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Saturday, August 03, 2013


I'm starting to get the feeling we won't make the playoffs this year...

I expected Ashe to get off to a slow start at the dish as that has been his
M.O. Adjusting to every level, but 3 errors in 4 days is an even bigger red flag right now.

Well, that's one way to spin it. Not worried about Asche's bat. That ball in the fifth he looked like he was trying to do too much/ too fast. Just catch the ball, then worry about baserunners.

Will believe Lee is on the mound tomorrow when he's actually on the mound. Starting Lannan on short rest so Lee can get 13 days off is peculiar.

Another day, another loss. I will watch a little of Lee tomorrow night if I have time but the Phils are quickly approaching 'audio only' status for me.

Slow start and everything, how long will Charlie keep pushing him out there? 1 for 30? 1 for 40?

14 days

What do you mean "inexplicably," Corey? Diekman has no idea where the ball is going. Doesn't that explain it?

Corn, I would probably sit him against lefties, but play him against all right handed pitcng up through 100 AB's before thinking about anything with him, but I'm to so sure Chuckles will do that. I certainly hope so.

Tied with the Mets

Cody Asche is not ready; not by a long shot.

The difference between Brown not being ready and Asche not being ready is that the Phillies are in no way contenders this season and Asche is in no way a blue-chip prospect whose service clock is an issue.

Keep the kid up, keep him and third and let him play out the rest of the season. What the hell do they have to lose that isn't already lost? Then, come Spring 2014, reassess the situation and see if the kid can earn a job.

Agreed Will regarding the team and what's at stake. But, you do want the kid to have some success. A 2-45 start is certainly going to effect is confidence. I hope he gets a few knocks and soon ...


Is there a record for come from ahead losses?

They need to lance Nix.

The catch on the "legging out" the ball to short is that, given the line-ups still in the game and the relief corps available? The Phils were never going to score again. And the Braves were always going to.

Asche has had a terrible start but it has been a whopping 6 games.

Still want the Phils to start him the rest of the way and see how he is defensively and offensively over the final 2 months to see if he might be a possible answer at 3B next year with Frandsen. Phils are going to have to go cheap at a few positions with 3B possibly being one of them.

Decent article and I would have liked to see Schilling inducted into the Wall of Fame today. One of my favorite Phils over the years and one of the few reasons (when he started) to go see a Phils' game in the late 90s.

Schilling wasn't popular among some for his never-ending commentary but he was a winner here who was more often right than wrong including his justification for wanting a trade.

Asche starts slow in every single level he's ever been in...its zero concern right now.

Just keep running Asche out there...hopefully he adjusts after 100 or so PAs, like he has at every level of the minors.

Rather watch him go 0-4 for the next two weeks than watch the dreck on the bench.

I would, however, start Frandsen against any LHP going forward as Asche sucks against LHP.

NEPP: you concerned about his glove?

A bit but its early yet. Young guys tend to try to do too much...especially when they're struggling at the plate.

I'm in full wait-and-see mode with him. Might as well give him a 2 month audition to see what we have.

I don't think this is a very good baseball team.

Lake Fred:

They need to nix Laynce.

Has mini mart ever walked on 4 straight pitches?

Wonder what the % is that Michael Young resigns here. Between Howard's injury issues and other 3B options I'd put it at 20-30%

I remain unconcerned with Asche's play, even the glove, for reasons NEPP has highlighted: He's always taken time to acclimate to a new pitching environment at every promotion in his career, and some combination of MLB-debut jitters, compensation for his lackluster batting, and/or general pressure from himself to excel in his big audition are the most likely culprits behind his defensive miscues.

As for at least two of the errors (the throwing error last against the Giants and today's) the problem hasn't been getting to or mishandling a ball hit to him. The problem's been after he's gotten his glove on it, in the race to try and make the out. He'll settle down soon enough, provided the organization doesn't do something stupid to make him worry about his job. (Like talking about an open tryout for 3B in Spring Training next year.)

Phils have no business signing either of the Youngs this offseason although I do think Amaro will make a push to resign M. Young as the starting 3B depending upon his price tag.

