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Sunday, March 24, 2013


Putting athletes in positions they're not used to playing seems like a recipe for injury, but what do I know?

Especially if the reason basically amount to, "Wouldn't it be cool if..."

"An interesting side note: in some circles it's gaining traction that Halladay hasn't been the same since Game 5 of the NLCS against the Cardinals where he threw eight innings in the 1-0 loss. Interesting ..."

How is this gaining traction? It's the truth. He was bad pitcher last year. His last start before last year was game 5 of the 2011 NLDS.

Where's the revelation?

usually don't like to repost, but don't think anyone would mind some Braves bashing on a Phillies blog.

Playoff Series Wins last 10 years:

team ps wins
SLN 11

21 teams have won at least 1 playoff series, the Braves are not among them.

Doc had a 1.95 ERA and a .946 WHIP in April 2012.

At first blush it sounds a little silly to worry about Galvis injuring himself in the outfield. But the throw he made to the plate yesterday was probably the longest throw he's ever made during a game. I only hope that he either warms up properly to throw a ball differently, or holds back on his outfield throws. Once the adrenaline kicks in, an infielder could injure himself making an unfamiliar throw with a completely different motion than he's used to.

About Halladay, it's hard to believe his velocity would drop off a cliff like it has unless he's injured or ill. He could be effective with a lot of movement at lower velocity. But if he's injured, that would explain the fact that his control and command have also been pretty bad. He's be a candidate to either go on the DL to start the season or to go to extended Spring Training to work on his new junkball arsenal. Maybe next season, he could star on The Next Knuckleballer (or whatever that show is called) and the Phillies could bring him back on a minor league contract.

in 5 GS and 37IP

Halladay also benefited from a .227 BAbip during those first 5 starts last year. He also only gave up a LD% of 11% during the month, much lower than what he posted in 2010 and 2011 (20 and 18%, respectively).

He had a 5.84 K/9 and a 2.43 BB/9 (2.4 K/BB), which are way off the numbers that Doc was putting up in 2010-2011.

Doc was injured all last year, and just got some good fortune in April, otherwise, he would have had even worse numbers last year.

lorecore: So the Orioles get credit for that one game wild-card win over Texas last year?

I'm sure they wouldn't trade their last 10 years for the Braves. Definitely not.

What is the implication that a very obvious fact is 'gaining traction?'

He also hasn't been the same since he wrestled that anaconda. Maybe he was bitten or something. Maybe that will 'gain traction.'

I still claim that the contract RAJ signed with Doc is probably the best he's given out while GM. To get Doc for 3 years at $60 M was a steal. Unfortunately, it's easy to forget that 2010 wasn't part of that contract. The Phillies only paid Doc about $9.75 M that year, as the Blue Jays paid the remaining $6 M, which was the payout from the end of his deal with Toronto.

At the time, I believe the WAR/$M calculation was something like $4.5 M, meaning that Doc would have to merely put up 13.33 WAR during his three year contract to break even. After 2011, when Doc posted 8.1 fWAR, it seemed like a surefire bet that he would easily eclipse that 13.33 total. After only posting 2.5 fWAR last year, Doc is still 2.73 shy of that 13.33 total.

Not that this is all super scientific or the greatest measure of Doc fulfilling his contract, but it is a great shock to me, especially who Doc was coming into the 2011 season, that there remains a chance that Doc wouldn't live up to those, at the time, easily attainable numbers.

In fact, coming into 2011, most on here would have probably penciled Halladay in for around 18-20 fWAR in his three seasons here.

Now we are faced with the very real possibility that Doc may actually UNDER perform his contract, something I NEVER would have expected.

Iceman, exactly my point.

It's like saying, "It's gaining traction in lots of circles that Ryan Howard hasn't been the same since he tore his Achilles at the end of the 2011 NLDS."


The excitement of being a Phillies fan has been reduced to this:

Jim Salisbury: "Today is the day Phillies have to decide whether to keep INF Yuniesky Betancourt or not."

