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Monday, January 28, 2013

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Here's hoping YB lasts as long in a Phils uniform as Luis Castillo.

2012 OPS
Betancourt: .656
Galvis: .617
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..
..
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Mini Mart: .461

So there's that at least.

I would love to get a read on the excitement level for this team this year.

Only on BL:

Some of the same people who complain about giving a guaranteed MLB deal to Durbin also get down on the Betancourt inking, which is a non-guaranteed MiL deal.

How is that a contradiction? If either of those guys is the answer to anything in your organization, you're asking the wrong questions.

Reposted from the previous thread:

Chad Durbin's peripherals were lousy last year. He's walking more guys and striking out fewer as he gets older. He had a .251 BABIP in 2012 (career .294) and a career-high 81.6% LOB% (career 70.3%) - both of those numbers typically regress to the mean. His xFIP was 4.41 (real ERA 3.10).

In other words, why? There is a significant opportunity cost to blocking a bunch of good young arms with someone like Durbin, the same way there is for blocking Brown and/or Ruf with Delmon Young.

I agree ColonelTom. It's time to see what the young arms can do. Enough of these patchwork stiffs. If you give a young arm a chance you could fall into the next Madson. Wouldn't that be better than constant band-aids?

I have no clue what direction this team is going in. The moves don't have any cohesion whatsoever.

ColonelTom, you missed the pointy. Entirely.

$1.1M + $350K in incentives for middle-relief filler. *facepalm*

Forget about the young guys - what does Chad Durbin do that Juan Cruz can't?

Do enlighten me on your "pointy," rolo.

Betancourt is a 'whatever' signing. He's irrelevant.

I do think this team could use another RH reliever unless this team really thinks Stutes is 100% healthy. Not a ton of organizational depth right now at the RH reliever side either after Stutes/Schwimmer.

Durbin's a bad signing though on a MLB deal. He's a guy who throws slop (sub 90-MPH cutter/sinker) now and doesn't have the slider that made him a useful pitcher here in '08.

At best, he's passable and at worst he is Qualls redux. Don't understand why Amaro didn't spend try to spend a bit more and go after Lindstrom instead ($2.3M).

Hell I would have rather Amaro gone after a few remaining FA RH relievers including Lyon, Rauch (who I am not a fan off), Capps, and Padilla. Even Lowe as a swing man type possibly.

Just generally a waste to hand out $1.1M guaranteed to Durbin who I bet have very few/if no other guaranteed deals. At the very least, I find it pretty hard difficult Amaro couldn't have structured the Durbin deal as a minor league deal with a salary contingent among him making the Opening Day roster.

Durbin on a minor league deal that gave him salary of say $1M if he makes the Opening Day roster with some incentives upside would have been a better deal.

Now they are stuck with Durbin automatically although it does mean the Phils will have some legit RH reliever depth at Lehigh with Stutes/Schwimmer.

No es bueno!

Colonel, in the first place, you tossed a staw man into the mix at the end of your post. No one has stated that these players are the answer. That has nothing to do with my point.

But simply, there is a doouble standard at work, and it is employed by those here who complain for the sake of complaining.

I had another post here that got lost in cyberspace (or the stupid authentication system that sometimes shows up), where I asked why someone would get his panties in a wad over a MiL signing, where the guy is obviously destined to be minor league filler. (He's reached that stage in his career.)

That is still a mystery to me.

NO WALKS NO WALKS NO WALKS

Presumably this is tattooed on some unmentionable part of Rube's body.

What the hell has Amaro done to this team?

"Now they are stuck with Durbin automatically..."

MG, I disagree.

Based on the "Qualls Experience" last season, they'll cut bait faster with Durbin if he's ineffective.

@rolo....I think people hate the Betancourt signing because there is a lot of apprehension for this season and moves like this are just flat out depressing. Of course he very well will never see even an inning with the big club.

MG, I do agree with you that there are other relievers who I would have rather Amaro signed.

But what are they asking for and what is the competition for their services?

The Durbin signing isn't sexy or earth shattering, but he does hold value. He is a very durable veteran reliever. Aside from 2011, he's been better than average. Banking on all our young arms would be fine if the Phils were in a rebuilding stage, but they're not. Durbin gives them a veteran presence to pair with Papelbon and Adams. I really think Horst has a spot locked up and that the competition for last spot in the bullpen comes down to Aumont and Stutes.

