216 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of February 25. Who Gets Cut First? Edition

  1. Cook has a clause in his contract about a bonus before March 30 I believe. He’ll be sticking around until then. Didn’t Andres Blanco already fill that quota of getting released?

  2. Cook isn’t a good guess because he’s in camp simply as insurance against a plague of injuries. You don’t buy flood insurance and then drop the coverage just before the rainy season.

    1. Bonuses aside, Rodrigo Lopez is in camp for the same reason, and probably at least one more guy I can’t think of off the top of my head. And then Cloyd, (who’s ready), and Pettibone, (who’s close enough).

  3. The assumption has always been that Darin Ruf would be the starting LF or at least a platoon with Brown at the start of the season. It’s early, but what if Ruf hits 200 in spring training and continues to stumble around the outfield so awkwardly? Do you guys think he would get sent back to the minors? Who would be the Phillies’ 5 outfielders in that scenario?

    1. That could easily happen if Ruf needs more time to learn to play in left. If so, they take Revere, Brown, Mayberry, Nix and Inciarte to start. Inciarte is returned or Nix traded as soon Ruf or D. Young is ready.

      1. I don’t see the Phillies trading their only LH pinch hitter in any scenario. Inciarte may get offered back, but I hope not, after seeing him. He looks better than what I expected from a High A player. I hope they can offer one of their AAA bullpen arms as compensation and keep that guy.

        1. Please look up the last 100 PH tries by NIX and you realize he is near the top of Ruben’s useless bench guys list.

    2. Its early, and its been windy, but what I’ve seen thus far down here, Darin Ruf does not look capable of playing LF at this point. As I said, its early so don’t want to over react and I’m hoping he comes through ok as the Phils could really use his bat in LF, but thus far I’m very discouraged. Michael Young also looks very, very shaky defensively.

      1. But MY is a Leader, and a HOF candidates, and a Veteran, so he is guaranteed the 3rd base job.

        Not like that Brown kid, who needs a good Spring to earn his starting spot over…um…some combination of Darin Ruf, Delmon Young, John Mayberry, and Ender Inciarte. There are two open spots and Young is hurt, mind you, but Brown better shape up if he wants to play!

        1. I get that you’re being facetious, but … Michael Young IS a veteran who has had a ton of success at the major league level. Dom Brown has potential but has yet to realize any of it in the bigs. If one deserves benefit of the doubt in regards to a starting spot, it’s Young.

          Dom appears to be responding well to the competition for an outfield spot, which is exactly what you want to see from a young player. But yes, he does have to earn it.

          1. There is no such thing as “earning” a major league job. That term should not be part of anyone’s vocabulary. You look at the available evidence – quantitative and qualitative (scouting) and you put your 8 best players on the field. Period. This isn’t a “stat” argument either. A guy works his butt off? Well, that’s relevant, sure, even highly relevant, but not in a “works hard enough to earn it” way. Baseball is and should be about who is better. If all that hard work makes you better, great. But it’s not about “earning” anything. A player can work as hard as he wants, but if he can’t hit a curve ball, he isn’t playing.

            Regular jobs should not be, and generally aren’t, decided in spring training. For veterans or prospects. You think it should be all about the scouting and not the numbers? Fine. But EITHER WAY it is crazy to make these kind of decisions based upon a few dozen spring training at bats.

            Now, I do happen to agree that a veteran with a major league track record does, all else being equal, give you a higher degree of certainty. They are more predictable. That can cut both ways – it’s one reason why the D. Young signing was such a disaster. But for a guy like M. Young who DOES have a track record as good to very good player, yes, he gets the benefit of the doubt. But only up to a point. A player who is 36 years old, coming off a horrible season, who has not regularly played the field since 2010, and who wasn’t a very good fielder even then … not sure that player deserves the benefit of any doubt.

            It’s funny, the defensive metrics were SO horrible for him last year. Even doubters such as myself tended to at least somewhat dismiss that. Defensive metrics are particularly unreliable in a SSS. But it looks like Young may really be that bad in the field. If he is, even assuming a hitting rebound, one would hope that the Phillies would not stubbornly keep putting him out there as the regular. With Manual (who does have his good points, as I have often acknowledged) I am not optimistic.

            1. I don’t use the term “earning” with the idea that Dom has to put in time/pay his dues/what have you. I use it to say he must produce. I love Dom’s upside, and am still very high on him, but he needs to prove he can hit/catch/throw the ball with regularity at the major league level. Essentially, every major league baseball player earns his job by producing on the field.

            2. Maybe not. But a strong ST (Brown hit one 450 feet today for his second HR of spring training) will certainly stick in a manager’s mind when he’s filling out the lineup card April 1.

            3. The defensive stats for Young last year were small samples. His 3B numbers from the 2 years he was a regular there were mediocre but not awful. A little better in his second year than his first. I have not seen him this spring yet, but it is probably a little too soon to conclude he is awful there. My hopes are that he is again mediocre. Not thinking he will be that good, but playing regularly should help.

