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Sunday, October 07, 2012



NEPP, as crazy as it may sound, the Reds were 47-27 when Votto was out.

What hurt their chances to win 100 games was starting the season 19-19.

Funny, I was just looking that odd that.

It also means they ended the season 78-46, which is pretty damn good. Only a .629 WP.

From last thread. On keeping Herndon and not Grilli. Very good reason for that. Same reason Mini is still here. To do different would mean SOMEONE made a mistake.

Really hope this postseason goes fast. I rather spend time talking fall/winter leagues, and the hot stove talk.

I'm loving the postseason so far.

Just have the feeling it's going to be a postseason to remember.

What exactly is the deeper scouting report on Cody Asche? college player, 4th round pick, quick jump to AA where he showed more power, but his BABip are very high (line drives, luck, bad defense?).

Obviously next year is big for him, but what are the scouts saying?

Add to that list a lower BB-rate. 4.4% in Clearwater, 7.6% in Reading.

And just to put it out there he had a .399 BAbip in Clearwater and a .348 BAbip in Reading. Love that his ISO went from .098 to .213 though.

Whoever said Amaro blew it with Cespedes, absolutely right. Hindsight and everything, he would have been THE guy to pursue last offseason. Instead he spent all his money on Pap and went with Nix and Pierre as FA signings.

Beane gets lavished with more praise than he deserves sometimes but he nailed this move. He recognized a young talent he wanted on his team, where everyone else saw a huge question mark, and took the risk. In the future, I'd rather Amaro go after the talented question mark than Laynce Nix.

Cespedes was seen as raw / a risk by a lot of teams including the Yankees. He would have been perfect, but I can see the thinking at the time. Would have cost $40M or so.

***Obviously next year is big for him, but what are the scouts saying?***

Jack of all trades but a master of none. He is average across the board basically...other than maybe his contact ability.

Mediocre to average glove
Mediocre to average power
etc etc

Soler had a great year too, but a ways to go for him.

***Beane gets lavished with more praise than he deserves sometimes but he nailed this move.***

He rolled the dice and it came up perfectly. Hell of a move for him but a huge risk.

Anybody else think he had a play at home?

I don't fault him for taking the sure out, though.

~watching football~

Um sure...great chance for a play there at home.

Does that mean you didn't see because of football, NEPP?

I'm watching on MLB TV and don't see the replays (I guess they aren't shown?) - only the live game. When I played it again, bearing in mind that he'd have to transfer the ball to his throwing hand, I felt less sure that he had a play at the plate. Definitely better to take the sure out.

NEPP - I guess what I was looking for are scouts reports on his hitting ability and how it will translate, whether it's sustainable, etc..


BP had a great writeup in the offseason about Cespedes and the 'error bars' around any projection based on his performance in Cuba. There's just some crazy offensive numbers happening on that island right now. Some dude hit .453/.597/.986 there last year.

What is Leyland doing there? Gotta bring in a leftie with Fister struggling.

Ol' Coco's glove was a bit too crispy there. Soft and pliable would have been more in order.

Hell of a game going on here in Detroit.

Yeah it was a huge risk. But would I rather the team take a huge risk on Cespedes than throw an unnecessary amount of money at a closer, and instead sign an OF that is mediocre on his best days (Nix)? Yes I would.

I understand it's somewhat hindsight to hold Amaro's feet to the fire for this, but it's a fact that he settled for mediocrity in the OF at the expense of spending lavishly on a position (closer) that had many options that would have come much cheaper. It did not turn out well, and now the hole in the OF still needs to be addressed and will be by a player that will probably not be as good as Cespedes.

And speak of the devil, what a turn of events for the A's.

That was the A's pitcher who went to out town's high school. I was pulling for him. Did well for the first two batters. And if only Coco Crisp had made that catch, he would have escaped unscathed. Oh, well! I'm sure his old coach will talk about it in my son's geography class tomorrow.

That Andrew Bailey/Josh Reddick trade was a great move for the BoSox.

It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." - Bart Giamatti

"Also, STFU Pete Rose." - Bart Giamatti

This game is nuts. The Philadelphia A's are certainly being Philadelphia-like in their inability to close out the damned thing.

I can't believe each team has let a run score due to a wild pitch. Wonder if Chooch could have prevented those runs.