"Durbin had a 3.10 ERA for the Braves last season in a career-high 76 appearances. He also had a career-low 1.31 WHIP. Righties hit just .206 off him.

Durbin gives the Phillies another right-handed reliever and a versatile bullpen piece. Durbin is a former starter with stamina who has pitched more than one inning in 57 of his 365 relief appearances."

But apparently he's no better than Stutes (coming off reconstructive arm surgery), so why bother?

"Banking on all our young arms would be fine if the Phils were in a rebuilding stage, but they're not."

Ironically, Amaro is doing quite the job moving this team to rebuilding rather quickly.

Battle for utility infielder:
Betantcourt, Galvis, Orr, Mini-Mart.

Martinez sucks, Amaro finally knows it.

Might want Galvis to get regular at bats, so Triple-A is a possibility.

That means it comes down to Cuban versus Canadian. Hmm...

Just stop the bleeding... please...

Here's an interesting question: if it came down to Yuni and Mini-Mart for the last roster spot, who is BL rooting for?

At the very least, this keeps us from signing Theriot who keeps fooling teams (and some fans) into believing he's worthy of an MLB job and manages to get a ton of starts every year all over the infield.

",,,moves like this are just flat out depressing."

Why?

As MG stated, it's "a 'whatever' signing. He's irrelevant."

Why would you let a minor league filler signing, the type of signings in which all teams engage, depress you?

Joe, I'm no psychologist, but if you let a Yuniesky Betancourt MiL signing depress you, you need to get some perspective.

rolo - Make a bet? Not with a guaranteed deal that is over $1M they won't. He'll be here at least for the first 3 months.

Why I didn't like that deal and I also think there are several better RH relievers still available yet looking for guaranteed MLB deals.

Hell, I would have rather seen R. Ramirez on a minor league deal.

This is exactly like the R. Lopez signing with the only difference is that Durbin isn't completely washed up & he got a guaranteed MLB deal as a result.

Amaro is signing a known commodity instead of gambling a somewhat unknown commodity even if they might have more upside than Lopez/Durbin respectively.

Lopez is terrible and doesn't even belong at AAA and Durbin is a guy who is long in the tooth too with pretty poor peripherals & stuff last year.

To Repost: The Durbin signing doesn't bother me. He isn't as good as he was last year, but he'll throw 70 inn. at a 4.00 clip. That's fair value. On the flip side, the other drek (Delmon, Mather, Betancourt, Rolo) screams of the Bill Giles "small market Phillies" I really believe Montgomery and the "Gang of Five" has pulled in the reins of their drunk-spending GM. They see a shrinking (attendance) bottom line and their way of coping is retreating into the dumpster.

Colonel, in the first place, you tossed a staw man into the mix at the end of your post. No one has stated that these players are the answer. That has nothing to do with my point.

If they're not the answer to anything, why are we signing them - particularly in Durbin's case, when he's eating up a good 15-20% of our remaining payroll room?

But simply, there is a doouble standard at work, and it is employed by those here who complain for the sake of complaining.

What's the double standard illustrated by Durbin and Yuni?

Durbin might have been worth a minor-league deal, but not a $1.1M guarantee with incentives, particularly given the in-house options.

Yuni shouldn't have been signed at all - he shouldn't be let anywhere near a major-league roster. The problem is that in Philly, he will at a minimum be the first call-up if an infielder goes down, if he doesn't make the opening-day roster over Galvis (a very real possibility.

In related news, the Rays just signed Kelly Johnson - a guy I'd much rather have signed than their last three acquisitions combined (Delmon + Durbin + Yuni). I'll be curious to see how much Johnson gets on his one-year deal.

Some of the posters on theis site are becoming parodies of themselves.

Hitman: I can only assume that after the Young signing, BAP went into a coma. When he comes to, make sure he doesn't find out about Betancourt, because I specifically remember him talking about how Betancourt was so horrible (and he's right) that he was destined to be a Phillie. That might push him over the edge.

rolo, this is a team that won 5 straight division titles that is now trending backwards. We have witnessed the moves that Washington and Atlanta have made this past season. Look I get that Betancourt is a nothing signing. That's pretty much my point. Stuff is pretty gloomy here.

