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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

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Why the dumping on Casper again? The poor guy had a vision problem and still took one for the team pitching his heart out, coming within a whisker of pulling it off. Best wishes to Casper in his recovery.

Victorino 3 for 3, 2 HR 7 RBI, 4 runs scored tonight. All came batting Right-handed.

I miss him :(

Tough loss, but when you face a truly elite pitcher like Jonathan Niese, there's not much you can do. Go get 'em tomorrow.

Better times are comin', as r00b is dragged kicking and screaming across that bridge into the 21st century.

According to the NYT:

The Phillies have been slow to adapt to the analytics revolution in baseball, seeming to overvalue statistics like saves and runs batted in. Now is the time to learn.

“We may be looking to fortify some of our information with some more statistical analysis,” Amaro said. “We have to look at the way we do things and try to improve. That’s our job, to try to get better every year. I’m not so stubborn that we can’t try to do things a little bit different, or think that we can’t make better decisions. That’s what I’ll challenge our people to do, and I think they understand that. That’s part of what I expect of my staff, and of myself.”

It's easy to see what Amaro is talking about here.

He's been reading BL and plans to incorporate the 'Production' stat (RBI/BB) into analysis next year when signing free agents.

Why do I have a feeling that you could give Ruben all the newest baseball analytics in the world and he would still make the wrong decision.

Marlon Byrd traded on the same day as Marlon Byrd T-shirt night in New York. Ouch! Looks like the Phillies FO folks aren't the only ones with a classy sense of timing.

Glad I missed this one. Looks like it was one of our patented trainwreck-in-slow-motion nights at the plate.

"I’m not so stubborn that we can’t try to do things a little bit different, or think that we can’t make better decisions."
Posted by: Billie Bean | Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 12:41 AM

That is an odd choice of phrase. You could say "We're always trying to make better decisions", or "We do look to find ways to make better decisions", or "There may be ways that can help us..."

"I'm not so stubborn that we can't try to do things a little bit different." So basically - you are incredibly stubborn. And you're so stubborn that we can't even try to do things different. But...not so stubborn that we can't try to do them a _little bit_ different.

Great.

***“We may be looking to fortify some of our information with some more statistical analysis,” Amaro said. “We have to look at the way we do things and try to improve. That’s our job, to try to get better every year. I’m not so stubborn that we can’t try to do things a little bit different, or think that we can’t make better decisions. That’s what I’ll challenge our people to do, and I think they understand that. That’s part of what I expect of my staff, and of myself.”***

Unfortunately, for his sake, I just checked on Amazon and there is no Sabermetrics For Dummies book yet published. He may be in a bit of a bind.

Tough loss, but when you face a truly elite pitcher like Jonathan Niese, there's not much you can do. Go get 'em tomorrow.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 12:35 AM

To be fair to our offense, Jonathan Niese is one of the 5 or 6 best starting pitchers on the Mets right now...

Though I did find this book which might help him get started...does anyone else find the fact that Joe Morgan is the co-author hilarious?

some text

I'm glad we judged victorino on 2012 alone and not the previous 4 years prior to that so that we didn't overpay for Victorino's 113 OPS+ and 5.2 war so far this year.

NEPP: Did you know his daughter went to Stanford?

Problem: The Phillies Org never would have forced him to bat only RH like the RedSox are doing. If they did that, he would be "versatile" anymore. Also, they would have kept him in CF so his WAR wouldn't be 5.2...he's getting a massive boost because he's playing a phenomenal RF in Fenway.

Not that his offense isn't nice too...but that's part of it. He's probably "only" a 3-4 Win player as a CF this year.

***Did you know his daughter went to Stanford?***

Yes, she played Lacrosse there.

Well even sans CF, he has been light years ahead of the young/mayberry rf combo of combined 0 war.

But agree on the batting RH part..how does a guy go all this time before realizing he hits RH so much better?

To be fair to Joe, he was one of the best players in baseball when he played and one of the all-time great 2B...the only problem is that he's well aware of that fact. He also knows a TON about the game but he was always just a lazy color commentator on ESPN. Maybe he was better when he started in broadcasting and I just don't remember. I just remember him mailing it in for years. He was probably the best 2B since Hornsby though.

how does a guy go all this time before realizing he hits RH so much better? -johnnysanz


- Maybe "splits" are one of the new, advanced stats Rube plans to start considering maybe looking at, incrementally going forward.

***Well even sans CF, he has been light years ahead of the young/mayberry rf combo of combined 0 war.***

Zero argument here.

