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Tuesday, December 18, 2012


It's better than drinking the stuff the night prior to a colonoscopy.

It's also better than spending 3/$30M for Cody Ross. Not as good as say, 4/$65M for Swisher. But if it doesn't work out, we can become a buyer at the break.

Giving names to the platoon could be fun. I guess it would be Brownberry in right (which sounds scatalogical), and Nuf in left (which hopefully will be E-Nuf).

If the Phils were going to go that route, they should have kept Schierholtz as a cheap and competent 4th/5th OF.

Start Ruf and Mayberry vs LHP and Nix & Brown vs RHP with Schierholtz in the mix as a quality PH/late innings defensive sub and occasional starter.

I think I'd go with a platoon of Nixberry in left, with Brown being slotted in right as the full-time starter. I just don't think double platoons work, but that's just my opinion.

Fat - A's used them at 3 and sometimes 4 positions last year. Worked out just fine for them.

I agree it is a little more challenging in the NL because there isn't a DH.

It does depend on the quality of the bench though which is:

Utility infielder who can play SS (Galvis is my bet but maybe Blanco)

I think Brown though is going to be the default starter in RF which is probably a mistake given his numbers vs LHP.

MG, your bench will have three OF, a C and one IF?

Regarding my last comment, I was assuming Schierholtz still in the mix.

Also, Brown just has 109 PA against LHP at the major league level. Does he have a history of struggling against lefties in the minors?

Pete Incaviglia, Jim Eisenreich, Milt Thompson and Wes Chamberlain. They did it in '93, why not in 2013?

I would have no problem with Ruf, Mayberry, Nix and Brown, three of whom are younger and entering or in their prime, over some veteran whose best days may be past him.

Fat - Nah I realized that as soon as I did my last post.

It is a lot easier if the Phils carried 6 players on their bench. Phils did that in '93 with:

C Pratt
2B Duncan
1B Jordan
3B Batiste
Thompson/Eisenreich as the starters or Inky/Chamberlain

Going to be hard to carry just an 11-man pitching staff especially with guys like KK, Lannan, and an older Halladay though.

MG- Assuming some of our young BP arms have options they may do a Reading/ LV shuttle with relief pitchers to keep an 11 man BP going.
Probably can't keep it up all season, but 2013 has already got an ad-lib roster vibe to it.

This season rests in the hands of Saint Utley, the Doctor, and the Big Piece. If they don't return to some semblance of their former selves, it does not matter who the phils start in the outfield.

What a terrible scenario to imagine.

Go trade for Corey Hart who has 1 year 10 mil left on his contract. Problem solved.

I was wrong about the Phillies. I really expected them to break the luxury tax threshold this year. Looks like they won't so I'm disappointed.

Given that, I'm guardedly optimistic about the moves that were made. While they can be -- and are being -- debated ad nauseam, nothing seems particularly foolhardy about them to me, and honestly that's a relief. While I can dream about the moves I wish would have been made, I can also very easily imagine other much, much worse moves. So, there's that. The can is half full.

There were times in the 2012 season where it seemed like everything that could go wrong was going wrong. A team that most here predicted would cruise to the NL east crown ended up underperforming. As a fan, I think it's natural to hope -- not necessarily expect -- that some things will break the other way and the Phillies will catch some breaks.

At the same time, from a financial standpoint, I think the Phillies are doing much the same. They've seen what it's like to spend heavily and have things just completely fall apart anyway. Is it any wonder they're not eager to try that again right away?

They could easily break the bank for Swisher, only to discover that Doc is shot and Howard/Utley can only play 200 games between them.

So, I've talked myself into the position both as an emotional fan *and* a clear-eyed fiscally responsible fan that they might be well-served to head into the season with what they've got, leaving themselves some financial flexibility to act after they get a better sense of just what this team can do. If things are clicking, make a move up at the deadline.

If that's what happens, I get it. If they add a Cody Ross, ok. Please no to Vernon Wells.

There will be plenty of must-see storylines going into the season. Ruf's shot at making it. Doc's attempt to come back. Last chance time for the "core" of Utley, Rollins & Howard. Not to mention Cole Freakin' Hamels in his absolute prime.

Short version: I think in the big picture I'm fine with them not adding another OF before the season.

This season rests in the hands of Saint Utley, the Doctor, and the Big Piece. If they don't return to some semblance of their former selves, it does not matter who the phils start in the outfield.

Posted by: nonamePHame

Can this just be the footnote on every BL post from now until Opening Day?