I like both the A's & the Tigers.

Turning on the Nats-Cards now, too. I'll root for the Nationals, but I have a feeling about the Cardinals. And I hope the Reds beat the Giants and then either the Nats or the Cards.

Sophist: NEPP beat me to the punch on Asche. He did not make BA's Top 30 Phils prospect list and ranked 4th in the minor league 3B prospect depth chart behind Frankel, Walding and Martinez heading into this season.

Asche was a disciplined, strong college hitter at Nebraska, but scouts wondered if he'd hit for power in pro ball. His speed is just average and his fielding is below average, so his bat will dictate how far he goes.

He'll be age appropriate for Triple A next season, but to have a chance, since he's a corner guy likely better suited to 1B, he'll have to hit more than 12 HRs.

Good pitching matchup - Gio v. Wainwright.

... I have a feeling about the Cardinals.

Is it anger bordering on rage? 'Cause if so, I have that feeling, too.

Ha, GTown. It's not rage, but I don't want them to win. I find them a likeable team/organization/town, but they just won & win a lot.

Rizzo has annoyed me, on the other hand, and if it weren't for the fact that the Nats haven't ever won, I wouldn't like them at all.

I cannot bring myself to root for either the Cardinals or the Gnats.

GBrettFan: What Scott said. Both clubs reek of assclownery.

Closer in a tie game....

I keep rooting for pitcher to get the Nats & Cards batters out, so apparently I don't really want anyone to win the game, either.

Great game. I'd be a wreck if the Phiilies were in this one.

Cabrera is going to hit the ball 700 ft here.

RE: Asche

His defense is rough around the edges, but he's gotten some good reviews as well. There's a decent chance he'll be able to stick at the hot corner.

Looked like he had some of that Ryan Howard topspin on that one.

I already feel like the Phillies are no match for any of these teams. I suppose that should be obvious by their .500 record v. the other teams' records. But when the Phils got hot in August, I thought maybe they were a better team than their record. Now I'm not so sure again. And depending on what RAJ does this winter - and on health next season - I'm not sure about being as good as the division leaders next year, either.

Don Kelly, the guy you want at the plate in a big moment.

This would be like using Mini Mart in a huge spot...or Bruntlett.

Nats scored.

Mr. Automatic Don Kelly.

It is designed to break your heart.

That's a killer for Oakland.

Tying run scored on a wild pitch.

That's brutal. I like the Tigers, but I wanted to see the A's make a run. You're seeing now why the road team having the first two games at home is an unfair advantage.

It always used to be that way, too, Iceman, which is hard to believe.

Meanwhile, Gio keeps walking folks.

This is kind of like when the Phillies fans rattled CC to walk Myers. Geo needs to settle down.

Or Gio, rather. Too much rest? Too much adrenaline?

"I understand it's somewhat hindsight to hold Amaro's feet to the fire for this, but it's a fact that he settled for mediocrity in the OF at the expense of spending lavishly on a position (closer) that had many options that would have come much cheaper."

Cespedes signed a 4/$36 deal. Not sure that Papelbon was the reason they didn't target him. They can afford both.

It would appear the Phillies prefer signing veterans of dubious utility over taking a chance on any young player. It's frustrating, to say the least.

Iceman, Phils also started the year with Vic and Pence in the OF. Mediocrity is not what they -- or any of us -- expected.

Vic had a 129 OPS+ last year and Pence had a 157 OPS+ last year.

Phils opening day lineup was Vic-Pence-Mayberry. There was no veteran of dubious utility that blocked Cespedes. They, and pretty much every other team, didn't want to take the chance. The Phils at least had a solid plan at 2/3 positions.

Do not worry about Asche, he is as good as Ruf.

Sophist- I am talking about Laynce Nix. He opted to give a guy who was barely going to command a MLB contract a two year deal and the keys to LF against RHP.

And I agree they probably could have afforded both Papelbon and Cespedes, which makes it even worse.

Mayberry started opening day because Bedard was pitching for Pittsburgh. Nix/Pierre were the plan against RHP.

Sophist: Nix? Pierre? Wigginton? And counting on Mayberry was simply foolish. r00b talks about getting younger, but never manages to make it happen unless absolutely forced by circumstance.

