General Discussion – Week of March 4, 2013 COLE HAMELS PROBABLY DOMINATED THE DOM REP TODAY Edition

Yeah, just so you know, I haven’t watched the Phillies versus Dom Rep yet. NO SPOILERS. I’m sure Cole Hamels set down those clowns in like no time, prolly went 6 innings of no hit ball. BOOM HAMELS! *checks Twitter* OH MY GOD HE’S GONE OFF THE RAILS AND WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Discuss.

198 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of March 4, 2013 COLE HAMELS PROBABLY DOMINATED THE DOM REP TODAY Edition

  1. So far, DR…couple dozen hits…25% on first pitch…DR will not ‘walk’ off any island.

    1. Robles runs up Rupp on three pitches. Robles will hear about that from Rupp this season when he is catching him .

    1. From what I can interpret…..pre-game Hamels will mow them down. First/second inning check from twitter….DR is mowing Hamels down.

  2. Hamels said he was throwing all fastballs and the DR team can certainly hit fastballs. Martin and Pettibone don’t get to use that excuse though… The minor league games start a week from today so most of the kids probably have less than a week left in major league camp. Looking forward to minor league boxscores soon.

      1. Whatever happened to the guy who had Ruf as his number 2 prospect? Said he was a clairvoyant.

      2. I like Ruf a lot, but he’s still adjusting and up until today, really did not look bad with the bat. It would not be the worst thing in the world if Ruf started the year in AAA, getting more experience in the outfield and also getting used to upper level pitching (he skipped AAA altogether last year). In fact, were it not for Satan Young taking possible at bats and time away from Ruf, it might even be ideal for Ruf to start in AAA. No need to sweat over that last outfield spot, even if Young and Ruf are not there, Mayberry and Nix could fill that with a platoon just fine.

        Boy, Pettibone is really getting hammered so far – I wonder what’s going on.

          1. Yeah, when a guy runs around screaming anti-Semitic epithets in public, he’s not going to get a lot of love from me. He would have to do a LOT to earn my forgiveness. If he were a white player and had yelled out racial slurs, like John Rocker, his career would probably be over right now.

            1. As a Jew, I’m definitely sensitive to anti-semitism. As a human being, I’m sensitive to any kind of bigotry. Add to that the fact that I’m a baseball fan and it’s more than enough to make me hate that Delmon Young is on this team. Calling him satan, though, just comes off as really immature to me. We’ve had some other players do some pretty terrible things in recent memory. Brett Myers punched his wife and I didn’t see anyone on here calling him satan Myers. We’ve had players arrested for driving drunk, etc. This is the first time I’ve seen someone called satan here.

              Also, John Rocker’s own career continued after his comments, so I don’t know why you say ‘if he were white…’ In fact, shouldn’t you be referring to him as Satan Rocker? Huh…I think maybe I’m starting to understand where you’re coming from.

            2. Fair enough on the immaturity comment – it’s probably better to pass that by and take the high road. I Agree. I still don’t have to like Delmon Young as a result of what he said.

              My other point was seriously lost in translation, so I am going to clarify what I meant rgiht now. My point is that our society is appropriately sensitized to improper racial comments – people SHOULD be outraged by these comments. While Young has been chastized for making his anti-semitic comments, the outcry over these comments has, in my view, been relatively minor by comparison and that’s just wrong. Society should be just as offended by these comments as they are offended by racist comments.

              On Rocker, while the comments did not immediately end his career, it seems clear to me that once he was no longer a dominant player, nobody wanted him around. So, in a way, I do think it ended his career at least prematurely, and I, for one, am okay with that. Rocker was a creep.

            3. catch……you actually were not the first on the devil reference, original was from LarryM., who has posted that a few times over the last few weeks. Remember catch….how often do we forgive our bother? Seven times….no seventy times seven..Matthew.

            4. Catch-

              I’ll take your clarification at face value and leave it at that. I’m happy to get back to baseball.

  3. When did grown men become so sensitive to a minor comment? Satan Young put you over the top? Seriously, time to grow a set. No wonder our society is breeding men to be a bunch of pansies. This should be about baseball, not about how you were offended by a harmless comment. Baseball, prospects, spring training, etc.

    1. Are you talking about me? It didn’t put me over the top, it just rubbed me the wrong way so I said something, he responded and it’s over.

    2. A person being able to articulate his/her thoughts and feelings doesn’t make them pansies. That said, your name calling makes you appear callow. Growing a pair is also an interesting way of demonstrating your sexism, because apparently you need a pair of balls to ignore what’s right in front of your eyes.

    3. So it would be OK for women, eunuchs and pansies to be upset by the comment, but not for manly men. Got it.

  4. If you’re worried, go out and distract yourself, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’re distracted from your troubles. Thus, the person must confer with anxiety self help groups at once. Imagine it took the form of a drug with no side effects and no risks. Atenolol tablets belong to a class of medicines known as beta blockers. Adrenaline is produced by the adrenal glands in the body. Medication has a reputation for greatly reducing the frequency of panic attacks.

  5. Wow guys, let’s talk some baseball.

    I’m thinking about Ruf and Galvis and how both may benefit from playing everyday at AAA to start the year. Galvis I’d rather see play every day at SS and get 4-5 at bats a game and work on his hitting. For Ruf, I’d rather see him learn to play LF in AAA if he continues to struggle and get his bat going if that doesn’t happen by the end of this month. Assuming those two things happen, Betancourt and Inciarte likely make the team as bench players and the AAA squad could look something like this:

    1 Gillies CF
    2 Galvis SS
    3 Asche 3B
    4 Ruf LF
    5 Joseph C/1B/DH
    6 Castro RF
    7 C Hernandez 2B
    8 Valle C/1B/DH
    9 Overbeck DH/1B

    Starting Rotation:
    1 Pettibone
    2 E Martin
    3 A Cook
    4 Cloyd
    5 R Lopez

    Bullpen:
    1 DeFratus 2 Stutes 3 Horst 4 Valdes 5 Simon 6 Rosenberg

    This will clearly be the most prospects the Phils have had at AAA in many years, unfortunately not many with huge upside but its at least nice to see some younger names in there.

    1. My personal objection would be that i don’t want Joseph to lose reps at C just to squeeze Valle in. I think Joseph is a much better prospect and want him maximizing time at C and i am not sure if Valle is worth putting at 1B.

    2. I dont think betencourt starts the season with the phils. Lopez will be cut and horst will make the team. Simon and Ashe spends a month with reading then will be called up.

    3. I don’t think it would hurt Joseph to start back in AA. While I’m not of the mindset that he was disappointing with the bat last year, I also see no reason to push him to LHV immediately. Maybe with a couple strong months in Reading.

      And while I would like to see Galvis get regular ABs in AAA, I really think the Phils could use his defense (especially in games Lannan starts). And I really don’t want to see Betancourt on the roster. Especially at the same time as Delmon Young.

