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Friday, January 24, 2014

Comments

From the CSN Ruf article:

"Over his first 41 starts Ruf hit .272/.363/.551 with 11 homers and eight doubles over 168 plate appearances.

Over the next 32 games, he hit .212 with a .655 OPS and hit just three homers while striking out 39 times in 125 plate appearances."

This is why small sample sizes are amazing. You can find pretty extreme swings for EVERY hitter in MLB over periods like this. They don't mean anything.

Seems like a pretty fair deal for both sides.

Cyclic: i think the fact that ruf had no off-season between the '12 and '13 seasons since he played winter ball in SA, may account for some decline. he may have just run out off gas, in addition to pitchers getting a book on him.. i'll be anxious to see how he does after a lengthy rest.

Clout, you probably missed this in the last thread when Asche was being discussed, but I had a couple questions...

What kind of line do you think is the floor of what Asche needs to play regularly in MLB?

Also, what do you see as his ceiling, offensively?

Did awh write the Ruf article?

****What kind of line do you think is the floor of what Asche needs to play regularly in MLB?****

I'm not clout but I would say he needs to give them at least a .750 OPS with average defense to not be benched/sent down.

Personally I think he's capable of that.

The floor is a LOT lower than that. A .750 OPS would have placed him 13th among the 30 major league 3rd baseman who had 350+ PAs last year. And the Phillies, themselves, haven't gotten a .750 OPS out of 3d base since 2004. In fact, last year was the first time since 2004 that they got even a .700 OPS (.736, to be precise) out of the 3rd base position. Unfortunately, that .736 OPS came at the cost of atrocious defense.

    ...Yet BAP, NEPP and the rest of the Moronocracy are certain the team sucks, even though the team hasn't been on the field much.

    Posted by: clout | Friday, January 24, 2014 at 04:04 PM

Ya know, this is why clout gets reviled. Guess what, Mr. clout? This team is old; has no depth, and is coming off an 89 loss season. You, sir, are the head Moron. Stop sniping, and back up your snarkiness!

'Cause over the past 2 seasons - in the absence of any intelligence in the GM spot - the Phillies have made the prima facia case they are uniquely lousy in the National League of Baseball Clubs.

Study away your MiLB prospects, sir. It lends you no credibility whatsoever in critiquing this God-forsaken Phillies team. Why? Ever hear about trying to make a $1.00 out of $0.15? No? Then, perhaps, alchemy?

No one's done it yet. It's my guess you won't either.

I gotta say thank goodness somebody else sign Wigginton first.

News flash:

Ryan Howard is excellent against RH pitchers.

Ryan Howard is poor against LH pitchers.

i thought i read that rube is not averse to a platoon at 1st base, thus putting the ball in ryne's court. or did i dream that?

The Phillies new "stat guy" was from the league's office who worked with arbitration cases.

Then the phillies go out and get suckered by everyone of their players in arb.

Awesome.

Whoever the next arb eligible phillie is should file for $50M and thank me later when they're settling for the midpoint of $23M

When does Mad Dog get a ST invite?

OR....
Has the reunion committee snubbed him ?

I don't think Ryan has demonstrated "excellence" against anybody for the past two years.

Will Schweitzer - I think it's reasonable to give Howard a pass on 2012 when he was still in recovery mode.

Look at 2013 and all his other seasons. He is excellent against RH pitchers. If you compare his stats just against righties with the stats of all hitters not limited by platoon, Howard is in the top 15-20 in all of baseball.

What do you mean by: "If you compare his stats just against righties with the stats of all hitters not limited by platoon"

Do you mean...Howards vs RHP numbers vs other player's total PA? Pretty odd way to evaluate something.

a real quick look on fangraphs says Howard in 2013 ranked 36th in wRC+ vs RHP, behind Jason Castro.

The Ryan Howard and his contract are killing the franchise theme is hugely overblown. Ryan Howard can help this team. It needs more help than he can provide and substituting Darrin Ruf as the starter isn't going to move the needle. If his salary is keeping the team from signing a major piece to pitch or hit (rare commodities), that's squarely on the team. The fact that a power hitting 1B is on the roster is a plus, "if he's healthy." If he's not, that's a tough break. The criticism he gets for breaking down reflects a pathology of the fanbase that would boo Mike Schmidt for striking out in the 9th inning of a game he hit 2 HRs in.

