General Phillies chatter post, Week of August 1

Here is your weekly spot to discuss all things Phillies. As a reminder, this post is created to keep big league chatter out of the other minors specific posts, especially those written by folks other than me who spend their valuable time providing you a service. So do them a favor and keep their posts on topic and discuss your big league related thoughts here.


279 thoughts on “General Phillies chatter post, Week of August 1

  1. What happened to him this time?

    Also, does anyone know if Biddle has any home starts in Lakewood this week?

    1. Read over the weekend that Gillies has an ankle injury – expected to return in “early August”.

      1. Well that’s good. I mean that he’s falling apart in different body parts, not the same ones repeatedly.

  2. Any thoughts on September call ups yet? Brown obviously, but who else is worth it? Looks like maybe Mathieson, Carpenter, Savory, maybe Galvis from Reading, any one else stcik out?

      1. I think Schwimer has definitely played quality baseball – a september call up has got to come. 24 years old – let’s see… What I’m interested in seeing is one day a fully developed DeFratus>Schwimer>Stutes>Bastardo>Madsen Bullpen… But I’m enjoying this baseball in the meantime. Can’t wait to see how Schwimer pitches in the big leagues. Boom!!!

        1. …don’t forget the 6’8″ 260lb Canadian monster with an electric 98mph fastball and a 84mph spike curve he throws for strikes. Aumont will be the Phillies closer someday.

    1. Wouldn’t we want Brown to be on the roster as of Aug 31 so he can be used in the playoffs. Obviously, the Phils won’t see him as a starter, but you’d think they’d want him on the roster… right?

      1. Couldn’t Brown be used to replace someone on the disabled list as of Aug 31 (i.e. Blanton)?

        1. I think as long as the player is on the 40 man roster as of August 31 he is eligible for the playoffs.

          1. As long as they’re on the 40 man, they can replace a DLed player on the playoff roster…otherwise, they’re screwed.

            1. I suspect we’ll see H. Garcia and Blanton transferred to the 60-day before Aug 31st. Hopefully Schwim claims one of those spots

            2. The rule is that anyone on the 40 man roster as of August 31st is eligible for the playoff roster. Additionally, anyone in the entire organization can replace the guys on the 40 man that are on the 60 day DL. That means Schwimer and Aumont could replace Naylor and Blanton if they are placed on the 60 day DL on August 31.

      2. I am not sure I would recall Brown, even for September. Was last year a great experience for him? I would rather have him at least play through the end of the minor league season, and the playoffs, if possible, at LV. I don’t think some of the problems he was having with the Phillies can be fixed in 30 days. What good does it really do him to sit on the bench and get maybe 10 AB’s to close out the year? His outfield play was poor when he was up. Plus now he is learning LF. I would rather have a veteran presence on the playoff roster.

        1. Brown is a better hitter than most of our bench…it’d be stupid to leave him off the roster.

          1. Playoff roster will have 15 position players typically, for us this year that probably looks like this – our 8 starters plus Schneider, Gload, Brown, Mayberry, Valdez, Martinez, and Francisco. I also believe its possible Orr makes it rather than Valdez or Martinez depending how they finish.

            Bullpen composition could be interesting. If all healthy, probably looks like this – Madson, Bastardo, Stutes, Lidge, Contreras, Worley. If Contreras is out, I expect Aumont or Schwimer to get a chance soon. Kendrick is always a possibility also.

        2. Please rethink that statement. You want Brown to experience the postseason if only so he knows what’s up next year. Benn is useless.

      3. I certainly agree with that Jeff. I’d also speculate that Francisco won’t be on the playoff roster

        Sept call-ups. Schwim has to be one. Pete Orr is a lock. Zagurski and Carp should be there as well. Perez will prob be optioned once Oswalt returns, so I suspect he’ll be a callup as well. Unfortunately Sardinha will likely be included too. Schwim, Zagurski, Carp, Perez and Sardinha, plus whoever is optioned when Contreras comes back, that is if he returns prior to Aug 31st. The front office limited callups last season, not sure if they’ll apply the same logic this year.

        Unrelated note, Baez was officially released today after clearing waivers.

        1. Herndon will probably get sent down when Oswalt returns. No reason to have both him and Kendrick in the bullpen.

          1. I think it’s Valdez who will get sent down when Oswalt returns considering there’s only 11 pitchers on the roster

    2. Thompson’s hitting .290 and on track for another 40 SB this year. Outstanding defense. Near the top of the league in runs scored. Can’t understand why the front office doesn’t value that.

      1. I agree pig. Would love to see him get called up but I don’t think he did last season after a strong showing at LV so he might not get the call this year either

  3. I don’t think he has really played all year. I have been disappointed to say the least in him, but I hope he can turn it around since he cleared his name on those “charges” in Fl last year.

  4. Don’t think there will be wholesale call-ups. Very strategic ones only, as per usual.

    Third catcher
    Brown and Valdez
    Two relief pitchers, likely Perez and Mathieson. Forget Zags.
    Would like to see Schwimer. He has pitched well enough to deserve it. We’ll see if Phils throw him a bone.

    1. Valdez? Did he get optioned? I think he’s still on the active roster.

      And Mathieson is starter now. He could be brought up for long-relief but I personally think that Mathieson’s days are numbered. Good guy though

      1. I’m seeing Valdez as most likely to go down when Oswalt is added. Martinez and Valdez are redundant with Polanco back, and Phils might want to get Valdez’ bat recharged for September with some regular play. May not happen, but that’s my reasoning.

      2. Would love to see Mathieson get a few September starts for the Phils to see how he does, but he is at best 6th on the depth chart, probably 7th if everyone is healthy.

        He could be an interesting possibility next year as a 5th starter. Assume Doc, Cole, Cliff, and Vance are the first four, with the 5th spot up for grabs. Pretty much a sure thing at this point Oswalt doesn’t come back at $16M, but they could sign him to a one year deal at a lower price if he was willing.

  5. I just want to express my opinion that this is a HIGH QUALITY website. I don’t comment frequently but love reading what the other folks have to say. This website is great, and growing in notoriety amongst Philly sports fans. – Best written and maintained Philly Sports blog BOOM!

  6. Just wanted to reiterate my hate for the Pence trade. Singleton is hitting 1.000, with a 3.000 OPS. I think he can keep that up. Ed Wade pulled one on us! 🙂

    (And for some of you on that site – that’s called a joke… so relax:) ) But if Cosart throws a no-hitter first start out of the gate…..

    1. It is going to be depressing and fun to watch Singleton smash in the Cal League, the switch from an extreme pitchers league to extreme hitters league will be interesting.

    2. “But if Cosart throws a no-hitter first start out of the gate…” LOL. Right

      1. Don’t worry. They’re with Houston so when they start to get into their arb years they will just be traded right back to us for member’s of the 2015 draft class

  7. I’m heading to the Ironpigs game tonight in Scranton watching Roy Oswalt’s rehab start. I’ll try and provide some information on Twitter as I can.

  8. A little off topic, but Carrasco just got suspended by baseball for throwing at Billy Butler’s head. I think that’s a little absurd… he was sending a message, he wasn’t trying to hurt him.

  9. Peter King had this to say in his MMQB column:

    The Phillies must have the greatest minor league system of all time. It’s brought them Hunter Pence, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt in the last two years.

  10. I agree that this is a terrific website. I also liked Phillyjamaal’s quote from Peter King. Our scouts and minor league execs must be doing a fantastic job! With the trade of 4 more minor leaguers, what will they do to replenish the system. I am hoping that they go after some of the high value 2011 draft picks that they haven’t signed yet and if need be go over slot to bring them in to replace Cosart, Singleton et al. Who knows who will turn into the next stud prospect? It will be fun to watch.

    1. Meh, spending in the draft >>>> LA for me at least.

      I like the Phillies strategy of spreading 100K to 300K bonuses around on LA kids. The bust percentage of these bonus babies from LA is through the roof IMO. The Mets used to dump a ton of money in LA on a few of those Dominican super propsects under Minaya. More or less all of them turned out to be busts.

      1. However, there are upwards of 25/28% in MLB. Take the Braves, six of the their top ten prospects are LA signings. The Yankees two best catchers—-Montero and Sanchez—are in the top five of all prospect catchers in the minors. SO there are arguements on both sides. What we can hope—-is the worldwide draft proposed by Bud Selig last month to the owners. The playing filed becomes equal and skilled scouting becomes critical.

