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Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Helluva game by Hamels. 'Bout time he got some run support!

Now's the time to start that second half surge!

Good job cole.i think Cody is gonna stick.

Future Beerleaguer headline (Dec 15th)

Phils Grab McCann

Ruben Amaro Jr announced to a press conference today that Brian McCann was signed to a 4 yr/$64M with a fifth year vesting option.

Free M. Young (to another team)!

Free us...

from anymore of MG's nonsensical postings

Hamels ties Jack Taylor for 9th place on the all-time Phils win list.

What is there to be gained from Howard trying to play again this season?

Now that Charlie got his 1,000th win, can they fire him now?

The funniest and most predictable future blog post this season is going to come over at crashburn alley.

Ruf is 3 for his last 16 and his OPS has dropped to .890.

Be on the lookout for a Baer post trumpeting how smart he was for being able to tell us ahead of time that "Darin Ruf isn't this good!"

Book it.

Andrew, absolutely nothing.

Even r00b has acknowledged it.

Has the FO finally gotten some common sense? Why wasn't he handled that way last season when they ran a lame Howard out there who could barely do anything on the field?

Teams make mistakes - they all do:

Yankees with the LT contracts to ARoid and Tex.
Giants with Zito.
Bad trades are made from time to time by almost every team.

But what is it about the Phillies thelast couple of seasons? They sure seem to have made their fair share and then some.

Andrew: I believe Howard gets double punches on his frequent surgery loyalty card in-season. He's getting close to a free one.

Great job by Hamels last night, although, I still don't get the "tough luck" bit. After all, he WAS sporting a 4.58 ERA through June.

Since then though he's looked a lot better. His K/BB has almost doubled (to 5.9, from 3.0) while his BB/9 was cut in more than half (to 1.2, from 2.8). Encouraging to see him do it against the Bravos too.

Happy Cole is righting the ship. He has had some pretty disappointing stretches this year. I hate to see top pitchers have such low win totals (or lost seasons like Halladay) because it can so adversely affect their career ending number in an era where pitchers already struggle to rack up the win totals of their predecessors.

Nevertheless, Phillies fall to a perhaps insurmountable 15.5 games behind Houston for the #1 pick. Tied for the 7th pick right now.

jbird, what's the potential draft like next June? Is there "can't miss" talent in positions 1 - 10?

3rd try - Every once in a while, my posts vanish before they appear.

This is great - Watch for the joy and the fun of it. High school all-star game.

Next year's baseball draft is supposed to be a strong one. Unlike this year's, which was a relatively weak one.

Anyone want a sobering read should look at the Braves' 2007 draft. Just look at the first, supplemental and second round picks and you'll know why the Phillies aren't competitive now.

Supplemental pick Jon Gilmore hasn't been in the Braves organization since 2008. He's 23, never played above AA, and has a career minor league OPS of .699. OPS of .481 in 2012. I don't think he's playing this year.

Heyward and Freeman, sure. But what does Gilmore have to do with the Phillies? I mean, they took d'Arnaud 4 picks later and he helped them get Halladay, who kept the Phils pretty darn competitive in 2010 and 2011.


awh: Beerleaguer looks like it ate 2 responses in a row. grr.

Too early to know for sure. Considered a strong draft. A lot can change in the Spring. Carlos Rondon considered #1. No Justin Upton/Strasburg/Harper generational type though.

Imagine if the Braves signed Brandon Belt. They drafted him in the 11th round of 2007.

Here a question - what do you think Asche has to do offensively/defensively the rest of the way to ensure Amaro doesn't look for a potential FA/trade this year as a stop-gap or to compete with Asche for the job next spring.

Asche is at .225/.262/.425 (.687 OPS) with 2 HRs and some really shaky defense overall so far in 13 G (10 GS).

awh - Carlos Rodon is a LHP with a consistently ~95 MPH fastball and a wipeout slider in the mid to high 80s. Developing changeup. Solid, consistent delivery. Good command and control. looks like the best SP prospect since Strasburg, but not quite in that class. Will almost definitely go #1.

Yes it is the 2007 draft where the Braves drafted 2 great players (AND JON GIMORE!!!! OMG!!) that has us not competitive now.

it's not the injuries, or the wasteful spending, or the trading of good prospects that could be helping now in order to acquire Halladay, Oswalt, and Pence. Yup- it is solely a draft from 6 years ago.

Simpleton thinking at it's finest because it is not one thing that got us to this point.

