball by criticizing the Phillies announcers.

hater, I usually am vociferously opposed to GTownDave's posts, but even I thought the one above was quite funny - and posts like that are only funny when there is an element of truth in them.

"...a level of ass-licking obliviousness..." is a fairly good description of TBag.

i think sarge is on to something there. he feels that rfd is bending over too much at the plate. resulting in fo's like we just saw.

Weitzel needs to let go of Valdez. It's like he was a long lost boyfriend that now all future worthless, warm bodies are compared to. Valdez sucked, get over it.

(insert "Tallest midget in the circus" comment here)

Being the best utility infielder in the Phillies' organization is like being the best skipper on the Titanic.

I have to give props to GTown also. I find the constant complaints about the Phils' announcers to be tiresome (and most likely reflective of envy - who among us wouldn't give a testicle to have their job?), and like AWH, I'm not generally a fan of GTown's posts - but that really was a funny post.

Like the signing. At least there is a possible upside with Blanco which isn't the case with the guys the Phils have in camp and Mini Mart.

As for the announcers, they are worthy of the ridicule they get especially. It is downright embarrassing at his lack of professionalism. Clear as day most broadcasts he does zero preparation before a game, shows up to ramble for 3 innings, and collect a nice paycheck.

One of his main insights today was that scoring is down. He then preceded to ramble the entire inning about it and about how stances might be affecting it. If you aren't going to do an ounce of preparation and throw out endless cliche after endless cliche, at least don't talk so damn much.

Classic ex-player who lucks his way into a broadcasting gig because he has a congenial personality.

Still get the sense that TMac really loathes Sarge. Not sure if it the body language or the demeanor of the conservation but TMac really seems to lighten up a bit and not being as forced once Wheels returns in the 7th.

I meant Sarge. I also think there are plenty of good broadcasters out there too. Always liked the Red Sox guys on radio or TV when Ilivef there including McDonough who was a bit too dry and sarcastic for some. Giants broadcasters are good too. Ditto the As who weredecen enough. NL East just seems mired with a bunch of mediocre broadcasting talent except the Mets.

One last thing. Really have enjoyed Francona on ESPN too. He is going to be doing games?

It is funny that you use this term. One of my neighbors (the one who lives on the other side of the ancient neighbor) calls Tmac and Wheels "tuchas lechers" (spelling?). He says in yiddish it means exactly what Dave said.

On another point, whoever handles the Chollie pics, can we get one that says "Uh, whatshisname is my guy" now that half the team is an everyday mystery.

I suppose the next move will be the DC GM blocking sales of tickets to the Bank because we have a few losers who slipped through their organization first.

Phlipper, one mionr disagreement:

My criticism of the Phillies announcers is specifically targeted at TBag.

I love Franzke. I think he's excellent, and I like LA's color commentary and his honesty.

I am not a Sarge hater like some here, and Wheels, despite his flaws, does have knowledge of the game and Phillies' history.

But TBag, as the Brits say, is bloody awful.

Meh' they already have Luna, Orr, Mini Mart and i guess Galvis fits that utility role as well. I guess they want options and they'll sort it out later. Although we already know Mini Mart has the job once he comes back. I knew Rube wasnt going to trade for a Utility guy.

Lake Nostradamus predicts that Blanco will never see a MLB game wearing a Phillies uniform.

the guy roving the stands on spring broadcasts is also brutal. his stutters and pauses, for a communications professional, have me wondering if he got that job because he of his promise as an inoffensive and uncontroversial half-wit who's just happy to be there. A la TMac. Is that truly smart marketing? Doesn't seem like it. But knowing you have a good product in and of itself and just not wanting controversy, could that be behind it? And we always heard talk of friction between Kalas and the club in light of how popular and powerful he had become. Maybe the organization just wants mediocrity out of this aspect of their club because there's not enough advantage in finding someone engaging who could potentially make the club look bad.

Geezer looks pretty good in the Rockies uni. I hope his geriatrician has discussed the risks of high altitute with him.

It's pretty clear why Amaro didn't make a move for some loser like Theriot- he'd be put over a barrel for a player that is barely better than a guy like Blanco. Glad he didn't make a panic move.

The only guy out there that I'm kind of questioning why we didn't make a run at is Derek Lee.

PhillyRhetoric: So far as the clown in the stands goes, I don't think there's anything more to it than a sad, unnecessary case of "monkey see, monkey do". The ESPN, Fox, TBS, et. al. national broadcasts all employ such a stooge, & many of the more popular clubs -- Boston, for example -- soon followed suit in their own regional telecasts.

