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Wednesday, September 18, 2013


As long as he steers clear of the Phillies' trainers and medical staff he should be OK.

Got to give it to St. Utley. The guy's got some serious grit and determination.

Hope the young guys( hell all of them) follow this guy around.

How has Cesar looked in CF? Definitely seems to be hitting the ball well and getting on base at a good clip.

The Man.

"Many blurted or shared those same feelings from spring 2012 to now.

And I'd bet Utley hasn’t forgotten."

Yea, Utley sure seemed to remember what the fans/media said about him by sticking it to us with that team friendly deal he signed. Definitely a grudge holder that Utley guy.

"How has Cesar looked in CF?"

Taught Cesar CF at Lehigh Valley and after 2 months he's already better than Revere.

Victorino as RHB vs RHP: .301/.402/.518

So annoying.

I can remember how many BL posters pleaded for Vic to bat solely RH. Numbers never lie.

"Taught Cesar CF at Lehigh Valley and after 2 months he's already better than Revere."

That is setting the bar really low.

Who's posting as me?

The posts are always related to Revere too.

So are people still thinking Hernandez will be battling it out with Freddy Galvis for that all-important utility bench guy role? For the tenth time:

1. Hernandez is faster than Galvis
2. He walks more than Galvis
3. He strikes out less than Galvis
4. He will hit into fewer DPs than Galvis
5. This should be first: he is a far better hitter than Galvis
6. what he can't do currently is play on the left side of the infield, and Galvis can
7. Galvis has slightly more power than Hernandez, but not nearly enough to produce a better OPS given Galvis' far larger deficiencies at the plate.

Galvis is a .700 OPS guy. Hernandez will be closer to .750 with 20+ additional stolen bases and 5-10 fewer DPs over the course of a full season.

Hernandez should play CF next season, and I don't know what to do with Revere, who I also like. Trading Revere for a young starter of moderate potential seems reasonable.

Are you suggesting that Hernandez is better than Revere?

Repeat after me: depth is a feature, not a bug!

Hernandez's best-case scenario is likely to be slightly better offensively than Revere and slightly worse defensively.

That's his best-case scenario, while Revere is already there. And it's not like Revere is old. He's only two years older than Cesar.

I like Hernandez a lot, and would've liked to see him given a shot at being the everyday 2B for the future. But you just traded for Revere last year, to be exactly what you hope Cesar Hernandez might one day be.

Can we please quit with this "trade Revere to replace him with Cesar" thing? It makes no sense.

Well this seems to settle the debate others were having a day or two ago about whether anyone is actually advocating for Hernandez to take over for Revere full-time.

Playing both Revere and Hernandez in the same lineup isn't the problem people think it is. In fact, a couple more players in the lineup without much power would be fine too. If, and it's a big if, they have a couple of players with serious power and the lineup manages to make contact a lot. The problem with the Phillies as constructed is that they tend to swing and miss a lot in general. That's never going to work without a ton of power to make up for it.

Hernandez's best-case scenario is likely to be slightly better offensively than Revere and slightly worse defensively.

Managing to become a worse CF than Ben Revere would be an real achievement. Sure, lots of guys have sub-par arms for the position. But breaking the wrong way on every single ball hit into the air? That's a special kind of bad.

Hernandez can't play SS. There are not too many 2B-only utility infielders. So it's not a matter of Hernandez OR Galvis.

I doubt there's a GM in baseball that would trade away Ben Revere straight up for Cesar Hernandez.

Why can't Galvis and Hernandez be on the bench like I said yesterday?

One does not negate the other.

Hernandez is a nice little player. I like what he brings to the table. I hope he makes the club out of ST.

gtown: You are wrong, Ben Revere is a good defensive CF.

#1) Hernandez can't play SS? Um...are you one of the minor league coaches? Do you know this for sure? You know he has, actually, logged games at SS in the Phillies minor league system. Is it impossible for him to get meaningful reps at SS like he got in CF?

Of course, I defer to your considerably greater knowledge of his capabilities.

#2) Utley is, of course, perusing all the blog posts about him, here and elsewhere, and buying guns. Lots of guns.

