Spring Training Discussion, Week of March 5th

Here is your weekly discussion outpost. Thoughts so far? I’ve only watched bits and pieces of the first 2 games, but here are a few of my quick observations:

* Its great to see Tyson Gillies healthy. The speed is obvious, it’s going to take time for him to shake the rust off since he hasn’t played much in the last 2 years, but I think its promising that he made it through the entire winter and hasn’t had any setbacks.
* Aumont’s control and command looked spotty yesterday, but he was consistently in the 94-96 range and even popped a 99 on the tv gun. With him, it’s always going to be about command and control.
* Galvis has looked good, except for that one wind blown pop-up he couldn’t pull in.

Who else is catching your eye early, from a prospect perspective?

236 thoughts on “Spring Training Discussion, Week of March 5th

  1. Gillies has looked excellent, want him to get more ABs and hopefully he wont be sent down with the first wave of cuts. Want to see Galvis putting together good ABs, word is he’s learning to play 3rd now, and could stick as our utility guy. Martinez has looked awful thus far. Savery hit 94 on the tv gun yesterday, I think he has an outside shot to make the team if Willis struggles.

      1. Depends on if he can keep most of the velocity and where his secondary pitches are. If Willis and Diekman both pitch well this spring and have strong starts to the season I wouldn’t be surprised if they at least give him a look to see if he can do it, kind of like they did with Mathieson.

        1. Savery sat at 90, the 94 was a one time pump up to get a k. Change looked good, slider just ok.

      2. No…he’ll never be a starter again. Hopefully he develops into a decent LH reliever. There’s a good amount of value in that.

      1. How many at bats do you have in your professional baseball career?
        Mike is a great guy and a hardworker. Does the name Chris Coste ring a bell?

    1. They’re not there yet. Pitchers and catchers reported March 1 and the other guys probably report today or tomorrow.

  2. Very encouraged about Gillies. Guy has everything you’d want to see in a CF/top of the order bat, good range/defense, shows nice discipline at the plate, great speed on the bases, he just needs to stay healthy. Really hoping he can stay on the field and put it together this year.

    Like reading about Galvis taking reps at 3rd and 2nd. If his bat makes marginal improvement this year he could easily take Martinez’s job and slide into a Valdez type roll. Still not giving up on him improving enough to be a solid MLB starter, but this is the quickest way for him to reach the majors and shows a lot awareness and character on his part imo.

    Brown having a strong start with the bat, but needs to show he can make the routine plays in left to have any chance to make the team. If he can continue to hit and makes the plays he’s supposed to, it’ll be hard for them to send him down. Either way it’s way too early for people to talk about giving up on this kid, he’s 4 years younger than Mayberry and is already one of the most disciplined hitters they have. He needs to improve defensively yes, but not by the leaps and bounds some people make it seem.

    On an aside, love this site and have been a regular reader for years. I’ve commented here and there, but wanted to put my name out there for “accountablility” as some have called it. Really enjoy everyone’s opinions, even if some are obviously biased and I disagree :)

    1. I have maintained that Brown’s hitting isn’t what sent him down last year. I still think a kid that talented will be able to handle at least left field, and if he can, he’ll be a beast with the bat this year, IMHO

      1. Agreed, he will be frustrating because you know he is really talented but in reality he will be really good. He brings walks and speed to an aging line up and then has all the power potential still there.

  3. Galvis as a utility guy for the big club seems like a waste to me. It brings us back to the question of why they traded Valdez. I hope Galvis goes to AAA and plays the whole year at SS. If his bat is questionable at SS, how do they expect him be viable at 3rd or even 2nd in anything but a utility role? I do not know if this is feasible, but could J-Roll play 3rd or 2nd in a couple of years with Galvis at SS? or is that combination too weak offensively?

    Likewise, I want Dom Brown to start and play full time wherever he is……..

    1. I think john Mayberry Jr is going o have a big year like 25 home runs and 100 RBI big

  4. Baring a trade there is no viable option except some wore out retread,again. Cheese sooner or later you have to take a chance or buy Depends

  5. I’m sure Galvis will start at AAA to play every day. He made some nice plays yesterday and showed a decent arm but his arm will never be confused with JRoll’s or Valdez’s arms. I still think his future is most likely as a utility guy and not as a starter. Dom hit a triple yesterday that just kept carrying, against the wind, that really showed how strong he is now. He dropped the fly ball in left but it was sort of on the exchange. He should have secured it better but overall I thought he looked good out there. Its a stupid little thing but what I liked best about Sunday’s game was a late at bat that Gillies had against a lefty. He looked bad on the first two pitches, first trying to bunt and then having a bad swing, but then he calmed down and a professional ab. He took a few breaking balls down, fouled off several pitches and fought back to go 3-2 and then hit a ball through on the right side for a base hit. It was a small thing but it really wasn’t if that’s how he plays. Add to the fact that he runs all over the outfield covering ground and backing up infield plays and you can easily dream on this guy. I assume he’ll be sent down soon because they have to get other guys at bats (like Nix who looked awful) but he left an impression for me.

  6. He’s not really a prospect but yesterday, Lou Montanez looked really good. He has been really good in the minors before but has never stuck at the major league level. He made a great diving catch in left field to end an inning and then hit a homerun shortly after.

    1. It would have to be helluva dive since he was playing rightfield at the end of the game.

      1. Oops, that was a typo. I actually wrote right field and then I left the page without clicking submit and when I retyped it, I guess I typed left by mistake.

  7. Mayberry has really impressed me this spring and last year. I think he can potentially hit 25-30 HRs if he is given a starting role. The Phillies always seem to score on these late bloomers, i.e. Werth, Victorino, etc.

    Victorino’s future with the Phillies could really be predicated upon how Mayberry and Brown do this season. If they both do well, the Phillies might get rid of Victorino, check out Brown at CF and Gillies might provide competition as well. It definitely should be interesting.

        1. The reason I said Brown was because I thought he could potentially be quick enough to play center, I don’t know if Mayberry is.

          1. Mayberry is definately quick enough. He did a good job when Victorino was out last year. Brown just doesn’t have the good instincts in the field. Brown is faster then Mayberry but his routes are not good. Brown needs the whole season at Lehigh Valley. Maybe they can get Gary Maddox to stop by and give him some pointers.

            1. Mayberry can play center, but I have a hard time seeing him holding up there for 140+ games a year as he ages. You can count the number of 6’6″ center fielders on two hands. And none of those guys played their entire careers there.

            2. Plus with brown having his troubles in right and then left, how the heck is he going to be expected to pick up center in 1 season? Lets let him learn a corner and keep his bat going.

            3. Partially agree. I don’t really mind his height at all. Jerry Rice would have been a fine centerfielder through 35. It’s really more his weight and his step. Guys like Mayberry, Kemp and Hamilton are fine fielders at 225-230 at 28. But when they hit 32 and weigh 240…….those knees just aren’t the same. I would pay attention to Hamilton this year and see how he does this and next year at 31 and 32 at 245.
              Beyond that, unlike Brown, who seems to have a mental short circuit once the ball is in the air, Mayberry tracks the ball really well off the bat. At worst, he moves to the corner or 1st post 32 yrs of age. But for now, he could definitely play center. Not gold glove center by any means, but he could be serviceable.

  8. I’m down at spring training now. Spent yesterday at the carpenter complex. Nothing too interesting but I talked to Harold Martinez and he said he doesnt think he will be ready for opening day due to a wrist injury. Hadn’t seen anyone talk about that yet.