My personal opinion is that baseball requires at all nothing of the sort, & I find it both distracting & irritating to the extreme when said corporate shill is yammering on about nonsense, thereby depriving the viewers -- hey, Phillies, remember us? -- from seeing & hearing, you know, the ACTUAL FRIGGIN' GAME.

So long as I have the option of tuning in for the Franzke/L.A. radio feed, I can deal. However, I fear this sort of moronic blather is only going to become more overwhelmingly intrusive in the years to come. What I wouldn't give for a broadcaster-free, "ambient sounds of the ballpark" audio feed option.

The slogan of the 2012 Phillies: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses."

I would like to make it abundantly clear that I would NOT be willing give a testicle for a broadcasting job.

As a representative of voluntary groin surgery subset (no, nothing simple like vas cutting), I have to say the pain of them pulling the drainage tubes after a few days of recovery had to be worth a spot on the telecast. It can't be too much more painful to get one of the fellas pulled out.

I am trying to get better stats on Blanco to compare him to Exxon. Has anyone found his ERA?

As we speak Blanco is being flown by helicopter to a stylist in Rittenhouse to color his beard appropriately.

The Phillies need infield depth. Blanco provides that and is actually somewhat less disgraceful at the plate than guys like Mini-Mart & Orr. He is a good acquisition as minor league free agent utility infield signings go. Nonetheless, it must be noted that it is a sad commentary on the Phillies' current infield situation when we are singing management's praises for signing a guy with a career OPS+ of 66.

But... can he pitch?

b_a_p: "Less disgraceful" is an apt description. And it's gonna be an even sadder commentary when the Phillies bring Martinez back into the fold w/out pause while Blanco remains in the Minors.

Couple of things from watching the game today at the gym:

- Galvis is a guy who really needs to learn to cut his swing down with 2 strikes. Pretty ridiculous how hard and off-balance he is.

Noticed too that already teams are starting to pound him inside early in the count with fastballs and once ahead in the count give him a steady diet of offspeed stuff.

Hopefully Cholly helps him with some of those adjustments.

- Can't remember the last time I saw a Phils' player who was just killing all it through spring training like Ruiz has done.

He took 2 good fastballs (one on outside part of the part and one on the inside part of teh plate) and just drilled them into the OF.

- Wigginton has my nod for early season 'Lightning Rod of Criticism' award. He simply hasn't been able to handle any decent fastballs all spring.

Hope that he just had one good hot streak in him to make up for the rest of his weak production. Hoping he plays sparingly because if he is hitting he's useless.

- Polanco looks healthy and did a nice job of fouling off several pitches today with 2 strikes and had good plate coverage.

- Hilarious to watch Luna ABs. Literally swings that anything. Villanueva lost his grip on a curve that was so far outside that the Jays' catcher had to lunge for it & Luna still swung in his 2nd AB today.

Best part was the collective 'Oooooohhhhh' groan that was audible and loud from several fans. Even TMac laughed at it.

- Valdes had a nice movement on his slider. He has had it a few times when I saw him this spring.

Fastball is pedestrian and has little movement but Valdes has good enough stuff to be an able contributor at the MLB level as long as he doesn't have to face too much RH bats. Certainly crappy LOOGYs in the league.

Savery is the better pitcher but it will be nice if the Phils can stash Valdes at Lehigh & actually have a competent LHP reliever there this season if they need to call one up.

MG,
We have had some complaints from other gym members again. I must remind you to wipe off the equipment when you are finished, please wear something other than just sunglasses around the locker and shower room area. Also, you must wear undergarments at all times in the club's public areas. Daisy dukes are not permitted in the pool.
We have also put you on the waiting list for the next available Zumba class.

TTI~ If you would stop being an idiot for just a minute.

First of all, I don't consider myself an egotist like you say, But I do condsider myself knowlewdgeable of the Phils situations. I've been around a long time. I know what I'm talking about.

I never said Fontenot or Theriot was any kind if missing piece. What I said was that RAJ was never going to sign a Major League player to fill the stated role. And I said that BEFORE the Post went up on MLBTR. I never said they should spend a ton of money on a guy for 1/2 year. And I never said the bench wasn't better. In fact I was happy woth the Nix and Wiggy signings. I got killed for that too. I said the offense wasn't as good. Look it up.

Yes you and I agree on Howard's timetable. And because I believed in what that timetable was/is, I wanted RAJ to bring in an established hitter. That's it. We all knew that Howard's loss would be keenly felt. What we didn't know was Utley's situation. No one did.

