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Monday, July 22, 2013

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Continuing the conversation from the previous thread, it's almost as if this team with ~.500 record, playing ~.500 ball over the last few series is a .500 team!

RAJ's comments about not having a fifth outfielder better than Humberto Quintero don't exactly bolster that whole notion about how expendable Delmon Young (and his cheap contract) is.

"There really isn't a gray area here."

This is really semantics, however. You could trade away the likes of Papelbon and M Young for a stop gap CF or some prospects and it will be viewed as a "sell." However, that doesn't necessarily mean that you've give up hope this season.

What was the prevailing view of the Red Sox last season, buyers or sellers?

I cant wait for Rube to go all in and trade away prospects for Alex Rios so we can make a solid run at 82 wins and finishing 10 games back of the Braves.

Is contending while *buying* realistic for Phils?

No.

No mention of how awful Michael Young is defensively?

Defense doesn't matter.

There will be no contending.

Can Rube handle selling and competing at the same time?
Can Andy Reid handle clock management?

Trading M. Young to me is the one and only piece the Phils could move and not take a realistic hit on contending.

M. Young is horrendous defensively and I don't think he is going to hit ~.850 OPS level the rest of the way either. I would bet it is close to ~.750 OPS.

Still is quite solid but something the Phils could live with it gave them a desperately needed bullpen arm or an OF.

Whoa, whoa, whoa...time out.

The idea is that by trading M.Young they can promote Asche or Galvis and get the same production. I disagree. We also have to think that looking at the market does RAJ want to keep Young for '14?

Jack and Nepp -- Defense is mentioned in the second paragraph. Young and Frandsen are the same defensively. Frandsen has had issues throwing to first for 2 years now. Hard to call either better with the glove than the other.

Corey: Sorry, you're right.

I agree Frandsen isn't much better. But the point is that leaving out Young's defense is making him appear a much better player than he is.

His defense negates almost all of his offensive value. It's that bad.

Jack,
Young's third base is simply Youkilisian.

MG- what defensive statistics are you making up in your head- er, I mean, looking at- that show Rios to be a liability in RF?

BAP- with Aoki's salary, do you really believe they could get him for the same prospects they'd use to get Rios? Corey Hart won't play a single game this year due to injury- do you really think they can get him on a one-year deal for less than Rios? And you think that's less of a risk than Rios having a bad season?

Speaking of risks, how risky would it be to commit 5 years to a catcher on a rebuilding team, which would suck up 40% or more of the budget you made up in your head? These are just a few of the questions I have about your plans that are more palatable than Rios on a 1-year deal.

This whole thing would be a lot easier if the Braves or the Nats got hot, but they have not and may not. There's the rub. This makes the thought that filling just a couple of holes might be the thing that enables them to overtake two weak contenders mighty tantalizing. And, making a run in the second half, where they have a lot of home games, would sell a lot of tickets.

When you lose 2of 3 to the Mets this late in the season and go under .500 you have to stop talking about October ball.

That said, I am indeed worried about RAJ selling or buying or both at the same time.

He has a very poor track record I would rather they blew this season and someone boots him out.

And for the record, I don't even want them to pursue Rios, mainly because I think Amaro will feel that he HAS to pay top dollar for him in prospects. And I don't think they will have to if they take on the salary. He isn't worth the players.

But if they could just take off the salary and trade two guys in the lower half of the top ten, yeah, I think it would be well worth the risk. You want to try to make the team competitive (as much as you can, anyway) the next one or two years without adding on more useless FA years than they've already given out. Rios fits that mold perfectly. The guy is one year removed from a 4.6 bWAR/.850 OPS season.

There will be no contending.
This.

I wish things were different, but that's likely the reality.

Dragon, if the Phillies sneak into the playoffs because of flailing ATL and WAS teams, while it would likely boost attendance/ratings, I think it might be the team that single handedly debunks the whole "playoffs are a crapshoot" meme. This team, as it stands now, wouldn't win too many best-of-seven series even against the second Wild Card team.

*and yes, I know that playing the 2nd WC team is a one-game affair...

I just laugh when I read the opium-fueled speculations about the Sox giving the Phils more than a six-pack of warm, flat Sam Adams Seasonal beer for M Young.

Nixon: They'll probably lead with offering the Alpine Spring, but I'd holdout for the Octoberfest.

Pap's swing-and-miss rate the last 3 seasons: 32.2%; 27.0% and 20.5%. No surprise, considering that his falling fastball velocity was down to 90 against the Mets on Sunday.

With Pap's albatross contract and nosedive in velocity who's dumb enough to give up a top Castellanos-like prospect for him? Maybe seller/buyer Ruin Tomorrow can figure out a way to trade Pap to himself...