    4. The way that the team raves about Galvis, I find it hard to believe they won’t keep him up on the MLB squad and use him as a defensive replacement/spot starter. By doing this they can get him between 200-300 ABs and see if he develops further. Is this the best move? I think it’s a better move than keeping Betancourt, just because I think Yuni is organizational filler at this point.

      1. Agree, Galvis’ glove is exceptional and the org/Ruben rave about him. Spelling Utley/Rollins, one out of every 4/5 games apiece gets him ABs, and then there are the injuries that happen over 6 months.

        1. My question is can Galvis and Frandsen exist on the same 25 man? Frandsen while not the defensive answer that Galvis is has a better offensive upside. Freddy somehow tho when you look up and he’s 0-3 can get big hits late in games.

          tough call….

          I’m a big Ruf fan but I have to admit if things don’t turn around quickly in the right direction for him he will cause Larry’s worst nightmare to come true. I don’t get it. You work your entire life for this opportunity and crap the bed.

          Now he could of had a great Spring and still muffed it up in the Season but guys like him don’t get many second chances to prove their mettle.

          1. You think Galvis has more offensive upside than Frandsen? I mean I know this isn’t the cream of the crop here by any means, but can you explain your reasoning?

            My viewpoint is that both are at their ceilings – valuable bench pieces who can provide value at more than 1 position. Granted, Frandsen hasn’t played another position other than 3B in a few years, but could play 2B in a pinch. I just hope neither gets pushed into long term starter position.

          2. Personally, I think if Frandsen shows that he could handle back-up 2B duties, Galvis will be the every day SS at LHV.

            I am not sure I feel about that (and I’m not sure the club does yet either). One hand, it would be nice for him to get the ABs and continue to develop his offense, but it does further weaken the defense options late in games. I guess it also depends on how much they plan to resting Utley throughout the season.

            1. But doesn’t that mean Betancourt has to make the big club? You need someone to back up Rollins. If that’s Galvis, then he and Frandsen have the infield backed-up and Betancourt is in AAA where he belongs. I would love to see Galvis get a couple months in AAA hitting every day. Just don’t see it happening at this point when your other option is Betancourt.

            2. Yes- my post assumed that Betancourt would be with the big club. And as you say, that’s another downside to starting Galvis in LHV

            3. Speaking of Betancourt/Galvis/Frandsen….

              http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130305&content_id=42313632&vkey=news_phi&c_id=phi

              By the way, another strange statement from Amaro in there: “What drives us is whether or not he can play defensively. As we saw, last year, we sacrificed defense for offense and it didn’t work out too good.”

              OK, I get that Revere is good defensively (though he can’t really be called an upgrade on Victorino), but how else as he improved the defense? In fact he has worsened it with MYoung, DYoung, Ruf and the fact that they are at least considering Betancourt over Galvis.

            4. I agree on the whole, but I do think that Revere is certainly a defensive upgrade on 2012 Victorino, and arguably a defensive upgrade on even Victorino at his peak.

              The statement by Amaro is nonetheless cringe worthy given the other moves this off season.

            5. Chris Wheeler said last week on air that Betancourt is “known as a defensive SS” and I’m sure Rube believes this. He certainly doesn’t strike me as the type that would give credence to the defensive metrics that say he’s horrible. And his first season and a half in the majors were perfectly fine according to the numbers. So when he makes a nice play, as he did a couple days ago on a play to his left (I think) that will stick out. Unless he makes a bushel of errors between now and the end of ST, I believe the Phils will consider him for a job based on his “defense” and “veteranness”.

            6. It’s not just the metrics, though – he broke in as a guy who was well regarded defensively, but no one (other than Reuben and the Phillies’ announcers) have thought that he was for years.

              It’s really depressing, because I had at some faith in the Phillies’ scouting operation. Now I am beginning to wonder.

            7. Reading the whole article, and not just that quote … look, I know I get on Amaro a lot. But reading that … it’s just SO obvious that this guy is in WAY over his head. The fact that he made one really nice move (the Halladay trade and contract), and a few other at least decent moves – and inherited a world series champion – has given him enormous undeserved credibility. Because of that, many of us, even myself to a limited extent (less so lately for me) have given him the benefit of the doubt. But the Emperor has no clothes. I joked at one point that he perhaps was suffering from a serious undiagnosed cognitive impairment, but I’m beginning to take that idea seriously.

            8. I truly loathe RAJ. But this article is just filler. Zolecki picked a guy to write about and asked RAJ what he thinks and got stock answers. Whatever RAJ really thinks (something stupid, no doubt), this article has no bearing.

            9. You could be right, but I actually think Gillick’s input was greater this offseason than say on the first Pence trade. It was Gillick who met with Ryan and worked the Revere trade. I would also suggest that D Young was similar to Gillick getting Werth – injured pedigreed player who might take advantage of this opportunity (low risk/high reward). And the Michael Young trade showed Gillick-esque creativity (input?).

              On a GM show on Comcast last year (Gillick, RAJ and Ed Wade), I found it interesting when Gillick said he would walk an entire mall looking for the best value. But RAJ would know what he wanted and go get it immediately. I read into that that Gillick was not a fan of the first Pence trade (and overpayment of prospects), and thought that there may have been a wiser move out there. Who knows. I’m wrong a lot.

              I like what I’m seeing from this team this Spring.

            10. ‘Stand Pat’ Gillick did have his ‘bad’ trades, even with his agonizing over the details..

            11. Dave, I believe that Gillick had an influence on Amaro this year and Amaro came up with the ideas but they had to be approved by the Management team and Gillick. I agree that the results look pretty good as long as everyone stays healthy.

            12. Larry you may end up being right on Revere but I need to see a bot more first. Tough to discout Vic’s arm advantage too…

              As for Wheeler’s comment, I think he believes that light-hiiting short stops are automatically “defensive” shortstops. Betancourt’s never been known for his glove.

    5. This is probably not too far off. The Phls need to decide what’s best for Galvis’ development and Betancourt will either be kept or released. Ruf looks more and more like the LHV starting LF. This would probably cause the Phils to release Jermaine Mitchell who has actually looked decent but isn’t a future star by any means. D Mitchell and Susdorf will be the 4th and 5th OFs at LHV. In your pitching staff you assumed Aumont and Diekman made the big club but who’s your long man? I think one from BJ, Lopez and Cook will be the long man in Philly. I now think there’s a good chance that Cook will get the long man role and BJ will start at LHV. I also think Cisco and Friend will make the team and maybe they’ll keep Savery around too (someone on the DL?). This will leave several guys on the street (Robles, Miner, Morillo, Ramirez, etc). They also brought Cochran back but I don’t see a spot for him. I think Joseph will start at LHV but Reading is still possible. I think they want Rupp to start the year at AA though,

      1. I’m sort of halfway resigned to Betancourt as bench middle infielder. I even thinks it doesn’t hurt the team THAT badly. He’s not THAT much worse than Micheal Martinez, for example. And Frandsen can step in when Utley or M. Young need a day off.