As far as my friend goes, you look me up privately and I'll tell you anything you wish to know. I'll talk to you anytime about this baseball team. And you'll have a better understanding of where I'm coming from. Just keep it quiet. His name can't be made public. You should have noticed too that I didn't say whom they were going to sign this off-season. I just kept saying what I wish they'd do. I told you this before, I don't doubt your credibility so don't doubt mine. Just because we may disagree doesn't mean I'm wrong, or right for that matter. Just that we disagree.

I will say this though about him though. On the trip with him and the group he was with was Heath Bell's wife. Bell very much was interested in coming here, but with the sugning of Pap hw knew that wouldn't happen. She said everyone in baseball knew Boras lied abouth the offer to Madson, trying to set the market. But a lot of us knew that already. It's just an intersting story.

I'll ask you the same thing that I've asked other posters here. Are you happy with the current state of the offense? I know I'm not at the moment. What remains to be seen is how they perform when everyone is healthy again.

"What I wouldn't give for a broadcaster-free, "ambient sounds of the ballpark" audio feed option."

Less talk, yes but the comments from the peanut gallery are pretty random. Today one of the idiots behind home plate yelling about 'good eye' at the players as if it was a little league game & he was watching his 7-year old son play.

Did enjoy the random drunk guy who would yell 'POO-LLANNN-CCOOO!' the first few times he came up.

DPatrone - Never mind TTI and you were right about this because the Phils supposedly are right at the $178 luxury cap threshold and might even exceed it on Opening Day.

Even if Fontenot didn't bat LH, they weren't going to consider him because of his salary ($1.05M).

Only looked at minor league guys exclusively not because of the lack of talent around but because of the price. If Amaro had been able to move Blanton this year & they had a bit more flexibility, it might have been a different story.

Of the several guys they looked & signed, Blanco probably has the most upside.

Wow, do they pay MG and Patrone to write here?

I also think grandpa has fallen off the wagon.

Anybody know the lineup for the week? Haven't seen a legit one listed for the first series yet.

Did see the Cubs are going to keep Landy Castillo (Rule 5 pick from the Phils) on their Opening Day roster.

Kind of surprised when I looked at his numbers which were kind of mixed this spring:

10 G, 12 IP, 5 ER, 10 BB, 11 K, .217 BAA

Given he throws really hard (topped out at 97 MPH this spring), the Cubs' will suck big time this year, and their middle relief options are mediocre at best, I am not surprised they will try to keep him.

Potential back-end piece 2 years down the road when the Cubs might be a contender again.

Dpatrone: Are we talking the offense as it was expected to be constructed or the offense as it is currently on opening day? Because the answers do vary.

Also, why does a major league guy have to be signed to fill the role that the Phillies have available? Why spend a lot of money to essentially bring in a back-up if you think you have, or can find, a guy that can do a similar job for less money? In this case, Blanco is probably going to do what Theriot or Fontenot could for far less money.

DPatrone: "As far as my friend goes, you look me up privately and I'll tell you anything you wish to know. I'll talk to you anytime about this baseball team. And you'll have a better understanding of where I'm coming from. Just keep it quiet. His name can't be made public. You should have noticed too that I didn't say whom they were going to sign this off-season. I just kept saying what I wish they'd do. I told you this before, I don't doubt your credibility so don't doubt mine. Just because we may disagree doesn't mean I'm wrong, or right for that matter. Just that we disagree.

I will say this though about him though. On the trip with him and the group he was with was Heath Bell's wife."

I was with Heath Bell's wife too. It was a few years ago, but still counts.

MG: Approximately 95% of all minor league pitchers "throw really hard." About 2% of those pitchers will be successful major leaguers.

That said, for the Cubs, Lendy Castillo is a smart Rule 5 pick.

Patrony baby,
What did I tell you about using my insider info?

I found this old 2008 preseason prediction. The dummies didn't even have the two World Series participants even making the playoffs. Thus is the worthless value of preseason prognostications. http://www.miller-mccune.com/blogs/news-blog/baseball-s-best-teams-are-4656/

My theory is why keep signing these type of guys and not go for something thats more of a sure thing...3 guys with potential "upside" with someone who is making say 1-2mill that has a better chance at success...`RAJ seems to think he is going to find that gem over and over again...

"What I said was that RAJ was never going to sign a Major League player to fill the stated role."


Dom, what you've never adquately addressed is WHY the said Major League player would have signed with the Phillies.

We've been over this before, and you just stupidly ignore it. Stupidly. It's as if you lack 2nd Grade reading comprehension skills.