MacFail why not he has done it before with Lee.

Willard Preacher, your indeed correct, the team "as it stands now" would not win too many best-of-seven series, or any for that matter. But the FO has got to be thinking: One or two key additions just might change the dynamic just enough to make them something a bit better than a very mediocre team, one that might actually be able to surprise people and win a best-of-seven series or two.

Headline reads:

'Is contending while selling realistic for Phils?'

Headline should read:

'Is contending realistic for Phils?'

And the answer is no.

No mention of how bad Frandsen is defensively?

There will be no contending. - Bake
-
Funny because at 6.5 games back, with 63 to play, they are in contention.

The only guy I would sell right now is Papelbon. He is too expensive for a has-been and you could flip the prospects for 2 solid relievers (or Cishek), and the Phillies save conversion rate probably won't change.

Dragon - Absolutely. If the current team has the best record in the NL East since April 16th, it's not a stretch to think they could make up serious ground with the addition of a big bat and a shutdown reliever.

I know Frandsen is a poor fielder, but MYoung has been falling apart before our eyes. He is blowing about 1 of every 5 possible plays for the past two months straight.

Jake: On April 16, they were 6.5 games back. Today, they're 6.5 games back.

They haven't made up any ground...

No way, Nobel Pils or bust.

I'm thinking there is a reading comprehension problem going on. The article clearly mentions the defense of both Young and Frandsen. Why are there now comments about not mentioning the fielding of both Frandsen and Young? Did Corey go back and insert the mention of fielding after the comments were written?

Young is terrible defensively. No argument there, lorecore. But take his bat out of the lineup and you lose one of the few guys who has consistently good at-bats. Frandsen will be exposed playing every day - don't let his 12 pinch hits, or whatever it is fool you.

Young was terrible in May but OPS by month paints a different story:

April: .829
May: .567
June: .830
July: .820

If defense is a priority, Young can play more 1B. Does Darin Ruf have to play everyday or something?

Don't know if it was mentioned at the time, but Cole Hamels lost a game on Saturday largely because he wasn't sharp. But with the bases loaded, he induced a perfect double play grounder to Michael Young, who double clutched and blew the double play. No error because they got one out. Run scored. Hamels had to continue pitching on near 100 degrees. And that ended up being the difference in the game. A perfect microcosm of this season. And it once again reinforced that much of what looks like pitching is actually fielding. That should have been plain enough that even Rube would notice. But somehow, I don't think he did. Btw, the Red Sox scout in the stands probably did notice.

Papelbon has a limited no-trade clause (think it was 12 teams might it might have been more), is due $13M next year and the following year, and has a vesting option for '16.

Only way the Phils move him is if they eat a portion of the deal which becomes a bit self-defeating if you are looking to primarily move his because of his salary.

It is going to be so nice to watch Lee discuss playing for a winner and then remembering to throw in "like the Phillies" or "in Philadelphia" for the next two months.

Jake: On April 16, they were 6.5 games back. Today, they're 6.5 games back.
They haven't made up any ground...
- Jack
-
Good stat. So in spite of losing Halladay, Howard, Adams, Utley (temporarily) and with Papelbon falling apart, they haven't lost any ground since April 16th.

Add an OF bat + RH reliever, and this team can make up 6.5 games.

If I were the Sox, I'd try very hard not to give up any 6-packs of Sam Adams for Michael Young. They're going to need every one of those beers when they get a look at Young's defense.

"it's not a stretch to think they could make up serious ground with the addition of a big bat and a shutdown reliever."

But will they do that? I would be shocked if they did.

limoguy - I would be happy, not shocked, if they did that.

Jake: Who is this shutdown reliever they're going to acquire without giving up Biddle or Franco? You keep mentioning Matt Lindstrom as if he's the second coming of Mariano Rivera. But, if you go by his 2013 numbers, he looks far more like the second coming of David Herndon.

"Young is terrible defensively."

Which one? Oh wait...

Good point, BAP. Hey, here's a drinking game we can try. A fly ball is hit to Yak, and he starts "running" back to pick it up. How many of the 6-pack can you chug before he reaches the ball?

Dragon, if the Phillies sneak into the playoffs because of flailing ATL and WAS teams, while it would likely boost attendance/ratings, I think it might be the team that single handedly debunks the whole "playoffs are a crapshoot" meme. This team, as it stands now, wouldn't win too many best-of-seven series even against the second Wild Card team.

