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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

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The Revere injury just feels like a bad dream

If its Schierholtz, Rube should just announce the deal and then tender his resignation.

As if we all dont know that the moment we traded for him, he'd suddenly be a .600 OPS player again anyway.

The Revere injury just feels like a bad dream

Posted by: Cyclic | Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 02:24 PM

Look at the upside...we're in for months, if not years of arguments on BL when he comes back and is suddenly posting a .225 AVG/.550 OPS line the rest of the year as people will say that no, he's the guy that was batting .350 and others will jump in with his April numbers and career splits, etc etc.

It will be epic and provide months of discussion here.

Wait, that's not an upside.

Or how he'll never be the same player on the basepaths again....

"Keep in mind that Mayberry is a career .279/.322/.537 hitter vs. lefties. He's quite valuable when used properly."


Corey, be prepared to be attacked.

It's conventional wisdom among many here that Mayberry is a worthless POS who ought to just be DFA'd.

Watch your back.

Or perhaps someone can come b*tch about how Charlie Manuel "never" uses platoons...

The total ineptitude of Nix hurts here. When you're a less talented version of 2011 (hurt) Ross Gload, your usefulness is pretty limited.

Gutierrez can make plays in CF that most dream off, he really is that good. No bat is spot on. My concern is he lives on the DL. If there is a way to pull a muscle walking from the on deck circle to the plate he'll find it.

Alex Rios in 2011:

227/265/348 in 570 PAs.

That's right, they gave him a whopping 570 PAs to "work things out" and he managed a 265 OBP.

I guess someone would say that was just a down year, but it wasn't his only one.

2009: 247/296/395 in 633 PAs

It's true he had a great 2012 (career high OPS+ of 125 at age 31), but is that really repeatable? I doubt it. He's been league average this year and he's expensive. He makes $12.5 this year, $12.5 next year and a $13.5 team option with a $1M buyout in 2015.

No thanks.

Insert my phrase on Charley and platoons :)

@awh

Think it's a little over the top to suggest Mayberry should be DFA'd. He is what he is a 4A player but good to have PH against LHP and platoon 1B or OF.

Keep Mayberry DFA Nix.

Pence?

Rios come sdown to a couple things...how much we'd give up and how much they'd kick in for salary.

I dont see it working out. It'll be Ben Francisco but making $15 million a year.

oh wait, he doesn't solve the CF problem

**Repost from the end of last thread**

This past weekend I finished reading The Rotation by Jim Salisbury & Todd Zolecki. It is the story of how the 2011 rotation was put together and stories from during the year as to how it all played out. It is an interesting read as Zolecki and Salisbury get into some things that either confirm previous rumors that were out there or offer up insights that maybe the reader didn't know before picking up the book. I would recommend it all but here are 11 interesting things from the book (again some of this you may know already or thought you know. The book confirms some things. Also, not all Phillies team related necessarily):

1.) In the late 1990's, bosses at WIP forbid their hosts from talking about baseball. The Phillies stank and they felt it was dragging the ratings down for the station so they stayed away from the topic.

2.) In the 2002 draft the Phillies liked two players for their pick at 17- Zack Grienke and Cole Hamels. However, they viewed Grienke as an infielder considering he played shortstop as much as he pitched in school. The plan was to select Grienke and then turn him into a third baseman. In scouting Grienke they noticed his teammate Michael Taylor- followed him through college- and eventually drafted him in 2007.

3.) The Phillies FO almost drafted Halladay in 1995 but there were concerns about his arm action and the lack of deception in his delivery. They were concerned he wouldn't be able to get downward plane on his pitches and didn't like his breaking ball. They opted for Reggie Taylor because, "He was a legit, five-tool guy. He had everything you were looking for."

4.) After he was sent to the minors, Brandy Halladay bought her husband the book The Mental ABCs of Pitching by Harvey Dorfman. Roy read the book and still reads through it before every start. It helps him get mentally ready to pitch and helped him navigate being sent to the minors.

