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Sunday, March 24, 2013


Oh looky here, ANOTHER new writer

So nobody wanted to take him in trade? At least we tried.

He has gone on to play with Luis Castillo and Dontrelle Willis on the Phillies team that never existed

I have to disagree on MG saying that Utley should be benched against lefties for Freddy Galvis. Strongly.

Oh, that was a serious comment? I figured that either MG was joking or an imposter had posted that.

Finally, we can stop talking about Yuni. Good luck with the Riversharks. Alot of wasted typing singing his praises. Almost as bad as baseball George wanting Josh Fields to come north.

So, only two utility infielders. That still doesn't explain why Inciarte is up and Ruf is down. I know Ruf's defense needs a lot of work, but maybe he can play little league games during the day in left field, then pinch hit for the Phillies at night?

Staccato JW. Love it.

I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of Beerleaguers were crying out in anger and were suddenly silenced. I fear something wonderful has happened.

Bill: Yeah, I guess Seidman, Finger, and Wisniewski needed someone else to help back them up once the regular season begins ;-)

Teams were interested, but they wisely smoked Amaro out. They knew he had to decide today, and were betting that he'd end up releasing him. Now they don't have to give up anything for him.

Seriously anyone else concerned that Cliff Lee has gone thru all of 2012 and this spring as being incredibly mediocre and hittable?

SEason = Over!

Jayson Stark ‏@jaysonst 7m

Yuniesky Betancourt's agent, Alex Esteban, says Betancourt exercised out clause & asked #Phillies to release him. Has 3 teams interested now

GTown (PT) has me thinking that Delmon may be the ultimate project for Ruben. Delmon may be his polar opposite - his baseball soulmate.

"So, only two utility infielders. That still doesn't explain why Inciarte is up and Ruf is down."

AK~ You're right, it doesn't. I get that Ruf struggled defensively. But to not have his bat in favor of a guy who goes up to plate without one is just puzzling. I'm quite sure RAJ will have somme sort of BS explanation if he doesn't offer him back i think to the Angels. Meanwhile the Yanks get Wells and RAJ 's still "searching"?

The good news is that Yuni Betancourt won't be on the team. The bad news is that Ender Inciarte seemingly will.

After watching him boot two balls in the last two games, it's not even clear to me that Inciarte has the few tools he's supposed to have. I honestly think Pete Orr has more to offer the team for the time being, and that's not saying much.

I'm serious on Galvis playing regularly for Utley vs LHP.

I figure Utley has a max of 120 starts and that there are going to be times that he has to rest especially on day after night games or if the Phils go through a stretch of 5-6 days without an off-day schedule.

Playing Galvis vs LHP gives him Galvis the best chance to contribute offensively & Utley clearly is on the decline vs LHP:

2009: .288/.417/.545 (191 ABs)
2010: .294/.422/.581 (136 ABs)
2011: .187/.298/.308 (107 ABs)
2012: .215/.324/.355 (121 ABs)

2 years in a row where Utley has posted poor vs LHP with an OPS well below .700. Galvis posted this line vs LHP last year:

2012: .267/.302/.433 (60 ABs)

You give up Utley's BB/OBP but Galvis did show a little pop last year vs LHP & has had notable split differences vs LHP in his minor league career. If you want Galvis to get a chance where he isn't a real zero offensively, he needs to face as much LHP as possible.

Same reason why I wanted Ruf to make the team on Opening Day and start occasionally vs LHP at first for Howard.

If the Phils had a DH, I wouldn't mind seeing Howard play there but he isn't a guy who probably start 150-155 G anymore.

There is also the issue of Howard vs LHP. Granted he was hurt last year and in '11 but his numbers vs LHP stink. The only time he has had an OPS above .700 the last 4 years vs LHP was '10.

Playing Ruf at 1B vs LHP allows Howard to get a blow and likely gives the Phils better defense & offense.

This team has a lot of parts that are still pretty damn good but just can't be used as regularly anymore and other parts which can be useful is used appropriately & sparingly.

Cholly is just the wrong manager for this team though just as he was last year. One of the biggest issues the team faces going into this year too.

Biggest issue on offense right now headed into the season as I way I see is:

- M. Young at 3B and the lack of any real pop this spring and the large amount of GBs he is pulling to the right side

- LF platoon of Mayberry/Nix. Mayberry is a guy who had a rep as a slow starter in the minors and has had awful starts the last 2 Aprils. He's a really crappy camp offensively (.213/.273/.295) with no power and look like same tentative hitter early in the count in the 1st half last year who struggled badly.