Chris: I would have thrown a David Price comp on him as a college power lefty.

jbird - Excellent comparison. Same ceiling as a potential CY winning ace. Seems to have a solid floor as well, barring injury of course.

I think I was misremembering that draft. Didn't they get Kimbrel that year too? Maybe he was a late round guy.

I imagine Asche and Ruf won't have guaranteed starting jobs unless they do something incredible over the next 6 weeks.

Remember that Brown didn't have a guaranteed spot entering ST this year.

Beerleaguer is eating my responses again. Or I will have quadruple posted this answer:

Kimbrel in the 33rd round that year.

They did draft Kimbrel in the 33rd round of 2007 but he didn't sign and went back to school to improve his draft spot.

He was then taken in the 3rd in 2008 and signed.

Now that CM has 1,000 wins he has a good reason to step down but don't count on it.

MG: If Asche can get that OBP north of .300, I'd feel comfortable handing him the keys next April.

Of course, if RAJ is still in charge, it'll be all about the Production™!

The guy who fell over the wall.....he is reported to be a fan who thought Cole was a California girly man with a dog backpack . He couldn't take the Macho Cole.

Hamels was dealing last night, against the hottest offense in baseball, in their home park. Look no further than the swings that he was getting from Freeman and McCann, some of the worst hacks I've ever seen from them.

I really wasn't trying that hard because I like the Phillies and I ultimately want to sign with them for 4 years 9 mill per year as a favor to the fans of Philadelphia.

Even though I am from Atlanta (yes this is my home) and they treat me like a demigod here. I think the Phillies need me.

If, run out there every day against lefties and righties, Asche can post something close to what the Minor League Equivalency Calculator spat out for his MLB-adjusted numbers based on his AAA season -- .252/.312/.408 -- then he should be fine as far Opening Day 2014 is concerned. As at that point, you've basically got Michael Young's bat with a bit less in the way of contact skills but markedly greater defensive upside. (Assuming, of course, that the three errors he committed in his first four games were the result primarily of nerves and MLB-debut jitters more than anything else.)

Of course, given how infatuated the front office is with first impressions, methinks Asche's glove will remain a question mark in their minds long after her's put those fears to rest on the field.

Think platoon already in place for 3B next year. Why else is MYoung still here.


McCann: A demigod for Atlanta baseball is like the most facebook friends on your men's league bowling team.

"I know we haven't done it much, but we've got to start something. The pride that we all have, it has to be for something. There aren't too many opportunities to play the game of baseball, it's winding down, and we better finish strong . . . How do you want to go out? How do you want to be remembered? It's more fun going out as a team and ultimately trying to finish strong." - Cole Hamels (last night)
Someone should remind Hamels that losing-out would be better for the team (/s)

Michael Young "plays" 3B about as well as I do. He's a statue with stone hands. There's no point to bringing him back again next year.

Jake - Legitimate question...would it be better for the 2014 Phils if the 2013 version finished roughly where they currently are in the standings, or if they finished with, say, the 12th worst record in baseball?

Purely from a logical, best-case scenario for 2014, please.

Production™ for Asche has been good - 7 RBIs in 10 GS.

Chris - For the 2014 Phillies, it would be better if the team had a strong finish.

Chris - For the 2014 Phillies, it would be better if the team had a strong finish.

Posted by: Jake | Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 01:36 PM


If you believe they have no chance at all in 2014, and you would rather have the #1 pick to help out in 2018, I would understand it.

"Chris - For the 2014 Phillies, it would be better if the team had a strong finish."

If you think this might translate into slightly better ticket sales renewal rates and thus more revenue/maintain their payroll at a current level, then yeah maybe.

Otherwise it is meaningless.

Phillies finished very strong last year. It did them little good this year. That false spring may have been what convinced the FO to only tinker around the edges, and, also left the Phillies in a spot where signing a guy like Swisher would cost them a pick. Swisher, even if he were hitting this year would be barely worth the pick. Now that he's not hitting, it would have been bad news if they'd signed Swisher for a pick.

I'm not going to root for a lose, but I also think that if the team finishes in the bottom 10 of MLB, it'll have the dual benefit of proving to the FO that some major work needs to be done, and allows the team to make a signing (if it wants to) without losing that #1 pick.

Because it was better when they finished strong and took on the Cardina....oh wait a second...

Jake - If the Phils finish with a record outside the worst 10 in baseball, they can't sign any premium FAs without giving up their first draft pick. Considering how badly the system needs young talent, I'd wager a guess they'd be VERY unlikely to give that up, which means you're probably not seeing any top FA signings again. Do you want them to sign premium FAs to improve their chances at winning in 2014, or do you want to go into the season with basically the same failure of a roster, with minor tweaks here and there? Which do you think gives them a better chance to win in 2014?