5.) Roy Oswalt went to Weir Attendance Center for high school. They had no baseball team so his dad raised the money to start a team at the school so his boys (Roy and his brother Billy) could play baseball. The Oswalt's patriarch even cleared out 60 trees and built the field where the school played, and the trees lumber was sold to help defray costs. The team played 40 games and Roy started 38 of them.

6.) Roy had calcium deposits on his shoulder in his Class A year and was having pain everytime he pitched. He was about to call the Astros medical staff but he had some work to do on his farm so he went to do that. He ended up trying to fix the engine on his truck because he heard a hissing sound indicating a loose spark plug. The plug got against his bare skin and zapped him. He didn't feel pain after that in his arm. He insists the shock cleared up his problems. The medical staff was very skeptical.

7.) In 2010 the house where Oswalt grew up was hit by a tornado and the entire place was destroyed. His mom went into a closet when the storm came through and the only thing that was left unscathed was the closet and a few beams around it. He had given his parents his 2005 NLCS MVP award which was destroyed. This could be a huge reason why he was so ready to go help during the 2011 storms. I wonder if mentally he was beating himself up over not being there the previous year when the storm destroyed his boyhood home.

8.) Everyone knows Cliff Lee had a terrible 2007. Before the 2008 season he began taking Adderall to help treat his ADHD.

9.) Scott Proefrock is why Lee resigned with Philadelphia. He was friends with Lee's agent and was crushed when the Phillies traded him- a move that David Montgomery insisted that Amaro made because he had given up prospects for Halladay and Montgomery was worried that if they gave up more prospects for Halladay they would be really weakening the farm system. So Montgomery said he would okay Halladay coming in if they used Lee to bring back what they were losing. Anyway- Proefrock texted Lee through his agent throughout the entire 2010 season wishing him luck and asking about his family. The other key piece here was Kristen Lee. She was upset when her husband was traded and when Amaro requested her at the first meeting Lee's agent responded with, "I'm not sure you want that." In a later meeting it appeared like the deal was falling through over a couple of million dollars, Kristen spoke up and said, "You broke my heart once Ruben, Don't break it again.". The deal then died on Sunday afternoon and all the parties were lamenting that the deal fell through. It was Proefrock who kept contact with Lee's agent and he convinced Lee's agent to write out the Lee's entire position and fax it into the Phillies office. The deal then died again that afternoon before being resurrected and ultimately being completed later that evening when it was announced that the Phillies were the mystery team. So if you love Lee being here- that is pretty much Proefrock's doing.

10.) The Phillies almost traded Vance Worley back in 2009. There was a deal in place to send him and Heitor Correa to the San Diego Padres for Scott Hairston but the Padres backed out at the last minute and sent him to the A's.

11.) Ruiz was 19 years old when the Phillies director of international scouting, Sal Agostinelli, was called and asked to come take a look at a kid. He liked Ruiz's swing but was less impressed with his running ability as Ruiz ran a 60 yard dash in 7.09 seconds. He didn't appear to be a great fielder either. Ruiz's spokesman said, "I think he can catch." Agostinelli was a former catcher so he loved that. He asked Ruiz if he could catch and Carlos said "yes" even though he had never played the position. He showed an above average arm and quick transfer and release. The Phillies signed him up.

Step 1: trade for Pence
Step 2: trade for Schierholtz
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Profit!!!

Funny, but I like Ruggiano a lot more than Corey does. He's having a horrendous year, but he was great last year & always killed it in the minors. But I remember reading that the Marlins didn't want to trade him.

It's weird Revere got injured, beerleaguer taught me only players over the age of 32 get injuries.

Yeah, but the injury wasn't due to age, so...
/s

Ruggiano is a bit of a Phillies-killer (.292/.382/.554), to boot so, you know, two birds one stone...

Rios will not cost a lot in prospects, not with his inconsistency and his salary. I would totally take a chance on him, because you can then easily slide him over to RF once Revere is back this year and/or 2014. If the White Sox want to just dump him for a middling prospect I'd do it.

Its not like we have a RF in AAA asking for a callup. The closest guy might be Dugan but he's at least 1.5 years away.

If Cesar Hernandez can prove he can play CF in the next 10 days it would really be fantastic. The kid is having his second great year down on the farm.