  9. Saw a line up on MLB DepthCharts updated on 2-12-12. It shows Cody Asche and Mitch Walding on the Lakewood Blueclaws List. It shows Greene Quinn and Greene on Low Level Minor Leaguers You Should Know. Not sure who made the list, or how accurate it is I just happened to see it online.

    1. Hyatt sits at 88-90 consistantly. Gilles continues to lmpress me, along with hector luna. He,s atheletic for his size. Keep an eye on him. I think he makes the team. Brown continues to believe all u have to do is hit. Anon i,m usually at frenchys. Anon 2.

  10. Really liking what I’ve seen from Domonic at the plate. He’s been having some solid AB’s and is making solid contact, his outs are right at guys for the most part.

    His defense is worse than I’d thought it would be after a year of preparation. I’m still holding out hope he can win the left field job forcing Mayberry to first base, giving us a much better offense.

    Tyson Gillies is also looking good. I love the energy this guy brings.

  11. Aumont is definitely headed for Lehigh Valley. He should be fine after a year of repeating his pitching motion to improve his command, which is what is holding him in the minors. Gillies is showing what he showed two years ago and got everyone interested in him. He looks like the real deal. Brown is going to be a good hitter. His fielding will come along. Somehow he is not making good decisions about how well the ball is hit. Hopefully that will come with much practice. It takes a while to learn. I’m encouraged by the good approach to hitting shown by the prospects. Someone has been teaching them well. I know they get a lot of feedback on what constitutes a good at bat. It looks like the training is working. I’m looking forward to see how Hyatt does the next time around. He didn’t have a good game against the Yanks.

    1. In the few at-bats I’ve tuned in for, I’ve also been extremely impressed with the prospects’ approach at the plate. “Someone has been teaching them well,” indeed. And Brown and Gillies hang in there against lefties like pros.

    2. “Someone has been teaching them well.” This! In the few at-bats I’ve been able to catch on the TV, I’ve been super impressed with Brown’s and Gillie’s approach. And damn, they hang in there against lefties like pros, too. I guess it’s not really news that Dom Brown has a good approach at the plate, but it’s refreshing to be reminded of it. He’s got a bright future.

  12. The place for Dom to “learn” left field is at LV. Playing in the big leagues is no place to learn how to field a position. Think of the cost in runs to the Phils while he “learns” the left field. With practice before, during, and after LV games he could become competent enough to play the last half of the season in Philly.

    His swing is much better than last season when he seemed to curl the anticipating bat way behind himself making his swing longer and taking more “time” to come to the ball to hit it. This year his bat is not wrapped around him so much and is thus closer to the hitting zone taking less “time” to reach and hit squaring up the ball. No wonder he looks so much better at bat. Could turn out to be the star offensive player we hoped for.

    On Hyatt: don’t know whether it was the plan today to have him stretch out his fast ball…because it seemed he was not throwing his “out pitch” change and curve hardly at all. More interesting to me was that he pitched his FB high in the zone. THAT would explain the high # of HRs he tends to give up. Assuming his two off-speed pitches are still alive and well, he could be an innings-eater IF he would pitch in the lower 1/3 of the zone. Maybe he’ll work on that at LV.

    Gillies standing in there and having good at bats is soooo encouraging. That is exactly what is needed from a super lead-off guy. He plays like a guy whose hair is on fire; a great complement To Pence’s all-out style. Very fast a la Bourn. A great bsase stealer in the making. Seemed very comfortable at the plate using his bat as a weapon to STROKE the ball not power it yet seeming to have enough ooomph in his swing to make the outfielders NOT cheat when he is at the plate. He just might be everything the Phils dreamed of when they went and got him. A gift to the future…maybe.

    Galvis has no business being the Phils utility guy in ’12. We all know he needs more work with his bat; we’re hoping for a finished product when he does come up.

    1. Art d. Good analysis . As far as spring training pitching if you want to look good you throw off speed. Youll look great,the hitters timing is so off. Hyatt,s fastball concerns me a little bit. Last week and yesterday he sat at 88-90.

      1. It is hard to know whether, once the season starts, he will still be throwing only 88-90. Many guys build significant arm strength during spring training and improve velocity. Hamels traditionally throws 3-6 MPH slower during the earlier phases of spring training. Also, sometimes with guys who are auditioning for a job, they are told not to overthrow, which can also inhibit velocity.

    2. So what we go with Martinez who we know will never hit ? What sense does that make really. Its not like Galvis has a chance to be a regular on this team soon.

    3. Art two thoughts. First is pitchers are often only working on a specific pitch during their early spring training outings. A lot of times they are just working on locating fastballs. Or just working on their offspeed stuff. I wouldn’t read too much into anything for at least another 2-3 weeks.

      History does beg to differ with you when it comes to learning a new position on the fly in the bigs. A prime example would be that Pat Burrell learned LF on the fly after we traded for Travis Lee. Going back further the Phils moved Dave Hollins to LF for Scott Rolen, Mike Schmidt to 1B for Rick Schu and even moved the immobile Greg Luzinski to LF after never playing a single inning there in the minors.

      Its not an ideal situation to learn a position on the fly but sometimes it is necessary. I would suggest with the injury to the big fella, this is one of the times that it could be potentially necessary. Besides, between Ibanez and Burrell, we haven’t seen a good defender in LF since the 90s.

      1. Relying on arbitrary maxim’s like “Playing in the big leagues is no place to learn how to field a position” may sound good, but really is of no practical import. Plenty of people learn on the job at the big league level.

        Dom is not the most graceful fielder, but I have no doubt that over a full season he is our best option. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he ends of being one of our 3 or 4 most productive hitters this year. Given the alternative is giving ABs to Nix and Wigginton (until Howard gets back, if he does come back this year) you can eat a couple misplayed fly balls for the value he will add at the plate.

        1. I agree that Dom Brown should be the in the majors, but he won’t be for 2 reasons; neither of them have to do with his fielding.
          1) There are already 4 guaranteed contracts to outfielders (Mayberry’s contract isn’t guaranteed, but he has no options left, so it essentially is)
          2) Brown currently has just over 1 year of service time. If he stays in the minors for at least 2 months, the Phillies get another year of cheap labor.

    4. The biggest reasons Dom Brown will start in the minor leagues are 1) There are 4 guaranteed contracts to outfielders (Mayberry has no options and is therefore practically guaranteed) and 2) His service time is currently just over 1 year, so by waiting at least 2 months or so, the Phillies get an extra year of cheap labor

  13. If Brown turns out to be Ibanez – good offensively and poor defensively – with a much longer career, that’s a big plus for the Phils.

    1. Ibanez wasn’t poor…he was average…he made some plays in the field for the Phils….he just got slower….Brown has a lot more issues right now…you would need to have a defensive replacement in any close game for him.

      1. Ibanez was one of the worst defensive LFs in the game during his time in Philly. He basically made the plays he got to and his terrible range meant he didnt get to many balls.

        That’s the definition of “poor”.

        1. I hope that this changes, but right now, Brown is much more of a liability in the outfield than Ibanez was. Can you say DH?

          1. Simply untrue, at least the 2011 version of Ibanez. Brown’s speed leads to greater range than Ibanez. Might not be saying much, because Ibanez was a statue out there, and certainly Brown’s speed is undercut by his seeming inability to run routes, etc. But I would argue that the whole package, warts and all, is already better than late vintage Ibanez. One could I suppose reasonably argue the reverse, but “much more of a liability” is not true and not a reasonable position to take.