“Doc’s done very well,” Amaro said. “He’s going to start throwing off the mound fairly shortly. [Pitching coach Rich Dubee] has seen him throw a couple of times, at least long toss. I guess he’s down there working with Kyle Kendrick pretty extensively. He’s doing well. We won’t really know what kind of Doc we’re going to get until Doc’s on the mound firing in spring training.”

Halladay's done very well yet hasn't thrown off a mound since late Sept which is not typical of his offseason routine.

Amaro also basically admits too that he has no idea what Halladay will give them next year too until spring. Amaro usually isn't that candid.

just let ruf play everyday. if utley and howard don't get it done it won't matter who is in the OF. corner OF can be had at the deadline if Ruf cant get it done.

I can see KK doing a 'danielson' routine this offseason down in Florida with Halladay getting him to do all kinds of cr@p at his house include washing all of his cars.

So we have no idea if Halladay can even pitch right now. Awesome.

How to Learn to Stop Worrying and Love Third Place

Spring Training is a time for optimism about the season ahead.
I hope it's like the Christmas spirit and magically appears at the appropriate time, cause I'm sure not feeling it now.
This off season looks like a moderate upgrade over dismal so far.

Mick O,

Pretty much sums up the way I feel. There were some moves that perhaps could have been made that weren't; but overall, I can't honestly rip the decisions they've made thus far.

If they pick up Swisher I would be glad, but if they don't I can certainly understand the thinking given the cost and likely commitment in years.

We're all probably sick of it, but as usual it all boils down to the reasonable health of the players and whether Doc, Chase and Ryan play up to speed. If they don't, sayonara. Platoons or Swisher won't save this team.

The only way a double-outfield platoon works is if Mini-Mart is on the bench.

For the humor impaired (and BL has a few), the previous Mini-Mart post was a joke. This is not. If you are a bottom tier team trying to evaluate talent and find a way out of the hole, then a double platoon is fine. But, if you feature yourself as a contender in an increasingly tough division, then you better get yourself a veteran right-fielder with some power. Just hope Rube is blowing smoke on this one,

RAJ hasn't a damn clue.

At this point a double platoon doesn't seem that bad next to paying Ross what he's going to end up getting. I mean is Ross really that much better than Mayberry, especially when you consider defense? I really don't think so. I don't like the idea of having to commit three years to him too.

As has been stated, this season is going to come down to Howard and Utley anyway. If the platoons flop we can always make an in season trade for an OFer anyway.


I think you can spell out "crap" on here.

If you are a winning team, the quest must be to win the division. The Phils have made a couple of good moves and a couple of blah moves so far. It doesn't look as though they are trying very hard, just crossing their fingers and hoping for the best.

The Phils may have a shot at a WC. That used to be as good as winning the division. No more.

Reuben isn't as smug as usual. Something's amiss. I hope that rumor involving Vernon Wells was actually mixed up with Trumbo. If it is indeed a rumor.

A double platoon is scary because you're relying on a lot of players to do their job (4) instead of just 2. However, I want no part of Cody Ross. Nick Swisher would be a welcome addition, or a trade for Mark Trumbo. But to sign a Hairston or somebody like that doesn't make sense because we already likely have their equal at a lesser price.

There's no freakin' way RAJ is going with a double platoon. I think it's possible that the "small ball" philosophy he espoused last year may actually occur when the Phils sign Michael Bourn and move Revere to a corner. I still remember Amaro stating, when asked about signing Vic at the Winter Meetings, he said "There are a couple of ex-Phillies out there we're looking at." I don't think he actually knew Bourn's market would dry up like it has, but now the price has come down. Bourn may have fallen into RAJ's lap at a salary close the price of Swisher. Obviously, the power would be lacking, but the OF defense would prevent a lot of runs, following the Phils emphasis on pitching and defense. If Ruf wins the job in left, plenty of spare OF to trade in ST for bullpen or at deadline (if necessary).

If Ruf were only going to start against lefties in a platoon, I don't think he'd be with the big club, but getting regular at bats with the Iron Pigs.

Jake Kaplan obviously hasn't been a BL reader.

In the header, why is he citing BA instead of OBP?

Just askin'.

If Ruf were only going to start against lefties in a platoon, I don't think he'd be with the big club, but getting regular at bats with the Iron Pigs.

Posted by: jbird | Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 08:15 AM

Why? It isn't like Ruf is 20 years old and still developing. His time to sink or swim is 2013.

noname: because he wouldn't get very many at bats. Also, most RHB can hit RHP, otherwise they would have never made it anywhere close to the bigs because most pitchers are righties, Mayberry being a notable and rare exception. So, if Ruf is the real deal, he can probably hit righties just fine and if he can't then last season was probably a mirage. But, will Ruf be able to show he's the real deal getting a start or 2 a week in Philly or would he and the team be better served having him sink or swim in LHV?

