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Thursday, March 13, 2014


Unless Rollins is actively doing something against what he's been told to do, using Galvis instead of him is...

The lack of hitting has not escaped the notice of the ones who notice everything:

Phillies Win Total
1537 Over 76 reg season wins +110
1538 Under 76 reg season wins -140

What exactly is the ' Rollins situation' that Sandberg is handling here?

Did he come to camp out of shape? Did he not run out a grounder in a ST game?

Posted by: LorecorE
I'm curious, LorecorE: does practice matter, or do you stand with Allen Iverson on this one?

Its gotta be the approach the lazy Jroll has been taking.. yes, the games dont matter, but HOW you play the game, work to get in shape, work to improve, and get ready for the season does matter. AND it matters coming from a veteran that the young guys look up to.

Say what you will about Boston and that little troll Pedrioa, but he is a leader and brings it every day and it creates the team culture...

I think there is and has been a problem with Jroll's approach for years...

Rollins was quoted a few days ago in the Daily News with a "Who cares?" when asked about the Phillies' spring futility.

Lore, you don't think that answer is a big problem coming from a supposed team leader when the team looks this bad?

It looks like Sandberg is telling J-Roll that whether the $11M vests is ultimately up to the manager who fills out the lineup card. Good for Ryno.

This is going to be a really fun season....

I think the particular question matters. "Who cares?" in response to "what do you think about the team's failure to perform" sounds a lot different than in response to "what do you think about the low batting average most of the team has put up thus far this Spring?"

Admittedly, "Who cares" is a poor answer for anyone representing a larger organization (as every member of the team does), but if it really was a question about ST stats, it was at least accurate.

Also, "sending a message" in ST seems pretty silly. The games don't matter, and all you're doing is reducing the chance of his being prepared at the start of the season.

I did see this note on HardballTalk:

"It’s probably worth noting at this point that Sandberg has taken some behind the scenes criticism for approaching spring training in a rather intense manner"

Also, "sending a message" in ST seems pretty silly. The games don't matter, and all you're doing is reducing the chance of his being prepared at the start of the season.

Posted by: Phillibuster | Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Buster, I was thinking the same thing.

You're underestimating the value of policing attitude on a team. You want guys who are given to complacency (like ROllins) on edge somewhat.

As for risking "not being ready": come on. Spring training is way too long. Missing a few ST games means next to nothing; probably a net plus since there's no chance of injuries.

Any chance that the team is going out of their way to very publicly manufacture a prescient for limiting Jimmy's plate appearances in 2014?

The union really can't do a whole lot to punish the Phillies if the option doesn't vest if the front office can point to Sandberg and his distaste for what he perceives to be laziness.

Sounds like the "divide" between Rollins and Sandberg is similar to the discussion here as to what exactly, if anything, can you take away from Spring Break (not the numbers, per se, but the approach). When the rubber hits the road, my money is on the "intense coach taking things way too seriously" winning out over the "doesn't matter; can turn it on when the season starts" SS with the vesting option. Right or wrong, there's a new sheriff in town, which is going to make for an 'interesting' season.

The comments a week or so ago about Galvis's contribution in the way of "attitude/chemistry" were odd at the time, but now starting to come into focus. Just a functional disconnect with JRoll. Will be interesting to see if Jimmy changes his approach.

No matter which side you're on, though, you'd be hard effing pressed to argue if you're actually trying to compete (and that's an important distinction...) that Freddy Galvis gives you a better chance to win on a day-to-day basis than Jimmy Rollins. Really, it's not even close. Whether or not Rollins playing time becomes an issue (vesting option or not) will tell us how serious this team really thinks it can compete. Freddy Galvis is not an everyday SS.

Really is an overblown issue and the only way it really becomes a problem is if JRoll loses PT once the season starts.

To me the baffling things is Hamels. Amaro stuck to the same nonsense this morning that Hamels being completely fine even though there is no timetable yet for his return.

Amaro is sticking with the story that the setback Hamels had last week was him 'overdoing it' and his offseason training regimen being completely out of kilter due to the flu including losing 10-15 pds.

Today, Amaro said the flu was in Jan. 2 weeks ago it was Dec. Did Hamels get a bout of '18 influenza strand that cause him to be on his death bed & essentially lose a majority of this offseason training regimen?

Nice glove, Carmex.

Bittel: I think you're overestimating said value. Especially on the starter who figured to miss the least games this year, and missed the least last year.

"There has been buzz" that the Phillies and Tigers are interested in the Rockies' extra outfielders, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes. Even if Colorado uses a center field platoon of one of Corey Dickerson or Charlie Blackmon (both left-handed hitters) and one of Drew Stubbs or Brandon Barnes (both righty batters), that still leaves a surplus.



