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Sunday, March 25, 2012

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Galvis may have "earned" the right to start at 2B, but no one in the Phillies organization considered this to be even a remote possibility as recently as March 1. Remember that fact the next time you are inclined to think the FO knows what it is doing.

We're close enough to Easter for me to have expected a photoshop of Utley at The Last Supper, Utley on the cross, or Utley rolling the stone away from the tomb. Since we don't know what we'll hear today, Maybe it can be a three-part series from J.W. in the future...

Chase's video will be presented live on NBC, CBS,ABC, PBS, BBC, CNN,NHK, Versus, US Armed Forces radio, ESPN, BET, ESPN2, ESPNU,MLB,NBA classics, Al Jaazira, CSPAN and Logo.

I am good with galvis at second. Reminds me of a man who used to play SS for this team and was said he couldn't hit etc. Love the glove and the fundamentals he can do. Bunt, sac bunt, and move runners etc.. I would love the philles to sign a ut inf after the roster cuts are made. Saw a bunch of teams who have roster issues and need to cut some. Saw Eric young Jr could be one. A lot of these same guys are in the cut position. Not saying EY is the answer, but making a point a lot of these type. Repeat TYPE will be available.

Editor's note: Versus is now called NBC Sports Network.

Seriously, what time is Chase talking to the media?

Utley plays Charades with the media:

First word: Chase acts as if dozens of flying, buzzing, insects swarm around him and sting him. Media eventually shouts out "Bees." Chase nods, and holds up two fingers.

Chase contorts the still functioning limbs he has into a perfect replica of the letter "R." The media guesses correctly, Chase nods, then holds us three fingers.

Utley makes his hand look like a firearm, and cocks and drops his thumb. David Murphy shouts out "GUN!!," and proceeds to write a 4,500 word column about how Chase Utley has had his knees replaced by guns, and what that means, doesn't mean, and might mean from a statistical perspective. Beerleaguer fans immediately eat it all up.

He's just available to the media. Nothing formal, according to the beat writers.

My proofreader inadvertently deleted the part where Chase mimed "Sounds like," and the media equated "Bees" with "Knees."

In the absence of an "edit post" feature, I need to let my coffee kick in before posting...

Thanks for that add Scott. I was trying to figure out what Bees are gun could mean. I got nothing.

curt is right. The FO has no idea what it's doing. Preach on brother.

Good Morning!

I'd like to see Galvis get a try. At the very least he is unlikely to run over Vic like Dom Brown did last year when they tried him out. I agree that youth breaks the tie.

On the other hand, he'd better not run over Jimmy Rollins.

Spring training seems a bit too long in some ways and a bit too short in other ways. You want to find out as much as you can during it but how much can you really find out? After awhile, you just want them to get on with it and see how things play out in the regular season.

Youth should break the tie. By now, the Phillies should know that old age breaks everything else.

Leaked transcript of a call between Ruben and Jen Utley:

Rube: Hi Jen, this is Ruben, and I'm in a bit of a fix. Charlie wants another veteran reliever, but I've already spent $170 million this year and the accountants aren't happy. So I'm thinking of dumping Wilson Valdez to raise the extra 1/2 million I need, but wanted to check in on Chase first.

Jen: He's here but can't get to the phone. I'll run it by him.
***
Ah, Rube, Chase says no problem. He's sure he'll be on his feet by April 1.

Rube: Great! Thanks, Jen.

Utley: "The bad news is that I won't be able to play this season. My future beyond that is unknown."

"The good news is that, in keeping with the tradition of naming unfortunate medical situations after great second baseman, the medical community has agreed to name the combination of patellar tendinitis and chondromalacia as "Chase Utley's Disease."

Of course, the only reason Galvis is still around is that Cleveland, Toronto, Houston etc weren't really interested. That doesn't mean he can't be a fine SS, er, 2B, but isn't a terribly promising fact. I imagine that if Galvis does actually get the job, BL will be clamoring for Michael Martinez by May 15.

"Of course, the only reason Galvis is still around is that Cleveland, Toronto, Houston etc weren't really interested."

BS.

