Baseball is back, Austin Hyatt is a boss

Sure, it was a college team, but baseball is back. The Phillies beat Florida State 6-1 today, kicking off the exhibitions before the exhibitions. Some notes from the game:

* Austin Hyatt was given the start, and he responded with 2 clean innings, striking out 3 and walking none. I wrote rather glowingly about Hyatt in my Top 30 writeup, where I ranked him 12th.
* Michael Schwimer and Jeremy Horst both pitched clean innings
* Jake Diekman, Joe Savery, Phillippe Aumont, and BJ Rosenberg pitched scoreless innings
* JC Ramirez gave up the lone FSU run, getting a blown save and a win in the process, or what I like to call “The Tyler Clippard”
* Freddy Galvis was 0/2 with a run
* Tyson Gillies went 1/2 with 2 runs, an RBI, and a SB
* Cesar Hernandez was used as a pinch runner

David Hale interview with Austin Hyatt

BASEBALL!

165 thoughts on “Baseball is back, Austin Hyatt is a boss

  1. Realizing that it is just a game against a college team and not wanting to read too much into it, the things that I took from the box score as well as listening to the game :
    - It is good to see Gillies (and Brown for that matter) stealing bases, I thought he had 2SB from listening to the broadcast but the double steal seems to have not been counted, if he is healthy and running he will make the majors at very least as a speedy 4/5th OF
    - The IF defense seemed to be subpar, particularly Orr seemed to not quite be game on
    - Lastly, even if they aren’t high end arms, the Phillies seem to have quite a few major league/ almost major league ready arms that can step in and log 5th starter/bullpen innings when there are inevitable injuries

    1. Having been at todays game,and obviously knowing its little in the context of the season,was hyatt and gillies stood out. The guy who looked the poorest was ramirez. No control. But the most stiking foible of the day was 1st and 2nd nobody out with pierre , who is a magician with the bat not bunting. Does manuel never learn. Its the ssme nonsense as last year. SMALL BALL.

      1. Maybe he knows Pierre can bunt already and wants to see how well he can hit right now. Seeing pitches is what is going to help these hitters out the most in spring training.

        1. Agreed. You’re not going to play situational baseball in an exibition game again FSU.

          The first few weeks of ST are all about getting reps.

      2. Let me preface this by saying that small ball strategies cost runs. Almost always. The evidence is overwhelming. I was worried when Manuel talked about having his players bunt more, and marginally reassured by the fact that he had Pierre swinging away (granted, as others said, likely means little in a preseason game).

        That said … there is a decent argument that a guy like Pierre, not a strong hitter but very fast, should try to bunt for a hit in that situation. That’s not really small ball; you are aiming for bases loaded, no one out, and even if you end up 2nd and 3rd with one out, your expected runs go down a little but not much (from 1.402 to 1.32). If we just focus on those 2 possibilities, Pierre would only need to get a bunt hit less than 10% of the time to justify the strategy. However, that does not account for other possibilities (runner out at 3rd, double play). While those may be low probability events, taking them into account would require a higher rate of success on the bunt attempt to justify the strategy. Still, with Pierre’s speed, I agree that attempting to bunt for a hit in the situation might be a good call.

        Interesting, though, Pierre has a good but not extraordinary infield hit percentage. Whether than means he is a poor punter, doesn’t bunt “enough,” or just doesn’t get a good enough jump to take full advantage of his speed, or some combination thereof, I have no idea.

        1. Please don’t miss the fact that Pierre bunting almost precludes walking . Those it took him about 670 AB to score 100 runs. That is compared to Vic’s 95 runs in 519 AB (17hr)

        2. I think people are misinterpreting Manual’s statement to mean that he plans on playing “small ball”. I believe the point Manual is trying to make is that the players need to do a better job of thinking situational hitting, doing things like hitting behind a runner on 2b, putting the ball in play with guys on 3b, etc.

          I saw a stat somewhere the Phillies hitters in 2011 saw fewer pitches and swung at more non-strikes than every other team in the NL. Manual made a comment regarding his conversation with Rollins about how Jimmy does a good job of getting into hitters counts but then will swing at a high pitch and fly out to the OF.

          I really don’t expect him to suddenly become Whitey Hertzog but rather would like the team to get back to what they were 4-5 years ago where their line-up did a better job of being patient and hitting strikes.

          1. The thing is, I see very little relationship between “situational hitting” and plate discipline, so I think the reading that you are placing on his comments is … optimistic. On the other hand, who knows with Manuel, he says some … curious .. things sometimes. But it doesn’t necessarily mean much. For example, I actually think his in game strategy is not bad. At least he doesn’t over manage.

            On the specific issue of situational hitting (as opposed to plate discipline), I am NOT a believer in players altering their approach based on the situation. For most players, the benefit is outweighed by the harm of departing from an established approach. To get even more specific, IMO very few players have the bat control to EFFECTIVELY hit behind the runner. Trying to do so causes much more harm than the marginal benefit of advancing a base runner when it works. It IS a small ball strategy, and not a particularly effective one. Same thing with putting the ball in play with a runner on third.

            I did read a specific quote from him about bunting recently which concerned me a little. but I can’t find the link at the moment.

            1. Do you have any evidence that players can’t effectively alter their approaches in those situations? Just wondering..

            2. Well that’s a fair question. Though I might ask YOU what evidence is there that players CAN change their approach from PA to PA, and still succeed in the very hard task of hitting a baseball that arrives at the plate in a split second.

              There’s plenty of statistical evidence that there is no such thing as a “skill” (negative or positive) to hit well in certain situations. (I won’t waste time with links. Google is your friend.) I realize that is NOT the same thing, exactly. But it is at least instructive. If in fact such changes in approach were effective, you would expect some players to be better able to do so than others, And there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that that is the case.

              There ARE differences league-wide performance in certain situations, but that seems mostly pitcher related (mainly because pitching from the stretch is less effective; to a much lesser extent because pitchers, who control the flow of the game and are not in a reactive position, CAN effectively vary their approach to some extent).

              But my conclusion is based not just on statistical evidence, but knowledge and experience as a fan. The time it takes for the ball to get to the plate is typically less than 1/2 of a second. A player has little to no time for thought in such a situation; he has to react. And such reactions are instinct, muscle memory, what have you – they are highly dependent upon habit. Mess with that, and, in the context of a split second “decision,” you’re going to fail more often than not.

              The other side of the coin is that the advantages that are gained even theoretically by the kind of situational hitting that you hear so much about are so small and elusive that even the smallest cost (in terms of less effectiveness because a player’s normal approach is disrupted) will outweigh the benefit. If a player, by trying to hit to the right side, is 10% more likely to hit a run scoring ground ball but also 10% less likely to get a hit, that’s a very poor trade off. Obviously those numbers are illustrative only.

