Open Discussion: Week of April 2nd

Spring training is essentially over. The games start soon. This is exciting. My plan is to have one of these open posts every week, and I expect you’ll keep the random chatter unrelated to specific games or news stories in this post. I’ll again be providing nightly box score recaps, and also writing a few regular features and of course covering any big news and the like. I’m also going to spend some time updating all of the profile pages, time permitting. As I’ve done many times before, I’m going to ask that you behave and be nice to one another. We’ve carved out a really peaceful little corner of the internet here, and I want to keep it that way. As always, if someone is causing trouble, don’t feed them, just email me.

I appreciate everyone checking in this winter, even when there was really nothing to talk about, and I’m hoping the 2012 minor league season is the best yet in terms of this site. Thanks again for your support.

135 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of April 2nd

  1. PLAY BALL!!!!!

    Thanks James. I think this worked last year and the one stop shopping for boxscores was tremendous. Thanks for this site. Gregg is definitely around. How about Dave? Is he onboard this year? I’ve seen Slash do a few posts, I’m hoping he’ll still be traveling with Wmsprt and is willing to give us first hand reporting.

    There’s a lot of interesting prospect activity. Reading looks very good. Lakewood also has some prospects to watch. I haven’t seen the CLW roster yet but we can read between the lines, so to speak. LHV also has a few prospects especially in the relief core.

  2. Top 5 players who I will be checking in the boxscores first every night:
    1) Dom Brown, of course
    2) Franco
    3) Tyler Greene
    4) Biddle
    5) Gillies

    1. Your list raised an interesting question for me. Who are the 5 players that the Phillies most need to succeed? They have to be close to the majors. Here are five I thought of:
      1) Dom, for obvious reasons
      2) Aumont because when he becomes what he can be, watch out and they’ll need pen help
      3) Gillies because Victorino is a FA and they need to know whether Gillies is an option
      4) Cesar Hernandez, because 2B is a weakness and Utley is a FA after next year
      5) Trevor May, because they need to replace Blanton next year

      1. Good list. Because I am assuming they will resign Hamels and have to let Victorino walk, I would go with

        1) Dom, who will need to be in LF in 2013
        2) Gillies, who could platoon in CF with Mayberry in 2013 if he breaks out this year
        3) May
        4) Franco
        5) Biddle

      2. Hmm, interesting question. I’ll say it’s most important for the following 5 to succeed this year:
        1. Brown
        2. Galvis (still a prospect)
        3. Valle
        4/5. Gillies/James (I haven’t given up on James and the Phillies could use a ML ready CFer. Whichever guy it is would be fine with me.)

    2. Good list Nik. Was that you with the question on Keith Law’s chat?

      Anyway, I’m surprised you didn’t include May or Valle. Those are two guys who could do well or totally flop in my mind. It will be interesting to see how they do! Reading is a very interesting club in general.

      1. It’s hard to imagine, aside from injury, that someone young who had as many K’s in High A while improving his control would flop. I could agree with Valle if he does not learn to take some pitches. He might not have the power to have a Rod Barajas-type career.

        Also looking forward to seeing how successful they can be in AA.

        1. I think may could flop because 1) he has before; 2) AA hitters are likely to be more patient when facing someone with control issues; 3) reports say may works up in the zone, which is generally risky when facing hitters with better bat speed (like those in AA); 4) may is a fly ball pitcher and reading’s stadium is hitter friendly (so I hear), especially compared to Clearwater and Lakewood stadiums.

          Let me emphasize the “could” part of my previous paragraph. I also understand that may is very sharp (high school valedictorian, i think) and he has a lot of physical ability. So hopefully he will figure it all out.

    3. Very good list, nik.
      My top 5 boxscore watch:
      1. Dom Brown
      2. M Franco
      3. J Biddle
      4. T Gillies
      5. G Eldemire

    4. I’ll scan the box scores in the following team oder:

      1) Reading
      2) Lakewood
      3) LHV
      4) Clearwater.

      1. Clearwater over Lehigh. Clearwater doesn’t have any position players worth checking in boxscores, but the entire starting pitching staff is interesting. I’ll be checking Biddle, Colvin, Garner, Morgan and Wright daily. On Lehigh, the interesting players right now are Brown and Aumont.

