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Monday, December 30, 2013


It will be interesting to see what lineup Sandberg settles on. There aren't many good choices because there aren't that many talented hitters on the roster. Sad but true.

The 2014 Phils will struggle to score runs again. I also expect a fair amount of lost time to the five starters (Byrd, Howard, Rollins, Ruiz & Utley) age 34 and up. Over the last four years these guys have averaged playing 117 games a season. I don't expect them to find the fountain of youth and stay healthy. A weak bench isn't going to bail them out either. I hate to say it, but it's going to be a long summer for Phils fans.

Amaro has done a nice job of acquiring a number of low-to-moderate AVG and OBP hitters.

I don't see more than 1 guy hitting above .280 next year and the only guys with projected moderate OBP (.340 or above) are Utley and Chooch.

I say we're older and bolder. As such, let's go with your first lineup permutation except with Asche hitting seventh, pitcher eighth, and J-Roll ninth. I believe It would play out advantageously over the course of a season. If the eighth hole is leading off late in the game a pinch hitter followed by Jimmy and then Ben would add some speed to the base baths and pressure a closer into pitching from the stretch, which they typically hate. Other fun sightings would be Jimmy leading off an inning from the ninth hole, followed by Ben, then Chase. It just seems to flow better in my mind.

Going to be a lineup too especially if Howard is full-time at 1B again that struggles against LHP.

JRoll can't hit LHP anymore. Neither can Howard. Utley has really declined vs LHP and last year was the first time in 3 years he put up decent numbers vs LHP. Brown was average/slightly average vs LHP but still leaves a lot to be deserved.

Revere actually has reverse career splits but he is still a below average hitter overall.

Leaning on Chooch, Byrd, and I guess Ruf/Mayberry to counter-balance some of their mainstays vs LHP.

Lineup optimizer, based on historical stats, shows your two weakest hitters should bat 3rd and 8th.

Forgot Asche who is also LH and didn't particularly hit LHP in the minors either.

Good thing is that I think the offense will be slightly better next year than the 610 runs (3.77 R/G) simply because some of the Phils' veterans do rebound a bit.

Problem is that the pitching and defense won't be improved enough to matter.

Ideally, you'd bat Rollins lower in the order as his OBP skills have declined from bareable for a leadoff guy to painful...unless, of course, his late season OBP surge was for real and not just a vagary brought on by a small sample size. He'd be best suited to the 7 or 8 hole at this point in his career. Unfortunately there are other worse hitters in the lineup.

***Lineup optimizer, based on historical stats, shows your two weakest hitters should bat 3rd and 8th.***

Which means Byrd 3rd and Rollins 8th makes a bunch of sense...unless anyone actually thinks Byrd will be the same guy he was last year instead of the guy he has been historically.

"JRoll can't hit LHP anymore."

MG, you see, it's that kind of statement that gets you in trouble, because it's not borne out by the facts.

Rollins hits LHP about as well as he hits RHP...which is below average.

Though he was pretty terrible against them in 2012 compared to how he hit RHP. He didnt hit LHP very well in 2011 either but he had opposite splits in 2010 and for his career he's nearly dead even.

Rollins is certainly the most interesting guy to slot into the lineup. He has speed, but does not get on much, does not strikeout but pops up, has a bit of power but does not walk enough. He is not a good hitter but is fairly good for a shortstop. Then there is his history and impact on the clubhouse.

I think I'd prefer:
Utley, Ruiz, Brown, Byrd, Howard, Rollins, Asche, Pitcher, Revere
But Revere might earn a promotion to the top:
Revere, Utley, Brown, Ruiz, Howard, Byrd, Rollins, Asche, Pitcher.

Unless Brown and Howard are mashers in 2014 Phillies will be below average in runs.

Well, according to that mystical "optimizer" Rollins should then bat third and the pitcher eighth, correct? The flux capacitor also indicates Rube will sign THE Japanese pitcher.

Rollins lost a pretty big step last year speedwise.

BAP: Who said I was criticizing you about being disingenuous?

