263 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of 9-16-2012

  1. I’m by no means promoting a decision to bench Howard, but last night was the perfect opportunity to substitute Ruf for a spot start. Howard is clearly struggling and should be getting semi-regular rest anyway. Add in the fact that he’s batting .170 against lefties with nearly a 50% K rate (incredibly poor numbers), what better spot then to get him some rest against a lefty?

    1. It is a reasonable idea but, right or wrong, as long as the Phillies are in the race for the second wild card spot, CM will go with the vets. I’d love to see Ruf in the line up — not out of some unrealistic expectation of what he might do — I’m simply curious and would like to see him play.

  2. Did you notice how they keep saying howard has 33 rbi in 34 games.trying to defend him , but how many guys has he left on. he is right now helpless, imo against lefthand pitching. if anyone would take him. i pay two years of his contract to get him out of here. This series against houston has taken them out of the playoff, that guy last night was terrible and they couldnt get a big hit against him the need for a right handed bat is so clear. mayberry isnt the answer or fransen, fransen isnt a good fielder, and no power at all, ruben amaro has to find a right handed bat, where i dont know, but he must do whatever to get a big time hitter in this lineup. i would sign bourn if it reasonable. for lead off utley second, rollins , howard , myster man fifth. ruiz , mysteryman.[THIRD BASEMEN]brown and pitcher

  3. I have a question. What would happen if say one of the Phillies starters went down tomorrow and they need an arm every fifth day to finish out the season? With minor league play concluded, do they designation certain guys to maintain a daily workout routine in case of an emergency?

  4. Back when the Dodgers claimed Lee on waivers, if the Dodgers would have taken Howard’s contract along with Lee’s, and given the Phils a package back like the one they gave the Red Sox, would that have been good or bad?

      1. Freeing up money is fine if you have somewhere to spend it, there is nothing out there on the market to spend it on and each year less top players are hitting the free agent market and those that do get horribly overpaid. If this team had players on it to lock up long term (like the Sox do with Ellsbury, Ross, Ortiz, and others) then this might be a good move. But just spending less money is useless unless there is a place to spend that nets you more value.

        1. This is true and i agree if you are only considering next season. The problem is, Howard is for 4 more years where those dollars can go elsewhere. Also, the Phils could trade for a younger player to lock up.

      2. I can’t believe I am defending Ryan Howard but people need to remember that he is not playing 100% as he said he is playing on 1 1/2 legs. Next year he should be completely healed and then we can evaluate him better.

  5. that would have been great, imo, most would not agree.but to me it would free up close to 50 million.

      1. I completely disagree with that. Anyone you sign on the open market will be overpaid. There are some great studies out there about the return on free agent investments. There is no one of Lee’s caliber out there to replace him, even with Howard’s decline there isn’t enough out there (if you are trading to fill the hole you are just giving up more value) to bridge the gap of value lost to Lee’s replacement and still use that money.

        1. I’m not necessarily defending the origianl suggestion – for one thing, there isn’t a team out there that would do that (the Dodger’s insane trade with Boston was a – literally – once in a lifetime event). But even in an overpriced free agent market, with 50 million dollars a year to spend we sure as heck could end up with more value that Lee/Howard. It’s true that there isn’t a pitcher out there of Lee’s credentials, but we could get Greinke and one of the better outfielder’s available. Then finding a first baseman better than Howard is at this point is trivial. (I would ball park it like this: Lee/Howard worth about $25 million between them per season, most of that Lee; even with an inflated FA market, you could buy $40 million of value with $50 million.)

          What people don’t seem to understand is that, even if Howard returns to the level of 2010 to 2011, and even if he avoids further decline, two optimistic assumptions, his value over the next 4 years would be roughly $30 million total, $7.5 million per year, versus a contract for $105 million. That’s the optimistic version.

  6. My ranking by position (this is my first one ever)

    1B
    William Carmona
    Chris Serritella

    2B
    Cesar Hernandez
    Alejandro Vilalobos

    SS
    Roman Quinn
    Edgar Duran

    3B
    Maikel Franco
    Cody Asche
    Zack Green
    Mitch Walding
    Cameron Perkins

    C
    Tommy Joseph
    Cameron Rupp
    Sebastian Valle
    Willians Austudillo

    OF
    Tyson Gillies
    Larry Green
    Darin Ruf
    Kelly Dugan
    Dylan Cozens
    Andrew Pullin
    Carlos Tocci
    Leandro Castro

    RP
    Kenneth Giles
    Tyler Knigge
    Phillippe Aumont
    Jake Diekman
    Keive Rojas

    P
    Jessie Biddle
    Adam Morgan
    Ethan Martin
    Trevor May
    Jonathan Pettibone
    Hoby Milner

      1. Tocci is just too young for me to have him that high. I need to see how he fills out and if he develops power. But I like him alot.

  7. WOULdnt ruf be number one at first??asche at third. righthand pitcher now has to be aumont, and biddle totally agree, but morgan a close second, think everything else imo is good

    1. Agree with everything but Asche, he has Franco beat on proximity but the upside is definitely in favor of Franco especially if the Phils are serious about double jumping him to AA

        1. It was an unsubstantiated rumor that came out at the end of the season that the Phillies had told Franco he would be going to Reading not Clearwater next year. There hasn’t been any confirmation except that it actually makes sense with the current 3B situation.

  8. I’m left to wonder if this is a prospect depth chart or a projection of future upside. There are elements of both. I have a feeling that Ethan Martin will surprise next year and, at the first sign of a breakdown, becomes part of the Phils’ rotation. I have reservations about how Worley will do upon his return. I recall announcers from Chicago commenting upon his (lack of) conditioning back in June. Mirrors what I was seeing. He has to realize that competition for starting jobs is going to be intense in the next year or so, assuming the Phils don’t unload more pitching talent this off-season.

      1. You guys do realize that Worley was given the nickname Vanimal by his college coaches for the way he approached off season workouts.

  9. New topic – does Roy Halladay warrant continued consideration as an “ace” pitcher? To each is own in defining what ‘ace’ means but, within your definition, does Halladay still warrant that designation?

    1. He has clearly not pitched like an ace this season. I’m not ready to say he’s incapable of it though. I doubt he’ll ever be the best pitcher in the league again, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he is a reasonable facsimile of the Roy we’ve come to know next year.

  10. no he doesnt. I am calling the redsox and asking if they would take hallady, howard and brown for a good third base prospect, and a outfielder. two players that all i want/

  11. I don’t think the Red Sox agree to take that call If they unloaded Adrian Gonzalez, I don’t think that Ryan Howard is what they have in mind to fill their need. I have a feeling that the Dodgers are about the only team interested in loading up on bloated salaries but I’m not sure they want what we have to offer.

    For those wanting to unload Cliff Lee, not necessarily on this board but elsewhere, I’m thinking that as Halladay slips away from his prime, that Lee becomes more valuable to the Phils.

    I’ll try my question again with a twist. Does the Phils’ starting pitching look better on paper than in reality?

    1. So next year Hamels becomes the “1”, and Halladay becomes the “2”. And if Lee remains, they are still very competitive to contend for the playoffs. Does the Phils’ starting pitching look better on paper than in reality? IMO, until proven otherwise, they are still better then anything else that can be assembled, via trade/free aghency, as a threesome. After 2013, however, all bets are off.

      1. I’m optimistic about the 2013 staff at least. Hamels is a top 5 starter in the NL. Halladay and Lee are probably exiting their primes but I’m thrilled with them as our 2nd and 3rd best starters.

        I think what we’re somewhat underrating is the impact the farm system might have. May, Martin, and Morgan all can pitch their way into the rotation next year. I definitely don’t think they all graduate and has a positive impact in 2013, but I think at least one will. Bonilla and Simon are close as bullpen arms. I’m lukewarm on the system as a whole but we had two areas of strength this year: short season position players and pitching at A and AA. Next year we should start seeing the fruits of that pitching.

        1. Guys, its way too early to expect any of these AA pitchers to contribute in 2013. I like them all, but they all need AAA experience.

          1. There’s not much difference between AA and AAA and Martin and May both have a full year of AA experience. If either of them (or Morgan) pitch well to start the year and a vacancy opens in the Phils rotation, I’d expect them to be called up.

            1. The above comment is spot on bringing the kids into this discussion. Of the group of May, Biddle, Martin, Morgan, and Pettibone, we could easily fill up 2-3 spots in our rotation for many years, cheaply, and with more than just 4th/5th starter types. I can see a 2015 rotation with Hamels and Lee at the top, followed by Biddle or May or Martin or Morgan, with Halladay at a lower price as a real solid #4 starter, and one of the above group as a #5.

            2. Perhaps it is time to package 2 of the 5 pitchers—- May, Biddle, Martin, Morgan, and/or Pettibone— in a deal to fill some positional holes on the big club.

  12. The first order of business is to make Sandberg the manager unless that happens it will be the same old song and dance.

  13. NOWHEELS PLEASE. finally someone said what ruben has to do first. charlie must go, he is the worst manager i have seen in running a game, a good players manager but bad field general.

    1. Charlie Manuel is the greatest manager in Phillies history, just as Rollins, Utley and Howard are the greatest in their positions in Phillies history—going by the statistics.

      1. And Schmidt ,Luzinski, etc made Danny Ozark look good too even when he was asleep in the dugout

  14. It may be good that the Phillies lost a couple to the Astros because I was starting to believe they could win with most of the players they have. Now I see they need two new outfielders and atleast one top notch reliever. I can live with Frandsen at third next season with the hope that Asche is ready after allstar break. Phils need a big time right handed run producer to bat fourth so they can drop Howard to fifth.