I wonder what our team would look like if we had gone with Brown/Vic/Ruf with Mayberry as a 4th OF this year...

We'd also have a decent leadoff hitter. Even if we'd kept Vic and then traded for Revere, we could have at least had a great defensive OF with 2 guys with CF range out there. We'd also have had a good 1/2 at the plate with Vic and Revere...better than the current Bernadina/Rollins thing we've got going.

Does Sarge have a bumpersticker that says "My son may or may not have taken PEDs, were still trying to get that information to you..."?

Nails

"My son knocked up Meadow Soprano."

This is funny. Folks lamenting Vic. Last year most posters here couldn't wait until he was off the team. What a difference a year makes.

Vic:

2009-2011: 113 OPS+
2012: 91 OPS+
2013: 113 OPS+

Its also funny because the BoSox FO was lambasted by the fanbase when they signed Vic to that contract over the winter but he's now one of the most popular guys on the team among Red Sox fans.

Jack: I agree he wont make their top 10 list yet, but Julio Rodriguez isn't a great comp to me. The only thing they share in common is the reported slow fastball. Julio was a well groomed pitcher with a big frame who was one of the first pitching graduates out of the Puerto Rican academy drafted that year, but lacked any 'stuff' as you said.

Severino was a shot in the dark intl signing - short, wiry, and not much projection. His stuff gets raves reviews though - his curveball is said to break very hard and late and he commands it at will. Rodriguez was walking ~4 guys per 9 at the same levels as Gonzalez has been walking ~1.

I still think that contract is an overpay for him, however Vic has proven he can still be a contributing player.

Maybe John Farrell doesn't let him run around the field and clubhouse like the hyper kid in the room. Perhaps he makes him keep his sh-t together more than Charlie did.

When does hotshot young prospect Pete Orr get some AB's?

I see the Mets traded Byrd and Buck. Rube just wants to hang on to Michael Young to try and finish 3rd place.

Bringing back Vic could have been an option, but there's no way the Phils could match 3yr/$39M. Its not as outrageous as Werth, but its the same situation. Another team paid heftily, so we had to let go.

I'm pretty leery of Victorino's defensive numbers. Seems like the oddity of Fenway's RF skews some range numbers.

Victorino gave the Phillies a 130 OPS+ in CF in 586 PA for a 5.5 bWAR. Now his 113 OPS+ in RF is worth 5.2 bWAR in 150 less PA. I don't buy it.

Considering he was an AS CF and won 3 GGs as a Phillie, I dont think UC's handling of him was that big of a concern. He was kinda a big part of our WS win too.

Well we needed that Vic money to afford great contributors M.Young, Adams, and Lannan.

Reiterating that Rupp is catching prospect closest to the majors at this point. He's getting a fall league invite. From MLB.com

'Rupp entered the season behind Tommy Joseph and Sebastian Valle on the organizational depth chart, but he has surpassed them. He has hit .259 with 16 doubles, 14 home runs, 45 RBIs and a .764 OPS with Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley.'

'He is the closest catching prospect to the big leagues.'

"He's one of the guys who has advanced as well as any in our system," Amaro said. "He's advanced very quickly."

Invites:

The league announced its rosters Tuesday afternoon, and the seven players in the Phillies' organization making the trip are outfielders Kelly Dugan and Aaron Altherr; catcher Cameron Rupp; right-handers Kyle Simon, Mike Nesseth and Ken Giles; and left-hander Austin Wright.

NEPP,
We are years removed from that.

Austin Wright and Altherr will be my two favorites to check in on. Wright's transition to the bullpen and Altherr's chance to hit vs advanced pitching could propel/sink either one of their futures.

Rupp's got a lot to gain as well, but I'm less excited for him ever making it. Giles could be the next "diekman". Throws 100mph and looks great when he's on, but overall still probably sucks.

Anyone have any interest in Matt Garza as a FA pickup? He wouldn't cost a draft pick and would be a great #3 behind Lee and Hamels next season.

Well we needed that Vic money to afford great contributors M.Young, Adams, and Lannan. get under the luxury tax in 2012.

Posted by: johnnysanz3 | Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 09:09 AM

Fixed that for you.

***We are years removed from that.***

He was an AS CF with a career year in 2011...we traded him halfway through 2012. Hardly that far removed.

Rupp's upside is basically Brian Schneider...as a Phillie, not as a Met.

He might run into 10 HRs a year but he's going to bat .200-.220 while doing it. He's got a good reputation as a defensive catcher though.

