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Monday, August 19, 2013


Stamina seems to be the biggest knock on Martin so far. I am perfectly fine letting him start during a lost season as a last attempt to see if he can make it as a starter, but once next season starts and games start to count - he needs to be in the bullpen.

Down the road, you can always experiment with him as a starter if need be, so its not like you are giving up on the kid forever, but if the Phils don't think he's demonstrated the most telling traits of a pitcher who would benefit being turned into a bullpen arm, than I don't know what they're looking for.

Chooch batting 2nd? Error. Error.

The leadoff and number 2 spots for the last two games (Martinez and Frandzen, and now Rollins and Ruiz) have not been looking too strong. Neither is 2/3 of the BroMayWel outfield.

New bus driver, same broken-down bus.

Mayberry in CF, Wells in RF.

Stay Stupid, Philadelphia.

Panamanian upswing?

.326/.356/.442 (.797 OPS) in 47 PAs in August so far for Chooch.

Still isn't hitting a ton of XBHs but that is a notable improvement.

MG, I predict Chooch will do just fine in the 2-hole.

The problem is that Sandberg, like Manuel, can't figure out how to split up LHH.

Should be:

Ruf (highest OPS on team)

Seriously, what difference does it make what in order the bottom 3 guys are, so why not split the lefties and righties.

The only significant change is moving Brown back to the 5-hole to split up brown and Utley.

Crashburn alley is currently down.

Looks like Baer wrote one too many unflattering pieces about Ruf and his Army of hackers have taken down Baer's site.

Chris Branch ‏@ChrisBranchTNJ 42m
With their starts tonight, Rollins + Utley (1,040 G) will tie NYY's Jeter + Cano for most starts as a double-play combo among active players'


Re: Tickets costing less than a pizza

At least a pizza leaves me feeling fulfilled and satisfied when it's over and done with.

awh - That and the Wells/Mayberry thing. I just don't get it. Those really are crazy leaps of logic and easy calls on where guys should be placed.

Call me crazy, but I like Chooch in the 2-hole right now. MG posted the stats, so I won't repeat. At least there seems to be thought behind the decision, i.e. Chooch is hitting the ball and getting on base, let's move him up and ride the hot streak.

As far as Wells in RF and Mayberry in CF, I don't mind that either. Mayberry needs reps in CF if he is going to be your 4th OF next year. They're out of contention, so now is the time to get him some time in CF.

If those are the reasons behind the moves, of course. If the reasoning isn't along those lines, then I don't necessarily agree. Unfortunately, we'll never get inside Sandberg's head.

Tough to get excited for any of these now meaningless games. I guess we just hope for a season with less than 90 losses. Boy, this sucks! Rube's got to go.

I actually think Ruiz in the 2 hole is a fine experimentation. Why not?

Not splitting up the lefties is something I thought we'd see with a managerial change. I must say, I'm disappointed. It'll be interesting to see what he does next year when he has Utley, Howard and Brown to deal with.

The more things change...

Good game for Martin to even his record.

Looks like Baer wrote one too many unflattering pieces about Ruf and his Army of hackers have taken down Baer's site. - awh

Iceman: "It might be a weird method, but it's tough to say it isn't working. Fans are being duped into thinking users are the lowest form of human life"

Right. This is why I think it's odd. Not that it isn't working--but that it is.

What business takes its most marketable assets (its star players) and portrays them as the lowest form of human life? Other than Pro Wrestling, which is kind of what the scene at Fenway Park reminded me of last night.

I have no problem with Chooch in the 2-hole. I have a gigantic problem with Rollins in the leadoff spot, though.

As far as Wells in RF and Mayberry in CF, I don't mind that either. Mayberry needs reps in CF if he is going to be your 4th OF next year. They're out of contention, so now is the time to get him some time in CF. - R. Bill
If Sandberg is employing that logic, wouldn't he start Ruf in the outfield?

Jake: Not necessarily. Maybe Sandberg is giving Ruf time at 1B because he plans on Ruf playing 1B next season.

He should be planning on keeping Wells next year, not Mayberry.

Jack - If that were the case, wouldn't he play Ruf at 1B everyday?

Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN)
Sandberg talked a lot about Rollins today. He believes in Rollins, says he will work on changes in approach to improve OBP. Ryno's mission.


Improve OBP? I guess Uncle Ryno is not going to last very long.

Jake: Maybe he will, after today?

Who knows. But he's managed 3 games so far. We should probably give him a few more before we try to divine any trends or intent.

"Maybe Sandberg is giving Ruf time at 1B because he plans on Ruf playing 1B next season."

Wishful thinking.

BAP: Why do you have a problem with Rollins in the leadoff spot?

It seems to me like Sandberg has determined he's going to try and work with Rollins pretty heavily and try and get him to make some changes. If that's the case, it seems to me a smart move to give Rollins a reason to trust him, and to let Rollins lead off in games that don't matter anyway.

