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Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Coming fast and furious today.

Even though I'm 100% sell, I must admit I like the idea of trading nothing of value for a bunch of players better than we already have.

I'm fine with bargain buying, although I still think the most likely scenario is that we miss the playoffs and miss our opportunity to get young impact players into the system.

As Clout is always fond of saying, the focus should be on the division, not on the wild-card. Being within striking distance of the division is much more important to me than being within striking distance of a second wild-card spot.

GBrett-- Thanks for posting that goodphight article. Great read.

Talking like you're a buyer is a good negotiating stance for a seller.

Despite the fact that I have been a staunch advocate of selling, if the team keeps playing like this and is within 3.5 of the playoffs (division or WC) at the deadline, no way they can sell. That would be akin to the White Sox's White Flag trades back in the day...

The obvious caveat is that they need to keep winning, but I would love to enjoy one last playoff run with this core. It would be a great way to close out the era.

I always expect a Phillies win with Lee on the mound.

As for the buying, there's still plenty of time to sell, if Rube finds a value pickup, by all means.

Hypothetical: If the Cubs were willing to part with Gregg and Soriano for lets say Biddle, Tocci, & Asche (too much/too little?); do Gregg & Soriano re-make the team enough for this year to trade that much? I'm still in the "Sell guys like the Youngs" camp; but I was just curious how much buying the buy camp thinks would put the team over the top.

-Ruf has a 4 game hitting streak, but has K'd in half his PA.

-Chooch better get it together. I'll actually be looking forward to 1-2 starts a week by Kratz just so we have another HR/XBH threat in the lineup.

-Kratz was 2-4 with a 2B and RBI last night. Perhaps when they're at Detroit, Chooch can catch with Kratz as DH. (More likely it would be Mayberry in RF with DYoung DH, I know.)

jordan: "However, Gonzalez doesn’t have a propensity to eat up innings. His 45 walks are the NL’s fourth-highest, he throws the fourth-most pitches per plate appearance (4.12) in baseball and has just three career complete games.


Gio averages 6.2 IP per start, 25th in NL, and has pitched the 19th most innings in the league. Limiting walks is always a good idea, but getting outs is the #1 factor in pitching a lot of innings.

Gio has the 14th best OBP against, at .285

Only guy I trade today is Michael Young as we can use Frandsen/Asche/Galvis and not skip a beat. I hold on to Papelbon until the trade deadline - as overpaid and declining as he is we really have noone else ready to be the closer. Utley I keep regardless, we'll get enough value through giving him a Qualifying Offer or a cheap extension. Lee is going nowhere.

I don't think I'd be a buyer at the deadline, even if they pull close enough to make a run realistic...This is definitely the last run for this core, and mortgaging more of the future in the hope for one last run would be foolish.

I'd let this team ride it out and see what happened.

jbird, that's a terrible trade. I dont even...

Kevin Gregg, K-Rod, Veras types shouldn't cost alot. Also why acquire Soriano to bench him? Unless you traded Delmon, but who wants him?

nik: "we can use Frandsen/Asche/Galvis and not skip a beat."

Disagree. I am very certain that Michael Young and Kevin Frandsen is much better than Kevin Frandsen and Freddy Galvis/Cody Asche.

Unless you think Asche is a MLB ready starter with significant defensive upgrade from MYoung, i'm not sure how else you could even make that statement. And while both could be possible, its very doubtful from everything I've ever read about Asche.

Beerleaguer posters (esp. Andy) when the Phillies are losing:

"It's ridiculous the Phillies are losing to such a collection of bum pitchers. What a joke!"

Beerleaguer posters when the Phillies are winning:

"It's ridiculous to think these wins are meaningful against such a collection of bum pitchers. What a joke!"

Conclusion: Every pitcher the Phillies face is crap.

I agree with Chris. In my opinion, unless they can get help on the cheap or for nothing prospects, I wouldn't trade away anyone with potential. This team looks a lot further away than, say, the 2011 team (gulp) that gave up a lot to get Pence - who did help the team that year for the stretch run.

I don't have any special affection for Michael Young, but I'm not sure I agree with this, which seems to be a common sentiment...

