344 thoughts on “General Discussion

  1. It’s about time. Let the kid show what he can do. I thought they’d try him at first, as well, and give Ryan some down time.

  2. The problem here is that no matter what Ruf does (good or bad), it will fall under small sample size. The only thing the fans will be able to see is if he’s really a butcher in the field.

    1. The bigger problem is that he has been allowed to go totally stale on the bench and whatever audition he is given will not be a fair view of his ability.

      1. No, that’s not a “bigger” problem, it’s not a “problem” at all, and even if it was, it by definition could now be a “bigger” problem that SSS, because the SSS issue is big enough that literally NOTHING that Ruf could do in a couple of games can give us any additional helpful information at all about whether he can be a contributing major league player. That would have been true even if he played full time after the call up and accumulated 100 PA.

        The biggest problem, though, is that a certain segment of the readership here had this delusional fantasy that Ruf would come up this September and prove the doubters wrong, leading to a starting job in the outfield next year, and eventual stardom. The problem of that isn’t even so much that those “fans” over estimate Ruff’s potential, though they likely do, but the twin lack of understanding of (1) the problems with SSS, and (2) the lack of appreciation of the importance of outfield defense (or, in one case, the failure to accept that a slow fat guy with only a few career games in the outfield is going to be a liability on defense, not withstanding the fact that he seems to be able to catch balls hit right to him).

        1. I think I lose 3 IQ points each time I read a post by LarryM. Could we get his posts in bright red so I want mistakeny read his posts.

      2. And this also is an example of why we can’t have nice things around here. What should have been a nice conversation about Ruf getting a couple of major league starts becomes more of the same crap we have been dealing with, because you decide to shlt on the team for “allow[ing] him to totally go stale on the bench.”

        1. I’m sorry that a comment you disagree with spoils all of your nice things. The fact remains, although what Ruf does or does not accomplish will not be statistically significant, he will leave a positive or negative impression (even if totally random and not statistically valid) which will strongly impact how Cholly views him going into next season. Sitting as long as he has does put him at a severe disadvantage. The small sample-size scatter of his performance is now going to be around a new, much lower-level, rusty mean, not the guy who was tearing the cover off the ball in AA. That really is not fair to him. Whether or not you think he is a total fluke, whether or not you assign zero value to small sample size, it is highly likely that when given his three starts after the team has been totally eliminated, that is future will be a lot brighter if he goes 6-for-12 than if he goes 1-for-12. One reason he has been used so little is that Cholly didn’t see him in a fair number of AB in the also statistically insignificant ST games.

          1. I think the plan all along has been for Ruf to play regularly in Venezuela. As long as the team was in contention it was the right call to not play him. The Phillies had better options. Pierre has had a really good year.

            I don’t think the Phillies care about the small sample size know. They are correctly planning for next year and intend to watch him for 30 or 40 games this winter.

            1. Venezuela Winter League slated to open up in two weeks, second week in October. Anybody going down to give us a first-hand report on Ruf?

            2. +1 … The lack of playing time after his promotion tells me the big league call-up was more of a reward for what he accomplished at Reading this season. The true test comes with playing LF every day during the winter.

          2. I was going to make a couple of snide comments, but I’ll refrain. I do think there is a depressing pattern here. Many of us, myself included, criticize the organization about one thing and another. But the group that is most vocally negative about the organization is what I call the “raw stats shorn of context gang.” They see, time after time, their favorite players not getting taken seriously by the organization & not getting shots at the major league level. So it is natural, after a while, when this happens again and again, to start to think there’s something wrong with the organization. And it happens SO often, that that “something” must be pretty bad.

            So you end up where Allentown is here – basically positing that the organization is so stupid that they’re going to let 10 to 15 plate appearances influence their decisions going forward regarding Ruf.

            Of course the last sentence, about the “failure” to give Ruf a “fair” number of AB last spring – last spring, when he was coming off a good but not at all earth shattering season as a 24/25 year old first baseman in A ball – is just the icing on the cake.

            1. I think most people agree with you Larry, you just come off as such a pompous a$$ that pretty much everyone hates you here.

            2. Hey, now. Let’s keep it civil. And I don’t “hate” anyone on here. In fact, I appreciate Larry’s analysis, as it’s some of the best we get now that James is fly fishing in the Yucatan (or doing whatever it is that he is doing–probably working and catching up on sleep). We should probably have a sitewide moratorium on Darin Ruf discussions for the next two weeks. Maybe that will calm things down a bit.

            3. I am with you. Let’s let it go for a couple of weeks, then we can follow his progress in Venezuela. The past 4/5 weeks it has become ad nauseum discussion bordering on bickering between the troops. The morale is low.

            4. I think Cholly does indeed let a dozen or so plate appearances by a rookie color his opinion of a guy going forward. I used the word fair, not as fair/unfair, but as decent number of ST AB so that Cholly would have an impression of him. Cholly doesn’t like to play rookies and looks for any reason to discount them. Not having an impression of Ruf from ST, he’s not going to play him, although batting him against LH SP and giving Howard those days off would have helped Ruf, the Phillies, and Howard’s recovery from injury. Ruf is far from my favorite player. I rank him 17th among our minor league prospects. I’ve seen him play about a dozen games at Reading, several in LF, and know he is not an adequate defensive LF at this point. I would not give him LF starts in Philly this season. However, his bat is for real.

            5. I don’t see that tendency in Manuel, at all. Moreover, it will be the front office, not Manuel, who ultimately decides if Ruf gets a shot as a regular.

              That aside, you and others are working with in inaccurate model of how players get major league jobs. This “unheralded player impresses the team in September or in spring training and gets a major league job” story is almost entirely a myth. Almost all teams – good teams especially – go into spring training with the position regulars, starting pitchers, and closer set. Sometimes there is some competition for one or two spots on the bench or for relievers. Players get shots at a regular role in the majors one of two ways: the body of work in the minors – including scouting reports – convinces the front office the kid is ready for a major league job, or a spot opens up mid season through injury or trade. That’s pretty much it. The few real examples of a kid coming to spring training and winning a job as a position regular or starting pitcher are almost always bad teams. The same can be said for September call ups, by and large.

              Ruf isn’t going to win a spot on the team by impressing the front office in September or Spring training. He’ll get a job one of two ways – make huge strides in his outfield defense, and continue his hitting performance next year in AAA, to the point the team thinks he is worth taking a chance on, or get a shot because of injury. If Howard goes down next year, and Ruf is, at the time, hitting well in AAA, then maybe he gets a shot at first base. Otherwise, fairly or not, he isn’t likely to get a shot, except maybe as a bench guy, and even that is unlikely.

              Now, again I could be wrong about that, but the point is IF I’m wrong, it won’t be because Ruf impressed Manuel or the front office with a few good games in September or a good spring training. (Except that the latter could POSSIBLY help him get a bench role.)

            6. That’s not always true Larry. I mean, Shane Spencer had an awesome September for the Yankees once and earned a full time job the next year. (Read using your sarcastic font)

            7. Well yes, except in a sense that puzzled me even more, as there even the raw stats were not that good. I’m still not sure what was behing the Mitchell enthusiasm.

            8. Which is why his fan club is even more idiotic. And I use that word completely in good humor b/c on some level I am indeed a Ruf fan. I just don’t think his AA stats at the age of 26 translate to an every day major leaguer with above average value (or even average value for that matter).

              But nothing being sad about Ruf by those carrying the flag for him even approaches the insanity of the loons who spouted off all year last year about their boy “D Mitch”. That was beyond uninformed, it was lunacy.

  3. Boston Globe: 23 Sep 2012. Cody Ross, OF, Red Sox — He has three major-market teams — the Phillies, Yankees, and Red Sox — very interested in him. Ross has made it clear he’d negotiate with the Red Sox right now and would stay in Boston if he had his druthers. The Sox are starting preliminary talks, but if something isn’t worked out before free agency begins, the Yankees and Phillies — at least — will be eager to talk to him. Ross played for Yankees manager Joe Girardi in Florida.

    1. I’m not sold on Ross. A guy having his best year after age 30 is probably just having a career year and will return to his norms the season after. His splits are pretty drastic too and it seems to me he’s not going to give us anything that Mayberry can’t. Also, f*** Cody Ross.

      1. I’d sign him for the right deal. 3 years $21 million is probably the floor for him at this point, which IMO is fair given his skill set. He’s always hit well in CBP, so his home/road splits don’t concern me at all. He also hits righties better than Mayberry, so there’s that.

        Would be satisfied with the off season (unless they totally overpay) if they add BJ Upton/Michael Bourn and Cody Ross to fill out the outfield. Having Mayberry on the bench makes them a better team given his positional flexibility.

          1. You just know that if Cody Ross signs with the Phils, he’ll be an unmitigated disaster. Schneider is the most recent example I can think of, but guys that kill the Phillies never seem to play well when acquired by them.

            1. Because in general, you’re acquiring a player past his prime. I would not spend a lot of money on Ross, simply because another player entering his early 30s is not what this team needs. Especially on a long term deal.

      2. I would vomit each time I saw Cody Ross in Phils uniform. I can’t think of a worse player to have to “root” for.

          1. (Swisher) as in, a worse player to root for. Ross is high on my list but none higher than Pagan or Victorino provided we can get one of them on a 2-yr deal

            1. No way Vic gets tendered, the dodgers will be paying over 60 million to the rest of their OF, that and Victorino has not had the season to deserve that large a salary.

  4. League Top 20s began on Baseball America today, I am interested to see which guys people think stack up and make the lists (not that it means much but it helps continue conversation of how guys fit in on their leagues and lists are fun). A player needs a certain amount of ABs or IP to qualify so Shane Watson for example is not eligible for the GCL list
    Lock – Tocci
    Probable – Cozens
    Long Shot – Pullin, Green
    Lock – Quinn
    Probable – L Greene
    Long Shot – Walding, Warner
    Locks – Franco
    Probable – Dugan
    Long Shot – Altherr, Stewart, Giles
    Lock – Biddle
    Probable – Morgan
    Long Shot – Wright
    Lock – Martin, May, Joseph
    Probable – Asche
    Long Shot – Pettibone, Valle, Hernadez, Bonilla, Ruf
    Locks – Aumont
    Probable –
    Long Shot – Cloyd, Diekman

    1. Tocci, Pullin, Quinn, L.Greene, Franco, Dugan, Giles, Biddle, Morgan, Wright, Martin, Joseph, Asche, May, Hernandez, Pettibone, Aumont,

    2. I would be surprised if Asche was listed, since BBA just recently said that neither Ruf nor Asche were prospects and had no chance of being Major League Regulars.

      Asche Can’t field, has a slow bat, and no power.
      Ruf is just an old guy beating up young kids who only gets HRs because the fences as Reading are short.

      They are not LONG SHOTS Prospects, they are 0% Chance Prospects.
      At least according to BBA not long ago.

      Do I agree? Not at all, but some feel anyone who would disagree with BBA is foolish.

  5. Dan Szymborski at fangraphs thinks Cloyd is going to be in the starting rotation next year. I don’t see it, though I think he gets a shot when there is the inevitable injury, and he could end up as a decent #5 here or elesewhere. The fact that his 2012 AAA W-L record and ERA are not predictive doesn’t mean he doesn’t have enough to be a #5 starter. There are plenty of worse #5s in the league.

    1. I see Cloyd as a good #6 starter next season. Doubt you want to trust him for 32 starts, but considering he has options left he’s a great pitcher to have in AAA ready to fill in when needed.

      1. Don’t see Cloyd as a good #5, #6, or #7. Just don’t think he has enough “stuff” to be successful in the major leagues over an extended period. He’s good insurance to have if the team needs an emergency starter but I expect him to get passed in the pecking order quickly by guys like Pettibone, Morgan, and even Rosenberg.

        1. I could be wrong about him – as I’ve said before, pitcher evaluation is not my strong suit. Certainly the silly Maddux comparisons were quite grating. And, for the Phillies in particular, at least in 2013 and hopefully after (possibly 2 spots to fill in 2014), I like other options better, at least for the #5 role (Kendrick at this point is a much better #5 IMO).

          But I base my opinion in large measure upon the fact that the “typical” #5 isn’t that good. The bar is low for a 5th starter. The Phillies’ recent pitching staffs have been so good that it’s tough to remember that, even in these days of lowered offensive production, an AVERAGE starting pitcher has an ERA over 4.00. Your typical 5th starter is going to have an ERA around 4.90. I don’t think Cloyd will duplicate his performance to date, mainly because he is not going to continue to strike out 8 players per 9 innings, but even with his mediocre stuff I think he might be about to maintain a sub 4.90 ERA.

          1. And that may even overstate the typical performance of a #5. It’s hard to even identify #5s in a lot of cases. Only 128 starting pitchers – just over 4 per team – have even 100 IP in 2012, and 23 of those players have ERAs over 4.90.