  15. Problems are still the same as when they went on this nice little run. They are a team in no man’s land. Not good enough to contend and not horrible enough to break down. Their high priced aging stars/core are on the decline and they have no true blue chip prospects to come in fill the void.

    To boot there will be no answers to their troubles available in free agency at least within their price range. I started to wonder after it was brought up again that Chase was taking ground balls at 3B if they believe they can make a run at Cano but that lasted for seconds. No way the Yankees let him get away for a price we could afford. And they can’t possibly see Galvis or Hernandez as options can they?

    If I were them I would turn the page and make the move to Sandberg and do my best to mimic what the White Sox have done and take a few chances on some young players. Do my best to purge as much of Howards and Paps contracts as possible and take it from there.

    1. Paps is fine, he’s 3 million too expensive, but performing at an All-Star level for his position. Howard I agree, keep in mind we also shed 30 million via the vic/pence/blanton dumps, the phillies are going to have money to spend this off season, it’s just a question of if there are any players available. Even if the phillies had 55 million per year to spend this winter, i’m not sure they’d be that much better going into next year. The problem is the availability of young talent. They need a <=27 year old who has the potential to put up a .950-1.0 OPS at either 3B or CF…. where's that coming from? The phillies also need a blue chip high minors / 1st year prospect in the worst way (though what team doesn't). I mean like 5 stars, could be MVP some day, kind of player… Ah I'm dreaming, the Phillies are in trouble.

    2. Well I think the issue with Utley to third is that Cesar is closer to ready than Asche, maybe by a year. I think there’s a decent chance Cesar gets a long look next spring if the Utley at 3B experiment works. Not sure the free agent options at 2B are any better than third, or the trade possibilities.

  16. I am again wondering who is pulling Ruben’s strings especially with the dreaded “winter meetings” coming up . You know where they come up with the idiotic plan that they will stick with no matter who becomes available or what unexpected happens. Where whatever FA looks like a bargin (ala Ed Wade)

    1. I’m actually not that negitive, if there were a stud player available I have little doubt the phillies would be in the bidding for his services. The phillies over the last 5 years have proven they’re anything but cheap.

      1. I agree spending is no longer an issue for this group but spending correctly has been. There is a ton of risk in this class:

        Hamilton, Ross, Upton, Bourn, Swisher, Granderson are a handful of the names that will command interest and most likely over paying.

        1. truthfully, I would not want the phillies to sign any of them as they’re not good enough for what they’ll probably get which is 10-20 mil and the aging hamilton wanting 25 mil a year.

  17. Baseball America is releasing their end of season wrap up articles and the Phillies came out today, it is paid only but it is nothing new a snap shot of the seasons players had for those that don’t follow the system closely. (http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/majors/organization-reports/philadelphia-phillies/2012/2614049.html).
    Best Player – Ruf (nothing new, mashed in August, will be playing LF/1B in Venezuela)
    Best Pitcher – Cloyd (stuff bad, results good)
    Keep An Eye On – Adam Morgan (4 effective pitches, feel for pitching, could move quickly)
    Other Notes:
    – Friend set saves record
    – No one really knows what is going on with Colvin and why he is so bad

  18. Howard’s been a Helluva bat for the Phils, a “good soldier” for the team, and a positive guy in the clubhouse.
    It’s easy to bash him now, but the Phils half decade of dominance DOESN’T happen without him

    FACT

    Dude blew out his achillies and isn’t a Micky Morandini body type….it’s gonna take some time.

    There is LOTS OF BLAME to go around regarding this season from Ruben on down.

    FACT

    I’m just glad the team is playing meaningful baseball in September and still have a shot at the playoffs.

    That being said….Ryan Howard’s contract is pretty horrible (Rube’s fault), a change at manager where we bring in Sandberg would be a positive for the team moving forward, and the Mets SUCK!!!

    1. You can’t really blame the declining numbers pre-achilles injury on anything other than Howard, though. He was getting bashed before this year, but this year is just making it so much worse.

      As for the manager situation, methinks Sandberg becomes a bench coach next season and takes over for Cholly after his contract runs out after the 2013 season.

    2. Agree with the overblown negativity about Howard and what he brings to the table besides just box score. But I don’t think his contract is THAT bad. Wouldn’t trade it for Fielder or Pujols. Now THAT’s bad.

      I live in NYC, and I have seen more Phillies paraphernalia than any other team not NY – and I don’t think they’re from Philly. That’s how big the brand got nationally. And Howard’s a big part of that. Subway. Gatorade. There’s a reason these brands have chosen him to represent them, which has helped expand the Phillies brand. Philly has always wanted the same type of national profile as the Yankees and the Red Sox – and now we’ve had that. Who knows how much Howard’s positive profile has added to the Phil’s coffers – but no one talks about that when they talk about his contract.

  19. A case for keeping Howard? I share the frustration with Howard’s apparently continuing decline, especially against lefties and striking out at an all time worse pace. But I’m sorta going to play devil’s advocate here in arguing for keeping him (though I myself question doing so). This year, he’s on a full season’s pace of 27 HRs and 121 RBI. This is with a Howard that is clearly not at 100% of his physical abilities. I would say he started out this season at 75-80% and is now at 85%, still not able to fully push off his back foot. A 95% healthy Howard next season should equal matching his HR and possibly exceeding his RBI production of 2011 (33/116). Separate from this is Howard’s clearly declining BA. This has to be dealt with. It’s highly unlikely he can be taught to adjust against lefties. So a solution is to quasi platoon Howard. He plays against all righties. He can see limited action against lefties, based on his stats against each lefty. He may have halfway decent stats against 25% of them, so he’ll sit for the other 75%. Ruf, or others can play otherwise. Yes, a very expensive solution to have Howard play perhaps 120 games, but we’ll have him batting .260-.275, 30/120, plus more production from the other 40+ games at 1B.

    1. Agree 100%. Batting him against all LH pitchers all the time is dumber that letting him sit now and then.

    2. I really like this plan. Just because a guy is making $25 million doesn’t mean you throw him out there every day. Like Albert Einstein said, “insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results.” It’s been evident for anyone with eyes over the past few years that Howard really struggles to hit left-handed pitching. They’re just not going to throw him fastballs to hit and when they do he usually takes them or they’re on his hands. The best game plan against Howard is to pitch him backwards in every at-bat. Throw him a first-pitch breaking ball in his first AB and then a first-pitch fastball in his next one. He swings at the first first pitch and takes the second first pitch. Use his aggressiveness or lack their of against him. Part of that is on him for not seeing it and you also have to give credit to the opposition.

      So who plays the other games at 1B? That’s undetermined as of yet. Could be Ruf, could be Mayberry, could be Utley for all we know. Then again he’ll need plenty of days off too (unless he doesn’t start play again until June-July 2013). Maybe that player comes in a trade or is signed as a FA. What’s clear is they need a viable option to not only give Howard time off, but also to not just give up 2 or 3 outs a game by throwing Howard out there against a LHP he really struggles against.

      1. I think most people advocate some sort of a Howard platoon, but I wouldn’t expect him to sit more than 15 games or so. If they’re not platooning him now when he’s coming off the injury and struggling, they probably won’t next year either.

      2. The stats don’t lie, Howard is having a rough go against LH pitching. Should we platoon Howard? Here’s the arguments against it:

        1. It diminishes his value as a trade chip. If you thought it was hard enough to trade his contract now, try trading it when he’s in a platoon.

        2. His ego will get hurt. Yes, this sounds really funny. But the manager is not all about the numbers. The manager is part babysitter, trying to manage all the egos. Charlie’s a player’s coach, so he tries to keep the player’s happy. Howard turning unhappy, that can cause problems. Howard is not a rookie or bench player. He’s a ROY, MVP, world champion. He starts pouting and crap, it could turn ugly. And it’s not like you can cut him or trade him easily. The Phillies are on the hook for his contract, they need to coexist peacefully.

        1. When you think about it, there are not many starting LHP that you would consider ‘filthy’ in the NL East. We have two of them. Nats have Gio, Mets maybe Nieece or Santana, is Minor from the Braves considered scary? Of course, the othe divisoins have a few, Kershaw for one. Howard it seems has more difficult times with LHPs who come in relief.

    3. I really like this idea. What I would add to it is the idea that he may be better off not hitting 4th. Even if there isn’t a big RH bat they acquire, I like Ruiz hitting 4th breaking up those two and Howard batting 5th. Same thing for Rollins, although he’s improved lately, I like him much better hitting 6th than I do first. Ahhhhhhhh if only Darin Ruf and Tyson Gillies turned into the next Pat Burrell and Michael Bourn…..1 Gillies CF 2 D Brown RF 3 Utley 2B 4 Ruf LF 5 Howard 1B 6 Ruiz C 7 Rollins SS 8 Asche 3B 9 Hamels P

  20. I want to take the emotion out of the decision. I like Ryan. I think he was a great fit in the city and we would not have won a WS without him. The facts are what they are and should be no different for him then they were for Thome.

    There comes a time in every players career where the team must move on. So I wasn’t really bashing Ryan I just believe he would be better suited for the AL at this point in his career and we would be better suited having some of his funds allocated in another direction.

    Healthy or not you can get his type of production for a lot less. Names like Adam Laroche and Carlos Pena and dare I say Darin Ruf come to mind.

    1. Agreed that Howard would be better suited for the AL. The problem is getting him there. Let’s just say that there is a team out there that is willing to give the Phillies a prospect for Ryan Howard if the Phillies agree to pay 60% of his salary. So, now they pay Howard $15 million a year for the next four years to play for another team. Then you sign Adam Laroche or Carlos Pena for $10 million a year (about what they would make on the open market).

      Doing the math, you are still spending $25 million on a first baseman, and you no longer have Ryan Howard who may be the best first baseman the Phillies have ever had.