The 100% split-up lineup.

Okay, my one point of optimism this Spring - it's damn nice having gotten this far into Spring Training without so much as a single word about Chase Utley's knees. I'm thrilled he's figured out how best to manage it, and I'm cautiously optimistic that he's going to be ready to rack up a good number of games this year.

Today, Amaro said the flu was in Jan. 2 weeks ago it was Dec. Did Hamels get a bout of '18 influenza strand that cause him to be on his death bed & essentially lose a majority of this offseason training regimen?
Flu in California this year was/is horrendous, one of the worst outbreaks in recent years. Healthy people dying, etc.

Pure speculation on my part, but maybe Ryno feels that Jimmy takes the game for granted, and is trying to prove to him that it can be taken away from him. Not the best way to go about it, especially if as Jimmy says, Ryno hasn't spoken to him in days. Seems a very passive-aggressive approach, which to me, is not the best way to reprimand a 36 year old SS who also happens to be chasing the team hits record. Basically giving him the silent treatment, or like my mom used to do, ask the unanswerable "Is there anything you would like to tell me?".

Hopefully this blows over and doesn't carry into the season. That way we can worry about Hamels' bout with influenza. Thanks MG.

Utley had a nice, patient AB. Howard started out looking ok, then practically threw his back out trying to hit a curveball that came down around his wrists.

Either Johnson is pressing something fierce, or Carmex has a deceptive delivery today.

Sub Rollins for Galvis and bat him in Ruf's spot and this is probably the regular season lineup I'd use.

Looks like his sinker is getting a little extra late break too.

That was a terrible, terrible PA by Howard. Speaking of which, going back to that conversation about Ruf and his chasing things from yesterday: It's a rarity that Ruf takes the kind of hacks that Howard just did. Not to bag on the Big Piece, of course, but he looked absolutely awful chasing three straight breaking pitches that were at his shins. (Or lower.)

Sandberg is allowed to be upset. I don't know what Rollins saw when he looked over at UC, but when he looks over at RS he sees a player who was inarguably better than he is. A HOF infielder.

Maybe it counts for nothing. I like it, though. Everyone can improve.

Cyclic: My only quibble is then you've got lefty/lefty (let's not pretend Rollins can hit well RH)/lefty/pitcher.

That makes for some really quick middle-innings baseball against good LHSP. Even if Revere can break things up with reverse splits at the 1-spot.

Thinking Bowa and Sandberg might play good cop/bad cop behind the scenes with Rollins this year. Sandberg will put him in the doghouse and Bowa will get him out if he shows some respect for what Sandberg wants from him.

Juums: I agree it was a bad AB, and if nothing else Ruf usually takes more pitches... But he's swung at some absolute junk on the outside, so when it comes to punch-out pitches he doesn't get much bragging rights (over Howard) from me.

Also, one of those pitches wasn't that low for Howard. It still wasn't a good pitch to swing at, but if he thought it was spinning the other direction I could see why he might swing.

I blame this on Amaro.

Seems to me the Phils are doing what they can to rid themselves of that option and they are using the new guy to deflect the criticism off themselves (Amaro).

The Rollins contract was a pure panic move. The ridiculously easy option was just egregious.

That might be the last time we see a shift versus Dom Brown. Nice AB.

Bittel: I think he sees a manager, which is the same thing he saw with Manuel.

The whole "[player x] rides roughshod over [manager y] because he doesn't respect the guy" thing is pretty overblown, to me. At the end of the day, that guy's X's boss. The boss has a number of tools at his disposal to try to get better performance out of X, but in this situation, where the backup is so much worse than the starter, that toolset becomes significantly more limited.

Benching Rollins for a perceived attitude issue is not a long-term solution. Especially with the silent treatment.

Ruf overmatched on an 0-2 fastball.

It wasn't as ugly as the Howard AB, though.

And this is what I get for defending Ruf, I think. As he got beat from start to finish in that PA. All three pitches of it.

Asche frozen on a nice 0-2 breaking ball on the outside edge. Hard to blame him for that one (the two before it, though...).

Galvis almost gets lucky swinging at something below his knees, but it landed foul.

Ends up swinging at the same pitch but about a foot more inside. Predictable K.

I feel Sandberg's "No comment" does indicate, as Rollins perceives, some discontent. I also feel that it would best be handled by Sandberg & Rollins themselves, rather than to be picked at and prodded by the press. I know that we Phans with inquiring minds want to know all the goings-on, but I personally prefer that in-house problems be dealt with in-house and not made public.