Or perhaps someone can come b*tch about how Charlie Manuel "never" uses platoons...

Well...he doesn't.

***a move that David Montgomery insisted that Amaro made because he had given up prospects for Halladay and Montgomery was worried that if they gave up more prospects for Halladay they would be really weakening the farm system. So Montgomery said he would okay Halladay coming in if they used Lee to bring back what they were losing***

Interesting. We always knew that Monty was an idiot...now we can prove it.

If Schierholtz is #1 on the list, I think it's time to stop looking for outfield help.

One crappy thing about Mayberry in CF is that it means we'll be seeing Delmon Young in RF for all 9 innings.

TTI, thanks for the recap of the book. Some good stuff there, not the least of which is why I've been saying all along that I don't see Lee being traded at all. It's more than the whole "Rube needs to be blown away" dynamic. He legitimately owes it to Lee to keep him here, if that is what Lee still wants (and by all accounts, it seems to be the case). He didn't sign here for less just to be eventually traded away in a rebuild. Luckily, he's one of the veterans who you should be able to count in during/after the rebuild, as well, so it doesn't hurt you to hang on to him.

Anyway, sometimes there's a bit more than the simplicity of "Player X has maximum value, so he should be traded away." When Lee re-signed, in a way he almost gave himself 10/5 no trade rights, unless RAJ is a bigger scumbag than most already think he is.

6.) Roy had calcium deposits on his shoulder in his Class A year and was having pain everytime he pitched. He was about to call the Astros medical staff but he had some work to do on his farm so he went to do that. He ended up trying to fix the engine on his truck because he heard a hissing sound indicating a loose spark plug. The plug got against his bare skin and zapped him. He didn't feel pain after that in his arm. He insists the shock cleared up his problems. The medical staff was very skeptical.

She falls down a well, her eyes go cross. She gets kicked by a mule, they go back. I don't know.

If we want bullpen help, are we checking on this Qualls guy in Miami?

Is Danys Baez still alive? He's got Closer experience.

Hey, what about me???

You got Hernandez'd

The most interesting thing to me on the book was the revelation that Lee used (s) ADHD. The same people who say it helped Ruiz be a stud I would imagine will be quiet on this turn of events.

Gutierrez numbers seem to indicate he rakes LHP at the same rate as does Mayberry.

And he can defend extremely well.

I wonder if they do two trades:

1) Trade a prospect for Gutierrez.

2) Trade Mayberry for a LHH OF to platoon with Gutierrez.

***The most interesting thing to me on the book was the revelation that Lee used (s) ADHD. The same people who say it helped Ruiz be a stud I would imagine will be quiet on this turn of events.

***

So did Vic...and its well known that there's a distinction between getting it legitimately approved by MLB's process and just taking it on the sly.

But you already knew that.

"Interesting. We always knew that Monty was an idiot...now we can prove it."


NEPP, Monty = good businessman, bad baseball guy.

And of course... you don't "use ADHD." You use Adderall to treat ADHD.

KAS, huh?

I posted this the other day when someone made the "juice" argument to explain Ruiz's poor start to the season.

Based on the 40-man roster, which is where the drug tests extend to, more than 9% of MLB players have applied for and received the ADHD exemption.

I don't know why Chooch didn't if it was helping him. He said it was between him and his doctor when the suspension came down. Either way, just worth knowing that Adderall is relatively common across MLB.

Any ideas for good trolls? We kinda did the gay thing to death, and I'm stumped for any new posts...

Very informative stuff, thanks TTI.

If I could choose from the list above, in addition to a few options not listed:

1) Aoki
2) De Aza
3) DeJesus
4) Rios
5) Ruggiano

That's if price (in players) was not an obstacle. With all things considered, my list would be:

1) DeJesus
2) Ruggiano
3) De Aza
4) Chris Young
5) Rios
6) Aoki

Reacquiring Schierholtz would be a mistake.

"The medical staff was very skeptical"

Serves them right for overpaying "MDs" when a couple of back-alley chiropractors and a veterinarian with an online degree can do the job just fine.