              But even in the off chance that I am wrong, the simple fact is that last year the Phillies situational performance was if anything above average (as a result of chance I would say, but again assume for a moment I am wrong). So pretending that this is an area that needs improvement is crazy. Unless it really is a code for increased plate discipline. Which I doubt. But I hope that’s what is really going on, since that appears to have been a real problem.

            3. Well he asked for evidence. Hard to do that in 25 words. Can’t help it if people have a short attention span.

              I’m arguing against a pretty entrenched position – not going to convince many people with 25 words. May not convince many people with 250 words either, but at least I tried.

            4. I would love to see what statistical evidence you’re citing that some players don’t have the ability to adjust their approach in certain situations. If you’re talking about studies of guys hitting with RISP, or hitting in “clutch” situations, I generally agree but that’s not what is being discussed here.

              This is about recognizing the situation and adjusting accordingly. You really don’t think that someone like Jimmy Rollins is good enough to approach leading off in the 8th inning of a tie ballgame differently than hitting with the bases empty and 2 outs in a blowout?

              As a self-identified knowledgable fan, I find it hard to believe that you haven’t seen players who regularly adjust their approach to the game’s situation. I’ve regularly seen playeres try to hit the ball to the right side of the IF with a runner on 2b, especially early in the count. The problem with becoming a slave to statistics is that sometimes statistics lie, or more accurately, statistics are misused or they are incomplete.

              Gounding out to 2b to move a runner isn’t going to enhance a players stats since the result of the at-bat is stil an out but there is a difference between good outs and bad outs.

            5. Starting with your last comment: there is NO SUCH THING as a good out, except in extraordinarily rare situations (such as a man on third in the bottom of the ninth with less than 2 outs in a tie game). There probably are less than 10 “good outs” in all of major league baseball in a typical season. Now, it is true that some outs are less bad than others, but trade offs meant to increase the number of “good” (or less bad) outs are almost always bad strategy.

              As for the rest: first of all you are talking about a couple of different things here. Let’s talk about the hitting to the right side: my point isn’t that players don’t try to do it – some do. And I agree that they often “succeed” in the dubious sense that they trade an out for a run in circumstances where the trade off decreases total expected runs. BY DEFINITION you’re decreasing your overall effectiveness to accomplish the task of hitting to the right side. You’re taking strikes that you wouldn’t otherwise take, and you’re (maybe) altering your swing in negative ways. All to maybe slightly increase the chance of driving in the runner. Look, there is plenty of “small ball” strategies that managers engage in that are demonstrably counter productive. The fact that it happens doesn’t make it good strategy. The same applies to players.

              Am I saying a player should NEVER do that? No. But (a) in most situations they should not, and (b) pretending that it is a skill that makes a dimes worth of difference over the course of a season is silly.

              Now, as for “you really don’t think that someone like Jimmy Rollins is good enough to approach leading off in the 8th inning of a tie ballgame differently than hitting with the bases empty and 2 outs in a blowout.” is a somewhat different matter. I assume you mean that he is likely to be somewhat more likely to be selective given the importance of getting on base in such a situation. And likely he does – and should – do that. (Though parenthetically, for the most part that type of selectivity could be well deployed in almost any game situation).

              But that’s not what most people mean when they talk about situational hitting. And that’s what I’ve made a distinction all along between “situational hitting” and plate discipline. I think plate discipline is very important (in all situations) but situational hitting is mostly bunk. At least in the sense that it’s something worth worrying over or working on.

            6. Seriously..that was a really long way of saying no.

              When you mentioned altering approach, I was thinking about something like choking up, which does reduce swing and stride time and reduces power but not accuracy (for hard evidence of that, google is your friend).

              To me, that’s a true change in approach that can be applied in specific situations that’s demonstrated to have an effect.

              That’s the kind of thing I meant, not just a vague skill to hit well at certain times.

              I was just wondering if you had any evidence for your belief that few players have the bat control to do this or that. I’m not saying it’s not true, just wondering where it’s coming from.

            7. I have no doubt about the specific point about choking up (though Ted Williams, as great a hitter as he was, was probably pulling numbers out his you know what; I tend to doubt that it has a great an effect as he advertised). But that’s pretty far afield from the nonsense that gets batted around on this site and elsewhere. As long as you are on such a high horse about “evidence,” maybe you could provide some on this point (as to bottom line results – there is as I am sure you are aware a study which does show decreased swing time with a choked up bat). Which kind of brings up the other side of the coin, which is the distinct lack of evidence by people throwing around assertions about the positive value of “situational hitting.”

              All that aside, obscured to a large extent in this debate (partially but not primarily my fault) are the two larger points: (1) the Phillies’ situational performance has been just fine (indisputably so at least in 2011; you can look it up); and (2) the BEST case you can make for these kind of things is pretty weak. A few more batters advanced an extra base at the cost of some outs. That’s what you guys are mostly talking about.

              Now, as to the specific point about bat control, that’s based on many years of observations. It’s also based upon batted ball charts for various players. I’ve seen such charts for many players, and the kind of patterns you see are not consistent with the level of control that allows a player to place a ball where he wants. If that was a real skill, you would see at least some players with patterns where a disproportionate number of batted balls were in the areas between fielders. I haven’t seen any player with such a pattern. Care to provide alternative evidence?

    2. I had him with two SBs too. The 1st SB, no one covered second so maybe they called that defensive indifference (I’m kidding… I think). I don’t think there was a throw on the double steal but I thought that was because the ball was in the dirt and the catcher had no shot. In any event, a concern I had with Gillies in the AZ league was his lack of SB attempts. Of course it’s far easier to steal a base, if you get on base.

  2. Surely looking at Gillies a lot. When he was received via trade his record included a great speed and good arm in CF as well as on the bases and getting on base with additional infield hits. He had played at an high, thin-air Cal Lg team…but registered a mid-.300 BA…etc.

    You could then read the Phils’ intent to prepare him to fill CF when Vic’s contract would run out…if necessary. The sands in the axle came when he quickly got injured and unfortunately stayed that way until the AFL in Oct…’11.

    He is likely going to go through Reading if not Clearwater first…….and IF he realizes those skills again, he just may make a serious run at spending time in CF with the big club at the tag end of this season.

    Hope springs eternal. Spring is the time when many things seem possible. Another gift of BASEBALL.

    1. May 6-9, 2010. Clippard actually had three Blown Save/Wins in four days. Only officially gave up one run but let many inherited runners score.