"we can use Frandsen/Asche/Galvis and not skip a beat"

I think the drop-off, at least offensively, will be steeper than most think. It's almost akin to thinking we could deal with losing Rollins because we have Galvis.

Chris, I know exactly what you're saying there. I just don't see them getting to the promised land with this bullpen. They will be put into a lot of crucial situations between now and the end of the year and I don't think they can handle it. I'm certainly not counting on Adams for anything now that he's on the 60 day DL.

Also, the inclusion of Freddy Galvis to this team's roster as somehow a reason why the team can improve is beyond me.

Unless Jroll is unable to start in future, he offers nothing to this team - even a struggling jroll.

I really miss the excitement of October baseball. But I’d rather build for the future than try to add pieces to a team that *might* win 86 games, sneak into the playoffs, and lose in the first round. If we got in this year, it would have much more of a 2007 feel to it (excited to be there) as opposed to a 2008 feel to it (expected to do well).

Let's see what they do against Gonzalez tonight.

niceguy = more than one person??


Are other's posts taking a while to show up, or are mine vanishing into the ether?

The promise of some mediocre prospects that we could get is far out shadowed by a playoff run. As we all well know anything can happen in the playoffs and it would be sweet sweet karma if we could somehow get in and knock off the far superior Cardinals.

Some good numbers from the offense:

And this from the above:

"The Braves are practically begging somebody to challenge them in the NL East the second half of the season."

So, not to rehash this, but tell me, in the 2011 NLDS, which team was "excited to be there" and which team was "expected to do well"? How did that turn out?

I just can't understand how someone who has watched them in the playoffs in 2010 and 2011 can say s/he'd rather build for the future than have the team make the playoffs this year.

Well i guess buyers are at least consistent. They think we will only get crap for players we trade, and think that we can trade crap to get better players.

While I'm not opposed to the selling mode idea, the thought that the Phillies could get impact prospects back for any of the players rumored to trade (MYoung, Ruiz) other than Papelbon is quite silly. The only way the Phillies will get impact prospects back is for Lee and possibly Papelbon. If you trade MYoung and Ruiz, you are getting back lottery tickets at best, and I don't understand the desire to do that.

I have to admit. I have not been totally tuned into the games this week. It is tough to fellate 19 year old college guys at the bus station and watch the pitch count at the same time.

From GBrett's most recent (excellent) link:

"Ben Revere is hitting .346 since the end of April, which is seventh-best in baseball. He also is hitting .369 with an .871 OPS this season against lefties."

Good thing he's been benched in a handful of games against LHP in favor of DYoung.

I feel half the prospects labeled "impact" are still lottery tickets honestly. But whatever they do, I hope they luck out and get good value, buy or sell.

Rube may now be a buyer, but he won't be shopping in the same stores that he used to. These days he'll be shopping at the Dollar Tree or Dollar General, not Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom's or Saks.

Since it's been posted again that we're lucky to be facing all those young pitchers, only half or so have ERAs in the 2s and 3s, I'll have to again type that every team that plays us is lucky to face our lousy bullpen, so-so offense, sketchy defense and shaky rotation.

I was going to comment that since the BP's numbers are still atrocious while the offense's numbers are pretty good, the fault for the bad season would seem to lie with the BP.

But then it occurred to me that the Phillies have only started winning since the offense has come to life, which would seem to suggest the opposite.

Personally, I still maintain that both were to blame, and that the BP still needs to improve. While I hold my breath that the offense continues to do well. Starting pitching, too, which is obviously important. Cole pitching like he has the last two outings for the remainder of the season would be huge.

"So, not to rehash this, but tell me, in the 2011 NLDS, which team was "excited to be there" and which team was "expected to do well"? How did that turn out?"

I'm sorry, I thought all of these advanced statistics that you all love to tout were used to more accurately predict probability, not possibility. Sure, anything is possible. But the Phillies making a World Series run as currently constructed is not very probable.

Of course, I have no statistics with which to back that up. But if any of you really feel the 2013 version of Phillies baseball is a good one, by all means root for them to flame out of the playoffs early if that is what excites you.

Actually scratch that. It should be a shot at Mayberry (.259/.298/.463/.761 against LHP this year) and not DYoung (.295/.385/.432/.816).