          2. Larry, I think I have a pretty damned good idea of what I’m watching when I see a guy pitch and you are not wrong about Cloyd. He has borderline #5 stuff. Unless he develops an “out” pitch (it does happen from time to time – see Kendrick) or shows almost historically outstanding command of virtually all of his pitches (possible, but very unlikely), he’s always going to be operating on the margins. He’s perfectly fine as a middle reliever/spot starter and that’s what I expect will happen with him.

            As for me, I am very much looking forward to Jon Pettibone getting a full spring training with Rich Dubee. People around here view him as an okay pitching coach but I beg to disagree. After Dave Duncan, he’s in the next group of really fine pitching coaches and has shown the ability to teach the change-up and cutter – two pitches that could make an enormous difference for Pettibone, who has a good arm but has a pretty straight fastball, much like Ryan Madson. People here are overlooking Pettibone, but he’s a very fine prospect and is not far away from being an important part of the team’s rotation.

            1. Agree that Pettibone has a much better chance of staying in the end of a rotation. My issue with Cloyd, especially with the common comparison to Kendrick, is that Cloyd first needs to add 4-5 MPH on his fastball before he even gets into that conversation.

              Just don’t see RH starters who sit at 85-86 having success (Knuckleball pitchers excluded). Add to that that Cloyd doesn’t seem to have much movement on his pitches and I just don’t see a path to prolonged success. His greatest attribute is that he has good command and doesn’t throw pitches in the middle of the plate too often. Don’t think that’s enough.

            2. We agree. The odds of Cloyd adding any noticeable amount of velocity are low indeed. He’s a spare part at best, but could wind up as a useful long reliever.

          3. Larry, with the amount of needs on the club, any consideration of selling high on Kendrick? Maybe he’s turned a corner, but this feels like a tease to me. If Cloyd can get you maybe even half a season of starts (maybe Pettibone half) as a 5th starter, it might be worth it depending on what the return includes. Usually Amaro does pretty decent on selling high on young pitchers: JA Happ

            1. Hmm. I guess I’m just not convinced the Phillies are in a position to do much in the trade market. Certainly Kendrick, even selling “high,” isn’t going to get you much as the center piece of a trade. If a team wants him as a piece on a larger trade, I certainly wouldn’t rule it out, but I wouldn’t go shopping him.

            2. Larry, I’m with you. I think recent (2nd half) events have ruled out any possibility of trading Lee which leaves an opening day rotation of Hamels, Lee, Halladay, Kendrick and hopefully Worley.

              If you move Kendrick, who’s your 4th/5th starter, and please don’t say Cloyd.

            3. (sorry, that was me above) Fair enough. I think they shouldn’t rule it out though. Ruben doesn’t do well judging the market – overpaying for Pence in a seller’s market, but usually does well with selling high. also, I was a section over from Ruf’s homerun ball last night. If I caught it, how much do you think I can sell it to people on this site for?

  6. The only thing i see for cloyd is mop up guy, or long relief, comeon, people on here suppose to follow this game. you serious about him in the rotation, as a mop up guy maybe and that is because he is cheap, and might be able to pitch a lot of inning if necessary/

    1. I would be okay with Upton on a one-year “pillow” contract or a three year contract at reasonable dollars ($36-40 milion) – otherwise, I’d pass. Upton hits for a terrible average and I think the fans would be all over him if, for example, he hits .240, and I’m not sure he’d react well to that. I see a high probability of that move blowing up, even though, clearly, he is a good player.

        1. Now THAT would be a trade worth considering. Justin Upton is a top level talent, with a near MVP season in the bank and team-favorable contract, coming off a bad year on a team looking to save money and acquire new talent. I think he can be had and I don’t think the trade will cost as much as folks think. The Phillies would probably have to assemble some real talent, but they’ve got so much pitching talent in the pipeline, I think they could do it without running the tap dry. It’s certainly worthy of an attempt because next year or the year after I think Upton will take off an not look back.

          1. Get BOTH. Sign BJ as the FA and then Justin will ask the DBacks to get traded here. Outfield of Brown, Upton, Upton. Yes, please.

            1. Not going to happen. Too expensive and putting brothers together on a team of any type does not always produce a favorable outcome. What brothers have done well together in sports? I guess the Niekros in baseball and the van Arsdales in baskeball (how’s that for going back in time?), but it’s rarely a good idea. Just give me Justin and we can move on.

            2. If the talent is there. Is there an example of brother pairings turning out worse than expected? The Perry brothers pitched well for the ’74 Indians (though the team had little else). Dizzy and Daffy Dean famously for the ’34 Cardinals. Mort and Walker Cooper for the ’41-’44 Cardinals. The trouble is if you overpay to make it happen, or give the star’s kid brother 400 plate appearances to hit .230 with.

            3. The Perrys are a good example. But, for their year or so of glory, the Deans were insane and nearly drank each other into extinction and I think other brother combos were also not so good. The Giambis did a very good job of procuring steroids for one another. The Ripkens were bad because it got Billy a bunch of big league at bats he probably did not deserve. But looking to other sports, I see the Andrews brothers and the mess created there and it leaves me very cautious. Remember, if you have to discipline one of the brothers for some reason, you can end up having two problem attitudes on your hands instead of one. And what if you want to trade one brother – will the other one be bitter (Cal Ripken nearly left the Orioles when they fired his father as manager – who the heck needs a problem like that?).

            4. Brothers/relatives pretty regularly play well together in the NHL. Not to say that makes it a good idea to get the Upton brothers, but thought I’d point it out.

    2. I am ok with Upton (and really anyone but Hamilton) only if they do not cost a draft pick. I wouldn’t mind Upton at 4/48mil but if it costs what is right now the 15th pick I don’t make that signing. (Some recent #15 picks include, Chase Utley, Stephen Drew, Scott Kazmir, Ethan Martin, and Devin Mesoraco)

      1. He WILL cost a pick. The Rays will offer arbitration. Even if they can’t afford to pay him 13 mil, he’d still have positive trade value for them at that price and they could then just trade him.

        1. I was under the impression that teams no longer surrender picks for signing free agents, but rather the old team gets supplemental picks.

          1. The old team doesn’t get the pick it simply disappears. So if the Rays extend Upton an offer and the Phillies sign him, they will lose the 15th pick (only top 10 are protected and cost a 2nd round pick instead) and the Rays will get a single sup pick likely in the low 30’s.

            1. Thanks for the clarification. I find that strange that the pick disappears rather than have the old team inherit the pick. Not sure what the rationale behind that is.

            2. It makes it even playing field where the pick you get isn’t determined by what team happened to last have the player

  7. KC owner Dave Glass wants top notch starter for rotation…hiow about Cliff Lee for Bubba Starling and Jeff Francouer…solves Philly’s right-handed OF power bat problem. Starling has good chance to be the next Trout.

    1. What is the fascination with Jeff Francouer? He could quite possibly be the worst player in MLB now that Betancourt has been released.

      1. You are way to kind to Francouer, and I’m serious. If the Phillies sign Francouer I will give up on the team. I wouldn’t take Francouer on my team if he was free. Even as a bench guy. The fact that he still has a major league job is a joke.

        1. Ditto. Forget even about sabermetrics. .238/13/42 from a corner outfielder with a full season of plate appearances is AWFUL. And everything beyond that makes him worse.

          1. Because you only have 25 spots on the roster and you can’t give one up because the guy is free, at least mini-Mart can pretend to play a lot of positions defensively

        2. There is no worse every-day (and I use that term kindly) player in MLB than Francouer. I’m with Larry, if the Phils signed this refuse-to-walk waste-of-space, I’d simply divest myself of all things Phillies. There is no worse answer to any personnel question than: Jeff Francouer.

    2. Why the heck does everyone want to trade Cliff Lee? I don’t get it. Lee had a bizarre season, but, even with that, he’s about a 5 WAR pitcher – in what is a disastrous year for him. To me, when a team is not rebuilding, the hallmark of a bad trade is one where, the moment the player is traded, you will be looking for precisely the same type of player/performance that you just traded. That’s the exact position we’d be in if we traded Cliff Lee. What’s the point? Let’s build on the team’s strengths, not deplete them.

      1. Funniest part is that other than the win/loss record, Lee had his typical season. His ERA is good, he’s going to throw over 200 innings, the strikeout/walk rate was normal, etc.

        He didn’t win games early in the season because the Phillies offense was putrid in his starts and the bullpen came in late in several of his starts and allowed the runners on base to score. For the season, the Phillies average for runs scored in his starts was 3.71 and they scored 3 runs or less more than 1/2 of his 27 starts. I was impressed that he didn’t allow the frustration of getting zero run support for 1/2 the season to creep into his performances.

        This is why looking at W/L records for pitchers is so foolish.

      2. Why the heck does everyone want to trade Cliff Lee? My guess, he turns 35 next season, and his value is at the highest it will be not withstanding his contract. Unless he morphs into the next Warren Spahn/Jamie Moyer, history shows a majority of pitchers as they age closer to their late 30s their production falls. Nevertheless, I still think he has at least two very good seasons in him.

    3. If you are going to trade Cliff Lee, and I agree with catch that it makes little sense to trade him as he fills a position of need that you would need to immediately fill, I would insist that the deal be centered around Moustakas, Gordon, or Myers (I would love Hosmer but you can’t move Howard easily as we have discussed) with other pieces depending on which was traded for. I know that seems like asking for the moon, but the only way you can make your team worse by trading Lee is to fill another hole or two and gain financial flexibility. This is not an albatross contract if the Phillies want to content over the next 2-3 years.

      BTW Starling is only a year younger than Trout and is still in Low-A, and just a general rule, there is no next Mike Trout or Bryce Harper they are unique talents who are above anything you could possibly expect.

      1. Would love to get Myers AND Gordon, plus a pitching prospect, but if Halladay doesn’t come around in 2013 as the dominant picher he once was in the past, and Lee gone, the rotation looks very pedestrian. Lee probably needs to stay, though I am sure Ruben will be getting some offers, especially from the rangers if they falter again in the playoffs this year. Nolan Ryan will push for sure to get him.

        1. I might even just take Myers and Starling. Maybe. It leave the rotation thin and it may be a step backwards, but long run possibly a step forward. Keep in mind the world series 2008 team won with a rotation of Hamels, Brett Myers, Jamie Moyer, Joe Blanton, and pre-St. Louis Kyle Lohse. So we have an outfield next year of Myers in CF (he can play center I think, though not sure), Brown in right and Mayberry/Pierre platoon in LF. But in 2 or 3 years, you have an OF of Myers, Brown, and Starling. That’s potentially a very strong outfield. You’re lineup next year could go:

          Rollins SS
          Pierre/Mayberry LF
          Utley 2b/3b
          Myers CF
          Howard 1B (break up the lefties)
          Ruiz C
          Brown RF
          or with the money saved on Lee, you could easily afford an upton and move Myers to a corner. More importantly, in a few years it could be very bright. Step backwards, but a leap forwardan

    4. I’d take Starling, but give me someone else instead of Frenchy. Maybe a Montgomery, high upside who has struggled. Or, instead of Frenchy the outfielder, maybe Frenchy the mustard

  8. If you trade any of the top four starter there is little chance for next year unless you get very lucky. Sometimes FA or trade it takes a year to settle in (if ever) There are other CARL CRAWFORDS out there. I say play the hand until spring save a stud power outfielder. Ruben definitely does he best work inseason

  9. The B. J. Upton thing- I see rumors that , given the likelihood that Upton receives good multi-year offers, Tampa Bay will make the 13.5 million or so qualifying offer, and thereby cause the signing team to forfeit their first round draft choice. If that is the case, I say, Forget that.
    Forget, also, the other players likely to receive such an offer; Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, et.al.
    That’s a reason, this Philly squad lags, in some ways, behind other organizations- lack of good draft picks in that area.

    I, also, see a lot of this Sure-fire-next-season platoon of Mayberry-Schierholtz for next season. Schierholtz has been healthy for some time now, and you don’t see a platoon now, do you?

    Here’s what they might do.. I believe that Re-sign Juan Pierre stuff is real. And , if that is so, then he is on the LF list, and he is good enough to play there, and he will get the bulk of the playing time just for being a LH hitter Then you get Mayberry in CF and Brown in RF. For the bench in that alignment, you get Pierre’s opposite as a back-up, Darin Ruf. And as the other OF reserve, You get Ruf’s mirror image, (although reputed to be a faster runner) the still under contract , Laynce Nix. That’s the LH-RH option for pinch-hitting for next season. Doesn’t seem that different from the current season’s Laynce Nix (and/or Jim Thome) Ty Wigginton combination.
    For the Infield, you slide Utley to 3B, insert Cesar Hernandez, along with Galvis and Frandsen into the 2B slot (they can alternate through the entire season, and maybe get pinch hit for once a game, or so, If necessary). Then you get J-Roll at SS and Howard at 1B.
    For Catcher , you get Ruiz backed by Kratz.
    For pitching, you can stay the course , also.
    So, there it is , you get an inexpensive positon player and pitching outlook, as compared to the current payroll.
    I don’t think they do this , or should. I think they can , and should, make some trades.