Good chance M. Young won't have a suitor offering him a starting infield job next year though and I bet there is better than a 50/50 chance he would take offer from the Phils if they promised him to be the starting 3B and gave him a decent 1-yr deal with an option.

There is no percent that Michael Young is here next season. Somebody who doesn't need corner infielder pop will let him play 1st for $10 mil or more a year. They will read into this as a solo NL season abberation and expect him to do better next year.

Brooklyn: Good one!

Great to see the alums particularly Dalton.

But you have to wonder how many of them , whiz kids excepted, could play better at their ages than members of the current team.

Game on the line in extra innings and your PH options are limited to Nix or McDonald.

Kimbrel finishes the game for the Braves,
we got Diekman and DeFratus.

Once again we're burned by bad roster construction. In addition to the lack of PH options, Frandsen wouldn't have been playing 1B if we weren't carrying two other utility infielders who have never played first (Mini-Mart and Mini-Mac). A legitimate 1B doesn't come off the base there and we get the DP to end the 10th.

While I'm not sure Michael Young will be making north of $10MM next year, I'm fairly certain he'll be able to land a DH gig in the AL with somebody, given how much trouble the A's and Orioles have had with that this year. This season has demonstrated that 2012 was a fluke and that Young remains a slightly above-average bat who can be counted on to turn in a .740-.750 OPS.

Or he'll sign a sweetheart deal with the Rangers to allow him to retire in Arlington. I certainly don't expect him to ever see the field again unless he absolutely has to, as I get the feeling that being run out there every day at 3B has been as awkward an experience for him as it has been for the Phans.

Our team leaders in R/ HR/ RBI/SB are all on the DL.
Only M. Young Batting Avg. leader at a lusty .274 is active.
We really are bad at baseball.

M. Young getting north of $10M next year? Really steep for 37-year old going on on 38-year guy who is a real liability defensively and has below average speed.

He'll get paid and probably DH somewhere but I would venture it is a 1 yr/$6-8M range with an option.

I wouldn't be stunned to see Michael Young retire if he doesn't find a clear starting gig somewhere. We don't know the extent of his youngest child's health issues, but if they're serious and chronic, that could be a big factor in his decision-making after this season. Young seems like someone who puts his family well before his career, and he certainly doesn't need the money at this point.

ColonelTom - If he can't find a starting gig, I wouldn't be surprised if he retires either.

Late in the gm
I compared the two OF

them upton1 upton2 and heyward

Us - AAAAberry, MM, Yak


That's Delawarean

I don't keep track of prospects very much, has Asche even been projected as a starter in the MLB? I'm not really expecting much out of him. Hope he does great though as a fan.

With the exception of the young bros. this team next yr.
will resemble the make up of the team this yr..

Ground hog Day -- phillies style 2014

That's nothing to looking forward to. Huh...

On the ESPN radio broadcast today, Pete Pasquarelli didn't have a lot of good things to say about Ruben and the decisions that were made at the trade deadline. A lot of GM's in baseball were flabbergasted by how Ruben handled the past few weeks and how he over-valued some of his players. And then Pete laughed about the supposed plan to try and "make one more run" with a core group of players that are mostly aging, hurt and who have helped this year's team to 10 games under .500

Cloyd in his last 30 IP at LV has only given up 3 ER. Put him in the pen as the long man. Another no-brainer decision. Plus, he actually pitched decently here earlier in the year. Its not like he's some green rookie who has never been in the big leagues.

When does Cholly say "the hell with it" and just use Hamels or Lee as a pinch-hitter over Nix/McDonald/Martinez? At this point, I'd rather see Hamels or Lee take swings then either of those three. Cholly will never do it because that would show up the position players that are paid to hit, but I'd do it.

Any more word on Miggy Gonzalez?


If you are going to call him AAAABerry (which at this point, is a laughable reference since he's more then proven his worth in the big leagues) then what the hell would you call BJ Upton?

I know what I'd call him...somebody who is stealing money and who probably should be starting for the Gwinnett Braves. Thank goodness we didn't sign that guy. Be interesting to see how Fredi handles that situation the rest of the year and into the playoffs. I think the Braves have better options and are a better team without "the other Upton". We'll see if money talks and how the whole "brother thing" plays into it.