        1. Ron…we know that 6 of the top 10 Braves prospects are LA signings. You post this at least 3 times a week. It’s getting old. You can look at it this way…they can’t draft well enough in the MLB first-year player draft to get any good players in the top 10.

          On a side note, it isn’t as if the Phillies don’t have anybody from LA in the top 10. Valle and Santana are locks. Franco, Galvis, and Cesar Hernandez are all solid prospects. The Phillies sign players from LA too.

  11. After watching Hunter Pence for two days I’m feeling a little better about the trade. I guess I’d rather have him and his numbers/enthusiasm over Werth’s number’s this year.

    1. No Doubt – I am one of the few ones who would rather have Pence period – throw in 126 and what are we still talking about? lol

  12. I completely agree with Snakeman on calling up Brown. He is too unpolished to do well with limited playing time. His poor performance in winter ball last year and in spring training this year was due to the development of bad habits while on the bench for a couple of months, I think. He badly needs experience, especially since, as Snakeman notes, he is learning a new position. His presence with the team in September will provide at best a marginal improvement. I would have him complete the entire season with Lehigh Valley, regular and post-. Then I would consider sending him to the Arizona Fall League or winter ball. He projects as your everyday leftfield next year and he needs to be ready. Hanging out on the bench will harm him. I’d much rather see a Delwyn Young there or a Jason Giambi- someone who has come off the bench before with some pop, not a raw talent like Brown.

    1. If Brown is called up in Sept it would mainly as a bench bat. Brown as of late was hitting pretty good, above .300 for July. His average was trending up. He was starting to adjust, and was beginning to come into his own. He knows he has a spot on this team going forward, and thus has nothing to prove when he comes back up in september. He should not be pressing as much and thus will not be making as many mistakes .

    2. Brown ineligible for AFL. I believe—he went last year didn’t he? I think a player cannot go two consecutive years. So it may be winter ball in the Caribbean again.

    3. Bring Brown up to be around world class players – not to fix bad habits he started in a short amount of time on a bench in a winning atmosphere- palease. get him in the clubhouse – get howard behind him a little bit – let him loosen up – he’s fine – he is going to learn winning patterns of behavior routines and thought from these established players. Plus- Who is a better left handed bat out of our 40 man than he? He obviosuly warranted playing time this year on the major league team because of something- he’s back.

  13. I have been thinking how little Atlanta paid for Bourne. Maybe RAJ should of gotten both Pence and Bourne. Now that would of been something.

    1. Atlanta made a good deal, but a 24 year old speedy MLB CF, their 9th, 27th and 29th prospect for 1.3 years of Bourne isn’t real cheap.

  14. The only one now who can stop the team is Cholly . e.g. Leaving Lee in Saturday for no freaken reason at all. What the hell was he thinking?

        1. Relatively low pitch count (for Lee at least), had been cruising the previous three innings, and team ahead by four. You wouldn’t even mention it if he throws a 1-2-3 inning. Pointless thing to complain about.

          1. I don’t think so if nothing else some work for the bullpen.
            Do you mean that a manager can’t see that MIGHT happen when there is absolutely NO
            Reason to do what he is doing.
            Does Lee need the innings.
            News : Cholly isn’t god.

            1. No, he isn’t a God. The point here is that we are all geniuses with the advantage of knowing what already happened. It’s like they say about poker…the game would be really easy if you knew what cards were coming.

          2. 7-2 lead I believe, and he ends up throwing 121 pitches. Last I looked, he and Roy were way up there in pitches thrown this year. Charlie is brutal, and those extra pitches game after game can only hurt the starters in the post season like it did last year.

            1. Uh, didn’t Halladay throw a no-hitter in the playoffs? I don’t think the extra regular season pitches hurt him much. Halladay is pitching less innings per game than he did last season.

              Lee pitched more innings per game last season than he is this season. He was pitching great in the playoffs last season before running into that apparently juggernaut of a 2010 Giants team. Seriously, there is no explanation for how well they did against good pitchers in the playoffs.

              The point is that these two pitchers especially can handle it. Cholly does make a lot of baffling decisions. Pitching Lee in the 8th inning of a 4-run game isn’t one of them.

    1. Dubee has a much bigger say on the usage of the pitching staff than Cholly does. If there are complaints about how pitchers are being used, it should probably be directed at Dubee.

  15. Pharm still looking solid. Love what James has done this year, improved in a tough hitters environment, Biddle is emerging as a stud LHP and May keeps getting huge results. Also great to see Galvis and Aumont emerge. My top five right now.
    1. Trevor May- can’t say enough about the huge K numbers and reduced BB rate
    2. Biddle- Kershaw junior?
    3. Brody Colvin- Having a meh year, still great stuff.
    4. J. James- Having a very good year.
    5. Freddy Galvis- Plus plus D and a league average bat at SS? Yeah, that’s valuable.

    1. Still amazing how many prospects are still in the system… most systems losing the volume of talent we have over he past 4 years would be absolutely bare.

  16. i was watching the MLB network sunday and they were talking about how bad the astros’ minor league system is. wade must’ve done a poor job drafting down there, too.

    1. Poor job?

      1998 – Pat Burrell, Ryan Madson
      1999 – Brett Myers, Marlon Byrd
      2000 – Chase Utley, Taylor Buchholz
      2001 – Gavin Floyd, Ryan Howard
      2002 – Cole Hamels
      2003 – Michael Bourn, Kyle Kendrick

      1. People really don’t appreciate what Ed Wade’s staff was able to do for Philadelphia.

      2. i didn’t mean “too” as in wade drafted poorly for the phillies. i meant “too” as in bad drafting for the astros combined with the trades he’s made there (gose for wallace, etc.). i know very well that wade built the core of the current phils team.

    2. The Astros’ AAA, AA, and A teams are all in last place in their respective divisions.

  17. One thing that doesn’t get mentioned often is the fact that there is only so much room on the 40-man roster… trading a few prospects each year for proven ML talent is prudent. This allows room for the next “class” of prospects, and limits potential losses via Rule 5… many teams would love to raid our system for even our lower-ranked talent, if given a chance.

    1. I’d thought Martinez would be promoted ahead of him… a little surprised… but wish Franco the best of luck. Is he our best hitting prospect now or too soon?

      1. Santana and Valle are 1-2 in my book as “hitting” prospects. I would think Franco can prove a lot in the next month at LKW.

  18. Great comeback tonight. Mayberry has to be winning people over. The baby aces are now 17-2.
    Hardly anyone expected a lot from that group in the spring, That is INCREDIBLE

  19. Is there any updates on any of our draft picks getting close to signing ? August 15th is rapidly approaching and we could use as many picks signed as possible.

  20. Mayberry needs to be given more opportunities. Unfortunately, this is a pennant race and you need to eliminate uncertainties. He has lacked consistency over his career. At the same time, 113 GP and 224 ABs is hardly enough of a ML sample. If this was 2007, you would probably keep Brown and Mayberry in the lineup.

    1. Not buying the inconsistent argument. Have you checked Ibanez for inconsistency? Cholly just thinks you have to defer to vets who have paid their dues. Mayberry has more than earned a position.

  21. Lots of Rollins comments in other threads, responding here where it belongs.

    (1) He’s having a very good season by any standard. In context, it is his 3rd best season as a hitter, he is still a fine base runner, his defense, which looked shaky early, is back to GG caliber. His power is back also. I love Galvis, but he isn’t likely to be this good, and IMO needs at least one more year in the minors. Yes I want Rollins back. I think they lose in the neighborhood of three wins if he doesn’t come back, given the lack of decent options. Possibly even more.

    (2) However – it will clearly take a 3 year deal. I’m fine with that. But how much will it be per year? I think his performance this year is driving up his price, as is the shortage of decent SS (overall and available). I’ve been saying all along that 3/30 would be acceptable, but I’m starting to think he may get 3/39 on the market. That’s high, and, absent a huge increase in the payroll (and keep in mind that the fact that they are now bumping up against the luxury tax will likely slow payroll growth), will limit other options (e.g., forget about Madson).

    If I’m right, and it will take 3/39 to sign him, should the Phillies do it?

      1. I reluctantly agree but, unless Boras goes hog wild in his contract demands for Madson (I think it will be high, but not ridiculous – he will still take 3 years, but there may be a 4th year option and buy-out), I see Madson staying and I also see Rollins staying. Oswalt will be gone.

