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Thursday, March 07, 2013

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Nate Schierholtz is going to make the all-star team this year. That is still the most puzzling cut I have ever seen out of the Phillies...

And he'll hit like Ted Williams every time he plays the Phillies.

As to the Howard playing too much debate - he is scheduled to have a day off tomorrow.

Corey, I'd add that Inciarte is also useful as a late-inning defensive replacement.
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Many here were hoping that Ruf would prove to be ready for Prime Time and 'solve' the corner OF dilemna. AAMOF, if you go back to last fall, some here were posting that Ruf was more "ready" that Brown.

Sadly, that does not appear to be the case. Ruf needs to hit to make the roster. He's not doing that - at least not yet. He also needs to be less than a butcher in LF.

IMHO, I have some confidence that Ruf can hit for enough average to be competent at the plate - he's hit for average at every level. The question - and this has been raised by clout and others here before - is can he continue some semblance of the power surge that occured last season?

Corner OF's who are barely adequate defensively and have no pop in their bats are a dime-a-dozen. The minors are filled with them. Ditto first baseman.

Ruf needs to hit - and he needs to hit for power - to be useful to an MLB squad.

He also needs to become Luzinski-like in LF, because he's not even THAT good yet.

Nix looked good until he got hurt last year. He will be ok. That's all you can ask for until you can maybe make a move for someone at the deadline. Getting Young back probably won't help because well the guy is an a-hole.

Not only do i think DOM will hit much better than in the past, but I believe his fielding will improve as well. As we all know, the tools are there. His instincts have been quite poor in his limited MLB time so far, but I believe he'll get comfortable and learn to play more safe/conservative and limit the overly bad mistakes. His arm is good enough to give him leeway of being a step or two behind on certain plays.

They're not saying "Ruuuube," they're booing.

All Nate Schierholtz supporters seem to think that he's a victim of not getting the proper opportunity to show his value as a player.

My opinion is that if a player is around as long as he has been, there's a reason why his playing time has been limited - because he's not good enough. Sure he has some good qualities, but overall the guy screams bench player. This is the majors, not everyone gets a 'fair chance'. He's earned exactly the playing time he's been given. We won't miss him.

Nate Schierholtz would've just been another OF in camp for people to complain about.

RBill, I disagree. I think there are certainly moments of game-strategy in baseball, but as far as "separating it from other sports", I don't agree.

In fact, I think football is probably the game most dominated by strategy. Most of the strategy is beyond the ken of the casual fan (including me), but there is a widely held belief in football that scheme is as important, if not more so, than talent. Why a guy like Matt Cassell can excel in New England and be a complete dud in Kansas City, some think.

In baseball, there's certainly strategy about how to pitch to certain players, how to defend certain players and how to approach an at-bat, but I don't see how those things are any different with or without the DH.

The only strategy that I can think of that changes because of the DH is pitching around batters to get to the pitcher, or trying to get the pitcher to lead off an inning, or things like that. I guess double switches and the like, also fall in, and I can see an argument for wanting to keep that around, but I fall back on it being ridiculous that pitchers are asked to hit.

Asking pitchers to hit is akin to asking your center to shoot your free throws after a technical foul, or asking your right guard to perform the onside kick.

Sorry. In three years people will be Schierholtz confused with the mayors of small German villages. Letting him go was a no brainer.

Nix certainly looks like he's now most likely to start the season getting the most at bats of the outfielders not named Brown and Revere. And the guy has a history of leg injuries, so the sad thing is that we better pray he stays healthy or it will be a steady diet of Young against all pitching. Scary. Nix is at least solid with the glove.

I think Schierholtz was cut so that the team would have maximum room for free agency, under the assumption that they could land one of several available free agents--preferably with a bit more power than him. I think he would have been no better than a stopgap platoon player and late-inning sub for a year, and that just didn't seem worth the resources and trouble at the time. Nix was also under contract and they wanted at bats for Brown. I'm still okay with his DFA. Laynce, keep stretching out those hammies before the game buddy.

Schierholtz upside was basically Jason Michaels...and I'm being generous. He was your classic 4th OF tweener guy with not enough power for a corner slot and not enough defense for CF. Letting him go was hardly a sacrilege of baseball planning.

loreocre, and what is Nix...not a bench player?

Look, Schierholtz is no great shakes, and I don't think it was a huge deal that they let him go, but would I rather have him for the right side of a platoon, then Nix? Certainly.

Nate has a career .732 OPS against RHP to Nix's career .744, so not a big difference in the bats.

But if you dig deeper, Nix hasn't had a single season OPS against RHP above .800 since 2009:

2012: .707
2011: .781
2010: .795
2009: .802

Notice a trend?

Whereas Schierholtz has seriously outperformed Nix against RHP over the past couple years:

2012: .826
2011: .801
2010: .678
2009: .626

Notice a trend?

