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Friday, February 08, 2013

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That last paragraph is key...everyone please remember that when Betancourt hits .456 with 3 HRs in the first 10 days of ST and everyone annoints him as the future 3B/SS of the Organization.


I fondly remember 3-4 years ago when ST invitee Marcus Giles got off to a hot start and everyone was going nuts about him being a great find. He hit like .150 the rest of the way and was cut.

So I had no idea until I just looked it up. Did you all know that the surgery Mike Adams had this offseason is the same one that Chris Carpenter had, who is now about to miss his second straight season and may not ever pitch again?

What, no update on the status of the equipment?

I'd rather see Revere 8th than 1st, but what I REALLY don't want to see is Delmon Young batting behind Ryan Howard. No RHP will ever give Howard anything to hit, so he'll swing at junk out of the zone and get himself out. If Charlie bats Delmon behind him, he should just stand there and take 195 walks, then watch as Delmon either Ks or GIDP 75% of the time. In so doing, Ryan will make Charlie realize his mistake.

Yeah, I mentioned that a couple days ago in passing, Jack. Seems a bit worrisome, eh?

Though Adams doesnt have Carpenter's overall faberge egg body so maybe its not an issue.

If you bat Revere 8th, it negates his SB ability as UC will automatically bunt him over every single time.

NEPP: Which is a shame becuase the phillies actually have some half decent hitters for pitchers(lee, hamels, halladay: at least they'll make the guys pitch to them).

So Charlie will finally replace Jimmy as a leadoff hitter ... with a worse hitter. Great.

Revere should not bat lead off, no way , no how. Unless eh proves he can sustain a good OBP, you bat him 9th.

Never going to happen, of course, but 9th is where he belongs.

Revere seems like a natural for a LaRussian 9th hole hitter. Somehow, I just can't see Uncle Chollie doing that.

Although if he did, his explanation would be absolutely hilarious to listen to.

You know, if Revere is as fast as everyone says he is, batting in the 8-spot might not be as devastating as I previously imagined. If he can steal second early in the count, it will give our pitchers the opportunity to move him to third. Cue the Jimmy pop-up (not of the infield variety) and we've got ourselves a run.

Having written this, I realize how infrequently this may occur.

Bat Revere leadoff.

Brett...that would be a great point if UC wasnt the manager. UC will put the bunt on for the first pitch every single time.


Either way, Revere shouldn't bat leadoff or 8th.

Either bat him 2nd or 7th probably. FWIW, he was the 2-hole hitter for the Twins last year.

Also, its nice to have an actual baseball discussion here for the first time in weeks.

So fans complain about Jimmy Rollins and his .328 career OBP at leadoff, but want Ben Revere and his .319 career OBP at leadoff.


I'm at a loss.

I thought it was awesome that Clout cited Revere's one-year WAR last night in an argument defending him.

Revere's good WAR value last season is almost entirely tied up in defensive and baserunning value. If there's one thing Clout has always maintained, it's that a single season of defensive UZR is meaningless. Now, I happen to disagree--I think Revere clearly has defensive and baserunning value, and that makes him a useful player.

But I just thought we should commemorate the time when Clout decided that a single season's worth of defensive data was a valuable measurement tool of a player.

To be fair, Revere is probably good for an OBP of around .330 this year. That still doesnt make him a good leadoff option though. Its better than the .316 OBP that Jimmy posted last year.

Basically UC needs to be flexible as a Manager. If Jimmy is still posting a near .300 OBP but with power and Revere is posting a .330 OBP, he should probably put Revere leadoff. If not, he should probably stick with Jimmy.

Neither one is your ideal leadoff hitter but they are the options we have right now.

Chase Utley is the ideal leadoff hitter.

NEPP - I agree. I think Revere can grow into a decent leadoff hitter as he is still young enough. I just think it's funny that those fans who scream and yell about Rollins OBP want to replace him with a guy with a worse OBP. Irony at its finest.