A platoon at first base is an obvious fix that should give the team very good offensive production at the position. Howard should also DH against AL teams in road games when the starter is right-handed. I see no more important lineup moves than what to do with Howard.

Rollins doesnt really have much power anymore these days:

Rollins SLG
2010: .374
2011: .399
2012: .427
2013: .348
Last 3 Years: .392
Career: .426

He was good in 2012 in his contract year but he's been below his career average and very SS-like in 3 of the last 4 years.

"Rollins hits LHP about as well as he hits RHP...which is below average."

NEPP, what the sample size?

If we use his 2013 splits he his BA and OBP were almost identical from both sides of the plate: .252/.319/.355 (484 PA) vs. RHP and .252/.317/.331 (182 PA) vs. LHP.

The average SS in the NL hit .254/.308/.373, so Jimmy was a touch below in BA, a touch above in OBP and overall off in SLG and OPS.

But MG's implication was that he is worse against LHP. There is no evidence of that.
I really don't know on what data MG bases his opinions, or whether he even watches the games.

(Incidentally, in 2010 Rollins couldn't hit RHP, posting a .218/.297/.360 line against RHP in 269 PA. SSS problem? Probably, considering he hit .281/.360/.427 in 470 PA against RHP in 2011.)

NEPP, exactly. It's Rollins power that has declined.

The average SS isnt a very good what's the point of comparing him to the average SS? We're talking about lineup construction where the average SS bats very low in the lineup.

I dont see that he's any worse against LHP than he is against RHP overall for his career.

Jimmy Rollin has walked 219 times in the last four seasons (in 2390 PAs). Slightly better than 1/11 PAs.

Derek Jeter, over the last four full seasons, has walked 225 times in 2806 PAs.

Does Derek Jeter walk enough?

Jeter also hit .291 compared to Rollins' .254 AVG in that same time period.

The NL league-wide split in 2013 was .251/.315/.388 in 92,116 PA.

To demonstrate how much stats can fluctuate even over large sample sizes, the last 7 days of the season, the NL posted a surprising .237/.306/.364 in 2470 PA. Yes, the whole league.

Rollins BA and OBP put him right about league average and slightly above league average, respectively. His .348 SLG in 2013 put him well below the league average.

If Rollins can't hit for power anymore (was he injured and kept silent?), the maybe Sandberg's little chat about getting on base more is something he needs to pay more attention to.

NEPP, are you forgetting who the founder is of the "JRoll in the 6-hole Club"?

Either way though, his OPS+ was just 85 which means he was 15% below the league average for offense.

"Utley has really declined vs LHP and last year was the first time in 3 years he put up decent numbers vs LHP."

MG, do you think there is a possibility that the fact that he had his legs back last season for the first time in 4 years may have made a difference?

We can all agree that I like giving sweaty old baseball talkers handys while BAP shoves baseball cards up my stinker right?

"BAP: Who said I was criticizing you about being disingenuous?"

You criticized those who have railed against bad contracts and are now advocating that we sign Tanaka. That's not a criticism of me, but it's a criticism of a particular set of views (to which I, among others, subscribe). Hence, I was merely pointing out that it is more than possible to loathe some of the contracts RAJ has signed, while simultaneously hoping that he signs Tanaka. There is nothing disingenuous about that view.

Huge difference between giving a 30 year old a huge deal and a 25 year old.

The biggest concern to me on Tanaka, other than the fear that he's Dice K part 2, is that the Golden Eagles absolutely brutalized his arm. He'd regularly throw 140-160 pitches if they needed him to...something you absolutely never see these days in the Majors. I remember Schilling doing that a few times in his youth and you see it once in a blue moon in a No-hitter attempt but he has pretty much the most pitches thrown for any professional pitcher over the past 5 years. If you give any credence to the theories on pitch count (which I honestly dont know that I do given the seeming randomness of pitching injuries), its a huge red flag.

Personally, I think it has more to do with arm slot/pitch selection and with things like high stress innings...rather than pure # of pitches.