"The most interesting thing to me on the book was the revelation that Lee used (s) ADHD. The same people who say it helped Ruiz be a stud I would imagine will be quiet on this turn of events."

I've played a full round of golf seven times ever. Every score was well over 100, except one time, when I shot 84, my best score by 20 strokes. Guess what my friend and I took just before that round.

I swear it's a performance enhancer.

It's too bad elmn didn't break it foot - that might actually have *improved* his speed/mobility...

Rube should get another OFer RIGHT NOW. Not only will it help us in this "tough" 9 game stretch, but OFers will be in high demand after the suspensions are announced.

1) Schierholtz - bad CF.
2) Aoki - bad CF. (although he'd be an ok fit in RF as he has OBP skills, esp. against lefties (reverse splits) and he has CBP HR power)
3) Rios - bad CF, would look great in RF
4) Gutierrez - injured (why would the Phils trade for an injured who is at risk of going on the DL every other game?)
5) Byrd - can play CF, not available.
6) De Aza - terrible CF.
7) Ruggiano - can't play CF.

I hope the Phillies don't give up anybody for any of these guys because none of them can play CF, unless the thought is to move RFD into CF and have one of these guys replace Delmon Young in the corner. Given the persistent commitment to Young, a trade for one of these guys would have to be within the context of finding a long-term RF (or LF if D.Brown moves to RF).

Good stuff TTI. I need to get around to reading that book one of these days. One thing though - Since Monty was the driver behind the Lee trade to Seattle, I wonder why he signed off on the Pence trade? I mean in the span of two years, Monty and management did a complete 180 on dealing prospects. Dealing prospects wasn't really ideal to acquire the best pitcher on the planet in Halladay, but it was ok for a complimentary piece such as Pence? Those ideas don't mesh.

awh: The Truth Injection wrote that Lee "used (s) ADHD." I"m sure he meant "used (s) Adderall."

And I'm not criticizing the writers, I'm criticizing the team for being completely stupid by dealing Lee in 2009.

Here's a topic for discussion, if the Phillies pull off a miracle and make the playoffs - does that mean Manuel gets re-signed? He's already stated he wants to keep managing.

Even if they trade for another OFer, I think Hernandez replaces Nix. Not as much pop, but a good PR for Dung, late inning defense if RFD is platooning, and his bat can't be as bad as Nix has been lately.

Thanks for all that info from the book, TTI.

I'm 99.9% sure that Gutierrez would clear waivers if posted. His salary is $7M this season with a $500K buyout, and he can't leave the trainer's room without reinjuring himself.

"(why would the Phils trade for an injured who is at risk of going on the DL every other game?)"

Because it's too early to overpay one via free agency in the offseason?

KAS, huh?

I was fine with being in a buy mode when all we needed was a reliever or two to compete, but adding a center fielder to that list means giving up even more prospects just to have an outside chance at a playoff spot puts me more in the sell mode.

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

The Revere injury sucks so hard

"Dealing prospects wasn't really ideal to acquire the best pitcher on the planet in Halladay, but it was ok for a complimentary piece such as Pence? Those ideas don't mesh."


RedBurb, it's what known in most business circles as "incompetence", or, to be nicer about it, losing organizational focus. Either way, it was a blunder.

Now, the Phils' FO will counter by saying that they won more games that season than any team in baseball, to which I would answer: "But would you have had a better chance in the playoff crapshoot if Lee was the #2 starter?"

The answer to that question is pretty clear.


They traded Lee so quickly because they wanted to get ahead of the potential firestorm that would have occurred if it leaked that they were shopping Lee in the weeks after the Halladay trade. The fan base would have been in an uproar, especially after the year (2009) that Hamels had had. As a result they got two marginal relief pitchers and a guy who may never see MLB - for someone who was considered in the top 5 pitchers in the game at the time, and had just come off of a sparkling postseason.

Then, as you correctly pointed out, they lost focus and made another blunderous [sp] trade in the Pence deal. Either that or they swing back and forth from competence (Halladay trade) to incompetence (Lee trade, Pence trade).

KAS: Yeah- not sure why I typed it as ADHD the second time.

