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Monday, February 25, 2013

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***How is it possible that the Phillies FA cannot find a better backup?***

They did, his name is Betancourt. Galvis is also better. So we have two better UT infielders on the 40 man right now. (though I'm not sure Betancourt is on the 40 man roster off the top of my head).

Betancourt vs Martinez vs Batiste....

Corey Seidman: Darin Ruf looked overmatched on a seventh-inning strikeout and is 0-for-8 through three games.

He's obviously pressing early on...also, guys with his type of swing/skillset often look overmatched from time to time on bad SOs. They need to give Ruf 60-70 PA this spring to see what he can do...same with Brown. Throw them out there every day going forward and get them in a groove.

Iceman: PhillR was actively hurting this blog.

"Aumont does not have Madson's control or anything close to his secondary offering, and that is a huge difference between the two."

The control, for sure. And not many pitchers have as good a pitch as Madson's changeup, in terms of both the nastiness of the stuff and his command. But Aumont certainly has a curveball with plenty of nastiness. Frankly, it's borderline unhittable, it's just a matter of whether it's close to the strike zone.

The difference is the command, obviously. But he has the secondary stuff. I'm not sure that would be my criticism of him. I would put his sinker/curveball combo up there against anyone's 1-2 pitches in terms of pure stuff. The potential is there. It took Madson a few years to harness his potential into late inning dominance.

***Betancourt vs Martinez vs Batiste....***

I was gonna say that Betancourt doesnt even belong in that conversation but then I looked and saw he had a career -2.6 bWAR. Wow. He hasnt posted a positive bWAR since 2007. The ultimate below-replacement level player.

I don't think Mini-Mart is making the MLB team. They seem pretty intent on making Galvis the utility INF.

Jack, I accept that, but I was merely commenting on Madson "as we saw him in Philly" and Aumont "as he is currently".

Sure, Aumont could harness it, and if he does he could be a dominat back-end guy. As a Phillies' fan I hope he does.

***I don't think Mini-Mart is making the MLB team. They seem pretty intent on making Galvis the utility INF.***

I wouldn't be shocked if it was Betancourt making the 25 man and Galvis being a full-time starter in Lehigh either.

That is if they still look at Galvis as a future starting player in the infield.

***Sure, Aumont could harness it, and if he does he could be a dominat back-end guy. As a Phillies' fan I hope he does***

If Aumont could harness his pure stuff, he'd literally be for our bullpen what Aroldis Chapman was for Cincinnati last year. His stuff is that unhittable if he can get it over the plate.

If...

Speaking of UT IF and guys who have played SS, jason Bartlett is apparently still available.

Any recent scouting reports? Can he still play? He doesn't appear to have had much action the last couple of seasons?

I agree, NEPP. I think that the FO has FINALLY seen enough of Mini.
At most, Mini-Mart may be kept as a super-utility at Leigh. (I just threw up a little in my mouth from using 'super' and 'Mini-Mart' in the same sentence.)

Those impressed by Lopez need to remember that he's pitched all winter long and is way ahead of everyone else at this point.

Once everyone catches up with him, he will revert to his true skill set.

***Once everyone catches up with him, he will revert to his true skill set.***

People were impressed by Lopez? Also, can you still call it a skillset if the player does not actually possess any skills?

hey, Hey, HEY, clout.

Just wait and see...

BTW, did anyone read that interview with Jeffrey Loria.

I'll say this: As much as we complain about teh Phillies' FO, it could be worse. A LOT worse.

Loria destroyed baseball in one city already and will do his best to do it to a second city & franchise.

But remember, we can never ever let someone like Mark Cuban buy an MLB franchise.

NEPP: From earlier this thread:

"Maybe Lopez sneaks in there with a good spring."

and

"That is why I like Lopez as a real darkhorse candidate with a good spring."

NEPP, yeah, Cuban might actually force some of theother owners to actually try to compete.

"How is it possible that the Phillies FA cannot find a better backup?"

Alas, that is the riddle of Mini-Mart. The Phillies DO have, and have always had, better backups. Yet, they keep passing these players up in favor of Mini-Mart. Not only that, but they have even made up new positions for him (i.e., CF, RF) so they can get his bat into the lineup.

Those who believe that we've seen the last of Mini-Mart are deluding themselves. He will be on the major league roster for significant portions of the 2013 season -- and maybe even on opening day.