            Again not saying much given how bad Ibanez was out there last year.

            1. Larry, you might be right from a statistical point of view. However, my feeling is that nothing will upset a pitcher and a manager more than not making the routine play. If Ibanez got to the ball, he usually caught it; with Brown it seems like every fly ball is an adventure. In addition, playing singles into triples by ill advised attempts to make a spectacular play is another area that will upset pitchers and managers. Brown has to learn to how to make the routine plays and when not to dive for the ball or he will never be a regular outfielder for the Phillies, even in left field.

            2. I think that major league pitchers are for the most part professional enough not to let that sort of thing upset their composure. So we’re left more with speculation as to management thought processes rather than real “value” on the field. As to that, you may be right. I certainly agree that Brown has work to do on the routine plays, and he likely will be spending some time in AAA working on that. Hopefully not for a full year, as he is probably already one of the best hitters in the organization, major league roster included.

            3. I agree that Brown’s hitting is a plus. However, I am at a loss to explain how he has reached this level without learning how to field adequately. I don’t know whether it is his fault or the organization’s. In any case, I don’t think the move to left field has much to do with it; he wasn’t good in right field either last year.

            4. SIFPA, do you think he doesn’t know how to field, or does he now just have a mental block and has “forgotten” how to field?

              All his minor league scouting reports pointed to a plus arm with plus range. His problem now seems to be mental with both the routes he takes to balls along with the “routine” plays that are directly to him. Puzzling….

            5. Rick, I agree that it is really puzzling. Will, above, mentioned that a couple of misplayed fly balls is no big deal. However, a misplayed fly ball every game or two is not going to be acceptable. In my understanding, the outfield is supposed to be among the easier positions and usually just requires experience. Most young outfielders who come up having played the position in the minor leagues are quite adequate in the field. Brown has the tools to play the outfield as you point out, so one must assume that he will be a capable outfielder once he has had enough practice. Needless to say, he cannot get this practice in the Phillies outfield while they are trying to get to the World Series; it will have to come in the minor leagues. So, unless he suddenly improves, I don’t see him making the Phillies roster anytime soon. In a way it is a shame, because his bat may well be ready.

      2. To be fair Raul had too big a workload for a player his age. I wish him well this year at least until the post season.

  14. Two statements by players that I found revealing/interesting.
    1 That Sam admitted he never worked with Galvis before this ST. It isn’t like he was some low level prospect; Did Sam have better things to do? One would think he was at least curious .
    2. That Stutes didn’t realized his delivery had drifted over the season until he got home and was watching recording. Dubee??

    1. Agree wheels….where the heck was Dubee….he has maybe 4/5 ‘students’ last year….Bastardo, Stutes, Herndon, Worley and maybe Kendrick (..he more a student of Roy H.) and possibly Madson….you know he isn’t going to be lecturing Roy, Cliff, Cole and Roy O. So what is he doing with the youngsters!

  15. Should the Phils at some point see if Brown can play first. Mayberry is an above average left fielder, wouldn’t that make sense if you want them both in the line up this season?

    1. I’d leave Dom Brown right where he is – let him get used to playing left and let him hit the living daylights out of the ball – he looks positively GREAT at the plate this year. His balance and approach seem to have improved significantly (thank you Gary Sheffield!). Let Mayberry move around – as he can do so with ease.

      1. Agreed. Dom will look just fine playing LF in LHV. Let him play there everyday with minimal stress and improve on all aspects of his game. There’s no job for Dom in Philly right now, those jobs are all filled. They’re giving him a chance to play in week one but after the first week, Nix and Mayberry will have to start getting more time in addition to Pierre and Podsednik who appear to be battling for a job although I still there there’s a chance they could both lose out if the Phils decide they need another infielder.

        1. The only – ONLY – reason to keep Brown in AAA would be to work on his fielding. And that might (or might not) be reason enough. But the “no job in Philly” excuse doesn’t cut it. Especially prior to Howard’s return. Taking a 25 man roster spot from Pierre, or playing time from Nix (or Wiggington indirectly, as Mayberry can play first), would make the team better.

          The dilemma could be if he gets off to a great start in AAA and is ready to come up just when Howard returns. I still say under such a scenario he should still come up and platoon with Mayberry. But there I can see the downside, as, absent an injury, there would be no obvious spot for him on the 25 man.

          1. As much as I dislike thinking this…..IMO I believe Ruben will use Dom Brown ,especially if he has been swinging a good bat at LHV, as a chip in a July trade. And to further complicate the matter, if the Phillies sign Cuban 19-year old Jorge Soler within the next few weeks, dealing Brown becomes less demoralizing to the fan base who believed in Dom Brown potential.

            1. Who do you see him trading him for?

              The only area we can improve on is third base and there are, most likely, not going to be a lot of guys available worth Brown.

            2. If it is for 3rd base help, who knows, in a package of some sort….Rockies may be willing to give up Nolan Arenado or perhaps the Rangers could use a younger OF and in return give up a Mike Olt. Both are top prospects in their respective organizations.

            3. Olt actually does make sense. Beltre will have that locked up and Profar will have to play a utility spot for awhile.

              Arenado no chance. 3b is so shallow now a days. Browns not getting traded till his value comes back up which should be May when has a .420 OPS in Lehigh

  16. Caught the replay last night. First time I’ve seen Hyatt pitch. He looks to me like a 4-5 starter nothing wrong with that just that we seem to have plenty of those. I think Gillies should be the everyday starter at AAA.

    Dom is a really tough call. He looks ready to me at the plate. His speed arm and athletic ability suggest he should be an above avg OF. If he breaks with the big club I guess he is your LF against righties and Mayberry plays 1b. Against lefties I guess Mayberry is your LF and Wigs is the 1B. What do you do with Nix? That signing now looks out of place.

    And finally at some point Howard comes back now you have less at bats to go around all throughout. Charlie and RAJ have their work cut out for them.

    1. Gillies has never played above AA and he struggled mightily there. He should definitely start there and see how it goes. The level of competition is pretty similar regardless and hes still age appropriate.

      1. Normally, I would agree, but, if he keeps playing like this, he should have no problem adjusting to AAA and it will allow both he and James to play centerfield this year (he at AAA, James at AA).

        Everything about Gillies looks good. Everything.

        1. I originally thought they might start Gillies in CWater because its warmer and because they wanted Gillies to succeed early. However, after watching how good he already looks, and knowing how hard he worked all off season, starting in AAA and allowing James to play CF at AA, is not so far fetched. If I had to bet, I’d say Gillies starts in AA and moves up quickly if he does well. It might depend on what happens at AAA. I’m asuming Mitchell will play RF with Podsednik or Pierre possibly in the mix and Montenez will play also. There might not be room for Gillies there initially anyway.

          1. I’d still start him in CLW because of the temperature. His first year with the Phillies, he looked good in ST, then looked awful and was quickly injured at Reading. With his leg problems over two seasons, there really is no reason to start him in Reading on the cold April nights. Play some AAAA guy at Allentown and let Gillies move there or to Reading when the weather warms up. The number one thing to avoid with Gillies is a third straight year lost to leg injury.

  17. Yo, James. My mind is blown. I think we’re in the same fantasy baseball league. How is this possible?

    1. Lets wait till he gets some ABs against guys who won’t be bagging groceries next month before we pull out the annointing oil.

      I completely agree that overall he looks like the guy that got us all excited 2 years ago though.