    5. For me I want to see how those guys that are going to affect the ML club this year and next….
      1. Dom Brown. Still has the tools to be a really good corner outfielder
      2. Gillies. Could he step in next year to provide speed and youth and save some dough for coles contract.
      3. DeFratus/Aumont If we didn’t have 4yrs/50M at the back end, this bullpen could be one of the best and cheapest for a few years.
      4. Biddle when Doc leaves we are going to need a really good #3. Biddle fits the bill for me.
      5. the 2011. T. Green, L. Green, Walding, Quinn. The unknowns that could be the faces of the club in 5 yrs.

  3. Does anyone know why the phillies released Eric Pettis? I thought he was going to mo e quickly as a relieved in orginization. Me moved quickly but it was out the door.

    1. Ironic that he was released just as his “day in the life” piece came out in Baseball America.

      1. He has a book out…one of his relatives is a writer and suggested he do a novel on minor league life. She helped him with all the requirements and publishing aspects.

    2. From PhoulBalz:
      ‘…..fielded some questions on Twitter about this, but for those that don’t know, what reasons were your given for the release? I was told that it was strictly a “numbers thing”. The organization was really backed up with relievers this year and they “decided to go younger”. They told me that “I’ve done well” and that their decision had nothing to do with anything I had done this spring.
      Do you feel there was more to it? And can you elaborate? I don’t know if I can say there was more to it, but I certainly don’t buy their explanation. If what they told me was 100% true, then many more who were in a similar situation would have been cut as well. I think it boils down to my skill-set not fitting into the plan of the new man in charge (Joe Jordan, director of player development).

  4. Still haven’t seen a Threshers roster.

    I’m more interested in following the boxscores on the guys whom I can’t see myself in Reading and Allentown. So my 5 guys to watch in the boxscores are Colvin (really big year for him), T. Greene, Biddle (especially with the hints that he may be nursing arm soreness), Altherr, and Garner. More names when the short-season clubs begin.

  5. With the Giants giving Cain 5 years at $127,5M….Cole should get in the same neighborhood.

      1. yes.. plus they have agreed to that five-year extension deal… guarantees him $112.5MM in new money through 2017.

        1. This deal definitely could be a comparable for Hamels. Cain was already getting $15M this year (like Hamels) so they turned that into $20M, plus added 5 more years of $20M each with an option year after that for $21M or a $7.5M buy out. Bottom line, he has six year and $120M guaranteed plus another $7.5M buy out guaranteed. I suspect Hamels’ deal will get done soon and look pretty similar to this.

            1. He is a year older though and the WAR numbers are actually pretty close. Cain is 25.0 for his career, 13.1 the last 3 years, 8.0 the last 2. Hamels is 22.5 for his career, 12.1 the last 3 and 10.2 the last 2. Hamels has been a little better the last 2 years but not really that much to make a difference, especially with Cain having a small advantage on the career numbers.

    1. Why does anyone get released, he wasn’t as good as the guys ahead of him. In this case, Lavin and Rice are really the same players and they just drafted Lavin so they kept him. Rice was an independent signee, he lasted longer than I expected. He’s got a real sweet swing.

    1. Don’t know yet but the fact that he played with the lowest group in ST doesn’t bode well for him. He probably won’t make the WPort roster either and will have to wait for the GCL in the summer.

      1. Do you mean Lakewood’s roster? Because Williamsport and GCL both start play the same time. The Phillies have had HS players drafted start off the following year at GCL. Two of the players in Lakewood’s starting OF/DH this year did just that. Aaron Altherr(’09 draft started/ ’10 with GCL), Brian Pointer (’10 draft/started ’11 with GCL).

    2. If he shows up in the GCL it is a good sign, I don’t really expect anything from him for at least a year before judging him

  6. So just back from the first game of the On Deck Series. Freddie Galvis looks good out there. Nice bunt single and a nice looking swing on that triple in the gap. He made some good plays in the field as well. He keeps this up and it will be tough to send him back to AAA. Michael Martinez might be the one down there. I really Juan Pierre at the top of the line-up. It might be tough for Lance Nix to get some playing time.

