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Monday, December 10, 2012


I'm in favor of Matsuzaka on a flyer for the bullpen.

I like all three of the first guys. Villanueva would probably be cheapest and therefore the most practical. Marcum would be the best bargain. Jurrjens has the biggest risk-reward gap- could be all-star great, could be god awful.

Guess I should get past the idea of getting Dempster.

This post by BAP is pretty perfect:

"clout: You keep asserting that RAJ is "playing to the team's strengths" by building around speed, defense & pitching this off-season. To be sure, he got Ben Revere, who certainly qualifies as a speed/defense guy (if you can overlook his rag arm). But he also traded away one of our starting pitchers. Then he went out and traded for a starting infielder whose defense, by all accounts, is horrible. So far, I don't detect any master plan to build around speed and defense. In fact, I don't really detect a master plan at all."

"I would be happy if Dom Brown turned into teh Phillies version of Andre Ethier"

Well, yeah. That would be awesome. Another good comparison along these lines, who hasn't shown that kind of power in a full season, is Choo. Barely top 15 ISO bat (20, 22, and 16 HR in his full seasons), useless against lefties, but a more than adequate player. 10% walk rate and BAbip-tacular (as other's have said, Brown actually hits the ball hard, a solid LD rate in his career, and for that he has a confusing .269 BAbip).

Regular 20+ HR power isn't essential. The fact that Brown is just 25 now and the Phils are paying him nothing makes it even less so.

Whether or not Brown can do this, I have no idea. But if he hit MG's line that would be great news.

So we got a decent CF because he was a bargain. And a mediocre 3B because he was a pretty good bargain in terms of prospects and price (and only taking on one year of risk). And we're looking at mediocre starting pitchers that are bargains.

That's great, and generally finding value is better than drunkenly spending. But where, exactly are we supposed to be making up the 8-10 wins we need to be a playoff team? Are we basically resting all of that improvement on the health of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Roy Halladay?

Marcum gets my vote. He is in a different class than the rest. That also makes him at a different pay level,7.75m last year.
Probably leaves Jurrjens as the lowest risk highest reward guy for the money.Can't get past how he killed my fantasy team last year.

Marcum's the best bet on the list above, but I bet he's more expensive than the rest. Carlos Villanueva is more likely, cheaper, and his peripherals are pretty much identical to Marcum's in a lot of ways. Sign him up.

Any interest in the Player Formerly Known as Fausta Carmona?

Reposted from the previous thread:

"Sophist, I was merely responding to others on the board, notably, Jack, who posted:

"Obviously, 15-20 HR power when you're hitting .250 doesn't work out quite as well. "

As I posted above, 15 HR power is just fine if the player excels in another facet(s) of the game. Personally, I don't consider a .350 OBP to be SO outstanding (10% above average) that 15 HR becomes adequate.

Now, I understand Dom is only 25 and should improve, but that wasn't the issue. the issue was production from a corner OF spot irrespective of a players age.

Yea, what exactly are we saving money for at this point?

I was the one who brought up Choo in the first place. Brown's skill set in the minors led me to think of Choo as a comparable player, if Brown developed well.

Obviously, he hasn't gotten onto that track yet.

Although, TBF, Villanueva's total peripherals are similar in a lot of ways, but they are definitely aided by his BP numbers.

starter: 17 K%, 7 BB%, 4.88 FIP
reliever: 24 K%, 9 BB%, 4.01 FIP

Marcum: 20 K%, 7 BB%, 4.25 FIP

I would be OK with Harden as long as it was a minor league deal, split contract, or a contract for the MLB minimum that was loaded with incentives. Heck, if Harden could pitch anywhere near his '04-'09 form he'd be a huge pickup. But he hasn't the last 3 years, so a MiL deal with big incentives seems appropriate.

RedBurb's got the right idea. I'm on Team SP-Formerly-Known-As-Fausto.

"Are we basically resting all of that improvement on the health of Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Roy Halladay?"

Jack, have you been asleep?

That opinion is widely shared on this site, and has the enviable distinction of probably being the first time BL convenstional wisdom is probably going to be true.

