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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Comments

Victorino should make the Wall of Fame someday.

I will miss Victorino. Great Phillie. Sad he went to the Dodgers. I always loved it when they booed him.

I think, on Pence, they rightly realized that 2011 was a career year and that he wasn't likely to repeat that level of performance. Add in his cost and mediocre to sometimes terrible defense and it was an easy decision to cut bait on him.

agreed with all this though I think they will be absolutely fine without Pence's offensive production. The original trade to get him was bad but keeping him for the remainder of his contract would have been worse.

Hopefully with the rest of this season, they can get a handle on what Brown / Utley / Howard / bullpen will give them in '13 and go from there.

Also - anybody know when Galvis gets back?

Looking forward to giving Shane a standing o in 2018 for the inevitable 10th anniversary reunion of the WFCs.

The question on Domonator is will he be able to maintain his 443 OPS+ that he has so far.

Seriously though, he's completely revamped his swing and those that haven't been following him in Lehigh got to see that last night. Much more compact, no long looping approach and this should greatly reduce that ability for pitchers to bust him in with fastballs like they did last year. Last year, as a rookie, he posted a 97 OPS+. That's pretty solid. He could be a solid piece going forward.

Another guy to watch is Michael Schwimer. He could be pitching his way into a solid bullpen role for the rest of this year and for 2013. He's been very solid since he came back up to the Majors on 1 June. Some guys, especially relievers, take a couple of times before they feel comfortable at the MLB level. He's a compltely changed guy from the stick of butter that he was before. He's also on top of his fastball now and his slider has more bite.

Since June 1st: 20.1 IP, 21 SO, 8 BB, .203 BAA, .630 OPS against, 2.21 ERA.

His ceiling is middle reliever but he's been a solid one for 2 months now.

"Comcast SportsNet has been running his highlights all morning and it’s the one time I wish we had video rights."

I haven't been around as much this season (for obvious reasons), but is Beerleaguer no longer affiliated with CSN?

I think dumping Pence sends a clear message that something dramatic will happen over the winter. That and the salary dump to avoid the luxury tax signify that a lot of money will be spent. We can only hope it is spent wisely. I think this all points to the Phillies renewed commitment to remaining ultra competitive.

I/we had video rights. Yes, still owned by CSN. But we don't have digital video rights for baseball, just NBA and NHL.

I'm scared and somewhat excited in that I think they'll make a big run at Josh Hamilton.

Josh is a great player...if you accept that you wont get more than 120-130 GS from him every year. There's also the huge question of how he'll hold up in his Age 32 season and beyond. Huge, huge risk to sign him...he's also another LHB. His platoon split is fairly significant (.806 vs LHP, .962 vs RHP) as is his Home/Road splits (Texas is a pretty friendly hitters park).

Another issue with Hamilton is that he's basically a LF at this point in his career. He cant really handle CF anymore. Putting him in LF permanently means you have to juggle the other two spots and/or accept either Dom Brown or Mayberry as the everyday CF with Schierholtz/Nix splitting time in RF...Mayberry is the only RH bat in that bunch so it becomes even more problematic as there arent any obvious platoons. They'd defintely have to move someone to make it all work...likely Nix I would think.

Somewhat off topic: It is amazing how bad the Gnats attendance continues to be. There had to be 50% Phillies fans there last night. And the stadium was practically empty. In a couple of years those young stars are going to need to get paid. I don't see any way they can continue to spend with that little support. And if they won't support that group of players in THIS season when they are playing extremely well, when will they support them? Same thing for the Braves. They finally have a very good shot at the division and a great shot at at least making the postseason and they still can't draw flies. This is a tremendous competitive advantage for the Phillies. Fish are the same way. No support. Only the Muts have an actual fanbase in our division. Just hope the Wilpon's never sell.

I'm really hoping that instead of spending a ton of money, Rube puts on his trade hat and swindles a team or two in the offseason.

We've seen his free agent routine. And it's ugly. He overspends and gives too many years. To everyone.

