General Discussion – Week of 9-30-2013 – I Guess Seven Isn’t Rich Dubee’s Lucky Number Edition

Dubee Burned. Dubee Snuffed Out. Dubee Clipped. That’s all I could think of.

The Phillies did end the year on a particularly low note, which lends itself to a particularly high draft pick. The list of #7s since the turn of the century includes Prince Fielder, Nick Markakis, Homer Bailey, Troy Tulowitski, Clayton Kershaw, Mike Minor and Matt Harvey. So yeah, there’s room to be excited.

And now, like a t-shirt soaked in Roy Halladay’s still-warm sweat hurled at your face on a steamy July afternoon, a reminder that the Phillies last #7 was Brad Brink. Just sayin’.


131 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of 9-30-2013 – I Guess Seven Isn’t Rich Dubee’s Lucky Number Edition

  1. Amaro is already lining up the sights on the back of Sandberg’s head. Too bad. Ryne seems like a real good guy.

    1. Just when you think you have made the worst comment of the month somebody helps you out . Thanks mr maus

  2. You have to hand it to this team: with 10 games to go, the task looked impossible, but when when the chips were down and they really lost like we all knew they were capable of losing. Had they gone 8-2 instead of 2-8, they could have ended up in third place, close to .500 with the #15 pick of the draft. Instead, they end up playing exactly the same number of postseason games as the Nationals, and they pick 12 slots in front of them next year. Now I don’t have to spend the whole offseason wondering whether Amaro is going to give 5/100 to Nelson Cruz and sacrifice a draft pick in the process. The winter is idiot proofed, to some degree. That’s my take for now, at least–I am trying very hard to look on the bright side.

    1. Even with the protected pick, there still isn’t a “likely to be given a qualifying offer” player that I would want to the club to sign.

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised if they make a run at Ubaldo. He’s young and had a big bounce back season, and they need more pitching. With the TV contract negotiations on the horizon, I think the pressure is going to be intense on Amaro to deliver a team that fans can get excited about during the offseason. Note: that’s obviously different than delivering an actual contender, as the Toronto Blue Jays can attest. But the perception that the team is trying to put a contender on the field is important when it comes to TV programming. Another season of plugging holes with Delmon Young types won’t do it.

          1. Of course you’re right! Oakland and Tampa Bay have (once again) shown that you can do it by cultivating homegrown talent and taking an unsentimental approach to players approaching free agency. The Red Sox have shown that you can sprinkle money here and there and rebuild a franchise that way. And then there are the Dodgers, who took all the crappy Red Sox contracts, went out and signed Greinke (who I wanted the Phillies to go after last season, on the whole “you can never have too much pitching theory) and won a whole lot of games too. All these strategies can work, if implemented correctly.

            It’s the implementation part that I’m skeptical about.

    2. its relieving on so many levels that Phillies basically take the thinking out of Amaro off-season. I can’t express how good that feels.

      1. “We’re going to make some changes,” GM Ruben Amaro said. “I think we’re doing some stuff analytically to change the way we do some evaluations. Look, we’re going to continue to be a scouting organization,” Amaro said. “That said, I think we owe it to ourselves to look at some other ways to evaluate. We’re going to build more analytics into it. Is it going to change dramatically the way we go about our business? No. But we owe it to ourselves to at least explore other avenues.” Amaro said the club might hire a person with an analytics background. “We may bring someone in from the outside, but we have not decided that yet,” Amaro said. “If we have any changes at all, they will be pretty minor.”
        ….not all the thinking has been taken out of Ruben’s off-season….he has to hire ONE and ONLY ONE metric guy. That will turn the program around. My guess, he will again watch Moneyball and then go out and hire Jonah Hill (Pete Brand).

