Part of CSNPhilly.com


« Game 96: A win would do plenty for Phillies | Main | Revere injury changes Phils' deadline plans »

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Comments

Wasn't long ago that the loss of Revere, by releasing him, was a popular notion.
And now his loss, by injury, is a major obstacle to getting back into the thick of things.

Biggest surprise is the starters . They are more than just holding their own w/o Doc. Lannan has been a huge surprise in his last couple of outings.

Keep faith alive. Hope Halladay is rehabbing in the High Andes, Howard recovers for a massive September revival and Revere's foot/ankle heals without too much metal weighting him down.

It was deliciously ironic to see clout, at the end of the last thread, singling out Alejandro De Aza as the type of hidden gem the Phillies need to look for. De Aza was your classic late-blooming prospect, who suddenly started putting up big AAA numbers in his age 25 season & kept doing it over the next 2 years until the White Sox eventually gave him his chance. Is there a single poster here who doubts that, if De Aza had been in the Phillies' organization, clout would have been mercilessly ridiculing anyone who suggested that we call him up & give him a chance to play?

"One thing is certain: these Phillies are making it awfully difficult to give up on them – and why should we?"

Why should BLers give up on the team? Why shouldn't BLers be optimistic?


I'm thinking the Jordan has never read the comments at BLer...

I want to see these Phillies in the playoff hunt. The starting pitching might be enough to get into and win in the playoffs. But the bullpen MUST get better.

No 'good' team is going to trade away relievers. And no 'bad' team is going to want soon to be free agents.

So that leaves the Phillies giving up more young guys to get more old guys. I cannot see Michael Young waiving his no trade clause and he is the only guy I see with enough value to get something decent but have the least impact on the team.

I am still surprised the Phillies elected to bring up Garcia rather than acquire a supposedly washed-up vet and see if he'd recover. Garcia would still be there if the 'risk guy' (Rauch, Axford, Boggs) failed miserably.

I hope whomever they sign isnt just a rental. Such a mediocre team are the Phillies.

"The Phils will be adding – not subtracting."


We still got 3 series in New York, St. Louis and Detroit to get through before the deadline. Those are going to be 3 very tough series. ESPECIALLY the last two.

If the Phils struggle in those 3 series (which I would not be surprised at all if they do), then we have no idea what the pulse of the team and the situation will be.

The Revere injury is a killer. And it doesn't matter what 2nd tier OF they try and get. They won't be able to replace what Revere gave them. A legit leadoff hitter. A legit CF. A legit hitter. A legit base stealer. Its a huge hole now, just like it was last year....which is why Revere was added last winter in the first place.

This team looks like a .500 team to me. And has all year. Even when healthy, they weren't likely to get much above .500 Not sure what "buying" is going to do at this point...besides further deplete the farm system, add more payroll and bring on more age to a team that is already too old at many spots.

Its time to retool. If you are interested in winning a championship, you have to do it. This team isn't winning anything this year now. Most realists know that. Winning a few games this week doesn't change that reality.

I don't care if they win 10 in a row after the break, trading Guys like Biddle, Quinn, Franco or Tocci would be a big mistake. The revere injury scares me especially in regards to Amaro deciding to make some kind of blockbuster of a trade.

I am all for optimism, but i am also a realist.

We don't have to sell, but I hope we're not going to give away the house Aka the hunter pence trade.

. We have some nice positional pieces for when reality visits in the spring 2014 ..

Lets not get so excited we that we overpay for marginal help.

This team is too inconsistent & streaky..

Not a kill joy

Just a realist

RAJ knows it's still a long shot this year, so I suspect any moves he makes will either be big moves that help us beyond just this season or low-cost improvements on the margins.

The obvious: Trade Michael Young for the best reliever you can get for him. We have Frandsen to fill the hole at third, so this is dealing from a position of depth, if not strength, to patch a glaring weakness. The Young-for-Joba rumor makes a ton of sense for both clubs. Joba's been handled horribly by Joe Girardi and might do well with a change of scenery.

The big move: Land a CF that can slide to an outfield corner next season. David DeJesus, Alex Rios, or Colby Rasmus would fit the bill perfectly. Justin Maxwell and Chris Denorfia also might be options, though not on the same level as the other three guys. I wouldn't be surprised to see Cody Asche go as part of a package here; even if Michael Young is gone, Frandsen's capable of holding down 3B for the rest of this and next season until Maikel Franco arrives.

The stopgap: If you can't land a good CF, get a rental CF on the cheap. Andres Torres (Giants) or Chris Young (A's) should be available for a couple of B/C-level prospects if the Phils will eat their remaining salaries. Failing that, Julio Borbon (Cubs) will likely be DFA'ed shortly, or we could just call up Tyson Gillies to be JMJ's defensive caddy and a pinch-runner, understanding that neither Borbon nor Gillies is likely to hit much at the big-league level.

The buy-and-sell: float J-Roll, Papelbon, and Chooch on the trade block and see if you can fill another glaring need or two by moving one or both of them. Galvis and Kratz could step in for J-Roll and Chooch, and while each is a downgrade, maybe the return more than offsets it. J-Roll, in particular, might be enticing for a few teams if the Phils would eat some salary over the next couple of years or take back a substantial contract. Papelbon would only go if you can get an MLB-ready reliever and a young CF-capable OF in return. Something like Avisail Garcia and Bruce Rondon would be very tempting.