      The situation is different than when they moved Thome. They don’t have Ryan Howard coming up behind Thome pressuring them to make a move. If Darrin Ruf were 22 and/or Jonathan Singleton, then maybe moving Howard would make sense. Otherwise, it is just a silly pipe dream.

      1. wanted to say “they don’t have Ryan Howard making the major league minimum coming up behind Thome…” but I think you get the point.

        1. So … are we gonna find out if Ruf is that player or not? RH was 25 when he played his first 1/2 season for Phils.

            1. Yeah, you’re probably right. A player is done developing once he turns 26. We’d be better off just letting Ruf go. I mean what’s the point of holding onto the guy? He has no future and is just taking up space in the dugout. Frankly, I’m getting tired of hearing about him.

            2. First of all, yes, as a general rule, players ARE mostly finished products at the age of 26. Well, 27 to be technical, and yes there is some variety from player to player (there were several apparent exceptions over the past decade, but we now have a much better understanding of why that was and likely won’t be again). In a nutshell, that’s why the knowledgeable posters here, and scouts, and experts, and front offices, are somewhat more skeptical of Ruf than … certain posters hereabout.

              More generally, if I were to set aside the fact that I am incredibly tired of these stupid arguments about Ruf, and look at this from a purely organizational perspective, he is worth a spot on the 40 man, and I myself at some point earlier laid out a case for him to be on the 25 man next year. But, at least currently, he does not have a potential regular role in Philadelphia. He is blocked at first, and his outfield defense currently doesn’t merit a role as a reglar in left field.

              The other problem (aside of course from the outsized expectations of a certain segment of the readership here), is that “just give him a try and see how he does” doesn’t really work for sample size reasons, You either comit to giving him a full time job and giving him time to succeed or fail, or give him a bench role, or keep him in AAA next year & see how much progress he can make on his outfield defense.

              Now, all that being said, if I was managing the Phillies, for the remaIng 14 games, I would sit Howard against tough lefties and give Ruf a shot. But not “to see what Ruf could do.” The resulting 15-25 plate appearances would tell us nothing. I’d do it because, currently, Howard against lefties is worse than Michael Martinez. (Okay, I exagerate, but not by much. Kind of frightening really. Martinez does have a signficantly higher BA than does Howard against lefties, SSS caution of course.)

        2. By mentioning LaRoche and Pena I was not suggesting we sign either of those guys to replace Howard rather that the production between the 3 Players was comparable with the only difference being cost.

          And I don’t disagree RH was the best 1B in Phillies history as was Donovan the best QB in Eagles History but part of running a franchise is knowing when the time has come to move on.

          If you watched the game last night who are you more embarrased for RH or Charlie for continuing to run him out there when he is obvioulsy not right?

          1. I heard Cholly state you get paid you got to play. That is why he has been so wrong for this team the last couple of years. His baseball decisions are NOT baseball decisions.

            1. Aren’t you the same guy who’s been complaining that the Phillies bench has been terrible for the last couple of years? So who’s “Cholly” supposed ta play at 1st instead, Lance Nix or Ty Wigginton?

          2. Again, the McNabb comparison doesn’t work. The Phillies had Vick who was a fully effective, proven NFL quarterback to play the position. They didn’t have to pay McNabb an obscene amount of money to NOT play for them.

            I understand that you didn’t mean run out and sign LaRoche or Pena, but my point is that the cost wouldn’t be different because, being realistic, you’re still going to have to pay a (seemingly large) portion of Howard’s contract to move him off of the team. Yes, LaRoche and Pena make less than Howard, but if you are paying Howard to not play for you and paying Pena to play for you, it’s a net wash because you’re still paying the same amount (or more) for the position.

            This is just one of the many reasons why this was, and still is, a horrible contract for Howard. My point is simply that he isn’t going anywhere, and if he does go, it won’t save the team any money.

  21. I have read a lot of senceless comments but paying 60% of Howard’s salary and a prospect in return is asinine. Also passing on a stupid rumor is as bad as making it up. Franco struggles for a half year every year he jumps. He is already young for his level. Lets move him two levels and screw him up completely because we have a need. Come on guys please try to think these things through.

    1. Franco will struggle in AA to begin with, but he isn’t exactly a baby he is 20 years old which means he will be a touch younger than anyone who went from college to low-A to start their careers. If you look at the placement of 3B in terms of playing time, they don’t seem to want to give up on HMart quite yet and Franco is much better suited for AA than he is. Double jumping from A- to AA is actually quite prevalent with prospects right now, the FSL is a pitchers league and you expect his numbers to go way down and to struggle with hitting there. Reading is much better place to be for him hitting wise. All that being said it would be nice but until we see the assignment next spring it isn’t true. Prospects aren’t messed up by pushing them to AA and letting them struggle and adjust, if they can’t adjust they will be exploited in the bigs and that will be the end of them there.

  22. Why is Sandberg the de facto replacement for Charlie? I’d pick Mark Parent.

    First of all, Charlie should manage next year. He’s being paid a lot, and he’s earned it.

    But why Sandberg? Yes, supposedly the org is high on him. But they were high (higher?) on Parent, too. He was their rising star managerial prospect – before the White Sox stole him! The WS didn’t bring Sandberg to the majors, which would have stuck it to the cross-town Cubs. They chose Parent.

    The Cubs could have made Sandberg manager – they didn’t (and they knew him better than anyone after he managed in their system for four years). Epstein’s regime could have chosen him last year (they didn’t). Think he wouldn’t have been a more popular choice in Chicago than Dale Sveum?

    The World Series Cardinals interviewed him. Passed. Chose a young, rookie, ex-catcher manager in Matheny. Which is exactly what Parent would be.

    Off the top of my head, I can’t remember if Boston even interviewed him, but if they did, they passed, too.

    What do these teams know, or find out in the interview process, that we don’t?

    The “he’s a HOFer” argument doesn’t hold water. The list of HOF players who failed as managers is apparently long. And ex-catchers who become managers (Scioscia, Bochy) have had success in recent years. They’ve both done well managing in the minors.

    I have no doubt Sandberg is an able candidate. He wouldn’t have been considered as a candidate by the Cardinals if he wasn’t. He could be a great manager, for all I know. But why did the Cubs(twice), Cardinals, Red Sox, and White Sox, pass? Why did the White Sox choose Parent for their coaching staff over all the other minor league managers and major league coaches?

    Why Sandberg over Parent?

    1. Because for some Phillies fans, the grass is always greener on the other side. And Sandberg is the most visible name out there right now.

      1. I highly doubt if someone thinks he is their best option they won’t talk to him because the Phils love having him around.

  23. I don’t find your arguments at all persuasive. The Cubs are not now and have not had a blueprint for success if winning titles is your measure. I remember their revolving door system of coaches each managing for a couple of weeks. But to the larger point, the hiring decisions of other teams don’t outweigh what the Phils know or should know from having Sandberg in the Phils’ system as manager. It appears that his players and former players are high on his teaching and motivational skills. AAA is all about developing prospects and the Phils have gone to that well a lot this year. Secondarily, the Iron Pigs have been a winning team under Sandberg and are enjoying their best run of success. Sandberg’s success as a player came about through a lot of hard work That’s not a bad lesson to transmit to a player. You don’t have to be as successful a player as Sandberg to be an excellent manager but it certainly isn’t a liability. The failing of some HOF players as managers seems to revolve around the difficulty of working with players for whom the game doesn’t come easily. I’ve seen no indication that that is a problem with Sandberg. Nowadays, most HOF’ers have no interest in taking a job with manager’s pay. But you’ve had stars like Joe Torre (near HOF player), Kirk Gibson and Felipe Alou and, if you want to go back in time HOFer Joe Cronin who have had success as managers.

  24. I think Phillies need to get a starting CF in the offseason. Mayberry is still a platoon type. One of Nix/Schierholz have to go and the other is Mayberry’s platoon. Brown starts at the other corner. But Mayberry is really the only legitimate fielder in CF of the 5 guys Phillies have now: Mayberry, NIx, Schierholz, Brown, Pierre. Gillies could be a callup in an emergency next year I guess.
    It all depends on money and years but realistically my choices are Victorino, then BJ Upton, then Torri Hunter. All are good RH hitters.

    Finding a corner OF is MUCH easier.
    Finding an quality INF (3B,2B) is nearly impossible. Hate Utley to 3B — to give 2B to no hit injured PED Galvis or a similarly weak Hernandez, ugh. Give someone like Chavez a shot.

    Bullpen is still a live and die with the young guys. 8th inning has been horrible. I still like trying to get Madson for a year, he was so consistent. Not sure who else I would want. Plus if Paps is out the 9th is terrible as well if its just the rookies. Bastardo was disappointing. I did not expect a top 10 season again but was hoping he’d be the primary setup guy. Phillies should have enough controllable guys to fill in the rest.

    1. Sandberg is also a model for courage. When everyone in the Phils office (save Green) were doubters, he sorta of proved them wrong. Did he pass that on to his players notably Brown and even Kratz and Fransen???

      1. Model for courage? Where are you getting this stuff from? And don’t forget Sandberg was a huge fan of Derrick Mitchell. What’s that guy doing?

    2. Why Victorino over Mayberry? Mayberry now has the same number of plate appearances on the year as a Phillie that Victorino does. Mayberry 258/313/422 in 413 plate appearances, Victorino 261/324/401. Victorino was a lot better defensively in center, so I guess there is that, but neither of them hit right-handed pitching at all. I really hope the Phillies have moved on from Vic, no matter what his salary may look like.

    3. If Madson comes back for 1 year, and that’s a big IF, it won’t be for cheap.Think $6-$8M and you don’t know how well he recovered.

