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Tuesday, July 02, 2013



i didnt watch the game..Good for Justing but wow that bullpen...The Bullpen wow that many pitchers needed...Wheres Valdez at?

Highlights of the game:
Howard getting two hits, including beating the shift on one.
Papelbon getting a 1,2,3 ninth.

Deciding to have Revere bunt and Mayberry getting himself picked off on the attempt.

KK is good to go. I suppose that means his head is still attached to his shoulders.

The Phillies medical staff is a lot like it's scouting staff. And it's minor league development staff. And it's GM. And . . .

Giants are 5 games under .500- time to fire Bruce Bochy and trade Matt Cain and Buster Posey

Yes, because Matt Cain and Buster Posey are the same age as Cliff Lee & Chase Utley. You'll notice no one is advocating the trading of Hamels & Brown, which would be the Phillies rough equivalent of Cain & Posey.

Also, they're just 3 back in the division.

Not the point. Giants are 5 games under and they have zero intention of selling.

Not to be a contrarian, but I must point out that the Giants' division is currently being led by the DBacks, who are 1 game over .500.

Yeah, division standings have a lot to do with trying to make a comparison. it doesn't really work.

At this point one win is a meh. Take 2 of 3 and you might garner a little enthusiasm.

If the Phillies were 17 games out of 1st place right now, Jake would be arguing that we should be buyers at the trade deadline. After all, if we can merely sweep our last 15 head-to-head games, we'll only be 2 out.

"Totally and completely off-topic. 50 years ago today, at Candlestick Park, the Giants beat the Braves 1-0 in 16 innings. The winning pitcher was Juan Marichal, who pitched all 16 innings and threw 227 pitches. Warren Span pitched all 15.1 innings for Milwaukee & threw 201 pitches. Spahn was 42 at the time!"

.....Hey if Warren Spahn could do that at 42 years of age, I say keep Cliff Lee. He's a spring chicken in comparison!......

Amen to that!!

I often wonder why nobody, and I mean nobody, is as durable as the old time pitchers. Mike Marshall pitched 206 innings in relief one year. Eckersly and Fingers routinely finished the final two and three innings of games. Starters pitched every fourth day and often throw well over a hundred pitches.

With all the advances in conditioning and nutrition, why is it that not one freak of nature has emerged who can do what Mickey Lolich and Denny McClain did? Those two were hardly workout warriors. Gibson, Marichal, Carlton, Seaver, etc. Nobody does what those guys did. We think Doc and Lee are special, and they are. But in thirty or so years ago, they'd be looked at as weaklings because they rarely throw complete games and they threw every fifth day.

What is so different now? Hitters are certainly not better. If anything, they swing and miss a lot more often. A strikeout used to be considered a tragedy by good hitters.

Plain and simple - money was invested into the players and management has protected that investment by not doing what they used to do.

Nice little win last night. If they can go 11-1 heading into the All Star break, we just might have something.

And just to add: Jake makes no sense with his Giants - Phillies analogy.

That was a pretty nice play by Utley. Yeah Galvis might make it look more ordinary or routine but still nice glove work by Chase. Rube take note good bullpens win games.

Phillies trade for steve ceisck, and jessie crain. Phillies DFA Laynce Nix and sign Jeff Francour. Or so I dreamed last night.

Corey said this a couple threads ago, "It's hard to figure out what we're rooting for on a nightly basis: Wins to make up those deficits or losses to speed up the inevitable "retooling.""

Based on the BL temperature after wins, I think it's pretty clear what most everyone is rooting for.

bap: "Totally and completely off-topic. 50 years ago today, at Candlestick Park, the Giants beat the Braves 1-0 in 16 innings. The winning pitcher was Juan Marichal, who pitched all 16 innings and threw 227 pitches. Warren Span pitched all 15.1 innings for Milwaukee & threw 201 pitches. Spahn was 42 at the time!"

No mention of Willie Mays hitting the walkoff HR for the lone run of that game?

Possibly one the greatest regular season games ever.

"Delmon Young scored Howard on a double"

I feel like typepad might need a system update after that phrase broke their logic system.

I guess "from first" needs to be included there.