Utley is definitely the ideal leadoff hitter...on a team that doesnt need him as a 3 hole hitter.

JRoll is a below-average leadoff hitter and has been for years.

Here are his numbers since '09:

.253 AVG/.316 OBP

Here are the NL AVG numbers for the leadoff spot since '09:

.265 AVG/.329 OBP

JRoll's days of being a guy who hit for a decent AVG at ~.280 or slightly higher are long gone.

JRoll shouldn't be batting leadoff anymore at this point in his career and probably shouldn't have been the last 2 years at least.

If the Phils want a classic leadoff hitter, there best option at this point is Revere. Revere is a lot more likely to give the Phils a high AVG/moderate OBP in the leadoff spot who is a threat to steal at least 35-40 as a full-time player.

As for Revere, ideally I would love to see him hit #9 in this leadoff and keep JRoll in the leadoff spot even though he has a below AVG/OBP there.

What I am really curious about JRoll this year is if he can show the same power he showed last year.

For all of the talk too about JRoll's hustle/non-hustle last year after his benching in late August, he really had a strong Sept last year:

.283/.369/.522 (.891 OPS) with 8 HRs

I would be curious to look back and say do a 30-game before/30-game after his benchings in the past to see if there really is a statistical significantly difference.

Howard is in the best shape of his career.

.


.


Again.

Fatti / rolo - I do think the Mariners got a discount in years for locking him into an extension two years earlier than necessary (5 years), and they got the insurance of locking him in at current market rates. But any extension over the next 1-2 years would have accomplished the latter, and I'm not sure the deal they struck was SEA-friendly enough to justify the timing.

The way they come out ahead assumes he continues at his current pace. This isn't much different than the Howard extension, really, in that regard. It's not team-friendly since it requires inflation and continued elite performance. You both seem to be assuming he'll do that over the next two seasons to begin with. You could say Howard was older, but starting pitchers tear their shoulders at all kinds of ages.

I'd be happy if I were a Mariners fan because I think it's a risk they took because they are the Mariners. If Felix walks, what's the point of having a team there? Look at have Dave Camerson justifies the move at USSMariner. But this is not an extension I'd want to Phillies to pursue. I'd rather the counterfactual Phillies get a better deal or wait.

Couple of things about Revere leading off.

(1) There should be some adjustment about what a good OBP is. NL average OBP in 2012 was .318 (the Phils was .317). If Revere repeats his 2012 OBP he'll be well above average in that regard.

(2) How meaningful is Revere's career OBP as a predictor what he'd do leading off for the Phils? He's 24, and his OBP improved 20 points to .333 last year (from .310 the previous year). If he can post a .330+ OBP, his speed and lack of power are okay fits for the lead off spot. I'd rather stick Utley there and have Revere hit 9th, but I don't see an experiment with Revere hitting off (Rollins makes a lot more sense elsewhere due to his power and switch-hittedness).

I wonder if having Utley lead off would be much more demanding on him / his knees than having him hit 3rd. Could be one reason why he wouldn't be good in that role. Phils may get more out of him elsewhere.

Revere is a guy I don't mind seeing the Phils throw into 700+ PA, 1400 defensive innings, lots of SB attempts and pitcher distraction moments.

Sophist, I think there is definitely a lot of injury risk with Felix, but there was also a lot with Howard. Howard was a hulking, slow, slugger at the time they signed him. That type of player has an increased chance of having a leg injury, or just wearing down quickly in their 30s.

And I think you understate the importance of locking up a player 2 years early who is going to be 29 when he hits the market vs. locking up a player 2 years early who would have been 32 when he hit the market.

To me, that's a big difference.

I actually kind of agree with Sophist. I don't see that this was a great deal for the Mariners. Sure, Felix is a great pitcher, and he's young, and everyone costs a ton of money these days. But yeah, it's a market long-term contract for a pitcher. Teams almost always take on too much risk on those deals. Is it better than Howard? Of course--Howard was already declining and trending towards being merely a good player when they signed him to a superstar deal. Felix at least has still been a superstar. But guys don't often stay that way for the next seven years.

