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Tuesday, March 04, 2014


Is it time to worry? Dude, they suck this year. Get with the program. You're only setting yourself up for disappointment. Do what I do - more porn, more video games, more junk food. This will get me through the next 2-3 years ... then maybe, we can contend again. And I'll begin again to take some stock in my life.

Jeez, guess Byrd's going to earn that $ huh? God this team is bad

Same tired old offense.

I don't see where ST ,so far, has provided much reason to raise or lower expectations.

We had a team that would be fortunate to play .500 ball in off season projections.
And we're playing like a team that will be lucky to see .500.

What I have seen so far in camp is that while the frontline talent may be decent and in theory they can trot out average/above average players at every position on Opening Day (with maybe the exception of Asche at 3B), a decent frontline staff, and okay closer, there is almost zero depth again anywhere and back end of this roster (middle relief, 5th starter, and bench) are once again going to be a bottom 5 or so in MLB.

LA said tonight later in the game that there is the Phils are still waiting for a lot of guys competing for roster spots to stand out. I'd agree 100% with that.

Offensive results mean nothing though. It is the first week of camp and last year they tore it up in ST offensively early on. As long as they can avoid any more injuries, that is the only thing that really matters.

My main cause for concern so far is having to listen to Matt Stairs jabberjaw through the entire season.

I think Moyer has a chance to be a pretty decent commentator. Stairs though, is horrible and I don't see it getting any better. I guess he must be being paid by the word, because he talks WAY too much. He talks too fast, mumbles and the Canadian accent is kinda annoying too. I wonder how bad the other candidates were if he got picked over them???

The 3 main booth in any sport only works when the commentators keep their thoughts concise, there is a genuine report with each other and they let the game breathe. With Tommy, Jamie and Matty, I see a whole lot of talking just to talk and very little insightful commentary. Just a lot of annoying anecdotes that sometimes quite frankly make it difficult to pay attention to the game at hand.

You listen to a game on YES or SNY and compare guys like Darling or Keith Hernandez or Gary Cohen or Ken Singleton or John Flaherty or Al Leiter and then listen to the Phils corn-ball booth (and it wasn't very good with Wheels and Sarge either). The Phils sound like a AAA team compared to those guys.

"Is it time to worry that Chase Utley, Domonic Brown, Bobby Abreu, Ryan Howard and Cody Asche are hitting a combined .113 (6 for 53)? It likely wouldn't be if it weren't for the Phillies' well-known offensive woes..."

Except that, of the 5 guys you just named, only 1 of them had anything to do with those "well-known offensive woes" over the last 2 years. Do you really think that Chase Utley & Dom Brown's poor spring stats, based on sample sizes of 10 and 14 PAs, suddenly have meaning because other Phillies players stunk it up last year?

Team to slow other than Revere no serious SB threats. Yeah J-Roll might take 20 and Chase 12 after thats its done.

Im not concerned about the offense... Im concerned about the bullpen! Winning is not what ST is for, ST is for the hitters to do some adjustments! The starting pitchers are looking good! The bullpen is looking terrible and they shouldn't 'cause pitching is supposed to be ahead of the hitting on ST! The hitting is just ok, considering the amount of players that wont make the roster! If winning on ST would be a true barometer of what will transpire during the season, what would you say ajout last years NL East Champs? They've got the same record as the Phillies do right now...

Spring training sample size be damned, I'm afraid that Howard's goose is cooked. Dollar for dollar, he may be the worst player in baseball history in terms of smallest return for money spent since signing the new contract.

A completely terrible thread header

i agree with denny b's assessment of stairs. he can't do that job using the tone and pace of his normal conversation. a broadcaster has to broadcast. the game was--tmac clearly enunciating as always, followed by matt mumbling inaudibly, and repeat for 9 innings. usually the closed captioner seemed to know what matt was saying, but the delay causes you to miss the game action. odd how after hiring jamie, comcast then decided to add one more guy. hopefully the experiment will end after one year.

Poor batting average in Spring Training as of March 5th?

Game over man, game over!

I will agree that so far Stairs has been pretty rough in the booth. However, I am hopeful that they will get used to each other and it will be a solid broadcast booth. He just needs to find his voice, calm down a bit and let the others speak a bit more. Moyer has been steady and quite solid in my opinion. T-Mac has talked less as and has been far less annoying as a result.

Still complaining about broadcasters? Stupid.

I saw this on Hardball Talk. The Nats put this shift on during a game yesterday. It would be nice to see similar experimenting out of Sandberg during these games.