        1. But, you know, the more I think about it, the more I think that Madson, at some point, has to be the sacrificial lamb and may be signed and later traded (alternatively, the team could try to trade for someone like Mike Adams this offseason and offer Madson arbitration know that he will leave). Closers are paid, at best, their rough value (no “bargains” there) and the team is loaded with potential closers, including Bastardo and down the line shortly DeFratus and Aumont. But I just cannot imagine Ruben going into a season without an established closer. It’s inconsistent with his entire M.O.

          1. I disagree… having a lights out closer and strong back end of the bullpen is important for this team since its built on pitching. I’d keep Madson at just about any price. Moving Bastardo to that role will leave only Stutes in the backend of the pen with big league experience.

            This was my main concern with trading for Pence… his $10M salary will most likely impact JRoll or Madson sticking around, unless the Phillies decide to trade Pence come the offseason and use Mayberry and Brown in the OF or there is a jump in the luxury tax and Phillies budget!.

            1. Don’t forget that Pence is still making less than Ibanez who will probably be gone next year, as well as Lidge.

            2. @jimmy – Lee, Polanco, Ruiz, and Victorino are also all getting raises combining for $15.5 mil. Plus Lidge has a $1.5 mil buy-out. That’s already $17 mil of the combined $24+ that Lidge and Ibanez made this season. The Phillies will also be likely to be paying a very large sum to both Hamels and Pence. Losing Lidge and Ibanez doesn’t free up as much money as one would think.

      2. I’m with you Greg. You guys are acting like you have to go into the season knowing who your closer is. Bastardo is more then ready to keep that seat warm and if for some reason he struggles you make another deadline deal to get your closer.

    1. Running the numbers again .. it might be doable. My latest back of the envelop (or, more accurately, back of the spreadsheet) calculations:

      Let’s start by assuming they decline the Lidge and Oswalt options. As I see it, if Madson/Rollins/Pence/Hamels cost only 40 million total, their payroll looks to come in around what it is this year – around 165 million. I think 40 million for the 4 of them is low – Hamels and Pence will each earn more than 10 million if they go to arb (though if the Phillies sign them long term they may be able to structure the contracts to be lower next year). 10 million per is IMO the floor for Madson and Rollins at this point. Now, one can question the wisdom of offering either of them 3 plus year contracts for more than that per year, but it it isn’t TOO much more, it could be done. If the 4 of them cost a more realistic 50 million between them total, that puts the payroll at about 173 million or so, which might be doable next year without triggering the luxury tax.

      So while 3/39 for Rollins makes it tougher to sign Madson (or a replacement – I agree the Phillies are unlikely to go without an established closer), it may be possible.

    2. I lke that—3/39, but he probably will want perhaps 4/52. And i the 4th year is an option year then it could look like 4/55M

  22. Sounds like Schwimer and Aumont are both candidates for call-ups soon, certainly on 9/1:

    “If Amaro is unable to get a bullpen arm (Through waivers/trade), the Phillies may be willing to give either Michael Schwimer or Phillippe Aumont a look at some point in August. Manuel mentioned both their names when asked about bullpen help from within the organization.

  23. I think people are undervaluing Aumont quite a bit. I think he is going to be a beast and I don’t rule out the possibility that he could end up moving back to the rotation at some point in the future.

    Anyway, my new top 10 looks like this:

    1. Brown (he’s in AAA, right? So he’s a prospect and he’s the best one we have)
    2. Biddle (lefty with big frame, throws hard, has breaking pitches and a great make-up)
    3. May (all he does is strike guys out – good enough for me)
    4. Valle (he catches, he hits, he has a great build and appearance)
    5. Colvin (so he’s having a bad season – it happens; there’s no reason to panic)
    6. Aumont (the big guy back – with a vengeance)
    7. Galvis (will at least be an average major league shortstop, perhaps quite a bit more)
    8. Rodriguez (keeps getting it done – numbers, not just win total, are impressive)
    9. James (I am starting to believe)
    10. DeFratus (I could have put like 4 or 5 guys here – DeFratus, however, is kind of a consensus pick in that others value him highly)

    1. I think I’de have to put Collier in at 10, even though he has regressed a little lately. Or maybe Santana. But yeah, there’s 4 or 5 guys, or maybe even 6 or 7, who you could put there for sure. Also not sure whether Rodriquez belongs – I mean literally, I have no idea – numbers are good, sure, but the knock on him has always been scouting reports which suggest his stuff won’t play in the majors. I have no idea whether that is true, but I don’t think you can simply dismiss those reports out of hand. And Aumont on my list would be top 10 but lower.

      1. On further thought, I think I’d probably replace DeFratus with Santana but, like last year, there are a bunch of guys grouped around the 10-13 spots.

    2. If the team offered a choice of De Fratus, Collier, Santana or Pettibone to another team in a trade, I think De Fratus would be chosen behind each.

      1. Santana, yes, that’s why I reconsidered and placed him as #10. Collier, no, I don’t think so as his future is far too uncertain and he’s not as young as Santana; DeFratus, on the other hand, is going to be a major league reliever and perhaps even a closer, so I strongly disagree. Pettibone . . . it really depends . . . on what the other team needs and values . . . it could go either way.

    3. Nice list. I guess I might disagree with some – but that probably is the point, right!

  24. I’d drop Ibanez & go with Brown/Victorino/Pence/Francisco/Mayberry, but I know it won’t happen.

    I am still 100% right about Francisco – he hasn’t had an opportunity for his BABIP to bounce back to where it should be (only 23 July PA) – but of course Brown is better, and Mayberry is impressing me. So Francisco, still an excellent 4th/5th OF, despite the irrational hate for him on this board, could be the odd man out. So yeah Brown should be brought back up when the AAA season is over, and probably should be on the post season roster. And, as much as it pains me to say this because my opinion of Francisco (as a reserve) remains high, Mayberry has probably earned a spot as well.

    (Here’s an interesting factoid that will probably just further convince doubters that WAR is not accurate, but Mayberry at this point ranks ahead of Howard by WAR. I don’t buy that myself, but Howard is by his own standards having a pretty wretched season.)

    1. Hate is certainly a strong word, but Francisco’s production this year – or an utter lack thereof – has warranted some of the more rational criticism he’s recieved.

      At best, he’s a 4th or 5th OF and his play this year suggests he might not even be that. He’s definitely not deserving of a spot on a post-season roster ahead of Mayberry.

    2. Larry—-You have accused me of hatred of Francisco before but I actually like the guy. Unfortunately he has so many limitations and does not offer the talent upside I see in Mayberry and Brown. He could play daily for the Houstons and Baltimores of the world and might put up respectable numbers. He is not suitable to be a defensive replacement or a pinchrunner.

      1. Exactly. Nobody hates Francisco. Everyone just sees he has holes in his game, without any significant upside. The ability to draw walks is great, but that skill does not make up for all of the things in which he is substandard. Examples: Hitting breaking pitches, defense, base running.

    3. I think many of the anti-Francisco comments in threads around here this year can be fairly characterized as hate.

      As a starter, he is miscast; my defense of him in that regard was more a commentary on the horribleness of Ibanez. Set that aside. As a back up:

      The hate – or whatever you call it – IMO has 2 causes: (a) An irrational fixation on his BA this year. A fair evaluation of him as a hitter should look at his career numbers. (b) Unreasonable expectations in terms of 4th/5th OF.

      Career .257/.329/.430 is quite good for a 4th/5th OF. That’s a little above average for a major league hitter, granted a little below average for a corner OF. Yes, you’ll find a number of small sample size, one season performances by reserve OF better than that, but on the whole players who are better hitters than that – really better hitters, not just “better” in say150 PA – become regulars. True he is nothing special as a defender or runner, but not nearly as bad in either regard as some people around here think, again around league average. Sure if you want a defensive or base running specialist he is not your man, but IMO with 25 man rosters and 12 man staffs, you can’t afford the luxury of such specialists.

      The fact that the Phillies at this moment have (a) a guy who is going to be a regular and a very good one, and (b) a guy who maybe is a late bloomer also maybe good enough to be a regular for some team, albeit not a star, both available for bench duty (if Brown is recalled), should obscure the fact that Francisco is still one of the better 4th/5th OF in the league.

      1. In a straw vote of PP readers—-my guess is that D.Mitchell would win hands down to be a viable 5th outfielder for the big club then Benny Fran. Because youth, exuberance and potential are very attracrive qualities.

