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Saturday, September 01, 2012


Kevin Frandsen, who is 30 years old, had an OPS+ of 70 in 186 major league games heading into this season.

In 30 games with the Phillies, he has an OPS+ of 125.

Which is the real Frandsen? On BL, it is the latter, of course.

I'm glad they're keeping Ruf at Reading, so he can be there for the all-important AA playoffs. I was starting to get a little worried that he might be called up, and we would see no more Mini-Mart starts in the OF.

1) I would like to see Tyson Gillies get a shot once the Reading season ends. He's already on the 40-man and has hit well in the lead-off role.

2) Why not Hamilton and Torii Hunter on the list of OF options?

I mean, why not list the 20 other options in OF too? Just throwing out names.

Clout: That's what Sept is going to be about. Find out a little more about , others. So far looks ok.

I am all in on MiniMart. I want him to play everyday to see if he can get his BA below the Martinez line.

Likelihood that Sandberg gets the bench coach job next year and Charlie is quietly informed that his contract won't be renewed?

If the Phillies go with Dom, Frandsen and a Nix/Mayberry platoon in starting roles for 2013, even if they also sign a Bourn/Hamilton type, they're basically saying "here, you win this division."

Clout,I know you are the resident skeptic (maybe realist). But it could well be that with Kratz and Frandsen you have two older guys who know time is running out and it's showtime--maybe they have matured. It does happen.

As for Kratz in some ways he is even more intriguing--he is younger than Ruiz.

RK - You don't understand the game. We all know that Frandsen and Kratz are not going to continue to hit at this level. Their numbers are simply unsustainable. So, Clout has to get out in front of this and build strawmen.

"EVERYONE" on BL believes that Kratz and Frandsen will be perennial all stars. "EVERYONE" on BL thinks Kratz and Frandsen will be perennial MVP candidates.

He builds these strawmen for two reasons. 1. To sap the joy we feel at these two kids having a great run in the major leagues after many years toiling in the minors. And 2. So when they inevitably fall back to earth, even a little, he can return to BL and say, "Hey EVERYONE ON BL, you moronic turds, I tried to tell you they wouldn't settle in at Ted Williams and Babe Ruth level. You are not even worthy to read my posts."

When the truth actually is that Kratz looks like a legitimate defensive catcher with some pop, who can turn around a fastball if he thinks it's coming. At worst he would be a good 50-60 game per season backup. Certainly better than what we've had backing up for a number of years now. And Frandsen, while not a power hitter, looks at least average defensively and he's not carrying a piano on his back like Polanco on the basepaths. They look like the kind of players who are good pieces if you want to concentrate on building your lineup around free agent outfielders in the offseason. And at worst, you have your backup catcher for a couple of years and a utility guy who can play anything in the infield but shortstop. But you ride the hot hand while it lasts. That's a realistic assessment. And to do it, I didn't even have to imply that everyone else is a horse's hind end.

AK, I agree that neither Frandsen nor Kratz will continue at their current pace for a full season. In fact, my assumption is that once everyone has seen them, the second time around they will take him down a notch but they are both pleasant surprises. Kratz is particularly intriguing because he has a powerful built and would complement Ruiz who needs rest regularly.

I do think that age a very important indicator especially amongst MLB players should not be held against minor leaguers who are often blocked from advancing and frankly as I pointed out in my last posting may take a longer time to grow up. It is also why and I know this is a separate issue I prefer drafting college players, simply because they are older.

Interesting note from Gelb's Inquirer column:

"Michael Schwimer (elbow) is not healthy enough to pitch at triple A, Amaro said. His season could be over ..."

Love that crack Phillies medical staff.

Then it sounds like Schwimer has a legit gripe.

Funny, I remember participating in a debate only a few days ago in which it was argued that, despite what Schwimer claimed, if the doctors examined him & determined him to be injury-free, then he was injury-free.

Schwimer still handled the whole thing kind of poorly but I'd say he has been pretty thoroughly vindicated in terms of the substance of his claim.

Sorry, JW, I have been informed that Schwimer is just a spoiled brat and a complete asshat for challenging his employer's medical staff. After all, I read BL.

