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Friday, February 01, 2013


As a great philosopher once put it, "Woo hoo! The two sweetest words in the English language: de-fault! De-fault! De-fault!"

In devious China, everything has a slant.

The claim being that China leans to the right?

How many italics tags were even used?

Let me get this straight, a header post directly drawing subjective returns on the Cliff Lee trade?

Wow, the BL powers-that-be must REALLY have been at a loss as to how to change the topic from the steroid discussion!

I'm not sure I'd close the door just yet on Carrasco but as of right now, it appears that Aumont is indeed victorious.

It still hurts to think about what could have been in a 2010 season with both Halladay + Lee.

I declare JC's dfa as the last time clout can insult anyone for ever touting gillies as a good prospect, as he tried to outsmart everyone by calling ramirez the best pickup of the three.

Smoak had an OPS+ of 106 as an everyday player in 2011, which is more than Aumont has done, so the answer to the question "Is Aumont the best of the bunch?" is obviously "NO."

Things, of course, could change and I agree with Scotch that it's too soon to give up on Carrasco.

In devious China, everything has a slant. In Soviet Russia, words italicize you!

C'mon, World Traveller, you have to wait a little bit longer than the 2nd post to italicize a thread. And it's bad form to do it so soon after the previous time. Wait a few weeks and no one will suspect it.

Prospects are a crapshoot. As if everyone didn't know that already. I like Aumont. I hope he can reign in his control problems, because his stuff is great. If he does, he's got a promising future in the back end of the bullpen.

Repost from end of last thread...

Fata: So what you're saying is that those players that don't want to subject their bodies to steroids to enhance their natural performance should be punished by having not-as-gifted players potentially surpassing them because of drug use? That's the result of making steroids legal. People that don't use would be left in the dust.

And your "players shouldn't be treated as role models" point is moot; in reality that is not going to happen. Kids are going to think that people blasting homeruns left and right is awesome no what the circumstance, and it's likely that many of those kids, if presented the chance to take steroids to be able to perform better, would likely choose to face the consequences.

lorecore: Just to be clear, I said I thought Ramirez was a sleeper and would end up being the best of the bunch. Please tell me what has happened to make that impossible.

Clout: It's also not impossible that I could make the Phillies in 2015 and be better than either Aumont or JCR.

I wouldn't deem it particularly likely, though. J.C. Ramirez has just a slightly better chance.

Muuurgh, sure, why not? I mean, if you don't want to commit yourself to sleeping 3 hours a night and working 18 hour days, you can't be an NFL head coach. If you don't want to submit yourself to 16 years of grueling training, you can't be an Olympic gymnast. If you don't want to submit yourself to the risk of serious head trauma, knee trauma and the likelihood that you won't walk past the age of 40, you won't be an NFL running back.

Also, let's not act like steroids are transforming people who would stink at baseball into great players. It's tipping the scales, for sure, but playing professional sports already carries significant risks, and the willingness to go places with your mind and body that normal people can't go; and sometimes, dangerous places.

I'm not against steroids being banned, I just wouldn't be upset if they weren't. I'm indifferent to it.

Jack: You overrate yourself.

So few prospects make it as successful major leaguers that I've always thought that the proper name for them should be suspects. The line from the above article would read much more realistically if written so: "The Indians picked up four suspects from the Phillies in July 2009 for a year and a half of Lee."

Clout -- Until Smoak is actually productive I can't put him ahead of Aumont. He had a 106 OPS+ in 2011, but for an everyday first baseman that is not at all impressive. His OPS was .719.

The league-average OPS+ for a first baseman over the last two seasons was right around .800.

This post is a great reason why it's often a better idea to package a bunch of prospects to get a star than to horde them like gold.

Most prospects fail. That is a fact.

Corey Seidman: You mean the league average for OPS was around .800.

The average OPS+ for an AL first baseman last year was 100 and in 2011 it was 99. That's if I'm reading correctly.

Corey, in what capacity has Aumont been productive?

Sure, he had a 111 ERA+ last year, but he's thrown all of 14.2 IP. He hasn't been productive or unproductive.

