General Discussion – Week of April 8, 2013

Here’s a fresh general discussion for you all – just a reminder that this is the best place for general big-club stuff, not in the daily boxscore recap. I know sometimes it’s a fine line and I’m usually not one to quibble, so just do your best, k?

123 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of April 8, 2013

  1. I believe it was from but Ruben was stated as saying that the bullpen will be fine with some sort of revolving door between several minor league relievers holding down one spot and who ever is up is the one with the hot hand. Reading in between the lines, changes are coming (Durbin)

    1. The changes coming from this debacle are going to be above Charlie.

      Charlie is the solution, the problems are those above him.

  2. what’s worse, the farm system or the MLB roster?

    amazingly I’d vote for the farm system. I’m sure others will disagree since everyone here loves to practice overrating the phils ‘prospects’

    please fire amaro

    1. You really want to troll today don’t you?

      The farm system is worst by far. In the full season ball you have 7 guys who profile as above average regulars (Tocci, Franco, Joseph, Morgan, Biddle, Quinn, and Watson) and probably another dozen who profile as average big leaguers. There are no stars in that group and optimistically only a handful even reach their ceiling.

      On the big league club you have a superstar (Hamels) and 4 former superstars who are on the downside of the careers but still very good (Utley, Rollins, Lee, and Halladay). Then you have a couple above average regulars (Ruiz, Papelbon, and Adams) and some young guys with that kind of potential (Brown and Revere).

      I am not a fool, I can rip holes in the farm system if you want. But realistically what is to be gained by saying that I would be ecstatic if Pettibone and Morgan turned out to be Kendrick and Wolf or that this farm system is barren of star level talent (this is a bit of a lie, it does have that talent in extended spring and Lo-A right now). No one thinks this is a good system (we tend to like it better than many mainstream sources but even those reports have optimism about the type of player still in the system). If it was out choice sure we would fire Amaro and change the direction of the franchise.

      The reality is prospects fail, if you get a major leaguer out of every draft you are doing well. Baseball on a whole is a sport where if you get a hit every three times you go to the plate you are a borderline hall of famer. To dwell on the bad and not celebrate the good makes it not worth following baseball at all.

      1. I believe some people hate RAJ and to a lesser degree Charlie so much that they are rooting for failure at this point.

      2. Didn’t understand your post completely. Did you mean “if it was your choice you would fire Amaro” or were you assuming everyone should feel that way?

      3. The farm system is fine. Remember we traded some guys that are high in other teams systems (Travis, Anthony, Jonathan). I call them by their first names because I know all of them and have seen them play way before HS. Marti has done a great job in the SoCal area and the management has chose to trade for veterans that they felt could help immediately. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. Heck put those three back in our system and how do we stack up.

        1. “The farm system is fine. Remember we traded some guys that are high in other teams systems”

          Um……so those guys are no longer in the Scammies farm system? How does that make the Phillies farm A-OK?

          1. It’s a sign that the talent evaluators are picking and developing quality players, even if some of the names are traded away and have success elsewhere.

      4. I try to maintain a view of realistic optimism, without shading into a rosy colored take on the Phillies and their pharm. As one of our main writers, I think that, rather than overt boosterism or homerism is the view I prefer you and the other correspondents to take. To me this means, among other things, not ignoring the red flag of an overweight LGJ still being in XST, but not writing him off as a failure, either. It means seeing guys like Biddle, Morgan, Martin as likely major leaguers, but unlikely #1/2 starters and Pettibone as a 3/4/5. It means seeing the plus in Joseph’s bat and arm and the minus in his mobility behind the plate and ball blocking ability. It sees Quinn as a truly exciting possible star, but a high risk to reach that level. It sees guys like Murphy and Susdorf, and Overbeck as organizational players, but still allows dreaming on Ruf, Franco, Asche, and Gillies, while conceding that each of them carries significant risk of becoming what we hope they will become. A realistic view acknowledges that we are where we are because the team was way to cheap in what it budgetted to acquire amateur talent, that the team lost too many high draft picks to sign FA, and that the Pence deal was a strategically flawed emotional decision, which has hurt the team going forward.

      5. “On the big league club you have a superstar (Hamels) and 4 former superstars who are on the downside of the careers but still very good (Utley, Rollins, Lee, and Halladay).”

        And you wrote this just after accusing the other guy of trolling?

        Cliff Lee is obviously the Phillies best pitcher. He appears not to have aged a day since he first put on a Phillies uniform.

        The best free agent contract for a pitcher was the Braves signing Greg Maddox away from the Cubs. Cliff Lee is the 2nd best contract. He’ll sign another big money deal when this one is over with. Some guys are old in their twenties. Nolan Ryan could still bring it in the high nineties when he was 40 years old.