Speaking as a guy that dabbled in pitching at the HS level in my youth, certain pitches definitely put way more strain on your arm than know, like the forkball/splitter he uses as his out pitch (another red flag there).

This year's Japanese Series is the perfect Game 6, Tanaka threw 160 pitches in a complete game loss...he pitched the next day in relief throwing another 15 pitches to get the Series clinching Save.

Heroic, arm management? Not so much.

If Schilling makes it to the HOF, he goes in as a Phillie, right?

I'd bet his hat would be blank due to how his career ended up being split between DBacks (WS win, best statistical years) BoSox (2 WS wins, bloody suck crap) and Phillies (basically the entire first half of his career and clutch WS performance in 93)

bloody sock, not suck obviously.

Speaking of Schilling, I wonder if all the Jack Morris fanboys will argue his case as strongly as they have Morris's for the whole post-season heroics...given their respective post-season efforts:

Morris: 13 GS, 7-4, 3.80 ERA, 1.245 WHIP
Schilling: 19 GS, 11-2, 2.23 ERA, 0.968 WHIP

Schilling was pretty much the best post-season pitcher in recent memory. Both have 3 rings but Morris was a complete non-factor in that 1992 effort in Toronto. He lost both his starts in terrible fashion to the Braves that year. He had a 7.43 ERA in his 4 starts that post-season. Schilling was at least still a servicable starter in the 07 series against the Rockies.

TTI: "I would prefer the Phillies take the posting money and put that into the talent evaluation and scouting departments and actually try to grow their own talent because that is the reality of baseball right now."

No one would argue that the Phillies should allocate as many resources as they can into the scouting and other developmental aspects of the organization - but its a complete fallacy that the Phillies would subtract money saved on players then funnel it into other places.

The Phillies spend a fixed amount of money in each budget year on player salaries based on expected operating income. Whatever they spend under/over in a given year doesn't go into future years or into other divisions of the team.

And as much as I like the idea of the Phillies taking $$ from a potential posting fee into an investment towards many scouts can you really hire before it just doesn't matter anymore?

If I am to go into the season with this current team, here is how my lineup would look against a starting RH:

CF Revere
2B Utley
RF Byrd
1B Howard
SS Rollins
LF Brown
C Ruiz
3B Ashe

Batting Rollins in the five hole keeps most of the lefties apart (except at the top of the order) and it protects Howard and Brown somewhat. Against a lefty, I would think about moving Bryd over to CF and plunking Ruf in RF.

In my other, ultimate, no way this ever happens universe, the Phillies have sent Miami a package that brings Giancarlo Stanton back here, and I shift Marlon Bryd over to LF and bat Stanton 3rd and Bryd 5th.

I'd probably flip Byrd and Brown in that lineup.

Ryne and Bowa will throw the names in a hat before each game and Jimmy can pick them out and stick them on a magnetic board blindfolded and it will optimize it just as well.

When I was a kid, we wore a red baseball cap without a bill and it didn't have any fancy stitching. Just a mass of cloth in any shape you got. Didnt need no team logos on it.

And we liked it!

BAP: so signing Tanaka takes us to how many wins this year? And next?

Hey guys, remember former hot-stuff prospect Michael Taylor?

Dude's 28 now. We are all getting old.

You want unconventional?

1. Revere
2. Ruiz
3. Utley
4. Brown
5. Byrd
6. Howard
7. Rollins
8. Asche

Try that for a month and see if Howard or Rollins give a hoot. The others do.

Give a hoot. Don't pollute.

Wow, looking at this thread header and seeing the equivalent over at csnphilly, it reminds me of this:

"I stopped making BL my "first go-to" each day when the threads became stale regurgitations of CSN drivel, after JW cashed in.

Posted by: Willard Preacher | Monday, December 23, 2013 at 03:58 PM"

"BAP: so signing Tanaka takes us to how many wins this year? And next?"

TTI, no, as has been explained MANY times to you, signing Tanaka IS NOT just about this season or next.

It's about further into the future than that.

I'm starting to think "TTI" is an acronym for something else.

I'm with Captain Hindstuff. I am going to make GMCarson's my first and only blog for all things Phillies!!!

