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Thursday, January 03, 2013


I like the Lowe idea, and want RAJ to get as creative as he can to get Stanton. I want that smug meter to go through the roof at that press conference*.

*I know it's not going to happen.

If we're on the subject of throwing money away on bums, I think a veteran backup SS would fit this team well before a guy like Hudson. Ronny Cedeno is out there and just had his best year at age 29 (104 OPS+ in 180PA) although 2000 other PA says he's dreadul (71 OPS+).

I don't like the idea of Freddy Galvis sitting on the bench, you're basically guaranteeing the kid never develops. He may never anyway, but at least give him the chance. And no, dropping him in against MLB pitching last year as a 22yr old with a career .613 OPS in the minors is not "giving him a chance".

I'd definitely take a look at Javier Vasquez too. He didn't take 2012 off because he lacked the ability to pitch well, he simply didnt want to pitch. He was quite effective in 2011.

Overall, I dont see us winning the division unless the Nats falter. If they do as well as expected, we're looking at a WC berth.

Agree 100 percent that Galvis needs to play. The plan for him should be to step in at short at the end of Rollins' tenure. He'll only get close to that point by playing.

Rangers nearing deal with Frasor, this could be the start of 1year reliever deals. Lets hope the Phils don't miss out.

Frasor isn't a great find, but he'd certainly make the team. Will be 35, missed some time from injury last year and has had a 1.4 WHIP over the past three years, even though averaged over a K per inning during same span.

Second or third place, 84-78 to 88-74 range, after pounding the Mets and Marlins regularly. Agreed that the Nats have to falter mentally or physically before the Phillies challenge seriously for the division.

... that is, "beating the Mets and Marlins regularly," as the pounding days are long over

Vasquez would be mildly intriguing on a minor league deal, though: (1) one has to be very skeptical of a 36-year old pitcher who didn't pitch at all last year; and (2) it's hard to see where he'd fit in our starting rotation, unless the Phillies decided to eat a $2.5M contract that they signed only 3 weeks ago.

On the other hand, if Vasquez were willing to pitch out of the bullpen in a swing-man type role, I think he'd be an excellent signing.

I was thinking as a swingman type role, bap...with the knowledge that he'd probably push into the rotation due to injuries at some point as teams typically need 6 starters at a minimum.

Road to +17:
Cliff Lee 2012: 6-9
Cliff Lee 2013: 16-9 +10

Roy Halladay 2012: 11-8
Roy Halladay 2013: 15-8 +4

Vance Worley/Tyler Cloyd 2012: 8-11
John Lannan 2013: 11-10 +4

That's 18 more wins. Of course, I don't expect a 98-win season, but 91-92? Maybe, if offense is improved from last year's.

Don't see it. I don't like any of those options. I think the Nats barring a major injury(s) to key players have put even more distance between the Braves and Phillies. I think the Denard Spann deal, which is the guy I wanted the Phils to get, will pay dividends for them.

don't see a 99-win season, should have said (math not exactly my strong suit)...

***Cliff Lee 2012: 6-9
Cliff Lee 2013: 16-9 +10

If Lee had only hit a few more HRs, he might have gotten the run support he needed for 10 more wins.

He had 2 or less runs of support in 11 of his 30 starts last year.

"If Lee had only hit a few more HRs, he might have gotten the run support he needed for 10 more wins."

Problem is, the run support hasn't likely gotten any better. Obviously, Lee will win more than 6 games -- and probably a lot more -- because it's extraordinarily improbable for a pitcher to pitch 211 innings with a 3.16 ERA and 1.114 WHIP, and win only 6 games. But the run support will again be a problem for all our pitchers across the board.

Also, if we're going to make projections based on LeeJPC's extremely overly simplistic formula, then we've got to account for Blanton's 8 wins. We're not just trying to improve upon the 8 wins provided by Worley & Cloyd, but the 16 wins provided by Worley, Cloyd & Blanton.

Still really like the Phils to grab at least one more reliever especially a RHP veteran on a 1-yr deal.

Really like Lowe as a classic swingman who can pitch more than 1 IP if necessary.

Going to give up some hits but he still gets more than enough GBs with his sinker, doesn't walk many hitters or give up HRs, and hasn't gotten killed by LHB the last 3 years.