Yeah I'd love to see them play 5 outfielders against power hitters. Maybe they can put two catchers in the game at once. One on the outside part of the plate and one inside. The batter wouldn't know where the ball was going.

Reality - Right, because that would make sense. God you are a useless troll, with these personal attacks. Anyway, ignoring you moving forward.

At least if they tried out a shift here and there, it would demonstrate they are open to thinking about the game differently, and maybe help them break out of the mold a little. If they're not trying it in meaningless ST games, my fear is that they're not going to do it during the regular season.

How was that a personal attack? I was offering some ideas for other shifts they could employ. Maybe you don't know what the phrase "personal attack" means. Don't be mad at me because you are ignorant.

*****At least if they tried out a shift here and there, it would demonstrate they are open to thinking about the game differently, and maybe help them break out of the mold a little.*****

No one else is doing the two catcher thing.

the personal attack was to my deigning to bitch about stairs. stupid.

I didn't call you stupid. I said it was stupid to complain about announcers- especially like a week into the job. Does nothing make you people happy?

Not sure why I'm all about shifts this morning, but I searched around and found this.
It's amazing how far away Amaro & Co. are from thinking this way. Not that it's the cure-all for this team, but it certainly would be encouraging (and kind of cool and different) to see such a plan enacted.

i understood that you didn't call me stupid. i didn't call you stupid either.

I'm purely looking for health from most guys in camp this spring. Not much attention to results, but if i had to rank my top 5 hopeful of having good springs it'd be:

Marlon Byrd - I know he's a definite starter regardless, but the guy hit his way out of the MLB in 2012 and then raked all of 2013. Good ST would ease some doubt.

Cesar - I am really pulling for him to make the team as backup CF. potential high avg, sb threat is sorely needed on bench.

Lou Marson - i think he's the best defensive backup C they have, maybe some Production­™ leaps him over the rest for a spot.

Franco - nothing to do with mlb, just want to see him succeed. Sano going down helps him take a shot at top 3B prospect in game(big year from Kris Bryant might stop that)

Thats really about it. Everyone else I just wish for good health and nothing more. A part of me wants to see Rollins have a terrible spring and force Sandberg's hand into getting him out of the #2 hole.

Since i led my post off with stating a 'top 5' I guess throw Ruf in there to give me a full list.

Cause for concern? The offense has sucked for 3 years now

Someone asked for BAP to write the thread headers this season. Twelve hours later, this is posted.

Looks like dreams do come true- even for the cutting contingent on BL.

You can't have it both ways. ST stats either matter or they don't. (Hint: they don't)

The thread headers wouldn't (or shouldn't) be predicting 100 wins if the team were hitting .500. I couldn't care less if they lose every game of the spring from here out, batting .100. As long as they come north healthy. What they do in the spring has absolutely nothing to do with the regular season, unless injuries.

actually, i happy enough with this team that i will certainly find them entertaining this year. if they can maintain a 50/50 chance to win any given game, that works for me.

My biggest concern with this spring training isn't how they're hitting, fielding or pitching, as I put very little stock in spring training games and stats. What concerns me is who has the final say on the 25-man roster, Sandberg or Amaro. I get the feeling this process is done by committee and Sandberg's voice will get drowned out by the smug, ego maniacal Amaro.

RAJ talks about how Ruf can't play the OF, but last year he anointed Delmon Young the starting RFer right after signing him. That's just one example of his ineptitude when it comes to assembling a roster. How about the fact that Laynce Nix was the highest paid OFer on the 2013 Phils? You think maybe 5 of the 13 position players (including 3 starters) would merit more than 3 million and change on a budget of over 160 million? For me the jury is out and has been for several years now - Amaro is clueless when it comes to assembling a roster.

Everyone knows...

Should be:


Will be:

Gwynn Jr.

I'm just concerned for the hell of it

Getting back to the Matt Stairs issue (sorry Reality, but I'm going there, so deal with it)... I agree that he needs to calm it down a bit. Someone on some radio show the other day said that he just needs to let the game "breathe". However...I WILL say that he's a whole lot better than that useless boob Sarge. I think T-Mac is better with these guys, too. Which really isn't saying a whole lot because he's not a good play-by-play man. Wheeler was ok, I kind of miss him but maybe that's just because he was the last tie to the old era of Harry and Whitey.

There are three main things to worry about when it comes to color analysts on broadcasts:

1.) Do they talk the right amount

2.) Do they provide solid analysis that is insightful based off of what they know about the game

3.) Do they provide analysis that puts you in the mind of the player.