Mayberry has hit a HR to keep us in one game and had the winning hit in the next game.
Not too shabby a start as a fill in for Revere.
He's a 4th outfielder, I realize.
But right now having a 4th outfielder that is at least adequate at CF and hits 250+ with some power is a real good thing .

What is it going to take to kill this Young for Joba insanity. Young is a decent everyday player, Joba is a crappy bullpen pitcher...what the reasoning for the Phillies to make this move? The only reason to even consider adding him to the roster is if the Yankees are giving him away.

Whatever Rube does 60% of the Bl'ers wont be happy. Besides Gilles anyone else on AAA? Whats up with Leandro Castro?

As noted by a previous poster, we still have 3 series in New York, St. Louis and Detroit to get through before the trade deadline. Got a feeling the outcome of these series will push Amaro one way or the other on the buy/sell fence. At this point, he still appears to be hedging his bets. Hell, I'm not sure myself which way they should go at this point.

All this buy and playoff talk for a team that reached 500.They have scored 3 or less runs in a majority of their games.They got lucky in this last series with all the errors they made.3rd base-average,short stop,average,2nd base-average,sometimes above average,1st base-rookie,left field-above average,center field=average with BR hurt,right field-average sometimes below average,catcher-average.Starting pitching-carrying the team,middle relief-average to below average,closer-was above average now just average.Not a whole lot of trading power.They will be hard pressed to make the playoffs.

WHY CAN'T US

feek: sounds like a title for stephen colbert's next book.

You have a short memory, bullit

lol. thanks heather.

All this buy and playoff talk for a team that reached 500.They have scored 3 or less runs in a majority of their games.They got lucky in this last series with all the errors they made.3rd base-average,short stop,average,2nd base-average,sometimes above average,1st base-rookie,left field-above average,center field=average with BR hurt,right field-average sometimes below average,catcher-average.Starting pitching-carrying the team,middle relief-average to below average,closer-was above average now just average.Not a whole lot of trading power.They will be hard pressed to make the playoffs.

Posted by: Steve | Monday, July 15, 2013 at 02:08 AM

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor???

"The German's?" Let him go, he's on a roll.

NEPP: Great..now Heather is going to be confused again by that reference.

Good thing that we've become buyers just when Maikel Franco is killing the ball. Instead of a mediocre reliever we ought to be able to get a one year rental on a SLIGHTLY ABOVE mediocre reliever.

NEPP -
I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.

It's not the idea of buying that is bad. It's the guy doing the buying.
As an example:Let's hope he's not paying $400 for something that can be had for $298.

It's not the .500 record that gives reason for hope so much as the fact that ATL & WAS aren't playing any better than us. That gives us a chance - - IF we can have a great run after the All-Star break.

Even last year when we started the 2nd half at 13 games under .500, the team made it interesting for a while.

This time, though, we might have a shot at the division rather than chasing the 2nd WC.

No cause for unbridled optimism. But I think it's always more fun to watch a team believing that there's a chance they can do the improbable - but posible - rather than watching with no hope. - -

For me, it's hard to place hope in the future, as in "Well, we're going nowhere now, but wait'll next year" - because I don't feel confident that selling off pieces now will make us poised for a run in 2013.

Plus, with all the uncertainties in baseball, why not try to seize the day that's right in front of you?

Not saying it will happen, though. I agree that we shouldn't be "selling the future" to go all in now. This team will have to claw its way to contention, and I'm not sure they can, minus Revere's bat (who'd have said that on May 1??), minus Howard (our ostensibly big piece), minus Doc (Can Lannan and Pettibone continue to keep us in games?), minus an 8th-inning guy (Anyone out in the 'pen want the job?).....

Still and all, I'd rather at least "go down swinging".

I don't see Rube making any dramatic player moves before the trade deadline. I think he's going to let the basic team as it is finish the season. It does appear that they're going to bring up Cesar Hernandez to either play or back up in the outfield rather than make any sort of deal to plug the hole created by the Revere injury.

In their last 40 games, they're 22-18. 8 games have been lost by a member of the bullpen. Of those 8 bullpen losses, 5 were leads that were blown in the 7th inning or later. They've scored 4.4 RPG over that 40 games.

The bullpen is the biggest reason by far that this run hasn't been a lot better, and the reason this team isn't 4-6 games over .500 (2-3 wins).

I agree, Iceman. The BP is what most needs fixing.

Although I do wonder how much losing Revere will hurt; feels like we need every hit we can get, and he was getting a goodly share of them. But others could get hot (Ruiz, Rollins, Mayberry or Hernandez or whomever in CF).

Interesting quote from Charlie:

"I think we made a statement that if we are going to be a contender and we're going to win our division or a wild card, we still need some help," manager Charlie Manuel said.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/sports/mc-phillies-white-sox-gamer-0714-20130714,0,4163173.story#ixzz2Z7fUHIeJ
Follow us: @mcall on Twitter | mcall.lv on Facebook

This ChiSox series was horrible. I can't see how winning two of three pitiful games can make anyone optimistic, to realistically think that there's any playoff hopes for this team. I read BL. I don't see any reason to believe that being anything more than a middle of the pack .500 team is in the cards this year. We're treading water, trying to swim upstream against the current.