NEPP - Rather pay minimum for a backup than a few million.

So would I...just pointing out that people should temper their expectations on Rupp.

kratz is still prearb next year, so same salary as rupp. I am not a fan of Kratz's defense, so if rupp can prove to be an upgrade, i'd make the switch.

Oh of course. I think those expectations are tempered when you realize he's a defensive first catcher with a little pop. Not a bad player to have, but not a starter by any means.

One thing that is impressive about Rupp:

Career CS: 31%
Lehigh CS: 40% (19 CS in 48 attempts)

A huge change from Chooch there...where his CS rate has always been the chink in his armor.

As a Sox fan, I can say that Vic is popular because he hustles his ass off in RF. "Production" is nice, but not necessary...

Severino's fastball is better than Julio's, so you're right Lorecore, that comp isn't good. I wouldn't be shocked if he sneaks into the top 10(at #10). Some scouts really like him.


I agree with Lore. If Rupp shows to be better defensively than Kratz and about the same with a bat, Rupp should replace Kratz then. Can still stash Kratz in AAA.

Maybe Rube didnt see him as important as Jimmy or Utley.

A costly throwing error by Kevin Frandsen in the sixth inning did him in.

No, I'd say giving up a 3 run double to a pitcher did him in. Bad KK, which he is right now, is not capable of overcoming any problem. Good KK, whom I hope returns soon, can pitch around that kind of problem often.

I can't help believing that KK is hurting, either concussion after-effects or something else.

I posted this the other day, but it was in the middle of a rush of people in dumbed down generic arguing with Jake.

http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2013/8/25/4645158/kyle-kendricks-well-hit-average-miracle

Could be a lot of noise in a new attempt at a stat using Hit f/x, but KK leading the NL in Outside Zone Contact% backs up the findings. Kendrick is so bad at missing bats, that it actually helps him, since hitters swings at bad balls create weak contact, which is just as helpful as missing.

What's that old joke about not arguing with an idiot? "He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience!"

So lorecore considers any argument that doesn't involve two posters vomiting stats at eachother (lorecore's specialty) a "dumbed down generic" argument.

KK does lead the NL in Hits Allowed.

So he's got that going for him. Seriously though, maybe they should consider shutting him down and having him see a concussion specialist.

I'm sure KK is 100% medically. The Phils would never let him on the field otherwise.

Pre-Concussion: 3.59 ERA, .678 OPS
Post-Concussion: 6.11 ERA, .872 OPS

jake: here's an example of what I'm talking about. In response to a direct question asking you for a specific example how the Phillies should improve next year:

"By building primarily through the draft, and trading from areas of depth."

That's as dumbed down as you can get. When has anyone ever advocated for not building through the draft?

Anyone want to bet that today is the day that Dice-K figures it out and has a strong outing?

Another CGSO, baby! Now that I've dusted off that good old gyroball, you all are toast!

Look where this thing lands.

http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?content_id=30085223&c_id=mlb

Pence's 476ft HR from last night, the longest HR of the entire year.

Also check out the jack Mike Napoli hit off Bruce Chen at Fenway. Went over the Monster and landed on the roof of a parking garage. Came about 20 feet (it looks like) from going onto the Mass Turnpike :)

lorecore's 10:44 post is a classic example of why it's worthless debating him.

The question was:

How would a good GM execute a "phased rebuild" that makes us competitive next year without sacrificing anything for the future? - Jack

My answer:
By building primarily through the draft, and trading from areas of depth.

(continued)
As far as being competitive next year, the GM should focus on revamping the BP, and making several depth signings to compensate for inevitable injuries.

Let's just agree not to debate each other anymore. I don't have time for this.

Trading Vic away and not resigning him was understandable & justifiable.

If the Phils would have resigned him too, I bet he would have been in CF where he simply hadn't been quite as good defensively.

Still wonder how things would have turned out in the '11 NLDS with Bourn in CF and Vic in RF with Bourn out of the leadoff spot.

That parking garage on Landsdowne is still a decent way from the Mass Pike.

The longest ball ever hit was by McGwire at the Home Run Derby in '99. It was rumored he hit a ball that cleared the garbage on the fly and landed on the railroad tracks that seperate Landsdowne and the Mass Pike. That's a ridiculous shot.

No one is going to comment on whether the Phillies should try to sign Garza?

Yeah, I think you're right, MG. The camera angle is somewhat deceptive. Hell of a shot though...

Their rotation next year is a mystery with the Cuban thing.