    Back to the minors and guys I’m keeping an eye on this year:

    1. Dom Brown – lets hope he can catch the ball…we know he can hit
    2. Trevor May – he won’t be in the pitcher friendly FSL…lets hope for a big year as he might be competing for the #5 spot in the rotation in 2013.
    3. Phillipe Aumont – hope he builds off last year and becomes part of the pen in September and for many years to come
    4. Tyson Gillies – here is to a healthy year – could be a lead off hitter of the future
    5. Mikael Franco – I like everything I have read about him…nice bat and nice glove
    6. Sebastian Valle – would like to see the power numbers increase as he continues to strengthen that defensive game.
    7. Jesse Biddle- Take out the first month and he had a great year. At some point the Phils will have to start to get younger and I see Biddle being part of that.
    8. Jake Diekman – Was Spring training and the AFL for real? Hope so. Because that means the Phils have a nasty lefty to help out Bastardo in the future.
    9. Gauntlett Eldemire – He has a mixture of speed and power and a right handed bat. Could be something the Phils could use.
    10. Finally – The youngsters from the 2011 class- Larry Greene, Roman Quinn, and Tyler Greene.

    1. Given that Michael Martinez has done nothing in his time in Philly to show that he’s anything more than org filler that might get a spot in AA, I dont see that as a bad thing.

    2. “He keeps this up and it will be tough to send him back to AAA.”

      I don’t know about that. If there isn’t consistent playing time available for him if everybody’s healthy, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have him ride the bench.

      1. True, but at the same point. Utley and Rollins are both signed through next year. Does it make sense to leave him in AAA for another 2 seasons?

        Plus Rollins and Utley are both getting up there in age, and both are injury prone. It would make sense to rest each guy 1-2 games a week. If they wanted to, they could get Galviz enough at bats.

  7. Think that the release of Bill Rice is significant. According to the scribbled notes I have so far , see the OF at Clearwater to be, maybe, Miguel Alvarez in CF- Anthony Hewitt in RF, and the only other OF’s I see are the somewhat veteran Brandon Tripp and if they will Keep D’Arby Myers at the High-A level. In the Infield, however, there may be a surplus. I still have James Murphy at 1B, with the other IF’s as Harold Martinez, Carlos Alonzo, Jeremy Barnes, Albert Cartwright, Cody Asche,

    Edgar Duran , and Jeremy Barnes. That is 7. Of those listed, I say Edgar Duran should be obvious as the SS. They could move one of the other IF’s to start in LF and bounce either Tripp or D’Arby Myers. They could also move another to 1B to replace the more veteran Murphy. I would go for the IF/OF array as :
    J. Barnes LF, M. Alvarez CF, A. Hewitt RF, D. Myers OF
    H. Martinez 3B, E. Duran SS, C. Alonzo 2B, C Asche, !B, Albert Cartwright IF, Brandon Tripp 1B-OF

    For Catchers have Cameron Rupp, Kyle LaFrenz, and also Robert Stumpo and Angel Chavarin (but since I don’t see much in the way of Catchers for the WPT squad, I put those last 2 there , for now.
    So , for the position player array at Clearwate I go”
    Cameron Rupp C, Kyle LaFrenz C.

    1. Asche should not play 1B. He has the defensive ability to play 2B or 3B and should play one of those positions. I doubt he will ever have the bat to make it as a 1B. Martinez will start season on DL.

    2. The OF will be Alvarez in LF, Myers in CF and Hewitt in RF with Lavin and Tripp in reserve although I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lavin starting over Alvarez because he’s very good. After 50 games, Collier will take one of their jobs.
      The infield will be Murphy, Alonso, Duran, and Asche with Cartright and Barnes playing everywhere and Martinez on the DL. The only change to this could be if Barnes starts at 2B over Alonso since they sent him back to High A but he’s only been playing 3B so I don’t know. Rupp will start behind the plate obviously.
      The interesting thing about the CWater team is that they’ll have 3 starters who skipped LWood (Garner, Morgan, and Wright) plus possibly their closer (Brittingham).

    3. I go with D’Arby Myers he is a CF who plays LF and RF also. He had a very good ST. He hit a triple off Yankee’s Phil Hughes. He is the fastest in baseball. He hit other triples and doubles with bases loaded. He stole bases and he ran in with his speed, speed and more speed. Power with speed. And he had assist.

