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Thursday, October 10, 2013

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Maybe you mean 292 games, not 192? Reads oddly if you say only 206 for McCann, but Ruiz caught less...

Saw this over on Deadspin. My favorite line: "I wish the Dodgers could sweep them in one game."

My wish as it goes- the Dodgers trash the Cardinals and then get trashed by whichever team represents the AL.

http://deadspin.com/why-your-cardinals-suck-1443513646

Speaking of catchers - Rupp just hit a two run 2B off of top prospect Kyle Crick to open the first inning.

IMHO Chooch will get at least a two-year deal from some team. Even at the age of 35 he's better than some of the catchers on teams that made the playoffs this season.

He would represent an upgrade for Cincinnati, Detroit, LAD, and the Rays.

Two years with a vesting option for a 3rd year is about right. Unless the Phillies are going to go BIG and try to land Salty, McCann, Suzuki (if the A's don't use their option) or maybe an older-than-Chooch Pierzynski, he's the best option out there, and probably the best bang for the buck.

Something I don't see mentioned often is that Ruiz has been one of the more undercompensated players relative to his performance. He's made a total of $14.6 million while putting up a career fWAR of 18.5. Average catcher compensation from 2007-11 was $4.2m/WAR; by market rate, he's been worth over $75 million. Peaking at age 31 will do that to you, I guess.

The team really lucked out with him from 2010-12, paying under $3 million a year for a .388 OBP catcher with a sterling defensive reputation. Just another area where the team will be hard-pressed to find that kind of value going forward. On a "personal" level it'd be nice to see him be rewarded with a fat contract from some other team, but it's tough to see it happening at his age now.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/positional-differences-in-the-price-of-war-2/

Man, I sure hope Ruiz ages like Carlton Fisk, and not like Johnny Bench and Yogi Berra!

From the last thread:

It should also be recalled that the guy who was blocking [Brandon] Moss in 2011 was Ross Gload, who played the entire 2011 season with an injury that left him barely able to move & absolutely pathetic at the plate. Given the situation, there was no reason at all to keep Gload and deny Moss a chance.

This times 1000. You have to wonder why the Phils continually have played at least one man short on the bench - first the DH-only Thome, then the legless Gload and the not-so-dynamic duo of Mini-Mart/Mini-Mac.

I got Thome and Gload backwards chronologically. Same point applies.

Without using WAR or stats. most fans knew Ruiz was under compensated.

Everything else being equal, if we keep Hamels and Lee, there is even more case for retaining Chooch given his rapport with them.

ColonelTom - If you find out the answer, let us know,

No on John Buck and Suzuki. Ruiz is a good fit for a reasonable contract. In addition to a rapport with the current staff, if Gonzalez comes in I would expect they'd need a translator. Maybe not but, if he does, your catcher is ideal.

Sure is peaceful around these parts... new Sheriff in town?

cut, shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Finally talked to my dad, who tried to guilt me into supporting the Cardinals. "We have to stick together as a family - - unless the Phillies are playing the Cardinals," he joked. I told him the memory of Ryan Howard in a crumpled heap the last time our teams faced off in the postseason still stings. And he agreed that the Pirates had a terrific year and were a good team.

So now I feel I should support the Cardinals. "Should" being the operative word.

Salisbury piece on our new Cuban pitcher:

http://www.csnphilly.com/baseball-philadelphia-phillies/meet-miguel-alfredo-gonzalez-phillies-pitcher


I'll be rooting for him. Not just because it's good for the team, but because he's missing his family in order to chase his dream.

I think people sometimes forget just how hard it is for foreign players in general to play in the US let alone a guy from Cuba who has to give up everything just to follow his dream.

I hope it works out for him and us and that he is able to help his family out in the long run.

Forget McCann. Offer Chooch 1 year + an option year. Keep Rupp in MLB. Say goodbye to Kratz & hope he invested his turkey bacon money wisely.

Forget Rupp..

Sign McCann and Ruiz battery.

Don't even, TTI.

I wouldn't mind Suzuki to back up Chooch, but somehow I doubt Suzuki would be willing to sign on for that role. Couldn't hurt, especially when Ruiz makes his annual 15-day DL trip (he takes a beating, so it happens)

"I told him the memory of Ryan Howard in a crumpled heap the last time our teams faced off in the postseason still stings."


