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Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Doesn't take long to search for the non-silver lining -- no chance for a W with Bernadina leading off.

Rupp's first hit was fun to watch.
Good hustle , followed by tripping over the bag, very memorable.

Tyler Cloyd on the other hand.....

Put Jimmy pop up #1. He looks like he is in his 50's

Nice photo. Corporate blogging at its finest.

To be more specific, Cody Asche can hit *for power*. The biggest knock on Asche is that he wouldn't play a good enough 3B to warrant a lack of power at the plate.

His defense has been plenty adequate, and he's been pulling the ball with power very well so far. Tonight makes it 12 XBH in his last 25 starts.

Very good sign for his future.

What's with every sports writer in America all of the sudden using the word "collected.". "Rupp collected his first hit.". Who talks like that?

Is Freddie Galvis a Mini-Mart with actual talent?

I'd love to see this team go forward with young talent in 2014. Sadly, the albatross at 1B and the arrogance-without-ability SS will prevent that from being fully realized.

I suppose we could always get lucky and see a 2014 season that finds both of them on the DL for extended periods of time. It's too much to ask for that they'd be traded. Who on earth would take them?

BobbyD, dunno, maybe they want to look smart?

the other night when sandberg said that rosenberg had "earned the right to close that game" i sensed a new managerial outlook. a meritocracy whereby the players need to earn their place in the batting order. or am i dreaming?

Bullit- if that was true, why is Roger Bernadina leading off? Why is J Pop hitting second? Any true meritocracy would put them 7th and 8th.

Worry not. Sandy is also collecting player demerits and storing them safely next to the 2014 lineup cards.

Man alive - Hunter Frankenpence is padding his stat sheet. What would it take for the Phillies to sign him for the big push next year?

Heather: i'm hoping that the real shakeup will occur next spring. howie would could lose his clean-up spot too, if he doesn't show up in "the best shape of his career."

Another silver lining - Phils inch closer to 10th draft pick slot.

Yet another silver lining - According to the post game press conference, Rupp apparently possesses two of the most coveted, valuable skills that a catcher can have - "visibility" and "posture". So he's ready to claim a roster spot.

"Is Freddie Galvis a Mini-Mart with actual talent?"

Not really. He's kind of like a Mike Trout without talent.

Freddy Galvis is Cookie Rojas without the glasses.

It's obvious that Howard and Rollins were negative contributors this year. With that said, I don't understand the animosity toward these guys. Best in franchise history at their respective positions. I would expect their declines to provoke a bit of sadness, not personal vitriol.

The way some here evaluate the Phillies:

"Inside every silver lining is a dark cloud." (George Carlin)

"It's obvious that Howard and Rollins were negative contributors this year."

Hugh, Rollins has a positive fWAR, assuming the stat is reliable.

Hugh, I do agree with you about the vitriol of some here towards Rollins and Howard. Baseball is a game of failure, where even the very best fail 60 - 70% of the time. Howard and Rollins are being treated as though they're failing at a higher rate on purpose, rather than declining just as some of the vitriol spewers had predicted in the first place.

FWIW, he does have a negative bWAR on the year as he's currently at -0.4 on the year for bWAR.

The analysis of last night's game is simple:

Cashner was really good last night.
Cloyd was really bad last night.

Combine those two and you get an 8-2 loss.

I don't need any new statistical measure to tell me whether Jimmy Rollins has performed well this season. He has been a drag on the lineup all season.

I think Rollins is better than what he was this year, and can at least rebound to a ~2 WAR player next season, which is an average starter. I'm definitely not 100% on that, but just how i feel.

I don't think that about Howard at all.

And I also don't think Utley will be any better than he was this year, in terms of performance or time played. Luckily he's been plenty good enough this year, so he doesn't really need to improve to be effective, but hoping for more than his 2013 value is probably false hope.

I think last night was made particularly obnoxious because it was tactical decisions by Sandberg that blew the game wide open and then killed what little life the Phils showed when they finally got an iota of momentum.

As, when it's 5-1 in the 5th with men on second and third with no outs, should the first guy you turn to be Zach Miner? Probably not, unless your intent is to concede the game, because Miner's consistently been consistently dreadful to the tune of a 5.59 FIP and whopping 94 ERA+. Yes, the bullpen's been horrid, but you've got three guys (Martin, Rosenberg, and Diekman) who've been looking for-reals MLB relievers of late. It might've ended up the exact same way, but at least you could claim you tried with a straight face.