      1. It’s not a 100 loss team, but it isn’t a contending team. It’s a 85 win team IF everyone is healthy, 70 to 75 win team if injuries hit as hard as they did this year. I guess if you take the position that we are in rebuilding mode, it’s not a bad way to go.

        Except for third base – I just don’t get the move-Utley-to-third fascination. Keeping in mind that, as a starting point, Utley is less valuable offensively and defensively at third:

        (1) Galvis is legitimately impressive defensively, but still is a subpar hitter, especially at second base (and again keep in mind he is pushing Utley to a third, by itself a value decreasing proposition). But he’s the best option on the current roster.
        (2) Hernandez is young enough that he COULD still develop into a major league regular down the road. Why anyone thinks he could be that now is beyond me.
        (3) Frandsen is playing way over his head this year – but if, despite that, you want to put him in a regular role next year, why not just put HIM at third, instead of playing 2 players out of position?

        I also have reservations about resigning Pierre, though if we’re going the bargain basement route, and his price is reasonable, then maybe. But there may be better low cost options out there.

        Now, I know what Marfis will say – he doesn’t think the team should do that. But he wants trades, not FA signings. My own opinion is that the Phillies are not in a position of strength for trades, and getting quality young players, if they can do that at all, is going to cost them WAY more in terms of prospects than losing a first round draft pick.

        1. If the Phillies had a 3B with a bat worthy of the position, I’d agree that moving Utley from 2B is a loss. But they don’t. By moving Utley to 3B and plugging in Galvis at 2B, you’re essentially trading a lack of offensive production from third to second, while improving the middle infield defense dramatically and (hopefully) giving Utley’s knees a break. Also, let’s keep in mind that Galvis was only a rookie last year, and did show some doubles power potential at the plate.

          It’s not a perfect solution, but it a.) gives a potential gold glove 2B a chance to play everyday, b.) keeps an important bat in the Phillies’ lineup, and c.) prevents the Phils from overspending on a FA 3B when they have Asche and Franco knocking on the door in a few short years.

          Hernandez, btw, needs more time in AAA. He did not perform well after his promotion.

          1. I guess that’s the case you need to make; my main disagreement is that Utley is still better than average defensively, so I just don’t see the “big upgrade” in middle infield defense. I also don’t have any particular reason to believe third base will be any easier on Utley’s knees.

            The options at third are weak enough that you can make a case for the move, but still not IMO a compelling one.

    1. I agree with a ton of what you just wrote Marfis…although I think Phils brass will want to see Ruf in AAA for a bit. I’ve seen enough of Mayberry to be confident of him in center and I think he’ll trend higher next year at the plate (this game ain’t easy you guys..there IS a learning curve). I’m happy with how Brown has played too….long story short…we have the pieces IN SYSTEM to put a playoff team in the field for 2013. Howard will be healthier, Lee and Halladay can re-boot themselves, Chase at 3rd??? Gimme some of that!!!
      Bullpen is where the $$$ needs to go, and I’m sure there are some useful arms out there…Grant Balfour (doubt Oakland picks up the option), Mike Adams, Casey Jannssen, Brandon League….just to name a few.
      I’m bummed as hell about how this season went
      I’m glad we got some meaningful September baseball
      I’m SURE the Phils will do better in 2013

        1. Would spend some $$ on an quality 8th inning guy but that would be it. Rest of pen can be filled with in-house options.

            1. Not ready to trust Aumont in that role. Control issues are way too frequent for him to be considered as a back of the pen guy.

    2. Marfis, this is the first time in many years that the Phillies will draft above the high twenties so your third point is questionable. There is a big difference between #25 and #15 in terms of talent.

    3. Charlie on the radio this afternoon says Utley’s glove and the ‘step-and-dive’ approach for third basemen are skills he can master, it is the arm and its strength that can be the concern on Utley’s move to third.

  10. Well its just Tocci on the BA GCL list. Although he’s pretty high up.

    1. Byron Buxton, of, Twins
    2. Carlos Correa, ss, Astros
    3. D.J. Davis, of, Blue Jays
    4. Rio Ruiz, 3b, Astros
    5. Wyatt Mathisen, c, Pirates
    6. Carlos Tocci, of, Phillies
    7. Dilson Herrera, 2b, Pirates
    8. Tzu-Wei Lin, ss, Red Sox
    9. Tyler Glasnow, rhp, Pirates
    10. Jose Peraza, ss, Braves
    11. Steve Bean, c, Cardinals
    12. Alberto Tirado, rhp, Blue Jays
    13. Luis Merejo, lhp, Braves
    14. Jake Thompson, rhp, Tigers
    15. Austin Schotts, of, Tigers
    16. Kolby Copeland, of, Marlins
    17. Avery Romero, 3b/2b, Marlins
    18. Harold Castro, 2b, Tigers
    19. Jin-De Jhang, c, Pirates
    20. Francellis Montas, rhp, Red Sox

    1. A nice showing by Tocci (considering he is 16 that is really impressive), hopefully we will learn some more about the other guys during the chat.

        1. They didn’t have the money to sign him, his signing bonus was 1.85 million from the Astros, Just looking at the budget for the Philles it would have meant they could have taken Watson, Gueller, and Cozens. The rest of the picks (including the one they used on Alec Rash) would have had to have been $5,000 college seniors.

          The trade off would have been Rio Ruiz or…
          Brady, Milner, Zach Green, Pullin, Serritella, Carmona, Perkins, (and the flyer on Rash if he didn’t lose a ton of velocity in the spring).

          It sucks that we couldn’t but I would rather we did what we did.

          1. You’re probably right but its frustrating that we get damaged goods in Rash and pass on a top-end talent like Ruiz.

            1. Please don’t start this 20/20 hindsight bs. 30 other teams passed on Ruiz too. You could go on and on with virtually every player in baseball arguing how such and such team passed on them.

    1. Same reports we’ve been hearing. Plus Plus runner, potential to be an elite defensive CF, good idea of the strike zone, but many scouts question his ability to ever hit for power due to his frame.

    2. Not a whole lot of new information:
      – Great feel for hitting and can really get the barrel on the ball
      – There is room for him to add some power as he puts on muscle but their are disagreements about how much power he can add with his frame
      – Plus-plus runner with base running instincts
      – Has a chance to be an elite defender in CF

  11. From Chat:
    PT (IBC): Which side of the fence are you on with Tocci? Frame too narrow or room to put on 20-30 pounds?

    Ben Badler: As long as the Phillies put him on a proper strength training program and he’s dedicated to it (and to shoveling down calories), then he should be able to add plenty of weight and strength. The swing is generally sound, the approach is outstanding, but there just isn’t much impact right now when he does barrel the ball. It’s not going to happen next year, and it might not happen for a few more years, but once he does add strength, there’s huge breakout potential here.

    Ben (Leland Grove): What was the word on Dylan Cozens, specifically his makeup? Was he close to making your list?

    Ben Badler: He came a little better than expected. Huge power (that wasn’t a surprise) both to his pull side and to the opposite field. The stiffness to his swing and the very limited defensive value are concerns, but the power is a potential carrying tool.

    1. More…
      Rod in Seattle (Shill for BA): What can you tell us about the Phillies’ pick Zach Green?

      Ben Badler: The debut was solid and he’ll show you above-average power at times, but there’s a lot going on for him to get started with his swing, which is why he might look great on one pitch, then get tied up and overmatched the next. If he can quiet down some of the movement and learn the strike zone a little bit better, then you’ve got an interesting guy, but there’s a lot of work to be done.

    1. A great match up to start him off in, getting him a start in at home helps because he likely has been doing his work here, good to keep the variables down and just let him try to relax and play.

    2. it is vs Detwiler tonight, Lannan is tomorrow and could very well be back to back starts for Ruf if all goes well defensively tonight

  12. Ruf in LF..a Philly tradition of Gold Gloves precede him…the Bull, Pat the Bat, Rauuuul, Lucky Pierre, Inky, Wiggy et al…going to be tough to hold the mantra and follow those gloves.

    1. That’s really the worst of the many pro Ruf arguments. Even setting aside the relevance of the particular comparisons, it makes a basic logical fallacy at the start: the fact that the Phillies have had bad defensive left fielders in the past doesn’t make Ruf’s defensive deficiencies irrelevant.

      In term of the specific comparisons, three points: Ruf CURRENTLY is probably worse defensively than most or all of those players (, his hitting, even if it is “for real,” is going to have to be pretty darn good too equal most of those names, and the couple of players who Ruyf possibly DOES compare well to overall in that group weren’t, or shouldn’t have been, full time regulars.

      1. Nevertheless. just realized, the best nicknames in Philly history belong to their slow-a-foot fielding leftfielders, for what it is worth.

        1. Not a fan of “Flyin’ Hawaain,” “The Man,” “Exxon,” “Tony No Dad,” or “Big Piece?” And that’s just recent Phillies players from multiple positions.

    2. Cheese you forgot Del Ennis and Jim Greengrass (spelling?? but yes greengrass)
      As a left fielder Ennis was a great bowler.

  13. I was looking at minor league stats and found some interesting information.

    Do not get upset that I am comparing a minor leaguer to a major leaguer because I am not. I am comparing a minor leaguer named Daren Ruf at the end of his 25 year old season to a minor leaguer named Ryan Howard at the end of his 24 year old season. They were both winding up their 4th minor league season. The year difference in age is attributed to the fact that Ruf was taken as a 4th year senior while Howard was taken as a 3rd year junior.

    In many ways they are similar. Both are slow footed power hitting 1st-basemen blocked on their trek to the major leagues. Eerily, Ruf numbers are remarkably similar to Howard’s. They basically played in the same stadiums and leagues along their minor league trek.

    Ruf played over 75% of his 1st season in Williamsport in the NYPL while Howard played in Batavia in the NYPL. Williamsport is harder to hit homer runs than Batavia. In their 2nd seasons Ruf played over 75% of the season in Clearwater in an A+ league while Howard spent the entire season in Lakewood in an A league. Clearwater is considered the harder park to hit home runs. Both spent their 3rd seasons in Clearwater. Ruf spent his entire 4th season in Reading at class AA while Howard spent over 75% of the season in Reading with less than 25% of the season in Scranton/WB at class AAA. Reading is probably easier to hit home runs. Remarkably both Ruf and Howard wound up with 1,886 at bats each in these 4 years. Here are their numbers:

    Ryan Howard …. .. …… Darin Ruf
    …. .. . Totals …… …. .. . Totals
    G ….. … 444 …… G ….. … 458
    PA …. .. 1886 …… PA …. .. 1886
    AB …. .. 1637 …… AB …. .. 1632
    R ….. … 243 …… R ….. … 257
    H ….. … 474 …… H ….. … 498
    2B …. …. 87 …… 2B …. … 136
    3B …. …. 11 …… 3B …. ….. 7
    HR …. …. 94 …… HR …. …. 67
    XBH … … 192 …… XBH … … 210
    RBI … … 335 …… RBI … … 283
    SB …. …. 6 …… SB …. ….. 7
    CS …. …. 6 …… CS …. ….. 6
    BB …. … 206 …… BB …. … 185
    SO …. … 517 …… SO …. … 337
    BA …. .. .290 …… BA …. .. .305
    OBP … .. .375 …… OBP … .. .386
    SLG … .. .528 …… SLG … .. .520
    OPS … .. .903 …… OPS … .. .907
    TB …. … 865 …… TB …. … 849
    GDP … …. 28 …… GDP … …. 47
    HBP … …. 27 …… HBP … …. 45
    SH …. ….. 1 …… SH …. ….. 1
    SF …. …. 15 …… SF …. …. 22
    IBB … …. 34 …… IBB … ….. 4

    While the numbers are very very very similar here are a couple of key differences:
    Rup has 56% more doubles.
    Howard has 40% more home runs.
    Howard has struck out 54% more.
    Howard has 18% more rbi’s.
    Ruf batting average is .305 as opposed to Howard’s .290

    The numbers for the individual seasons:

