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Thursday, June 27, 2013


Tough news on Dutch. And they get another old guy (38). Don't understand that one.

The McDonald move doesn't make sense unless there is another move forthcoming. The only things I can think of is that Galvis goes back down to AAA to regular ABs or the Phils are about to deal someone like Utley or M.Young.

Pirates dumped McDonald because he wasn't as good as Clint Barmes. Who is not good. He's lost his job to a minor leaguer who may stick because of his bat but, probably not at shortstop.

I expect Galvis is going to LHV. Phils aren't moving a starting infielder in June.

I hope Dutch pull through. Seriously hope everything works out for him. This McDonald is strange i mean i know Rube has a hard on for old guys. He could of just went after technicolor goatee dude.

The McDonald move is the unofficial raising of the white flag for 2013. They're sending Galvis to AAA and playing for 2014/2015.

Any other explanation is BS. Expect a long 2nd half.

Maybe Sikahema spoke out of turn, because they pulled the part about the inoperable tumor... unless my browser cookies are acting up.

NEPP, I'm not sure the fat lady is singing, but she's tuning up backstage. At least there's some indication of advance planning if they send down Galvis to get straightened out before he's needed in a bigger role.

McDonald? WTF?

Why would sending Galvis to AAA = playing for 2014/2015? If the point is to get him regular ABs w/o caring about this season, why not just let him get his ABs against major league pitchers?

Just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Time to fight Dutch..

NEPP: If this move simply sends Galvis to AAA, how is it raising a white flag. Has Galvis been instrumental to our success thus far? He has all of 3 ABs in the last 10 games.

With Utley back and Frandsen hitting so well, Galvis will have a hard time getting playing time.

If the corresponding move is something more, that would be the white flag.

By the way, I'm okay with the white flag in 2013.

"why not just let him get his ABs against major league pitchers?"

They probably will once they trade Utley/Rollins. Until then, he'll start in AAA.

Phlipper - do you thing Freddie is ready with the bat to handle MLB pitching right now - or would more time in the high minors help him develop?

How has his defense looked this year given the amount of playing time he's gotten?

I have no issue with Galvis going down if that is what is at play and McDonald is a plus defender. Something the alternative (Mini-Mart) most certainly isn't. That said, our Phillies are not a good team right now. This is just deck chair rearranging on the Titanic.

I hope Vai is incorrect about one of the tumors being inoperable. Sad news.

Hugh: "You must be new to BL. b_a_p says [the Phillies will stink] every year."

I know it's a fun myth to perpetrate, but here are my actual predictions going back to 2008:

4-1-13: Record: 79-83. 18 games behind Nats; 2 ahead of Mets.

4-4-2012: 94 wins, 1st by 4 games over Nationals

NLDS: 3-2 over Milwaukee
NLCS: 4-2 over Washington (MVP: Rollins)
WS: What the hell . . . 4-3 over Yankees (MVP: Halladay)

3-31-11: 94-68, 1st place by 7 games; lose to Wild Card Giants in NLDS.

4-3-10: I see an 88-64 season, 3 games behind the Braves but still good enough to win the WC by 1 game over the Cubs. We will then proceed to the playoffs, where we will lose to the Rockies in the first round.

3-31-09: Maybe too much caffeine this morning, but I'll say: 94-68, NL East title, WFC. MVP: Howard; Cy Young: Zambrano

3-29-08: 83-79. Tied with the Braves for second place, 10 games behind the Mets, and 5 games behind the Brewers for the WC.

If anything, that track record reveals me to be an overzealous optimist. John McDonald?

bap: just because you predict the Phillies will win 90 games some years doesn't mean you say the team stinks during an entire season.

So, we're trading mini mart for Mac?


you *don't say

BAP - So you predicted an average of 89 wins. Obviously makes you a doomsayer.

The whole reason Galvis was on the MLB roster was because we were supposedly trying to win now regardless of his development. If they're trading for an also ran utility infielder to give him regular ABs, they're no longer playing all-in for 2013. Galvis, while crappy, is still a significant upgrade on what McDonald offers at this point in his career.

MG: Well, they averaged 93 wins from 2008-2012, but BAP predicted an average of 90 wins, so you can't call him an optimist either ;-)

NEPP: You mean regular at bats like Galvis has been getting?