Phillies are rolling out a real murderer's row of pitching today:

Kendrick, Cook, Durbin, Miner and Horst.

rolo: thanks for the recommend to the KLaw interview, very informative even if you don't particularly care for him. Dropped a new name to me: Yoel Mecias, 18yr LHP with mid90s fatball and good change up.

I like the way HK pronounced Batiste's name, so that's why he's better than Mini.

Good article here on Rollins and the HOF:

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/33314/jimmy-rollins-and-the-hall-of-fame

I basically agree with this. Rollins has been a really good player who I think is likely to be underrated as time goes on (even if he was slightly overrated at times, like in 2007 when he was great but not the best player in the league). But he's just short of a HOFer, to me, barring an unexpected late-career resurgence.

Jimmy will hang out with Alan Trammell in the Hall of Very Good.

Which is a shame because he will have had a uniquely great career for a SS as his combo of great defense, speed and power is pretty much unprecedented for shortstops.

Re: Marmol, I caught a game out at Wrigley last May, Cubs-Braves. Marmol came into the 8th inning of a 2-run game (he had recently lost the closer job), walked the first 2 guys, induced a rocket line-out, uncorked a wild pitch, and then turned around and blew away McCann and Uggla to get out of it unscathed. Marmol went from nearly getting booed off the mound to a standing ovation in <5 minutes.

I hate bad-control starting pitchers, but for an inning at a time, I find that kind of pitcher fascinating to watch. I will never change the channel if Marmol is pitching, and I feel the same way about Aumont.

As for Martinez, I distinctly recall going to a Phillies game in Pittsburgh in '11, where the Phillies lost in extra innings in large part because of a bad throw home by noodle-armed Ben Francisco, who was only in RF because John Mayberry had just been optioned in order to keep Martinez on the roster. I wouldn't think Martinez would have a chance to challenge Mayberry for a roster spot this year, but it wouldn't be the first time.

Jack: "But he's just short of a HOFer, to me, barring an unexpected late-career resurgence."

I agree with this, but it should be noted that a lesser player, Phil Rizzuto, is in the HOF. If that's the standard, Rollins should be in. If that isn't the standard, why is Rizzuto in?

Hmm, I cant possibly think of any reason that Phil Rizzuto is in the HOF. There is zero possibility it was because he was a popular player and broadcaster for the Yankees, a team with more than its fair share of questionable HOFers in Cooperstown.

DH: Another guy like that is Henry Rodriguez on the Nats. Throws 100+ MPH and has absolutely no idea where it's going but, until last year, his stuff was good enough to be effective more often than not.

I think a team can get away with having 1, and only 1, guy like that in a bullpen -- but not in the closer's role. And if you have someone like this, it's absolutely critical that the manager have a quick hook with him. If he's wild to the first batter, he gets, at most, one more batter to right the ship; otherwise, he's out of there. Cholly, of course, won't do that with any pitcher -- which is why I foresee a lot of box score entries in Aumont's future with the line, IP .1, ER 4.

If Rollins stays healthy and plays 4 more years of full-time SS, he has a chance to end up around the Top 5 all time in games played at SS. If he pulls a Vizquel, he might end up in the Top 2-3.

The argument against Mark Cuban is that he won't be a go along to get along guy like the rest of the owners and that he'd escalate salaries by trying to buy a championship, though that's kinda out the window after LA's new owners opened their wallets to spend a bajillion dollars. I think point 1 is more important to the owners though. They want a united front and little internal conflict. As much as I admire Nolan Ryan, it was too bad Cuban couldn't purchase the Rangers out of bankruptcy.

clout: And Rabbit Maranville with his 82 career OPS+ and 631 career errors.

Of course, if we allow anomalies like Rizzuto & Maranville to establish the standard for future HOF elections, then even guys like Edgar Renteria & Rafael Furcal would be sure-fire Hall of Famers.

Rirruto?

I agree with this, but it should be noted that a lesser player, Phil Rizzuto, is in the HOF. If that's the standard, Rollins should be in. If that isn't the standard, why is Rizzuto in?

Sums up very nicely my issues with the Hall. There tons of guys that are in the Hall of Fame that, in my opinion, don't deserve to be there. Rizzuto is one of them.

I never really thought of Rollins as a Hall of Famer, but a Hall of Very Good player like others have said. But clout's statement is on-point: If Rizzuto is in, Rollins should be in.