GBrett, and the Cardinals danced around with absolutely ZERO regard (a classless disregard) for Howard's well being.

If you (and your father) want to support a team with such utter disregard for pure sportsmanship, then do so, and bring shame and scorn upon yourself.

"I'll be rooting for him. Not just because it's good for the team, but because he's missing his family in order to chase his dream."

GBrett, don't be soooooo sentimental. You're making me all moist.

He's got and 8-figure contract - GUARANTEED - so his family is probably jumping up and down at the thought of spending some of it.

I say sign Ruiz and then see if Navarro would take a back-up role. If not then turn to Rupp I guess.

Makes sense TTI...If that happens Rupp will get his call up when either one goes on the DL..

Navarro is the type of guy that would be ideal as a backup catcher. A guy that can actually be a credible pinch hitter and not be a drain on your lineup if pushed into a starting role.

Despite all the pro-Kratz propaganda you read here the last 18-24 months, he is a bad baseball player and will turn 34 next year. Like with Mayberry, getting rid of him only stands to make the team better.

Phils are kind of behind an eight-ball here. If they sign McCann, they basically blow out their entire FA flexibility and are stuck with another moderate-to-large sized contract for a guy entering the wrong side of 30.

Saltalamacchia is a nice player but I would be surprised if the Red Sox let him walk and do the Phils really want to give a huge paycheck to a guy who isn't known for his defense, doesn't BB much/low OBP guy, and really has only had one really good year offensively so far? I hope not. Not a difference maker and I can't imagine that he comes anywhere less than $10M AAV (likely closer to $12M) on his next deal (4-year minimum)

Really don't want them to sign Chooch to a 2-yr deal (say 2 yr/$13-$14M with an option) yet they don't have anyone who can take over his role while signing a veteran backup like Navarro.

Still think Chooch ends up here by default because of his familiarity with the pitching staff and his price tag/contract length will best match the Phils' needs. 2-yr deal on a moderate salary.

awh - Blame Salisbury. He's the one who used the word "pained" to describe Gonzalez's face at mention of defecting, leaving his family behind.

Yes, the money will help make them all more comfortable and most likely factored into his decision to defect.

As for the Cardinals celebrating while Howard writhed in pain, that does sting, but I did cut them some slack. I'm not confident the Phillies would have done any differently were the positions reversed.

(Although one of my favorite things was when the Phillies helped the grounds crew roll out the tarp in the wind in Colorado. Yes, I am a sentimental fan. Sports interest to me is largely about the stories.)

I think most of the pro Kratz propaganda died down this year. Kratz is good to have as a 3rd stringer/minor league depth type. I think he is ideally suited for such a role.

Kratz will definitely get signed to a minor league deal somewhere and is a quality player to stash at T-AAA.

I would be really surprised if he gets a 1-year deal given his age and his subpar season last year.

"Like with Mayberry, getting rid of him only stands to make the team better."

Yes, Iceman, but only if better payers can be brought in.

I'd like to think it will happen, but with r00b and the FOols judgment I'm becoming more skeptical.

That's not to say better players aren't out there, just that I'm skeptical r00b and the FOols can identify them.

Ruiz for 2 years at 13 million is perfectly fine. The issue the Phillies are running into is that there are going to be less and less free agent options out there every year because teams are locking players down early. So you are going to have to either re-sign your guys or hit on a lottery ticket.

People can grumble about FO moves and player personnel decisions all they want but putting Mayberry and Kratz on the roster for next year to me would be far more egregious than bringing in a Delmon Young because it is just keeping the same pieces and weak depth in place that hadn't worked the past two seasons.

"The issue the Phillies are running into is that there are going to be less and less free agent options out there every year because teams are locking players down early."


Yes, and they're also locking them up for their peak years, so any FA years "available" are years of decline.

This is a phenomenon all teams will have to deal with.

I would not be surprised to hear that the Phillies themselves had approached Brown about a long-term extension, but his agent is Boras who usually likes to test the FA market. Brown better be careful, though, because he's been somewhat injury prone - even in his early 20's - and if he keeps getting dinged up and missing time, testing the FA market may not be the best strategy.

