Part of

« Saturday chat: Drumbeat to sell intensifies | Main | All-Star game a chance to reflect on year's best story »

Sunday, July 08, 2012


I thought this thread was gonna be about Pence. I bet everyone will have their own "guy I am sick and tired of"

Chooch in the lineup again. I get that he's our best player, but Charlie continues to treat him like a rental car.

For the past several years I've often wondered what it feels like to be a fan of a crappy team like the Cubs, Royals, Mariners, etc. Now I know and I don't like it.

This season has slipped into comical territory very quickly. Laughing stock of the league.

Blanton is impossible to watch this year, I agree. But why on earth would anyone trade even a mid-tier prospect for him? He has been worth -0.7 wins (according to baseball reference), he's a below-average pitcher in the pitcher-friendly league, and he's owed something like 4 million dollars for the rest of the season.

One does not need to wonder how it feels to be a fan of a crappy teams such as the Cubs, Mariners, Royals, etc. One simply need to recall the feeling of being a fan of the Phillies circa 1990-2001.

1993 excepted.

This team lacks talent and leadership. The entire organization has been decimated by the decisions of this GM in 3 short years. It's time to rebuild, starting at the top.

Very true. We are the laughing stock of baseball. 178 million dolla payroll and 14 games out. Trades are gonna happen matter of time.
Sucky Joe
These guys are just a start. I would listen on offers for pence.
Lee and doc have to keep to be semi competitive. Bring up Dom and the Tyler C kid, and others. Sooner rube throws the flag sooner the fan base will understand. Biggest lost this season was Howard plain and simple.

What did everyone expect? We weren't right going in to this year. I keep saying it, the GM's plan back-fired. Now, it's much too late. It's not that I want to be all doom and gloom, but I peeged it from the jump.

Injuries and poor GM moves killed this team. Cholly doesn't help. He's got some proven talent on the team, but had holes in the lineup and a poor 'pen.

The bright spots are Chooch, Galvis & Pierre. No one expected anything from the latter 2. Bring up anybody you can & see what you've got. Trade whomever you can to get some value back.

Rube will have $$ to spend in the off-season, and all we can do is hope that he'll use the $$ properly.

Just a Phillies fan with some Opinions of what I would like to see for the 2013 season....

#1 NO Victorino, NO Balanton, and NO worthless Veteran RP off the scrap heap!

#2 If they get a good trade that helps for Hamels Awesome but better be in the running for a SP to replace him and Blanton...

#3 Last but NOT least, let Manual go and bring up Sandburg to the Big show!

You can't get a prospect back for Blanton, but you might be able to get someone to pay $1-2M of his salary.

Hey, its something. You might be able to pay his whole salary and get a guy on the level of what Thome gave you back.

I can't be the only one who is more interested in what moves the team is going to make, and what moves other teams are making, and what our prospects are doing than the actual games, right?

Jack: I'm with you, actually a pretty exciting time. After the deadline our season is basically over, so lets enjoy something while we can

**One does not need to wonder how it feels to be a fan of a crappy teams such as the Cubs, Mariners, Royals, etc**

Yeah, but there are three differences: payroll, expectations, and potential.

For teams with low dollar investments and no thoughts about playoffs, it is fine to go to the ballpark for some beer and hot dogs to watch some baseball on a summer evening. The best one can hope for is to see some good moments from time to time. As long as players are mostly living up to their potential (however mediocre that potential may be), the game experience may be successful. In those situations, a Pierre or Galvis or Thome would sustain the fun, even with a losing season.

In our case, the payroll produces astronomical expectations, and rightly so. Also, some players/managers (or the goat for the day) aren’t living up to the potential (real or otherwise.)

So in the case of the Phillies, it is not at all about watching baseball on a summer day, but about feeling duped.

#1 thing to pay attention to after the deadline:

Highest OPS+ by a player with 80% PA as a Catcher:

Mike Piazza 185 (1997)
Mike Piazza 172 (1995)
Joe Mauer 171 (2009)
Carlos Ruiz 166 (2012)
Mike Piazza 166 (1996)
Johnny Bench 166 (1972)
Art Wilson 165 (1915)

Probably impossible to catch Piazza's 97 season, but would be cool to see Chooch jump Mauer as the best offensive season by a catcher not named Piazza in MLB history.