  3. I was surprised that Victorino attempted a bunt. Like 3up noted above, it’s an exhibition game. I think playing situational ball in this environment is ridiculous. A 30ish professional player trying to beat out a bunt against college kids is just showing up the opposition.

    1. Vic wants to ‘try’ to bunt more this year he said, earlier this week. I guess he is determined.

    2. I think I read somewhere that Vic had no bunt hits all of last year which means it would be good for him and the team that he starts practicing that skill in ST.

      1. As much as I am opposed to the sac bunt, as I suggested above with regard to Pierre, some players do have the speed to successfully bunt for base hits. For Vic, it looks like on a career basis he succeeds in about 25% of his bunt attempts. Which on the face of it is too low to justify the attempts. HOWEVER, even at that low rate, the strategy could pay off if it causes the opposing infielders to play more shallow, possibly leading to more hits on non-bunts.

        What’s interesting in Vic’s case, though, is that his success rate on bunts has declined significantly. Over the past 3 years he is 2 for 19. Is it a declining speed issue or a technique issue? If the former, maybe he should just bunt less (that’s been his trend anyway) instead of working on his bunting.

        FWIW, Pierre’s career bunt hit % is 35%. Depending upon how that is calculated, that’s pretty robust and probably justifies the attempts. Pierre bunts a LOT, in his case with good reason.

      2. Why do we want Victorino to bunt? His slugging percentage last year was .491, Howard’s was .488… Dude’s got pop. Let him use his speed to leg out triples after he drive’s the ball into the gap, which he definitely cannot do if he is bunting it into the ground.

        1. Looks like Vic wants out if the Phillies do not come up with the years after this year:
          “I’d like five years, yeah,” said the 31-year-old outfielder. “Why wouldn’t I? I signed for three. Why wouldn’t I want the next one to be longer? My agents say I can get a five-year deal on the market. Why not trust them?”

        2. Exactly, which is what ties this all together. His rate of bunting for hits has declined as he aged, but he has gotten stronger. He is still fast but and a great player but his skills has shifted as he ages.

        3. Because the Threat of a Bunt will draw up the 1B and 3B and increase his hits when he is not bunting.

          The fact he had 0 attemps last year meant they could play back and snag more of the balls he hit.

          1. Maybe, but the trade off will be that in the at-bats where he does bunt he will probably get fewer hits, and the hits he does get will definitely be less valuable. Does not seem worth it to me. Particularly when, even with the infield playing back, he hit so well last year. Don’t mess what’s working.

          2. He didn’t have zero attempts. He had zero successful attempts. Though as I suggested above, the point abouyt drawing up the 1B and 3B has merit.

        4. I agree 95% with what you said. However, I do think that fast guys should use a bunt to get on base when they are slumping.

    3. Vic’s just getting reps at it. Calm down. He’s not trying to show up college kids.

    4. Trying to show them up would be him turning a double into a triple. Bunting is not something Vic is overly familiar with (not to say he never bunts, but he rarely does), so this is him practicing.

      Also, these are college kids getting to share the field with big name players. I think they’re happy to be showed up. They probably get autographs as a reward afterwards.

    5. These games are for players to work on what they need to work on.
      Bunting is one of those items, especially Vic how had Zero Bunt Base Hit Attempts.

      Pierre is now in camp and working with all the players to work on this part of their game.
      This is exactly what Vic needs to be working on at this point and why he did it.
      It was not to “Show Up” or even try to be overly situational.
      It was to work on the part of his game that needed work.

  4. Even in warm weather, I don’t want guys bunting and busting down to 1B in the first game of the season. The point is to get going gradually and avoid leg injuries. Re-establishing their timing and eye at the plate is vastly more important than bunting.

  5. Its small I know but Brown had Pence on 3b with less than 2 outs and didn’t get him home. I think he popped up to short or 3B. I’m sure that raised an eyebrow or two when all the talk has been about executing that play….

      1. Based on what I’ve seen of his fielding, I doubt he’d catch a break.

        He would, however, most likely dive wildly and let the break bounce to the wall.

    1. This reads almost as a parody of the absurd anti-Brown comemnts we have had around here, and it’s stuff like this that makes my lose my cool on this issue. But I’ll at least try to remain civil this time, despite the obvious absurdity of your comment.

      There’s no “play” to execute in that situation. It’s always nice to get the runner home, but the evidence is overwhelming that there is no particular “skill” involved in hitting with RISP.

      I’d really like someone to articulate exactly what “skill” players are supposed to execute in that situation. How are they supposed to change their approach? I suppose one could argue that a player should try to hit under the ball a little to get the ball in the air. IMO that would be a mistake, but even if you think that players should be doing that, obviously a pop up is “putting it in the air;” not successfully, of course, but let’s be real here – even the best player will “fail” in that situation most of the time.

      Also FYI, the Phillies did just fine with runners on third and less than 3 outs last year. It isn’t a problem.

      1. Settle down it was tongue in cheek but I’ll disagree that hitting with a RISP is not a skill. It definitely is. Its about having an approach, looking for a ball you can get to the right side if the infield is back and conceding the run or getting a pitch you can drive.

        I’m rooting for Dom to succeed but again if you don’t think he’s under a microscope or if you don’t think that wasn’t noticed you’re living on planet Zoron. All the talk this spring is going to be about not givng at bats away and if you don’t understand what that means then you don’t know the game.

        1. If I recall correctly…Jayson Werth’s RISP in 2010 was below the MLB average…and that didn’t hurt him much….look what he got ..a $125M dolla contract!

        2. The evidence on hitting with RISP is pretty overwhelming if you look at it. The stuff you talk about isn’t complete nonsense, but (a) it IN FACT does not result in players having a consistent ability to hit particularly well with RISP, as study after study has shown, and (b) to the extent that it requires a change in approach with RISP, can be actively counterproductive. See instinct below.

          As for “not giving at bats away,” that’s one of those phrases that you hear a lot that in practice means almost nothing. Unless you’re talking about plate discipline, which I think we all agree is an important factor. Now, of course there is a LOT more to hitting, but most of it isn’t about “approaches” that can be changed on a dime. A player in the minor leagues learns to hit – to develop an approach that works for him. That about contact (IMO a “skill” that is very hard to learn – for the most part, a player has it or doesn’t), plate discipline, and having a swing that generates power and line drives. It’s mostly NOT about attempting to locate where the ball is hit (aside from a rare few players in baseball history), but it is true that players aim to develop a swing that allows for balls to be put in play throughout the field to prevent extreme defensive shifts. But here’s the thing – a player learns in the minors a swing that works for him, and then makes that swing a matter of instinct over thousands of repetitions. If a player has to THINK about his swing, he will fail 90% of the time.