He's an absolute question mark at this point.

Fata - This was Mike Wisniewski's post, not Corey's, FWIW.

Thanks RedBurb. I didn't realize that. I don't like that I have to check the author these days :).

Either way, it seems that Corey is arguing in favor of the thread header, so I won't retract my previous post.

KAS -- Yea, I obviously meant the league-average OPS was .800. Typo.

A first baseman with a .719 OPS isn't valuable. At all. That's even below James Loney territory.

Aumont hasn't done anything, but Smoak hasn't either. That was the point of the comment.

Well, if Aumont has done nothing yet in the majors, than the question in this thread is malformed. How can he be the best of the bunch, when he hasn't contributed to a ML team in any meaningful way yet?

The 'tallest midget' analogy seems really apt here especially since it is Aumont.

Corey: Smoak has had one good season as an everyday player in MLB. Aumont has had 0 good seasons, unless you count 14 IP as a "season."

If you want to predict that Aumont will turn out better than Smoak, that's fine. But to say he's contributed more now is inaccurate.

Wayne Gomes had 0.3 bWAR and 1.6 fWAR in 5 seasons with the Phils.

Aumont had 0.1 bWAR and 0.2 fWAR last year with the Phils in 14 2/3 IP.

I still bet that Aumont doesn't end up having much more positive value to the Phils than Gomes did.

clout, I think Corey's point is that Smoak didn't have a "good" season. He had a season in which he was a league average offensive player (103 wRC+), and played poor defense, and didn't run the bases well, at an offense first position.

He's "contributed" more at the ML level, to be sure, but only by virtue of the fact that Aumont has contributed nothing. But Smoak has not had a good season, thus far.

How is Carrasco not in this conversation again?

Granted he is coming off TJ surgery but he still is slated to be the Indians' 5th starter this year out of camp.

Carrasco is probably your winner, to be honest MG. Simply by virtue that he gave his team 44.2 IP of 104 ERA+ ball two years ago.

Other than that, though, he's been awful.

Fat - Even in '11, Carrasco wasn't horrendous for a backend starter in the AL.

It is pretty hard to believe that basically a Cy Young-caliber starter could be traded by 3 trades that have almost nothing of value to show for it today.

Aumont is one guy I am interested to see in camp. Curious to see how gets the first outright criticism/backhanded compliment from Dubee though - Aumont or KK. My money is on Aumont.

MG, yeah he wasn't horrendous when compared to all those other 5th starters on teams (especially AL), but when compared to all pitchers, he was awful. In the context of this article, as he was a big part of a trade of a CY pitcher, I'm sure the Indians weren't too thrilled with this 2011.

Fatalotti, so you would say an OPS+ of 106 is not a good season? How about an OK season?

Fat - Carrasco at best was projected as a 3rd/4th starter at the time. Knapp was the higher ceiling guy who was the big question mark due to his health status.

Even his below average '11 numbers hold some value for a team that is cash-strapped like the Indians.

MG, maybe. I think he stunk, but it's a matter of opinion.

Clout, it wasn't a terrible season, but it wasn't "good". It's certainly more valuable than anything Aumont has contributed.

I still was stunned when the Phils got Lee though in '09 for what I thought was basically a lot of mediocre prospects.

At best I thought the Indians got a $.60 on the dollar trade and that was if Knapp turned out to be a MLB-caliber pitcher.

Instead they got about $.10 on the dollar.

Fatalotti: " It's certainly more valuable than anything Aumont has contributed."

My point exactly.

Aumont is an interesting case. His height has worked against him controlling his delivery. He's a gawky 6'7". But it seems he has brought his delivery into a shorter arm slot, almost throwing out of his body. That's what Randy Johnson did when he finally got his control. I'm in no way saying the kid is Randy Johnson, but I am saying that going forward there is now a better chance he'll find control than there was in the past. I like his chances going forward.