        But IF there is an injury to any of the Phillies’ infielders, and IF they use Betancourt as a fill in, as opposed to calling up Galvis, I think I will officially give up on the team.

        1. I agree that Betancourt as the backup MIF isn’t horrid if it’s to get Galvis some PAs in AAA, and like you said to bring Galvis up as a injury starter at any point. My query is about your point about being “not that much worse” than Martinez. As a bench bat, Betancourt at the least offers a little bit of power, which I’d say is a good deal more than Martinez. Do you feel some other aspect of Martinez’ game is worth more than Betancourt’s power, (versatility or whatever you want to call it, a perceived speed advantage, however small it may be, etc.)?

          1. I was exaggerating. However,the fact that the exaggeration wasn’t obvious is IMO a telling sign of just how bad Betancourt is.

      2. My assumption was Savery is the long man in Philadelphia.

        Also, on Joseph, late last year when I spent time in Clearwater and earlier this spring, scouts in general that I chatted with are very, very high on Joseph compared to us on this board. One even said he wouldn’t be shocked if Joseph had a great camp that he would start the season as the everyday catcher in Philly with Kratz backing him up until Ruiz returns, at which point Joseph would go back to AAA to play everyday.

        1. If Ruiz wasn’t definitely coming back in 25 games, that would be a possibility but not the way its set up now. They won’t want to waste an eligibility year for 25 games. However, it is extrememly telling that Valle is not getting a sniff of playing time. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him traded at the end of the month, maybe in a deal to keep the Rule 5 CF plus something else.

            1. I would like to keep Inciarte, but I would be against trading Valle for him. I wouldn’t mind seeing them offer a Julio Rodriguez, Austin Hyatt or Stutes type arm.
              It may not take much to keep Inciarte, because the Diamondbacks are loaded with CF’s in the high minors. They don’t have space. They have 3 guys rated higher than Inciarte in the high levels.

            2. I still don’t think that’s enough to get Inciarte. They might have guys rated higher but that’s still no reason to give him away. Unless they think J-Rod might hack it as a 5th starter.

            3. You are probably right. Just wishful thinking that they would accept that kind of return. But I think that it is a bad idea to give up your #14 prospect for another organization’s unprotected prospect.
              I’d be willing to give up Cloyd, Dugan, Simon or Rupp, if I had to dip into the top 30, for Inciarte. Not Valle.

    1. It seems they loaned new/old Phillies’ prospect, Edgar Garcia, to the Dominican republic, long enough for him to strikeout Darin Ruf yeasterday.

  6. That was one of my questions, where does joseph go, triple a or double. imo based on his spring so far, he might derserve to be the starting catcher at lv. even though he did struggle some at double a. imo pettibone, is another cloyd just short in his stuff, a emergency guy from the minors, at best , if you need a fillin for a start or two, nothing special.

    1. Disagree a bit with your eval on Pettibone…another approx. 200 IP at LHV, 2013 and first part of 2014, and he will be ready to handle the 4th/5th spot in a rotation. He knows how to pitch. Yesterday vs DR all-stars…c’mom give me a break!

  7. That was my first live action in watching Martin. Lots of life on his fastball and his delivery looked pretty clean. For the most part he was around the zone but the DR players aren’t really known for working counts. Hook has a nice break but he did hang a few.

    Looks like he was fastball/curve for the most part and not many change-ups (if any). I didn’t see any radar readings on his fastball but lots of late swings so he had good zip but he wasn’t exactly blowing them away either.

  8. Romus your right, on a team like the pirates who stink, pettibone might be a five, this team doesnt need a guy with his lack of stuff, if you are trying to win a championship. he just isnt good enough for a contender.

    1. I think I’ll take the opinions of the scouting consensus – as well as the numbers – over the unsupported, and frankly absurd, opinion of an anonymous internet commenter. He is seen as a likely solid 4. A five on a non contender .. that’s Cloyd you’re talking about. Pettibone has much better stuff.

  9. Joseph looking good today. Two singles off Strasburg and threw out a runner stealing second.

      1. I don’t think he’s quite there yet, but Tommy Joseph could turn into a really fine major league player. We kill the Phils for the original Pence trade (and, as it turns out now, the criticisms are meritorious), but this second trade could end up being very good.

        I like everything I’ve seen in Joseph. He reminds of those old players from the early 1900s. I remember when I was a kid looking at pictures of old players in baseball history books and then I’d look at the baseball encyclopedia and come to the realization that the “old” guy in the picture was in his 20s when the photo was taken even though he looked older than my Dad. That’s Tommy Joseph – 21 year-old going on 38, but all ballplayer.

        1. Even if he were better than Kratz, he needs to play every day to develop. The worst thing for him right now would be to sit on the bench 5 days a week.

          1. If he were better than Kratz, wouldn’t he be starting in Ruiz’s absence?

            But I agree — I want him to develop. No reason to rush him.

            1. +1 on that. Kratz/Quintero/Valle can handle the job for 25 games. For a team with three decent catchers in the high minors, you don’t want to force yourself into a situation where you’re forced in 2016 or whenever to cut one of them loose because you lack a spot on the 25-man roster. That’s a long way away, and it may not matter if Joseph turns into the everyday guy we think he will, but long term roster spots have to be in the risk/reward conversation. I’d wait.

            2. Do you expect Valle to catch in Ruiz’s absence, or are those just all the guys who would play before Joseph?

        2. Seriously. I have Joseph as my #2 prospect, and it was a tough call between him and Biddle. Watching him this Spring makes me wonder if I should have gone the other way.

          I assume he’ll be in AAA this year. Not sure how the playing time between him and Valle will work out.

          1. I had them ranked as follows: Biddle, Quinn, Morgan, Joseph, Franco. I still feel pretty good about that, although I expect some of those rankings to change fairly soon (because they always do) – after these 5, the quality goes down quite a bit.

          2. Remember the season Jason Donald jacked 4 HR’s in a ST game? I’m going to curb my enthusiasm just a bit this time around.

            I’m sure TJ is going to be a fine big league catcher but I wouldn’t rush him onto the scene just yet.

        3. Cameron Rupp is the same way. I know he is actually 25 or something, but he looks like he’s in his 30s. I saw him on tv the other day and I swear he looks bigger than the 6’1″ 240 lbs he’s listed as.

          1. He’s enormous. I don’t know about looking that old, he looks like all the football linemen I went to college with – they always looked 5 or 10 years older than the rest of us because they were so damned big. I like his size. I have a theory with catchers that, as hitters, they just tend to develop late and often develop power late as they learn to use their inherent strength and guess better on pitches. Rupp is so damned strong that there could be a lot of hidden power left to tap. In the long run, I see Joseph as the starter and Rupp as the back-up. Valle will be gone in a trade as soon as he shows something. The wild card is Lino.