It's all about who the starting pitcher is that day. For instance,

If I was Sandberg, I would never start the so called "projected" lineup. It has too many lefty hitters. I would sit one of the left handed hitters (even with a RH starting pitcher) for a day off for each game, so that left handed hitter could be the lefty off the bench that we need. We have a lot of old players who need days off, and a young player in Asche, who probably also needs some breaks. We need to split up the left handers in the middle of the order. Every team has a lefty specialist in the bullpen, who will easily get those outs. Let's make the other managers' job a little more challenging by splitting up the left handers. Rollins should never lead off, and Revere needs to improve his OBP if Sandberg wants to lead him off. I am hoping Sandberg pulls off some magic with the lineup to turn around this declining offense. I also like the comments about batting Rollins 9th. Maybe that will make him agree to a trade.

Sign Tanaka or write this season (and future seasons) off!


What a mess. Kendrick, MAG and Tanaka will need more than sporadic ace-like performances to overcome this lineup and win enough games for the 2nd WC.

Captain foresight: how far in the future do you think it will be until signing Tanaka matters?

My guess is you are some weasel who has been on here saying the Phillies are done for a while and are hiding behind some stupid name.

jimmy looks like a serious ballplayer in the photo above. if rube and monty want to play the nostalgia card this season then the whole team needs to adopt the knickers and knee-socks. and slap #3 on ruf's back. if we can't compete, at least we can look good.

and guys, get yourself a nice straw boater hat to help set the mood. the phils could even give them away one night.

Great interview on MLBTradeRumors...easily worth a read.

When you don't expect much, it's hard to be disappointed. That's where I am with the Phils at this point.

You have to be kidding. Rollins will be top of lineup hitter till he gets benched. Sandberg will be no different than CM.

That was a good read NEPP.

TTI, I'll answer for the Captain:

Best of all possible worlds the Phillies are a playoff team (by that I mean they could at least win the WC) in 2016, with an lesser chance they do it in 2015 - if the pitching improves.

That means signing Tanaka, or someone else who is good in the next offseason.

Plenty of teams have gotten decent performance from older lineups. As I've pointed out before, the 2009 Yankees had 5 regulars who were 33 years old or older.

The key is to give those regulars a blow. Of the five players on the 2009 Yankees who were 33 or older, only one, Jeter, played in more than 143 games, and he played in 153, so even he got a day-and-a-half off every month. Also, out of those 153 games, 26 of them were games he either did not start or did not finish because he was pulled early in blowouts, etc. (Simply, he was given ample rest, something Manuel was not known for doing.)

The only concern I have about Tanaka is his usage up until now, but even with the higher pitch counts he still had a week off between starts giving him more time to recover.

But through all your opposition to signing the guy, who haven't IMO adequately or realistically answered who or what else you would spend the money on. The reason I can state that is because the Phillies have the money RIGHT NOW to "put that into the talent evaluation and scouting departments".

That is, if they WANTED to spend more money in those areas - or felt it was necessary - they could and would.

They obviously don't, so if they don't spend the money on Tanaka they're simply going to pocket it.

So, the question remains, if not Tanaka, who?

"... if we can't compete, at least we can look good."

You're playing right into clout's "looked good" stat line.

***You have to be kidding. Rollins will be top of lineup hitter till he gets benched. Sandberg will be no different than CM.***

Where did Sandberg bat Rollins after he took over in 2013?

Hint: It wasn't leadoff.

He had 37 GS after Sandberg took over...he led off just 6 times. Sandberg became Manager on Aug 16th and Rollins was no longer the leadoff hitter after Aug 22nd. He was the #2 hitter the rest of the way.

Which, of course, makes so much sense given that your best two hitters should typically hit 2nd and 4th but that's another issue altogether.

37 GS (31 batting 2nd, 6 batting 1st) under Sandberg

And TTI, I'll go further:

In a "best of all possible worlds" where everything - health, performance, etc. - goes right, the Phillies have a remote chance of stealing the 2nd WC in 2014.