            4. It is a physical thing, he has no range to either side. The glove was never great at any position but it isn’t good, it will be better than right now but he does not make the routine play and if he has to move more it, there is no hope.

          2. The other thing to keep in mind is that, for a team in the Phillies’ position (a marginal contender if healthy), is that arguably you would prefer a player with a higher risk factor but with more upside. That is ultimately the pro-Ruf argument. I don’t quite buy it because of defense, but IF he looked adequate in left field, I’d absolutely go with Ruf, partly for that very reason. This obviously applies even more so for Brown.

            Of course, none of those guys are competing with M. Young, but this is one of the reasons that I agree with DMAR’s comment regarding the third base situation.

      2. That’s how it looks to me, but, agreed that it’s early and there is literally no more difficult place to field fly balls than in the swirling wind of ST – it’s like every game in the old Candlestick Park in SF. Ruf is not a horrible athlete (nor is he a great one, however) – I expect some serious improvement in the next month or so.

        Young’s fielding is a real concern. We are very fortunate to have both Frandsen and Galvis – as I said earlier in the month, the more Freddy plays the better and if he hits (and I expect him to do that), well, the issue won’t be weather he stays in the big leagues, but whether and when he becomes a starter. In any event, in games the Phillies lead in the late innings, Galvis should generally replace Young at third. Young can also DH in interleague games.

        1. I’d like to see Galvis get a full season’s worth of ABs in AAA. I don’t think we can assume he’ll be able to hit major league pitching as there’s really no evidence he can at this point (not saying that he won’t be able to eventually). It’d be nice to have a better idea of what we have in him with potential openings at 2B and 3B next year. It’s tempting with his skillset to put in a super-utility role with the Phils this year, but I’d rather give him 600 PAs with LV than 300 with the Phils.

        1. From what I’ve seen so far, I have to respectfully disagree. I don’t ever remember Burrell struggling for fly balls or having bad instincts in LF, he simply was very slow, and didn’t get great jumps a lot of times. He did catch what he got to and usually made accurate throws to the point his arm wasn’t a liability. Ruf, on the other hand, lacks some of the instincts Burrell had, but to what I said above, its too early to judge and it has been very windy.

          As for Michael Young, I am significantly more optimistic than most on this site that he can rebound offensively this year to something in between his average year before last year and his numbers last year. My concern however is that he is being asked to play a key defensive position, especially with our rotation mix of some ground ball pitchers and lefties who throw a good mix of off speed stuff. And thus far he looks like he has Todd Zeile’s range and Ty Wigginton’s hands. No offense to the guy, he has had a great career, but what I’ve seen in games and before that in drills, it is very scary to watch right now. There is nothing he can do at this point about the range, but hopefully his hands are just rusty from not playing the position in a while.

          1. I think Burrell actually led the league once in outfield assists. Say what you want about his range (which was awful) but Burrell worked very hard to improve his defense in ways that extended past natural athleticism. He practiced taking hundreds of balls off the walls to judge the bounces, he had a very accurate arm that could gun down many a man trying to stretch a single into a double, and he tried to position himself to be where the ball was hit. I think if Ruf works that hard to improve the things he can improve (reads, judging caroms, arm accuracy) then he can be serviceable out there as long as his bat holds up

            1. As a side note, Ruf’s arm is actually pretty good. He’s been used as a mop-up pitcher before, and has actually allowed only one hit (and no runs) in 2.1 innings of “work.”

        2. LOL. That’s how you sniff out people who actually know what they’re talking about. They immediately compare Ruf to Burrell.

            1. No. The Bull was a first round pick and saw time in the show at his age 19 season. Was a FT player by age 21.

            2. Doesn’t matter. It’s connected. You could deal with Bull’s lack of range because he could put one into the third deck at the Vet. Ruf has to prove he can play above AA.

            3. Again and again.. I was talking about their defensive prowess in the outfield….sheesh dealing with nerds is so aggravating!

    1. While I don’t think Diekman is anywhere close to a sure thing to make the 25 man roster, I think it’s less likely he is among the 1st cuts. The Phillies have 7 bullpen spots. They have 4 guys that are guaranteed to make the roster: Papelbon, Adams, Bastardo and Durbin. Jeremy Horst is the best current pitcher, of all the rest, so he probably gets the 5th BP spot. They let Juan Cruz out of his contract, or else he would have easily captured the 6th spot.
      That leaves Diekman competing for 1 of 2 spots with Aumont, De Fratus, Stutes, Valdes, and Savery. Aumont is by far the best talent of that group, but Diekman isn’t competing against anyone else that is more than a marginal talent, with the same kind of issues that he has currently. He should be able to battle those guys until the end, for that last spot.

  4. I’m not one to over react to ST but Ruf needs to get it going in the right direction especially with the bat. I think we all agree the defense was going to be sub par but if he looked like a .280 hitter with 30 Bomb Potential you might live with it and do a defensive replacement late in games.

    Have to agree on Inciarte. He does everything right except hit for power there should be a spot for him on this roster.