The biggest 'pro' reason to sign Durbin is that Stutes is a big question mark until he takes the mound.

After Stutes, the system's RH relief depth isn't that great. You have Schwimmer and than non-MLB pitchers like Rosenberg.

If Amaro opens the season with Betancourt or Mini-Mart as the utility infielder so that Galvis can 'develop', it's a real mistake.

I would rather actually have Mini-Mart because he at least has speed & can play passable defense at 2B/3B. Betancourt is a washed-up bum who should be playing at T-AAA somewhere.

Rube had an estimated 5-10 million dollars left under the luxury tax threshhold about a week ago. And so far, he's given Delmon Young and Chad Durbin guaranteed money out of that total. He's picked Betancourt off the scrap heap, hopefully never to play in the major leagues.

He has proven beyond any scintilla of doubt that he doesn't understand much about modern baseball.

Rube is counting on Utley, Howard and Halladay resurrecting themselves and carrying the team for a full season. That's not being a general manager. That's buying a pricy lottery ticket and hoping it pays off at this point.

The other day, I was taken to task for making a comparison between Andy Reid and Rube. Rube was given a WFC team and it is now in a state of disrepair.

Andy was given GMs who assembled a team that got to the Superbowl. He had reliable assistant coaches, notably Jim Johnson on defense. The year he took over as GM was 2005. He also started losing his assistant coaches pretty quickly following the Superbowl year of 2004. His record following the Superbowl year was 66-61, the final year being the 4-12 disaster that got him fired.

Rube still has time to turn the ship before he follows the Reid trajectory. But he's brought the Phillies to mediocrity in much the same way Reid did with the Eagles. Hopefully, we won't have to suffer the equivalent of a 4-12 season in '13 to cement the relationship.

Golf clap for aksmith. Right on the money.

"Durbin gives them a veteran presence"

Right. So Durbin is better because he's older, is basically what your entire argument boils down to.

This deal is a level above Delmon Young's, in that it isn't so absurd as to be a complete joke. Durbin, when he's good, is a decent enough middle reliever. So I'll dial back my complaints somewhat.

It's just rather troubling to see that the Phillies continue to think that a mediocre veteran is somehow inherently superior to a young player with upside. If Durbin is taking away innings from Aumont, for example, that's just a misuse of resources in the short and long-term picture.

Anyway, I don't think it really matters that much--this team is a lot closer to 4th place than they are to 1st.

Durbin and sabermetrics

- Even if Amaro doesn't put much stock in FIP/xFIP/SIERA, I don't know what his scouts saw in Durbin's stuff to give him a guaranteed deal.

Durbin is a guy who really doesn't have an effective offspeed pitch anymore (throws his curve and changeup sparingly) and throws almost predominantly a sub-90 MPH cutter/sinker combo which isn't that impressive.

"I would rather actually have Mini-Mart because he at least has speed & can play passable defense at 2B/3B."

Well, this thread just got bookmarked on my laptop.

"Rube is counting on Utley, Howard and Halladay resurrecting themselves and carrying the team for a full season. That's not being a general manager. That's buying a pricy lottery ticket and hoping it pays off at this point."


And you are showing yo know nothing about being a general manager either.

Smitty, it's time to stop being critical and outliine what YOU would have done since the beggining of the offseason, given Amaro's apparent budget and the roaster restricitions with which he has to deal?

"rolo, this is a team that won 5 straight division titles that is now trending backwards."


Joe, you expect them to be able to win the division and the WS every year, no?

*** if it came down to Yuni and Mini-Mart for the last roster spot, who is BL rooting for? ***

One of these guys I would swerve to avoid hitting with my car if he was in a crosswalk...the other is named Martinez.

I'm sure Durbin's career low WHIP and good ERA last year had absolutely nothing to do with a .251 BABIP and an 81% strand rate.

What do you think he'll look like if his numbers are a .290 BABIP and a 70% strand rate, his career averages?

"I would rather actually have Mini-Mart because he at least has speed & can play passable defense at 2B/3B."

Well, this thread just got bookmarked on my laptop."


Iceman, I saw that too. I delayed responding to it because I was a little stunned.

See my post above about people here becoming parodies of themselves. MG is not alone.