Yeah, it's a lousy year. Kills me that now RAJ has suddenly become an idiot, though. His bullpen plan blew up, granted. But he put these guys in a position to win it all for three straight seasons and they just didn't get it done. I say sign Hamels and give this group one more shot. Sell off spare parts (Pierre, Blanton, Wiggy) and hope to get lucky in return. I'd listen on Vic right now and let him go as FA unless he comes back cheap If we're having this conversation next year at this time, then it's time to try and unload Doc, Lee, Utley, Pence, which will make more sense and will be a true housecleaning. Read a book. See a movie. Wait for pitchers and catchers to report.

Cloyd, Elarton, and Misch? I thought those guys sucked! That was Charlie's reasoning for the season saving bullpen game remember?

I'd be pleasantly shocked if Chooch is able to sustain his first half numbers, especially now that Charlie feels compelled to play him every single day. Not sure why we even bothered bringing Kratz up after Schneider got hurt.

I get that emotions trump logic on BL, it's been that way since Day 1. But among all those calling for the team to dump J-Roll, Pence, Hamels, Polanco, Vic, Blanton, Kendrick, Bastardo etc. etc. etc., I've yet to see one post saying who should replace them.

If you're dumping most of the team don't you have to have a plan? Assuming you actually thought about what you posted.

Jack -- I'm right with you. Unfortunately, it's difficult to make the time to stay on top of each of the other 29 teams' tradable commodities.

In a related matter, I still believe that the FO's refusal to take Utley's ongoing knee degeneration seriously demands some kind of changes or punitive measures be taken against the responsible party(ies). To throw a $50mm contract at a flaky closer in the face of the certain loss of the second best offensive player on the team is a fire-able offense.

If this transgression is all on RAJ, then he should pay with his job. It's inconceivable that Amaro could not be easily replaced by a more conservative and talent savvy GM. In a heartbeat.

Let the speculation begin!!

Via Twitter:

Todd Zolecki ‏@ToddZolecki

Shane Victorino scratched from today's lineup. Jason Pridie to take his place. No word on why he was scratched.

I figure if RAJ decides to "dump" Hamels, he does have a plan of someone to take his roster spot.

"Wait for pitchers and catchers to report."

July 8th. That has got to be a record for the earliest date that has ever been uttered.

Saw that TEX is pushing back on the Olt rumors, saying they want his bat at 1b or RF, if he's not going to be at 3b b/c of Beltre. His bat is good enough that it's a bit of a "duh" statement, and it could be posturing, but they might not want him to go for a rental.

Odds are that Vic will end the year with his typical .280 or so, which means some contender is probably about to get a .300 hitter on the cheap.

Todd Zolecki ‏@ToddZolecki

Hear Victorino's late scratch was Manuel's decision. He hasn't been traded and isn't injured. I don't know anything more than that.

Clout: Well, you're the one who leads the charge on dumping Bastardo, because you're still mad he turned out better than Joe Savery. I wouldn't pitch him automatically in the 8th inning, but he's a part of this bullpen and will be for the next couple years.

As for Blanton, dumping him is sort of irrelevant because he's gone at the end of the season anyway, and this team isn't making a playoff run. So whether you dump him now or in October, you still have to replace him for next season, and there's a whole host of 4th/5th starter options available in FA (we discussed some in a thread yesterday).

As for J-Roll, no one has said we should dump him, nor could we. As for Pence, I agree that talks to trade him don't make much sense--he should be a good player for us next season. As for Polanco, I know you love the guy, but he's the worst offensive 3B in the league, and has lost a step on defense. You don't really want them to pick up his option for next season, do you? I'd rather go after Youk, assuming the White Sox decline his option, on a 1-year deal. Or take my chances filling the spot somewhere else, via trade or something. I'm ok with uncertainty at that position, considering Polanco is certain to give you bad production.

As to Kendrick, he's here because Amaro signed him to a 2-year, $7.5 million deal last offseason. I'm sure you think that's a fantastic deal.

my guess on the vic scratch is someone finally showed Manuel Vic's split as a Left Hander... or saw Pridie's 2.000 OPS against JJ

Kendricks deal isn't bad. 3.25million a year for a pitcher who can pitch out of the pen or as a 5th starter, and sometimes outpitches his 5th starter pedigree. Even sometimes for a whole year (3 years out of his 6 year career he has had 120 ERA+).