Howard wRC+ ranks vs RHP:

2009: 2nd
2010: 47th
2011: 22nd
2012: 148th
2013: 36th

LorecorE - "Do you mean...Howards vs RHP numbers vs other player's total PA? Pretty odd way to evaluate something."

Not at all.

Howard should be platooned. If platooned, his offense would be excellent. The fact that he needs to be platooned limits Howard's effectiveness since he wouldn't play more than 115 games. If he continues facing lefties, that actually reduces Howard's effectiveness since he is below replacement level against lefties.

I used to try to make $1.00 out of $0.15.

Zolecki on Byrd:
Byrd said with a smile Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.

" I think they'll be happy once we get on the field and we start producing."

Rube and Marlon are on the same page.

Hopefully something about being 3 best buds reunited gives Rollins, Byrd, and Howard a boost

Great

Yes We Con!

How is basically meeting at the the mid point on a guy "getting suckered?"

Also- I know people keep posting about this fear of Ed Wade going back into the GM spot. I can assure you that is completely irrational. I dislike Monty right now for the same reason many of you do. But he didn't get to have a lot of money by being an idiot. He knows- and the rest of the partnership knows- that coming off of a bunch of down seasons inserting a guy who perceptually is reviled in this town is the absolute wrong way to go when it comes to restoring fan faith.

That's a slippery slope you are going down Hugh. It's almost blasphemy here on BL to suggest that Howard can actually help this team. And then, to suggest that Ruf is not the answer? Good God man, do you realize what you are saying?

Good for Revere. I hope he's healthy and has a big year leading off. Don't put Rollins in the top spot anymore. I think Sandberg will probably bat Rollins 2nd but I'd prefer to see him batting 7th.

It's time to split the Utley/Howard 3-4 combo too. The last three years Utley's hit .221 against lefties and Howard's hit .198.

i basically agree with hugh's point. there is some kind of pathology or smth at work, that enables hatred of monty and rube to be projected in part onto howie. and other players. big piece didn't hold a gun to rube's head. and his deterioration isn't his (ryan's) fault. it's not like he allowed his weight to balloon. he weighed 280 when he smacked 58 dingers. and for the next 5 years he played almost every game. not good asset management. b-ref lists him at 240 now. i wish.

Ed Wade can't become a GM again. I mean he's the next John LaCarre, Stephen King, Tom Clancy and Amy Tan rolled into one.

His next book "Eat, drink, trade for injured pitchers" is in the top 1000 books on Amazon!

I appreciate the site's academic ambition in using colonic title headers, but I'm pretty convinced we can do better than "He's back" and "It's over",

They can recycle the #It's Over hashtag at least three times during the season.

Phillies sign SP Barry Enright to a minor league deal. He's AAA filler at best.

Great new ESPN article on this problem ridden squad.

""First and foremost, we have to get production out of those core players," Amaro said. "If they don't produce and we have a drop-off from Ben Revere and Brownie, it will be a troublesome year. We're talking about human beings, and they have good and bad years. But most of these players have track records. If they're somewhere in the middle, they'll produce at a level that I think will make us contenders."

Further down....after he claims Phillies are somewhere in the middle rankings of teams in the use of statistical analysis.

"I can't worry about whether I'm going to be the GM after this year or 15 years down the road," he said. "What's important is for me to do what I can do for the betterment and success of the organization both short- and long-term. I believe in my instinctive ability to put together a winning and a championship club. I will always believe that. And I believe in our players.

"It's funny, because what I read and what I get when I speak to people in public are different. Maybe people are uncomfortable telling me what they really think, but I feel really great support from our fans. I'm hopeful most of the stuff you get on blogs and the Internet is kind of a loud minority, but who knows? Maybe because I'm the GM, but I'm more bullish about our club than what you read about on the Internet or hear sometimes on the radio."

I get that teams need to find 25 players for their AAA roster, and that there aren't enough MLB caliber players out there for all 25 of your spots to go to players with realistic MLB potential. But I have always wondered what goes through the GM's mind when he signs someone like Barry Enright or Jeff Manship -- a pitcher in his late 20s, who is so far removed from mediocrity that there's almost no possible way he could ever become good enough to actually help your MLB team. I mean, what on earth is the point? There are surely some guys floating around out there who have at least had some glimpses of success, and who would, therefore, be far more worthy of a minor league deal than Barry Enright or Jeff Manship.

so rube has an "instinctive ability to put together a winning and a championship club."