Just to be clear - I have no problem with letting Galvis get more ABs in the minors - I just don't get how, assuming they do sent him down, it = "raising the white flag."

The team has quite a way to go before it "raises the white flag". Fortunately, the front office doesn't get the vapors every 10 minutes like the average BLer. This team looks right now like a .500 team, and the odds are long, but the team isn't out of it yet - and the FO won't abandon ship like that. I have no idea why anyone thinks it would.

The Phils are in more or less the same position as a boatload of teams. Washington, Colorado, Cincinnati, San Diego, San Francisco, and the Dodgers. Does anyone expect any of those teams to be "raising the white flag" at this point?

b_a_p - just a joke / parody of others. Didn't mean to make you work to counter your reputation.

"The whole reason Galvis was on the MLB roster was because we were supposedly trying to win now regardless of his development"

Really? Is that what they said or is that what BLers said?

UM. Take Cinci off that list.

Phlipper - Are you serious with that list of teams? I would give you SD and Colorado maybe but that is about it.

If the Phils got a very good offer on Utley or Papelbon that includes a positional player that they can start next year, they should take it.

Completely indifferent to McDonald. If it allows Galvis to start everyday at Lehigh and it means the completely useless Mini-Mart isn't on the MLB roster I could care less if the Phils gave Larry Bowa a glove and sent him out there.

There are two questions - one is whether they "should" and the other is whether they will.

The point is, as much as the average BLer want's them to abandon the season - they won't yet. Even if they trade Utley or Young it won't be folding on the season. Trading Lee or Pas would be - what do you think the probability of that happening in the next couple of weeks? If they are in considerably worse shape right before the deadline? Maybe. Now? Ain't happening.

Odd yet funny stat:

So Mini-Mart is -0.1 WAR player on BRef and Fan Graphs despite just playing in 6 G and 4 PAs.

Maybe just a negative bench presence or his overall suck factor rates him downwards?

2 for 38 this season?

He's due for a hot streak. He could be the Phils answer to Yasiel Puig.

Welcome to town Johnny Mac. Your complimentary case of "Just for Men" will be in your room in Los Angelas.

The Phillies need a right-handed power bat for the 5-hole. Since G. Stanton is the longest of long-shots maybe they can get Aramis Ramirez. His numbers aren't great, so he could be relatively cheap.

Utley-Howard-Ramirez-Brown would be a legit heart of the order.


Consider it done.

Philipper - You make a great point. There are several teams that have similar or worse records than the Phillies, and they intend to be buyers, not sellers, at the deadline. I think many Phillies fans subconsciously want this team to suck. They are used to it, and thus more comfortable with it.

The thing is, Lee's trade value may never be higher than it is right now. There is the real possibility that he wins another start or two and goes to the All Star break as one of the top pitchers. He'll be showcased on a national stage.

At 34 years of age with a huge contract to boot, why not trade him in an attempt to get some good young (I know, blanket statement) players and clear up cap room. This year is a lost cause anyway! We are not winning the World Series!

Jake, I think we're looking at a "hold" at the deadline rather than a "buy" if this team is in contention. We lack the minor-league depth to trade for much - maybe one 7th or 8th-inning reliever.

Niceguy - The year is not lost. The NL East is the worst division in baseball, and any team can get hot in the playoffs and win it all. Your have a defeatist attitude.

CT - I'm afraid you're right, which is a shame because the Phillies need that extra bat. Although I do think a reliable setup man would help even more than a bat.

Hugh: I didn't mind looking it up. I was actually curious to see what I'd predicted, as I did not actually remember.

Phlipper: You think trading Papelbon would be folding on the season but trading Utley would not? With relievers, it's always within the realm of possibility that you could find lightning in a bottle somewhere & get a couple good months of production from obscure sources. But who on earth would replace Utley's production if we traded him? Galvis? Mini-Mart? McDonald? Cesar Hernandez?

Mind you, I'm not suggesting we shouldn't trade Utley. I think we SHOULD. But doing so would definitely = quitting on the season.

2 for 38. How many walks? Must be versatile, he has been traded 3 times this year. Due to get 3 yr extension Rube?

I don't understand why they took Lerud off the 40 man when you could out Adams and Kratz on the 60 day DL.