Iceman: That's true, of course.

What's interesting is that something like 4-5 of those games have been blown by Papelbon or Adams, who we're paying over $18 million to this season. So I think it's worth noting that the bullpen failure is a complete failure, from the young guys who didn't develop to the incredibly well-compensated veterans.

Also, the offense scored 3.49 runs per game in April and May, when the team went 26-29. Just as you can say the bullpen is the reason they didn't win a few more games over the last 40, the offense is the reason they didn't win a few more games over the first 55.

Also, the defense is so bad, it makes the pitching (both starting and relieving) look worse than it actually is.

Defense hardly ever gets discussed like the offense or pitching, but it makes a difference, and this is one of the worst defensive teams I've ever seen.

It's frankly a testament to the starting rotation, some timely offense, and plain old luck that they're even sitting at .500 right now.

I've let it be known that I'm firmly in lorecore's camp (even though he'll call me a flip-flopper) that this team isn't good enough, especially after the Revere injury, to legitimately contend for a playoff spot. That said, it can't be overstated how important this Mets series is coming out of the break- both for people that want Amaro to sell at the deadline, and for those that think they still have a chance.

Kendrick-Hefner
Hamels-Wheeler
Lee-Harvey

Winning that Kendrick-Hefner start is basically a must if they don't want to lose the series. They aren't beating both Wheeler and Harvey, and to be honest with you they'll be lucky to win one of those games. Those guys both throw absolute gas, and this lineup simply can't get around on those type of guys anymore. Wheeler has real control issues, but does that even matter with this lineup (remember Trevor Bauer)? They'll need a CGSO from either Hamels or Lee to take one of those games, and if they lose to Hefner (who has eight consecutive appearances of allowing two earned runs or fewer), a sweep is possible. That would basically be a knockout blow.

The reason the Mets series is so important is because of the next two series that follow, which will go right up to the last two days of July and the trade deadline. They go to St. Louis, where it looks like they will have these matchups:

Pettibone-Miller
Lannan-Kelly
Kendrick-Westbrook

By some act of God they miss Wainwright and Lynn (who dominated them earlier this year), but Miller, despite his struggles lately, is a great pitcher who will be a tough guy to face right after Harvey and Wheeler. Kelly and Westbrook are both beatable, but they really need good starts from the back-end of the rotation to win this series.

Next series doesn't get any easier: at Detroit. Looks like the match-ups will be:

Hamels-Fister
Lee-Scherzer
Pettibone-Porcello

Again, if things stay as they're set up, they manage to dodger Anibal Sanchez and Verlander and get two cracks at Fister and Porcello. They also have their two best pitchers going in this series, with Pettibone getting paired against their weakest starter. I've got a much better feeling about this series than I do the Cardinals series.

All in all, it's going to be a really tough road ahead to climb out of this stretch of play over .500. Under normal circumstances, I'd say 5-4 out of this stretch of games would be good enough, but to convince skeptics (myself included) that they can put themselves in position to make a run in the last two months- enough to justify holding off on selling and even adding a few pieces- I think they have to go 6-3 somehow. Even assuming they beat the weakest of the pitchers during this stretch (Westbrook, Hefner, Porcello, Kelly), they'd have to also beat two of Wheeler, Harvey, Miller, Scherzer, and Fister. Not an easy road to say the least.

Jack- did I say 'the young guys in the bullpen'?

I'm not discriminating with this bullpen. They've all been horrible, with the exception of...wait for it...JC Ramirez.

I am currently of the opinion that even if we go 0-10 out of the gate after the Break, no massive firesale should occur. They should sell off secondary pieces if they can like M. Young, D. Young, Chooch and maybe Papelbon if they get blown away (looking less and less likely as both the Tigers and BoSox seem to have found other options for now). I would try and extend Utley for 2 years with a 3rd year vesting (preferably team but most likely a vesting) option. I would target McCann and Choo to fill in C and RF and make some other minor bullpen/bench signings (all 1 year deals with possible team options at most...go quanity on BP arms and hope 1-2 work out). I would push payroll to around $190 million next year and use the new national tv deal to pay for it ($50 million a year for each team starting in 2014). That along with our still strong rotation of Lee/Hamels/KK/Lannan/Pettibone (all under contract for 2014) gives us a puncher's chance in 2014. The emergence of Brown as a top OF and Revere showing himself to be a solid leadoff option is huge. We finally have some new blood to keep things going. 3B should and will likely be a Frandsen/Asche platoon while Franco continues to work on his game in AA/AAA and we go from there.

There is no need nor should they look to break up the team at this point.

Thoughts?

Iceman: Good post, agreed. This team is not particularly good, and if they want to be contenders, they have to prove it by winning these games in a tough stretch of the schedule. They go 6-3, I'll believe.

"The Young-for-Joba rumor makes a ton of sense for both clubs. Joba's been handled horribly by Joe Girardi and might do well with a change of scenery."


Colonel, respectfully, my feelings toward Chamberlain's talent level and personality are well known here so I won't repeat them.

I respectfully disagree.