I'd much rather he made a solid pickup or two in free agency, such as he did with Pierre and Thome this season, and leave the big spending/disappointing results to other GMs. If he can pick up a guy like Schoop or similar in the offseason, then do it. He needs a little redundancy at shortstop until the A ball guys surface in about three or four years. And maybe he can even get Vic back on a reasonable two year contract after the season. (Again, I think this is more likely than some other posters do. I doubt he gets anything as good as the 3/30 he turned down before the season.)

And do not empty the farm for Headley. He is not the game changer people seem to think he is. Nice ballplayer and if you can get him on a reasonable deal, fine. But no more overpays due to panic.

Hamilton is precisely the kind of player that I don't think Rube will ever go after. Rube's idea of risk is tacking on extra years to a contract. Hamilton may be the riskiest free agent ever. I believe whoever signs him, will regret it fairly quickly.

***And do not empty the farm for Headley. He is not the game changer people seem to think he is. Nice ballplayer and if you can get him on a reasonable deal, fine. But no more overpays due to panic.

***

Yeah, I pretty much laid out all the reasons that Headley was a bad idea last night in the game thread. If you're looking for a David Bell type talent, he's your guy but you dont pay through the teeth for it. (We'd be paying David Wright type prices for him...just stupid considering how thin our farm is).

Smitty: I don't see how Rube can swindle anyone. Even after all the wheeling and dealing yesterday we have precious little anyone would want in a trade.

***Hamilton may be the riskiest free agent ever. I believe whoever signs him, will regret it fairly quickly.***

Rube needs offense and he's by far the biggest bat available.


Another completely off the wall idea would be to target Mike Napoli and then move Chooch to 3B. Chooch is pretty athletic and he has played 3B before in his life...maybe he could handle such a move.

And I share the feeling of of others that Hamilton is not a Rube guy. I don't like him even a little bit. No way I want an adult who needs a babysitter 24 hours a day to keep the needle out of his arm.

I'd maybe sign him to a contract saying he had to pay me back every penny I'd ever paid him if he ever uses an illegal drug or takes a drink.

When I did my psych training as a resident, I spent some time at a big time rehab hospital. Met a lot of celebrities there. Lots and lots of ballplayers. And the one lesson I learned is that if you're an addict, money and family and even life itself is secondary to the drugs.

If you take any cocaine addict and lock him in a room with cocaine, and tell him that if he doesn't use it in 24 hours, he'll get a million dollars, the drug will be gone every time.

Good points, Weitzel, especially on Victorino's legacy in Philly.

The loudest message I heard in the Pence trade was that, "if we're going to pay $15,000,000 next year for a slugger, we want to get a better package than him." I liked Pence but, the holes in his game are glaring. There may not be a $15M guy out there but, the flexibility that move gives them should help round out the lineup and roster.

Jason: Ah ok. I see what you're saying. Yeah, MLB.com has the digital video rights on lockdown.

I don't doubt that Ruiz would do a passable job fielding at 3d. Certainly knows a little about keeping his body in front of the ball. But, I am not optimistic that our best option is a 34 year old converted catcher whose previous career high in homers is 9. His value is at catcher.

Napoli is also a RHB that could allow our Manager (whoever that may be in 2013) rest Howard against some LHP as he can play 1B too.

That's all dependent on a Chooch position switch obviously and that's a long-shot. Still, with the lack of 3B options out there, its something to consider.

Donc - Rube had no leverage in any of those deals yesterday. In the offseason, that probably will not be the case. It'll be more about talent evaluation. Hopefully, he can find someone to do that.

And I've been advocating picking up a catcher to pair with someone like Kratz and move Chooch at least part time to third base. He hasn't really played there before, except for a couple of innings in an emergency. But he was a second baseman as a kid. if he can handle that, his career will be prolonged and he won't need as many days off in the coming years.

Napoli would be fine. But he may be pretty expensive. And if the Phillies put together any wins down the stretch, they might actually move out of the top ten picks and lose a first.

I do wonder about Chooch and 3B. His bat has advanced to the point where the Phillies almost need to find ways to get him into the lineup 150+ games a year, like the Twins do with Mauer and the Giants do with Posey, playing them at first on their off days.

