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Sunday, September 08, 2013

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Hamels is 7-13 and the Phils are 12-18 in his 30 GS this year. He's been a hard luck loser and missed a few Ws as the Phils rallied late after he left the game this year especially in the 2nd half.

Since July 1st, he has had just one start of less than 7 IP (July 20th vs Mets, 5 IP & 4 ER).

Hamels is on pace to give them a ~4.5 WAR win season and one of the few Phils' players earning a large paycheck this year that earned it with his performance. Lee and Utley are the others.

It is Howard and Halladay that have killed the Phils the last 2 years but Halladay falling off a cliff performance wise sunk any chances this team had of contending the last 2 years.

It would be one thing too if Howard was the only poor contact they have left but they also have Papelbon, Adams, and JRoll. That's $56M and will be over a 1/3 of their Opening Day payroll next year.

Ruf, with 13 HR in 219 PA this season, is essentially on a pace where he would hit 40 HR if he got 650 PA in a season.

That, added to his OB skills (which r00b and the FOols hate because he walks so much), might cause me to rethink a potential lineup for next season.

Maybe something like this:

Revere - CF
Utley - 2B
Ruf - RF/LF
Howard - 1B (because they won't hit him lower)
Brown - LF/RF
Chooch - C
JRoll - SS
Asche - 3B

Ryno will hit Howard lower unless he produces -- and bench him against lefties. This ain't Cholly World no more.

Its the Howard contract that is going to cripple them in the FA market too. If they had that $25M freed up and 1B open, they could put Ruf at 1B, make a play for a couple of interesting free corner OFs including Beltran, Choo, Granderson, or some of the guys the next tier down (Aoki, Hart, DeJesus), sign a solid veteran pitcher (there are several on the market this offseason although finding on a short contract at a moderate level of say $10M annually will be tough), sign 2 mid-tier veteran relievers on a 1-yr deals and hopefully get lucky with at least one, and roll the dice next year on a team in transition which includes bringing back Chooch or going with a guy like Pierzynski as a 1 or 2 year stop gap.

Interesting factoid:

The Phillies are now 13 - 10 under Sandberg.

Since Sandberg took over, the Phillies have scored 83 runs, 3.6 RPG, - LESS than the 3.8 RPG they scored while Charlie was the manager.

The difference in winning?: Dumb effin' luck.

The Phillies pitchers/defense have surrendered 104 runs, or 4.52 RPG, which is also less than they were allowing before (4.78 PRG).

So, the pitching has improved, but the offense is worse, leading to a run differential that has changed very little.

Sandberg may be managing on borrowed time, unless r00b and the FOols really do think a team can defy a negative run differential consistently.

The one thing I took away from this game is how unbelievably solid Asche is defensively.

awh: I'm not disputing the numbers in any way, but I also can't imagine Sandberg being fired anytime soon, esp. if he is retained for '14 (which is all but a certainty). The Phillies were probably butt hurt enough having to pay out the rest of Charlie's contract.

Unbelievably solid? Does that mean he is a good defender or solidly average?

Since Ruf is a "late bloomer" and will have team options for next year, I would plan on having him in the minors as a mid-season call up again. Sure, he may not like it but it would be great to be able to call up a middle of the order bat midseason.

1B is a Howard/Mayberry platoon. If Phillies ditch Mayberry, though I still think he is a good 4th OF for lefty platoon, then put Ruf there.

RF is a free agent signing, like Corey Hart. I suppose Phillies could try to get Shoo or Ellsbury then decide where to play them.

At least the OF could have options with Revere, Mayberry, Hernandez as bench guys, Brown in either RF or LF, and Ruf waiting in the minors for LF. (Still have no idea why Ruf is playing RF with Brown in LF?)

Not only is Ryno lucky but he's really lucky when it's close, going 11-2 in one-run games. If only he could learn to pick up his managing in blowouts.

awh - Good post and yeah this team is sadly actually playing well above what their run differential would indicate.

58-84 if they had been at their Pythagorean W-L based on their run differential instead of 66-77.

Last year they ended up at 81-81 as their actual record and Pythagorean W-L. There is always a little luck involved in baseball but sadly this team has had it and they are still a bad team.

They can't contend next year for a playoff spot and the only question is whether they stay healthy enough and Rube makes the right secondary moves for them to be a competitive team (~.500).

Phils are headed into some lean/rebuilding years even with their payroll.