Er, yeah. Gherig played first. I'll stop now.

thought it was a Steve fax disease reference

I'm all for a new utility guy, but only to serve as the contingency plan if Galvis isn't hitting at the MLB level. I've been among Galvis' biggest detractors, but at this rate, give the kid a chance first.

The simple fact that he's even being groomed to play any 2B (an idea that would have been deemed preposterous even a month ago) tells you more than you'll learn from even Utley directly today.

I'm posting this for GTownDave and the rest of the dummies here who are critical of RAJ and the FO for not getting replacements for Utely and Howard:

Here's the link:

http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120323&content_id=27554646&vkey=news_phi&c_id=phi


Here's the key passage:

"Some knuckleheads have criticized general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. for not finding replacements for Utley.

Seriously? That's a good one.

Hey, Ruben, go find another Chase Utley? Shouldn't be too hard.

Where do people come up with this stuff? Managers spend 20 years in the game and don't get to manage one guy as good as either Ryan Howard or Chase Utley."

Nuff sed!

I dont know...Fontenot would probably be a decent option at 2B or even 3B with polly moving over. He's probably good for average defense and a .700 OPS.

I wouldn't touch Theriot with a 10 foot stick though.

It true. There's absolutely no middle ground between Chase Utley & Michael f*cking Martinez. Brilliant analysis.

Also, if Utley doesn't find a way in which to drop his favorite word into the presser, I'm gonna be deeply disappointed. Personally, I hope he goes w/ "Degenerative knees! Degenerative f*ckin' knees!"

Thanks, awh.

JW, I agree that this spring, Galvis has earned the right to start.

Here's another way of looking at it:

Last season, the Phillies got this production out of Utley and Howard:

Utley: .259/.344/.425/.769, 103 G, 454 PA

Howard: .253/.346/.488/.835, 152 G, 644 PA


So, with Utley and Howard posting CAREER LOW numbers as full-time starters, this team won 102 games.

Remember, it's not the .298/.388/.523/.911 (2005 - 2010) Chase Utley the Phils will be missing, and not the .269/.361/.551/.912(2007 - 2010) Ryan Howard that they'll be missing early on.


Also, they got this from

Polanco: .277/.335/.339/.674, 122 G

Ibanez: .245/.289/.419/.707, 144 G

And this was playing in RF before Pence arrived (a combined 503 PA on the season):

BenFran .245/.289/.419/.707

Brown: .245/.333/.391/.725

And they still won 102 games on the strength of their pitching.

"It true. There's absolutely no middle ground between Chase Utley & Michael f*cking Martinez. Brilliant analysis."

GTown, I have asked you to NAME NAMES (on more than one occasion) of these magical upgrade players who WOULD have come to Philly given the publicly available knowledge of Utley's health.

You have thus far refused to do so.

There can be only one reason: You don't know WTF you're posting about, and simply enjoy griping, whining and pissing your panties.

No surgery, no timeframes, will take it slow, new stretches, etc.

Utley: "it's not bad enough to have micro fracture surgery and it's not bad enough to end my career."

Utley says he has chondromalacia, not serious enough for microfracture surgery. He met with Brett Fischer, a therapist in Arizona.

Sure its not, Chase...sure its not.

Looking forward to an 80 game season where Chase gives us a .650 OPS

Left knee hurting more than right knee.

This is an interesting piece from Larry Shenk.

http://philliesinsider.mlblogs.com/

It covers how minor league cuts are made, etc.

I don't understand why people would be opposed to picking up Theriot or Fontenot. The backup utility infielder right now is Abreu or maybe Orr. It is Mini Mart when he comes back from his broken foot in May. Both of those guys are better than Mini Mart.

The issue is that Amaro has almost zero payroll flexibility right now. Imagine anyone he's picking up has to be close to the veteran league minimum.

It is kind of sad that Amaro is looking for 2 players yet (right-handed bat who can play the OF, utility infielder) a week before the season starts with a ~$170M on Opening Day.

- Believes media overreacted.

- Doesn't believe he mishandled anything.

- Optimistic long-term.

- Definitely not retiring.

- Rehabbing left knee.