If the Phillies play very well in July, the FO simply couldn't sell off/trade away the better players or the ones who were perceived by the fans as having contributed to that. I think it's going to be 'wait and see' for the time being.

And sure, there are exceptions to the rule, like the Cardinals team that wone 83 games, then won the World Series. But since 1987, on average, the World Series winner has won 94.5 games during the regular season. Only three times did the WS winner win less than 90 games.

Yes, past history cannot predict future outcomes. But really, am I ready to go all in on this year's team? No way.

Here's part of what I'm thinking right now. If they keep going on this roll, and are within 5-6 games of the division, then yes, they should be trying to win this season. Should they trade Franco and Biddle? Absolutely not. But you can make acquisitions that help you without giving away any prospects of real note (see, e.g., the Nats getting Hairston two days ago).

Presumably, Rube will pick up at least one relief pitcher, and likely two, if he does this. If those relief pitchers end up pitching well, that will be a big help.

What worries me is that the place where the Phillies could get the most improvement is in RF (where the team is currently 29th in WAR), but Rube won't do it because he thinks Delmon Young has been "productive" enough. The truth is that a left-handed RF that mashes righties would do as much to help the team as any relief pitcher (enabling the Mayberry/LH platoon they should have been going with the whole season).

Same thing with 3B. Michael Young has been replacement-level, but because he's a veteran starter with a decent batting average, Rube won't think that's a position that needs to be improved.

Niceguy542006: all the statistics pretty much go out the window in the tiny short sample size of the playoffs. They just don't hold up.

Niceguy is making a great case for a position high up in the Moronocracy.

Thanks for saying that, Iceman. I felt like I was taking crazy pills.

The only type of buying I'd be doing would be moving Young for a bullpen arm. Other than that there aren't many other options.

Yankees Aggressively Pushing Chamberlain, Hughes

By Zach Links [July 10 at 9:38am CST]

The Yankees are aggressively pushing trades involving Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, an AL executive tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). In fact, a deal sending Chamberlain to a National League team could happen soon, though nothing is imminent on either front.

So a deal could happen soon but isn't close to happening? How is this reporting?

So if the Phils end up as buyers, they need to call CWS about Alex Rios...

...not only is he a very good RF that can prob be had for no prospects (just pick up the contract), but his middle name is Isreal...

...acquiring him would make DYoung go nuts and attack him, sending him to jail and off the Phils' roster: win-win!

Where's Jake today? This site needs his unbridled optimism today.

Gotta say, I love what Ben Revere has done so far. But I just hope he doesn't follow the same trajectory as last year. Since his peak on August 6, 2012 (.331/.361/.390/.750) he hit .236/.291/.271/.562 in his final 222 PA.

Hopefully he got those ABs out of the way early this year, so to speak. His hot bat would really help down the stretch.

Nik & CS: relievers are always over priced at the trade deadline. You aren't getting Gregg for a bum in A ball. Especially from Theo. I was just throwing out a hypothetical. What do the "buyers" think would put the team over the top and how much would they pay for it?

Repost of a repost:

"Every morning, or two mornings? Just saying, they're not exactly beating Maddux, Smotlz, and Avery!"

Nice guy, are you saying that unless two of the three pitchers they're facing in a series are HOF, and the third is an All Star (and looked like he had a shot at the HOF until injury setbacks), that the pitchers they face are crap?

Our newest acquisition:

Mandy Housenick ‏@inthephilshouse 31m
#Phillies reliever Luis Garcia: From the salon to the big leagues in 4 months. Scout Sal Agostinelli calls finding...

You know who I always wanted the Phils to target? Logan Morrison.

I hear he might be available...

It is comical that Mayberry is being characterized as having a "bad play." The guy has had at least 6 different plays I can think of where he had no idea where the wall was while going back on a ball. It is a common theme with him but people aren't allowed to criticize it because someone else has had more bad games.

Typical Moronocracy argument.