If I'm the Phillies I'd look to lock up Brown, and see what Revere and Asche do the next couple of years.

TTI, that Deadspin anti-Cardinals rant was pretty funny. I shared it with a Cubs friend - who loved it, of course.

If 60 years of following baseball has taught me anything, it's that you can never have too many catchers. It's the most demanding and injury-prone position. Giving Kratz away is very short-sighted.

awh: Right. I'm saying it will be a problem for the Phillies right now who are trying to break from an aging core to be competitive again (if you believe age is the only problem they have.) In like 3 years they should be righted in that they have some new blood to cycle in but until then it will be tough.

Conway- Stash him in Triple A, but he should not start on the Opening Day roster. He probably shouldn't be the first option to come up either should someone get hurt.

"...(if you believe age is the only problem they have.)"

I don't. I gather from what I perceive to be your insinuation, that you don't think so either.

C'mon A's....

TTI: I have no problem with that, but calls to dump him don't mean that.

"... because it is just keeping the same pieces and weak depth in place that hadn't worked the past two seasons."


TTI, I missed that comment from before, and wanted to respond to it.

I get where you're coming from, but the problem, as I see it, is not that Kratz and Mayberry provide weak depth. Mayberry, at least would have an MLB backup job - even on a playoff team - just take a look at some of the backup OF on playoff teams this season. Kratz also, is fine as a BACKUP.

The problem is they were both called upon to play everyday, and that's a role for which neither is good enough.

Am I making an excuse for them and saying the Phillies ought not try to upgrade? Absofrigginlutely not!!! Just see my response to Iceman above. But they're not everyday players, and I think that people here have a tendency to judge them as such because that's the roles they were forced to play.

Superficial question...Why does Verlander wear the tightest trousers in all of baseball?

Did you hear Buck Martinez say it's easier to decide when to pull a pitcher in the NL due to the fact that they come up to bat? I understand what he means, but I think you could argue that in the AL, all you have to consider is how well the pitcher is doing (or not doing) and the matchups. In the NL, you have to think of that, too, plus decide whether it would be better to pull the pitcher for a PH to try and help the team score a run. So you aren't just considering defense, but offense as well.

awh: You have a deeper affinity for Mayberry than I do. My problem with Mayberry has always been he has two definitive pluses supposedly (he hits lefties and can play average defense in the outfield). I think he is a little overrated as an outfielder defensively. I advocate getting someone to be a starter and dumping Mayberry by replacing him with Ruf. To me that makes the team better.

Signing Navarro and putting Kratz in Triple A to me makes the team better because Navarro is a very good catcher in many ways and then if you need Kratz he is your next line of defense.

If nothing else this off-season I want depth in the system. I don't want to see us relying on the Mini Mart and Roger Bernadina's of the world. Put a layer of depth between the starters and the Mayberrys of the world and I actually would like the depth of the team.

GBF, I heard that too and did a double take. I would think it would be much easier in the AL because as you said, there are fewer considerations and as such, fewer dominoes to fall as a result of the decision.

"Did you hear Buck Martinez say it's easier to decide when to pull a pitcher in the NL due to the fact that they come up to bat?"

Yeah, I thought that was a dumb comment. Basically, what he's saying is that, in the NL, the manager can just let his decision be dictated by whether the pitcher is due up to bat the next inning. But if the manager is allowing his decision to be influenced by a factor having nothing to do with the pitcher's effectiveness, that's a sure-fire recipe for leaving in his starter too long.

Will the Phils attempt to be serious contenders in 2014?

We will know the answer to this question by what they do with the starting rotation.

If MAG turns out to be the big move of the off-season, the answer is clearly "no".

If the Phils re-sign Kendrick, the answer is "no", also.

If the last two spots in the rotation will be filled by some combination of Kendrick, Pettibone and Halladay, the 2014 Phillies again will compete for a protected draft pick.

I thought the bay area was beautiful in the fall, why is everyone bundled up?

If Donaldson hadn't fielded that ball like a Phillie, that would have been an inning-ending DP. Instead, another run scores for Detroit.

