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Tuesday, April 02, 2013


Who in the heck is this guy? Is he even an upgrade over Inciarte. So much for Wells or Sweeney.

Trivia: Inciarte becomes the second Rule 5 pick in the last 5 years to spend 1 day with the Philadelphia Phillies. Name the other.

Also, the second Rule 5er to make the Opening Day roster and not appear in a game.

Was it Mosebach?

Dime a dozen. Casper Wells and Ryan Sweeney, too. Jason Pridie and Lou Montanez and ...

Posted by: J. Weitzel | Tuesday, April 02, 2013 at 03:41 PM


Nope. Nope.

bap -

"Because I was under the impression this team was trying to contend this year. If you're trying to contend this year, decisions need to be made for this year, not the longterm (especially when they pertain to marginal players like Ruf anyway. It's not like Ruf is a top prospect for the future. He turns 27 this year.) I would much rather have the benefit right now of Ruf's bat on the bench, then some pipe dream that he could be an everyday LF in the future.
Do you think we should be building for the future or trying to win now? Because if you think this team is focused on the future, they should be exploring a whole host of options much more important than sending Ruf down to AAA.
Posted by: Jack | Tuesday, April 02, 2013 at 12:03 PM"

Honestly, Jack is being hyperbolic here, but the clear impression is that if the team wants to contend this year it needs Darin Ruf on the bench. And that's just crazy...

I think Charlie will enjoy calling him Zeke.

Wait, it wasn't Mosebach? Because I see him as returned to Anaheim on 4/1/09...

2013: Inciarte
2012: [Null]
2011: MM
2010: Herndon
2009: Mosebach

... Holdzkom?

My bad. He was on the team for more than a day. But never appeared in a game.

At least Wells is RH and has some power. Our GM at work here....

chris: if you want to contend, you try to put the best possible players on the roster. I haven't seen any argument that suggests Ruf isn't a better option as a MLB'er in 2013 than Inciarte/Carrera that holds any water.

If the team didn't have a back up CF, then I could see the arguement...but Mayberry is so there is basically no place for a 3rd backup who can't hit.

a catcher, Budde I think

Martin: Nope

Lorecore: The problem is that, since we have an outfield that will regularly play 4 guys thanks to the platoon, the 5th outfielder becomes the first sub.

I have to think that was the primary reason for trying Frandsen, MM, and Galvis in the outfield over ST - to see if we could afford to only carry 4 outfielders despite the platoon.

5th outfield on April 2: I'd rather have a temporary glove and speed guy.

Did he come from the Cubs?

JW: At what point does the calendar change your mind? Or would you always prefer a glove/speed type?

Random factoid: Carerra doesn't have much of a platoon split for BA, but he has an OBP .021 points higher against LHP, with an OPS about .060 points higher against RHP.

buster: I dont understand your argument that a platoon somehow increases the need for a 5th OF. If one half of a platoon starts, the other player will be on the bench if needed.

Tim Lahey

jim ed warden?

"If one half of a platoon starts, the other player will be on the bench if needed."

Until the 6th inning, when Nix pinch hits for Mayberry, or vice-versa, because the opposing team has made a pitching change.

BAP: Yes. So they would've been on the bench until needed to pinch-hit. Which is exactly what we're talking about. I'm confused by the argument as well.

Lorecore: What BAP said.

The whole point is that, platoon or not, adding a guy like Ruf gives you one more move to make with a legitimate hitter. It lessens the chances of pinch-hitting Freddy Galvis or Ezekial Carrera with the game on the line.

Jack: What happens when you need to put Horst in for the 7th to chew up 2 innings, but the 8-spot is leading off the bottom of the inning?

The Phils' MO for the past few seasons has been to value (perceived) versatility, speed & defense over hitting. I don't think that has worked out very well, but clearly they're intent on sticking to it.

And I persist in hating a roster which includes a supposed platoon that the manager has no intention of running properly. It often seems as if the man who builds the team & the man who manages it on the field are in direct opposition.

Philibuster: Well.

In the scenario where Horst has to pitch the 7th and the 8th innings of the game, it strikes me as unlikely that it's a particularly close game.

In which case, who cares if Ruf has to play the field for an inning or two?

