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Monday, March 18, 2013

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Justin Upton has "Official Phillies Killer" written all over him. He might just slide into Chipper's slot for the Braves there.

***He has an opt-out clause that can cause his release from the Phillies on March 24 if he isn't going to make the opening day roster, so the Phils don't really have much leverage in a potential trade. Not that they would anyway, since we're talking about Yuniesky Betancourt. ***

Easy solution is to put Galvis in AAA to play everyday and then shop Betancourt.

I think Yuni should make this team, I begrudgingly came to this conclusion a week or so ago and doesn't intake any of his ST performance.

He is a better hitter than Freddy Galvis at this point. As a bench player, his main role will likely be to pinch hit. Let Galvis play in AAA everyday, maybe even 3B, and hope his bat builds off his 2011 campaign.

And now with a team like the Cards kicking tires, it adds the benefit of trading him for something. What? Probably little to nothing, but still a possible benefit.

Giving away any player for nothing is stupid.

I can see it now: Phillies trade Yuni Betancourt to St. Louis for Ty Wigginton.

And again, isn't Ronny Cedeno better than Yuni? He fields better and hits equally as poor.

I can see it now: Phillies trade Yuni Betancourt to St. Louis for Ty Wigginton.

Posted by: bay_area_phan


Good god. This post knocked the wind out of me.

NEPP: I don't know that the Phils have a choice. I'm not certain they can actually trade Betancourt. He signed as a free agent just weeks ago, and by building in an opt out clause, Betancourt and the Phils made a pact that he can control his own destiny after March 24.

What do people really expect the Phils to get for Betancourt anyway? And if he's really improved - like the reports say he is - than maybe the Phils should just keep him into the season and see what happens.

Betancourt stinks and has for years now. Anything on return that might help the Phils now or later is a win.

JW: wouldn't purchasing his milb contract as an MLB deal eliminate his ability to opt out?

"And again, isn't Ronny Cedeno better than Yuni? He fields better and hits equally as poor."

If Cedeno were better than Betancourt, why would the Cardinals make the trade? And if the whole point of our trading Betancourt is that we don't really need another utility infielder, why would we trade him for another utility infielder?

Lorecore: Correct, but I still don't think the Phils can just flip him anywhere they please March 25, especially a veteran. Maybe I'm wrong. If I'm wrong, it doesn't seem right that they can do that.

Nevertheless, what's this so-called value Betancourt would get you? A mid-tier prospect like Horst, who's as good as Horst 1 out of 10 tries. Big whoop.

bap: thats the question I can't understand. If Cedeno gets a $1.15M MLB deal in FA and Yuni gets a MiLB deal...why are the Cards wanting to trade for him when they got the better option(in terms of FA Market evaluation and statisticly eval)?

JW: Hey, if Yuni gets guaranteed MLB $, he wins. If his opt clause forces the Phils to do it to trade, then it did exactly what it was there for, get the man paid.

Also, Chris Snyder got dealt and only got a MiLB deal.

"Giving away any player for nothing is stupid."

Yeah, I'm not sure about this. Do agents keep tabs on which teams give players a fair shake when they are in this sort of roster bubble situation? Does this affect the quality of lottery ticket non-roster invitees you might sign in future offseasons? Who knows what types of informal agreements beyond opt-out clauses are going on behind the scenes. Sometimes goodwill does buy you future returns. And as others have said, who's giving up much of value for players in this situation?

Ice, I do enjoy getting worked into a lather (but don't feel that I HAVE to pitch just because I worked up a lather).

What about the possibility of trading Frandsen instead?

Prettay, prettay sure the Cards would give up Taveras or Rosenthal for Yuni...

The Phils would prefer to trade Frandsen if given the choice.

Manuel seems really high on Ruf.

Manuel said: "He’s going to hit. He’s going to hit. He’s hit everywhere he’s been. He’s got a good swing."

I have a feeling Charlie is going to make a push to keep Ruf with the big club.

Lorecore: That's incorrect. Snyder was released and then signed with the Angels immediately afterward.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/03/angels-to-sign-chris-snyder.html

Snyder is the catching clone of Betancourt BTW. Very fringe veteran, signed right before camp. Had an opt out in his contract as well.

yes.. on a milb deal with invite to spring and an opt out.

Let's just hope they don't clone either of them.

If the Phillies decide Galvis is better served to be the utility guy on the major league roster, there's not reason to string Betancourt along. It's not like we're going to get anything of value for him in a trade.

Once J-Roll returns, I think we'll see a decision on Betancourt.

"Let's just hope they don't clone either of them."

