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General Discussion – Week of 3-3-2014 – First Cut Edition

Last year we had a nice little discussion about who would be the first person let go from camp. Let’s do that again – FYI, I discount Joe Savery as he was technically gone prior to camp opening. He might have been my guess if he was still around, and he was clearly Amaro’s pick. 

You can pick guys sent back to minor league camp,  or guys who you think will be DFAed/Released/whatever method you’d like to use. I personally think the first guy back to MiLB camp will be Zach Collier and the first DFA/cut will be Jeremy Horst. Collier needs the reps he’ll get in MiLB camp and he is not making the big club ahead of guys like Gwynn and Thomas. Horst is the least useful pitcher on the 40-man and easiest to see sneaking through waivers, IMO.

Discuss.

71 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of 3-3-2014 – First Cut Edition

  1. I happen to agree that Jeremy Horst could be let go early on, unless Bastardo and/or Diekman suffer an injury….though shoulder ailments seem to be in vogue at this time and hopefully the Phillies have seen the last with Etan Martin. Horst had a rough year last season and needs to really come on early in this ST if he plans on impressing to stay.

    BTW…Dave Monty on the radio this morning said they didn’t handle the reporting of the college kids (Wetzler and Jason Monda) properly…… should have worked with MLB lawyers to work with the NCAA lawyers. It sounded like someone may have got canned or at least reprimanded by Monty for doing it like it transpired.

    1. I heard Monty on wip, sounded like he knows that it was really not handled well, and imo reading between the lines, not all were on board for what was going on, could be dead wrong, but that’s what I kind of got out of what happen, on a side note am I the only one who thinks matt stairs and Jamie are bad??

      1. Yes to Stairs (especially after yesterday’s game. Love him for ’08, but he’s not a good broadcaster), and I’m still not sure about Jamie. I do enjoy when he talks about pitching, but beyond that, eh. I admit that there are kinks to work out & they have to get used to one another, but having the Stairs/McCarthy/Moyer trio in the booth doesn’t feel like a good fit to me.

        1. In the words of Jamie Moyer, “I get a sense’ people need to adjust to our style.
          Sarge had an adjustment period also.
          Small sampling.

      2. They are better than the previous 2 in the booth. And lets give them some time before determining how good they are. As is a 3 man booth is not the optimal configuration but i hear improvement.

      3. It’s their first… what three games as broadcasters? I think they deserve some slack as they grow into their roles.

  2. The Reading guys will get sent down as soon as the minor league camp is beyond the basic drill phase and ready to play games which will probably be this weekend. That would mean Collier, Dugan, Valle, Joseph, Biddle, and Giles. The DFA list could start with Horst or Camp although I have a hunch they’ll keep them around for awhile and release one of the middle infielders like Blanco or an OF like Clete Thomas because I don’t see how he even makes the LHV team.

    1. I agree that they will hold onto the pitchers until later. Thomas should be the first to go, unless they have seen something wrong with Blanco’s recovery from his injury.

  3. Jon Singleton admits his drug addiction to marijuana today. Smoking started when he was 14-years old in Long Beach, Calif. He says it was prevalent among his friends with no problem to access.
    I just wonder….did the Phillies know of his drug problems before they traded him to the Astros three years ago in 2011! Isn’t drug tests done with all players in the system and would not it have shown before 2011? I would be curious to see what Dickie Noles’ files have on him.

      1. I find it hilarious this kid was sort of forced into this situation. Our reigning MVP has a DUI where he was literally stumbling and trying to talk his way out of it by using the “Do you know who I am” card… not to mention all the anecdotal evidence that Miguel Cabrera drinks an entire bottle of whiskey after every game to the point he pissed himself once.

    1. Dude, I’m sure the majority of players in the MLB smoke bud, especially the younger players. You’re frankly being naive if you don’t understand that.

      1. +1 – especially given that they don’t test for marijuana in the majors.

        Also, “I sucked dick for coke. You ever sucked dicked for weed???”

      2. Personal experience, Charlie Hayes used to always come into my neigh hood to buy weed, loved this weed, a lot of them smoke weed no big deal, its the other stuff, that gets you in real trouble.