Admittedly, Twitter is not the place to file your grievance. But who didn't see this development from ten miles away.

Schwimmer is an asshat for ripping his employer on the Internet, again. Not really surprising that the medical staff is incompetent, based on their track record.

Can't believe I keep misspelling his name. For that, I am an asshat.

Good story on Sandberg. I still have no idea why:

1. Dallas Green is seemingly given a roll in key organizational decisions
2. He is allowed to address the media on the record regarding key organizational decisions

Still kind of get the impression that they are the same kind of 'good ol' boy' FO the last few years including the hiring of guys like Looper and Proefrock and seemingly allowing Green to remain a key fixture of the FO & decision-making process.

You could even LaMar to that mix too. Proefrock, Looper, and LaMar were all added to the roster in Nov. 2008 right as Amaro took over and were Amaro hires.

Proefrock was LaMar's boy from their time in TB. LaMar was a guy who disagreed with Amaro, thought he would be able to get a better job or similar assistant GM position, and instead had to settle on 'Special Assistant for Amateur Scouting' with the Blue Jays which I am sure wasn't his first choice with a step down in responsibility and pay.

Thoughts on the ceiling for this team's win total? In the 2nd half, they've managed to go 13-12 against the Braves, Nats, D-Backs, Cardinals, Giants, and Reds. That includes the July sweep that ended up sending Vic, Pence, and Blanton out of town. With doormats like the Marlins, Astros, and Rockies on the schedule, I really think 86 wins is a possibility. Where do the rest of you guys stand on this?

13-12 is still only a teeny bit better than .500, and the Phillies for some reason frequently seem to play better against good teams than bad. They'd have to go 18-12 just to end at 81-81.

I don't see them going 23-7 no matter who they play in the next 30 games.

Previously, the Phillies have hesitated to make more than a couple September call ups, guised in the interest of "not disturbing team chemistry." That said, as we all know (well, all but TBag anyway....), this season is a lost cause. Why not pull the whole damn 40 man (minus the several injured bodies) in the dugout and let's REALLY experiment in advance of next season?

Ok, that's a bit extreme, but I don't see any harm at all in calling up all of DeFratus, Ruf, Gillies, and even Asche.

RK: There's a difference between Frandsen and Kratz. Frandsen has actually had lots of MLB ABs to show what he can do. Kratz, until this year, has not.

I think Frandsen is what his career numbers say he is, a below average but not terrible offensive player who is roughly league average defensively at 3 positions.

Kratz throughout his minor league career was considered a good field/no hit guy. But until this year that wsa never tested at the MLB level. I agree that his current offense is unsustainable, but he's shown enough power that you could live with him as backup even if he hits .238.

I agree w/ GBrettFan. Phils seem to play up or down to the level of their competition. I'm guessing they finish w/ a second half record around .500, & an overall record several games below.

Even if Kratz hits .238, he's a massive improvement over the dreck that's been the Phillies backup catcher recently.

aksmith: The change would have been vindicated by Kratz's arm alone. His bat is a bonus.

Kratz has the best throwing by a Phils' catcher in a long, long time. Probably the best since Steve Lake.

He isn't very good though at blocking pitches and is really stiff at blocking pitches in the dirt. Probably below average there. One thing that you realize just how good Chooch is at.

Keats was considered a no-hit guy in the minors? Hasn't NEPP been touting his minor league OPS since 2010?

MG: Lake had the better mustache, though.

Autocorrect, sigh.

John Keats would have made a pretty awful baseball player. What with the awful tuberculosis and all...

Frandsen,Kratz and Mayberry are AAAA players and backups only at the ML level. If you think any one of them can play everyday then you are crazy.
Schwimer and Rosenberg are not even borderline ML pitchers. This is not hard to figure out. Have to find a competent middle reliever.
Need a really good leadoff hitter and a good ML righthanded power bat.
Take care of that and we will contend. Not convinced the Nats are anything but a one hit wonder.

Today's Lineup: Rollins (SS), Pierre (LF), Utley (2B), Howard (1B), Mayberry (CF), Nix (RF), Frandsen (3B), Kratz (C), Lee (P).