I'll make the least bold prediction in the history of Beerleaguer: one of Nix and Schierholtz won't be here next year. Two more redundant players have never shared the same roster for a full season.

***But, I am not optimistic that our best option is a 34 year old converted catcher whose previous career high in homers is 9. His value is at catcher.***

I'm just trying to be creative. Even with the HRs, Chooch would be a superior bat to any other option at 3B right now. He was a .793 OPS hitter from 2009-2011 before his monster year this year.

***one of Nix and Schierholtz won't be here next year. Two more redundant players have never shared the same roster for a full season.***

Nix is gonna be flipped for something in the off-season I bet. Schierholtz is by far the superior defender.

My prediction - one of Nix, Schierholz and Pierre will be a Cincinnati Red before Labor Day.

I would be totally down with trying Chooch at 3rd. Any move that gets Erik Kratz's bat into the lineup is a move that I favor.

I'll make the least bold prediction in the history of Beerleaguer: one of Nix and Schierholtz won't be here next year. Two more redundant players have never shared the same roster for a full season.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Wednesday, August 01, 2012 at 11:44 AM

This is why I'm shocked they didn't move Pierre. I don't know how many left-handed corner-only outfielders a team should have at a time, but the answer is certainly less than 4.

***This is why I'm shocked they didn't move Pierre. I don't know how many left-handed corner-only outfielders a team should have at a time, but the answer is certainly less than 4.***

Maybe they're hoping he can teach our team to bunt.

I love the idea of giving Ruiz a little time at 3B purely as an experiment. Now that the team is in 'f(*& it' mode, I don't see why Ruiz shouldn't take a few innings here and there at 3B to see what happens. The 9th inning last night would have been the perfect time, with an 8-run lead and two catchers on the bench. I like the fact that they retained Kratz with Schneider returning, and wonder if that might not make such an experiment a little easier.

Nix being moved is one of the more underrated ideas since he'd pass waivers.

Here's an example of Domonic Brown not being able to hit Justin Verlander's inside fastball with that big loopy swing of his.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiA2kQf6vXs&list=UUnSiAWLRgqUYDoRfq-eWjMA&index=6&feature=plcp
As Keith Law of ESPN said, "Some genius sent him to the Dominican League to change his swing." He batted .346 in 2010 AAA. Swing change broke hand costing Dom his rookie year.

NEPP: Schierholtz is undoubtedly the superior defender. Nix, however, is the superior hitter against RHP. That is somewhat offset by the fact that he's uteterly disgracefuly against LHP (as we saw last night), whereas Schierholtz can hold his own. But if you're considering the guy for a platoon or a LH bench bat, I'd probably rather have Nix.

Its not without precedent to move a good hitting catcher...we've seen Mauer do it, Biggio do it, Werth started out catching, etc etc etc.

The only drawback is that Chooch is also one of the best defensive catchers in the game so you lose quite a bit without him behind the plate.

Chooch to 3B is crazy. Better chance of Rollins/Galvis being the left side of the infield in '13 than that. I'd rather see Galvis at SS as it maximizes their defense, but who knows if Rollins would do it.

There's a better chance of a $20M a year contract to Greinke than Chooch moving to 3rd base.

If we're moving someone, why not Rollins and find a SS until Galvis is ready?

Schierholtz is the guy I'd keep between the two based on the defense and the fact that he can still hit RHP quite well and historically has hit LHP at an minimum acceptable level unlike Nix.

Galvis doesnt hit at a high enough level..we need to add offense. He might be Omar Vizquel defensively but we dont need another blackhole in the lineup.

On the Ruiz conversion, I'll say that I don't think he has yet established himself as conversion-worthy after 3 solid seasons and 2/3s of an MVP season. His reputation as a defensive player still stands. If he keeps up all this offensive production, though, it seems like a conversion is inevitable.

"I don't know how many left-handed corner-only outfielders a team should have at a time, but the answer is certainly less than 4."

This is a team that went through much of this season with an all left-handed bench. RAJ loves versatility if it means the ability to play 6 positions poorly. But he doesn't seem the least bit concerned about the versatility of the bench as a whole.

