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Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Nice Pantera reference. Thats the name of my fantasy football team.

Pantera referencing The Exorcist.

Did Darin Ruf fashion his own bat out of a tree limb felled in a lightning storm?

JW basically nailed his Ruf prediction, close enough. That HR was pretty beastly.

Ruf actually fashioned his bat from the mast of a sunken viking ship.

I heard that when Darin Ruf ran out to left a rattlesnake bit him. After a few hours of searing pain and misery, the rattlesnake died.

The batboy's role in the Ruf Silent Treatment scene is classic! Best team effort by the boys all season.....

Hopefully Ruf is able to maintain his curren OPS+ of 242. If he does that, our offense should be solid next year.

Darin Ruf has toppled the Most Interesting Man in the World from his perch as the Most Interesting Man in the World.

On the 8th day god made ruf.

Wasn't he just an organizational filler? It's amazing what an at bat can do.

Oh lighten up and have fun, RK. Enjoy the ride, however short!

Remember the Kratzenjammer era? Those 3 weeks were a blast. Now we all know that Kratz is a solid backup catcher, with some very good catching skills, some not so very good catching skills and the ability to make a mistake travel a long distance.

Never saw the exorcist. thanks for the info JW

Meanwhile, I'm giving the coverage of Ruf's dugout silent treatment an actual silent treatment.

He's got a pretty swing.

The more you watch that HR the more impressive it is. Ruf took a pretty decent pitch (up & in on his hands), & made it look like total crap.

So this should earn him 2 or 3 more ABs before the end of the season, right?

I dunno ... It's hard to keep a powerhouse like Wiggy out of the lineup.

I think Ruf has reached a new level...of confidence...and power.

With that homerun, he's a 50-50 bet to start over Wigginton tonight. As for starting over Pierre against RHP . . . forget it.

HR clinched that Ruf starts the rest of the way vs LHP the rest of the way which means 2 more starts this series.

Cholly seemed really upbeat/positive discussing Ruf in the postgame show last night. I only wish that Cholly the last few years would have been less reluctant at times to continuing going with the 'proven MLB veteran' regardless of how decrepit/lacking in production over alternatives.

I'm sort-of excited for April 2013, when BAP's head explodes on the revelation that the Phillies plan to go into the season with the all-LH corner outfield quartet of Brown, Pierre, Nix, and Schierholtz.

MG: " I only wish that Cholly the last few years would have been less reluctant at times to continuing going with the 'proven MLB veteran' regardless of how decrepit/lacking in production over alternatives."

Please elaborate. I'll shoot down the Mayberry over Ibanez talk up front, since Mayberry played plenty after his call up in the 2nd half.

DH Phils: It would take far less than that for my head to explode. Just Nate Schierholtz's return would probably be enough in itself.

Schierholtz will be moved or non-tendered. Similar animal to Ben Francisco.

lorecore: You weren't around for the days when Cholly was platooning Utley and Polanco (with David Bell playing 3rd base when Utley sat)? Or for the days of the Ryan Howard-Tomas Perez platoons? Come to think of it, maybe we should go back to those days. A Ryan Howard-Tomas Perez platoon would actually be an upgrade.

Have to take a more detailed look but the FA class is deepest in the OF this year especially CF.

Not many candidates for the Phils to do their trick of 'converted veteran starter into a reliever.' I am intrigued with the possibility of converting Dice-K into a reliever. Otherwise not really someone on on that list.

JW - Yeah. With Nix already under contract, it makes Schierholtz kind of redundant. If they want a LH bat off the bench though to PH and be a late-innings defensive replacement who can play LF/RF, Schierholtz is the better fit next year.

MG: Intriguing in theory, but in a practical sense I don't like the idea of messing w/ Dice-K. Comes off as a bit high strung, very set in his ways, & probably wouldn't be worth the hassle.

BAP: No I dont remember that... but i do rememver Larry Bowa doing it.

Utley was platooned by Larry Bowa, and rightfully so. His track record was being a poor fielder and poor against LHP. He overcome both eventually, right around when Charlie Manuel started playing him everyday.