Yeah, if I were a Mariners fan, I would be very happy. They kept one of their great franchise players. But you can't build a playoff team around one guy. It reminds me of Halladay and the Blue Jays.

But I just thought we should commemorate the time when Clout decided that a single season's worth of defensive data was a valuable measurement tool of a player.

Posted by: Jack | Friday, February 08, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Would the fact that a RF gets so many fewer chances than a SS in a single year make a difference?

Alternatively, are defensive stats for a SS more reliable/less prone to variation over a 1 year horizon than a RF?

Jack: I still think 1-year UZR is pretty worthless, but I wasn't citing that stat, I was citing WAR, something you do all the time when WAR is favorable. When it's not, you cite OPS+. In this case WAR disproves your statement that Revere isn't an upgrade over Vic last year.

NL average OBP in 2012 was .318

When looking at position players, you should back out pitcher's PAs. I'm guessing that your target OBP is just south of .330.

"As it stands, he'll have to settle for getting the richest contract ever given to a pitcher today. :)"


Touche, Fatti. Touche.

STS: "Alternatively, are defensive stats for a SS more reliable/less prone to variation over a 1 year horizon than a RF?"

Yes.

And I think you understate the importance of locking up a player 2 years early who is going to be 29 when he hits the market vs. locking up a player 2 years early who would have been 32 when he hit the market.

I would want to see more information on pitchers vs 1B injuries. The age issue may come out pretty even considering Felix may play the most injury prone position in baseball.

I don't think it was a *bad* deal. Felix
has future HOF material. But a 5-year extension at $27M/year for a guy you're already committing 2/$40M to over the next two year *before* that deal kicks in, isn't exactly a good deal for the Mariners by any means. I'd be excited if I were a Mariners fan because I would have assumed he was walking in 2 years (to the Yankees), but if the Phils were in this position I would hope for a better discount given the risk they're taking on.

Clout: And my point was that Revere's WAR was *entirely* based on defense and baserunning. His hitting was replacement level.

So if you don't trust UZR, but UZR makes up all the value of his WAR, how can you trust his WAR?

When looking at position players, you should back out pitcher's PAs. I'm guessing that your target OBP is just south of .330.

AL average OBP was .320.

"As it stands, he'll have to settle for getting the richest contract ever given to a pitcher today. :)"

Which is why some argue it's not a great deal for the Mariners. Hamels got 6/$144M and Felix is getting 2/$40M + 5/$135M. He got a better deal than Hamels even though the only leverage the Phils had was the month window before the offseason.

Sophist - Agree that it is hard to make conclusions about what Revere will do from an OBP standpoint this year.

It is very likely though JRoll will have a .320 or sub OBP though. He has in 3 of the last 4 seasons.

I do like JRoll as a better fit in the 6-hole at this point given his switch-hand, low AVG, and moderate power numbers.

I would be really surprised though if JRoll doesn't bat leadoff and Revere isn't slated for the 8-hole spot.

As some have noted, the problem is that Utley is your best leadoff hitter, but Utley also needs to be in the middle of the lineup.

Which reveals the real problem with the lineup. It's not about what order the hitters in. It's that there just aren't enough good hitters.

Fata - Just go read how Dave Cameron at USSMariner or the Mariners fan at fangraphs justified the deal. They're basically making the argument from the Mariners perspective: the team stinks and is hopefully, fans won't show up, you don't know how valuable Felix is *to* the Mariners. They signed the guy at FA dollars despite his contract status. I'm not sure they'd accept this logic (read the following) when it came to any other player/team:

By looking at the money, one might conclude that Hernandez didn’t give the Mariners a hometown discount, in the way that Jered Weaver re-signed with the Angels for less than he deserved. The Mariners are basically signing Hernandez for free-agent money, two years away from free agency. But here’s the key to that sentence: the Mariners are signing Hernandez. The “hometown discount” is that Hernandez was willing to re-sign with the Mariners in the first place, despite the fact that they’ve been so mediocre for so long. The Mariners have made countless statements regarding their intent to keep Hernandez around. The feeling has been mutual, and now Felix will be remaining in place while making enough money to create a respectable college through which he could later put his kids.