Wayne: That's good to know. So we can just pencil in Ruf in LF and Asche at 3B for the next decade. Now all we need is RF and a setup guy and we're done.

We're comparing Amaro's bench signings to signing Cespedes? Cespesdes is a $9M/yr player. Nix cost like $1M. These weren't substitutes. Nix and Pierre were cheap bench bats.

My guess is that if the powerhitting Cuban were available for Pierre's contract that deal gets done.

"So we can just pencil in Ruf in LF and Asche at 3B for the next decade."

Will the Phillies be able to afford to keep both -- and really, do we want to hand a 9 figure contract to Darin "old player skills" Ruf that last through his age 37 season?

Amaro's biggest fault in my book was a backup for Howard. Phils needed something more than Wigginton/Thome for 1B in case Howard's DL trip were extended or he came back and really struggled.

Considering the years Vic and Pence just had I didn't think a Vic/Pence/cheap platoon was a bad OF at all.

And clout slides in with his predictable smug and uneducated response. I think he just has a macro set up for any mention of someone on the Reading or LV roster.

Sophist- it's a valid comparison because Mayberry/Pierre/Nix was the plan for LF, instead of Cepedes. I understand it was a risk, but when you are settling for those three players (mix in Wigginton, who is not even mediocre), a risk might be the better way to go. And you yourself said they could have afforded him.

Look, I'm not pulling a DPatrone and going back and saying he failed at his job because he didn't get Michael Cuddyer or anything like that. But he could have gotten more creative with LF, especially in lieu of the Howard situation. Maybe, with the lack of temporary options at first, you look to replace his production instead in LF with a wild card like Cespedes. If it works out, not only have you helped fill that void, you have your young RH power bat in a position of need for the next four years at a fair price.

But you are right that it isn't just Amaro who failed to take the risk. Plenty of GMs didn't. So he's not alone. Beane did, and he'll be enjoying the rewards of that risk for the next three seasons.

I think Rube's 2 biggest mistakes were Contreras and Wigginton. Put two quality players in their places and the Phils make the playoffs IMHO.

Iceman, the players underperformed at CF, RF, one starter's spot. Howard came back way late. The mixing and matching in the pen didn't work out. What happened in the LF platoon is way down on the list for team failures and it's not a big knock against Amaro that he passed on Cespesdes instead of going with the platoon. By all accounts the Phils OF was a strength before the season. Only Vic/Pence/Amaro haters could argue otherwise. Pence and Vic had excellent 2011s and are both still relatively young.

And they probably could have afforded him. I only bring that up because you seemed to suggest that they couldn't sign him because they signed Papelbon.

Amaro's done enough dumb things. Not signing Cespesdes wasn't one of them.

I figured the O's-Yankees game would be affected by the same weather we're getting.

I agree, Sophist. And there was also the fact that Chase believed he'd be able to start the season (even if it may have been expected that he'd need days off throughout the season). I don't think anyone expected Chase not to play until...whenever it was he came back. Late June? July?

Jayson Werth is a good outfielder. I find myself taking a perverse satisfaction in his failing to move baserunners. I don't know why that should be. I like him well enough. Sometimes his comments bug me, but he's a smart player who did well for us (maybe minus that last year when he struggled mightily with RISP). One of my favorite moments was when he stole home.

2 pitches, 3 outs. That was downright Phillies-esque. Huge waste of an opportunity for St. Louis.

Twitter saying Rockies manager Jim Tracy has resigned. Wonder if they'll want tom interview Sandberg.


Sophist- I am not slamming Amaro for the failures of Vic and Pence. 99% of the time I think it's appropriate to lay the blame at the feet of the players and that's the case with Vic/Pence. I'm not sure where I had inferred otherwise.

And I'm not even saying he was 'dumb' for not getting Cespedes. Where are you getting that I even hinted at that? That's another thing you'll never hear me say. I'm not anti-Amaro. By and large, I like what he's done for the team by maximizing this core's window of success. Please don't lump me in with guys like G-Town and aksmith in that respect. I actually think every move a GM makes can be analyzed independently.

What I'm saying is that it was a missed opportunity, and a chance to be creative with filling the void that Howard created. He thought Mayberry/Nix/Wigginton could fill that void. Wigginton was predictably not very good (and he hasn't been for years), and Mayberry stunk it up through the three months Howard was out.