***"I would rather actually have Mini-Mart because he at least has speed & can play passable defense at 2B/3B."

***

Who the hell said that...and can I get the pills they are obviously taking?

rolo, no I don't expect that but the wheels are falling off man. Wake up.

rolo is an apt name for this poster because the candy also sucks.

I believe the comparison of Reid/Amaro included the comment (paraphrasing), "Reid doesn't know much about the sport of football."

Forget comparisons. That's just a stupid statement. But I guess when you make stupid statements with the regularity of aksmith, throwing in one more doesn't hurt anything.

Rolo (Paris, 1789): Look, the royalty can't make all the right moves, but what would YOU have done?

rolo and Iceman - No it's being objective. Betancourt is a much better hitter but he's an utter butcher in the field and lost any speed he once had.

Both are terrible and it's a huge mistake to go with either one over Galvis. I would even possibly consider Blanco over either Mini-Mart or

Joe D- what do you mean the wheels are falling off? What do these signings do to make the team appreciably worse than what your perception of it was before they occurred?

If you didn't think this team was doomed, but after the Young/Durbin/Betancourt signings now think they are doomed, that's just dumb.

"Amaro is signing a known commodity instead of gambling a somewhat unknown commodity even if they might have more upside than Lopez/Durbin respectively."

Sounds like an advocate for the much maligned low risk/high reward signing. Appears to me that Phillies fans have hated all kinds of signings this offseason. Didn't want a high priced guy like Hamilton, hated lottery ticket signings like Delmon Young and despised random veteran signings to see what stuck. We didn't have the talent to make a significant trade for someone like J. Upton, so I think Amaro did well to make the moves that were available to him while maintaining some flexibility going forward.

People clamoring for signing Lindstorm at 1/2.5 are not taking into consideration that he might have preferred Chicago (having already played there) and might have taken a discount to go there? Who knows if he even had interest in the Phils? Not as black and white as $X used here should have gone to X guy who signed for $X somewhere else.

Glad to see Durbin back.

Yuniesky made the Phillies the laughing stock of baseball analytics.

I love the argument that Amaro was handed a championship caliber team and proceeded to destroy said team, which is what smitty is saying above. I guess we'll just forget that 2009-11 ever happened because the team actually got better every year. But since some people can get the concept of "the postseason is a crapshoot" it is constantly used as a means to show that the team got worse.

Darn. Typo. Some people CAN'T get the concept.

AL - There are several minor moves that Amaro made this offseason (Fields, Cruz minor league deals) that I liked and other major ones including the Young deal.

Even signing Durbin to a minor deal with a guaranteed MLB deal wouldn't have been that bad.

I just didn't want to see him on a guaranteed MLB deal and I do think there are better alternatives out there that would come in at a similar price tag or slightly higher. I mentioned them.

MG- I actually agree with basically everything you are saying. Mini is a better defender (in the IF) than anyone here usually gives him credit for, and for that reason he has a LITTLE value. Betancourt is a zero-tool player.

But you have been basically the most outspoken guy on how Mini is the worst player in the league and the worst Phillie in the past 2 decades (or something like that). The fact that you actually want him on the team over any other human being is reason enough to mark this day as historic.

Saying I want Mini-Mart over Betancourt is like saying I would rather have my right-hand chopped off instead of my predominant hand (left-hand).

Both players are terrible and really have no business on a MLB day Opening Day roster and certainly not on a team that considers itself a playoff contender.

Can we please stop talking about Yuni Betancourt? If we ignore it, then maybe they'll cut him in spring training and he will never be mentioned again and I won't have to ever think about him again. Please.

Rolo-- They're not trending backward-- They're GOING backwards. Here's an example.. John Lannan 2.5 mil<<<<< Shaun Marcum @ 4 mill. Do you need to be a genius to see that Marcum would be a terrific 5th (or 4th) starter. I guess it's unfortunate that he didn't break Utley's hand.

"People clamoring for signing Lindstorm at 1/2.5 are not taking into consideration that he might have preferred Chicago (having already played there) and might have taken a discount to go there? Who knows if he even had interest in the Phils? Not as black and white as $X used here should have gone to X guy who signed for $X somewhere else."

I mean, I can't really argue with this, because I used this same argument when people were complaining that we didn't get Howell. We don't really know what other factors were there.