The possibility is extremely remote, but it's there.

Signing Tanaka would increase the possibility slightly in 2014, but if you're the Phillies you're signing him not just for 2014, but for 2015 - 2019, when you can be more competitive.

He is, after all, younger than De Fratus, Brown, and Revere, so...

he would make the team younger. That's good, no?

NEPP, and Rollins put up a .270/.364/.385 (140 PA) line from August 23rd through the end of the season.

If he can get on base at anywhere near that kind of a clip (questionable, because of the SSS) then I'd be OK if he hit 1, 2, or 3.

Maybe that's what Sandberg told him, that he needs to get on base more to hit at the top of the order - especially since his power appears to have subsided.

Also, Sandberg tended to bat his CF in the leadoff position regardless of who he was (Bernadina, Hernandez, etc) I could easily see the top of the lineup as Revere/Rollins in April.

Hopefully, he'll be smart enough to drop Howard into the 5 hole and go with Byrd to split up the LHBs and put Brown in the 6 hole (as someone else mentioned earlier in the thread)


Against RHP, I'd probably try something completely off the wall like:


Against LHP:


awh™: I'd even say that in a best case scenario, w/ everyone healthy and performing all season, the Phils could possibly steal the division (though more likely, Nats win it and Phils would get 1st WC w/ ~90 wins.)

Much as I rail against R00b, I actually agree w/ him that there is playoff-caliber talent on this team. The problem is, he thinks there's a good chance everyone plays to their highest level possible; whereas myself and every other rational fan knows that chance is < 1%.

Contrary to popular myth, Rollins is actually pretty good at working walks, and has been for about the last 5 or 6 years. It's the batting average part of the OBP equation where he is woefully inadequate for a top-of-the-lineup hitter.

I'm just sitting here waiting for the forgive and forget Brett Myers reunion..Seriously though, a pitcher I'd like to see in bloodstripes is Pat Neshek ( Lifetime- 214 IP 155 hits.. WHIP 1.13)If we could sign him and Ubaldo, I'd look at the offseason as a B-. As it is, I'd give it a D.

oogie: Pat Neshek? Those lifetime numbers are severely skewed by what he did in 2006 & 2007, which comprises exactly half his career IPs. In the 6 years since then, he has pretty much stunk. He's also 33 & his peripherals are headed in a terrible direction. He's the type of guy I expect RAJ to sign, not the type of guy I WANT RAJ to sign.

nokwurst, I'm not going to handicap the odds, whether they're <1% or +/-5% is kind of irrelevant, because they're very low in either case.

My point to TTI really has to do with signing or not signing Tanaka.

IMHO he's young enough that he's worth the risk, because if he was signed to a 6-year deal, 2014 will be his age 25 season, so they'd have him through age 30, and he's projected to be a very solid #2, and would be slotted right after Cole for a solid 1-2 punch.

OBP wise, you pretty much know what to expect out of Rollins based on previous performance:

2013: .318
2011-2013 (last 3 years): .323
2010-2013 (last 4 years): .323
2009-2013 (last 5 years): .317
2000-2013 (career): .327

In the past 5 seasons, he's bottomed out at .296 in 2009 and peaked at .338 in 2011. Overall though, he's pretty much guaranteed to come within a few points of that .320ish baseline for OBP.

Definitely not a guy you want leading off.

I love BAP's definition of 'stunk' or 'terrible.' Basically everyone who isn't Mike Trout or Martin Prado stinks in BAP-world.

There's no reason to think Neshek couldn't step in and get RHB out on a consistent basis. He doesn't 'stink' to anyone that is objective. He just isn't a stud that they can run out there and get outs in any situation, pitch multiple innings, etc etc. He would be a small piece to a much larger puzzle.

That said, if they went and got Neshek tomorrow, he'd immediately be the second-best pitcher in the bullpen, which tells you all you need to know about the worst bullpen in the majors.

Neshek isn't a multi-inning guy. If anything, he's more of a ROOGY where he doesnt even average an inning per outing for his career. He only has 1 season out of his 6 in the majors where he had more IP than appearances. That's pretty rare for a RHP.