Jake: "Giants are 5 games under .500- time to fire Bruce Bochy and trade Matt Cain and Buster Posey"

Didn't take long for Jake to resort to trolling. He made it a solid couple weeks with attempts at legit arguments, but guess he ran dry. The 2013 Phillies will do that to ya.

It was a good night for bullpen stats... 0.00 ERA; FIVE holds; a save.

1.8 WHIP though. Cholly needed to make every one of those moves.

It would be nice if any of these young arms developed into a legit stopper at the back of that pen. Bastardo showed promise in 2011 but has completely fallen off the wagon due to being erratic. He can still be effective as long as his manager puts him in a position to succeed. I like DeFratus and I really hope he can stick at the back end of that pen.

Also nice to see Ramirez pump up that fastball in the 95-96 range. Of course, he has little control but it seems like a long time since the Phillies had fireballers in the pen like that.

I hope they keep Pettibone up all year and hand him the ball every 5th game. The Phils need to find out about some of the other guys in their system also.

Pittsburgh had something of a Pyrrhic Victory on August 19 last year when they defeated the Cardinals 6-3 in 19 innings to get to 67-54 on the year. They went 12-29 in their remaining games, finishing 79-83.

Maybe history is about to repeat itself. On June 30, they defeated the Brewers in 14 innings to get to 51-30.

We'll see what happens. Hopefully the Phillies can take advantage.

aksmith: I've read that modern pitchers exert more effort per pitch and have to maintain higher velocities to get hitters out. Don't know if that's true or not, certainly Walter Johnson and Bob Feller did not lack velocity in their day. Also, with expansion, you have a lot more pitchers needed, not everyone is built to throw 300 innings a year. Baseball pulls from a much larger pool of players now, but it also has more competition for athletes from other sports too. But like most things, it's the money invested as well.

So if the Papelbon for Castellanos thing can happen and does...

Where would Castellanos play...

3B (if we also trade MYoung)?
RF (if we also dump DYoung)?
LF (if we also dump DYoung and move Brown to RF)?

RedBurb: They're fireballers but you are also playing with fire when you bring them in. Neither Bastardo, DeFratus, Diekman nor Ramirez has anything resembling consistent command. Their ball/strike ratios are terrible and you never know from appearance to appearance whether they're going to strike out the side or walk the bases loaded.

You'd like to think that Bastardo, at age 27, would begin to get it, but so far, no go. The others, being younger and inexperienced, have more excuse. But unless one or two of them develop better command and control, this group is not a solution.

lorecore - my argument is logical, Im just having fun with it.

Since the Giants are not a good example for many people, lets use the Blue Jays and the Angels. Both are under 500 & 8.5+ games out of first with bloated payrolls. Neither team is having a fire sale.

Anybody notice with Aumont last night, that he'd get ahead 0-2 with guys, then throw a meatball that got hit hard? One resulted in the Dom OF assist, another a deep fly that was caught. For a guy as wild as he, Aumont should be throwing some of that hard breaking stuff nowhere near the strike zone when ahead in the count 0-2.

Completely agree clout. It's one area that the organization as a whole has really struggled. Madson really was the only decent back of the pen arm that has been developed over the past, what, 15 years?

to piggyback on what I already wrote, would pitchers need to throw with max effort every time if a regulation strike zone was called?

jbird: I think that's right, but I also think RedBurb's correct that because of the huge contracts now and the high-risk of injury to pitchers, they are babied to protect the investment.

Back in the 1950s and 60s, there were tons of promising pitchers who disappeared after a couple years because of injury. For the teams, it was no big deal. You used a guy until he couldn't do it any more. Some pitchers changed their approach after getting hurt (or old) and essentially got a second career (Roberts & Spahn to name two.) But most of them had short careers because once you got hurt, your were done.

Howard said his knee hurts after running the bases last night. With Locke getting the start tonight, was there really a chance he'd be playing anyway?

Jake: If I had Trout, I wouldn't have a firesale either. All you need are a few complementary parts to be a contender.

The Phillies problem is they have no young superstar and none of the current prospects in the organization will ever be one.

I forgot to add Aumont to my list of flame-throwing young relievers with no command.

FWIW, he, Bastardo & DeFratus have the best stuff.

clout - We have that one young star, his name is Dom Brown.

Cyclic: Scouting reports say Castellanos will be a corner OF in MLB. He is brutal at 3B.

