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Monday, September 10, 2012


It took half of forever to get Charlie to play Kratz, and you're sorta supposed to rest your 30something catcher at least once in a while, so no Ruf tonight.*

*Guaranteeing him an AB around the fifth inning.

I like the nickname his Reading teammates gave him: Babe Ruf


Ed Wade must have AOL searched the reverse splits on LeBlanc and passed the info along to Cholly.

Or maybe they don't want the kid's first glimpse of the show to be facing a slop pitcher. Can't be good for a power guy.

Not sure why you don't give Howard the night off after playing 2 yesterday and his troubles with junk pitchers.

And it goes without saying that Mini Mart in the lineup means that Cholly isn't subscribing to the "we still have a chance" meme.

Charlie "likes to play the hot hand"? Has there been anyone hotter than Ruf?

Now, I'm not saying that Ruf should start tonight, but this Charlie playing the hot hand stuff has been shoved down our throats for 5 years now. It's BS.

@JW: "Ruf told me in April that he felt he needed to have a great year just to stay in professional baseball."

I suppose it goes without saying that you responded by asking him to look at the career arc of Michael Martinez?

They need to play Ruf in order to find out what they have. Sitting him on the bench and pinch-hitting is going to tell them nothing at all.

I'm as curious about Ruf as the next guy, but realistically, Isn't there greater urgency to see what Brown and Schierholtz and Mayberry and Nix can do over these last 22 days?

Cyclic posted possible scenarios for the Phils to make the playoffs in the last thread. Thanks for posting that, by the way. It sort of made me feel more optimistic, believe it or not. As improbable as it is, there is still a chance. If they play well and win games it's not out of the realm of possibilities.

At least there's meaningful baseball to watch in mid-September for the 6th year in a row!

It's a shame that Schwimer was optioned before he had a chance to reunite with LeBlanc. I loved those guys in Friends.

JW, I really do think that you don't want Ruf's first AB's to be against a slop thrower with reverse splits, too.

Wait, Charlie has actually SAID he plays the hot hand? And people believe it?

Bull. I've never seen anyone trot more players out there who were sucking wind but were gritty veterans so Charlie WOULDN'T sit them. Ever. Remember the "Brad's my guy," meme?

JW: I agree with your 3:25.

If nothing else, they need to win games. You know what you're getting with Brown, Scheirholtz, Mayberry and Nix and can plan match-ups accordingly. Ruf is a complete unknown at this point and experimenting with him, should he falter, could be the difference in making the playoffs or not.

Tough spot for Charlie, for sure.

They do not need to find out what Darin Ruf is, thats what his first season in AAA will be for next year.

Right now he's just another RH bat available on the bench.

After that horrendous June, meaningful baseball right now is all I could have hoped for.

My only thought now is, if it comes down to Game 162 (or 163), I don't want to see Papelbon make an appearance.

Cart, horse, yeah yeah.

Let's see, a 26 year old who never hits for power and then suddenly balls are flying out - hm, can anybody spell PED?

Of course Charlie likes to play the hot hand, that's why Mini-Mart gets so much playing time.

"Hahaha. There's no room in the bullpen for another LHP."

No, there really isn't Ice.

You want an entire bullpen of lefty's?

Bastardo, Horst and Diekman are enough, as I see it. Will likely only have 2 in the pen next year anyway.

If you sign a 8th inning guy (which I think the Phils will) Bastardo likely becomes more of a lefty specialist anyway. So there is certainly no room (or money) to go after some retread slop-throwing lefty anyway.

One thing to remember about not starting Ruf tonight...Ruiz would be basically the only healthy RH hitter on the bench, if Ruf was starting at 1B. As completely unbalanced as the L/R hitters are on this team right now, you have to have at least the threat of more then 1 RH hitter on the pine for late-inning situations. Ruf becomes that guy now tonight.

Isn't there greater urgency to see what Brown and Schierholtz and Mayberry and Nix can do over these last 22 days?

Like, um, don't forget Wiggy and, um, Mini-Mart, too.

JMJ: You think PEDs are why a 26 year old is suddenly showing power? On the contrary, many players see a power arc that peaks around age 27.