Last night Franzke pointed out that the Phillies will be playing games at 6 different starting times during this 6 game road swing. Ridiculous.

Moondog in the house. And aside from likely being wrong about at least one of the three position players and Schwimer, he's right on target. Oh, and good luck on the leadoff hitter and righty power bat. JRoll is your leadoff hitter until Charlie retires, and who is this righty power bat they're going to get?

Pierre is still a Phillie? That's quite disappointing. Wigginton is still a Phillie? That's disappointing. Minimart? Not sure disappointing is the word I'm looking for.

"Kratz throughout his minor league career was considered a good field/no hit guy."

If so, then he was the world's first good field/no hit guy to have five straight AAA seasons of .800+ OPS.

MG: Gillick hired Lamar, in 2007, to be the Phillies' director of scouting. Lamar was promoted to Assistant GM in November, 2008, which was right around the time that Gillick was leaving & Amaro was taking over -- so I suspect Gillick was a major reason behind the promotion. November, 2008 was also when Looper was brought in, after 22 years with -- you guessed it -- the Mariners. So, again,it's sort of blurry whether Looper was a Gillick hire or an Amaro hire, but the move does seem to have Gillick's fingerprints all over it.

UBIK: Kratz "was considered a no-hit guy in the minors?"

Yes he was. Even his post-age-30 success in triple A has only raised his career average to .258.

Suggest you look at his stats:

aksmith: Which of the 3 position players Moondog mentioned do you think will be an everyday MLB player?

BAP: Apparently your computer won't let you go back further than 2008 on BB-Ref. Try clicking this:

Kratz has been in the minor leagues for 11 years.

BAP has been mesmerized forever by Kratz's .800+ OPS in AAA, but just yesterday he said Youkilis and his .830 OPS since he was traded is garbage because of his mediocre batting average.

Iceman: It's not uncommon for career minor leaguers like Kratz to suddenly start pounding Triple A pitching in their late 20s and 30s. But when he was a prospect, he was considered good field/no hit and that was borne out by his struggles in AA from age 25 through age 27.

clout: His recent stats are somewhat more relevant than his ones from 6 to 10 years ago, no?

Iceman: Considering that I was 100% right about Kratz, it's surprising that you're still viewing it as some sort of oddity.

And I didn't say Youkilis was "garbage." I said that, while he's good at drawing walks (and little else), I have no interest in signing an obviously-declining 34-year old to what will undoubtedly be an expensive 3-year contract.

And to augment my 3:48 post to clout, the reason that it's not uncommon for older guys to put up good numbers at AAA is because guys tend to improve into their late 20s and sometimes early 30s, and sometimes guys who weren't all that good when they were younger turn into pretty good players as they get older. If a 30-year old catcher is consistently posting .800 OPS seasons at AAA, it means that he's a better player than most AAA guys right now. Period. He may not qualify as a "prospect" (as that word is arbitrarily defined) but, chances are, he's a better player right now than most of the guys who DO qualify as prospects. And if he's a better player than they are right now, it also follows that he has a better chance of helping a major league team right now. Not 5 years down the road. But right now.

Cards/Nats on Fox - wow, so many empty seats.

BAP- the stats since the trade directly contradict the he can 'do little else.' He's got an .830 OPS, 124 OPS+ and is playing at a 600 AB pace. Whats the problem, he hits .250? With the power and OBP, I'll take that average.

Who would you rather have that Youk at 3rd? Maybe they could have Ruf take some grounders over there in September. You never know.

Ugh. Nix. Not gonna enjoy having to watch him for another full season.

Iceman: His numbers on the entire year are .240/.344/.427/.771. Last year, they were .258/.373/.459/.833. Before that, 3 straight years in the .900s.

He's still a good player, for sure. But he is 34, can't stay on the field, and is in rapid decline. I never claimed the Phillies can find a better 3rd baseman for 2013. I simply said that, on a team that's already shelling out huge money for at least 3 severely declining players (Howard, Rollins, Utley -- if not Lee & Halladay, as well), it would be foolish to make yet another expensive long-term commitment to a 34-year old who we know for an absolute fact is in steep decline. If he were willing to sign a one-year deal, that would be different. But there's simply no chance of that happening.