And about J.C. Ramirez and Gillies' relative careers, Clout is correct. Neither has done anything yet to get to the majors. However, I am sticking by my statement that Gillies will be the main contributor of the two. This is obviously dependent on his health, and there's not way to know how that's going to go. But I am not yet claiming victory in our gentlemen's bet. Although, it seems the Phillies do value J.C. less than Gillies, and that's why there were willing to lose him to add Chad Durbin. And even more interestingly, they value him less than Joe Savery, who is a totally lost cause and waste of a roster space.

aksmith: And they clearly value Gillies highly, which is why they didn't add a young everyday CF in the off-season...oh, wait.

Aumont may not be the gem of all 11 players traded for Lee, but he's almost certainly the gem of the 3 we got.

It still hurts to think about what could have been in a 2010 season with both Halladay + Lee.


"It still hurts to think about what could have been in a 2010 season with both Halladay + Lee."

Yeah, we had to settle for Oswalt dominating down the stretch (and kn the playoffs) and helping us storm back to win the division.

I do think though that 2010 was the most painful and disappointing playoff loss of the 3.

The 2011 team was a force throughout the season, but we knew the offense was prone to getting shut down at times. The way the team played in August/September of 2010, I couldn't believe they went into that Giants series and got outplayed/outpitched. That two month stretch was the best I remember the team playing down the stretch in any year.

Of course, Cliff Lee couldn't have done anything about it.

Iceman, yeah Oswalt was certainly awesome down the stretch, but you act like what was said about not having Lee is ridiculous.

For example, where would the Phils have been before the Oswalt trade if they had had Lee's line of 17 GS, 139 IP, 6 CG, 114 SO, 7 BB and 2.40 ERA. Perhaps they wouldn't have been behind in the division if Lee had been here during that time.

Also, the Phillies were only a mere 2.5 GB of the Braves the day before Oswalt joined the team.

Not trying to downplay Oswalt's significance in us winning the division, but we did win the division by 6 games, and likely wouldn't have been as far back as 7 games if they had had Lee the entire season.

"Just to be clear, I said I thought Ramirez was a sleeper and would end up being the best of the bunch. Please tell me what has happened to make that impossible."

Did I just read this from the same poster who won't accept what to everyone else is a salary limitation (the luxury tax cap) because we don't have notarized documents from Montgomery/Amaro to conclusively prove it?

Iceman - I didn't even think they really got outplayed in that Giants' series. Giants just got a few more timely clutch hits.

Still say Game 6 of the '10 NLCS was the single most frustrating Phils' game I watched though the past few years. Even more so than Game 5 of the '11 NLDS.

Knocked out Sanchez early only to have the Giants' deep bullpen shut them down the rest of the game.

I don't think the Phils would have Game 7 though against Cain though.

That's why all these guys are"prospects" remember when Dom Brown was an untouchable prospect, now you he has no trade value. Trade anyone you can to get a proven stud i.e. Stanton. If a prospect pans out look back years from now but for today, just WIN

MG, the Giants got a lot of breaks that series, and I remember the Phils getting very few.

For example, in game 6, Carlos Ruiz came to the plate with one out and trailing 3-2, with runners on 1st and 2nd (Vic at 2nd). He proceeded to hit an absolute screamer back to the opposite field, which would have easily scored Vic to tie the game, and would have gotten Ibanez to 3rd, most likely.

Instead, it ended up in the glove of Freddy Sanchez at 2B.

And my heart broke.

So in other words, if this season goes belly up in June...Lee may be our most trade worthy asset, but he still is not likely to return much value based on his history as a trade chip.

Fata- that's a fair point. I'm only analyzing the outcome. I don't think Lee would've carried them to a win in the NLCS.

MG- I was actually going to say something along those lines. You're probably right. Watching them chase Sanchez early, have Sanchez confront Utley and clear the benches, I thought for sure they would continue tacking on runs. Instead they got tons of opportunities and squandered every single one of them. I want to say they had RISP three times late in the game and blew it every time. Going back and looking at the box score would make me too sick.

Even after losing in 2009 to the better team in the World Series, that group seemed to have an aura of invincibility about them. That was the night it came to an end.