        1. Does it surprise you that I put no weight at all on a hypothetical straw poll of readers here? (And I’m not sure you are correct about that straw poll; he has his fans, but a lot of people around here think he is just organizational filler. Even I value him a little higher than that.)

          Mitchell is a guy who IMO may someday be a decent 4th/5th OF.Francisco is that now, or even a little more than that. Thrust into that role now, my guess is that Mitchell wouldn’t hit much at all – not as well as Francisco, certainly. Francisco has some pop, can take a walk, and has a decent strike out rate. Let’s not forget Mitchell’s inability to take a BB, which I know doesn’t bother a lot of people here, but is very important both in and of itself and as a predictor of success. AA to the majors is a significant jump. Brown was a far better hitter than Mitchell in AA and also tore up AAA pitching, and even he got off to a somewhat rough start in the majors. The MLE for Mitchell (see is .227/.263/.361, and I think that’s about what he would do. Mitchell would likely be a better fielder and runner than Francisco, but not enough to mask his likely hitting deficiencies. (Not to beat a dead horse into the ground, but look at Francisco’s minor league numbers compared to Mitchell’s – he as also a bit of a late bloomer so it is an interesting comparison. Francisco was FAR better.)

          If Mitchell can build on his promising 2011 (and it looks a bit less promising now than it did a couple weeks ago, doesn’t it?), then maybe he gets a role as a 5th OF in 2013.

          Youth and exuberance don’t score runs and deserve zero weight. They may be “attractive” qualities but I want the Phillies team to win. No bonus point for attractive qualities. Potential … well I guess we differ as to how much of that Mitchell has.

            1. So who is the 5th OF next year, assuming Mayberry is the 4th OF? Mitchell? No thanks. It would have to be a FA of some type, and, given what’s usually available for a 4th/5th OF slot, I’m guessing Francisco should and will be offered arbitration and retained.

            2. 2013-5th outfielder–I would take my chances with Brandon Moss–at one time 3 years back, he was a Sox top five prospect-until traded to the Pirates and then….who knows. But bottom line—he would come less expensive then Ben.

        2. I doubt the readers would vote Mitchell as the 5th OF next year. I think most are more knowledgeable than that.

          1. Unless he gets claimed in Rule 5 by another organization or placed on Phillies 40-man roster–he is at LHV—-are you knowledgeable to that fact?

      2. Damn Larry we were just starting to get along. You forgot the part where Ben can’t field worth a …. .

      3. Larry, are we both watching the same player? Francisco is as bad as Brown defensively but does not hit as well and with a weaker arm. Francisco had his chances this year and did not take advantage of it period. With younger outfielders comimg up and John Mayberry this should be Francisco’s last year with the Phillies. I would drive him to the airport if he was traded or released.

  25. My New top 15.
    1. Jesse Biddle LHP
    2. Trevor May RHP
    3. Sebastian Valle C
    4. Larry Greene LF (If he Sign’s)
    5. Brody Colvin RHP
    6. Domingo Santana OF (may be PTBL on Pence Deal)
    7.Maikel Franco 3b
    8. Freddy Galvez SS
    9. Lisalberto Bonilla RHP(may be PTBL on Pence Deal)
    10. Tyler Greene SS
    11. Ervis Manzanillo LHP(may be PTBL on Pence Deal)
    12. Justin Defratus RHP
    13. Leandro Castro OF
    14. Aaron Altheir OF
    15. Phillipe Aumont RHP

      1. It is wishfull thinking but reports are he has prince fielder type power @ same age. so im dreaming a little bit.

    1. I would be shocked if Santana is the PTBNL in the Pence deal and very surprised if it were Bonilla.

      1. My thought is that if Santana was on that list, a decision would’ve already been made.

          1. Ron, don’t the Astros have Jason Castro coming off surgery? He was a highly touted catcher out of college and doing well before injury.

            1. Yes they do—-Rupp is a few years younger and a few years from the bigs—Castro will be back 100% next spring-currently on 60-day DL. Rupp would give them more youthful depth..

  26. New top 30:

    01. Valle
    02. Biddle
    03. May
    04. Colvin
    05. Franco
    06. Pettibone
    07. Galvis
    08. James
    09. Aumont
    10. Rodriguez
    11. Collier
    12. Santana
    13. CHernandez
    14. Tyler Greene
    15. J Ramirez
    16. De Fratus
    17. Schwimer
    18. Harold Martinez
    19. Pointer
    20. L Bonilla
    21. Altherr
    22. Hyatt
    23. Rupp
    24. C Rivero
    25. Castro
    26. Musser
    27. Lino Martinez
    28. Austin Wright
    29. Dugan
    30. Buchannan

    1. Besides people who haven’t signed (Greene and Quinn) the only glaring omission I see is Adam Morgan who I easily see getting the double jump to CLW (polished college lefty), I would slot him into the low 20s

  27. Love Peter King’s line on our farm system. He is 100% right on why you need a system, not just for future players, but also present trades. Look below, we still have talent left!!!

    MY list would look like this:
    1. Jesse Biddle LHP – Great 1st year as a pro
    2. Trevor May RHP – love the strikeout #’s
    3. Sebastian Valle C – looked like a young, non juiced Pudge in Futures Game
    4. Brody Colvin RHP – Hopefully he can rebound from a poor year.
    5. Jiwan James – has had a nice develoopmental year
    6. Domingo Santana OF – on the right track after a sidestep last year, next year is big!
    7.Maikel Franco 3b – Don’t know too much, but have heard good things.
    8. Freddy Galvis SS – give credit to the guy for putting in the work
    9. Phillipe Aumont RHP – back end help next year
    10. Michael Scwhimmer – see Aumont
    11. Justin Defratus RHP- see Aumont
    12. Tyler Greene SS – hopefully the stud ss we have needed
    14. Leandro Castro OF – was having a good year til injury
    15. Travis Mattair 3b – wishful thinking, but has shown flashes

  28. I forgot my sleeper pick: Neseth. I look for him to take off in year 2 post op. So far, so good.

  29. Not sure what the math looks like with Ibanez [$11.5M] Lidge [$12.5M], Baez [$2.75M], and Oswalt [$9M] coming off of the books. I would assume that Ben Francisco [$1.175M] will not be tendered either with the emergence of JMJ. But now you have to finds ways to extend [increase salaries] Madson [$4.5M], Pence [~$6.9M], Rollins [$8.5M], and Hamels [$9.5M], while taking into consideration increase pending for Howard [$19M to $25M] and Lee [$11M to $21.5M]. This leaves about $20M [+/- amount Astros covered for Pence] in increases for 4 players with some flexibility when Victorino [$9.5M], Polanco [$6.25M], and Blanton [$8.5M] come off the books in 2012. I have excluded any buyout amounts.

    Blanton is now damaged goods and will not be a tradeable commodity even next year. Do you possibly non-tender Kendrick [$2.45M] with this extensive BP depth? I would say yes only in the current range and not more since he offers the luxury of a spot starter with middle relief.

    It appears the money is there if the Phillies decide to keep the same payroll and if Hamels salary stays respectable [$15 / season] . I would assume winning it all this year would be a huge indicator moving forward.

    Given what you have in BP depth, you let Madson walk and use that money to extend Rollins and Victorino beyond 2012, while back loading Hamels contract. Pence salary should be respectable if the Phillies buy his arbitration years, which they probably will.

  30. 2012 Payroll:
    Lee 25m, Halladay 20m, Howard 20m, Utley 15m, Blanton 8m, Victorino 7m, Polanco 6m, Ruiz 4m, Contreras 3m.
    Oswalt, Lidge and Ibanez buyouts 4m.
    Brown 500k, Worley 500k, Mayberry 500k, Bastardo 500k, Stutes 500k, Herndon 500k and Mini Mart 500k.
    Estimated salaries: Hamels 15m, Rollins 13m, Pence 10m, and Madson 9m.

    That would be 20 players under contract at a total of 162.5 million.
    They would need to sign/promote a 5th OF, backup catcher, Pinch Hitter and 2 relievers after that. As long as they decline Oswalt’s option, they can re-sign Rollins and Madson, if they’d like.

    1. It’ll be a little more since Vic is $9.5 not $7. They’ll probably keep also kep Kendrick so add add about $5.5 and call it an even $168. Then they’ll need 4 players. The luxury tax shoul be about $184-$185 million so they should be fine.