***If we're moving someone, why not Rollins and find a SS until Galvis is ready?***

I did mention that as a possibility last night too...the only problem with that is that there arent any good offensive SS available either. You're looking at guys like Stephen Drew and hoping they find their bat again.

NEPP - To third though? at his age? Maybe I could see LF or 1B but third seems really optimistic.

2011 was not a career year for pence in fact it was almost average for him

On Vic: He definitely had many great moments for us. It's one of those times when the stats don't tell the full story. Mayberry is a step down from him at the moment but if he can find his 2011 self again he won't be.

On Pence: I would have liked to keep him, but he was just too expensive. We all hope Brown can fill the void in the offense and if he can't then there is Nix.

On the rest of 2012: I can see us breaking out of the cellar and possibly taking 3rd. They can be at .500 for the season if they go 35-24 for the remainder. (.593) That's totally do-able with our rotation and a return to health in the infield.

On 2013: The key was staying under the tax, which RAJ believes he has done. Now he only really needs to fill the bench and bullpen, but I am hoping he buys out Polly and upgrades 3B and buys out Wiggy and Contreras. Use some of that savings to pick up Chooch's 5mil option. That leaves about $40mil or so to fill 7-8 spots (the whole bench, 3B, some relievers and maybe a #5 starter).

There's a better chance of a $20M a year contract to Greinke than Chooch moving to 3rd base.

If we're moving someone, why not Rollins and find a SS until Galvis is ready?

Posted by: Kendrick Appreciation Society | Wednesday, August 01, 2012 at 11:51 AM

I think the plan is predicated either on Ruiz becoming too old to catch (which should come up in a few years) while wanting to retain his offense OR on opening up the catcher spot for an offensive producer (Mike Napoli? Erik Kratz?) more than it is about filling the 3B hole, from my perspective at least.

It's time to find a manager who will tell Rollins, you are not batting lead off and you are moving to 3B and then move Galvis to SS. Galvis is a below average offensive player, but the salary savings would allow them to get the best offensive FA, whoever that may be. We would have a great defensive left side and Rollins would actually be one of the best offensive 3B in baseball.

I hear you on leverage Smitty. I don't think the take from yesterday's moves was too bad. At that point, unless you have multiple teams after the same player, you're basically a guy with a tin cup in his hand. My point is that we don't have prospects to trade for anything more than other speculative prospects. People mention trading Worley on here all the time and i agree he is someone that could fetch you something, but he's also precisely the low cost kind of option that the Phillies need with a bunch of 15 million+ kinds of players.

Also, I'm all for moving Nix, although I don't have a sense of whether or not he'd clear wavers. I tend to think so, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was some fringe contender that wants a lefty 5th OF.

***2011 was not a career year for pence in fact it was almost average for him***

Which of the following stands out to you?

2008: 105 OPS+
2009: 116 OPS+
2010: 112 OPS+
2011: 139 OPS+
2012: 109 OPS+


Those are his full seasons in the Majors...does 2011 look just slightly above his other years?

Chooch to third would not be a fulltime move. He could catch part time and play third the rest of the time. Anything to take the wear and tear off his body.

He could probably catch 70 games a year and play third for another 80, if he can handle the position. I'm betting he'd be better than a lot of the slop they've put out there this season.

"2011 was not a career year for pence in fact it was almost average for him."

Huh?

***To third though? at his age? Maybe I could see LF or 1B but third seems really optimistic.***

Like I said, longshot at best. 1B would make sense in that he could start against LHPs there to rest Howard who is hopeless against them. The problem with that is you're essentially replacing Howard with whoever the backup catcher is and the only real offensive candidate is Napoli who would make more sense to just have him play 1B...However, you dont sign a guy like Napoli unless you use him as a full time starter which would necessitate moving Choosh to another position.

Right, sorry, don't get me wrong: the Ruiz at 3B thing is a complete longshot. But the team is in longshot mode, so why not try it? Ruiz still has yet to record a chance in two innings at the position, although he did go flying over the tarp after that foul ball when Wilson Valdez was on the mound.