"Attack of the Killer Quad-A Players:" Due to a scientific experiment gone wrong, thousands of Yuni Betancourt and Chris Synder clones are unleashed on unsuspecting major league teams, as scouts around the world are summoned to prevent the clones from taking over all 30 rosters. Rated R for adult language and gratuitous violence.

I kind of agree with Charlie. I think there was a lot of hand-wringing over Ruf's first 20 or so ABs of the spring, as if that is in any way indicative of who he is as a player.

If he's given a chance, I think he'll hit. A lot? I don't know, but surely he wouldn't be the worst bat on our roster, or even in our outfield. He could probably outhit Laynce Nix for the season, if given the chance.

The question is whether he can field the ball even passably enough to justify keeping him on the roster. And I think that's a very legitimate question, still.

I heard that the National received a autographed Vernon Wells baseball for Snyder.

lorecore: I believe JW was correcting the "Snyder got dealt" part

Fata: then you don't have the 'closer's mentality.'

Jup will not be a Philly killer. Too many Ks. Hell I could have taken ROLO deep today. All the puff he was throwing.

Jack: The Phillies have occasionally carried a no-field bench player. Matt Stairs comes to mind.

It will be interesting to see how J Upton plays with the Braves. He has been kinda streaky as a player so far- not quite getting into the superstar tier. Also, he seems to go one year up, one year down. Unfortunately this would be an up year for him.

"
can see it now: Phillies trade Yuni Betancourt to St. Louis for Ty Wigginton.

Posted by: bay_area_phan

Good god. This post knocked the wind out of me.

Posted by: Cyclic | Monday, March 18, 2013 at 04:24 PM"


Wiggy, in 44 ST PA: .103/.205/.128


Yep, I'd do that trade.....suuuuuure.....

"The question is whether he can field the ball even passably enough to justify keeping him on the roster. And I think that's a very legitimate question, still."


Jack, we agree.


I really think it's this simple. Ruf has played all of, what?, 50-55 games in LF in his entire career? If he does continue to rake the rest of ST and they decide to bring him North I think it's incumbent for folks to understand that he's a "work-in-progess' in LF.

It's going to take him a year or two two make the transition to being even competent.

Agree with both of you on Ruf. His progress in the outfield is the real question. He will hit. How well? Well enough to be at least a passable left fielder. But watching him in the outfield, Winter ball did him no favors. He went there to play outfield, and rarely did.

rolo: The issue isn't what the fans think. Who cares about that?

The issue is whether his glove gives back more runs than his bat creates at the moment. That's a decision the Phils front office has to evaluate. I could understand either way, though I would lean towards bringing him up and giving him a shot to at least spot start some games in LF and at 1B.

interesting read with the K%+ but it doesn't strike me as a good metric (all the 200 and 300 plus numbers in that article lead me to think its too highly leveraged).

At what point do you reach a ceiling on the percentage of players you can strike out? 50% seems to be approaching that number given you have to maintain a microscopic walk rate, add in weak contact so the hit rate stays low, and even have to fight against outcomes like foul pop outs and sacrifice bunts, which chip away at the percentage.

Kimbrel is part of strikeout atmosphere in baseball, which erodes his "K%+," but there is very little room to improve on a 50% K-rate, so he could probably never put up a 300+ K%+ like Feller did in a low-strikeout environment

Puleeeeze, Cory, leave the "raking" expression to the leaves in the fall. It's time has come and gone. Not cool, if it ever was.


We only need a left fielder until our savior, Delmon Young gets back.

squads, that's an interesting point and one that I was thinking about, too. It's simply easier (or at least more likely) to have a greater "+" metric in an environment where that particular metric is stifled.

That being said, do you think this limitation affects all the "+" metrics, like OPS+, ERA+ and the like, or do you think there's something particularly unique about strikeouts that makes it more obvious?

I just cant see them dumping Betancourt at this point...at least not for free. They'll almost certainly guarantee him the 25th man spot and let Galvis get regular playing time in AAA.

I also think Ruf is going to keep hitting as the Spring goes on and he will make the Opening Day roster. He's been swinging a good bat the last week or so.

The special point I was trying to make about K% is [I speculate] that Kimbrel was pushing up against the limit of what you can actually achieve in that statistical category.

In order to put up a 300 K%+ with a league K% of 20%, you need to strike out 60% of batters. That is virtually impossible, no matter how skilled the pitcher. To get just over 50% last year, Kimbrel put up 2 BB/9, .250 BABIP, 16.7 K/9...numbers with hardly any room for improvement.

Basically the deck is stacked because it is nigh on impossible to post a K%+ over 300 in modern baseball. Dazzy and Bob win before Excel crunches the numbers.