This game is over. The only real mystery at this point is whether Verlander gets the no-no or perfect game.

Superficial question...Why does Verlander wear the tightest trousers in all of baseball?

Posted by: can_of_corn | Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 09:40 PM

The same reason he prefers PBR for his playoff celebrations?

I think 2 runs was all Verlander needed; 3 definitely should be.

"I think 2 runs was all Verlander needed; 3 definitely should be."

GBF, actually, if the A's don't figure him out, 1 run would've sufficed.

Maybe Verlander will channel his playoff Lee and blow a multi-run lead?

While I am in agreement that it's best to sign a "backup" catcher that you intend to run out there 62 game, the idea of that catcher being Dioner Navarro gives me hives. The man certainly has his merits defensively, but:
1) Navarro's coming off of a career year in a FA catching field that's lacking guys with an iota of offensively upside. He won't be as cheap as he should be, which is a shame, as he's a very nice platoon bat.

2) Navarro is, despite being a switch-hitter, a platoon bat. For his career, he's got a .245/.304/.346 line against RHP. Even by catching standards, that's...bad. (Kratz, the guy who Navarro is to replace, boasts a .238/.290/.427 career line against RHP.) For a guy who's being signed to get 40% of the season's catching time, that requires a commitment to the platoon from a team that's never been big on them. It also leaves you dangerously exposed if and when Chooch does go down, unless you expect that Dioner Navarro's career year is indicative of his performance going forward.

My preference for the role of backup/second-starter is Geovany Soto: Not exactly likely to set the world on fire, but he's not paralyzed by platoon splits and should be affordable. If that can't come to pass, then I'd be hard-pressed not to just try Rupp in the role next year: At the league minimum, I don't think Navarro's glove will be worth the $1.5MM+ difference between what it'd cost for Rupp. (As from what I understand, Rupp's defense is considered solid, if not necessarily impressive, with the one gripe being that his slow feet mean he's liable to stolen against.)

TTI, I have no affinity anymore for Mayberry, that's why I'm not arguing anymore that he should stay - especially if they can find a better player.

The difficulty with your prescription is that it assumes they'll be able to secure an everyday RF or LF (if Dom moves back to RF). I'm just not that sure.

Here's the list from MLBTR:

Left fielders

Jef Baker (33)
Jason Bay (35)
Mark DeRosa (39) - $750K club option with a $25K buyout
Raul Ibanez (42)
Reed Johnson (37) - $1.6MM club option with a $150K buyout
Austin Kearns (34)
Jason Kubel (32) - $7.5MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Nate McLouth (32)
Mike Morse (32)
David Murphy (32)
Laynce Nix (33)
Juan Pierre (36)
Grady Sizemore (31)
Delmon Young (28)

Center fielders

Rick Ankiel (34)
Coco Crisp (34) - $7.5MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Rajai Davis (33)
Jacoby Ellsbury (30)
Curtis Granderson (33)
Franklin Gutierrez (31) - $7.5MM club option with a $500K buyout
Andres Torres (36)
Chris Young (30) - $11MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout

Right fielders

Jeff Baker (33)
Carlos Beltran (37)
Marlon Byrd (36)
Shin-Soo Choo (31)
Nelson Cruz (33)
David DeJesus (34) - $6.5MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout
Mark DeRosa (39) - $750K club option with a $25K buyout
Jeff Francoeur (30)
Corey Hart (32)
Grady Sizemore (31)

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/02/2014-mlb-free-agents.html

This is going to be somewhat controversial to post, but as bad as he was this year, if Mayberry returns to his career averages he'd be an upgrade from some of the guys on that list.

Personally, if he's healthy I'd take a look at Sizemore, but he's a LHB and has significant splits. Nelson Crus? PED risk. Hart wants to stay in Milwaukee. DeJesus may have his option picked up. Morse is worse defensively than Ruf (and Dom would do back to RF) so I'm not sure you'd be improving the defense, Baker is not a full-time player, McLouth is a LHB, Beltran will probably want to go to a winner, and the cream of the crop - Ellsbury, Grandy, and Choo are going to be too rich for the Phillies' blood, IMO.