From the last thread:

Allen Thornberg: How can you be so certain that Dom will fail and Ruf will succeed? What is your evidence?--Clout

The whiff of straw is getting stronger; I did not state my certainty of either Brown or Ruf's chances of success or failure. Only Clout makes statements with such arrogant assurance. I simply stated that I personally have more faith that Ruf will develop into a useful everyday player than I do in Brown developing the same way--simply based on the evidence of my eyes. Ruf, in his brief time up last year, showed himself able to hit good pitches from good pitchers, and his minor-league powers numbers are truly historic, which argues some kind of success for him at the major league level. His success isn't a certainty by any means, but he could supply what this team needs most (right-handed power) for the fraction of the cost of someone like Pence, so he deserves a close look next year.

Brown, on the other hand, had a much longer time as an everyday player (first half of 2011, second half of 2012) and was not too impressive. Hell, Mayberry and Kratz had a more impressive second half of 2012 than Brown, and no one is arguing that they be made everyday starters on the strength of it. Brown didn't do anything particularly well--field, hit for power or average, or run the bases. He does take walks better than most of the other members of our team, I'll grant. And, as more people have observed, he's so far proven pathetic against LHP. With the offense built around Howard for the forseeable future, the last thing the team needs is another bat with major issues against lefties.

My point is, that, even granting Brown eventually brings up his average, as a low-power LH corner outfielder, he simply does not fit the needs of the team as presently constituted (especially now that we've committed to a low-power LH centerfielder for the next five seasons). He and Ruf could both be busts, or they could both be successes, but the team can't be built around Brown's "potential." If I were Rube, I'd go out and get Swisher at four years/52 million, move Brown for another starter, sign a reliever, and experiment with Ruf in LF while keeping Nix and Mayberry around as backup. If Ruf flames out, Nix and Mayberry can handle left field until next season, when the gap can be filled either with a FA or a minor-leaguer who's ready to come up.

Lannan wouldn't be a horrible option either. I don't think.

Signing Lannan ensures that he won't bean any Phillies during crucial moments of the season either.

"Yea, what exactly are we saving money for at this point?"

lore, I think it's more about spending wisely as opposed to saving money.

awh - A player can post a ~.350 OBP with 20 HR or so and still be valuable in the OF. Just look at Ethier or the 2012 version of Justin Upton. Finding that in one player is not easy. There were 19 players last year, LF or RF, who had an OBP above .350 and 10+ HR last year. Justin Upton had the lower OPS+ on the list. There were 16 in 2011. 23 in 2010. That's for 2 OF positions.

If Brown could post .350+ OBP and 10+ HR, it's likely he'd be good enough to start in LF or RF (all else being equal) on any team.

awh: Well, count me as someone who doesn't think this is a playoff team as currently constructed, even assuming you add one of the pitchers above.

I think that team would need a whole lot to go right to make the playoffs. It's possible, of course, that could happen, but I don't think I would deem it likely.

And assuming the health of Utley, Howard, and Halladay to account for all the improvement also seems to be implicitly assuming the health of every other key player on the roster. Considering Chooch is already missing 25 games, this seems a little over-optimistic to me.

Signing Rich Harden would be like dropping $5 on lottery tickets when the jackpot hits $50M. It's worth the money just for the sense of exhilaration you get by thinking about the possibility of a payoff. Unfortunately, your chance of actually getting that payoff are about the same in each instance.

since its not my money, I'd rather have them spend $20M foolishly than not spend it at all.

Why do we keep including HR totals as a measuring stick?

If a player can SLG in the high 400's for the full season, I couldn't careless if he has 1 HR or 30.

Jair Jurrjens was awesome when he was good. Maybe spending some time around Doc and Cliff would get him back to form. The rest of the guys listed don't have that high ceiling potential that Jair Jurrjens has.

Jurrjens was smoke and mirrors. And now he's hurt. Do not want.

lorecore: It's more ISO than SLG.

If a guy is slugging .450 because he's hitting .370 (i.e., Ichiro's 2004 season), then all that is coming from his singles, not from any power. Obviously that .370 has a ton of value on its own--but it's not from power.

It's basically a holistic view. The opposite is also true--a guy with an ISO of .210 might have huge power, but if he's hitting .230, its's not getting you a whole lot (Chris Young, late of the DBacks, is a guy like this). You want a guy with good extra-base power. I agree that .450 or so is a minimum power requirement for a corner OF, but you probably want to look a little deeper to see what value you're deriving from a guy's power.