Didn't notice anyone saying that last night's game could be a catalyst of some sort or possibly the basis for building momentum or any such thing.

Jake: I think I'm being realistic. I'm not sure when the whole "just make the playoffs and we'll have a chance" attitude became en vogue (I know the '11 Cardinals are the poster child for this but they won 90 games), but this team has too many holes to be a serious World Series contender. Why waste everyone's time when the best case scenario is likely a flameout in the first round of the playoffs? Seems like it would be better to start building something more substantial and long term.

This roster is being held together with bubble gum and spit. A completely unreliable (last night's performance aside) and young bullpen and a lineup that includes Ben Revere, Delmon Young/JMJ, and Michael Young the DP machine is not really built for any damage in the playoffs.

limoguy - Even I, the resident optimist, have a hard time making predictions of a momentum swing, especially considering that Pettibone and Lannan are starting the next two games. I do hope they can build momentum after last night, and sustain it for the first time this season.

"Niceguy - The year is not lost. The NL East is the worst division in baseball, and any team can get hot in the playoffs and win it all. Your have a defeatist attitude."

I'm sorry but the Phils are 38-41 and if you looked at their expected win/loss total it would be 34-45. Adams is done for the year, Halladay is MIA, and there isn't a settle player in the farm system you can count on to come up and give the Phils a real boost in the 2nd half. Hell, they have gotten so desperate that they are calling up stiffs like JC Ramirez and org filler like Savery.

CS - Maybe that's because a healthy Lerud is still less valuable than those 2.

Niceguy: What's the purpose in clearing salary if you don't have anything to spend it on? Unless you want to turn around in the off-season and sign... Some dude in his 30s to a lengthy, expensive contract. But then you're in the exact same position.

There are reasons to trade Lee, but "cap space" isn't one of them.

I think I'm going to see Hamels, Pettibone and Lannan at PNC Park next week. That has my confidence sky high, given the Phillies' affinity for playing there.

Jake - I don't know about others, but I have no "secret desire" to see the Phils suck. What I do desperately desire is to get back to the mountaintop as soon as possible, and this team, as currently constructed, has zero shot of doing that. Even if the Phils were buyers at the deadline, they have no way to acquire the necessary upgrades to get there.

So that leaves us with an old, boring, injury-prone, and eminently frustrating team to watch for the next several seasons? No thanks.

Hugh - A good Pirates team, no KK/Lee, and a place where the Phils lose by the truckload? Yeah that series 'feels like a loss'.

"But who on earth would replace Utley's production if we traded him? Galvis? Mini-Mart? McDonald? Cesar Hernandez?"

bap, you forgot to add Mini-Mac to that list.

Yes, what are they, like .350 at PNC?

"Why waste everyone's time when the best case scenario is likely a flameout in the first round of the playoffs?" - Niceguy

In the last 30 years, there are countless teams that slipped into the playoffs and ended up winning it all. Here are the three worst (just for fun):

1987 Twins - 85 reg season wins
2000 Yankees - 87 reg season wins
2006 Cardinals - 83 reg season wins

Do I even think the Phils win 85 games yet at this point? No, no I don't. That means a 47-36 (.566 winning pct) the rest of the way tonight and I still think it will take at least 88 wins to win the 2nd WC.

MG - They can definitely win 85 games. 90 would be necessary & more difficult.

Has anyone considered that the trade for Mini-Mac might be a prelude to a trade of Galvis?

Could Galvis net a MLB reliever?

According to mlbtr, the Brewers apparently will consider offers for some of their guys, and Axford has been lights out recently.

Have the Phillies concluded Glavis will not have the bat to play everyday?

90 wins would require something like a .630 winning % for the rest of the season. Not only is that unlikely, it's completely out of the question. That would be a 102 win pace over a full season. It's just not going to happen.

"I'm not sure when the whole "just make the playoffs and we'll have a chance" attitude became en vogue."

It became "en vogue" after numerous Wild Cards or not-so-great teams snuck into the playoffs and proceeded to make the World Series or even win it all. Now granted, I strongly disagree with the view that this team has a realistic shot of sneaking into the playoffs. But there's absolutely no logic to the idea that this team (or ANY team) might be good enough to sneak into the playoffs but not good enough to advance once they're there. That view makes sense in the NBA. But not in baseball.