Maybe they could catch lightning in a bottle with one of the older guys like Byrd or DeRosa, but it would only be a stopgap measure and not even an intermediate term solution.

So what do they do?


Oh, and TTI, we agree about Bernadina and mini mart.

If they're on the team next season at all it'll be another 85 loss season.

Awh:
I daresay your comments about Mayberry being an improvement aren't even all that controversial. The FA market's got a decent-ish amount of top-shelf OF talent, a couple of high upside guys with lots of question marks, and scads of guys who you might take a flier on. But it doesn't really have anybody you'd be comfortable paying $2.5-5MM to be decidedly league-average. (Or, at the higher end of that range, slightly above-average with the bat or glove.)

If the Phils really do want to find a starting corner OF who's a defensive improvement and has some offensive upside, they're going to have to find it in the trade market. Previously I've suggested a guy like Chris Denorfia, if he's available, would be a good fit who should be attainable without giving up the farm. I'm sure there are one or two other comparable guys who might be shaken loose if the Phils went looking.

Juums, I agree. They may find the solution there.

I'm going to post something completely uncontroversial:

Sean Doolittle has filthy stuff.

"I thought the bay area was beautiful in the fall, why is everyone bundled up?"

It is but dopes even in the summer wear heavy clothing in SF at night. Yeah the fog makes it chilly when it rolls in and it can be much cooler in parts of the city at night but it never dips before the high 50s/low 60s.

Some people would look at me like I was from Mars when I would be wear short and a hoodie sweatshirts at night while they had on scarves and almost winter type apparel when it was 60.

Soto made over 2 million last year. I'm not sure why he would be more affordable that Navarro.

The argument that Soto is an ideal backup but Navarro gives you 'hives' just does not make one iota of sense. About as much sense as arguing that Mayberry is effectively irreplaceable.

'Chapter 5: Bay Area Weather and Dopes That Can't Take the Cold.'

Since I don't think the Phils can contend for a playoff spot unless Selig goes crazy this offseason (adds 2 more WC spots), then signing Chooch to a 2-yr deal is probably the best course of action even though I think there is a decent chance that Chooch's production really might tank even next year.

Iceman - Have you walked around Pacific Heights or Russian Hill in the summer in SF? You will see women wearing winter jackets and scarves. It's often a bit foggy/chilly but it kind of reminds me of those crazy old ladies who say it is cold regardless of the temp.

awh - Sean Doolittle went to the same high school as my son does. His World Geography teacher last year was Doolittle's baseball coach. Pretty cool. Too bad they failed to advance again this year.

Iceman: Soto will certainly cost more than Navarro. The salary comparison wasn't between him and Navarro, but between Rupp and Navarro.

Re: my argument not making sense, Chooch is going to be a 35 year-old catcher. Whom the Phils will be relying upon for above-average positional offensive production. With the way the team is constructed and it being likely that 120 games from Chooch is probably an absolute best-case scenario, the backup C must be able to do something with a bat regardless of handedness. Dioner Navarro stinks out-loud against RHP -- both objectively and positionally adjusted -- which accounts for three-quarters of the league.

Soto's also been volatile the past couple of seasons: 2010 and 2011 produced 3.2 fWAR and 2.2 fWAR, respectively. 2012 saw him fall of the table and be good for only 0.3 fWAR, while 2013 saw him be used as Pieryznski's backup and was good for 1.0 fWAR in only 198 PA. His line this year of .245/.328/.466 (114 OPS+) was in his career line of .245/.335/.433 (102 OPS+) and, for the past three seasons, been an above-average defensive catcher, to the extent such things can be measured. While past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance, he appears a guy who can not only be a competent backup but be trusted with starting if and when Chooch needs a stint on the DL, and should be capable of being gotten for something in the $3.5MM range. If I'm wrong, kindly enlighten me as to why: I'm the first to admit that my understanding of player valuation is still developing.

I suspect my concerns about Navarro could also be allayed if he was told to simply stop hitting from the left side, as given the extremity of his splits, it seems probable he'd do better just hitting from the side of the plate where he seems to have better mechanics.

Er, in line with his career line. The A's losing appears to have caused my ability to compose coherent sentences to be even more compromised than normal.