    1. With Revere and Inciarte, then Gillies becomes expendable. Brown in RF , maybe Gillies in LF. But then they are all lefty swingers in the OF. Sheeesh!

      1. This is very true and anyone here that knows me knows I love me some HercGillies. Not that I don’t like Revere but I would have rolled the dice on Gillies as my starting CF and using hindsight still picked up Inciarte as insurance.

        I also would have gone with a Frandsen/Galvis platoon at 3B. Young is a nice guy and all that other stuff but I’d rather be bad young that bad old at a position.

        Watching Marlon Byrd a little I’d rather have him then D Young as a back up. Me GM still have assets such as Worley, May, Bonilla. Assume they play at an even better rate than they finished last season with a healthier Utely, Howard and Halladay and I now have cash and assets to make moves in season based on known needs.

        Amaro didn’t take any of my calls.

  5. Any possibility of trading Mayberry? They may be able to get something for him, maybe. I’d have to think that he is a 4th outfielder at the moment. If they keep Revere, Brown, Ruf and Nix (who knows what happens when D. Young gets back) I think the assumption is Mayberry is the other outfielder. However, if they trade him they can keep Inciarte. The argument against moving mayberry is that he is the only legit backup centerfield option. Sounds like Inciarte is even better defensively than Mayberry. When Howard needs a break, you could go M. Young (starting Frandsen at third) or Ruf. You lose power off the bench, but you gain a guy who can come in and steal a bag. Maybe they can get a high risk, high reward low minors prospect for him.

    1. Why would you do that?

      Let’s try to design a perfect 4th outfielder. He would be solid defensively, of course. Better than average at the corners, and capable of playing center field.

      As a hitter, you would want him to have a large platoon split. Why? Because a player without a big split is either (a) going to be good enough to be a regular, or (b) mediocre against everybody. A guy with a big platoon split could be one of the very best hitters in the league when he has the platoon advantage, yet not good enough to be a regular because of the platoon split.

      Cost controlled of course.

      And ideally complementary to the regular outfielders. If you have a bunch of left handed hitting outfielders, a right handed outfielder would be perfect. Even better if the whole team leans a little left.

      Look, I like Inciarte too.It would be great if they could find a way to keep him. But it just boggles my mind that anyone would want to get rid of Mayberry. Yes, he has been asked to do too much over the past 2 years; 431 AB against right handed pitchers makes no sense with his skill set. But he is ideal as a 4th outfielder.

      Against left handed pitchers, he basically Yoenis Cespedes. (Mayberry’s split versus Cespedes overall numbers).

      1. I concur Mayberry is much more valuable than whatever you would get in trade and you didn’t even get to the part where he can spell Howard at 1B.

        1. It’s funny how we tend to agree much or even most of the time despite very different methods of player evaluation. 🙂

      2. It’s almost as if fans’ expectations of what Mayberry should be aren’t aligned with what kind of player Mayberry actually is. Funny how that happens.

        1. Defensive value is very under appreciated. ‘Let’s trade the guy who can actually catch the ball’.

          1. Mayberry is the definition of a 4th/5th OF. For some fans this isn’t acceptable because they want the team to have stars at every position. Unfortunately that isn’t going to happen. However, 4th/5th OFs have value.

          2. There’s things he could improve on defensively… I know at least two instances last year where he should’ve robbed home runs that barely grazed the wall because he drifted on the ball.

            That said, given the fact that 2/3 projected starting outfielders are left handed he provides a tremendous amount of value as a back up outfielder as long as that’s all Charlie has planned for him.

    1. We’ve got a lot of young arms, but its rare to find a pitcher with a plus plus pitch and that’s exactly what Bonilla has in his splitter/change. That was a pretty darned good deal for Texas. They shed salary and picked up two usable pieces (although, admittedly, I cannot stand Lindblom as a player).

      1. Brown just hit another homer. The man is on a mission and good for him! He’s matured, he’s filled out, he’s tightened up his swing, he’s worked on his fielding and he’s healthy. There’s no reason he still can’t be one a heck of a good player.

        1. And for good measure, Asche doubled and ToJo then hit a homer. Hope we can see some of those highlights on video. I have a very good feeling about how Brown is going to do this year. If he can become a solid regular, they should be able to piece the last outfield spot together one way or another.

          1. catch…everything you say is true and right on….its just the attitude! Sarge calls it confidence. TMac had no comment.

          2. Asche’s double should’ve been caught. He hit it well the opposite way, but the LF should’ve caught it. The Brown homer was an absolute bomb. T-Mac said 450 at least. Joseph’s was also crushed

  6. Morosi likes the Phitins to finish ahead of the Bravo’s….attributes the pick to starting rotations. I agree our rotation is better but is it that much better than their offense. We shall see!

    1. If both teams are 100% healthy all season… is their offense really that much better? I mean, yeah, Justin Upton and BJ Upton are high potential guys but neither one of them is consistent enough to expect them to live up to it.

      1. The Braves aren’t better than they were last year. They gained Justin and BJ Upton, but lost Chipper Jones, Michael Bourne and Martin Prado.
        They do have more power though.

