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Thursday, November 21, 2013


Going through the rosters of DET/TEX when looking into the Fielder/Kinsler swap is so depressing. It just rams home how far off the Phillies are from being a serious contender.

A man who can neither do, nor teach. He is a perfect fit for these Phillies.

He will fit perfectly with the other old folks.

Served as Royals PC from '06-'11, BoSox in '12.

"A former left-hander, he spent 19 years in the major leagues from 1975-93, making 698 appearances for seven different teams."

I think Domonic Brown might be interested in this de-left-handed-ization process. Could be the reason why the FO hired him.

We got Dave from Germantown...Go ahead Dave...

He sounds great. Fired twice within the last 2 years & only once in 7 seasons has he coached a pitching staff in the top 10.

To be fair, there isn't a whole lot that the pitching coach can do if the pitchers he is working with just suck. Still, that's not exactly a glittering resumé.

Did the Phils just lock the door and refuse to allow him to leave the interview room until he accepted?

Bob and Bowa. Perfecto plan draught up by the baseball gods themselves.

Also not a resumé padder: both Lester and Buchholz had, by far, the worst seasons of their career in the one season when they were coached by McClure.

Rube is going all out for that number 1 draft pick.


Maybe the contract is performance-based? (Sub-0.0 WAR means the coach pays the team?)

Sweet 'stache.

What did you expect? NOBODY wants to work here.

Hi, I'm Bob McClure, and you may remember me from such disasters as: the 2012 Red Sox, the Kansas City Royals every year (!), and the Springfield tire fire.
Really I have no opinion on McClure, I just can't read his name without my inner voice switching to Phil Hartman's voice.


Who's on the mound?

Resume isn't exactly impressive...To be fair the 2012 Red Sox were a toxic dumpster fire all around, so I'm not sure how much blame he has to shoulder for that one.

I'm more concerned about his philosophies rather than his stats. The pitchers are gonna pitch their way anyhow, so as long as this guy pushes the right buttons, I'm not worried. I read he was a loogy, so hopefully he understands this concept better than Manual and Dubee did. Those two did not manage a bullpen very well. Hopefully this guy has a better feel on in game managing and works well with Ryno.

sweeter 'stache

Does Phillippe Aumont enjoy fried chicken?

Sil: He used to, but then someone in AAA told him that he didn't, so now he's confused.

"Phillies banking on long-time nucleus to produce"

The nice thing about 2014 will be the ability to decide to go down and watch Cliffie pitch hours before the game and find a selection of decent seats at the box office.

McClure apparently set the Red Sox' "dumpster fire." He leaked the clubhouse mess to the media. So he's an ex-pitcher and snitcher.

yes but is he a belly-itcher?

Wasn't the "chicken and beer" stuff 2011?

Chris is right. Chicken and beer is 2011. Valentine was the dumpster fire of 2012.

Dave Duncan hired by DBacks as Special Asst.:

I guess he didn't want to work in Philly either.

I think Paps probably sampled some of the brew 'n' KFC before he got his beer money from Rube

Pitcher, snitcher, belly-itcher?

Gee, when are we gonna go out for recess?

awh: Recess was 20 minutes ago. Didn't you hear the bell?

And nap time will be the 3-4 hours of every day in which the Phillies are playing a game this coming season.

I wish I got that much nap time.

"Phillies might be able to trade Howard in a year." - Corey Siedman

- ha ha ha ha ha ha! yeah right!

I wish I got that much nap time.

Posted by: Phillibuster | Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 03:22 PM

Stop watching the Phillies!

Eh. The reasoning in the article is actually pretty sound, if perhaps unlikely. It states that they might be able to move him if he puts up somewhere around an .865 OPS with a .260 ISO.

If he can do that, and not get injured, while playing average-ish defense (maybe a bit below), and the Phillies are willing to eat 40% of his contract plus his $10MM buyout (team he's traded to then pays $15MM/year for 2 years) without getting a major prospect, then it's a trade that could definitely happen.

Now, that depends on several unlikely events. A couple of them on Howard's part (OPS, health), and one major one on the FO's part (paying for a player to play elsewhere).

But as said, it's not impossible, just improbable.