> Despite all the pro-Kratz propaganda you read here the last 18-24 months,
> he is a bad baseball player and will turn 34 next year.

Agreed, but much of the pro-Kratz propaganda was of the anti-Schneider variety, or at least started that way.

"Agreed, but much of the pro-Kratz propaganda was of the anti-Schneider variety, or at least started that way."

That's a valid point. Nowhere to go but up from Schneider.

MG- I met my wife while she went to Berkeley and have spent a lot of time in the area. I agree with your assessment entirely.

I've also been to many an A's game. Tonight was not a good night in the Iceman household. A reverse 2011 situation.

With a payroll the Phillies have something has to give. That potentially is having pricey backups. Hernandez and Galvis should help to alleviate some of these concerns.

AWH: I have said- based off what is out there I would be looking at Hart, Beltran, Cruz- in that order.

If none of those options are liked than work the trade market.

All three of those options are better than Mayberry and Ruf is better offensively than Mayberry. Sign someone to be the back up center fielder and you have the start of something.

Amaro popped onto the WIP Morning Show today. Some of this is repeat stuff probably:

- Right now we are focusing on getting the coaching staff figured out before we move onto player scouting.

- Bowa and Sandberg may both have bad cop tendencies but Sandberg has a good deal of good cop in him. Bowa's hiring was just trying to bring in a guy with a good baseball mind to support Ryne and help teach the young guys how to play winning baseball.

- They are going to bring in another hitting coach to work with Steve Henderson. It is taking some time to get guys to buy into the 2 coach approach (sounds like the players were not super receptive to it at first last year) but they are interviewing guys

- MAG ability wise can slide into the 3 spot but some of that will be contingent on him getting acclimated to the new country and new league all at once. Where he will actually slide in is still unknown. They are slow playing him right now and in 7-10 days he will throw his first real geared up bullpen for them.

- They want to add to their pitching. He is still waving the pitching and defense banner, and downplaying offense. They want another starter but may have to be creative in order to add pitching and offense.

- Asked point blank "more important pitching or right handed corner outfield power"- he said he errs on side of pitching. 09, 10, 11 they had great pitching and won with that. 2008 their offense was great and it overshadowed some pitching deficiencies.

- Ruf can either prove he is an everyday left-fielder for them, or he could be a very valuable spot starter for them. He could give Howard a breather against lefties, or a spot starter. He is a valuable piece to us but not as an everyday right fielder. Maybe moving Brown to right and slotting Ruf into left. If that doesn't work, move Revere to left and sign a center fielder. Defense is a priority though.

- On Howard- it is all about how Sandberg wants to use him and how he matches up. Howard is not great against lefties but he can mash righties. You have to do what you have to if he proves he can't hit left-handers. It is what it is. He will come back and be productive but that is up to him. If he has to be a platoon player so be it.

- Asche is not the starting third baseman yet but he showed he could be. They liked the progress he has made defensively and they like his make-up and demeanor in that he is similar to Utley. They feel he will work much like Utley did to make himself better. Franco being right handed could create a competition because he fills a need for the line-up.

- Backlash on Manuel firing: once Charlie wasn't coming back next year the goal was to get Sandberg in to get some experience and see what his style is. SAndberg has room to grow and learn yet. There is no good time to fire a coach especially one with the popularity Manuel had acquired with people. This is what Amaro felt was best for the organization going forward.

- Fans deserve a winner and that will remain our goal. We are not as far off as people think. I promise I'll do everything I can to get us back there.

I don't question RAJ's desire to field a winner. Just his ability.

Thanks for the great summary TTI. I don't listen as regularly these days because there has been no baseball talk. Looks like they're still getting some in, but it's hard to sit through the other stuff just hoping for a few baseball crumbs. Appreciation!

I just don't understand how r00b can act like it wasn't his idea to put Ruf in RF instead of LF

I don't think Amaro was saying it wasn't his idea - just that he's shown he's not an everyday RF. Maybe they were hoping he could be, maybe they were just finding him some PT wherever they could so they could evaluate his bat, but they've determined he isn't one.