But the other argument I made was that there were plenty of relievers out there that were as good or better than Howell, so there was no need to necessarily lock in on him.

Now we know that A) Amaro had the intention of adding another guaranteed arm to the bullpen, and B) He had around ~3 million to spend on it. Unless I missed it, the team had absolutely no interest in Lindstrom (or anyone on his level) and decided instead to split that available money on two mediocre (at best) players.

Forget Lindstrom. I just wish they would've combined the funds and spent it on a better player instead of spreading it around to two mediocrities. Like MG pointed out, there were plenty of other relief options that would've been worth signing than Durbin, and the money was there to do it. That's what's disappointing about it.

I support the IDEA of signing Yuniesky, as it allows Galvis to play in AAA, but I hate Yuniesky. His defense is terrible. Ronny Cedeno is still on the market and can at least do that. If Cedeno gets a MiLB deal, then this deal is awful.

I support the IDEA of signing Durbin, as they could certainly use a veteran reliever who has proven to not be a total train wreck and come into games without walking the side like many of our rooks are at risk to do. However Durbin was about the 5-6th best reliever on the market, if guys like Rauch, Lyon, Capps get $1-1.5M deals in the future, then this deal is also awful.

A Parisian Rolo = Rolleaux, perhaps 'Cardinal Rolleaux' from an earlier era.

"Had Amaro been confined before he had begun to dogmatize, the team would have been spared many troubles."

***Do you need to be a genius to see that Marcum would be a terrific 5th (or 4th) starter. ***

He already missed the entire 2009 season to TJ surgery...and he missed 1/3 of last season to elbow issues.

I'm sure he's completely healthy and that there's no way he'll go back on the DL.

Iceman - When Andy Reid leads the Chiefs to the playoffs, I'll be sure to congratulate you.

But it's clear he knows more about football than a high school coach, and less than most pro coaches. When he lost his assistant coaches and had to rely more on his own knowledge of the game, he fell to mediocrity, then to joke status. He couldn't manage the clock in his best years. And his arrogance led him to moving a very good offensive line coach to defensive coordinator. As GM, his insistence on signing players that didn't fit his system, then trying to shoehorn them into it was maddening. He got lucky in the beginning that Dawk was a holdover and his first draft pick was McNabb. I often wonder what he would have done had he had the first pick that year. I've heard it would have been Tim Couch. And Andy Reid would have been out of a job in two or three years. Remember when he insisted on drafting a TE named LJ Smith while Witten was still on the board? Because he had to have "his kind of player." Modrack wanted to kill him. But it was "Fastballs" all the time. Even when they couldn't play.

Arrogance. Sound familiar? Seems that will be the downfall of Rube as well. Sophist and Jack are the Saber guys here. And between them, I have the feeling they outstrip the statistics department of the Phillies. In fact, I'd like to see the Phils hire Sophist to do their stat evals. Or to kick Rube in the nuts when he tries to sign the likes of Delmon Young.

So yeah, I didn't literally mean Andy Reid doesn't know much about football. What I meant was, he doesn't know enough. I should be careful around a concrete thinker to you to never use hyperbole.

As for Galvis, there is no reason he isn't on the Opening Day roster if this team really wants to be a playoff contender.m

Not that the upgrade from Galvis from Mini-Mart/Betancourt is that all that great but it is an upgrade nevertheless over both I bet by a ~1 WAR or 1.5 WAR over the course of a season because both Mini-Mart/Betancourt are worse than replacement players.

For a team that is going to likely be scrapping and clawing to get into the playoffs, that really matters.

I don't think Galvis has a higher ceiling than a minor league utility infielder. On this team, he is ideally to be the utility infielder who can give JRoll/Utley an occasional rest especially vs LHP. Galvis was terrible vs RHP last year but posted some solid numbers vs LHP.

With Utley's notable decline vs LHP, it would be a good idea to start Galvis at 2B in those spots and give JRoll some occasional blows.

aksmith: Rube and others in the front office surely know more about baseball than I or Sophist could ever hope to in a lifetime.

However, do I think that means they make the best moves? No, it doesn't. Frankly, I find the idea of only hiring former players or scouts to run a billion dollar business to be laughable. If I were an owner of a team like the Phillies, which again, is a billion dollar buisiness, I would expand my search for team leadership way beyond the world of baseball. A lot of mistakes these guys make come from a failure to think outside the box--and hiring the same old guys who've done the same things their entire life is a big reason why that happens.