    Ryan Howard
    Year .. . 2001 . 2002 . 2003 . 2004
    Age … … 21 … 22 … 23 … 24
    Tm …. . Bat. . Lak. . Cle. . R/SW
    Lg …. . NYPL . SALL . FLOR . 2Lgs
    Lv …. … A- … A … A+ … AA-AAA
    G ….. … 48 … 135 … 130 … 131
    PA …. .. 203 .. 570 .. 553 .. 560
    AB …. .. 169 .. 493 .. 490 .. 485
    R ….. … 26 … 56 … 67 … 94
    H ….. … 46 … 138 … 149 … 141
    2B …. …. 7 …. 20 …. 32 …. 28
    3B …. …. 3 …. 6 …. 1 …. 1
    HR …. …. 6 …. 19 …. 23 …. 46
    RBI … … 35 … 87 … 82 … 131
    SB …. …. 0 …. 5 …. 0 …. 1
    CS …. …. 0 …. 4 …. 0 …. 2
    BB …. … 30 … 66 … 50 … 60
    SO …. … 55 … 145 … 151 … 166
    BA …. . .272 . .280 . .304 . .291
    OBP … . .384 . .367 . .374 . .380
    SLG … . .456 . .460 . .514 . .637
    OPS … . .840 . .828 . .889 . 1.017
    TB …. … 77 … 227 … 252 … 309
    GDP … …. 1 …. 9 …. 12 …. 6
    HBP … …. 2 …. 5 …. 8 …. 12
    SH …. …. 0 …. 1 …. 0 …. 0
    SF …. …. 2 …. 5 …. 5 …. 3
    IBB … …. 5 …. 13 …. 9 …. 7

    Darin Ruf
    Year .. . 2009 . 2010 . 2011 . 2012
    Age … … 22 … 23 … 24 … 25
    Tm …. . Wi/G . Cl/L . Cle. . Rea.
    Lg …. . 2Lgs . 2Lgs . FLOR … EL
    Lv …. … A–Rk … A+-A … A+ … AA
    G ….. … 57 … 129 … 133 … 139
    PA …. .. 201 .. 547 .. 554 .. 584
    AB …. .. 176 .. 483 .. 484 .. 489
    R ….. … 22 … 70 … 72 … 93
    H ….. … 54 … 140 … 149 … 155
    2B …. …. 20 …. 41 …. 43 …. 32
    3B …. …. 0 …. 5 …. 1 …. 1
    HR …. …. 3 …. 9 …. 17 …. 38
    RBI … … 30 … 67 … 82 … 104
    SB …. …. 0 …. 5 …. 0 …. 2
    CS …. …. 1 …. 4 …. 1 …. 0
    BB …. … 17 … 47 … 56 … 65
    SO …. … 30 … 110 … 95 … 102
    BA …. . .307 . .290 . .308 . .317
    OBP … . .383 . .363 . .388 . .408
    SLG … . .472 . .451 . .506 . .620
    OPS … . .855 . .814 . .894 . 1.028
    TB …. … 83 … 218 … 245 … 303
    GDP … …. 4 …. 11 …. 15 …. 17
    HBP … …. 6 …. 11 …. 10 …. 18
    SH …. …. 0 …. 1 …. 0 …. 0
    SF …. …. 2 …. 5 …. 4 …. 11
    IBB … …. 1 …. 0 …. 1 …. 2

    1. NEPA,

      I think this type of comparison provides more smoke than light on the subject. I’m not going to parse the specifics of the numerical comparison, which I think favor Howard a bit more than you allow. Even without that:

      (1) The real age/level difference is closer to 2 years than one year – Howard was born in November and Ruf in July, so the real age difference (AA season) was one year, 8 1/2 months. That almost 2 year difference matters a lot.

      (2) The difference in where they were drafted and scouting opinions matters. It isn’t decisive, but it matters in terms of evaluating the two players.

      (3) Saying that “the year difference in age is attributed to the fact that Ruf was taken as a 4th year senior while Howard was taken as a 3rd year junior” may be factually true, but doesn’t mitigate the age difference.

      (4) Howard’s development as a major leaguer, especially initially, exceeded reasonable expectations given his minor league performance. You can’t really use him as a basis of comparison. for that reason.

      1. Larry M

        You are wrong on the age difference. The difference in age is only slightly more than 1 year 3 1/2 months. Howard was 9,054 days old on Sept 2, 2004 the end of his 4th minor league season. Ruf was 9,533 days old on Sept 2, 2012 the end of his 4th minor league season. The difference is 479 days or 1 year and 114 days.

  14. Was able to watch the first FIL game at Bright House Field this year.

    Defensively the lineup was Pujols LF, Golden CF, Cozens RF, with Harold Martinez at 3B, Galvis SS, Angelo Mora 2B, and Serritella over at 1B. With Moore catching, Guellar got the start on the mound and got knocked around pretty hard.

    It was fun to watch Pujols out there – very lanky and slender. He misplayed two balls in LF before his first AB, but did lace a line drive single to center to get on base. Serritella had a few hard-hit singles, while Harold Martinez also had a couple of base knocks.

    Also on the mound were Anderson (hit hard), Bielski (hit, but not quite as hard), and Aizenstadt. Defensive replacements included Zach Taylor in LF, Gustavo Martinez in CF, Walding at 3B, William Cuicas at SS, Pullin at 2B, and Ludy at C. Serittella, Cozens, and Harold Martinez were the only position players to go all nine innings.

    1. Sorry, meant to say that Harold Martinez went 3B to 1B late in the game to get Walding in on the action. Serittella did not play all 9

    2. Does Pujols look have the type of frame that could add muscle? I remember thinking he sounded like a Domingo Santana clone when they signed him.

  15. So much for him being only a bad pitch hitter, he was jammed, tucked his arms way in and still muscled that out

      1. I love this forum. One guy goes nuts on Ruf, someone else brings him down to earth. I guess I understand when it was July. But now ? Can’t we all be excited for the kid ? He is having one hell of a season. Last Philly to have homer as first hit … Chase Utley? Am I wrong?

        1. If the comment was “Good job, Ruf.” or some variant of that we’d be gravy. Instead it was “So much for [consistent observed scouting], he was[insert obstacle] and still managed to [insert observation based on one at bat]”.

          That one at bat does not overrule observations from almost every major prospect publication on the planet. I seriously hope the dude DOES turn into Babe Ruth. But, I’m not going to disparage respected prospect authors because one at bat didn’t jive with their observations.

          1. What observations from every major prospect publication? Any pub that says the kid can’t hit hasn’t been watching him. The bat is for real. He has been largely ignored because his OF defense is truly awful. To see him at his worst, you have to watch him try to handle a line drive almost right at him. I saw him fall down twice in one game on liners for which he had to move at most two steps. He is merely adequate defensively at 1B and is blocked by Howard. He has been very old for his league at every level. Those are the sorts of things that cause the pubs to ignore a guy. But, if you’ve seen a lot of reviews saying Ruf can’t be a very good hitter, please quote them.

            1. I don’t accept his evaluation. Ruf doesn’t have a slow-bat, sellout on fastball type of swing, which is power or nothing. He hits very well for average and hits to all fields. It is true that he has a fair amount of trouble with breaking balls, is very slow, does not have an athletic body, and is not good defensively. Really, all of this sort of comment was made about Ryan Howard when he was at AA. Ruf does not have a Howard-calibre bat or power, but I think hits for contact and handles breaking stuff every bit as well as Howard did when he was at AA. Ruf is a year older than Howard was and obviously doesn’t have Howard’s ceiling at that time. A guy he reminds me of is Roger Freed. I realize Roger didn’t turn out all that well for the Phillies, but we traded for him, while Ruf is free. On the Ruf/Howard comparison — Ruf in 2013 probably not far off Howard in 2013, although Howard in 2013 likely a pale shadow of Howard at his best. A Howard/Ruf platoon makes baseball sense, although Cholly won’t sit his mega-salary for 30% of starts. Still, if you treat Howard’s salary as a sunk cost, he has no business starting against LHP at this point in his career.

            2. IMO, the question isn’t whether or not we “accept” or “reject” the evaluation. The point is there are skeptics among scouts & other people with some expertise in swing mechanics regarding his swing, and this wasn’t the only one by any means. The question, in my mind, is rather “how much weight do we give these opinions?” My answer – not necessarily the right one, this isn’t one of those areas where I am sure of my opinion – is some weight, but not too much. These opinions are not my main reason for being somewhat skeptical about Ruf.

              What I do feel strongly about is that we shouldn’t just reject those opinions out of hand. (and even more strongly that one swing last night doesn’t disprove those opinions*). What I find at least somewhat annoying is the people completely rejecting such opinions – often voiced by people with real expertise – out of hand, based upon flimsy counter evidence. Not saying that’s your comment, but I see that a lot. It’s evidence. Weigh it as you will, but talking about how the “experts” are often wrong as a justification for dismissing the comments completely does not make sense.

        2. Ain’t it great. Of all the emotions I can’t imagine anger being one of them when a guy gets a HR in their first career AB. Some people on this site just take their internet opinion too serious.


        1. How about lighten up Jeremy? It’s a truly strange world where Jeremy can make a nasty and irrational comment, Joe can call him out on it, and people come down on Joe, not Jeremy. Jeremy is a pathetic loon who is ruining this site, and, if anything, Joe was way too kind.

          1. “So much for him being only a bad pitch hitter, he was jammed, tucked his arms way in and still muscled that out”

            Yeah that was real inflamatory. How about we talk sports here and save the baby drama for afternoon recess.

    1. I’ve said it many times but having watched Ruf play several times, he always gets the barrel on the ball. I have no idea how he’ll do with major league off speed pitching, but he can hit a fastball.

      1. Why pinch hit for him ?????? Everybody raise your hand if you’ve seen enough of Ty Wigginton ….. and I like Ty. But …

        1. He wasn’t pinch hit for, he was removed for defensive replacement and Wigginton eventually pinch hit for Aumont in that spot

  16. Glad to see Ruf getting a shot and hope he’s earned a start tomorrow against Lannon. If he had showed up overwhelmed or lacking in late discipline, that would have told a certain story, The Phils need to add a right handed hitting outfielder with pop for 2013. Whether or not Ruf can be that guy, there is no one else near call up who remotely fills the bill.

    This suggests a need to look outside, primarily to free agents. The Phils have a tendency to more aggressively and pay exorbitantly. In this free agent marking, if they can draw some comfort from Ruf’s performance, as statistically challenged as it may be, it might curb the tendency to throw money where it doesn’t belong. No matter how Ruf performs, the Phils will still need to add a right handed stick.

    On earlier discussions regarding brother acts, one of the most famous pairs was Paul (Big Poison) and Lloyd (Little Poison) Waner. I’m not in favor of the Phils adding 2 Uptons. I’m not even sure that the Phils will see CF as their greatest need. B.J. Upton will certainly get a multi-year contract somewhere and I think Gillies should draw motivation from the idea that there is a job available to him if he has what it takes to grab it, maybe as early as mid-year 2013.

  17. It was nice to see both Ruf and Brown homer tonight. I was almost as impressed by the outside pitch that Ruf took the other way for the single. We aren’t going to learn a ton about Ruf over the next 8 games but I think he has bought himself a long look in Spring Training at least. He does have tons of power and that ball was crushed, but it is going to come down to how well can he play LF, which would be fine going forward if the team had an everyday CF allowing Charlie to use Mayberry and whoever survives of Schierholtz and Nix to be a platoon/defensive replacement.

    Brown if we extrapolate some stats over a “full” year would have ~ 20HR, 30 2B, 80 BB, 120 K. The batting average is the concern right now and if he can get it up to .270 (I know this is a .030 jump) and he steals some bases (I don’t think 20 SB on a healthy leg is unreasonable), this is a solid player going forward. I hope he continues to work on going to other way and does not become too pull happy and picks his spots to just pull one out.

    Also impressive that over 4 IP the bullpen did not give up a walk and only Papelbon allowed a hit.

    1. I didn’t think the ball was crushed, but what impressed me about his HR was the fact that it was a pretty good major league pitch. Watching it live I thought it may be a broken bat pop up. How he turned on that ball to hit it out was nice.

  18. My opinion on Ruf didn’t change at all tonight, but I have a general question because I’m generally a stats guy and this is a scouting question:

    Regarding sample size, Ruf’s at bat doesn’t have an impact on a phillies’ talent evaluator because he’s probably seen him (hopefully) at least a few hundred times in person. But for most of us who visit this site, it’s might be the first full game we’ve seen him play. Here’s the question: while the ABs tonight don’t really matter statistically for Ruf, isn’t it invaluable from a scouting perspective? More importantly, how many times do you have to see a guy to make a tools evaluation? I’d guess that most scouts whose opinion we trust (the BA guys. Klaw, Goldstein, etc…) only see a guy a few more times than we’ve now seen Ruf. Granted they’re looking at guys every day so they have a much better point of reference. It just seems that, say, a 35 AB audition means a lot more from a scouting perspective than it does from a statistical one. Am I wrong?

    1. You are right that it takes a smaller sample size to get a scouting tools look at a player. Normally the big name guys sit on a player for a week (if they are lucky) and try to get as many scouts as who have seen them to chime in with their opinions. The things is that is really nice on the minor league level. All of the prospect guys will admit that scouting tools only goes so far because the player has to actualize them at the major league level. Also the nature of scouting reports is that they are constantly changing based on adjustments that league is making to the player and the player is making to the league. The statistics have a much larger sample and for the most part can normalize for these adjustments over long sample sizes or show the adjustments in progress over smaller sample sizes.