    2. He doesn’t have a drug problem. His problem is that he’s a weak individual, marijuana isn’t a drug you become addicted to.

      1. You don’t have to become weak to believe yourself “addicted” to a non-addictive substance – he could have mental illness of some sort and uses marijuana to self-medicate. Chemical imbalances aren’t a weakness and feeling the need to medicate isn’t a sign of weakness either. Using marijuana or alcohol instead of admitting that you need “accepted” mental health treatment is very common among young people.

        1. There are two types of addiction: physical and mental. Some substances can be both physically and mentally addicting. Marijuana is not physically addicting like heroin, alcohol, nicotine or caffeine (which all have physical withdrawal symptoms). However, it can be psychologically addictive.

        2. He pretty much admitted to not enjoying being sober. He does have some sort of problem and calling him weak was admittedly harsh.

  4. I think the more interesting question is whose spot on the 40 man is most tenuous. Barring injuries I think they will need at least two spots among Bobby A., Buchanan, and Camp. My vote is for Gillies.

    1. I really thinks, its my old age, cause I see nothing in Gillies
      that makes me think he is a big league player. when I say I don’t think stairs and Moyer are good, its there voice, stairs talking that makes me wonder what he is talking about, they don’t have that excitement that good announcers have, that comes through your tv, we know they have knowledge. they just don’t present it well imo.

    2. Kinda think Manship is the front runner to take the spot you’ve assigned to Buchanan/Camp. We’ll see how they perform up to opening day. Kinda wonder if they hold off on Buchanan since they have a free pass on him this year. He doesn’t use an option since he’s cleared the Rule 5 draft and not on the 40-man right now, so if they like him enough, they may try to hold him until later and maybe keep him up for all of 2014 thereafter, hence saving his first option. Not sure I would worry about that so much, but it’s probably part of the calculus.

    3. I don’t agree, I don’t think any of them make the team and I’ll be surprised if Camp doesn’t get released because he has little left. I’m not sure what Bobby’s deal is but I don’t think they want to guarantee him for the entire year. He takes a mean walk but his bat looks slow to me and he can’t play the OF at all anymore. Its a long way to go but I’m leaning towards Gwynn and Ruf getting those last 2 spots. They’ll carry an extra bat until Hamels is ready and that could go to Cesar, assuming Mayberry gets traded. Buchannan and Manship will be LHV starters with Biddle, MAG and hopefully Pettibone, although I’m not optimistic about his shoulder. Martin should stay in the bullpen, if he’s healthy enough to pitch. My prediction is that Ruf and Howard are in the opening day lineup in Texas with one of them at DH and that Abreu gets released.

      1. I’m going to be very surprised if Bobby A. doesn’t make the team. The Phillies have a long history of favoring a veteran LH bat off the bench and they prefer what they think is game-tying, game-changing power. I think they see the magical HR more in him than Gwynn. Barring injury, I’m nearly certain Bobby makes the team. It is too consistent with their pattern of roster makeup.

        1. You might be right but I have a hunch that Bobby might play himself off the team. I hope I’m wrong and he has something left, he’s a good guy and I’d like to see him finish his career as a Phillie. I still don’t want Mayberry over Ruf though but keeping Abreu leaves them short in CF without Mayberry.

  5. Hey heading to clearwater for tonights game…any suggestions for autographs for my 10 yr old son…NO scouting reports to follow…i will be buying popcorn and ice cream

    1. Third base side but past 3rd base along the line. Before the game and again when the starters come out of the game.

    2. Also, because its a night game and because the minor league guys are all down there, I’ll bet many of them go over to watch the game. They’ll be the very tall, very fit, very young guys walking around in packs wearing t-shirts and shorts.

      1. Yeah there were a ton of minor leaguers watching…mostly by bullpen and tiki bar…but i couldnt figure any out…lol…although i heard Tommy Joseph’s parents saying he was healthy…thx for help!

  6. Interesting. This is the 2nd time I’ve seen Sandberg raving about Franco’s defense:

    “He’s looked real good at third base,” Sandberg said. “He’s got a soft glove. He reacts to balls well. The tougher the play, the softer he gets, which for a 21-year-old guy is pretty amazing. And his arm is very good. He made a play the other day behind the bag on the chalk and got it over to first base effortlessly and still had plenty of arm left.”