        I’m not going to attack Halladay, but including him with those three names is absurd at this point.

        As for the prospects, until Tocci and Quinn demonstrate power they are nothing to get excited about. Ben Revere is a daily demonstration of how little a toothpick bat can impact games and how such a bat is a black hole in the lineup if he doesn’t get two hits and do something aggressive on the bases both times he gets those hits.

        Jimmy-Jogs-A-Lot can go one-for-five but put three runs on the board by putting a ball in the seats.

          1. Cliff Lee has been nothing but money wearing a Phillies uniform.

            Did you miss last season and listen to football morons on the radio talking about won-loss records? You can’t see how crisp Lee’s stuff is? The man looks like he’s getting younger.

            1. Nope didn’t miss, the countless leads he blew last year that I watched with MY own eyes. Can’t always go by stats when assessing a pitchers work a lot of pitching is grit

            2. So how did Cliff Lee’s TEN SHUTOUT innings in San Francisco rate on the “grit” scale?

              Did you see any other ten shutout inning performances last year?

              Ten innings is TWO outings for the Nationals “ace” Stephen Strasburg.

            3. Stras is no joke my man, and to give him credit he was very mad about the whole pitch count thing last year, wasn’t his fault. he’s a ace

  3. Amaro isnt going anywhere. He will get a full chance at a rebuild following this season. From there he’ll have at least 2 more seasons to build together a new nucleus. If the team isnt showing progress, only THEN will he be on the hot seat. So I’d say at least another 3 seasons for RAJ.

    1. I think the leash will be shorter than you might expect. Nobody ever thought the Phillies could become the cash cow that they obviously are or can be with a consistently good team. They don’t want the fan base to erode to seriously. Also, I think Gillick still has Montgomery’s ear and I believe he is not as enamored of Amaro as you may think. They are still pretty loyal, but they’re not going to be as patient with Amaro as they were with Wade.

    2. I actually like RAJ. I think he uses intelligence and creativity in working within the limits that ownership sets for him and the demands that ownership allows Cholly to make. I don’t hate Cholly, but would love to see him fired and replaced by a manager of RAJ’s choosing. I think given the talent he has had to work with, Manuel has produced mediocre results during his time in Phillly and that the team will neither adopt a more modern approach nor give our youngsters more of a chance, while he is the manager.

      1. What limits? The only limit is to stay underneath the luxury tax. That’s not really a limitation.

    3. I agree RAJ will have a long leash, but he’s going to be limited by some extremely slim pickings on the FA market during the next few years. He needs the close-to-ready guys like Morgan, Biddle, Martin, Asche, Ruf, Hernandez, et. al. to approach their ceilings if the current team’s core is to remain competitive. Otherwise, the only option to bring young talent in is to trade assets like Lee, Papelbon, Adams and Ruiz (which I hope doesn’t happen, but I wouldn’t rule it out if the current level of play continues into summer).

      1. “but he’s going to be limited by some extremely slim pickings on the FA market during the next few years”

        It’s very important to understand that this was known last year.

        They knew that Hamil;ton and Greinke were the last big gets available for a long time.

        David Montgomery knew this. David Montgomery has worked very hard in the Commissioner’s office to create the current situation.

    4. CHEESE They brought Wade back. Call it a “club” , a ” strange family” or a ” gathering of beagles” Whatever! They don’t think like most.

    5. “Amaro isnt going anywhere.”

      No one has gone anywhere.

      Gillick is still here.

      Ed Wade is still here.

      When someone becomes GM of the Phillies it is like becoming a “Capo” in the Sicilian Mafia. They’re made guys collecting tribute and getting fat eating in expensive restaurants.

  4. I look forward to a high draft choice in June 2014, Sixteenth this year and maybe top ten next. Can’t get any better.

    1. Due to the hard work of David Montgomery and Bill Giles in the Commissioner’s office the Phillies may be picking first in 2016.

      Enjoy the ten year rebuild.

  5. Can we do anything if Doc can’t get it together? What if he has absolutely nothing left, and gets lit up every game he pitches? Do his contract and status force the Phillies to keep him in the rotation? Dubee was saying that it was ludicrous to think that Halladay could be sent to the bullpen. Is there a threshold, though, where this demotion is not so unlikely? I think it is possible that Doc is totally washed up, and I think if he is and he keeps playing, the Phillies will not be competitive. They need at worst a 4.50 ERA from Halladay’s spot. I think some guys in the minors could provide this.