Clout - Of course the Phils can't count on Gillies because of his health issues. But if Gillies tears it up in the minors and stays healthy at some point, I don't think a player like Revere would stand in his way. As far as I can tell, he's a Pierre with better defense who can't bunt. Doesn't exactly profile as a superstar.

The one time that I saw Aumont "pitch", he was terrible. I admit it was a small sample size, but a stinky sample. None of these guys will pan out.

The argument of steroids being on a continuum of morality, and so it's impossible to tell right from wrong, is so much at odds with baseball and most other sports at their core.

A ball hit 1 inch right of the first base line is no less well
hit than one 1 inch to the left of the line.
But foul is foul, and fair is fair.
The game has rules and they are understood & enforced . Mistakes are made , sure, but there are arbitrary and well understood limits to fair territory.

Baseball made no understood and enforced rules on drugs and performance enhancers for years and later when they are embarrassed on the issue , they are trying to retroactively judge past performance using the HoF as their war crimes tribunal.

Some players will always push the limits of the rules, but it's the leagues and MLB that was at the root of the issue by not having clear limits for way too long.

Ramirez has passed through waivers and will begin the season at LV.

This is no surprise since he's out of options and any team that claimed him would have to pass him through waivers to send him down.

Things to remember when analyzing what teams got for Lee:

1.) IIRC- the Phillies were always the strongest suitor for Lee in 2009 and in fact, I don't remember really anyone else in the running. By the time the trade happened the Indians had almost zero leverage because they needed to salvage something for a pitcher they had no chance of keeping.

2.) If the posters on here are to be believed- Amaro was told he needed to get rid of Lee and therefore he made a quick deal again with almost no leverage.

3.) Smoak was a pretty highly rated prospect when the Mariners acquired him and that is a team that could have used a nice cheap, hitter with some pop. He, so far, has not panned out.

As someone said- all this tells me is something I have always said. It is okay to hold onto prospects but they are usually not guarantees of anything. Yes there are legitimate prospects that turn out just the way everyone thought they would (Trout, Arod, Griffey Jr.) but the major league rosters are filled with a majority of guys who were later round fliers that put it together moving up through the system. Can't miss prospects miss quite a bit

Got some Spring Training tickets March can not come sooner!

The rates for really highly rated positional prospects isn't that bad especially once get into Top 25 or Top 50 lists. Decent chance the guy is at least a minor contributor at the MLB level.

It is the washout rate of pitching prospects that is really frightening. Any team that would figure out how to keep their pitchers healthier at meaningful statistical differences would have one of the biggest advantages in baseball. Maybe the biggest.

MG: Good post.

Throwing a baseball is an unnatural act...thus, the massively high injury rate among pitchers.

Clout - Nobody claimed Ramirez because they'd have to pass him through waivers to send him down? That's absurd. He just cleared waivers, so the danger of anyone claiming him was always pretty low. What major league baseball just told you is that no team in the league feels Ramirez would be worth using a 40 man spot on him.

If they'd dfa'd Gillies instead, I can promise you he'd have been picked up by someone.

aksmith: As usual, you don't know what you're talking about.

A big reason Ramirez cleared waivers is because he's out of options. Here's what that means: If another team HAD claimed him, it would've had to put him on waivers AGAIN at the end of spring training or keep him on the 25-man roster, just like a Rule 5 pick.

Get it?

aksmith: "If they'd dfa'd Gillies instead, I can promise you he'd have been picked up by someone."

Quite likely. Gillies still has options.

Yes, Clout. And no team felt he was worth even taking a free look at on the forty man through Spring Training.

Gillies still has options, but you're missing the point entirely. Gillies has talent. Ramirez does not. If, when Gillies is out of options, the Phillies dfa him, you're saying no team will pick him up. I'm guessing you know you're wrong, but too obstinate to admit it. Surprise.

Interesting discussion. If Gillies does somehow manage to stay healthy, put it together, and make the Show, and Aumont does become a useful back-end piece, maybe the Phillies become the big winners in the Cliff Lee pass-around.

aksmith: Admit what? You have no clue how Gillies will turn out. There's nothing to concede. You're the guy who said Mini-Mart was an MLB player, that you knew more than the scouting reports.