His overuse leads to worse pitching. Last year was a good usage of him. Plus he still pitches well to RHB. Keep him away from the lefties, take care of 10-15 starts a year for injuries, and he is worth it.

Ryan Madson might be an interesting option as a bullpen piece for 2013. Probably would come cheap coming of TJ surgery.

But Kendricks SO/9 is 6.3 this year, up 2 from his career avg, so according to the K watchers of beerleaguer, this has been his best year yet.

The trend over the course of Phillies history, has been to stick with the 'core' of a once successful team far too long. This goes back to the Whiz Kids, who were largely kept together for the remainder of the 1950s, aging and fading first to irrelevance and then to oblivion. To a lesser extent this happened also in the wake of the '64 team as well as the ill-fated "team of the '80s". The attempt to milk another playoff appearance from the '93 one-offs is another case in point, and Eddie Wade stuck with the Abreu/Lieberthal/Burrell blueprint well past the point of freshness. And so here we are again. To me, this core had grown perceptibly old and stale as early as two seasons ago, but the pitching was strong enough to continue boosting the win total. As best demonstrated in the post-season, the regular season winning pct. did not translate into this being a better team than the younger, hungrier ones that had come immediately before.

Many people, the Phillies likely included, would prefer to point to this season as a fluke, that they still have (per Amaro) a lot of 'damn good players' going forward, and a excellent starting rotation on paper if they were to re-sign Hamels. That quote sounded to me like Ed Wade circa July 2004. Rather than focus on what the Phillies appear to have 'on paper', I believe it is more prudent to focus on what we are actually seeing, which is a team not only in sharp decline, but a team that acts like it is acutely aware of it, and which appears for all the world terminally helpless to get itself off the mat. The once bountiful energy and winning culture has been obliterated. It is shot right through.

The Phillies can't and probably shouldn't blow up the roster and start from scratch. There are too many unmovable contracts for that to take place, and so there will still be recognizable parts for a few years - Rollins, Howard, Utley when he can actually play, Halliday, Ruiz, possibly Lee, probably Papelbon. As for the rest - this is a prime, prime opportunity to get a desperately needed influx of quality young players. The danger of the expanded playoffs is that it makes more and more teams think in the short term - which can be used to a greater advantage by teams that can bring themselves to think in the long term.

The Phillies have a golden opportunity to do the right thing, to recognize what is going on here rather than pretend that it is merely an off year and keep lagging ever forward with the same tired stock. They could make a bold move by cutting their losses and making a concerted effort to change the identity and atmosphere on this club as much as it can be changed. They can do what makes baseball sense, as has been the trend since Pat Gillick was brought on board (the Howard contract notwithstanding) or they can do what makes PR sense, homegrown-loyalty sense, in desperate hopes of keeping that sellout streak going. I see this as a vitally important crossroads and challenge for the organization to define its M.O. one way or the other right here and now.

In order to get enough quality players/prospects to change the direction of this franchise, they will need to and should part with Cole Hamels. Hamels is obviously an excellent commodity even to a retooling team, but I believe the sum of parts which could be had in exchange could very well be more valuable going forward. This team needs impact position players, and the farm isn't developing them. I would argue that they would be better off trying to trade Lee instead but obviously his value is way down right now. It comes down to what can make the most difference right now. This is the time of year when a team has the most leverage and stands to get the most in return on a trade, and Hamels is the key. If the Phillies can bring themselves to offer him, Victorino, and Pence, as well as lesser-valued pieces like Pierre, Mayberry, Blanton, Kendrick, Wigginton, and Polanco, they stand to position themselves for a resurgence in the near future. They could play out the string with these guys and still win about as many games the next two years, but if you're thinking beyond that, this is what the Phillies need to do right now. If they continue to push strictly for the win-now window, they risk total annhilation by mid-decade. They have been buyers for too many consecutive Julys without coming up with nearly enough prospects to compensate for their losses, and apparently came up short on their gamble that Domonic Brown was the future. Time to create a different one.

Ugh why can't I do math, 7.5/2 = 3.75 not 3.25. When will this blog join the 21st century and have editable comments? =)

When will this blog have a limit on the number of characters for a comment? Tired of having to scroll past these 10 paragraph diatribes.