      But yes from a pure visual scouting perspective tonight showed that if Ruf knows/recognizes a fastball in, he has the capability to get the bat head out and drive it. Doesn’t mean it will happen every time but he has shown he can do it. Just an aside, it was pretty clear he was looking for a fastball on that pitch, I don’t know how many more times they will challenge him, but it was good recognition to see that the fastball was going to be inside and to get on it, but much of that AB was Detwiler putting himself in a fastball count and Ruf recognizing it.

      1. No, you’re an idiot.

        One but not the only problem is that virtually no one who comments on this site had even rudimentary abilities to make those kind of observations. I give precisely zero weight to the “observations” of yahoos like Jeremy who know less than nothing about the game of baseball.

        I knew, just knew this would happen. Instead of simply enjoying Ruf’s first home run, his idiot fan boys have decided that a sample size of one is enough evidence to vindicate their bizzare cult, and are inventing convoluted reasons to justify such insanity.

        Really Jeremy and the other people with a bizzare man crush on Ruf are ruining this site. Just go away. Spend your energy with your fellow WIP morons.

        1. Saying he can do it doesn’t mean he will do it, once you have proven to do something, it is possible. In much the same way we have seen Howard drive the ball to left before. Even if Ruf can always hit that pitch out (especially if he knows it is coming) that doesn’t mean he will ever see it again, teams are way too smart to give you something they know you can deal with. But we do know that he CAN do it, that is a fact, the idiocy is saying that he will always do that and continue doing that every instance of that situation, but once you have done something it is done and you have proven it is in your skill set.

          1. The best example I can give is a pitcher who flashes a pitch to be a grade or two higher than what it is right now. It is a really small sample size but it shows that their is projection there, that he has the ability to throw that pitch better.

        2. Larry, can’t you just be happy for Ruf in his nice debut? Most posters still view Ruf as a work in progress as he still needs to show how well he can play LF but he gets a chance soon. I am hoping he does well in the Venezuela Winter League in the field and at batting so the Phillies can save the money for a LF and put toward other areas of need(3B-if Utley does not work out; CF and a couple veteran bullpen guys.

        3. Larry, there is no need at all for posts like this. I may be old fashioned (or just old) but my parents said if you can’t say something nice about some one – then please keep quiet. This has worked fairly well for me in my life so far.

    1. I’m with Nowheels..Can somebody tell me how Larry is still allowed to post here when he continues to personally attack people that are simply posting opinions..Are the higher ups here afraid of this loser?Hey Larry i love how you always say “i wont write alot about this because i dont have time” then you go on to post all day…Some here may not have the best posts, but at least they have a life unlike you..Try leaving mommys basement once you tool…To Greg and Brad or whomever, theres a big difference with “Larry keeps it real” and him continuously being allowed to make personal attacks on anyone he wants..Its sad that you allow it to happen, but its sadder if someone had to actually spend a day as Larry

      1. You bashed him for making personal insults, then turned around and did it to him. Seems counter-productive, in my opinion.

  19. I know we talk down some of the more effusive praise to temper everyone’s expectations and that’s a good thing, but when we start becoming the enthusiasm police because we expect the posts to read like professional scouting reports your asking for something that’s not possible. I don’t think Jeremy is an idiot and I enjoyed his game notes all year even though he’s just a fan and not a scout.

    1. Anon, I can be over the top sometimes, and even a few times the “enthusiasm police” charge may have had merit, but not this time. Clearly what’s bothering not just me but others about Jeremy and others isn’t their enthusiasm, but the notion that one swing of the bat somehow vindicates them or proves Ruf’s skeptics wrong. Say what you will about about our response, but it isn’t a reaction to “enthusiasm.”

      1. Larry-

        Everyone knows how you feel about Jeremy and about Ruf. I tend to agree with you most of the time, but the way you respond to anything with which you disagree with long, condescending tirades is really off-putting. I don’t comment often, but I read this site every day. When I see a thread in which you’re participating heavily I know I’m going to be scrolling through countless instances of you unloading on someone, but adding nothing beyond what you’ve said previously.

        Your position on Ruf and some other things is well-documented. Why not just let it stand at that? Sometimes the best way to deal with someone you think is an idiot is to ignore him. Please try that once in a while.

    1. He’s a hard player to make a comp for, because there is no real precedent for true major league success at this late age. That doesn’t mean success is impossible, and remains true even if you think success is likely.

      I’m on record as saying he has more chance to make it as a first baseman than an outfielder, so if you asked me for an upside comp it would be a first baseman. A guy I came up with who has at least a reasonably similar profile as a hitter, and who was also a somewhat late arrival, is Adam LaRoche. I’d say he is Ruf’s upside – IF Ruf gets a chance, AND if he playes at the top end of his potenetial, you get LaRoche. And that really is a compliment – LaRoche may not strike anyone here as a terribly exciting player, but he has provided good value over his career (and of course is now having his best season at 33).

      1. You are speaking purely on offensive terms I assume? LaRoche is one of the 3 best defensive 1B in baseball, I don’t think that’s in the realm of possibility for Ruf.

        1. Yeah, I was going to mention that, but didn’t want to get into another ridiculous “college gold gloves” debate. Though defensive metrics show LaRoche as a pretty poor defensive first baseman when he broke in, to the point where, despite the fact that his defensive metrics recently have indeed been quite good, for his career they still show him as a sligtly below average defensive first baseman.

      2. Matt Stairs? Of course Stairs was a lefty, and he did get a few PAs in his mid 20s. And the odds that Ruf is ever that good are probably <1%. But he never started to get real playing time until he was 29, and at 5'10, 200+ he certainly looks more "beer league softball" than "professional athlete".

        1. He’s the OF comp, I guess. It’s funny, I think the biggest difference between myself and the Ruf fan club (Jeremy excepted) isn’t so much with regard to upside, but on chance of reaching the upside (well, that and outfield defense), but even so I’d say he has more than a 1% chance of being Matt Stairs (at least in terms of value – he is indeed highly unlikely to accumulate 6000 career PA). Not a LOT more than 1%, but more.

          That’s if he is an outfielder, of course, and I still don’t buy that. But the Stairs comp is interesting in that sense. If you put any weight on WAR, Stair’s career WAR is low for a guy with a career as long as his was. The reason for that was (mostly) that he was horrible defensively. But Stairs probably represents the most optimistic case for Ruf’s outfield defense – he’ll probably be worse than Stairs was (whereas as a hitter Ruf is more likely to be that good, though it’s still an upside not a projection).

          I get the Mike Morse comp below, though I don’t really buy it. Just very different types of players. I also think that he’s a guy who had one fluke good season; not sure that’s a comp I’d WANT to be true.

  20. I really could care less that ruf is going to be 27,by next spring. I could care less about his stats at reading. The bigger questions for me are, one can he hit the breaking ball in the majors, two looking at his arm from left,i wasnt impressed, can he cover enough ground, never having played the postion,I just believe its hard at his age to learn the outfield , when you have played first all your career,things against him are imo, speed , range, arm. can he produce enough offense to offset poor defense, a lot of questions. You cant go into next season with this kid as your left fielder,they made that mistake with mayberry,and wigginton.need to bring in a big time righthanded bat.more balance to the lineup.

    1. I can’t really agree with this. The Phillies did not make a mistake going with Mayberry. They’ve never really gone with Mayberry. When he’s been allowed to be the starter, he’s done well. When he’s been the reserved guy and his place in the lineup was always being treated as day-to-day, with two bad days and you’re benched, he has not done well. In 2011, we were hurt by going with Ibanez, Mayberry was far superior when he played. This year, we were hurt by going with WIgginton. Since Mayberry was annointed the starter, he has been just fine. When he started last year in the period between AS game and trade deadline, he was top slugger in NL. Then he was benched for Ibanez, when we got Pence. Ruf should replace Howard against LHP and see some games in LF on top of that. At this point in his career, Howard just doesn’t handle LHP at the even barely adequate level. I think he would also benefit from some rest. You can’t write out your lineup, based upon salary $. Howard is a sunk cost.

    2. I wouldn’t agree with even a little bit of that. If you listen to him..he is very driven. He still hasn’t had a off-season to prepare to play left field (he was literally thrown into in in middle of his season). From what he said – his weight will come down some. He is going to Venezuela league right after Phillies season ends to start playing left field (without 50,000 fans watching his every move). Then in November he will start speed & agility training where he will be looking to add burst. What I think might be his biggest attribute is his leadership qualities. This guy is confident and powerful. He could lead a club house one day. I hope Phillies role the dice on this him because payout could be your next team leader after chase/howard/ruiz leave.

      1. I am not sure I buy into the leadership role being a huge factor going forward, it is nice that he will be a good club house guy. From everything that has been written and said I don’t doubt that he won’t put all of his effort into becoming a better fielder in left, I just caution everyone, because Brown has been putting a ton of time into becoming a better OF and his physical skills are off the charts with comparison to Ruf. It isn’t easy to play OF in the majors, especially for a guy with Ruf’s build.

        1. Your right it won’t be easy to pull off but he would be great addition to the lineup mentally and physically for this team who sorely misses right handed punch. He certainly has the right attitude. Maybe they can bring DH to National League 🙂

    1. Ruf 505 95 160 33 1 40 108 315 .317 .408 .620 1.028
      Braun 567 101 180 33 3 40 108 339 .317 .391 .598 .989
      Cabrera 593 106 195 40 0 42 133 369.329 .394 .609 1.003
      Looks like Ruf compares well to this years MVP s.

  21. It all boils down to how much Ruf wants to be a major league player and if he will be given a chance or be blocked by the TWs and LNs if the world. Please learn from the Riz and don’t show up out of shape.

  22. Kid has two really good plate appearances last night but has to live the next day with the thought of being blocked by Ty Wigginton and Laynce Nix? Life is truly cruel.

  23. So there was a D. Brown comment yesterday, can’t find it now, but I wanted to comment on it. Basically the comment was along the lines of “decent mid range power and BB; now he just needs to get his BA up and we might have something.”

    I think he will get his BA up. He has decent to good contact skills. His low BA is a product of a low BABIP. Now, that doesn’t end the conversation, it only starts it. There are players out there who, over a large sample size, have a BABIP as low as Brown (.266 this year, .272 career). But there are reasons to expect him to do better:

    (1) His line drive percentage and infield hit percentage are both roughly average. That should lead to an average BABIP (around .300). So he probably has been somewhat unlucky. IMO he could even better that – his swing should generate line drives, and his speed should generate infield hits.

    (2) His minor league BABIP was MUCH higher. Not by itself conclusion, but relevant data.

    So luck alone could make him look significantly better next year – a .300 BABIP would raise his BA to .268. Still lower than you would like, but much better. Add some career growth, reasonable given his age and tools, and maybe even assume that his numbers have been impacted by his injury (likely), and he may yet meet the expectations we had for him a couple years ago. No guarantees; I’m obviously making some favorable assumptions.

    All of that said, it would also be nice if he continued to make progress on his defense, which is MUCH better this year but still below average. He has the tools to be better.

    1. It was me who posted it, you were too busy looking to rip it apart for a small comment on Ruf.

      If he does get his average to .270 this is what I would put as a full season set of stats (I realize that some of these are irrelevant but some people like to see them)
      .270/.350/.440, 80R, 35 2B, 20 HR, 15 SB, 90 RBI

      His defense is league average in left where the bar is much lower, but I do think his defense will continue to get better because the tools are there and is moving to him making good plays with occasional mistakes, rather than him taking terrible routes on anything hit to the OF.

      Overall the recent power surge I think has at least guaranteed him a platoon role next year. The hype went to far but he just turned 25 and still has the tools to be a starting OF.

      1. The power should continue to rise next season as he gets farther removed from his wrist problem and more comfortable that he has a spot in Phillies lineup. A .790 OPS from Brown is not at all unrealistic.

  24. Great interview by Ruff on 610am radio today. Something is wrong with you if you are not rooting for this kid. humble, respectful, funny. The baseball gods need to convene on this one and give him ability to play left field next year.

    1. Everyone is rooting for the kid. Some people are just so loud about it that it’s hurting our ears and we are telling them to quiet down.

      None of his “detractors” are saying he sucks or that they hate him, etc. They are just saying “Hey, we might want to relax and not clog up EVERY SINGLE POST talking about how he’s better for the team than Jimmy Rollins(This is a joke. Relax)”

      1. The real thing that is the dividing line isn’t who is rooting for him and who isn’t. Even his staunchest critics on this site would love for him to be a starting LF who can mash the ball. I agree the problem is those that aren’t rooting for him as much as they are writing his spot into the line up for the future rather than just hoping that the kid proves them wrong.