        1. Not Mrs M. I saw some of his games and read about some and I like that. He’s just one of the guys I’m watching this year.

  8. Galvis is obviously the most important prospect right now. I’m frankly surprised they are using him as the starting second baseman. With all due respect, and I like him long term, he’s sub replacement level. Even if his 2011 numbers are real, that doesn’t project to a player who can be a regular in 2012. Hector Luna would be a far better option short term.

    1. Hector Luna are you serious? That would be a downgrade defensively and I think offensively as well. Give the kid a chance and lets see what he can do. We know already Hector Luna is not a everday starter.

      1. Luna’s career averages are .265/.317/.388. That’s better than what Galvis produced at AAA Lehigh Valley last season. Will Galvis pick up enough grounders to offset the offense? I look at Galvis’ K/BB ratios, 6:1 in AAA and 4:1 in ST this year. I think he’s going to get eaten alive once MLB pitchers get a book on him. I like Galvis, but he’s not ready.

      2. And the point of mentioning Luna is that this is just a scrap heap infielder vs. Galvis. Not even putting an effort into finding a productive second baseman, which you need to be a playoff contender.

        1. I’d worry more about the production you will get out of LF and 1B than I would Freddy at 2nd hitting out of the 8 hole.

          I guess we just disagree Freddy is more than ready if you are realistic about what to expect from him offensively. No sense arguing that now let’s see where he is a few months from now.

          Pedroia, Cano, Utley in his prime were rare finds at the position. Besides production is production it doesn’t matter where it comes from.

          1. I’m not looking for Cano/Utley. But if Galvis produces a .290 OBP and .360 SLG, a .650 OPS, there are 30+ second basemen who did better in MLB last year. I’m worried that Galvis’ hitting is below the level of replacement level.

            1. I get it and its fair to make that point on those stats and he’ll have to improve his OBP but aren’t you seeing what I’m seeing and what Ryne saw? Freddy has that thing you don’t find in the slash line.

              I’ll take it for now and look to improve my OPS situation at another position as that is what I see this line-up lacking at the moment.

            2. “That thing you don’t find in the slash line?”

              I almost choked on my coffee reading that. Has the statistical prowls of this site completely faded from your memory? Look, we’re all Phillies fans, and we’re all hopeful, (and believe me, as far as Freddy, I’m practically praying), but I don’t think Alan is that far off base here. Looking at his last 10 games, he doesn’t have a single walk in 30 some AB’s, that worries me. If he hit an empty .260 with a .340 OBP I’d feel much better about this. But at this point, our infield production is going to be so atrocious baring a J-roll MVP year (which would shock me) and a 162 completely healthy games from Poly, I just don’t see how this team can absorb the lack of offense coming out of 1B and 2B. I agree this isn’t completely about Freddy, but you can’t just look at things on a position by position level, you have to look at the whole picture. Also, Juan P. in LF scares the shit out of me. Guy’s got a career OPS in the 600’s, in left field, are you kidding me?

              Offense as presently constructed = bottom 10 in MLB.

            3. I’m glad you only almost choked on your coffee especially if it was a Starbucks…

              If all you ever do is evaluate players on stats you’ll miss out on quite a few good ball players. We’re talking about a 22 y/o above avg defensive middle IF. So no his stats offensively have not faded from memory.

              In fact just the opposite the improvement he made from 2010 to 2011 suggest he can easily handle this opportunity and continue to improve. I’m sure if they want him to walk more he’ll walk more but the kid is clutch and has no fear at the plate. Obviously he’ll need to mature as a hitter in the 8 hole and understand better when he is being pitched around to get to the 9. No worries!

            4. I’m assuming that DMAR is talking more about Galvis having a good makeup, and hence likely to improve, than the illusive “doing the little things which don’t show up in that stats” argument which (rightly) rubs so many of us the wrong way. That’s at least a reasonable argument, and maybe true (though as I have said before, I think it is really, really difficult for outsiders such as ourselves to get an accurate read on makeup, at least prior to the point where it ends up reflected in the statistics). But even assuming Galvis does have a good makeup, it’s hard for me to see him taking a huge leap forward as a hitter this season.