Ruf will be on the opening day roster next year and play in a lot of games. He's just too good with the bat to have at AAA. The reason they play him at different positions is to get his bat in the lineup. People watch games just to see what he will do

Too bad so many criticize Ruf for his "vulnerability" to low outside breaking stuff. He's no "right-handed Ryan Howard" by this fan's eyes. He's a smart hitter who can recognize a strike - and most importantly, a ball outside of the strike zone.

He brings his hands inside when he sees an inside pitch he likes, and IMO there's nothing prettier than watching him extend his arms and drive it the other way. It's inconceivable that he will not improve.

If Mike bleepin' Schmidt could hit .195 in his first year, and park himself at 3rd for the duration of a HOF career, the least they can do for Ruf is give him 600 PAs in '14 just to see what happens. As much as clout annoys me, he had a gem this morning? whenever?: "Ryan Howard is blocking Darin Ruf".

Now I'm really getting "carried away" but Howard's bum knee might have been Ruf's "Wally Pip" moment.

***Now I'm really getting "carried away" but Howard's bum knee might have been Ruf's "Wally Pip" moment***

So what you're saying is that Darin Ruf will likely die of a horrible nervous system disease?

Wally Pipp wasn't guaranteed $25M for the next 3 years nor was he signed by the current GM.

He isn't going anywhere. The Phils just said today that Howard was going to be playing in some instructional games this fall.

My bet is that Sandberg (or whoever the manager is allow more and more it looks like it will be him because of their winning record) will play Howard everyday including vs LHP starters. It will be one of the preconditions on taking the job from the FO of any next manager.

Cholly subtly started to do it this year but he had cover/excuse because it was to 'rest Howard's knee.' Cholly or the organization did have to come out and say that their franchise 1B was now essentially a platoon player.

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20130908_Highs_and_lows_of_Phillies__minor-league_season.html

Sure that people will disagree with it but not a bad quick summary of the current state of the farm system by Brookover.

If the 3 guys who are most likely to help them out next year are Biddle, Nesseth, and M. Franco, then they won't get much help from the farm system next year. Not enough at least or high-end talent to make a difference at the MLB level.

Asche's defense today won this game. If MYoung was third we would all be complaining about another loss because of infield hits due to pathetic def at 3rd. Despite all the early hot stove talk the lineup for 2014 is almost set except for catcher or a big move. We need a bullpen and another starter 1st before another average OF

They won't make any big moves...Rube will be cutting payroll because of weak ticket sale projections. If they drop attendance down to the 2-2.5 million range, they will cut payroll to match that loss in revenue. Right now, they're on pace to just crack 3 million in attendance. If they lose half a million sales, that's probably something close to $20-30 million lost revenue...on the low end.

Also, just like this year, I doubt they'll give up their protected draft pick during a rebuilding effort...as they seem destined to do just well enough to not have a protected pick.

Back in my day, when pythons were snakes, and differentials were part of your car's rear axle, a team's record in 1-run games was the gold standard. 11-2 ain't to shabby.

...it would be great to be able to call up a middle of the order bat midseason."

As opposed to having him on the team from the start? This is one of the dumber things I have read on B-L in a while.

T O D A Y . . . today... today.. today. I C O N S I D E R . . . consider... consider.. consider. M Y S E L F . . . myself... myself.. myself. T H E L U C K I E S T . . . luckiest... luckiest.. luckiest. M A N . . . man... man.. man. In the WORLD . . . world... world.. world.

Stirring stuff from Gehrig; ironclad proof that "only the good die young".

IO - agree completely. i read it 3x to make sure i wasn't misreading. no idea what the logic there is

As opposed to having him on the team from the start? This is one of the dumber things I have read on B-L in a while.

This really throws cold water on my plan to get Cliff Lee to agree to being sent down to AAA for the first half of the '14 season so the Phils have an Ace to call up after the All-Star break.

It's nice to read this blog and not have every 4th post or so call for the manager to be fired.

Has anybody seen Charlie?

Since Ruf is a "late bloomer" and will have team options for next year, I would plan on having him in the minors as a mid-season call up again. Sure, he may not like it but it would be great to be able to call up a middle of the order bat

This wins hands down. I've seen stupid and this tops that.

It's up there with "3B Height" for its brilliance...

Does anyone else think the author's assertion that Gattis has ROY locked up a bit off? I thought ROY had Puig's name all over it...

Meyer, I heard on a Phillies pre-game show that Charlie is in Florida.

I was sorry that prior commitments meant that I missed 2 good games and a sweep of the Braves. On the other hand, I was happy that I saw Friday night's win in person.