Really. He hasn't forgotten about what silly, ignorant bloggers said on the internet? Really? How much credence do you think he actually puts into what we say?

andy: Not even the Phillies are dumb enough to move Cesar off of SS if he still had the ability to play it. His bat at SS would exponentially increase his value.

From what I've read and heard about Hernandez at short is that he doesn't have the range or the arm to play the position at a competent level.

There is talk of trying him out on the left side of the field. Whether that is at SS or 3B is yet to be determined but I would assume that it is at 3B.

Good for Utley. He's dedicated to his craft.

You'd think that would rub off on his DP counterpart, Mr. Rollins. Jimmy has his moments, like last night. The ball in the hole where he forced a runner at third was terrific.

But most nights he just mails it in ... pops out twice and plays out the string.

C'mon Jimmy!

Andy, Hernandez has made only 1 appearance at SS since he was 18 and in the Gulf Coast league in 2008. Every scouting report I've seen says that Hernandez can't play SS regularly. Here are a couple:

John Sickels of Minor League Ball: "Lacking the range and arm strength to be a regular shortstop, Hernandez has settled in as an above-average second baseman."

Eric Longenhagen (of Crashburn Alley):

"Defensively, everyone I talk to wishes Hernandez could play shortstop. If he could he’d profile as a just about surefire everyday big leaguer. But he can’t. He comes up a little short on range and a little short on arm strength (50 for me). Together, those minor deficiencies compound one another to the point where SS isn’t a viable option. He is, however, a fine defensive second baseman."

It really shouldn't be a question of Galvis or Hernandez: The standard NL bench has two utility IF, one of whom is the back-up shortstop. It only becomes a question of one of them if you've decided to bring back Frandsen while also carrying 2 OFs.

And, really, is there a point to bringing back Frandsen at this point? As the only things Frandsen does is hit LHP with more pop and be a below-average defender at 3B. If you think Cesar Hernandez cannot do better than a -9.1 UZR/150 at 3B, then there's a reason to keep Frandsen. But that's a fairly low bar, which I suspect Hernandez can clear, even if he doesn't profile as a 3B.

Juums - that's what I see as well. Frandsen's probably the odd man out in favor of a lefty bat with some pop.

Juums - agreed. Cesar and Galvis cover the defensive positions of 3B, SS, and CF(probably jumping gun on Cesar being CF, but he cant be worse than mayberry).

That flexibility allows them to go and get a power bat off the bench, and not keep a guy like Frandsen around.

I don't expect that Galvis, Hernandez & Ruf will all still be w/ the ball club this coming season. Odds are at least one is traded.

Looking through the FA list for lefty-hitting guys who can play at two or more of the corner positions (1B, 3B, LF, RF):

Kelly Johnson
David Murphy
Eric Chavez
David DeJesus (Rays have club option at $6.5M or $1.5M buyout)

I suspect Chavez will stay put in Arizona, but either of the other two guys (Johnson or Murphy) would be an intriguing pickup. I wanted the Phils to snag Johnson last offseason as a super-utility guy, and he's played that role well for Tampa Bay (103 OPS+ while playing 2B, 3B, LF, and 1B). Murphy's had an awful year (77 OPS+) but has some pop and is only a year removed from posting a 127 OPS+ for Texas. He might work nicely with Ruf as a tandem in RF.

You forgot 2B, which is the best reason to use Galvis and Hernandez off the bench. You'd have a pair of plus defenders at 2B/SS ready to go if and when the worst strikes Rollins or Utley next year. Or even when the vets need a day off, you've got folks who will be able to ably hold down the fort.

I too suspect they'll end up with a thumper as a bench bat. Who it is will depend upon whether they can get the RHB corner OF they're looking for. If they get Corey Hart, then your big off-the-bench bat becomes Ruf, with the second OF likely being a Bernadina-type guy who would be used as a late-inning defensive caddy/pinch runner. While you really probably want your bench thumper to be LHB, Ruf may well hit RHB well enough to do the job. If they don't get a RHB corner OF and Ruf's the starting RF, then it's anyone's guess who the two OFs will be. (Beyond that one of them is going to be a LHB thumper who likely plays terrible OF defense.)

I haven't found an answer yet, but a big factor could be if the Phillies get a 4th year option for Cesar next year.

That would allow them to stash him in the minors just in case they fill out the roster without him. If they aren't granted the 4th year option (it is kind of complicated i think), then he probably is guaranteed a spot..unless traded.