I think Rube got confused. The assistant told him he wanted a Cubano for lunch, and well...

"No one is going to comment on whether the Phillies should try to sign Garza?"

I would guess that Garza will get a contract similar to the 5 years, $88M that Annibal Sanchez got. And I could easily see him taking a giant leap forward within the next year or two, the way Sanchez has done this year. He's young, he has always had good stuff, and he throws strikes. But, for a team that already has so many mega-contracts, that's just an awful lot of money to commit to one guy -- especially a guy who, to this point, has not been an elite pitcher. If we could shed a big salary like Lee or Rollins, I'd be more enthusiastic about going after Garza.

Trading Vic away and not resigning him was understandable & justifiable.

And I supported it fully ... on the condition that the money saved be invested in more than simply retaining Hamels while staying under the luxury tax limit. In retrospect, trading Victorino (.292/.346/.446 113 OPS+) -- & Pence (.278/.326/.450 124 OPS+) -- has proven anything but understandable & justifiable.


If the Phils would have resigned him too, I bet he would have been in CF where he simply hadn't been quite as good defensively.

... but even at his most mediocre still light years better than ANY player who has manned the position for the Phillies this season.

Alfredo mystery
Kendrick arb tender
Halladay's health
Pettibone's health, which has also been pretty mysterious

4 pretty big wild cards. Very hard to predict what moves go down this offseason.

Dave - Trading away Pence was the move that made little sense and was done almost entirely for financial reasons.

Vic was a FA and trading him made sense and Amaro did go out and get a young CF after a few FA signed much larger and longer deals. The thought process there was a lot more coherent and well-thought even if the results this year weren't spectacular. One of the few instances where you can point to Amaro following a reasonable and relatively well-thought out strategy and execution.

2012 Revere > 2012 Victorino.

sorry, meant 2013 Revere. 2012 also fits though.

"No one is going to comment on whether the Phillies should try to sign Garza?"

I would guess that Garza will get a contract similar to the 5 years, $88M that Annibal Sanchez got. And I could easily see him taking a giant leap forward within the next year or two, the way Sanchez has done this year. He's young, he has always had good stuff, and he throws strikes. But, for a team that already has so many mega-contracts, that's just an awful lot of money to commit to one guy -- especially a guy who, to this point, has not been an elite pitcher. If we could shed a big salary like Lee or Rollins, I'd be more enthusiastic about going after Garza.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 11:44 AM

How does shedding Cliff Lees salary in order to sign Garza make any sense? If you shed Lee, you are going to stink worse than you did this year and might as well rebuild. Why on earth would you spend that money on a Garza-like pitcher if you are only going to win 70-75 games anyway?

MG: I'm not willing to give r00b credit for having any manner of "thought process" whatsoever. Say Vic was traded simply because he was a FA come the end of the season, & younger, cheaper options were available ... Why, then, is M. Young still on this season's team? There should be even less uncertainty involved in unloading him, as his replacement is already on the roster. Simply put, I think both Vic & Pence were straight salary dumps.

Maikel Franco last 10 games:

.308/.349/.718, 39 AB, 1 2B, 5 HR, 11 RBI

Don't forget, we may have gotten our future 8th/9th inning reliever for Vic...

"How does shedding Cliff Lees salary in order to sign Garza make any sense? If you shed Lee, you are going to stink worse than you did this year and might as well rebuild."

You just answered your own question. The Phillies SHOULD be rebuilding. Lee is better than Garza but he'll turn 35 in 2 days. Garza will turn 30 in November. One guy is going to start declining in the next year or two. The other guy is young enough to potentially be good throughout the life of his contract. Not to mention that: (1) swapping Lee for Garza would free up about $7 or $8M per year, to spend on other needs; and (2) you should be able to get back a couple of very good prospects for Lee.

... (2) you should be able to get back a couple of very good prospects for Lee.

Aumont, Gillies, Ramirez ...

On Vic:

This is what they're writing up in Boston:

http://bostonherald.com/sports/red_sox_mlb/boston_red_sox/2013/08/tomase_reliable_shane_victorino_delivers_despite_pain


Same old Vic...

and sadly, same old Phillies....

Dave - Pence was a salary dump but Vic wasn't entirely.

I cr@p on Amaro when he deserves it but I don't fault what he did in CF. He avoided tying the Phils to yet another guy in their 30s at large dollars who would likely be on the decline.

That article really makes me miss Vic.