Some good points on Betancourt in that article and I think I agree.

The only flaw I see here is that the GM who is most over a barrel right now at the SS position is Mozeliak, and he isn't stupid. To get anything of value for a guy like Betancourt based on a few weeks of above-average spring training play, you'd have to take advantage of someone that has a special combination of desperate and stupid. To go along with being intelligent, is Pete Kozma really that bad to stoop to Betancourt-levels of desperation? I'm not sure Mozeliak has been pushed to that point either.

Then again, this is a guy who gave 2 years/5 million to Pigginton. Maybe he can be fooled.

***you'd have to take advantage of someone that has a special combination of desperate and stupid***

Unfortunately both Ed Wade and Ruben Amaro Jr are in our Front Office.

Should we be at all worried that Howard seems to be fading off a bit as ST heads into the final week or so? He started off red hot but has really looked a bit rough at the plate the last week or so.

Icmean, good points. But, the other thing to consider is that other teams might lose players to injury, later on. And I think he's right. Yuni can net something of return in value, and so long as Rollins, Utley and Young are healthy, Yuni won't really hurt the team getting a PH here or there, and collecting dust on the bench.

I think it'd be wise to start Galvis at AAA, and in the event of an injury, bring up Freddy. Until then, you hold on to a chip with "some" value in Yuni, and let your hopeful SS of the future continue to develop down in the minors.

It seems a prudent course of action.

NEPP, that's just how HOward goes. Periods of supernova followed by glacial frost. Been like that for his career.

Maybe...but as more and more fringe pitchers go to minor-league camp, his numbers are dropping.

Let me see if I got this right. Utley hasn't hit all spring and his average is under the Mendoza line and NEPP wonders if we should be worried about Howard and his .320 average.

The term "rake" in baseball goes back as far as 1990. It's clearly just a fad...

Wait, somebody said something about Howard and DIDN'T rip on Utley at the same time?

The horror!

Wait, who said anything about ripping on anybody?

Mayberry is not getting much playing time and seems almost like the forgotten man on this team. Anybody see a scenario in which he doesn't make the team?

Limoguy, only if they trade him. He's out of options and would probably be claimed on waivers. I can't believe the FO would just give him up for nothing.

Fata- I agree with you completely and the logic of keeping Betancourt is correct here. And I guess when it comes down to it, if it's Betancourt over Galvis for the last IF spot, Yuni might actually be the better choice overall. The only reservation I have about it is that nobody bites on him and we're stuck with him on the roster, then Rollins or Young gets injured and we're stuck with him and his subpar offense and defense (I don't buy for a second he's turned a corner) in the lineup everyday. I'd almost personally prefer Galvis just because he does something well and provides value on one side of the ball, whereas Yuni does nothing well and would add to the team's defensive problems.

I don't know. It's a personal bias against Yuni. It probably is the right call to hang on to him.

limoguy- other than Mitchell, there isn't a potential backup CF currently on the roster. He'll make the team. They probably just want to get the unknown guys a lot of reps.

Iceman, absolutely. If Rollins or Utley goes down, and someone has to start full time in their stead, it should be Galvis all the way, because of his exceptional defense. But as long as they're healthy, no reason to not let Gavlis play every day, and make Yuni sit on the bench, and get his 1 PA per week.

I guess with Betancourt, my bottom line is this: if you guaranteed me if Rollins went down, Galvis would be called up to start with Yuni continuing to sit the bench, I'd be 100% fine with the prospect of keeping him.

It's the same thing with DYoung. He's fine on the bench. But if he's the firewall behind a major injury, the team will suffer on both sides of the ball.

Put Betancourt on the Opening Day roster so the Phils might be able to trade him for a mediocre relief prospect at best? Ugh.

What a backwards way of looking at this season and beyond. Galvis had shown he is healthy and looked decent enough at the plate.

On a team filled with aging infielders and two middle infielders who have really started to struggle vs LHP, there is no reason that Galvis doesn't start regularly at 2B/SS vs LHP and possibly coming in as a regular sub for m. Young late in games.

If the Phils really want to move someone thus spring it should be Mayberry especially if they like Enciarte enough to keep him on the Opening Day roster. Phils have Ruf and the one role where D Young could actually help the team is as part-time LF who starts vs LHP. Mayberry has some value to the Phils but he isn't getting any younger either and the Phils have seen enough of him to know he is nothing but a role player.

If Mayberry can be packaged with another low level prospect for an upgrade in the rotation over Cook and Lopez, that is the move I hope the Phils make this spring especially since I do have a bad feeling on Halladay.