NEPP: I do know that, but there are many that say- Ruiz was a great because he used it, and they criticize him for it. But Lee apparently uses it as well.

The legality of it is one issue as Lee of course went through the proper channels as did Vic. But the idea of it automatically being a performance enhancer will be interesting to watch if the people against Ruiz are not against Lee.

TTI, great summary. I've had that book on my Kindle for over a year and never gotten around to reading it. Now it will climb higher on my to-do list.

awh - I hear ya. I just don't know how they can go from overcautious about trading prospects to trading the farm away in one fell swoop in less than 2 years. Shouldn't there be a consistent message that the FO wants to portray? Was there a changing of the guard behind the scenes? Did someone lose a power struggle?

I get trying to maximize your assets and going for a championship, but to do a complete switch in idealogy like that is astounding to me.

Dragon, it depends on what the price to acquire said CF will be.

If they can get someone who's a replacement level fill-in while revere is out - and he doesn't come at a high price - then it might be worth it.

Personally, I think they'll be fine for a few weeks with RFD manning CF. Keep in mind they did go 35 - 24 last season with Mayberry getting 49 out of 59 starts in CF after Vic was traded.

I post at 3:39 about the soon to be announced suspensions. ESPN posts at 3:39 that the union thinks no suspensions until 2014. I can't win.

AWH Here is alittle more info on Gutierrez.
He has been on the DL 6 times since opening day 2011. SIX. ON 6/22 came back after a 60 day DL for right hamstring and went back on the 15 day DL 2 days later. As of this date the Mariners say he isn't ready to even play rehab games. Since opening day 2011 he has managed to play 36% of Mariners games as he is the starting CF when healthy.

Oh and his salary is 5.8M.

Married to a huge Mariners fan (I know, I know insert joke here) I've seen him go from Adam Jones replacement to complete fail.

awh: Am I not typing in English? What is confusing?

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Adderall is the drug that treats ADHD. The Truth Injection mistakenly typed that Lee was using ADHD when he meant to say he was using Adderall.

Is that better or am I going to get a third, "KAS, huh?"

Thanks TTI, your post was a great read.

Wish there was some statistical way to evaluate (1) which teams have had the worst luck with injuries; and (2) which teams/GMs have fared the worst/best on trades over a period of time. Gotta think that somehow, someway there would be a way to get a handle on that, and that if so, it would be valuable information.

Interesting point by Joe Posnanski today. This year's ASG is the first in recent memory (maybe in my lifetime) in which there is no surefire lock HOF playing in the starting lineup (Mo Rivera obviously being the non-starter exception).

The closest thing is probably Miguel Cabrera, but I don't think he's yet reached the point where if he retired tomorrow, he'd be in. There's no Pujols, no Jeter, no Ichiro, no A-Rod, not even Roy Halladay. You could presume at least one of Trout and Harper will get there, but way too early obviously.

Just an interesting point about where baseball is right now.

To add to my previous post, the issue with acquiring another CF is not necessarily to replace Revere, but to have a competent backup if Mayberry gets injured.

That may be why Hernandez is being givena shot. He'd get some AB against RHP, could back up Utley at 2B, and allow RFD to move to RF to replace Young for defensive purposes late in games.

Charlie likes experience and doesn't believe in strict platoons, but Hernandez might start half of the games against RHP. Besides, Hernandez's MiLB splits seem to indicate he's a little bit better against LHP as well.

KAS, huh?

Fair enough.

I think Cabrera is going to be a lock once he retires. Obviously if he retired at the end of this season at only 30 years old probably not but the likelihood of that is minimal.


rockady, interesting list.

I'm surprised by some of the teams near the top.

Also, one would think that with the type of money they invest in these players - particularly pitchers - they'd come up with more comprehensive medical plans to try to keep them off the DL.

Sil: "The total ineptitude of Nix hurts here."

Nix has been given exactly 100 ABs this season. He may well be totally inept, but you sure as hell aren't going to know that in 100 ABs.

TTI: Right, I agree. But that's not the point. The point was that there's no lock HOF *right now* outside of Rivera.