Theriot is absolutely terrible and if he's available, its because he couldn't make the Giants roster.

Fontenot might not be too brutal.

Let's not go overboard with the Giants' ability to judge talent or put together a coherent roster of positional players. Ask any rabid Giants' fan about Sabean's tenure & the talent he has put in the field. Guaranteed to get a bit heated.

The best offseason preview I read of the Giants' started with "Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy have teamed up to assassinate the Giants' offense. The league's second-best pitching staff might be golfing in October as a result."

http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/21426/2012-mlb-season-preview-san-francisco-giants

I was going to write that the St. Utley Parish Church in Conshohocken was going to change its name to St. (fill in the blank), the Patron Saint of Cripples. I Googled "Patron Saint of Cripples" and discovered that he was St. Giles. I figured that wouldn't work for Beerleaguer, as it would imply Sainthood on some past and present Phillies ownership; so, I decided against it. You can read more about St. Giles here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Giles

Utley's "career worst" still trumps

Valdez .249/.294/.341

Martinez .196/.258/.252

esp. when one notes which INF the Phillies chose to retain. If someone thinks it was more important to sign a "Closer" & some washed up relief pitchers, fine. But I completely reject the notion that there were no better options available. r00b simply chooses to put all of his eggs into the pitching basket, which I feel is a road leading to perpetual postseason dead ends.

"Ask any rabid Giants' fan about Sabean's tenure & the talent he has put in the field..."

Hey, BAP, how about Sabean's tenure & the talent he has put in the field?

(sorry, had to)

I really hope Galvis hits enough not to get lampooned and criticized because he is going to get a ton of heat if he puts up line I think he will until Utley comes back:

.210/.250/.300

Utley literally sounds like he's narrating a funeral in this interview.

MG, thanks for the link.

There's also a good writeup on the Phillies.

In the Detroit-Philly game so far (offense-wise): Pierre single, Poddy bunts into DP, Vic doubles, steals third, Pence singles him in, Wiggy doubles Pence in. Please duplicate the second part of that act for the regular season, boys.

"But I completely reject the notion that there were no better options available."


GTown, WHO?

Septimania. lol sounds like a country in a marx bros. movie.

Galvis will not be any great shakes offensively. He will probably show flashes of good things but he is a work in progress.

I think he will get some leeway with fans because he will make some sparkling defensive plays in the field. A few of those a week and fans will be more willing to overlook some weaknesses in the game. Now if the team is freefalling- then all bets are probably off. But for a little bit, Galvis strength will keep heat off him.

Who's in for chase and howard come back at same time? Both miss 40-50? At least chase actually spoke about it on tv. Said right knee really good just left knee.

Quite honestly, if the choices are Ryan Theriot or the guys mentioned in that Gelb article a few days ago, I don't know why the Phillies wouldn't just give a minor league contract to Felipe Lopez, who is still a FA.

I stipulate that he has been terrible 2 years in a row but he has been good in the past and isn't very old. If we're going to bring in someone, I'd rather bring in someone with an upside. Ryan Theriot doesn't have one.

AWH~ You keep asking people to name names, which you have even done with me me before. I ask you, whom do you want to magically becomme avalable?

It's not that people (myself included) are whining. And I'm not defending anyone. I'm saying people may not be comfortable with the people who are currewntly in place for a a long-term basis.

I mentioned last week somethong like Rube trades Valdez, admits his mistake, didn't sign Theriot but Qualls instead. Now is looking for middle infield help. Who's available? Theriot etc. If he wants Theriot now, he's either got to wait for him to be released or trade for him. Questions for you are: 1. Are you happy with Galvis starting @ 2b & 2. Are you happy with the guys playing 1b until Howard returns?

When Howard got hurt, he made no moves for a bat. The offense is gonna struggle a lot IMO, because you cannot overcome the loss of our #4 and now our #3 hitter with the people we have. That puts an awful strain on the pitchers.

And speaking of that, maybe the Phils should keep Blanton if he's healthy. I think Blanton @#4 and KK/Worley @#5 is better than Blanton not being there.