Posted by: Willard Preacher | Monday, July 22, 2013 at 03:22 PM

If the playoffs started today, sure

But if they make the playoffs, they'll have been playing pretty good baseball by Oct 1 - led, presumably by Lee and Hamels - and would be a strong candidate for that *team no one wants to face* in a short 1/5 game series.

As I have stated earlier and am adamant about, this team is not constructed to be anything but what it is: a .500 winning/losing percentage. No amount of tweaks will improve it enough to even contend for the playoffs.

If Amaro is smart and lucky enough to follow the Red Sox script of last season and the off-season, he will swallow his foolish pride and get a large dose or reality by dealing his biggest blue-chippers to hungry and rich contenders like the Dodgers, Yankees, and yes, even the Red Sox, who are not shoo-ins by any means. They are devoid of reliable starting and relief pitching. Wouldn't they love to bring back Papelbon at the back end?!

Well, maybe not, but how about Cliff Lee? I'm done with hanging on to him for future seasons, simply because there are not enough quality position players to muster offense, defense and speed.

Again, be sellers, but smart ones who can collect almost major league ready studs. Then take Monty's money and sign useful free agents who aren't necessarily matinee idols. Again, look at the Red Sox. Three signees have made a big difference and are great clubhouse presences: our own Shane, Jonny (no "h") Gomes and Mike Napoli. Not marquee names, but solid contributors.

If another GM ponies up anything of worth for Papelbon, I would like to put him on notice right now that I have 15 original Honus Wagner baseball cards that I'm willing to let go for a million each.

Why would the Phillies expect salary relief in a Papelbon deal? If it gets you a top tier prospect, you eat the money. And you eat a chunk of Lee's money if it brings back three top tier guys.

This team should be ashamed of itself if it's looking for salary relief. The only scenario in which they should dump players for salary relief is if they then turn around and spend that money on International players who are not included in the signing pool money.

But if they make the playoffs, they'll have been playing pretty good baseball by Oct 1 - led, presumably by Lee and Hamels - and would be a strong candidate for that *team no one wants to face* in a short 1/5 game series. - STS

Exactly. There are a lot of things to worry about with this team. What will happen in the playoffs is the least of my worries. The team playing most like a unit, wins in October, not the most talented team, as has been proven year after year.

Jake - There's another reason that "what happens in the playoffs" is not your concern. Much like watching for falling unicorns from the sky is not my concern.

aksmith - We get it, you have no faith in this team. Thanks for clarifying.

Jake - I do have faith in this team. That it will be mediocre in every way possible. I'd say that's faith tinged by realism.

I always hope they get lucky. But that's what we're hoping for here. They are a poorly constructed mediocrity, cobbled together by a man who is in over his head. That doesn't mean they can't win. But it makes it highly unlikely.

Jake: "So in spite of losing Halladay, Howard, Adams, Utley (temporarily) and with Papelbon falling apart, they haven't lost any ground since April 16th."

Thanks to the worst medical staff in major league baseball, 3 of those players (Doc Howard Adams) were allowed to combine for a -0.5 fWAR this season. So there is no 'in spite of losing' them.


Darin Ruf has somehow been worth 0.5 f-WAR and 0.5 b-WAR in 11 games; Ryan Howard was worth 0.4 f-WAR and 0.5 b-WAR in 80 games.

Darin Ruf won't keep it up. At all.

Also, Young can DH in the AL. More options on how to use him. .822 OPS against LH, good platoon option.

And the Phillies, at best, are getting a Josh Linblom for Young. That might be enough on both sides.

WP - sorry, I should have read your post more carefully. Though I meant mine as a response to yours (not necessary, in the end), I think my point still stands.

And Jake - though I appreciate the support, I'm firmly in the "clearance on aisle 9, Utley/Pap/Lee/Young/Ruiz must go" camp.

Would much rather compete 2014-2018 than trade that at an outside shot this year, and less likelihood in 2014-5.

Though I reserve the right to change my mind in a week.

Continuing the conversation from the previous thread, it's almost as if this team with ~.500 record, playing ~.500 ball over the last few series is a .500 team!

Posted by: Willard Preacher
**************
Except, during last season they were truly a .500 team for only short periods of time. That's where they finished, yes, with three radically different portions of the season. They started off well, fell off a cliff by the ASB, and thereafter played like the 2nd best team by record in the NL.

This year they are plainly a .500 team. Add pieces like they did last season (while subtracting others), and chances are they won't play like they won't be any longer. Whether that will mean more of less wins, well, that's a matter of how well the GM manages the two trade deadlines.

"Good stat. So in spite of losing Halladay, Howard, Adams, Utley (temporarily) and with Papelbon falling apart, they haven't lost any ground since April 16th. "

Just our rotten luck that not a single Brave or Nat has either gotten hurt or "fallen apart."