              That said … there are worse options out there than a light hitting, good fielding guy like Galvis for a fill in role. Sure, he is unlikely to be much better than replacement level – but then the same is true for most of the alternatives. And that makes sense, as you would expect injury replacements to be .. well, replacement level. Sure some of the other names bandied about are better hitters, but they tend to be worse, even much worse, fielders. Now, IF it starts to look like Utley is done (at least as a second baseman), then maybe you look for a better option. But a significant upgrade from Galvis is likely to be expensive, both in terms of salary and prospects. The guys who can be picked up for free (or close to it) are … by definition, replacement level players.

    2. OMG, did you see Luna try to play 2B on Sunday? He was awful. He’ll never play there again. if there’s no deal for someone else, Orr will take Martinez’s job for the 4 weeks or so and Luna will probably have a job for 4 games until the Phils add Contreras and go back to 12 pitchers. All that’s to be determined now is Savery vs Valdes (after Stutes and Contreras go on the DL) and whether they decide to keep Podsednik, which it appears they will.

  9. 2 Years ago I would not have predicted Freddy would hit enough to make a MLB roster but then I saw him live last year quite a few times and had changed my mind. Make no mistake I don’t see him being an offensive force but I am convinced he has the make up to hit a very robust 250-260.

    I still like Podsednik over Pierre. Pierre to me is to 1 dimensional and he seems to have lost his ability to swipe bags. Not sure if he is getting bad reads on his initial jump or did he just lose that much burst.

    The 2 bench signs Wigginton/Nix have come up very weak. Hopefully its just a bad spring and when the lights come on they will hit to their career averages.

    Alex Anthopoulos has done a great job rebuiling the Jays. Can you believe they got Brett Lawrie for Marcum. Not saying we had the piece or pieces to get him but how good would he look in Red Pinstripes.

    1. Well considering they thought Marcum was worth it… We did have the piece(s) to get him, we just wouldn’t have wanted to pay the price (any of Doc, Lee, Hamels). But yeah, I have a man-crush on Lawrie and Hosmer as far as infield prospects go.

      1. Interesting that you say that. I wouldn’t have put Marcum on the same level as those 3 but definitely above the next two guys in our rotation.

      2. There was some talk about Lawrie falling out of favor with the organization, so that might explain why they were willing to go after an average pitcher like Marcum.

        1. I’m not sure why I do this to myself as its water under the bridge but Marcums career numbers are outstanding when you consider he spent his time in the AL East. But like your initial reaction he doesn’t seem to pass the eye test when you watch him pitch.

          1. Yeah pure stuff Marcum isn’t impressive, but the guy has really good movement, good location, and throws ground balls.

            That’s a big reason why I wouldn’t give up on Drabek for them just yet, they seem to know how to develop guys and get the most out of their stuff. Even Ricky Romero’s raw stuff is pretty mediocre but he continues to get really good results.

  10. I read Lendy Castillo will start the season on the Cubs 25 man roster. The infielder turned pitcher new pitched above Lakewood. He was taken in the Rule 5 draft. I guess I’d have to say that I’m surprised.

      1. It highlights the differences in pitching depth between the Phils and the Cubs. Phils’ goes MUCH deeper. But, good for him. Hope he is successful.

    1. Eps should call the Phillies bluff….offer him back this week …if RAJ refuses, then Cubs can put Lendy in Iowa or TNS for more seasoning.

    1. What are we to make of Justin DeFratus starting out on the big league DL? I think it bodes well for Justin. I can’t wait to see him back in action with the big league club!

  11. I wonder if there have been many prospects like Gillies, who have great tools but missed almost 2 seasons due to one thing or another. Let’s assume he’s injury free – how much will missing the past seasons hurt his development? Or is the aging process in a way independent of practice, and he’ll find he’s more able to rake than he ever was despite his layoff?

    1. You mean players who came back or toolsy prospects who battled injuries? Chris Snelling comes to mind as an example of the latter.

      1. I mean toolsy prospects who missed entire seasons of development. Right now no one knows what we will get from Gillies because 1) he’s been injured and 2) he hasn’t played. Let’s suppose that he’s injury free this year. Do we have any previous high ceiling guys who missed 2 years for any reason at the age of 21-22? How much are they hurt by not seeing any live pitching for so long? Or does physical development occur independent of seeing pitching at that age?