Nix has also had an awful camp offensively (.224/.255/.327) and hasn't shown much. I am hoping that 'Nixberry' can work out but I do think they are going to get out of the gate slowly and that D. Young is going to have a strong opportunity to usurp the LF job everyday when he comes back.

I guess r00b's unhealthy and unholy obsession with Rule 5 guys continues.

Even Ruf should be that disheartened by his demotion too if he starts the year at LV.

Mayberry is a guy who has shown he isn't an everyday player, Nix sucks and has leg issues almost every season, and D. Young has serious health concerns.

He should still consider himself as a pretty early opportunity for a callup although D. Young's does complicate that a bit.

Will Beerleaguer let me post?

I can't for the life of me figure out why this post I've been trying to submit is getting rejected.

If this site is going to reject posts, at least indicate why you're rejecting our posts. Annoying.

Seriously anyone else concerned that Cliff Lee has gone thru all of 2012 and this spring as being incredibly mediocre and hittable?

SEason = Over!

Posted by: The Dude | Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 05:22 PM

Cliff Lee's 2012:

8.83 K/9
1.19 BB/9
45% GB%
FIP: 3.13 (8th in MLB)
xFIP: 3.06 (1st in MLB)
SIERA: 3.00 (2nd in MLB)
ERA-: 80 (15th in MLB)

15th in IP, 10th in strikeouts and 1st in walks.

He was certainly NOT "mediocre and hittable" last year, especially not "incredibly" so.

Fatalotti: The usual reasons for post-rejection are that: (1) the post is too long; or (2) you used a naughty word.

Also, I don't know how Beerleaguer's profanity filter works, but some of these profanity filters have a multiple-language database, so that a word which is perfectly normal in English, but a cuss word in French, could actually trigger the filter. I've had that happen to me on other sites.

BAP, I went though the post a couple times and tried to remove words, phrases and anything that could even be remotely construed as profane or obscene. No such luck.

It's poor system, whatever the filter is. Most filters will give boundaries or captions to ensure that you don't make the error multiple times. This system goes through the normal rigor, even having me insert those two words of verification, showed it in the normal position, asking if I'd like to post again, and then never actually posting it.

Like I said, annoying.

I agree with others on the last thread, that as long as Galvis had an OK spring - which he has - there was nothing Yuni could have done.

MG: Dude, feddy galvis should not platoon with Chase Utley. What are you thinking?

I don't think MG is saying that Utley and Galvis should be platoon partners (or at least, I didn't see that).

I think what he's saying is that Utley ought to be given regularly scheduled days off, and when he's being given the day off and Galvis is starting in his stead, this should be done when a LHP is on the mound as often as possible.

MG, am I reading you incorrectly?

"BAP, I went though the post a couple times and tried to remove words, phrases and anything that could even be remotely construed as profane or obscene."

Now I'd really like to have a look at that missing post. I have this image of you sitting at your computer for a half-hour, pounding out a long, obscenity-laden post -- only to then spend the next 10 minutes going through the post and deleting all the obscenities.

Fat - Yes.

MG, I was reading you incorrectly?

Un bastardo, un figlio di puttana.

This filter sucks.

Some interesting hand wringing over the weekend that I caught up on today. I don't want to rehash stuff from over the weekend so I won't. I will say this on Betancourt, I am glad the Phillies are giving Galvis the chance on the main roster here as a super utility guy. He is most likely part of the team's future, Betancourt is not. Some say he may have been better served by getting regular at bats in Triple A but to me, if he is part of the future than he should be up facing major league pitching- even if it is for only 200-300 at bats in a season. That will better serve him in the future.

Here's what MG said:

"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."

That sounds like a platoon to me.

Orioles have told teams that Luis Ayala is available via trade to fit their rule 5 guy on the roster.

It will never happen but he's a guy I'd love to have in the bullpen and I wanted them to go after him in the off-season. I'd certainly rather have him than freaking Horst or Durbin.

Iceman, missed that. Guess I was reading him incorrectly.

I definitely don't think Galvis and Utley should platoon, for a multitude of reasons.

But if your desire is to give Utley nearly regular days off, and you try to align that with LH starters as often as you can, sure I'm for it.

Iceman: MG will just say you are engaging in hyperbole there and then will write a post telling you that you are reading him wrong.

Probably with 7 spelling errors.

With the bench that's there,Cole and Cliff can DH.

Fata- yeah, we agree. I hope MG was exaggerating in that first comment because it's a terrible idea.

TTI- I was actually considering an idea I've had for some time: typing up three MGisms, two being fake and one being an actual quote, seeing if people could judge what was real and what was made up. But since it was in the last thread, it wouldn't have been difficult to find the real quote. I'm not even sure MG would be able to tell the real from the imitation.