I make the Rollins is a HOFer on here ever 6 months. The guy just needs to play a couple more years and his counting stats will stand up to anyone's in the history of the position. Best power-speed combo It helps that the various SS trinities faded away: Garciaparra got the injury bug (and PED rumors), Tejada had PEDs, A-Rod has PEDs and moved to 3B. Jeter's the only guy better who has survived over the course of Jimmy's career. Jeter is of course a shoe-in for the Hall.

s/b "One of the best power-speed combos ever."

Obviously, Maranville played in an era when official scorers actually called errors so, in the grand scheme of things, it's probably unfair to point out all his errors.

It did, however, lead me to wonder what a normal career error total would be for a shortstop who has played 10 or 12 years. That led me to this find:

Edgar Renteria: 16 seasons, 272 errors
Rafael Furcal: 13 seasons, 249 errors
Jimmy Rollins: 13 seasons, 125 errors

When you consider that these are probably the 3 best NL shortstops over the last 10 to 15 years, that is some pretty impressive separation by Rollins when it comes to plain old defensive consistency.

Rollins among current HOF shortstops is 6th in sb's and 5th in homeruns (should be pass Larkin for 4th place this year), he's tied for 7th in SLG. As for OBP. . . well. . . he wouldn't be the worst. . .

Cyclic: Those are Zs ;-)

I personally think Jimmy Rollins will be a Hall of Famer when all is said and done. His numbers are starting to get very impressive overall, and he's probably got another 4 years of at least being an average NL SS to go.

I predict he gets in.

Rollins can probably get into the top 10 in hits given 400 more knocks, which is doable. But then Fred McGriff probably thought 500 homeruns was doable.

JRoll is a has been a good/very good player but he's not a HOF.

It's a shame too he had so many leg issues from '08-'10 through the tail-end of his prime year which hurt overall performance and counting stats a bit.

If JRoll had been healthy in '10 in particular, he likely would have picked up another GG and probably doubled most of his counting stats.

Howard has been my favorite player here during his run (sucker for big power sluggers) but I have always appreciated what JRoll brought to the club & generally agreed with his comments/observations including his infamous one about Philly being a 'what have you done for me lately town.'

If Rollisn gets up to around 2700 hits, 250 HRs, 500 2B, 500+ SB, 1500 Runs, 1000 RBIs, he'll have a solid durability/counting numbers argument for the HOF.

Its a big if though.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/jaws_SS.shtml

Some perspective. NEPP I agree that the only way JRoll has a shot to get in is if he put up another 3 offensive productive years that were similar to his last 2 while continuing to play as a backup wracking up counting counts until he is 37-38.

JRoll's defense has slipped especially his range to his right. Still a solid defensive SS but I didn't think he deserved the GG last year either.

Probably in some respects to make up for the years they gave it to Tulo while Rollins was the best defensive SS.

One guy I thought for sure was going to be a HOF SS was Nomar. Still had one of the most textbook swings when he first came up with the Red Sox that I ever saw with great plate coverage and discipline. Also had a nice ability to put the ball the opposite way if he needed to even though he was a pull hitter.

Never was the same player after his wrist injury and one guy looking back I definitely think using some kind of substance enhancment.

He got notably bigger when he first came up and they just chalked it up to him 'filling out.' Where it got crazy was when he came back after the '00 season and looked ridiculously jacked on that SI cover in spring training in '01.

JRoll will have his share of critics but I don't think you will ever see any allegations of drug tainting with him.

"If that isn't the standard, why is Rizzuto in?"

Because his "buddies" on the Veteran's Committee did the wrong thing.

BTW, he's not the only guy who's in who doesn't belong. George Kell is one that comes to mind.

Nomar's 1999 and 2000 seasons were just outstanding, especially coming from a SS.

Rollins HOF case will also be hurt by playing the same era as Derek Jeter. Jeter will go down as one of the best if not the best SS of all time. That's not exactly helpful when writers go to compare Rollins to his contemporaries.

Clout: Arguing for inclusion based on the standard of the lowest current member is a terrible way of judging the HOF, especially if you're including Veterans Committee selections.

You can't honestly think that's the way the assess a viable HOF candidacy, right?

No Utley in the line up. OH NOZ!!!!

Sophist had it right earlier in the thread.

So far, at least, the things we have been concerned about heading into the season are all going OK:

Halladay? √
Utley? √
Howard? √

To a lesser extent:

MYoung? √
Lee? √
Revere? √
Hamels? √


Still waiting on:

Adams?
Ruf?
Brown?
Young bullpen arms?
DYoung? (does anyone really care?)

Tim, as long as Utley is keeping up baseball activity then I'm not concerned.