Contrast that to so many years in the past--Jeter has been a lock the last few years he's played, Ichiro the same, all the guys before that who were locks before PED issues were raised (Clemens, Bonds, etc.). Ripken and Gwynn towards the end of their careers. The point is that we've fully transitioned to a new era, where it's all guys still making their HOF cases.

Here's the article if you want to read it.

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/52491304/ns/sports-baseball/

He must have thought ADHD was short for Adderall. That's all I can think of.

TNA: Pretty good rundown on that sad collection. I'll disagree with you on de Aza's glove. He's about league average on defense.

BAP: You might be the only poster here who completely ignores the significance of age in minor league numbers. Your Ruggiano post is but the latest example.

clout - I haven't watched more than 15 CWS games this year, so I can't really say eyeball wise how good or bad de Aza is defensively, but his metrics are pretty bad. In terms of defensive runs saved and other measures, he's the worst CF in MLB, by a mile.

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=cf&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=y&type=1&season=2013&month=0&season1=2013&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=10,d

I remember Monty on 610 WIP a few days after the Lee/Halladay deals and he strongly denied cash/payroll issues had to do anything with the sequence of events.

My experience is that anytime a strongly CEO strongly denies anything after a recent event/transaction he is lying and the strong the denial the bigger the lie.

Amaro had to almost come up all up all aces for this team to be a strong position to contend for a playoff and Schierholtz/Nix decision along with the disastrous signings of Adams/Durbin have cost this team at least 3-4 wins right now.

Now Amaro has to scramble at the deadline to shore up these areas especially the bullpen.

rockaintdeadyet

Thanks much for sharing the info. Really appreciate it.

TNA: SSS. His career is -3.4. The season he played the most in CF was his best season according to UZR.

So if Monty strongly denied trading Lee because he f*cked his wife, we're supposed to believe it simply because he's strongly denying it? Got it.

Bob - The LA Dodgers medical doctor, Stan Conte has developed some internal metrics and external benchmarks that he uses.

I know because they put out a proposal at a former company that I worked on although we just got through the RFI stage. Not sure who they went with or just used something internally because we never got an RFP.

clout: Actually, Ruggiano killed it throughout his entire minor league career. He didn't just start doing so when he was old.

But your general point is right: I think age is overrated in prospects. If a 28-year old is beating up on AAA competition, it means, by definition, that he is BETTER than the AAA competition. It also means that his older minor league numbers are not terribly relevant anymore because, by definition, he has improved from those days.

I struggle to see why posters like you & lorecore and even Jack are so resistant to the idea that an older minor league player who has been killing it at AAA for several years might also be of help to a major league team. Time and time again we see examples of players who were left for dead either because they failed at the major league level or they stunk it up in the minors for many years. Then, lo and behold, they revive their careers as "old for their league" AAA players and, when they finally get called up, they continue performing well at the major league level. The A's have probably been the best team in baseball since last year's All Star break, & they've got guys all over the field who fit this description.

Iceman - What are the chances that Monty says so stupid and preposterous in a public forum? Zero.

If you don't think Monty asks for a list of questions before he agrees to an interview and has them internally vetted, then you don't know much about corporate communications.

Im beating up AAA pitching.

I take issue with the no hall of famers statement. If Miguel Cabrera isn't a first ballot lock, then there should be no hall of fame at all.

I'd say the criterion for first ballot HOF entry is ten seasons of excellence consecutively in a career. In fact, I believe there is actually some ten year period mention in the voting rules. He has had just about 11 full seasons now and these are his bare bones numbers. Looks like a sure shot hall of famer to me:

Batting average .321
Hits 1,934
Doubles 406
Home runs 351
Runs batted in 1,218
Slugging percentage .568

MG- well, I'm sure you're very in-tune with the Phils front office and their PR protocol. But what you just said was that we should take every denial Monty makes and just believe the exact opposite.

That's a stupid way to think and you know it.

This Susdorf poster has more praise for his namesake than the guy's own mother likely has.

BAP: It's really a lot simpler than that.