Jack, BAP: CF is a significantly more important defensive position than 3B. Also, Rube is trying to get a setup guy (as shown by his attempt for Lopez) and has said he's looking for another SP.

So, to review: He's added speed and defense to one of the key defensive spots on the field, he's looking to improve the pitching and, wisely IMHO, he's added offense at one of the least important defensive positions.

When your strength is top starters and a top closer, this makes sense. And I'm far from a FO cheerleader.

BAP and Jack keep complaining that Rube has no plan, yet their own posts are devoid of logic.

Clout: So if he adds Carlos Villaneuva but subtracted Vance Worley (and a decent pitching prospect in Bonilla), he's improved the pitching this offseason?

No bargain-bin for me. Too may questions about Doc and KK to cheapen out on the SP.

If Marcum costs more, so be it.

Allen Thornberg: Faith is a beautiful thing.

Harden would get hurt signing the contract. Of this list I want Marcum the most. I've been wanting him since Worley was dealt. I think he'd play great here.

As for Dice-BB as a bullpen thanks. I'd like a guy to throw strikes coming out of the pen.

Jack and BAP's plan is to criticize the FO's moves no matter what they do.

Hey, at least they can say they have a plan.

Along the same lines, there were 27 players last year who: had 400+ PA, 50% in either RF or LF, and SLG above .450. awh makes a good point but I think he sets the bar too high.

Nick Markakis is another example.

Jack: He improved the pitching by replacing Mayberry in CF with Revere. And Worley wasn't with the team most of the year last season, so there's not much to replace.

I don't think anyone would object to Markakis in the Phils OF (or almost any OF).

Jack: If our corner OF ends up hitting .370 AVG with a .450 SLG with 0 HR, are you going to tell me that's not as valuable as a player who hits .250 AVG with .450 SLG and 35 HR?

.450 SLG means you average .45 total bases for every at bat, i don't care how you get it or what position you play - its .45 total bases an at bat, period.

ISO comes in play when creating a lineup, not defensive alignments.

Of that list, Marcum is my top pick, followed by Jurrjens because he's got the best performance history. I'm okay with either getting a flyer for the 5 spot: they both have big injury liabilities. Problem with Marcum, as JW pointed out, is that you're gonna have to pay him more. I'd rather the money get spent on a good OF bad (Ross, not Swisher, b/c Swisher is too expensive at 4-5 years) and the bullpen though.

This is the kind of thing Ruben should take care of last, after getting his bullpen piece and his OF bat. Then you get one of these guys with the leftovers.

Clout: No, he improved the CF defense. You're conflating that with pitching again. Defense makes pitching appear to be better, but it doesn't actually change the underlying skills within a pitcher's control. If you attribute some runs saved to Revere over Mayberry, you can't also assume runs for the pitchers due to better defense. We discussed this earlier--that's double counting.

I don't disagree that Revere > Mayberry defensively, and that's great. But so far he hasn't improved the pitching at all, and you have to at least acknowledge that, even at a lesser important defensive position, Young's presence takes away some of the overall defensive upgrade that Revere represents.

Are there people that exist who think if Utley/Howard start 130+ games, and Halladay reverts back to at least close to what he was in 2011, that this isn't a playoff team?

I know it's difficult for some to put on rose-colored glasses, but try for a second and imagine that scenario. People think that even if that happens, it won't matter?

It's a different matter altogether to criticize the FO for banking on it happening. But to think if it happens, it won't make a crucial difference, is ridiculous.

Jack: As sophist has shown earlier you're wrong on the run prevention issue.

I'd say there's a good chance we're all going to have to learn how to pronounce and spell Jair Jurrjens. He best fits Rube's criteria of low risk, high reward.

Clout: No. Sophist proved a different point. Sophist showed that a run saved is marginally more valuable than a run earned for this team. I acknowledge that.

However, that's not the same issue as double counting runs saved for both defense and pitching. Sophist said as much when he/she made the point.

2009 Ichiro: .352/.386/.465 (11 HR)
2012 Reddick: .242/.305/.463 (32 HR)

Ichiro was a lot more valuable. For a guy to hit that many HR and only SLG .460, he's got to get out a lot otherwise.