While I think the Michael Young-Joba Chamberlain speculation is ridiculous on its face, I can kind of see why RAJ was asking about Chamberlain: because he's got a live arm, has been good in the past, and could probably be gotten for very little. Those are exactly the types of trades I expect to see the Phillies make if they turn out to be buyers. If you're not going to trade guys like Franco, Biddle, Asche, or Quinn (and they certainly shouldn't), and you're not going to trade Utley, Lee, Papelbon, or Chooch, then you're pretty much down to the Joba Chamberlains of the world.

niceguy: for some context, go find the last 10 pitchers any team has faced during a win streak and see how daunting it looks.

TTI: Well, this is quite the role reversal.

I'm being optimistic about a Phillies player and saying that even though he played badly last night, he's still a good player.

And you're trashing a guy based on your subjective memory of 6 plays. By the way, can you name all 6 plays where he screwed up going back on a ball? Can you link me the videos from

Phillies in the last 10 games: 6 - 4, 4.1 RPG.

The leadoff hitter in the last 10 games: .450 .476 .600


BAP: I agree.

I see him picking up relievers that have a chance at being decent, but don't cost much because they also have a chance at being crappy.

And frankly, that's probably what he should be doing.

Carlos Zambrano, Carlos Zambrano, Carlos Zambrano

That's all.

awh-- Most certainly. I don't see any Production™ in those numbers you posted.

Matt Gelb ‏@magelb 12m
Talked Phillies trade stuff @Buster_ESPN on his podcast this morning. (Around 22-min mark.)

Race to >.700 OPS:



it would be nice to find a way to improve the team's defense.

gbrett: good find on Garcia. Talk about coming out of nowhere.

Those in the know, out of curiosity, how much would it take to trade for Morrison? He'd obviously be much cheaper than Stanton, but too steep for the Phils in their current position?

Morrison is very injury prone. Seems like every year he is battling a new knee issue.

Having said that, isn't he regulated to 1B and LF? Can't see him working out in right. Yes, I know Donut is there so maybe it would work.

Red-- Sounds like the price could be right...

Jack: I'll play your dumb video finding game because you are being intentionally douchey about "forgetting" Mayberry plays if you find a post where I said he was a bad player.

Alex Rios is a great name to target. If the White Sox take a poo-poo platter of prospects for him, I see him as a great fit. Productive veteran, bats right, signed for 1 more season, we can afford his salary.

Lots of good stuff today, hence all the links.

Just finished listening to Matt Gelb discussing trade possibilities with Buster Olney. It's definitely worth a listen.

Cyclic - The thing with Morrison is that he is pre-arb and Marlins love players like that. They only trade expensive players. Not saying a deal couldn't be worked out but the Marlins would demand a pretty big return.

I still think the most likely scenario is that we miss the playoffs and miss our opportunity to get young impact players into the system. - Jack

I really miss the excitement of October baseball. But I’d rather build for the future than try to add pieces to a team that *might* win 86 games, sneak into the playoffs, and lose in the first round. -Niceguy

This mentality is all wrong. The Phillies are already rebuilding with players like Brown, Ruf, and Revere all starting in the field. You don't set back their progress 3-4 years by trading your ace and your face of the franchise for a few hit-or-miss prospects - whether or not you make the playoffs this year is irrelevant, the team has already entered a new phase and blowing it up is no longer an option. The Phillies recent dynasty started with near-misses in '05 and '06, and a brutal 1st round sweep in '07. The players gained from that experience and took it all the way in '08. A team is more than the sum of all its players. It needs chemistry and experience in meaningful games to learn how to win.

Jake: You appear to be a well-reasoned, rational poster who considers what he posts before he types it.

Jack will hate you and so will the rest of the Brainless Brigade on here.

Hope we start another consecutive games with a HR streak soon (to go along with this winning streak)

But then it occurred to me that the Phillies have only started winning since the offense has come to life, which would seem to suggest the opposite. - GBrett

Yes, the offense has neutralized the shaky bullpen by providing a 2-3 run lead to work with late in the game. The bullpen still can't be trusted to hold a 1 run lead.

Talking like you're a buyer is a good negotiating stance for a seller.

Posted by: limoguy

"If any here is in advertising or marketing,
kill yourself."

Hunter pence might be available................
Since moronic ideas are being applied today.
i might as well give you mine

Jake: So you think the next Phillies dynasty is being led by Brown, Revere, and Ruf? And that the team will be getting better over the next few years without making any moves?