And yes, I realize there were lots of indefinite pronouns there, but I'm reasonably certain most readers can puzzle out what I meant.

TTI, let me take on r00b's comments selectively:

"Right now we are focusing on getting the coaching staff figured out before we move onto player scouting."

So the scouting department is sitting around twiddling its' thumbs?

"Bowa's hiring was just trying to bring in a guy with a good baseball mind to support Ryne and help teach the young guys how to play winning baseball."

I thought Howard, Rollins, Utley and Chooch knew how to win and could teach the youngs guys?

"They want to add to their pitching."

This is good.

" He is still waving the pitching and defense banner, and downplaying offense."

This is bad.

"Ruf can either prove he is an everyday left-fielder for them, or he could be a very valuable spot starter for them. He could give Howard a breather against lefties, or a spot starter. He is a valuable piece to us but not as an everyday right fielder. Maybe moving Brown to right and slotting Ruf into left. If that doesn't work, move Revere to left and sign a center fielder. Defense is a priority though."

I agree with everything in this paragraph except for the idea that Revere playing LF is appropriate. He doesn't hit well enough. Seattle tried the "all pitching and defense" approach a few years ago and it's success lasted one year. They need to score more, and neglecting offense is not a model for sustained success. Even with subpar pitching in the mid '00's they were competitive because they could score. It's amazing how short are r00b and the FOols' memories.

"- On Howard-".

Finally sounds like some sanity there, or at least their minds have finally collided with reality.

"Backlash on Manuel firing::

What did they expect based on how ham-handed they were in how it was done. St00pid. As for "get Sandberg in to get some experience and see what his style is", well, that's total BS. The man managed for an entire year in LV last season so they had plenty of opportunity to see his style. He also, IIRC, had other managerial positions in the past. Obfuscating, BS point. Total BS. "Liar Liar" is still operational.

"Fans deserve a winner and that will remain our goal. We are not as far off as people think. I promise I'll do everything I can to get us back there."

First sentence: Based on the prices you charge at the ballpark you're damn right we deserve a winner.

Second sentence: Big problem here. He's either thinking wishfully or he's delusional. Both are unacceptable.

Third sentence: So what?

"I don't question RAJ's desire to field a winner. Just his ability."


norbert, yes, and add Dave Montgomery to the list.

TTI, I second COC's appreciation for you posting the highlights.

"I don't think Amaro was saying it wasn't his idea - just that he's shown he's not an everyday RF. Maybe they were hoping he could be, maybe they were just finding him some PT wherever they could so they could evaluate his bat, but they've determined he isn't one."


'buster, the amusing thing is that for all the criticism here that the r00b and the FOols got this last season for how they handled Ruf, I don't recall one poster - NOT ONE - who advocated moving Ruf to RF.

AAMOF, most people here though they should have moved Dom back there and played Ruf in LF.

Ruf was a 1B in college, because, obviously, someone decided even back then that he's defensively challenged in the OF. This would lead one to believe that - based on the degree of difficulty within the defensive spectrum - that the only place for him in the OF was LF.

He was moved to RF for the first time on August 6th, and played there for about a week until _elm_n was released on the 14th. That tells me that they wanted to see him for a week before releasing Young, and determined that he was just as good in RF as Young (which isn't saying much).

At the time Yak was released their respective batting lines were .273/.375/.527 and .261/.302/.397. I believe this shocked the Phillies FOols. I truly believe they didn't think Ruf would cut it in MLB, even as a backup, and that's why he was handled as he was.

But r00b is now backtracking with "Ruf isn't a RF", and IMO it's a belated and deceptive attempt to look like they were right in how they handled him last season.

r00b: "Ruf isn't a RF."

No sh8t, Sherlock. Just about anyone who had been following him for the last year or so could have told you that. You moved him there because you didn't want to look like you made a mistake signing _elm_n and moving Dom to LF. What's worse, you tried to disguise the mistake by moving Ruf there and are now being disingenuous about your reasons.

Seriously, did anyone who posts on this board really think Ruf would be good enough in RF for him to stick there? Anyone?

So, if us "baseball neophytes" knew this why in the world did they move Ruf there instead of Dom?