Career: 226 G, 214.1 IP.

Other than that, your comment is completely correct and he'd be a good addition to a terrible long as its a 1 year deal.

awh™: ok, yeah if your main point was about Tanaka then I agree w/ you.

To be honest I've been glazing over all posts discussing Phils & Tanaka: I think they totally should try to sign him, but I also think there's no way it will happen, so I'm not allowing myself to dream of it.

I've come to accept the Phils are at/near their self-imposed payroll limit for 2014, so the only way something big like Tanaka happens is if they magically dump Paps for a bag of balls.

Sorry, that should say "1 season out of his 7 in the majors" not 6.

Those responsible for the original comment have been sacked.

A moose bit my sister.

I'd do:

Neshek's 33 years old and his K/9 has fallen all the way from a career-high of 12.9 in his rookie year to a career-low of 6.5 last year. He also yielded a 1.364 WHIP, while pitching in an extreme pitcher's park and benefiting from a freakishly low .268 BABIP.

Neshek, 2013 is Chad Durbin, 2012: a reliever whose decent ERA (a truly meaningless stat for relievers) completely masks the fact that every future predictor is terrible. Naturally, I completely expect RAJ to sign him because ERA trumps all of that saber-mumbo jumbo. But I'm surprised to actually see some of the Beerleaguer commentariat advocating that we sign him.

Mynd you, moose bites Kan be pretti nasti...

Amaro has said time and again his philosophy is to build around starting pitching. Well Tanaka is a young starting pitcher just entering his prime that can be a difference maker, why not go after him? How often does a team have the opportunity to get an excellent, young starting pitcher without giving anything up? The answer is almost never. Now the chance to sign a 25 year-old number two pitcher has emerged, but the Phils have decided to sit out this rarest of opportunities.

This is the mentality of a team steeped in losing ways, not accustomed to the recent years of success they and the city reveled in. David Montgomery has no idea how to handle the accomplishments the Phils enjoyed and parlay those winning years into a new Phillie mentality…the expectation of winning.

Montgomery is more concerned with hitting the team's profit goal than winning and always has been. What baffles me is that when the team was winning the stadium was packed...and probably making more money than ever, even with the high payroll. I don't believe Montgomery is stupid. He saw the correlation between winning and attendance. So what can we conclude about the Phils unwillingness to pursue Tanaka? It tells me Monty and Amaro don't think the Phils would contend even with the addition of Tanaka. If that's the case what does it say about Amaro's "We're built to win" statement?"

Mick, great post, and I generally agree.

It does say something about their belief that "We're built to win".

But, again, Tanaka is not just about 2014. Tanaka is about 2015 - 2019 as well.

If r00b and the FOols are t00 sh0rtsighted t0 see that, then they really can't see the forest for the trees.

OTOH, they may have scouted Tanaka and looked at his medicals (which his agents would be wise to provide to any interested team), and if they really don't think he's going to be that good they should just come out and say so, and state that the reason they are not going to be players is because they think he won't be that good and that his contract will be a massive overpay.

"Best of all possible worlds the Phillies are a playoff team (by that I mean they could at least win the WC) in 2016, with an lesser chance they do it in 2015 - if the pitching improves [...] Plenty of teams have gotten decent performance from older lineups. As I've pointed out before, the 2009 Yankees had 5 regulars who were 33 years old or older."

"In a "best of all possible worlds" where everything - health, performance, etc. - goes right, the Phillies have a remote chance of stealing the 2nd WC in 2014.

The possibility is extremely remote, but it's there."

"I'd even say that in a best case scenario, w/ everyone healthy and performing all season, the Phils could possibly steal the division (though more likely, Nats win it and Phils would get 1st WC w/ ~90 wins.)

Much as I rail against R00b, I actually agree w/ him that there is playoff-caliber talent on this team. The problem is, he thinks there's a good chance everyone plays to their highest level possible; whereas myself and every other rational fan knows that chance is < 1%."


