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Wednesday, August 07, 2013


Watched three of Asche's at bats. He'll be fine. Looks like he knows what he's doing at the plate. And given time, he'll be okay in the field too. He's making a lot of mental errors in the field right now. But he'll get the hang of it.

And I think many people here are going to have to eat their words on Ruf. He looks like he can actually play baseball. Unlike a lot of what wears Phillies uniforms these days.

Also, as someone who used to hate seeing Kyle Kendrick pitch, then found him to be a revelation: He's back to being painful to watch. Even though his fielders let him down tonight, his pitches weren't sharp and he was floating a lot of stuff up in the zone. Hard to watch. Don't know if the correlation is exact, but he doesn't look right since his concussion. Maybe they brought him back little too soon.

I just picked up Ruf for my fantasy team. Crossing fingers.

Don't know if the correlation is exact, but he doesn't look right since his concussion. Maybe they brought him back little too soon.

AKS- I found myself thinking along the same lines as I watched tonight.

Also that was quite a shot Chooch took to mask. I hope he's OK.
Amazing what catchers endure.

Having had a concussion, I was thinking along the same lines. Even after medical clearance it takes a long time to be able to make quick decisions, react to the unexpected, and have good hand-eye coordination. I also remember having to deliberately think about doing things that used to be routine (eg. I'm washing my hands. First I need soap. Oh, there it is. I should turn on the water...which is hot again?) It took quite a while for instincts to return.

Corn - what you had is post concussion syndrome. And the thought that KK is suffering from it was driven home after watching him whiff on covering first base. That was something very rare for him and he looked like his decision making was very slow, exactly as you describe.

And these days KK is also probably sleep-deprived what with having a newborn.

Comments like Ricky Bo's (and the infamous production comments) genuinely scare me. People in the Phillies organization honestly seem to view walks as nothing more than missed opportunities for home runs. In his first at-bat tonight, when Dom Brown swung wildly at a 3-1 pitch over his head, I couldn't help but think about how this attitude is poisoning our players. Considering people are probably telling Ruf that he's not going to earn a starting job next year by walking, I wouldn't be surprised to see his walk rate plummet next.

Ah, the agony of defeat and, with this year's edition of the Phillies, the agony of victory. Both somehow equally painful to watch.

If the deal for the Cuban falls through and Halladay comes back and pitches well, they may just make a QO for Halladay.

Todd Z reporting the deal with MAG hit a " snag." The good times kerp on coming!

Haha. Even MAG is falling through. This season is such a joke.



That could have been ugly.

It WAS ugly, just not Cinderella stepsister ugly.

That could have been ugly.

It WAS ugly, just not Cinderella stepsister ugly.

A win is a win, even if it is ugly.

Sorry for the double post. I'll claim early morning grogginess after a softball night, which we won 20-5 in 5 innings, in spite of my elmn-ish contribution of an 0-3 including a GIDP and an error at 1B. :(

If the hold up in the Alfredo deal is based on the team's medical staff negative opinion, then he is likely a physical specimen and potentially the best pitcher in the history of the world.

On the other hand if they say he is fine, you know he will break down after 2 games and the Phils will owe him 60 mil for 4 years of fishing.

I'm imagining a sitcom scenario. Rube and Monty go to a silent auction and bid on international players not realizing they actually have to pay the money when they have the winning bid.

Two things come to mind on possibly holding the deal up:

1. Medical concerns

2. Age concerns

Could also be visa issues.

This team is depressing even when it wins.

Papelbon since May 29th:

25 G, 25.0 IP, 4.32 ERA, 7 BB, 26 SO, 1.440 WHIP, .725 OPS against.

He's still getting his strikeouts and he's not really walking a bunch but he's simply getting hit and hit hard.

To put it in perspective, up to that point, he had a .416 OPS against in his first 19 appearances.

Smart pitchers can adjust to losing a good chunk of velocity like he Papelbon a smart pitcher? Used to be, he'd reach back and hit 97 he reaches back and hit 92-93 mph. That's the difference between being just late and fouling a ball back and timing it perfectly driving it 400 ft.

***Could also be visa issues.***

Those were supposedly cleared...that was what was holding him up until he was signable and an official FA living in Mexico.

"And I think many people here are going to have to eat their words on Ruf."

- aksmith

Did anyone here actually root against Ruf? Or was it concern that his minor league success as an elder statesman wouldn't translate into Major League Success?

Also he has 133 career PAs. Let's temper your grandstanding until he reaches a amount of PAs worthy of "I told ya so." You're as bad as the people who proclaimed Brown was a bust after less than 200 PAs.

The splitter can be a pretty effective pitch for Paps. Maybe he needs to mix more of them in. Seemed as though he did last night. A couple of guys were completely fooled by it last night.

I love what Darin Ruf has done so far...but let's wait until he's on his second trip around the league before we pull out the annointing oil. Teams will adjust...lets see if he can adjust back.

So far though, he's done everything anyone could possibly hope for and more.

Jordan. Really.

"Could have been ugly" ??!!

In what world was it not?

Finally figured out how to do html for Production™. It's best done in Word and pasted in. The following options are available, too:
* Production®
* Production©
Yes, I need to get a life.