I wonder whether our record would be any/much better had Ruf & Asche been playing all season.

I wonder whether our record would be any/much better had Ruf & Asche been playing all season.

GBfan-
Let's hope we get to see next season.

'14 Lineup

1b Howard
2b Utley
ss Rollins vs. Galvis
3b Asche
lf Ruf
cf Revere vs. Hernandez
c Ruiz

SP:
Hamels
Lee
MAG
Kendrick
Pettibone vs. Biddle vs. Morgan vs. FA

BP
Rosenberg
Diekman
Bastardo
DeFratus
Adams
Cloyd
Martin

Possible Trade Bait

Papelbon
Mayberry
Rollins
Kendrick

Could work out well


"It seems as if Gattis is all but captured the NL Rookie of the Year Award ..."

Mr. finger - Is this just a reflection of your brand of humor, or do you simply not follow the game of baseball?

There's a pitcher down in Florida and an OF in LA that you seem to have missed.

In a season that provided little to feel good about, a sweep of the Braves was thoroughly enjoyable.

Not only is Ryno lucky but he's really lucky when it's close, going 11-2 in one-run games.

It's called managing correctly in close ballgames. My, how we've all forgotten what that looks like. Sure, there's some luck thrown in every now and again (ie the end of Saturday's game), but overall he's managed the bullpen exponentially better than Charlie, generally his lineups have been better, his PH decisions (as far as timing and personnel) have been better, and it goes on and on.

This is still a flawed team, but he is getting way more out of the players and keeping them in ballgames than Charlie did this year. It's like it's a different team.

(And before anyone asks, No, I will not give specific examples to compare the two. The differences in managerial style are obvious and I'm not wasting my time in a pissing match. Disagree with if you want, that's fine.)

KK will be non-tendered. Too many if's in that bullpen Raj would be wise to bring in a vet. He will also sign another vet starter. Rebuilding in the practical sense wont come out RAJ's mouth. This will surely cause ticket sales to plummet as the casual fan still think's this is a WFC team.

Possible Trade Bait

Papelbon
Mayberry
Rollins
Kendrick
If I were a GM I'd be fighting for a phone to try to get 2 or 3 of those guys.

Mayberry as trade bait...LOL

"cf Revere vs. Hernandez"

This is a joke, right? Has Revere been out so long that people are forgetting how well he was playing before he got hurt?!?!

The last three games were the most enjoyable wins all season.

Also, Cesar Hernandez is a middle infielder, not a CF, which seems relevant.

The Phillies will rue the day they trade Mayberry. He's a slow grower like the mighty oak. Keep him. He's versatile and will see enough playing time filling in for Broken-down Brown that his game will continue to improve.

Jack: Precisely.

Meyer: Mayberry has value as a bench guy, but any manager who bats him vs. RHP should be banned from baseball for life.

Also, Cesar Hernandez is a middle infielder, not a CF, which seems relevant.

I haven't much cared how or where Sandberg has been playing the pieces he has been allotted -- might as well throw the crap at a wall & see if any of it sticks -- w/ the notable exception of Hernandez. It's as if he's being groomed for backup CF/4th OF duty, which makes no sense.

Too bad so many criticize Ruf for his "vulnerability" to low outside breaking stuff. He's no "right-handed Ryan Howard" by this fan's eyes. He's a smart hitter who can recognize a strike - and most importantly, a ball outside of the strike zone.

. . .

Posted by: cut_fastball | Sunday, September 08, 2013 at 08:21 PM

Those two are not mutually exclusive, you know. As someone who was concerned about Ruf's swing mechanics making him vulnerable to an endless repetition of sliders breaking low and away, I've been delighted by Ruf's possession of for-reals pitch recognition with the selectivity to utilize it. As Ruf and Howard will end up having about the same number of PA this season, I'd be curious about how many "Howard-esque" hacks each took over the season. As I've watched at least a third of Ruf's PAs this year, and I can recall exactly one Howard-esque hack. (Which would be the Gio Gonzalez fifty-footer, for which Ruf's unjustly been turned into a meme.)

That's been one of the most frustrating things watching the Phillies this season. They have a couple of perfectly good platoon guys in Mayberry and Frandsen who have had to play entirely too much. And even when they didn't have to play it seemed as if Charlie would just play a hunch. Those guys mash lefthanded pitching. But righthanders are poison too them.

Frandsen & Mayberry:

They are both useful bench pieces and are cheap too. Frandsen is at $850k this year and the Phils likely will be able to bring him back for a similar price tag. Mayberry is at $517k and I'm certain he we will be back on a team that desperately needs cheap players.