Joe D- what do you mean the wheels are falling off? What do these signings do to make the team appreciably worse than what your perception of it was before they occurred?

If you didn't think this team was doomed, but after the Young/Durbin/Betancourt signings now think they are doomed, that's just dumb.

Posted by: Iceman

Oh I thought it was doomed before. These are just the last couple haymakers.

***With Utley's notable decline vs LHP, it would be a good idea to start Galvis at 2B in those spots and give JRoll some occasional blows.***

I like Galvis too but aren't we hanging just a little bit too much on his 63 PA vs LHP?

.735 OPS in 63 PA

aksmith - I agree with you and I bet Reid struggles in KC in his role as coach/GM with no clear QB in place & no clear cut solution available in the draft.

McNabb became lazy and as soon as he left Philly he didn't do what was required to stick around. Reid struggled without McNabb too though and only went 22-26 (.458) without him. That's the kind of 3-year record that would get a lot of NFL coaches fired.

NEPP - Sure but Utley isn't going to be able to play 150 G unless Cholly is a complete and utter boob who tries to play Utley everyday.

If you have to rest Utley probably once a week at a minimum, trying to start Galvis vs LHP is generally the way to go.

I do have serious doubt that Galvis can duplicate his slugging numbers from last year but he is a still a better defender than Mini-Mart. At the very least, he gives the Phils very solid defense when Utley sits.

It seems to me, by signing Durbin and D. Young, Rube is staying true to form. He (and Charlie as well) much prefer veterans to young players. They only sign and play rookies when they HAVE to.

unless Cholly is a complete and utter boob who tries to play Utley everyday

Yeah, that'll never happen. Right?

News flash: Utley started 70 of the Phils' last 72 games last season.

"Remember when he insisted on drafting a TE named LJ Smith while Witten was still on the board?"

I know this isn't a football blog but this is the type of revisionist history I can't stand. There were 32 other teams that passed on Witten too. This is not an example of arrogance.

ColonelTom - It was a mistake and I have railed on here for a long, long time that I hate how Cholly focuses on the very short term to the possible detriment of the intermediate/long-term.

He was the wrong guy to manager this aging team last year and he will be again this year.

For all of the complaining about Amaro though, it is a giant mystery what this team will do and it will take at least 2-3 weeks of spring training to begin to take an educated guess.

- What's Halladay stuff and velocity look like?

- Is Hamels completely healthy?

- Is Utley actually playing regularly? Ditto Howard?

- How does Young look?

Another dozen issues I could list too. Reporters covering the team certainly wouldn't suffer from a lack of potential stories & things to write about this spring.

Chad Durbin's career-low WHIP last year was not quite as good as Phillipe Aumont's, a young pitcher most people think has such bad command/control that he can't be trusted. Obviously, Aumont only threw 14 innings. But that's part of my point--he should be pitching more, both because he's a decent enough option now, and because he's got the potential to be more in the future, which you can't say about Chad Durbin.

I'm fine with Durbin, but not if he's taking innings away from Aumont, who is just as good as Durbin right now, and has a much higher upside for the future. If you would rather have Durbin pitching, you have to think that being older automatically makes you better, which is simply not true.

Jack, that's what I'm saying. It's time to feed the younger guys to the wolves. They need to hit on the next big reliever that way. They can't keep dumpster diving for subpar stop gaps. Let Aumont try to grow. With Charlie at the helm he is going to hand the ball to Durbin every time over Aumont.

Redburb - I'm afraid you are doing the revisionist thing. The Eagles clearly REACHED for LJ Smith where they took him in the second round. Witten was still on the board into the third round.

Dallas Clark was rated and taken ahead of him. And Joppru at the time, out of Michigan. But he was clearly the third tight end in that draft. I think there was one more taken before him, but nonetheless, Reid insisted on his fastball and ignored the much better player, when Tom Modrack was pounding the table for Witten. Sort of reminds me of taking all those toolsy guys who have no baseball skills, to bring this back to baseball.