***In their last 40 games, they're 22-18. 8 games have been lost by a member of the bullpen. Of those 8 bullpen losses, 5 were leads that were blown in the 7th inning or later. They've scored 4.4 RPG over that 40 games.***

Imagine if we had a good bullpen and went 6-2 in those 8 losses instead of 0-8. We'd be 53-41 instead of 47-47 and we'd be just a half game out of 1st. If we had an average bullpen and went 4-4, we'd be 51-43 and just 2.5 games back of the Braves and 1.5 back of the WC.

A bullpen, a bullpen, my kingdom for a bullpen.

NEPP: Well, you say no firesale, but you advocate trading both Youngs, Chooch, and Papelbon. So you're still saying sell a bunch.

But the biggest question is what to do with Utley.

I'm fine with keeping Lee, though I think your're taking the chance of missing a huge opportunity cost of selling Lee at his peak value. He's going to be older and almost surely not as good at this time next year or further in the future.

But with Utley, it all comes down to whether they think he's going to stay here even if he gets more money offered somewhere else in the offseason. If you feel very confident he'll stay here, you keep him. If you don't, then you just have to trade him and get value for him if he's walking anyway. And there's no way any of us can know what the front office knows about the likelihood of signing him after this year.

Everyone seems to be taking it for granted that Chase will re-sign here. But what if that's a faulty premise?

Sorry, I was thinking we were 47-47, not 48-48 for some reason...so make that 54-42, not 53-42 and 52-44, not 51-43.

The same basic point remains...just my math sucks.

From Jack: "Also, the defense is so bad, it makes the pitching (both starting and relieving) look worse than it actually is.

Defense hardly ever gets discussed like the offense or pitching, but it makes a difference, and this is one of the worst defensive teams I've ever seen."

I completely agree!

Team ERA: 4.05
Team FIP: 3.94

Of course, that's ERA for a team with average defense, not horrible defense so the real effect is probably much more significant than that. We used to have elite defense at 3B, SS, 2B, CF and even RF when Werth was here. We now have good defense at 2B and SS and CF up till now and terrible defense pretty much everywhere else.

As badly as the Phillies have played, it is remarkable that we're even within shouting distance. At least we still have reason to watch.

NEPP: Revere hasn't even been that good in CF.

Check out this detailing deep fly balls to CF. The Phillies rank dead last in the league in percentage of these balls being caught:
http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/36946/you-cant-hit-the-ball-over-carlos-gomezs-head

Revere has a -1.9 UZR, and I think most people would agree that he's misplayed some balls, and that his arm is a huge liabaility (though that's accounted for in UZR).

All together, I would concur that Revere has been slightly below-average defensively so far in CF (though I think he'll eventually be better).

It's a shame that the one big miss Amaro had in the offseason (Adams) is the one that has probably cost the team the most games. Ignoring RF was an issue, also, but I doubt one bat like Swisher could've turned this offense around. They relied on Howard/Utley/Halladay one more year and it didn't work out. I'm OK with that.

The Revere/Young(M)/Lannan signings have largely worked (mostly because during Lannan's absence, Pettibone and Cloyd stepped in quite nicely). Lannan has posted a sub-4 ERA and has been a cheap, reliable back-end guy. All the guys on the 3B market in the off-season are either hurt or performing horribly. And except for Bourn, the same can be said for the CF market- and Revere is dirt cheap, controllable for several years down the road. Best of all, next season is a clean slate at all of these positions, leaving Amaro with a lot of flexibility to do what he wants at these positions (including RF). It's the decision of Adams over Uehara that has cost this team probably several wins in the standings (and as long as Uehara is healthy and effective, the number could increase).

That's why a scenario like signing McCann and Choo, which I would advocate if Cano isn't an option, could be in the cards. Leaves you with quite a LH lineup. My priority list for the offseason:

1) Look desperately for a taker for Howard's contract. Find a platoon mate with Ruf to play 1B.
2) Cano
3) If Cano is off the table, NEPP's idea of Choo and McCann.
4) If Choo isn't an option, sign/trade for David DeJesus and platoon him with Mayberry in RF. He could even be a trade target before the deadline this season.
5) Sign Halladay to an incentive-laden deal
6) Sign Paul Maholm

I also like the idea of getting Mike Morse coming off an injury-laden season. If you have an opportunity to platoon him at an OF position or 1B, he's the idea LHP masher type guy.

Cano is going to cost way, way too much money and want way too many years I think. And some idiot will give it to him...I just hope it isn't Rube.

I've disagreed with Jack in the past about the superiority of the Braves. However, I really expected the Braves and the Nats to be better this year. Beerleaguer Atlanta & DC must be apoplectic.

What NEPP said.

Dreamer: What is it going to take to kill this Young for Joba insanity. Young is a decent everyday player, Joba is a crappy bullpen pitcher...what the reasoning for the Phillies to make this move?

Young is the baseball equivalent of empty calories. His batting average (currently .288) fools people into thinking he's a much better player than he is. He is a major liability in the field, runs very poorly, has no power at this point in his career, and grounds into a ton of double plays. We wouldn't miss a beat plugging in Frandsen in his place.

Joba's a talented guy having a crappy season, but he's capable of striking guys out (nearly 10 K/9 this year) and the numbers show that poor luck and defense are a big factor in his struggles.