Cesar's not an elite prospect, so I doubt they'll worry much about the service-time issue. He should be a shoo-in for the 25-man roster next year.

The more I think about it, David Murphy would be a great fit as a complement to Ruf in RF. He's a solid defensive OF and a very good rebound candidate for next year.

That's a fair point, but I've got to wonder: How does the roster "fill out" without him? What better option is there to backup Utley? Frandsen's going to cost three or four times what Hernandez makes, while being an inferior 2B defender. Galvis is probably an equal or better defender to Hernandez, but Galvis's bat is...well, books have already written on his bat. While Hernandez can't replace Chase Utley in the order, he can still do useful things while at the plate. (With Galvis, you just hope he doesn't make a fool of himself.) You might be able to shake something loose in the FA market, but then you're back to paying a fair bit more than the league minimum which Hernandez is making.

Of course, you can never predict what will happen in the off-season, and they may well receive a better bench IF in a trade or get offered the moon for Hernandez. It just strikes me as unlikely that they'll find a better bench piece than Hernandez between now and Opening Day 2014.

Galvis is almost a lock to make the roster next spring unless the Phils sign some veteran FA who can play SS.

Did I see a mention that Hernandez is a "fine second baseman?" Because I was instructed that he is barely adequate.

Chase is my son's and my favorite player and has been since he came up. I'm really happy to have him around for a few more years (hopefully a Phillie for life) and thrilled to see his comeback. It sounded corny, but one of the announcers was asking a year or two ago when he had originally developed the knee problem, "Who would have believed he'd be back like this?" The other guy answered, "I guess he did." Gotta love it.

I'd try to build the team where guys under control who are not starters hide in the minors waiting for injuries for callups. Start Galvis and Ruf in minors if possible.

Hernandez is likely not going to get another option year so he becomes a backup for 2B/CF. Since neither he (nor Frandsen) can play SS, Galvis will have to exist as a defensive replacement who may bump Frandsen off the roster (where he will then have a 850 OPS for the Mets).

Then there's a catcher backup and 2 others.

I think Mayberry is still a good lefty killer who can play 1B and OF. Ruf could replace him as a bat but not defensively. I assume Corey Hart is signed in RF, so Ruf is called up when Hart gets injured.

That leaves open the primary lefty pinch hitter. Not sure who that will be but Murphy is not a terrible choice. Kubel has stunk as PH but he might be a possibility.

BENCH: Kratz, Hernandez, Mayberry, Galvis/Frandsen, Murphy/Kubel.

Putting Ruf back in AAA is nuts. He's going to be 28 next July, so in exchange for foregoing a year of MLB service at the peak part of his aging curve, you'll be saving yourself an extra year of control in his mid-30s.

He is a fine second baseman. Not sure where the negativity came from regarding his fielding, unless someone was working off really old scouting reports.

Well, I can't help it. I have a man-crush on Revere!

Hernandez should be the Phillies starting CF over Revere and Ruf should start 2014 in AAA.

You can't make this stuff up, folks.

"...unless someone was working off really old scouting reports."

[withholding RAJ jokes]

Utley won't return my letters. He must be mad about what I said on Beerleaguer last year.

If there's no room for Ruf as a starter (likely would have to be a result of an off season acquisition, as there's no one on the roster now...), he must be traded to fill one of the many other holes. You don't stick Ruf, at this point in his career, back down in AAA. AAMOF, he shouldn't have been there to start this year. That's probably the most asinine comment I've read this month, and I've read a ton of them.

"Putting Ruf back in AAA is nuts."

This is the same poster who wrote, about a week ago, that we should send Ruf to AAA so we can have someone good to call up at mid-season.

Come to think of it, maybe he's on to something. I propose that we move Cole Hamels to LF. That way, if we ever have another situation in which we need to bring in an everyday player to pitch, we'll have the perfect weapon.

BAP: Huh? Not I.

Colonel: No, I wasn't referring to you. I was referring to the poster who said we should start Ruf at AAA. I quoted you because I wanted to build upon your comment.

Even though the Phillies are known to be looking for a RH corner outfielder, I'm not convinced that they should spend on it.