I'm a he. No need for PC stuff.

Not that I object to the point (I just always use 'they' for neutral singular -- it's less smug).

There are some more names out there than mentioned.

Here is a list of the veteran starters the Phils might look at if Amaro is looking at a minimal base with incentive-upside (removes Lohse, Marcum, E. Jackson, Dempster):

J. Sanchez

Don't see the Phils resigning Myers in any capacity. Ditto F. Garcia, Oswalt, or Millwood.

Of that list, I guess I would prefer Villanueva or Saunders with Correia/Karstens after that.

Iceman: My point was that sure, if Utley and Howard start 130+ games each, and Halladay pitches like he did in 2011, you have a playoff contender.

But that seems also to be assuming NO OTHER missed time for key players. I find that incredibly optimistic. I think even if those guys stay healthy, it's unlikely that Lee, Hamels, Rollins, Ruiz, Papelbon, Bastardo, Revere, and whatever other key players you can think of will also stay perfectly healthy. Ruiz is already missing 25 games--are you accounting for that?

If you build a team that needs everything to go right to win 90-92 games, chances are you're going to end up under that number, is all I'm saying. I think this team needs to add more talent if it expects to be a playoff team.

As for Dice-K or J. Sanchez, I like them as bullpen reclamation projects.

I find it funny that years ago Jack harped on how worthless SLG/ISO was compared to OBP, but now he's trying to tell me that his corner OF must have an appropriate ISO-aided .450 SLG or higher to be considered valuable.

Its as if he was down playing SLG/ISO during his debates a few years ago to try and fit some sort of agenda he may have had against a certain person.

The_Godfather: Given the questions around Halladay's health and whether Kendrick can take the ball 30 times this season with an offense that will, in all probablilty, not be the '08/09 offense that he started games for, filling another slot in the rotation with a guy who may only give you a 4.70 ERA/1.40 WHIP (which is what you got from KK in 2010) is playing with fire, in my opinion.

If I have to choose between Marcum/Ross (or whatever non-Hamilton/Swisher guy you want to put in there) or, say, Swisher/cross-your-fingers-guy-at-4/5...I take Marcum every day.

Jack: My point exactly. A run saved is marginally better than a run scored.
I understand what you're saying: That defense has no impact on a pitcher's skills (i.e. FIP), although some might argue that having a great defense causes pitchers to pitch differently. And I should have phrased it more precisely.

lorecore: Jack's agenda has been unchanged and unyielding and it began long before that person signed a big contract.

lorecore: Ok. You are right. I really wasn't trying to make some stand about corner OFs having a certain ISO or not. I could honestly care less.

I was merely saying that when you're only looking at SLG, you're not really looking at a guy's power, per se. ISO helps you get a sense of the guy's power, and probably helps you determine certain predictive measures. But yeah, total bases are total bases and that's that. You are right.

For just a moment, forget the fantasies and the polemics and just ask a simle question. Does anything that RAJ has done to this point suggest that the Phils have closed the 17 game gap between themselves and the Nats? Short answer: no. Unless the next shoe to drop is Swisher or Hamilton,get ready for more of the same coming your way in 2013.I can accept that Revere and Young are low cost, money saving moves which may produce some benefit. But if RAJ has saved some money with these signings, might I ask what is he saving this money for?

How would Dice-BB be any different than bringing Willis in here last year? They are both toast. Roll with the young arms. It's about time one of them develops into a legit piece back there.

Joe D: by that line of thinking, then sign Marcum and roll with Brown and Ruf (with Ross/Nix/JMJ) and see what they can do?

Jonathan Sanchez would be a nice candidate for moving to the pen.

@bebop...I'm talking about staying young in the pen. I think you have a better shot at getting one of them to be a key contributor than you do a disaster like Matsuzaka.

Willis' contract wasn't even guarenteed. There was no risk whatsoever in that move. If they did that with Dice-K, there should be absolutely no one opposed to it.

I know Willis' deal wasn't guaranteed and they'd likely do the same thing with Dice-BB but I just don't see how it works out. I'm not going to really care if they bring him. I just see it as an exercise in futility.