Problem is Lowe has expressed strongly that he wants to remain a starter yet and that would price him out of the Phils' range and make it unreasonable to sign him.

Love Amaro to structure a deal with him (say 1 yr/$2.5-$3M as a base and give him incentive upside based on IP, GS, and appearances).

More wins for Lee does not necessarily require more run support (though that would be nice.) Improved ability of setup man to protect a 1-0 lead will also help.

I disagree that the Nats win 98 games again. 95 games may take the division.

They were 7 - 1 against the Astros last year. Not happening again. They were also 14-4 vs. the Mets. I don't think they repeat that either.

Head to head vs. a depleted 2012 Phillies squad?: 9 - 9.

Nats are good, and the best team - on paper - in the division. But IMHO they won't be as good as last season, and they're not unbeatable.

Ditto Braves.

clout brought it up but I do think the Phils missed an opportunity to the deal that Gorzelanny signed with the Brewers (2 yr/$6M) with almost no incentive upside.

He would have filled the classic swingman role perfectly & has pitched very well as a reliever the past 2 years.

I really like Horst in the swingman role too but the issue is whether or not his improvement in his stuff last year is sustainable or not. If not, the Phils really could use another reliever who can pitch multiple inning especially with KK & Lannan in the rotation and a version of Halladay that the Phils likely won't push as deep into games.

I can't even get excited about Stanton because I know it has no chance of happening. If there is a way to get him, Rube needs to do it. If it means completely wiping out what little is left of the farm system and then some, so be it. I've grown conservative of the prospects lately and I was against the Pence trade. Stanton is a whole different animal though and if he's out there, anything that can work should be tried. That being said, I'm sure it has been and I put the odds of getting him at less than 10%.

Btw, if the Phils never trade for Pence do you think that package gets Stanton? I think it would have. And I would MUCH rather have Stanton.

awh: They were also 9-9 against the Marlins, which was an anomaly even with the Marlins' 2012 roster. And they were 0-3 against the Yankees and 3-4 against the Rockies and 2-3 against the Pirates.

I don't disagree with your overall point. I don't think they'll win 98 games either, simply because it requires some luck to win that many games. But parsing individual head-to-head anomalies in a team's overall record isn't all that sound an analysis. There are always going to be head-to-head anomalies in any team's 162-game schedule. Those anomalies even out.

Re: Stanton

Not even worth the time considering since the Phils don't have the young proven MLB talent & potential high-ceiling prospects to even make a possible deal work.

***Btw, if the Phils never trade for Pence do you think that package gets Stanton?***

Probably not. I dont think Cosart, Singleton and Santana would get you Stanton right now.

NEPP - Probably not and I imagine it would take at least one more MLB proven pitcher like Worley or a prospect with a potentially higher-ceiling (Biddle)

87 to 92 seems more likely, but if Doc Halladay returns to form and Ruf turns out to be the real deal and Kratz can hold his own hitting .260 with exceptional power and guys can remain healthy for a huge portion of the year, I think 92-97 wins is possible. Although that is a lot to ask for.

What big spending, contending team has the deepest farm? That team should be the favorite to land Stanton. Somebody like the Rangers should open up the vault for him. He's a helluva replacement for Hamilton for pennies on the dollar as far as salary goes. Give them Olt, Profar and a few other high profile prospects. That should do it.

I have always liked Pedro Feliciano. I would also check in on other then the usual suspects would be, Todd Coffey, Manuel Corpas, and Juan Carlos Oviedo. Call me crazy, but Jamie Moyer anybody? He pitched well out of the bullpen for us in 09' (I think) and could be the swing man we have been looking for.....

On 17 more wins: Sure, why not? The real 2012 team was the team of the last half of the season.
Last season, on July 13th they were 37-51 (.420). On October 3rd, they were 81-81 (.500) a performance of 44-30 (.595). If they do that all year, it's a 96 win season and an almost certain playoff spot. And they did that without Pence, Blanton, and Vic. An improvement of 17 wins is very possible even with last year's crew.

Howard and Utley seem fine. The bullpen is a little better. Young should be some offensive improvement over Polly. We seem a little better than last year's last half. Bring those Nats and Braves on, we'll take them.