I mean, I suppose he could be cheating, anyone could, but minor league baseball also has tougher drug testing.

Willard Preacher: that made me laugh out loud

Darin Ruf should be used in low leverage pinch hit opportunities initially. Towards the end of the season, when the Phillies are officially out of it, give him a couple of spot starts at 1B. There is NO reason to see him in LF given his lack of work there.

Dude's head is huge, does give me some thoughts of Barry Bonds, I just heard Ruf uses the same trainer as Galvis.

JMJ: I don't know about PED, but I can see LIBEL where I see it.

RBill: The "hot hand" thing was a tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic joke about Wiggy getting the start in LF. Which, needless to say, I'm not a fan of.

First things first, we need to win games. That's why I'm in the lineup.

I'm as curious about Ruf as the next guy, but realistically, Isn't there greater urgency to see what Brown and Schierholtz and Mayberry and Nix can do over these last 22 days?

Brown should play so we can see what he can do. Mayberry has to play CF for lack of alternatives. As for the remaining OF slot, why not platoon Schierholtz and Ruf?

There is NO reason to see [Ruf] in LF given his lack of work there.

He's played 29 games in LF this year with no errors and 3 assists. It won't be poetry in motion, but he'll survive out there in the occasional start.

Ruf can't be worse than Wiggy out there, can he? No.

Re: MiniMartb being a hot hand. I do wish him well, but I see it this way: Even a mannequin could be propped up at the plate with a bat on its shoulder and it would hit 1 in 100 times simply because the breeze would connect the bat to the ball.

I'm not saying go crazy with Ruf, either (good idea keeping him out of the starting lineup against a junkballing LHP with reverse splits), just that Wiggy should not play LF. I'd rather see Pierre out there.

I'd rather see an inanimate carbon rod out there.

Stat of the day - Wigginton is 1.8 wins below replacement level this year according to Baseball Reference.

"Isn't there greater urgency to see what Brown and Schierholtz and Mayberry and Nix can do over these last 22 days?"

I'm not feeling a great deal of urgency to see the utterly wretched Nate Schierholtz in the lineup. Nor, for that matter, do I feel any urgency to see Dom. I've already seen 408 PAs from him. If I never see a 409th, I won't count it as any great loss.

I hadn't realized how wretched Dom's been this year. An 81 wRC+ out of a corner OF spot just won't cut it.

Sil: The "hot hand" has been attributed to Charlie long before your tongue-in-cheek post today. My post really had more to do with Charlie being touted as a guy to ride the hot hand, but never really does. Hence, we shouldn't be surprised that Ruf didn't get the start tonight. (Again, to be clear, I'm not necessarily saying that Ruf should get the start tonight)

I never thought I'd say this, but the Phillies really need to give Pete Orr a start.

Why does Brown have a 25% LD rate and a .284 BAbip?

Two words, just for the hell of it: Jose Bautista. And because scouts are so infallible.

BAP: "Nor, for that matter, do I feel any urgency to see Dom. I've already seen 408 PAs from him. If I never see a 409th, I won't count it as any great loss."

But if DOM was in Clearwater hitting 30 HR at the very same age he is now, BAP would be in a frenzy trying to tell us how age doesn't matter, bring him up!!

From JW's Task List:

Find someone to take shot of Ruf's headshot at CBP tonight. Replace Bruntlett rainout image.

Sophist: Because every time I listen on the radio, I hear, "Brown hits a line drive... caught by the [insert infielder here]." Kind of uncanny.

Schierholtz isn't wretched - he's your classic second-division starter, a guy whose defense is good enough in RF to make his mediocre bat playable. He'd have a role on most teams, though he's superfluous on the bench with Laynce Nix around.

I have to think that Dom's various injuries are the reason for his struggles. His power has been MIA since spring 2011, when he had surgery on his hamate bone. I still think you have to play him this month because he's the most talented guy in that OF group, but his window of opportunity is closing fast.

lorecore, are you implying that we ought to be excited about Brown right now?

And if so, upon what is this based?

Yeah, Brown has a 7-year minor league career, hitting .296/.373/.461 with 283 HR. Unless they're trading him the guy needs tons of PA.