Mayberry has been a complete zero this year defensively even in the corner OF spots and he is still a lousy baserunner despite at least average speed.

One thing I didn't see this team improve at all this year on was baserunning but then again Juan Samuel has that responsibility. Never understood how a guy who was such a lousy fundamental baseball player in almost every aspect could get so many teaching gigs.

Jamie Moyer's book is out. He's going to be at the Free Library tomorrow night 7:30 doing book signings, if anyone is interested.


http://articles.philly.com/2013-09-08/sports/41876104_1_larry-platt-fame-harvey-dorfman

MG: Agree completely on Mayberry's deficiencies in the field and on the basepaths. He is definit4ely less than the sum of his parts. Similar to the most hated player in Phillies history, he has good speed but rarely uses it to any great purpose. He even gets picked off occasionally too.

Gtown: "It's as if he's being groomed for backup CF/4th OF duty, which makes no sense."

I made this point before and got shot down. Everyone seemed totally fine with Cesar Hernandez being relegated to utility guy already.

He's 23 and has shown solid offense and good defense at 2B throughout the minors. So why not make him into a backup OF, right?

Has it been determined that Cesar cannot play SS?

donc: Yes. Not enough arm and not smooth enough to cover as much range as necessary at SS.

But every report I've read had him as above-average on defense at 2B.

Well, what are we supposed to do with Hernandez for the next two yeas (or more) with Utley manning second?

He's being trained to do utility work so he can be something else besides Utley's caddy.

How about we use Hernandez where we can for now and then he can slide into Utley's role?

I'm sure C. Hernandez could be an emergency starter at SS but nothing more than that...just not enough arm.

It'd be like putting Utley at SS.

Thanks Jack. That is what I thought. He made a throw from center field that was Reveresque in it's lack of velocity. I figured I knew the answer to my own question.

How about we use Hernandez where we can for now and then he can slide into Utley's role?

The Placido Polanco career path worked out pretty well for him.

Speaking of guys playing out of position, Evan Gattis is hideous in left field. No ability at all, and it looks as if they never bothered to try to teach him anything out there. He throws to the wrong base. He goes all the way to the wall on balls he obviously can't get to. Yeah, he's an outfielder in the same way that I'm a brain surgeon. I mean technically I could get some power tools and a scalpel and "operate" on a brain, but I don't think it's a good idea. And neither is Gattis in left. I know they just want his bat in the lineup, and I don't blame them. With a 70 game lead in the division they can afford that luxury, but that won't fly in the playoffs.

Gattis is also a "late bloomer". Maybe he'll figure it out by then.

***Yeah, he's an outfielder in the same way that I'm a brain surgeon. I mean technically I could get some power tools and a scalpel and "operate" on a brain, but I don't think it's a good idea.***

You'd probably be a better option than anyone on the Phillies medical staff.

Problem: Player doesn't have the arm for SS.

Solution: Move him to CF!

*facepalm*

But Revere "proved" to us that you dont need an arm to play CF.

At least in the Phillies system.

Hernandez is already better than Revere.
Revere was healthy enough to dance in front of his growth chart in the Phillies store yesterday though.

Kinda lost at this "Keep playing Cesar Hernandez" at 2b thing. Rightly or wrongly, they re-signed Utley. Where does he go? Doesn't it make sense to have CH learn another position, so they can get his bat in the lineup if needbe? I'm not even a fan of the Phils forcing guys in other spots, but there's some rhyme or reason to it. They don't think he's good enough to be a full time starter at 2b, but they like his bat. \

I know some have a dream of a full rebuild, but I'm not sure an infield of Galvis/CH is going to bring back a World Series trophy.

Well, GTown_Dave, we've already got one CF with a rag arm. The more the merrier, as they say!

On a more serious note, the CF experiment was borne out of Revere's injury and the desperate need for another backup CF with Mayberry starting every day. That need was thankfully obviated by picking up Bernadina.

As for why you keep undertaking the CF experiment...well, if Hernandez can stick as the backup CF, then you open up options for bench construction next year that don't involve a traditional 4th OF. (Which, amongst other things, makes both Mayberry and Bernadina expendable.)

> Gattis is also a "late bloomer". Maybe he'll figure it out by then.
>
> Posted by: Meyer

The Braves should stash him in AAA to start the season next year and call him up in July, because we all know how great it is to have a middle of the order bat to call up mid-season. :)

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