As far as fielding and baserunning, I think Schierholtz has the edge there, as well. This isn't rigorous, but on Fangraphs, Schierholtz has a 17.4 Fld and 4.4 BSR (WAR components), to Nix's 17.1 and 4.3.

But these are counting stats, and Schierholtz has bested Nix in ~600 less PA, and ~900 less innings in the field.

Point being, there'a reason Schierholtz has a career 5.2 WAR to Nix's 4.4 WAR in much less playing time.

He's a better baseball player.

Let me put forth the Schierholtz defense as I've seen Jack and others a million times.

1) Why not tender and simply trade Schierholtz so you get something out of him? Look what he got on the open market.

2) Schierholtz is better than DYoung, and he's LH. Would have been smarter to keep Schierholtz and platoon him with Mayberry, keeping Nix on the bench and Young off the team.

3) *insert joke about production here*

The only thing that makes this not terrible is that Nix won't kill you in the field like a lot of other corner OF with power do. Unfortunately he brings almost nothing else to the table, and is no sure thing to stay healthy as rhetoric stated.

Another thing that can help this Nix situation is if the rest of the LHB like Howard, Utley, DOM can punish RHP enough to allow the production Nix gives you as a bonus batting lower in the order.

If Phillies pitchers are going to play some bean-ball this year after our players get hit then there will be an on-field scuffle or two this year. So I ask you who would you rather have on the field when a fight breaks out D Young, or Schierholtz?
It is not Nasty Nate, so that is why they have Delmon. That can be the only reason and you now understand what type of production RAJ was talking about.

I do not argue Schierholtz is the better player than Nix.

I see it as:

The money saved by nontendering Schierholtz is more valuable than the marginal value of playing him over Nix as a platoon corner OF.

I'm far from a Durbin fan, but I 100% wanted an experienced reliever moreso than tendering Schierholtz.

"Why not tender and simply trade Schierholtz so you get something out of him? Look what he got on the open market. "

Agreed, I made that argument the very day Schierholtz signed.

I did not think Nate would have got more in FA($2.25M) than in arb(est $1.7M i believe), and I do not think Ruben did either. Hard to predict that in my opinion, so its a (minor) mistake you can understand in my opinion.

***1) Why not tender and simply trade Schierholtz so you get something out of him? Look what he got on the open market. ***

Why do we assume that Rube did not attempt to trade Schierholtz prior to non-tendering him?

Revered, thank you so much for the epiphany on why DYoung was signed! I can now sleep at night.

Lorecore: I was saying the same thing after Schierholtz was non-tendered, but now in hindsight, I completely agree: spending the money on bullpen upgrades (Adams, Durbin) is a better use than the marginal upgrade over Nix.
The burning question now is: was RAJ really that smart to plan it that way, or did he just get lucky and throw the dart in the right quadrant?

Ending up with Laynce Nix and Delmon Young playing significant time in your OF all for the pleasure of having Chad Durbin be the last man in your bullpen is "getting lucky"?

I really can't believe people are upset about releasing Nate Flipping Schierholtz. Speaking of Schierholtz, you know who would be a pretty nice upgrade over Mayberry/Nix? Hunter Pence. That Tommy Joseph had better be good.

Well not in the grand scheme of things, no, but it's better than many other possible outcomes (big contract to Cody Ross, etc.)

BAP: But that extra money saved allowed us to sign the bullpen savior Chad Durbin!

Jack: Well, that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

"but it's better than many other possible outcomes (big contract to Cody Ross, etc.)"

Depends what you mean by "better." I was certainly not in favor of giving a big contract to Cody Ross and I think the D-Backs will quickly come to regret their 4-year commitment to him. But if you mean that our 2013 team is better off with a Nix/Mayberry platoon & Chad Durbin in our pen than it would be with Cody Ross in the OF, Nix and Mayberry on the bench, and no Chad Durbin, then I would strongly disagree.

I'd much rather have a platoon of Mayberry/Nix than Delmon Young.

At this point I'm rooting for replacement level play in RF and at 3B.

BAP: Then we'll be disagreeing on this one: I prefer having the current setup/Option A in that scenario. Signing Ross to a big contract would've forced UC to play him every day, and it's been well-documented he's similar to Mayberry (weak vs. RHP.) Having a Mayberry/Nix platoon will actually play each OF to their strengths.

That said, is this an ideal scenario? Heck no. Durbin's ok but not great, and NixBerry will be far from great. But I still prefer it to having Ross (or a similar scenario.)

Do the Phillies realize the ONE thing that would get Ruf on track? HE'S NOT AN OUTFIELDER !! Any big leaguer will tell you that changing positions affects your mentality at the plate. Ruf is a power hitter with the ability to post a good average....put him where he belongs....or at the least, trade him where he can play first!!!

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