    1. I think we need much better than a 4.50 ERA from Doc if we’re going to compete. I’m not exactly sure what the league average ERA was last year but I believe it was lower than that. We already have a #5 starter in Lannan and we can’t afford to have two.

          1. Lannan looked better than Kendrick. He was better than Kendrick.

            Why are VALDES, HORST and DURBIN here?

            They have nothing in their arms. Why aren’t Ethan Martin and Adam Morgan in the Phillies’ pen?

            1. Horst is serviceable, he is a solid middle reliever (can get you 2 IP, is not always lights out but will not kill you). Putting Morgan in the bullpen is a terrible idea, he is much more valuable in a starting rotation and his greatest advantage of having 4 average to plus pitches is lost in a bullpen role. Martin might end up there eventually but he needs work and if he can start that is something that could go a long way to changing the franchise outlook.

            2. You think just like Ed Wade. I remember when he was asked about calling up Brett Myers and putting him in the pen.

              “NOOOOO! He’s a starter!”

              Mike Hampton pitched out of the pen for Seattle and Houston before becoming a starter. Did pretty well for himself didn’t he?

              Kendrick was supposed to be gone from MLB now and instead he has moved back into the rotation and is far better than when he came up.

              Martin and Morgan could do very good – well above average – work out of the pen. Morgan works in the nineties. He has excellent command to both sides of the plate. Nothing is “lost” except the gross incompetence of Horst, Valdes and Durbin.

            3. You could have Morgan in the pen in 2013 and have him not get the work he needs so he needs another stint in AAA to be ready to start. Kendrick’s development was set back years by being stuck in the bullpen (he didn’t have a usable changeup when promoted something it took him from 2007 to 2012 to develop). Right now De Fratus is better than Martin out of the pen, Diekman is better than Morgan, and Aumont who has been planted on the bullpen bench is better than both of them.

              If the goal is long term success then Morgan and Martin are better off starting in AAA right now. There are options to replace those guys (specifically Durbin and probably Valdes) but pulling your starters up is shortsighted and potentially dangerous to what little future is there. As for Horst 11.5 K/9 in 2012 was one of the best in the majors. He had a poor outing where he was put in a bad situation in one inning (and had Durbin allow all of his runners to score then next inning). Horst is not a problem, Charlies usage of him might be.

            4. “Right now De Fratus is better than Martin out of the pen, Diekman is better than Morgan”

              This is so wrong it’s laughable. If I didn’t recognize you on this board I wouldn’t even bother to reply. It is actually backwards.

              Ethan Martin was the best thing I saw in spring training on the mound. His stuff is electric and he was ready to pitch shut down innings from that point on. He is not a starter. He can’t go through an order a second time in MLB if that group is not in a collective slump, but first time round he is gold.

              Mike Hampton was 21 when he spent a year in the Astros pen. Morgan is already 23. Your analysis fits a raw 19 year old who can’t repeat his delivery and still needs to develop a move to 1st and 2nd and field his position.

              Diekman looked great that first start with the Phillies because the hitters were swinging at his pitches, which were not strikes. That stopped his next appearance, the walks kept coming followed by the hook. Diekman can’t throw strikes with that wicked side arm delivery at 96 MPH. So where is the potential to ever get better?

              De Fratus? I saw him pitch. He made no impression on me at all. Completely generic.

              Ethan Martin and Adam Morgan are much better than Diekman and De Fratus are now and they are better than Diekman and De Fratus will ever be.

              Your other comments about Charlie Manuel flag you like a Philly beat writer looking at Scott Palmer and Jim Salisbury and trying to catch David Montgomery’s eye.

              Horst, Valdes and Durbin are Camden Riversharks material at best.

  6. Good article on The700Level about sensationalism and the Phillies start. Also Matt Gelb seems to be interpreting that the clubhouse is imploding. When reporters were interviewing Kratz and Quintero today, he tweeted that Doc, Lee and Hamels were staring and sneering at the reporters. I don’t know how to interpret that any other way than sensationalism. Controversy gets page views.

    1. I took that as sneering at the reporters for talking to the catchers about their so called lack of chemistry with the pitching staff.