So, all it takes is for Ryan to exceed most expectations, find a team willing to take on a hefty salary, the front office willing to eat a bit of that salary, and we might be able to trade him for essentially nothing?

Sign me up!

"And nap time will be the 3-4 hours of every day in which the Phillies are playing a game this coming season."

GTwon wins the thread.... and maybe the season!!!!

I love all of these "what if" scenarios (what if Byrd can replicate his 2013?, what if Howard comes back to even 90% of his career numbers?, what if Chooch, Rollins, and Utley all defy the conventional age curve?, etc.). It's really the Philly fans best hope to explain why there's reason for 2014 optimism.

But then, like Lorecore says, you take a look at the TEX and DET rosters and harsh reality smacks you in the face.

Hypothetically speaking, if Howard were somehow able to put up the kind of 2014 numbers which would make him tradeable, RAJ would look upon those numbers as an affirmation of the decision to give him the 5-year, $125M contract in the first place. In other words: if Howard suddenly became tradeable, RAJ would choose not to trade him.

WP: $15MM/year for 2 years isn't that hefty. Especially for a guy who puts up an OPS over .850 (and in this instance, clubs over 35 HRs).

But otherwise, pretty much. Wouldn't it be awesome to trade away a productive (if expensive) bat and get nothing in return but mediocre salary relief?

b_a_p: My thoughts exactly. The FO would probably feel vindicated.

I'll give GTown credit on his nap quip, but I do take issue with his logic.

There's no way this offense has the OBP to involve itself in many games that get anywhere near 4 hours...

Todd Zolecki: "Phillies announce they have signed INF Andrés Blanco to a minor league contract with invitation to spring training."

Very much the kind of player you'd expect the Phillies to be interested in.

"Now, that depends on several unlikely events. A couple of them on Howard's part (OPS, health), and one major one on the FO's part (paying for a player to play elsewhere)."

Buster, as to the former (OPS, health), that's a question mark.

As to the latter, there is precedent that the Phillies are willing to eat money in a trade - Jim Thome.

This organization has jumped headlong into the shallow end of the pool. The resulting injuries are all self-inflicted and they are named David Montgomery. I used to blame Ruben Amaro, Jr., but I have decided he is merely a symptom of the larger disease.

How easy would it have been to just keep Dubee? At least everyone knew what they had with him. He kept his mouth shut with the media and did his job. We may not have loved the results all the time, but a lot of that is a problem with organizational philosophy, as in not having one.

" I used to blame Ruben Amaro, Jr., but I have decided he is merely a symptom of the larger disease."

Smitty, we don't agree on a lot, but on this one we do.

r00b is the fall guy, because if anyone thinks that Montgomery doesn't have an hand in the baseball operations then I suggest he get real.

Monty's fingerprints are all over the baseball ops. He's the CEO and deserves his share of the criticism - from which he's largely escaped because he shoves r00b out front.

I wish there were a way we could have a BL Live Chat with Monty, the way they do over at MLBTR.

I'm sure he wouldn't do it, because he's likely to get a bunch of very pointed questions that he doesn't want to answer.

We don't hire drivers who got bounced from two previous limo companies in the past two years.

Gtown: "Todd Zolecki: "Phillies announce they have signed INF Andrés Blanco to a minor league contract with invitation to spring training."

Very much the kind of player you'd expect the Phillies to be interested in."

You aren't paying attention, Gtown. The direction is upward.
Blanco career OPS vs. RHP: .632
Brignac career OPS vs. RHP: .600
Mini-Mart career OPS vs. RHP: .508

Three more signings and we'll have a guy with .800 OPS vs. RHP.

If Vargas got 4 yrs./$32 mil. from KC, what's r00b gonna give Kendrick?

awh: And that's why it ain't gonna happen again.

Clout: Isn't our primary concern OPS vs. LHP?

Philli - sadly, the front office thinks that our main problem is against LHP, which is one of the justifications for signing Byrd and Ruiz instead of lefty-swinging alternatives.

Phils' OPS vs LHP: .679 (22nd of 30)
Phils' OPS vs RHP: .694 (21st of 30)

The problem isn't L/R splits. It's that we have a poor offensive club.