Alternate headline--

It's over: the 2014 season

It's so sad to see winning teams filling out their rosters with players who can play. People who will likely contribute to a winning major league team. While the Phillies scoop nobobies and never weres, grabbing with both hands into loserville.

This is very much like those other periods of Phillies baseball history when we as fans would look at a small number of really good or even great players, then look at what they're surrounded with and wonder when the poor management would end.

The truth is this: There are no super teams in the NL. Every one of them can be beaten. With a lot of luck, even the Phillies can sneak into the playoffs. However, the sheer number of non-players Rube is now filling out the roster and AAA with makes it much harder to even get lucky. Without spending some money here, we're looking at another protected draft pick. And it was not that long ago that such a thing would have been thought ludicrous. Rube is simply clueless and must go. And the fact that he is still the GM means that Montgomery is equally clueless. Does anyone know how he actually made his money? Because he acts like someone who inherited it or won the lottery.

I'm pretty sure Montgomery made his money by being a part owner of the Phillies. I don't think he's as loaded as these other guys who own the team. He's just a guy who has worked for the Phillies his whole life & has been rewarded for his loyalty by being given an ownership stake & made managing partner.

aksmith, how about a date?

Montgomery: People who are rich didn't get that way by being a dope.

cut: What % of the time has the starting 8 been on the field at the same time over the past 3 years?

That was Kashmir's point and that's a fact overlooked by emotional yahoos like you.

Monty surely isn't a dope, but he surrounds himself with yes-men, whose only real "qualification" for the job is that they previously worked for the Phillies and, therefore, are in tight with Monty. And that is a dopey way to run a baseball team -- at least a baseball team that has designs on being competitive.

The reality is that Monty defines "success" much differently than the fans do. He has come right out and said that wins and losses do not define the team. What defines the team, to Monty, is that the owners make a handsome annual profit and enjoy a comfortable, clubby atmosphere in boardroom meetings. The Phillies want employees who, above all else, are loyal -- and loyalty, to them, means that they're willing to go along with the program, without ever criticizing ownership. Ed Wade has already proven that he meets those criteria. That was why they hired him in the first place. That was why they let him stay on the job for 8 years, despite never producing a single playoff team. And that was why they re-hired him to be RAJ's right-hand man as soon as the Astros let him go. So they could absolutely re-hire him as GM if RAJ gets canned.

This is why they have mediocre lifers and thick nepotism from the ushers up to the executive suites.

clout - This just in - oft-injured or PED-busted players north of the age of 30 seldom "bounce back" to any semblance of their former selves. This team has at least 5 (Howard, Utley, Ruiz, Rollns and Byrd; Abreu is the head geezer right off the bat!).

Exactly what revelation will occur in the very slim chance this gang of 5 or 6 stays on the field for more that 120 games? Regarding the 2014 Phillies team, is the concept of a "starting 8" even definable? relevant? How is one a "moron" by doubting the Montgomery/Amaro axis' obsession with the hoarding of aging veterans, and showing blind deference to players with enormous contracts or a membership on a championship team now 4 years gone?

Take your "emotional yahoo-ism" and stuff it. I've read much of what you write about upcoming talent and have learned a bit from your writings. Unfortunately, you've morphed into a cranky old man; ironically with oft-meglomanical musings. T'aint funny, McGee!...

Cut fastball
I just need your cock in me.

Jason - I'll argue with clout all day with pride - if there's something to say, as clout's an honorable baseball man. Real clout can take care of himself.

However, we need the site scrubbed clean again. With 15% sodium hypochlorite, or ozone gas if you can make it!

Time to move on to a site with registered users only!

Phils might name a retread veteran GM to succeed Amaro. In fact I would strongly bet on it. It just won't be Wade.

Save what you will about the Phils too but I didn't think they would open their checkbooks and spend like they with a dramatic escalation of the payroll through '11.

Connelly is trying to cover his a$$ while in the process contradicting statements he previously made and making some spurious claims. Also forgets to add out how the Pirates are jacked up season tickets in a huge big way and are also reportedly raising price on just about everything at PNC Park next year.

What an FU to the Pirates' fan base.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/01/frank-coonelly-on-tv-contracts-pirates-offseason.html

I don't think they'll rehire Ed Wade and I don't think Monty is a dope.

I also don't think either of them have any credibility in making baseball related decisions.

Revere is another guy who has a lot to prove this year too. Basically is his 'make or break' year too to prove whether he can be a MLB everyday starter in CF.