What a lot of people don't realize is that sometimes as a GM you have to bite the bullet and do what you have to do. The Reds GM is sort of in that situation now. He pays 8.5 million for a closer who can't pitch this season, so now he's gotta find a closer. So if there isn't any decent closers available, if the question were asked to name names how can one do that?

There were plenty of bats available this winter to help the Phils lineup and RAJ got no one. To me that's a mistake. But that's me. Even Derek Lee would be nice now. Not goona happen. But I'm more comfortable with an established palyer like him @ 1b & Mayberry in LF, than the combination of players we currently would have to use at both positions to get by.

I do think, however, if Galvis is the Opening Day 2B, JW needs to let us know how the hell to pronounce his name.

Isn't it gal-vees?

tmac says freddy told him the emphasis is in Gal. GAL-vess.

I haven't caught any ST games on mlb.tv and I'm out in LA now so obviously I don't have Comcast.

I'm actually more interested in how Harry would have pronounced it.

"I ask you, whom do you want to magically becomme avalable?"


Dom, I haven't read the rest of your post, but I think you didn't comprehend what I was asking GTown, and by extension, you.

It is not I who has posted that the Phillies SHOULD/COULD have acquired a better 'replacement'/placeholder for Utley. It is you, GTown and the rest of your ilk.

When most of the better middle infielders were signing contracts, it was December and even November.

At that time, Utley had finished the season and there was every indication that he was going to be available.

Here's where you can sort a list of the available FA 2B who signed somewhere in the offseason.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012-mlb-free-agents

Please go there and come back and tell us the players who you think the Phillies should have signed and why those players would have come here to BACK UP Chase Utley - because in December, that's exactly what they thought they were facing.

Dom, don't be like GTown, obfuscate and hurt your own credibility.

If there's a player you think they could have signed - say so.

awh: I get it. You think it was a reasonable gamble to stay the course on offense & hope that pitching alone can do the job. Fine. But I strongly disagree. What I don't get is why you're so damn insistent that I share your POV. Hint: It's not going to happen, & continuing to argue over why Player X or Player Y is or isn't available/affordable/better than the status quo when my opinion is & has been that ANY player w/ better career avgs. than the low numbers we cited earlier -- several of whom have been mentioned, repeatedly -- would have been a more practical addition than the likes of Qualls & Papelbon, is a pointless exercise. Now Howard is out, Utley is out, I'd be shocked if Polaco & Rollins weren't each DL cases sometime this season & ... & well, we'll just have to see how far pitching alone can take the Phillies, won't we?

"At 830am EST, I single-handedly terminated the command of Mahmoud Ajmadeinjad. Then I flew to Syria and captured Bassir al-Assad and delivered him to the Hague. On the way home, I reinstated the President of Mali to power and picked up a dozen Krispie Kreme donuts for one of my associated. My knees are okay, not great but not bad. That is all."
-C. C. Utley

DPat: Couple things on your post. Amaro did get bats to help by upgrading the bench. Mayberry is going to be your left fielder in place of Ibanez. Maybe you don't- but I think some combination of Wiggy/Nix/Thome will give you 75-80% of Howard's production. Why would you bring in a guy for 4 or 5 million when you can bring in a few guys for that price and help a few different areas?

On Theriot: The reason I don't bring him in and stick with Galvis is because Theriot is 32 years old and is pretty close to hot garbage at this point. And his defense- his strong point- is slipping. Galvis is 22 and is pretty sparkling defensively. Yes he will struggle offensively but let the kid play, take his lumps, and see what you have in him.

Utley's contract is done in 2 years and you are going to have a tough tough choice with him. Let Galvis take some time in the bigs and see what you have with him. If you can give you anything- in 2 years time you may have a nice back-up plan should Utley walk or retire. Plus, if he can give you something decent than you only need to worry about bringing in a few million dollar back-up instead of spending a bunch of money to bring in a starter.

It is not ideal that Galvis is your starter on opening day but it could pay long term dividends.

A couple comments re "naming names:"

First. most of these guys are too obscure to even show up on FA lists. Hence, to figure out which FA utility infielders switched teams this off-season would require far more effort than any sane person would ever devote to proving himself right in a Beerleaguer argument. Second, our options weren't limited to free agency; we could have made a trade. Since we have no idea who could have been gotten via trade, we're not in position to "name names."