Regardless, it's difficult to understand how ignorant the hitting instruction might be on this team if walks are truly discouraged as an alternative to a "swing as hard as you can, you might make contact" philosophy.

I have a clue this is not on Charlie - I really don't think he's part of any brain trust. He likes Darin Ruf; if Charlie really had his say, I believe Ruf would have been called up a lot sooner.

If only Middleton could negotiate away the infernal limited partnership. There is so much cluelessness wrapped up in David Montgomery, the general partner and four limited partners including: Claire S. Betz; the Buck brothers J. Mahlon Buck Jr. and William C. Buck; and Giles Limited Partnership, which is Bill Giles' family partnership.

John S. Middleton is also a limited partner, but his name comes up as one who always wants to put a winning team on the field. It's my guess he's about had it with big $$$ free agents, and would love to grow the best farm system in MLB. Just a guess, but only a crazy person does the same thing day-in, day-out...

Middleton would be one of the richest, if not the richest owner in MLB if he were ever to get team control (probably will never happen).

What evidence is there that Middleton wants the best farm system in MLB?

RedBurb - Just a "WAG" on my part. However, over time, it appears that it's Middleton who most wants a long-term winner, and the current team-building philosophy does not appear to work anymore. Who knows?

limoguy: I noticed that as well about Papelbon's pitch selection last night - he was leaning on the splitter more, which he needs to do. There was a pitch that got hammered, though, where the Phils' TV announcers thought Chooch signaled for a splitter and got a belt-high fastball instead.

***The splitter can be a pretty effective pitch for Paps. Maybe he needs to mix more of them in. Seemed as though he did last night. A couple of guys were completely fooled by it last night.***

It definitely can be. Pap's problem is that when he misses/doesn't have a feel for his secondary pitches, he tends to just reach back and throw hard. He was renowned for doing that in his Boston days and has been that way for the last 2 years in Philly too. You see him shake off Chooch and you just need to brace yourself. He's basically a big, dumb animal.

He's basically a big, dumb animal.

But at least he has a sparkling personality that fans love.

"Finally figured out how to do html for Production™. It's best done in Word and pasted in."

I just find where someone else said it in the thread, & copy & paste theirs. By the way, what happened to the post I wrote last night? It disappeared overnight. Not that it's any great loss; it's just odd.

bap: just assume that iceman called the post stupid.

I just always googled "trademark symbol" and then cut/paste. I'm all for typing out html coding (obviously I do it for lots of things in threads) but I try to take the path of least resistence whenever possible.

work smarter, not harder.

You hate to put all your eggs in Ruf's basket, and I have the same reaction to the dismissive view of walks and on-base, but the Phillies are indeed desperate for someone to dunk homers into that short porch in left the way Ruf did last night. To me, his most important trait will be SLG, not OBP.

On another note, how's this for oddest stat of the year:

Chase Utley HBP: 3

Just 3 HBP in 342 PA. If you take his average HBP per PA for his peak HBP years of 2007-2009, he'd have 13 HBP by now in that many PA.

A shocking dropoff for him. If he had 13 HBP instead of 3 this year, his OBP would look a much more Utleyesque .366 instead of his current .336 OBP.

Odd to say the least.

holding Alt key while typing 0153 on the numberpad = ™

***To me, his most important trait will be SLG, not OBP.***

Why can't it be both, Jason? Good hitters tend to be selective at the plate so they walk a lot and get their pitches to drive for XBHs.

Even guys like Burrell and Werth were great at this while getting 30+ HRs regularly.

Also, good to see you posting here again.

@lorecore...I'll be damned, good find!

Does ™ not work?

That's & trade ; without the spaces.

They really did bring Kendrick back kind of soon. He was concussed on June 30, then made two starts in the next 11 days, well within the timeframe of someone having post-concussion syndrome. Maybe they learned their lesson (the hard way, as usual), and this is why they have been so cautious with Dom. It's a shame they're so reactionary all the time instead of being more proactive.

JW: Don't disagree that his chance to stick in the majors will be to outslug the competition, but I get worried that if he continues to walk a lot and doesn't capitalize on his RBI numbers - that the team won't see him as progressing well enough to give him more opportunities.

It might sound sarcastic to worry about these things, but its all become a painful reality.

WSJ --

It's like the medical staff didn't learn about concussions in vet school.

Apparently it does, ramsey. Another good find.

Back on Weitzel's point...I totally get what you are saying though. The Phillies offense is more in need of Ruf hitting 30+ HRs with an okay walk rate rather than hitting 10 HRs with a great walk rate. Granted, they could really use a couple of high OBP guys too but that's another issue.

The fact that Ruf has 7 2B and 4 HRs with just 7 RBI in 96 PA is a pretty damning indictment of the rest of the offense, not Ruf's Production™

Papelbon is a jerkoff™. Hey it works. Thanks Lorecore.

JW says, "To me, his most important trait will be SLG, not OBP."

Ruf leads the team in OBP AND SLG.

Yeah, I know. Small sample size.