BAP: I think you and I are talking about two different things. When Kratz was a young player he wasn't considered much of a prospect because scouts didn't think he'd hit. His defense was his strength.

Now jump forward 8 years. He finally starts hitting, but long ago lost what "prospect" status he had. That keeps him stuck in the minors for another few years.

Thus, you are right that his recent Triple A accomplishments are more significant than his failures 8 or 9 years ago.

But I am right is saying that he was considered a good field/no hit prospect, to the extent that he was considered at all.

clout: Ok, fair enough. Right now, though, he's a pretty good hitter. Granted, he's not going to keep hitting .290. But I could see him hitting .250 with lots of doubles & homeruns -- which is still quite impressive for a backup catcher with an excellent throwing arm. In fact, he could start for a lot of teams with that profile.

J-Roll, team leader in HRs.

That's 16 HRs for Jimmy. Good chance he gets to 20.

Pretty good number for a guy people want to dump, and a guy MG called "primarily a singles hitter at this point."

BAP: Maybe. But I'm not ready to jump on that "everyday player" bandwagon given that he's had all of 93 ABs this season.

There goes Rollins, padding his stats again.


Iceman: MG is right. All power hitters are "primarily singles hitters" in the sense that they get more singles than HRs.

BAP- to be fair on Youkilis, he was playing hurt the first half of the year, and also in an atmosphere where he was disliked in his clubhouse and by his manager. I think what he's done since the trade is a fairer assessment of the player he is. But yes, he's not the .900 OPS player he was.

We're not talking about a 5 year massive deal here. If the price of filling the 3B void next year with the RH power bat you and everyone else are pining for is two extra years on a contract, on a team with a monstrous budget, I think it's money worth spending.

Oh yeah, I guess this is why we shouldn't have traded Lee. He's really good.

Clout - I wasn't picking out one of the three position players. I was saying that it's easy to simply say that none of them has the talent to be a regular. But the odds are that he's wrong about one of them.

The truth is that none of them will ever get the extended chance to be a regular because the moment they fail, they will be replaced. Mayberry is really only playing because they don't have anyone to replace him.

T--bag doing his time filling conversation with Mitchy Poo

On network Tv - then called by Mlb network guy-- Vanscersion. How embarrassing...

I missed the first hour. But I'm sure Jimmy only hit a home run so that he wouldn't have to run hard.

Kidding, obviously.

JRoll is now on pace for 20 HRs, 37 doubles, and 6 triples.

Been surprised by the HRs and double totals. Figured he would be 12-14 HRs this year with a doubles total in the very low 30s.

Just vintage Utley right there. Driving the ball deep into the gap. Same thing he did with Carpenter in the 9th of Game 5 last year, just got under it a bit.

Really good to see him still swinging like this in September (though in fairness, he took the first three months off).

TMac is so more enjoyable to listen to with Williams. Almost a keep lack of fake/forced laughter by TMac and much more concentration/focus on what is actually going on in the game. Actually some brief bits of dead air on the broadcast which never happens with Sarge.

Prefer 'National Broadcast' Tmac who is somewhat lobotomized and generally focuses on the game.

Nice AB by Lee

Great AB by Lee. That should be Hudson's last AB.

Williams actually provide useful pitching insights/commentary. Like 'Bizarro Phillies' broadcast where the color man actually ads useful commentary about what just happened/why something happened.

Hudson hates seeing the Phillies.

He's almost the anti-Tim Redding.

Time to blow this one open.

Day Hamels tomorrow, but this has the old-school feel of a 2010/2011 "Don't mind us while we shove our three aces up your rear end" series sweeps.

Halladay didn't exactly pitch like an ace, last night.

But I kinda see your point.

To me it has the feel of a Atlanta team, who doesn't play well against the Phillies in September and is fighting the stigma of folding up like a cheap suit again in 2012.

Got 2 runs but missed a real chance to put the game out of reach there.

Lee though has been locked in. It would be great if the Phils could get a CG out of him today to give the bullpen a day off after a bunch of relievers got used yesterday.