BTW, Salisbury said that they are still scouring the market for OFers that might shake loose in the next week. Casper Wells and Ryan Sweeney were mentioned.

Prediction: the fifth OF isn't currently on the roster, and Inciarte will get the boot as a result of a late signing/trade for a spare outfielder.

MG: I cannot imagine Charlie platooning at three positions.

Iceman: Agreed, Inciarte's two plays this weekend just reeked of inexperience.

Thank god we didn't trade for Vernon Wells.

I will be very, very surprised if Betancourt gets an MLB contract. Only scenario would be if the Cradinals decide to carry two UT INF, but that doesn't make sense given that their current UT, Descalso, and their starting 2B, Matt Carpenter, both play multiple positions.

A straight platoon would mean you're taking 30% of the starts away from Howard and Utley.

No manager in baseball would do that.

Iceman: That is my thought too on the 5th outfielder. I understand the rationale (to some degree) of sending Ruf down, but part of my thinking was based on the belief that Ender was not the solution.

Ice, sounds like a plotoon to me.


These are Betancourt's career splits:

vs. RHP: .264/.285/.383
vs. LHP: .272/.304/.417

These are Galvis career MLB splits:

vs. RHP: .208/.231/.331
vs. LHP: .267/.302/.433

These are Galvis' minor league splits:

vs. RHP: .289/.333/.412
vs. LHP: .253/.301/.344

Defense aside, why not just keep Yuni and platoon him with Utley?

As recently as 2010 Utley had an OPS of 1.003 against LHP. He also has an .853 OPS lifetime against LHP, which includes the last 2 seasons.

I'll bet on an Utley rebound against LHP before I risk any money on Freddy Galvis being the answer.

Yeah I do think Utley should sit vs LHP whenever possible. His numbers vs LHP the last 2 years have been horrible. I do expect they will be better this year but I would be surprised if they are over .750 OPS this year.

If the Phils have an off-day and they face a LHP the next-day, then they should start Utley. Probably the same if they have an off-day the next day but scheduling Utley to sit whenever possible vs LHP is the start thing to do.

What I imagine is going to happen is that Cholly is going to play Utley basically everyday just like he did last year when he gave Utley 3 scheduled days off. Basically the Phils will be reactive and see how Utley responds.

Maybe Utley can take that kind of pounding and can start 135-140 G this year but do I want Cholly as a key decision-maker in that process? No.

It would make more sense to have talked to Utley before the season starts, set a realistic target goal of games he can start (say 120-125) with input from the training/medical staff, and starting giving him rest occasionally even at the beginning of the year in April & regularly throwout the season.

Come back to the Spurs because that is exactly what they did last year with Duncan and Ginobili.

I would rather see Utley be as close to 100% in 120 GS vs a diminished Utley that tries to start 140-145 G.

Oh, and JW..... nice to see your name in teh header!

aksmith, who doesn't think much of professional scouts, delivers his assessment on Galvis:

"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."

The last guy he gave that kind of praise to was Michael Martinez. Actually, though, some scouts would agree. There is a division of opinion on how high Galvis can go. All depends on whether you think he'll hit.

Fatalotti: "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."

That assumes there's a GM somewhere who agrees with you that WAR is the perfect stat for evaluating a ballplayer, devoid of imperfection and subjectivity.

Didn't realize that Galvis had much stronger MLB splits vs RHP.

Point still stands that I would rather see the Phils try to work out a goal to start the year on the amount of GS that Utley can realistically start instead of playing him a ton early in the year and seeing how things go & he holds up.

Games where the Phils have an off-day scheduled the following day are days he should start.

Looking at the April schedule, the Phils have off days on:

April 2
April 11
April 29

Phils have a stretch where they play 17 days in a row. I would like to see Utley sit at least 2 of those and maybe 3.

I am not against giving Utley days off, and if trends persist, then obviously the best times to sit him would be vs LHP.

But I would never sit Utley BECAUSE I want to get Galvis playing time - or anyone on the Phils bench.

Regardless of Doc's struggles, there's real hope for this year's team:
• Michael Young looks fit and ready to do battle at 3rd; hopefully he can improve at catching baseballs. He's a plus if he can start 130 games; that's waaay more than the creaky Polanco was able to accomplish.
• Galvis’ defense at SS, 3rd, 2nd and (what?!) RF could be a real plus; to this non-analytical phan, he's a world better than Exxon, Mini-Mart or Betancourt
• Howard and Dom are crushing it
• Chase Utley does not yet (to my slack-jawed amazement) look like a candidate for a double knee replacement.
• Kyle Kendrick looks like he’s “manned-up” and ready to do battle; I could care less if it’s for the sole reason of a big arbitration settlement. With an iffy Doc, KK’s a huge piece of this puzzle.
• Jon Michael Adams looks like the best 8th inning option since the much challenged but still sorely missed “Mad Dog” Madson
• Last and certainly not least, Chooch won’t be run into the ground by Chollie. Chooch won’t catch 130+ games; he’s not physically available to do so.