This is way too much optimism than I'm used to for this place. How do I even know I'm reading Beerleaguer?

"We're built to win" from a baseball GM has the equivalent credibility to " This new program is not just flavor of the month" at a staff meeting in the business environment.

The manager is obliged to say it, but nobody really believes it.

Happy New Year to all the BL faithful.

RedCapperLeaguer lurks in the shadows.

Interesting how every single poster here has Asche penciled in as the everyday thirdbaseman next season.

What could possibly go wrong? Who could possibly be better?

clout: Who do you think the starting 3rd baseman is going to be?

Freddy Galvis has thrown in yet another good season in the VWL. This guy is solid as rock. You know exactly what you get.

In fact, the SPU (starting pitchers union) should make a stand insisting on playing Freddy fulltime somewhere in the infield.

Speaking of good seasons in the VWL...


Youngster by the name of Bobby Abreu. Is he a free agent?

clout, it's definitely going to be that Maikel Franco guy, you know, the one hitting .226/.275/.348 (155 AB) with 3 HR and 14 RBI in the DWL.

How could it be anyone else?

Oh, wait...

as Meyer points out it's probably going to be that Freddy Galvis guy. He's tearing it up in the VWL - .306/.373/.404 (193 AB) with 2 HR and 23 RBI.

Why, that guarantees he'll be successful in MLB.

awh: I couldn't agree more that signing Tanaka is not just about contending these next two years with the old core, but afterwards with the next core. I also agree if they don't like his medical reports then just say so. They nixed the Wilton Lopez deal last year because they didn't like how his elbow looked. Granted Lopez didn't pitch well last year, but he did go 75 innings and didn't cost much. For Valle and Cloyd I'd have rolled the dice on him.

Regarding Bubba's statement that every GM says their team is built to win I'm not so sure about that. There are times when a team is definitely in rebuild mode and know they won't be competitive for at least the coming year, maybe longer. Sometimes those teams will be honest with their fans like Sandy Alderson has been about the Mets. I know Amaro can't say "Well this is the best I can do with the money Monty's allowing me to spend and only if everything works out perfectly do we have a slight chance of contending". I get that he needs to sell tix. I think he's not only a bad GM, but he's a terrible liar.

Happy New Year everyone!! I'm glad I found this site. There's some good baseball fans here that know the game and I enjoy reading their opinions.

Barring a great spring training by Franco, and a terrible one by Asche, of course Asche will be our opening day 3rd baseman. Even if he put up the same 90 OPS+ that he put up over the last 2 months of 2013, who exactly is out there that would be better? And how much better would that guy be? Enough to push us to 70 wins instead of 68? If such a player is available (and I'm struggling to think of who that would be), the Phillies would still be far better served giving Asche the experience. If he's terrible, at least we'll know.

Interesting how every single poster here has Asche penciled in as the everyday thirdbaseman next season.

What could possibly go wrong? Who could possibly be better?

Posted by: clout | Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 01:00 PM

Given that they haven't acquired anyone and the GM has stated he would likely be the 3B, perhaps they are just bowing to that reality.

BAP: Do you think it's possible if Franco hits the cover off the ball in spring training he might start the season at 3B? I know the Phils generally like to move their prospects along slow (tho Asche moved through the system pretty quick). It's possible the FO won't want to start the clock on Franco's service time if they don't think they're going to contend this year, but if this kid's the real deal his big RH stick would help balance out the lineup and add some much needed RH pop. I think he'd also be a draw at the gate. Your thoughts?

Mick: I think Franco's going to start the season at AAA no matter what, but that's just a guess. I also think this question will be moot because he won't hit the cover off the ball in spring training.

You lost me at batting Byrd 4th and Howard 5th.
How are you not a manager?

Remember when Howard tore the cover off the ball in ST 2013?


I agree Franco's heading to AAA, but how he does in spring training is anybody's guess. Franco has the potential to be a big story with a strong spring. In a perfect world Asche would have a good first half and Franco would light up AAA. Then Asche would have some decent value at the deadline and the Phils could bring Franco up. In a perfect world...

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EST. 2005

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