I don't think he can cut it defensively in CF and there is still a real question of how he holds over 150+ G.

Career high is 147 G in '12. Never played more than that and tailed off badly that year in the 2nd half offensively.

Even this ownership group isn't dumb enough to ever rehire Ed Wade as GM. They know how badly that would go over with the fanbase. Above all, they want a healthy bottom line and bringing Wade back in would not accomplish that.

Even though he wasn't really a terrible GM, he was simply an average one.

Don't you hate the people who try to cling on to the stereotype about Philadelphia being so much worse than normal fanbases, from booing Santa Claus, being home of the Broad St Bullies, and battery tossers?

Amaro's one of those people. He hides behind the stereotype of Philadelphia as an excuse to why he's made terrible decisions.

Amaro said. "I'm from Philadelphia and I get it. When we win, we're loved. When we lose, we're not.

"People say, 'Don't you think you feel like you've built up equity? You guys had so many years of success.' I'm like, 'Not here in Philadelphia, my friend.' It doesn't work like that here."

What a pathetic little weasel.

***I don't think he can cut it defensively in CF and there is still a real question of how he holds over 150+ G.***

I tend to agree. I dont think his complete lack of an arm plays well enough in CF and he cant hit enough to play anywhere else in the OF so he's one of those Tweener guys that ends up as a 4/5 OF or simply out of baseball altogether in the long run.

Or he becomes a starter on a 2nd division team until he becomes too expensive to make it worthwhile. Part of the problem with that is while he has the body of a small-ball player, he doesnt bunt particularly well and he's not a great SB threat regardless of his speed. He's the antithesis of a guy like Juan Pierre who made the very best of his skillset and practiced, practiced, practiced to polish those aspects of the game. That's why Pierre has stuck around so long in the majors.

Got a bad feeling the IR list will be a long one again. Just a question of who goes first.

NEPP - Yeah. Revere doesn't hit enough for a corner OF position because of his complete lack of power and his lack of an arm.

Basically is a guy that should be 4th OF on a good team. Certainly has value and can help a team but is lacking too many attributes to start.

Might even say the same about a guy like Ruf too on an NL team.

One that this overlooked a bit is that the Phils did play some of their younger guys last and are planning to start Brown in LF, Revere in CF, and Asche at 3B. Sure they wouldn't have necessarily resigned Chooch either to a 3-yr deal if they felt they had a young C prospect who was worth starting too.

Young positional guys just don't have much upside though unless Brown unexpectedly hits LHP well and improves a bit defensively.

Ditto in the bullpen where the Phils haven't been able to find a consistent reliever who sticks since Bastardo and haven't produced a high-caliber reliever since Madson.

cut fastball and clout- broke-back mt butt brothers for ever

The plan was clearly for Tommy Joseph to have a good year in AAA and maybe get his beak wet in the Majors in 2013 with the goal of taking over in 2014. Obviously, that plan fell apart about as thoroughly as any plan could ever fall apart with him having a putrid year and a couple of injuries (repeated concussions) that put his entire career as a catcher into question.

Granted, I dont know how legitimate that plan was. Joseph was a guy that was always touted as a good prospect but he's never really hit well yet. 2014 is pretty much a make or break year for him in the minors. He has to show he can remain behind the plate physically. If he can't, he's not a prospect any more.

Cut Fastball and NEPP is Beautiful

[Verse 1]
[Clout sings]
You're insecure,
Don't know what for,
You're turning heads when you walk through the door,
Don't need make-up,
To cover up,
Being the way that you are is enough,

[Bridge]
[Clout]
Everyone else in the room can see it,
Everyone else but you,

[Chorus]
[All]
Baby you light up my world like nobody else,
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed,
But when you smile at the ground it ain't hard to tell,
You don't know,
Oh, oh,
You don't know you're beautiful,
If only you saw what I can see,
You'd understand why I want you so desperately,
Right now I'm looking at you and I can't believe,
You don't know,
Oh, oh,
You don't know you're beautiful,
Oh, oh,
That's what makes you beautiful

[Verse 2]
[The Truth Injection sings]
So c-come on.
You got it wrong.
To prove I'm right
I put it in a song.
I don't know why
You're being shy,
And turn away when I look into your eye-eye-eyes,

[Bridge]
[The Truth Injection sings]
Everyone else in the room can see it,
Everyone else but you,