Galvis for Axford or K-Rod is silly since they have two SS but I'd do it.

Has everyone forgot the tradition at BL from 2009-2011? Predict success for the team while sh*tting on them all year. When negativity is pointed out, point to the prediction as proof of objectivity. Repeat.

2011 was the biggest year for this trend. All year Jack mocked people who thought they could win 100 games. Many crapped on the offense all year, with JW even writing a post about the team being 'boring.' Now two years later Jack is actually telling people he predicted success for the team all along because of 1 comment before the season vs. hundreds throughout the year.

That's pretty funny.

Chris - If the Phillies rattle off an 8 game winning streak at some point this season (not an impossibility) they would need to go 44-31 in the remaining 75 games. That would be steady winning baseball, but not impossible.

Well. McDonald's -21 OPS+ for this year so far is behind only five of our pitchers. So there's that. And he did steal 2 out of 6 bases in 2011, so he must think he's, like, kinda fast.

Oh, wait. He's played 4, 5, 6 AND 7, (even DHing within this millennium (2009)) so he's, um, "versatile."

I saw someone use this above (and like it, since he's 5' 9"). I will indeed call him Mini-Mac.

He may have also been the subject of a book by R. A. Marrow II; I'll have to check the dustiest parts of the library.

Jake - Whatever toad you've caught and are licking, please pass it around.

Don't bogart that bufo, my friend!

"If the Phillies rattle off an 8 game winning streak at some point this season (not an impossibility) they would need to go 44-31 in the remaining 75 games."

Jake: I'm not here to burst your bubble, but do you realize the preposterousness of that scenario? A 44-31 record is a .586 winning pct., which would be a virtual tie with Boston for the 3rd best winning percentage in baseball. So, in order for your scenario to happen, a team which is 38-41, with a run differential that is 4th worst in all of baseball, would have to first win 8 in a row and then play at a winning percentage equivalent to the third best team in baseball for the 75 games after that. And that's just to get to 90 wins, which the Braves are currently on pace to exceed by 2 wins! It's kind of like saying that Iceland could be a military superpower if they could just come up with a full nuclear arsenal and then cobble together a decent army, navy, air force, and marine corps after that.

Brewers relievers:

I REALLY wanted the Phils to take a serious look at KRod especially after they signed D. Young. If they could sign a guy who yelled racial epithets in public and had to put a fat clause in his contract, then they could have signed KRod.

KRod is making the freaking veteran league minimum and is better than any other reliever the Phils have right now except Papelbon.

It pisses me off so much the bullpen was the one area Amaro knew he needed to really fix due to his subpar performance last year, available funds he had to actually do something, and the abundant options that were available in FA. Instead he traded away Schwimer because he had so much depth, signed two freaking stiffs in R. Lopez and Cook who didn't even make it out of camp, and invested heavily in obviously damaged goods (Adams) and a complete stiff (Durbin) who I didn't understand how he got a guaranteed MLB deal.

It was tough to fix the offense given the salaries that even crappy positional players were commanding this offseason & limited availability. Amaro did upgrade at 3B and acquired a CF who didn't cripple them with another terrible long-term contract.

Bullpen is yet another unmitigated disaster and that is almost entirely on Amaro.

Chris - If the Phillies rattle off an 8 game winning streak at some point this season (not an impossibility) they would need to go 44-31 in the remaining 75 games. That would be steady winning baseball, but not impossible.
Posted by: Jake | Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 06:36 PM

Thank you for demonstrating exactly how ridiculous hoping for a 90 win season is.

O's were a pretty mediocre team overall last year (expected win-loss record of just 82-80) but made the playoffs because Duquette did a really nice job of finding a couple of servicable starters to round out the rotation and building a stacked pen that carried the O's all season.

If this team had a very good bullpen, they would be a couple of games over .500 and right in the thick of things. Hell, bullpen is what has really carried the Pirates so far although Locke and Liriano have been huge surprises.

Andy - You called me Alfred Tennyson for predicting a series win in SD.

I think he was actually referring to your optimism as about as realistic as that of the Light Brigade at Balaclava than actually referring to you as Tennyson.