            1. I agree about catcher development, which is why I’m so high on Joseph given he held his own as a 20-year old in AA.

            2. Would not be surprised to see Rupp hit 25 HR in AA this year, which is certainly inflated by the league/park, and if he does, I will take it in stride.

              And if you believe that…there’s this bridge in Brooklyn, see…

            3. I have to say that it is refreshing speaking about all of the prospects we have at catcher. After we traded D’Arnaud, it seemed that the cupboard was bare, with the exception of Valle and now we are talking about where we are going to find playing time for these players. We can trade Valle and still have a great deal of depth. What a great problem to have…….finally.

        4. I agree he looks like the ultimate throw-back. I see him being main cog in philly for long time once he is starter.

  10. Amaro on Ruf, 3/5/2013:
    “Ruf has struggled in the outfield and he has struggled offensively,” Amaro said. “Sometimes that happens. He’s a kid who is basically coming from double A. He wants to do his best to get acclimated in left field. He’s trying to impress with his bat. He’s probably trying to do a little too much. “Whether he makes our club or not, that remains to be seen. He’s going to have to play better than he’s playing now to be on our major-league roster. There are a lot of things going on with him. We’re throwing a lot of stuff at him. With some time, hopefully he’ll start to relax and play the way we know he can play. He’s still learning.”

  11. My thoughts on Spring Training so far:

    Majors:
    - Brown looks comfortable for the first time in the majors, he should be the starting right fielder but he looks like a guy who can be at least an average regular this year given steady ABs
    - Ruf looks overmatched, at the plate he looks slow and late, in the field he is a train wreck
    - Michael Young’s defense is going to be bad, but offensively he will put the ball in play and maybe there is a slight bump up in power
    - Howard looks good and a return to the 08-10 version wouldn’t be unrealistic (the defense looks slightly better but still horrible)
    - Utley and Rollins are themselves and that is always good
    - Revere is as advertised, good defense and sprays hits around and steal bases
    - Hamels and Lee look the same despite some rough outings
    - The movement on Halladay’s pitches with his control will make him able to handle any velocity drop gracefully
    - Kendrick and Lannan are #5 starters and one of the young guys needs to push them
    - I can watch Aumont pitch forever
    - the other young guys have their own warts, but Diekman looks nasty right now
    - I would like to keep Inciarte but there doesn’t seem to be a good spot (a Revere/Brown/Mayberry/Nix/Inciarte OF to start the year would not be the worst thing ever) he walks and makes solid contact and is a plus defender in center
    - Freddy is good enough defensively everywhere that he is needed for all the late game subs
    - Frandsen could be a decent PH option in addition to flexibility
    - Having Betancourt is not the worst thing in the world as your #25 guy, but Galvis is just better
    - I cannot find anything redeemable with Delmon Young

    Minors:
    - Morgan looks best of the AA/AAA starters
    - Pettibone needs some work against hitters that will crush a mislocated fastball (he isn’t Cloyd with the stuff but he needs to locate it much better), Martin has nasty stuff but control and changeup still a problem
    - Asche looks good, the defense at third is improving but he still has issues, sprays line drives everywhere
    - Joseph needs to work on the receiving but you cannot complain about anything else which has looked great
    - Collier looked lost, as did Valle
    - Gillies’ swing does not generate power and that is a problem
    - Simon needs work, but that is ok, he was pushed up too quickly now he needs to make adjustments

    1. I agree with most everthing you posted, except Galvis being better than Betancourt. Galvis is better defensively than most any player, but overall he is not better than Betancourt. Betancourt has been exposed as a starter, but he is OK as a utility infielder. Galvis offers nothing offensively.
      Domonic Brown is primed for a big year. Now that they have no other option but to play him, I expect that he will hit as well as an Ike Davis or produce like Dexter Fowler (2 guys who compared to Dom Brown offensively as minor leaguers).
      Tommy Joseph and Adam Morgan will be the most talked about minor leaguers in the system in the 1st half of the year. The may be ranked #1 and #2 by the draft, if both are started in AA.

      1. Well, Fangraphs has Galvis at 0.6 WAR over his 200 PAs last year, and Betancourt as a -0.8. I think Galvis’ defensive play makes up for the edge in power Betancourt has and I also think that Galvis’ defense would be more valuable to this team than anything Betancourt will bring.

        1. Well, Baseball Reference had Betancourt as a zero oWAR and Freddy Galvis as a -0.4 oWar player. And that was BEFORE Galvis got busted for PEDs. Considering most of Galvis offensive value came from an inflated ISO, in comparison to BA and OBP, I’d look at any of his offensive production with a little skepticism. But even with the PEDs, Galvis was worst than Betancourt offensively.

          1. Good point. We’ll have to wait and see what kind of affect that whole situation has on his power, either in AAA or the majors. Still, I think Galvis can improve since he’s young, and I think his skill-set will better serve the team in the extra infielder role than Betancourt’s. Ideally, I’d like to see Galvis in AAA to develop more, I just really dislike his alternative.

          2. According to Baseball Reference Galvis’ WAR 0.6 to Betancourt’s -1.2, so overall they have him as a more valuable player because his D is that good. Obviously Betanourt is a better hitter at this point in their respective careers, but with the role they are fighting for great defense is more valuable than average hitting.

        1. If Valle is not traded by the start of the season, he will have to play somewhere. Joseph has only played catcher full-time for a short time. Another few months wouldn’t stunt his development. If Valle and Joseph are both in AAA, not only would it take away from their catching innings, it would cut into their AB’s, because there are some games with no DH in the international league.

          1. Hmm. I guess in my mind Joseph “passed” AA while Valle “failed”. Also, I see TJ as a top prospect and Valle as not much of a prospect. Besides, I thought they could just alternate catching with the other guy playing 1B/DH.

            But I guess if they want to “showcase” Valle’s 28K / 3BB rate in AAA for a while, that’s their prerogative.

    2. I have a question for those who have seen Inciarte’s at bats: Is he walking so much because he has a good eye or because he is overwhelmed/timid and not taking the bat off of his shoulder in the early going while pitchers are still working on their control?

      1. It is a good eye and he wasn’t getting a lot of pitches to hit. He walked quite a bit in the minors but like any guy with a good approach but lack of power you have to wonder if pitchers will ever throw things out of the zone to them.

    3. Young has lost about ten pounds since he signed. He’s got warts as a player, yes, but having him in good physical shape in the mix when your only corner OF options other than Dom are Nix/Mayberry can’t be a bad thing.

      1. I would much prefer a Nix Mayberry platoon, which would match or even exceed Young offensively, and be much better defensively. Sadly Young probably will get the job despite this. His recent positive health report may be the worst news for the Phillies so far this spring.