  7. I noticed in the article on phillies.com about the bench Sandberg said he likes Ruf even though he’s limited to first base. I wonder if that’s the final word on that and whether it means he’ll be in LHV to start the season.

    He also said he likes Galvis and that he’ll probably play twice a week (assuming everyone else is healthy).

  8. Also great reviews on Franco’s defense. He’s a 3b for the foreseeable future. I just don’t buy predictions that he will have to move when most reviews of the way he actually plays are glowing.

    1. Watching Franco is interesting. He clearly has thunder in his bat – the ball jumps when he hits it. Actions in the infield look good and he really does look a lot like Adrian Beltre. Long term, staying fit and trim will be of great assistance to Franco – he is said to be humble and a hard worker, so that’s good news. But man, he really has a chance to hit – the bigger question is how much his plate discipline will evolve. Is he going to draw walks 5 or 6 percent of the time or 9 or 10 percent of the time? I’m not sure what the answer is but it’s an important issue for him.

    2. I’m agnostic regarding his defense, and I am on record as opposed to a move to first base. And I hope you’re right. Couple of points though:

      (1) I put absolutely zero weight on what Sandberg says, for obvious reasons.

      (2) Your comment about being forced to move to first eventually is a non sequiter. The people predicting such a move are, by and large, predicting that his body type will make him less able to play third in the future. Even if he can play it adequately now, that could still be true.

      (3) The notion that the critics haven’t seen him play is absurd. Some people see his defense and think he is okay, some people see his defense and think he is not.

      (4) If you look at WHAT specifically both critics and supporters say about his defense, there is less difference than it appears.. There seems to be agreement that he has good hands and can throw. The question is his range, and no one seems to think that that is a plus. The question is, how much of a minus is it, and how do you weigh it against the positives.

      All that said, I certainly hope that he can play adequate defense. IMO the biggest reason that I have for being at least a little skeptical about that is last year’s partial move to first. Even if you can’t trust what the organization says about him publicly (which of course you can’t), the organization does know his strengths and weaknesses best. If they don’t think he can cut it at third, that’s concerning.

      But maybe the first base experiment had another explanation, and maybe his strengths at third balance out against his weakness to the extent that he will be adequate there.

      1. Wow, you read a lot into my 3 line comment. Unless you were responding to someone else?

        Just to clarify, when I say I think he is a 3b , I mean for roughly the period he will spend under team control. Obviously with his body, he may have to move earlier than your typical 3b. But, I think the predictions that he will have to move so soon as to seriously affect his current value are overblown. As with the concerns about his swing, which have all but dissipated, this seems like a case where the projections are slow in catching up to the performance.

        I didn’t say critics haven’t seen him play. I said most reports of the way he plays have been positive. Negative reports seem to be more focused on the body.

        Obviously he is slow and that will impact his range, but positive reviews I’ve seen say his quick first step and instincts mitigate that problem to some degree. Just like his reportedly great hand-eye coordination seems to more than compensate for whatever oddity people were seeing in his swing, it’s possible that he’s just one of those guys whose instincts and/or intelligence compensate for his athletic deficiencies. Like an Utley type. I don’t expect him to be an Utley level defender because few are and the fact remains he is and will remain kinda fat and apparently very slow. I do think evidence is mounting that he’s one of those special players whose results continually outpace the reports that rely on more generic sort of indicators like body type, because he’s just really good at baseball. It happens.

        Giving Sandberg’s observations absolutely zero weight is just silly in my opinion.

        I’m with catchman in thinking that the walk rate is the biggest outstanding question.

        Also, I just want to say that it wasn’t me who thumbs downed you.

        1. Fair enough, and not far apart from where I am, except that we will just have to agree to disagree about Sandberg. I put some, but not much, weight on what most team officials say, but Sandberg in particular just seems to say some weird stuff at times, to the point that I think putting any weight on what he says is a mistake.