It's the GM's job to put his team in position to win. We have a $170M payroll and, as it stands, Michael Martinez and Freddie Galvis are our starting options at 2nd base. You don't need to "name names" to point out that this is a failure.

"Excuse me. I meant associates. That is all. Time is yours."

Thome with a big double off the center field wall.

Let's not go overboard with the Giants' ability to judge talent or put together a coherent roster of positional players."

Agree with this completely. Teams screw up all the time -- especially the Giants. The fact that the Giants don't want these guys on their roster should have absolutely zero bearing on the Phillies' decision. The fact that they both stink, however, should have considerable bearing on their decision.

"1. Are you happy with Galvis starting @ 2b & 2. Are you happy with the guys playing 1b until Howard returns?"


Dom, unlike GTown, I'll answer your questions directly:

1. Yes and no. Yes, in that I think Galvis will be fine defensively, and perhaps even an above average 2B. No, in that he probably won't hit .258/.319/.380, which is the average of NL 2B last season. I suspect the braintrust has gone this route because he's the best defender available of any of Utley' potential replacements.

2. Yes, I think the combo of Mayberry/Nix/Thome/Wiggy will be adequate until Howard returns. Howard had an
.835 OPS last season. Mayberry (who's probably a better defender than Howard) had an .854 OPS, and Thome had an .869 OPS. Nix had a .781 OPS against RHP (which is all he should see) and Wiggy had a .796 OPS against LHP. It remains to be seen how good the defense is at 1B between Thome/Wiggy and Nix (if he plays there).


"When Howard got hurt, he made no moves for a bat."

Dom, that's not true. He got Thome, Wiggy and Nix. You may not LIKE the bats he got, but he did make a move.

See my answer to your second question.

Dom, it also remains to be seen whether Mayberry can repeat his .854 OPA from last season.

"awh: I get it. You think it was a reasonable gamble to stay the course on offense & hope that pitching alone can do the job."


GTwon, now you're misrepresenting what I posted. I haven't posted a thing about " areasonable gamble" or anything like that.

All I've done is ask you to put up or shut up.

Stop engaging in diversionary tactics and NAME the players you think Amaro could have signed.

Oh, and GTown, I do not INSIST that you share my POV at all.

But I am CHALLENGING you to provide evidence to support yours.

This is going to be the likely Opening Day roster bench right now:

Nix, Thome, Schneider, Montanez, Abreu? Orr?

Only injury that altered the bench is Mini Mart. This is not an upgraded bench from last year except for Thome and he is almost as limited in the filed as Gload was last year.

For the record, I agree with keeping Galvis as a short-term starter at 2B rather than a scrub like Theriot or something.

All that said, Galvis' future is NOT as a starting 2B in the majors. He would be one of the worst in baseball, because his bat is so bad. If he is going to be a starter at the major-leage level, it has to be at SS, where his defense is of maximum value. So just keep that in mind. Galvis is not the long-term answer at 2B.

Jack, good post. We agree.

MG: Yes, it is an upgraded bench. Thome is better than Gload, and if you consider last year to have been a Mayberry/Ibanez platoon, the fact is that a Mayberry/Nix platoon is now better. And while Wigginton isn't better than Ryan Howard, obviously, a Thome/Wigginton platoon is about 85% of Howard and should provide a clear bench upgrade when Howard gets back.

The team overall might not be as good (in fact I think it's clear it isn't), but the bench most certainly is better.

The argument for acquiring Theriot (or Fortenot) or for keeping Valdez is whether or not they are upgrades over Mini Mart, Abreu, or Orr. Galvis is going to be the starter at 2B.

I would argue yes. Other sites I have seen argued that there is no real difference or have argued that Mini Mart is even a better player. I think they are nuts especially arguing that Mini Mart is a better player. He would be in my Top 5 for 'Worst Phils' Players' of the past 30 years. Probably top 3.

Valdez or Theriot/Fortenot would represent a slight upgrade because their offensive numbers would be notably better than Mini Mart (.540 OPS) or Abreu/Orr & make up for their defensive limitations.