If you hadn't noticed, three of our guys in the bullpen are:

- a guy with a 6.53 ERA in AAA before being promoted (Ramirez)
- a guy who pitched so poorly in the minors that the Phils tried to convert him to a 1B two years ago (Savery)
- a guy plucked out of his day job at a barbershop (Garcia)

Joba's better than those three guys right now, and if he gets his head on straight, he's a capable 7th/8th inning guy. Big if, but he has a much better chance than the three guys I listed above.

I think they just need to acknowledge that Howard is a sunk cost and platoon him with a guy like Ruf. If Howard can keep hitting RHP at a reasonable clip, its not a total loss Mo Vaughn style at least.

Iceman: I like the Morse idea as well.

I'm not really in on Cano, and I think that moving Howard is a pipe dream. I'm not sure a team would take him even if we paid 90% of the contract (which we won't).

I realize this is an extremely unpopular view here, but considering Mayberry has a 103 wRC+ (104 career) and Revere has a 92 wRC+ (81 career), for the next 6-8 weeks, Revere's absence does not leave a hole at all offensively.

There's only 3 more years to go on Howard...its not too brutal to think about really.

I'm not really in on Cano, and I think that moving Howard is a pipe dream. I'm not sure a team would take him even if we paid 90% of the contract (which we won't).

Posted by: Jack | Monday, July 15, 2013 at 10:46 AM

90% (not that it would ever happen) would mean some team would basically be getting Howard on a 3 year, $7.5 million deal with a $1 million buyout for 2017. I think a ton of teams would happily take him on that just to be their DH. That's pocket change at that point.

Still, he's a sunk cost and the best move going forward is to accept that and just platoon him with someone who can crush LHP. If only we had a pretty solid 1B type guy who cost peanuts and who could hit LHP really well. It'd be rough to find someone with that skillset.

Many here, myself included, said before the start of the season that the Phillies would need healthy, productive, full seasons from H-U-H in order to be in contention.

And... I think if most of us had been told prior to the season that the H-U-H situation would play out as it has we would have posted that they would be a mediocre team, playing somewhere around .500 baseball.

We would have been correct.

Well, I assumed, and I believe many here did as well, that the NL East was going to be a little better than it has been.

The fact that they lost Halladay, Utley for a month, AND now Howard for 6-8 weeks - and are somehow still within striking distance - speaks volumes to how mediocre the division has played, not how well the Phillies have played.

Also, I'm not sure trading MYoung is the right course of action, given the injury to Revere and the lack of depth in the and on the bench with RFD forced into a full-time role.

If Frandsen plays 3B then the first IF off the bench is Mini-Mac [.230 .271 .354 since 2010]?

Say it ain't so.

I'd much rather go after McCann and Choo than Cano. You're better off diversifying rather than concentrating all your payroll in a handful of guys, as we should have learned by now. My guess is that McCann + Choo will cost no more than Cano on an AAV basis, and neither will get as long a contract as Cano.

McCann is likely to be an above-average catcher even in the final year of his next contract considering how poorly replacement-level catchers hit. Choo is the type of OBP-heavy guy that the Phils have so desperately needed since Werth's departure.

Of course, we probably can't afford McCann and Choo unless we let Utley go. Still, replacing Chooch, _elm_n, and Utley with McCann, Choo, and a Frandsen/Hernandez platoon would be a big overall upgrade, and probably propels this team into being a solid playoff contender next season.

Everyone on earth expected the Nats to build on 2012 and it seemed like they would on paper. Reality has been quite different.

I wonder if they feel stupid for shutting Strasburg down in what might have been their one chance to make a serious WS run...a move that is looking dumber and dumber in hindsight.

Any chance that Revere's issue going back on balls (which has gotten better the past month or so) has to do with the coaches telling him to play much shallower than he's comfortable with? Just a thought.

I also look at the number of balls Revere has gotten to out of zone (OOZ)- 55- and realize that the potential is there. That's fourth best in the league. His RZR is 9th out of 21. I think he's been average overall with the potential to get much better. His age and speed point to a guy that has a lot of room for growth.

A stat I posted before that I think is even more instructive: since 2010, Revere has gotten to balls more frequently OOZ (1 every 11.59 innings) than any other CF with over 1,000 innings in CF. Everything is there for him to be above-average, or even elite (though it would be tough to fit the definition of 'elite' with his arm); he just needs more time and proper instruction.

***Of course, we probably can't afford McCann and Choo unless we let Utley go. ***

Why not? The luxury tax threshold goes up to $189 million next year and we're only in the $160 million range this year. Halladay is off the books as is Chooch and a couple other pieces. We could easily afford all 3 and still have money left over for the bench/bullpen. They have about $34 million coming off the books not counting Utley's $15 million contract so that's just over $50 million total. You can sign McCann, Utley and Choo for less than $50 million AAV and still have another $20ish million to spend on players without going over the luxury tax. I say $20ish million because you have to account for healthcare/benefits and 40 man roster costs when figuring out the luxury tax so $20ish million would take us to around $175-180 million before those costs.

They could easily do it if they want to do it.

Iceman: I agree on Revere. The potential is there to be a very good defensive CF, though the arm will of course always be weak.