Stanton is, and was the last 2 years, a better player than Josh Hamilton. They'd be wise to look into improving upon Hamilton with a younger, cheaper, better player.

Fats: That's all I'm saying. What a bonanza he would be for some contenders.

Stanton has the sixth highest ISO since 2000, at .282, behind Bonds, McGwire, Thome, Sosa and Pujols, and right in front of Ryan Howard.

And he has hasn't even hit his prime yet.

The kid is seriously good.

Shane, out of curiosity, what makes Howard seem fine in your eyes?

He wasn't even close to 100% at any point in 2012.

I have no interest in Stanton. He's an awful defensive outfielder.

Stanton is a future HOF player if he continues to develop as expected. Its hard to believe he's entering his Age 23 season.

***He's an awful defensive outfielder.***

So was Ted Williams.

For a note on his power, he hit 37 HRs in 123 games last year (at Age 22). That's a 49 HR pace for a 162 game season.

In one of the most pitcher friendly parks in baseball.

"Problem is, the run support hasn't likely gotten any better.".... "Again be a problem for all our pitchers across the board."

Ya think? Tell that to RAJ. He really likes the lineup.

I hear from my friend Ed in Pottstown, that the Soriano rumors are flying again. Deal doesn't include Brown. Phils will pay Soraino 5 mil-year for 2 years. Ruf goes to AAA.

If this is true, this is the best (or cheapest) RAJ could do? I hope not. I'd rather see Ruf in LF.

NEPP: That was me trying to be funny. Note the fake handle.

There are absolutely no metrics I see that label as a below average defender, let alone an "awful" defender. In fact, the numbers I see (Rdrs, Rtot, Fld%, errors, assists, UZR/150), all paint him in a very good light.

And with his bat, he could simply take the defensive half of innings off, and he'd still be a valuable player.

***That was me trying to be funny. Note the fake handle.

Should have realized...that was a ridiculous comment.

I'd rather send Stanton out to RF every inning without a glove than go with Dom Brown over him.

bap, thank you for making the point:

" requires some luck to win that many games."

One of those pieces of luck was a depleted Phillies team.

BTW, the Phils were 9 - 9 vs. the Nats last season and actually outscored them head-to-head. Yep, it's a small 18 game sample size, but the point is that the Nats are not the invincible behemoth that some here seem to think they are.

I was amused by RR's post above calling for an 84 - 88 win season.

Some posters memories are so short.

It's been posted here by other before: The Phillies lost multiple games (IIRC 30) last season when leading in the 7th inning.

Why? We all know the answer: the bullpen stunk and was hurt by injuries. The Herndon, Contreras, Stutes and DeFratus injuries all had a negative impact.

In a perfect storm of injuries, the Phillies still managed to win 81 games last season.

Even with reasonable health IMO they'll win close to 90 in 2013.

The question is how many marginal wins can they pick up to get into the playoffs if it even takes 90 wins. It didn't in 2012.

Fat: Maybe he's only awful when I watch because almost every time I see him play, he makes some godawful gaffe.

Not that I wouldn't want the Phillies to trade for him, mind you . . .

BAP- I just spit out my V-8. Well played.

The key to the clandestine posts is creativity and timing. The imposter doesn't have that. BAP executed that to perfection.

bay_area_phan: How soon we (I) forget:

Channeling my inner Jerry Seinfeld a la Newman meeting:

"Hello, BLANTON!"

Forgot all about the mound contributions of Fat Joe (or in 2012's case, Not-So-Fat Joe).

***The key to the clandestine posts is creativity and timing. The imposter doesn't have that. BAP executed that to perfection. ***

It has to be believable. I completely fell for did Fat apparently.

He's not a very good outfielder. We see enough of him to know that. The point is who cares. If he's truly available he would be the most desireable trade commodity to hit the open market in my lifetime. And played legion ball with Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown.

That should read I played legion ball with Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown.

Yeah, I fell hard.

So, NEPP and DPat don't think our offense will be any better this year with me and Chase in the lineup for a full season?


17 game improvement is probably out of the question. That would be the best of best case scenarios where every single guy finds the fountain of youth and hits like he did in his prime (infield) or hits his prime and blows up (outfield) and Halladay returns to being a 240 inning sub 3 era guy.