Hamster does have talent just cant stay healthy.

Gillies will certainly get his shot as an everyday player at Reading. Basically shows something over a full year or his baseball career is pretty much over.

Forget to add if Gillies really shows something, I would love to see the Phils move him while this trade value is high. No love for a guy who has his share of chronic leg muscle ailments and off the field problems.

Still has an opportunity I bet to still be a 'cf of the future'. Revere may be really young but he was about Amaro's 5th or 6th choice to fill the CF spot this year and there is no way in hell Amaro was going to not open the season with an established MLB player who could play CF.

Still want to see if Revere can actually start 155-160 games and take the wear and tear. That's a huge unknown.

While RAJ has some issues with quantitative analysis, the Yanks GM Brian Cashman apparently has less of a problem with it:

Some key quotes:

"As an industry, we have seen a radical change. “Moneyball” is a term that people repeat too often—the movie and the book—but essentially we have gotten to the point with technology that we can measure everything that takes place on the field. We’ve hired some really smart people to educate us on what statistics are more meaningful than others. This allows you to make safer bets and manage the risk in a much smarter way than I think the old-school regimes used to do."

"We have created a quantitative analysis department and hired a director of quantitative analysis. That department has grown to some 14 people who manage a number of different information streams. Not only do they pool that information, but then it is dissected and produced in a meaningful way about what is truly taking place on the field in present performance and then future predictable performance. That has certainly allowed us to make safer, more informed decisions."

"A lot of times, payroll will not translate into performance, because ultimately, when you commit to long-term multiyear contracts, there is always a declining value of the player over the course of time, but the value of the contract stays the same or gets worse."

"When I hire a player or replace a player, I define the role to Joe, such as, this guy is going to be our everyday center fielder, right fielder, first baseman, what have you. Then he executes. He does the lineups. I’ll make suggestions on lineups and we may disagree at times, but ultimately he puts forth the lineup and the construction of the lineup the way he sees it, but plays the players that clearly I have acquired and for the reasons I have acquired them.

He’s executing my philosophy and it’s the philosophy I was taught by [former Yankees General Manager] Gene Michael, a longtime baseball expert. We’re executing the Gene Michael playbook, which is very similar to the [former Baltimore Orioles General Manager] Earl Weaver playbook."

"After a period of time of development, players can have all the tools they want, but they have to translate those tools into consistent success. And that’s what starts to separate the players as they move up the ladder. From AA [minor league ball] on up, performance scouting becomes more vital than the tool scouting for the situation"

There's more there, so take a read.

Seems like a very different philisophy from the one expressed by the Phillies.

And then there's Cashman's wuote about the current FA market:

"But in terms of what is available to us as we move forward, it’s been slim pickings. Sometimes you have some difficulty, especially if it’s a marketplace that is thin, like this winter. We were a 95-win team, and a lot of times, those players—if it’s a very slim market—want to gravitate to rosters that are a lot thinner than ours, and so we have difficulties at times securing those."

Hmmmm, Cashman seems to be saying that the players actually have different ideas than the GM, and that the howls from the BL Moronocracy might be a bit misplaced when it comes to their chirping about "Amaro should have signed ______________", as though it was all RAJ's doing.

And this about the Philies:

"No, the markets are different. I think to emulate the Yankee model you have to be in a pretty significant market. I know the Red Sox have emulated the Yankee model, but there are some other teams such as the Philadelphia Phillies. I’m not sure what the difference between the city of Philadelphia and the city of Pittsburgh is, but Philadelphia is turning into a behemoth financial stronghold here in the National League East as well as in all of baseball with their contract commitments and their success. They built the new ballpark, had World Series appearances and won a recent World Series as well. As you may recall, we were able to beat them the second time when they were in the World Series here recently."

MG: "Still want to see if Revere can actually start 155-160 games and take the wear and tear. That's a huge unknown."

How many MLB CF started "155-160 games" in CF last season?

clout, that would be exactly four (4).