Not grandstanding about Ruf. In fact, I don't think he started out particularly well this season. He was doing a lot of swinging and missing. What I was really saying is that Clout and a few others kept saying this kid was old and not really a prospect. I do understand that his power seemed to come late and that was the other point some were making.

but considering he was a college draftee, his progression through the system was pretty much exactly what should have been expected. He was always going to be older than the high school draftees he was playing against. But it is almost impossible to be too old for AA and certainly AAA. I am actually starting to think that AAA is a harder league to hit in than the majors for some hitters. So many junkballers that you may never see a fastball that actually looks like a fastball. And that's only a slight exaggeration. There are so many crafty pitchers without stuff, it must be a nightmare. I watch some games on and there are definitely a lot of those guys. Maybe that's why so many teams are bringing successful AA guys straight to the majors.

Had Ruf not been blocked at 1B, he likely would have made the majors in his Age 25 season last year...hardly a big deal. Lots of college bats dont break in until around Age 25. This is hardly a Chris Coste type scenario.

I for one am looking forward to Ruf racking up more WAR at first base than Ryan Howard over the next three years.

It would be nice if Ruf could play 1st and the team could bring in an outfield bat rather than try to assume Howard is coming back and pencil Ruf in for a corner outfield spot. It'd improve the defense, likely. I hate the idea of Ryan Howard as a sunk cost. He was on pace for 20+ homeruns and had a 117 ops+, useful even if not worth $25m, but can he really be relied on at this point at all?

Ramsey - That's not likely, as the Phillies will continue to play Howard at first and Ruf will be in the outfield.

If Howard comes back reasonably healthy next year, I think you'll see a whole lot of him at first base. And I don't think you'll be seeing him platoon much either. Even if Charlie isn't the manager.

Just a thought on last night's game: I hate Papelbon as much as anyone right now. He is a loudmouth who isn't backing up his bravado on the field and I assume he's a negative presence in the clubhouse, but maybe booing the closer every time he runs in from the bullpen isn't really helping the Phillies.

And isn't it time to make Sandberg the manager? If only because he is pretty bad at third base. I wasn't really down on him until the other night, when he sent Minimart to get gunned down by Francoeur. There is only one thing Francoeur can actually do well in the game of baseball, and it's throw the thing. It's as if Sandberg didn't even know who Francoeur was. And it's not like he should have sent him even against a mediocre left fielder. Minimart wasn't even to the third base bag when Francoeur gloved the ball. That is the criterion to hold the runner in almost all situations. If Juan Pierre or Ben Revere is the left fielder, maybe you send the runner. But not one of the best and most accurate arms in baseball.

So, get him in the manager's chair pronto. Maybe he'll be better at that.

***And I don't think you'll be seeing him platoon much either.***

Which is utterly stupid given that he simply cannot hit LHP at even a passable level anymore.

2011: .634 OPS
2012: .604 OPS
2013: .539 OPS

He's had a .173 AVG vs LHP for the last 2 seasons now. He's an automatic out against any LHP, not just good LHPs.

FWIW: Jayson Werth only had 1 30+ HR season.

aksmith - You want Sandberg to manage because he's a bad 3B coach?

Isn't the thing with college players supposed to be that they're supposed to breeze through Rookie and A-ball due to having already logged four years of competitive ballplaying prior to entering the system? Cody Asche's trajectory embodies what is expected of college players, at least in terms of clearing the lower levels of the organization.

That Ruf didn't is what raised the red flags, as far as I know. true. But some guys are late bloomers, and he's logged enough PAs over the past year to demonstrate that his August 2012 was the result of something fundamental clicking rather than being just a fluke or extended hot streak.

However great his offensive upside is, though, it certainly involves being a Major League hitter who's a lot of fun to watch. Which is what's really important.

Very true, Beard...he did, however, average 27 HRs a year from 2008-2011 while still walking a bunch.

Juums - Was it his fault he didn't race through? He hit well at every level.

Perhaps it's the Phillies phan in me, but part of me is glad it might not work out with the Cuban, b/c of the red flags. Just our luck, he'd sign the huge deal, then be a huge bust.

If it's injury concerns, why does it seem this only has come up after he "agreed" to the deal, and other teams' alleged scouts expressed concerns with his elbow? Like the Phils said "oh, might as well take a look at that to cover our ass".

Burrell also averaged 27 HRs a year over an 10 year period and walked 80+ times per year.

One of the reasons our offense was ridiculously good during those years was that our middle of the order guys got on a bunch AND had good power numbers. There was no let up for the opposing pitcher.

Because we KNOW that r00b and the FO won't eat enough salary to ever trade Howard, and therefore he'll be back at 1B next season, my preliminary lineup looks something like this, assuming the players mentioned are still on the team:

Revere - CF
Utley - 2B
Franco - 3B (if he makes it) MYoung (if re-signed) or Asche
Brown - RF/LF
Ruf - LF/RF
Howard - 1B, yes, Ryno in the six hole

Howard will bat 4th if he's in the lineup.

New thread.

The DFA of Nix is my highlight of the day. A boat floats higher when you throw the 200 pound dead weight overboard.


For the comment about Junior Lake likely not being Steve Lake's kid - you never know with this guy:

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