I think that's fake Jack too. I can't imagine that the real Jack would actually believe that a 34-year old 12-year veteran, who can no longer hit, is suddenly going to be able to improve his OBP because he has a new manager.

Rockies' lineup:

1. Fowler, CF
2. Dickerson, LF
3. Tulowitzki, SS
4. Cuddyer, RF
5. Rosario, C
6. Helton, 1B
7. Arenado, 3B
8. LeMahieu, 2B
9.Manship, P

Fair point, Jake. But in order to play both Wells and Mayberry (in CF), Ruf needs to play 1B in order to stay in the lineup.

Who knows. Just a thought.

"I can't imagine that the real Jack would actually believe that a 34-year old 12-year veteran, who can no longer hit, is suddenly going to be able to improve his OBP because he has a new manager."

Naah, Sandberg has "Hitting Potion Number-9". He's gonna share some with Jimmy and it will fix everything.

I think watching Mayberry play first base the other day may have convinced Sandberg that Ruf's development in the outfield is secondary to minimizing embarrassment to the team.

Food for thought:

It's quite possible that BOTH Wells and Mayberry make the 2014 Phillies as OF backups.

What's the rule that says the two OF backups have to be opposite-handed?

Besides, lets say that next season the lineup shakes out like this:

C - Chooch/Kratz or whoever RHH
1B - Howard LHH
2B - Utley LHH
SS - Rollins SW
3B - Asche LHH
RF - Brown LHH
CF - Revere LHH
LF - Ruf RHH

That's a lot of LHH in the regular lineup, and will present a challenge for any manager. It might do them well to have an extra RHB on the bench.


OF - Mayberry RHH
OF - Wells RHH
UT Frandsen RHH
UT Galvis? SW
C Kratz or whoever

In the first place, Frandsen could/should see some time against LHP, which means Asche would be another LHB off the bench.

Additionally, in games Revere or Brown got a rest, either of them would be available for PH duty as well.

It wouldn't be an unmanageable problem, even if it isn't ideal.

What's the bigger joke, Mayberry back in CF or Mini Mart's getting benched after leading the team to Ryno's first W?

Sandberg really sounds like he wants Ruiz to hit second going forward, and that he wants Rollins to improve his approach at the plate because of this newfangled thing called 'on base percentage.'

I mean, I don't know how you can't be encouraged by what he's saying. Who knows if it will work with Rollins, but at least he is identifying a problem and trying something new.

Ice, what makes you think Charlie didn't try the same thing with JRoll?

Remember what Revere said in ST? All he talked about was "getting on base". That mindset had to have been conveyed to him by someone, so what makes you think it wasn't Charlie?

Charlie never did a lot of things publicly and that's why players love him. He goes to great lengths not to embarrass his players and does almost everything behind closed doors.

So, why is it something "new"?

It's possible JRoll is just in a severe decline phase and incapable of anything better (though I would tend to give him the benefit of the doubt).

I guess my point is that Charlie isn't such a f00l about the game that he doesn't understand how important it is to just get guys on base, so I have a hard time believing it hasn't been mentioned to Rollins before this.

Don't know how progressive Sandberg is as a manager, but it's a little naive to think he (or anyone) can break the great inertia of this stodgy franchise in just a handful of days.

Baby steps, Dr. Marvin, baby steps!

Unikruk, good post.

AWH, it is definitely possible it has been mentioned to Rollins before, but its also possible (likely?) Rollins took a "Who the heck are you to tell me what to do" attitude and knew he wasn't going to be benched for not listening.

Maybe Sandberg says, "I'm a Hall of Famer, whereas the only HoF you're seeing is the Phillies Wall of Fame. Oh, and if you don't listen to me I have no problem benching you."

Hey, one can hope. It certainly can't make Rollins' hitting any worse.

That was the real me.

I have no illusions about Sandberg being able to change Rollins at this point. But he seems committed to trying, and it seems that a logical byproduct of trying to adjust Rollins' approach to make him a better leadoff hitter is to hit him leadoff.

If this were Game 1 of a playoff series, I'd have a problem with it. But since it's game 100-who gives a crap? of a lost season, this strikes me as harmless.

And hey, who knows? Maybe Sandberg can actually get Jimmy to adjust a little bit. No worse for the trying.

I knew 'bout, like, gettin' on base. You can't, like, hit a three run homer wit' nobody on base.

" but it's a little naive to think he (or anyone) can break the great inertia of this stodgy franchise in just a handful of days."

Who said anything like that?

awh- if Charlie said anything of the sort to Rollins, it wasn't apparent in his approach or his results. I'm the biggest Rollins fan you'll find (which around here isn't saying much), but it's pretty clear both from what we're seeing on the field and hearing leaked through the media that the team isn't happy with Rollins attitude/effort. I'm not one to judge if they're right or wrong on something that is relatively subjective, but I can recognize that his play on the field is a problem and something needs to change in that regard.