And when, when they finally put together a little bit of a rally in the 8th, with the bases and one run having already been walked in, Chase Utley is pinch hit for with...Michael Martinez. Has Sandberg offered any kind of justification for that? Any at all?

About two weeks ago, Sandberg pulled Kendrick early out of trouble with Zach Miner. Miner ended up going +1 IP scoreless, followed by scoreless outings from the rest of the mopup crew.

The Phillies came back and won that game, and Sandberg's strategy was lauded as the reason why.

Who cares if Freddy Galvis can play a good LF?

His bat is only good enough to play at SS. He either plays there, or he's largely useless on a major-league roster.

I might just have an immense distrust of Zach Miner, arising from the personal bias that it seems like whenever I'm watching a game, he comes on and like clockwork blows things. I had the same visceral distrust of Diekman following the 2011 campaign, and I'm happy to eat crow now that he's seeming to put it together.

I was only half following the game on Gameday while doing other stuff. But I did wonder why the hell Mini-Mart was batting in Utley's place with the bases loaded.

I get that, when you're losing 8-1, it's generally reasonable to pull your starters. But you don't pull them with the bases loaded & your best hitter coming up. That was bizarre.

awh, I think that JRoll has earned some of his vitriol by insisting to bat leadoff but trying to hit home runs, and by his remarks about wanting to earn personal Phillies stat records. Quiet players that appear to enjoy doing whatever they can to help the team, generally are loved by the fans. The "I, me, mine" guys get vitriol.

Howard's vitriol has nothing to do with his mouth, but rather his big contract, his big strikeout rate, his inability to hit to all fields, poor fielding, and his inability to hit pitchers that use their left hand to throw the ball. The vitriol towards Howard is not personal. I think fans generally like the Big Piece as a person.

Going into the season, the young arms we thought would become part of our bullpen core were Aumont, De Fratus and Bastardo.

At this point, those young arms are Martin, Rosenberg and Diekman.

Kendrick Appreciation Society, so the logic of your post suggests that Martin, Rosenberg and Diekman will be dogs next year. I think that you could be right.

Cesar Hernandez replaced Utley at 2B at the top of the inning as part of a multiple switch. Martinez was a part of the switch, and was rightfully assigned the furthest spot in the due up lineup, which happened to be Utley's #3 spot.

Ah, that will do it. Hard to get that from the box score. Heck, I watched the game and didn't cotton on to it. Much obliged, Lorecore.

My chastising of Sandberg is retracted, to the extent that you could still argue that he should've pinch hit Chooch there for Martinez and just slid Mayberry over from P to LF while Bernadina remained in CF.

Who cares if Freddy Galvis can play a good LF? His bat is only good enough to play at SS.

Bingo. What will be interesting is when Dom returns - does Galvis get more than a token start at SS down the stretch?

Here's a depressing thought - J-Roll's $11M option for 2015 vests if he gets 1100 PAs in 2013-14. He's almost at 600 already this year and will probably hit 700 before the end of the season unless Sandberg sits him. It will be interesting to see if Galvis gets more than a token start at SS once Dom (hopefully) returns to play LF.

The one way you could trade J-Roll is to convince him that he might not get the PAs here, and then get a team to pick up the 2015 option in exchange for his waiving 10-and-5 rights. Obviously the Phils would have to pick up a sizable chunk of salary. My guess is we're stuck with his decaying corpse through 2015, though.

Lake Fred, I have no problem with Rollins' desire for personal goals. People are motivated by other things as well, but one thing is pretty universal: Unless you're Mother Theresa, personal goals are what motivates you, and even she had the pleasure (a personal goal) of feeling good about what she was doing, even if there was no material reward.

You post seems to contain the assumption that because he has personal goals (all players do) that Rollins is somehow less motivated to win. Is so, I just think you're wrong about that. Jimmy's inability to perform up to his previous level in key situations and help the team win has nothing to do with his personal goals and everything to do with age-related decline.

Hence, why the vitriol?

As to Howard, everything you list, except one, has to do with his either being injured or his declining as a player. It doesn't mean he isn't trying of trying to help the team win. (He blew his Achilles trying to get to first base in hopes that somehow there would be an error, etc.)

And as to the exception, his contract... well, any one of us would have signed that in a heartbeat if it was offered.