          Which is why talking about “approach” for an established major league player is mostly nonsense. Attempts to change approach at that point in a player’s career mostly end up doing more harm than good. That’s especially true in a “situational” context.

          There is a reason why I used words like “mostly.” Obviously the most successful players grow and adapt. And plate discipline, while it, too, is a lot about hard wired habits that are hard to change, is obviously quite important and subject to improvement. But 95% of what you hear about “approach” and “situational hitting” is pure b.s. Yeah, sure we’ve heard a lot of that sort of stuff from Phillies’ management of late. One of the following three things is true:

          (1) It’s typical meaningless management speak that no one really believes,
          (2) It’s really about plate discipline (a valid concern),
          (3) The Phillies are about to waste a lot of time and energy on something that is at best useless and at worst counterproductive.

          The Phillies’ offensive decline is about age and injury, not approach.

          1. Age and injury, yes, along with reduced overall offensive output across the league. The root cause of the increased age and injury and some not great position/bench players is that the team has changed its approach to building the roster. The emphasis is now on pitching. The team has 3 aces and an ace reliever. That seems the best way to go, but it crowds out money for the position players/bench. It is a conscious change of direction by RA, which has resulted in winning the most games in baseball the past two seasons. Obviously, it was the correct way to go.

            We did give up some runs last season by playing Ibanez over Mayberry and continuing to field the badly hurting Polanco. That’s on that Cholly guy, who keeps complaining about his offense. Honestly, for a guy who tries to come off as ‘aw shucks’,he must have an ego bigger than Bowa’s to be complaining about the quality of his team, after it has won that many games. Does he think that RA squandered his mega-budget and the team managed to win 102 games, based just upon his managerial genius?

        3. And let me ask you exactly what you mean by “not giving at bats away?” Not baseball cliches, but what specifically? The best hitters fail most of the time. Even counting hard hit balls that are turning into outs a kind of “success,” most players fail most of the time. In that sense, every player every game is “giving at bats away.” So surely that can’t be what you mean. What do you mean?

          Pujols had 21 infield pop ups last year. Does that mean he was giving outs away? Or is even the best player going to get his share of pop ups?

          1. It occurs to me upon reflection that there IS one and only one situation in baseball where a batter TRULY give an at bat away. That’s where a player either consciously sacrifices to advance a base runner or makes an out by altering his approach in order to attempt to advance a base runner through “situational” hitting. THAT’S giving away an at bat. And yeah, players sure should avoid doing that, except in very rare situations.

            1. Well no, given that the … unwashed masses, your words, not mine, are using the term “giving an at bat away” in a very different way than I am.

    2. You honestly think D Brown’s very first spring AB raised an eyebrow? Really?? That is just beyond the pale…

  6. Let’s get AJ Burnett to teach our guys how to bunt.

    The Pirates need to stop asking the Mets for advice about who to trade for.

  7. There is a fair amount of over-analysis going on here over a game between the Phils and the Florida State University Seminoles on the last day of February…..

  8. On the bunt and the Phillies:

    There have been SO MANY times over the last years of this “Golden Age” for the Phillies………when they are tied or behind by one run in the late innings with one out and a player on 3rd base that the lesser hitter (#7,#8,#9) is told to swing away (too often striking out) when the situation IMO calls for a squeeze or just a bunt in fair territory to get the run home.

    In my memory, Charlie NEVER tries that……..

    Maybe some day he will IF his minions learn how to bunt.

    1. The Phillies’ overall rate of success with runners on third base and less than 2 outs is quite good. Obviously when the hitter at the plate in that situation is a poor hitter, the success rate will be lower. That’s regardless of whether the player hits away or tries a low percentage squeeze.

      It’s true that Charlie doesn’t over-manage. That’s one thing that I like about him and one big reason for his success.

  9. Well then, you must low-rate Tony LaRussa’s career (including a group of World Championships) as one who doesn’t hesitate to make moves…and clearly out-managed Charlie in the ’11 playoffs with his “over-managing.”

    1. LaRussa as a manger has many virtues and deservedly is regarded as a great manager. But that is despite, not because of, his over managing. It’s not that he isn’t a smart guy – and I’m not saying that none of his moves make sense. Far from it. But he has a tendency to overdo it, and that costs his teams wins. It does not outweigh his other virtues. Look, I’m not claiming originality on this POV; it’s really the consensus view of LaRussa among knowledgeable observers.

      The story of the ’11 playoffs was not about one manager making better moves than the other. The Phillies got bad starts from Lee in game 2 and Oswalt in game 4, and Carpenter was stellar in game 5. I’m not saying Charlie was perfect – he wasn’t – but nothing that LaRussa did was particularly brilliant.

      1. Tony R’s record tells me the story; not what SOME say. If that were so, then “they say” Tony did just that. “They” speaks less than the record.

        So how come the team with the most MLB wins over the past 6 years and has made the playoffs in each of these years…nevertheless has only ONE World Championship.

        IMO, it is a lot because Charlie eschews change and will not bend with the circumstances unlike Tony…who, by the way, is destined to be elected to the Hall of Fame!

        1. The comment about LaRussa’s record would make some sense if I was denying that he was a good manager overall. I wasn’t. Your argument is the equivelant of defending Ryan Howard’s contact skills because “his record as a hitter tells me the story.” The fact is that in game tactical managing skills are a very small part of mangagerial success.

          The second paragraph is worse. Even setting aside the small sample size issue, with 8 teams making the playoffs, one WS win in 5 years is about right. Best record or no, with 5 and 7 games series, the “best” team rarely wins the series. Of course adding that 6th year (when the team didn’t even make the post season) in gives the game away; you aren’t trying to make a inteltectual serious point, you are just throwing argumetnts against the wall and hoping something sticks.

          Look, Charlie has his faults I realize,and Larussa was a great manager, but this comment doesn’t do anything to support either argument.

      2. LaRussa was probably one of the best in-game tacticians ever. I always hated how his moves slowed down the game, but the majority of time it led to an advantage to his team. Over-managing by definition implies he managed himself out of a strategic advantage for the sake of making a move. Do you really believe he was consistently guilty of this? I would argue that way more often than not his aggressive moves were to the benefit of his team.

        And of course we lost the Cards series because of factors other than managing. You can say LaRussa out-managed Manuel without saying that’s the reason we lost the series.

        1. I don’t have the time or the inclination to go into the kind of detail that would be needed to really engage you on this beyond you asserting one thing, and me asserting the other. But let me at least clarify the disagreement:

          I think LaRussa makes many smart in game tactical moves. I think the problem is that he is so enamoured of trying to gain an edge with in game tactical moves that he often outsmarts himself, making the one move too many that hurts his team. That’s over managing. It is especially apparent with his bullpen usage.