Howard's first year under Manuel he replaced an injured Jim Thome and played everyday, and mashed.

I think Nix's power is a more useful bench tool than Schierholtz's glove.

There's no way they bring back Juan Pierre, right? It would make less than zero sense, but it wouldn't be the first time the Phillies did something that made less than zero sense.

With Nix already under contract ...

One of r00b's greatest weaknesses has been his willingness to grant multi-year deals. Leads to a reluctance to part ways which absolutely should not be a factor.

Good piece from Cameron but this section is especially relevant for Amaro:

"The top end of this year’s free agent class is extraordinarily weak, and with the recent trend of long term extensions from even small-to-mid-revenue franchises, there is some thought that this is the start of an annual trend. If lower revenue clubs are not continually replenishing the free agent market by developing stars they can’t afford to keep, we may very well be in for off-seasons like this one where money is flowing into the game but there aren’t any obvious candidates to throw a lot of money at. And, in that scenario, the evaluate-and-let-the-market-dictate-price strategy would be nothing short of a total disaster.

If we actually do see this shift occur, with prices in free agency rising in response to additional revenues but weaker crops of talent actually making it to free agency in the first place, then being the high bidder on the biggest names each winter could very well turn out even worse than it has in the past, and large free agent contracts already have a mediocre track record to begin with. Finding value in an inflationary environment isn’t easy, but more and more, it’s looking like it may be necessary, especially if the market value and actual value of a player continue to diverge."

Being the highest bidder on the biggest names increasingly might even more more risk-prone and lead to failure? Not good news for Amaro.

GTown: I agree with you in general, but I think they should keep Nix anyway, and I think his contract is pretty good value ($1.25M annually).

Nix actually has terrible PH numbers while Schierholtz is solid. Nix can't hit power pitchers either and is a complete zero vs LHP pitchers.

Schierholtz is the better bench player. Nix is the better option to start occasionally vs RHP.

MG: You may be right. Nix's PH numbers are worse than I thought.

It wouldn't surprise me in the least though if they non-tender Schierholtz, keep Nix, and yet try to keep Pierre.

Keeping Pierre though is only something they do if they don't sign another corner OF. Mayberry & Brown are the only real locks for the OF next year. Even Nix might get moved.

DH Phils/MG: I suppose it comes down to which role one believes is most likely to be available. If it's PH/Defensive Replacement, I'd take Schierholtz. But if it's a case where a corner OF misses an extended amount of time, I'd rather have Nix be the interim "everyday guy". Ideally the Phillies would be able to find a single player better suited to fill either role, but I'm guessing they'll simply pick from what they've already got.

MG said 'during the last few years' Manuel has been reluctant to play blossoming younger guys and then BAP uses something that Bowa did more than a few years ago as an example. That got a hearty laugh out of me.

Still waiting to hear about these dynamic young players Manuel has refused to play the last few years that have cost the team dearly.

If they sign a free agent CF, they'll have Mayberry in a corner. So basically one weak spot defensively, probably Brown. That's fine. If it gets to be an issue, they'll grab an all glove outfielder somewhere for late innings. Or hope Mini Mart can become Bruntlett.

Maybe we shouldn't have non-tendered Mike Trout or Bryce Harper...that was silly of us.

***Or hope Mini Mart can become Bruntlett.***

Its pretty sad that that would be an upgrade.

lore: There were quite a few games where Howard sat and guys like Tomas Perez or Jose Offerman or Ramon Martinez started at 1st base. I remember it all too vividly.

Not for keeping Pierre either. He's had a really nice year for the Phils & been a very pleasant surprise.

I really wanted them to keep Podsednik. He's had an 'okay' year and given the Red Sox what I thought he would give the Phils:

.309/.327/.362 (.688 OPS) with 1 HR with 8 SB/2 CS in 188 ABs

Pierre has had the better year:

.313/.356/.379 (.735 OPS) with 1 HR with 35 SB/7 CS in 425 ABs

I have a pretty strong feeling though that Pierre %LD will dip again next year (24.5% this year which is a career best) and with it his BABIP of .331.