  25. I think the Phils can see that Utley is no longer a #3 slot hitter in the order and they will look to bat him second next year. There is no alternative out there to batting Howard fourth. I think they will look to find a right handed hitting outfielder to bat third with more pop than Victorino. I don’t see Victorino filling a useful slot in the order. Tori Hunter is old and playing RF most days now but if the Angels are looking to find room for Peter Bourjos, then Hunter could be available and I’d be happy with him if he is willing to come down off his current $18 mil salary. I think Upton will look for a 4 year contract and folks in Tampa Bay just aren’t that high on him, even as he is playing for a contract. Phils could take a chance with an incentive-laden contract for Melky Cabrera who is young and could fill the #3 slot. Another option is Cody Ross though I think the Red Sox can easily retain him with the money they now have available.

  26. If I could pick a middle priced CF, it would be Justin Ruggiano. He murders lefties and gets on base. I don’t know what is FA status is. Since there obvious will be a turnover in middle management in Miami(years too late) anything is possible.

      1. Shoot! Miami has done crazier things.Bonifacio ( if it wasn’t for his knee) also murders lefties. Those are the kind of guys we need not gigantic stars e.g Crawford

    1. You need to do some research before spouting stuff out of your azz. He’s a 30 year old journeyman who’s had 1 good year and not sniffing FA for a while. Weren’t you on the Emilio Bonafacio bandwagon last year? What’s he up to?

      1. Nowheels was looking pretty good on Bonafacio for a while. But yeah, he should have done a bit more research on this one.

        I liked his Denard Span suggestion much better, though I don’t think he would come cheap.

        1. The problem I have with Nowheels (besides his fascination with the Phillies bench) is his posts about how the Phillies should be trading for a player (Ruggiano, Bonifacio) who just so happens to be having a very good year and not sniffing FA for a while. So the Phillies should be paying high for these guys, not knowing if they can duplicate their success.

          1. Actually other than geography, I’m not sure why he’s a Phillies fan.

            He hates the announcers, the GM, the minor development staff (except for Sandberg), the manager, the bench players, the first baseman, the SS, the third baseman, and 1/2 the OF.

            As best I can tell only Utley, Brown, and Ruiz actually deserve to be on the team.

  27. I would like to weigh in a little more seriously about the latest craze around here, the comparision of Ruf/Howard 2013 to Howard/Thome 2005. The differences between the situations are many, but I do think that, history and contract status aside, if one were to project value as full time players over the next 4 years, you can make a case for projecting Ruf as likely more valuable than Howard, even if one adopts a more realistic estimate of Ruf’s value than held by some people around here. It would not shock me if Ruf could become, as a first baseman, a 2 WAR per year player. Not a sure thing, but quite possible. Whereas Howard, IF he rebounds to a 2010/’2011 level, and then factoring in normal decline, is IMO not likely to be worth even 8 WAR over the next 4 years . And of course Ruf is cheaper …

    But there are still many problems with that scenario. The biggest by far is Howard’s contract, which, in contrast to Thome’s in 2005, is untradeable. Really, unless and until Howard proves that he can still perform adequately, why would any team trade for him under any circumstances? Even if the Phillies paid 60% of his remaining contract.

    1. I agree, Phillies are tied to Ryan Howard, good or bad. No need to rag on RH all the time, it’s not going to change him, it’s not going to change his contract. Let’s hear some reasonable topics instead of rehashing the same stuff over and over.

    2. Really doubt that Ruf would be a 2 WAR per year player at 1b. If you look at the numbers, WAR is very unfriendly to first basemen.

      Carlos Pena who’s name has been floated around as a cheap alternative is at 0.3. Garrett Jones of Pittsburgh is currently at 1.9 and Justin Morneau is at 1.5. I do not see Ruf putting up numbers equivalent to either of those guys. More likely, Ruf would be around a 1 WAR player.

      1. Per fWAR, Jones is actually at at 2.3. Sitting right at 2.0 is Yonder Alonso … that wouldn’t be the comp I’d use, but could Ruf be as good as Alonso? Yes. Morneau is a better comp, at least 2012 Morneau, and his WAR total is somewhat depressed by missing a bunch of games. On a 162 game basis, he is close to 2 WAR.

        Not saying Ruf is a sure thing for that by any means. But then (sadly) Howard isn’t a sure thing for even 1.5 per year. Though again it is a moot point for the reasons stated by me.

        1. Jones is 2.3 on Fangraphs, 1.9 on baseball reference and 1.9 on baseball prospectus. Depends on who’s version of WAR you choose to use.

          My point is that it’s highly unlikely that Ruf will out produce Howards 2011 season, where his .850 OPS was worth a FWAR of 1.7.

          To me, the best argument that could be made is that by eating a large chunk of Howard’s contract and replacing him with Darren Ruf, you MIGHT get the same production and possibly save $5-$8 million per season to allocate elsewhere.

          Larry, I know you’re not making that argument just wanted to respond to the other posts that are floating around. I agree with you that at this point, Howard’s contract is unmoveable without the Phillies agreeing to eat at least 75-80% of it.

          1. Really we are mostly in agreement. I won’t continue the quibble about Ruf – except to say that equaling Howard’s 2011 offensively is possible, and Ruf could be enough better on the bases and defensively to get to 2 WAR.

            But more fundamentally, the case for moving Howard if you could – and, again we agree you almost certainly can’t – is that there is a chance that this year represents a real decline, not just an injury that he can recover from, and that we’re staring 4 years of a below replacement level player in the face. If so, even a 1 WAR per year Ruf would look good.

            But then we’re talking more about Howard’s decline (and again for the record I do think he will rebound slightly) than Ruf’s merits.

    3. St Louis Cardinals may want to trade for Howard, being local native and all, and if they team him with Matt Holliday they would be a pretty good tandem. Bpth signed through 2016. Can they afford it, who knows!

      1. I don’t think the Cards can afford it. I think they’re very happy with where their payroll is right now.

  28. And now an interruption of all the NYAH-NYAH…….NYAH,NYAH,NYAH stuff for something really important.
    Philly minor league department.
    Player development contract with Williamsport nenewed. WHY?
    I see State College just gave the Pirates the boot, and now are affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals. Never thought they would give the Pirates the boot, so did not call for this beforehand, but they did , and now an opportunity is missed. Could have went to a showplace of a ballpark, from a drafty old barn, best suited for Cattle auctions. And State College is must closer to Philly, and would have fit into what should be their goal, most every minor league site an easy drive from Philly.
    Looks like Ruben Amaro Jr. , and his 3 stooges, and Shemp Jordan do not really have a plan.
    Perhaps when these PDC’s expire in 2014, this thought will occur to them and they can Bigfoot St. Louis out of this arrangement.

    1. According to Map Quest, distance from State College to Philly – 193 miles while the distance from Williamsport – Philly is 178 miles. So it would appear that State College is not much closer to Philly.

      As for the the rest, since I don’t know any of the particulars as it relates to operational costs for each venue, total revenues generated from each location, working relationships with the people involved, etc. I’ll abstain from making a decision on if Amaro etal have a plan or not.

            1. Other than the fact that the stadium in State College is newer and nicer than Williamsport, do you know anything else about either affiliate? Since I don’t so I won’t call Amaro an idiot for not dumping Williamsport for St. College.

              As others have shown, the management group in State College have a long running relationship with the Cardinals so it is doubtful it was even an option. Just noting the foolishness of ripping the organization for not making a decision when the person doing the ripping is completely uninformed.

            2. Yeah, the St. Louis Cardinals were the first to affiliate with the State College Spikes at their founding, but they left. They went to Batavia, considered the most substandard of the NYPL franchises.
              State College averages about 6,000 in attendance, while Williamsport comes in at around 3000. My guess is State College’s revenue is better.
              Here is what I say:
              Better ballpark
              Better attendance
              Better location
              Better logistics

              As far as search engine generated maps, not reliable.

            3. marfis….’As far as search engine generated maps, not reliable’…..I guess so, they are only based on GPS generated coordinates!

          1. Stupid comment almost everyone has mapquest and I have been both place. I was referring to the second paragraph .

      1. Yeah, I read all that before blasting the organization. Chuck Greenberg (owner of Spikes) was stating the reasons he returned the team to the Cardinals system. They call that “spin”. Somehow , the great Cardinals organization left State College 6 years back for Batavia (considered the most substandard of the NYPL franchises ) and they brought the Pirates in. And State College gave the Pirates the boot.

        1. Marfis, it seems the Phillies did not much a chance in moving their affiliate to State College from Williamsport. Williamsport is a much better location than Batavia or Jamestown which were the only other alternative. So unless you were involved in the negotiations I have no idea how you can blast the Phillies for this unless you live near State College and don’t like driving to Williamsport.

    2. The Phillies have a television affiliate in Williamsport serving Northeast PA. It seems logical to me to keep a physical presence there.

      1. Phillies television network (over the air) is carried on WHVL (the HV stands for Happy Valley) in Boalsburg ( which is just outside of State College on business route 322.
        The cable used to be more Philadelphia oriented, but when the MLB mob bosses re-divided their territory, it came under the Pirates jurisdiction. So, if over the air is all it is , might be a wash.

    3. I had forgotten also hearing back on one of BP’s podcasts at the beggining of the year the general manager of State College (who really only runs marketing) complaining that the Pirates were not sending good enough players there. Also if I remember correctly State College initially switched to the Pirates because they thought there would be a regional attraction that would bring fans.

  29. You know, the annoying thing about talking about Ruf on this board, for me anyway, is that I think that a case could be made that Ruf should figure a little more into the Phillies’ plans than appears to be the case. A few of Manuel’s comments and actions in particular are a little baffling.