BAP - Boston is irrelevant. The Braves and Nats are the only teams that matter right now. The Phillies have the best second-half winning percentage in all of baseball for the past 6 years running, and they play the Braves/Nats another 25+ times. If the Phillies improve the bullpen and add a bat, they can win the NL East.

Jake - I said you inspired Tennyson for you're optimism regarding the rest of the season.

But regarding an 8 game winning streak AND a ridiculous record following it? Yeah. That's hallucinogenic toad territory.

Actually, I just saw NEPP's post below yours.

Yes. What he said.

Jake: Of course, anything is possible. But it strikes me as extraordinarily unlikely that a team which is statistically below average on offense, pitching, and defense, and which is 3 games under .500 over its last 241 games, is going to go on the kind of huge second half streak that would be required to overtake a strong Braves team whom we've spotted 7 games.

I am not here to talk you out of your optimism. But I sure hope RAJ isn't thinking the way you are. And, given his actions at last year's trade deadline, I doubt that he is.

Here's a competitive team I believe the Phils could field next year through FA (just to play around with BAP's notion that there is 0% chance they could field a competitive team next year:

RF- Brown
CF- Revere
LF- Plan A: Sign David DeJesus to platoon with John Mayberry. Plan B: Sign Mike Morse to play everyday and slide to 1B against LHP with Mayberry in LF
3B- Nick Castellanos, acquired in a trade with Detroit for Papelbon/Utley
SS- Galvis
2B- Plan A: Sign Robinson Cano to a 7-8 year deal. Plan B: Sign Kelly Johnson & Ryan Raburn in a platoon
1B- Howard
C- Stopgap- Dioner Navaro? Salty is a guy tha would be perfect to platoon with Kratz. Not sure what his price would be, but I think that would be a decent situation if you can get him on a 2-year deal. Contingency- get your C of the future in a Lee trade and start him (while signing Navaro if said catcher isn't ready)

That's a possible lineup of:


That is a competitive lineup. Even swapping out Raburn/Johnson with Cano and DeJesus/Mayberry with Morse is a lineup you can win with.

Rotation if you keep Lee:

Halladay (1 year, incentive-laden $7-8 million deal)

Sign Capuano as long man/6th starter. Bastardo, DeFratus, Stutes are locks for the bullpen. Adams I guess too. Sign Uehara like you should have last year. Sign three other RHP coming off down years to compete in camp, with one hopefully snagging the final BP spot (I'm thinking Madson, Moylan or Pat Neshek- not a non-MLB pitcher like Durbin).

With Manuel gone and transition inevitable, it's time to embrace outside-the-box thinking. Where there's no clear starter, play a platoon. Play young guys. Actually mix and match out of the bullpen. There's a path this team can go down where they transition while still fielding some semblance of a contender.

Regarding Lee- if you don't deal him this year (and I think we all admit they'll have to at some point- if not July or December, next year at the deadline), the main focus of the off-season (other than targeting Cano)- and yes, hold the laughter please- is moving Ryan Howard's contract. I mean, literally give him away for nothing but salary relief. This would give you the savings you'd get from dealing Lee while actually keeping the best player on your team. If someone will pay half his contract, you sign off on that deal before the other GM even has a chance to blink. And yes, there is precedent for this happening before.

With Amaro's comments the other day, I think he would be open to doing this. And I think he should aggressively pursue it. Anything where a team takes $10 million or more AAV, I do it without a second thought. They could pursue a platoon at 1B next year that would be better and cheaper than Howard.

Iceman, why would you design a team that "needs" platoons?

"But regarding an 8 game winning streak AND a ridiculous record following it? Yeah. That's hallucinogenic toad territory." - Andy

44-31 is not a ridiculous record. My point is that the Phillies are one hot streak away from being a legitimate contender for the division?

Are you disputing that?

CS- when you don't have a clear player that can start 90% of the time, a platoon is the smartest way to go. They will have quite a few spots where there isn't a clear-cut starter for at least next year.

Instead of throwing the guys out that they trade for right away next year, they can use the salary they shed to build short-term platoons and field a competitive team. The idea wouldn't be to use platoons for more than a season or two.

Given the limitations of the modern bench, having more than 1 regular platoon is pretty much unfeasible.