      1. I assume Carlos Ruiz is not permitted in the locker room to go over game planning with Kratz/Qiuntero at all?

  7. Exactly how much worse would stutes, defratis and deakman or savery be than valdes, durbin and horst????

  8. I look at this season as a bit of a transition year. Could they compete? Of course, but it seems like a lot has to break their way in order for that to happen. Doc needs to regain the magic. Cole needs to adjust to being the ace. Kendrick needs to duplicate the second half of last year. Howard needs to start hitting. The Young’s need to come through, etc…
    To me it seems a year where you evaluate what you really have and what you really need. I think Amaro is probably trying to figure out which of the minor leaguers can help next year and what needs to be addressed by FA and trades. Added to that he’s probably evaluating who he may want to trade for salary relief should they be out of it by the trade deadline.
    This is a team with too many big money contracts and it shows by their inability to be aggressive last offseason in free agency. They still have some very nice pieces on the team and some promising youngsters, so it’s not a total rebuild or anything. And I still hold out hope that things break right and they do contend, but it’s not going to kill me if they use the year to evaluate and then formulate a plan to get back on top.
    I think Amaro is smart enough to learn from his previous mistakes and I think that showed this offseason. A lot of low risk, potential high reward signings, but no overreactions like giving Hamilton big money. I think he realizes now that you can’t just spend willy nilly on stars without having a foundation around them. There were no big moves that made much sense in the offseason, so he took what he could while keeping an eye towards the future.
    I have a lot of Phaith that, if they don’t contend, they will make the right moves to build another winning nucleus.

    1. “This is a team with too many big money contracts and it shows by their inability to be aggressive last offseason in free agency.”

      The Phillies were number one in attendance last year. They are the only team in MLB’s fourth largest market. The only limit to their spending is what they impose on themselves. The Phillies could afford to sign both Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke, even if Halladay’s contract was not coming off the books next year as it is.

      Two of the very best players available on the free agent market this coming November will be Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz. It’s going to be dry for a long time. If the contracts for King Felix and Verlander didn’t make that clear to you certainly the money bomb the Cardinals dropped on Wainwright should have.

      This is as David Montgomery and Bill Giles wanted it to be. They worked very hard to create these conditions.

  9. Chris. they have the money to sign a Hamilton, what would be wrong with that, this isn’t the braves or kc, lower market teams, this team can spend,they generate a ton of revenue. Now if we had some near ready prospects who would be really good player. yes you can see the moves ,but with this bad farm system you have to go after a game changer, and Hamilton is one,

  10. Asche with a sweet stroke that ends up over the LF wall. 1st HR of the year for LV.

    1. ouch, another passed ball by Joseph, he tried to catch it on the backhand but missed, runners move up. Rosenberg in trouble again.

  11. Hey roccomr, thanks for your reply, good thoughts. I agree they could have signed Hamilton and he is a game changer for sure. But, would his deal look as bad as Howard’s after a couple years? Would he make a big enough difference on a flawed team to justify another albatross of a contract? That I don’t know. He is a special player when he’s on, but streaky and with an injury history. I’m not going into the drug and alcohol abuse, I give him credit for fighting his addictions. To me, he would have been an extremely high risk/high reward signing.
    I do like Josh though and think he’s a great story and would have loved playing in pinstripes at CBP in front of the best fans in baseball.

  12. Also, you have to remember it’s ultimately up to the player and it would have to be hard to pass up playing with Pujols, Trout, Trumbo, etc…

  13. wow, how much longer till they put halladay on the DL? another horrible performance.

      1. It’s two games. He’s adapting to a lower velocity, and he won’t be the same (utterly amazing) pitcher he was in his prime, but yes, I do appreciate that he’s “work(ing) hard” to adjust and figure it out. And I think he will, to the point that he is an effective No. 3 starter.

        It is possible that he doesn’t. And if you want to come back in late summer and snarkily dismiss a truly great pitcher who we were all lucky enough to see wearing a Phillies uniform, then go ahead. I’m reserving judgment.

        As for the “no results” comment: Click here:

  14. LOL, every time Durbin pitches, it trends worldwide on Twitter. Yeah, it’s that bad…

  15. Again, name-calling is for I suppose the difference between you and I is that I respect a player who is busting his ass to win games for the team that is giving him that check.

  16. I think we all respect and appreciate Doc for “busting his ass” for the team. But the bottom line is that it’s been two full springs, one full season and now two starts into a new season and he’s shown the same problems with velocity and location. No one is questioning his work ethic or dedication. It’s obvious and should be pointed out that he’s not right.
    And I’ll be honest, I respect his work ethic greatly, however I am sick of hearing him say everything is fine when it obviously is not. ANYONE can see something is wrong. Shut it down and try to get right. There is a difference between being a warrior and refusing to admit an injury and hurting the team. He’s either hurt or his arm is just shot. If it’s the former then admit it and go on the DL, if it’s the latter, then reinvent yourself throwing junk like Moyer or retire knowing you’re beloved in Toronto and Philly. But you can’t go out there as a #2 starter and give up 7 runs an outing.
    I love Doc, he’s been the consumate pro and great for the team and the community. That being said, he needs to address this issue for the benefit of the team.