I was just pointing out that he hasn't been that guy yet, for the Phillies at least. We have not gotten above-average defense from CF this season.

Jack- moving Howard might be a pipe dream, but bad contracts have been moved before when it seemed hopeless to do so. They need to pursue it as hard as they possibly can because it would open up quite a bit of possibilities going forward.

I'm not saying it can definitely happen. It would just be #1 on my priority list. If nobody bites, oh well. The second option would be what NEPP said and just bite the bullet and platoon him- that wouldn't be a terrible option.

I'd be totally okay going into 2014 with a Howard/Ruf platoon at this point. If Ruf could spot start in LF once in a blue moon to get ABs, even better. Considering we've played Delmon Young every single day as a starter in RF and he's horrible, just horrible to watch defensively, the argument that Ruf cant spot start in LF doesn't hold water to me.

Another reason for hope:

Cole Hamels since June 1st: 8 GS, 2.95 ERA, 55 IP (6.9 IP per start), 9 BB, 52 SO, 1.47 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9, 5.78 SO/BB, 1.072 WHIP.

He's basically been Cole Hamels again since June 1st.

"From Jack: "Also, the defense is so bad, it makes the pitching (both starting and relieving) look worse than it actually is.

Defense hardly ever gets discussed like the offense or pitching, but it makes a difference, and this is one of the worst defensive teams I've ever seen."

I completely agree!

Posted by: GBrettfan"


From Bill James 1988 Primer:

#10: "10.A great deal of what is perceived as being pitching is in fact defense."

From Bill James 1988 Primer:

#10: "10.A great deal of what is perceived as being pitching is in fact defense."


Posted by: awh | Monday, July 15, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Which is why strikeouts are so important as they take defense out of the equation.

DH- I'm not sure what your infatuation is with Mayberry. He has a .740 OPS this year- .727 against RHP. Believe it or not, that is worse than Revere's OPS since May 1st. Losing the Revere of the last few months offensively is a big blow.

Mayberry's also gotten worse every year against LHP.

2011: .953
2012: .811
2013: .769

So the one thing he does really well, he hasn't really excelled at this year. He's been the RH Laynce Nix.

Defensively, he's got a career UZR/150 of -15.5 (UZR of -9.6). He's been especially bad the last two years. Baserunning he is average, and certainly a downgrade from Revere in that area also.

He's a fine fourth OF, but forcing him into an everyday role will hurt the team in pretty much every aspect of the game. Maybe he will magically turn it up in the second half offensively, but I'm not betting on it.

If Frandsen plays 3B then the first IF off the bench is Mini-Mac [.230 .271 .354 since 2010]?

The Padres just DFA'ed Pedro Ciriaco (.279/.310/.388 career line, good speed, plays 2B/SS/3B). Grab him and jettison Mini-Mac, regardless of what we do with MYoung.

If MYoung goes, Asche should get the call from AAA and be either Frandsen's platoon partner or the #1 infielder off the bench, with Frandsen sliding over to another position when Asche enters the game defensively.

***If MYoung goes, Asche should get the call from AAA and be either Frandsen's platoon partner or the #1 infielder off the bench, with Frandsen sliding over to another position when Asche enters the game defensively.***

That would be the obvious non-Mini Mart solution.

Everytime ice says "platoon" it makes my eyes bleed. You really fail to realize the team doesn't do that.

So the one thing [Mayberry] does really well, he hasn't really excelled at this year. He's been the RH Laynce Nix.

Mayberry hasn't hit LHP well, but that's a bit much, don't you think?

Nix hasn't hit anybody since returning from injury last July:

2012 2nd half: .191/.263/.294
2013 1st half: .200/.252/.300

He's done. Cholly knows it and doesn't use him unless he's out of other options. Why they released Mitchell (whom the Twins snapped up quickly) and kept Nix is beyond me.

Maybe Sandberg will use platoons once UC is gone in the off-season...

The problem with signing Choo AND McCann is that they're both left-handed. McCann used to hit LHP pretty well, but hasn't the last 2 years. And Choo is absolutely Howard-esque against LHP (he might even be worse). Adding 2 more LH hitters would be less of a problem if Utley leaves & if we platoon Howard, but I'm pretty sure we're going to re-sign Utley & color me skeptical we'll platoon Howard.

I think we can add either McCann or Choo but probably not both. I'd rather it be McCann. Besides, it's probably moot, as Choo does not strike me as an Amaro type of player. Too many wasteful walks.

***Besides, it's probably moot, as Choo does not strike me as an Amaro type of player. Too many wasteful walks.***

Which is silly because if you look at the statistics, the Phillies haven't won a WS without an Asian outfielder on the roster in over 30 years. That's hard science there. 1-0 with an Asian OF, 0-3 without in our WS appearances since 1981.

CS: Everytime ice says "platoon" it makes my eyes bleed. You really fail to realize the team doesn't do that.

Cholly generally doesn't do strict platoons, but he's been playing RH batters instead of Howard and Revere about 50% of the time over the last couple of months. He does recognize the platoon advantage, even if he doesn't do it with his main guys. He did run a platoon at 1B while Howard was out last April/May, using Wigginton vs. LHP and Nix or Pierre (with Mayberry sliding to 1B) vs. RHP.