Happy Yuni Day, everyone.

Do we take anything from that lineup not including Betancourt on the day they need to make a decision on him?

He's actually had a very good Spring - .441 (21 for 24) with 3 2B's, 1 HR and is 3rd on the team, in RBI (14).

Not a huge proponent of the singing, but if we've reached "let's just play around with Galvis" territory, I'd prefer YB on the roster and FG playing in Lehigh Valley.

*(21 for 47)

When the hell is clout day, anyway? I still need to pick out my tux.

GTown, I've had my calendar circled for this day since the day we signed Yuni.

Family and friends are coming over, we'll be huddled around the computer, refreshing every Phillies site and twitter feed we can access.

lorecore- I'm with you on the Braves traditionally being choke artists (we've seen it ourselves in September in years past). That doesn't have anything to do with how the franchise is run, though. They have a very well-run organization.

I was more appalled by the Rangers being on Denny's 'list' in the last thread. They've had three playoff appearances since 2000 (one being a loss in the play-in game last year), and choked harder than any Braves team has in the 2011 World Series.

Fatalotti: That's the spirit! Fans of other teams have Rule 5 drama. r00b's kind of killed that for us, so we make due as we can.

Hallarok - Twilight of the Elite Starting Pitcher

Playoffs wins are kind of a ridiculous way to judge whether a MLB team has been well run.

Since 8 of the 30 teams (~27%) make the playoffs every year, it still is pretty impressive as a franchise to have made the playoffs at least 3-4 times over the past decade.

Good post Fata. I fully expected his option to vest also, and to get good value in the option year. He definitely looked like the type who could fend off the effects of age for awhile.

Re Galvis in the OF. . .

The Phillies don't seem to understand this incredibly simple concept: utility infielders are like toilet paper; they are necessities, not assets. Having 750 rolls of toilet paper in your closet does not make you richer; it just takes away valuable closet space which you might need for something else. And if you use that toilet paper as a table cloth and bath towel, it doesn't make those 750 rolls of toilet paper more valuable than an actual table cloth or bath towel would have been. It just makes you a f**king idiot for using toilet paper as a table cloth & bath towel.

PhillyCuban, there's a bit of a likeness to the rotten luck that RAJ endured with the Brad Lidge deal. I know, I know, when you sign players in their 30s to multi-year deals, you run these risks, but to have both players just fall off a cliff either for the entirety of the contract (Lidge) or for 2 of the 3 years of the contract, is just the utmost of poor luck.

Remember, Lidge was only entering his age 32 season at the start of his 3 year deal, which is at the start of the decline phase for a closer, but certainly, it would have been reasonable to expect at least one to two more good seasons. Instead the Phillies got all of maybe 4 months of good production from Lidge, lots of DL trips, and a 2009 season that will never be forgotten for all the wrong reasons.

Now to have Doc potentially only give them one good season...boy, to sign two 3-year deals to players coming off ridiculously good seasons, and get only 1 year of surplus value out of those 2 deals. That's rotten luck.

BAP, you should write an entire op-ed relating the construction of a baseball team to the inventory of a linen closet.

I'd buy it.

Fat: I'll get to work on it.

I guess I should also point out that it just hit me that RAJ didn't give the deal to Lidge, as Gillick was still in control at the time.

Still, just replace RAJ with Phillies and the point stands.

BAP: I think using Galvis in the OF is smart. Many scouts think his ceiling is as a utility guy. If he can add OF to his skill set that's a good thing, no?

Clout - I don't see Galvis' ceiling as being a utility guy. And I wonder what scouts seeing that are looking at. He's a fabulous defender and his bat will be more than good enough to be a full time shortstop. It won't happen while Rollins is a Phillie, but he would be at least a solid starting shortstop in this league right now.

clout: Sure. As I said in one of my posts yesterday, I see absolutely no harm in giving your utility infielder some spring training starts in the OF to see if he can do it, in case of emergency. But the operative word here is "emergency." That emergency would very rarely arise if you do what a normal team does & keep 2 backup outfielders -- both of whom would undoubtedly hit much better than Galvis.