        1. Concern for Braves offense is that they have a ton of strikeouts in their line-up. Lots of HRs and lots of stranded runners.

  7. Brown hit a monster homerun. His second of spring training. Ryan Howard looks good. Tommy Joseph with a long homerun as well.

  8. For those w/o video:

    Brown HR: Straight away center ~450ft after working the count
    Asche: line drive 2B the other way down the line
    Joseph: Just crushed over the tiki bar, no doubt off the bat

    All off a pitcher who had never been above hi-A. You can see why Asche will lack HR power from his swing, plenty of doubles but not a lot of loft on it. Joseph has massive raw power he just needs to make contact (I have really only heard Howard hits make quite that noise on contact).

      1. The video of the ToJo and Brown home runs are up. It is so nice to see Brown generating such excellent power without the wind up of his old swing. Again, I am no hit doctor, but the old swing seemed to leave him very vulnerable to high stuff up and inside – the sort of hole that major leaguers exploit until it hurts. He seems to be finding his old power, but with a MUCH more compact swing and better balance. And, damn, it looks like he’s really packed on some muscle in the last two years. Go Dom!

        On ToJo – he looks to have a nice, quick swing and well above average (dare I say plus?) power. Obviously, I need to see a lot more of him before I comment further, but so far, so good. I’m glad he’s in camp.

        1. I’m really excited about Joseph. It’s so rare to see a catcher with big-time power.

          I don’t see anything in his swing that makes me think he can’t continue to lower his K%.

  9. Asche just keeps hitting line drives… Dom and Howard both look great, its easy to get excited. M Young looks bad so far (no range and hitting all ground balls) but I’m going to wait and see how he improves before I condemn him.
    Betancourt has looked good enough to give the Phils something to think about with Galvis. Betancourt can get his release if he doesn’t make the roster so I’m not sure who is playing SS at LHV if the Phils keep Galvis. Miner has looked good enough to keep around for awhile and Cook and Lopez both looked good initially too. At one point, I thought Savery would be released but now I think they’ll stash him at AAA as a decent 4A guy. JC Ramirez looked awful and lots of guys have passed him by. He’s my pick for first to be let go although I think they’ll try to trade him for someone else’s unfulfilled arm, but younger.

    1. I agree with you for the most part, but please, Betancourt is horrible and Zach Miner is a bum. The sooner Betancourt fails the better. He’s fine in AAA as an insurance policy, but that’s about as far as it goes. He’s not a viable major league player. He loses his team games.

      1. By the way, I’ve been watching Asche more closely. He has definitely put on muscle weight. I am fine with a line drive swing for now. He can always develop loft and more power later on. I’m more concerned with the fielding and the plate discipline for now.

        1. He does look comfortable and confident at the plate. And he looked good today in the field. Tom McCarthy called him the best third best prospect in the Phillies system, Evidently Tom does not follow phuturphillies website doings. or eals he would have known Mikael Franco is right there also, maybe a year behind Cody Asche.

    2. it’s been 4 games. I don’t understand why people are getting overly excited/upset about a player’s performance.

      1. I mostly agree with you & would be a hypocrite if I didn’t. However, let me push back just a little on 3 points:

        (1) Ruf and M. Young’s defense – with both players there were concerns, and in both cases the early going has been rough.

        (2) Brown’s start doesn’t mean much in and of itself, but it could help him get the playing time he should get, even if for the wrong reasons, and it could help his confidence, which seems to have been an issue. Also, the fact that he showed up in such good shape bodes well.

        (3) Early apparent health of key contributors coming off injuries is a good sign.

        Certainly WAY too soon to place too much weight on any of this, but I think it’s valid to be happy about 2 and 3, and concerned about 1. And what else are we going to talk about at this point anyway? 🙂

        1. You are exactly right on point #2. What I take out of the 1st 4 games is Dom Brown building confidence early, so he doesn’t have to press later to get hits. He should be able to relax and just play, going forward.

        2. I’m with you on mostly all those points although I really won’t be concerned about Michael Young unless he’s this bad mid-to-late in the Spring. I’m expecting some rust beyond just his inability to play the position well (which he never could obviously).

          I think I was mainly reacting to the thought Betancourt is playing well enough to be considered for a roster spot… I mean, I’d like to wait at least a week or two before I think he’s a threat to make the roster or any body really.

  10. Jim Salisbury writes on Domo and Wally Joyner:
    Domonic Brown is off to a terrific start in the Grapefruit League, and he credits a tip from Wally Joyner, the team’s new assistant hitting coach, for some of that. Early in camp, Joyner noticed that Brown had a tendency to wrap his hands and wrists around the bat handle instead of cradling it in the base of his fingers. Joyner suggested that Brown adjust his grip and it has a created quicker, whippier swing. The quicker swing has resulted in Brown’s going 3 for 7 with two homers, three runs and a walk in the first four games. Brown also had a single and a double in an intrasquad game last week. “It seemed like God maybe sent an angel down toward me,” Brown said of Joyner. “He showed me a little something then, boom, it clicked and I’ve been working hard every day.”