By saying what he said, Sandberg has put the onus on Rollins to either get better or own up in public to whatever his problem has been behind the scenes (in the case that he doesn't improve). I don't think someone that has been around the game like Sandberg would come out and challenge Rollins so directly if he didn't think there was something left in the tank that he hasn't yet tapped into.

And if his problem is simply that he isn't good anymore, they're giving Rollins the chance to prove himself before they'd be forced to pay his vesting option in 2015. The organization can recognize there will be little difference between he and Galvis and go in another direction.

Either way, this is a problem that hasn't been talked about much (because of the gaping holes elsewhere on the team) but needs to be addressed soon, and I'm glad Sandberg is putting it out there for discussion, at the very least.

The question is if challenging a player publicly is ever a good idea.

Good article about Charlie from a NY beatwriter:
In Phillies' Charlie Manuel, a model for the modern MLB manager

Ice: I wasn't referring to anyone in particular.

My low key off season targets:
Morse, raja davis, salty, Grant Balfour, edward mujica (assuming he doesn't get a closing gig)

I think a decent trade will be in order though for real change when looking to improve the BP, C, OF situation

Ice, I agree, I was just defending Charlie a bit, because I don't think he's so st00pid that he doesn't know about OBP importance, and I find it hard to believe that he hasn't mentioned it to JRoll.

Sanberg's not really challenging Rollins, though, is he?

To me, I think of a challenge as "So and so needs to step it up," not "I'm going to work with Player X on this facet of his game."

Enjoy Martin's final start. I'd expect him to lose his spot in the rotation as Doc and Pettibone return.

Martin's future is in the bullpen anyway. I believe his stuff works best at full effort.

Some baseball people believe the best reliever's are failed starting pitching prospects. Maybe Martin will be the first in awhile for us to make that transition.

I read Rollin's "day off" yesterday as Sandberg benching him after Sandberg had talked about the lackadaisical attitude during the press conference.

I could be wrong, and I doubt it works given there isn't much to play for, but maybe he is calling him out a little bit.

I like Chooch second. He hasn't been hitting since he came back, so stick him in the middle of things and see if he focuses a little better.

Heather- I think it's a challenge that's being issued in a way that will not offend or 'call out' Rollins. Sandberg and Rollins are both intelligent guys, and I'm sure they both know the amoun of rope they are working with here. Sandberg needs to present some reasons why the front office should hire him and show some differences from Manuel, and Rollins is a veteran with very little time left here- and one of the only starters that has a backup ready to take his place if his performance continues to decline.

Sandberg could have easily pulled Rollins aside privately and told him all of this, but he's observed him this year and realizes that probably would do nothing. So instead of simply talking to him privately, he planted a seed to the media that he's not only acknowledging that he believes Rollins can do better, but that he plans on making it a priority to oversee that improvement himself. If Rollins was lacking incentive to adjust to his declining skill set, this might provide that incentive- because his manager made it clear to reporters and fans that it has to happen. If it doesn't, Sandberg can claim he tried and gave him every opportunity to succeed. He's put it entirely on Rollins without actually calling him out.

I know I'm talking it up like it's some genius move, and it's really not. It's just a different approach to a problem that I am glad someone with some sway in the organization is addressing. I doubt Manuel would have done so before leaving at the end of the season.

I like that Sandberg is trying to mix things up, minus the Mini-Mart leadoff debacle yesterday.

W-L's don't matter, his biggest job is to get the most out of what he has. So why not throw Ruiz in the 2 hole? Can't see it sticking, but will be interesting to see tonight.

Rollins needs a good kick in the ass. He's been dogging it for half the season now.

Jake, I really liked Martino's piece on Manuel. Thanks.

BL back up? Let the Mayberry/Wells debate rage on.

Finally fixed!

Belatedly celebrating:
* Mayberry!!!!!
* Choooooch!!!!
* Nice job by Ethan Martin so far tonight!

Chooch raking up the XBHs, Ryno's a genius!

GBrett - Yeah, I thought it was share-worthy, its sad to see Charlie go, even though a shakeup seemed necessary. Should've been Ruben.

Tonight's proof that Mayberry's been reading Beerleaguer, as he's apparently out to prove that not only can he hit RHP, but he can do it for power at that.

How about this Martin kid? 72 pitches, 0 ER through 6 innings.

Casper shows what a real RF can do.

CS, I missed it. What did Casper do?

Mayberry has constantly shown the ability to have a good game just often enough to stay afloat.

Several years ago, while visiting my family in CO, we went to a Rockies game. The Dodgers were in town, and there were two very loud Dodgers fans behind us and back only a few rows. Jeff Francis was pitching. Every single pitch he threw, those two fans yelled at the top of their lungs, "Hey Francis! You suck!"