With the Phillies, the use of a utility infielder in the OF always seems to be linked to an ulterior agenda of keeping 3 utility infielders at the expense of 1 backup outfielder. They did it a few years ago when they kept Mini-Mart, Orr, and Valdez. My tummy tells me that they may be fixing to do it again by keeping Frandsen, Galvis, & Betancourt. That is a misallocation of resources, and something that few, if any, other teams ever do.

I love spring training wind. Yesterday Utley hit two out where he basically just poked the bat at the ball to get it in the jet stream to RF. Today Bradley Jr. hits one off the end of the bat and it blows over the fence.

You really need to watch some of these games to get a sense of how a pitcher looks, because that 3-run HR is a flyout in Philly or almost anywhere else.

To buttress smitty's point, Galvis had 0.6 fWAR in just 200 PA last year. At that rate, he'd be a 1.8 fWAR player over 600 PA last year. 2 fWAR is generally accepted as being a league average player.

Basically, if Galvis can ever get his bat into the 80-90 OPS+ world, and his defense remains as one of the best in the game, there's no reason to not believe the could be an 8 hole hitter in this league, and provide good value at the SS position.

Big if, I'll admit, but one which the Phillies will explore.

If the Phils actually wanted to do something productive, they should be playing Galvis more at 3B to at least get a sense of how he looks at the position.

Instead, he is playing in the OF and I bet this is largely Cholly's decision. Cholly seems enamored with this idiotic notion that utility infielders can play the OF adequately even with no/little experience there. It started with his 'Bruntlett for Burrell' defensive replacement after Taguchi struggled early in '08 defensively and has stuck ever since.

Should have known as soon as I saw Galvis in RF yesterday that the usual suspects would be soiling themselves about it.

Phils and O's make Monor league

The Of'der the Phils got seems to have a little pop. Interesting move.

With the Phillies, the use of a utility infielder in the OF always seems to be linked to an ulterior agenda of keeping 3 utility infielders at the expense of 1 backup outfielder. They did it a few years ago when they kept Mini-Mart, Orr, and Valdez. My tummy tells me that they may be fixing to do it again by keeping Frandsen, Galvis, & Betancourt. That is a misallocation of resources, and something that few, if any, other teams ever do.

This links in perfectly w/ MG's 01.42PM post. r00b & Charlie have consistently chosen players who display astounding mediocrity in several areas -- hitting, fielding, running -- over those who possess actual skill, albeit in a more limited capacity. What the Phillies value is the illusion of utility, & it continues to hurt the ball club.

G-Town~ Exactly. That's why I'm adamently against our GM at times. Because even with their high payroll, they don't do what's best for the team, they do what's best for the checkbook.

Iceman - It's just a really dumb idea and is something the Phils have strong track record of doing lately.

DPet, I doubt very strongly that the Phillies keeping Betancourt of Galvis over Jermaine Mitchell or Darin Ruf has anything to do with the "checkbook".

I also don't really get the notion that you need to give starts to your utility IF in the OF "in case of emergency". In the Phillies are in an emergency, like say the 15th inning of a game in the middle of August where their bench is depleted, and they have to put Galvis in the OF, is it really going to make a damn bit of difference if Galvis had a couple random starts in RF in the middle of March?

I highly doubt it. In an emergency, your more banking on things going your way than you are in slotting your chess pieces in an optimal position. Hell, the Phillies used Roy Oswalt to play RF in an emergency a couple years back.

I mean, it probably doesn't hurt to put Galvis out there, but let's not act like there's some sort of value there that may win the Phillies a game down the road.

Fata~ I'm not talking specific names, but specific needs. Maybe if they wouldn't have been so bottom line oriented this year, which was obvious, they would have aquired a better Of'der than Delmon Young or a better starter than Lannan.

In light of Ruf being sent down, they still a RH bat. With Doc's situation, they may need another starter, and they answer isn't Cook. And he's searching for BP depth.