    1. And finally,’Brown had knee problems last season. He worked a lot on his legs this winter and believes a strong base has helped his balance. And he’s also as strong as steel. Where once he was a 6-foot-6 stringbean, he is now 235 pounds of muscle.’..CSN

      1. You can just see it, he looks so much stronger. Plus his swing looks so much smoother. I see no reason he can’t carry this thru the season if he can stay healthy. If he can hit well in the 6th hole, the lineup looks so much better.

  11. Brown hits a homer off a A ball pitcher left right over the plate. Let me twirl my swizzle stick in the air in celebration. Cliff Lee probably could’ve tagged that for a homer too.

      1. He also hit one off of Verlander last spring. We know he can hit homers off of MLB pitchers, the reason to be excited about this one was the sheer power display. 450 feet to dead center is a bomb no matter who the pitcher, where the pitch, or who hit it.

        1. Oh it was a shot to say the least, but in my view, ST doesn’t mean great deal. Plus 2 years ago in ST he had two big bombs and nothing came from that. It’s good he put on some size though, if he can hit for power in the majors (which he hasn’t yet), it will make the OF that much better. I was full force on the Brown train back in ’10, but he just hasn’t proven anything to me yet what he was hyped up to be.

          I know I have a horrible reputation here for speaking my mind, but nothing counts till its done in the regular season. If he does great, I’ll eat my words.

          I know people are worried about Ruf, but its been 3 games. Michael Young is 0 for 8 as well and I don’t seen as many people getting as worried about him. Give Ruf time to get into things and hopefully his OF play improves as well (that E the other day was pretty bad).

          1. I’m not worried about either Young, because I have expected both of them to be very inadequate. The surprise to me would be if he played well. He hasn’t plaued 3B in years for a good reason. He stinks defensively. He is at an age where a bat rebound is more a hope than a realistic expectation. The positive projections are based on curve-fitting of a declining performance curve that will end with a crash at some indeterminate time. The projectors are assuming that the crash isn’t now Really know way to time it. It happens when it happens. A lot of good careers end before 36.

  12. Yes,I know that it is only spring training,but it is still encouraging.After all what if Brown would have an 0 fer 8? So hopefully he is moving in a positive direction! After all, if the phillies are going to contend this year,they need a good year from him and also from Darin Ruf,although he may start the season in AAA,plus the vets need to have good years as well.
    There’s nothing wrong with getting excited with a young home-grown player,showing signs of what may be in the future,and thanks for the positive comments on here!

    1. It’s hard to fight with an anonymous. They can say anything they like and there’s no way to tune them out. You have to read what they wrote and then say, that’s 10 seconds I’ll never get back.

  13. News that I’ve been looking for: the minor leaguers are due on the field for their first workout on Sunday so I guess that means they’re reporting on Saturday for their physicals. The work groups should be posted on Saturday or Sunday. All the minor league guys in major league camp will stick around until the games start, which I believe is March 12, and then they’ll be sent down so they can play every day. The 4A guys will stick around in major league camp to pick up innings. Adam Morgan is pitching today in what will probably be his only appearance, on his birthday!, in major league camp. Good luck Adam!

          1. He battled back after 3 hits to strike out the last 2 guys to only allow 1 run. That’s calling pitching I’m sure his nerves were thru the roof. A nice bday present

            1. He struck out Morneau a 2nd time. He must be tough on lefties. Did Mayberry drop a fly ball for a 3 run error? Its a good thing his spot on the team is secure because he’s looked terrible so far. Its not impossible that Mayberry and Nix could platoon in RF to start the year if Ruf gets sent down.

            2. John Mayberry should be forced to perform or he should be traded as allowing this kind of play is a bad message to the rest of the team. Why does Mayberry always seem to play poorly in the first half of the season? Should we send the groundhog down to Florida to wake him up or put him on the DL until June?

            3. Riggs, when you have a three base error then it is a lack of effort on defense which Charlie Manuel is trying to improve on. I understand who John Mayberry is and there are many players in MLB who can fill his role on the Phillies easily so he should not be guaranteed anything. Is it really too much to ask to have a MLB player come into camp prepared and be ready to play when the season opens?

            4. Yes, let’s make a rash decision based on one play in Spring Training. That’s definitely the way to run a baseball team. Galvis made an error yesterday. Let’s cut him. Halladay gave up a homer. Goodbye.

            5. What arrogant and annoying here is the unwarranted assumption that a three base error is necessarily a product of lack of effort. i didn’t see the play, but from your account, pretty obviously you didn’t either. As harsh as I can be, I almost always stay away from making assumptions about a player’s character or level of effort. The exceptions are when the evidence is overwhelming (e.g., D. Young).

              But jumping to these kind of negative character conclusions without evidence is despicable.