  17. I also agree wholeheartedly that Doc is one of the greats and it was a pleasure to watch him pitch. I’m not trying to kill the guy, but man, it’s been tough to watch for some time now.

  18. This was a third place team on paper anyway. I mean, it would take every single “if” to play out in order for them to make the playoffs.

    I don’t think there’s really any reason to panic over anything besides Halladay. The velocity is there for him to succeed but he’s completely lost his cutter which has been his money pitch since he’s been with the Phillies and his command is non existent.

  19. Well put Phillies_Aces35. While the lack of velocity is concerning, the inability to locate especially the cutter, is most troubling. It really sucks to see him struggle. I agree with your assessment of the team as well, they need a lot of breaks to beat the Bravos and Nats.

  20. I mean even with all the struggles, you figure if Cole Hamels pitched the way he’s capable of, they win Opening Day and Game 6 of the regular season, so they’re 4-3. Are people still panicking?

    1. No, but the fact is they’re 2-5. I don’t think most people are worried about Cole but clearly Halladay and the bullpen and still things we need to be concerned with. And the other teams with playoff aspirations aren’t going to wait around for Doc to figure it out and for the team to DFA Durbin. The seasons not over, but we don’t want to fall back too far early on.

      1. Horst and Valdes need to go along with Durbin. More important is who is brought up to replace them. That has to be Ethan Martin and Adam Morgan. The “relievers” they have down there are just more crap. Stutes has lost his stuff. We don’t ever want to see RosenBOMB again. Diekman is not an answer. Recycling garbage won’t fix the bullpen.

        We need new product. That’s what Ethan Martin and Adam Morgan are.

        Cole Hamels may be another huge problem. His fastball velocity is down and it lacks snap and life. He looks like he is laboring to get his velocity up from the 83-85 MPH range he worked at in Florida.

        Halladay and Hamels both threw fastballs to Justin Upton that were low on the outside of the plate that Upton hammered deep into the seats. Cliff Lee did not stay away from that area. He attacked the same spot with his fastball repeatedly and Justin Upton could do nothing with it.

        1. Stop making things up. Cole Hamels pitch velocities according to PitchFX:
          Fastball: Hi-93.9 Lo-88.1 Avg-91.4 (2012 avg – 90.9)
          Cutter: Hi-91.8 Lo-83.4 Avg-87.9 (2012 avg – 88.1)
          Changeup: Hi-86.0 Lo-81.2 Avg-83.7 (2012 avg – 83.9)
          Curveball: Hi-77.8 Lo-74.1 Avg-75.7 (2012 avg – 75.7)

          Just for fun Cliff Lee:
          Fastball: Hi-92.1 Lo-88.8 Avg-90.3 (2012 avg – 91.6)
          Cutter: Hi-87.9 Lo-84.0 Avg-86.0 (2012 avg – 86.6)

          If anything Lee’s velocity is down. Hamel’s velocity is the same and if you look at the pitch movement numbers his stuff is actually moving more than last year. It is purely narrative, Hamels has made some mistakes and his command is a bit off, and Lee has been magnificent, but don’t panic about Hamels it has been an extremely small sample after a great spring.

  21. I keep thinking don’t panic…’s still only April 8th. However, when is it going to be time to panic???? I am not far from the point of thinking that Howard is a lot closer to the player we see today, than the MVP he was. When do we say if he continues to strike out at this rate we have to make a change. Why would anyone ever throw him a strike, when he constantly swings at balls that are not even close to the strike zone. As for Halliday, I do not believe we can afford to give him more than a few more starts at this rate.
    Is this Reuban’s and/or Charlie’s fault?????? It becomes there fault if no improvement is made in there performance and nothing is done. Sometimes a true leader has to bench the 20 million dollar player for the good of the team.

  22. I look forward to seeing Charlie Manuel no longer manage this team.
    That being said I like what I’m seeing in the minors. My guess Morgan or Martin will be taking a rotation spot by the All-Star break.

  23. I love doc,but this is a business, and this team isn’t going anywhere without a solid third starter, and kenrick and lannan aren’t the answer, doc has done a lot in his career, but soon if this continues,you must shut him down, out of respect and say he is injury,cant let this guy continue to go out and get hit. The mets have a ace in that kid Harvey, saw him last year and was impressed, really a stud.

  24. Mike if you mean me, busting your ass in any job or profession, and not getting it done means you get fired. is that wrong??? instead of fired, a leave of absent is a way out in the job market, in sports, a undetermined injury, is the way to go out of respect. what do you accomplished by sending him out to get bomb and embarrassed, if you really respect him you shut him down, with a injury

    1. The poster I was responding to either deleted himself or was deleted by a mod. So no, I wasn’t referring to you. But I do believe Doc has earned the right to work through his struggles and try to figure it out.