Even you, Fred. C'mon... admit it. :)

Where is it written that Jimmy must bat at the top of the order? At this point, he's your typical nice glove, no bat SS. Sandberg saw of the course of the long season that Jimmy's not a leadoff hitter, but then stuck him at #2, which is an equally poor match. He's a #8 hitter.

Colonel, Freddy Galvis the last two years:

.219 .262 .367

Declining Jimmy Rollins the last two years:

.246 .313 .383

Jimmy, at ages 22/23, the same as Freddy the last two years:

.260 .315 .400

Jimmy was/is a better hitter the last two years than Galvis, and was certainly much better in his age 22/23 seasons.

The problem with all of the "trade Rollins" talk is that there is not an adequate replacement on the roster. So, it would merely be a salary dump.

One, how well have those worked out for this FO (Abreu, Lee, Pence)? Two, suppose Galvis or any of the younger guys can't get it done the next two years (likely)?

The Phillies, if they hope to be competitive (and they'll make noise that they do) may have to go to the FA market to sign a replacement, thus negating any benefit from the salary dump.

Be careful what you wish for.

lore: Ok. Like I said, I wasn't paying much attention. At the time I figured there must be some sort of multiple substitute explanation. But then Juums said that Mini-Mart pinch hit for Utley so I went with it.

Jake, who said anything about Jimmy batting leadoff.

You're welcome to join my club.

awh - Charlie and now Sandberg seem to be under some compulsion to bat Jimmy at the top of the order - 1, 2, or 3. Why? Because he's still somewhat fast? He doesn't hit for power, hit for average, reach base often, or hit for the situation. It's ridiculous.

The hope for a trade, would be that whatever you can get back from Rollins is better than the difference between Rollins/Galvis.

I think that could happen, and I am almost positive it could have been to much higher degree if the idiot Phillies dealt Rollins much much earlier in the year.

to be fair, look at the lineups the Phils have had. 2013 Rollins is still probably the 5th bets hitting in the lineup most nights.

"to be fair, look at the lineups the Phils have had. 2013 Rollins is still probably the 5th bets hitting in the lineup most nights"

Well if a man with a .639 OPS is the 5th best hitter, then this team never had a chance.

awh, rolling together and comparing those 2012-13 stats is a great way to miss J-Roll's precipitous decline between last year and this year. There's also the fact that Galvis is likely to improve over the next couple years based on a normal age curve, while J-Roll is likely to decline further.

At some point soon, J-Roll will be worse than Galvis overall (considering offense and defense). My guess is we're just about there.

awh, on Howard I listed the causes for the vitriol toward him as being attributed to "his big contract, his big strikeout rate, his inability to hit to all fields, poor fielding, and his inability to hit pitchers that use their left hand to throw the ball." None of those deficiencies are have anything to do with his injury or his age. When he signed that big bucks contract, he was supposedly entering his prime years. He declined all through this big bucks contract and when he's injured, his performance becomes zero; however, I don't believe that there is any vitriol toward Howard because he's injured. I'll address your JRoll assessment in a separate post.

awh, on JRoll, I wrote, "I think that JRoll has earned some of his vitriol by insisting to bat leadoff but trying to hit home runs, and by his remarks about wanting to earn personal Phillies stat records." I think that we agree on how personal goals are what motivates people. There is nothing wrong with JRoll having personal goals. The vitriol arises toward JRoll because he vocalized his personal goals instead of the team's goals. At least that was what was publicized. He's remarks could have been taken out of context and put him in a bad light. The part about his insistence of continuing to be the leadoff batter when his skills and speed have declined due to age are also a cause of vitriol. I read BL and I feel that the vitriol would disappear if he were batting 7th or 8th in the order. JRoll wants to bat in the leadoff spot because his contract vest for that extra year based on plate appearances. Greed always brings out vitriol in the fans. Fans understand declining skills due to aging. JRoll's vitriol is not really based on that factor. It is based on his appearance of being selfish as opposed to being team-ish.

I wasn't aware that JRoll was insisting on batting leadoff...

NEPP, I guess we have to blame Cholly for JRoll being the leadoff batter and Sandy for Jimmy being the 2-hole batter. I was under the impression that Jimmy wanted to bat first all these years. Am I wrong?

I'm sure he does...but I've never heard of him outright insisting on it. I'm sure Mini Mart would want to bat cleanup if he had his way...I wasn't aware that any player could force his will on the manager like that.