Chris: Exactly. If the Phillies have a top 10 pick, whoever they select probably becomes one of their top 4 prospects maybe even their #1 AND they can still sign a premium FA if they want to. If the Phillies have an unprotected pick it's going to be either/or and if they go with the prospect, it'll obviously be a lower selection.
But I also really would like the FO to be shocked into making the necessary changes and not just think a couple of secondary moves will be enough.

As an ancillary benefit, the more talent a farm system gets, the better regarded it becomes and the easier it is to make trades for mlb talent. A well regarded farm system is why we could trade for a Halladay, Oswalt, & Pence (good trades or not)

Chris - Why? The team has several new faces currently on the roster, most of whom will be back in 2014. The new-look Phillies should use the final 44 games as a head start on 2014. By finishing strong it will give the team confidence in their ability to succeed next season. I realize there is no sabermetric stat that measures confidence, chemistry, or momentum, but those things exist and they factor into the win-loss record of a baseball team.

Besides Mccann (who is staying in ATL) who are we signing that will cost us a pick? Right now this team needs several depth signings, not an overpriced FA.

If finishing strong meant a thing, the current Phillies would be on top of the world. As it is, they finished strong and they're in the toilet.

There is no carryover from one season to another Never. Never has been and never will be. If the kids play well and the overpaid, rapidly aging core don't, then that may be the best case scenario. This team needs new blood, a high draft pick and to stop leaning on older, declining players wherever possible.

And if Michael Young finishes the season on the Phillies roster, Rube should be not only fired, but each BL poster should get a chance to smack him in the face at least once. The line would likely be all the way down the street.

I realize there is no sabermetric stat that measures confidence, chemistry, or momentum, but those things exist and they factor into the win-loss record of a baseball team.

Yes, and their strong finish in 2012 really catapulted them into contention this year. You know what factors into a baseball team's win-loss record a lot more than whether or not they get along? Talent. And a lot of it. Get more talent. I could care less if Papelbon's a total schmuck (and I'm sure his teammates would agree) if he's closing out game 7 of the NLCS successfully, for instance. Get more talent, however you can. Cause this team needs A LOT of it if they are going to compete in 2014, not some magical elixir of self-confidence.

"There is no carryover from one season to another Never. Never has been and never will be." aksmith

The 2011-2012 Nationals would disagree with you.

"I'm not going to root for a lose, but I also think that if the team finishes in the bottom 10 of MLB, it'll have the dual benefit of proving to the FO that some major work needs to be done, and allows the team to make a signing (if it wants to) without losing that #1 pick."


"There is no carryover from one season to another Never. Never has been and never will be."

This x2.

The FO needs to basically get hit in the head with a ball pein hammer in order to make the necessary changes. If the team finished strong, we'd get a whole new dose of "Just wait until Howard and Halladay come back in 2014, adding two new players!"

Chris - I'm not talking about "getting along". I'm talking about settling into roles, and picking each other up in key situations, like good teams do.

* "It's like adding two new players!"

Looking at the way most of the high priced FA signings have turned out, I wonder how many GM's will jump in with both feet this winter. Between Hamilton, Upton just to name a few, it kind of gives me the heebie jeebies. I said last year that whoever signed Hamilton would regret it. So far I've been right but its still early. I had some interest in BJ Upton but, boy that would be a tough pill to swallow. McCann is a helluva player and I would sure like for the Phillies to not have to face him but, given his age, he makes me very nervous. As usual it's not so much the money as it is years. And you just know somebody will give him 4+. I wouldn't mind seeing Rube target Salty. I think he may represent a good value.

WSJ - Don't get me wrong, I don't think the team is all set for 2014. Not by a long shot. In fact, as incompetent as Amaro may be, even he doesn't think that. However the lineup is pretty much set for 2014, and it would be nice to see if this group can string together a nice run, since we will be relying on them in 2014.

Are we 100% sure that Jake isn't MVP TommyD? That last post sounded very familiar.

donc - I'm not clout, or MVP Tommy, or anyone else.

If there's one thing that Jake is finally right about, its that the 2011 Nats strong finish was way more important to their 2012 success than upgrading their ace from John Lannan to Steven Strasburg and their LF from Laynce Nix to Bryce Harper.

Can't deny that logic. I mean, there's not a stat for momentum, but its clearly the driving factor here.