  25. You guys crack me up. Absolutely zero perspective. If Cole Hamels is just his average self we are 4-3. And feeling very different. We would point to a single problem in the rotation and a slow start to our first baseman. Agreed we have a 7th inning problem, but that is the EASIEST hole to fix on a team. There is still 155 friggin games left. Calm down!!!

    As for RAJ, most of the off season moves he made has worked out well. Adams is a stud. Revere looks like a long term option in center. Young looks like a very good 1 year option at 3b. He missed on 7th inning guys, which has really only been an issue because Cole has been so bad. But again, a very easy thing to fix cheaply. All you guys focus on RAJ’s misses but ignore his wins. I think that trade for Revere was an absolute steal!!!

    Last point on Doc. Everyone focuses on his pitch speed but Lee throws 90 too. Docs problem is location not pitch speed. If you watch his games he can’t locate his FB.

    1. We possibly have the best 7th inning pitcher in baseball in Bastardo. If he’s having an off night, Aumont is ready to jump in.

      As for Lee, lefties can get away with lower velocity. But you’re right, Doc was sitting 90-92 with his 4-seam (88-91 with his cutter), which will play, if not being ideal, and everything was moving just fine. He just couldn’t locate (especially his cutter).

    2. I am not sure why you conclude that Revere is a long term option in center. His fielding has been okay, but his current OBP is .281. He has no power, so if he doesn’t get on base more, he is a liability for the offense. The Phillies could afford Revere in CF if they had really solid hitting out of the corner outfielders. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that will be the case.

      1. +1
        “Revere looks like a long term option in center.”

        I can’t wait to get rid of this TOOTHPICK bat. His glove work is no better than average. He even grounds into double plays. Ben Revere is a poster pic for a REPLACEMENT LEVEL PLAYER

        1. Except if you’re actually looking at WAR aka (what quantified what a replacement player was). Here’s an idea. Let’s stick Darin Ruf in CF. He can rake and is much better than Revere’s toothpick bat

          1. Ok, but Ben Revere has been comfortably above replacement level so far in his career so your argument doesn’t really make sense. Yeah, obviously his start hasn’t been great, but I’m prepared to give him more than 8 games.

      2. Um, SSS.
        Maybe he’s not the leadoff that’s desired. Didn’t he previously hit better out of the 2 hole?

  26. There is no reason not to bring up Ruf and waive the right field platoon. I am now off the Mayberry bandwagon. Brown in right for now and let Ben earn his keep.
    I don’t see how the DL is going to help Doc.

    1. Mayberry’s off to an excellent start (in 11 ABs). If you weren’t off his bandwagon coming into this year, there’s no reason to be off it now.

    2. Wait, what? Even at the time written, and even discounting sample size, that seems an odd thing to say about Mayberry. I know for some people the fact that he is easily leading the team in BB% is a major black mark against him, but even so …

    3. I got off the STINKBERRY bandwagon in 2011. His stat line might have looked OK, but I actually watch the games and I could see that it is easy to pitch to him as The Stink can’t hit an inside pitch at all. Why a “book” needed to be developed at the MLB level for him to be pitched correctly is a real mystery. Just from his set up at the plate it is clear before he swings that he is aiming at the outer half of the plate as his sweat spot.

      I give The Stink credit for recognizing his limitations though. Now he takes everything that is thrown inside. If a pitcher throws three strikes he goes back to the dugout and sits. If the pitcher can’t throw strikes inside he takes his walk.

      But he’s a STINKBERRY. There’s no way around that.

      Darin Ruf can rake. That’s obvious from watching him. He has real MLB talent to swing a bat. His ability to hit pitches that are way inside for HR is truly special. He is capable of .900 OPS seasons as a full-time LF.

      Unfortunately it appears that Ruben Amaro is unwilling to allow Ruf to do that for the Phillies.

  27. Doc turns 36 next month, did anyone actually think it would be easy! His HoF carrer is winding down, so maybe he still has one last harrah in the tank for a few seasons.

    1. No, but nobody foresaw him doing a nose dive like this. The fall has been almost historically precipitous.

  28. Doc was a warrior for us and he will at some point go out of this game with his head held high. The Phillies for all we may criticize them for are doing exactly what you have to do and that is to allow him his dignity.

    Yeah its tough to watch but its the classy thing to do. Either way this team won’t contend if Revere doesn’t get on base and Howard doesn’t at least have a season where he is being talked about for MVP.

    1. Watching Doc pitch now is as painful and brings back bad merories of Steve Carlton’s last days. You almost want them to call it a career but quitting is not in their character. This is a tough call for the Phillies but he can’t go on much longer like this.