In other words, I think he'd be perfectly willing to platoon Frandsen and Asche at 3B if MYoung goes.

"If you hadn't noticed, three of our guys in the bullpen are:

- a guy with a 6.53 ERA in AAA before being promoted (Ramirez)
- a guy who pitched so poorly in the minors that the Phils tried to convert him to a 1B two years ago (Savery)
- a guy plucked out of his day job at a barbershop (Garcia)

Joba's better than those three guys right now, and if he gets his head on straight, he's a capable 7th/8th inning guy. Big if, but he has a much better chance than the three guys I listed above."


Colonel, I'm going to nitpick a bit because you're being unfair and, frankly, a bit silly.

Given that we know that relievers can be volatile and that 30 IP of sample size is hardly enough to judge a relief pitcher, picking on Ramirez's 30 IP in AAA is a bit disingenuous. Why didn't you include the 0.00 ERA in 7 IP in AA? Get the point? I'd have had no objection to your post had you referenced his entire minor league track record.

But Garcia? He's a "lottery ticket, wild card, hidden treasure, dumb-luck, blind squirrel" type of guy - or he could wind up being a total bust. We (you and I) really don't know whether he's any good, or will be any good going forward. He was out of baseball, but perhaps they get a little lucky with him. It's happened before. He certainly throws hard, but from his past MiLB track record appears to struggle when his BB count rises (like just about every other pitcher in the history of the world).

Savery? I grant you that. IMO he ought not be on an MLB roster.

But for you to declare Chamberlain "better" than all three of them based on his track record the last 2 years is, IMO, a stretch.

If he is "better" then why hasn't he pitched that way. He's certainly been given all the opportunity in the world in NY (never mind the hype).

I'm going to go against the grain here and say that Howard can help the team if, and this is admittedly a big if, he is healthy.

Is he overpaid? Of course. Will he be generally poor against LHP? Probably. But with the percentage of LHP starters in MLB, how much he is owed, and the likelihood of the Phillies eating a majority of his contract (not very), I'm of the opinion that you may as well keep him.

It works even better when you follow NEPP's plan above and platoon him with Ruf. What's a platoon?

Really now, we just barely and with difficulty (all games went extra innings) beat one of the worst teams in the AL 2 games to 1 and they were already in a slump before they got to us. This is a cause for optimism? OK.

"Everyone on earth expected the Nats to build on 2012 and it seemed like they would on paper. Reality has been quite different."


Not everyone NEPP. I was skeptical, especially about their pitching staff (I expected a mild regression and have been proven correct - so far ), and I was ripped by a few other people here. (BTW, has anyone noticed that Strasburg is averaging less IP/start than KK?)

Joba is the less successful, pitching version of elmn Young. #3 rated prospect who never lived up to the billing but sticks around based on the occasional display of skill that reminds everyone what could have been.

awh: Fair enough on Ramirez's 7 IP in AAA - I missed it. Not trying to be disingenous. He's still not ready for late-inning work in the big leagues, and once the big-league scouts dissect some video, I suspect he'll get hammered. Same for Garcia.

Don't get me wrong on Joba - he's struggled the past two seasons in NY. I'd deal Young for him because (1) I don't think Young is better than our in-house alternatives, (2) you're not getting much more of short-term use for Young than Joba, and (3) I think Joba's capable of putting up much better numbers than he has.

Joba has upside, and if you're looking for a short-term fix without giving up much, upside is what you have to be looking for. Nobody is giving away slam-dunk late-game relievers for free. It's the same reason I'd take a flier on Chris Young of the A's, who's had a horrible year but has a reasonable chance to rebound.

Platooning a healthy Howard would work out ok, as long as Sandburg is willing to pull him late in games against a loogy.

I can be pretty negative. However, when the Phillies take a series from an AL team, ANY AL team, that is a major victory. Yes, the games were ugly. Yes, they should have won all three. But these are the Phillies and the AL is their kryptonite. So, yes, let's be glad they didn't get swept by the woeful White Sox because that was a definite possibility.

Col Tom- I was thinking more along the lines of a guy that does one thing, and still hasn't particularly excelled at it. I would definitely not say Mayberry is as bad as Nix in general.

A-ROID playing in Reading tonite. The first sentence in the paper? "The circus is coming to town."

Manuel does indeed do platoons. He just doesn't do them consistently enough to really work over the long term, and sometimes (in the case of Revere) he uses them when they aren't necessary.

My hope is Sandberg knows what a platoon is. I'm taking a leap of faith that he's a smarter coach than he is a windmill.

Crappy series aside, Alex Rios does make a lot of sense for center this year (and 14 and potentially 15 on a corner) if the price is right. But the price would have to be right -- a couple B prospects -- because while he's a legit upgrade over Mayberry, he's not an enormous upgrade. And he's attractive to teams like the Yankees and Pirates, so the price could be too steep.

But all things considered, I'd be more comfortable with Rios on what would essentially be a one and a half year plus a cheap option contract for about 13 million per than I would with somebody like Choo on what will be at least a 3 year contract for more money per.

Certainly something Ruben should be kicking the tires on.

"Find a platoon mate with Ruf to play 1B."


Ruf should not be a platoon player. Plus, he needs to play. Playing once a week against LHP, won't do him or the team any good. He's young. Either play him everyday or trade him to somebody who will.