When healthy, I don't think our OF consisting of Ruf, Revere and Brown is too shabby (offensively). Not very expensive either. Add in Mayberry and that's actually one group you can feel pretty comfortable with heading into 2014. Lots of other issues with this team going into next year, but the OF should not be one of them. Again, health permitting.

Folks, nobody cares any more. The season where one rooted for a team's success is over. It is now time for such selective interest one would just as well admire a fat woman's slender ankle than watch a team patenting new ways to lose.

Interested in seeing how the rookies play the rest of the year.
Interested to see if Doc and Howard come back and look healthy.
Interested to see if Lee throws sunflower seeds at RA,jr.
That's about it.

Buyers, no. Sellers, no. Losers, yes, thanks to our poor excuse for a GM. Amaro would have trouble as a BL armchair-GM, and that's setting a mighty low bar.

I care, but am not excited right now about this year. I don't see the ankles. I see years and years of losing.


Asche's best-case scenario upside has always been that of a league-average 3B on both sides of the ball. The concern has always been whether he had the glove to stick at 3B, as if he never reached his defensive upside, his bat wouldn't good enough to justify running him out there everyday by itself. That's why the more "realistic" takes on Asche project him as either an MLB bench player or second-division starter at 3B.

One of the most-needed triumphs of Pharm player development in recent years would be if Asche can reach his best-case scenario upside, as 3B remains a place of shallow positional depth across MLB at the moment. Even if he doesn't, though, I suspect we'll see him next season with the big league club as the replacement for Laynce Nix as the LHB bench bat/fifth OF/super-sub guy. (Assuming he doesn't end up posting a .150/.200/.250 line over the next two months.)

I was comparing in total the type of OF we have to throw together because of the lack of depth we have at a major & minor league level
If we had domo & Ben back...Mayberry would be riding the pine

Juums: Good summary on Asche, which makes it astonishing that you think he should be guaranteed the starting job next season.

@dennyb It's amazing how Amaro's approach is apparently only seen as a good one down at the Bank. I'll say it again and keep harping on it-I love Utley as much as the next guy and I have close, die-hard friends who feel the same way-but the fact that he wasn't traded at the deadline (or more remarkably, even made available) is just beyond stupid.

Amaro's "I have to recognize that he's playing like a 28 year old" is going to go down in a long line of his series of his dumb quotes and/or moves. A writer worth his salt should have followed up with "How much of the decision to not trade Utley has to do with PR?"

Smart fans realize it's time to move on. Unfortunately, the clown making the decisions does not.

Well luckily we're a 2nd division club so Asche will fit right in.

Austin Wright officially announced as being transitioned into a reliever. Joe Jordan said it will capitalize on his aggressive approach and allow him to help the Phillies sooner.

Damn... I always liked him and really thought he was going to stick as a SP. With this bullpen tho, I guess it's not such a bad thing.

Asche should start against lefties -- how else will he learn to hit them?

Draft pick update:
Current: #10. Projected (FG): #9.

What's protected for signing FA, top 10?

ESPN must be kicking themselves for putting this game on primetime. Hopefully fans won't act up so the national guys won't bash us. Seems odd Cliff was pushed back to tonight. I am sure ESPN called RAJ or Cholly and begged to pitch Lee tonight. Otherwise watching this game with Lannan on the mound is painful.

I hope I'm wrong,but have said many times:ASche is not the answer at 3B.Hopefully in the next couple of weeks he will turn it around as he has everywhere he's played.
Hope Miner's performance was a sample of what is to come from him.Seems like guys take different amounts of time to recover from TJS.

I wonder if RAJ would have signed any other relievers if the trade with Wilton Lopez had gone through. He's struggled for the Rockies this year but looking back (even with the injury concerns) I wish they would have push that trade through anyway. They sure didn't take injury concerns into consideration when signing Mike Adams.

pblunts: What would you trade Utley for?

NEPP: "Well luckily we're a 2nd division club so Asche will fit right in."

NEPP wins the thread.

Based on scouting reports, it will be very surprising if Asche, in the end, doesn't hit major league pitching.