  25. Caught some of the FIL game today, which wasn’t on the official schedule but took place against what had to be some kind of amateur travel team… “IBPA” was the name on their jerseys.

    L. Greene LF, Tocci CF, Hiciano RF,
    Z. Green 3B, Quinn SS, T. Greene 2B, Perkins 1B
    Stefan P, Lino C

    Stefan looked good on the mound, while the bats weren’t going too crazy. Two hits that jumped out at me were a two-out, two-run single to left by Hiciano and a triple by Quinn into the RF corner. Tocci also legged out an infield single to SS, but was then caught stealing second.

    Defensive replacements included Olvy Marte in CF (made a great diving catch), Freddy Zorilla in RF, Deiber Olivera at 2B, Carmona at 1B, and Jose Mayorga at C.

    I didn’t stick around to watch the subs hit. Unfortunately this’ll be my last FIL report since I’m leaving town on Thursday.

      1. I guessing in the instructional leagues they would rather give the defensive reps to the younger players rather than the college guy, I wouldn’t read too much into it.

  26. For the record jerdobrosky is me, I have no idea why but my iPad makes me login with that user name, which I assume maybe because I run a political forecast website under it and do work on it from the iPad.

    I will try to stop it from doing so.

    LarryM I really don’t see why you feel it’s necessary to attack me on here the way that you do. Especially last nights comment which you labeled as an “attack” by me. I was just clearly stating a fact that on his first major league hit which happened to be home run that, he had hit a pitch that was not what you (who have probably never seen Darin Ruf play before last night) and his detractors have said that aren’t the “only” pitches he can mash. Numerous times you an others have quoted scouting reports that state Ruf is only a bad ball hitter and can only serve up meatballs. I’m sorry that Darin Ruf on his first hit showed that to be false. Actually you know what? I am not sorry he did that. I’m sorry that you care more about being right and clinging to your position than you care about his potential success and therefor the Phillies as well. This site is called “Phuture Phillies” not “Darin Ruf should not be a Phuture phillie because of what some scouting report said”.

    You don’t want Darin Ruf to succeed cause you care more about proving me or any other Ruf supporter wrong. And that’s the sad part anybody that’s a fan of baseball should have been rooting him along instead of just hoping he would fail because of a personal analysis which may end up being wrong. Even if it was just to make him a potential bench bat or trade bait, Ruf’s success will help this team, whether he’s a starting left fielder, a platooner, or a trade piece. And you actively want the man to fail. Which again by extension means you want the Phillies to fail (at least when it’s at the expense of you being wrong).

    For the record I have never said Ruf was going to be an all star or a future hall of famer. I’ve stated I believe his cieling to be a just below average left fielder that could hit .270 with 20-25 dingers. I have never said anything more than that as a projection for him.

    Did I get excited when he was on historic home run pace (that you wished would stop)? Of course, because for a period of 6 weeks Darin Ruf was bigger than baseball. I know it and you know it. And it pisses you off. When a person can up to the plate and hit a home run on a near daily pace for a month, yeah it’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen in the game. I’m saddened by the fact that you couldn’t enjoy it as well.

    1. Jeremy, there is SO much about this post that misrepresents what I’ve written and my position regarding Ruf (to a really absurd degree), and that’s without even getting into (1) your lame attempt to read my mind, and (2) the issue of what one swing of the bat gets proves or doesn’t prove. But you know what? I’m not going to engage you, for two reasons. The first is on me, which has to do with the way that I allow your misstatements and illogic to bother me. The second is on you; it’s impossible to engage someone who has reading comprehension issues and is impervious to logic and evidence.

      So how’s this for a deal: I’ll stop responding to your posts if you promise to also not respond to my posts, except that I’ll happily allow you the last word on this one.

  27. Making posts personal only denigrates this site.

    It is one ok thing to respond to another post, but civility is what makes this site work so well.

  28. Agree, Art. I posted an honest question about scouting sample sizes last night and check back now for any responses. MattWinks posted a reasonable, thoughtful answer. I guess I made the mistake of referencing Ruf as the example for my question because the next post is Larry calling either Matt or I an idiot. Neither post warranted that response. I normally don’t think twice about negative posts on a website, but this site generally has a very good vibe, even when people disagree.

    Larry, I don’t understand how you can be so condescending on a subject where no one definitively knows the right answer. Frankly your posts make you seem a little unstable. It’s not that big of a deal if someone goes overboard on a player who’s probably the next Dustin Mohr or Adam Hyzdu. Please, either politely disagree or ignore the post.

  29. Agree…..every so often, since the beginning of PP we get into this protracted bickering quagmire and then it dies down, then it pops up again, whether it was a 2009 Anthony Hewitt, or 2010 Rizz arguement, or 2011 Derrick Mitchell discussion and now the latest Darin Ruf. What and who awaits the ‘discussions’ in 2013?

    1. It sort of happened this year but I guess the leading candidate is Chris Duffy. Maybe he starts to mash at Clearwater like he did in Lakewood.

    2. To me Ruf is far different. Usually, there is irrational love for a guy not supported by the facts. Ruf’s stats this year were very real and if you go back you can see his stats last year were terrific also once he started playing consistently. Next year, I could see irrational love for Serritella, a college 1B who can really hit but who I don’t think is a major league prospect. Personally, I want to see what Quinn will do at Lakewood and whether Franco can continue in CWater what he started at LWood in the 2nd half.

      1. I’m not going to be participating here much any more, but let me just weigh in briefly on this: Of course Ruf is a different case than a guy like Mitchell or Duffy, but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t going overboard even with him. Really in a lot of ways the Ruf mania is closer to the Rizzotti mania from 2 years ago. Rizzotti’s stats were “very real” also, except that his batting average was a bit inflated by luck, but even take that out of the equation and his numbers in 2010 were legitimately impressive. Now, Ruf has a couple things going for him that Rizzotti didn’t have going for him, chiefly at least some capacity to play left field, and probably better defense at first base as well. Even apart from that, the fact that Rizzotti failed doesn’t mean that Ruf will. I don’t think anyone, least of all me, is putting Ruf in the same category as Mitchell.

        What’s similar – and really as I said above, Mitchell is the oddball case here, as the love for him just seemed to come out of nowhere – is the pattern of ignoring, or, at least, overly minimizing age/level and other context factors (and often defense). I’m not going to go into another long screed, you all know my opinion, even if it gets mis-characterized by some (maybe some of that being my own fault), but the bottom line isn’t that Ruf can’t or won’t succeed, but that IMO many of you are overly optimistic about his chance of success, both by over estimating his chances of reaching his likely hitting upside, and by underestimating the cost of his defensive limitations. And if I have sometimes been arrogant or condescending on those points, so have many of his supporters in the opposite direction.

        1. This is actually a really good post, which many of us here totally agree with. And you didn’t look like an a$$ in the process either. Great job!

        2. I think you have also confused interest in our minor league hitter who is closest to being ready for the bigs in some capacity with the thought that we believe he has a high ceiling. I know I don’t see him as a high-ceiling guy. I certainly look at his repeating CLW and thus being age 26 in AA as a negative which requires deducts from his offensive stats. Ryan Howard did Reading at age 24 and had a higher SLG than Ruf has. That means that Howard was of an age where he could continue to grow his power, while Ruf likely is maxed out as a hitter. Still, a 1.03 OPS in AA, even at age 26, is not to be sneezed at and suggests he has a future in Philly. I say this as one who has seen Willie Darkis hit a ton of HR at Reading, knowing he had little future at the time, but still enjoying the show he put on.

          Rizzotti vs. Ruf. Rizzotti was a year younger, but his offensive numbers weren’t as good as Ruf’s, so a lesser deduct for age, but also lower performance. As you say, Rizzotti’s D was just brutal. Still, I think Rizzotti had an outside chance to make the bigs if he had worked hard to move forward from his strong season at Reading. When he showed up out of shape at ST, that doomed him. HIs bat was also less than it had been the year before. Ruf has a number of advantages over Rizzotti — his D is better at 1B and perhaps he can be barely adequate defensively in LF, the Phillies are hurting for OF — especially RH OF, Ryan Howard is no longer Ryan Howard and looks like he and the team would benefit from getting some time off against LHSP. Finally, Ruf being asked to learn LF and realizing that this translates into having to lose some weight, increases the odds that he shows up in ST in a lot better shape than Rizzotti did.

          Ruf vs Howard. Neither guy was all that well thought of as they moved through the Phillies farm. Howard didn’t really draw much positive attention until his Reading year, during which Wade was still trying to trade him for not very much and being turned down. Howard did Reading 2 baseball years younger than Ruf did and he put up a higher SLG with almost identical OPS. Both guys ended Reading a lot stronger than they started, with less breaking ball bafflement and more power. Ruf is not Ryan Howard redux, but then, Ryan Howard is no longer Ryan Howard. Ruf could likely outplay Howard against LHP today and in a logical world might platoon with him and do some PH in the 70% of games he wouldn’t start. Perhaps he can play LF, something that Howard cannot do.

          If Ruf played close to 160 games in the majors, which he never will, he likely would put up something like .250 BA, 25 HR, .785 OPS in his peak season. This is nowhere close to the Howard that we loved, but possibly as much as we can expect from Howard today. At his age, Ruf can likely only approach this productive for about 3 seasons. On the other hand, he might well be a righty platoon guy with an .850 OPS and good HR power. He will likely be a defensive negative and a baserunning negative. A big plus that Ruf would give the team is that he is cheap, enthusiastic, and will have a very positive attitude.

          1. What I said wasn’t that (most of you guys) are getting his likely ceiling wrong, but rather over estimating his chances of reaching that ceiling, and underestimating the extent to which he is likely to be a defensive liability. Nothing in your comment addresses that (or, to fair, is meant to address that).

            I think that .250/25/.785 is likely a good estimate of what he might produce at his peak; I still see it as far from a sure thing. And, if he is as bad as I suspect in left field defensively, I’m not sure his net value is all that high, even assuming that he hits that well.

            I’ve said myself that I can see him in a role as a bench, possible platoon guy, or even as a regular first baseman for someone. I certainly understand the idea that he should platoon with Howard; I don’t see it happening, regardless of the merits. As a regular left fielder, I would need to see a lot more evidence that he can do a decent job defensively. Certainly he could improve defensively, even if his ceiling is lower than his ceiling as a hitter.

            The comparison of how well thought of Ruf and Howard were as minor leaguers is, at the end of the day, almost totally irrelevant in my view, but, if you want to go there, I think, fairly or not, because of original draft position and age/level, the consensus on Ruf is much more dismissive than was the consensus on Howard.

            I also think that there are a few people around here who have, shall we say, expectations that are more excessive than yours. And their enthusiasm sometimes causes them to be as … arrogant and dismissive … as I am sometimes accused of being.

            1. To maybe make my philosophy about prospects a little clearer, one reason teams are (and should be) more reluctant to give older guys a shot, is that, from a risk reward perspective, a guy that is probably already close to his peak, and who has less room for further development, is, from a risk/reward perspective, less worth taking a chance on. A guy like Brown, for example … he has, to varying degrees, struggled over parts of 3 seasons, still hasn’t reached his ceiling, or even close to it. But he just turned 25, and still could reach that ceiling (probably also a higher ceiling than Ruf, taking everything into account.) If Ruf struggles for parts of three seasons, he’ll be 29.

              Again, this doesn’t mean dismissing Ruf as a prospect. It just means tempering our expectations.

            2. I wouldn’t even attempt to try and put a ceiling on Ruff career…the guy just went on one of biggest power surges in history. You have to see Ruff in person on field to know he belongs in ML somewhere. The unfortunate part is Ruff probably needs to go to another team to truly find out what he can become. But he needs to start now…a platoon situation would kill his career based on age.

            3. Ah Larry has hit the nail on the head yet again. Tempering expectations is very hard for a normal fan. Rational fans have trouble when the extremes are presented to them. No one, as a Phillies fan, is wishing Ruf to fail. We all hope he does productive things for this team going forward. The disconnect comes when people expect him to become the next Pat Burrell or Greg Luzinski in left. It is unfair to the player to live up to those types of players. The same thing happened with Brown. I want the kid to succeed and so should every Phillies fan but just because he isn’t living up to some people’s expectations, he is a massive disappointment to them.

            4. I think Ruf gives the lie to your theory about age as such a determining factor. If he can reproduce over an extended period what he has done so far, then it won’t matter if that is his ceiling because that ceiling will be more than adequate to give him a big league career of decent length.

            5. The problem with career length is that Ruf has entered is physical peak and by any aging curve has one more season (2013) before he starts into his physical decline (this can be offset by an increase in non-physical skills). He has to hit his ceiling now or he never really will.

            6. What fantasy world do you leave in where athletes peak at 27? 28 is generally considered the peak point in baseball, and MANY players peak much later. Have you ever heard of Carlos Ruiz? Or do you just not actually know how old Ruf is?