***Pete Incaviglia, Jim Eisenreich, Milt Thompson and Wes Chamberlain. They did it in '93, why not in 2013? ***

Bullpen specialization neuters platoons in the later innings. In '93, teams still went with 10 man pitching staffs and, at most, 11 man staffs. In the era of 12 man staffs, its pretty hard to mix/match like that.

Platoons simply dont work as well and are tough to do with a smaller 5 man bench.

***How to Learn to Stop Worrying and Love Third Place

Posted by: derekcarstairs | Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 11:53 PM



*** can see KK doing a 'danielson' routine this offseason down in Florida with Halladay getting him to do all kinds of cr@p at his house include washing all of his cars. ***

I see it as the other way around. Halladay, the former master, is down in the dumps and cant focus on regaining his mojo. KK, the young acolyte is having to assume Doc's old role and motivate his former mentor to find himself.

On a somewhat unrelated note, which relationship is more disturbing once you take it out of the 1980s (which were a disturbing decade to begin with):

1. The relationship between 17-year-old Danny LaRusso and the 60 year old Japanese handyman Mayagi in Karate gets extra creepy when Daniel ends up cashing in his college fund to go on vacation with Miyagi in KK2.


2. The relationship dynamic between Apollo Creed and Rocky in Rocky particular, that odd beach scene where they hug and splash in the surf for approximately 17 minutes straight.

When Utley first came up he did not bat against lefties he was platooned with Polanco.This only lasted until they were confident he could handle lefties.It probably is not far fetched to think they would try to do this with Ruf.

From MLBTradeRumors:The Nationals, Phillies, Cubs, Mariners and Rangers are all interested in free agent reliever J.P. Howell, reports's Bill Ladson. Howell said last month that "a handful" of teams were pursuing him, and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times speculated that the Angels could be one of those suitors. The Brewers were also known to be looking for left-handed relief help, though Howell was not one of the names recently mentioned as targets by Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin

Interesting...guess they have very limited faith in Bastardo.

"This season rests in the hands of Saint Utley, the Doctor, and the Big Piece."

To me, the encouraging is that Utley only missed 3 games after he came back in Game 77, playing in 83 for the season.

And, he had the 4th highest OPS among MLB 2B, so it seems he can still perform at an elevated level.

Therefore, IMHO Utley ability to perform is less of a question mark the Howard and Halladay, though he still needs to prove he can play a full season,which he hasn't done since 2010.

Wow, I should check my posts.


To me, the encouraging is that Utley only missed 3 games after he came back in Game 77, playing in 83 for the season.

And, he had the 4th highest OPS among MLB 2B, so it seems he can still perform at an elevated level.

Therefore, IMHO Utley's ability to perform is less of a question mark than Howard and Halladay, though he still needs to prove he can play a full season, which he hasn't done since 2010.

Cloyd: but Ruf is the right handed half of the platoon. He wouldn't get very many at bats. I think developmental platoons are better for lefties than righties. Unless, perhaps, you are only sitting the RHB against "tough" RHPs.

Maybe Ruf proves to only be worthwhile as a platoon player, but I think you don't start the year that way. He plays most of the time in Philly or all the time in LHV.

Someone needs to let r00b in on the fact that his field manager is one Charlie Manuel, who might platoon his corner OF for about a month before picking a favorite "regular".

This is a non-story.

mg: "Start Ruf and Mayberry vs LHP and Nix & Brown vs RHP with Schierholtz in the mix as a quality PH/late innings defensive sub and occasional starter."

That would be 6 OF wth Revere in CF, not a good idea.

You have to figure, especially as GTown points out, with Manuel running things on the field, in at least one of the platoon situations someone will "emerge" and take the gig full-time.

Probably Brown or Ruf--if Ruf mashes like he needs to to stick at all, it would be hard to sit him.

But if a stable player emerges from that platoon, that's a good thing right? What am I missing?

I can't tell, are we mad that Charlie would allow a player to emerge and start full time? Is that considered a poor mangerial trait?

You make a good point the thing is everybody in the organization expected Utley to have success and they still did it in a way so that early failures would not stunt his progression.When it comes to Ruf nobody saw it coming so I would think you might want to be careful I guess you would be right in sitting him only against tough righties at first he might not really amount to anything but if handled right could maybe be a real productive player.Thanks for your insight your point is an important one.