Also based on scouting reports, it will NOT be surprising if Asche cannot play 3B at the major league level.

The BL debate about him reminds me quite a bit about the BL debate about Jason Donald during the 08-09 off-season. He'd had a great year in Double A and was ranked by BA as the Phils 4th best prospect (at a time when the Phils prospects were better than the crew now. Asche is ranked #7 by BA.)

No one questioned his bat, but reports I read said he could not play SS at the MLB level and would end up at 2B or 3B. There was much agitation over this.

In the end, he wound up playing more 2B (his career MLB UZR150 at SS is a hideous -19.1) but, surprisingly, he didn't hit.

Donald, like Asche, was projected by the Phillies (and posters here) as an everyday player.

This season, at age 28, Donald is hitting .235 in Triple A, where he plays mostly 2B.

I'll take denny b.'s 12:08 AM post - his comments on "AAAAberry" are spot on. Regardless of how many time's I've ripped JMJ, he's Roberto Clemente compared to BJ Upton.

Hard to believe how the Braves are tearing it up with that POS Upton on their 25 man.

I'm of the opinion that Asche should be guaranteed the Opening Day 2014 3B job simply because it's the least bad option available. Franco won't be anywhere near ready unless he can tame his aggressive free-swinging overnight. As I'd think running him out there against MLB-level pitcher deception and movement before he's ready would be a recipe for derailing his development. Frandsen is, as always, another option to run out there every day, but Frandsen is also Cody Asche's realistic upside without the platoon advantage. Then there's Freddy Galvis, but entire books were written last winter about why he's a poor fit for 3B. You could also shift Rollins over to 3B, but given that there's already clubhouse drama aplenty this year, does anybody think the FO has the testicular fortitude to force that move upon him?

There's always free agency, too, but...well, have you looked at the 3B free agent market for the 2013 off-season? It's a retread of last year's abysmal offerings:
Wilson Betemit (32) - $3.2MM vesting option
Eric Chavez (36)
Mark DeRosa (39)
Mike Fontenot (34)
Jerry Hairston Jr. (38)
Brandon Inge (37)
Placido Polanco (38)
Mark Reynolds (30)
Juan Uribe (34)
Kevin Youkilis (35)
Michael Young (37)

With that kind talent pool, your best-case FA signing would be to try and replicate what the Diamondbacks did this year with using Chavez as a LHB platoon bat, and mating him with Frandsen. But if you're going to go with a platoon at 3B, what exactly does Chavez offer over Asche in terms of being the dominant half of the platoon? Chavez has greater offensive upside, but is also a markedly greater injury risk for a team that already has too many going injury concerns.

He'd also cost a lot more. Given that it looks like money is going to be tight next year when it comes to filling holes, the $3-4MM it'd take to get Chavez will have to come from somewhere. Asche's decent enough the drop-off in production is not greater than losing the margin that'll be required to land one of the prize positional FAs (e.g. Choo or McCann) or do work upgrading the bullpen.

With all of that in mind, I fail to see what harm is done by giving Asche every opportunity to reach his best-case scenario upside. It's not like the team's well-positioned to compete in 2014, and these are the kinds of things you do while you're in transition. (And that, if they were to compete in 2014, it'd be because guys like Asche overperformed expectations.) The worst-case scenario is that he doesn't reach his upside in a lost season, giving the team a LHB bench piece with at least four years of team control left and the seat kept warm for Franco at minimal cost, both which of which have value.

I must also state, again, that my opinion is based upon what is foreseeable. The trade market is never really foreseeable: If something shakes loose that is a real improvement over what we've got -- i.e. picking up Bogaerts or Middlebrooks as part of a Cliff Lee trade to the Red Sox or Chase Headley's bad season causing the Padres to sell low -- then you certainly pursue go with that over Asche. But that's the sort of cataclysmic event that should change your plans.