    But I feel like I can’t make that point without feeding the frenzy of ill informed and exaggerated commentary regarding Ruf that seems sometimes to dominate this site.

    1. I think a case could be made that Ruf should be the starting 1B against LHPs, but Charlie just isn’t going to do that as long as they’re still “in it”, so I’m putting that on the back burner.

      As long as they’re harboring delusions of making the playoffs, I think they’ve played it right. Wigginton was on a mini-hot streak and Pierre has played well. I’d still like to see Ruf get some starts somewhere along the way whether they’re mathematically eliminated or not.

    2. I agree, it’s baffling. Manuel seems to make comments to the effect that ‘he’d really like to see Ruf play and get some at bats” as if that decision were being made by someone else.

    3. For a guy that can’t stand all the conversation on her about Ruf, you certainly do bring him up a lot.

      1. You are in a sense making my point by not getting it. I can’t stand the incessant absurdly over optimistic talk about him. I’d like to have a REAL conversation about him, apparently impossible around here because it degenerates into the “Ruf is a better prospect now than Howard was when he broke in” nonsense.

        I exaggerate but not by much.

  30. Other thing is the people are acting as if the Phillies handling of Howard is unique when it isnt. Look at the Dodgers use of Matt Kemp. Since August 1st, Kemp is hitting .231 with 3 hr and 17 RBI in 150 at-bats. I expect that much like Howard, he is playing at less than full health but he is still playing every day and batting 3rd.

    Like it or not, players who are paid like stars are going to play and their teams are going to succeed/fail based on how they play. It’s why Roy Halladay takes his turn every time out even though his velocity has dropped significantly and why Matt Kemp and Ryan Howard continues to play everyday.

  31. I wonder if the people who are asking to see ruf play, are the same. who thought cloyd could pitch in the majors.I can’t believe a guy without a fastball, was even drafted let alone started three games in majors. shows you how hard it is to find pitching.This guy should go to japan to pitch.

    1. roccom…Cloyd was drafted in the 18th round, perhaps a reach when you get that far along. But when you are drafted that low, expectations are not high.

    2. Rocom, I get a lot of grief for my alleged pessimism about Ruf, but really the cases are quite different. Cloyd had a very identifiable issue which makes it likely that he won’t fare nearly as well against major leaguers as he did against AAA players. Moreover, his numbers, the numbers that are meaningful in terms of predicting long term success, weren’t really terribly impressive.

      Neither is true of Ruf. Well, some scouts suggest that the former may be true to some extent, but it is far less clear cut than Cloyd’s velocity issues. Ruf’s problems are age and lack of a position – but there is every reason to believe he can hit major league pitching, if likely not quite at the level some of his boosters hope.

    3. When you draft a guy like Cloyd in the 18th round your hope and ceiling is that he becomes a solid org pitcher who gives you innings and at best finds a couple of mph and can carve out a career as a fringe middle reliever.

      1. Agree. My expectations were that he could be 5 starter or long relief guy. Problem with Cloyd now, in my opinion, is how they are handling him. They could have used him mid season when we really needed someone in the 5 spot. But now he has pitched way more innings than at any time in his career … and they pitched him on three days rest last time to boot ! His last couple of starts for Lehigh were sub par for him. perhaps showing some fatigue.

  32. To answer roccom, I was curious about seeing Cloyd and am genuinely enthused about seeing Ruf. Frankly, with the season over the cliff, I’m looking for any reason to stay interested at all. I’ve satisfied myself that unless Cloyd comes up with another pitch or some form of deception, he tops out as a long reliever in the majors and probably is even 50-50 at achieving that. What can Ruf produce? Who knows?

  33. I’ll only maintain that open minds should prevail and that the league is full of players where scouts would say ” I didn’t see that coming from that player”. And that you should remove the word “can’t” from your vocabulary unless the word “why” is directly in front of it.

    Individuals who use the word incessantly never get anything done.

    1. When it comes to Tyler Cloyd, what baffled me was the pitching comp that his manager, Ryno, did with him and Greg Maddux last month. I understand the loyalty factor between a manager and his player however he may have gone overboard a little too much there. He sets up expectations thast may not be reasonable to attain. Why not a comp with a Kyle Kendrick or any other 4th/5th guy in the league ilo of a HOFmr like Maddux!.

    2. DMAR,

      No one really applies that rule universally – it would be silly. No one says that “Overbeck could become an all star major league third baseman,” to take an extreme example.

      Now, it’s certainly fair to say that we should be cautious in using the “can’t” word regarding player’s potential. Do people use it too much on this site? I’d say no. It’s used mainly in response to wildly over optimistic estimates of prospects potential. Can you honestly say that the problem on this site is that people are too negative about the potential of Phillies’ prospects? Of course not. And that’s fine to a certain extent. My own optimism – yes, optimism – about Ruff is probably overblown, but that okay, we’re fans. But take it too far, and you get … well, the Cloyd and Ruf mania on this site over the past couple of months.

      Regarding Cloyd, it’s looking like the “can’t” contingent probably had it right. The jury is still out on Ruff, but using the can’t word with him in certain circumstances is entirely appropriate. He CAN’T become even an average fielding left fielder – he maybe can be adequate, albeit below average, fielding left fielder, but that’s his ceiling. Some people are projecting him as a star overall; I wouldn’t literally say “can’t” on that, but what’s his chance of becoming a star? One in one thousand at best? The “can’t” crowd is much closer to the truth there than his fan club. Heck, his chance of ever being even a major league regular is probably less than one in 4, and that’s generous. You can argue that that says more about the game’s prejudice against late developing minor league players than about Ruf’s talents, but it’s still true.

    3. At the risk of beating a dead horse, my specialty:

      The real issue is that there is little point discussing extremely improbable projections for prospects. We should stick to the the real world. If, in responding to absurdly unrealistic projections, we use the term “can’t” when maybe we should be using the term “extremely unlikely, one in ten thousand chance,” the fault isn’t with the nay sayers.

      I find it astounding that a guy like me, routinely over optimistic about our prospects, is regarded around here as being overly negative just because I don’t jump on the latest band wagon.

      1. I just think it would be more beneficial to the site if more posters started or finished their post with “I could be wrong”. It doesn’t take much courage to routinely suggest that a prospect has no shot at being a star as very few do.

        I could be wrong but it seems to be you are more inclined to give those who are high on a player all the reasons he won’t make it. Why not change it up and give us the player who is going to become a top flight MLB player. I mean c’mon from our entire system there has to be one right?

        1. “Going to become” a top flight MLB player. Taken literally, that’s a tall order. No, the Phillies don’t have anybody in that category now. Few teams do, and teams drafting where the Phillies have drafted lately rarely do.

          Now, player who COULD BE a top flight MLB player? Yes, we have them, and I talk about them a lot. Right now, most of the position players who fit that description are in the lower minors, but I’ve said plenty about them. Quinn, Tocci, etc. In the upper minors, Biddle, May if he gets it together, a couple other pitchers, could fit that description. Among upper level position players, Joesph may be the only one, Asche maybe, depending upon what you mean by “top flight.” (And again, i am much more optimistic myself on him than the apparent scouting consensus.)

          As for “I could be wrong,” I say that when it is appropriate. When responding to some of the more ridiculous comments around here, it isn’t appropriate. Regarding Ruf, for example, I make it clear that my projection of his hitting – very optimistic projections, though not optimistic enough for his fan club – could be wrong. But when someone starts going on about how he can’t understand people claiming that Ruf’s outfield defense is subpar – at least currently – and I respond … am I going to say I may be wrong? No, of course not. When people place excessive weight on SS batting averages, am I supposed to pretend that they may be right to do so? No.

          What happens – and to the extent you have a point, here is is – is that some of us, myself very much included, spend a disproportionate amount of time responding to some of the more outlandish predictions, as opposed to focusing on the players who really do have a chance to be outstanding. But that’s a function, at least in part, of the extent top which these threads get taken over by (for example) the Asche and Ruff fan clubs.

          In some ways the Asche arguments are particularly silly. There is a contingent among us that thinks that Asche has a very good chance to be an average major league regular third baseman. That’s huge – very positive and optimistic. And valuable; over the course of team control, that’s tens of millions of dollars of value over and above what they will need to pay him. Yet we get blasted as pessimistic because we think he needs another year in the minors, and doesn’t project as a star. Strange world around here.

        2. I agree with a bit of a caveat, I think in every argument where there is speculation (like evaluating prospect’s future) there is a chance that you are wrong. There should be debate here, the frustrating thing is to not give solid evidence to support your view point. It is ok to say that a player has a zero percent chance of becoming a big league star, but you have to acknowledge that there is an argument to be made that you are wrong without the other person being an idiot, the counterargument that you say you know more and that the other person is dumb without providing counter evidence does not add to the discourse. Personally I want people to prove me wrong, show me information I don’t know, convince me of your point.

          1. Couple of points here. The first is regarding evidence – where the skeptics tend to be MUCH BETTER about providing evidence than the fan boys. It’s frustrating to make a post that contains 4 or 5 different kinds of evidence and then have someone come back and say “where’s your evidence.” It suggests, at the very least, lack of reading comprehension. Or perhaps an odd standard of evidence, where those people expressing skepticism of extreme predictions are held to impossibly high evidentiary standards.

            Now, I CERTAINLY agree that, where there is evidence on both sides of an argument, people should acknowledge that, and refrain from being overly dogmatic. I feel VERY comfortable that I do that mayself. But when we’re talking about extremely low probablity events – no, I don’t think it’s necessary or even desirable to pretend that opinions that low probability events are LIKELY should be treated as legitimate differences of opinion. The only thing I WILL say, regarding my own opinions, is not that they are overly dogmatic, but that, at times, they could and should be expressed more politely.