Jake: I'm not sure what qualifies as a "legitimate contender," but I'm not really disputing your premise that a team with the Phillies' record could be back on at least the fringe of contention with a hot streak. And, for that matter, I'm not even disputing the idea that the Phillies could plausibly put together an 8 or 9-game winning streak at some point this season. I doubt it, but it's certainly within the realm of possibility that everything could go right for a week & they reel off a bunch of wins.

What I'm disputing is the idea that a team with a -53 run differential -- or, if you prefer, a sub-.500 record over the last 1.5 seasons -- is capable of both putting together that hot streak AND following it up with a sustained .580+ winning percentage over the entire 2nd half of the season.

Nonetheless, talk to me again once they've taken care of the first part of that equation: putting together that 8-game winning streak to get themselves back into the fringe of contention.

NEPP- well, C is already sort of a platoon by default as the starter needs to rest more than other regulars. Getting a LHB like Salty to start 70% of the time solely against RHP would basically be like giving the C regular rest, just more selectively. Kratz is a fine choice to start against LHP.

Other than that, I'm not sure why it would be 'unfeasible' to platoon 2B and LF for a year or two. It's two positions. Teams do this often and are successful doing so.

Which one of you optimists dug into my Cyclobenzaprine/Hydro evening cocktail before me?

Salty is a switch hitter. Splits may say otherwise but he does hit both.

BAP - Fair enough. I can see why you have your doubts. I have my own doubts as well. I'm just keeping things in perspective. If the Phillies were playing in the NL Central, I'd be a lot less optimistic.

donc- wow, I hadn't realized that. I have never seem him switch hit and looking at his line against LHP I just assumed.

Ice: I remembered seeing him hit from each side one game at CBP last year. I think he's much better from the left side but I'm not sure.

Iceman: Sometimes you have to argue both ways so you can cover all your bases.

I think Jake is taking the view that the FO has to take. They can't give up on the season this early with the investment they have made, and all things being equal, they are not out of it.

The problem is they just went through a stretch of terrible teams and put up a sub-.500 record. Then they had a strong stretch against WSH-NYM-SDP where they blew three leads and finished 5-4 instead of 8-1. Even I can't envision a scenario where they stumble their way to 8 in a row or 9 out of 10. It seems to keep getting set up for them, and they find ways to blow it. Perhaps that's because they can't do it.


I think trading Utley would hurt the team's chances significantly (depending on what they got in return) - but maybe Ruiz gets hot and Howard finds some power and Rollins surges late in the season. Those are all a bit unlikely but within the realm of possibility.

Finding a closer, or even anyone remotely reliable in late innings, amongst the dreck the Phils have in the organization? I don't see that as a possibility

Its just a bandbox.

Seeing a switch hitting catcher is like a Big Foot sighting. I remember Ted Simmons when I was a kid. He was a good switch hitting catcher that was a terrific hitter from both sides. Helluva player for the Cards.

I believe Richard Simmons is a switch hitter too.

***Other than that, I'm not sure why it would be 'unfeasible' to platoon 2B and LF for a year or two. It's two positions. Teams do this often and are successful doing so.***

True, the Cardinals come to mind...I'd kill for their scouting dept.

I don't think there is anything "switch" about Richard.

Maikel Franco having an off night: 2 for 4, 1 3B (his 2nd since coming to Reading), 2 DPs turned defensively.

He's batting .485 in his first 8 games in AA and he's got a hit in every single game.

Interesting stuff on Bl'er...

I think the majority of the decision fellas in the organization are torn between dumping Chase (fearing an intergalactic implosion amongst the fan base) and offering him three more years (Rube).
I can't imagine a sane minded NL team keeping "His chondromalaciasty" longer than a year.

I love Chase Utley more than possibly everyone on earth other than my fiance and I would be okay if they traded him in the right move. I don't want to see them give him a 3 year deal in the off-season and for him to age poorly while getting booed by the Philly Phaithful. He's the best 2B most of us will ever see, especially in a Phillies uniform, and he deserves far, far more than that from us.

I'd rather see him go now than get pariah status as he struggles to stay on the field in his mid-30s due to nagging injuries.

I look forward to seeing his bronze statue outside of CBP in 15 years.

Well said Nepp....Though hows about a 2 year deal....Chase has told me he doesnt want to play past 2 years.

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