I don't know whether Sandberg's "No comment" was his way of sending an intentioned message, or whether it was an unplanned reaction to the reporter's question, but he made any issue he may have with Jimmy public - and definitely gave the impression that he has one - by saying it.

I think it would be much better for Sandberg to go directly to Rollins.

buster: i agree. all three pitches to johnson were in what should be his happy zone. but he wiffed on all three.

That was a rather depressing inning, as you hope Ruf and/or Asche could at least drive up Nova's pitch count with two on and less than two outs. Galvis entering the fray for the worst swinging strikeout of the game contest, though? That was expected.

    ...I think it would be much better for Sandberg to go directly to Rollins.

    Posted by: GBrettfan | Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 01:39 PM...

Beautifully written - you just wrote the post I had no time to write!

Carmex being surprisingly efficient today. If he can keep up even 80% of this come the regular season, he'd be a solid 5, and an ok 4.

When he came up last year, didn't Cody Ashe explain that his last name is pronounced "ash" or am I misremembering?

Revere needs to practice bunting on his own time.

Last I heard, it was "Ashy," like Ashy Larry.

Also, Revere turns a terrible AB (0-2 on two failed bunts) into a single on a terrible pitch (outside and low) that bloops in behind the SS.

A rare Utley first-pitch swing missed a meaty fastball (or maybe a high slider with next-to-no break?). Then he watches strike 2 that was a bit less hittable.

I dont know why. But I get the feeling Revere is gonna have a really good year.

Buster, that's what everybody calls him, but I could have sworn that when he was called up last year he explained that it was ash and the "e" on the end was silent. I guess I'm just misremembering. It's hell getting old

Cyclic: I think Revere could hit .315-.320, with an OBP over .350.

Also, nice work Utley beating a way-too-severe shift.

I like the newfound emphasis Revere has on bunting for hits that he's shown thus far this spring. The bunting itself is a work in progress, but it's nice that Sandberg seems to understand that the easiest way to get Revere on base more is via successful bunts.

Just from sight, I'd think "Ash" or "A-shay," yeah.

This season is going to be fun. A bunch of veterans used to winning on a team set to lose a lot of games is a recipe for disaster.

Just move on already, please. At least there's reason to hope with a losing team that's young.

What's there to look forward to with a losing team full of 35-year olds?

Revere still wickedly fast. CF had no chance to nail him at the plate coming from 2nd on a bouncing grounder up the middle.

revere is looking sparkpluggerish. my concerns that he would play tentatively were unfounded.

Ugh. Howard again swings at something literally in his midsection.

Good hold-up on that breaking ball, though.

Heh. Howard beats the semi-shift with a dribbler to where SS shoulda been.

His pitch recognition hasn't been awesome, but his patience has been (mostly) better, and he's been sending a lot more to the left side.

Way to beat the shift, Ryan!

Ruiz absolutely destroys his bat on that GiDP.

Still plated a run, though.

Brown again sends something to the left side (this one much less intentional, since it just eluded the pitcher) to sneak aboard.

On the one hand, that probably was a ball that Howard weakly chopped against the shift. On the other, it did end up in just the right spot to not only get the man home but also allow an infield single. Not sure whether he deserves a gold star for great situational hitting or if that was just his getting lucky with batted ball luck after chasing a bad pitch.

Jack, come on you're killing me. Your optimism is disgusting.

Love to see Ruf attack and absolutely rope that 0-2 pitch.

#FluffRuf! And a little redemption after getting down 0-2 again. A tip of the hat to Cervelli for somehow making that tag, too.

Carmex starting to fall off the mound a little more than usual. Hitters still not seeing his pitches, properly, but I wonder if he's overextending.

That said... Wow, check out that defensive shift.

Perfect through 4.

Hoping Hernandez will be a pleasant surprise this season.

Only 41 pitches through 4 for Carmex also.

Wonder if they'll keep him out there or have him throw a few more in BP (assuming they're trying to stretch him out further).

9 hits through 3 for the Phillies.

They're probably climbing out of last place on the BA chart today.

Galvis again punched out on 58ft pitch.

Revere showing bunt from first pitch again. Manages to send it 1B side on the 2nd pitch, but way too hard. Thrown out by a full stride with his speed.

Last inning, incidentally, is why folks can still hold out hope that the Phils could be a .500 club: It can put together offense against MLB-quality pitching. (Ivan Nova's not exactly a #1 starter, but he's also not a fringy 5th starter-type or quad-A stiff.) Whether they can do it often enough to pocket winnable games remains to be seen.