Ryan Lawrence ‏@ryanlawrence21

RT @reluctantse: Looks like Victorino is ticked and that's why he's scratched. Walked into clubhouse, soon saw he was No. 7 in lineup

I am confounded as to why people wouldn't want to sell moderately high on Pence right now. Who even cares who replaces him? The question is, is this a guy who you think is going to be part of your next playoff team? I say no. Aim higher.

Johnny:Are you saying that starting every 5th day is using Kendrick too much? If you are then you muct be saying that he should be in the bullpen. I happen to agree with that. But he's sure as hell not a closer or set up man. He's basically a long man/6th starter type. He may pitch the 7th inning occasionally too. 7.5 million for 2 years is a sh!tload of money for that position.

johnnysanz3, KK's SO/9 is up (which is good), but his BB/9 is also up considerably, and for being a "groudball pitcher", his GB% of 42.4% is below league average, and below even his meager career GB% standards.

As such, his xFIP of 4.72 is the second worst of his career.

His ERA of 4.89 lines up quite nicely with that projection.

It's kind of nonsensical to talk about who should replace someone, when we have no idea who's available, what the budget is, whether he'd play for us, how we'd get him, etc. You can, however, make general observations about which players you do and don't believe should be part of the Phillies' future. When the choice is between re-upping on a 3-year deal to a declining player, or cutting ties and getting worse in the short term, sometimes you've got to choose the latter. It might make you worse at the position next year. But re-signing a declining player to a 3-year deal also carries a huge opportunity cost, in terms of blocking future avenues for improvement.

RE: Vic being ticked. Yeah, this clubhouse chemistry must be a rip-roaring good time these days.

Does it really matter who replaces those guys this yr? Nope I could care if they did the whole Lakewood squad. Cut the cords and retool. Get your big white board ready for nov. Bring up youngsters and see what you got.

I am surely in a substantial minority on this issue, but I see Pence as a guy the Phillies should be trying to lock up -- not a guy they should be trading away.

I think of Pence the same way I used to think of Jayson Werth. He can be absolutely maddening at times but, when the dust settles, he consistently puts up numbers which would be very hard to replace. And, unlike everyone else on our roster (and the vast majority of would-be replacements you'd find on the FA market), he's still under 30. If the Phillies bought out the last year of his arbitration, and signed him to maybe 3 more years after that, he'd be 33 in the final year of his contract.

b_a_p: I agree RE: Pence. Contrary to popular opinion, he is not an impatient hitter (still leads the team in P/PA), just one w/ very questionable judgment. Given that his struggles w/ RISP are an aberration, I'd guess that being forced into a role for which he was not suited (batting cleanup due to Howard's absence & Charlie's early reluctance to move Chooch up) threw him off. Pence's defense is still tough to stomach, but I don't feel it's worse than Brown's, & I'm almost certain Dom will never produce as well offensively as Pence, even if he does manage to stay on the field (a very debatable point in & of itself). Is Pence arb eligible this season? If so, I'd absolutely keep him for '13, & then decide during that season whether or not it's worth extending him longer term. At any rate, I would def. be saying "Aloha means Goodbye" to Vic, & holding on to Pence.

First time I'm actually sitting down to watch a Phillies game in some time. Should I be afraid?

Speaking of Sterling Joe Blanton and his free agency, what's the feeling over here on what his next contract might be? A month ago, I was thinking one year at 4 mil, maybe 4 mil including incentives is more like the best offer. Any guesses? Any 2 year thinkers?

Pence is a decent player I feel the reluctance to sign him is based on two things:

1. He'll be very expensive for what he brings to the table

2. He is a guy who relies almost exclusively on his natural athleticism to compensate for his lack of fundamentals, and if those things wane, his production could quickly decline.

If he costs something like 3-4 years at $15M a year, I'm not sure he'll live up to that contract.

Worley's looking really sharp.

I'm not *completely* surprised that the Phillies are having a bad season. I didn't think it would happen, but I certainly was aware of the possibility that things could go badly for this team.

What I was not expecting was just how bad the starting pitching on the team would be. I figured if we were losing, it would be because the starting pitching was only good, not great, and the offense was horrible. Instead, the offense has been good enough, while the pitching has been bad.