I get where clout's coming from on the Jason Donald comp for Asche but there are a couple differences that might make Asche a slightly better bet. One, Donald was a full year older when he made it to AAA . Also, as clout noted, Donald sucked in a full season of AAA at Age 24 (.646 OPS) whereas Asche has hit very well at Age 23 (.837 OPS)

That makes a difference IMHO. Asche has huge questions defensively obviously...just like Donald did. Neither is a starter on a good team but Asche might...MIGHT be a stopgap option or a guy who starts on a rebuilding club for a few years.

Considering there are zero options via FA, considering we have an ideal platoon partner for him in Frandsen, considering he's cheap at the league minimum and considering we have other gaping holes in the roster, they might as well give him a nice long audition the rest of this year and see where they're at.

John Mayberry Jr: He's a 4th OF with a .749 OPS (104 OPS+) hitter who can play both corner OF positions quite competently and can spot start in CF on an occasional basis who is also making $517K.

Probably the least of our issues in 2014. Most teams would kill to have a cheap role player like that. Even next year in his first arbitration year, he'll still be cheap and worth the money.

That should say "least of our issues in 2013..."

Juums: Guess I'm old school. When you have a position with no set regular, you open it up for competition. The best man wins, whether that's Frandsen, Galvis or someone they bring in. If Asche can beat the competition, good for him. If not, he goes back down.

I completely agree.

NEPP: "they might as well give him a nice long audition the rest of this year and see where they're at."

I agree with this, to a point. If he's hitting .091 and making errors in bunches after 100 ABs, I'd probably send him back down just to keep him sane.

Well yeah...if he completely and utterly implodes, you cant let him hang himself.

After the way Rube handled Susdorf, I fear for Asche's sanity. He has to be walking on eggshells around the clubhouse.

He has to finish the season playing every day at third base in the majors, almost no matter how he plays. If he sucks, then you get a guaranteed top ten draft pick. If he turns it around, then you get a major league third baseman. And from his history, he has never immediately hit when moving up a league. Anyone who expected him to be David Wright out of the chute was dreaming.

The fielding is a bit worrisome. But he was better in AAA, so I'm thinking this is an aberration.

I watched Mike Schmidt stink at the plate for an entire season his rookie year. Asche certainly is no comparison to Schmidt's upside, but the key word is patience. The Phillies showed a lot of it back then because they stunk, so they could let him develop. I think Asche is pretty mentally tough. If they just let him play, he will get better and be good enough to fill in at third base at least until Franco is ready, and maybe a little more.

And they should bring back Susdorf and dump Nix as soon as possible. Nix isn't coming back and one error in left field shouldn't end the major league career of a guy who could become a useful bat off the bench. Susdorf is not a guy with any range, but he has always caught what he gets to. Until that one play. And Rube made a decision based on one play much too quickly.

If poor outfield play was a reason to get sent down, most of the outfielders on the team would be playing for the Riversharks.

For those wondering about possibly losing a draft pick, remember: you have to actually sign a top flight free agent to do that.

The GM is still RAJ2

clout - nice post at 11:48.

Indeed, Asche has hit everywhere he's been. Given time.

Only in his first year, when he went from college to professional for the first time, did he struggle. I see this current trial period as very similar to that. It will, indeed, be interesting to see the quality of his play at 3B. Given we've gotten by this year with Mr. Young (the Elder) and in the past such notables as Dobbs and Helms, it is likely that the current bar for defensive ability at 5 is reasonably low.

Actually, at this point, the bar for anything at all in any category in Philadelphia baseball, is reasonably low.

Wow, I seem like less of a douche today. I must have had all of my Metamucil.

So let me get this straight. There is a real Clout?

Hard to believe how the Braves are tearing it up with that POS Upton on their 25 man. - cut_fastball
A shutdown bullpen can do wonders for your win-loss record.

Wait, I have to start posting as Jake to hide my douchyiosity.

If Michael Young is (Young the Elder) what does that make Delmon Young (Young the Rotund)?

The Braves are also 2nd in the National League in runs scored. Their starting rotation, widely considered the team's Achilles heel, has an ERA of 3.68. Our starting rotation, widely considered the team's strength, has an ERA of 4.20.

The Braves are a deeply flawed team.

Well, there's always the possibility of Tmac saying something really corny like Asche Smashy if he hits a HR. Would he go there?