Sophist, I don't like Cameron's logic there, at all.

My point is this (and I could be entirely off-base): I don't look at what he got in terms of FA dollars this year, but in terms of what a pitcher of his status will be going for in 2 years on the FA market. Unless he has a career ending or threatening injury, he will likely command close to $30 M/yr over 5+ years when he hit the market in 2 years. In that respect, I definitely think they got a discount.

If there were ever a situation to hit a non-pitcher 9th in the NL, the Phils have it. Revere could use his speed effectively and we'd minimize his at-bats. Batting a guy with a .319 career OBP leadoff, and getting our weakest hitter the most plate appearances possible, is foolish.

Hitting him #2 is an even worse idea because he'll still get tons of plate appearances, but more of them will come with a guy on base. Batting him 8th wastes his speed and also leaves him trying to drive in the (mostly slow) guys in the second half of the order, which is a terrible role for a singles hitter.

Who knows, maybe Cholly will surprise us and bat him ninth. Dare to dream.

Before comparing 2013 Revere to 2013 Rollins as a lead-off hitter, utilizing historical OBP data, one should also consider Revere's age and minor league history. His lowest OBP in the minors was .338, in his first year at AAA. He had several years above .370. Apart from Rookie League, Rollins has never had an OBP over .350. So if you're going to compare them based on OBP, it is faulty to take Revere's very brief major league service and compare it to Rollins.

That being said, Jimmy hits the ball a lot harder and farther than Ben ever will. If you want power in the one hole, then Rollins is your guy. But eventually, and probably soon, Revere will get on base more often (read: make fewer outs).

Jack: We may not have many good hitters, but we got lots of productive ones.

So I've heard.

OK, because I have time (it's Friday), and it's been discussed above, I went to b-r.com and pulled the data into my spreadsheet.


2012 slash line for all non-pitcher PA's:

.261/.325/.414, - 95,502 PA

Given the context of this team, Charlie Manuel might finally be willing move Rollins in the order.

Thanks for the laugh.

Jack, to your point above about Adams and Carpenter having the same ailment, Carpenter has a history of shoulder and elbow problems that make Adams' woes pale in comparison.

Adams had knee surgery in 2007, and had shoulder fatique and an oblique strain strain in 2010, and TOS surgery in 2012.

Carpenter has had shoulder injury/surgery in 2002, missed the 2003 season because of a torn glenoid labrum (never repaired), shut down in 2004 because of nerve problem in his biceps, bone spur (elbow) surgery AND TJ surgery in 2007, oblique tear in 2009, TOS surgery in 2012.

But, yeah, I gues you can say they have the same health history.

ColonelTom....Revere hitting 9th? I like the idea but the only thing Charlie Manuel has in common with LaRussa is a few letters they share in their names.

But, yeah, I gues you can say they have the same health history.

Posted by: rolo | Friday, February 08, 2013 at 01:33 PM

Yeah, no one ever said they had the same health history.

rolo: You are slowly becoming insufferable. I didn't say they had the same health history. I said they had the same surgery.

I didn't know that until this morning, so I asked if that was common knowledge. That is all. Your point is well-taken. Thank you.

So much animosity here lately. I hope it gets better when spring training starts.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. bWAR, the stat cited by Clout in the other thread, does not use UZR. UZR and bWAR have nothing to do with each other. bWAR uses DRS. They are not the same.

Wow, it's almost as if posters are willing to cite WAR as a catch-all stat without actually looking into how it's calculated or what assumptions it makes! Flabbergasting.

fumphis, I noticed the same thing. I think most people know that, or I hope they do.