[Chorus]
[All]
Baby you light up my world like nobody else,
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed,
But when you smile at the ground it ain't hard to tell,
You don't know,
Oh oh,
You don't know you're beautiful,
If only you saw what I can see,
You'll understand why I want you so desperately,
Right now I'm looking at you and I can't believe,
You don't know,
Oh oh,
You don't know you're beautiful,
Oh oh,

[Clout]
That's what makes you beautiful

Na na na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na [x2]

[Clout sings]
Baby you light up my world like nobody else,
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed,
But when you smile at the ground it ain't hard to tell,

[All]
You don't know,
Oh oh,
You don't know you're beautiful,

[Chorus]
[All]
Baby you light up my world like nobody else,
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed,
But when you smile at the ground it ain't hard to tell,
You don't know,
Oh oh,
You don't know you're beautiful (Oh),
If only you saw what I can see,
You'll understand why I want you so desperately ([Harry:] desperately),
Right now I'm looking at you and I can't believe,
You don't know,
Oh oh,
You don't know you're beautiful,
Oh oh,
You don't know you're beautiful,
Oh oh,

[The Truth Objection]
That's what makes you beautiful

Hey BL admins we need another IP ban.

Timr,

You are banned for life.

I'm copying this thread and sending it to Harper's.

Dear Penthouse Forum,

I never thought I would be writing......

This site is infested with trolls. Baseball has become an afterthought. It's a shame because I really appreciate the knowledge I glean from BAP NEPP, and a host of other regulars. Painful to see this turn into a glorified chat room.

Wow, this place is a shell of it's former self. Too bad

I wish I were childish enough that I thought gay humor was the pinnacle of comedy.

I don't get it though. The person is making jokes insinuating I'm gay which is either going to elicit one of two reactions, either:

1.) I am gay so of course I like dudes

or

2.) I am not gay so who cares.

But please continue childish weasel.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/hotstove13/story/_/id/10329850/philadelphia-phillies-tough-spot-aging-roster

Pretty good article on the state of the Phils. I really hope that Sandberg does rest his aging regulars a bit more and emphasizes defense including I am hoping emphasizing shifts a bit more.

Cranitz does a nice job talkin about how the Phils need to improve defensively. Besides Byrd though, the same aging/underwhelming defensive players last year except Byrd in RF.

Just don't see there being much defensive improvement though unless the OF defense unexpectedly improves due to Brown/Revere showing real improvement and Byrd playing really well in RF.

Infield defense is largely a lost cause. JRoll has a lost range especially to this right and Utley has lost a ton & even started to make some miscues on routine plays last year he never made before. Howard has been horrendous defensively the last 2 years and I doubt he shows much improvement.

As for the bullpen, besides Papelbon there isn't another projected guy who has really good BB/9 numbers unless Adams is healthy. At best, the bullpen keeps the BB/9 around league average & the bullpen is average/slightly above average overall.

As for the the OBP improvement, fat chance on that. Getting a full year out of Chooch might help a bit but Byrd almost never takes a BB.

It just goes back to the fact that Amaro has built a $160M team that doesn't have a single projected strength going into the season, has little to no depth, and is a significant injury away from Lee/Hamels from being a sub 70-win team this year.

Lidge and Halladay must convince the young guys in the bullpen, especially Aumont, to pitch to contact and trust the defense.

the bullpen should all wear wristbands that say "don't nibble." kk too.

Just don't see there being much defensive improvement though unless the OF defense unexpectedly improves due to Brown/Revere showing real improvement and Byrd playing really well in RF.

Infield defense is largely a lost cause. JRoll has a lost range especially to this right and Utley has lost a ton & even started to make some miscues on routine plays last year he never made before. Howard has been horrendous defensively the last 2 years and I doubt he shows much improvement.

___________________________________________

Byrd is a massive upgrade defensively from what they had and I wonder if it helps Revere some in knowing that he won't need to be monitoring both sides of him.

The one thing they do need to work with him on is playing a little deeper. His arm is not going to gun anyone down really no matter where he plays so he would be better just playing back a few steps and running down anything in the outfield.

On the Rollins front- is there any data that backs up he has lost range to his right or is that just MG analysis?

i agree, TTI. i mentioned that it is a good thing that revere plays shallow because there is no part of the CF wall that is safe to engage. but a few steps wouldn't hurt and might help.

TTI - Just my observations. Couple that with a bit of weakening in his arm and it didn't seem like JRoll made many plays at all when he was deep in the hole last year going to 1st.