  18. Love hearing the glowing reviews of Gillies and Brown have only been able to check box scores to the games so far.

  19. In reality the team is set. 5 outfielders.pence vic mayberry nix pierre. Catchers ruiz schnieder. Inf. Polanco rollins utley thome wigginton martinez. As good as gillies looks i think aaa is reality. And the guy i would make room for is hector luna.this is good. He hits , fields and breaks his ass. You,d never know this guy is as big as he is. Starting pitching is set with doc lee cole worley blanton. Bp pap stutes bastardo qualls kendrick . And there,s struggle 2 or 3 bp spots. So imo in 2 weeks well know.

    1. Correct me if I am wrong….but you referred to Hector Luna as a ‘blimp’ last week. I guess the blimp can play a little.

    2. John – it’s you. Come on, just admit it. Nobody in this universe is touting Hector Luna (and how big he is) but you. Anyway, if you were there, can you let us know what Ramirez was doing on the radar gun/

      1. Okay, so I correctly identified anon2 as “John” … but I know him only from his previous life on this site. Apparently he does have some former connection to the team which leads to a presence on the radio. Who is he in “real life?” (I’m assuming he is has a public persona – not trying to pry into a private citizen’s life,)

        Just curious,

  20. Any report on J.C. Ramirez’s velocity today? I don’t care how straight his ball travels, if he throws 95 MPH or more, he can still figure it out.

      1. Romus i did refer to luna as a blimp . Thats what has surprised me so much about his atheleticism. And catch youve been on this site as long as i have. Nothing to hide i just have other things to do sometimes. Ramirez around 93-95 , but his control seems to be his problem. Diekman looks like a keeper. And larry my old friend glad to see your doing well.

        1. I’m just messing with you, John. Baseball is my hobby. These aren’t real argument we are having. This isn’t real life. It’s fun and that’s all it is – at least for me.

      2. He had what I am begining to refer to as a “Diekman inning” – no hits, one walk, two strikeouts. I’ll take that any day of the week.

    1. He has a couple of doubles this Spring and has 3 rbis. He makes good contact and what I like is he doesn’t try to swing for the fences. He will spend most of the season at AAA w/a Sept call-up.

  21. What are your thoughts on MM at LeighValley for the first two months. He missed a lot of atbats last year and needs to develope further (even at his age), let Orr be the backup.

    Hopefully MM can mature as a batter.

    1. The problem with Orr being the back up is that he can’t play shortstop.

      I don’t see Martinez getting much playing time at all other than the few times Jimmy needs a day off.

    2. If MM hasn’t “developed” by this point, he likely wont. Its not as if he’s a young prospect…he’s pushing 30.

    3. I don’t get the love for Pete Orr on this site versus the hate for MM. Granted, neither one will be mistaken for Jimmy Rollins or Chase Utley. However, Orr hit .219 last year in 96 at bats with a .279 OBP. He had 3 doubles, no triples or HRs and drove in 6 runs. Martinez hit .197 in 209 at bats (.258 OBP) with 5 doubles, 2 triples and 3 HRs with 24 RBI. Martinez has a slightly better OPS (.540 vs. .529). Since MM is more versatile, as he can play shortstop and outfield, it seems obvious that he should get the nod over Orr in any head-to-head competition for a roster spot.

      1. Apparently you’ve never actually watched MM play in the outfield. I’m sure if UC asked Jim Thome to play CF, Thome would go out there and make a go of it. It doesnt make Thome an OF and it doesnt make MM one either.

        1. It’s true, he doesn’t play outfield that often and I haven’t seen much of his play there. But, is he any worse han Dom Brown?

          1. Sorry for the multiple comments and the Anonymous handle. I was using a different computer and got confused.

        1. Orr doesn’t have elite speed. He’s stolen a total of 16 bases and has been caught 6 times in 650 career ML plate appearances.

          His minor league #’s are 174 with 60 CS in 928 games (3621 PA’s).

          Those aren’t “elite” numbers.

  22. I,ve always agreed with that approach catch. Most of us do. Nepp nowheels rodeo and pretty much everyone. I think the one thing we all have in common is we all love bb. As i said earlier i think the team is pretty well set except for 2 or 3 bp guys and thats going to a tough call. But luna is the guy who really has opened my eyes. I think we were all knowledgeable of gilles but when i 1st saw luna i thought he was a blimp. Well he might be a damn good blimp. As much as gilles has impressed j.c. ramirez has been my biggest disapointment. I would also make diekman the 2 nd lefty but im pretty sure they,ll go with willes , who i dont like at all.

    1. I was surprised by Luna also. he’s definitely opened eyes and is definitely in a fight with Pierre and Podsednik for the spot replacing Howard. It will be speed vs another right handed bat who can play the infield. As for the BP, its no certainty that they keep 2 lefties. However, give Willis some time to get used to it. Its an out of the box idea that needs a little time but lefties just don’t seem to get hits off him. Diekman just needs to go to AAA and improve his control a bit more. His ball REALLY moves and it makes it very hard to hit. He’ll definitely be a major league pitcher some time soon, it just won’t be to start this year.

  23. Tuffy Gosewisch had the announcers raving at a great throw but rechecking his offense actually went down. Somehow he lost a pile of walks(29) over 2010 . They said and I also thought he had
    imporved last year. They also raved about Luna.

    1. Tuffy also stole a base so that puts him +2 for the game …. in my book. I don’t know if this was a busted hit and run or they weren’t paying attention to him and he took for 2nd.

  24. If luna continues his excellant play with the bat ,glove and speed. He should make the club over martinez. This guy is already becoming a fan favorite. They,ll go nuts at the bank for him. Unfortunitly i have to come up tomorrow.

    1. Luna has posted some impressive numbers with the bat at AAA the last few years, although, admittedly, many of those at bats were in the hitting friendly PCL and he is no spring chicken (he is 32).

      1. Luna has the same problem as Orr, he can’t play SS so he’s not a valid replacement for Martinez.

        1. Another Luna issue: A half-dozen spring at bats at age 32 probably should not be given as much weight as his career .705 OPS. Plus, not only can’t he play short; he can’t play second either. (He’s only played 3 big league innings and 10 minor league games at second since 2007.) He’s not competing with mini-Mart. He’s competing with Wigginton.

          1. Wiggington is guaranteed 2 million with a team option next year… he’s going to be on the team.

            1. Wiggington should be on the team over Luna, his career performance shows that he’s the better player. 50 ST at-bats doesn’t change that.

  25. From what I’m seeing I like Podsednik better than Nix and better than Pierre as my guy off the bench. He can run he can field at any of the 3 OF spots and he gets on base. I’m keeping Brown to start the season so how much is Nix going to play anyway. As for Pierre that slap hitting style really gets on my nerves.

    I’ll keep Frandsen over MM, as much as I like Galvis as a Utility guy he is to young to stunt his growth by not playing everyday. I feel good about Freddy should Rollins need a trip to the DL. Frandsen in a pinch can play any of the 3 IF spots and who cares if he doesn’t get much playing time. He has more Bat than MM or Orr.

    And finally I’d take Tuffy over Schneider at this point. I know the Pitching staff likes him.

    As for the bullpen I’m keeping Diekman not Willis. Again you won’t need to use him that much maybe being around some Pro’s can help him get a handle on his control.

    1. Brown has no chance of starting with the big league team. Nix is going to be their 7th – 8th inning pinch hitter against a righty reliever (everyone but Venters) and he has power which is what Charlie wants. Pods is fighting with Pierre for a possible speed spot but Luna has entered the equation also now.