To be fair, guys like Trout and Harper are pretty much generational talents that you typically dont see on most clubs.

I disagree with aksmith's claim that the hitters are no better today. The hitters today strike out more than they ever have because (1) the breaking balls are better, (2) the cut fastball is widespread, and (3) the Moneyball-era analytics have shown that good hitters "choking up" and "just putting it in play" isn't usually optimal strategy; that taking a bunch more strikeouts along with a bunch more power is a good trade for most hitters.

Thanks, clout. Hope (if it happens) his arrival hastens the departure of DYoung.

Jake: what would the Angels sell? Hamilton and Pujols are producing better than Howard, but are nearly as untradable. Why would you want to trade Trout? The rest of the team, Trumbo, Aybar, Kendrick are in their 20's and not signed to terrible contracts. I guess maybe CJ Wilson would be a possible trade chip.

Blue Jays are in Year 1 of their current experiment. Phillies are in back-to-back years of futility. But again, who is old with either an expiring contract or a huge one that they'd want to move? Bautista is making peanuts and is signed for 2 more years. I'm sure they'd talk Josh Johnson, but who'd trade anything of value right now? Jose Reyes is making lots of money, but what's his trade value right now vs. future utility to the team?

These are not similar situations. Utley is old and a free agent. Mike Young is old and a free agent. Clif Lee is old but you only trade him for a haul, Papelbon is a luxury for a re-build; that's why these guys are being talked about. If Utley's 30 and signed for 2 more years, of course you don't trade him.

Jake-- The Blue Jays have had an 11 game winning streak. The Angels have already had an 8 and are working on a 7+ right now.

If the Phillies can ever show they are capable of such sustained winning (and not just against MIA) then they might convert some non-believers. Until then, the cries will grow ever louder. Sell, sell, sell!

clout: link to a report calling Castellanos a brutal 3B?

***Scouting reports say Castellanos will be a corner OF in MLB. He is brutal at 3B.***

I think those reports say that he's bad at 3B, but could probably stay there for a couple years before he'd have to move to LF and that he's long-term more of a corner OF. So maybe, if we were to somehow acquire him for Papelbon (something I dont see happening), they could use him there until Franco is ready (if he ever is of course).

lorecore: "Brutal" is my word. Read the reports yourself. He won't be at 3B when he makes the The Show.

If we had Bautista, Encarnacion, Lind, Arencibia, Lawrie, Rajai Davis & Rasmus making combined less than Howard & Paps; I don't think we'd be talking re-build either. We'd be talking about how can we patch up 2b and get some starting pitching and keep Jose Reyes & Brett Lawrie healthy.

lorecore: Without looking it up, take a guess as to how many games Castellanos has p[layed at 3B this season.

***Hamilton and Pujols are producing better than Howard, but are nearly as untradable. ***

Try "completely and utterly untradeable", not just nearly.

Nobody on earth is taking on Pujols contract commitment. After this season, he's got 8 years/$212 million coming to him for his Age 34-41 seasons and another 10 year/$10 million personal services contract to add into it.

Hamilton is a little better but he's still looking at 4 years/$106 million for his Age 33-36 seasons. Now, he's finally starting to hit like he used to over the past 2 weeks but that's an extremely small sample size, he's got a host of well-known baggage and he's already in his early 30s. Not exactly an appetizing trade piece. They'd probably have to eat half his salary to get anything in return.

***Without looking it up, take a guess as to how many games Castellanos has p[layed at 3B this season.***

To be fair, you're glossing over the fact that part of the reasoning for moving him to LF was to get him to The Show faster because they currently have Cabrera entrenched at 3B for the next couple seasons. It wasn't all due to his defense.

Shockingly, Ryan Howard is outproducing both Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols this year in WAR, where they are all overpaid midgets.

Trout might be a beast, but wow are those two contracts awful. Pujols's is probably worse than Howard's and if Hamilton doesn't get on one of his patented hot streaks soon his has also entered into the Howard zone.

The Angels will be paying a 37-year old Pujols and a 36-year old Hamilton a combined 58 million a year in 2017.



Prediction: Revere will surpass Rollins in OPS by the All Star Break.

Nothing says major league lineup like multiple regulars with sub-.370 slg%.