Asche:

If he can go to his left considerably and make those plays, it would go a long way to help JRoll who could cheat a bit more up the middle.

Certainly couldn't do that with M. Young out there. Asche having a good year defensively would really help out this team too. 3B and RF are the 2 positions where it is realistic to hope for a notable improvement in defense overall since the Youngs were so terrible defensively.

My plan is to watch two games out of five and hope Lee and Hamels can overcome the bad O, bad D, and bad BP twice a week. Most of the other games will just be sad/pathetic. Call it sanity preservation.

Will be interesting to see what MAG has to offer, and what the Phils do with him. Hopefully he pitches well enough to earn/keep a spot in the rotation.

NEPP, MG: Did I miss the season when Pierre had a good arm in CF?

You can make the case that Pierre's career was better than Revere, but you sure as hell can't make it on defense.

Depending on how Revere's career progresses (he's heading into his age 26 season) with the bat and stolen bases, in the end they could be very much alike.

For that to happen, Revere is gonna have to throw a few .300 seasons out there (quite possible), walk more (quite possible) and steal 60+ bases a few years (less likely.)

***You can make the case that Pierre's career was better than Revere, but you sure as hell can't make it on defense.***

I never even attempted to make that argument. Everyone knows Pierre had a pretty crappy arm too. I was speaking solely of Pierre's abilities at the plate.

FWIW, while Pierre's arm sucks its still better than Revere's. Though most 5 year old girls have a better arm than Revere too so that's not saying anything.

However, Pierre is far better at making contact, not striking out, actually laying down a good bunt and all the other aspects of being a great smallball guy that Revere seemingly lacks.

SO%
Revere: 9.7%
Pierre: 5.7%

OBP through Age 25:

Revere: .324
Pierre: .357
Pierre has a bit more power than Revere will likely ever have. The only way Revere will likely ever hit a HR (that goes over the fence) is if he's playing a day game in Wrigley in mid-summer with 40 mph winds blowing out...and even then he'd have to get every single bit of it to make it over the fence.

Pierre had a better arm than Revere but that is only because Revere has arguably the worst arm in CF right now in MLB. Cut-off man has to play ridiculously deep and there were a couple of times last year where it bounced on a 1-2 hops to the cutoff man.

Even as modest as Pierre's power was during his heyday, he would hit his share of 2Bs and 3Bs. Revere's power is so limited that he can't even get the ball down the line or in the gaps routinely enough to take advantage of his speed to rack up his share of 2Bs and 3Bs.

Pierre averaged 24 doubles and 10 triples per 162 games from 2002-10 (along with 2 HRs). Revere so far as averaged just 15 doubles and 7 triples per 162 games in his MLB career (along with 0 HRs).

If Revere was an elite base stealer, it would help but he would have to up his % SB a bit more and steal 60+ bags over the course of the year to compensate for his lack of power.

Ditto being able to routinely bunt for base hits. He is 'okay' at bunting but even adding 7 more base bunt hits a year would help to up his AVG over .300 and help is modest OBP.

Pierre was essentially done as a regular in CF too by 30 too.

Book isn't out on Revere as a starter in CF because of his injury last year. Needs to show though he can hold up though (even Pierre has a few inches and at least 15 pds on Revere) over the course of 150+ G and improve defensively in CF.

Revere's value in CF isn't ever going to be from his offense. Hope he hits ~.290 but improves enough in CF this year to really help to solidify the Phils' OF defense. Playing next to Byrd instead of D. Young and Brown can't hurt either.

D. Young took a lot of flak last year but D. Brown still stinks out there. Brown still can't judge balls slicing down the line that RH hitters pull worth a damn (any time a ball goes down into the corner I am hoping Brown doesn't injure himself because he is that awkward yet) and has really has trouble making initial reads on balls off the bat.

NEPP - I would say Revere is a 'Poor Man's Pierre'

In fairness, Pierre's age 25 numbers are significantly Coors Field-enhanced.

NEPP: Sorry I misunderstood. When MG wrote: "*I don't think he (Revere) can cut it defensively in CF and there is still a real question of how he holds over 150+ G.***" in the midst of a discussion of how Pierre was better than Revere and you answered, "I tend to agree" I thought you meant that you tended to agree with MG's premise, which was clearly based on defense.

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Was Pierre's arm really better than Revere's? Both are terrible, but I tend to think Revere's is better.