          Okay, one more minor point – minor because I don’t put much weight on this, I just find it curious. I find the “quick first step” comments about his defense don’t square well with reports about his base running, which are along the lines of “he takes a while to get moving, but is reasonably fast once he does.” Which of these is correct, or is there some other way to reconcile those observations? I’m not saying that YOU are contradicting yourself, just that that explains a little about why I am a little skeptical of the “quick first step” comments.

          1. I’m thinking that what’s being labeled a quick first step in this case refers to his reaction time rather than actual speed. I feel like over the short distance covered by a third baseman, those two things would look similar and have the same effect of enabling him to get to more balls.

            1. Possibly.

              Nothing would make me happier than for you to be right, and, as I said, I’m currently agnostic on the point. If he can be even an average fielding third baseman, he would be potentially quite valuable.

          2. Brooks Robinson is, perhaps, the greatest defensive third baseman ever. Yet, he was on the slow side and didn’t have a particularly strong arm. What Robinson did have were great hands and great quickness.

            As we all should know, quickness relates to reflexes and reaction times, not foot speed. Brooks Robinson could move five feet in either direction faster than anybody, but we don’t call that foot speed.

            It is erroneous thinking to conclude, as some may have, that Franco lacks the range to play third because he is slow afoot.

            Franco has good hands, quickness, and a strong arm. That sounds like a third baseman, but we’ll see.

            My guess is that Franco’s physical conditioning will determine how long he stays at third.

            1. I’m not disagreeing much here, but there seems to be some disagreement among those who have seen him as to just how much “quickness’ he has. The “limited range” comments, it seems to me, are based on more evidence that simply people assuming that the fact that he is slow limits. his range. The only consensus seems to be strong arm and good hands – which are nice but don’t speak to his range.

              I hope you are right & you may well be. As you say, we’ll see.

        2. I do wonder about the “thumbs down.’ Probably people who think that Franco should be moved to first and that I am erring by being open minded about his defense at third. :)

        1. Well we have been through this before. Even if true, not reason enough to move Franco to first.

          But it’s possible that the Phillies’ organization is making the same miscalculation that many fans are making here (not about Asche, as I said I LIKE him, but about the preferred solution if they end up with two solid major league third basemen).

  9. What are the chances Rosin gets sent back to phillies? I know the Dodgers have a lot of veterans fighting for roster spots in the bullpen.

    1. It generally helps that it’s a WS contender and not, say, the Twins, Mets or Marlins, who could care less if they waste a roster spot. That being said, don’t forget that the Dodgers can trade him to someone else who can keep him on the Roster. Here’s hoping that Rosin throws hard and struggles with command this year. I think I may like him more than Munson.

  10. I’m seeing a LHV rotation of Biddle, Buchannan, MAG, O’Sullivan, and Manship with Pettibone starting on the DL. I’m also seeing Defratus fighting with Camp for the last pen spot in the majors, assuming Munson takes Adams’ spot, at least until Adams returns. Pap, Bastardo, Diekman, Lincoln and Rosenberg seem like locks. The LHV pen will have Garcia, Aumont, Stutes, Jiminez, plus Nesseth, Johnson, and Neris plus Martin when he’s healthy. I don’t think Horst will make it. Is Miner still around?
    Look for a bunch of guys to get sent down this weekend, the minor league games start on Tuesday.

    1. With Hamels’ injury one of those rotation guys might be in Philly. Manship perhaps. MAG is pitching his way to Reading. Greg Smith and Chris Bootcheck are also in the mix here.

  11. Luis Garcia and Horst need to go ASAP. No use for either in ML camp. One catcher also will go likely Valle or Joseph who may no longer be a prospect.

  12. I’m feeling a little sick about Hamels. He’s got fatigue in that left arm. They say shoulder’s fine but darn that fatigue. I’m feeling that Hamels may be out more than just April. Scares the crap out of me. I know. It’s just Spring Training and everyone is feeling a bit of arm fatigue as they start to rev it up. It doesn’t sound like that… it sounds worse.

    1. Not having Hamels in the rotation for an extended period would make the season pretty difficult to watch. Hope things don’t start to unravel.

    2. I don’t understand the Phillies reluctance to give him an MRI? What’s the harm? Seems like a no brainer on a guy you’re paying more or less $25 million a season for the next 5 years.