Stairs is very good (so is Moyer) so far at 2 and 3. And guess what? Those are the two most important things. He does talk a little too much at times but over time he will develop more of a feel for how the game moves and will allow more back and forth. He isn't mush mouthed- he is just a fast talked. Moyer is almost a little too quiet at times but he is excellent at #3 on the list and pretty good at #2.

What I have liked so far in the broadcasts is the fact that they change the rhythm up of a 3 man booth. It isn't just T-Mac setting up the analysts. Stairs will ask Moyer questions and vice versa. Stairs has also jumped in a few times to correct T-Mac a few times on things. The chemistry will develop over time. But a guy like Sarge failed too often on #2 and #3 and even if he was eloquent it wouldn't have mattered.

If they're smart, the TV broadcast will still utilize Wheeler when the occasion calls for some historical perspective.
Today's tribute to Fregosi is a good example.

Bonehead, I totally agree. I think they should have let Wheels be a fill-in guy or a guy for certain occasions like you allude to. But I guess they felt like they needed a clean break and a fresh start with the analysts. I also agree that having the dynamic of a 3 man booth is a nice change and could really keep things interesting.

Really. This team is gonna eat AA pitching alive!

cyclic: I think Marson is better than Nieves. We're obviously talking about the dreck of dreck here, but I'd rather Marson at about 7 years younger and rated as better defensive catcher.

Sorry, you're right. Even in my "should" scenario, I was taking Nieves and Galvis as givens.

***Bonehead, I totally agree. I think they should have let Wheels be a fill-in guy or a guy for certain occasions like you allude to. But I guess they felt like they needed a clean break and a fresh start with the analysts. I also agree that having the dynamic of a 3 man booth is a nice change and could really keep things interesting. ***

Maybe Wheels told them to "fvck off" when they asked. It'd be viewed more as a pity invite than the real thing I bet. I dont know about you but when I've been fired from a long-term employment, I highly doubt I'd want to help them out in the future with something like that. Same feelings UC had when they fired him last summer...took him a good 6 months before he came back to the Org in any fashion at all.

Anyone catch Biddle this morning on WIP? I missed the beginning, but liked what I did hear. Sounds like he's very smart & mature, trying to fine tune the mental aspects of being a pitcher.

Example of "there's runners on 2B & 3B, do I pitch to my strength or the hitter's weakness?" Very excited to see him in the rotation one day.

Expanding on my post above - though I prefer Sandberg pick the final 25 players look at what Amaro gave him to work with. He reduced flexibility by signing Mayberry and Frandsen to guaranteed contracts. Amaro's ego won't allow Sandberg to jettison one or both of them, forcing the Phils to eat their salaries. The embarrassment will be too much for Amaro, especially the way he thumped his chest when he got Frandsen to sign for less than he would have got through arbitration.

Nieves looks to be a lock as the backup catcher. With the Phils needing a LHH of the bench that probably means Abreau has the team made, unless Sandberg prefers the more athletic Gwynn and gets to make the call. Abreau is probably still the better bat so we'll see what the Phils value more from their 5th OF. With a need for someone to back up SS we're now left with Brignac, Cedeno or Galvis.

This bench will be bad and that's unfortunate on an aging team that plans on resting their starters more than most teams. Other than Revere and possibly Brown, although Brown's injury history makes me hesitant to use his name here, is there any other player that can realistically be expected to start 150 games? The quintet of Byrd, Howard, Rollins, Ruiz and Utley will be lucky to see two of them reach 140 starts. With the Phils bench getting more AB's than most teams, the talent pool Sandberg has to choose from is very thin. Despite Amaro's claim they're versatile, just because a player can play a position doesn't mean he can play it well. See Mayberry's CF performance as a prime example.

LorecorE, agree on Marson over Nieves, but Nieves has a contract and that will probably be the bottom line.

What I noticed about the Yes Network broadcast and comparing it to the Phillies broadcast while it was professional... they spent entire at bats and innings not discussing the play in the field. NOW for the most part its spring training and for sure you really don't need to address every pitch that's thrown on TV when you can see the ball and strike counter etc... (aside: Sideline (field? grandstand? crowd?) reporter Meredith Marakovits seems to come from the same "school of thought" as TMac. When 5 words can describe what you are thinking, but you can do it in 30 words. Choose more words. Greg Murphy is actually 10 times better in the stands than Tmac ever was. If you can believe that.)