The Vic hitting right-handed story would be a much better Phillies-bashing narrative if it came about through an affirmative decision of the RedSox' coaching staff. Alas, he is hitting right-handed only because an injury makes it difficult for him to hit left-handed. He plans to return to hitting left-handed when he's fully healthy. Too bad. I prefer the narrative which would have allowed me to praise the RedSox for being smart & bash the Phillies for being stupid.

Cyclic: "Maikel Franco last 10 games:

.308/.349/.718, 39 AB, 1 2B, 5 HR, 11 RBI"

Hey, everyone slumps.

Acquiring Revere and then moving Vic to RF would have been an interesting idea...considering how ridiculously good Vic has been as a RF defensively.

I prefer the narrative which would have allowed me to praise the Red Sox for being smart & bash the Phillies for being stupid.

"Red Sox Allow Papelbon To Walk, Phillies Sign Former Closer To Insane Contract"

Happy to help.

Franco is putting up ridiculous numbers as a 20 year old in AA. Makes you think he's going to be a good MLB player even if he has to move to 1B at some point.

The BB rate is still a concern of course.

*Former Boston Closer

The Vic hitting right-handed story would be a much better Phillies-bashing narrative if it came about through an affirmative decision of the RedSox' coaching staff. Alas, he is hitting right-handed only because an injury makes it difficult for him to hit left-handed. He plans to return to hitting left-handed when he's fully healthy. Too bad. I prefer the narrative which would have allowed me to praise the RedSox for being smart & bash the Phillies for being stupid.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 12:42 PM


Regardless of why Vic is hitting RH only, any team is stupid for not insisting he do that. The Sox however will have reached a new level of stupidity by actually having the affirmation of that policy in their hands and still not doing anything to convince/demand Victorino to bat RH only.

3.75 BB% since moving up to AA for Franco. Regardless of how well he's hitting, that's a red flag. His 6.92 BB% in A+ ball was low but not egregiously so. The list of guys with a 3.75 BB% in the Majors is pretty small.

***The Sox however will have reached a new level of stupidity by actually having the affirmation of that policy in their hands and still not doing anything to convince/demand Victorino to bat RH only.***

Let's see what happens when he's "healthy" enough to hit LH again. If he stays RH, we'll know.

“We may be looking to fortify some of our information with some more statistical analysis,” Amaro said. “We have to look at the way we do things and try to improve."

Sounds like my patron Ruben may be on the hot seat. Here's hoping this new approach doesn't undervalue versatility. Pete Orr's getting the call-up over Mini Mart doesn't augur well.

Matt Garza? What? People miss having a sociopath around, I guess?

3.75 BB% since moving up to AA for Franco. Regardless of how well he's hitting, that's a red flag. His 6.92 BB% in A+ ball was low but not egregiously so. The list of guys with a 3.75 BB% in the Majors is pretty small. - NEPP
-
Look at the bright side, Amaro is likely beaming with pride. Perhaps he'll make an exception for this prodigy and call him up before he turns 25.

It seems Franco would rather hit his way on, which he seems quite good at.

To put it in perspective...only 20 players (who qualify PA wise) have a BB% under 5.0. Of that 20, only 7 are at 3.8% or lower (officially Franco's BB rate as they round to the nearest 10th). Those 7 are:

AJ Pierzynski
Adam Jones
Alexei Ramirez
Alcides Escobar
Wilin Rosario
JP Arencibia
Starlin Castro

Granted, some of those guys are solid hitters...well Jones is at least but its not a very optimistic list. And that's at the MLB level...if I was to delve deeper and look at AA walk rates and then a successful MLB career, it would get uglier.

Caveat: He's 20, he's shown plus power and plus contact skills and he plays a semi-premium position in 3B so he has plenty of time.

Jack made a point in the previous thread that doesn't get talked about enough here: How bad the Phillies defense has been this season.

Utley and Rollins both played well below their usual levels on defense. M-Young was bad at 3B, D-Young beyond horrible in RF. Mayberry is not a CFer, should only play there in emergencies. He was far below MLB average there. Brown in LF was also far below MLB average. Revere had a rocky start in CF and has no arm, so that was below average. Ruf will never be MLB average in the OF. Kratz, known as a defense-first backup, had a horrible season on defense, making all kinds of mistakes. Even his CS%, which has been good in the minors, was horrendous at 22%.

I can't remember the last time I saw a Phillies team that was this bad on defense. Worth keeping in mind when we bash the pitching.

NEPP: Given that every scout on the planet says Franco is better at 3B defensively, why would he have to move to 1B, rather than Asche?

GTown, funny!

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