Bob Forsche - April 16, 1978

Last time the Phillies were no-hit.

Reports on Castellanos at 3B:

His defense, on the other hand, was shaky. While he showed the arm strength to handle the hot corner, his approach on groundballs and defense actions were inconsistent, though it was partially a product of his overall lack of experience at the position.

Considering his tentative approach at third base and rigid defensive actions, the Tigers moved him to the outfield in conjunction with the Double-A promotion. The move also suggested a potentially accelerated arrival in the major leagues, especially with the team’s corner infield positions occupied by Miguel Cabrera and Price Fielder, respectively.

Arm: Raw arm strength is plus. Still developing ability to let it rip on the move and without setting his feet. Easy arm strength for the position with good carry. Keeps arm up well and keeps throws on line to first base. Could stand to quicken release. Needs refinement but should be plus tool in time. Grade – 50/60

Fielding: Still learning positioning and footwork after moving from shortstop after signing. Footwork frequently gets messy and can hamper ability to get to some balls and cause throws to lose accuracy. Has solid hands and enough lateral quickness to stick at the position. Needs lots of repetitions. Occasional scout believes he is destined for left field. Should be given chance to play the position and play himself off it, if necessary. May never exceed fringe-average defensive ability. Grade – 30/50

The Tigers moved Castellanos from third base to the outfield last summer when he was promoted to Double-A Erie. As a third baseman, Castellanos showed a strong arm, modest reactions and average potential in the field.

In the outfield he has yet to take to the position and often struggles mightily with his defensive responsibilities. He doesn’t track the ball well and often gets late jumps off the bat, leading to missed opportunities and extra outs for the opposition. Though his raw arm strength is a plus tool, he has yet to adjust to his new outfield throwing mechanics, forcing his arm to play at a fringy level.

“He will not play third base this spring,” said Jim Leyland. “My orders from the organization are, he’s now a left fielder.”

So, to quickly summarize, he's got a plus arm but rough instincts at 3B and most thought he would have to work at it to stick at 3B but would probably end up in LF...the Tigers accelerated it last year when they switched him to LF so he could learn that position (which he is apparently very poor at so far due to a total lack of experience in the OF). So even if we got him right now, he's a poor defender at 2 positions. The bat is for real though.

NEPP: Do you think Castellanos is a good defensive thirdbaseman?

I love getting in debates with posters who think they know more than major league scouts.

Do we not have an opening in the outfield that Castellanos could fill? (not that I think we'd get him for Pap)

jbird: He'd be better than a Yak.

Well we can't get him anyway 'cause he'd have to play LF and heaven forbid we move Dom and ruin him mentally and he starts sucking at the plate.

I have to say, guys like Castellanos worry me a little bit. If you can't stick at 3B or LF, then you have to play 1B. And if you have to play 1B, you really have to mash.

Castellanos has a good bat, obviously, but does he hit for enough power to stick at 1B? I wonder.

Clout will find this funny, but the guy this reminds me of is Brett Wallace. Always lauded for having a great bat, he couldn't handle 3B, had to move to 1B, and just hasn't shown the power to last there. He's actually back in AAA now at age 26.

jbird - So the Angels and Blue Jays shouldn't sell because they have underperforming untradeable veterans, but the Phillies should sell because their veterans are playing well, and are therefore tradeable?

clout: wasn't calling you out, just curious. I always thought he was adequate at 3B, and moved purely for fast tracking to the majors - which is still why I don't foresee the Phillies ever getting.

I agree that Howard's knees are hampering him, but I'm still frustrated with his slumping.,0,761874.column

Am I the only one that thinks that the gun at PNC last night was a little juiced. Pettibone hit 95 last night and Ramirez hit 96 I think. Both looked to be throwing well but I don't remember seeing the Bone hit 95 before. That was actually my first look at Ramirez as I've been busy and missed all of his previous appearances. Is he known to have that kind of gidddyup?

Cyclic - Records don't lie. The fact that the Angels and Blue Jays have had long winning streaks and are still under 500 just proves how terrible they were for most of the season. I don't see how that inspires more confidence than the Phillies who haven't had that long winning streak but also haven't had terrible losing streaks.