      1. I’ll eat my hat, if Kyle Kendrick gets 5.5m in either arbitration or as an average salary in a multi year deal.

        1. Sorry For the confusion. The $5.5 mil is $3 million for Kendrick + the extra $2.5 million for Victorino(9.5 over 7 originally listed).

      2. Does anyone know the “penalty” for going over the payroll limit ? I read somewhere that it isn’t that much if you’re only a few million over .

        I wouldn’t worry about the owners finances; the Phillies do very well, and they make some nice $$ from outside events at 2 of the three venues. Another WS will also add a lot to the vault,

        1. In 2011, the threshold is $178M. the Luxury tax is 22.5% of the amount over that for 1st year offenders. 2nd year offenders 30% on the overage. If your over it thrice or more, it’s 40%. The amount and % were set in the last collective bargaining agreement. That agreement is up at the end of 2011.

  31. This team needs a cable channel and other to increase revenue streams. The payroll level is hardly sustainable for the long run without continual sellouts.

  32. Arthur Rhodes was DFA’d by the Rangers today. A former phillie LH who had a strong season last year for Cincinnati. Any thoughts about picking him up?

    1. He has to pass through waivers. I would expect someone to put in a claim to block the Phillies, seeing as LOOGY is a glaring need.

  33. Cosart went 6 scoreless allowing 2 hits in AA debut. 13 scorless in last 2 outings..

    1. Happy to hear that and most of us hope that Cosart and Singleton do well for the Astros. Hunter Pence seems like the perfect fit for the Phillies lineup and on the field.

  34. Isn’t it about time to dump Overbeck (or find somewhere for him other than 1B at LV), bring up Rizzoti and move Ruf up to a level which is more challenging for him? He’s hitting well at CLW, but he’s really too old for that level. And Rizz needs a higher level, too, so that AL teams will be willing (eager?) to add his bat to their system. But my main thought is just that Ruf needs to move up to AA sooner rather than later.

  35. Pence’s effect has far exceeded his production. Hopefully he will flash some power which he hasn’t done in a month. But i wait hopefully. Not that it matters as long as they keep winning.
    I must say Pence is a average at best outfielder not a hell of a lot better than Brown.

    Raul needs to play a lot less innings going into the playoff. He was also lacking in the field today.
    Saturday’s game may be a classic.

    1. Pence: .308/.357/.471
      Brown: .246/ .335/ .393

      No Pence is not a lot better than Brown at all. Oh, and he actually catches the ball when it’s hit at him and throws to the proper base.

      1. Brown was starting to pick it up in July. .296/.398/.366 for the month. He still wasn’t hitting for power but he was getting on base at a tremendous rate.

        And of course people conveniently forget all of the mistakes Pence has made this season in the field (or haven’t noticed them in the relative obscurity of Houston.) Do we not remember one of Pence’s first games as a Phillie (2nd one I think) when Pence misplayed a fly ball to right because he had his sunglasses on his hat instead of his face? He’s actually done that a few times this season.

  36. I hate to say it, but the Pence deal really hurt my interest in the team and I just couldn’t pay attention to baseball for the past week. I just didn’t think the two best prospects in our organization were worth the upgrade Pence represented over a Mayberry/Brown platoon. Their potential and value to the organization were sky-high: Singleton as a #3 hitter and Cosart as an ace, 6-7 years from now, and didn’t want to give that up for a player of Pence’s caliber…Perhaps for a Kemp or Hanley, but not for an above-average corner outfielder…I like Pence and I keep telling myself Singleton lacked power for 1st base and Cosart was better suited for the pen, but this one hurt.

    1. I am upset that Singleton & Cosart are gone as well but at the same time, it doesn’t hurt my interest in the team period. I’m not going to tell you what to do or how to take the trade because you have the right to your own opinion.

      Singleton will probably be a star, but does that mean he will be? Cosart could all of a sudden hurt his rotator cuff (I hope he doesn’t obviously), or just have difficulty adapting to the Bigs. Who knows, both of them could be Hall of Famers but I trust this organization to do the right thing. Drabek isn’t winning Cy Youngs yet and neither is Carrasco. d’Arnaud looks to be a legitimate prospect but Cardenas isn’t in the Majors. Who knows what happens but it’s not worth giving up on the team.

      We get wrapped up in the prospects bubble here a lot. Sometimes I find myself more excited to see how Trevor May does than Cole Hamels. It’s exciting because we have NO IDEA how these guys will turn out but want to see that next homegrown star ala Utley, Howard, Madson, etc.

      In two years, we could be talking about Braden Shull being untouchable for all we know. Let’s be excited about Jesse Biddle & Brody Colvin hopefully turning it around before we give up.

    2. In all honesty, 2011 is probably our best bet to win another WS in the near future. Our core guys are still fairly young AND we have 4 #1 pitchers in our rotation as well as an elite closer in Madson. Next year, none of those things will be true in all likelihood. Adding a guy like Pence might be a marginal upgrade but we’re at the point of diminishing returns where we’re looking to increase our chances in a playoff series, not hoping to just get to the playoffs or just get to the WS. If we win this year because of adding Pence, both could end up as HoFs and it’d still be worth it.

    3. Sorry you feel this way but the big club needed a RH bat and Pence appears to be a very good fit for the Phillies on and off the field. As much as the Phillies hated to trade them they have improved their chances to win the World Series.

      1. There were options. It is like they were dead set on a Werth clone. I wish I had seem him play earlier in the year because I can see where the power would come from the way he is swing now.

    4. Sounds like you need to step away and get a hug from someone. The Phillies are in the middle of what could be the best season in the history of the franchise and you found yourself disengaged from the team because of a trade that aimed at maximizing this potential holy season.

      I have to be completely honest – I love this team… this 2011 team… as much as any team I think I’ve ever loved. I eat, sleep and drink this team every day and I don’t want the ride to end. Just like the 2008 title ensured I could care less if Michael Bourn ever became Willie Mays for the Astros. That trade seriously helped us win us a title. That’s what we’re in this thing for.

      Same rules apply this year. Plus, I dig Pence. He’s good for our clubhouse. It’s good that Utley has another redass to play ball with. This team is absolutely responding to the trade in a positive way.

      Come on down to Texas and I’ll hug your neck if you need it, but you need to be having more fun with this.

    5. but where would singleton play if he were with the phillies? he’s blocked by howard.

    6. Seriously man? You call into talk radio a lot don’t you and whine about Howard’s strike outs even though the team is thirty one games over five hundred.

  37. Just opinions here. I bet the bat boy is good in the club house too. Guys that management likes always seem to have these magical qualities.
    Pence will be ok but we could of done better than ok. Like getting Michael Bourn back etc.
    We all love the team and baseball no hugs needed. I have been in Texas, NO THANKS

    1. “Like getting Michael Bourn back, ect…

      Right… because another left-handed bat is exactly what this team needed in 2011.

    2. Excellent – another LH hitter, this one with zero power. That’s exactly what this line was in dire need of – yeah, that would’ve been better than “ok”. Good call on your part.

  38. Lets see Bourn against LH only 1 HR. Pence make that 2 HR . Damn you are right twice the power.

  39. Can’t believe people upset at getting Pence. He adds protection for Howard, he balances out the line-up, he brings better D to right field., and a good attitude to the team. If you haven’t seen this guy in person you miss a lot. My seats are in right. This guy gets it. He brings that energy out there. Hey wish somehow I wish we could have gotten Pence without losing Singleton and Cosart but sometimes you need to give up your prospects for proven commodities. Especially if it can help win a WS this year.

  40. On August 10 we can celebrate that one month ago Pence hit his last HR. That made three Hrs for June, July and throw in August.
    Was it a bad deal No. Were there better deals YES. Bourn not withstanding that was my point.
    Pence as a power hitter is a figment of management and media imagination.

      1. We don’t know this for sure and of course never can, and I’ve made this argument myself. But Bourn was available and was traded for less. I’ve heard all the arguments why Pence was a better “fit” then Bourn, but Bourn is a good player & fine hitter who could have played RF (with better defense than Pence) and is controllable for another year. If we could have had him without trading Singleton – and it looks like we could have – that would have been a better deal. By WAR Bourn is better. Discount that for all the reasons cited in favor of Pence – he would have been equal, or near equal, at a cheaper salary & without giving up Singleton, who is going to be special.