I can easily see the team getting to 88-92 wins and making the playoffs (where all bets are off).

If Amaro could reel in Stanton he would be GM of the year, hands down. I think Singleton-Brown-Cosart-Biddle might have gotten it done, and would have been worth it.

awh- absolutely correct. I appreciate that I am not alone in acknowledging just how many games the Phils lost last year on a razor's edge.

A team that isn't good enough gets out-classed consistently and is not even competitive in most of their games over a 162-game season. That was not the case for the 2012 Phils. A mixture of bad luck, bullpen failure/blown late-inning leads, and poor situational hitting cost the team not just a few games, but a TON of games. More than 17, that's for sure.

I think the FO saw this and acted accordingly with their FA signings. They recognized, like some here did, that if the players currently signed to big contracts don't perform and/or stay healthy, it doesn't matter who they sign. So they tinkered with the 'razor's edge' problems this winter- I think effectively, in most cases- and are counting on the money they've already committed to Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Howard and Utley to pay dividends.

The only things I hope still happen is A) another bullpen arm to really solidify that area as a strength in the 7th, 8th and 9th, and B) yeah, a corner OF bat via trade. Both Kubel and Soriano would do- barring that they don't give up Brown for either.

Going into this season (or any season) with Laynce Nix lined up to play 60-70% of the time in LF is a massive failure. That's why I think a move will happen. The FO can't possibly think it's OK to have that plan with all the other 'what ifs' on the team.

Really like Lowe as a classic swingman who can pitch more than 1 IP if necessary.

Going to give up some hits but he still gets more than enough GBs with his sinker, doesn't walk many hitters or give up HRs, and hasn't gotten killed by LHB the last 3 years


Numbers against Lowe

Career: RH- .253/.301/.365/.666
LH- .281/.343/.410/.753

2010- RH- .259/.313/.402/.715
LH- .287/.348/.393/.741

2011- RH- .286/.347/.416/.762
LH- .285/.348/.397/.744

2012- RH- .285/.330/.353/.683
LH- .345/.412/.525/.937

The facts seem to be against you MG unless you are talking literally being killed. In which case, yes, Lowe is not dead at the hands of a lefty as of right now.

I wish you guys would stop talking about Stanton. We don't have the horses to trade for him.

Productive thinking has been what BL is all about.

Wasting brain power in Stanton Fantasyland is an exercise in futility.

Are the Phillies 17 wins better?

Not a chance. Assuming Halladay isn't a shadow of his former self & everyone remains healthy, maybe 5-6 wins better. Unless the NL is esp. weak in '13, these Phillies are not a playoff team.

GTown, the barbiturate poster of BL is at it again! :)

GTown, since you posted "5-6 wins better", that sets the Over/Under at 5-1/2.

"Assuming Halladay isn't a shadow of his former self & everyone remains healthy,...", I'll take the "Over" on that bet.

DPat's post screaming "Imposter" in 3..2..1.

Honestly, if Utley is "not ready" again (read: misses 2-3 months to start the season), that's basically the curtain call for this team and the queue to begin rebuilding, unless literally everything else pans out to perfection.

So, NEPP and DPat don't think our offense will be any better this year with me and Chase in the lineup for a full season?


Posted by: Albert Ross | Thursday, January 03, 2013 at 01:51 PM

Wow...that strawman is cloutian in its magnificence.

NEPP, sorry. Shoulda been directed at bap, who said this:

"Problem is, the run support hasn't likely gotten any better."

I'm really surprised the Rollins bashers here haven't asked me about club membership.

Its funny but Rollins is probably the most reliable position player we have going into least the most likely to repeat his 2012 numbers (with maybe Ben Revere in a close 2nd or tie).

Prediction wise, he's probably the easiest to pencil in. Every single other position on the field has question marks (again outside of maybe Revere).

Wouldn't it make sense to bring in a guy like Lowe or Vasquez to push for that 5th rotation spot and give them some more depth? If Lannan pitches well and secures the 5th spot, then good for him. But make him earn it. And if Lannan is terrible, he can be the swing man and we don't have to replace him with Cloyd, etc.

Are the Phillies better? Nope
Just another year older and in baseball older is not better.
What is this Philly preoccupation with loading the team with more oldsters?