      3. I would argue that LaRussa was reponsible for Lee’s bad game. Not Lee. Watch that game. Lee was mowing them down until the 4th(Or so). Then LaRussa went and ripped the ump apart and the Ump started calling a completely different game. It was obvious.

        1. It was clear Lee didn’t really have anything when the Cardinals had their 3 run rally. His pitch count was up in the fourth regardless. The umpire certainly didn’t help but he wasn’t the reason Lee blew it.

          Why Charlie felt the need to let him pitch 7 innings was beyond me at the time. He should’ve pulled him when it was tied but whatever.

        2. Unless the ump was watching the Fox Sports coverage of the game, he never knew this fact. This argument holds no water whatsoever.

  10. The big Domonic Brown story of the spring is that Jose Contreras had to park his truck elsewhere for safety. I’d say that’s a positive.

    1. With a 10 year vet like pierre he doesnt need to learn to hit this team needs a mental makeover in contact. I had a short conversation with ruben today and he without thowing anyone under the bus pretty much agreed . Btw hector luna is a damn blimp. Brown looks the as he always has. The only new guys who looked mlb ready were hyatt and maybe gilles whose like a young pierre. Galvis great glove no bat.if you follow bb long enough you can pretty much tell.

      1. Ruben who?

        I refuse to believe anyone who chooses to remain anonymous and has significantly less than perfect grammar skills has a connection with RAJ.

        1. I’d believe it. If you know the Phillies’ office staff, they sit behind home plate at games and they’re approachable. I had a pleasant conversation with Amaro myself last year.

      2. Thanks for the first hand report, always appreciated.

        I disagree a bit with your last sentence. As humans, we definitely have biases which include seeing what you want to see. I also think that people, in general, have the ability to get better at what they do. I anticipate getting better at my job (well, at least after baseball season ends) and I anticipate that some of our young players will get better at hitting/fielding/throwing etc. this year.

    1. I am. Terrible article, and not because it looks down on SABR stats, but because it makes the patently false assumption that you can ONLY use SABR stats OR traditional scouting methods. Both ways have their merits, and all baseball organizations would do well to exploit both to their fullest for the best results. Especially when there are millions of dollars in guaranteed money thrown around on a daily basis in baseball.

    2. You know why ultimatelty that sort of article is not just wrong, but embarrassing (and will look increasingly so as time goes on)? Because the SABR guys have won where it counts. At the major league level, decision making has changed radically over the last 15 to 20 years, adopting most SABR insights. Advanced statistical analysis (combined OF COURSE with traditional scounting; as Dan says, it isn’t either/or) permeates major league decision making. Even a team like the Phillies – perhaps the only hold out in terms of eschewing modern statistical analysis – have adopted many of the insights of the statistical revolution (though there is some worrisome back sliding on this front in terms of personal decisions on the position player side of the ledger in the RAJ years).

      There are still a few areas at the margins where the stat oriented guys are at odds with the current baseball conventional wisdom – e.g., the value of RBIs. But by and large the stat guys have won.

      1. Just like those darned math nerds.

        But honestly speaking, I’m both very mathematically inclined (my mom has a master’s degree in math and I inherited her brain for it), but also a baseball player. I love talking baseball with the SABR community (Crashburn Alley posters especially) and they bring very interesting insights to the table. But my baseball player instinct kicks in from time to time and I’m acutely aware of some of the things that stats will just never show (like how a person squaring to bunt will get into a pitcher’s head, especially if he’s carrying a no-no or perfect game). The stats may say he pitches the exact same way with varying results, but the pitching will be different, even if not noticeably so.

        Anyways, we can’t deal in absolutes. Take the best of all worlds and apply them accordingly. Here’s hoping the Phillies are more open to SABR stats than the article makes them seem (Manuel, oddly enough, seems to want to learn about every new stat, which is encouraging).

        /wall of text.

        1. Agree on all counts.

          The dispute over WAR in particular is mostly an illusion. One thing which gets obscured is that some advanced stats, while valid and useful for some purposes, have a limited value for other purposes. In debates about overall value, especially after the fact, WAR is a useful tool. But in terms on major league personnel decisions, the value of WAR is limited. Finer grained information is needed. PREDICTIVE information is needed (and WAR is NOT a predictive stat). That doesn’t make WAR a bad metric, just not the best one for making prospective personnel decisions.

          1. “There’s no question that sports analytics helped the St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series last year,” said new Astros GM Luhnow. He said the Cardinals didn’t have much with respect to analytics when he arrived in 2003, and the Astros are similar nine years later. He considers a blank slate “a huge opportunity to gain an edge.” Luhnow says he’s hired ten people since being named Astros GM, and “four of them were geeks, nerds, computer guys.”

      2. I actually think that article is quite reassuring. No one was saying stats aren’t important. No one pulled a Bill Conlin and went on a tangent about RBIs, playing the right way and losers sitting at computers in their mother’s basements.

        Stats are an important tool, and they seem to recognize that. I didn’t much care for the intro and some of the peripheral commentary, but that just reflects Brookover’s lack of imagination (and talent).

        1. True, and in retrospect I should have made that clear in my comment above. It is Brookover, not the organization, that should be embarrassed, and my comments were directed at his spin rather than at the quotes from the organization.

    3. Give Manuel some credit. The below quote is exactly how things are supposed to work. Someone does some research, brings it to Charlie and he investigates and makes a decision once fully informed.

      “Sometimes a guy will look at you and say, ‘Why did you play that guy, he’s 1 for 16 against that guy with seven punch-outs?’ But when I’ve watched that guy, he might be 1 for 16, but nine of those at-bats the guy hit about three or four balls hard.

      “Shane Victorino last year, for instance, was 2 for 16 or something like that against Derek Lowe, and before I played him we talked about it. He told me he had a plan for going up there against him, and he stuck with it, and he got three hits.”

      1. I agree (and for the record I give Manuel lots of credit. Ironically for a guy who is in many ways old school, Manuel is well thought of by most stat oriented fans).

        To expand upon this a little, though, another reason why Manuel is correct and it is a mistake to rely on these kinds of player versus player stats is sample size. He may not articulate it as such, but it’s clear that that is an underlying concern for him.

  11. To alan your 100% right. Ive been coming down here for 30 years and the anyone is pretty accessible. I,m nobody special but i do know most of the front office and media. As far grammar i,ll bury the jealous moron who has nothing better to do than search for imaginary personel attacks. Get a life.