In 179 PA, Ruf has a .935 OPS against righties, and in 74 PA, a .660 OPS against lefties. Is the price tag of an injury-prone Corey Hart worth it? He may be more consistent than Ruf, having an OPS ranging from .841-.866 in his last three seasons, but he's older than Ruf and is coming off of season-ending knee surgery.

I'd rather see the money go towards pitching.

WP: "If there's no room for Ruf as a starter, he must be traded to fill one of the many other holes."

Disagree. If we end up with someone who is better than Ruf this offseason, Ruf still is very useful to the Phillies as a platoon 1B and as general depth.

DOM and Howard have both missed plenty of times over the last couple years, so Ruf won't go to waste.

How many HRs will Brown-Ruf-Howard hit in 2014 combined? 75? 80?

Lore, I was probably a bit over-the-top on it being as simple as "start him or trade him." I've been positing for awhile now, that I'd love to have that RH power bat off the bench that can play corner OF. I'd actually use a pseudo-platoon of that dude and Howard, in that I'd start Ruf most of the time in the OF, but have him shift to 1B against the tough lefties to give Howard a rest. Ruf could also spell Brown every now and again (along with that dude).

I guess to be more clear, I'd advocate that Ruf has value at the MLB level, and if the FO doesn't agree with this, it makes no sense to stash him at AAA, and instead they'd be better served to trade him. I wouldn't agree with that move, however.

I doubt there's a GM in baseball that would trade away Ben Revere straight up for Cesar Hernandez.
posted by Colonel Tom
Maybe. But that's the wrong standard, since we already have Hernandez and he can still get better in CF.

But if you like, I'll put it this way: if Hernandez plays another two months of baseball in CF like the last one he just played, no one in baseball would trade him for Revere. It's not like Revere has set the bar particularly high, and I LIKE the guy.

Cesar's most recent 83 PA: .320/.386/.373 0 HR 0 SB
Revere's most recent 83 PA: .395/.425/.487 0 HR 5 SB

Ruf has zero chance to be at AAA next year to begin the season. But by all means, carry on with the delusions.

Where you land on the Cesar vs. Revere CF debate probably depends on whether or not you view Revere as "playing in his prime now," or still capable of further development.

Either way, my own personal preference is someone better than both of them manning CF, but maybe that's what a few years of being spoiled by a multi-tool player like Victorino has done to me...

I wouldn't waste money signing a FA starter for the OF. The Phillies won't compete next season, anyway. Leave Cesar where he is, move Revere to LF & return Brown's arm to RF. Ruf ought to platoon w/ Howard at 1B, but at the very least he'd be around to PH & fill in when the inevitable happens & either Brown or Howard are unable to play due to injury. Wish Frandsen happy trails, leaving Galvis for the bench.


Becoming close to a standard set.

With all healthy, a line up of Brown-Ruf-Howard-Utley-Asche gives the Phillies the potential for over 100 HRs. Throw in the gap power of Ruiz with Rollins and Hernandez-Revere batting one and two, it could be fun.

Now get some starting pitching.

I'm really confused by all of the people who insist that Dom "needs" to be a RF because of his arm.

Doesn't he "need" to be a LF because of his glove and terrible instincts?

I don't think an OF corner alignment of Ruf/Dom or Dom/Ruf is viable on an everyday basis, but the former is probably a tiny bit better. They're both poor fielders, but at least you get the benefit of the better arm in RF if you move Dom there.

If you're shopping on the open market, sign a RF and leave Dom where he is.

buster: Bernadina/Mayberry are better defenders, but aren't worthy of a starting job. Ruf is, but is a lesser fielder than DOM, so thats why he should be in RF.

If they bring in a better defensive corner OF, then yes DOM's glove would belong in LF.

Phillibuster: Too many people just like to complain.

It especially becomes comical when you see it is the same people who got on Charlie for playing to norms trying to analyze with norms now.

Cesar's most recent 83 PA: .320/.386/.373 0 HR 0 SB
Revere's most recent 83 PA: .395/.425/.487 0 HR 5 SB

Posted by: LorecorE
Had no idea you were a surgeon.

Doesn't he "need" to be a LF because of his glove and terrible instincts?

No, he "needed" to become a LF because D. Young refused to play anywhere by RF, & r00b agreed.

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