Amaro doesn't necessarily need the brightest statistical mind available. What the Phils need is someone of that mindset who has clout and persuasiveness. Any number of Phillies fans between here, fangraphs, backshegoes, wherever, could provide Amaro with some lecture in why OBP is important and RBI are irrelevant, but do you think he's never heard that story before?

If his comments are taken at face value, it's pretty clear Amaro is well aware of at least some part of what people are calling "baseball in the 21st century" means. He just thinks it's crap. If the Phils had a statistical eval. would they even listen to him/her?

Sophist - Would Amaro listen? Probably not, and that's why your backup job would be to kick him in the nads when he says a name like Delmon Young. See? I had a plan.

I really wish Missanelli had asked follow up questions of Amaro in that interview. Something as simple and non-adversarial as "What do you mean by production? Isn't not making an out a form of production?" would maybe have given us a clearer picture of what Amaro was even talking about.

I would feel differently if I thought Durbin was definitively better than Aumont, right now. Then he should be getting the innings, at least while the Phils were in contention.

But given that I don't think Durbin is much better right now, and that I think Aumont has a chance at being a whole lot better and a key guy in the future, I think Aumont should be given every opportunity ahead of Durbin.

I don't think that's the case with some other guys (Stutes, Schwimmer, etc.), even though I think they're all kind of fungible together. If they want Durbin ahead of them, so be it. This is my olive branch towards the deal.

This has been a disappointing off season as far as I am concerned. As others here have pointed out counting on Howard Utley plus an assorted bunch from yesteryear to take them over the Braves and the Nats is ridiculous.

I'm fine with Durbin. Relievers get hurt; some are ineffective. Unlike Delmon Young, it really is a depth move. I don't see him taking innings from Aumont as much as guys like Stutes, and if he stinks they'll try someone else.

ak- this isn't a football blog so I'm not going to go up and down on the Reid issue. Suffice to say, I don't think Reid will be leading the Chiefs to the playoffs any time soon, but his reputation with the WIP crowd as some buffoon who can't coach is pretty undeserved.

But I had originally said that Amaro, quite literally, appears to not know much about the game of baseball, if you take the sum of a lot of his comments about 'production' seriously. I really believe that. Even Jack is apparently giving him more credit in this area than I am. It is incredibly possible to grow up around a sport and still have no idea how to spot players and personnel to build a team and play that sport well.

It's all about who Amaro was surrounded by during his time learning about the game- and the whole organization seems to think the same way when it comes to the sport. I'm not a Sabr Nazi, but I think completely disregarding newer (newer = the last 10-20 years...you can't even call them 'new' anymore) statistics when evaluating players is just mind-bogglingly stupid. And Amaro appears to think advanced stats are a joke. If he really believes that, pretty soon (starting next year), the joke is going to be on him (and us) because he'll be out of a job, and this will be a 70 win team until the organization gets its collective head out of the sand.

So when you said Reid didn't know anything about the game (as a football coach, I'm not sure how that's even possible), I took it quite literally- because when I said the same thing about Amaro, I was being dead serious. I apologize for misreading the hyperbole.

smitty - I'm not doing any revisionist history. My point was that the reason Smith was drafted was not due to arrogance but a failure in scouting and/or player evaluation as evidenced by the fact that 32 other teams passed on Witten. This has nothing to do with arrogance, as you have stated. You took a perceived (rightly or wrongly) personality trait of Reid's and applied it in a situation that had more to do with talent evaluation than arrogance.

Apply that to the toolsy approach. Yes the Phillies are known to take toolsy players. This has nothing to do with arrogance and everything to do with how they evaluate players.

Is it just me, or are the Phillies banking on alot of these players not to reach their incentives? I mean if every player reaches his marks and gets his incentives, aren't we going to go over the cap?

Sophist: Yeah, I'm becoming more resigned to being ok with the Durbin move.

If he gets innings over Aumont, that's on Charlie, anyway. Still, I think Amaro and Charlie tend to think the same way--a veteran is automatically better than a young guy. I think that strategy is terrible, and how you end up with, say, a 39-year old Raul Ibanez as your everyday starter in LF.

Be glad when season starts.

Is it just me, or are the Phillies banking on alot of these players not to reach their incentives? I mean if every player reaches his marks and gets his incentives, aren't we going to go over the cap?