  12. The league knows what Betancourt is and isn’t at this point but with the spring he is having I’m sure there is a 25th man spot open for him some where. My point is the Phillies have to keep him on or he will take his release and go else where.

    Freddy’s AB’s frustrate me. He continues to get himself out, that said with weak defense that is the starters I’m keeping him up along with Frandsen.

    My opinion could change but this is how I would go north to start the season

    Revere, Rollins, Utley, Howard,Young M,Brown, Mayberry/Nix/Inciarte Platoon LF, Kratz/Quintero
    Frandsen, Galvis.

    We know the SP’s. My Bullpen would be Papelbon, Adams,Aumont,Bastardo, JDF,Diekman,Durbin (reluctantly)

    Ruf goes to AAA to start. D. Young requires me to make a decision on Inciarte. I think if you keep him on to start the season you have a better chance to keep him once you offer him back to the D-Backs when Young comes back.

    Like it or not we are going to see D Young in RF. It would be nice to know we had a young middle of the order OF in the system who can hit and play defense. Two guys I really like are Grichuk and Witherspoon in the angels system. I have no idea what it would take to get one of them but I would do my darn-dest as they say.

    1. I don’t know what your obsession with the two of them are
      Grichuk – Free swinger, doesn’t strike out a ton but 23 BBs in 537 ABs is going to be exposed when he isn’t playing in the Cal League. He is a nice prospect, probably would be in the mix for the back end of the Top 10.
      Witherspoon – Dominated Hi-A Cal League as a 23 year old, was exposed in AA, good defensive centerfielder who sells out for power. He is a 4th outfielder who is a worst prospect than Collier and might crack the back of the list (reminiscent of Jiwan James)

      Grichuk is interesting but not a game changer and Witherspoon is worst than Collier or Dugan there are much better prospects out there.

      1. Grichuk is my preferred choice he is the better talent and would cost more. Just like I think you will be wrong about Adam Eaton I think you’ll be wrong about Grichuk. We’ll see what happens.

        Witherspoon is a wild card but he has a few things going for him. Speed and power and he hits from the right side.

        Sometimes Matt I think your in this defined box that doesn’t allow you to see high risk high reward. It’s not like we are going to get Oscar Tavares, Wil Myers or Stanton, you’re not going to get someone that everyone else believes is going to be a super star. We don’t have the chips but you don’t sit on your hands either and do nothing.

        It’s just my opinion but you better start looking around the league at other systems and see if you can find a guy ready to blossom. You had no idea who Tommy Joseph was before we got him, neither did I and neither did the rest of this board because we are so narrowed minded on our system.

        1. I was well aware of Tommy Joseph before the trade (but that is irrelevant to your point). You don’t make prospect for prospect trades, other organizations know more about their prospects than any other team they are not going to give up a guy for anything less than equal value. If you want Grichuk you are going to have to give up someone like Pettibone, Franco, or Martin, the Angels are not going to give up a guy for a bunch of lower guys. This is not fantasy or a video game where you make moves for the sake of making moves, teams are attached to their own players they have developed, while not always true a team is not going to give up a guy they believe in without getting something they thing is more valuable back. Now come time to trade major leaguers it is important to identify players to target in another system, but in that case you already have something they want and are able to make that trade. But you need two willing parties to make a trade.

          I think it is just pure optimism on your part but you see players as much more than they are by just handpicking stats and information, but that is fine you have your own method of player evaluation. The truth is, if someone like Eaton is a major league regular is an incredible outcome, to say Joseph could be a solid to above average regular is a great return, but most players are not going to be major league starters.

          I spend a lot of time reading about other systems, and for the most part I know the impact guys in each system (Top 100 guys + most of their Top 10-15), it allows me to be well rounded. I don’t know everything but I know where to look when I don’t. If I can look at a system without spending plenty of time watching live games and video and talking to scouts, and pick out breakout prospects I am in the wrong line of work. But I do trust what I read and I acknowledge that I may be wrong but I am not uninformed.

        2. You got already somebody better then both those guys in the organisation in Aaron Altherr. I hope the Phillies will start him at AA. The WBC qualifier in Germany showed(even in SSS) that he can hit AA and AAA pitching with power. I think he is ready to blossom.

          1. It would be hard to get Altherr in at AA, unless they start cutting guys. In Reading you have, Collier CF, Jiwan James CF, Hewitt OF, Lavin OF (and maybe Inciarte CF). I know I’m forgetting someone else.
            Altherr would have to squeeze someone out.

            1. Yes it all depends who they see as a prospect but they early placement in the workout group lets me believe that it is something they consider. Now its up to him to show he can play there.

            2. Given the prospects still up in major league camp I would view the placement more like the college guys in hi-A, he would be in line for AA only if he dominates in the first half but it is a possibility this year. Remember that hi-A isn’t age inappropriate for him.

      2. I agree. Witherspoon will be 24 this year and hit like .200 during his time in AA last year. I don’t really know how you could consider him as a viable option for a middle of the lineup outfielder.

        1. You don’t know how? The guy refuses to consider age to level in any evaluation of any prospect. Doesn’t look at BB% either. This isn’t new.

          1. I think that’s overly harsh. I think he does tend to underestimate those things, which may contribute to his IMO mistaken opinion here, but he doesn’t ignore them. And as Matt says, Grichuk at least is a real prospect.

            The more fundamental point is one made by Matt – prospect for prospect trades generally don’t – and shouldn’t – happen because a team always knows its own prospects best.

            1. Hold the phone Gents. To Matt’s point that all I do is look at stats is actually to the contrary of what I know about those two players. I don’t like to go here and I don’t think I ever have. My opinions on some players come from someone I know at the big league level who was heavily involved with some of these guys at the minor league level.

              That person has some pretty good knowledge so I’ll trust what they know. When we have the opportunity to talk I always ask him to tell me about some players he likes that not many people are talking about. So you guys can take what I say with a grain of salt.

              Second who knows if either is available and who knows what it would take but again you’re missing the point it could be any player and sometimes a change of scenery (witherspoon) is needed for a player to take a next step.

              In the case of Grichuk its not the case and he would be a tough get but I’ll say this the Angels are all in and he is semi blocked right now. If the Angels have a weakness what is it?

  13. Halladay and Joseph:
    Halladay complimented Joseph on his ability to call a game. “He wanted to talk a lot in between innings, which really isn’t my thing,” Halladay said, laughing. “But I didn’t mind it because he was trying to get a feel for what I wanted to do. I thought he did a great job. He was very on top of things. He was aware of what was going on in the game and the situations. That’s what you want to see.” Pitching coach Rich Dubee loved it. “You know what? That takes some stones,” Dubee said. “That’s what you’re looking for out of a catcher, some leadership. That’s pretty good right there. You have a two-time Cy Young winner with almost 200 wins and you feel confident enough that you can go up and talk to him. That’s perfect.” Dubee paused. “Roy might not be the perfect guy” to disturb, he said, “but that’s good.”