There was a study a bit ago on the chances of success of BA top 100 prospects. Thought it was relevant given the D Brown discussion. Pos players ranked in the top 10 were busts almost 40% of the time, which was the same as the probability that they would become exceptionally good players. Alternatively, the were successes ~63% of the time.

More here:

CF is a significantly more important defensive position than 3B. Also, Rube is trying to get a setup guy (as shown by his attempt for Lopez) and has said he's looking for another SP.

So, to review: He's added speed and defense to one of the key defensive spots on the field, he's looking to improve the pitching and, wisely IMHO, he's added offense at one of the least important defensive positions.

In case anyone forgot, the Phillies had a CF w/ both speed & defense in CF for the first 101 games last season, during which time the team absolutely stunk.

It's also worth remembering the Phillies were utterly slaughtered by awful 3B defense in '12. It doesn't particularly matter where the defensive weakness lies if misplays lead to more runners reaching base leads to extended innings for SP leads to early bullpen appearances ... we saw it all too often last season.

The "plan" to me seems to be make certain the Phillies don't breach the salary cap, don't lose a draft pick by signing a good player, & gambling that Young will return to form at the plate & Revere becomes the next Ichiro.

It's overwhelmingly unimpressive.

Gtown Dave: Yeah, runs are runs are runs. A run doesn't count less because a 3B booted a ball than when a CF fails to get to a drive in the gap. Sure, CF is a *harder* position to play than 3B, and has a lower offensive floor, and that's why it's afforded more run value on the defensive spectrum.

But that doesn't mean Michael Young's runs given up on defense don't count. And I know this is a cheap shot, but when your offensive addition at 3B hit .277/.312/.370 last year, can you really claim victory?

gtown: good post. you should have included/quoted clout's earlier comment that since Worley wasn't with the Phillies the entire year, that replacing him isn't that much of a factor.

So CF is a huge upgrade by replacing Mayberry who only started in CF about 50 times, but losing Worley doesn't matter because he "only" made over 20 starts.

He basically cancels out his own argument himself. And what a surprise, he just accused other posters of doing that very thing.

I'm hoping this low-cost OF, low-cost pitcher narrative being pushed publicly by Amaro is a bunch of BS. Those criticizing Amaro's lack of plan: if he doesn't do anything else major, you're exactly right. I think it's a little early to conclude that when he (seemingly) has so much money to spend.

On another note, calling any player a bust at age 25 after 400 MLB ABs is really, really stupid, no matter how many times it's repeated.

My god, I'm drowning in the negativity.

Maybe I should just cancel my this year. It appears the 2013 Phillies are gonna lose 90-100 games.

why are we assuming that a healthy ryan howard is a good thing? he was a -1.2 WAR player last year ... in about half a season (making him as bad as michael young, for what it's worth). unless he rebounds big time, his presense on the field does not make us better. we're just as good with young at 1st and frandsen/galvis at 3rd.

If you're saying that there's not much to replace since Worley was missing most of last season, aren't you essentially looking to end with a similar result (i.e. on the outside of the playoff picture)?

Yeah, it's easy to replace 2012 Worley, since he was largely a non-factor. Problem is, we're not looking to replicate 2012 final results. An upgrade over both what Worley gave you, as well as his replacements, is absolutely necessary. Tyler Cloyd is not that upgrade.

Worley gave 23 starts last year. They may not have been great starts, but they were 23 starts (and 133 IP) that were at least better than replacement level (i.e., Tyler Cloyd).

"...but when your offensive addition at 3B hit .277/.312/.370 last year..."

Way to go, Jack!

Ignore the rest of the guy's career.

You probably would have said the same thing about Henry Aaron after his age 34 season, when his OPS dropped precipitously from the years before that.

Obligatory "awh thinks Michael Young = Hank Aaron" post

Enough of this 'who is replacing what' argument. Worley is tougher to figure because he truly did miss a good portion of the season- and if anyone can find a stat line for the composite 4th starter, I'd be grateful because I can't.

But the numbers are there for CF and 3B.

Phils got .253/.311/.401 and a 2.7 WAR from CF, and they got a .289/.335/.370 and a 2.4 WAR from 3B. Those are the numbers being replaced.

Biggest room for improvement, IMO:

1B: .234/.308/.418 -0.8 WAR

Cylic - Just don't forget what runs are (the answer: runs).