And that awesome season last year for them was a huge part of why they're the dominant team in the NL this year.

lorecore - I'm just repeating what the Nationals themselves have said about the end of 2011. But you must know better than them. Clearly, it was just two players who were the difference between 80 wins and 98 wins.

I think if the team comes together and wins some games down the stretch, Howard and Halladay will be healed by good vibes, they'll win 100 games next year, and my parents will get back together. You cannot prove me wrong (yet).

I also read that Strasburg and Harper had great chemistry last year and really picked each other up in key situations. This one time, Harper yelled an encouraging word to him from the outfield right before he struck a guy out.

But in 2013 Harper and Strasburg lost their chemistry because one game on Strasburg off day he went to the bathroom during one of Harper's at bats, so he no longer picks him up in key situations and they are a bad team now.

I won't be responding to lorecore because he goes off on tangents like a homeless crackhead. The point I made was that it would be encouraging to see the new-look Phillies finish strong so we have something to look forward to in 2014, rather than seeing more hopeless baseball the rest of way.

Jake: then why are the Nats not good this year? They went 45-22 in August & September. That's a .672 winning %.

Why isn't the story about Miguel Alfredo Gonzales not actually signing with the Phillies a bigger deal? Talks hit "a snag," and nobody asks Ruben another question for 5 days?

Jumms: "If Asche can post something close to ...252/.312/.408 -- then he should be fine as far Opening Day 2014 is concerned."

I'm speechless.

OMG, Jake actually believes that the cliches baseball players spout to writers is gospel truth.

oh yea and this one time ian desmond told this one guy who works for a newspaper that he was glad that the team won some games at the end of the year in 2011 instead of the beginning of the year in 2011 because that made him want to hit more home runs in 2012 and then he did.

Although I withdraw my comment if Juums is looking for a 65-win team next season.

It's more important to win games. Draft picks, outside of a few every few years, are not even close to sure things, and they don't come around for five years. It isn't the NBA or even the NFL where you can make a big impact by tanking a season and getting some high draft picks. We have money to spend these days - top five in baseball.
If you advocate tanking, you have to consider that FAs won't want to come play here, that young talent won't want to stay here, that older veterans will just start mailing games in. It just engenders a loss of confidence by the players, the fans, less ticket revenue means less money to spend on players, etc.

Clout: I don't know if I agree or not about Asche "being fine" but take a look at the Free Agent 3b's for this offseason and pick your preference:

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)

rock: Don't underrate draft picks. Even now Phillies scouts are analyzing 2014 draft eligible prospects, looking for the next Jiwan James.

Since we are basically looking at the team Ruben plans to go to war with in 2014, 65 wins could be a good estimate.

jbird - Which scenario would be most encouraging heading into 2014:

Scenario A: Phillies finish 34-10. Brown, Ruf, Asche lead the way.

Scenario B: Phillies somehow finish 34-10. Brown, Ruf, Asche are terrible.

Scenario C: Phillies finish 10-34. Brown, Ruf, Asche do well.

Scenario D: Phillies finish 10-34. Brown, Ruf, Asche are terrible.

I think we all agree that scenario B would be fools gold, and scenario D would be terrible. I believe scenario A is ideal-- do you agree with that, or do you think scenario C is better because it would give the Phillies a higher draft pick?

jbird: Sad crew and at least 4 of those names won't be in MLB next year, but among the remainder if .252/.312/.408 is your standard, at least half of them will top that.

Clown scenarios, bro. Why can't they go 44-0?

"This team needs new blood, a high draft pick and to stop leaning on older, declining players wherever possible."

Smitty, et al., that's all fine and dandy (high draft picks and more talent always help) but almost any draft pick is unlikely to be able to help for at least 2 - 3 seasons, and if it's a HS age kid, probably longer.

"Although I withdraw my comment if Juums is looking for a 65-win team next season."

This is one of my favorite clout lines. He hasn't brought it out in a while- this brightened my day quite a bit.

Allow me to try and remedy the speechlessness. Given Asche's already burned about a fifth of the PA he's going to see this season and has come up short in both the BA and OBP categories, to put up a line like that will involve substantial and consistent overperformance of what he's done so far over the rest of the season. (Which, in turn, should fuel confidence that next season his results at the plate will mirror those of the PAs that came after however long you want to set his acclimation to MLB pitching at.) And, as said, that's also contingent upon the all-important clause that followed the sentence with the slash line, re: his defensive woes out of the box being attributable to nerves as opposed to the well-known concerns that his glove won't play enough to justify his bat. If he's still a -39.4 UZR/150 guy at the end of the season, then yeah, you need to look elsewhere.