  3. Love the Roy Halladay shirt soaked in sweat reference!

    Here’s a listing of #7 picks from the last 10 drafts and where they’re at now (HS – high school; C – college):

    2013 Trey Ball (Red Sox) LHP HS GCL
    2012 Max Fried (Padres) LHP HS Class A
    2011 Archie Bradley (Diamondbacks) RHP HS AA
    2010 Matt Harvey (Mets) RHP C ML
    2009 Mike Minor (Braves) LHP C ML
    2008 Yonder Alonso (Reds) 1B C AAA
    2007 Matt LaPorta (Brewers) O C AAA
    2006 Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers) LHP HS ML
    2005 Troy Tulowitzki (Rockiies) SS C ML
    2004 Homer Bailey (Reds) RHP HS ML

    Mostly ‘can’t miss’ with a couple of disappointments.

  4. Hey, if you are going to be bad, you might as well be really bad. We need an injection of top end talent in the minors so this will be a very important draft as we hope the Phils are not in this position again next year. As discussed previously, the Phil’s will get a nice bump in the cash available to be used in the Latin Market. Along those lines, does anyone have a complete list of LA signings for the Phil’s in ’13? I know we signed the 16 year old, but what other players were signed? Did they use their entire LA allotment for ’13?


    1. They signed RF Bryan Martello for $250k and I know there was at least one more $100k+ signing but I don’t remember the details. They still have money left. But don’t panic, Franco was signed in January and there are plenty of deserving guys left because of the way physical development can go for teenagers.

      Also with low money signings it is likely they spent another couple hundred thousand on guys who will fill up the VSL and DSL rosters.

      1. Matt….you have that calm optimism that all will work out well in the end. A couple more $100K signees and we will have more Francos in the pipeline.
        Whereas the Cubs and Rangers go out and sign multiple of the top 30 MLB International/LA prospects.
        How come I do not feel reassured.

        1. The thing is in LA the $250,000 signees are where you make your money. You are taking bets on 16 year old kids, so many things can go wrong. I personally loved what the Astros did in LA this year, they traded slot money for a decent prospect and when they missed on their big name guy they signed a ton of guys for $100-$500k with the idea you are going to hit somewhere.

          If there is anywhere to trust in the org, trust Sal Agostinelli in LA. He is one of the best in the business and he is going to make good signings. If the Phils give him money he will get the players he wants, they may not be the names you have heard of before.

            1. I trust Sal. I’d expect more from him if I knew that he was allowed to spend his entire international bonus cap allocation. I fear that is not the case and that he is having to work with a smaller budget.set by ownership.

      2. But those low money signings don’t count against our international cap, no? Every team has such signings, including, I’m quite sure, the Cubbies.

        1. You get 6 free under $50,000 and unlimited under $10,000, but if you are signing a decent amount in that range they add up. The cubs can continue to sign those guys at 100% overages.

    1. Under the new rules you lose your next pick, and so on for each QO FA you sign. So the Phillies would lose 2nd round pick and theoretically their 3rd and onward depending on many FAs they sign attached to compensation.

      That pick is likely to be somewhere in the late 40s in the draft

      1. All of the picks in place now would place the pick at 45, So, if only 4 players who receive qualifying offers sign with new teams that would get them in the

        All of the picks in place now would place the PHILA pick around 45, as of now. So, if only 4 players who receive qualifying offers sign with a new team, that would get them into the late 40’s. I figure, however, that it would be more around 9, so that would take them to around 54.
        It depends on the whole qualifying offers thing, could be more.

        1. It is highly unlikely that our second round pick will be that late. Actually, we had the 54th pick last year as our second rounder, and that was when we were slotted in position 16. With our 7th slot this season, we should be in the mid to late 40s. If last year is a good example, then 46 is the expected pick number.

          1. I believe that as of now, after the 31 picks of the first round, there will be the compensatory picks, and then 7 competitive balance picks before the 2nd round begins. So you take the 31 add 7 and you get at least 38 picks before the 2nd round, then you count in 7 picks for the PHILA pick and that gets it to 45, as of now. Then you add all the compensable players who sign with new teams, and if it is one it will be pick 46 for the PHILA pick, but I guess more.