Iceman - I've got a better one that than:

Doc 2011: 233 IP / 65 RA / 2.20 FIP / 2.35 ERA
Doc 2012: 156 IP / 78 RA / 3.69 FIP / 4.49 ERA

Doc could pitch to his (relatively poor) 2012 FIP and it would probably mean 3 more wins than 2012. That would still be a shadow of his former self. That's not as true with 1B situation (I don't think).

lorecore: I know you're not nearly as stupid as your posts make you look.

Victorino is long gone. Amaro is not upgrading from Vic. He's upgrading from Mayberry. Or, if you prefer season-over-season, 99 starts by Vic and 63 starts by Mayberry and a couple of bums like Mini-Mart.

And you don't think Revere is an upgrade over that?

RF wasn't great either. 1.2 WAR.

Basically what looking at the composite lines of the OFs told me: tcans oils sure as hell use a really good one.

Anyone else nervous about Kendrick reverting to his old form. I'm sure his emergence as a dependable 4th starter paved the way for Worley to be a trade piece.

Haha iPhone. 'They could.'

tcans oils win 85-95 games this year, i'd say.

Sophist- yeah, that's pretty huge. Hadn't gotten into the pitching yet. Halladay is a big key no matter who they sign next.

Wish I had found this fangraphs composite tool before. Good time-waster.

awh: I noted that was a cheap shot. It was meant to be a joke. Lighten up, everything's gonna be ok.

Iceman: It would certainly be hard for them to get worse at 1B than last year, that's for sure.

I don't think you're going to get very much more production than 2.7 WAR from CF and 2.4 WAR from 3B, though. I might project a little higher from Revere, and a little lower from Young. But I think that total is about what they'll get.

Right now tcans oils win maybe 84-85 games. Need another bat, & pitching help.

I believe the Phillies got something like a 7.1 WAR from the C position last season. Expect that to plummet.

The rocky defense at third was as much responsible for the bullpen failure as anything. It lengthened innings and shortened starts by the starting pitchers.

So, since Rube signed what we all acknowledge is a below average fielding third baseman for the coming season, do we all agree that a shutdown setup man is more important than any new offense?

The team had a weak offense last season, much of the time missing Utley and Howard. Assuming they have better and more healthy seasons and Young is adequate at best at third, shouldn't Rube be replacing Worley's contribution and finding that reliever who will no longer be the crap to Pap?

Even with all the problems last season, it was the bullpen in the end that blew all those games where they were tied or had a lead. Fix that, and some of the other problems are not as bad.

clout: Revere is an upgrade, but since Vic started around 100 games for the 2012 Phillies, its not as drastic as you might think.

And yes, Revere is better than Vic straight up, but I don't think by too much.

* defensively i should say.

And yes, Revere is better than Vic straight up, but I don't think by too much.

Cheaper? Absolutely. Faster? Sure. But Vic is unquestionably the better offensive player. And keep in mind, Vic had an arm to go w/ his range. Revere does not. We might wind up looking at a wash, defensively.

Yearly WAR relies on UZR. An Outfield position get around 300 chances a year. An outfield position usually is split among multiple players.

Yearly WAR sucks.

It does seem that alot of people here have little faith in kendrick his delivery is similar to that of greg maddux this makes it possible for him to have longevity with his experience and should he continue to refine and possible add a pitch I see no reason to assume he cant be a solid 4 or 5 starter cole should win twenty this year lee couldnt possible have a worse year unless injured if halladay can be 80 percent of years past looks pretty good to me cheap signing for fifth spot allows for a move at the trade deadline money wise after you actually have a chance to see what parts worked very sound thinking in mho

cloyd a lot of places are serving brewed decaf now

... lee couldnt possible have a worse year unless injured ...


Phils lost at least 10 games last year because vic and pence kept overthrowing cutoff men leading to bigger innings for the opposition maybe a rag arm isnt so bad as long as he makes the cutoff guy

Cloyd - Is there no period (.) on your keyboard?

Oh, and it appears that between Ruf and Revere, there will be little chance of overthrowing the cutoff man this season. So, they have that going for them.

give me a break im barely literate

Phils lost at least 10 games last year because vic and pence kept overthrowing cutoff men ...


....................... I guess is does exist.

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