MG: Oh, then yeah, I agree Theriot is better than Mini-Mart or Orr. Carry on.

TTI~ I agree with you. He did a great job with the bench. Just didn't mention it in the post

If we could get 75% of Howard's production from the 1b group, that would be great. All we then need is Galvis to catch the ball and he certainly can do that. And we do have a full year of Pence.

AWH~ What's "my ilk"? The Phils did and still do need some kind of bat. I knew who was avilable in Nov. just like everyone else.

Even then you wanted me to say WHO they should go after. I couldn't do that then, and I can't do it now. What I thought then and still do, is that the offense needs help.
My whole pemise has been thay din't want to go over the cap, even though it's only 17% this year. That turned out to be correct as a 2nd year offense is 30%. RAJ knows he'll be over next year. Pence and Hamels WILL be signed. So now I understand his reluctance to go after Cuddyer etc. But that still doesn't change the way things are currently.

My thoughts were/are based on Amaro's comments after the loss to StL.

As far as Theriot or anyone else for that matter, my opinion is not necessarily an advocation of him in particular, but anyone who can or couldv'e helped. Of course, the pickings are slim. No denying that. And you're right everyone was under the impresssion that Utley would be ready to go.

I have bad knees due to my CP and that stuff hurts. There's no way to really reat because as soon as you stand and move chroinc conditions just get re-agravated.

You have to assume worst-case. Right now I'd say their optimistic that Howard & Utley will return May-ish. But if not? That's my contention. That's my reality. Where's the contingency plan? Also Brown not being there doesn't help. Remember bench players are just that. If everything pans out as planned, fine. But I think you and I both know that even the best-laid plans....

The bench is not better to start the year overall.

Schneider is another year longer in the tooth and that much closer to the scrap heap. He's looked poor in limited time this spring. Cholly realized he was done last year.

Hopefully Chooch does his 'Iron Man' impression again because he playing in more than 120 G this year if he stays healthy. I have no doubt in my mind Cholly will play Chooch as much as possible especially early in the year.

Thome is a better hitter than Gload but he is still a guy you have to PR for in most spots & it is uncertain how we will hold up playing in the field.

Nix is an upgrade defensively over Ibanez. Offensively as a bench player? Both are severely limited especially as PH options. He's a much better defensive player.

Montanez is a downgrade from Francisco offensively. Defensively he is an upgrade. Call it a wash although I would give a slight edge to Francisco as a PH option late.

Mini Mart was going to be the utility infielder. Now it is Abreu I bet if the season began today. Both are marginal MLB talent at best.

It is still a bench that has a bunch of poor to terrible PH options, not much speed, and players with a bunch of notable limitations.

That is as bad an Opening Day bench as any team in the NL will have.

I will say this about Galvis: I do think it's more than possible that he'll hit substantially better than everyone seems to believe.

For years, we've been hearing about what an excellent prospect he was because: (1) he was a great fielder; and (2) he was very young and, with time, his offense had a good chance of improving. Well, guess what? His offense DID improve significantly last year. It still wasn't particularly good, but it was leaps and bounds better than it was before. And it wasn't just better in terms of batting average; he also hit for more power (both homers & XBHs) -- a trait which he has also shown in ST.

Since his offense improved significantly from 2010 to 2011, and since he's still very young, it's more than possible that it will continue improving this year. Now, granted, that improvement might be offset by the fact that he'll be facing much better pitching than he has ever faced. But it might not.

In short, Galvis obviously won't be great and he may be completely terrible. But he will easily out-hit Mini-Mart's 2011 numbers, and it wouldn't completely shock me if he posts around the same OPS as Wilson Valdez posted in 2010 & 2011.

AWH~ See my response to TTI and you just a minute ago. I din't say I didn't like the bench aquisions. In fact I applauded them. RAJ fixed a major problem there. I am concerned however about the everyday lineup scoring enough runs to ensure out pitching performances are not wasted. That's all.

Schneider, Thome, Nix, Montanez, Abreu?

Find me a worse Opening Day bench in the NL. You will be looking for a while because you won't find one.