  5. So the question is, do we draft a high arm, top of the rotation pitcher or an impact bat? I think we need to chase a pitcher given our lack of high ceiling guys in the farm.

    1. Drafting arms is a much higher risk than drafting bats. Look, for example, at Tulo versus Matt Harvey. Probably equivalent talents, but the Mets are going to lose Harvey probably for two years with an arm injury. If the talent is relatively equal, take the position player.

    2. I agree with Phillychuck on pitcher injuries and also worry that the Phillies have signed a number of already damaged goods first round college pitchers over the years. Looking at the Phillies pitching over this run: Lee/Halladay/Hamels/Lidge/Oswalt/Moyer/Papelbon/Blanton/Kendrick/Happ/Madson it seems like the Phillies have gotten most of their pitching from outside the organization and have been able to find both top of rotation starters and closers fairly readily

      Looking at the position players: Utley/Howard/Rollins/Ruiz/Victorino/Werth/Burrell/Bell/Ibanez/Youngs/Revere it looks like they haven’t done that well getting hitters in trade or through FA, but did well through the draft/rule 5/scrap heap.

      I’d go for a position player, all things being equal. The Phillies organizational problems kicked in when the farm/rule 5/scrap heap stopped producing starting position players. We excelled for quite a few years without a lot of other than #4/5 starter and middle/setup relief pitchers coming from the farm.

  6. Latest from Ruben:
    “Ruf is not a rightfielder,” Amaro said. “I think he can fill in for us. I think he can fill in in certain areas, but I can’t sit here and tell you that he’s an everyday player for us.”

    1. I love Ruf. He fills a needed role on the big club. But I agree with RAJ here. Wholeheartedly.

      This also doesn’t mean that Ruf cannot force his way into more playing time.

      1. I agree with him too and am sort of relieved he feels that way. Ruf still has a lot of value as a low cost fill-in at the corner OF spots, playing 1B against lefties, and as a RH bat off the bench.

    2. I would like to see Ruf exceed expectations as much as anyone, but in this context–talking about his offseason plans–I think it’s an encouraging sign. The worst case scenario would be Amaro saying something along the lines of, “Ruf showed us something this year. I’m always trying to make the team better, but if we go into next season with Ruf as our right fielder, I’ll be very comfortable with that.”

    3. I think JRoll mentioned it last week when he said Brown will be going to RF and Ruf to LF for the start of 2014.
      But Ruben even mentioned that Revere’s arm plays better in LF.

  7. Phillies are gonna throw so much money at Ellsbury that it will make the Jason Werth contract look like a bargain.

    1. Sorry. Giles and Monty will veto that proposal from jump street.
      Scott Boras and them are not into a lasting relationship.
      Not sure any Phillie is a Scott Boras client.

      1. Dom Brown is. Phillies are definitely going to cash in on the protected pick and the top two guys are Choo and Ellsbury. I think they want to get a guy that can play CF because that’s the hardest position to fill internally. I also see a Revere – Ruf platoon in LF.

        1. I see Revere gone or as cheap bench bat/backup in favor of Choo or someone else. However, with Hernandez (who is more versatile) those 2 seem very identical as lefty’s not much power, fast, maybe shaky in OF, but Hernandez has a much better arm.

          1. Regardless of who they might sign there’s no reason to trade Revere. He is under club control for an eternity and could probably play all three OF spots in addition to providing speed. I also expect a defensive improvement form him. That’s worth more than he is likely to command in a trade IMO. In short, I like him a lot better than Hernandez.

            I go back and forth on Ellsbury. He will require a big contract (porbably too big), is lefthanded and will be more affected by the aging curve due to the fact that speed is a big part of his game. However, in the short term at least, his OBP and defense would be big assets.

          2. Nope. Revere is much more valuable than Hernandez in CF. This really isn’t an argument come to think of it.

            1. In the end it’s still too much redundancy all 3 are good OBP guys with very little power. I’d focus on a true right handed corner OF with power. They don’t grow on trees I know but guys like Cruz and Hart might be worth taking a chance on

              Or possibly something crazy exists in the trade market. Who might want to dump salary?