Fred, I don't think J-Roll wants to hit leadoff because of the vesting option. He still sees himself as an elite leadoff hitter, even if the numbers scream that he isn't anymore. You don't become a successful professional athlete by accepting your limitations, and I'm certain J-Roll is no exception.

"awh, rolling together and comparing those 2012-13 stats is a great way to miss J-Roll's precipitous decline between last year and this year."

Colonel, are you stating that a player cannot have a bad year? Point: that may be all that is plaguing JRoll. Of course, he could decline to mini mart level next season, though I wouldn't bet on that.

He's still a better hitter than Galvis - even this year alone, so I'm not sure what your point is.

And, there's no guarantee Galvis WILL improve, though he may. But some guys just never do.

You're right, you're guessing that Rollins doesn't rebound and Galvis gets better. But if the idea is to put the best team on the field this season and next, Rollins may be a better bet/risk to rebound than Galvis is to improve.

But my overall point was about a salary dump, and it stands:

You trust r00b and the FOols to get - as lorecore puts it - a player "better than the difference between Rollins/Galvis."?

Based on their track record of salary dumps (which is what it would be) I don't. Galvis will never hit enough to be an everyday SS, IMHO (based on his MiL and MLB track record), so I don't see the point of dumping Rollins, and don't trust this FO to do it.

I'm pretty sure Rollins could bat 8th and still meet his vesting option...and rather easily.

He's on pace for 663 PA this year and that would leave him needing just 437 PA next year for it to vest.

Basically if he plays around 110-120 games next year, he'll be back in 2015 as long as he doesn't end the year on the DL.

And, even if Rollins' vesting option doesn't vest, a club option ($8MM) and a player option ($5MM) are created. If J-Roll really does want to chase after those various franchise records, he'll be back in 2015 for at least $5MM no matter what.

NEPP, exactly.

IMO, until one of the younger guys possibly makes it to the Show (Quinn?, Crawford?, etc.) we're not likely to see anyone better than Jimmy Rollins man the position, because as much as I like Freddy and his enthusiasm and youth, he ain't it, and there really is no one in the high minors.

Juums, great point. Rollins looks to be here in 2015.

Rollins is going nowhere. He is going to retire as a Phillie, and most of you will be dining at his restaurant somewhere in the Delaware Valley.

During Rollins' contract negotiations he mentioned a conversation he had with his idol Ricky Henderson who Rollins quoted that a player who stays in a single city for his career can put that to good use AFTER his career ends, precisely by being a part of the social and culture history of the town. Rollins is going nowhere. He is now looking far beyond the game to his life after baseball, and that will be lived in the Delaware Vlley.

FWIW, batting leadoff means around 750 PA a year whereas batting 8th means about 650. If Rollins is his typical healthy self (or even misses 2 months), he'll vest the option.

I've never gotten the hatred of Rollins. He's the best SS in team history by a huge, huge margin and he's been a key piece of this run. Yeah, he's declining and the manager (managers now) can't quite realize that he probably should bat 7th or 8th but that's not really his fault.

Yes, he pops out a lot and doesn't seem to work at his game like the great Chase Utley but whatever. I've always loved watching him play and I will miss him when he retires.

I'm not looking forward to his option vesting because I doubt it'll be a good value but its likely going to happen regardless of his lineup position.

I don't know if Galvis should be considered a dead-end as SS just yet. At age 23, he's basically thirty points of OBP from being an everyday SS. That's not exactly insurmountable when you're going off of a .260-.270 OBP base and the guy is just 23.

That being said, I'm also not exactly bullish on it, either. From the hacks he's taking, it looks to these humbles eyes like he's lacking in pitch recognition skills and a feel for the strike zone. Those are hard to teach, to the extent that they're teachable at all.

I don't get the vitriol against Rollins, either. For me, when I began following this team in 2006, he was the player I most enjoyed watching, with his speed, his defense, his energy and his smile when he was really having fun on the field.

One of my favorite memories of JRoll is from the last game of the regular season in 2007. I was there, and I remember how exciting it was that Jimmy led off with a single, stole 2B, then stole 3B. We had a run in short order thanks to that!

I also loved his belief in the team when he uttered the motivational "We're the team to beat".