I really, really want to see the ’13 Phils as the beast of the NL East, and go into Washington in September with a big lead in the standings. After that nauseating paean to Jasyon Werth in the Washington Post a Phillies beat-down of the Gnats throughout ’13 would be ridiculous fun.

Regardless, I’m ever-mindfull of b_a_p’s admonition I may be the most bi-polar poster on this board, so I ain’t declaring nuthin’.

Go Phils!

"Didn't realize that Galvis had much stronger MLB splits vs RHP."

MG, I'm not surprised. This isn't the first time you've been caught not doing your homework.

GAlvis MLB splits vs. RHP amount to a whopping 137 PA, = Not a good sample size.

Utley's splits you cite vs. LHP were derived from:

2011: 124 PA
2012: 142 PA

Not exactly great sample sizes either, and derived during seasons when Utley missed significant time due to injury.

As I posted above, were I a betting man, I'd lay my money on an Utley rebound before I bet on Galvis being the answer.

"But I would never sit Utley BECAUSE I want to get Galvis playing time - or anyone on the Phils bench."

This... exactly!

"Prediction: the fifth OF isn't currently on the roster, and Inciarte will get the boot as a result of a late signing/trade for a spare outfielder."

The problem is not with giving Inciarte the boot. The problem is that they shouldn't be looking to upgrade from Inciarte; they should be looking to upgrade from Mayberry/Nix.

***MG, I'm not surprised. This isn't the first time you've been caught not doing your homework***

Oh Snap!

bap: Sadly they think they did, by signing Delmon Young

bap, I think every team would like to upgrade their bench OF.

Here's a question:

Nix excepted, on which MLB teams would Mayberry NOT be a RH OF bench bat?

awh: Mayberry is not a bench bat. He is one-half of an outfield platoon.

Clout - So, I see you still have that Martinez fake evaluation generator working for you. Nice.

In fact, I never said that.

However, I am now saying it about Galvis. He will start and be good. His bat will be more than good enough.

And how's your eval that Victorino would never play an inning in the majors working out for you?

bap, if I accept your premise that he's one-half of an outfield platoon, which exclusively platoon player is available that is an upgrade from a .284/.328/.547 slash line vs. LHP?

BAP- so you'd be in favor of a Soriano trade then? Or would you move the goalposts again if he were brought in?

There isn't a single player they could bring in that would keep you from b*tching nonstop.

Maybe Stanton will shake loose and the problem will be solved.

Utley needs to sit and likely on a pretty regular basis. Even JRoll is a guy who

Thought how Utley was handled this spring has made a lot of sense. Didn't play on back-to-back games early and if the weather has been bad he has sat.

They are starting to stretch him out a bit as camp wears on (first time he has started 3 consecutive days today) but he will likely rest tomorrow during an away game. Hopefully he does too on Wed during an away game too.

I hope the Phils target him at around ~120 GS and max of 130-135 games figure that on off-days there is a chance he might PH.

awh: My answer is: I don't accept your premise that a platoon player will perform to his career splits against opposite-handed pitching. He won't, because there's no possible way that you can prevent him from facing a significant number of pitchers of the same handedness as him.

Iceman: You're right: realistically, I can't imagine there is a single player that could be acquired in late March who would remotely excite me. But if my choice is Soriano or Nix/Mayberry, I'd rather go with Nix/Mayberry. It's not because I think they'll out-perform Soriano. It's because I think Soriano is due for a huge drop-off at age 37 and I'd rather keep our options open than make a 2-year commitment to a 37-year old player. I still cling to the hope that maybe Ruf can figure out what he's doing in LF.

Utley will start at least 150 games this season, as long as he's not in traction or on a ventilator. If either of those things happens, he'll play at least 145 games.

Nothing, including hurricanes, tsunames, bilateral leg amputations or decapitation will stop Utley's inexorable march to the Hall of Fame.

Clear enough?

This place is cattier than an old Dynasty episode.

Speaking of Dynasty, have you ever noticed that Joan Collins has the biggest head on the planet. She's at least two hat sizes larger than Placido Polanco.

MG: Utley is on his last year of his contract, what exactly are you limiting for 120 games for?