Posted by: Elephant in the room | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 03:31 PM


Players reaching their incentives means they are playing well right?

Jack - I agree with you when it comes to position players and less flashy relievers. I'm more confident about quick revisions when it comes to guys like Aumont. I think a relief pitcher with that kind of stuff - and the success he had late last year - will be given lots of chances.

Similar reasons for not being too worried about Ruf. 1) it's unlikely he'll be the power hitter, OBP machine his numbers suggest (still possible); 2) I think Charlie will give him tons of chances to succeed. Delmon Young and Mayberry are not Ibanez. They are not some steady, streaky veteran presences. I think Ibanez is an isolated case -- although it seems that Michael Young will be in that mold.

I just wish some of these guys could field their position. At least with a platoon-Bourn-Revere OF and Galvis at 3B I'd be more excited to watch games.

I'm beginning to think that the actual season can't be as depressing as this offseason. The whole big market team acting like a small market team thing is becoming a weight, dragging down the joy of baseball.

I think what the Dodgers are doing is insane. Even though they have the money and don't need a single fan to attend the games to make a profit for the next decade, some of their decisions are just not good baseball decisions. But the Phillies suddenly being so budget conscious makes me wonder if ownership has any more of a plan than Rube does. When they will be heading into TV negotiations, it's not the best time to start pinching pennies on the payroll. Seems pretty shortsighted.

oogie urbina, so, are you ready to go on record that Marcum, despite recent health concerns, will have a better year than Lannan?

It's the Philly way. Keep the kids out of the majors.No sense giving them a chance,heck they might do something good.Then we wouldn't know what to do with our veterans.
Lucky the Whiz kids aren't around.

Sophist: "I just wish some of these guys could field their position."

Oh, yeah. The Phillies will have one of the worst defenses in baseball, I'm pretty sure about that. They look to be good defensively only in CF, SS, 2B, and C, and that's assuming a 34-year old Rollins, 34-year old Utley, and 33-year old Ruiz keep up their stellar defense. It's obviously better to be good up the middle than other places, but it's not like balls aren't hit to the other positions. And it's going to be real ugly when they are.

Jack- I'm a big Aumont fan and I think your point with him vs. Durbin holds up a lot more than it does with Stutes. The young pitchers that should absolutely, without a doubt, be in the bullpen at this point are Bastardo, DeFratus and Aumont. I understand a lot of people don't agree on Aumont- just my personal feeling on him. If Durbin is taking innings from those guys, it would be a mistake.

As for the other guys? I guess Horst sort of deserves job, but nothing in his track record shows that he can repeat his 2012. Stutes just had reconstructive surgery on his arm. Schwimer's upside is Clay Condrey, and we saw his downside when he soiled himself last year in a lot of big situations. I just don't think any other guy deserves a definite role, and there won't be so many guys that pitch well enough to the point where we'll be saying "Oh man, I can't believe Durbin is on the roster while __________ is killing it in the minors."

And if that happens, and Durbin is awful, they'll eventually cut him and bring the other guy up. The only thing I'm worried about is Manuel remembering what Durbin did in '08 and immediately moving him up his 'gut' depth chart behind Adams. There's a decent chance of that happening.

Redburb - Again, I think you're overlooking the point. Not every team wanted a TE. Some already had them and some already drafted them. The Eagles needed one, and wanted one. But they were the only team that reached for a lower valued one with the information available at the time. And the story is that it was Reid overruling Modrak to get it done.

Back to baseball.

Iceman, there is no doubt in my mind that Cholly will want to get all nostalgic with Durbin and have him seeing work in high leverage situations. He'll conveniently forget his scares in the 2009 NLCS and his awful WS performance. He'll also forget how the guy threw just last season.

Can we stop comparing the Phillies and the Eagles, please? I feel like an idiot for having to write that.

It's not even apples and oranges -- at least they're both fruit. It's like comparing apples to those plastic ends of shoelaces.

Stop.

Iceman - there's also Raul Valdes, who had an outstanding 2012 season between AAA and the majors. He has a reverse platoon split (.268/.314/.481 vs. LHB, .211/.314/.323 vs. RHB) and is perfectly capable of handling a middle-relief or 7th-inning role.

The Cards just signed Ronny Cedeno to a one-year deal. He'll start at SS until Furcal returns.

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