MG, the hole in your plan is that you actually think Manuel will even consider caddying Michael Young, unless he's the worst kind of butcher in the field.

Also, Utley is starting against everyone, as is Rollins.

Given all that, Galvis is going to get little PT here in the first couple months. Why have him waste away on the bench?

Thing that utterly baffles me is 'Betancourt is an okay bat off the bench.' His numbers suck 3 of the last 4 years and even by a utility infielders standard they are pretty pedestrian.

He's had a little more power than you average utility infielder but hits for a low average, almost never takes a BB, can't bunt, and is a poor situational hitter because of his hacking tendencies.

Doesn't have the speed or defense to make up for his below average offensive numbers. One of those guys who i don't understand keeps getting regular PT at the MLB level.

And yet sadly, MG, Yuni's 3 year OPS+ of 81 ('09-'11) dwarfs Galvis' 64 OPS+ from last year.

Fat - your probably right sadly. I was really hoping Galvis would get some PT regularly at 3B this spring to see how we handled the position. Frandsen really isn't that much of an upgrade defensively at 3B and I would rather the Phils save his bat for PH duty.

JRoll is a guy who should probably start no more than 150 games this year. Utley will be lucky to start 120.

Anyhow, all this arguing in FAVOR of Betancourt is causing the part of me that loves baseball to die a little bit with every pressing of "post" button.

So, as to not expedite the process further, I think I'll go to bed, and dream of non-Betancourt players cleanly fielding ground balls, working intelligent at bats, driving the ball from gap to gap, and generally doing good baseball stuff.

Fat - it is really aided by those 2010 numbers. The last 2 years it has been 76 OPS+. Betancourt is a better hitter than Galvis because he has more power.

Betancourt is also a total zero in the field and below average on the basepaths.

There is some hope Galvis might improve just a bit offensively too while the odds are probably at least 50-50 that Betancourt might slip and be one of those guys who declined rapidly on the other side of 30. Last 2 years have been pretty subpar.

17-10! I thought football season was over.*

*(Obligatory football reference.)

MG if you are stating that the Over/Under on games started by Utley is 119-1/2, I'll take the "Over".

The problem with trading Mayberry is that it removes one more roadblock from DYoung getting a good share of PT in right. I like Inciarte, but keeping him isn't worth that risk.

The Nixberry platoon will be out as an option, and if Ruf doesn't prove he can play the OF and/or stops hitting again, Delmon Young is the RF. I have my problems with Mayberry and think he's overvalued here, but his value went way up the day Young was signed simply by keeping him from being the #1 option vs LHP on the depth chart.

Trade Mayberry and it's Young vs a guy that has less than 100 MLB at-bats and hasn't proven he can field the position he'll be asked to play. I don't like those odds. Mayberry needs to stay.

Rolo has come down with the dreaded "can't get a batter out flu."
When questioned about the illness, Rich Dubee said Rolo "was just fine."
Meanwhile, Charlie Manuel was seen throwing up in the dugout after the game. He said, "I'm not sick, I just noticed the score."

Yuni should be the MLB backup and galvis should start in AAA. But, if you can get value for Yuni in a trade, by all means...

"The problem with trading Mayberry is that it removes one more roadblock from DYoung getting a good share of PT in right. I like Inciarte, but keeping him isn't worth that risk."


Iceman, exactly. While MG is trying to solve one problem, his prescription creates another one, which may wind up being far worse.

On a positive note, some guy named Cliff Lee, who actually going to be in the rotation on Opening Day, pitched 6 shutout innings with 9 Ks in the minor league game. Wring your hands about RoLo as the potential 6 or 7 starter, but he'll be extremely fortunate if he even sniffs an MLB mound this season.

rolo, so you expect our 5 starters to make nearly every start this year?

Seems like I'm not alone in pining for Betancourt to make the team as the backup with Galvis as the call up starter if rollins goes down.

And Frandsen plays both 3B/2B, so you are only exposed to Yuni when you have Rollins down.

I hate mayberry more than most, but I'll agree that we are better with him than without with the current roster.

He really does suck though, and I swear his defense even in the corners is not even good. He looks like he should be good...but hes just not when you watch him everyday.

Happy clout day eve everyone!!

Finally saw highlight of Brown HR. Another absolute crush, i bet his 5 HR this spring have averaged over 420ft.

It was another fastball up in the zone, only this one was out over the plate instead of on his hands like the one vs Kuroda. Got nice and extended.

If he keeps killing balls up in the zone, pitchers will have to start working lower, which plays right into his strengths as a LHB with good pitch recognition.

Over/under 20 starts from Roy Halladay this year?