At the same time, fumphis, not everyone understands the assumptions and calculations that go into ERA+ and OPS+ (park factors, namely), but most people use that without getting the 3rd degree. I understand your objections to WAR, but you take it too far, sometimes.

C'mon, Jack, someone brought that up a few days ago and I thought you were repeating it just to antagonize the board. That is, you were doing it to be "insufferable".

And I'm not saying Adams is not going to suffer the same fate as Carpenter - there are too many unknowns - but Carpenter has had a series of arm and shoulder injuries that have required major surgery, and it looks like it's all finally caught up with him.

"
Yeah, no one ever said they had the same health history.

Posted by: Fatalotti"


yep, here we go again... Fatti, the board referee, jumping into the middle of things.

"Revere should not bat lead off, no way , no how. Unless eh proves he can sustain a good OBP, you bat him 9th.

Never going to happen, of course, but 9th is where he belongs."

That works for me as that effectively make Rollins the #2 hitter after the first time through the line-up.

rolo, you are comically unable to admit when you're wrong or were being a jerk. And you were simply wrong to call out Jack there, and when he called you on it, you changed the subject (claiming, quite hilariously, that you were doing it because you thought he was being purposefully "insufferable"). There are many people here who are stubborn, but at least most of us admit when we're wrong.

And see ColonelTom's post from yesterday; it's a public board. If you don't like me jumping into other people's conversations (something we all do around here all the time, including you), then get lost.

The park factor component of the "+" stats is a good point, Fat. But it's not remotely comparable to WAR for subjectivity. Anyway, this isn't meant to be the start of another WAR...fight, but it really is pretty illuminating when you see stuff like posters not knowing that UZR isn't part of bWAR. And no, I don't remotely believe that "most people know that."

fumphis, I would think most of the regular posters here know that. I would hope, at least.

And I know there's a bit more subjectivity in the defensive component of WAR, but I was just commenting that both are probably something that neither of us could recreate on the fly, to verify their results.

fumphis: I thought that Clout cited fWAR as well?

I know that bWAR uses a different defensive component. Still, I see no particular reason why Clout's objection to UZR (the input to fAR) would not apply to DRS (the input to bWAR)as well. Right?

I mean, I find it hard to believe that he would be as skeptical as he is towards UZR and yet be totally comfortable with DRS. I think the point applies equally.

rolo: I didn't see it brought up the other day. I legitimately saw it for the first time today, when I looked at Google News for Mike Adams. To be honest, I hadn't even known Adams had that surgery--I knew he had a lingering health issue, but I didn't know it was that.

It does make me even more skeptical of the impact everyone expects Adams to have. Still, I understand the differences betwee his health history and Carpenter's. I never claimed Adams was suddenly going to have to retire. I do find it just a little bit troubling, though, for sure.

" That is, you were doing it to be "insufferable"."

Ah the old reliable "I'm rubber you're glue" defense.

donc, you seem to be getting "Fatti-itis".

Fatti, I'm wrong a lot, but unlike you, I tend to mind my own business.
________________________________________________________________


BTW, the non-pitcher slash line I posted above was for the NL only.

Fatti, I'm wrong a lot, but unlike you, I tend to mind my own business.


Posted by: rolo | Friday, February 08, 2013 at 02:40 PM

Yeah, bullsh!t.

It's funny to me that after years of seeing Cholly's managing style, preference for veterans, trusting his gut, and misusing his bullpen, etc., coupled with the asinine statements of RAJ valuing guys who "produce" over any data driven insight, that we still opine as to how these guys need to build a team or construct a lineup.

Frankly, all the stats in the world saying otherwise would not change Cholly's mind more than his "gut feel" or any insight he gains in Spring Training (Corey's point about JRoll at WBC getting Revere leadoff AB's may be a blessing in disguise for those in the "JRoll in the 6-hole" club).

"donc, you seem to be getting "Fatti-itis"."

You take that back!!!