            6. Larry and Riggs, for clarification’s sake John Mayberry made a bad fielding play yesterday. My point was that John Mayberry is not that special of a player to warrant a guaranteed roster spot even though it is obvious some posters really like him. Riggs I have gotten along with you before and did not advocate cutting Mayberry- just make him deserve a spot with his play. Larry, what you said is not true and you know it. Peace.

            7. That’s rich, coming from a guy who accused me of supporting Sandusky because he THOUGHT I disagreed with him (Also: bone up on your reading comprehension). Wouldn’t want to jump to any negative character conclusions, right?

  14. I was wondering who would play SS at LHV if Galvis stays in Philly and Betancourt asks for his release when he doesn’t make the club but I just realized that Hanzawa is still there. I could see him starting if Betancourt decides to leave or we could pick up another journeyman to back up. Galvis is the backup if JRoll goes down.

    1. I would definitely like to see Hernandez get some time at short. He looks much more like a utility man than an everyday 2B but we don’t really know if he can handle SS.

        1. Well then that is a problem. He doesn’t run the bases well enough to be a top of the order guy, doesn’t have the power to hit in the middle of the line-up, and doesn’t field well enough to hide in the bottom of the line-up. He looks like a second division starter, maybe, if he can’t be a utility guy. A one position back-up doesn’t really have any value.

  15. It’s funny how pitching issues (namely, too much pitching) always seem to work themselves out. Today DeFratus and Rosenberg both had their tails kicked. Sure, it’s early, but I bet when the dust clears, it won’t be that difficult to pick who stays and who goes in the bullpen. There may be one or two guys on the bubble, but probably not many more than that. If Aumont holds his own in the WBC, I definitely expect him to stay. To me, the biggest battle could be between Diekman and Horst.

    1. I agree that BJ and JD both have pitched poorly and are making decisions easier. Stutes looks like he needs minor league time as well. Let’s not overlook that Tyler Cloyd just continues to get outs and he has pitched plenty out of the pen and could easily handle the long man job. If they decide to keep both Lopez and Cook starting at LHV, Cloyd as a long man could make total sense.

      1. BJ still has a great arm. I am all for moving him to the starting rotation in LhV and allowing him to give it a go as a starter. He has the stamina to do it. But throwing wild pitches isn’t going to help him any. I think he just needs to settle down and get into a groove. The ability is definitely there. As for DeFratus, I still have no idea what to make of him.

    1. Be calm – we’re not even done with the first week of games. Stutes will be fine and Ruf will hit. Whether Ruf will field or DeFratus will turn it around – who knows?

      1. I wouldn’t be too sure on Stutes, the underlying numbers in 2011 where that of a decent middle reliever. There is a lot of volatility there and he may not actually be as good as we remember.

        1. Stutes was never really good. He got some guys out in spring training in 2011 and during his 1st month after being called up. After that, it was a lot of walks and loud Fly balls. Pedestrian fastball and a hanging slider waiting to happen.

        1. And he was pretty dreadful there? I remember him well walking guys like crazy and getting released.

  16. I think we saw some real glimpses of what the offense could be yesterday with Revere leading off and a very interesting Brown hitting 3rd.

    Still the pieces just don’t seem to fit. If Brown were RH you’d bat him 3 or 5.

  17. What’s up with Galvis? Just made another throwing error on an easy play. Still, his defense is the last thing I’ll worry about.

    Offensively, lots of good things happening in these few games. Revere, Utley, Howard and especially Brown are all looking solid. I’m excited.

  18. I am excited about everything mentioned above………………….specifically Brown. The one thing that was not mentioned was Mike Adams. Nice to see one of the best set up men in baseball come off the injury with a solid outing. Things, as early as they are, seem to be progressing nicely.

  19. I know that I have harped on the fact that brown, has a slow bat. did anyone see csn philly last night,and hear ben davis say the same thing, brown last year had a slow bat and long swing, they go together, so it just wasnt me. and others have seen it, including joyner, who is helping him. when a guy is fouling off fastballs to his left, that means he isnt getting around on the pitch. and thats what i saw in brown, davis said he would like to see brown,with a quicker swing hit the better fastballs and changeups. so it just wasnt just me saying it, he does have a nice eye at the plate even last season.not hopeing he fails, just wasnt in love with his swing,

  20. Brown tearing it up offensively, Small sample size, but still nice to see. Any reports on his defense?

    1. Saw the better part of games this past Thur and Fri and Brown looked fine in the outfield. Certainly looked more comfortable that this time last spring – I want to see more though, but so far so good

  21. Good God!!!!! Domonic Brown just hit one of the longest home runs and hardest hit balls I have ever seen. About 430 feet right into the teeth of a blowing wind and clear out of Brighthouse Field. Wow!!!

    1. And it was against a side-armed lefty. It has been years since I’ve seen such a breakout performance in ST. This is not just a sample size issue – Brown has turned the corner.

      1. “Yeah but the pitch was a hanger. Anybody woulda hit that out. Delmon Young would’ve hit it farther and better.”. – Ruben Amaro.

    2. More than crushing balls, it looks like he is comfortable with his swing which is letting his really good plate discipline work. You can see him recognize and crush his pitch.