  29. Why did Lee come out for the ninth? Did he really need another CG stat? Meaningless! Especially since the late inning guys need work.

    1. Bullpen may used more in upcoming games and is 106 pitches overworking someone?

  30. another great game by Lee………fastball averaged 90mph. The difference was he was consistently ahead with his counts and his location was excellent. Nice to see Howard hit an HR. However, if he continues to swing at pitches out of the strike zone at the rate he continues this will be another subpar year for him,
    One final thought………….who should be the first LHV player called up and which current Phil should be DFA. I am thinking DeFratus up and Durbin DFA.

    1. Durbin probably accepts the assignment, yes? Because he probably wouldn’t get more than the $1.1MM guaranteed from anyone else.

  31. I can’t even discuss the Phillies with casual fans anymore- no one wants to because they have no future. I thought it was just hardcore fans that hated Amaro for selling the farm, but its the other way around, only hardcore fans forgive him.

  32. Michael Young……………………………cue the crickets. I find it hilarious that no one has said anything about how well he is playing. Let’s just blast management for all of the wrong decisions they have made. Not a RAJ fan, but for god’s sake, let the season take shape. I can’t remember a time where the Phils were tremendous in April. They happen to be, for what it is worth, one of the best second half teams in MLB, for reasons unknown……………even last year when they struggled.

    1. Season is only 5.5% complete, we should hold praise and criticism for all right now.

      1. That is why I said, “let the season take shape”. People are blasting Halladay, Howard, the Nix/Mayberry platoon etc., after 9 games. It is insane. Adjustments will be made by all. Some will progress and some will regress. That is why I used Young’s hot start as reason to point out the absurdity of making any criticisms about the team at this point.

        1. I have NOT jumped on the slow start bandwagon, and I think you are essentially correct, but really the Halladay situation is legitimately quite concerning despite the SSS. I have adjusted my estimate of the team’s seasonal win total downward by two games based on that factor alone. I agree that otherwise it is best to take a wait and see attitude.

  33. A few Phillies related questions from Callis’ BA chat a few days ago:

    Bill (Atlantic City): The Phillies love taking those athletic but raw high schoolers. Is there anybody like that who would be a good fit for them with the No. 16 overall pick?

    Jim Callis: Shortstop J.P. Crawford and lefthander/outfielder Trey Ball come to mind.

    John Dreker (NJ): I saw Roman Quinn play last night for the first time and was extremely impressed. His speed is amazing, his arm is very strong(though not always accurate). He showed great range both ways and was calm on a grounder that ate him up, still getting the out. He made solid contact, no bad swings, hit an inside-the-park homer and made it without a throw and that was with him slowing into 3B because the 3B coach was late waving him home. It was just a gap shot, no outfielders falling down! So after an extremely small sample size, why is he only rated 100?

    Jim Callis: Quinn is very athletic and very fast. The two concerns on him are whether he’ll make enough consistent contact and whether he’ll stay at shortstop. To rank in the Top 100, even at No. 100, without having played full-season ball should be regarded as an impressive accomplishment.

  34. Too lazy to find the original comment, but someone said that the team was weak on middle infield prospects. I’m going to dissent from that a bit, but let me first restate what I think is the simple version of the truth: third base and catcher aside, the team is simply weak on all position prospects.

    That said, among the other positions, I wouldn’t say that the team is especially weak in the middle infield. Of course a lot depends upon whether Quinn sticks at short. Also people forget Pullin, who is a long way away and far from a sure thing, but could be really good.

    But I think that the fact that Utley and Rollins have been SO good makes the prospects look weaker by comparison. I don’t see the next contending version of the team relying quite so much on an exceptional middle infield. The 2006 to 2011 Phillies derived more value from their middle infielders than most contenders do. It’s also true that the current middle infield may well not need to be replaced until 2015 or 2016.

    What is more concerning is the outfield and, to a lesser extent, first base. As much as I like Brown, and think he deserves the chance he is getting, he still needs to prove that he is a long term solution at one corner. The other corner is the one position where there is no obvious solution for the next couple of years at least. First base of course in theory will be covered by Howard for the next few years, but if he really is cooked … well, I suppose there is Ruf.

    Specific positional needs aside, what’s really missing are the next star level players. But that is certainly not unique to the middle infield.

    1. All the usual caveats about WAR apply, but from 2006 through 2011, Utley and Rollins between them had 64.2 fWAR. They were one and two among position players on the team (Vic actually edges Howard out for third; Werth was close behind for fifth despite many fewer PA).