Anyone know how our RF did in extended spring training game. And how good is Evan Lo for Tampa. Guy just threw out jones on his butt

Charlie rarely ever uses a relief pitcher for more than one inning in a close game. He would not have done what the Braves did and left Avilan in there for 1.2 last night.

So it's sort of a moot point, to me. Frankly, I wish he was more willing to ride a relief pitcher for more than 3 outs, but he really never does. I bet Phils have the fewest amount of double-switches in the NL over the past few years, or are at least close.

An extra bat is great, but unless we can get rid of the platoon or drop a reliever, we need someone who's at least close to a well-rounded player to fill in for the 25th spot on the roster.

Ruf is nowhere near to even below-average defensively anywhere but 1B (and possibly DH). Since we have a highly-paid, power-hitting 1B we don't expect to miss a ton of games (barring injury), it doesn't make sense to carry a pure back-up 1B for his bat when you will have the situation arise where you need an OF sub after already swapping Nixberry for Maynix.

Also, and I realize this is probably the 18th time for me saying this, he has no sustained track record of HR power. Certainly not enough of one to give him the Stairs/Thome role on a roster that can't afford to devote a slot to the Stairs/Thome role.

He has to be an upgrade over Inciarte from a hitting standpoint.

Amaro only got in this position because Ruf failed in his spring training audition in the OF & D. Young is still hurt.

Let's put it this way:

Remember when Cholly used to lift Pat Burrell, and insert Eric Bruntlett, as soon as the Phillies took a 1-run lead into the 6th inning?

And remember all those times that the move came back to bite him when the other team tied up the score & Eric Bruntlett came to bat with the winning run on base later in the game?

Does anyone really want this scenario to be replayed with Domonic Brown and Ezequiel Carrera? If your answer is no -- as it should be -- then Ezequiel Carrera's defense isn't going to be of much value to the Phillies on a day-to-day basis. So we're down to pinch running. I find it hard to accept that a designated pinch runner is more valuable to the Phillies on a day-in, day-out basis than someone who can actually hit.

And I persist in hating a roster which includes a supposed platoon that the manager has no intention of running properly

Say what? Charlie's gotten a .750 OPS with better defense using his Bizarro World platoon in the OF so far!

Tim Lahey. Reader on Twitter reminded me of a second player who made the Opening Day roster in 2008 and never appeared in a game for the Phils that season. Name him.

This has to suck if you're Inciarte. One day, you're fulfilling your dream of being a big league player. A few short days later, your 8ss is busted back down to Single-A ball. (That is, unless someone actually claims him off waivers)

JW: Well, I think Chris Snelling was on the Opening Day roster, but he at least appeared in 1 game, because he had a big hit in the game they won during that first series.


Remember when Cholly used to lift Pat Burrell, and insert Eric Bruntlett, as soon as the Phillies took a 1-run lead into the 6th inning?

And remember all those times that the move came back to bite him when the other team tied up the score & Eric Bruntlett came to bat with the winning run on base later in the game?

Not particularly, I'd be curious to know if you could enumerate all the times it happened. Did it really happen more than a couple of times?

Marson, wunnit?

Wait, Marson had one game, I think...

BAP: So what you're telling me is that Burrell was so bad in the outfield, a lead in the 6th was enough to force his hand on putting Bruntlesaurus Rex in?

Remembering that Ruf is significantly worse than Burrell was in the field, mind you.

JW: Now there's a thread for a rainy day. The prototypical "one game" Phillie. By that I mean, a guy who was virtually meaningless to the franchise, and even guys who stuck around at the bottom of the roster for a while, but had one big game that you will always remember his role in.

Obvious nominees include: Wilson Valdez, Chris Snelling, Russell Branyan, Randall Simon, Tad Iguchi (the Mets day game), and Juan Perez (striking out the side on 9 straight hitters).


Matt Stairs cannot be nominated, simply because his Game 4 NLCS home run would obviously sweep the competition.

Hard to believe that Ruf is that much worse than PtB.

Burrell had a fairly strong arm and played balls pretty well once he got there but he had zero range his last few years here.

Anything hit that wasn't within several steps was going to drop.

Eh, I think Valdez ends up forcing himself off that list by virtue of being on the 25-man for more than a season, and seeing significant time in multiple years.

I thought Iguchi played pretty well down the stretch that year filling in for Utley.

The one thing I remember about Randall Simon is that he literally swung at everything. Funny thing is, he usually made some sort of contact.