        1. Josh Hamilton missed more than two years of development to addiction. It didn’t seem to hurt his baseball abilities too much.

            1. Whether he is at Hamilton’s level or not, I have long suspected that player improvement at the minor league level had as much or more to do with sheer physical matuation than seeing thousands of fastballs. It will be interesting to see how Gillies responds if he’s healthy. I’m rooting for him

  12. Looks like Chase Utley heading to Arizona to work with his therapist …..hoping it proves beneficial.

  13. i think the phillies should have given matt way a chance to come back from his injuries. when he was in lakewood he baffled hitters and seemed to have good mlb potential with 3 solid pitches

  14. Not sure what kind of spring he has had but my bet for “someone that comes out of nowhere as a pleasant surprise” is JC Ramierez as a reliever. I think he quietly has a really nice year and we see his 96 mph coming out of the bullpen as a Sept call up.

  15. I agree Colvin will be on my short list to check first. Colvin, Pettibone, and Gillies are the players I will be checking on first every morning. I think Pettibone reaches the majors before May, though May might end up the better pitcher.

      1. I thought they both had good springs. It could have come down to Savery’s on the 40 man roster but Valdes wasn’t. The Phils didn’t want to drop someone off it.

  16. Anyone get to the 222 Showcase yesterday? I guess Reading beat LHV. Ruf 3-4 with a HR and 3 RBIs. Cesar Hernandez was another hitting star with at least a couple of dbls. Purcey, Schwim, diekman and Aumont combined to toss 4 shutout innings. Dom Brown also had at least one hit. JRod got roughed up but struck out 6 in 4 1/3.

  17. Cesary Hernandez is a guy I’ll need to follow more closely. He sounds like he’s having a great spring. I was pretty down on him after last year but the reports are pretty positive.

  18. Man I am happy for Savery but for a team that appears to be offensively challenged early on taking 12 pitchers is not what I would have done.

    And Orr…really….I would have gone Luna over him. And geesh after the spring Nix had it looks like we’d be better with Scotty Pods on the bench instead of his arse.

    1. I echo that sentiment. I think the question of the Spring should have been, not Posednik or Pierre, but Posednik or Nix, who had another miserable night at the plate last night.

    2. Yeah but honestly, how much difference would that extra hitter have made, it’s not like we’re talking about Puljos being the last man out.

      1. Yeah I get that. I’m still bitter they didn’t bring Dom north. I’m not a big Pierre fan as an everyday player. I actually read where Charlie or maybe RAJ said they thought he can do more than Scott….like what?

        I see Scott as being equally able to get on base and run with the added dimension of at least hitting a few balls out of the park, or put another way when he’s at bat you won’t see the other teams OF playing it tee ball style. And defensively he doesn’t throw like he has a wet rag hanging from his shoulder.

        I can’t say I thought the Nix signing was a bad signing. Actually thought it was a decent pick up til I saw what I saw from him this spring.

        1. I’m bitter about Dom also, while he’s not gonna be MVP offensively, I think he had a real shot at a low/mid .800 OPS, and that, is quite valuable… I’m just bah-humbugging right now.

          As to your comment above about Galvis, i’m not completely discounting appearing confident or in the fact that only “measurable” baseball skills are important. Maybe i’m wrong, maybe a double A player (only a late seasons AAA call up) with a history for horrible offense is going to go strait to a world series contender and provide meaningful offensive output. I hope he wins rookie of the year, hits 30 doubles, 8 triples, and 12 HR’s. If he does, we’ll go to a phillies game and i’ll get you drunk. :)

  19. In looking at the rosters for AAA and AA, I see that the Phillies are achieving the next step, which is a balance between having players from the system who are almost major-league-ready and players whom they have brought in from other organizations to fill in needs that crop up during the season. They will be able to advance in the system AA players during the year as they show readiness for the majors. A couple of years ago they had to put outside players at both levels. With the influx of last year’s draft, which may prove to be one of their best, they already have some pitchers in Clearwater. Nice job by the player development staff and RAJ.

  20. Phillies alumni story out of Braves camp. Yohan Flande appeared to have a spot on the 25 man roster, but the Braves reversed course and picked up Chad Durbin. Tough luck for the kid.