The Phillies will absolutely need every last strand of knee cartilage Utley has left if they want to make the playoffs. If Utley is required to sit every 2-3 games like you keep implying, then we are screwed.

smitty, IMHO the Over/Under on games played by Utley is probably in the 135 range.

He played in 83 of 86 possible games alst season, which is a good sign.

However, the jury is still out as to whether he can keep that kind of pace up for an entire season.

We'll see.

MG, OTOH, is making an arbitrary judgement based on zero first hand medical evidence and zero medical experience (I presume) as to the number of games that Utley should start.

Didn't realize that WBC pays for player's salaries while on the DL from a resulting injury while on a WBC roster.

Dice K released by Tribe. I think he'd make a worthwhile bullpen experiment.

lore, I'm all for them bringing in any pitcher for a look.

Dice K was willing to accept a AAA assignment and the tribe still cut him. I think he's pretty much finished.

lore: If you could perform that experiment at Lehigh Valley, I'd be all for it. But I sure wouldn't blindly give him a bullpen spot on the major league roster.


Thanks for the link to the Jason Werth article a couple of threads ago.

Although I respected his abilities as a player and contributions on the field, I never really cared for him because of my perception of him personally. Nice to see a different perspective and well worth a read.

'Damn the torpedoes' and full speed ahead is exactly the thing I think Utley and Cholly will want to do.

I just don't think he makes it across the finish line if he takes that approach to trying to play on a 145-150 G pace and start 140+ G.

Utley did finish Sept pretty strongly last year but in '11 he limped badly to the finish line.

yeah the 120 G is an arbitrary point on the number of games he should start. Maybe it is 130.

Starting 83 of 86 games last year worked out for the Phils and Utley finished strongly. It 2010, he played at an everyday pace and hit a wall around 65-70 games and his numbers dropped like a stone the last 6 weeks.

Meant 2011.

With Cholly & Utley both playing for contracts, expect Chase to start closer to 150 games. What I do expect to see is Galvis or Frandsen out there as soon as the Phils are well ahead or behind.

'The problem is not with giving Inciarte the boot. The problem is that they shouldn't be looking to upgrade from Inciarte; they should be looking to upgrade from Mayberry/Nix.'


Maybe the Yankees got Wells so they can trade him to the Phils for Ruf.

That assumes there's a GM somewhere who agrees with you that WAR is the perfect stat for evaluating a ballplayer, devoid of imperfection and subjectivity.
Posted by: clout | Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 07:58 PM

You know, I never once said tha....ah, who gives a sh!t with you anymore?

JW- Nice to see you back on BL.

Glad to see the Betancourt decision.
He gave us an additional SS to cover during Rollins WBC time and some insurance if Galvis couldn't cut it; and we gave him a shot at making our roster, or at least a showcase for someone else's.
Although it's hard to imagine him hitting .400 in ST and not attracting some MLB team to add him as a bench piece.

JW teases us by adding a Seidman byline at the last minute. Like a deadbat who never returns from "buying cigarettes", he ain't ever coming back.

Bubba got the whole Betancourt thing right!

Any chance we could make a move for Kyle Blanks? What would he cost? If Quentin doesn't start on the DL Blanks would be without a spot on the roster anyway, so he'd be in AAA. Would Pettibone be too much to give up for Blanks?

Given that Kyle Blanks sucks, yeah, it's probably too much.

Blanks can mash on the rare occasions that he's not on the DL. Alas, that's pretty much like waiting for Halley's Comet. In the last two years, he's had TJ surgery on his right elbow and labrum surgery on his left shoulder. I wouldn't give up Pettibone for him, and the Padres won't give him up for less.

Blanks is also awfully similar to Ruf in profile - a RH-hitting 1B trying to become playable defensively in LF. We might as well go with the in-house version.

I'd rather keep Inciarte than go after Blanks. Ugh.

Casper Wells would seem to fit the profile of a guy that would be a reasonable 5th OF choice if he can be had on the cheap.

ice, at least you meant casper and not vernon...

Blanks isn't nearly as bad as Ruf in the outfield. His UZR in the outfield is in the plus, though the sample size is not nearly large enough. Ks are the big worry with him, and obviously injuries. I'd take him over Mayberry, Young and Nix though, at least he has upside.

Well, absolutely - Blanks would be a better option than any of those guys. The problem is what you'd have to trade to get him, and whether it's worth it.

Wait, how is Blanks an obvious upgrade over Mayberry or Nix, or even Ruf for that matter?

He's injury prone, and since 2009, has been mediocre to flat out awful in the limited playing time he's actually had.

I'd take him over Mayberry probably.

With Yuniesky gone, look for me to be hitting in the 4 hole, amigos!

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