If people think pinch hitting a guy with his "platoon partner" is any different from pinch hitting him for the "4th OF" than I give up trying to debate this topic.

I wouldn't mind them platooning Carrera with JMJ rather then Nix for till Young gets back. Keeps a "LH pop off the bench" & days there's a RH starter keeps both a "LH & RH pop off the bench" available

Edmundo: It came back to bite them many times. You can go look through the old box scores if you'd like.

Philli: No. What I'm telling you is that Cholly made that defensive substitution constantly & was idiotic for doing so. And my point is not that Ruf should be starting in LF. My point is that, if you think that late-inning defensive substitutions for a left fielder generally do more harm than good, then it's sort of hard to justify having an all-glove, no-bat outfielder like Inciarte or Carrera on your roster. For what? So that we can make more frequent use of a move that generally does more harm than good?

Yeah, but the point I was going for is that the player will always stand out for a certain game, no matter what.

Yeah, Valdez was here for a while, but let's be honest. The first thing anyone will say for 30 years when his name is brought up is "the time he pitched in the 19-inning game."

MG - you watched Ruf in ST games, yes? It was sad. Yeah, definitely worse than Burrell. By quite a bit.

Francisco Rosario opened the year on the DL in 2008. I completely forgot about that guy.

Jack: Hector Luna's Grand Slam sticks out in my mind for some reason. And I'll never forget Dane Sardinha, but that's mostly for his assiduously avoiding covering home plate.

MG: As far as you can trust defensive metrics...

Burrell had a .991 FLDG in 2008, 12 assists, and posted a UZR/150 of -12.4. That's bad.

In the few games he played in the outfield in 2012 (when he actually looked semi-competent), Ruf had a 1.000 FLDG, and posted a -13.1 UZR/150.

I'm not sure where you can find SABR numbers for ST, but he posted a .909 FLDG, with a 1.43 RF.

Ruf is much worse than PtB. At least PtB had a clue in the field.

And I don't think that's the argument here. The argument is whether or not to waste a bench spot on Ruf or a no hit/all defensive OFer.

Edmundo: It came back to bite them many times. You can go look through the old box scores if you'd like.

No, no, no. You made the claim, it's on you to back it up. Find 4 occurrences and I'll concede to your brilliance.

That Wilson Valdez game will also go down as the crowning moment of Danys Baez's Phillies career.

Edmundo: You're being a first-rate jackass.

BAP: I really don't think that happened as often as you think it did, but...

Generally, I don't think that an all-glove (or, in the case of Carerra, at least, mostly glove) guy makes sense on the current roster less than an all-bat guy.

Do the Phillies need better power bats from the bench? Probably. Can they afford someone who's there strictly for said bat, when they're carrying 2 UIs, a platoon OF that's 4-deep, and the usual compliment of backup C and 12 arms?

Look, do I think Carerra is the best option? No. But I think he makes more sense at this point in the year - when we really know nothing about Ruf's ability to do anything sustained other than hit doubles against competition 3-4 years behind him developmentally - than a guy who's all-bat and might not end up being as effective at that as he was in AA.

Ruf is inexperienced and looked pretty bad but people are being kind to Burrell. He sucked big time defensively his last few years here.

The only LF who were ranked were defensively over the '06-'08 period were D. Young, M. Ramirez (clownish level of defense outside of Fenway), and P. Wilson.

RAJ: "Again, this is the 25th man, but we think we've marginally improved."

Couldn't have said it better.

At least Wells is RH and has some power. Our GM at work here....

Posted by: DPatrone | Tuesday, April 02, 2013 at 04:06 PM

DPat keeps the meme going of RH power. Love it.

Edmundo: I don't have evidence, but I'll vouch that scenario w/ Burrell & Bruntlet happened multiple times. To make it worse, Bruntlet was then "protecting" Howard in the 5 hole. Ugh.

What? I'm the only one who remembers Anderson Machado's heroic pinch running SB in the penultimate game at the Vet? It was his one & only appearance in a Phillies game.

I can only imagine an OF at some point this season with Ruf in LF and D. Young in RF.

Revere has no need to do any jogging before that gmae.

Todd Pratt and the Red Sox interleague game.

bap, not really. Don't tell me to fact check your assertions, please. I think that you are "overremembering" the number of times the scenario you laid out took place. Those teams didn't lose that many leads. And, I assume that like you, I had a hard time seeing very much incremental defensive value that Bruntlett provided over Burrell to offset the potential need for incremental offensive value.