Why would anyone assume the player Charlie eventually picks to start full-time will be more productive than continuing w/ a platoon would have been? I mean if he is, that's great. I just don't expect that to be the case. Trusting Charlie to set intelligent lineups based on LH/RH splits is not a gamble I'd be willing to take. Clearly, r00b feels differently.

Charlie does do things that baffle the mind from time to time,he did however know when to sit Jeff Jenkins and give the starting job to Werth so he isnt totally clueless either.

Double? We could be looking at a Quadruple Platoon next season if they pick up another right-handed OF.


I would love to see JP Howell signed as the lefty specialist and let Bastardo prove himself in the 7th inning again. That would make the bullpen into a big strength to go along with the big three starters.

The Halladay report yesterday is not encouraging at all, though.

I would still go with Bourn over all the available outfield choices and focus on speed, defense and manufacturing some runs. Sadly, the double platoon is the best possible option now with some wiggle room to make a trade during the season.

Here's a weird thought. This year could be the final year of Charlie, Utley, Ruiz and Halladay. It could be a very different teams in 2014 so this could be the last hurrah. I might be ahead of myself, but looks like the Phils are positioning themselves to make a run at Robinson Cano next offseason with the low risk/years moves this year.

Utley and Howard will not be platooned.

Utley and Howard will not be platooned.

Nor will they be split up in the batting order.

Nixberry is the only platoon that makes sense to me. Neither can hit same-handed pitching. NEPP makes a great point about why double platoons don't work (bullpen specialization).

If they don't add Ross or whoever (Wells? Do not want), I would probably play Brown every day. If he stinks it up, you give someone else a chance.

The season resting on the health of Utly, Howard and Halladay is pretty accurate, but after all Brown has been through they need to stick him out there every darn day and see what happens. If he doesn't emerge as at least a servicable starting corner OF this year, will he ever?

awh: No question, to me at least, that Utley has the least *performance-related* questions. If he is on the field, he will be one of the best second basemen in the league.

Obviously he has health questions. Howard likely has the least *health-related* questions. There's no reason to think now that he won't be healthy, random injury risks every player faces aside. But I don't think any of us has any idea what kind of performance he will provide. He could be an All-Star, or replacement level, considering everything we've seen the last couple of years. We have no idea.

Halladay? Who knows on both fronts.

The more I reflect on this offseason, the more I'm satisfied with it. Not thrilled, but satisfied.

I'm ok with the Revere deal.
I'm ok with the Young deal.
I'm ok with the Adams signing.

And, to be perfectly frank, I'm fine with going into the season with the OF as currently construction. It has been said ad nauseum that the health of the core is more important to the team's overall success than the production of the OF. I believe that 100%. And I'd rather have a little payroll flexibility to address any issues along the way than spend a ton of money on Swisher (who I still like), Ross, et al.

And Vernon Wells? No thank you!

Raj may not have made the moves fans wanted,but to this point he hasn't done anything STUPID.Getting Wells or Ross has a good chance of falling into that category.

I'm irrationally exuberant when considering Halladay's return to form. Without any evidence, I assume he's going to have 16+ wins and a sub 3.3 era, and that's hedging my bets a tad.

Did anyone go to the season ticket holders' luncheon last Friday? Apparently, Rube said some interesting things -- most notably about Charlie. He was apparently very open and seemingly honest.

A friend of mine was there and told me about it, but I want to get another perspective. It's possible that he misheard or misinterpreted things.

*And if what my friend told me was 100% accurate, I have new found respect for Ruben.

@Jr: Agreed, the best part of this offseason so far as been the avoidance of doing anything stupid.

Baseball is not just a numbers game played on paper, so there's no way to guarantee victory. Therefore the best plan is to not guarantee defeat through self-inflicted mistakes, and so far RAJ seems to have done that.

The more I reflect on the current roster, the better I feel about the team's outlook. I mean, step back and think about it. The Phils have:

- 3 SP aces (and 2 average, veteran SPs behind them.)
- Lockdown RPs in the 8th & 9th
- 3 of 4 INF spots manned by potential silver sluggers (the likelihood can be debated, but still, possible.)
- All-star caliber C
- Young, exciting OFs w/ lots of potential
- Veteran leadership and, by all accts, classy players/people.

As has been duly noted, health of the core is the big ?, and will likely decide their fate. But I'm sure 90% of fans across the country would take this team in a heartbeat.

Keeping Brown Mayberry Nix Is a certain RX for watching the post season on TV. The Nats are too strong and keeping these losers will bring the same result as 2012 when they should have been released after Spring Training.

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