I missed most of this yesterday, but I think the Fielder-Kinsler trade is a win-win.

I see a lot of people saying it's great for the Tigers to get rid of Fielder because he's clearly in decline. I would just note that Kinsler has shown stronger signs of decline over the last two years, is two years older than Fielder, and plays a position notorious for guys declining early.

These recent signings make my balls itch.

Are any of these guys furniture movers? Looks like we're trying to form a team that'll help Rube relocate the team to the Mexican League.

Colonel: Byrd actually does above average numbers against RHP (career .743 OPS vs. RHP), while Ruiz was more signed because we've got squat in the "MLB-ready" starting catcher department (also, a .758 career OPS vs. RHP).

I'd say the real problem is that of the guys who are at least useful with the bat, we lost 3 for significant stretches in 2013 (4, if you wanna count MYoung - 5 if you wanna count Utley's stint on the DL), and replaced most of them with... Guys who aren't useful with the bat.

We're not going to be a top-10 offense even without that, most likely, but we probably would be sitting somewhere nearer the middle-to-low teens.

"Phillies announce they have signed INF Andrés Blanco to a minor league contract with invitation to spring training."

A necessary signing. If there's one area where this team is short, it's in the area of no-hit utility infielders.

Jack, there have been studies done that show the "2nd baseman decline quickly" to be more myth than reality. Since I don't bookmark every study I come across, I don't have any handy, but I surely remember reading an argument against that.

And there is definitely an element of a win for the Rangers here, but Kinsler, even if in decline, is only locked up for 4 more years (as opposed to 7), has skills outside of bat that can supplement any offensive decline, and costs a lot less per year.

Oh, and Kinsler has a career .710 OPS on the road.

I know the Tigers got rid of Fielder's contract, but they're still paying $30 million of it to Texas, and they took on $62 million of Kinsler. So it's not like they're in the clear financially. All they did was free up enough money to overpay Max Scherzer based on his career year.

It makes sense for the Tigers to do, because it allows Cabrera to go back to 1st, Castellanos to go back to 3rd, and gives them a replacement at 2B for Infante. Just like it makes sense for the Tigers since it gives them a middle of the lineup hitter to replace Cruz and allows them to play Profar everyday up the middle.

So I think it's a deal that makes sense for both sides.

4 years, $32M for Jason Vargas. So much for Tim Dierkes' proclamation that the going rate for No. 3-4 starters is $14M per year.

Vargas is sort of a blah move. A middle of the pack team gets a middle of the pack pitcher for a middle of the pack contract.

from Crossing Broad:

McClure’s staffs:

2006 Royals: Worst ERA in baseball (5.65).

2007 Royals: 16th lowest ERA in baseball (4.48).

2008 Royals: 22nd lowest ERA in baseball (4.48)

2009 Royals: 26th lowest ERA in baseball (4.83).

2010 Royals: 29th lowest ERA in baseball (4.97).

2011 Royals: 27th lowest ERA in baseball (4.44).

2012 Red Sox: 27th lowest ERA in baseball (4.70).

The level of sucktatude just went asymptotic.

bap, Vargas may not be a 3/4 comp. He had health issues (blood clot) in 2013 which may have hurt his market value.

I'll grant you I thought Dierkes was off the wall with that number, but Vargas may be a "special case".

awh: If the blood clot were a concern, he wouldn't have gotten a 4-year deal. I think he's about as prototypical a 3-4 as you can find.

bap, also, his career ERA+ is slightly below average given that he pitched a lot in Seattle.

If you look at his best years, 2010 (below) and 2012,

you can see he had significant home/road splits.

That home/road issue carried through to last season, where he was good in Anaheim and not so good away.

No wonder he signed in KC, which is also more of a pitcher's park, though he doesn't have great numbers there.

bap, based on his career splits and peripherals, I'd say he's more of a 4-5 than a 3-4. Maybe a 3.75 - 4.75, but he's not a prototypical 3.

It's not just r00b. this, from MLBTR:

"Giants GM Brian Sabean has shown an affinity for retaining his own guys, even if it comes at top-of-the-market value, and he's done so again by agreeing to terms with left-hander Javier Lopez on a three-year deal."

awh: Come to think of it, maybe Dierkes is using a guy like Rickey Nolasco as his model. Nolasco is rumored to have offers on the table of 4 years and between $52 and $60M, which would come out to $13 to $15M per year. All for a guy whose "breakout" 2013 season consisted of a 101 ERA+.