If you revert his BABIP back to what it was in '10-'11, it means Pierre is at .280 or so and his OBP dips back to .330. Looks a lot less impressive with a line of .280/.330/.360 considering he only can play LF & has a rag arm. That's not a guy the Phils should pay $2M or so.

Even this year, Kratz sat and Cholly continued to give ABs to Schneider. Ruf sat while Wigginton started vs LHP.

If you do think Cholly has a very strong preference for established veterans over other options (minor league callups/rookies), you haven't watched him manage this team the past several years.

The very fact that we are debating which player to keep from a group comprised of Dom, Schierholtz, Pierre, and Nix is proof alone that the Phillies have succeeded in lowering the expectations and standards held by their fans.

BAP - Why? Every time has players like them in the OF mix. Actually not a bad group to compromise 1 starting spot & 2 bench spots.

They will sign a FA CF option who should give them an upgrade.

"Or hope Mini Mart can become Bruntlett." -JW

Almost barfed my breakfast. That is definitely a stomach turner concept in the worst way.

Probably the least consequential position on the roster - fifth outfielder / defensive caddy. How quickly we forget So Taguchi and Eric Bruntlett.

The "least consequential position on the roster" sure does manage to get an awful lot of playing time when Charlie's the manager.

Depends on the season and roster. Taguchi logged a whole 25 plate appearances in July and August of '08. Different this season since it's the most platoonable roster of the Manuel era.

MG: "Actually not a bad group to compromise 1 starting spot & 2 bench spots."

Really? You think there's a starting corner outfielder among that group? I certainly don't. I do think Pierre will get a starting gig somewhere, based on his strong 2012 season. But it won't likely be with any team that fancies itself a contender. The other 3 are platoon players, who are all duplicative of each other. Only 1 should be on the roster next year. By process of elimination, I would probably vote for Nix.

Media rant: Was just driving between appointments and kept hearing the WIP Update noting Ruf's HR in his, "first major league at bat." I read the same thing on one of the more common sports websites earlier this morning as ewll.

can_of_corn: I'm consistently surprised by how lazy sports reporting tends to be. Not just radio, either, but national outlets (such as ESPN & Fox Sports). It's as if no one does any research, let alone fact-checking. Just hear something -- "CBP is a bandbox!"; "Ruf hit a HR in his first MLB AB!" -- & repeat it. If these so-called "experts" came on Beerleaguer w/ that weak-ass sh*t they'd be shredded, & rightfully so.

Different this season since it's the most platoonable roster of the Manuel era.

Def. true about this season, but I was thinking specifically of Bruntlett, who appeared regularly & in key moments throughout the '08 WFC run, & beyond. Unfortunately I can easily imagine Charlie utilizing Martinez in much the same manner.

By process of elimination, I would probably vote for Nix.

As would I, albeit extremely reluctantly. So now that we're all agreed I expect Pierre's 3-year contract extension will be announced momentarily.

GTown-Yep. It also applies to knowing and pronouncing players' names.

One of my pet peeves--heard commonly from talk show hosts-is "RYAN Sandberg." These folks are clamoring for the guy to be next year's manager and don't even know his name.

And there are still those who choose to call him Roy "Holliday"(as in Matt Holliday, above)

If Pierre could play all three OF slots, I'd keep him as a bench guy. He can only play LF, so if he's not starting next year (which he shouldn't be), they need to let him go.

If they think Ruf's a contributor, they can non-tender Schierholtz and save themselves about $1.8M in arbitration. He's redundant if we sign a CF, play a Mayberry/Nix platoon in LF, and keep Ruf on the roster.

Assuming Utley at 3B and Galvis at 2B, that gives us an all-RH bench when Nix starts:

OF/1B Mayberry
1B/LF Ruf
C Kratz
INF Frandsen
(open slot)

Ideally you'd add a utility infielder who bats lefty or switch-hits. Adam Kennedy would be a good fit, or they could bring back Mike Fontenot if he's still taking RAJ's calls. Failing that, we're probably back to one of our veteran AAA guys, Pete Orr or Tug Hulett. Ugh.

my OF would be:

DOM in LF, FA CF, Nix/Mayberry platoon.

tom: Ruf hasn't played in AAA yet, your penciling him in for the MLB bench already?

can_of_corn: Multisyllabic names are simply too much for ex-jocks & the latest generation of broadcast journalism school grads to handle.

corn: I actually am the opposite, I constantly say Jrue and Matt Halladay.