MG, sets a high bar.

clout, that is also why thosse here who's call for the trade or release of Mayberry simple used said call as their application for Moronocracy membership.

rolo: "Seems like a very different philosophy from the one expressed by the Phillies."

Yes, in that it is intelligent and rational.

Why would a minor leaguer that has options even go on waivers?

Yes Jack. A 10 year $275M contract for a 32 year old Arod in 2007 was certainly "intelligent and rationale".

155-160 is really high. Let's say starts 145-150 which is still a lot but not for a guy his age and a relative lack of wear and tear.

Top 50 prospects countdown currently on MLB network for those who are interested. Singleton #27.

D'arnaud at #6.

They must be high to have Singleton at 27...oh wait.

The show had lots of good video. The most impressive vid I saw was Bubba Starling. Royals monster. Somewhere around where Singleton was. I don't feel like looking him up. The ball looks like it just jumps off his bat. I think he's like 14 years old. I knew that Biddle was somewhere around 60 so there would be no Phillies, but it was still depressing. Funny to see how many great prospects are blocked and have had to change positions. For instance I hear a rumor that because the Phillies have Hamels and Lee in the rotation Biddle is being asked to throw right handed. Makes sense if you think about it.

Good one NEPP, I understand testing for PED's but weed? Come on. I find it insulting and unnecessary when I'm drug tested in my chosen field. I'm a weapons officer on a nuclear sub, in case you were wondering.

Hamster's off the filed issues. One he was acquitted and he screamed at the bus driver. These are minor issues. The more important are his hamstring issues.

Pedro: I find your handle offensive. May I suggest a change to "Pete's fortunate dwarf"

Yea it's not politically correct, should be Perdo's little person.

Pete: Agreed. I didn't want to appear heavy handed. Plus dwarf is one of only 3 root words in the English language to start with the letters dw. I try to use anomalies such as that as often as possible.

Anyone else find casual racism entirely acceptable?

Corey, no.

I don't believe LPs are a race per se so I think you're looking for a slightly different -ism but I agree with you that's its not cool.

So the Yankees have a quantitative department with 14 guys focused on all facets of the game , a long-term, coherent organizational philosophy in which those statistics play a key role, and a GM who expects his coach to make decisions based on a large part upon these statistics & analyses.

The Phils have a single quant guy who has been in place since '84, a GM with some real apparent dislike even disdain for statistics based upon some of the more newer methodologies, and a coach who appears to have a real disconnect at times with his GM & and also isn't a guy who relies upon advanced stats much.

21st century organization with more resources vs. 20th century organization run by a Luddite. Ugh.

When we have: Africa for Africans, Asia for Asians, White Countries for Everybody, what do we have overtime?
We have fewer and fewer White people.
When we mix more non-whites and fewer Whites in the same living space...
In time, White extinction. Its called White genocide because this does not happen by chance. It is being forced upon Whites just like a rapist does not take no for an answer.
How is this not so? How is this not White genocide?
Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-white.


Happy Birthday Bake McBride.

If JW were around I'd ask him to expose the real identity of the poster who typed under the name George Wells.

Cashman needs 14 guys to expose himself as an "eh" GM, RAJ only needs himself. Good value there for the Phils.


As I was reading the comments of George Wells, I was watching Totally Biased w/ Kamau Bell on Tivo. He was discussing the upcoming Super Bowl ad where a bunch of white people spoke with very convincing Jamaican accents. That commercial isn't even slightly racist. If they spoke with an Irish brogue or a Russian accent, no one would have uttered a word of protest. Simply imitating the cultural identity of certain races is completely harmless, and those who are offended are so ridiculous that their opinions warrant no consideration whatsoever (sort of like clout).

Then, I read scumbags like George Wells and I see why people are still overly sensitive and overreact. Fortunately, George is partially correct. Ignorant bigot racist pieces of trash are being forced into extinction.

9 days........

I smell a drive-by Klan posting.

Kevin Millwood retires.

I had the pleasure of attending his no-hitter at the Vet.

1 - 0 games CAN be exciting.

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