But Stairs talks through multiple at bats... not pitches... multiple at bats! And TMAC doesn't seem to notice? or care? which leads me to believe this is their intention. I swear during the 8th inning last night, Stairs talked for 4 minutes straight without saying a thing. Gary Matthews at least had a rhythm and a cadence (as you would expect from someone named Sarge) that at least passed for a broadcaster. Stairs will get better. This however doesn't belong on a major league broadcast.

Broadcasting is hard. Despite what you might think. The best people (Vin Scully) at the job are the best because they have years and years of games broadcast. The better ones get good with broadcasting various sports or perhaps adding pre and post game experience or call-in shows.

Sticking a guy in there with virtually NO experience and no competent broadcaster to provide you a net. This is what you get with Stairs. Its going to be a VERY long season. And I'll spend most of that listening to the radio I think.

for me and these old ears, it's not what matt says or his pace. it's the instrument. you would think that each mic fed thru a different equilizer of sorts in the truck, that could boost parts of the Hz range of matt's voice. ie, turn up the treble end.

Yeah, I see the point with Wheels maybe not wanting to be part of anything having to do with broadcasting. The fact that he's even agreed to work in other capacities is a testament to just how loyal like a puppy dog he actually is. Good company man I suppose.

As for Amaro and his over-inflated ego, just when do we start the countdown for his being removed from his duties? God, this man is an awful GM. If Sandberg has his hands tied and can't really make any roster decisions as they break camp I really think that's bordering on a criminal act.

So, the Rangers have designated Alex Castellanos for assignment, meaning he's on the waiver wire again. As a RHB with a pronounced reverse platoon split, he might be worth a flyer, given our dearth of options for the role of LHB bench bat. (Even if he is, you know, RHB.)

No one has suggested this, but, if Franco were on the opening-day 25-man roster, that would be the height of GM incompetence, right up there with signing Papelbon a week too soon, a fireable offense. Delay Franco's start by just a couple of weeks, and you delay his free agency by a year.

If Franco is brought up too soon in the middle of the season, he could become a Super Two, and the Phils would lose a year of super cheap. Since the Phils are going nowhere in '14, there's not a good competitive reason for bringing Franco in mid-season, but circumstances could dictate otherwise, and the Phils might not mind the extra salary cost.

Ideally, Franco is brought up no earlier than August 1, a safe date to avoid Super-Two status.

Marson esta loco...He is a better option with more upside than Lerud an has the potential to become our next Kratz...For now a one ticket to the minors..

I would not worry about the team because they've been bad in 5 ST games.

I would worry about the team because they've been bad over the last two full seasons and haven't gotten any better.

I would worry about Jack because he is brain dead and shows no signs of intelligent thought.

"Is it time to worry that Chase Utley, Domonic Brown, Bobby Abreu, Ryan Howard and Cody Asche are hitting a combined .113 (6 for 53)? It likely wouldn't be if it weren't for the Phillies' well-known offensive woes..."

This has got to be the all-time silliest comment in a BL thread header.

53 AB?

That's not enough to know anything if it's ONE guy getting 53, and someone asks it about 5 guys?

5 guys? Hmmm, burger time...

"Still complaining about broadcasters? Stupid."

as long as TBag is in the booth...

It is so stupid that Comcast basically thought it was important enough to push out both Sarge/Wheels and go through a lengthy process this offseason to add new broadcasters.

BL in 2013: "Get rid of Wheels and Sarge."

They are let go

BL in 2014: "Why did they hire these guys?"

Matt Gelb's two cents, from a live chat he's doing right now:

Comment From Alex K.
if ruf keeps on impressing this spring, is there a starting spot on this team that could open up for him?
Matt Gelb: Barring an injury, no. As it stands right now, I don't even think Ruf makes the team as a bench player. They have a startling lack of depth in the outfield, and that will force them to retain John Mayberry Jr.

Comment From George C
Are you as excited about the bullpen as I am? So much potential/depth!
Matt Gelb: There is depth, but I am not certain of its quality. They have a horde of young arms, but none of them have really yet to step up. (Other than Jake Diekman, who will be a force in 2014. Book it.)

More from Gelb's live chat:

Comment From Rj
Granted it's only a week in, but what seven arms do you think make the pen for opening day?
Matt Gelb: This is what I see:

De Fratus

Comment From Uncle Leo
Who do you see on the bench on Opening Day?
Matt Gelb: As it stands now:


There is actually a real live Phillies fan out there who is "excited" about our bullpen?

BAP, I concluded that the excitement was feigned and the question was sarcastic. But maybe not.