To anyone but rolo: Perhaps rolo could just exchange phone numbers with whomever he wishes to converse with so the rest of us don't have to watch his private correspondence play out over several hours on a public forum without comment.

Basically, "he's really fast" is the only real reason Cholly might find to put Revere into the leadoff spot. That is, if he can get over his stubbornness regarding that being "Jimmy's spot."

Ironically, I guess I've been harboring some misinformed illusion that RAJ might be the guy who is actually operating based on some data driven insight, thus the reason for his not always seeing eye-to-eye with his manager. Sadly, he disproved that notion with his silly insight about "driving in runs" being more important than OBP, walks, etc.

We're pulling for a team with management that is roughly 30 years out of touch.

ColonelTom....Revere hitting 9th? I like the idea but the only thing Charlie Manuel has in common with LaRussa is a few letters they share in their names.

Obviously you don't know your future history:

http://www.philliedelphia.com/2011/06/charlie-manuel-master-tactician.html

ColonelTom - It almost seems like a satirical parody.

Jack: there are other pitchers that have had the same surgery and came back the following season to pitch well.

coltom: thank god the real golden age is just ahead.

You guys can all kiss goodbye your dreams of a Rod Barajas redux to start 2013. The D-Backs got him on a minor league deal.

Fatalotti: "fumphis, I would think most of the regular posters here know that. I would hope, at least."

Did Jack know it?

Jack: At no time did I cite fWAR. You are wrong.

Mg/others: citing Rollins obp as the end all way to evaluate a leadoff hitter is weak. Xbh and sb are very much apart of the equation.

What did I know, and when did I know it?

Yes, I do know that fWAR and bWAR use different defensive metrics. I messed up and thought that Clout had cited fWAR, and so I questioned it given his criticism of UZR. I was wrong.

Obviously, given that he used bWAR, let's go ahead and just substitute out UZR of my point and substitute in DRS. The point stands.

If Clout doesn't trust defensive metrics in one-year samples, why would he cite Revere's bWAR so positively when its positive value all comes from a defensive metric? The main point stands regardless of UZR or DRS. Clout's main problem with UZR is replicated in DRS--it's compiled by human observers.

I'm happy we stopped discussing baseball and went back to sniping back and forth on minutia of specific posters.

That is much more interesting.

Baseball Musings Lineup analysis tool result:

Utley
Ruiz
M.Young
Howard
Brown
D.Young
Rollins
Pitcher
Revere

clout, I like that lineup, but I'd structure it like this:

Utley
Ruiz
M Young
Howard
Brown
Rollins
Ruf
Pitcher
Revere

Reasons: I like Rollins a little closer to Howard, but I want Rollins front of Ruf. Rollins still has good SB ability, but if he's getting on in front of the pitcher, it's wasted. I want him in front of at least one batter that has a chance to knock him in with an XBH.

Also, I don't want D Young to even sniff the field.

I like both of those lineups, but if I'm a betting man, my money is on something like this:

Rollins
Brown
Utley
Howard
Ruf
Ruiz
M Young
Revere
Pitcher

Though, if I'm perfectly candid, I'd expect that Ruf is actually swapped with D Young (and maybe, just maybe Chooch winds up in the 5-hole thanks to last season).

Rollins
M Young
Utley
Howard
Ruiz
D Young (since he's sure to suck early and often he'll be dropped to 6th)
Brown/Ruf
Revere

I can't believe that Charlie is going to do it any other way. Move 6-8 up 1 until Chooch is back.

Williard -- sure works for me; either "wit" (Ruf batting 5th) or "witout" (Chooch batting 5th).

Anybody ever consider our team MVP (Carlos Ruiz) only makes what -- ~$5mm (minus the suspension dough)? Outrageous. I still cringe over Papelbon's contract. More outrage. Hell, that aging nut-case is lucky to see 80 innings. Chooch is lucky as hell up to now if he did not play in over 130 grueling games. In probably the most dangerous position on the baseball field.