    1. Ok, let me re-state that: it’s not that I think you couldn’t possibly have talked to him. It’s that I don’t believe for a second you got any truly valuable information from him. Why? Because you obviously don’t work with him. How do I know that? Because you don’t care about your grammar and spelling. English matters.

      Go ahead and “bury” me. At least I don’t hide behind “anonymous.”

      1. Guys, I talked to Rube (he lets me call him Rube) this morning. He said the Phils are expecting Dom Brown to be in the big leagues for good by June, they will “definitely” extend Hamels and Soler will be a Phil. Book it! Also he said the Phils will “probably” sign Oswalt in July after Blanton is traded. He also said the Phils’ pitchers need to get more outs and the hitters need to score more runs — his words, not mine.

        1. This is a joke, right? Ruben, the man of a selected few words revealed all of the trade secrets and plans of the organization to you because, hey, you’re a guy who hangs around spring training? What?

        2. So when ‘Rube’ says Dom Brown will in the bigs for good by June….did he happen to mention for what team?

      2. Add to this the fact that RAJ is not exactly known for being … entirely open and candid in his public statements. I mean heck, his biggest DEFENDERS argue that you can’t take anything he says literally.

        I will say this – if RAJ really is saying that lack of contact skill is a big problem with this team, (a) he’s talking about perhaps the one “skill” that is hardest to “fix” at the major league level, especially for long time vetrans, and (b) his personel decisions have been at odds with this concern.

  12. Btw fsu. Is a perenial powerhouse. They are not pushovers, and if you think they are you dont know college bb.

    1. Yes. FSU is a very good COLLEGE baseball team but if you think they are close is talent to a squad of ML and AAA players you really don’t know college BB either.

  13. Anyone hear about Soler status..IMO, I would think teams will want to sign him soon so he can get into their system at the A or AA level.

  14. Wow did this discussion get off track. I couldn’t decide if this was supposed to be a prospect discussion or a general discussion. There was a little give and take about Brown, a mention here and there of other prospects and a lot of discussion on the benefits and pitfalls of Sabrmetrics and of course some strong banter around small ball. Some people decided that Brown’s first AB set the tone for his entire year and maybe the Phils should trade him for a bag of used baseballs. I don’t even want to summarize the Amaro discussion. But one thing can definitely be said about the discussion…. WE’RE ALL READY FOR BASEBALL!!!!! Somebody get me a hot dog and a beer. I don’t want to leave my seat.

    1. Yeah, you’re right, and I guess this time I am the biggest offender (even though I was generally responding to tangents rather than creating them). In fairness we were taking off from a discussion about the major league team, so arguably it was all fair game. :)

      1. I,m glad ” Dan ” reveals his ultra secret name , it so much more revealing than anon. When r they going to stop foisting Savery on the fans ive been saying this since they drafted him, he is not a mlb. Pitcher or hitter.

        1. By having a name at all, I at least have some sense of accountability for what I write. If I write something stupid, it can easily be pointed to later on and I have to deal with it. “Anon” or any variation, on the other hand, can easily be written off as being “someone else.” When you say something stupid, you can just say, “Oh that wasn’t me, that was someone else” because you are “anonymous.” Take some credit for what you write, both the good and the bad.

          As for Savery, you’re already wrong. He’s pitched in the major leagues, so he is a mlb pitcher. Just because he’s not an elite player does not mean he is not mlb potential. Middle inning relievers have value, too. Just because it’s less than, say, Aumont’s would be because he doesn’t have the same pure “stuff” does not mean he can not have a valuable and successful major league career. In short, stop trying to devalue players like Savery and Gillies just because they’re not likely to be all-stars. They’re still a lot better than you ever were.

  15. Hey has minor league camp started? When are they going to announce the different workout groups and when do the Spring training games begin for the minors?

  16. Hey when does minor league camp start? When do they set up the workout groups and when do the spring training games begin for them.

  17. Gillies with some nice at bats today. Especially that opposite field double in the ninth inning. Let’s hope for a healthy year. Announcers were talking him up and also they were talking how Amaro was talking him up. He looks like a high energy player.

      1. Dan when u leave your address and phone number maybe you,ll show some none internet accountability. I,ve been on this site for 4 years while u were being weaned. And please tell me were i said anything against gillies. As for savery i wat hed him in ollege , just because u throw some innings in sept. Doesnt mean u r a mlb pitcher. I said if u go back to my orional starement the 2 guys who looked good were hyatt and gilles.

        1. I meant Galvis, not Gillies. Although I do find it odd that you defend Gillies and throw Galvis under the bus when the latter has produced much more for us than the former.

          Also, reply to my comments instead of making other people’s replies go off tangent.

  18. Speaking of Savery…the exhibition today by Willis indicated (yes only one inning, and early) that he may not be that situational lefty the pen needs. His arm is NOT in a groove and it looks like his body is out of control. He had little ability to keep his pitches low and the high pitches were meat to righty hitters. Yes, his role would be to pitch only to lefties, but even to a couple of lefty hitters it seemed he didn’t know where his pitch was going.

    It was only his first exposure but since he does not have a guaranteed contract, he needs to produce sooner rather than later. I wish him well…but suspect Savery needs to be given a serious shot.

    1. I thought Willis looked pretty good against lefties. He got both of the ones he faced to get themselves out with weakly hit balls. As far as him looking out of control with his body, hasn’t that always been the way he has pitched. It’s part of what makes him good I thought as it adds some deception.

    2. Keep Valdes in mind for the other left hander. He looks much better than last year. Must have found the fountain of youth.

    3. Can’t wait to see Diekman pitch this spring. I saw him pitch last yr against Trenton but he has only been getting nastier. Throwing 95-96 MPH are the reports. He is working on a breaking pitch. It is going to be nice down the road to have him in Bastardo coming out of the pen.

  19. Saw were Cards signed to extend Yadier Molina at 5/$75M…..may be wrong but Chooch will have to settle for a substantial amount less if the Phillies plan on keeping him. IMO, cannot see Phillies being able to afford Carlos next year at anything close to $14/15M per annum. Maybe I am wrong.

    1. Why would they pay 15 million when they possess a team option at 5 million? Don’t worry about Ruiz, he is the least of their concerns.

      1. Yeah we all love Chooch but not for 15 million. He has this yr and 2013 for the option of 5 million. Hopefully Valle will be ready for 2014. I’m sure they will also sign a decent veteran back-up then. But you never know. Maybe they do resign him (Ruiz) after 2013 but I would say only around 7-10 million per (at the most)

  20. Man Martinez looking bad. Two errors and a bobbled ball which could have been a double play. Oh yeah and it is only the 4th inning. Does this open up things for Kevin Frandsen and Pete Orr?