I do agree however, there is no need to keep 3 utility infielders. Why this is even a possibility is beyond me. I have no doubt that Freedie can play defense almost anywhere, so he sould be on the team. Using him in the OF is not a bad idea "in case...".
But the need for RH power is rearing it's head again. That srea to me is first and foremost.

Lee is having one of those outings where he leaves too much stuff in the zone.

It's really strange watching over the past few years. He'll have high K totals and almost no BBs but give up a bunch of hits & some HRs too. Winds up running a pretty high pitch count where he is done by the 6th usually in those games too. One of those quirky things you learn from watching him pitch frequently.

I kind of doubt the Phils are going to carry 3 infielders. The only reason they did it 2 years ago was because Utley was out.

Not the case this year and my bet is that it will be Betancourt making the roster with Galvis opening the season in LV.

I absolutely hate that move but that seems to be the direction the Phils are going.

Fata- I'm not saying anything about his value (although yeah, a player's value inherently increases a bit when he can play another position).

It was one inning in a spring training game. MG, BAP and others are reading it as a sign of something, and using it to do their usual pile-on job of the front office/manager. Over one inning in a spring training game. Nobody knows why he put him out there. He could have just done it to screw with everybody. Who cares? All the words spilled on this in the past 24 hours has been on of the biggest overreactions I've ever seen on here.

It probably means as much as when Ruiz played 3B for an inning a few years back: absolutely nothing. The conspiracy theories from otherwise intelligent people are ridiculous.

Bard has some nasty stuff. If Revere hadn't bunted and Utley blooped one the other way, that would have been insane domination of a righty over lefty hitters. High nineties fastball and sharp breaking slider. Was he injured last season? Because his numbers were awful.

I think the fact that they have waited this long on Betancourt while he's hit over .400 in spring pretty much says all you need to know about how they feel. They hoped when they signed him that they could store him at LV. They don't want him on the team. But why would you just drop a guy that could potentially be in demand (and apparently is from the Yanks and the Cards)?

If they have teams sniffing around about Yuni, yeah I do think they should keep him and give teams the impression that they're going to put him on the Opening Day roster. Make the GM that wants him give up a player for him.

I could easily see Lee having a decline phase kind of like Bert Blyleven's, where he's still a pretty good pitcher but he gives up huge numbers of homeruns. The combination of pinpoint control and strong flyball tendencies kind of lends itself to that scenario.

Or at least fill the soda machine.

That is so much better than the old "bag o' balls."

BAP, Lee has been pretty much league average in terms of FB% over the last 3 years. His FB% used to hover in the high 40s earlier in his career, but now it's more in the mid 30s, which is pretty average.

Phils 2012:

Wigginton (7 G, 7 GS)
Luna (2 G, 2 GS)
Mini-Mart (2 G)

Mini-Mart (4 GS)

Mini-Mart (3 G, 2 GS)

Mini-Mart (3 G, 2 GS)

Mini-Mart (12 G, 8 GS)

Gload (3 G, 3 GS)

Gload (1 G, 1 GS)

Gload (7 G, 6 GS)
Dobbs (1 G, 1 GS)

Bruntlett (4 G, 2 GS)
Stairs (6 G, 5 GS)
Dobbs (13 G, 11 GS)

Bruntlett (2 G, 0 GS)

Bruntlett (5 G, 3 GS)
Dobbs (2 G, 2 GS)
Stairs (9 G, 7 GS)

Bruntlett (29 G, 0 GS)
Dobbs (3 G, 2 GS)

Bruntlett (7 G, 2 GS)
Stairs (4 G, 3 GS)
Dobbs (4 G, 0 GS)

I understand the necessity of playing a Dobbs/Stairs/Gload in the corner OF from time-to-time to give them some ABs. Every MLB team does it with their bench guys.

What is also clear though is that if Cholly thinks he has a 'versatile' utility infielder that he will play that guy and even start him occasionally in the OF. Cholly did that with Bruntlett in '08 and '09 and with Mini-Mart in '11 and '12.