Jake, Jdt...whatever you wish to call your collective self.Pick another place to be picayune and silly. We got our fill of nitpickers and gauntlet tossers here. And I actually agree with clout's premise. Bastardo had been giving me agita for years. If anybody wants to call "smoke and mirrors" on anybody it is Bastardo.

Jack: Castellanos is a far, far better prospect than Wallace. At age 21 Wallace had barely a taste of Double A. Castellanos is posting a .856 OPS in Triple A. He's also showing great improvement in pitch recognition, which means better walk rate and he's hitting tons of doubles, way more than Wallace ever did.

I agree that there are questions about his HR power, but the doubles suggest it's there and will likely show itself at age 23 or 24.

***Do you think Castellanos is a good defensive thirdbaseman?***

Um, no. When did I ever even imply otherwise? IIRC, I just went and gathered a bunch of reports showing that he wasn't.

donc: If the gun was hot, then we got big troubles with our closer. LA said Paps' fastball was coming in at 91.

On his bat, the most often phrase thrown around for Castellanos bat is "impact bat, nearly immediately". IE, he's gonna be a good hitter regardless of whether its in LF or 3B.

I dont think it would be good enough for 1B though as the bar for 1B is just so high offensively.

Pettibone velocity by month:

April: 90.6
May: 91.2
June: 92.5
july: 92.6

NEPP: I posted before seeing your post.

Clout: I agree that Castellanos is a better hitting prospect than Wallace. As you said, he's hit more doubles, which is a good sign at his age.

Still, my general point is that guys who can't play the field at any position except 1B have to provide almost *all* of their value with the bat (presuming he becomes an average fielder at 1B). And that means everything (including the HR power) has to come together.

I'd still take the guy, obviously. He'd be instantly better than anyone else in our system. He's just by no means a sure thing, and the more he moves down the defensive spectrum, the higher the risk gets.

Jake: Every team is a unique little snowflake. Who do you think they should trade? I think those teams are a mix of untradable guys (Pujols or Josh Johnson) and guys you wouldn't want to trade (Trout or Encarnacion). Phillies have Papelbon, Mike Young, Delmon Young, Chase Utley on an expiring deal, and Lee (if you want to go whole hog, but isn't necessary). Besides, how do you know Beerleaguer Toronto isn't talking about trading Casey Janssen and Beerleague LA of Anaheim doesn't think the Angels should move Callaspo for a relief prospect?

Here's a more recent report on his defense in LF from early June:

He has since gotten a feel for left field. Gene Roof, roving outfield instructor for the Tigers, has told his bosses Castellanos could play left field now and not be a liability.

From The Detroit News:

NEPP: I posted before seeing your post.

Posted by: clout | Wednesday, July 03, 2013 at 10:52 AM

LOL...that makes a bunch more sense.

I do think that Castellanos is still a plus player in LF and would be quite the haul for Papelbon. I also dont think that the Tigers would ever even fathom giving up Castellanos for Papelbon even if we covered 100% of Pap's salary. They like his bat far too much to give it away even for a closer.

If he stays at Toledo, Castellanos will end up with 45 doubles and 18-20 HRs. Combine that with a high BA and good walk rate and you're talking star.

Jake-- The point is, the Phillies (as has already been pointed out, having very different personnel than the Jays or Angels) need to have a streak or two or three like that in order to get themselves back into the discussion of contention. I'm actually with you; I think it's possible. Just not very likely. And something needs to change, roster-wise.

Jake - You're being intentionally obtuse. We're talking about trading Utley, who will be a 35 year old FA at the end of the season, Michael Young who will be a 37 year old FA at the end of the season, Ruiz who will be a 35 year old FA, and Papelbon, an overpaid closer who is an extreme luxury during a re-building process. I would consider trading Lee ONLY if you can get a huge haul for him.

How is that situation similar to the Angels and Blue Jays?

Jack: Why 1B? You don't think he can play LF?

NEPP: Totally agree with your post.

jbird: exactly. Jake whines "Team X isn't selling!" as if the Phillies have publicly said they are. The Phillies said they aren't selling - so whats your point? That we should just take them for their word and not speculate trades that will likely happen?

donc: No, I thought the same thing -- although I looked it up mid-game & Fangraphs had J.C. Ramirez's average fastball velocity as 95 coming into the game. But I sure don't remember Pettibone ever hitting 94 & 95 before yesterday.