I don't know if that last post is facetious but others have said the same thing and weren't being facetious at all.

So I must ask: where are all these deep flaws? Their offense has the 2nd most runs in the league. Their pitching has the 2nd best ERA in the league. Their bullpen is one of the best in baseball. Their starting pitching has been somewhat above average. Their outfield defense is the best in baseball. Their infield defense is average. I'm not seeing all these deep flaws -- which might explain why they're on pace to win 96 games.

Remember when the Braves were going to have a steep dropoff at third base when Chipper retired?


Hey, I wonder what the Phillies would be doing with a good front office and GM. Just wondering.

Yeah, the Upton brothers are not leading the world in anything. And Uggla is awfully flawed. But that GM has made a lot more good decisions than bad ones lately and it sure shows on the field. And I have little doubt that the Braves will re-sign McCann if they feel he's better than what's left behind him, or let him go if he's not. Seems reasonable. Right? But that's not how Rube makes decisions. Wanna bet that if he'd had McCann, the guy would be playing on a new seven year contract that was signed two years ago with no hometown discount?

BAP - People haven't been saying it for a while. When they were saying it, the Braves had been a .500 team for 3 months, and they had several starting players batting at or below .200 - They are now, finally, proving that April wasn't a fluke.

JC Ramirez cleared waivers and is back at Lehigh. That was a close call.

So JC Ramirez had a negative WAR this year (-0.3), Aumont is at 0.0 on his career, and Gillies likely won't ever register a WAR with the Phils?

How many times have teams traded a Cy Young caliber-starter and potentially gotten negative WAR value from the players they received in return in total?

The flaws to which folks always refer to when it comes to dealing with the Braves is that, qualitatively, their starting pitching should be average at its very best, while their offense is heavy on high-K% and/or three-true-outcome guys and thus it should be subject to vicious bouts of feast or famine in terms of run production.

Whatever their flaws, the Braves have come out and won ball games. I think their organization deserves a truckload of credit simply for having enough depth to handle losing both Venters and O'Flarety without seeming to miss a beat. (Of course, what credit there is promptly forfeited by the Braves mismanagement of both of those players seems to have been a contributor to their seasons ending early.)

Lee trade is making the Schilling deal (Daal, T. Lee, Padilla, Figueroa) look better and better by comparison.

At least the Phils got some value at the MLB level in what they acquired. Daal had one decent year here, Lee looked good in a uniform, and Padilla has two good years here as a starter and a few mediocre ones.

"When they were saying it, the Braves had been a .500 team for 3 months, and they had several starting players batting at or below .200."

The Braves haven't been a .500 team in ANY month of the season. In their worst month, they played .536 ball, which works out to an 87-win season. In their 2nd worst month, they were .571, which works out to a 93-win pace. If you throw out their 12-1 start, as many have been wanting to do all year, they're STILL playing at an 89-win pace.

The Phillies, on the other hand, haven't exceeded the .500 threshold in any month of the season. Their best month was May, in which they were exactly .500. So, in the Philles' best month of the season, they were still 2 games worse than the Braves in their worst month.

There was a pretty good stretch there where the broadcast would always throw up the NL East records since some date in April and the Braves, Phillies, and Nationals were all within 1-2 games of one another, each hovering near .500.

They don't use that graphic anymore. Hmm, I wonder why.

Wouldn't it be funny if Jeter was juicing just as long as Arod?

In the NL, the Braves will be the weakest team in the field and probably lose in the first round.

Juums's post on their flaws sum up my feelings exactly.

BAP - At the ASB, when many of us were assessing the Phillies chances, the Braves were 54-41, which was close to .500 (2 games over) since the 12-1 start.

BAP - What that imposter is trying to say is that it as more about the Phils playing better before the ASB than how the Braves were playing.

"At the ASB, when many of us were assessing the Phillies chances, the Braves were 54-41, which was close to .500 (2 games over) since the 12-1 start."

The same dumb sh!t you dumb fans are always doing. "Hey look it would be closer if we just ignore the other team's hot streak (and count our own hot streak)." What a surprise! There are hundreds of ways to delude yourself if you're so inclined.

2, 1996, Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Nike Air Max 90

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