Proving yet again that it's often extremely hard for a championship team to let their championship players go.

If Pujols hadn't been insistent on a 10-year deal, he'd have been underwhelming for the Cardinals instead of the Angels the past couple of years.

I am just under excited about our new pitching coach. The only good thing I can think about him is that he has been fired twice recently. A third firing won't be too hard on him when it occurs in mid-August 2014.

To his credit, Nolasco has made 30+ starts 3 years in a row & 5 out of the last 6 years, with 185+ innings in all 5 of those years. If he's getting 4 years, $52M, what it tells us is that MLB GMs place a high value on reliable mediocrity. Way too much value, in my opinion, since reliable mediocrity can very suddenly turn into injury-riddled crappiness (See, e.g., Joe Blanton).

While I have every intention of ridiculing the new pitching coach at every opportunity, I really don't see how the Phillies would be in a markedly better position if they had managed to hire the next Dave Duncan. Guys like Lee & Hamels don't need much, if any guidance, & the rest, well ... *shrug* Players have to possess a certain amount of talent to begin w/, or no amount of coaching 'em up is going to make a discernible difference in performance. That raw talent hasn't been apparent on the Phillies' roster for awhile now.

As if we've had any shortage of subtitles for the 2013 Philadelphia Phillies Yearbook, I think BAP is onto something with "Reliable Mediocrity."

Preacher: It will make a fine companion volume to "Keeping Payroll Lower Than Projected Revenue: The 2014 Phillies Video Yearbook".

Chris Branch ‏@ChrisBranchTNJ 2m
Ruben on aging core: “Yes, they are older. But they’re very good.”

* * *
This will lead directly to the "They have to play better than they have been" argument.

WP: Based on the signings of Blanco & Brignac, to go with Orr, Galvis, and the inevitable return of Mini-mart, I think RAJ is shooting for something more unique than reliable mediocrity. I think he aspires to field a team comprised of 8 utility infielders, each of whom can play at least 6 positions. By RAJ's reckoning, it won't matter if we have the worst offense in the history of baseball; all he can think of is the havoc we'll wreak by moving each starter around from position to position during the course of each game. The opposing teams won't have any idea how to deal with it because they will have never seen anything like it before. The ad campaign will be: "Your 2014 Phillies: Dazzling You with Versatility."

I am all for new ownership at this point.

What bothers me is that there is never any out-of-the-box thinking.

Nobody currently available among MLB top tier pitching coaches? Keep going down the tiers. And down the tiers some more.

Why not look around for someone who may not have MLB experience (as a coach), but who may offer positive and interesting approaches, especially for younger players.

Isn't there anyone in any minor league system who is ready to take the next step? How about retired players? You all would know some possibilities better than I, but if they can't find someone great from another MLB team, look elsewhere in the game.

One would also think that good player scouts would have some ideas of where there might be some excellent coaches hidden in the system. Oh yeah....I said good player scouts.

GBrettfan: Which in turn leads directly to "Tickets are still available!"

@can of corn.

Problem is there may have been others out there but maybe they don't like what they see within the organization & their direction.

Same with free agents. Who would really want to sign here unless they are seriously overpaid & know they are at the end of their careers.

Good point, Corn. Sigh. I keep forgetting how quickly we've declined from a place where everyone wanted to come to a last stop for has-beens.

Not that I hope this happens , but the Chicago Blackhawks return to glory
began the moment Dollar Bill Wirtz shed his mortal coil.

GTown: It's almost like we've heard this song before.

(It worked on me better last year.)

BAP, it's kind of like that Bugs Bunny cartoon:

-Bugs Bunny scoops the ball at 3B, throws to Bugs Bunny at 2B who wheels to Bugs Bunny at 1B, to complete the double play! The crowd goes wild!

Instead it's more like

-Sh!tty Player bobbles the ball at 3B, then throws late to Sh!tty Player at 2B, who subsequently wheels and throws the ball 20 feet over the head of Sh!tty Player at 1B, accidentally knocking out a geriatric patron in the stands. All runners advance. The crowd...who'm I kidding? There's no crowd.