    2. “But I think that the fact that Utley and Rollins have been SO good makes the prospects look weaker by comparison.”

      Excuse me, are you David Montgomery?

      Utley and Rollins are why the Phillies went to back-to-back World Series in 2008 and 2009. Rollins and Utley are what the Phillies must replace in whole.

      Ben Revere is an atrocity of such magnitude that he is making STINKBERRY fade from mind even though STINKBERRY is still here.

      That must be by design. Amaro is not stupid enough to trade for Revere thinking he was actually part of the answer to being a World Series team.

      The Phillies were BEATEN by the Marlins tonight.

      Think about that.

      1. Interesting.. Im not sure what i’d grade his speed. 60 sounds about right. He doesn’t attempt to steal bases though, you only see the speed if you observe the baserunning or chasing down a ball in the field. And you think he will grow into more power? He seems like a 20-25 HR threat as is.

        1. Yeah, the neat thing about Brown is that he is so athletic, hard-working and has such strong plate discipline that he still has some projection, particularly as a hitter.

          1. Yes but that plate discipline is lacking of late and that is not his game. His OBP is sub .300 currently. I hope this series with the Reds sees him get back to being a more selective hitter.

          2. Do you think he has lost some of his speed? never runs, and doesn’t look to fast on the base paths and in the field

  35. It was great to see Doc get a successful start under his belt today. The Marlins fielded a AAAA lineup, but he went eight innings, gave up just one run and was ahead of batters most of the day. Hopefully he can build on this one.

  36. If the Phillies can win tomorrow, they are already at a better pace than last year. This is with Laynce Nix and Kratz starting rather than Delmon and Ruiz. Also Hamels has had a couple rough starts. Im pretty happy where they are at.

    1. If the 3 Top Money Hs (Hamels, Howard and Hallady) produced just average results in the first 10 games, they would be 2 or 3 games more in the win column.

  37. To me this team still looks like an 88 win team. I didn’t comment during the 2-5 start because of the SSS. They won the last two series against the Mets and Marlins (both of whom suck) but exiting spring training, I felt 88 wins was a good target, and they’ve done nothing since then to dissuade me from that.

    Based on this admittedly SSS, My biggest worry isn’t Doc, it’s Howard. He looked great in spring training, but I’m really struggling to watch him right now. Consistently hitting into the shift, consistently swinging at balls 6 inches to 1 foot (or more) off the plate, and given his contract situation, I’m more then a little concerned. We’ve got 20 million dollars tied up with a player who likely will never be more then replacement level. Now, it’s not nearly as bad as the arod contract, but to me, Ryan Howard has become a .245/.310/.420 player and I don’t think it’s going to be any better then that in the coming years. That said, I would be much more concerned if we had a player in the minors who could be an all-star first basemen and Howard’s existence was holding him back, but the fact is we don’t. Howard is probably still, the best first basemen on this team from minors up to the majors.

    This brings me to my final point… The Phillies future is bleak, we just don’t have enough potential star players in the minors, even at the lower levels, to build another championship team around. The only way for me being wrong is if we squeeze 2 or 3 perennial all-star’s out of our minor league system, and at least another 2 above average regulars and I just don’t see that happening.

    Best All-Star Candidates:

    Best Above Average Candidates:

    Even if the most optimistic scenario, we’d only be right on half of the above players actually realizing their potential, which means there’s only 1 all-star and 2 above average regulars in our entire system which will make the major league roster in the next 3 years.

    This team is destined for a long period (3+ years) of mediocrity IMO once the current stars further decline/retire.

    1. I don’t particularly disagree with your assessment of the talent. However, the time frame for “mediocrity” doesn’t work for me at all. I think the minimum time period is six years and that probably depends upon Scott Boras bringing Bryce Harper to market and the Phillies being the team that delivers the wow! contract that makes Bryce Harper the highest paid MLB player for many years.

      How likely is that given that the Phillies are by far the worst enemy Scott Boras has in MLB?

    2. I think Howard is swinging better these last few games, but I’m still concerned he’ll end up being the mediocre player you described. The way the Mets played their shift was scary. He’s so slow now that he got thrown out from shallow CF.

      As for the future being bleak, I just don’t see it. The team has too much money at their disposal to be mediocre for so long unless management is just filled with complete buffoons (possible, I suppose). The minor league system has produced good prospects, but most of them have been traded away. Without the approach of trading top prospects for fill-ins (Oswalt and Pence), the farm system will start to look better in the next few years. Plus we have a better chance to get a blue chip prospect in the draft than we have in awhile given where we pick this year. Couple that with the money the team has to spend on the roster, and I think the downtime will be relatively short compared to most other teams as they go through rise/decline cycles.

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