        Moreover, IF those of us who think it is an uneven trade (not going to revisit the details of that argument now) are right, it’s likely, though admittedly not certain, that a better deal could have been made.

    1. Who cares if Pence homers? As long as Howard is homering! Singleton has great hitting potential, but is blocked by Howard (1B) and Brown (LF). Cosart has great stuff, but pitching prospects often get injured and Cosart already has a history and throws too much with his arm alone.

      1. Exactly. And Howard is 9-20 with 8 XBHs (4 2B & 4 HR) since Pence began hitting behind him.

        Save the Michael Bourn talk.

        1. Ok but remember Pence has no post season experience and that is what this trade was about. If he doesn’t really produce they still won’t pitch to Howard.
          Whatever he was in Houston I would like to see soon.

          1. That’s a ridiculous statement.
            What’s Howard’s production been since Pence got here?
            What’s the Phils record since Pence got here?

          2. As I’ve said, I understand (but disagree with) the rational case for the Pence deal. It won’t be for years that we know who is right.

            But this kind of stuff just kills me. You really want to justify this deal based on 5 or 6 games? Really? What if he got off to a lousy start, or if Howard was mired in a slump? Both of which could easily have happened through random chance. Would you then concede it was a lousy trade? Of course not (and you shouldn’t).

            But you guys want to have it both ways. Anything good that happens proves your point, anything bad that happens doesn’t matter.

            Bottom line: this trade will ultimately be measured by how well Pence (not the team) does, and how the prospects do, over the long haul. Not how anyone does in the short term, and not how the team (which was, incidently, already the best team in baseball) in the long or the short term.

            If Pence is as good as some of you think, and the prospects don’t pan out, then the deal will in retrospect be a good one, even if the team doesn’t win another championship during the Pence years. If he is, as I think and as the past record shows, a slightly above average corner outfielder, and if one or both prospects turn out to be stars, then it will be a lousy trade, even if the Phillies win another championship or two.

            Not that I endorse nowheels post season argument, but that’s exaclty the kind of argument you “intangible” people ussually eat up. But again the double standard – heads I win, tails you lose.

            1. LarryM … “If he is, as I think and as the past record shows, a slightly above average corner outfielder, and if one or both prospects turn out to be stars, then it will be a lousy trade, even if the Phillies win another championship or two.” Wow!

              In your opinopn only as I’m sure the 2 million folks at the Phils WS parade’s could give a darn whether or not Cosart and Singleton turned into the Babe and Cy Young reincarnated.

              Funny stuff.

            2. Larry, please stop beating a dead horse as everyone knows how you feel about the trade and please move on to the next issue

            3. Disagree. You leave out one slightly different scenario. If the Phillies win the World Series, and Pence performs well in any of the playoff series, even if Singleton and Cosart become stars, that justifies the trade. It just becomes a win win. The Phillies will have gotten what they traded for, just like in the Blanton trade.
              This irrational contention that Pence is just a marginal upgrade over what they had, is just that. Irrational.
              If you want to debate that they lessened the upgrade by sending Brown away, while keeping Ibanez, that is very reasonable. But when a championship team takes steps to improve what is universally accepted as their biggest weakness and plugs that hole with a legitimately good/above average player, then the deal does not deserve this type of week long tirade.

            4. What you guys don’t get – presumably because you can’t read – is that I moved on DAYS ago on the basic issue of how good the trade is. What I’m talking about now – and frankly will continue to talk about, if the people who like the trade don’t shut about about it – is responding to the stupid arguments – the (a) less than a week of good performance by Pence (or, worse, Howard) vindicates the trade, and/or “proves” that Pence is a star, or (b) the Pence will intangible the Phillies to a world championship arguments.

              If people stop making stupid arguments, and stick to the good arguments, I can certainly promise not to respond to said non-existent stupid arguments.

            5. And as to responding to the GOOD arguments in favor of the trade, as I said I moved on on that days ago – I said my piece and moved on. You won’t here a word from me on THOSE arguments, at least until the end of the season.

              But now the advocates of the trade are the ones beating this into the ground with the stupid. “Pence hit a home run. How can you say he is just an slightly above average corner outfielder?” Or “gee, Howard is hitting so much better lately. Must be because that intangible all star Pence is hitting behind him. No longer can pitchers pitch around him to get to that lame hitter Victorino.” And “Did you see how Pence ran out that grounder? I can already see how he’s adding energy to a tired Phillie’s team, who had gone a mediocre 66-39 before the trade.”

              Yes, I exaggerate, but only slightly, and only in the sense of taking some “arguments” to their logical conclusion.

            6. Anonymous VOR:

              I didn’t mean to lump you in with the stupid. You present an interesting intermediate scenario. If it can be plausibly argued that Pence is the difference between a championship and a non championship (as was very much the case with Blanton), yes that probably vindicates the trade, absent say the extreme and unlikely case that both of the prospects go onto to HOF caliber careers.

              That doesn’t mean that (say) if the Phillies win the series 4-2 and Pence is a decent but not spectacular .290/.340/.480 that the trade will necessarily be vindicated.

            7. No offence taken, LarryM. I only agree with you about 50% of the time, but at least you provide logical arguments for your position most of the time. You’re one of the 5-10 best posters on the site, along with 3up3k, GKetch, JKearse, Jslasher.
              Keep stirring the pot. Don’t submit to the group think.

            8. Thanks VOR. I do think I need to work on the tone of my posts at times, even if the stuff I regret is mostly reactive to snide comments coming from others. (That is, I don’t think my “brashness” or “pot stirring” need to be toned down, but some of my reactive comments are sometimes a little too condescending or otherwise obnoxious).

      2. Look, there are arguments in favor of the Pence deal, but “Singleton was blocked” isn’t one of them, for reasons which should be pretty obvious.

        1. Disagree. If he is blocked, he will have to be traded at some point. Could he be worth more later after advancing more through the minors? Sure! But we are trying to win this year. Ruben understands the need to win now! With Ed Wade, it is always about the future.

          1. Excellent point SIFPA. If the Phils win the WS in any of the next 3 years or so my guess is you won’t hear many folks talking about Cosart or Singleton … sort of how you don’t hear much chatter about missing Drabek.

          2. I really don’t want to revisit all this – really I don’t – but a lot can happen in 2-3 years, so I wouldn’t assume he would have had to have been traded. Beyond that, IF he develops like I think he will – not a certainty, but the risk with position players prospects is much lower than the risk with pitchers – he indeed would have significantly more trade value down the road.

            In terms of “win now,” I’m on record regarding all the reasons why he doesn’t make them much better this year (maybe one win better), especially with the mistaken decision to replace Brown and not Ibanez. I realize not everyone agrees with this. IMO it comes down to different perceptions of Brown’s likely trajectory if he hadn’t been sent down, and upon whether Pence is “really” about 30% better than the average major league hitter or only about 17% better. But I’ve had my say on that.

            IMO the REAL case for the Pence deal isn’t this year, but the next two years, replacing Ibanez. I don’t buy that either, again for reasons already stated, but IMO to make the case for the deal, it’s mainly 2012 and 2013 you need to look it.

            1. Larry, I don’t know if all of your sabermetrics can take into account the effect of Pence batting fifth on the number of fastballs Howard is seeing. Whether Pence is 17% above average or 30% above average is beside the point.

              If you have watched Pence play, there are intangibles that he brings many of which cannot be quantified, such as the hustle on every play and the enthusiasm. Addition of a younger, hungrier player to this core is a plus that cannot be measured by numbers alone.

              As far as the number of wins, this team was already good enough to have the best record in baseball during the regular season. What matters now is the postseason and they have to do everything possible to add a win or two to get to and win the World Series.

            2. Intangibles blah blah blah. There are things stats don’t measure well (though less so than ever), but the kind of silly stuff written about Pence doesn’t fall into that category – the protection thing, which I don’t have time to demolish at the moment, but which has been thouroughly demolished elsewhere, and the even more silly locker room stuff – how his gritty grittiness is supposed to intangible the Phillies to a World Championship. It’s all 100% bullshit, period, and frankly it makes me want to vomit.

              There is a case to be made for Pence – he helps the team a little this year, he is good fit in terms of being a right handed corner outfielder, he fills a hole in 2012-2013 that otherwise may have been tough to fill. Arguably that outweighs the loss of the prospects, who may or may not pan out. I don’t buy it, but I’ve said my piece in opposition to that case & reasonable minds may differ. But if I hear one more word about what all the intangible stuff, I’m going to vomit all over my keyboard. If that’s the kind of player you want let’s just bring in David Eckstein and be done with it.