      1. I had the same thought. I would have thought that an MRI would be standard practice whenever something just isn’t ‘right’.

        1. Hard to figure out the Phillies FO…..they really get meticuously safe with Utley and Howard in their returns from injuries these past few years….but then come out in Feb and say Hamels will miss only two starts and be ready for the Braves series or close to it, though he shut down his November work-outs due to illness, pushing back his personal off-season routine, then he loses 8/10 pounds from an already lean physique. Now he says the arm and shoulder are fine but he has ‘arm fatigue’
          Hamels seems to have some similar mental characteristics of Lefty Carlton in his hey day.

          1. They lied about Utley and Howard too… or I shouldn’t say lie, they were overly optimistic and seemed to ignore facts and warning signs.

            1. I thought it was interesting to read some of the writers, they suggested the Phillies held back, not to hurt ticket sales. if the truth about Hamels came out tickets sales would fall more, Amaro
              has turned this team into one of the worst in the league,

            2. @roccom

              I don’t know if it’s that much of a factor tbh. The conspiracy theorist in my thinks that they’re afraid to know if Hamels is truly hurt because they DO in fact want him out there early so they can sell tickets and build hype.

              … however, if he can’t throw off a mound next week I’d think they’d almost HAVE to give him an MRI and at that point they can’t hide any information.

            3. They out and out lied about Howard the ST he came to camp with an open, infected wound in his ankle. I think they lied about Utley at least one of the STs when he was hurt. It may be as much denial as deliberate lying on the Utley issue, but it was impossible to believe that Howard was close to being ready to go with that open wound which wasn’t healing.

  13. I have seen every inning of each spring training game, and I have to say that the Phillies’ performance is worrisome (at best). Hitting, pitching and defense all look sub-par (at best). I know it’s still very early, but I’m surprised by the careless defense and poor offense. Increasingly, the lack of pitching depth is concerning. Overall, I don’t see the team playing with the spirit that everyone in the organization says exists. They look lethargic to me.

    1. As a fan, my mind says one thing being ST and small sample, but my gut feeling says another, that after a 1-8-1 spring training schedule, that the team is already out of it before the green hats of St Patty’s day.

      1. One always prefers to see a strong start out of the box, but ST W-L record are terrible for predicting the regular season outcome. I wouldn’t declare even an awful team out of it until fairly deep into May, and I really believe we are not an awful team. The big thing out of ST are the health problems of Hamels and Martin. If Hamels not ready to pitch effectively by May, that would be the kiss of death to this season.

        1. Yes…Hamels’ health concerns are the issue….and if he is not able to go until later in the season…oh well…..we can start talking drafted prospects at a higher pick then 7th for 2015.

  14. Ruben yesterday tells a Sports talk radio host about the Hamels’ situation……”of course we would put him in a tube, if we thought he needed it….what do you think we are idiots!”
    Now that is not funny….but I had to chuckle. He may be feeling a little of the heat form the media and fans.
    Ruben the Sr VP of Operations should replace Ruben the GM this year some time.

    1. One sometimes suspects that RAJ knows what the result of the MRI will be and finds it inconvenient to receive it at the present time. Maybe he’ll consider it necessary to order up the test and release the bad news around mid-May.

      1. atown…….the real sad news….Ruben as being the Sr VP of Operations…..so when the team collapses into the abyss this season….he will portend to make everyone happy…the fans and the media by stepping down, but replacing himself with guess who?
        His buddy and former co-worker Ed Wade.
        Oh brother!

  15. I was hoping if Franco gets off to relatively good start at Reading/LHV, that the Phillies would bring him up in June after the Super Two date is announced.
    But lo and behold from Fangraphs:
    —-‘The Super Two cutoff used to stand at 17%, but got changed to 22% in the new CBA negotiations. This means that if a team wants to keep a player in the minors until after the Super Two cutoff, they will have to keep that player in the minors for even longer than before. Considering that the cutoff used to fall sometime in June — it varied from year to year, as the 17% cutoff isn’t tied to a specific date — it will likely end up being in July going forward’
    ……….so it is probably sometime in July now for the additional arb elig year from 3 to 4..

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