I'm perfectly willing to let this drop, as it's not as important as to whether Zeke Carrera will provide higher value than Ender Inciarte until the debut of Delmon Young.

BAP: He phrased it pretty condescendingly, but I don't see why you shouldn't be the one to do the leg-work, since you insist it was so common and it seems to be a major pillar of your argument.

Telling us we need to go through a 162-game sample looking for instances of an event in any of 3+ innings, down to the number of runners on-base in particular scores - or just take your word on it that it happened - is pretty close to a Gish Gallop.

Jack: You hit the nail on the head with Russell Branyan and Tad Iguchi.

I can still remember Harry's calls:

1. "How about Russell Branyan!" and
2. "Here comes Iguchi ... the throw to the play is ... [Sarge: "YES!"] LATE!"

All you have to do is search through some game threads from 2008. You'll pretty easily find BAP complaining about Burrell being replaced by Bruntlett.

Greg Golson pinchrunning and beating throw home in a key late September game vs the Braves. Think it was when Howard had tied it vs lefty (Venters?) in the 9th

Philli: I don't know how many times it happened, but it definitely happened too much. It was a recurring source of consternation on Beerleaguer.

But it's neither here nor there. The issue is: do you want Carrera replacing Dom Brown in the late innings of a close game? Personally, I believe that, more often than not, that kind of defensive substitution does more harm than good. Given my belief, it's hard for me to see why the Phillies think it's so important to stash an all-field, no-hit outfielder on their bench.

Did Pete LaForest have a big moment in a game, or was did he just live a completely meaningless Phillies existence?

Gotta love BAP calling someone a jackass for simply asking him to back up one of his hysterical claims. Some things never change.

Danny Tartabull anyone?

BAP: I don't see him coming in for Brown, since both of them are lefties and Brown isn't a terrible defensive liability. I could see him being involved in a double-switch, or taking over in the field if Frandsen ends up hitting for Nix (post-platoon-swap) against a LOOGY.

Having a 5th outfielder who can field (even a little bit) gives a team the option to use a pure-bat (or Bat-From-Another-Position) in the event of a wrong-handed outfielder coming up against a situational reliever.

The problem at the moment is we don't have room for a pure bat and the 5th outfielder, and our best (bench) BFAP is Frandsen. That's definitely troublesome, but I don't think we can resolve the issue by taking away the guy who gives you the freedom to use that BFAP/pure bat without worrying about terrible D later on (especially in 9th+ situations).

Unless you're willing to let Nix or Mayberry stay in for the entirety of any game they start...

"What? I'm the only one who remembers Anderson Machado's heroic pinch running SB in the penultimate game at the Vet? It was his one & only appearance in a Phillies game."

G-Town, I am going to say yes, you are the ONLY who remembers that. Not even Anderson Machado remembers that.

You gotta love baseball and the way the most obscure things can lodge into your memory.

Philli. B-Ref says that Bruntlett played 8 games in LF in 2008. That's not as many as I thought, but it's still 8 too many. And he was 0 for 7 in those 8 games.

Now that I think about it, though, I'm misremembering that it was Eric Bruntlett who would regularly sub in for Burrell. He did sub in a few times but, most of the time, it was the wretched So Taguchi -- and a couple other times, it was T.J. Bohn. In my memory, I'd somehow lumped them all under the umbrella of Bruntlett.

Bruntlesaurus Wrecks is hard to forget for any of a number of reasons. My better half hated him for his name alone.

That said, I think he definitely gets the "one day in the sun" treatment for the U3P. Even if he had to set it up himself with errors.

However, I think the question is how many of those ABs (and that includes Taguchi and Bohn there) came in a "critical situation," with the game tied up after being subbed in for "hold the lead" reasons. It's incredibly easy to remember anecdotal misfortune and - especially looking back on it after a few years - construe that to be a trend instead of the few incidences that it was.

I'm not saying they never blew it for the team, but I think your distaste for the outfield defensive replacement in general (or at least as pertains to the '08 Phillies) is somewhat overstated by remembering a very small number of incidents.

My head is exploding with these Tad Iguchi and So Taguchi references.