              And you know what? I actively dislike that kind of player, because they tend to be over valued, overrated, and overpaid. Which may even effect the level of my distain for the trade. And while this isn’t directed at you or even most of the commenters here, I find interesting that those allegedly gritty clubhouse intangible guys almost always have rather pale skin. But at least I admit that that is a blind spot and irrelevant to a fair evaluation of the player and the trade. Whereas on the other hand, the people who enjoy that kind of player, and consequently overvalue them, don’t admit that they have a blind spot, and instead glory in their ignorance.

            3. Let me add that, when looking at prospects especially, the stats do not tell anywhere near the full story. But for major leaguers with a track record, stats (properly understood) tell you at least 95% of what you need to know about the player, and the other 5% is mostly defense, which can also be hard to evaluate subjectively.

            4. Larrym—in your sabermetric world–Milton Bradley is head and shoulders above Hunter Pence. You are correct, ‘Intangibles blah blah blah’

            5. Larry, I hope that you have overcome your nausea by now.

              No human endeavor, including baseball, can be completely modeled using mathematics. People are not just computers. They react with emotion sometimes and do not perform like machines. The ‘best’ team doesn’t always win. So, of course there are intangibles that stats don’t measure well. Your faith in the stats is overdone.

              Players such as Eckstein and Edgar Renteria seem to be in the postseason a lot and win more than their share of World Series.. Stats would say that it was coincidence. Intangibles would say that they brought more to the table than you can glean from the statistics.

            6. Well except that Bradley is a lousy player in many tangible ways. He looks horrible by pure statistical analysis. (In recent years; he had some good years, but up and down. He was never a guy who, from a Sabremetric perspective, was a star).

              Sure nothing in can can 100% be modeled with mathematics alone. Some areas can be modeled better than others. Baseball, played by professionals at a major league level, if our focus is on (a) predicting performance, and (b) determining what leads to winning performance, happens to be particularly amenable to such modeling (that’s less true, for example, for most other team sports). What can’t be modeled is mostly random. Humans are uncomfortable with randomness and a lot of alleged “intangibles” are really retrospective attempts to avoid admitting the role of randomness.

              Now, it’s perfectly plausible that a guy like Pence, through dedication & whatever, may make himself a better player. But that shows up in the “tangible” statistics. Heck, I am pretty sure Utley is that kind of guy – but it shows up in his statistics, which are eye poppingly great from a Sabremetric perspective. No, the case for “intangibles” of this sort comes down to making OTHER players better. And I don’t buy it. Oh, I’m not saying it never happens. If I had a team of young players, I’d probably want a veteran or two on the team who “plays the game right.” But for a veteran, already professional team like the Phillies … not only don’t I buy it, and I really can’t even think of a plausible narrative for how it would work.

              And that’s what happens with most “intangible” arguments in baseball. Once you get past vague generalities and get to specifics, it turns out that it really is measurable – “tangible” – or it ends up being B.S.

            7. And the “get to the post season more often” is a particularly silly form of the argument, and a particularly apt example of the tendency to make randomness explicable (randomness in the sense that some players, through luck, get more opportunities to play on good teams).

              Though I’ll give you credit for consistency, in embracing the Eckstein example. Eckstein IMO is the poster child for misplaced “intangibles” arguments. I’ll say this – despite what I have said about Pence and my dislike of the deal, OF COURSE he is a good player who I’d want on my team, all else being equal. Eckstein, for half of his career, was miscast as a regular and not someone I would want on my team. He was a tangibly decent (though overrated) player for the first half of his career, but nothing much for the second half of his career.

            8. SInce Hunter Pence has batted in the fifth slot—Ryan Howard’s increased production, 8 for 19, I believe, must be a coincidence or blimp on the screen.

            9. Isn’t there an intangible element toward your valuation of the prospects included in the trade? Because if we’re looking at pure statistics, Cosart and Singleton aren’t exactly tearing it up at their respective levels.

            10. Mike,

              As I said somewhere in this thread, prospects are different. I don’t like the word intangibles, but for prospects scouting reports tell us plenty that the stats can’t. Reasons in brief: (1) variable competition level, (2) difficulty in projecting development paths, (3) differences between playing to win and playing to develop talent (chiefly and issue for pitchers, e.g., working on a new pitch) and (4) generally small statistical sample sizes. Major leaguers face similar levels of competition to each other, are usually finished products, and are generally playing to win rather than playing to develop talent. Younger players of course have a smaller sample size, but for established players that isn’t an issue

              Moreover, in context, I think the stats (properly interpreted) actually tell a very favorable tale with regard to Singleton.

      1. And less than 20 against lefties over those three years. Do you think that will strike fear in the hearts of those pitchers?

        1. Pence hits his first HR as Phillie tonight against the LH Bum-garner. Mayberry back to back.

          I think Mayberry is raising his trade value. You definitely keep him in a possible LF platoon with Brown next year.

        2. Probably because lefties only make up about 1/4 of the pitchers that fulltime MLB players face…

  41. I am really shocked at the negativity towards the Pence deal. I think there are a number of factors worth considering.
    1. He was the best fit for our needs.
    2. He is a big improvement over Brown in all aspects. He brings experience, better balance in the
    lineup, and an infectious enthusiasm that seems to be rubbing off on a group of guys who have gone
    through this before. I am sure it never gets ho hum, but a little infusion of unbridled passion and exhuberance
    cannot hurt.
    3. there is not one person more intruiged by prospects than I am . I always have been. But, we are at an
    unrivaled point in Phillies history. My kids are 8 and 10 and they think it is commonplace that the Phils are
    in the Playoffs and/or World Series every year. They have no idea that Ken Howell was our ace pitcher at one
    point. All the years of telling people you were a Phils fan and being made fun of for it. Now we are making
    room for those people to jump on the bandwagon.
    Let’s just ride this out and enjoy this run while it lasts. For the 1st time since I have been a fan, I trust that
    the front office will do what it takes for us to win; now and in the future. Don’t you remember being talked
    into accepting Joe Cowley as a key addition to the pitchng staff? What about the year and a half of Kyle Abbott?
    Maybe those responding so negatively are young and don’t recall those days?? I do and don’t want to relive them.
    Go Phils!! In Rube We Trust!!

      1. I was lucky. I was in Germany while G.Mauch was blowing the pennant. Luckily we didn’t find out until a week later. Thank god there was no internet.
        Troll thru the years after they screw Alexander and you would be amazed at the ineptitude. Some names and debuts April 14,1921 Chicken Hawks
        October 3,1911 George Burns
        May 15,1919 Cliff Lee

    1. Oh man, I remember Mike Schmidt mashing HRs against the Expos. I remember that 93 team like the back of my hand. I remember RickyBo in his prime and Pat Combs with his “uncommon command of 4 pitches”. I remember when Scott Rolen wasn’t hated.

    2. whenever i have encountered negativity towards the pence deal i think to myself that he is a legitimate all-star and definitely not andy ashby. its also interesting how many names of mediocre to sub-players have been remembered over the years, when they were playing none of us ever thought we’d speak their name again. we are too fortunate to have remembered them for humor sake, instead of dread.

      1. No, the rest just left because the groupthink is annoying and if people are going to argue things like lineup protection and enthusiasm, it’s all subjective, so there’s nothing really to say. I was very much against the trade, especially since they punted Brown instead of Raul, but it’s over now.

  42. I hear you but being an improvement over a miscast Brown who had no business in right is not a valid point. Would Vic be an improvement over Pence? It just isn’t a grand slam.

  43. it is a valid point because brown, by default, was the right fielder before pence arrived. next year, brown will replace ibanez in left, but that’s a whole season away.

  44. Bourn is an intriguing player – but yet again he is lefty batter. Don’t people get it…..there are so few right handed hitters – especially OF ….that some of the lesser warm bodies like Francour etc. actually look good ? Pence is a combination of small ball, right attitude, good defense, and a quality bat. He was, given his value through 2013, the best player available and he would have been all winter as well. The Phils have a RF for awhile, not a rental…and he is the rarest of players now, as he is right handed hitter. There simply was very little alternative !

    1. The rightie/leftie argument at the end of the day is the best – and (assuming in fact Bourn could have been had without losing Singleton, very likely in my book) the only real argument in favor of Pence over Bourn. Whether it is a sufficient argument depends I supppose on how much you like Singleton as a prospect.