If Charlie wants to rest him early in ST, then that's fine with me. He looked good the other day, so the only thing he should need are PA as the season gets closer, and we're still 5-6 weeks away.

It's a long season. Rest him now.

rolo: How is Mike Young a checkmark but Dom is a question mark?

I mean, you can't tell anything from *three* ST games anyway, so this is sort of crazy. But given that you're trying to, Mike Young doesn't have a hit and made an error already at 3B. Dom is hitting .400 with a HR.

rolo-Adams is the guy I'm anxious to see, other than Halladay obviously.

If he is behind or slow to recover out of the gate, the bullpen is essentially what we had last year. And just imagine if Papelbon is nursing something right now that needs attention (not out of the realm of possibility).

The team needs Adams right out of the gate if they want to get out to a good start in April.

"Rollins HOF case will also be hurt by playing the same era as Derek Jeter."

Briefly scanning the threads here about J-Roll. This is exactly what came to mind. Not saying he is or is not HOF capable. The whole time reading i was thinking this.

EVERYBODY PANIC!!!

Utley out because of wet field.

Iceman: "And just imagine if Papelbon is nursing something right now that needs attention (not out of the realm of possibility)."

Huh? I mean, I guess you could say it's not out of the realm of possibility that any player is injured. But that would make the point meaningless. Are you really suggesting Papelbon is hurt because he gave up a couple of home runs (including one to Miguel Cabrera) on February 25th?

***If he is behind or slow to recover out of the gate, the bullpen is essentially what we had last year***

Our bullpen was actually pretty solid in the final couple months last year so that's not a major concern. The bullpen that royally sucked was the one that relied on guys like Chad Qualls.

And it only relied on Chad Qualls because Charlie priortizes the guys he will use by their birth certificates. He doesn't even have matchup charts, etc. He just has a binder with copies of their birth certificates.

Good thing we added Chad Durbin, then.

Durbin moved right to the forefront of Charlie's mind.

Jack- yes, that's exactly what I was saying.

NEPP- Chad Qualls was not the only thing wrong with the bullpen the first half of the season. He's essentially been replaced with Chad Durbin.

I never implied that he was, Iceman. Lots of things were wrong with the bullpen in the 1st half. However, lots of things went right in the 2nd half and that's the bullpen we'd have without Adams if Adams is delayed a few weeks. Hardly a cause for panic.

Below is a link to the stats for Hall of Fame shortstops. Jimmy's number compare favorably now, probably middle of the pack. Will only move up the list the last few seasons. He has very good shot at finishing 4th in homeruns, 5th in SBs, and 10th in hits among this group.

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/hof/hofstss.shtml

Michael Young grounds into a double play. He's obviously either hurt or he sucks. What do you guys think?

What's the record for GIDPs in a season? I'd imagine that if Young gets 600 PA in the 2 hole that he'll have a solid chance at breaking it.

I'm sure MG will be keeping track, but want to keep a reminder to compare Durbin's performance with the slew of other relievers all signed with similar 1yr/+$1M deals this offseason. I've got him finished pretty close to dead last this year.

To answer my question, the record is 36 and its held by Hall of Famer Jim Rice.

"Howard and the Phils will face Jose Ramirez, a 23-year old righty from the Dominican Republic in his sixth professional season. Look for big games from Howard, Chase Utley, and Domonic Brown as the Phillies could tee off against Ramirez, a player who has never played passed the High-A level."


loss

Cyclic, who typed that? No one is going more than once through any lineup, why would they think the starting pitcher has any affect on how big of a game people will have?

The Phils lineup goes 0-7 with two walks to start the game.

Not out of the realm of possibility that they're all hurt, except Howard and Lerud, of course. Expect big things from them this season.

This offense is going to be truly ghastly.

These guys are clearly working on things. One of those things being how to deal with making outs. This way they will be better prepared for when it happens during the season.

"rolo: How is Mike Young a checkmark but Dom is a question mark?"'


Oversight, Jack. I gave him one just for showing up healthy. :)

Maybe if we were to add a 3rd Hitting Coach to the mix?

Any boos yet?

The key to BAP's statement is that he's not basing his opinion on meaningless ST performance.

He honestly believed the offense is going to be horrible before spring training, and will likely believe it after spring training, regardless of how it goes.

Nice work, BAP.

"This offense is going to be truly ghastly."


bap, time to toss another poodle in the oven?

Jack: I wasn't arguing for his inclusion, I was asking a question.

A question you ignored.

Nice work, BAP.