Let me see if I got this right. Utley hasn't hit all spring and his average is under the Mendoza line and NEPP wonders if we should be worried about Howard and his .320 average.

Posted by: Mike G | Monday, March 18, 2013 at 10:31 PM

I think its okay to worry about more than one veteran. The Utley thing is definitely a real concern. Its hard to get a real gauge on him though as he's barely playing every other day whether its a road game or a wet field, etc.

***Seems like I'm not alone in pining for Betancourt to make the team as the backup with Galvis as the call up starter if rollins goes down. ***

That would be my preference as well.

***if they like Enciarte enough to keep him on the Opening Day roster.***

He's a nice defender but his bat his non-existent...he'd be up there with Mini Mart for offensive production on our bench. Mayberry is far, far superior to him offensively and can crush LHP. He's the ideal bench bat in that respect.

Brown's Spring has easily been the best we could possibly hope for...especially with him really crushing inside fastballs (his kryptonite up to this point).

Man, that Brown HR was beautiful.

But man, oh man, were those JUpton shots something to behold. he absolutely hammered each one of them. I'm not looking forward to him being in our division, especially if he puts together full time.

yeah..brown's HR was nice and all, but Upton's put them to shame. The sound of the bat on the first one sounded like it echoed

Why on earth would we trade Mayberry? To open up a spot for Delmon Young or Ender Inciarte? Seriously?

Rolo has been sent to the minors. So they have Cook rated higher on the depth chart or does he have an earlier opt out clause?
Rolo can ask to be released on 6-1 if he has a MLB offer. I don't know what Cook has in his deal.

I think its okay to worry about more than one veteran.

Posted by: NEPP | Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 09:07 AM

NEPP, that's my point. Nobody has even mentioned the fact that Utley is not hitting, so that makes me assume that nobody is worried about it, yet here you are wondering if we should be worried about Howard.


Why on earth would we trade Mayberry? To open up a spot for Delmon Young or Ender Inciarte? Seriously?

Posted by: Jack | Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 09:56 AM

Jack, I don't think anybody thinks they should trade Mayberry. Limoguy asked if anybody could see a senario where he didn't make the team, and I suggested that since he was out of options the only way would be for them to trade him and it kind of took off from there.

***that's my point. Nobody has even mentioned the fact that Utley is not hitting, so that makes me assume that nobody is worried about it,***

I mentioned it yesterday or the day before...something along the lines of "Should we be worried that Utley is batting .194 (well less that now)" after he made another weak out in a game.

Hopefully its just a timing issue or due to his lack of consistent ABs so far.


***I don't know what Cook has in his deal. ***

I believe he has an opt out as well.

I don't think you should be worried about Howard not hitting right now because you shouldn't have been overly excited about him hitting the first couple weeks. Same with Utley and Brown.

It's Spring Training. It means nothing and has virtually no predictive powers. Everyone knows this and yet people can't help themselves, I guess. I mean, I get it. We have to justify the fact that we're following meaningless games every day, so we pretend they are meaningful in some way, when they aren't.


I mentioned it yesterday or the day before...something along the lines of "Should we be worried that Utley is batting .194 (well less that now)" after he made another weak out in a game.

Hopefully its just a timing issue or due to his lack of consistent ABs so far.

Posted by: NEPP | Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 10:11 AM

------------------------------------------------------

NEPP, I apologize. I did not see that post.

Jack: When a guy's spring slugging pct. greatly exceeds his career slugging pct. (i.e., Dom Brown), it actually DOES have predictive value. There have been articles about it.

BAP: Ok, so there *may* be some predictive power to what Brown is doing (though obviously some predictive value is not perfect predictive value--it just means it's non-zero).

But why should I care at all about Howard or Utley's batting average? That is certainly meaningless.

Rodrigo Lopez to the minors.

Matt Gelb tweets: Halladay was doing his typical day-after-pitching routine (a day late). The guess here is he pitches Saturday. We shall see.

"rolo, so you expect our 5 starters to make nearly every start this year?"


Fatti, no. So what's your point, that Lopez might sniff an MLB mound and do what he did yesterday? I'm not worried about that because days like that don't happen very often to pitchers, even guys like Lopez.

Whoever gets the callup from LV will probably be the guy who's pitching the best at that time, unless there's a scheduling issue. I'm not "worried" about RoLo because he's in LV where we expected him to be at the beginning of ST. If he does get called up and has a few starts I expect that he'll probably be close to where he was in 2011 - an up and down pitcher who's a fill-in, capable of a decent start or capable of a clunker on any given day.

To amplify my previous point:

I'm nore worried about Roy Halladay than Cook or Lopez.

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