NEPP: What's your projection for Howard this season?

RK, with what "oldsters" did the Phillies load up this offseason?

That imposter fiasco is still continuing?

***What's your projection for Howard this season?***

I wouldn't even venture to make one. He's a complete mystery on what he's going to provide.

Bill James says .251/.344/.494 with 36 HR and 102 RBI?

I'll bet I do better than that.

Howard 2013

.255 Avg/32HR/114RBI

I think this is highly optimistic but very attainable for him.

ZIPS said .242/.325/.423 with 23 HR and 89 RBI.

I can do that from my couch.

He'll have 89 RBI by August.

awh: What oldsters?
The ones being considered by this thread not to mention the ones already on hand that we just don't seem to want to let go.

awh: "RK, with what "oldsters" did the Phillies load up this offseason?"

I think you could probbaly start with Michael Young (36), and Mike Adams (34).

It's true they added Revere, who is young. But they also added two guys who are older players by any definition, unless you only consider Jose Contreras and Jamie Moyer to be older. I mean, are you really pushing back on the fact that this is an old team?

THe question isn't whether or not Howard is going to hit 30 HRs (he almost certainly will if he plays 150-160 games), its whether he's batting .220 or .275 during that time.

Hell, he hit 14 HRs on one leg in 71 games last year. He also struck out in 34% of all his PA though.

Phlipper/aka Albert Ross: "Bill James says .251/.344/.494 with 36 HR and 102 RBI?

I'll bet I do better than that."

You've been betting the over on Howard's numbers for about the last 5 years, and you've lost your bet 5 years in a row.

Here is a prototypical Phillies loss from last year- specifically in the first half:

This is probably the single best box score to sum up the first half of the year (and some stretches in the 2nd half). Phils get a lead early. Lee dominates. They don't tack on. Manuel tries to ride Lee through the 8th because the bullpen is dreadful, and he gives up a 2-run double to some bum named Elian Herrera. Again, razor's edge.

Here's the lineup for that game, btw, which was pretty standard before the Utley/Howard returns:


With the way Vic had played to that point (he had a lower BA and OPS than Pigginton going into that game), the entire bottom half of that lineup is complete garbage.

Is anyone really surprised they had trouble scoring runs?

I agree with MOREandini's numbers, if Howard avoids any lengthy trips to the DL.

All this talk about the Phillies improving seventeen games in 2013 isn't really necessary. While I would love to see them win the East I would be happy with a playoff appearance. The Cardinals won the second wild card with 88 wins, an improvement of seven games for the Phillies. I believe they can win 91 games in 2013 which would get them into the playoffs,and once you are in the playoffs, anything can happen.

The only thing about that box score that isn't prototypical is that Josh Lindblom pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Of course, that inning was against us, not for us, so maybe it is prototypical after all.

Iceman: "the entire bottom half of that lineup is complete garbage."

As opposed to the opening day lineup right now, which against a righty pitcher would probably feature Brown, Nix, Kratz, and Revere?

Ugh. After a 1-out Wigginton single in the 9th, it was up to Fontenot and Galvis.

That said, yes, of course, I am thrilled to not have to watch a lineup that relies on Mike Fontenot and Freddy Galvis for offense. And that doesn't pinch-hit Michael Martinez in the late innings.

There are a couple of HR balls given up by Lindblom that still haven't landed.

Jack, no, not pushing back. But it seems to me that there are areas where they are committing to youth.

IF.... and that's a BIG IF, the OF winds up being Ruf/Revere/Brown, Ruf will be the senior member at the ripe old age of 36.

Unless they sign another older RP, the bullpen is likely to be Pap, Adams and a bunch of 20-somethings.

Also, they jettisoned Polanco and brought in Young, thereby getting YOUNGER! :) It's a youth movement.

Besides, it's not really the age of the player, but, rather, it's the productivity.

I'd rather have a healthy Utley posting a .793 OPS than Freddy Galvis posting his .617.

Any time they are without Howard, Utley or both, they will struggle to score runs. This is obvious. They sometimes struggle to score WITH those guys. Take the 3rd and 4th hitters out of any lineup and I would think that team would struggle with offense on most nights. The problem is we thought guys like Rollins/Vic/Pence were good enough to hold down the fort and they weren't. We thought the bench guys were good enough to support them to hold down the fort, and they weren't.