    1. What happened to Harold Martinez? He should’ve been listed on the roster and on the 7 day dl like Anthony Hewitt is listed.

  21. Supra touched on Juan Pierre above, I didn’t want to bury that.

    First off, Pierre’s main attribute is OBP. I think OPS doesn’t accurately reflect his skill set. His value is in getting on base. That said, his OBP has been about average at best most of the last seven years. And Pierre doesn’t use his speed to effectively steal bases, he’s led the league in caught stealings in seven seasons, including the last two.

    But veteran Phillies watchers may remember the 2003 season. Pierre hit .397 against the Phillies in 19 games. Since then, the Phillies seemed convinced that players like Juan Pierre win games. They couldn’t get Juan Pierre, so they traded away Marlon Byrd for Endy Chavez, whose skills resembled Pierre’s. They’ve become so fixated on this leadoff hitter prototype that they can’t seem to see that he’s not very good.

    And defense. We know Domonic Brown has struggles fielding. Juan Pierre meanwhile has maybe the worst outfield throwing arm in the majors. The White Sox were 13th in the AL in LF assists last season, only the Red Sox with their obvious park factor were worse. (And here’s a fun stat. Every time an opposing team hit a fly to LF with a runner on third, that runner broke for home.) If Pierre is playing left, is he going to be any more of a benefit in the field.

    Pierre is an option as a fifth outfielder, but he’s going to get far more than the 150 PAs he should.

    1. Piere has a fear of walls and other fielders.A GREAT morale killer is watching him stop dead when he hears foot steps.
      The fact that Nix could not beat JP out of the starting lineup will prove how bad the winter
      transactions were. I hope I am wrong.

    1. Nix has a two year deal, the Phillies are committed to him. I like Hall as a utility infielder though. Can play six positions on the diamond and unlike Michael Martinez, he has offensive upside. (Though I grant there’s a chance he’s also washed up.)

    2. They should replace Orr, with Hall. If they’re going to keep a utility IF that can not play SS, they may as well get a guy who can pinch hit from the right side when Wiggington starts.

  22. First…I was not on the Pierre bandwagon but as the Grapefruit Season came to an end and when I went to the first On Deck Series Game I jumped on. He is that type of player the Phils haven’t had in awhile. He is real good contact hitter. He plays small ball. He can get a bunt down. Having him in the OF 3-4 times a week should help this line-up Nix and Wiggington need to wake-up. I’m not sure Brown is back by June. Lets hope he plays well at AAA. No to Bill Hall. He is a dog.

    In the minor league front I see Pettibone gets the ball for game 1 of the double header tomorrow for Reading.

    1. The “dog” Bill Hall has a career 92 OPS+, while Pete Orr has a career 62 OPS+. Bill Hall had a 102 OPS+ in 2010. Pete Orr hasn’t had an OPS over 63, since 2005.

  23. Five teams in three years. Not including teams like the Yanks who cut him in Spring Training. His numbers have been on the decline since 2005 (2010 he did have some power #s in Boston but average was at .247). He strikes out a lot and doesn’t walk alot. Granted he is better then Pete Orr. We can agree on that. I don’t think Pete Orr will be here that long. Sometimes guys like Hall, who at one time was a talent, you need to take a look and see will he be a fit for the the team and that role. It seems like Hall is having a tough time with playing the reserve role. He got playing time in 2010 because Dustin Pedroia was on the DL for 1/2 the year.

  24. I hope Mitchell get off to a torrid start, Mayberry on first leaves a giant defensive hole in left.

      1. Mitchell would be a better fielder but probably even worse as a hitter. Mind you, I am higher on Mitchell than some – but he really hasn’t shown much as a hitter. (Major league equivalency based on last year’s stats: .222/.271/.352. I think he would be better than that, but probably not much better.)

  25. At last baseball is finally here for 2012. I’m interested to see what you guys would put on the field, a dream team of sorts line-up 1-9. The only rule would be it has to be the player as he is today and you have to go all national or all american league.