For what it's worth, Revere had 8 assists in 124 games in 2012 & 6 assists in his other two partial seasons. Pierre never had 8 assists in a season, and had more than 5 assists only twice, despite 9 seasons with 150+ games played.

Assists are admittedly a pretty crude stat, especially since an outfielder gets credit for an assist even when the relay guy makes the final throw. Still, it's pretty much the only measure we have of an outfielder's throwing arm, and Revere's numbers have been consistently better than Pierre's. He's also faster than Pierre & a much better fielder, so maybe the higher assist totals have to do with superior defensive positioning. But regardless of the cause, he seems to do more good things with his throwing arm than Pierre ever did.

The Braves traded for a new starting catcher earlier this offseason, Ryan Doumit, who just today announced that he and his family have made a decision that he will no longer catch.

It's my guess the Braves won't miss a beat. Evan Gattis (C/LF; .243/.291/.480; 21 HR) will step in and do just fine.

Sorry for the confusion...I simply meant I agreed that Revere was more of a 4th OF than a starter

No news on Madson getting a shot on anybody's ST invite list?

No news on replacements for Wheels and Sarge ?

Eagles are over, 6ers and Flyers don't look too F'in good.

Pro Bowl is not getting any adrenaline flow going.
Their "no conference" gimmick might be dumber that Selig's "All Star game counts for World Series home field"

Come on spring.
Bad baseball is better than no baseball at all.

Fascinating to see how FA has transpired this offseason.

Lots of insane contracts but there are still a bunch of players including starters who can really help teams sitting around yet & will almost certainly come cheap.

With Jimenez and E. Santana out there, even decent backend startes like Maholm and Arroyo are going to have to scramble to take what they can get.

Still hope the Phils take a 1-year flyer on a guy like Chen/Williams to give them a bit of starting depth. It would allow them to have MAG open the year at Lehigh which is ideal. Ditto Pettibone. Martin could also go back into the bullpen and see if he can stick as a high K/moderate command middle reliever and maybe even fill a backend bullpen role this team really needs.

Certainly both going to be available at this point on either a very modest 2-yr deal or a 1-year deal with incentive upside.

Even a guy like Baker would be a nice add at a base of say $4M with some decent incentive upside.

Hell, even a minor league invite for Bedard or Harang wouldn't be a bad move given this team's complete lack of starting depth.

If the Phils tank too, they can always move both any starter they sign too on a 1-year deal at the deadline too.

Hard to believe that there wouldn't be a single team with the new format that would take Hernandez or say Baker even if they have very mediocre numbers if the Phils essentially want nothing in return and basically dump $1M or so on their remaining salary for the last 2 months.

MG, good article posted at 10:49. There is a lot to be confused about when you look at how the Phils are supposedly trying to remain relevant with older players who aren't close to what they were in their primes, coupled with three younger players in Asche, Brown and Revere. I'd like to see them go full bore into rebuild mode and have thought it since Rollins contract was up after 2011. Lee, Utley and Ruiz should have all been traded last year.

They say this team is proud and embarrassed by last year's play, but that doesn't mean they're going to become better players as they continue to age and fight injuries. The Phils need to rebuild, it's that simple. Though somewhat improved I'd say the farm is still ranked somewhere between 20-30. Quinn's injury hurts what isn't a deep farm to begin with. They need young, talented players and the chance to get some were there last year.

I think they could have got Michael Choice for Utley. Had they been willing to pay some of Lee's salary I think they could have got Joc Pederson and Zach Lee from the Dodgers or Jackie Bradley Jr. and Henry Owens from the Red Sox. If not those exact players there were certainly teams interested who had the talent to make a deal. The acquired players along with Franco, Biddle, Crawford and whoever they pick at #7 this year (which would have been a higher pick had they made these trades) would all be playing or very close by 2016. Some will definitely be playing before then and it would have been a good start to rebuilding, which has to be done sooner or later.

Biggs - Sad thing is there that is a really strong chance the Phils will have no MLB contributions from anyone they acquired in the Lee or Pence trades.

Kind of torn for hoping this team does have one last competitive hurrah in them but as a long-time Phils' fan I am torn on the prospect of this team being horrible this year which forces their hand at the deadline to move Lee. Also mean Amaro is forced out at the end of the year too with a couple of other people shown the door too.

Basicaly if this team is around .500 this year, all it will ensure is that the Phils don't do much, bring back much of the same team next year, and remain in limbo.