Still amazes me though they are soured so quickly on Pence last then a year after they acquired him.

Oh well. Root for Brown to hit well, play passable defense, and lock down one of the 2 OF spots next year.

aksmith- so even if they have the money to make big signings, you want them to go value village and make some trades with assets they don't have? That's your big plan?

One of the biggest issues I see going forward is swapping out our Manager with a guy more comfortable with managing a roster creatively. UC simply isnt that guy. He likes having guys in assigned roles and never deviating from that. That's not a good situation for a lineup where the manager will have to mix and match in the bullpen, outfield and infield due to aging players, platoon splits etc. We've seen how poorly he's done at it this year with the injuries and the bullpen.

Its time for UC to retire.

Do kind of wonder how Vic will be remembered in a decade or so. Probably more fondly than today as a guy who was a key contributor to their run beginning in '07 and generally underappreciated athlete in Philly.

Arguably their best triples hitter ever and one of the few 5-tool players they ever had.

I like the Chooch to third idea, so they could get Napoli. I also would like to see them move Utley to left. (Preserve the knee's a little longer, and fill one outfield hole.) Glavis could play second.

Why not move Schierhotz to 3B? Great defender with great arm? I might be a fan of the trade in that case. Or Mayberry? Or Both?

Even if Schierholtz is underrated, why in the world did Phillies (who are stuck with Nix) get him? No other team is going trade anything good for either of these guys.

MG - re; souring, they probably watched the games.

Big Bats Available via FA:

Josh Hamilton: Long term concerns, $$ issues, drugs
Michael Bourn: cost issues, speed declining
Melky Cabrera: attitude, paying for career year
Mike Napoli: Plays position covered by two major cogs in Chooch & Howard


There isnt exactly alot of offense available that suits us.

***Even if Schierholtz is underrated, why in the world did Phillies (who are stuck with Nix) get him? ***

Two possibilities stick out to me (one realistic and one wacky)

1. The Giants insisted on it to even out the salary cost and because he was the odd man out with Pence incoming

2. Rube misread "RF" as "RHB"

The former is more likely to me.

Phx: Schierholtz was actually drafted as a 3rd baseman. From his stat line, it looks like he made about a zillion errors -- which is probably why he now plays RF.

To be clear... Carlos Ruiz has played 3B for a total of 2 emergency innings (0 chances) in his entire 12 year professional career.

What, exactly, makes anyone believe there is even the most remote chance of this happening?

Not to mention how much Chooch means to our pitching staff (just ask them).

We're really grasping at straws here. This team is not in that desperate of shape.

Honestly, the '13 plan comes down to what Brown shows you these last 2 months. His development is paramount. He's got to prove he can live up to his (previously) stellar reputation. If he shows he can be a middle of the order guy, you're ahead of the game.

And if he can play CF, you've got much more flexibility in what kind of big bat you get and stick in a corner outfield spot.

If he bumbles along or turns out to be an average guy, you've got way more problems and '13 could be just as ugly as '12.

***What, exactly, makes anyone believe there is even the most remote chance of this happening?***

which is why it was prefaced with the phrase "extreme longshot off the wall idea"


Also, there is precedent for it...Craig Biggio never played 2B until he was a full-time starter there in his 4th MLB season.

Here's my question: Can this team succeed with a league average offense? If so, how big of a move do we need to make in the off-season. We are a league average offense this year despite the injuries.

***Can this team succeed with a league average offense***

If Halladay, Hamels and Lee all stay healthy and Halladay is still a #1 level guy...probably.