    1. Well you have a point, but on a career basis, while Pence doesn’t have any significant split, Bourn does have a split in the expected direction, though not a huge one.

  45. Thank god Raul has a night off.
    Seth (whatshisface) suggested that the Phils go with a six man rotation because that is the same timing as the playoff with all the days off. Interesting.

    1. Do you put any validity and worth in the value of a rightfielder versus a leftfielder—though both ‘corner’ positions in every sense?

  46. That is the way to make me look bad Hunter. lol. Vic is having a career year. Jr needs to play more and Doctor Lee showed up. I almost feel sorry for the Giants. lol not really

  47. Pence is reinvigorating the club with a jolt of energy! You gotta love what Mayberry is doing with his
    final shot.

  48. I like how things are rolling so far but in the end it is WS Championship or bust for this club make no mistake. I expect Halladay and Lee not to let another opportunity to add a ring to their elite list of accomplishments slip through their fingers.

    Having said that I am pinning it on Howard to not come up small again in the NLCS and WS.

    1. True. Even if the Phillies win every game from here on in, it won’t mean much if they don’t win the World Series. Howard can’t be the only one hitting; it has to be Howard and Utley and Victorino and Rollins and Pence and Polanco, etc.

    2. Pinning it on Howard? Coming up small again in the NLCS and WS? 2009 NLCS MVP. 3 HR’s in 2008 WS. Silly comments like this are really disturbing. Howard has better playoff numbers than Mike Schmidt.

    3. “Get me to the plate boys…” He came up small in the NLDS and NLCS in 2009… He carried them to the World Series that year… he’s not the first lefty to struggle against Sabathia and Petitte. He carried them to the post season in 2008.

      Ryan Howard haters amaze me. Ryan Howard wasn’t the only one to struggle in that series… Utley and Rollins were MIA too… but it’s all Ryan Howard’s fault because he took a called third strike.

  49. Oswalt projecting as a Type-B. I wonder what the chances are that he gives the Phil’s a “gentleman’s” decline should arbitration be discussed. I’m working with the assumption that his option is declined

      1. As in the Phillies picking up his option? That’s a long shot at best. His health has come into question and I don’t see why the Phils would take on a $16mm risk

  50. I now want to see San Francisco in the playoffs. I really its based on emotion, but I’ve watched the offense look lethargic at times and it looks like the Giants (Ramon Ramirez) poked the bear.

    Phillies with Hunter Pence = 8-0.

    1. But…I thought that Hunter Pence SUCKED?

      Somebody TOLD me…on THIS forum…no better than an average RF, and CERTAINLY not worth trading anyone of value – or paying $25 million for 2 1/3 seasons….

      How was I wrong? This guy – he said it all the time…attacked posters who had the temerity to QUESTION him…

      I’m so confused.

  51. Love Shane charging the mound there. He’s going to get suspended… MLB Network had him pushing an umpire and he tackled somebody in the middle of the pile, but I love the fire. They sent a message to the Giants that they don’t roll over for anybody.

    1. IMO, five maybe six game suspension—-Ben Francisco is saved from the minors–for awhile.

    2. The Ump grabbed him first (a big no-no in its own right). All Vic did was walk around him.

      He’ll get a suspension for that 2nd tackle but not for the ump I thinnk.

  52. Pence deal looking pretty good. Nice fire from the boys tonight. The catcher for the Giants, Whiteside, is a clown. Jumping around looking for someone to go after. Really can’t stand San Francisco. I’m sure Shane will sit for a couple games. It is good we have Mayberry if he does. He is a beast right now.

  53. I love the fact we have Pence for years now. He fits perfectly.

    I dont want to say we were sleeping but the Giants just gave the Phillies another reason to come out and make a mockery of the them.

    The Phillies are playing at a level ive never seen them play at before.

  54. Stutes definitely most affective with a days rest in his early career. Which brings me to the new way they are using Herndon. Seven short appearances has been effective. With KK going into the long role, this is working out better than we would of expected.
    Erase Flying and put Fighting in Vic’s Although truth be told Rollins stealing probably didn’t sit well with the Giants(tiny little giants). Very interesting to see how this effects both team. Since today’s game is national I would bet MLB has put them all on alert.

    1. Bochy, after the game, ” thats baseball “—translation—-my pitcher did what I told him him to do.

  55. I now see Bochy as a jerk. BTW, I’m no longer worried about playing SF in the postseason. After that garbage last night from the Giants in the sixth inning, bring it on. I hope the Phillies obliterate them in the playoffs.

  56. Was jimmy stealing with a six run lead that wrong??? sorry don’t buy that one.just think they were sending a message in frustration/

        1. It was kewl to us but the situation between these teams is sensitive, Personally I think he should of stole 3rd too.

  57. Placido Polanco was removed from Saturday’s game due to soreness in his left hip.
    The hip soreness is not related to his recent back injuries. Michael Martinez replaced Polanco at third base. Stay tuned for updates on the extent of the injury. Todd Zolecki reporting on Twitter

  58. perez was sent down when oswalt was activated.

    also, j.a. happ has been optioned to AAA by the astros.

    1. What has happen to the Happ? It has all gone haywire for him. I had figured Brett Myers would be a good guy for advice, consolation and encouragement, since they go back awhile together.

    2. Sometimes changing teams is the worse thing that can happen. Ask a lot of FAs,

  59. Phils site reports Worley has won 6 of 7 that ties a rookie record set by Bob Walk. IS THAT GOOD? 🙂
    BTW Bob’s nickname was Whirleybird. something to think about and get a headache,

    1. LOL.

      Interestingly, even if one believes, as I do, that Worley will regress to his FIP or xFIP, he would still be a heck of a pitcher (3.28 FIP, 3.78 xFIP). Comparisons to Kendrick are absurd; while the Happ comparison is closer, Happ’s FIP and xFIP were not nearly as good, and, of course, he regressed WELL beyond anyone’s reasonable expectation.

      Worley is also younger than Happ was as a rookie, another factor in his favor.

  60. If Worley has Bob Walk’s career – but has it with the Phillies not the Pirates – we should all be pleased.

    And by the way, a non stat related part of Pence… when Amaro acquired Cliff Lee during the year 2 years ago the players gave Amaro a standing ovation when he walked into the locker room. When a team sees that management is doing what has to be done to make the team stronger it has a very positive effect on them. Oh gee sorry LarryM, that can’t be proven by numbers. Oh wait, yes it can.
    By the way, I heard Singleton just got 10 HOF votes and Cosart has been awarded the 2017 Cy Young. It helps the writers beat the rush to do it now.

    1. No…no…NO!

      Pence SUCKS. No better than an average ML RFer…certainly not worth $25m for 2 1/3 seasons and DEFINITELY not worth prospects of ANY value.

      Forget chemistry. Forget passion.

      Pence SUCKS…I know this…there was a guy…on THIS forum…he sounded like such an EXPERT…even mocked people who had the sack to question him…

      I’m SO confused.

        1. You think?

          I seem to remember one regular around here who RIPPED anyone who even DARED to suggest that picking up Pence made sense. Mediocre player. So-so defender. Will cost too much in arbitration. And DEFINITELY not worth giving up any material prospects.

          But…Pence is playing well. The team is playing GREAT. The fans and his teammates LOVE him.

          How is this possible?

  61. Note The Phils are further ahead of the Braves than the Yankees/Boston are ahead in the wild card. And the Braves would lead in any of the other two NL divisions.

    LOL . Remember I did say Pence was about to come out of a 7-33 slump. It was the idea of him being a leftie killer I objected to.
    BTW Bourn is hitting .350 for the Braves . I still maintain we should of traded for both, I either one was good than both is better and the price was sorta minimal for a set outfield with Brown as a fourth.
    Too bad Hamels lost his shutout. The Panda seems to be the only one hitting hard on that team.
    too bad he can’t play defense.

  62. I forgot Jr as a fifth outfielder . Hmmmmm Bullet proof ffor 2012 and beyond.

  63. Big series coming up Atlanta vs San Fran. The Braves can go a long way to sealing up the wild card. Interesting how the lack of a race with effect the Phillies in the post season.

  64. Love when teams like the Braves and Giants play each other—-I get great satisfaction knowing one will lose 🙂
    Looks like the Logan Morrison might become available during the off season. I like Dom but would trade for Morrison in a heartbeat!

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