    1. You can tell the club really loves TJ. I wouldn’t suprised if he is with the big club in 2013 and Ruiz is allowed to walk

      1. It’s not too early IMO to start speculating about the three potential FAs. I do think Ruiz is the least likely to return, partly because of Joseph (he’s a rare example of a prospect where there seems to be enough evidence of good “make up” for me to weigh that in the equation).. Obviously Utley and Halladay’s returns are related to health and their willingness to sign relatively team friendly contracts. Of the two, assuming good health, I think Utley is the most likely to be back, simply because replacing him would be so hard.

        1. It is a very tough decision, because he pretty much is Mr. Phillie of this era, but Utley would be such a huge health risk on a significant multi-year deal. Start with the obvious — if the three are with us at the end of the year and willing to sign a reasonable 1-2 year deal, they will be back. If they aren’t willing, they will each get a qualifying offer, since the Phillies would be happy to have them all back for one season. What I think should also be obvious — if we are out of contention at the trade deadline, then all three get traded. We might well offer one or two of them deals after the season.

          1. See my comments below. Let me add:

            (1) What kind of trades are we talking about? Ruiz I think likely would go in a deadline deal, even if the return wasn’t that great. But IMO Halladay and Utley won’t be traded, and shouldn’t be traded, even if the team is out of contention, unless the team gets back AT LEAST a top 100 prospect, and more likely a top 50 prospect. And I don’t think that that’s likely.

            (2) Assuming neither player is traded, obviously multi year contracts for either player carry risk. And I think that, if either player is determined to test the market (again, we’re assuming healthy and productive 2013 seasons), some team will over pay. But it looks likely that both players would agree to home town discounts. If they do, then I’d risk 3 year deals, assuming reasonable AAV.

            One think to keep in mind regarding #2 is that, in 2014 and, especially, 2015-2016, the team is going to have a ton of payroll to play around with. And the FA market, as we have discussed previously, is looking dodgy, next year especially. They are going to need to spend the money somewhere.

            Look, I obviously like Galvis more than many people, but do we REALLY want him to be our starting second baseman next year? I don’t.

            1. I think it is likely that both Halladay and Utley will be back in 2014 barring huge injury problems this year. It is unlikely that the team will be out of it enough to justify trading them (if they are playing well enough to have value then the team will be in it) and then you look at the replacements and there just isn’t anything better. I would suspect two year deals with a third year option of some sort, neither will be cheap but both should be below market by a little. Ruiz could be moved or let walk during free agency because Joseph should be ready to start 2014. Their return value just will not be good enough to warrant moving them. Those moves don’t make the team any younger but it doesn’t block anyone who could make the team younger. If you are going to blow it up you have to move everything not just pieces and that might be a PR night mare.

            2. It would be insane to let Ruiz walk. He will either be traded before the end of the season or given a qualifying offer. The Phillies are too weak to just throw away talent.

            3. 35 year old Carlos Ruiz is probably not worth a 13million contract and it is unlikely that anyone signs him if he is attached to compensation.

            4. Getting one more year at $13 mill isn’t awful. With Joseph on the horizon, it is the multiple year deal that is the problem. I’d sooner do $13/1 than $18/2 or $21/3.

            5. This is just a dictionary run-around on trading at the deadline. Yes, blow it up does have a definition, which requires moving more than 3 guys. That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t make sense to move three guys if we are out of contention. If we are out of contention for 2013, there should only be one consideration for management: what will allow us to contend again quickest, hopefully in 2014 or 2015. We’ll still have Rollins, Hamels, Lee, Howard, Brown, Revere, probably Papelbon, Adams, Aumont, plus some minor leaguers ready to step in. That’s rebuild on the fly, not blow it up. If we have our second crap season in a row, something will need to be done. Even if Utley is healthy this year, that would be only one season out of the last 4. If we don’t contend this year, it would be wise to get what we can for some of hte core.

            6. I don’t believe Chase Utley could bring back a top 50 prospect in a deadline deal. Even top 100 is pushing it, unless the Phillies pull an Astros, and pays his entire remaining salary.
              If Halladay is healthy, there may be an opportunity to get a top 50 prospect for him.

            7. I think any of Utley, Ruiz, Halladay, Papelbon could bring a top 100 prospect and possibly a top 50, if they are having decent seasons. That is assuming a pennant contender with a strong need. Other than fracturing the fault lines built up in his brain, there really is not reason that RAJ couldn’t pay some salary. We are below the lux cap and the team is not exactly bleeding $.

        2. I’m trying to see the next CORE Larry. I see this season as the last run for this group. I could be wrong but I see big changes for this group Charlie included after this year. And thats not to say this will be a bad year. I’m quite optimistic.

          My opinion we need at least 2 cornerstone prospects ready to step in 2014. You guys say can’t too much. Please tell me we’re not pinning our hopes on our current top 10! Lets ply our hobbie just a little bit better.

          1. DMAR, obviously part of this is differing evaluations of the prospects. That said, I think you’re grasping at straws. What you are hoping for is almost certainly not going to happen. If it does, it is MUCH more likely to come from, yes, our current top ten, or a desperate team giving us a REAL prospect for a couple months of Roy Halladay (or some other veteran).

            Whether it happens in 2014 or later, for that new core, one or more of the following has to happen:

            (1) Hope for a couple of our lower minor players, or future draft choices, to blossom;
            (2) Trade a veteran or veterans for a REAL prospect;
            (3) Get EXTREMELY lucky, a la Victorino or Werth, on (essentially) free talent;
            (4) Have one or more of our upper minor prospects surprise us; or
            (5) Pick up a mediocre prospect for one of our mediocre prospects, and hope that that prospect blossoms.

            Now, I think option one is the most likely. The rest are long shots, but of the last 2, I’d MUCH rather hope for one or more of the current Phillies’ prospects to become stars than to take a flier on another team’s marginal prospects. I don’t think Asche or Ruf are going to be stars, but they are IMO more likely to do so than either of your guys. But maybe I’m wrong – the point is, the Phillies are in a better position to evaluate their own prospects than another organizations prospects. Trading prospects for prospects thus is AT BEST a risky proposition with little likely upside.

            Neither of the guys you cite looks to me at all likely to be part of that core I agree with where Matt would place those prospects in our system. Grichuk to me looks like a guy who, IF he can work on his plate discipline, and IF his 2012 was not merely an illusion of context, is someone who could be a slightly above average corner outfielder. If you could get him for (say) Gillies, or someone else in that range of our prospect list, why not (and yes, I know you like Gillies ::), sure, go for it. I don’t think that is likely. We have had this debate before also – the arguable fact that he is “blocked” in the Angels system IMO doesn’t reduce his trade value, it merely might make him available. But if you would have to give up a guy like Asche or one of our top starting pitcher prospects, no way.