NEPP- I wouldn't want to count on guys like Horst and Valdes to pitch as well as they did in the second half. I guess if Bastardo is throwing strikes, they'll be OK for a while. The depth chart after him is pretty sketchy, with Durbin probably being the next in line (in Manuel's mind) to see 8th inning duty.

Jack: It's sort of a combination. I did believe it before ST ever started, but watching it actually happen in 3 of the first 4 games only emboldens me in that belief. The games may not count but, presumably, our guys are up there trying to get hits. They just stink at it.

"I've got him finished pretty close to dead last this year."

What's the list of guys who got similar deals? Rauch? I can't remember any others off the top of my head.

All of them are total coin flips. I'm not sure Durbin is so much more likely to completely bomb that the other guys. He wasn't a disaster last year or anything. He just isn't a guy you want to end up 2nd/3rd on the depth chart, which is unfortunately where he'll be if someone gets hurt (totally unrealistic possibility, I know).

Brown HBP? Can I assume he will now miss a month of time?

Clout: Well, Rollins will likely end up having a better career then Rizzuto, but Rizzuto probably shouldn't be in if you're going merely by stats (though I'm open to an argument that the combination of his play, his fame as NYY SS, and 40 years of broadcasting could make him worthy of inclusion for overall contribution to baseball--certainly Rizzuto is more famous than many, many HOFers).

I've answered. Now what's the relevance of that, exactly?

Man, who's this Durbin kid and why isn't he on any of the top prospect lists? He just held the Yankees scoreless!

Rollins has already had a better career than Rizzuto on many many levels.

BAP I agree. The offense will makes us miserable for yet another year. Everyone likes to say they are working on stuff. I think that's more believable for pitches working on new pitches they've never used before. You can either hit, like the Tigers can and have shown us 3 games in our your going to struggle to hit. Does anyone doubt the Tigers will have a potent offense? I doubt the Phillies will though.

TMac and Sarge are even more insufferable during spring training.

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?

Yeah.

You can either hit-- like Placido Polanco did during spring training 2012.

Or you can't hit-- like Placido Polanco during the regular season 2012.

NEPP: Rollins has a career 97 OPS+, an MVP, is considered a very good defensive SS, and played for a bunch of winning teams.

Rizzuto has a career 93 OPS+, an MVP, was considered a very good defensive SS, and played for a bunch of winning teams.

Like I said, Rollins will end up with the better career, largely because he hit for more power, was a better baserunner, and played a lot longer. You're right that he's probably already reached the threshold of topping Rizzuto (though if he plays longer with a poor decline phase, his rate stats could come down some). But I don't think Rizzuto is as bad as you might have thought he was. You'll note, of course, that Rollins' longevity advantage comes mostly because Rizzuto missed his age 25-27 seasons due to WWII. Those, not surprisingly, represent three of Rollins' best seasons.

But like I said, I don't think Rizzuto should be in based on baseball stats alone, anyway. And I really fail to see what relevance Rizzuto has on Rollins at all. I was just answering Clout's inane question.

The relevance is that who is in the HOF, for whatever reason, ought to be a factor who gets in, no?

Spring training--the time of year when everybody knows and acknowledges that they shouldn't trust what they see from players, but can't help doing it anyway.

Randomly, I really wish MLB.tv had an a la carte option, or a "pick 10 games a month" option. It's a pretty decent tool but the monthly pricing is just a bummer. I'd gladly pay like 99 cents to watch a single game on an on-demand basis.

Jack, here's an interesting stat:

Since they started testing for PEDs in 2004, Rollins OPS+ is exactly 100, not that any significance can be assigned to it.

Fumphis: I don't know if they still do it, but a couple of years back the AtBat app let you buy games individually for $1.99 a piece.

If you were going to watch a ton, it didn't really make sense, but if you just needed one or two while you were away on business it worked out pretty well.

Clout: I said before that I don't really see comparing players to the lowest quality players at their position in the HOF as being any sort of worthy benchmark. The list of players better than, say, Joe Tinker is in the hundreds, if not the thousands. Should they all be in?

The question, to me, is whether they meet (within a reasonable degree) or exceed the standards of the *average* player at their position in the HOF. This has the effect of keeping standards the same or raising them, if anything.

What do you think the standard should be? This is obviously a subjective thing--everyone has their different views of what the HOF should be. I suppose if you think simply comparing every potential inductee to a randomly selected other player in the HOF is a worthy measurement, tha'ts fine.

Well, looks like Dom has found a bit of a power stroke against AAA pitchers, anyway...

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