    1. LA called him out the first game for giving up on a ball Pence had to dive for and missed.
      What the hell is he doing on team after his second half.

  21. The only way to know who has a future is when they prove it. But from experience i,ll bet with the exceptuon of 1 or 2 guys this team is set. It,s a shame that all these kids cant make it but thats life. Most of these guys are lifetime minor leaguers. Galvis ,pinero is gone j.c. ramires orr martinez looks horrendes. Gilles might have a shot. But hopefully the draftees last year pan out because right now the pitchers are the future. Btw i like valle but he,s tough to get a bead on. Gilles, who hustles his ass off and valle look like the only possibles. And d, brown looks like he always has. Hope he has a good aaa so he has some value.

    1. ‘d brown looks like he always has’…not to me…IMO appears confident, determined and early plate mechanics look a bit different then last year. He can still be special.

  22. Some observations from today’s game:

    Galvis looked good in the field (good range) and had a pair of nice hits (including a double off one of the Yanks reg BP guys)
    Gillies went 1-3 (he makes contact) – he had a real good at bat vs lefty Boone Logan was 0-2 and then worked the count full (9 pitches in all) and then singled to right
    Dom Brown had a couple good at bats to start the game but butchered a play in left that killed Aumont
    Pence hit a nice Hr to left
    Pierre and Posdenik are both playing well in the first two games (Pierre did kind of miss play on a looper to center when Aumont was in the game)
    Pinero had some bad fielding behind but did not look that sharp anyway
    Bastardo looked good
    Aumont was throwing anywhere from 94-99 MPH on his fastball…80 MPH on his off speed pitch…he looked good on two batters and ran into a lot of bad luck. Brown drop in left..then a double to right which most of the time is caught (winded blowing hard to right) and then Pierre dove on a looper to center and he over shot it a little.
    Savery pitched the ninth and struck out the first two….then he got wild but got out of the jam. He was throwing mostly 88-89 MPH. He hit 92 once

    1. I also took note of that Gillies at-bat. It was very impressive that he could foul off tough pitches, then pull the 10th pitch for a base hit.
      Savery looks like a competent option, though he got the benefit of a suddenly big strike zone, in the last inning.
      Aumont seemed to throw well, but ran into some bad luck that will make him look bad on the stat sheet. He flashed all three of his plus pitches. Mid 90s Fastball, 81 mph curve and swing and miss, split fingered pitch.

  23. As a guy who watched the Marlins a lot get used to bad plays by Pierre. He has always been a press darling and teflon

    1. I’m not the biggest Pierre fan in the world – for one thing, his OBP is lower than you would like to see for a top of the lineup guy – but at his peak he was a good player, and good fielder. He isn’t what he used to be and was miscast as a regular last year, but there are certainly worse options as a fifth outfielder.

      As a fielder he had a good range and decent error rate. His arm wasn’t much, but overall he was better than average.

  24. It’ll take a little time for the pitchers to realize all their pitches and the hitters gain their timing. But it seems that Gillies has been rejuvenated along with his health. Hoping both continue; IMO the Phils are watching him closely before they engage in contract talks with Vic.

    I have enjoyed Vic’s play, his enthusiasm and his dedication to this team. I would be sorry to see him go…BUT if Gillies shows terrific play and speed from home to 1st and to 2nd etc., he could become that long-missing high OBA and theivery at the lineup top which would relieve J-Roll of that role and put him at #2 making speed more of their game w those two even though J-Roll will slow some, or J-R to #6.

    And the team would get some younger…fresh blood. Some draft choices for Vic?

  25. Just read (Todd Zolecki) that the Phils have been working Galvis out at 2b and 3b. I’m sure that won’t prevent him a trip to Lehigh Valley but it means Mini Mart might not be a long time solution as the #1 utility fielder.

  26. The only real reason I see Martinez on the roster is simply if Rollins pulls up lame in the middle of a game. I don’t see him starting over Wigginton if Utley/Polanco need days off.

    I don’t see him having much more of a role than he had last year, maybe even less so.

  27. Should an injury happen to J-Roll mid-game, I don’t know who could play SS unless Mini-Mart is on the roster. OTOH, Galvis would be only a phone call away. Maybe only 2 hours away.

    1. I would expect that if Rollins goes on the DL, Galvis would be called up as his replacement vs. using Martinez.

  28. I dont know what brown u r watching but he,s still throwing widely dogging ut and is an undisciplined hitter. I,m down here everday watching tgese guys. I realize it,s very early but ramirez and aumont have no control savery is throwing strikes but topping out at 90 without a secondary pitch. I like gillies as ive said but trust me he,s not not vic yet. Luna,s a blimp. Except for gillies and valle these guys are fillers. Hopefully t. Green, h. Martnez. Will make it and the phillies will stop drafting these ridiculous toolsy guys and go with college players. Btw steinbrenner field sucks.
    S

    1. Could you at least try a little bit to hide your bias? And why should the Phillies stop drafting “toolsy” players? Minor league players are all crap shoots anyways. Might as well go “high” risk, high reward. I’d rather have a lot of potential superstars that are less likely to pan out than a bunch of replacement-level players that are more likely to pan out.

    2. Really I should and mostly do ignore this kind of crap, but the hilarious thing about this guy is that his complete and utter illiteracy discredits everything he writes. Guess you got to give a guy some credit for coming back and posting when everyone on the site thinks (knows) you are an idiot with the grammar and spelling skills of a second grader.

      1. In terms of the specifics, the Brown comments are particularly funny. There’s plenty you can say about Brown, some legitimate (his fielding woes, even if some people exaggerate them), some things which are probably not legitimate but subjective enough that there is at least room for argument (his swing for example), but also plenty that is either borderline libelous or objectively, provably untrue. anon2 manages to hit each of the last two, his the disgusting claim that Brown is lazy and the demonstrably untrue claim that he is an undisciplined hitter. And for a bonus adding a comment about his throwing, the strongest aspect of his defense.

        I suspect I know who this guy is, too. He used to post under what I assume is his real name until driven off the board. John from the northeast as I recall.

      2. Forget the defense for a second I thought Brown had some really good AB’s yesterday. He actually has really good command at the plate. His best AB was when he had a runner on second with 0 outs and he pulled the ball to move him to 3B.

        Thats playing the game the right way…

        I also thought Aumont showed why he is a ways away. His FB while having good velocity looked flat to me and his curve while having plenty of tilt seemed to lack command.

        MM is just a mystery I don’t get why he is on the team at all.