          2. Though I guess I am focusing a bit on the wrong argument. That said, I’m not sure what you are driving at here. If you’re saying that we should try to convert Utley or Halladay into a top prospect at the trade deadline (assuming that the team is not contending – if they are contending, obviously that won’t be in the cards), then sure, I agree in the abstract. But would either player get us such a prospect? I doubt it very much. And if they don’t, why wouldn’t you re-sign them to help bridge the gap to the next generation?

            1. Slightly above average I’ll take. you guys just don’t see my brilliance!

              And prospects due occasionally get traded for prospects Mayberry for Golson. Now Mayberry didn’t become the player we hoped and Golson didn’t become the player TX hoped but Mayberry turned out better than Golson.

              We’ll see…my guy likes him, I’ve seen him play a little in the AFL and some more here in ST and I like him.

            2. Mayberry for Golson was not a prospect for prospect trade. It was a failed prospect for failed prospect trade, just to see if a change of scenery would help one or both of those guys.

            3. And really so that each team to argue that they got something and their 1st round draft pick wasn’t a dead loss. We didn’t know much about Mayberry as fans, so the trade effectively kicked the Golson can down the road at least a year. We’ve gotten some adequate to a couple months of quite good play from Mayberry, who has been at least a competent #4/5 OF. Trading an obviously failing first round pick works for both sides in the trade, it is great eyewash. When we got Henry, we were able to say we got a first round pick in the trade. The Yankees were able to say Henry was a valuable trade component so the pick wasn’t wasted. It’s really a great PR invention. Fools at least half of the fans almost all the time.

            4. I don’t think we needed to make that trade for appearance’s sake. RAJ had just taken over as GM so there was no pressure for him to prove that Golson was worth something. That was just a good trade.

            5. Shhh! You must be new here. You’re not allowed to say that Amaro EVER did anything good. That’s taboo around here!

            6. It’s not making the GM look good, it’s making the org look good. That’s the top job of the Phillies GM. No group of owners is more PR sensitive.

  14. On Betancourt versus Galvis, I don’t think that it is obvious that Betancourt is a better hitter. Of course you have sample size issues for Galvis, and the question of the extent to which Galvis’ power surge may have been PEDs related, but you have players with similar BB% and ISO; the only edge to Betancourt is contact ability (and that isn’t a huge edge, especially if we focus on Betancourt’s recent seasons). That’s not nothing, but against that you have a 23 year old with possible upside versus a 31 year old who is only likely to get worse.

    Weigh that against a large edge to Galvis defensively, and I don’t think it is particularly close. The ONLY justification for taking Betancourt, who is one of the very worst players of the past 20 years to get more than 3000 PA, over Galvis, is to get Galvis regular playing time.

    1. LarryM…a team with starters Betancourt, D Young and M Young…your favorite type of team!

  15. I would have Galvis play in AAA every day at least to start. It really make no sense to have him warm the bench in Philly, let him play everyday till J-Roll gets hurt in May while hitting .215, then he can get called up.

    Also have a really good feeling Ruf is going to start the year in LHV. Have a good feeling that RAJ has already lost a ton of confidence in him with his ST performance, it would probably be best for him to get some time getting comfortable playing LF and see how he does there.

    Why do I sense our bullpen is going to suck as much this year as it did last year?

    1. As for the first point, he may get enough ABs on the major league level to help developmentally, and it makes sense because his glove is needed on the major league roster with Utley’s knees and Young’s fielding. I can see the reason to send him to AAA with the knowledge that he is the primary long term back up at 2B,SS, and 3B.

      I agree that unless he makes huge strides defensively Ruf should go to AAA to start the season. It is difficult to make to adjustments on the major league level at once. There is still a lot of Spring Training left for him to settle in.

      The bullpen was actually good after Qualls left (something like 6th in the NL). Having Papelbon, Adams, and Aumont as the backbone should be good and then Bastardo should be good (somewhere between 2011 and 2012 results) and Diekman looks dominant. After that you have plenty of arms who could be good but they aren’t going to be needed for leverage innings (if De Fratus is your generic RH reliever you are fine).

    2. Galvis has more than 2,000 professional plate appearances at this point. I agree with Matt above: considering that he can play 3B, 2B and SS, he’ll get plenty of action with the big club.

      (As an aside, why does it have to be Rollins who is derisively expected to be injured by May? Not Utley? Young? You should take a look at how consistently dependable Rollins has gotten into the lineup over his career: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/rolliji01.shtml)

    3. Yes, that really is a ridiculously incorrect and snide comment on Rollins. Also, I really don’t think RAJ’s level of confidence has any factor in whether or not Ruf makes the team. It is Cholly’s level of confidence that counts. Ruf’s level of D in ST confirms my suspicion that PHillies were blowing smoke about how good his D was in winter ball. He stank in LF in the minors last summer/fall — epically bad as in missed line drives right at his chin if he stood still. I am surprised that his SSS hitting has been so bad. I think he is pressing, but then again things change with a down period. Year-long slumps can be left behind over a winter and so can a torrid streak like the one Ruf had from August to the end of winter ball. I think Ruf can hit MLB pitching, but people have the impresssion of him from that insane hot streak, and that was just an unrepresentative several month streak. He has generally been a very good hitter, but not approaching what he did in those few months.

      1. Check who the snide remarks are directed. You’ll figure that deal out pretty fast.

      2. J-Roll isn’t what he was and he’s getting older, that’s all I was trying to say. He’s hit .250 and under 3 outta the last 4 years, he’s 34 years old, trust me, he’s probably breaking down. Just hate when people take a simple comment I make and totally blow it outta context (directed at VOR, not you). Utley could go down too as he’s prone to as well, we’re not a young team anymore.

        If Ruf goes to AAA, I am not comfortable at all with that OF. I don’t know if RAJ would pick someone up or something at this rate. At the plate, it just looks like he’s trying wayyy too hard and swinging at stuff he normally wouldn’t swing at.

        The pen last year was good for what they had I suppose, I’m hoping Aumont and Diekman come through with good years, but I’m not sold on JDF at all yet. I think a little more time in AAA for him would do some good.

        The guys still have a few more weeks to get things together though, hopefully some of these guys that are struggling and turn it up in the next 2 weeks. These pitching stats are probably a little inflated as it seems like they’re playing in Coors Field every day the way the ball carries.

        1. The lowest he hit in those 4 years was .243. I don’t see .215 as likely. If you said .235, I’d say ‘maybe, but I think he’ll be .245 or better.’

  16. Simon looked good today. Apparently Joe Jordan’s belief in him is, so far at least, right on.

  17. Miner takes the lead for the first player cut. Competition like this keeps spring training entertaining

    1. Used to be a big pitching prospect in Atlanta, never panned out before surfacing for a couple years in Detroit and I think Texas or KC. Several injuries have derailed his career and he spent last year in AAA Toledo, coming out of the ‘pen. He is this years Scott Elarton per say

      1. ‘big pitching prospect in Atlanta’….have the Braves , of late ( last 25 years), produced any ‘home-grown’ pitching aces other then Tom Glavine? Smoltz was an original Tiger farmhand, Maddux a Cubby, Not sold on Avery, Chen, Millwood, Hanson et al.