Fatalotti: Agreed. Which is why I'd commit to only 1 more season right now, then use the state of the club in general next season to determine whether or not it makes sense to go any further.

Worley starting this afternoon is a guaranteed loss. He utterly blows in day games.

This season should be illustrative of how weak our usual constructed narratives are.

Before this season, everyone thought the Phils just had some special intangibles, a great core of players, a certain mental toughness that teams like the Mets and Braves didn't have, and a manager that kept it all together. They won close games, came back in games and the season, etc.

No, what the Phillies had was more talent. Now that the talent isn't performing, suddenly the team is losing close games, the manager is an idiot, the team has no mental toughness, they've given up, etc.

When will people just give up with this narrative crap? Am I supposed to believe that suddenly in the course of 6 months the Phils became "soft" while the Mets and Braves suddenly grew magical intangibles?

Love Chooch but catching days in a row with 1oo degree temperature is insane. He will wear down.Too bad that Kratz guy is so terrible,if only Schneider wouldn't have got hurt. He could have saved CHooch's year.

One thing to consider about the off season/ next season: Utley is almost certainly going to opt for whatever risky surgery gives him a remote chance of playing better/ more often/ with less pain, even if it could make things worse or definitively finish him. This is two seasons in a row of basically the same situation, and the same declining performance once he's actually been on the field. I think by the end of this season he'll be sick of all that and try to gamble on some sort of procedure.

"Letting Chase loose" in this kind of season is what dumb teams do. Extremely high-risk. Extremely low reward.

Tyler Cloyd with 6 more shutout innings today, though he'll get a no-decision since he's out of the game & LV hasn't scored. He's now 8-1 with a 2.01 ERA at LV, after going 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA at Reading. His stuff is very ordinary, and I have no idea if he could succeed at the major league level, even as a back-end starter (for the record, I would bet against it). But, since the rest of the 2012 season is about planning for next year, it seems to me that the Phillies have a strong interest in finding out. On the other hand, I can think of absolutely no benefit in continuing to throw Blanton out there.

Vic scratched: Went into the clubhouse found out he was hitting 7th, went nuts and Cholly benched him, I'm told.

Don't know if true and we won't ever hear that if it is. Vis & Polly certainly will be moved. Hamels ext. announced when that happens.

Trust the gut.

I feel bad for being so mean to Pridie now.

Not really. But he has been decent.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Cloud presumably picks up the rest of Hamels' starts..

I can totally see Jason Pridie being this year's version of John Mayberry, Jr. -- i.e., an oldish career minor leaguer who never lived up to his status as a high draft pick; who suddenly starts hitting well in the 2nd half of the season; who gradually earns more playing time and continues hitting well; and who forces himself into the conversation for next year's starting OF options.

Of course, we know how that story ended with Mayberry.

Oh, hey, Rollins popped up. What do you know?

@JR: Maybe the fact that he has the next three days off (exhibition game not withstanding) has something to do with it? Also, he's on my fantasy team, so I'm OK with it :)

Dickie: I hope he's the only Phillie on your fantasy team.

Rollins is 3rd in all of baseball in Infield Fly %.

This should not be surprising to anyone.

Jack: I'm surprised there are two players ahead of him.

And, LV ends up losing the Tyler Cloyd game 1-0, as the offense goes 0 for 7 with RISP, and the bullpen comes in and blows the game in the 9th.

So, you see, we actually DO have guys at AAA who are ready to play for the Phillies.

@BAP: LOL...Yeah he's the only Phil on team, and I picked him up in May as a FA b/c McCann has been dreadful.

Put pridie out in cf. Platoon with Mayberry. Say goodbye to Vic. Jimmy and Vic showing no leadership or performance this year.

cloyd pitched an outstanding gm.. - no run support at all by LV..

Went into extra inn - BP gave up walk+sac+ single = 1-0 loss.. It was 1 of those 7inn ML DHeaders.

6 innings hits -3 BB- 2 (1 ibb) K-3 == ERA= 2.01

1.2 innings hits-2 bb- 1( scored) K-3

Any reason Blanton or KK should start again?- posT asb- - cloyd is the I.L. man

Vic scratched: Went into the clubhouse found out he was hitting 7th, went nuts and Cholly benched him, I'm told.