***Ruf hasn't played in AAA yet, your penciling him in for the MLB bench already?***

AAA is a waste of time for elite prospects.

AAA is a waste of time for elite prospects.

I guess that explains why Dom keeps on ending up back there.

MG- you just gave two very limited examples from this year (Ruf has been on the roster a month, and there was very little time that both Kratz and Schneider were on the roster) and still claim Manuel has buried young, promising guys on the bench for the last few years. Again, in respect to 2009/2010/2011, what are you talking about?

"Just hear something -- "CBP is a bandbox!"; "Ruf hit a HR in his first MLB AB!" -- & repeat it."

Papelbon doesn't do as well without the adrenaline of a save situation.

lorecore - I did say "if they think Ruf's a contributor" (meaning a contributor next year, not long-term). Fair point, though. We'll know more after the season and the winter league, where Ruf will play LF every day. If Ruf's not at least platooning in Philly, he should go to AAA and start every day in the outfield.

If Ruf's in AAA, you keep Schierholtz, which balances the lefty/righty situation on the bench a lot better. Schierholtz has been a good pinch-hitter in his career (.308/.350/.423 in 143 PA), which is another plus.

I would trade Schierholtz for a middle inf scrub that can play SS so Galvis can stay in the minors, and obviously be better than Martinez which I guess could go without mentioning.

Between Martinez, Orr & Galvis I'd say the Phillies already have more INF scrubs than they can handle. It would be just like them to pick up another, though. Probably a LH batter, too.

At any rate it's all a pipe dream, as r00b & Charlie love Galvis so damn much there's practically no chance he goes back to the Minors.

Does anybody know if there are plans to send Galvis to play winterball? Thanks.

"Just hear something -- "CBP is a bandbox!"; "Ruf hit a HR in his first MLB AB!" -- & repeat it."

Papelbon doesn't do as well without the adrenaline of a save situation.

As Jimmy goes, so go the Phils. They win 60-odd% of the time he scores a run.

When I emailed DNL about their use of this meme and suggested looking at any player's Winning% when they score a run (I even suggested Pedro Feliz), I didn't get a reply. It would be too much thinking and/or work.

wes: Most recent I could find, but still a month old --

"I think the plan is I'm going to play around Sept. 15 or something like that, then stay in the Instructional League to get at-bats and then go to Venezuela for winter ball," Galvis said.

Galvis Working To Get Back To Normal

I love the column header, by the way. It conjures up images of Freddy battling feverishly to get that BA back in the .220-.230 range upon which we've come to depend.

Edmundo: Phillies have never lost a game in which Ruf scored a run.

GTown: Don't forget, that .220-.230 range was aided by PEDs.

The Phillies are right where they ought to be.

clout: If there are but two things I never forget, let them be the Maine, & the fact that the assistance of PEDs was required for Freddy Galivs to reach the lofty heights of a .226 BA.

Speaking of the Phillies lowering expectations, I have to believe that the constant daily shock of Micheal Martinez's presence on an MLB roster is the ONLY reason that someone would be okay writing a post purposefully slotting in Freddy Galvis as a regular starter.

I wonder if the Phils would take a chance on Yunel Escobar to play second. There's no question he'd provide more offense (pun intended, but the idea is serious) than Galvis.

Would it be bad form to hope Freddy's time in Venezuela finds him succumbing to the urge to attack someone w/ a machete &/or fire, then to be sentenced to a lengthy prison term?

After July 2 of 2005, Martinez made about 8 starts at 1B. Howard made about 80.

clout, I pronounce you ready to take over Barkann's seat.

Gtown: yeah i get what you're saying but backup middle inf is a pretty basic piece on the 25 man roster.

Release Martinez, Orr to AAA(or release too), Galvis starts SS at AAA, acquire an MLB utility inf who can play SS.