Until Rockies staff spoke to them. Then they amended their shouts to "Hey Francis! You're no good!"

Ah, memories.

Casper dived and actually caught the ball.

Playoff run started yesterday?

A baseball source tells's Jim Salisbury that the Phillies are considering signing Roger Bernadina:

@JSalisburyCSN: Source: Phillies consider signing Roger Bernadina #PhilliesTalk

Bats under .200 and is LH, a perfect fit.

Practially they sign him to AAA and bring him up 9-1

Signing Bernadina would make less than no sense. He's the same age as Mayberry, likely costs more, is an even worse hitter & bats LH. The Phillies must have the worst scouting in MLB.

Better then mini?

GBrett - I was randomly watching a Braves-Brewers game late last season, and 2 Brewer fans were doing the same thing to Chad Durbin. Every single pitch: "Hey Durbin, You Suck!". It never stopped, perhaps because it was in Milwaukee.

CS: Yes, but so are you & I.

Why is Mayberry in center and Wells in right?

Anyone who sees Martin pitch knows he's got a future in the MLB. I don't blame them for trying him as a starter with that curveball- if he could ever get fastball command to go with it, he would be dominant. But hopefully they make the switch to reliever soon, because he could be a back-end of the bullpen guy in short order.

Can we order our OF to stop sliding?

Cool outfield, Phillies.

Another display of stellar defense. Maybe not an easy play, but there should have been better communication and effort.

Time to pull Marin, maybe, while we still have a lead? He's fading.

Last batter.

Turns out, against bad teams Martin can go through the order twice before they start hammering him.

If that last play were shown as the video Daily Double on Jeopardy, the correct answer would be: "What horrible things can happen when you have two crappy outfielders playing next to each other?"

Might want to go and get him.

Martin really hits a wall, doesn't he?

@BAP: I think it has to start with "What is a horrible thing" or "What are horrible things"

rock: Oh, I think you're right. It has to start with "what is" or "what are." So, how about, "What is an abominable display of outfield defense?"

Ruben just loves Natinals rethreads

@BAP: Or, "What are reasons why Philadelphia Phillies fans may turn to alcoholism"

It's the right move to always push a pitcher to be a starter for as long as its possible, but Martin really wants to make it seem he should be in the bullpen. I see no problem with starting out the rest of the year still though.

Which, incidentally, is also an answer to the daily double video footage of our nightly Metamucil call to the bullpen.

Bernadina is a bum. He does nothing well, other than the mere ability to stand at multiple positions and not embarrass himself. He doesn't hit RHP especially well, and that was true even before this year, when he has been the worst player on the Nats.

If he signs here, I'll be nauseated to the point of actually vomiting. The kicker is that DeJesus is someone that I thought would've fit in next year as a cheap source of OF depth. The Nats getting him and dumping a sh*tty player, followed by the Phils picking up that sh*tty player, would be so Ruben.

My biggest takeaway from this game has been hearing two on-air guys use the plural "second basemens": Benny around the 2nd and T-Mac in the top of the 5th.

It's a small thing, sure, but man if Tommy doesn't toe the company line!

***Bernadina is a bum. He does nothing well, other than the mere ability to stand at multiple positions and not embarrass himself. He doesn't hit RHP especially well, and that was true even before this year, when he has been the worst player on the Nats.***

So Rube will give him a 2 year deal then?

I like Martin. If we were in contention he'd be in the bullpen since we need so much help there, but given that we aren't, I like sending him deep into games. He's got Hamels, Lee, maybe Halladay there around him. If anyone can tell him what he needs to do in order to get through a lineup more than twice, it'd be them.

And I will admit, I have never seen Bernadina play except with the Nats against the Phils (and whatever random Nats games I've attended where he warmed the bench and made no impact on the game whatsoever). I was able to discern how terrible he is simply by going to BR and looking at his stats. You don't even have to dive into them much to see what he would bring to the team (nothing).

Perhaps the Phillies have seen a seven year-old scouting report on Bernadina I've never seen. Otherwise, what the hell are they looking at with this guy?

We already have Bernadina in Mini Mart

Throw out Martin's first start:

16.1 IP, 6 ER, 2.94 ERA, 16 SO, 7 BB, 1.286 WHIP, 8.8 SO/9, 3.8 BB/9, 2.29 SO/BB

That's not a terrible line really.

Oh good. The worst pitcher in the history of the major leagues has entered the game.

NEPP - Yup and an option.

We've seen some pretty dreadful pitchers out of our BP, BAP. Are you quite sure Garcia is the worst in history?

Zagursky...Baez...Qualls...Durbin part 2...

Maybe Garcia can offer a cut & color to whomever ties it up.

Garcia is so horrible. The Phillies are old-fashioned bad.

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