Yeah and this was reported 45 minutes before the game started in this thread. Unless- is Scott who posted it your mysterious source close to the team? Is he the one in the know?

Anyone thing Utley and Howard will ever be Utley and Howard again?

If DPatrone worked as the guy on the national news who projects election day results, he would be showing up right about now to project Obama as the winner -- of the 2008 election, that is.

BAP: But he was told that Vic freaked out. His inside source to the Phillies may be a time machine.

Or he is like George Costanza in that episode of Seinfeld where he just shows up to work after being fired and pretends it never happened. Maybe DPatrone just figures if he posts things and provides no context no one will know the stuff was already said.

Fargle Bargle.

L.A. is on a real tear bitching about the plate ump, but I don't agree. Worley's just not throwing strikes.

no accountability. manuel should pull pridie immediately

How many times this year have our opponents turned a routine single into a double?

Abridging BAP's post from yesterday for reference:

1. The beatdown loss
2. The “score early, then go to sleep” loss
3. The bullpen loss
4. The 1 for 11 with RISP loss
5. The “WTF is Cholly thinking” loss
6. The “This team has their heads up their ass” loss
7. The slugfest loss
8. The “This feels like a win” loss
9. The “This feels like a loss” loss
10. The “dramatic comeback, but not quite enough” loss
11. The drawn-out, extra inning, “everyone-pitches-except-Papelbon” loss
12. The ungodly hideous “this-is-not-our-year” loss
13. The deadly dull loss

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Saturday, July 07, 2012 at 10:07 PM

This is looking like another #13 so far, with elements of #2.

DH Phils: And #6.

I don't see how Victorino having a meltdown could possibly affect wether or not he plays. He's been seen to be cheerful in the past, and thus it is impossible that his state of mind can ever vary. That's some sort of "intangible narrative" which, I'm told, has absolutely no place in baseball.

although #6 is in play with the Vic late-scratch and the Pridie play.

i'm always amazed that the piece of crud Uggla only plays well against us...

either vic pulled out the pridie vodoo doll and slowed its legs or pridie's PED's ran out..

DH Phils: The good news is that, once you've fallen 14 games out of 1st, & 10 out in the WC race, it's fair to say that the angst-inducing portion of the season is probably over. From here on out, most losses will fall into category 13.

no accountability. manuel should pull pridie immediately

Posted by: kuvasz | Sunday, July 08, 2012 at 02:41 PM
i'd say keep him in

And pridie really doing a Vic of 2011 game.... Homer... double... and one bonehead play...

Braves broadcast just said "Shane who?"

Looks to be something more of the same, after he let Symmons take 2nd with a lazy throw.

Did like his tag up just now, at least someone is trying.

When Jason Pridie leads the Phillies to 6 straight NL East titles between 2013 and 2018, Shane Victorino's July 8, 2012 hissy fit will go down in history as the moment in time when the Phillies' turnaround began.

scary... but a headsup by Howard...

Glad the Phillies got the better of that play, but it drives me nuts when guys dive into 1B. Run through the bag, moron!

LGE. Nope, Pridie should have been pulled out of the game for lack of hustle or falling asleep in the field. Until the players realize that that each of them could be taken off the field for mental mistakes the lackidasical routine will remain. Again, this is typical of a Manuel managed team, no on-field accountablity.

This is a business and mental mistakes ought to be punished immediately.

The notion of Charlie Manuel punishing anyone for mental errors lacks credibility.

Freddie makes the play on Prado. Vic makes the play on McCann. Inning over.

Because the Phillies have so many problems right now, it has barely gotten any notice that Worley seems to be turning into precisely the kind of middling pitcher whom almost everyone imagined he would be, rather than the top-of-the-rotation starter whom he resembled for about the first 25 starts of his career.

Which is why the team is 14 games out, Gtown.



Wow. That was one helluva catch.

On Friday, let's find out how Rollins would react to hitting 7th.

wes: Yes, please!

Guess i was looking at the offense piece of it..
without looking at the offensive part of it....

Man, Lincecum is beyond belief AWFUL this season.

The comments to this entry are closed.

EST. 2005

Top Stories


Rotoworld News

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Facebook

Contact Weitzel