When the best MLB players were still available, that is, BEFORE January 1st, which player would have signed here to "fill the stated role" of Utley even though everyone thought Utley was going to be able to start the season because he had finished the last one? Which player would have made the decision to ride the pine in Philly behind Utley as opposed to playing and building his value somewhere else?

Which player was going to sign here to replace Howard, knowing he would be back during the year and send said player back to the pine where he would lose value and possibly negatively impact his next contract?

SS? Rollins is here. Fill his role?

3B? Polanco is hear and healthy? Fill his role?

CF? Vic is here. Fill his role?

RF? Pence is here. Fill his role?

LF? The prevailing thought is that the Phillies were going to give Mayberry a shot, so which player was going to take the risk of coming to Philly and possibly riding the pine behind Mayberry who many thought may have turned the corner last season?

Catcher? Chooch - would you have signed someone to fill his role?


In short, Dom, the answer in NO ONE would have done it - NOT EVEN YOU - if you were an MLB player.


So this criticism on your part of Amaro is a bullsh8t straw man that has ZERO basis in reality.

But go ahead - be delusional if you so choose.

"I wanted RAJ to bring in an established hitter."


Dom, once again for the slow people:


WHO? Who would have signed in Philly knowing he was eventually going to be on the bench?

"My theory is why keep signing these type of guys and not go for something thats more of a sure thing . . . RAJ seems to think he is going to find that gem over and over again..."

A "sure thing" utility infielder is like the Loch Ness Monster: we often hear about it in legends, but it has rarely ever been seen in real life. If an infielder is a "sure thing," he's very likely a starter and is making considerably more than $1 to $2M.

Also, I see nothing wrong with trying to find "hidden gems." You can't pay $15M for every position so you'd better damn well find a few hidden gems now and then if you plan to stay competitive. That said, I don't think RAJ is under any illusions that guys like Andres Blanco and Hector Luna are those hidden gems. If either ends up on the major league roster, it won't be because of their huge upside; it will be because they're slightly less awful than the other available options.

I guess......

"The only guy out there that I'm kind of questioning why we didn't make a run at is Derek Lee."

Questions:

1. Are you sure they didn't?
2. What makes you think he'd sign on to be a fill-in for Howard?
3. What would you do with him when Howard gets back?
4. How would he fit in the apparent budget (he turned down a one-year, $10M offer to play 1B in Pgh. in '12)?

What is the lineup going to look like on opening day? Charlie apparently said his best lineup has Rollins hitting 3rd. Does that mean:
Vic
Pol
Rollins
Pence
Mayberry
Wgton
Ruiz
Galvis

Or do you go:
Pierre
Pol
Rollins
Pence
Vic
Mayberry
Ruiz
Galvis

These aren't my lineups but rather the most likely choices for Charlie. Not ripping on him, as it isn't a terrible choice.

Is Mayberry out of options? He's a lost soul. How about Luis Montanez in LF? Kent Hoyt...

cut, Mayberry in out of options.

Montanez in LF? Uhhhh, no.

Lost soul? Please elaborate.

awh -- Is JMJ hitting his weight this spring? I've never seen a player crack so profoundly under the pressure of expectations. At least Chris Coste got a big hit now and then over a few seasons. From Wiki:

In late June 2007, Coste was called back up from Reading as a result of Jon Lieber's season-ending injury and Jayson Werth's wrist injury. Coste finished the 2007 season with a .278 batting average, 5 home runs, and 22 RBI in 48 games.

For the 2008 season, Coste was slated as the Phillies' backup catcher behind Carlos Ruiz. In a game against the Mets on August 26, 2008, Coste went 4 for 4 without even starting the game. He entered as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning, and became the first player in 63 years to appear at least that late into a game but still record 4 hits. He delivered a game-winning walk-off single in the 13th inning.

Simply put, 2011 may just be a mirage for RFD.

cut, someone as intelligent as you is obviously aware that ST stats don't mean a thing, no?

First, there is the problem with the sample size.

Second, there is the problem of the small sample size.

Third, there is the problem with the level of competition. As a contrast I offer Chooch's performance this ST. Do you really think he'll hit .500 this season because he's done it in ST?

Last, I offer you this data:

.218/.259/.364, 58 PA

.179/.329/.268, 70 PA


The above are what this player did on 2 separate occasions. The first was from April 18th to May 2nd. The second sample occured from June 4th to June 18th.

The year was 1954.

The player was Willie Mays.

He did this for the entire season:

.345/.412/.667, with 41 HR and 110 RBI.

He won the MVP.


Mayberry is certainly no Willie Mays, who may have been the best all-around payer ever to take the field.


But I'm not willing to declare Mayberry a "lost soul" based on 73 ST ABs.

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