Edmundo and BAP:

I could only find one time Bruntlett caddied for Burrell and got a plate appearance in a Phils loss:

BUT ...

April 10, 2008: So Taguchi pinch runs for Burrell and Phils tie the game. Taguchi gets two more plate appearances and the Phils lose:

June 15, 2008: So Taguchi pinch runs for Burrell. Burrell's spot in the order comes up again and Pedro Feliz bats. Phils lose.

And I give up looking. Burrell was on the bench in tie games because of his defense/baserunning. It happened. Probably less often than we remember. But it happened.

To be fair, the Phillies have won a World Series every single year So Taguchi was on the roster.

So there's that.

Wes: I attended that game w/ my father & grandfather, which is probably why it sticks out in my mind more clearly than most. It was the final extra inning game in Vet history, & the final Phillies win at the Vet. Thome hit 2 HR & scored the winning run, which was driven in by Chase Utley.

April 13, 2008 as well, JR. Taguchi runs for Burrell in the 9th and ends up grounding out to end the game in the 10th.

NEPP: Enough about So Taguchi. Pedro Feliz spent two seasons w/ the Phillies, & the Phillies went to the World Series both years. He's clearly the key to success. Hell, he might still be a better defensive 3B than M. Young.

J.R.: Thx. Do you do legal research too? Maybe I'll hire you as my assistant.

I also found a 4-16-08 game in which Taguchi pinch ran for Burrell in a tied game, didn't score, and then stayed in the game to play LF. He later came up, down 2 runs, with 2 out and 2 on in the bottom of the 10th. He grounded out to end the game.

I'm quite sure there were others. It's difficult to search for it because, as happened in your 6-15-08 example, sometimes Taguchi's spot would come up again & Cholly pinch-hit for him. So, when I do a quick screen of the box score & see that Taguchi had 0 PAs, and I assume that it wasn't an issue that game. But that's not necessarily true.

On a personal level, I think there's a pretty big difference between pinch-running and defensive caddy - especially since the outfielders in question aren't ridiculously slow or bad in the field.

We have an example, in Howard, of a guy that's passable on D and slow on the basepaths, but I don't remember the last time Charlie pinch-ran for Howard when he wasn't a PH.

***Enough about So Taguchi. Pedro Feliz spent two seasons w/ the Phillies, & the Phillies went to the World Series both years. He's clearly the key to success. Hell, he might still be a better defensive 3B than M. Young.***

I think you need both for it to matter...that's why we won in 08 and only made it there in 09 after they jettisoned Taguchi.

Decent comments today, with the same Debbie Downer posters predictably pissing gleefully on other posters' cereal.

Wish I knew how to imbed this.

I think it just boils down to this question. Which of these do you think happens more often:

1)The Phillies are down by a run or two runs and need a right-handed pinch-hitter that is not Mayberry. Or you want to give Ryan Howard a day off against a tough lefty pitcher.

2) The Phillies are ahead by a run or two runs and need a defensive replacement for Laynce Nix or Dom Brown and have already used up John Mayberry, and you don't/can't want to use Galvis in the outfield. Or the Phillies are down by 1 run in the ninth inning with Erik Kratz or Laynce Nix on base and you want to pinch-run.

If you think (1) happens more often, you believe Ruf should be on the roster. If you think (2) happens more often, you think Carrera should be on the roster.

Has Inciarte cleared waivers? Will he, or will a AAA team like Houston or Miami pick him up and stash him on the 25-man?

NEPP: Point well taken. Meanwhile, Phillies teams feat. both Roy Halladay & Cliff Lee have failed to advance past the Divisional Round. Baseball is a fickle game.

I could see Houston, Miami or even Minnesota adding him as all 3 have no chance in hell this year and poor farm systems.

Philibuster: That's a good point. I'd actually be more inclined to agree with you about the need for a guy like Carrera on the roster if I thought Charlie would actually pinch-run for Howard.

Of course, Howard would need to get on base late in a game for that situation to occur...

If I'm reading BAP and Jack correctly, they're saying Carrera isn't a much better hitter than Inciarte and thus would be limited to a similar role.

I'd be curious what evidence led them to that conclusion.

GTwon, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Feliz IS still a better defensive player at 3B than MYoung. He's only a year older than Young.

Wish I knew how to imbed this.

Posted by: awh | Tuesday, April 02, 2013 at 05:54 PM
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