And as jbird said, the FA market is crap. IF you're concerned about Asche's offensive upside, platoon him with Frandsen or someone else who can play 3B and is RHB. You're still looking at running Asche out there 70% of the time, regardless. So you might as well pencil him into start until his bat demonstrates he cannot hit LHP. Which, given how talented pitchers in the MLB are, won't take very long.

Mike - The hypothetical records were not the point. You can substitute 34-10 with "strong record" and 10-34 with "terrible record'.

If he's available on a MiL deal, this is going to be r00b's big offseason acquisition to pair with Revere, Ruf, Brown and Mayberry in next year's OF:

Jake is the baseball version of a Fortune Cookie.

So happy clout brought back his "65" comment. Always 65 wins.

Are the only two options at 3B really Cody Asche or crappy free agent? Come on, Beerleaguer. Think outside the box.

Well, Cyclic, thinking outside the box produced Michael Young. I think Beerleaguer would explode if another creative attempt were made to fill 3B.

On a serious note, Chase Headley's bat continues to stink this year. (And for all of clout's mockery of my hoping Asche's line this year ends up at a lofty .720 OPS, Headley's is currently .711. On other hand, that's good for a 105 OPS+.) Maybe if you've got the right pieces, you might be able to wow the Padres into selling low, as he's going to be arb-eligible for the last time this coming season.

Beyond that...any 3B reclamation projects out there on other teams' farms that we might be able to pilfer? I genuinely don't know, as I'm not nearly fluent enough in MiLB baseball as I should be.

The Casper Wells era begins:

So, which is the primary reason for significant reduction in posts of some key contributors here (Jack, BAP, Sophist, Andy, even clout)? Gotta be one of:

- devolution of banter reduced to 12 year old name calling and general trolling
- CSN's inability to run the damn site in a consistent format (update frequency, not losing posts into a blackhole, etc.)
- team's overall ineptitude this year (though that's never run off the true diehards before...)
- fake posters run amok
- loss of the "Jump to Newest Comments" link

Whatever the root cause is, it's probably that first option that has caused me to turn to Twitter before BL over the last few months. This place is becoming like every other comments section on all other Phillies blogs (and, etc.). JW must be rolling in his grave, as I'm assuming he died shortly after he sold his soul to CSN.

WP, I don't think it's a bad around here as your assessment indicates, but it has gone down hill since the Comcast era began.

I suspect they're just using BL to try to drive traffic to their own site, and thus, don't give it the attention that JW gave it.

That's surprising, considering JW did it primarily by himself, and they seem to have a whole crew devoted to the place who cannot seem to run it as well as one man did.

I've been having serious posting issues today as well.

Also, nothing is worse than the comment section on I would rather be forced at gun point to watch a loop of Steve Jeltz at bats than go back there.

clout: I think I mostly agree with where you're going, but I seriously doubt that 4 guys on that list of FA 3B give you better than a .720 OPS.

The best threads are during games. BL needs to be fed with actual things happening or it starts to consume itself.

The endless arguments, replete with ad hominem attacks and logical fallacies (cross-reference a BL thread with this )...

It reminds me of a sports commentary show with no producer, editor, or time limit. Get a few guys or gals up, throw out a topic, and if there is a producer and a time limit, they'll each make some points and then they just have to stop and move to the next segment. If you gave them endless time, it would just devolve in character sniping, arguments about who said what when, and a billion random statistics.

WP, look at it this way:

There was a reason JW won the sportswriter of the year award (or whatever it was). Talent. (One would think one of the guys here would take a shot at it.)

The content was almost always good - and TIMELY. Major Phils news and analysis was here first a lot of times before it hit other blogs.

This crew just doesn't seem to care.

I chalk it up to the fact that they're just comcast employees, don't care, and therefore don't take ownership of the product.

To use a term loosely: laissez-faire attitudes.

Amen, Preacher!

OK scouting and prospect junkies. Riddle me an answer to this:

Maikel Franco currently sits at .342/.367/.545/.913 at Reading in 196 PA, after posting a .299/.349/.576/.925 line in 289 Clearwater PAs.

What, if any, chance is there that he leapfrogs Asche in his age 21 season and starts at 3B in Philadelphia next season?

All the Comcast guys (Seidman, Hall, Mike W, Finger, etc) do content for the CSN website first and foremost.

Beerleaguer seems like a legacy project that Weitzel/somebody at Comcast wants to keep around. If the place seems like an afterthought, it's because it is.

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