***I will say this about Galvis: I do think it's more than possible that he'll hit substantially better than everyone seems to believe.***

I wouldn't be shocked if he does. He's put on a good bit of muscle in the last 2 years as he's matured and he's able to turn on a fastball now...that was the biggest issue he had in the minors, not a lack of making contact.

I could see him giving us a .650 OPS...even .700 if his BABIP is higher than it should be.

***Find me a worse Opening Day bench in the NL. You will be looking for a while because you won't find one. ***

What's the Pirates bench or the Royals bench?

I'd bet they're worse...Astros too.

NEPP: Counting the moments until "woundn't be shocked" turns into, "BAP and NEPP think trading Valdez was a good idea because Galvis is just as good a hitter. . . "

I give it about an hour...or whenever clout shows up.


I should caveat my comment by saying I also wouldn't be shocked if he gives us a .500 OPS for 2 months before he is replaced by someone else.

Pirates bench depends on injuries but there bench right now looks to be:

McGehee, McLouth, McHenry, and a battle at a few spots.

Pirates had the worst bench in the NL last year but that was largely due to the crazy amount of injuries they had.

That Pirates' bench though right now isn't worse than the Phils especially if the Phils' bench includes Montanez and Abreu/Orr.

Pirates' Opening Day roster budget is going to be less than $45M. You have to kind of bottom feed a bit to round out the bench.

MG: You are way off on the bench. It's comical how you are picking the absolute worst guys to prove your point too. You really think they are going to go with Montanez over Pierre or Pods?

TTI - Yeah I do. If Pierre/Podsednik were right-handed bats or even switch-hitters I would have no doubts they would be on the Opening Day roster.

There really going to carry 3 left-handed bats on the bench when a LHP like Bedard starts in the early going?

They will carry Pierre/Podsednik if they have a 6-man bench but that hasn't been what they have done under Cholly. Strong tendency to go with a 5-man bench and a 7-man bullpen.

Any word on Bastardo's velo?

Just enough.

.

Absolutely silly that you would not carry a better left handed hitter because of the Pirates opening day starter. Where do you come up with some of your nonsense MG?

curse of the mummey.

Mummey ties it.

"Absolutely silly that you would not carry a better left handed hitter because of the Pirates opening day starter."

I agree with you on this. However, putting aside the opening series against Pittsburgh, I do think it's a bad idea to carry 3 LH bats on the bench. Who's going to play LF when Wiggy is starting at 3rd and a LH pitcher is on the mound? And who's going to pinch hit if a LH reliever is in the game? It's just dumb. Which is why I think it's within the realm of possibility that someone like Luna or Montanez (or both) make the opening day roster.

MG: Your point makes no sense. Your argument about the bench being really bad is nothing more than an argument about our starting lineup being really bad. Guys like Wigginton and Galvis are actually really useful bench guys (obviously for different reasons), but they're in the starting lineup because of injuries to our starters.

So your argument shouldn't be that the bench sucks--actually, if our starters are healthy, a bench of Thome/Nix/Wigginton/Galvis/Schneider is really a useful collection of players (other than Schneider who I agree is terrible). But our starters aren't healthy, so the bench has been made starters, and guys who normally wouldn't be on the roster are on the bench.

To claim that the bench is thus terrible is missing the forest for the trees--the real point is that the starting lineup isn't complete because of injuries. That's the real issue with the team!

Is this Hanzawa kid still playing little league? Christ, he's tiny.

Please tell me why we still have schin as back up catcher. When E Kratz is perfectly able to do that job. And be a some what power threat?

Agreed Jack. How MG could be so up in arms about the bench given everything else going on with the team is pretty perplexing. My last worry right now is the bench. I'm worried about the fact that our 3/4 hitters are being replaced by Wigginton/Galvis.

"How MG could be so up in arms about the bench given everything else going on with the team is pretty perplexing."

I'm up in arms about the bench too, but my outrage is more targeted: what exactly does Erik Kratz have to do in order to get a shot?

BAP, are you still losing sleep over Miggy Abreu?

BAP: My guess is that MAyberry plays left and Thome could start at first. Thome has good numbers against lefties.

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