The 2005 and 2006 teams had players in Rollins, Utley, Howard and Burrell that were each in their mid to late 20's primes and were all above-average players at their positions already. Plus they had younger pitchers like Myers, Madson, Hamels and Gavin Floyd. You really think Dom Brown, Ben Revere, and Darin Ruf compare to that group?

I think your point is right that teams with young cores should try and compete to win to get their players that experience--no one wants a perpetual rebuild. I understand and respect that position, and agree with it.

I just think the 2013 Phillies and the 2006 Phillies are in completely different positions. I don't see a similar young core at all. I want the Phillies to make moves to get that young core, so that they can then be in the position you're talking about. You know?

A playoff push is very possible for a couple reasons:

1. Really weak NL East division
2. Unbalanced Schedule to include the following in the 2nd half:

13 games vs. Atlanta
10 games vs. Mets
9 games vs. Washington

If we take care of business in those games, there's a chance...not a big one, but at least its something.

Once more into the breach, dear friends...

"The Phillies are already rebuilding with players like Brown, Ruf, and Revere all starting in the field."

I kind of agree, but until this week Ruf wasn't really a part of that. It took Howard getting hurt for Ruf to become a part of the equation. Believe me I'd love to see some of the younger guys getting expeirence where they can, especially if the Phillies are not going to contend.

And for the record, I am not calling for a complete and total fire sale. But if you're not going to seriously contend, then get what you can for the pieces you can afford to part with. And if someone does happen to knock your socks off for Lee, you have to at least consider it.

Niceguy, you still haven't answered our questions about the quality of the pitching they've faced.

Not trying to be a b8llb8ster, but if you're going to take the position that you have you should at least defend it.

Can an "optimist" please respond to Jake's idea that the 2012-2013 Phillies missing the playoffs are akin to the 2005-2006 Phillies?

It is complete BS if I have to be the one to point out how ridiculous that is, and then have to suffer through people whining how poor old Jake gets attacked by mean on negative grumps.

I like Jake's reasoning. Hopefully, Rube will be looking for diamonds in the bargain bin, not "has been" penthouse dwellers.

In Jake's defense, the 2006 team also had a group of young plyers who you might NOT classify as "core" guys - guys like Victorino, and Werth (2006 version), so to jump on him as though he was comparing the 2006 core of Rollins, Utley Howard to Revere, Brown and Ruf (he wasn't) is a little bit disingenuous.

If Ruf is one of the centerpieces of your "rebuilding" effort, it might be a long process.

Jack: Can you please tell me what to think so I can post my thoughts?

I'd rather have Pence than Rios...

yea fake lorecore, because jack and I are constantly agreeing.

awh: Ok, so then if Brown, Revere, and Ruf are the complimentary pieces, then who exactly is the young core of stars that compares to Rollins, Utley and Howard?

This is my point. The teams aren't alike at all. One was made up of all guys in their mid to late 20s that were above-average players. The current team has a 25-year old that's above-average (Brown), a 25-year old that's average (Revere), and a 26-year old that has 49 career PAs (Ruf).

And then a bunch of guys that are either old (Young, Utley, Howard, Chooch, Rollins) or suck (Delmon).

I'm not trying to attack Jake here. I agree with his fundamental point about developing a good young core and having them compete. My issue is that I don't see how he's provided a "well-reasoned" and "rational" argument that the young core of the next Phillies dynasty currently exists here. I would like to see that argument.

Bed-- Can you please tell me what Ruf's final season line will be? Obviously you have some certain knowledge of his future.

"Niceguy, you still haven't answered our questions about the quality of the pitching they've faced."

I could certainly research the topic and find a team that has put together a 6-4 record against better pitching than what the Phils have faced in the last 10 games. But, as I'm sure you can understand, it will take a bit more than 45 minutes to do!

Hate to keep harping on it awh, but I mean, are you trying to say they've faced quality pitcing during the last 10 games? Or that it's "normal" to face 50% rookies/starter fill-ins over a 10 game stretch? My whole point is that I think we are beating inferior pitching right now, and I am just not buying this recent streak.

Jake has not been getting ripped because he's optimistic, he has been getting ripped because his arguments are not well-reasoned.