      1. Murry WHO would let him hit against a righty unless their leftys had stomach flu. Booked it. .173 the last three years which btw included his career year

        1. Teams will save their lefties for Chase, Howard and Thome. Nix will get to hit off righties. How many lefties do you think teams have?

  26. Nix has far more pop and, of course, a major league contract. I’m assuming you want to trade Nix for a half chewed cigar and a busted pop-up sprinkler head? I’d like to have some younger guys make the team like Galvis, Diekman, Schwim, Tuffy and possibly Savery or Aumont. The money saving would be excellent. But this is a team built to win the W/S now so all these guys would be learning on the fly. Galvis & Aumont need to play a lot. I don’t want Galvis getting splinters on his butt or Aumont pitching when the Phils are up or down by 8 runs. I think Brown will also be playing everyday, either in the big leagues or in AAA. I don’t want him getting saddle sores to go with splinters. Either Pods or Pierre will most likely get that last OF spot. I haven’t formed an opinion on which yet.

    I believe that many of these young guys will play some big league ball at some time this year. They probably won’t start there but they could be critical fill-ins at some point.

    The stuff that Halladay and others are saying about Tuffy have got to make him feel good. I believe I read somewhere that Roy wouldn’t mind him being his personal catcher. No slight to Ruiz of course but that’s high praise. Could he be the next Coste?

    1. This team is built to win the regular season. This is not a postseason bench in any way

      1. What is a post season bench? Was this a post-season bench Jenkins, Bruntlett, Coste, Dobbs, Iguchi, Stairs? At least this year our bench is comprised of players who have shown in the past they can have a professional at bat. Last year we had to rely on bench players a lot due to injuries and if it was not for a second half improvement from Mayberry all of them would have had particularly awful seasons. But our awful bench still won 1 more game than our #2 pitcher did last year in the playoffs.

        1. Most times the bench doesn’t come into play nearly as much in the post season as it does the regular season. The argument for me is that in 2008 the Phils had guys like Howard, Utley, Rollins, Burrell, Victorino, and Werth that didn’t really need days off at that point in their career. Now, most of our players are at the age where they need some time off and having a better bench will help during the season. The interesting thing that Charlie hasn’t really managed well lately is that there is usually a pretty direct correlation between the number of starts a bench player gets and his success as a pinch hitter, meaning that if you start a bench player once a week or work him into a blowout for a few AB’s once in a while, he’ll usually perform better as a pinch hitter. I certainly hope that if the Phils starters stay healthy this year, we still see Wigginton once a week or more at 3B, and Mayberrry and/or Thome once a week at 1B after Howard returns, and Mayberry in CF once every week or two, etc.

          Last year, Utley played too much after he came back, Ibanez played more than he needed to, and Polanco when “healthy” played more than he should have.

      1. Man he can’t catch a break….

        I’m not sure what if anything you could get for Nix just sayin he’s a piece that doesn’t seem to fit. Thome is going to be your Left Handed hitter off the bench in big spots. I’m only saying what I would do not what they will do.

        1. Nix isn’t going anywhere. They just signed him as a FA to a 2-year deal. They aren’t going to trade him before he’s ever played a game.

  27. It’s still early, but Dontrelle Willis is not doing himself any favors by walking every batter in sight. If this keeps up, Horst or Savery will make the roster and Diekman will be at AAA to finish his development and could be up with the team by mid-year.

    1. Agreed. Savery is the team’s 2nd best lefty reliever right now.

      I’m still cautious on Diekman. He’s got a great arm but he’s a risky prospect. He has to improve his control in order to succeed, and at his age and stage of development I think it’s less than 50/50 that it actually happens.

      1. I saw Diekman pitch last yr and he was awesome. He is getting good reviews so far. That being said I hope he goes to AAA for most of the yr to work on secondary pitches. Willis is not looking good. The Phils don’t need to have a second lefty. You can go with Herndon or DeFratus (when healthy). So it will be interesting to see who makes the push for that spot. Does Willis improve or you can look at guys like Savery, Horst, Herndon, Schwimer, DeFratus, Diekman, etc

      2. ‘Age and development’…no different then lefty relievers O’Flaherty or Venter were with the Braves two years ago..

        1. O’Flaherty was in the majors as a 21 year old. And neither ever walked 6 per nine innings. I’m not saying I don’t like the arm, the command is just a major concern. You can have as much pure stuff as you want, it doesn’t do any good if the hitter can just lay off and take first base.

    2. Keep in mind the depth issue. If you end up dropping guys like Willis and Pierre and Posednik and they end up leaving the organization, it can create gaps later in the year. As for the bullpen, I think Willis will have to be really bad (which as you state he’s working on making that happen) for them to not keep him on the opening day roster. I’d rather see guys like Savery and Diekmann in AAA and Willis on the Phils and if you look up at the end of April and he’s struggling and one of those guys is throwing well in AAA, then you can make a change.

  28. Valle getting an appearance today how bout that….

    Willis was lit up like a christmas tree it looks like

    1. probably some time in the beginning of may i hope and that is only if every thing goes well

    2. With the latest set-back with the infection I expect it will be closer to late May. Will probably miss around 50 games.

    3. Probably around the all star break realistically.

      Hopefully? June. He’s lost almost 2 weeks to this infection and he wasn’t even close to playing at that time.

      1. I dont think he’s lost all that time. The achillies is healing further along with the infection, meaning he can probably put more pressure on it after the infection is healed.

    4. The question for me is not when Howard will be back in the lineup, but how productive he will be when he returns.

      I don’t think he will be 100% at any time in 2012.

      If Thome can get 250 PAs this season, I think he will match Howard’s HR total for 2012.

  29. Heading to Clearwater tomorrow night. Will only be there for 3 games but will soak up all info I can. Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @nyphilsmaniac19. I just set-up my account so don’t laugh at my pathetic number of followers.

  30. I’m enjoying the battle between Podsednik and Pierre for the 5th outfielder’s job. Podsednik has been swinging a solid bat so far this spring.

  31. It may be an ironic twist, but without relying on Howard’s HRs, etc., the team will have to play more small ball which could result in better at bats and more movement on the bases. Charlie, who has always loved HRs, will have to adjust to these “new rules.”

    Yet, if this becomes a running team…that would be a strong reason to bat Vic 2nd instead of Utley. We can’t know how much Chase’s off-season training has allowed him to regain his power stroke but if he gets a lot of that back he could give some power along with Pence and Mayberry, and possibly Brown by mid-season. Meanwhile small ball applies.

    1. I’ll be interested to see the RBI totals for the 4 hole hitter thru the # of games Howard misses compared to last year. RH strikes out at a rate of 27% while HP is around 18%.

      So will the fact that Hunter tends to make more contact mean the same or more RBI’s for that spot in the line-up (assumes Hunter bats there most of the time)

    2. I give up arguing this “small ball” stuff. Most small ball strategies, most of the time, are basically ways to score fewer runs. Fortunately one of the good things about Manuel is he mostly rejects that nonsense, so thankfully we can safely ignore the calls of some fans for same.

      But that aside, here we have another curious reference to “better at bats,” one of those cliches that in practice means very little. Now, I would certainly agree that more patience at the plate is a good thing, and if that’s what you’re talking about I guess we agree. Except that I’m not sure what small ball or Ryan Howard’s absence have to do with that. Or perhaps those semi-mythical “good outs” that some people around here are going on about?