Fat: Ok. I knew he had historically been a FB pitcher & it sure seems like he is prone to the homerun ball. Didn't realize his GB percentage has actually improved in the last few years.

There's that subpar Revere defense.

Fata1 In addition to my earlier point, I was listening to MLB radion on XM some weeks back. Someone called in about the Cubs. The conversation led to Soraiano. The Cubs like him and he wants to stay etc.

Jim Douquette did say however that Soriano could be traded by the end of ST to the Phils if Ruf didn't make the team. It would depend on how much of Soraino's salary the the Cubs would eat & What the Phils would have to give up. He went on to say Soraino would be a great fit in the Phils lineup and do well at CBB. This was even after the Phils got D. Young.

It's been rumored that the Phils could have Soraino at any time they wanted him. Now let's jump to present day. If all that was rumored is true, would RAJ still make the deal? I'm not sure because of payroll condiderations. Given the current state of the team & the payroll, would you roll the dice on this? Or would you try to find another option if you agreed with the OF bat need.

Ice & AWH feel free to chime in.

I tried to be optimistic about Halladay, but my ability to temper my concern was short-lived. I will give him props for acknowledging age and determination to adjust - and naturally wish him all the best - for the sake of the team and us fans as well as for him! Can we bring in Moyer to give Doc some tips?

Wanted to share this from Scott Palmer at, interviewing Shane - even though he's not a Phillie anymore, he's still a favorite of mine, and maybe some of you:

BAP, from 2008-2010, Lee actually had crazy low HR/FB%s. It's only since rejoining the Phillies that those rates started to normalize.

Before 2008, he was legitimately a different pitcher. He was a flyball pitcher who had mediocre control and didn't strike out a lot of guys. In short, he was a borderline 5th starter.

Then, everything clicked in 2008, and he's never really looked back.

Vic's a class act.

DPat, the original rumor was to trade Brown for Soriano. It was dumb then, and it's ten-fold dumber now.

If the deal was to trade Ruf for Soriano, and the Cubs would eat a lot of his salary, go for it. You'll probably get more production/value out of Soriano over the next 1-2 years than you'd get with Ruf.

But I doubt that deal is even a possibility.

Is MG watching the game today?

Ignore the ~1000 innings of CF that Revere has played and just watch that play to erase any doubts you have of his defensive ability. doesn't have the radio and video feeds synched up. I hope that's just because it's Spring Training. If the choice is having Franzke tell me what's going to happen on the next pitch before it happens or listening to Manboobs and Phlegmmy Matthews, I'll have to turn the sound off entirely.

Horst looked good there for two batters. Of course, if that's Young still at third, he probably give up a hit rather than seeing a nice play by Frandsen for the last out.

Papelbon has certainly settled in since the rough few early outings he had.

He looks like he has been using his splitter a bit more this spring since then. I wonder if that is going to carry over into the regular season.

Fata~ Yeah I agree that Brown for Soraino was dumb, especially since Schierholz is penciled in as the Cubs starting RF'der.

In lieu of the Phils trade with the O's, do you think trading Ruf is a possibilty now? I'm not advocating it, just curious. Do you agree that a RH bat is needed?

I don't get the Soriano talk either. If the Phils make a move for an OF, it will be a reserve OF/part-time player. It was Ruf's job to win and he apparently didn't show enough.

The one move I could see the Phils making is for a catcher. Quintero made another error today and Kratz has struggled defensively even though he has started to hit.

Just basically minor tinkering at this point.

DPat, a RH power bat would make the team better, as would better pitching in the rotation or bullpen, as would better defense at 3B and in the corner OF spots. I'm all for whatever makes the team better.

I don't think Ruf holds any real trade value, or at least the kind of value that could be used to make the team better THIS year. The only way Ruf makes the 2013 Phillies better is by his own on-field contributions.

that was sweet. 2/3 of our seasons concerns in back to back bombs to tie it up.

re: Julio Rodriguez/Welty trade

I don't like the trade, although it will likely be a moot point. Rodriguez was apparently starting to show signs of potential. His knock was always that he was a finesse type, but then reports of his velocity was starting to improve and his curve was turning into an out pitch.