          1. Tommy Joseph looks great too. He just took an outside breaking ball up the middle for a single. A textbook play and very impressive for a 21 year old hitter.

            1. Both his hits today have been off major league relievers. Both line drives too.

              Very excited about Joseph.

  22. He just looks great. As long we’re talking about home runs, Howard just crushed another one, off a lefty too. Things are looking good so far this spring.

  23. Jeremy Horst’s line against the Orioles today. 0.2 IP 4 H 6 ER 2 BB 0 K 2 HR 17.18 ERA OUCH

  24. Savery looks good today also. Diekman looks good…Bastardo better be careful, other lefties may give him a run for his money.

  25. Jiwan James and Edgar Duran in the game in Sarasota. Diekman back on for another inning of work

    1. Derrick Mitchell getting an AB vs. Toronto. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in Philly this year. Ryne loves him

  26. Ender Inciarte may make the Major League team over Darin Ruf. I shoulda put him in my top 30.

  27. Evan are you serious?? or just kidding. mitchell stinks. 167 hitter making this team, would mean this team is a last place club. and would use anybody.i just dont know when guys are kidding. ruf is really worrying me.

    1. If Inciarte is sent back to Arizona, Ruf makes the team. So your OF is Nix, Brown, Mayberry, Revere, Ruf. Delmon Young starts on the DL. That leaves Mather, Gillies, and the two Mitchell’s in AAA. There is a reason they brought him up today. I am not saying that he would start, I am just saying that Ryne Sandberg has openly expressed his love for Mitchell and he could be up in September if he puts up okay numbers (he hit 8 hr’s while missing 2 months as a 4th OF last year) if there are injuries here and there I would not be surprised to see him come up temporarily. You would be surprised to see how loved he is within the organization, it goes a long way to earning spots on rosters.

      1. By September, Tyson Gillies and Leandro Castro will be ahead of Derrick Mitchell as a 5th Outfielder candidate.

          1. I really don’t see how Derrick Mitchell could possibly get to the big league team. Gillies is better. Castro has been a better minor league player. And Derrick Mitchell really isn’t in Jermaine Mitchell’s league, as a player. There would have to be at least three injuies at the same time, for him to get a shot.

  28. Wonder if FO has discussed waiving Nix. Would provide some flexibility and I can find a lot more value for that last bench spot than Nix can ever provide

    1. I’m not sure why the fascination with getting rid of the Phillies’ back up outfielders. Nix, I’ll admit, does not have the unique skill set that Mayberry has. But the idea that the Phillies, of all teams, are in a position to just throw away serviceable players who are under contract is odd to say the least.

      (1) At this point it looks like Revere and Brown are two starting outfielders.
      (2) The other spot is very much up for grabs, at least when the season starts. Unless Ruf turns things around, he’ll probably start in AAA. Young will be on the DL when the season starts. Mayberry will platoon with … who?
      (3) That still leaves two spots, as they will keep 5 outfielders.

      The simple fact is that, even if they keep Inciarte, there’s an obvious spot for Nix, who is a decent fielder and can hit a little. What do people think the standards are for bench outfielders, and who in the organization do they think would be better? I mean, the fact that people can seriously talk about D. Mitchell as making the team as a bench player should tell you all you need to know about the need for Nix.

      As for “I can find a lot more value for that last bench spot than Nix can ever provide,” where are you going to find it? Certainly not in the organization, unless I guess you think they should keep both Ruf and Inciarte. But then who is Mayberry’s platoon partner? Yes,Inciarte is a leftie, but hardly ready to take the bulk of the AB in a corner OF platoon. So where do you find this player for the “last bench spot?” The waiver wire? Look, Nix has his limitations, but you’re not going to replace his value off of the waiver wire.

      The dynamic changes a bit when D. Young comes back. Of course HE is the guy who should be waived, but he likely won’t be.* At THAT point I suppose Nix could become the odd man out,

      *There are probably roughly 1,000 outfielders in professional baseball who I would rather have on my team than D. Young. Yes, I realize that is approximately EVERY OUTFIELDER IN THE MAJORS AND MINORS.

      1. LarryM…there you go again, your dastardly disdain for one of the Youngs, always rear its ugly head somewhere in your opining. Have some patience, they are only here for eight more months then they are part of Phillies history!

      2. Lol. Mitchell? No.

        Certainly talking waiver wire here. And only to the extent that the conversation was breached as a means of taking advantage should someone of interest become available. Inciarte would be a nice steal if we could limit his exposure for a year but we don’t necessarily have flexibility with a third lefty outfielder on the bench who is limited in his own right. With Ruf needing more time to acclimate to left, if he even can, the outfield situation isn’t looking much better in spite of DBrown doing his best to lay claim to a full-time job. One of left or right looks like it might be a mess come OD

  29. Ender Inciarte no power at all. shame. seems like he might have a chance to be a bench player, but the lack of power is not good, imo

  30. Revere is wreaking havoc on the base paths when at the top of the line-up I like it. If Brown truly has arrived then I am not as worried about LF or D. Young playing. The base line-up appears posied to put up some offense this season so whatever route they decide to go for defensive replacements late in games should work.