            7. It is a debated point between 27 and 28 but that isn’t the point. Much more players peak earlier than that (many peak in the minors and never progress beyond that). The physical peak is different than the statistical peak and they can differ based on the physical talents and baseball skills they already have. You can argue that Ruf has a year or two more than I argued but I was stating that he doesn’t have a long career in front of him.

              Using statistical outliers to try and prove a point is a bad strategy. Catchers have a much different aging curve because they spend so much time working on their defense before their offense. Even then Chooch is a huge outlier for his late development.

            8. I’m just trying to say that there is never a reason to give up on a player while they’re playing well. If Ruf turns out a bust, then at least we got a few weeks of excitement and some nice hard hits. If he doesn’t turn out a bust then we might have something to watch. You don’t hit all those homers on pure athleticism, he either had some phenomenal luck or some genuine skill, and that skill won’t die just because he gets a little older.

            9. If Ruf were to have substantial major league success, he would provide an exception to the general rules to using age in evaluating prospects. He wouldn’t give a “lie” to anything, in the same sense that a person living to 100 doesn’t give a lie to the fact that the average person in the U.S. lives to about 78.

              But that’s IF he goes on to substantial major league success. If not, he’s not even an exception to the general rule. Plenty of players have very successful seasons in AA at or about his age after less successful earlier minor league careers. That proves … nothing. If anything, it should be expected, given expected age related development patterns.

            10. Yes the guy coming off of 3 years of military service who in is rookie year after coming back who had a 2.94 ERA would have been written off. Of course he wouldn’t have been written off. Also hand pick more Hall of Famers to prove a point. Just because it has happened to a couple guys doesn’t mean it will happen to every player.

    3. These are different debates. Rizz and Ruf were about guys with good performance, old for level, and with obvious deficiencies. Hewitt was about a guy with great tools who was often proclaimed to have just had the lightbulb go on, after his annual good two weeks. Next year’s Rizz/Ruf/Bolt may be Duffy or Overbeck. Next year’s Hewitt may be James or Altherr or Tyler Greene.

  30. I really believe the phillies right now if they do nothing but add. a righthanded power bat to put behind howard, and find that eight inning guy, will be back on top. what I really dont know, is what would upton bring, never really seen him play, but we never know who is going to be put on the trade market, and that is a big key, i really want us to keep hamel and lee together, even without halladay with those two guys, pitching like they can, you dont get long losing streaks, fine with worley and kenricks and hopefully the bullpen should be better with stutes and herdon coming back.The site was saved because some one cared. and we should respect that. i dont agree with larry much , but that is his opinion, and what i do is not respond, why argue, its silly, we all have our opinion, that is what the site is here for, to express our opinons and get some facts from guys who see the kids play, stats ,or seeing ruf in person means nothing, the kid has to prove himself at the big league level.will he is the big question, and the phillies cant go into next year depending on this kid,

    1. I think that there is the makings of a good bench already on the roster.especially compared with last winter
      Kratz over Brian Schneider
      Fransen over Polly (injuries_
      Galvis over Martinez
      Nate Schierholtz over Nix
      anyone over Ty
      No big moves necessary but a gig time CF or 3rd rental.
      Let the team get the money under conroj
      PS A healthy Madsen would be a great readdition

      1. Nix is under contract for 2013 so he’ll be back. If Utley stays at 2B, I don’t see how having Galvis on the bench and getting 100-150 ABs in a given season will be good for his development. A “big time” CF is going to cost you at least $12M per year, I don’t see how that will keep costs under control. And forget about Ryan Madson. He’s coming off serious injury so you don’t know what you’re going to get, and his agent is Boras so he won’t be cheap.

        1. I wouldn’t guarantee that Nix will be back after the acquisition of Schierholtz. They basically fill the same roll as a LH OF bat. Will depend if Phillies decide to offer him arbitration in 2013.

          They can easily eat Nix’s $1.2m deal or find a trading partner for him if necessary.

          1. I guess somebody could trade for Nix, but I doubt that the Phillies will eat Nix’s salary. Historically, the Phillies don’t cut players before the season starts.

            Again, the Phillies don’t normally give big contracts to FA OFs and it looks like anybody worth getting (Upton, Bourn, Swisher) will be getting at least $12M per season. If they don’t get an OF, having Brown, Mayberry, Schierholtz/Ruf platoon should be enough. Nix would be the 5th OF/primary LH pinch hit bat.

            1. Some one would take on NIx and that contract for something (likely a AA or hi-A middle relief prospect). Remember the Phillies got a useful piece (Horst) for Wilson Valdez.

            2. I don’t get the hate for Nix. He’s not a starter, but he still managed an .OPS of .747. For a bench guy, that is more than adequate.

            3. One thing makes him useless HE CAN NOT PH and never could. It isn’t hate just facts. Just face it “a bad hire”. This year 22 PHs .182 with 10 Ks no walks and a
              OPS .455. Over the previous 3 years .216 OPS .559.(.173 against LHP )
              Schierholtz at least has a history as decent PH and can hold his own against LHP when given a chance,
              As bench guys there is no comparison.

  31. LOL I fear ignorance. Ignorance can get you killed. Try ignoring the stop light on Packer and Darien and you’ll know what I mean. If you had to rely on one sense it should be your eyes. Get out from behind your computer get off of fangraphs and go watch a player play.

    I’d steer clear of comparisons between Mitchell and Ruf fan boys. Mitchell never put up the kind of numbers Ruf has. I was at the game last night and had the best seats I’ll probably ever have. It was one game but make no mistake there is a place for Ruf in the big leagues.

    Larry I think you made reference to him being fat? or a slow fat guy in the OF or something to that effect. Please clarify I don’t want to get that wrong. From what I saw last night I would not call him that. For sure he is not a plus runner but then do you really need to be in LF if your CF covers ground. I say no if you can adequately field the routine balls, hit .280 and knock 20-25 dingers maybe more.

    There is no hard and fast rule for who belongs and who doesn’t. A big guy who doesn’t run well must make up for that with his power and ability to drive the ball in order to find himself in the line-up. Where as a small guy like Pierre needs to be .300 with a above average OBP tool and steal bags.

    Anyway thats just my opinion I could be wrong but I think the kid winds up have a decent big league career. We shall see.

    1. Ruf gets to 1B faster that I had assumed he would. So that’s nice. As for his hitting, he’s looked good but it’s two games. Even if he hits well we can’t know what we’ve got until he goes through the league once and pitchers start to adjust to him.

    2. DMAR, what I think you and others get wrong regarding defense is not realizing the extent to which a guy like Ruf costs you runs in left field in ways that are not visible. In a way, Ibanez was similar, a guy who made the routine plays and who, while he got a lot of grief from the stat savvy crowd on his defense, was defended by a lot of people with regard to his defense, and didn’t get nearly the grief that a Brown did last year from fans – and Brown was no worse, just LOOKED worse because he had problems with routine plays. No, a guy in center who can cover ground (and no guarantee that the Phillies will have that next year) does not make up for that. It just doesn’t.

      Is Ruff the slowest guy who ever played left field? No. Is he a guy with less than average speed for a left fielder. Yes. Clearly, even if you think my characterization is exaggerated. On top of that, he still has problems running routes because of his inexperience. That part is fixable; I’m not sure a winter of outfield play is enough to fix it, but maybe I’m wrong. But the bottom line is this: even making the most favorable assumptions about Ruf, he’s going to cost you runs defensively in left field. Maybe fewer than someone like me believes, but certainly compared to the other players on the current roster who could get some platoon playing time in left next year, Nix, Mayberry, Schierholtz, all of whom are plus defenders in left. Can he hit enough to make up for it? Maybe. Notice I am not ruling out the possibility. But the guys just dismissing his defensive limitations, or just assuming he will hit enough to make up for them (not saying that’s you), it seems to me are every bit as arrogant as I am (will some justice) accused of being.

  32. Ruf seems to be fitting in just fine, hopefully Charlie will continue to run him out there most of the remaining games. I still expect Ruf to start next year at AAA in LF but never say never. If the Phils decide to platoon Mayberry with one of Pierre/Nix/Schierholz rather than trading for or signing a big name corner outfielder, Ruf will still have a chance to steal a spot in spring training. Brown will be written in ink for one corner and they will definitely sign or trade for a starting CF. BJ Upton remains option #1 to me but, I think there are several trade options, for guys that wil cost less, that the Phils will pursue, especially if they think Gillies could challenge in 2014. There are several teams that might have an excess of CFs that might be willing to deal. Yes, Upton hits only 250 but he’s a gold glove caliber CF with power and with speed and that’s what we need. I don’t think we’re getting the big right handed bat to bat behind Howard that so many of you talk about, as if its easy to find that. Anyone want to sign Melky and see how he does without roids? He’ll probably only get a one year deal from someone.

    1. Reading a little on Tampa Bay boards and thee is not the love for Upton that you would want to see. Fan consensus seems to be that he is no longer playing at a Gold Glove level though his power numbers are up. I expect the Phils to kick the tires on him and explore the Cody Ross option. I do think that Melky Cabrera is there for the taking on a one year deal as you said and with a lot to prove, just as a guy like Frandsen had something to prove coming off a 50 game suspension.

      For me it’s the little moves this winter that will make the difference rather than making another big splash in the free agent market. I think the Phils have the #15 pick in the draft and I’d like to see them make that pick.

      I think signing Scott Hairston to replace Wigginton as the top right handed bat off the bench and someone to spell Brown against tough lefties is a good move. An outfield of Cabrera, Mayberry, Schierholtz, Brown, Hairston with or without Pierre works for me. If Ruf busts his way into the lineup, move Cabrera to center and let Mayberry be the late inning defensive backup.

      Bring in a Jeff Keppinger who can play 2d, ss and 3b. You have him and Frandsen and you’re not sweating where Utley plays or if he will be ready healthwise when the ’13 season starts. Galvis goes back to AAA and has to play his way onto the team the way
      it should be.

      1. I would love to sign Keppinger, I wanted him last year. He’s hit so well this year though that I think he’ll get a multi year deal from someone. Hairston would certainly be an improvement over Wig. I’m not a fan of Melky playing CF though. If I had to bet, I’d bet that next year’s CF will be acquired through a trade. I can easily see us trading a package of something like Valle, Pettibone, and Nix for a Bourjos (sp?) from the Angels or Chris Young from the DBacks, two teams with extra outfielders. I’m assuming that Scheirholz will be back next year. Nix could be back if the plan is to platoon Mayberry with one of these two but I’m not too sure. The “Gillick Way” is not to overspend on a high priced FA but to bring in several upside guys and see if one of them jumps up.

  33. LarryM…I would hope you continue posting, in so much that your analytical skills are intellectually superb and for one, I appreciate reading them. Of the hundreds of readers on the site, there are only a few handful who are keenly adept at the metrics side of the game, me not being one. And you do offer one of those expert metric logic discourses. Now when it comes to the frustration level you experience with obvious trollers and regular readers who are overly enthused on marginal prospects, well that is something that can be difficult to grasp. Nevertheless, hopefully, I can read your postings in the future.

    1. I’m still not sold on Gillies, but that aside, Cabrera for one season is an intriguing possibility. What gives me pause isn’t so much the PEDs issue & suspension per se, or even the possibility that his breakout success in recent years may have been because of PEDs usage, but the bizarre attempted cover up, which suggests a lack of judgment, as well as dishonestly, which is concerning. But I wouldn’t rule him out entirely on that basis, and, given the fact that all of the other options seem problematic for one reason or another. (Upton, if he comes at a reasonable cost, probably being the best option overall, but not without risks.)

      1. For that reason I would give him a one year (I would not go more than one under any circumstance) incentive laden deal where he would get his money and value back if he is good and he would easily be dumpable if problems were to arise.

    2. Melky may be out longer then one would expect. The use of the fake website has brought attention to the case from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and MLB’s Department of Investigations, which are probing Cabrera’s associates, including trainers, handlers and agents. Selig does not want anymore federal intervention into MLB. And for good reason.

  34. Tonight….Gio Gonzalez…20 wins! Hard to believe he was a throw-in in a trade 5 years ago, after a 7-12, 4.5+ ERA, 1.4 WHIP season at Reading double-A…oh the humanity of it all!

  35. I was thinking about moves the Phillies could make and here are some things that could at least be explored
    – Inquire with the Reds about the trade availability of Todd Frazier or Ryan Ludwick both of which would provide a RH hitting presence, Frazier would provide line up flexibility
    – ,Michael Brantley with Cleveland could be an interesting CF trade option if he is on the market
    – I think Hairston was mentioned, he would make for a good RH bat option
    – I like Keppinger, I just don’t like the three year deal someone will give him
    – I may be a sucker for tools but I think Peter Bourjos is a good get if the price isn’t too high
    – There was an article that someone suggested Angel Pagan, if it is a two year deal I would be fine with that, with exception of last year he has been an over 3 WAR player

    I don’t know if any of these will be available but I would rather that the team looked into this rather than just throw all their money at one of the top guys, and I agree with a previous poster that there should be no way that they give up the 15th pick.