            I mean, your very last point is quite telling Matt. It’s great you feel that way, and belive me I try to oblige. But there are a lot of people around here who seem entirely uninterested being shown information that they don’t know and being proven wrong.

          2. And again at the risk of beating a dead horse, part of the problem is that certain commenters around here just reject out of hand who categories of evidence. Analytical stats, scouting reports, age/level arguments, defense, positional value, for some people all that goes out the window. Just raw stats shorn of context. If we limit the allowable evidence to raw stats shorn of context, yes, it’s true that I’d be hard pressed to “prove” that Ruf won’t be a star. That’s (one of the reasons) why we don’t just look at raw stats.

  34. Weird post of the day: we like to shorten the terms for rosters to “the 40 man” and “the 25 man”. Since there are no women playing in the MLB or MiLB, why not shorten it further to “the 40” and “the 25”? Sorry.

  35. Brad, thank goodness we will only see that atrocity of a stadium in Houston every six years instead of every year starting next year. Everything that could go right for Houston did and we had no luck at all.

  36. There has been a lot of talk about Ryan Howard recently and BP just released an interesting article about his RBIs and “clutchness”, it is pay only so I will summarize briefly for discussions sake (article at http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18388)
    They used BABIP to look solely at how he hits into the shift:

    For his career since the employment of the shift
    Nobody on base (shift) – .310 BABIP
    Men on base (shift) – .324 BABIP
    Men on base (no-shift) – .342 BABIP

    The amazing thing isn’t the BABIP difference between shift and no-shift because there are explanations based on his hitting style that say he should hit much better when there is no shift against him. The discrepancy between men on base and no men on with the shift still in effect is pretty amazing and a statistical outlier.

    1. Is the “men on base shift” the same shift as the “bases empty shift”? I would think it’s probably less extreme when there are guys on base even when teams still use it.

      1. In the article they defined it as being a shift when there were the full three fielders to the right of second. It is impossible to have one classification of shift because each team does it differently but they tried to keep the definition of shift the same.

    2. Thanks for the info. I assume that men on base means that sometimes there is a man on first occasionally requiring the first baseman to hold the runner. Thus opening up more room for a ball to get thru. This may add to the 14 hundredth of a point difference.

  37. And that folks is why Ryan Howard is worth every penny. He’s a game changer who might have just saved the phillies season or at least allow them to live another day.

    1. I’m sorry, but if 11 HRs and a sub-.230 average at first base warrants 25M/year, we’re in trouble when it comes to staying under the luxury tax…

      One HR is not worth 25M. To put it a different way, what if we had given Fielder or Pujols the Howard contract instead (doesn’t have to be them, any of the various 1B doing better than Howard will do)? If we had, we may not be in this win or go home stage to begin with. If you want to argue that Howard is worth his contract, that’s fine. But let’s not pretend his numbers are acceptable for what he’s being paid.

      1. Not that I’m saying it makes him worth the 25M but if you project this year over his average ab’s in a year. He’s sub .230 avg with 27 Hrs and 119 RBIs, which isn’t too bad considering the severity of the injury he’s coming off of.

        1. Well we cant say he’s worth it only when he hits a HR. How about when he was 0-19 vs left handed relievers with 9 Ks ? Was he worth it then? So is he worth it while we wait another 19 at bats for his next one?

          Always liked Howard. But never liked him against lefties. Is there any big time player who is worse against left handers?

    2. I don’t agree this is why he is worth every penny, but I will say that it does justify his importance in the line up where he has the ability to hit one out which there isn’t another person in the line up who you can say just has the power to knock one out at any time regardless of how well they have been playing lately. It makes few leads safe and gives you some hope late in games.

  38. I maybe harping on a dead horse. but i was trying to remember a prospect so highly regarded like brown. who has trouble with fastballs. i have see two of this homeruns one was off knuckleball, the other change up.the more you see of him, he more you see he doesnt get around on fastballs. if they think this kid is the answer in right for next year, they are in for a big suprise,

    1. As was said in the broadcast, he is still working on refining his swing. The Phillies know what his issues are and they will work with him to fix it. He is athletic enough to make the adjustments and has shown the bat speed in the past. But as Alec said the league as a whole does really poorly against 97 mph fastballs

    2. roccom….would Brown translate better as a left-fielder ilo of a RF? And get a young right-handed power guy for RF.

  39. Any takers as a reclamation project for a year or two…Ian Stewart for 3rd, arb eligible in 2013? Can be had from the Cubs on the cheap.

    1. I mentioned him a few weeks ago as a possibility, so yes. There was even speculation he might be non-tendered. From what I understand his injury issue (wrist?) has now been properly diagnosed & probably explained his particularly poor play in 2011-2012. Of course that could also impell the Cubs to keep him.

      Obviously I wouldn’t want to pay him much, or give up anything meaningful to the Cubs, but given the other third base options out there, as a low risk option with some chance of high return he is an attractive option. Even a return to 2010 level of production would be better than some of the thrid base options being currently considered by the team.

    2. No he has been horrible for years, there hasn’t been much to dream on since he was a prospect back in 2008. There are things mechanically wrong with him at this point, it is sad but some guys don’t make it.

      1. But, some guys turn it around. You miss my point however, he is a 1, maybe 2 year stop gap, until Franco is ready He is not a 4/5 year signee.

        1. I understand your point, he wasn’t good enough to play consistently for the Cubs this year, this team does not have room to take a flyer on a guy who has been horrible the past two years. If you are going to put someone in that role and let them sink or swim I would rather just rush Asche to the big leagues. This time last year I would have considered this (and the Cubs did by trading for him), but I would not waste a roster spot on him, if you want to give him a minor league deal I have no problem with that, but this team has to go for it with the contracts on the books and it needs a bat at 3B.

          Just for reference Frandsen has a WAR of 0.9 in 162 PA this year and Stewarts has been -0.8 and 0.0 in similar number of PA over the past two seasons. Even at his peak he was a 2 WAR player.

          1. I-n-j-u-r-y.

            Maybe he won’t be recovered, maybe there were other things going on, there’s a good chance he’ll fail & we’ll be forced into other options. But this isn’t a case where signing him will mean forgoing other, better options – there aren’t really better options. If he is healthy next year, there is a good chance he is decent, and a decent chance is is better than decent.

            The Frandsen comp is silly. Frandsen played way over his head in 2012. Frandsen is a replacement level player. Stewart might be that too, but he might be more. No one is saying we should give up a prospect for him, or pay him a ton of money. But taking fliers on guys like him is worth it.

            1. I didn’t comp him to Frandsen it was more of a mark of how bad Stewart has been. I wasn’t a fan of what he showed at the major league level pre-injury. He is only once posted an OPS+ over 100 and that was a 102 in his rookie year. I personally believe his potential was a mirage of the Cal and PCL Leagues. He has not even been an average hitter at the major league level when healthy and you account for Coors. I don’t think there is ever a bad non-roster invite or minor league contract guy because of the risk but I just don’t think Stewart is anything at this point.

  40. I would of liked Aaron Hill last winter at 11 mil for 2 years a bargin in today’s market. sigh

    1. Agreed, but the real play on that was to trade for Hill in the first place – that gave the D-Backs an inside track to extend him.

      As good as Youkilis has been, I think he will be non-tendered by the White Sox (of course, if they tender him the $12.5 million required to obtain FA compensation or otherwise give him a new big money deal, they can have him). He would be perfectly fine for a one-year contract at around $7-9 million (perhaps with an option and, say, a $2 million buyout) or a two-year at around $14-17 million. He has nice power, outstanding plate discipline and he’s a surprisingly decent fielder. He is also nice insurance at first in case Howard gets injured.

      But, yeah, obtaining Ian Stewart would be a very low downside, high upside move. I am fine with that too. I assume a Stewart acquisition would go hand–in-hand with acquiring an outfielder or another starting pitcher (I could easily see Edwin Jackson in a Phillies uniform next year).

      On other issues, if I were the Phillies, I might start kicking the tires to see if Troy Tulowitzki is in play in the trade market. He is such a phenomenal player, but his value is at a low and his contract, while somewhat below market for the next few years, is so long that, combined with his injury history, it has to be viewed in the industry as a negative. If you got Tulo, you could play him at third for the next few years so you don’t have to move Rollins. That deal would probably cost something like Franco, May, Aumont and Hernandez or Galvis – but I think that price would be worth it to get a stud like Tulowitzki in his prime.

        1. You might have to add a good major league player, such as Worley, or a potential stud, such as Qinn, but that contract is awfully long and Tulowitzki gets hurt a lot.

      1. My consideration of possible Phillies trades caused me to ask another question – who are the players that the Phillies view as untouchables (or near untouchables – truly, any almost player could be traded if the consideration offered were sufficient)? Conversely, who are the players most likely to be traded?