Do I get frustrated with him at the plate? Absolutely. It's sad to see your favorite players decline, too. But I respect Jimmy Rollins for his desire to have a legacy in the city and for his role in making this team championship caliber.

I think he realizes that, as he's aging, he's less of a difference-maker and more of a role-player. He does come across as having a healthy ego, but I haven't heard him put others down nor even talk endlessly about himself.

I'll miss him when he's gone.

awh: Colonel, are you stating that a player cannot have a bad year?

Nice straw man you have there.

J-Roll's 2013 might be a fluke, or there might be an undisclosed injury issue. My fear is that he's well into the steep-decline phase of the aging curve, as shown by Nate Silver's graphs in this oldie-but-goodie Baseball Prospectus piece:

Very few big-league shortstops continue to hold down everyday jobs at age 35. As Rich Hoffman's piece here -

- pointed out, J-Roll's the only current everyday SS aged 34+. As Hoffman says, "In the last 25 seasons of major league baseball, only 10 players have been an everyday shortstop -- with enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title -- at the age of 35."

At this point, he's fighting Mother Nature, and she's stronger than any of us. I could be wrong - and I hope I am - but I think we're probably left hoping for a dead-cat bounce next year back into the mid-80's range of OPS+, with further declines in defense and speed.

Galvis, on the other hand, is in the steep-ascent part of the aging curve. That's why I think he's a better bet going forward, especially by the time you get to 2015. Factor in the salaries and it's not a close call in my mind.

Juums, I'm with you on not giving up on Galvis as a starter. He's not going to be a particularly good hitter, but he doesn't have that far to go to be like Alex "Sea Bass" Gonzalez, who struggled in his first couple of seasons (.229 OBP in his sophomore year with the Marlins!) but became a contributor with the bat later. Galvis's .147 ISO at the big-league level is a good sign. You can squint and see a potential .246/.290/.396 (Gonzalez's career line) hitter in Galvis, which together with a good glove would make for a pretty decent starting shortstop until J.P. Crawford or Roman Quinn takes over.

Colonel, no straw man. I asked you a legitimate, straight-forward question. Methinks you're a bit too sensitive.

As to Hoffman's point about JRoll being the only 34+ guy, Jeter would be playing if he weren't injured, because the Yankees have the same problem the Phils have: no decent replacement.

And Jeter is a good comp for Rollins in this respect: They were each the best player at their position in their respective leagues for a few seasons.

Look, I'm not disagreeing that Rollins is declining. He is. I'm just not sure the prescription of dumping him for salary relief and handing the job to Galvis is the answer - and sure don't trust r00b and the FOols to get anything decent in return.

"His bat is only good enough to play at SS. He either plays there, or he's largely useless on a major-league roster.

Posted by: Jack"

And God knows the Phillies would never have anyone like that getting 100+ PAs a year.

Jamie Moyer was on WHYY's Radio Times this morning. Here's the link if you'd like to listen to it (hour-long interview):

I didn't catch all of it, but I caught a great call from someone who said he became a Moyer fan when he saw how Jamie took about an hour before every game that he didn't pitch to go around and sign autographs for children. It was a great call.

A .700 OPS is about the midway point for the current starting SS in MLB.

Right now, we've got Rollins at .639 and Galvis at .642.

There are plenty of good SS with an OPS below .700 however...Simmons, Cabrera, Cozart, Andrus are all well below .700.

The offensive bar for SS is quite low at the moment as long as the player is a plus defender (which Galvis is...)

- a player "better than the difference between Rollins/Galvis."?

If Rollins hits .250 and Galvis .220, even r00b might be able to sniff out a player who could hit. .030 -- unless he's a Halladay-hitting clone...

***because the Yankees have the same problem the Phils have: no decent replacement.***

They have Brendan Ryan now...who's a fantastic defender at least even if he hits about as well as Mini Mart.

re: Ethan Martin

The last Phillies reliever to throw 10 or more straight strikes in an inning without allowing a baserunner was Ron Blazier on 7/28/96.

um who the hell is ron blazier.

The Ron Blazier?!?

Wow, that's an impressive comp.

Oh sorry, I thought that said Ron Burgundy.

If you go back to the Beerleaguer archives from 1996, MG was all over Blazier not being for real, and "smoke and mirrors". He was right.

Freddy Galvis is Cookie Rojas without the glasses.

Cookie Rojas was a much better hitter than Galvis. In fact, he was better after he left the Phillies.

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