In very few ML AB's, Ruf looks like he has a clue at the plate. He's going to strike out some, but he's also going to do damage. He has the RH equivalent of the Utley swing. Very short and powerful. And he actually has big power to all fields. Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone were raving about his power potential this weekend. Big power from the right-side is in short supply in major league baseball right now. The Phils at least have a potential power guy in Ruf.

Cholly's been trying to finesse a "de facto" platoon with Howard, recognizing that Howard still has a lot of value vs. RHP and that he's got the ego of a star player. We may not like that he has to deal with the latter, but that's the reality of managing people instead of stat lines.

The first time my girlfriend, now fiance, invited me over for dinner, I accidentally walked through her screen door, fell on the deck, and nearly broke my nose. Anytime she questions aloud my clumsiness, I tell her she's had several years to turn and run in the other direction if she so desired, because she knew what she was getting from Day 1.

Joba's career of late has been one of walking through the screen door and falling onto the deck. I hope Rube stays away.

Choo would definitely be a 4-5 year deal, not 3...FWIW.


On Rios...I just dont know. The last thing we need is another underperforming veteran on the wrong side of 30. Also, he's such a wildcard...here's his OPS+ for the last 3 years:

2011: 63
2012: 125
2013: 100

Which one is gonna show up?

"This team is not particularly good, and if they want to be contenders, they have to prove it by winning these games in a tough stretch of the schedule. They go 6-3, I'll believe."


Jack, are you setting the bar too high?

6 - 3?

On the road? Against the Reds and Tigers? (Yes, the Mets have been awful at home, but they face Harvey and Wheeler, neither of whom is chopped liver.)

Personally, I'd be disappointed if they only won 3 games on that road trip, but given the short-series "crapshoot" that everyone on BL knows exists, saying less than 6 wins on the road against two good teams and two good pitchers on a bad team is IMO asking a bit too much - even for a good team.

Good teams at or below .500 (or slightly above) on the road:

Tampa Bay 21 - 22
Baltimore 24 - 23
AL East Avg. 23 - 23

Detroit 23 - 23
Cleveland 21 - 25
AL Central Avg. 20 - 27

Atlanta 23 - 27
Nats 21 - 29
NL East avg. 20 - 27

Cincinatti 23 - 26
NL Central Avg. 22 - 24

Arizona 23 - 25
Dodgers 20 - 24
NL West Avg. 19 - 28


Personally, I think if they can win 4 or 5 on that road trip against those teams they'll be doing fairly well.

6 - 3? That would be off the charts.

Ruf had a .762 OPS against RHP in AAA this year. That's not even MLB-caliber pitching. 70-75% of his ABs (possibly more) will be against RHP at the MLB level. So that's not going to cut it.

They should let him play everyday this year, but going forward, being an everyday player is probably not in the cards. I'd love to be wrong.

They should be able to find 250 ABs for Ruf next year in a 1B/LF/DH role, if they're willing to have Dom play RF when Ruf is in the lineup. I don't think you have to carve out an everyday role for Ruf yet. If he continues to pound the ball, he'll force the issue and that's the kind of problem you're happy to have.

Don't know if this will interest anyone else, but I am in the process of buying a new TV. I'm looking at tvs with a 240hz refresh rate so I can watch football without motion blur.

Vizio makes an affordable 50 inch set with all the parameters I am looking for, 3D, 240hz, 1080p resolution and 4 HDMI inputs. They have got everything . . . EXCEPT the MLBTV app. It's insane, but they are the only major TV maker that doesn't include this app. And needless to say, baseball is a big part of the reason I buy a TV.

I wrote to them and not only do they not have the app, but they don't know if they will be getting it in the future. They have NBA and NHL apps. BUT NOT BASEBALL. Mind bogglingly stupid. So, now I'm going to have to buy a more expensive set from another manufacturer.

I could just watch the baseball on my internet connected Blu Ray player, but it's a Panasonic, and oddly enough, Panasonic's MLB app does not get preseason games. Amazing.

Alex Rios
Marlin Byrd
Hunter Pence
De Aza
Not as CF-Ibanez, Morse, Soriano
DeJesus
Aoki
Rasmus
Gose
Davis

Pick one that doesn't require a ton in trade, someone you can control next year, and maybe even someone you can get with a RP.

Mike Morse and Oliver Perez
For
Quinn, Alther , and PTBNL

He also needs to learn to lay off that slider from RHP. That will only come from more reps, but at age 27, to look that bad against a breaking ball...not sure if that will be something he ever gets over. But they owe it to themselves to find out if he can.

"Ruf had a .762 OPS against RHP in AAA this year."


Drum roll please...........

and the sample size is.........

Once we get past the Cards/Tigers series the schedule looks not that difficult. Lots of Cubs, NL West teams at CBP, plus the NLeast.

awh- what else do we have to go on? It's more of a sample size than the MLB numbers people are citing.

He simply has not had enough time at this level to definitively say anything about it. The only definitive thing you can say is that he's earned himself a shot to play everyday for the rest of the year to show the organization what he is as a player in the MLB.

The comments to this entry are closed.

EST. 2005

Top Stories

HardballTalk

Rotoworld News

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Facebook

Contact Weitzel

CSG