      As for being a running team, the break even point for stolen base attempts is well known, and thankfully the Phillies have in recent years been well on the plus side. It is, therefore, tempting to think that more of a good thing is better. Except one would assume that the players in past years have chosen the best times to run, and increased SB attempts would be lower percentage attempts. Add to that the team’s increased age, and a strategy based on speed seems unlikely to succeed.

      Even if HR are scarce (and even without Howard, the team has decent HR power), the key to scoring runs is getting on base and sequential offense, not “manufacturing” a run here or there by stringing together a base runner or two and a couple of “good” outs.

      1. Just to be clear, OF COURSE I’m not denying that there is such a thing as “good at bats.” My objection isn’t to the concept, but to how it is used. People throw that term around to mean .. well, it often isn’t clear what it’s supposed to mean. In this case, I don’t understand how the concept is supposed to be related to small ball. The “movement on the bases” suggests all of those little strategies that give up outs to advance runners – mostly counterproductive.

        Let me sat parenthetically that base running probably IS a bit more important than commonly realized. But it’s much more about the base runner than the hitter, knowing when to try to take the extra base and when not to, as well of course to having the speed & instincts to be successful in doing so.

        1. The “movement on the bases” suggests all of those little strategies that give up outs to advance runners – mostly ‘counterproductive.’ Pls provide statistical analysis to fortify that theorem.

      2. The “curious” reference to better at bats was made because it was relayed to me by one of the minor league players. It seemed as if he was charting the at bats to have better “plate discipline” in relation to scoring runners. I respect your point of view.

        1. I honestly would like to have it explained exactly what people mean when they say this. Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW that you hear a lot of this from professionals – but what does it mean in practice? Plate discipline is great to have in almost any situation. “In relation to scoring runners” is what IMO doesn’t make much sense. With one possible small exception (see below) I just do not see how “plate discipline” has to do specifically with scoring runners. Obviously better plate discipline makes a player a better hitter in ANY situation, but I have more than a hard time seeing relevance specifically to “scoring runners.”

          The minor exception is the runner on second situation, especially with less than 2 outs. There we get into the “hitting behind the runner” conventional wisdom. And I do GET that strategy, and how it is executed. As I have said before, I have a lot of skepticism about it on two different levels. On the one hand, under the best of circumstances I see little in the way of upside from the strategy. We’re taking pretty marginal benefits AT BEST – a “normal” approach will score that runner almost as often (maybe more often) than an altered approach. The possible downside is lowering the chance of scoring MORE runs – if you’re altered approach (taking pitches you wouldn’t normally take, maybe altering your swing), you’re getting on base less and making more outs. It would be nice to see some numbers here.

          Even if I am wrong – even if there is some skill that is nice to develop that aids run scoring – I just can’t see how it can amount to much of anything over the course of a season. And thus the attention paid to it seems inordinate.

  32. Savery IMO needs to get a real shot at the pen…since Willis has looked as bad as I previously suggested and Dieckman needs seasoning at LV for command and a 2nd pitch.

    1. I don’t think Willis is long for this team. I have never heard Rich Dubee sound as hissed off as he was yesterday at Willis. Unless Willis shows a remarkable turnaround, he will be gone by March 31 and, frankly, it’s not a big deal as the team has more solid young relievers than it can handle anyway.

      1. Willis was supposedly signed to get out lefties and that is what he should be evaluated on! Right now he is pitching against both righties and lefties and he is not looking good.

  33. As i said before i dont like willes his control is teerible. I dont see savery as the answer though. I,d give diekman a shot. My man luna does it again. He doesnt have to play ss. Right handed bat at a minimum. Dmar great nickname ” lunatics”i,ll be sure to credit you.

    1. Thanks Brother. What he shame he isn’t a left handed bat then you could make a case to platoon him with Polanco.

      What’s going on with our prospects at the moment are they playing inter squad games on the back fields yet?

  34. I really think Galvis could get significant playing time as the utility IF. Valdez, Orr, and Martinez had almost 640 PAs between them last year. I really don’t forsee Utley, R0llins, and Polanco each topping 120 games this year

  35. Minor league games start on Monday I think. That means the Phils will send down their first batch of players on Sunday after the game.

  36. I gotta say, it’s really difficult getting a read off most prospects on television. We only catch a glimpse of Galvis after the ball is hit, can’t see his positioning beforehand. And he gets 1-3 chances at that. Ditto for at bats for all players. Sometimes you get a pitcher, but no radar readings. It’s tough to give a solid evaluation on most players.

  37. Nice outing by Aumont. No gun but you could see his fastball was popping with good movement. His curve ball didn’t have the verizontal break I was expecting but it was a sharp break. Enough to buckle knees after seeing mid 90s heaters.

  38. “The difference between Boston and Philadelphia, the Boston fans are a little bit more hysterical when it comes to the game of baseball. The Philly fans tend to know the game a little better, being in the National League, you know, the way the game is played. I’ve had a guy take off his prosthetic leg and throw it in the bullpen in Boston,” the former Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon said in a radio interview with 94-WIP in Philadelphia………looks like Jonathan opened up a can of worms.

  39. Does anyone believe that Worley will have anywhere near the year he had in 2011 this year? I think I would settle for .500 right now, if it were offered!

    1. Answer to your question: No, I do not. I doubt hitters will stand there with the bat on their shoulder, looking at strike 3 all year. That doesn’t happen for any pitcher 2 years in a row.
      I’d definitely take .500 record.

      1. I understand your statement but since no one seems to know why so many took KOs looking isn’t hard to foresee any change. Do you have any insight at all because I can’t explain the batters reaction and I would love help

    2. I don’t care what his record is.

      I’d expect about a 3.50-4.00 ERA… bascially typical #3-4-5 starter type numbers… which is all he really needs to be.

      1. There is a big difference between a #3 starter and #5 starter. I would be ecstatic if Worely topped out as a # 3 type starter.

  40. John Mayberry Jr Is in line for big season any one think he able to hit 25 homers and 100 RBI’s

    1. I really believe the story of this season is going to be the emergence of Brown and Mayberry as the next Victorino and Werth – different style players obviously but heading in the direction of that level of success at the big league level.

    2. I think he’ll do well but he’s never had a season close to that at any level. I’d take 20 and 80 with great defense and good baserunning and be very happy.

  41. Imo willis should not make this team. His control is terrible. Most of the bp guys have not shown anything exceptionable. Pap has. Stutes bastardo qualls kendrickcontrares and diekman would be my bp. Pierre will make the club because of money pver posednik. Speaking of money the phillies want gillie to have a great year at aaa. Same with brown so they dont have to pay vic. Hamels is not finanal problem, vic is. They have to find a place for luna the tuna. Long shot frandsen over martinez.

    1. I was wondering why he hasn’t been seen in three games. I was worried he got blacklisted after the botched catch/transfer in the outfield

  42. Willis should be meanted when discussing whether 22 year olds should LEARN how to pitch 200 innings. What a waste.

    1. Yeah. What a waste of a career. Eight years in the major leagues, Rookie of the year, World Series ring, major league pension, and 33 million dollars in the bank.

        1. He fulfilled his potential, he just lost it.

          It’s hard not to root for this guy… but he’s looked awful two times out.

    2. That goofy super high leg kick pitching motion obviously stopped working for him as he got older and heavier, but maybe he never would have been any good without it. It’s hard to know.