Rebuilding is always a tough process in MLB because of how long it takes for prospects to develop and the high degree of uncertainity in the draft.

Just see a team that at best spins its wheels around .500 (high 70s/low 80s win total) for the next 2 years and is just left with a new GM that is still facing an arduous rebuilding process at the end of '15.

Biggs - Looking back on how this offseason transpired. Yeah the Phils should have had the fire sale at the ASB last year which would have included moving Lee to get hopefully 2 foundational pieces moving ahead forward.

Yeah they would have been awful this year and next year too (sub 70 win teams) but they could have worked through all of their bad remaining contracts, found out what was worth keeping, had money to spend on the International markets on players they choose, and had 2 very high draft picks.

It doesn't mean they would have been back to being a contender by '16 either. Look at the Cubs to see where they are right now with a lot of their fans grumbling about what looks another terrible team in the 3rd year of Epstein's tenure.

Just would have been a clear strategic plan in place and allowed them to convey that to their fans (We had a great run but we are focusing on future)

So, to review, NEPP doesn't think Revere can be a starting outfielder, but he thinks Asche will be just fine as a starting 3B.

Interesting.

"Lee, Utley and Ruiz should have all been traded last year."

What could possibly go wrong with that? We'd get 4 future starting position players and 2 #1 or #2 rotation guys, right?

Then we deal Howard (eat his contract), Hamels & Rollins at the deadline this year for 4 more position starters and 2 more great rotation guys.

Can you say, "Dynasty!"

I can't see what could possibly go wrong, can you?

That said, I totally would've traded Lee if I could've gotten Jackie Chiles Jr.

TTI~ It's terrible for someone to make insinuations about you like that. No one should have to put up with that. You have my sympathies in that regard. I hate to be reading that stuff.

And Cut Fast~ You're absolutely right. Site should only be open to registered users. Anyone who can't abide by the rules needs to be outta here.

We all have to remember that this is a Phillies blog, not a porn site. And we all share one thing, we're passionate about this team. So let's keep it clean.

We all get upset with one another at times in replying to posts. I'm guilty of that. It should never be personal. I know true to heart that we may disagree at times, but if you put us all in a room, we'd have a better understanding as to what people are saying. the tone of comments would be understood.

It's been said that I'm probably not a bad guy. That's true. And know what? Neither is TTI or anyone else. We all know what the facts are, we just have differences of opinion. Take care, all of you true phans out there.

***So, to review, NEPP doesn't think Revere can be a starting outfielder, but he thinks Asche will be just fine as a starting 3B.

Interesting.****

Not exactly. I think he could be average defensively if he continues to work at it and I think he could put up an OPS in the .750 range. That's not ideal for a starting 3B but it would probably be better than any of our other options next year. He could be a starting 3B on a 2nd division team while he's still cheap...ie, exactly what the Phillies will be the next few years.

If Franco does crush it in AAA this year, it might be best to trade Asche and let Franco take over 3B as his ceiling is much higher.

Still, lets not give up on Asche given that Franco likely needs another year of seasoning in the minors and its a rebuilding year anyway where its perfect to take a chance on Asche to see if he can do it.

Personally, I tend to think that Franco will end up taking over for Howard at 1B due to a variety of reasons...among them Howard's injury concerns and age-related decline along with Franco simply not being able to hack it at 3B as he continues to fill out as he matures.

God this site really sucks now. It's too bad...it used to be an amazing place to talk baseball and the Phillies in really intelligent terms that you can't find elsewhere.

Thanks Comcast!

MG, many good points. Rebuilding is tough and it's why I wanted to trade for at least a few players that have accomplished something at the minor league level. I know that's no guarantee that translates into major league success, but at least they've shown something to date.

The draft is a crapshoot but in the long run the best way to build a team. I know there's many top 5 selections who never play a pro game but again, what are the options?

I can't root against the Phils but you're right that a .500 season will almost ensure we see the same team next year. Many of them we'll see anyway due to unmovable contracts. Sadly there's no perfect solution here.

This site died in May of 2012.

NEPP~ If Asche can hit enough at the big-league level he'll be fine. The team doesn't need another god field, sub-par stick player.
3B is typically a power position and they'll need that from Asche. They don't need another Polanco, whom due to his lack of power, was better suited for 2nd than 3rd.

I've never seen Franco play. so I can't comment on him except to say that there have been zillions of players who hit well in the Minor but not at the big-league level.

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