STS, I do agree with the overall notion that they could take on that "hot team no one wants to face," but yes, my premise was based on them 'backing in,' as a result of colossal failures by both WAS and ATL.

Either way, we definitely agree on this point:
"Would much rather compete 2014-2018 than trade that at an outside shot this year, and less likelihood in 2014-5."

This year is a hope and a prayer. Next year doesn't have to be, but it does require a plan. Sorry, Rube...

"They started off well, fell off a cliff by the ASB, and thereafter played like the 2nd best team by record in the NL."

They didn't start off well. They were a .500 team +/- 3 games from opening day to June 10 -- which sounds an awful lot like this year. Then they completely tanked in June & early July & fell to 14 games under .500 on 7-14. Then they played better in the 2nd half, thanks, almost entirely, to the fact that the exact same collection of pitchers (minus Blanton) started to pitch better. That's what .500 teams do. They play well in spurts; they play badly in spurts; and they hover around .500 for long periods of time. A team which arrives at its .500 record in this fashion is not qualitatively different from a team which just hovers around .500 from opening day until October.

Frankly, the standard deviation from the .500 mark isn't much of a concern to me. It's the mere fact that they always arrive back around the .500 mark. This is, by definition, what .500 teams do.

Thanks to the worst medical staff in major league baseball, 3 of those players (Doc Howard Adams) were allowed to combine for a -0.5 fWAR this season. So there is no 'in spite of losing' them. - lorecore
-
Yes, there is. We "lost" them before they went on the DL. Our #1 starter, #1 power threat, and #2 reliever have been hurting the team or not contributing at all, and yet, the team is still in contention. Point taken on the med staff. They suck.

Is it Tuesday yet?

They're in contention when you look at the standings, true. In reality, they're not in contention. At least they won't be after the next 6 games.

There's no use in keeping Papelbon or M. Young. THe Phils don't need an "elite" closer (or a closer making that kind of money). And Young's offensinve "numbers" are more like Polanco's. Could Asche or Fransen do worse?

Lee & Utley stay. You can't replace an "ace" and the Phils don't need another every-day player with no stick (Galvis). They have enough of those already.

(Young's) defense negates almost all of his offensive value. It's that bad.

I wonder why Boston, New York and L.A. all want him then. Beerleaguer is smarter than all of major league baseball?

"But, if you go by his 2013 numbers, he looks far more like the second coming of David Herndon."

You are truly dumb.

Garza to rangers for Olt, Single A pitcher CJ Edwards and PTBNL.

But, if you go by his 2013 numbers, he looks far more like the second coming of David Herndon

_______________________________

What??


Also, if Garza gets that- it sets a market for what Lee would get which is greater than that.

And truthfully- really, think about the gravity of this statement- the team could use 2011 David Herndon right now.

They're in contention when you look at the standings, true. In reality, they're not in contention. At least they won't be after the next 6 games.
-
Several modern prophets on the board today. I've been hearing that "the Phillies will be out of contention by the weekend" for about 3 months now.

"Darin Ruf won't keep it up. At all."

Viagra. Just sayin'...

http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/22/nate-silver-went-against-the-grain-for-some-at-the-times/

Interesting that Nate Silver took his talents to Bristol, CT. Wonder what he will focus on initially for ESPN in a sports-related fashion.

"I wonder why Boston, New York and L.A. all want him then. Beerleaguer is smarter than all of major league baseball?"

I can't speak for NY or LA, but I've heard no credible story that the Sox want Mr GIDP.

Wonder if the Cubs got Olt's vision checked out and if they thought he was okay.

I don't think they care about his vision. The Edwards boy can chuck it. Wow rube. This is how deals are made check it out.

Howard Eskin - Look at Olt's spotty production this year and the questions the Rangers had about his vision.

I didn't see any follow up on it but it was something I saw brought up a few times.

Ah, I knew I couldn't have a discussion with Iceman without his resorting to insults.

David Herndon 2011:

3.32 ERA
4.13 xFIP
1.368 WHIP
3.8 BB/9
6.2 K/9

Matt Lindstrom 2013:

2.75 ERA
4.32 xFIP
1.398 WHIP
4.3 BB/9
6.4 K/9

Ok, I cherry-picked Herndon's best year. But I think it's fair to say that, even in his best year, David Herndon did not meet anyone's definition of "shutdown reliever." And Matt Lindstrom, 2013 is the same exact pitcher as David Herndon, 2011.

"I've been hearing that "the Phillies will be out of contention by the weekend" for about 3 months now."