I thought there were reports that suggested the Tigers were so desperate for a closer that Garcia and Castellanos were both on the table.

I dont think Castellanos will be at Toledo much longer. I think the Tigers will call him up to play LF sooner rather than later.

On the retooling/selloff comments from yesterday, a fairly smart plan might be to keep Lee, see if you can work out a reasonable extension for KK and build your rotation around Lee/Hamels/Kendrick and hope that guys like Pettibone and Biddle can cover the 4/5 spots in 2014. You could also look for a relative bargain in free agency (ie, not Santana or Garza who will both make bank) to give them another experienced arm and some rotation depth. If they do a limited selloff of guys like Utley (then try to resign him in the off-season if possible), M. Young, D. Young, Chooch, they might get some decent prospects back to fill some of those complimentary roles going forward. Its almost a guarantee that Brown, Revere, Rollins and Howard will all be back in 2014 with starting roles. They'll need to figure out 3B, C, 2B, and RF though (or LF if they move Brown back to RF of course). They should have the money to do it if they are willing to go right up to the $189 Million that the luxury tax goes to next year...especially with the infusion of national tv money that starts next year.


Clout: I don't know if he can or not. Obviously I've never actually seen the guy play (I presume no one here has, unless someone happens to have caught an Iron Pigs game against Toledo). The reports I've seen are mixed.

NEPP-- Easy. Frandsen at 3B, Hernandez at 2B, Joseph at C, Pence in RF. Done!

"Records don't lie. The fact that the Angels and Blue Jays have had long winning streaks and are still under 500 just proves how terrible they were for most of the season."

Wait. Aren't you the guy who keeps telling us that the Phillies are right in the thick of this divisional race because the Braves' 43-34 (.590) record is one big lie?

Cyclic - I definitely agree that something needs to change, I just don't think we should give up on the season and blow-up the team. Like we discussed yesterday, I would support trading both Youngs for bullpen help.

donc: If the gun was hot, then we got big troubles with our closer. LA said Paps' fastball was coming in at 91.

That's a good point Clout. I saw 91 on the gun myself for Paplecrud. Forgot about that. Didn't know Ramirez had that kind of hose. Also nice to see Bone stepping it up a notch. I'm one of those guys you like to make fun of because I want guys with velocity. It's certainly not the be all and end all of pitching, but it does give you a punchers chance. I am constantly jealous of other teams that trot out 95+ fastball guys one after another. We finally have a few flamethrowers and, of course, none of them can hit the broad side of a barn.

Hey remember when the Phillies could have drafted Castellanos, but decided to cheap out? Not that Biddle hasn't exceeded my expectations, but Castellanos was easily the best player on the board.

I apologize for the digression (just ignore me and move on), but I'm fixated on this dichotomy, so I must say it again:

On July 2, 1963, Warren Spahn (then 42) pitched 15.1 innings and threw 202 pitches & Juan Marichal pitched 16 innings & threw 227 pitches in a 16-inning 1-0 Giants win.

On July 2, 2013, Charlie Manuel couldn't bring in his closer with a 2-run lead & the bases loaded with 2 outs in the 8th because it would have been too strenuous to ask him to get a 4-out save.

BAP: Let's re-sign Moyer!

Did the Phillies give up on the season last year, trading Victorino and Pence?

I feel like they played pretty well after that.

Chris - All three teams are under .500 with enough talent and potential to make a run, but no one expects the Angels or Blue Jays to forfeit that chance and blow-up their team.

From MLBTradeRumors:

Scouts that have spoken with Martino expect the Phillies to be active sellers, but hold onto Cliff Lee since they want to contend next year. However, rival scouts and execs anticipate that, in addition to Michael Young and Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon will be dealt or at least heavily shopped. We've heard previously that the Phillies are expected to ask for an astronomical haul to part with Papelbon.
Papelbon also fits the bill as someone who could be kept for next year, but rivals that have spoken with Martino see too much of a need for bullpen help amongst contenders like the Red Sox and Tigers and they expect GM Ruben Amaro to get a strong offer for the closer.

Watch Rube screw this up on Papelbon..."Yes, you heard me, I want 3 Single A guys, not that top prospect in AA/AAA"

One thing is for sure; it's gonna be interesting.

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