    At this point you have to figure on replacing Ruf or Young for either Mayberry/Nix or possibly Inciarte makes the team. I think they offer him back or work out a deal to keep him here.

    1. Not sure why Inciarte would be a priority to keep. With no power, he is Revere-light. We have good fielding CF in the org who will hit better than Inciarte and are as close to the majors as he is.

      1. If they were counting on Gillies being healthy at this point, they wouldn’t have dealt for Revere in the first place. It would be great if he finally puts the injuries/baggage behind him and puts in significant time, but I don’t think the org views him as a dependable asset at this point.

      2. I’m not sure what problem you have with keeping Inciarte. Inciarte is arguably an equal/better prospect than Zach Collier. He seems to be an asset. Any time you can get an asset for low cost, that is a positive.

        1. I was the anonymous above. Even assuming Inciarte is an equal prospect to Collier, Collier is free. We won’t get Inciarte at a discount. Drafting him in Rule 5 and wanting to keep him without leaving him on major league roster does not give you any discount. We will pay his full value, whatever that is, if we trade for/purchase rights to keep him and send him to minors. He will take playing time away from one of our own CF prospects. Collier has the potential to hit with power, as does Gillies. As really does Altherr. Inciarte is basically Hudson — very fast, plays great D, hasn’t shown he can hit, hasn’t played above low minors. Yeah, if we were allowed to keep INciarte, rather than getting back half of our $50K Rule 5 money, it would be a net plus, but I wouldn’t trade somebody of value to keep him. He’s not better than what we’ve already got in the minors.

          1. I’m playing with all my heart,” Inciarte said. “That’s the best way you can play. It’s going well.” Inciarte has also impressed Manuel with solid play in center. “He has really good first-step quickness and runs direct routes to the ball,” Manuel said. “He looks fast running after the ball. He gets a good jump.” In the meantime, Manuel says he is going to give Inciarte a long look.“I’m going to put him out there and see what he can do,” Manuel said. “He seems to be at home in our camp.”

          2. 1. I said he is an asset that that is low cost. I never said free.
            2. You are saying that Inciarte hasn’t shown he can hit. I say you haven’t checked his numbers. Their as good as Colliers and better than Altherr’s. And he is the same age as Collier at the same level.

            1. Low cost implies you can get him at less than his value. That isn’t true. Free is significant, because Inciarte or Collier will get the AB at Reading. If Collier and Enciarte are equal in value, why shunt aside the guy who’s free.

            2. Who said anything about pushing Collier aside?
              This is one of the more ridiculous arguments I’ve seen on any subject here.

            3. I think it just implies that his value is low. And anyway, there’s enough ground to cover in the OF for both of them. Collier will get his at-bats and enough time in CF either way. So who else that’s slated to be in Reading’s OF would we worry about blocking?

    1. I thought the same thing. Is the wind blowing out? Hamels does, on occasion, have serious meltdown performances. If it had been the regular season, he would have been lifted much earlier but I suspect he’s trying to get his work in. So long as he retains his velocity (90-93) – I’m not worried.

    2. It’s early in spring training and he’s basically facing an all start team. I’m not worried.

        1. Those national prospect rankers who have questioned Asche’s defense are just plain wrong. If you want to see a rotten defender at 3B, well we do have Young.

    3. I’d say more than half of the DRs hits to this point (21 I think) were not even hit hard. They’re having some great luck on bloops and hits through the infield. That’s not to say that they haven’t had some hard hits too.

      Darin Ruf turned another fly out into a double while Hamels was pitching also.

    4. The Philly pitchers are throwing mostly fastballs (to work on arm strength and command), the DR hitters are swinging at anything. It is very bating practice like since the pitchers primary objective is not getting batters out

  31. I can’t believe RAJ panicked and gave this guy $140M when he could have had at least one year of Kyle Lohse instead …

    1. Well, I can’t agree with that. Ruben paid fair market value for that contract and, if he had waited until the free agency season, he would have paid at least $10 million more and might have lost him. I like Hamels but actually viewed him to be a little more of a risk than Lee because Hamels can occasionally lose velocity, which is really scary. If he loses 3 MPH on his fastball, he can go from being an ace to a #3 or 4 very quickly (just ask Barry Zito). So, yes, the risk is definitely there with Hamels and the upside may be more limited than we think (Hamels hasn’t had a Cy Young-type season yet and may never pitch at quite that level).

      But, all told, I think Ruben did the right thing by signing him. The issue isn’t just the money, it’s the opportunity to find a replacement if you don’t sign Hamels. Who was or will be available that would have been better than Hamels? I don’t see anyone on the horizon and I sure as heck don’t think that Greinke will be better – Greinke scares me much more than Hamels.

  32. world series mvp. one of the best, if not the best young lefthanders in baseball, and you question his contract, what drugs are you guys on, he got a lot less to stay here,than on open market. hope the god you are kidding.

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