It would be nice to build some insurance into the roster in the case of one of those mid-30s starters goes down, we dont end up with a .450% again (something we're below right now actually)

@Akssmith

1) The Polanco contract, given the FA market for 3B at the time, is actually a very good contract and signing (read my last post about it)
2) Other contracts no one mentions as good ones by Amaro: Victorino for 3 years, 20 million, Carlos Ruiz for 3 years, 8.4 million, with a $5 million option for 2013, Ryan Madson for 3 years, 12 million, Jayson Werth to 2 years, 10 million,
3) Let's look at who he gave up in trades, shall we? For the Cliff Lee/Francisco deal, Jason Knapp (the centerpiece!) has had 2 shoulder surgeries and hasn't pitched since 2010, Lou Marson is a backup catcher who can't hit, Jason Donald has become a utility infielder with no pop, Carlos Carrasco is a middle of the rotation guy who's had Tommy John Surgery in 2011 before pitching 35 games in the majors (at age 24 no less). At least Phillipe Aumont is putting up encouraging numbers as a reliever in AAA, as is Gillies in AA (OPS .805 at Reading). Ramirez has been a disaster in AAA but at least he's playing for the organization, unlike Carrasco and Knapp. Certainly looks like Amaro is gonna wind up getting more back from trading Lee in winter 2009 than he gave up getting him in July 2009, doesn't it?
4) The Halladay Trade, now here it looks like Amaro gave up a lot. D'Arnaud has been lighting up AA and AAA (OPS over .900 from the C spot), Michael Taylor is now riding the bench in OAK though his AAA numbers have been high in the hitter friendly PCL (will need to see how he does starting), and Kyle Drabek has had Tommy John surgery at age 24. Not a recipe for long term health. Seems like the big loss here is D'Arnaud, but we got a hall of fame pitcher out of it. Good deal.
5) The Oswalt trade: Happ's been a disaster (and he was the centerpiece), now he's a bottom of the rotation starter. Anthony Gose may be the biggest loss, but he's a strikeout machine and projects as more of a 4th outfielder. The last piece, Jonathan Villar, is still in AA and still looks like a no hit utility infielder if he ever breaks into the majors. Didn't exactly give up much for an ace pitcher who had an ERA under 3.00 for 1.5 seasons, did he?
6) And, finally, The Pence Trade. Which seems to be the only trade you could legitimately complain about. Because yes, Singleton looks like a really good hitter. BUT, and this is a big but, he's also a 1B, not an OF! The guy is 6'2" and 235 pounds. Howard, by comparison, is 6'4" 240. So this guy is another Ryan Howard in body type (and likely fielding skill). You really think a guy like this is going to be an effective LF? He's blocked by Howard at 1B. No way you're gonna keep him because you have Howard. So he's exactly the kind of player you develop, then trade at the deadline to improve your MLB team. Cosart's been putting up decent numbers but hasn't been lights out in the minors (and has been lit up in 2 starts in AAA). Josh Zeid has fallen apart in AA and AAA for Houston. So the big loss is Singleton. Whom you can't really keep because you got Howard at 1B for the next 4 years.

NEPP: Biggio was in only his third season (age 25) when they first had him play a few games at 2nd. Chooch will be in his 8th season at age 34. The cases are wildly different and there's a reason why there are so few cases of a catcher moving to an infield position.

I'm excited to watch Dom Brown the rest of the season. Hopefully, he can hold off the injuries.

KAS: we were sorta league average, and then we traded away 2 former all-star outfielders and our former 3rd baseman had to be put down. So. . . a couple?

Bedrosian's Beard: Agree 100%. That's where my excitement lies for the rest of this season!

Pence had 3 straight years of 25 home runs from 2008-2010
with 83 RBI in '08
72 RBI in '09
And 91 RBI in '10
He has a career batting average of .290
Not to mention he struck out more times in 2011 than he has his whole career

Godfather - Nice recap. Forget Santana in the Pence trade but yeah Amaro has tended to not given that much up considering how many trades he has made.

Gose/Villar was probably the centerpieces but it was still a good trade overall.

Amaro's made 2 terrible trades: First Lee trade, Pence trade.

He has also made some really good ones including: Halladay trade, first Lee trade.

Godfather: you forgot Domingo Santana.

Jason Knapp has enrolled at U.Penn.

Phils can succeed with a league average offense if the starting pitching is as good next year as it was in '11. That's a big 'if though.'

Jayra breaks out the counting stats. . . . . must be new.

Jayra: Duck!!!

Jbird: Our 3B position has an OPS of .602 this season. CF and RF are .738 and .775 respectively. If Brown can match Pence's production from this year, it shouldn't be impossible to match the combined performance of our 3B and CF positions for the year.