GBrett: You may be right, as that would make more sense. But on the face of the question, it's hard to detect any sarcasm.

"They have a startling lack of depth in the outfield, and that will force them to retain John Mayberry, Jr."

And that statement alone pretty much sums up why this team will suck this year.

More chat:

Comment From Crystal Ball
Which number will be higher- saves for Papelbon or HRs for Howard?
Matt Gelb: Oh, this is a good one. I will say Howard home runs.

This one had to have been sent in by a BL:

Comment From gladly
Is there really no other alternative to CF depth than Mayberry? Or, am I exaggerating how useless Mayberry is?
Matt Gelb: Marlon Byrd could be the backup centerfielder for a brief period.

Jake "the Force" Diekman. I'm waiting for clout to comment on the Gelb live chat that he is now head of moroncracy.

Gelb's projected lineup, so that BL can argue over it.

Comment From Bigcreepy
It seems like the lineup is already set as
Matt Gelb: It is.

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

Seems like Mayberry is the least popular Phillie.

Comment From Guest
How can a team that employed Mayberry for multiple years resign him? Isn't he the epitome of a journeyman? Shouldn't he have continued on his journey somewhere else?
Matt Gelb: When your outfield depth is what it is, Mayberry was someone they needed to retain. Says a lot.
Matt Gelb: Tyson Gillies' lack of development really hurt them there.

This will get clout's goad, but I still fail to understand/accept that Mayberry & Ruf must be mutually exclusive of each other. The reason teams usually keep a LH bat on their bench is because that LH bench hitter is usually a better hitter against RHP than any of the other bench guys. But Bobby Abreu's OPS against RHP since 2011 is only .740.

If you need a guy to face RHP, Darin Ruf is a better bet than Bobby Abreu, handedness notwithstanding.

"So, on a scale of Mini Mart to 10, how bad is John Mayberry Jr?"

Yeah, if we can't yet bemoan anything we glean from these glorified practice games, we might as well drone about the announce booth. My quick 2 cents:

- TBag, as I've long stated (hell, I came up with the nickname) is reason enough to go with "radio feed" every single time I tune in via Nothing they can do with the window dressing of color analyst(s) will change that. Thank God for LA and Franzke.

- The discussion on this three man booth is a bit of a waste. They're only going to employ it, what, 30 games this season? That's less than 20% of the games, so the dynamic across the three of them really doesn't matter. It's how well TBag and "color analyst du jour" adapt. This actually complicates the learning curve for both Moyer and Stairs, as inconsistency is not the friend of a beginner.

- I'm actually pleased that Comcast has at least tried to listen to its fanbase by making the moves. Sarge was intolerable. Wheels is going to be one of those "don't know what you got til it's gone" poster children, but again, as long at TBag was PBP guy, it's a moot point. I will, however, be disappointed if someone decides that they need to revert to the meaningless "here's the other color analyst guy for innings 4-6" B.S. That was stupid and made no sense whatsoever (always weird when Wheels came back and made a comment about something that happened 2 innings ago when he wasn't there). I hate that they do a similar thing with Franzke/JJ. It seems their need for a healthy pipeline of broadcasters is second only to the Phillies need of mediocre utility infielders.

- As for Wheels, he doesn't have much choice. Yeah, he could pull an "eff you" to any request to pull him into the booth ad hoc, but he's not leaving the team. Where else is he going to go? He's an old school guy who knows the Phillies and not much else. He'll stick around with them until he doesn't want/need to work anymore. Kind of a mutual agreement that he stays out of the way, and they'll give him something to do with his time. I don't see what other options he has.

BAP: Why is it so hard for you to believe that someone could be excited for an aspect of the team? Are people not allowed to be positive about their team in your world?

time for the fregosi ceremony.

So the lineup is going to be optimally constructed, the bench is going to suck (that is a T-AAA quality bench and there are some T-AAA teams that likely have a better bench to open the year), and the middle relief is underwhelming yet again.

3rd straight year in a row where Amaro has compiled a bunch of threadbare talent compromised of hasbins, journeyman, and never-weres to round out the last 7-8 roster spots on the Opening Day roster

not going to be optimally constructed.

Smart plan to bat Rollins way that's a mistake at all.

Its up there with the Reds batting Zack ".284 OBP" Cozart 2nd for half of last year because Dusty Baker thinks shortstops are all speedy slap hitters who should hit at the top of the lineup.

Cozart has 4 career SB and he had 0 last year. And people wonder why Votto only had 73 RBI last year...

Gelb's predictions could always be wrong.

Ruf's playing LF today.