        Here are the players that I think the Phillies are least willing to trade:

        Biddle (they love him and view him as the future of the rotation – he’s the Golden Boy)
        Quinn (they have to see what we’re seeing, right?)
        Joseph (they hated getting rid of d’Arnaud and now they’ve got his replacement – unless the team acquires another young catcher in a trade, Joseph isn’t going anywhere)
        Tocci (he’s not going anywhere)
        Galvis (not really a minor leaguer anymore, but he only gets traded in a deal for a top infielder or ace – otherwise, the team – Ruben, really – wants to keep him very badly)
        Franco (he might be had, but only in a blockbuster deal)
        Martin/May (One of these guys might be traded, but the other should stay – I have no idea who they value more, nor have I seen either enough to know who is truly better)
        Watson and Gueller (they want to keep these guys and develop them)
        Walding (I just have to trust the scouting reports on this one)
        Cozens (they love his power – the last thing they want to do is trade him and have him turn into Giancarlo Stanton)
        Morgan (the only player in the minors with the outside chance of having a Cliff Lee type of upside if everything goes well – very intriguing)
        Asche (this may be more a wish of mine than reality. I keep thinking to myself – why the hell would you ever want to trade this guy? I love everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – I’ve seen and heard about this guy and I would think the Phillies do too).
        Gillies (what they would get for him at this point would never be close to equivalent to his true value. However, if they think he is a troublemaker, they will get rid of him)

        Trade Bait

        Valle (he is being showcased for a trade. Odds of him ever playing on the Phillies in more than a cameo role are very low IMHO.)
        Giles (the Phillies love to include really hard thowers that they don’t view as great pitchers in big trades)
        Hernandez (he has value and I don’t see him and Galvis being on the Phillies at the same time and I think they like Galvis more than Hernandez – it’s a perceived redundancy issue)
        Martin/May (I think one of them will be traded at some point and the other will remain – I have no idea who goes and who stays)
        Colvin (I fear the Phillies will “sell low” on Colvin)
        Austin Wright (nice pitcher, has value and upside, but where is he going to pitch on this team? I see him as the second or third piece in a blockbuster deal)

        1. I think Asche is moved if there is a deal for a 3B, I think all of the relievers on the big league club are tradeable with exception of probably Aumont, Rupp is a nice 3rd or 4th piece in a trade, and Pettibone is high on my list of sell high candidates.

          just looking at the list I don’t think there is enough there to pull off a blockbuster without setting the system back to one of the worse in the league. I hope they move some of the low upside, low risk talent like Pettibone, Hernandez, Rupp, and the relievers for some piece that can start every day.

        2. The problem is none of the players in the “trade bait” category have much value, except maybe for Martin/May. That’s fine, but we won’t get anything of value back from that group.

      2. The question for me is whether that trade is enough to put the Phillies back in serious contention – and, if not, whether it is worth denuding your minor league system to do it. I’m inclined to answer no and no. I’ve criticized the “play the kids” faction around here, but I’m inclined to be very reluctant to trade prospects at this point in the team’s progression, except possibly trading some of the redundant pieces (though realizing you’re not going to get much in return for them either). Basically we’re at a point where hoping for production from aging veterans plus canny free agent signings plus hoping for some contributions from the minor league system in the short run and larger contributions in the longer one is IMO the right strategy.

        1. I generally agree with you, but it really would depend on the cost to acquire and keep the player. I also agree that, as a general rule, you don’t want to keep stripping the system of its best prospects which further impairs the team’s ability to contain costs. All things considered, often the cheapest acquisitons in the grand scheme of things are free agents.

  41. In an effort to just bring more information here, here are some articles on Phils prospects by one of BP’s newest prospect writers (all articles are from his free site):

    2012 EL Postseason All-Star – http://baseballprospectnation.com/2012/09/12/2012-post-season-all-prospect-team-eastern-league/
    C – Valle
    1B – Ruf
    2B – Hernandez

    Late Season Ruf Scouting Report – http://baseballprospectnation.com/2012/09/03/scouting-report-darin-ruf-1b/

    Late Season Franco Scouting Report – http://baseballprospectnation.com/2012/08/22/scouting-report-maikel-franco-3b/

    If you read his stuff I will give you the warning he loves Valle and Franco and isn’t as high on some of the other guys in the system.

    1. The Ruf comment – wow, that’s brutal.

      It’s funny, I’m regarded by some around here as very negative about Ruf, but I’m recklessly positive comapred to that report. I was thinking just this morning that my caution on Ruf is more a product of his age/position/outfield defense, as opposed to the scouting reports, but if you put much weight on scoutig reports …

      1. Brutal is right !!! I can’t imagine a more negative report.

        …. I’m saving it however … just for fun.

      2. Other late season scouting reports, however, marveled at his hitting ability, saying he barrels up everything from junk to 97 MPH heaters. And, I’m not a scout but I did see Ruf hit this year and he looked very, very good at the plate. His balance is excellent and he hit everything hard to all parts of the field. Time will tell, but I suspect that Ruf would, at the very worst, be at least an average hitter at the big league level and has the chance to be above average or better at hitting.

    2. ‘Body (6-3, 230): Bad body’, whoa! Wonder how he would characterize Ryan Howard’s current shape!

      1. Yeah, I don’t get that at all. He’s built almost exactly like Matt Halladay. . . . He’s built like a true baseball slugger. Okay, that might make you a little slower, but how does it give you a bad body for baseball?

        1. By the way, sorry, for the WIP caller moment – I do know his name is Matt Holliday, not Halladay (while I’m at it, why the hell can’t any of the WIP callers pronounce names correctly? For years and years, I had to hear about Terry FRAN-CONE-ee-a and Pat bu-RELL. Now, we get to hear all about Roy Holliday).

          1. The real question is why you listen anyway. It isn’t worth my times except maybe after 10 for a couple of hours. Then it gets silly again with the buddy buddy crap

            1. It’s pure entertainment if you don’t take it seriously. The callers are hilarious (even if they don’t intend to be so) – they are like Saturday NIght Live parodies of radio callers.

            2. Ok but it sleaze in the morning which I object to as a marketing tool. It portrays ALL sports fans as beer soaked, sex crazed idiots.

        2. Actually on first look, Ruf looks soft. Just using a Google image search just looking at them side by side I can see the bad body.

          Ruf:
          http://www.philliedelphia.com/.a/6a01348829760c970c017c3190d760970b-800wi , http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SDPh1niuZgY/T6Mvn4qTSqI/AAAAAAAAELQ/SEwukpY45Wg/s1600/DarinRuf2.bmp

          Holiday:
          http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/76/DSC06166_Matt_Holliday.jpg , http://blogs.denverpost.com/rockies/files/2012/07/Troy-Tulowitzki-matt-holiday-270×360.jpg (Cardinals jersey next to Tulo)

          Holiday is just large and jacked, they are not the same body shape. Especially when you look at the next words of the description being thick and heavy.

          And yes Howard has a bad body that is why he went into decline so fast.

          1. Howard actually said in March that because of the injury he spent more time sitting on the couch over the winter then in the past. Thus the weight gain. I do hope this off-season he get back into the physical fitness groove.

    1. Missed his first AB but caught the second

      – Second AB takes the first pitch from Chris Reed (Dodger’s 2011 1st Rd pick, LHP) in a running bunt and beats the throw (the throw was dropped).
      – Takes 2nd base on a wild pitch that stayed in front of the catcher. (got a very good secondary lead and was very decisive in taking the base)
      – Attempted steal of 3B but pitch was fouled off.

      I haven’t seen much of him live but it is easy to see why the speed had an 80 on it before the injuries.

    2. Gillies AB #3 vs Michael Roth LHP (2012 Angels draft pick, 4 year starter at South Carolina and Ace of their 2 College World Series winners)
      FB 89 mph – FB Ball, 90 mph – Strike, SL 78 mph – Ball, Cut 87 mph – Swinging Strike, FB 90 mph – Swing Strike (way outside)
      Strikeout

  42. On the question of who is untradeable, I responded to a post on another site proposing the Mets’ unload David Wright by saying that the Mets, for Wright and Matt Harvey, could have any 3 position players on the Phils’ roster and could substitute any prospect in the minors, including pitchers, for any or all of the 3. Putting it in context, except for Hamels, Lee Papelbon Halladay, to me anyone is tradeable. If the Mets somehow wanted Rollins, Ruiz and Tocci/Quinn/Biddle, they’re gone as far as I am concerned. It would be cruel to trade Halladay to the Mets but if they somehow insisted …

    1. Chris Wheeler said the Phillies put up ‘a snowman’ (8) in the first…that is a pretty good description.

  43. Gillies 3-5, 2B, 3B and Cartwright solo homer. Pretty good day for Phillies farmhands in the Britain-Canada WBC game today.

    1. Tyson Gillies has talent to burn. I have no doubt that he could be a very able starting centerfielder for a first tier major league team and, when he learns to truly drive a pitch, he is going to start hitting home runs too. All of this assumes of course that he doesn’t get injured again and keeps his freaking personal life intact and grows up – many assumptions indeed. But as a player, you are looking at a guy who has the ability to be very similar to Johnny Damon, but with a better arm.

  44. Nice slam by Howard except why was he still in the game when he isn’t 100%.
    Cloyd’s cutter and curve seem to approach the plate the same way making the curve a great out pitch .Certainly he needs to keep batters off the plate.

    1. Shame game was so close and couldn’t get Ruf playing time! Then you never know about the Mets at Citi Field.

        1. I went back and finished the ninth inning. Chese they left Howard in on defense.
          What the hell are they thinking unless they intend to move Howard not Ruf.

    2. Friday morning on KYW Newsradio, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro made it abundantly clear that won’t be happening. “I don’t know where that came from. I never had that discussion with Charlie. As far as I’m concerned, Ryan’s going to continue to play.”….“There’s no reason for me to think that he has to be shutdown,” Amaro says. “Nothing physical, and as far as a state of mind, I think it is important for him to finish strong. And if he continues to swing the bat the way he did the last couple of days, then that’s a positive for him.”

  45. I haven’t picked up a baseball in ten or twenty years but i could of made a better throw than Baxter did in the first inning. Except for the third baseman I can’t see many + player on the Mets.

    1. I suspect you mean position players, but Harvey put up a great rookie campaign. Wouldn’t mind having him on our team.

  46. Tyler Cloyd pitched well last night. 8 IP, 1 run. Very nice from your #6 starter. I know he had a big cushion, but still, a more than serviceable performance.