To cover up two stupid mistakes, that's why.

awh: You have a lot of good points, dude (or dudette?), but they tend to get lost in your obvious vitriol towards a guy about whom you said in a previous post "the jury [was] still out."

I believe that the reason Amaro feels he has to point out that Ruf isn't a starting RF is because there are plenty of people shouting that he needs to be played wherever there's room because he's got a good bat. That's a lot of people. The "Beerleaguer consensus" as mythical a beast as it is, doesn't comprise 1% of 1% of the fanbase, and is likely more rationality-driven about the team than 95% of the fanbase.

So, yes, I fully believe that Amaro has to explicitly state that Ruf isn't a RF - if only for the benefit of the 1MM or so fans who think that it's ok to put him anywhere so long as he hits dingers.

awh: I would just point out I wasn't quoting Amaro word for word on certain things. Just getting the gist.

On the Ruf discussion: The tone of what Amaro said indicated Ruf in right was something they were trying just to know going forward. It felt like- we tried something, it won't work, we will move forward with another strategy. I have zero problem with that.

I also have said this a few times but I don't think the Phillies are as far away as most think. I do think it will require a lot of their moves hitting this year and I have less than full faith in Amaro on that front.

This might be the first and last time that "Beerleaguer consensus" & "rationality-driven" are/were in the same sentence.

Well, you'll notice I said more rationality-driven...

Aside from the fact that even Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels need at least a little run support in order to win games, the problem with the all pitching and defense is that our defense wasn't good last year, either.

Having read the article on MAG also, I came away with the mindset that either he's approaching the game the right way... Or his translator knows exactly what he should be saying.

You'd think sports media outlets (at least the print ones) would send reporters who speak Spanish, so they can report exactly what the guys who don't speak English say.

GBrettfan:
Actually, isn't the biggest problem with a smallball-approach from the Phils that the stadium in which they play is a hitter's ballpark? It makes little sense to build around pitching and defense when your home park is giving a helping hand to the opposing team in that regard. (Whether they actually are building around pitching and defense is another question.)

" He is still waving the pitching and defense banner, and downplaying offense."

Translation: We can't do much to improve our offense when we're locked into a $25M per year cleanup hitter and an $11M per year hitter near the top of our order. But we'll try to improve the areas where we don't have a multi-million dollar long-term commitment already in place.

David Murphy ‏@ByDavidMurphy 44m
Think the Phillies were blindsided by the Halladay injury? The five NL playoff teams would like a word: http://bit.ly/1846rGW

I don't see how the Phillies could have been blindsided when we knew Doc was a question mark going into the season, but the points made are still valid.

Jumms - It seemed to work pretty well in '11, but then, we had truly elite pitching that year.

The Cardinals and the Red Sox can pitch AND play defense AND get on base AND hit homeruns. More is more.

Speaking of the Red Sox, I had wondered whether the Phillies might go after Ellsbury. He'll cost a ton and be in demand by the Red Sox, I would think. And since as BAP points out, the Phillies are limited by existing contracts, and RAJ has advocated pitching as the way to success, I now think the Phillies will put their dollars towards a starter before an OF.

TTI, I want to add my thanks to that of others for summarizing RAJ's comments on WIP.

" Lesson No. 1: Have a major league-ready, blue-chip pitching prospect biding his time at Triple A at the start of the season."

The Cardinals had Shelby Miller and Michael Wacha.

The Braves had Julio Teheran.

The Pirates had Gerrit Cole.

The Phillies had Jonathan Pettibone and Tyler Cloyd.

BAP - And Ethan Martin.

At least Pettibone did okay before getting injured. I wonder how he'll be when he returns.

bap: Dodgers didn't have any stud pitching prospect in their system, so they went out and paid for one on the int'l market(Ryu).

Hopefully Alfredo can compare.

Matt Gelb ‏@magelb 4m
The closers of the remaining four teams combined for 61 career saves before 2013. They earned a total of $10.75 million in 2013.

Luck? Or good judgment by the FO? (Probably some of both.) Why do I think that if the Phillies tried to use a cheap closer, it would be a disaster? On the other hand, Pap may be a disaster next year, with the decline in velocity that he had in '13. Better a cheap disaster than an expensive one.

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