You want to know the biggest sign of a terrible lineup? When your usual 8 hole guy (Ruiz) is hitting 5th and is hands down your best hitter. Tough to win games that way.

So awh is Albert Ross...

And Ruf is 36 now

MOREandini, Ruiz wasn't the team's best hitter by default. Ruiz was legitimately one of the best hitters in baseball last year.

There were plenty of signs that the Phils had a mediocre to poor offense last year, but Ruiz being the 5-hole hitter wasn't one of them.

NEPP: "I wouldn't even venture to make one. He's a complete mystery on what he's going to provide."

And yet you pounce on those who make positive projections for him while saying nothing to those who make dire predictions.

I thought Phlipper had already admitted to being Albert Ross. I know we've had an issue with people posting under other posters' handles but this is the first time I've seen someone post under another poster's FAKE handle.

Average Age for Opening Day Lineup (assumes Ruf/Brown for now)

2012: 30.75 Years
2013: 30.75 Years

Crazy, eh? Mind you, that 2013 Opening Day lineup projection currently has Ruf, Brown and Kratz in it and that 2012 one had Wigginton, Mayberry and Galvis in it.

Fun with meaningless numbers is fun.

Naah, Fatti, just having fun. I have no idea who the real Albert Ross is.

BAP, maybe Albert Ross is the real poster, and awh and phlipper are his sobriquets.

And yet you pounce on those who make positive projections for him while saying nothing to those who make dire predictions.

Posted by: clout | Thursday, January 03, 2013 at 03:21 PM


Some things I found interesting looking at numbers throughout the season:

2012 Phils Runs Scored/Allowed Averages Per Game:

1st Half (87 games): 4.23 RS/G, 4.55 RA/G
2nd Half (75 games): 4.21 RS/G, 3.79 RA/G

Pitching, Pitching, Pitching.

Also interesting- Washington's RA/G in the 2nd Half (79 games): 3.85

The Phillies staff slightly out-pitched the Nationals after the ASB.

Also, in regards to what I was saying earlier about getting blown out: the Phils lost 14 'blowouts' (5+ run losses) in 2012. The Nats- 11. The Braves- 17. So they're right between the Braves and Nats in that respect.

A team with an identical record- the DBacks- were blown out 21 times. The Brewers, with a slightly better record, were blown out 19 times. The Pirates, with a slightly lesser record, were blown out 21 times. Bad teams get blown out slightly more- for example, the Mets got blown out 24 times.

The point here is that this team is not getting blown off the field, and the improvement needed to tip the scales in their favor coming into the off-season was not that significant. Targeted, incremental improvements. With the exception of the corner OF (a need everyone agrees hasn't been addressed), that's what the FO has done. It's all on the Big Money players already signed to produce and stay healthy and avoid lineups like the one I posted earlier.

don't know why this hasn't been discussed or linked here, but Zolecki has an article up at here:

Iceman, this really supports your post, as well as - I hope - finally having the effect of getting through to the posters on thei site that just don't "get it".

Key quotes:

"The Phillies went 36-24 (.600) after July 31, which is fairly impressive considering they traded away two-thirds of their everyday outfielders (Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino), Roy Halladay continued to battle back and shoulder problems, Carlos Ruiz missed most of the final two months and the Phils had no reliable setup man."

"Philadelphia starters ranked second in the NL with a 3.39 ERA after July 29 after ranking ninth with a 4.07 ERA the first four months. The team's relievers ranked fourth in the league with a 2.81 ERA in the final two months after ranking 13th with a 4.50 ERA in the first four."

"The Phillies' offense averaged 4.27 runs per game the final two months, which ranked eighth in the league. It was a minor improvement from the first half, when they played without Ryan Howard and Chase Utley."

OK, for all of you who have, for the entire offseason, been whining about signing another bat:

It's the pitching, stupid!


That LOL was for the NEPP.

My post earlier about Soriano WAS me. Just sayin' I wouldn't be all that crazy about the Phils getting him, at least not at Ruf's expense.

Of the course, the first half of the lineup is better with a healthy Howard and Utley, and that's the caveat.

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