Fatal: I'm implying/bring to light the stupidity of BAP's viewpoint that +25yr olds who mash in the minors need to be given shots in the bigs, but when a 22yr old mashes in the minors and then struggles in the majors his first 400 PA, he's no longer worth playing.

No doubt, keep giving him PAs, but color me completely and utterly underwhelmed by what he's done so far.

I know that we can not draw conclusions based upon what he's done in only 408 PAs, but just because you can't draw definitive conclusions doesn't mean that 408 PAs can't be indicative of something true.

Brown, for whatever reason, has not flashed any power, and mediocre to poor on-base skills in his time in the minors. Sure, he may turn it around, but I'm not afraid to admit that I'm getting a little worried.

"time in the majors"

UC should make MM crowd the plate, so he can get on base more often. And by crowd the plate I mean stand on top of it.

We've seen quite a bit of what Mayberry has to offer. Nix...yeah, he was hurt, but you kind of have an idea (and he's got an MLB track record) of what he can do at this point. Scheirholtz and Brown are another matter.

I think it's more a matter of, do we need to see more of Ty Wigginton in LF to know he is wretched in the field and at the plate (last game notwithstanding?) If you're going to use a RHB anyway, why not try Ruf?

Schierholtz* I keep misspelling his name. Ugh.

I like how BAP has these iron-clad notions of players that have no basis in fact. Schierholtz is not 'utterly wretched.' And he's done with Brown after 400 major-league ABs. He wonders why some have a hard time taking him seriously sometimes.

dennyb- I think their should be two lefties in the pen. Bastardo is obviously one. I'm not comfortable with the only other candidates going into ST being Horst and Diekman.

Like I said, you take Horst and Diekman, and I'll take a generic 're-tread' LHP, and we'll see who ends up with better numbers next year.

I think it's funny that people think we need to see what Schierholtz has.

He has 1,365 PA at the ML level, and he's been in the league for 8 years. You know exactly what you have with him. If he didn't play the rest of the year, we wouldn't have any less muddy of an OF picture going into 2013.

JW: 3:25 post is right on. The Phillies have to see what they have with the guys that will undoubtedly be in the outfield mix next year. If Ruf would happen to make the show next year it would be as a bat off the bench and that you can find out by having him make some pinch hitting appearances the rest of the way.

BAP: Ridiculous that you want to throw someone under the bus after 408 PA.

denny: I think with Diekman (a guy with good stuff but wonky command), Horst (a guy who is clearly on a hot streak), and Bastardo (great stuff but has been hit or miss for a year now) you had better be sure to be bringing in a veteran lefty to fight for a spot in the pen.

You guys are hot and cold over all over the place. I recall when Ruf was for sure "organization filler" and not too long ago at that. Dom well, his popularity on this site is like a roller coaster ata five flags site. I bet if the Phils miraculously catch up and get in you will all be ready to call CM a genius and forget about the miraculous aspect.
Ruf should get some regular at bats at Howard's expense. I sure don't want him stumbling in some unchartered outfields and blow it and become a filler all over again.
As for Dom he seems to do pretty well once he is in the lineup for sure and regularly and not taken out for some BS or just so we can have Martinez out there to make CM and RAJ happy.
In fact in my opinion nothing proves the folly of Philly management more than Matinez on this squad.

Are Brown's OBP skills mediocre? I mean, his BA is low, but he draws his fair share of BB for a 23-24 year old. Just some comparisons: Ethier walked 34 times in his first 441 PA as a 24-year-old; Headley walked 32 times in his first 389 PA as a 23-year-old. Brown is 36/338.

Not a stellar rate but promising of someone with potential to be better than average OBP.

I liked what Brown was showing at the plate when the Phils first brought him up. Patient at-bats, working the count, making the pitcher throw pitches. Yes, he's had numerous health issues, the latest of which might be sapping both speed and power. I just don't much understand how playing banged up can alter your approach at the plate.

During his latest "slump," which was attributed by some (including the broadcast crew) to the injury, he's had much poorer at-bats. Should not your approach be the same whether you are hurt or not? I can see a power hitter who's lost power due to injury changing his hitting style to compensate, but Brown isn't that guy - never has been.