He could have signed Cespedes and not only helped boost the offense during the Howard-less first three months, but improved the team long-term at a position of need. It would have been a big risk, yes, but I'd have rather him taken that risk than rely on the combination of players I just mentioned. That's it. Not stupidity, but a missed opportunity because of Amaro's reliance on veteran mediocrities.

I retract what I said about Papelbon precluding the signing. Not sure why I used that in the argument. I assumed that would be brought up eventually.

Who exactly were those quality players? And the nice part of that question? You get to answer in hindsight.
I think Rube's 2 biggest mistakes were Contreras and Wigginton. Put two quality players in their places and the Phils make the playoffs IMHO.

Posted by: clout | Sunday, October 07, 2012 at 05:25 PM

"What I'm saying is that it was a missed opportunity, and a chance to be creative with filling the void that Howard created."

That's definitely true. I was trying to respond to you and Gtown and general sentiment at once, so sorry for any confusion. Wigginton/Nix is about an unimaginative as it gets. They really could have used some power at 1B this year.

Yup. That's what I was referring to.

There's no way for both these teams to lose the series, is there?

Look, the pitcher with all the letters in his name off whom we couldn't buy a hit last year just gave up the lead. It happens. Nats are good young team.

Clarification: My 6.17PM comment relates to the Cards failure w/ bases loaded/0 out, not anything Sophist posted.

GBrettFan: I'm kind of hoping St. Louis eliminates Washington, setting up the possibility of an NLCS wherein the Reds eliminate St. Louis. That the latter two clubs really dislike one another is an added bonus.

Who are the Reds more likely to eliminate, if such a thing is predictable (which it really isn't)? That's who we should root for in this WAS-STL series.

So....Is the O's game going to happen tonight? Looks like it will be clear around 10PM. That would make it like the WS game that Jamie Moyer pitched which was delayed to a similar hour.

Well, this format may initially give the advantage to the team with the lesser record, but the Reds and the Nats, by winning Game 1, took that advantage away and now have it for themselves.

GBrettFan: Ah yes, Game Three. I remember it well. I finished watching a thrilling Penn State victory over Ohio State, then turned my focus on the Phillies. If memory serves, Jamie got screwed on a remarkable defensive play (they called the guy safe at first because Howard caught the flip toss with his hand), and Chooch won it on an infield nubber in the wee hours of the morning.

GBrettFan: With MLB, who knows? They're liable to do anything. Me, I'm going to take advantage of this delay to catch up on football highlights. People simply don't appreciate how rough it is being a sports fan at this time of the year ...

I hate that this site gives you such a limited space for images.

It's raining in Baltimore. - Adam Duritz

It was a pity that the ump was listening for the sound of ball in glove and missed seeing that fabulous play by the ever-young Jamie Moyer! It was a fantastic play, and I was most impressed with the way he rose to the occasion even in spite of his gastro-intestinal bug.

From a practical standpoint, it makes sense that the umps watch the bag while listening for the ball to hit the glove. It didn't work out in that case, however.

This is what we're reduced to this year - Nostalgic memories of postseasons past while watching other teams at the party.

aksmith: Obviously, there were literally dozens of players who could've outperformed Contreras and Wigginton. Even a baseball novice like yourself knows that.

Clout - Obviously, your hindsight is quite good. I truly don't remember you bemoaning the Wigginton and Contreras signings at the time. Maybe I missed your prospective view, but then, you truly never put yourself on the line. Your gig is second guessing only.

Easy to be smug when you belittle every prospect, and non-prospect, and never suggest alternative moves as they happen. You are still as precious as you have always been.

aksmith: There's lots of prospects I like. Just because you don't know the difference between Mini-Mart and quality prospects doesn't mean that difference doesn't exist.

No one here should feel bad. The Phillies don't know the difference between Martinez & quality prospects, either.

Baseball's back! Go O's! Lots of orange rally towels waving, lots of people. Pretty cool.

The O's beating the Yankees would bring me a lot of joy, but I just think the inexperience of the O's will be too much to overcome. Scoring two batters into the game is not a very good beginning.

Damn Yankees! They WOULD score in the 1st inning!

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