One of the 3 members of the young core he cites has no chance of meaningful playing time at his primary position aside from as an injury replacement because of a terrible contract. Another of the 3 members projects out to <2 WAR this year with limited upside. The farm system is one of the weakest in baseball.

Any true-talent .500 team can get hot for a while and finish with a record better than .500. There is a strong argument that many have made (including typical optimists and pessimists) that they should stand pat or add cheap bullpen help and roll the dice with the 1-in-10 or so chance of making the playoffs. I agree with that. I do not agree that this team is a dynasty under the surface waiting to burst. That is a very weak argument.

Also, Jake writes, "The Phillies recent dynasty started with near-misses in '05 and '06, and a brutal 1st round sweep in '07. The players gained from that experience and took it all the way in '08. A team is more than the sum of all its players. It needs chemistry and experience in meaningful games to learn how to win." This logic is poor. Many teams go on deep playoff runs without having done so before (e.g., '08 Rays) and many teams lose in the playoffs despite having experience ('11 Phillies, '11 Rangers, '12 Rangers). There is no evidence to suggest that previous playoff experience is a predictor for playoff success.

So you think the next Phillies dynasty is being led by Brown, Revere, and Ruf? And that the team will be getting better over the next few years without making any moves? - Jack

1. Comparing Rollins/Utley/Howard in '06 to Brown/Ruf/Revere in '13, is not a comparison of the two teams. The '13 team still has Rollins and Utley playing at a high level, not to mention Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. The 2006 team had no veteran winners to learn from, they were a brand new core emerging from a decade of horrendous Phillies baseball, and they had to learn the art of winning on their own. The '13 young core has the privilege of learning from veterans and phasing themselves into a winning formula.

2. Of course I don't think the team can get better without making moves, every team needs to make savvy moves to succeed, but I believe in building primarily through the draft, free agency, and smart trades. Brown, Ruf, and Revere may not be the next dynasty by themselves, but add Biddle, Franco, Asche & maybe Crawford before the old core is completely gone, and you've made a successful transition to the new regime without a decade of dreadful baseball in between.

Niceguy, the problem with your argument is that you tried to bolster it by citing that they hadn't faced Maddux (HOF and one of the best RHP ever), Smoltz (HOF) and Avery (All Star) level pitchers EVERY series.

Please show me a team that had a decent run that did. Ever.

No team would win consistently if they had to face SP like that every night.

Comparing "this" team to 2005-06 is flawed, but only because "this" team isn't necessarily what "this" team will be very soon.

It's easy to forget: even if the Phils go full-out in sell mode (they won't), they're STILL not going to "rebuild" in the typical sense of the word. If they dealt Lee and Papelbon, they would almost have to get back one or two young projected MLB starters (say, Profar and Middlebrooks) who, if they pan out, could give the Phillies more of a 2005-06 character when paired with Brown (and perhaps Revere, and even Ruf, but that's a longer shot). Plus, they would have enormous amounts of money to spend next year, and you can bet they'd spend it (in the scenario outlined above, most of it probably on starting and the back-end of the bullpen, Adams notwithstanding).

"Rebuilding" doesn't exist for this team. Selling now would only be a precursor to buying in the off-season, and I don't even think they're going to sell big-time. What selling does is get you younger and in a far better payroll spot (assuming you get the young players/prospects I referenced) for the spending you'll do in the off-season.

If we take care of business in those games, there's a chance...not a big one, but at least its something. - NEPP

If they take care of those [divisional] games there is a big chance they make it.

Phillies 2013: Learning the Art of Winning

foreword by Charlie Sheen

Jack: Of course the teams are not 'exactly' alike, but in order to play your game, the upcoming core could be:

Brown --> Howard
Franco --> Utley
Quinn/Crawford --> Rollins
Biddle --> Hamels

Obviously they won't all be ready for next year, but there are some potential core pieces in the system. Also add-in Dugan and Joseph as potential sleepers too.

Shift Howard, Utley, and Rollins to supporting roles, keep Lee, Hamels, & Kendrick, and I could see them make a strong playoff run in 2015.

*starting pitching, that is

I don't think the farm is still one of the weakest in baseball...

Do we really need a starting RF? I'd suspect any buying is bullpen and bench depth alone.

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