Wigginton in LF and Mini Mart at 3B again. Ugh.

6 Rollins
8 Mayberry
4 Utley
3 Howard
7 Wigginton
9 Brown
2 Kratz
5 Mini Mart

I'm sorry but that isn't a lineup that any playoff contender/team fears in the least.

Domonic Brown
Born: September 3, 1987 (Age 25)
MiLB HRs: 58

Yes, we need to see what we have with these guys, but as long as we have a snowball's chance of getting a WC slot, we need to keep fielding the team that offers us the best chance to win NOW.
After we are eliminated, then we can experiment all we want.

Sophist: Of course you meant 283 RBI, not HR, for Brown in his ML career. He had 58 HR in 1989 minor league ABs, one every 34 ABs.

When it came to Brown's power, it was generally considered potential power based on his swing, his approach and his body filling out.

Back in there at third bitches! Watch me rip the cover off the ball on scorching line drives 30-40 feet from the plate!

Pretty weird to think that if they do manage by some miracle to get in the playoffs, the best lineup they can/would field looks like this (against RHP):

Ruiz (I'm assuming he'd get the playoff starts)

I don't even want to post the lineup vs. LHP, because it would look about as ugly as the one they have tonight.

Travel back in time to March and tell me if you would have thought that lineup would have a snowball's chance in hell of finishing .500, let alone storming the league with a playoff charge in September.

Fatal: "No doubt, keep giving him PAs, but color me completely and utterly underwhelmed by what he's done so far."

That is exactly how everyone should feel - disappointed, but patient.

I am more frustrated with all the little injuries that he's constantly getting, that worries me a lot. Even when he's struggling, i still can see the potential. Excellent patience at plate, good contact skills, uses the whole field.

Thats why i think he deserves more time, not just because scouts dubbed him a top prospect.

Phillies are 11-2 when Michael Martinez is in the starting lineup since his recall in August.

Sounds like a winning combination to me!

As for the Cardinals, tonight is the type of game they need to lose every single time for the Phils to get back in it.

Garcia is on the hill with a 7.76 ERA in his last 5 road starts against a pretty hot Padres team. The Padres are sending a guy (Stults) to the mound who has a 1.66 ERA in his last six starts.

This looks like the one sure 'loss' of the series, and the Phillies need to really hope it happens.

KAS and anonymous - Yeah, that was scribal error. The age thing was not an error, though. Brown turned 25 on 9/3 so 2011 and 2012 were/are his age 23-24 for purposes of comparison.

iceman: I'd go vs RHP:


vs LHP:

whoever, they all suck.

Sophist: Yeah, here's a Brown vs. Ruf comparison...

Age 23 season

Brown at AAA and the majors
384 PAs, 322 ABs, 8 HR

Ruf at Low A and High A
547 PAs, 483 ABs, 9 HR

So, yeah... little early to be giving up on Brown while also clamoring to get Ruf in LF.

What kind of value does a guy who can't be on the postseason roster really have? And it's not like you're shedding a bunch of salary if you get rid of Pierre.

R Bill says at 3:21:

---"Now, I'm not saying that Ruf should start tonight, but this Charlie playing the hot hand stuff has been shoved down our throats for 5 years now. It's BS."---

Yeah, well I'll take the BS since over those 5 years we've had multiple division crowns, 2 pennants and a WFC.

Yo, new thread

Domonic Brown scribblings:

1. He has been below replacement level for his entire MLB career and significantly so.

2. The only clearly identifiable skill he has shown thus far is plate discipline but it is not translating into OBP.

3. There seems to be some confusion over his age. He turned 25 one week ago.

4. His defense seems better of late. He appears more comfortable in the field.

5. Opinion: he is the latest in a long line of AAAA players. I hope I am wrong.

39 homers is 39 homers.. lets see if he can hit some major league pitching before we judge any further.. Maybe, he is a platoon player for us going forward.. Playing a combo of 1st and left when lefties are on the mound might be a good thing for us.. No one thought Kratz was any good either..

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