I really don't know how to search for this type of player, i guess just browse teams who have arb-eligible backup SS that could use a arb eligible backup OF instead. Or just nontender Schierholtz and use that money to get some garbage like Yunesky Betancourt.

Yes...I'd rather have Yunesky Betancourt than Michael Martinez.

the fact that the assistance of PEDs was required for Freddy Galivs to reach the lofty heights of a .226 BA.

The Manny Alexander School of PED Performance

The only two difference makers in free agency this year are Josh Hamilton and Zach Greinke.

Though both players come with risk, I'd be happy if the Phils sign either one.

Thanks, GTown

I feel like a loser fan. All this talk about getting rid of Pierre and how bad Galvis is. I like both of them, find them both fun to watch.

What's wrong with Frandsen as a utility infielder? The Phillies have no shortage of needs. Utility infielder is not something they should be spending money on.

GBrett- on the contrary, you're one of the few fans on BL that hasn't become jaded by unrealistic expectations at every position. Congratulations. Both players are really fun to watch.

What's wrong with Frandsen as a utility infielder?

Nothing. Nor should backup catcher be an issue. if the Phillies spend money on either, I will consider r00b to have screwed the baked poodle.

I fully expect Schneider to be brought back on another 1 year deal...right after Pierre gets his multi-year deal.

Tonight's Lineup: Rollins (SS), Mayberry (CF), Utley (2B), Howard (1B), Ruiz (C), Brown (RF), Ruf (LF), Frandsen (3B), Kendrick (P).

Mandy Housenick ‏@inthephilshouse
Halladay heading out to the bullpen.

Josh Hamilton is a very good (if flawed) player.

Greinke has to thank his lucky stars that guys like Cain & Hamels were resigned already. Some team is going to end up going give him $20+ AAV for at least 6 years & end up regretting it. No as good as Hamels or Cain yet might make more than both on his deal.

I don't necessarily want Pierre back, because I think they could fill that roster spot with a different type of player and be a slightly better team for it.

But I won't be the least bit upset if they bring up back on a one-year deal for $1-2 million. For what he would bring to the team, would they really get more value on the FA market for $1-2 million?

Frandsen can't play SS. Backup SS/2B is written into a 25 man roster, just like backup C.

There is absolutely 0 chance any MLB team would have a 25 man roster without a backup SS. Since I hate Martinez and want Galvis in AAA, I see a opening on the roster that should be filled.

NEPP - Nah. Schneider's going to be lucky to get a guaranteed MLB deal from any team. Don't think he does due to the health concerns team will have with him. Kratz has that job locked down.

Pierre will be interesting. Say 50/50 he is back. Cholly really likes him. Just a question of whether Amaro thinks they need to sign a corner OF who brings brings more offense.

On BJ Upton from David Murphy:

"One guy we have highlighted as a potential replacement is B.J. Upton, but as Marc Topkin notes in today's St. Petersburg Times, Upton has some issues.

The important paragraph. . .

But he also has been maddening to watch over the years: Getting picked off, throwing to the wrong base, striking out often and snarling at the umpire, and taking an at-times casual approach that at least makes it look like he is not hustling. (And led to him twice getting benched during the 2008 season.)

Topkin ballparks Upton's value at four-to-seven years at $12-to-$14 million per year. That's a hefty sum for a guy whose tools have far exceeded his offensive production over the last few seasons. I still think a guy like Nick Swisher is the ideal offensive fit for this lineup. Of course, Swisher doesn't play center field, and he is five years older than Upton."

Read more:

Surprised if Amaro even pursues Upton if that is the case. Papelbon had some question marks but suspect work ethic/carefree demeanor weren't among them.

More and more I like the prospect of signing Pagan to a shorter & smaller deal and trying to sign another OF bat (Swisher/Hunter) to give the offense a boost.

Even resigning Vic to a 1-yr deal and then adding a Swisher/Hunter. Probably more feasible because Pagan is going to get a nice pay day whether it is from the Giants or someone else at least 3 yrs/$10-$12M annually.

I would love to have Pierre back as a PH/PR, and 5th OF. I think the Phils would too, but someone will offer him a starting job.

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