He flattened back to his old self last year, but he still was 21 and coming off his first year in AA. I would have given him at least once chance to repeat before dumping in exchange for a guy like Welty.

When you strike out close to 30% of your PA through the low minors after coming out of college and being old for all of your leagues - you basically have no chance. Apparently is a good athlete with above average arm, but he'll be 25 next year with mediocre numbers below AA.

Fata~ Yeah, but what if the Cubs were willing to eat the reported 26 million.

MG~ You may be right, but don't forget that D. Young is a poor OF'der. And if he doesn't run well, there's no reason to put him out there. It wouldn't do much harm to release him if they picked up a better player.

That is Howard's 7th HR of the spring and the most he has had in ST since '09 (10 HRs).

utley/howard back to back in back to back games.

lorecore: sweeter still. thanks

On consecutive plays, Inciarte boots a ball and Betancourt looks like his feet are encased in cement at third on another "hit." If they're trying to make an impression, they certainly did.

That is Howard's 7th HR of the spring and the most he has had in ST since '09 (10 HRs).

Posted by: MG | Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 03:47 PM

Yeah, but he's struggling against good stuff.

Inciarte in back to back games making poor D plays. Crucial mistakes for him.

With the game on the line in the bottom of the 9th, there's no one you'd rather have at the plate than Humberto Quintero.

With the game on the line in the bottom of the 9th, there's no one you'd rather have at the plate than John Mayberry, Jr.

I declare 'Beerleaguer Bankruptcy' on my comments reading Inciarte.

The Yankees are apparently on the verge of a trade for -- get ready for it -- Vernon Wells.

Vernon will agree because he misses the weather in the NE.

Yuni released. Nice.

Later, Yuni. Looks like we're getting Galvis'd. Undoubtedly his newly discovered OF prowess made all the difference.

Vernon Wells to the Yankees. To quote Agent Smith "It is inevitable."

Looks like BAP's 'gut instinct' is in midseason form.

All the grousing about Yuni was predictably for nothing.

Yuni released

Good news. Galvis has some upside and can help this team win this year if used properly. Should be plenty of opportunity for him to play semi-regularly too.

Really hope he becomes the regular at 2B for Utley vs LHP starters. 'Win-win' for both especially to give Utley the rest he needs, Utley has been declining badly vs LHP, and it gives Galvis a better chance to contribute offensively.

I can't believe the Phillies made this decision about Betancourt with their checkbook.

Really makes you wonder why Yuni was brought to camp at all. His record as a baseball player is obviously publicly available, and he didn't exact put on a poor display this spring.

So, if they knew he sucked coming in, and they were going to release him even if he had a good/great Spring, why even bring him in in the first place?

Doesn't upset me that they did. Just curious.

Either way, I'll never be upset when the Phillies release an awful player.

Here's hoping they do the same with Delmon Young before long.

I wonder if they are figuring that Betancourt will still be available after ST. Can anyone be sure another team will really pick him up?

Fatalotti: I have a bad feeling r00b sees Young as some manner of bizarre project, & we'll be stuck w/ him for awhile.

MG, on Betancourt, my guess is, they just weren't sure about Galvis. After seeing Galvis in ST they just decided he could handle to utility job and Betancourt was just not needed. Or who knows maybe they think Betancourt could get a starting job somewhere else and are doing him a favor.

Mike G, I agree. Betancourt was an insurance policy in case Galvis fell on his face or someone got injured.

Always like to read a classy comment by a player:

“It’s a numbers game,” Betancourt said. “I understand it, and I appreciate the fact that the organization gave me a shot to prove myself at the Major League level. I think I did a good enough job to get on with another club, but I’d like to reinforce the fact that I’m appreciative of the Phillies for giving me a chance.”

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