        1. Hmmm, 15 year major league career and 106 ERA+, seems like good production from a home grown, pitching prospect (Millwood). I think Biddle and Morgan would take that.

          1. Are either of them “aces” yet? Not disputing the fact that they developed those arms, just wondering if they fit the definition of an ace.

          2. I stand corrected….they have developed arms and perhaps multiple aces. Though remembering Millwood from his Phillies days and seemed to be continually abused and struggling to stay in shape.

          3. On the subject of Feliz and Harrison: Can you imagine the name calling directed at Amaro if he had traded Andrus, Feliz, Harrison and Saltalmacchia away from the Phillies’ sytem? Amaro hasn’t traded that muchcombined talent, even if you combine all of the trades together, for Lee, Halladay, Oswalt and Pence.

            1. But he’s ruined baseball forever in Philadephia by signing Delmon Young. Didn’t you know that?

            2. Uh, you obviously haven’t been around here long. Or over on other blogs where the title of articles is Failure in Philadelphia.

    1. Yes everyone on the workout group list is there (I don’t know if there were any extenuating circumstances for anyone) with the exception of the guys in the WBC

  18. Who said ruiz would command 13 million a year?? if chooch hits well again this year,and the phillies make he playoff, even with joseph in the wings, letting chooch walk would be tough, he is a pitcher favorite and a fan favorite, and joseph is unproven,but with more potenital than i ever thought he had,pettibone is another right hander without a good fastball. hard to see him being anything special. not many kids can come into the league with bordeline stuff as a right hander and succeed,its seems you can lose some velocity like. a halladay and still win,because of the experience you develop. just my opinion

    1. Well everyone is unproven until they get a chance to prove themselves. I hate that argument against young players.

  19. I’d like to see a post with predictions for the minor league affiliates.

    For the upcoming free agents it makes sense to tag both Utley and Halladay as their salaries should be worth the tag price. With their injury risk and 1st round price tag I figure both to be back with the Phillies. Ruiz should not be tagged due to his cost as mentioned but his age will be an issue for other teams.

    On Galvis I would still like to see him in the minors until a full time role opens up due to a DL stint. I do agree that Bentacourt seems like a poor choice as a replacement. I’d still like Theriot better. I still think Galvis will not hit enough to be a starter but I’d like him to get a chance to work on hitting without the major league pressures.

    1. I odn’t know why people are so down on Ruiz no being worth $13 mill. I doubt he’ll put up the offense in 2013 that he did last year, he was extremely valuable in 2012. Take a gradual 2-year decline from 2012 and you still have a $13+ mill player in 2014 and one of the top catchers in the game. Does a team without a solid catcher gamble 2-3 years on Ruiz? I think it likely. Look at the mediocrity that got big $ at not crucial defensive positions this past winter.

      1. I think he would have a good chance of being worth 13 million. But. Joseph is arguably their best position prospect, probably their best position prospect in the upper minors, and certainly the highest upside position prospect in the upper minors. And while Ruiz may be worth 13 million in 2014, he’s unlikely to be a bargain at 13 million. And as a 35 catcher (in 2014), there’s a lot of downside risk.

        Obviously it also depends to some extent on how Joseph looks this season. But for a team like the Phillies, with an aging core and (in 2014, at least) marginal contenders at best, you have to start getting younger at some point.

        And yes, I get that one can take that position and still think that the team should tender a contract in the hope that he refuses it. But I wouldn’t take that risk.

        1. I don’t disagree. I just don’t think the Phillies can afford to just throw away Ruiz-level talent. That means trade him at the deadline or give a qualifying offer. Joseph is so young that not starting in the bigs the first half of 2014 won’t retard his development at all. If Ruiz accepts qualifying offer, you play him first half of 2014 and then deal him.

  20. Amaro was criticized for failing to acquire enough offense to compensate for the prolonged absences of Utley and Ryan Howard, but the general manager had a different view of the Phils’ midseason collapse.

    “Everybody clamors for the offense, but the fact of the matter is for us to stay afloat, we have to be a good defensive team and catch the ball for our pitching staff,” Amaro said.

    Wow! Did he really say that after being ready to put ruf, brown and d. young in the of and m. young across from howard in the inf? I think brown will be ok but we didn’t know that for sure and still don’t.

    1. how bad can m. young be? he won gold glove at SS few years ago. Somehow now he gets lumped in with Ruf who can’t catch a cold out in left field.

        1. Having no range is different from being totally hapless. If Ruf is in LF to start this year, it’s a disgrace.

          1. He won’t be. If they intend him to be in LF, then he is going to need a full AAA season in that position. Also, I am happy the way the spring is going so far for most of the new acqusitions and prospects

            1. Delmon young in right field is scary. Hasn’t it been five years since he has played there? If they have to play him why not stick him in left and put Brown in RF.

            2. You know, I can’t for the life of me figure out why, if it’s Brown and Young in the corners – the alignment is not as you suggest. Why put the slower, less athletic guy in right and the faster guy with the good arm in left? It make no sense – none at all.

            3. I am thinking (hoping) that the Young in Right comment by Amaro was when he was thinking that Ruf not Brown would be the other starting CO.

            4. Too much is being made of this issue. What does it matter, if Young has enough arm to play the position? If he is slow, and out of shape, he will be a liability in both LF and RF. It’s only an issue if Young doesn’t have the ability to hold runners.

      1. The year Young won the gold glove he won with a .287/.339/.402 batting line. Here are what the metrics said (based on different things) on his runs compared to average:
        Fangraphs: -4.2
        Baseball Reference: +9
        Baseball Info Solutions: -4

        To be fair it was his best defensive year of his career. Young at third base will cost about 9 runs a year more than an average third baseman. When compared to Polanco, Young will cost about 20 runs a year on defense.

        Ruf is bad and there is nowhere near enough data to make any conclusions, but just because Ruf has been horrible does not make Young good (Gold Gloves don’t mean anything, sorry Jimmy)

        1. The funny thing is you apologized to Rollins for the GG comment when he’s actually a terrific defender. I would have apologized to, say, Jeter.

          1. Jimmy is a league average defender at short these day (which is probably a plus defender overall) which is still really good. He got his last GG on reputation and his hitting (he deserved them earlier in his career) but yes Jeter is a better example

          2. My personal favorite of example of how much the GG is a joke is the 1999 AL Firstbaseman award going to…DH Rafael Palmero.

  21. Are Yankees looking at acquiring John Mayberry, at least for 1B until Mark Tex. comes back? Could Zoilo Almonte be offered in the swap?

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