Mitch Williams is doing the commentary? I muted the volume before I even realized that, turned on the radio. Darn. I like Mitch's commentary.

Braves could catch up quickly. If Lee continues to have the one bad inning, and this is it, Charlie needs to monitor closely before it's a 1-run or tied game.

Williams uses some cliches and make overly obvious generalizations.

Still a notable upgrade over Wheels and Sarge.

Here comes the inevitable grand slam.

Oh boy -- great situation


whew. thought that was bound to be McCann's 3rd GS against us...

Ok, good. Pretty much every game this year, Lee seems to implode right around this time of the game. Hopefully that qualified as today's implosion.

"Hudson hates seeing the Phillies."

Hudson ERA vs. league/vs. Phils

Career: 3.41/3.76

2012: 3.57/4.24
2011: 3.22/3.33
2010: 2.83/3.79
2009: 3.61/3.86 (only 1 start)

I was surprised by this, because I thought it was a foolish statement. And it still sort of is, because it's not like they kill him. But consistently a bit better than the rest of the league. He's just a really good pitcher, and has been for a while.

Eskin on channel 29...


Nice job by Lee to keep the Braves in check. I, too, feared the worst.

Phils have the 6th best record in NL sine AB. Big deal.

MG- guess T Bag forgot he is not on Channel 17 & he doesn't need to provided useless tidbits of phillies filler information...

I know the odds and everything, but I still can't help but aniously looking at the other games' scores to see how the standings are unfolding. Maybe it is an August habit.
Even so, I enjoy every baby step we take up the ladder.

corn- you're not alone. I'm following the Nats/Cards game pretty closely.

T-bag is much better on Fox. He might be better at speaking to a national audience I guess. But I really think it's that Phillies broadcasts are just over stuffed with junk. Too many promos, fan shots, non baseball related BS. I'd rather they fire the producers than the broadcasters at this point and I'm no fan of the broadcasters.

gobaystars - Good point. There is a minimal amount of misc. non-baseball stuff in the Fox broadcast. Phils' broadcast by contrast have something at least 1 thing an inning.

can: Judging by Beerleaguer, there only seem to be about 8 or 10 of us who are crazy enough to be wasting our Saturday afternoon watching a team who is 6 games under .500 and 8 games out of the 2nd Wild Card spot on September 1. And if you are crazy enough to be wasting wasting your Saturday afternoon watching a team who is 6 games under .500 and 8 games out of the 2nd Wild Card spot on September 1, then you are crazy enough to be checking in on the scores of the Cardinals, Pirates, and Dodgers games too. And, by the way, the Nats just tied up the game with the Cards.

Really surprised Lee is being PH for here with nobody on base.

Oh boy dipping in our effective BP

Wait, is Lee hurt? Why did he get yanked? And why is Rosenberg on the team, let alone in the game?

This five run lead just got a lot more precarious.

Lee can't be happy about seeing Rosenburg on the mound - and there is a HR. Why does Cholly keeping walking him out there????

Unbelievable. Get this piece of sh*t out of the game before the lead is gone.

Lee sees Rosenberg. Weeps.

Iceman-- as you said --precarious

Oh brother. Why did Cholly take Lee out? And, of all people to replace him, why did he choose this stiff?

DFA this guy already. PLEASE.

bap: Nats are leading.

Many of us who follow the Phils outside the Delaware Valley don't have the option of watching the game today. MLB wants us to watch college football or leave the house or something.

I'm crazy enough to have the Phils on TV, the Nats on my PC, and the other game updates on my phone.

I'm also crazy enough to think about getting some late season tickets soon when the price is still low on StubHub. If we make a legitimate run, they'll start flying at ridiculous prices again. And if they don't it will still be some nice September ball.

2 outs, nobody on. Lee gets lifted for PH at 93 pitches and having cruised in the bottom of the 7th.

Then Rosenberg (by far the worst reliever on the team) comes out.

Don't understand Cholly's thought process in regards to pitching decisions. If today was the day you try to push Lee deep into a game, this was it to spare the bullpen too.

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