Kevin Frandsen demonstrating his Versatility™, as his defensive prowess at 1B is impressive. Darin Ruf probably wouldn't have spoiled that double-play as spectacularly as Frandsen did.

And that put-out of Utley was just disgusting. You shouldn't be able to hit the ball that hard, have the guy it's hit right at muff it, and still get thrown out at first.

How long was that extension Simmons signed? As it's going to be a long half-decade with him up the middle for the Braves.

Gelb's predictions could always be wrong

Lidge is in camp now. From Salisbury:

“Hopefully the thing I can help with is having a game plan,” Lidge said. “You can have a good arm, but that’s only part of the equation. The other is knowing what you’re doing when you get out there. I think talking to these guys about their approaches and game plans would be a good use of my time. I had ups and downs in my career and I think that can help me relate to guys.”

Arm troubles forced Lidge from the game, but he’s still in excellent physical shape.

“I’d be good for a slider or two,” he said. “Then my arm would probably fall off.”

Good to see Kevin Frandsen's already up to mid-season form with runners in scoring position.

I'll go on record as stating that if the Phillies get no-hit that, yeah, I'll start to get concerned about the offense this Spring Training.

Juums: You totally don't get it. Frandsen led the major leagues in pinch hits last year, with 14. And he was third among all pinch hitters with 11 RBIs. Granted, he only batted .250/.311/.393 as a pinch hitter. But no one else got 14 pinch hits, & only 2 others got 11 RBIs. That is some serious pinch hitting production. That is why he got a guaranteed contract.

As pessimistic as I am about this organization, it never even crossed my mind that Ruf wouldn't make the roster.

anyone watching? How'd DOM SB look?

BAP, your post was both the funniest and saddest thing I've read all day, all in one.

These games don't tell us squat about the team that the Phillies will actually put on the field if everyone is healthy. But they sure don't speak well for the organizational depth.

Of course, when your GM's approach to organizational depth is to assemble 11 layers of depth at the middle infield & CF positions, and not worry about finding any backups who can actually hit, it shouldn't come as a shock that your team is getting 5 hits in every spring training game.

So BAP is telling us these games matter.

This crew couldn't hit last year, so it's not reasonable to expect anything different this year. But hey it is Spring and all kinds of miracles are still theoretically possible.

If it's true that Ruf doesn't make the roster (which I'm not toally buying yet)...

I mean, there's a point at which you need to throw out all of the "what positions does he play" and "what side of the plate does he hit from" questions. And just think about the fact that they desperately need offense, and Ruf is a better hitter, right now, than all but 3 or 4 guys in the entire organization.

I mean, this is pretty simple stuff. You need offense--don't send down a guy who hit .247/.348/.458 last year to the minors. The team sucks--there's a point at which you need to ignore the mixing and matching and just put the most talented guys on the roster.

The lack of creativity in this organization is just mind-boggling. This isn't even creative, but apparently it may be beyond them.

If it's true that Ruf doesn't make the roster (which I'm not toally buying yet)...

I mean, there's a point at which you need to throw out all of the "what positions does he play" and "what side of the plate does he hit from" questions. And just think about the fact that they desperately need offense, and Ruf is a better hitter, right now, than all but 3 or 4 guys in the entire organization.

I mean, this is pretty simple stuff. You need offense--don't send down a guy who hit .247/.348/.458 last year to the minors. The team sucks--there's a point at which you need to ignore the mixing and matching and just put the most talented guys on the roster.

The lack of creativity in this organization is just mind-boggling. This isn't even creative, but apparently it may be beyond them.

Posted by: Jack | Wednesday, March 05, 2014 at 02:19 PM

Ah, but you see, Jack, this team is Built On Pitching And Defense, which means Rube thinks it's better to have as many all-glove players as possible to preserve all those one-nothing shutouts pitched by his starting staff...

The Pitching & Defense strategy made more sense when we really did have great SP, a decent BP, and above-average defense.

Ruf start.

Ruf beaned by a throw at 3rd. He's seeing bacon strips.

So much for Ruf.

Three things of which an MLB GM has the most control:
Assembling a bench
Assembling a bullpen
Building a succession plan by looking ahead to things like the aging of a player; expiring contracts; the future cost of a player, etc.

Cause for concern?

Alex Castellanos was just released by the Rangers and makes sense as a nice OF depth signing. Always wanted to see him get a chance. Please sign him Rube.

It's only Spring Training. These broadcasts don't matter. It only matters that Stairs and Moyer stay healthy and up north in April.

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