You're defining the answer to the question and then claiming we're wrong. Most of us think they ARE out of contention, being 6.5 games out with only 63 to play. They have 7% playoff odds right now.

"I've been hearing that "the Phillies will be out of contention by the weekend" for about 3 months now."

That's about the same period of time that you've been assuring us that this .500 team is about to run roughshod over the NL East.

I like that move for the Cubs, not surprisingly.

Garza isn't an elite pitcher, though he's a solid 2-3, and the Rangers are getting him for half a season. Edwards is a real live arm, probably with the highest ceiling in the deal, and Olt is major-league ready who is a year away from being considered one of the prize prospects in a deep system. He's struggled this year, of course, but you're still getting a guy who has a chance to be your starting 3B for five years.

Those two, plus whatever the other two prospects are, are more than worth the compensatory pick Garza would've nabbed at the end of the year. Good trade for the Cubs.

Should say Olt is a "year removed" from being considered a prize prospect.

Teams with low odds never make the playoffs:

2012 Orioles: 3.6 chance at the wild card in late July
2012 A's: 4.9 chance at division with 6 games to go
2011 Rays: 0.5 chance at wild card in September
2011 Cards:1.5% chance to win the WC in September
2010 Giants: 5.9 chance at division in August
2009 Twins: 6.3 chance at division in September
2007 Phils: 1.2% chance at division in Sept
2007 Rockies: 1.8% chance at wildcard in Sept.

Last year's playoff teams with last date their playoff odds were below 7.4%:

Orioles: August 5th
Tigers: June 12th
A's: Sept 27th
Rangers: Sept 27th
Reds: May 2nd

EFF: Would you care to mention all of the other teams that had 7% playoff odds that didn't make it?

Of course not, because that list would be immense and way too long.

The Mets have 4.9% playoff odds. Should they be buyers? Are they in contention?

Ryan Braun is suspended for the remainder of the 2013 season.

Braun suspended for the remainder of the season.

The playoff odds discussion is foolish. No one is going to convince Jake otherwise, and Jack will not be convinced otherwise because they were out in May according to him.

But please- keep talking past each other for the remainder of this and every thread until the trade deadline.

I hate days without baseball - it becomes almost unreadable around here.

Braun suspended go get aoki

EFF - Thanks for doing the legwork. That list proves just how asinine ESPN playoff odds are. They mean absolutely nothing.

"Teams with low odds never make the playoffs"

Huh? Numberz are hard.

Jack, I've also been hearing that "the Phillies will be 10 games out by the weekend" for about 3 months now.

Is that better?

MG they said they fixed it a month ago. Thats why I said that. With them dumping Ian s. this change of scenery will help olt.

BAP, you really have a tendency of over-exagerating when referencing things I've said. I never said the Phillies "were about to run away with the Division". All I ever said was that they have a legitimate shot at the playoffs, so they shouldn't sell.

Trade for MLB or very near ready MLB players. Not 3 mid level guys. We have a few high upside guys in the system already. One guy that has a 75% chance of making it versus 3 guys that each have a 30% chance is Rube's Stanford Mathematics logic.

I'm on Team Jake

Jake: Well, you scold anyone who suggests that, when we're 6.5 games out of 1st place and below .500 on Jully 22, maybe this isn't our year. That kind of sounds like someone who thinks this team is a juggernaut in-waiting.

Look, absolutely no one would argue that the Phillies have no chance to catch the Braves. Teams have come back from greater deficits. I get it. On the other hand, this is the last chance we're ever going to have to get something back for guys like Young, Chooch, and Utley -- and it may be the last or best chance we'll ever have to get a good return for Papelbon. So it's not enough just to say: we could still win the division; we can't sell. You have to actually balance that probability (which is slim) against the potential longer-term benefits of selling.

And, unfortunately, you don't get to string out this process until September 15 and then say, "We're 10 out with 15 games left. Let's sell." The system is set up so that you have to make a decision by July 31 and, unless you're 15 games out, that means there are going to be ambiguities that you have to deal with. But you still have to make a decision. As I've said before, I see 5 games as the dividing line. Reasonable minds could say it should be more like 6 or 7 or even 8. But, when a team is 6.5 out & below .500 on July 22, let's not pretend that it's totally unreasonable to be advocating that we sell.

Jake~ I admire your enthusiasm. I said way back in Dec. I didn't think they were a playoff team. I stand by that statement today. All you have to do is look at the last Mets series.

I don't think there's anything RAJ can do to improve their 7% playoff chances (per Jack), nor do I trust him to do so.

BAP- so you admit you cherry picked stats just to get me to call you an idiot?

Thank you. You saved us the normal 2+ hours of circular argument and just got to the bottom of it yourself.

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