  43. Not sure if anyone caught this but Hale is reporting that JC Ramirez is now full time in the Pen.

    1. Where did you see this? I think its a good decision but I’m surprised they already decided. It might have to do with their decisions on placing their starters this season. This would open up a spot at AA for Wright.

    1. I agree with Goldstein that the system is unbalanced (due to trades – particularly the Pence trade) and that it has many good arms and few major-league ready position players, but I disagree that the system is shallow. Actually, I think it is knee deep with toolsy talent in the field and on the mound – so much so that there were some really decent players that did not fit onto many people’s top 30 lists. What I think the system is short on is sure thing top end prospects (perhaps that is what he meant by shallow). That being so, there are so many players with inherent talent that, even if a small percentage break throught (say, like 10-20 percent), we are going to get our fair share of stud players. That and, I think many people are downplaying the importance of the Phillies bullpen talent at the AAA level. These guys are really good and there are many of them. In the medium and long run, this is going to translate into a potentially dominant bullpen for the major league team and will give the team more flexibility if they need to trade a back-end of the rotation player (Blanton, Kendrick or, in the right deal, Worley).

      1. Its certainly not shallow in terms of upside, but its pretty damn shallow in terms of ML ready talent, the pig-pen guys aside.

      1. Suspect it’s a combination of talent (middle of the rotation arm) and floor/proximity (likely to actualize that talent, and could be a September call-up if he pitches well in Reading this year). The write-up suggests Goldstein still sees Colvin as having just as high a ceiling, for instance, but he ends up a two-star because he had such a lousy season last year.

        1. It’s interesting that you look at Trevor May as having a high floor. I agree he has a high ceiling, but I don’t see him as a high floor at all.
          May’s control make him questionable, whereas I don’t expect Pettibone to be a star, but am reasonably sure he will make it if no injuries.

  44. I dvr’d yesterday’s game and here are some take-a-ways

    Goosewich is a real good defensive catcher with a plus arm
    Galvis played second base and looked good. He has quick hands. He made a nice slap tag on a caught stealing and keeps the ball in play as he had an infield single.
    Gillies was 0-2. He first tried getting on w/a drag bunt but popped it up. He got on the second time on a FC and then stole second base. His speed is rediculous. Not even close
    Michael Martinez made a bone headed play getting thrown out at third.
    Aumont had a good breaking ball and a plus curve. They did not have the speeds.
    Schwimer looked good. His breaking pitches were a plus. He did cross up Goosewich once but a good inning.

    1. Michael Martinez is doing an excellent job of playing himself off the MLB squad. He does not seem to learn from his mistakes at all which is unbelievable to me since he is almost 30 years old.

      1. Martinez will probably start the year with the team. But unless he looks really good, it wouldn’t surprise me if Galvis replaced him by mid-year as the utilitiy infielder on the big club. Martinez is a little interesting because he seems to have quite a lot of pop in his bat and is fleet afoot. But his performance last year was not good and he seems to do a little stupid things on the field – the sort of thing that you pay a utility infieler NOT to do.

        1. Agree…..after 2/3 months (300/325 PAs) of fulltime work with LHV, Glavease ( as Tom McCarthy continually pronounces his name)..should be ready for a call-up if Mart falters or is below expectations..

  45. MiniMart is what he is. However, there’s no one better at this time, which is sad. Wig played 2B yesterday, and made an error which seems like a pattern, but its looking more and more like MinoMart will only back up at SS. If Galvis has a good year at AAA with the bat, he’ll take the Ute job next year. I haven’t seen any mention of it but it looks like the Phils are splitting up Blanton and Worley in the rotation so they don’t pitch back to back which is interesting. Blanton is sitting in the #2 spot after Doc with Lee at #3, and Hamels at #5. It also splits up the two lefties.

  46. Does Rollins have a decent HOF shot? VOR’s argument in another thread is that players get in because of counting stats, and Rollins will have the counting stats.

    My response would be two fold. The first is that HOF standards are evolving, and evolving specifically in the direction of being more accepting of modern statistical analysis. I expect in roughly 10 years, when Rollins will hit the ballot, modern statistical analysis will figure heavily in HOF voting. Rollins doesn’t do BADLY in terms of such stats, but he isn’t a HOFer by that measure, and won’t be unless he discovers the fountain of youth.

    But even viewed historically, it’s not just about counting stats. Stated simply, Rollins won’t have counting stats so impressive that they will be enough by themselves, and he doesn’t fare well on other “traditional” HOF criteria:

    (1) Lowish BA – .272. (Compare Larkin – .295).
    (2) Only 3 AS appearances. (Compare Larkin – 12 AS appearances).
    (3) Aside from the one win, MVP performance not good. (Larkin comparable but a tad better – one win, somewhat better in other years).
    (4) Only 3 GG (which probably understates his defensive excellence – one area where modern statistical analysis probably would help him). (Larkin also with 3, but this doesn’t reflect Rollins’ defensive superiority to Larkin).
    (5) Rollins was overshadowed by contemporaries to a greater extent than Larkin.
    (6) HOF monitor, which was an attempt by Bills James to quantify HOF criteria, is 120 to 79 in Larkin’s favor, with Rollins being on the wrong side of 100. Granted, Rollins will increase that as he meets career metrics (and that’s why I do agree he is closer than some people think), but IMO is not likely to get to 100.

    IMO for Rollins to make it he would need 3000 hits. That’s 162 hits per year for 7 years. Possible but not likely.

    1. Let me also briefly address the Perez/Hernandez comp from the other thread. Perez is I guess the kind of comp you want to use to argue a case for Rollins. Even setting aside the issue of evolving voting standards (Perez IMO probably wouldn’t have made it in under likely voting standards in 2022), I think the big difference is AS game appearances – not just in themselves, but in terms of what they represent. Perez had 7, not an outstanding total, but more than twice as many as Rollins. I just think he was regarded as more as a “star” than was Rollins for most of his career.

      I also think Perez’ career totals in counting stats were more impressive than Rollins’ are likely to be. Yes, Rollins is a SS and Perez was a 1B/3B, but OTOH Rollins played in a much higher run scoring context, so that somewhat balances out.

    2. I agree with a lot of the points you make. But the main point is your assumption that in 10 years the Hall of fame voters will ignore/devalue counting stats when making their choices. I cannot assume that.
      The best point you make, is how voters will view Rollins in comparison to contemporaries. The fact that Rollins hasn’t been a perennial all-star is probably the most damaging thing to his cause.
      As far as your calculation, that Rollins will need 7 years and 3,000 hits, to make it, I do not agree. Although not likely, if Rollins repeats his 2011, for the next 4 seasons, he will have close to 2,500 hits, 230 HRs, and 490 SBs.
      There will be 23 Hall of fame Shortstops when Rollins comes up (25 if Omar Viz and Trammell make it). Of the 23 SS in the HOF, only 9 will have more hits than Rollins, only 6 will have more Hrs, only 3 will have more steals. And surprisingly, Rollins would have a higher BA than about 8 of them. If he produces for 4 more seasons, I think his numbers by themself would get him in. I think his bigger problem will be the lack of All star appearances and the likelihood that Jeter and ARod will retire in close proximity.

      1. Offensive standards for SS have changed, and the voters have recognized that (see Trammell).

        But really I don’t think we’re disagreeing THAT much. I think he’s close to being a candidate, just not as close as you seem to think. And we agree regarding the factors that are likely problematic for him.