The overwhelming majority of guys who put up colossal numbers where they are 2 or 3 years older than the rest of the league eventually flop badly at the MLB level. You can cite the 1 out of 100 minor leaguers in that category who makes an impact, but that doesn't alter the reality. That's what lorecore, Jack and I understand and you don't.

clout: Of course 100 ABs is SSS. But, somehow I doubt Nix will be given the chance to prove otherwise.
I'd love to be wrong, it'd be better for the team.

BAP: I would say I take a middle position between you and Clout.

I strongly take age into consideration with regards to considering the scope of a guy's likely career. So if a guy is 19 and raking in AA already, he's likely a top prospect. And if a guy is 26 and in AAA, he is almost surely not a top prospect.

But I also agree with you that there's something of an undervaluing of "older" prospects at the high levels. If a guy is 26 and raking at AAA, who cares that it doesn't make him a top prospect? It may just allow you to extract a little bit of value from him by getting his age 27 and 28 seasons (likely his best) in the major leagues, for dirt cheap. And there's nothing wrong with that. So he's not Bryce Harper--you knew that. But he can still help your team at the major-league level.

As you note, teams like the A's and Cardinals have found a lot of success with that in recent years.

Sil: I agree.

"The overwhelming majority of guys who put up colossal numbers where they are 2 or 3 years older than the rest of the league eventually flop badly at the MLB level."

That's not really true. The overwhelming majority of guys who put up colossal numbers where they are 2 or 3 years older than the rest of the league never actually get a chance at the major league level, because their performance at AAA is dismissed as meaningless. And when these guys do get a chance at the major league level, the chance is rarely a fair one. If they go 1 for their first 12, they're sent back to AAA. In other words, there is a huge element of self-selection in the process.

Obviously, a certain amount of self-selection is unavoidable; I don't expect major league teams to give every minor league call-up 350 major league PAs just to prove that they treat all prospects fairly, regardless of age. But, at the same time, let's recognize it for what it is. The reason so many 28-year old call-ups fail is that their window of opportunity to succeed is miniscule.

A guy like Allen Craig on the Cardinals is a good example of what I'm talking about.

College guy who didn't reach AAA until age 24. Cup of coffee in the bigs at age 25 without success, but had a big year that year in AAA. Finally, at age 26 was given his chance on the big-league club and has kept hitting ever since.

Jack: I wouldn't really say that's a middle ground. I would say that's pretty close to my position.

I mean, it's kind of ironic that this whole debate started with clout calling me out for mentioning Justin Ruggiano's great minor league numbers. Justin Ruggiano, after all, had a .909 OPS in 320 major league PAs last year. His 2012 season SUPPORTS my argument in favor of oldish minor leaguers. Obviously, he's not going to have a Bryce Harper career but, for at least one year, he was a damn good major league hitter. And, while he has been terrible in the first half, I'd be willing to bet on a 2nd half bounce-back.

Now, Clout's right that not every older player is going to be as good as Allen Craig, and the truth is that Allen Craig wasn't all that old. Reaching AAA at age 24 and the majors for good at age 26 is not particularly uncommon.

But the point is this--if a guy is crushing minor-league pitching, at some point you should give them a chance to see if they can do it to major-league pitching as well, regardless of their age (and we're almost surely talking about people here between 25-29. Most players above 30 in AAA are former major-leaguers hanging on for dear life.)

The point stands even more when you're a team like the Phillies and both (a) you lack for offense and have nothing to lose, and (b) anyone below 30 is practically a teenager compared to most of the roster.

People who speak of being old for the league are somewhat mistaken. In fact, it is impossible to be "old for AAA." Being old for a league is what happens at lower levels. A 25 year old mashing in low A is a waste of time. But, in fact, there are all age ranges at AAA and there are many examples of contributing major leaguers who were old in triple A, while not being old FOR tripe A.

Frandsen and Kratz are two example on the Phillies. Perfectly good contributors in the majors who were old in AAA. Alan Craig is another. And if Ruf is given a chance and can lay off the breaking stuff outside, he'll be another.

They're not all stars, but as Chris Coste proved a few years ago, you don't have to be a star to be a big contributor to a major league team.

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EST. 2005

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