Wow. I have to think Carmex's changeup and sinker have the exact same delivery today, because these hitters don't seem to have a clue whether the low pitches are going to stay in or drop out of the zone.

Except when they're already out of it before the break.

Carmex has 2Ks, but only ~55 pitches through 5, and perfect thus far.

Also Mike: TMac may not be an awesome PBP guy, but one thing he almost always does is get names right. Especially on the Phillies (which is why he started with "Galvees" then switched to "Galvis," at Freddy's request).

Whoof. Howard fooled on what looked like a changeup and a curveball. Both in the zone, but fooled by the break.

It continues to be a bad day for Ryan Howard. Has he properly read any of the dozen breaking pitches he's been thrown today and swung at? I know he's fouled a few off and put a few in play, but they've all been weakly struck when he makes contact at all.


That's the first time a hitter's guessed the right location on the first pitch.

Looks like they might be getting him timed properly now.

Juums: To be fair, maybe he has an assignment like "try to put wood on every breaking ball you think is touchable..."

That said, the swings have still been abysmal, so he's not even doing a great job at that.

"It continues to be a bad day for Ryan Howard. Has he properly read any of the dozen breaking pitches he's been thrown today and swung at?"

If ability to read and square up a breaking ball is what determines whether or not Howard has a "good" or "bad" day, he has had a good day in many, many years...

That said, he's had a long, long layoff and very few AB's so far this Spring, so I'm willing to cut him some slack on what is likely one of the harder dynamics to "re-learn" at the big league level.

Nice DP turn. Now we get to see if the backups can do anything, I imagine? Or will they give the starters one more inning?

It's just disconcerting that Howard hadn't been able to time Nova's curveball, given that was the majority of the pitches thrown to him. He looked the least bad when he swung through the changeup, looking simply beaten (as Ruf did on the fastball he whiffed on) as opposed to foolish.

Oh, I agree. As I said, the swings look horrendous.

The only possible excuse I can give for even making them is that he was told to try to hit breaking balls.

Maybe as an exercise to help him realize his limitations, maybe to try to teach him to alter his swing a bit more on them, maybe something I can't even guess at.

But that's really the only reason.

Just give Howard a couple more years to recover. I'm sure he'll be back in top shape and back in MVP form by 2016.

Horst looking... Predictable.

Ruf clearly sympathizes with Howard's plight, so he decided to take an empathy at a pitch in the dirt for strike three. Or he got fooled horribly. Either or.

Ellsbury just SMOKED that beach ball.

Horst is Horsting

Galvis with an amazing throw

Phew. At least Horst's day is done.

Another fine play at home plate. Good to see the Baseball Gods have balanced the scales by taking away a run from the Yankees to go along with the one they took away on Ruf's double.

I knew the Phillies were going to go this route as soon as Bowa was hired on. The Phillies strategy for this season is to bring in old friends Bowa, Moyer, Stairs, Sandberg (to a point)and rip the current players. It is a replay of the early 2000s when Dallas Green and Larry Bowa did this to the players. It was ridiculous then and it is ridiculous now.

Asche needs to make that play

I suspect Cody Asche, if he reaches his defensive upside of being league-average at 3B, will eternally be frustrating. Because he will flash Gold Glove reflexes and range one play, and Michael Young-esque incarnations of the same the next. Which balance out to being average.

Asche has had a bad spring defensively and at the plate so far.

I thought it was interesting to hear Amaro say the '3B race' this morning between Asche & Franco which leads me to believe that if Franco had a 'lights out' spring offensively he would have gotten serious consideration for the Opening Day roster.

Asche isn't going to get a season-long opportunity either at 3B especially if Franco gets out to a really strong start.

Jackamac, you can't expect any of these clowns to do anything but regurgitate what the current State religion tells them to think.

I think Asche's our 3B until the All-Star Break, at least. That'll give him on the order of 550-600 MLB PA and you can start drawing broad conclusions about whether the bat will play, though hopefully expectations will be tempered by Asche's relative youth.

"Cards starter Lance Lynn fanned 10 Braves, including 8 straight, over 4 innings"

ST or not, damn

Asche is our 3B until at least that June time frame where using Franco will not burn the MLB service time year, at which point if Franco is lighting up AAA, Asche may be replaced on a trial basis.

They're doing the Reid Brignac-at-1B thing. Again. I'm still lacking the words to properly describe how ridiculous that is.

And Brignac just demolished that pitch like a proper slugging 1B. I've inadvertently traveled to some kind of strange parallel dimension, haven't I?

Who cares?!

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