        1. Beating this to death, I know, but using his 10 best comps through age 32, assuming he closes his career similarly to those players, he ends up with 2517 hits, 241 HR, 433 SB, .271/.337/.430. Not far from where you have him. IMO that wouldn’t be enough, given his low AS game totals, offensive context, the evolution of SS offensive expectations, and the Jeter/Rodriguez factor. Granted that all 4 of those factors may amount to the largely the same thing.

      2. Baseball writers do the voting for HOF candidates…IMO majority of the older ones are not so much ‘into’ the modern statistical metric analysis…so it will be an evolvement over years, and longer then 10 years..

        1. The process won’t be complete in 10 years, but it will IMO be much further along. Look at even this year. Larkin was not a bad candidate by traditional standards, but he does VERY well by most modern metrics, and I think his voting performance reflected better acceptance of such metrics. Raines is even a better example; he is a guy with a mediocre case in terms of traditional metrics, but a fantastic case in terms of modern metrics, and his vote total jumped significantly. On the other hand, Jack Morris. So we still have a ways to go.

          1. But let me also be clear that that is not my main argument as to why Rollins won’t make it. I think he falls just a little short by both metrics. More acceptance of modern stats hurts his case in terms of hitting, but helps it in terms of fielding and base running. Maybe a marginally stronger case in terms of traditional standards.

        2. One irony here is that modern analysis has gotten accepted MUCH faster among major league baseball organizations than among sports writers. Well, not ironic, really – except if we’re talking about Alanis Morissette irony. Baseball organizations have a profit motive to get it right; that really doesn’t apply to sports writers.

    3. I also think the Trammell comp is interesting. I understand your point about him “falling off a cliff” after age 33, but I think that exaggerates his decline somewhat. Through 32 they are very comparable players. Rollins, if he ages more gracefully, could end up with better career numbers. OTOH, career offensive contexts were very different*, and Trammell was more highly regarded through much of his career (6 AS games). Yet Trammell can’t get over 40%.

      *Yes, I think the voters do take that into account, if only indirectly and imperfectly. In this case, the fact that Rollins falls so far behind Rodriquez and Jeter is likely to impact the voting. Trammell was competing with Ripken, O. Smith and others, but it’s a closer competition.

      1. The one thing that Rollins will have over Trammell (other than counting stats) is that he was MVP. Voters will always look at that distinction as the best player in the game for one season. Jeter doesn’t even have that.
        There are not many players, if any, that have played 15 very productive years at a premium position, won an MVP, then not be voted into the Hall of fame. If there are some players like this, it has to be a short list.

        1. I guess it depends to some extent how you define “very productive.” But a glance at the list of MVP winners suggests that most it’s about 50% in/50% out. Let’s see (noting thrid basemen and CF, arguably not “premium” defensive positions):

          Tejada – not eligible; most likely out. (borderline on 15 productive years)
          I. Rodriguez – not eligible; who knows?
          Kent – not eligible; likely out
          Griffey – not eligible; most likely in (CF)
          C. Jones – not eligible; likely in (3rd base)
          Henderson – in (CF)
          Pendleton – out (3rd base; borberline on 15 “very productice” years)
          McGee – out (CF)
          Sandberg – in
          Brett – in (3B)
          Carew – in
          Lynn – out (CF)
          Torre – out, likely eventually in but with an assist from managerial career (3B in his MVP year)
          Boyer – out (3B)
          Wills – out (less than 15 years; can argue about “very productive” I suppose)
          Elliott – out (3B)
          Rizzuto – in (only 13 years)
          Boudreau – in
          Marion – out (only 13 years)

          I only went back to 1940. Did I miss anyone? I intentionally excluded some guys with shorter careers, some who made it in and some who didn’t.

          Not sure how illuminating this is one or the other; for the most part, the guys in are signficantly better than Rollins, the guys out worse. And the sample size, if you exclude the third basemen and center fielders, is small. And even smaller if you exclude borderline cases such as Wills. The two guys on that list which are most helpful to Rollins case are probably Rizzuto and Boudreau, but both were Vet committee picks, the expectations for the position have changed a lot since then, and of course Rizzuto probably doesn’t get in without his broadcast career.

          1. I don’t consider 3B a premium position, so that eliminates most of the “outs”.
            Kent and Tejada may not make it due to steroid suspicion. So basically the list of premium position players, with MVPs, that are not in the HOF are Willie McGee, Maury Wills and Torre (as catcher). Either way, not many catchers, SS, 2B and CF with MVPs not in the HOF.

      2. I would,nt sell chase d,arnaud short. I,d trade galvis for him right now. Not taking anything away from freddy. Man ive seen some shabby pitching today. Hyatt was wild aumont wild. The best righty has been elarton. ALERT ALERT a little birdy said the phils are in serious discussions with Toronto about BLanton. My guess would be for encarcion. Martinez has looked terrible again frandsen has looked good.

  47. Looks like Diekman had another good game. Still thinks he starts season in AAA but he and Galvis having best Springs of the prospects. If the Phils trade Blanton I don’t think it will be for Encarnacion . I think they are looking for someone to take 6 mil of his salary and move Kendrick to the #5 starter. Most likely you would see a prospect or two come in a Blanton deal.

    1. Diekman did not have a great game today but showed how dominant (and wild) he could be. He gave up two hits and let a run score on a passed ball. However, he also struck out three batters in his inning of work. The dude can throw – that’s for sure.

  48. Minor League games begin tomorrow. Besides this site where else would we be able to get info on the games?

    1. Alan, I just read the article and was about to post it here as well. That’s quite a bonus for some of these guys to be insurance in AAA. You have to think the Phils will only keep Pierre or Pineiro if they are first in line for call-ups should injuries occur.

  49. Is anyone watching the game? Vance Worley struck out 8, with no walks or hits, in 4 innings. Wow! If Worley can generate a lot of strikeouts it completely changes how I view him as a pitcher (maybe a #2 or 3 and not a 4 or 5).

    1. A lot of them looking. In any case certainly the most impressive pitching performance of the Spring thus far, by anyone.

      1. Well the speculation on Worley was that he would regress because he wouldn’t be able to continue getting K’s looking at the ridiculous clip he did last year. But the fact that he’s generating them still is encouraging.

        It must be taken with a grain of salt because it’s a small sample size, as well as “just” the spring and “just” the Pirates, but if his ability to get outs on people looking is a genuine skill, then it’s one we haven’t been able to properly assess. It certainly is possible he’s better than we all anticipated, even if it’s unlikely. Here’s hoping.

          1. Yes, which is why if it was luck, he’ll be regressing at some point (like with BABIP). However, it’s possible it’s a genuine skill (deception?), and if that’s the case, we’ve probably all under-rated Worley.

            I expect it’s the former, but will be very very happy if it’s the latter.

  50. More on Worley. I think it Like Dan said, it depends on if looking K’s is a sign of luck or a genuine skill. I don’t know where to find strikeouts looking vs. swinging, but Fangraphs has percentages of strikes swung at. Batters swung at Worley’s strikes 59.8% of the time, one of the lowest figures in the league. CJ Wilson had the lowest batter swings among the group (I used 120 IP min.). Cliff Lee is near the top/bottom with 61.2%.

    Expanding to a period of five years, Mike Mussina, Tom Glavine, David Robertson, Carlos Marmol, J.P. Howell have succeeded with this approach. At a glance, pitchers of this type tend to be pitchers with very good breaking pitches.

    The trick with Worley is that his percentage of looking strikeouts will become known. It’s only logical that hitters will swing more. And it’ll be seen how Worley adjusts, if he misses those bats and what happens from there.

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