Utley please take it easy during spring training. One thing about Utley he probably goes 110% if was a wiffle ball game.

Is it presumed that Delmon Young will play rather than Mayberry or Ruf? I'm not the least bit excited about him.

I am concerned about taking a defensive step backwards. Do others feel that the offense will improve enough to offset the defense getting worse?

I am happy to never have to see Ty Wigginton man 3rd base for us again.

I'm feeling pretty good about the BP and am hopeful that we will lose may fewer games in the 8th-9th inning this year as compared with last.

Can't help but feel some hope as spring approaches, but last year set my optimism dial back a few notches.

Truck unloaded................

Gbrett: get ready for Michael young at 3b

Some good news for a Phillies Alumni:

Cookie Rojas, a five-time All-Star and a highly respected player in his era, is being recognized as a Hall of Famer.

Octavio Victor "Cookie" Rojas, 73, on Saturday will be inducted into the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame at Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic. A Spanish-language TV broadcaster for the Miami Marlins, Rojas will be the Hall of Fame's representative from Cuba.

I don't believe that Delmon Young will be a regular OF for the Phillies. I think Revere and Young will be two regular OFs. Mayberry, Nix and Young will fight for playing time at the third OF spot, and Ruf is the odd man out.

Neither does it make sense to me that Brown will not be a starter nor that Young will be. I refuse to engage in the game of guessing how the tandem of Amaro and Manuel will compound earlier bad decisions with new ones.

If the Phils are going to be run by incompetents, I have no problem tuning out team performance and just rooting for Hamels, Utley, Rollins, Howard, Brown, Chooch, Lee and Halladay as individuals as well as other players around the league like Trout and Stanton. During other periods of Phillies' ineptitude, I pay more attention to other teams. The last time it was Sammy Sosa and the Cubs. This time it may be the Angels.

Correction: I think Revere and Brown will be two regular OFs.

Young will likely be DH-ing his fair share of inter-league games starting with the Royals in April and through the Tigers in July.

I agree with derek that Revere & Brown are the front-runners for two spots. I give the third spot to Young because, while it is the worst possible choice, I believe it is the most likely to happen.

I have a conservative approach to Ruf. Virtually every poster here has him penciled in for 25 HRs, but until he actually does it for an extended period of time at the MLB level, I consider him a longshot. There have been dozens and dozens of older minor leaguers over the years who has one flash in the pan season and then fade away. We'll see if Ruf is that 1 in 100 who turns out to be the real deal.

Clout, I have no idea if Ruf can stick at the ML level, but I'd much rather give him a corner OF spot to sink-or-swim, because there's a chance he might be that 1 in 100.

Delmon Young has pretty much proven over the course of his career that he's part of the other 99.

Edmundo - yeah that is what I think the lineup will be too. JRoll in the leadoff spot and Utley/Howard in the 3-4 have been staples here with almost no exceptions for Cholly. He won't change now.

derekcarstairs - If Young isn't a total disaster in RF in spring training, I think he gets the everyday job in RF and hits in the 5-hole in the early going.

Cholly will compound what was a bad signing by making Young an everyday player and hitting in a spot in the lineup that he has no business. All because Young hits RH and 'has some pop.'

the corn-fed nebraskan may look 21, but he's not. it would be a waste of a potential prime year to play him at lv. give him a shot and see if he's the natural. and he'd put ladies in the seats. dyoung sure won't.

I believe Ruf will need a heaping helping of patience and perseverance this season while playing at LV.

In order for Ruf to stick, I think he has to pick up where he left off last season. A hiccup in ST, and he's off to LV. I don't think Ruf and Young will be on the roster together.

So any ideas of what it will take for Ruf to make the team out of ST? Would .275/.340/.425 do it? Or does he have to completely mash for any shot? Or does the board think he's on the team regardless?

does ruf have to beat dyoung in st, head-to-head? will dyoung be "favored" even in a tie?

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