    1. I nearly threw my remote at the screen when he walked the leadoff man in both the first and second innings. You really want to avoid doing that when you are up 8 freakin’ runs!

      1. Yes, I was pissed when Cloyd walked guys with an 8 run lead. I was pissed again when Rosenberg did it with a 15 run lead.

  47. If the Mariners make Jesus Montero available this off-season, would he be a fit with the Phillies as the right-handed bat in the OF, say LF? He may be had for Worley or Kendrick, May and Ruf.

    1. He can only play one position only and that is 1B, he would make Ruf look like Michael Bourn. That being said there is a 0% chance that they move him in the offseason.

  48. Melky……”I have no wish to win an award that would be tainted. I believe it would be far better for someone more deserving to win…I am grateful that the Players Association and MLB were able to honor my request by suspending the rule for this season. I know that changing the rules mid-season can present problems, and I thank the Players Association and MLB for finding a way to get this done.” ….looks like Melky and his attorney are trying for some future remorseful pardoning to avoid more sanctions due to that failed internet scheme in trying to cover-up. Hopefully the Feds do not get involved. Last thing Selig wants is the govt to come back into MLB operations.

  49. AMEN They should of given up on the Roger Clemens thing years ago . Was he right NO. Meanwhile they could of used the mils to put killers and drug pushers in jail. Or some of those guys with long rap sheets that kill cops because they have nothing to lose

  50. Juan Pierre … an appreciation. As most of you may have guessed, i don’t at all buy the “knows how to play the game” crap you hear, defense does matter, he tends to be a little over rated by people who place too much weight on BA, he is unlikely to be as good next year as last year, yeah, yeah, I get all of that, BUT:

    (1) On a “value” basis, the ratio between his value to the team and his contract amount, he may be the most valuable Phillie this year. What a nice value sign he turned out to be.

    (2) Say what you will about the lack of ancillary hitting skills and the fact that he likely won’t duplicate his 2012 performance, but he has been well above average as a hitter & the Phillies third best hitter this season overall. Also, his BA, though not sustainable, is closer to his career norms than many people realize. His BABIP is only .335 versus a career total of .314.

    (3) He has, in contrast to recent seasons, been a high percentage base stealer.

    (4) His defensive deficiencies are exagerated. He’s a funny guy that way – looking at defensive metrics, imperfect yes, maybe even moreso for him, but on a career basis he is a plus fielder. Last year, according to the metrics, he was terrible, but this year just a little below average. Here’s a thought … did he have some kind of lingering leg injury last year? Because not only was his range down, but (see #3 above) his SB% was terrible.

    As for whether the Phillies will or should resign him, I would say this: if they could have him for the same price they paid this year, absolutely. But after this season, someone is going to give him a deal in the 5 million range, possibly even a 2 year deal. I don’t think he has a role on the Phillies at that price. he can’t really play CF any more, they have Brown in one corner OF spot, and the other likely a significant FA sign or a platoon. So I expect that Pierre will move on. But he did give the Phillies a surpsisingly good year, filling in admirably for traded/underperforming/injured players.

    1. I also think he’s a guy that gets unfairly slighted a bit by stat guys – not because he (ugh) brings “intangibles” to the ballpark, but as an (over) reaction to the fact that he gets overrated by the casual fan who over-values BA and who ascribes “intangible” skills to him. Also, like a lot of speed guys, he had a somewhat early decline phase (caution there on Bourn). But he has plenty of tangible value – fWAR gives him 28 career win shares. That’s not bad. (Baseball reference com is not as kind to him, mainly because they don’t like his defense as much.)

      1. When you comp Pierre’s defense vs all OFs he does not fare particurly well, but when you comp him vs just LFs, he holds his own.

      2. Pierre’s been valuable this year but my fear is they re-sign him. Since we have two spots to fill in the OF there’s going to be a temptation to do this. I prefer the schierholtz/Mayberry platoon with a free agent at the other spot.

      3. A few thoughts.

        First, I agree completely on Pierre. I never really appreciated him until this year, but what a neat little player at a bargain cost. It is not easy carving out a long career in the SABR era with that skill set, but kudos to him for doing that and for not whining even a little when he had to fight for a roster spot, no less regular playing time – his positive attitude was refreshing. I was entirely wrong about him and I admit it.

        Second, I was at yesterday’s game. It has been bizarre watching Kendrick turn into Halladay and Halladay turn into Kendrick. I hate to say it, but, if the Phillies remain hands off with what now clearly appear to be medical issues with Doc – as they were with Utley – he will not fully heal and next year will look a lot like this year. If I were the Phillies, I would shut him down right now, get his rear end to the best shoulder doctor in America – whoever that is – and, at the very least, would tell him not to throw a baseball until 2013. But if they refuse to do this, they should at least skip his turn in the rotation with the off day, but I submit that remedy does not go nearly far enough.

        Darin Ruf has monstrous power. I go to a lot of games and have a very good idea of how far a ball is going when it is hit due to its trajectory and velocity, but Ruf’s hit ball positively shocked me. He hit what for all the world looked like an ultra high major league pop-up. I thought the ball could not possibly go more than 15 feet or so out of the infield but was left in disbelief when the ball landed about 15 feet in front of the fence. I wuld approximate his power as being in the Adam Dunn/Mark Reynolds range. I mean big, big power. His future bears continued watching and, if they get knocked out of the race soon I will enjoy watching him play.

        This is the second or third game I went to where the young stud relievers got a lot of playing time. They all have fabulous arms including Rosenberg who might be an intriguing possibility as a fifth/sixth starter. I saw one if his Lehigh starts and he generally retained his velocity through five or six inningS and pitched quite well. If he can get a breaking pitch over the plate in addition to his splitter we could have a nice young starter on our hands and his value would shoot upwards. Just a thought.

        1. “First, I agree completely on Pierre. I never really appreciated him until this year, but what a neat little player at a bargain cost.”
          There is a reason before this year there was little to appreciate.. As down as I am on present management, the move to batting second was a stroke of genius. Juan is better in left with an open side where he doesn’t have to worry about bumping into other fielder (as he does). If only they would remove those nasty walls.

          1. Much like Ichiro Suzuki who returned to productive mode batting second. I have long held Ichrio would of been better off batting second or third than hitting with no one on especially since Seattle didn’t take advantage of the dh rule and stacked the bottom of the line up with low value players. Ichrio often came up with one or two outs and no one on.

  51. The reason i loved the pierre signing ,was he ability to steal a base, late in games. and he does score runs. granted he cant throw a lick.but he gets to most balls, doesnt hurt,you that much in left, and is a asset to the team.

  52. I think that ends the year, a nice run but it was lost back in June, the Houston losses are terrible but it was likely to end somewhere. I hope that they shut down Halladay since they only need 4 starters the rest of the way. Since they will likely be eliminated by the end of Nats series I hope they let some guys play just to reward them for the season (I don’t think it would be terrible to see a Kratz, Ruf, Orr, Rollins, Martinez, Nix, Schierholtz, Brown line up at the end). The only players you can really evaluate for next year right now are the bullpen pieces and which ones to keep or trade and things to work on with others (Diekman needs consistency in his delivery, Rosenberg needs something to really keep hitters off his fastball).

    Going into next year you should have Utley who looks to have returned to being productive, a 100% Howard who should bring something to the table (though he is really crushing the ball right now), what looks like a good Kyle Kendrick (I am inclined to believe that this is at least somewhat real and he can be a solid #4 starter), and hopefully they get Halladay and Worley healthy and productive.

    1. Apparently Utley is going to play 3rd in 2013. He has made his mind up and is telling them what he wants to do. Freddy G to second. Ideally, JRoll has a strong arm for third, Freddy to ss, and Chase stays at second, but JRoll does not play third as he said before.

        1. Yeah the brat who completely stepped his game up and fueled this run the phillies have been on, come on nowheels.

            1. Well I would be more comfortable with his millions. At least give it a full try and get over a period of adjustment. The move to third fits so well and this team needs to improve defense desperately.

            2. He’d be a way below average bat at third, it’s better to keep him at short where his bat plays better and where he’s won a few gold gloves

            3. You are stuck with a few long term contracts and a need to preserve what money you have. While your comment is generally true ,the other choices are just about unacceptable

            4. Alec…..’He’d be a way below average bat at third….at his 2012 numbers how many are better then JRoll! I give you Headley.

      1. I think a move to LF would be a better fit for Utley at this point with his knee problems. Not to mention, I don’t know if he’s capable of making that from 3B to 1B.

        1. +1 It lessen his “positional value” but probably the best of a bad situation. Plus he should be a good defensive player eventually. This from a guy who could never catch a fly. Even pop ups I would yell “YOU GOT IT”

  53. The Phillies need to shut down Halladay. I think it’s pretty obvious that he’s been playing hurt and there’s no point to potentially cause an even worse injury at this point.

    Kendrick has really been impressive lately. His changeup has really developed into a plus pitch and I think he can be a great middle-rotation guy for the Phillies next season.

      1. I guess Rosenberg would be the guy. The Phillies are done anyways, so it’s not really that big of a deal who it is that replaces him. The idea is for Halladay to not further injure himself.

  54. YES i agree shut him down for the rest of the season. try rosenberg, right now i wouldnt let lee pitch too much either, call up a couple of triple a rejects starters to finish the season. ruf at first. dom in center just to see.

  55. BP’s Monday Morning Ten Pack featured Andrew Pullin in its series of players that have things going on in instructional leagues (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18441)

    The reports are that the bat doesn’t play long term in an OF corner as it is more of a line drive swing without the prototypical power. He has the physical characteristics to be able to handle second base where the swing will play and they see him as a prototypical #2 hitter.

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