    Also while I was doing the research I learned that Utley is up to 3 WAR putting him as the 7th best 2B this season and if extrapolated over a full season he would be second only to Cano.

    1. No shot on Frazier, he’ll be the starting 3B in Cincy for the next 10 years. I also can’t see how Cleve would trade Brantley, he would seem like a guy that they would want to build around. Bourjos is a definite possibility and I think Chris Young is too. Ludwick is a FA after the year, as he was this off season, and will be available and is a definite possibility for a corner spot if they don’t want to go with Mayberry + Nix/Scheirholz/Pierre. After a bad year in San Diego he had to sign late as a bench player this past off season. After the year he just had, he’ll sign as a starter this time. The Phils will have to decide which way to go. He won’t come to philly to “be in the mix”, he’ll go somewhere to start.

    1. I wouldn’t make that statement quite yet, but I think he has proven both through his hits and outs, that he has power and hits the ball high and far.

    2. Yes he can hit…fastballs. That’s what he’s been hitting. Because that’s what he’s been getting for the most part. Question is, when the pitchers wise up, stop feeding him a steady diet of FBs and start throwing some other stuff, how will he react?

    3. I’m not trying to be snarky or condescending with this .. I really am honestly curious …

      Before my question, just, again a quick statement of what I believe to be the correct stance to take regarding sample sizes. Given the very few plate appearances that Ruf will have prior to the end of the season, there is nothing he could do, good OR bad, to move my opinion (in either direction) of his potential as a major league player. Literally nothing.

      So here’s my question – since obviously you think that his performance so far – four hits overall in 10 at bats, two of which were for extra bases – proves … something .. had the reverse been true, say 10 AB with only one single … would you then be of the opinion that that proved that he WASN’T a good hitter? What if he now goes (say) 10 AB without a hit? If your answer is that poor performance in a small sample shouldn’t change our opinion, why the distinction?

      1. It is less of a small sample size thing here and more he is proving something we already know, he tends to hit the ball both high and far (note these aren’t crushed line drives) and this is both his extra base hits and his long fly outs (I am not of the camp that this proves he “can hit”, but I do believe we learn something from each AB). This does not mean he will continue to make contact and we all know that baseball history is littered with players who can hit balls far but cannot do it consistently enough to be serviceable players.

        A big example of small sample size and BABIP was Ruf and Brown’s back to back ABs. Ruf hits a dribbler on the ground that some how finds the hole between the SS and 3B and he gets a hit, Brown then lines one the other way and it is right at Zimmerman for an out. Which is a better swing (you could argue either way I guess) but the end result was outside of the effect of either player.

        1. Statistically, it doesn’t matter very much if he goes 4-10 or 1-10. If he swings a 1/4 inch below his first homer it’s a towering popup.

          You might argue it’s better NOT to see a guy in a small sample size. You get a distorted idea in your head of what his abilities are.

      1. Bolsenbroek – former Phillie. Looks like A. Cartwright moved to SS, according to report had some deficiencies there defensively, still the All-Star in that group. Also , best runner. Looks like they all had around 14 AB’s.

  36. You know what I don’t get? Why did the Phillies trade away Pence? They were already under the luxury tax when they traded away Victorino. Pence was popular, RH, no baggage, with a career OPS over .800. Did the Phillies really like Tommy Joseph that much? Or did the Phillies not want to pay Pence his $15-$16M arbitration for 2013? And if the Phillies didn’t want to give Pence that much money, why would they go and give it to another OF like Upton or Swisher?

  37. Worth noting concerning the Pence, Victorino trades remorse. The Phils are 31 and 21 since Aug 1 and both are hitting in the .220s for their new teams

  38. after watching ruf for two nights. he does have quick bat, is slow runner, candy arm. he will have to hit a ton to play in the majors

  39. the ptbnl in the victorino trade was just named Stefan Jarrin 40th Rd pick in 2011. SS hit that has hit .211 since being drafted. Blah

    1. Considering they got Lindblom and Martin in that deal (that is pretty insane in retrospective) I expected them to get a couple thousand dollars, but if he sticks in the org he is middle infield org depth, not a terrible thing

    1. Wow…Ruben had to have to choices……and he selected Stefan Jarrin! 22-year old smallish ss in Rookie Ball with 28% K rate. Interesting.

      1. Just a guess: comes from a baseball family, might be a good makeup kid. Lakewood is going to be very talented next season, but very young; Jarrin would fit well as a backup infielder. Not a prospect, but better than cash.

  40. Howard out of the line up tonight but Ruf gets the start in LF with Wigginton at 1B. I guess they are getting the kid as many reps as they can. I wouldn’t mind with them out of it if he gets starts in LF against RHP, just no reason not to at this point, every time he gets an AB he learns more and if he is going to have any chance on catching up developmentally (to 26 year olds established in the majors) he needs to see as many major league pitches as possible.

  41. He’s going to get a real test defensively in Miami this weekend. (Would love to see them start him against Nolasco or Eovaldi to get him some reps against righties).

  42. I must say that while it can be a little grating on the nerves to have this back-and-forth on Ruf, every time this happens I am given a better idea of how to view various players in the org and get a clearer picture of where they fit in.

    I guess for me, I just wanted any “legitimate-looking” “prospect” to have a chance at the major-league level to show whether they could continue their success. After all, I reasoned, why else are they brought in but to work towards making it to the bigs, no matter their age. The player whose case I took up was Mike Spidale. I now have a better understanding of why he and others may not get the chance.

    I guess I am trying to say thank you for the education I am receiving here into this fascinating game. I am learning when to temper my enthusiasm on a player, as well as when I should start dreaming. It is fun!

  43. Stefen Jarrin….is the PTBNL from Dodgers for Victorino. 22 yr old 2nd baseman, a 40th round draftee who has played about 50 games in the Ariz Lg since his 2011 pro debut hitting .211, etc.

    Who knows? Is there any there there?

  44. http://www.baseballwithmatt.ca

    Not many people know that the Matt who occasionally posts on here, is actually the owner/operator of a baseball oriented website for kids called Baseball With Matt.
    Apparently , he has chosen not to share this much, I think he is being entirely too modest.
    You may choose to view this site above, but for those who don’t have the time or inclination, I have included the following excerpt below for your reading pleasure:


  45. Is matt diaz of the braves a good comp to Ruf. Would we be happy with that. A terror against LH Pitchers and a PH off the bench.

    1. It is meaningless for the playoffs but I think the front office wants to finish above .500 and when you have the chance to win you go for it (especially if you are trying to keep being the leader of a team you will be managing next year)

  46. Ryan Howard has a broken toe and is out for the rest of the season (all 5 games of it), Ruf at 1B tonight and I suspect he will start the rest of the season (likely start him in LF against LHP with Wigginton at 1B and at 1B against RHP with Pierre in LF).

  47. Cloyd’s season is over due to a tired arm, no current starter for Tuesday. Can they just go inning by inning with the bullpen on Tuesday and just hand the ball to Cliff on Wednesday and tell him to have fun for 9 innings against the Nats bench?

    1. Bob, hindsight is a great asset as you judge past decisions. How many teams gave up on Brandon Moss before he “finally got it”? Try three and sometimes this happens.

  48. I think the age range is 28-32 for peak performance. Makes you wonder why teams like the Phils enter into contracts with guys like Ryan Howard for their declining years.

    Aside from that, there is an orthodoxy presented frequently here that a prospect becomes a suspect by the age of 26 if not before. Your ideal prospect is big league ready by 23-24 but let’s face it, the Phils are not fast in moving up their leading prospects and this was true long before they became repeat divisional champs. I agree with that orthodoxy only to the extent that if you’re looking for big improvement in a guy John Mayberry’s age, there is a large body of history that suggests that won’t happen. But if a guy comes up at 26 with an idea about the strike zone, can barrel up on pitches inside and has demonstrated some ability to hit to the opposite field including with power, then to me he doesn’t require a big upward curve to play at MLB standard. Helps if he can adjust as teams adjust to him but that’s true for any hitter, whether aged 19 or 35. If hitters’ reflexes start to go at age 26, we fans of the Phils have a great concern because that little known ‘fact’ has escaped the attention of the Phils’ front office.

    1. That’s a good point. You know, the Phillies don’t really get this “aging” thing. They have a really bad habit of acquiring players in their early to mid 30s with an apparent expectation that their performances will show little to no deterioration. Surely, there will be exceptions, but, as a rule, these players will show notable decline and increased injury rates. I don’t mind a one year rental here or there, but three year contracts for guys like Raul Ibanez? Well, it’s just not very smart.

      1. If you’re shopping for FA players, there really aren’t that many good players that are available during those peak performance years. So the options are to either go with historically good players who are older, trade for a Hunter Pence, or grow your own prospects from within.

        The Phillies didn’t have many good in-house options and they traded their assets to get guys like Hunter Pence. The only remaining viable option is to spend on veterans.

        1. Ironically, particularly this year, I believe this to be true. My problem is not with taking a flyer on an older player here and there with a pretty short term deal (1-2 years), but in giving so many middle to long range contracts to so many older players. For instance, I’d be fine if the Phillies signed Torii Hunter to a 1-2 year deal this winter; same with Kevin Youkilis. The Cardinals (Beltran, Berkman), Braves (Billy Wagner) and Yankees (Kuroki, Chavez, Andruw Jones) are all very adept at renting these types of players. While they always present the risk of injury or underperformance, they usually can be acquired without free agent compensation and provide a nice transition to next generation talent (for example, Wagner, was the bridge to Craig Kimbrel).

          1. Don’t think we really disagree I just think that the Phillies are paying in both $$$ and years market price. You could certainly make the argument that they could be more patient and wait to see if a guy like Beltran can’t find better offers and agrees to something less than what he wanted. The obvious risk is that they guy you really want finds a better offer while you wait.

            Consider the Phillies quick signing of Papelbon. Phillies paid top $$$ to sign Papelbon quickly while they could have waited it out. In the end they may have ended up signing Heath Bell or Ryan Madson. It certainly would have been cheaper.

            I would also disagree with the original point since the Phillies really haven’t been hamstrung with terrible contracts. Ibanez’s contract was a year too long and Howard’s contract was simply a mistake regardless of age. Other than that, I don’t see them sitting on long contracts for old players.

            1. “In the end they may have ended up signing Heath Bell or Ryan Madson. It certainly would have been cheaper.”

              Yes, cheaper, but let’s give Ruben some credit, both of those signings would have been a full fledged disaster.

            2. catch…I think that is what he meant. Signing quickly and paying more actually turned out better in Paps situation, then waiting to go cheap. And sometimes it has to be done.

  49. I am just wondering where do you get this stuff, phycial peaking?? each person is different, some guys last longer than others,

  50. Interesting point. I wiki-ed Spahn .He won the Purple Heart and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. made this statement.
    “People say that my absence from the big leagues may have cost me a chance to win 400 games. But I don’t know about that. I matured a lot in three years, and I think I was
    better equipped to handle major league hitters at 25 than I was at 22. Also, I pitched until I was 44. Maybe I wouldn’t have been able to do that otherwise.”[3]

  51. Sigh. It’s one thing to argue that, for one reason or another, Ruf will be an exception to the normal rules regarding older minor league players, albeit a pretty much unprecendented one, or even to point out that there have been players breaking in at his age and having some major league success in a reserve role. The former I think is probably unlikely, but possible, the latter much more likely, but we’re at least somewhat in the realm of the subjective; no one knows for sure.

    But the many posts arguing that age doesn’t matter, or bringing up truely bizzare supposed counter examples (I think the Spahn one may be the worst yet, for multiple reasons), or asserting that somehow Ruf has already proven the age doubters wrong – it’s weak, so weak that it almost highlights just how tough it’s going to be for Ruf to have substantial major league success.

    The simple truth is that many minor leaguers have had similar success at his age in AA and even AAA, and it almost never translates to major league success. In fact, for a position player who made his AA debute as late as did Ruf, and if we are talking about players who went on to be major league regulars, I think “never” is more accurate than “almost never.” Again, doesn’t mean that Ruf won’t make it, but there ARE no comps for Ruf’s success. Maybe some of that is unfair prejudice against older minor league players, i don’t know, but there basically ARE NO true examples of players similar to Ruf from an age/level/performance/positions perspective going on to successful careers as major league regulars.

    Nor was his overall minor league line at all unprecendented. basically every year an older minor leaguer has a roughly comperable performance. The only unique thing about Ruf was his August HR performance.

  52. Actually, the fact that NoWheels had to go all the way back to Warren Spahn to find an example pretty much makes the point that Ruf’s changes of having a long ML career are pretty slim

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