    You can mix your OF but your IF has to be by their current position and 1 Picher to win 1 Game. This would be a National League game so your pitcher will hit no DH…

  26. It’s to easy for me to go American League
    Reyes SS-More likeable as a Marlin
    Victorino CF-I’m a homer
    Votto 1B-I’m a fan
    Kemp LF-Should have won MVP
    Ethier RF-Grinds out AB’s
    Posey C-Sorry Chooch
    Phillips 2B-Funny Guy
    Headley 3B-Not a Freese Fan
    Hamels-Sorry Doc he’s home grown

    1. Sandoval had the best offensive output at 3B but has a bad injury history, Never liked Rameriez, I’m going with Zimmerman, young, plenty of upside, down year last year and even with that had a good year, good defense.

      Not sure how you consider Headley or Freese, not super impressed by either in comparision to the above names.

      Now, if we’re talking players the phillies could aquire, then yes, headley. :)

      1. Yeah Headley is more about who I like not that there aren’t better statistical players at 3B….

    2. Not gonna post this in batting order form (because that’s not overly important) but my list would be:

      P- Halladay (Kershaw if we have to consider the future, too)
      C- Posey
      1B- Votto (No more Prince or Pujols in the NL, easy choice)
      2B- Hmmm… Weeks? (Ahh Utley… why can’t you be healthy and make this an easy decision?)
      SS- Tulo. A thousand times over.
      3B- Zimmerman (tip of the cap to Aramis Ramirez)
      RF- Braun
      CF- Kemp
      LF- Upton

      The NL is surprisingly thin at IF positions. I’ll give AL a go:
      P- Verlander
      C- Avila (Travis D could be taking over this very soon…)
      1B- Well… technically Cabrera is 3B now, so Pujols
      2B- Cano
      SS- Andrus
      3B- Bautista
      RF- Granderson
      CF- Ellsbury
      LF- Hamilton

      Guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but what one league is deep at the other is thin at, with the exception of pitching.

      1. Nice….forgot about Upton but I had to get 1 Philly guy in the OF and 1 in the IF. Love Granderson, love Cano but also love Pedroia so that one would have been tough.

        1. I struggled with Cano and Pedroia as well. It was pretty much a wash, and since I have Pedroia in my keeper fantasy league I figured I could throw Cano a bone here.

          And yeah, there’s a lot of depth at OF in the NL. I wanted to have Vic, Pence, Bruce, and Ethier. I couldn’t justify taking any of our infielders sans Utley, though. Rollins is good, but no Tulo. Galvis has to prove he can do it offensively. Polanco… ’nuff said. Howard is obviously not an option. Chooch deserves consideration, especially since he may be the best game-caller there is, but in the end I think Posey offers too much to not take him.

          Not to say our team is bad, we just don’t have the best player at any position anymore… except SP in which we have 3 of the top 5. I miss Utley in his prime…

  27. The lack of a defense replace for Lf or first has bot to hurt.
    But for today who cares.
    PLAY BALL

    1. make it 0/4 with a strike out for good measure. Hopefully thats not a bad omen for things to come. Nice to see Charlie went right to his new toy in the Pen rather then send Doc out for a CG.

      Save your bullets Doc we’re going to need all of them!

    2. Ugly, but Albert Pujols went 0-5 with 3 DPs on Opening Day last year. One game won’t make a definitive judgment.

    3. Sandberg went something like 0-25 in his first ABs and that worked out well. A lot of newbies feel for the ball and not swing hard. He will get over it.

      1. lol that would be nice to see as well.

        I think we’re going to see a ton of power in Reading for him. If he could learn some patience we could have a top 25-50 prospect.

  28. Walkoff by Castro…2 run hr in the 9th…Valle with 2 hits and a BB…Cisco with the win

    1. Castro was the guy Ed Wade decided against as the PTBNL in last year’s Pence trade, instead chose Domingo S. In the long run, That could work to our favor.

  29. Well Contreras is not ready…got lit up in Clearwater…3 runs 2 hits 1 BB (gave up a hr) in a 1/3 of an inning

  30. Braves pick-up Juan Francisco, 3rd from Cinn for JJ Hoover. Francisco may not have the best glove, but he can sure pop it and he is big and strong at 245 lbs. RAJ has plenty of pitchers of the Hoover caliber …..he could have easily done that deal.

  31. Let me see Thome or Nix at first. What Cholly is afraid to slight Nix. Five inning of Thome = 5 days of Nix.

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