    3. anon2….seriously you believe DBrown is an ‘undisciplined’ hitter! Understand his defense needs to pick-up…but his offensive prowess can be dynamic. In a little over 2000 MilB PAs he reveals these metrics —294 /375 /459/.834 They ARE FAR FROM SHABBY.

    4. Sweet Lord, anon2 I don’t even know how to address your postings b/c I can’t find a borderline illiterate 3rd grader to translate them for me.

      1. Rick I was going to object to your personal attach until I revisited the post. Is that post serious?

        1. Dude, feel free to object to me any time you’d like, but he’s posted numerous (ie more than 6) thoughts/ quotes/ etc that are literally beyond bizarre. I don’t object to people objecting to what I say, and I really don’t like personal attacks – but when someone else ONLY posts personal attacks thinly veiled as opinionated scouting reports, and does so while butchering the English language to a degree not seen since Emmitt Smith had a television job, well I take offense.

    5. There’s a famous quote by Lincoln, goes something like this “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool then to speak out and remove all doubt.”

      Word to the wise, you’ve convinced us all you’re retarded, now keep your mouth shut and hope we forget.

      Good day sir.

  29. There is situation the Phillies should address now if only in the background. If Gillies is or will be ready soon, then there is a chance of moving Vic back to right and Pence to left. That would be a superior defensive outfield. I am not saying that it is going to happen but giving Pence a few minor league games in left can’t hurt.

    1. That all seems a bit excessive. I mean, do you realistically see any organization moving two $10 million outfielders around to accommodate a rookie? Not that it isn’t the best rotation, but it seems a marginal upgrade over simply using Gillies in left field. Especially considering Gillies’ injury history. If he falters everything gets thrown around again.

      1. Not that I support the Phillies doing it but one only need to look at the Angels last year for an example of that exact scenario happening when they moved Hunter to RF and Wells to LF to accomodate Peter Bourjos. So it does happen in the Majors.

        1. The Angles first mistake was not releasing Wells outright, but that’s neither here nor there.

      2. Pence vs. Vic in right is hardly marginal and would allow Gillies to cheat to the left field side. But again you missed the point, it isn’t that it Will happen . It is just an possible scenario on an age ridden team that must get younger and soon.
        This is baseball and whatever you don’t want to happen usually does. BTW money is a poor argument.

        1. What evidence has Gillies given that he’s even a year away from playing CF @ a MLB level? He’s managed to play the first week of Spring Training without falling over and breaking his leg, let’s not get carried away anointing him our 2013 starting CF.

          1. Fair point, but I am very impressed by what I see. He appears to have good strike zone judgment combined that exceptional ability to fight off pitches he does not like until he finds a pitch he can drive (he looks a lot like a young Johnny Damon when he is at bat). He is also fast as the wind and seems to be plenty strong and coordinated. I can’t wait to see what he does in a full season of at bats.

            1. You and me both. But let’s refrain from withholding a contract offer to Vic b/c Gillies is healthy on March 6th. Hopefully, come September he’s had a full season of AB’s and defensive work that can be reviewed and judged.

          2. Gillies defense has never been in question….Charlie Manual even went out to say in 2010 how outstanding he was in CF, speed and glove….then he naturally went ahead and hurt his wheels a few weeks later.

  30. I wouldn’t say Aumont is “ways away” from the bigs at all.

    Yeah, I’m sure they’ll send Pence down for some minor league ABs

    1. You’re right probably not fair to say ways away but I’d say he needs at list another season in AAA with a Late season call up.

      Browney is the line up again today. He’s getting every opportunity to show off. Against Pineda tho is a tough assignment for any hitter.

      1. It would be really nice if the Phillies decided to break camp with Brown in left and Mayberry at 1B and tell Howard to take his time. If Howard comes back healthy and the problem hasn’t sorted itself out (Brown isn’t ready or Mayberry proves to have just been a flash in the pan) then you make the decision to either send Brown down, platoon in left (and give Pence and Vic some occasional days off to keep them healthy), or you have some interesting pieces that you can move around to maybe fill another hole.

        I think Brown’s bat is as ready as it can be on the major league level and completely expect him to walk every other at bat in AAA. If you think the fielding isn’t there it is a valid point but even at his worse he still is better than our recent string of statues out there.

        I think the Phils want Gillies to prove ready for AAA so that James can play CF in AA and they don’t have to deny ABs to either of them.

  31. IMO, Mayberry seems to play a very smooth defensive firstbase. Reminds me a bit of Derek Lee.

  32. Brown has a good arm ? At 24 defense does not get better. He has a strong arm but it,s incredibly inaccurate. You take brown , i,ll take gilles. Btw larry when did they release you ?

  33. Catch i certainly can do without the non toolsy j.mich. but in my opinion i,ll still take the non toolsy j. Mayberry or many other bb sound players than the anthony hewitts of the world. Jmo.

    1. Wait… non-toolsy? John Mayberry, Jr.? Are you being serious right now?

      JMJ didn’t really start playing any real time in the majors until last season, his age 27 season. The reason for that? He was an unfinished product with many TOOLS that just hadn’t put it together. Last year it seemed he put it together. What are his tools, exactly? Power, speed, defense. I won’t say any of them are elite (debatable), but they are, at least, above average. How exactly is he “non toolsy?” He’s exactly the type of player the Phillies draft: lots of tools, but needs work to utilize them.

    2. John (Larry is right, it has to be you, I heard you on the radio about 45 minutes ago saying exactly the same things that were written above) – I think most of us agree that Tyson Gillies is looking fantastic and seems to have the tools, speed, approach and plate discipline to succeed. But this stuff about Dom Brown being a bust or being lazy or never being able to play is just hog wash. Brown not only has all the tools, he has great plate discipline and, according to many people who have worked with him, far from being a kid who does not care, he is the most coachable player with whom they have ever worked. He obviously has frustrating moments in the outfield and needs more work there, but the idea that you want him to go down and get work so you can trade him are nuts. As raw as he can be in the outfield, I literally cannot ever remember a player as athletic as Brown not being able to be at least an adequate outfielder and, frankly, given his offensive talents, that is all he needs to be to make him very valuable.

      Brown is going to be an all-star calibur player for somebody and we need his type of speed and power in a big way. Not everyone shows up in the majors and becomes an instant star like Utley or Howard. In fact, most players need a year or two to adjust, even pure hitters like Adrian Gonzalez, whose first 200 at bats were roughly indistinguishable from Brown’s.

      Let’s stop taking all of our frustrations out on Domonic Brown – this is ridiculous.

  34. I’m starting to buy into the d. brown chatter… I was quite high on him until last season, but he certainly looks sharp this year. Baseball is the most mental team sport I know and brown seems to be in a good place.

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