***Pence had 3 straight years of 25 home runs from 2008-2010
with 83 RBI in '08
72 RBI in '09
And 91 RBI in '10
He has a career batting average of .290
Not to mention he struck out more times in 2011 than he has his whole career

***

And if this were 1985, people here would take those statistics seriously as a good way to compare those seasons.

Dont forget that d'Arnaud had season ending elbow (I think it was elbow) surgery last month.

Re; Juan Pierre. I recall listening to Matt Kemp in a July interview where he said that the person who taught him the most about being a professional baseball player was.....Juan Pierre. It might be that the organization wants to use Pierre as a stable mate for Dom Brown. If you could match Brown's 5-tool talent with the baseball head of Pierre, you got something special.

Ok I guess production doesn't matter when talking about consistent players you're right sorry

KAS: so 1. you agree it's "a couple". And 2. are you saying we ought to only acquire enough talent so as to re-create the production of the 2012 Phillies? Because, that's not working out so well this year.

Donc said:
"Somewhat off topic: It is amazing how bad the Gnats attendance continues to be. There had to be 50% Phillies fans there last night."

I know someone in the DC area who had tickets and couldn't go to the game. He said he couldn't give the tickets away. For Strasburg and Lee? Holy cow. I would have been all over watching that.

With RAJ's adapt-on-the-fly strategy to being a buyer/seller based on single divisional series, I don't hold out much hope that there is, indeed, a "plan." I do think he's waiting out the rest of the season (while patting himself on the back for getting below the tax threshold), and he'll cross the 2013 bridge when he gets to it.

That said, I don't know that I'm in love with a plan that hinges on a player or two, in the prime/twilight of their careers, switching to new positions (JRoll, Chooch).

I still think you see a Nix and maybe Blanton trade this season to land something of use to plug the hole at 3B and OF.

Otherwise, I wouldn't rule out the contingency being Polly right back at 3B and maybe even Pierre back in LF. If there's one thing RAJ loves, it's the vet players he can trust....

If Polly comes back at 3B, I'm boycotting.

You want a stealth CF signing?

Angel Pagan. Switch hitter, OPS at .730-740, plays a good CF though not as good as Vic. And he'd be much, much cheaper than Vic, Bourn, or Cabrera.

Phils have to see how Brown and Schierholtz do this year. If Brown steps up, you've got a good CF so you can focus on the corners. Besides the other CFs out there, you have Ross, Hamilton, Young, and Swisher. That's 8 OFs to choose from to fill what will likely be 1 open spot for 2013.

Here's the kicker, you want to address the 3B, there really isn't anyone better than Polanco. Just check this list (http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/04/2013-mlb-free-agents.html). Everyone else is older, and/or a worse hitter. Wright won't be available because NY is gonna exercise his option. That's why Headley's asking price is through the roof from SDP: they know no one is out there. Lack of supply means a huge price.

Better they take Polly's option, sign a utility infielder who can back him up, and wait for 2014. At least you've got Martin Prado and Wilson Betemit available then (both of whom are better than anyone on the 2013 list), perhaps even Wright if things fall through with New York.

"Can this team succeed with a league average offense?"

They did in 2011.

The offense, as currently constituted, will be below average in 2013. Help needs to be brought in to even make it average.

Does Angel Pagan have the best name in baseball right now? I say yes, with extra points being awarded for the fact that it is his given name and not a nickname.

I agree they need to play Dom in CF and see if that's the position he's most comfortable in. Then you go after an easier to acquire corner OF bat.

I hope they're not blowing smoke about playing him at all 3 positions.

***They did in 2011. ***

So as long as we have historically great pitching like you get once in a decade or so, we'll be fine.

Angel Pagan? Isn't that an oxymoron?

*** Then you go after an easier to acquire corner OF bat.***

Difficulty: There arent really any good corner OF bats available either...at least ones that aren't Josh Hamilton.

re: 3b- I'm getting a crew together to drive down to Frisco, TX and kidnap Mike Olt. I'm borrowing my mom's mini-van. Anyone else in?

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EST. 2005

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