Keith Law back-pedaling on his previous comment about Amaro: "Before I start the chat, I want to correct and clarify something from last week. I questioned the Phillies' recent signings of clients of the Levinson Brothers, and I said that GM Ruben Amaro had himself been a client of the Levinson Brothers. This was incorrect - he was not...

In addition, I want to unequivocally say that I was addressing Amaro's decision-making, not his integrity, and certainly not the Levinsons' integrity. I apologize if I was unclear, or gave the impression to anyone that there was any impropriety involved in those deals, or even a conflict of interest."

Wait, Keith Law wrote something that was wrong?

"i apologize if..." the classic non-apology apology.

bap, KLaw had this to say about the Vargas signing (from MLBTR):

"•Four years for Vargas is too many, ESPN's Keith Law argues (Insider-only). Vargas is already a below-average starter, Law argues, and it's optimistic to think Vargas' finesse style will hold up for four years, particularly given that his results so far have partly been a creation of favorable home parks in Seattle and Anaheim."

Not to get snippy, but this is what I was stating. I don't think, based on his track record, that you could say he's a solid 3-4. 4-5 is what he is, and for my money, he's closer to a 5 (in AAV) if he gets more than a year or two.

AAMOF, his career peripherals look eerily similar to Kendrick in some areas.

awh: Well, these labels are fairly arbitrary, but a guy who has pitched 192+ innings in 3 of the last 4 years is certainly better than a 5. A classic 3, though, would be a 100 ERA+ pitcher & Vargas is not that. So call him a 4.

I would certainly not be signing a guy like Vargas to a 4-year deal because there aren't a lot of mediocre pitchers who remain mediocre into their 30s. They usually just turn into bad pitchers, as happened with, say, Blanton or Jason Marquis or Jon Garland. On the other hand, I'd rather pay 4 years, $32M to Jason Vargas than 4 years, $60M to Ricky Nolasco. Nolasco might have slightly less risk, but their numbers over the last 4 years or so are really pretty similar.

Keith Law is strongly opinionated and kind of a jerk at times but I don't understand why people get all worked up about him. He is paid to have a strong opinion and right frequently on all things baseball.

MG, I'm not worked up at all about Law. I essentially made the same point earlier in the day.

Some commentators, like Cameron, think the contract could work out OK.

I wasn't commenting on that, but merely pointing out to bap that I didn't think Vargas is a #3-4, nor is he perceived that way among MLB GMs.

The AAV Vargas got is that of a decent #4-5, not a 3-4.

it's not his strong opinions that have law in hot water. it's his assertion, as fact, that rube was a levinsons brothers client. it was to imply a conspiracy. he tried playing investigative journalist and failed. he probably heard from levinson's mouthpiece.

This offseason has been completely uninspiring so far including the minor league signings and the coaching staff.

Could anyone have possibly taken Law's comments another way? He even had some Amaro-haters (who will believe anything negative about him) buying into a conspiracy on this site. There was no ambiguity, and that's pretty much the least apologetic "apology" you'll ever see.

Own what you said. None of this "sorry if you misunderstood" garbage. It's in writing for Christ sake.

Iceman- "sorry if you misunderstood" is probably wording from his employer's legal dept.

Law probably can't afford to own what he implied in his original statement.

This just in: K. Law announced Amaro may be an alien reptile, a member of the Illuminati and may have been in on the faked moon landings.

parajumpers kodiak long parka ysterier. De er opptatt av å vite hva som kjører i tankene til forfattere, som snart kommer til å trollbinde dem.

I just read the Salisbury article, and there are so many terrible Rube-isms in there that I had to list them.
1. “I know that Chooch knows what it takes”
2. “the ability he’s going to bring to the table”
3. “he keeps himself in very good shape”
4. “he’s dedicated”

And of course for good measure
5. “we hope that he remains productive”

1. “I know that Chooch knows what it takes”
2. “the ability he’s going to bring to the table”
3. “he keeps himself in very good shape”
4. “he’s dedicated”

Was he talking about the 2014 season or Thanksgiving?

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