            2. Dodgers, Rockies, Indians, and Angels come to mind.

              Kemp would be risky and expensive. Cuddyer is too old and not much in the way of a power hitter for my liking, Fowler could be an interesting gamble (not big power, but has other tools). Swisher would be interesting, Raburn isn’t much but is an option. I wonder what Bourjous would cost now, Trumbo is probably not available and isn’t actually an OF anyways.

            3. Ruf is certainly one heck of a lot cheaper. Ruf should be playing 1B against all LHP. We need to add an OF, but it should be an all around good OF who can help us over the next 3-4 years. To settle for less is really just expensive, flexibility limiting, water treading. This team added two DHs last season to supplement Howard and Ruf. That didn’t turn out well. We don’t need another DH.

        2. Revere actually has hit LH pitching better than RH pitching his entire career. So your platoon situation would not be the best option.

  8. Where is Brad Brink at? I can’t seem to locate him in the top 10 prospects anymore. I can’t wait to see him in spring training pitching to Ricky Jordan

    1. I was surprised to see just how many big league innings Brad Brink actually pitched – 55.2. If you gave me even money, I would have bet good money on the under.

    2. One of my two career MLB foul balls came off the bat of Brad Brink in 1992. Of course, when I retell the story, it turns into a John Kruk foul ball.

  9. Rube’s top blunders:
    1. Discarded Lee for 3 awful non-prospects to save $9 mil.; then squandered $24 mil. on Blanton.
    2. Howard $125 mil. extension — while still under contract for 2 more yrs — most senseless unjustifiable extension in history.
    3. Trading 3 top prospect for 2 decent months of declining mediocre Oswalt.
    4. Not re-signing or replacing Werth with another outfielder, then trading 4 top prospects for just 1 yr of Pence.
    5. Discarding Pence for bargain basement return, then discarding the one player (Schierholtz) who was unexpectedly good.
    6. Signed mediocre to awful Papelbon to absurd $50 mil.
    7. Never calling up Grilli to major league roster despite his being Phils best reliever in minors, then discarding him for nothing.
    8. Discarded Moss for nothing.
    9. Discarded Victorino for virtually nothing, then never replacing him with major league quality centerfielder.
    9. Resigned over-the-hill non-hitting shortstop for $33 to 44 mil over 3 to 4 yrs.
    10. Acquring Wigginton, Nix, Thome, etc instead of any major league quality players pre-2012.
    11. Acquiring Delmon, Micheal Young, etc pre-2013 instead of major league quality players.
    12. Acquring Baez, Herndon, Qualls, Willis, Durbin, Adams, etc instead of major league quality relievers.
    — warbiscuit

    1. The Victorino trade is still a good one. Given that he was going to be a free agent and they likely weren’t going to offer a QO (and if they did he doesn’t go to Boston). The problem is not filling that spot by looking to resign him or sign a replacement. Getting Ethan Martin for a couple months of Victorino is what you should be doing (not to mention it helped that team be bad enough to land Crawford in the draft)

    2. You skipped the aquisition of Pence in the first place, which is probably #1 for me, worse than Howard’s deal and the Lee trade.

      I think 8 is a good bit worse than 7, as far as logical maneuvering and results goes. Grilli was a journeyman kind of guy showing you good numbers in AAA, the pen was crowded at the time, and he had an opt-out. Would you have guessed he’d pitch like this? Moss had a spot in Philly if they hadn’t signed John Bowker. As it was, he played in 2 games or something that September and was allowed to walk after the season. Also, Grilli has given PIT 2.6 or 3.0 WAR in 2 1/2 years, depending on your source, while Moss has given Oakland 4.2 in two years for far less money. Moss stings a lot more to me.

      1. It certainly is illogical to defend a bad move with another bad move.
        ” if they hadn’t signed John Bowker”

        1. Signing Bowker was the bad move that prevented the good move of bringing up Moss. I’m not defending it.

    3. 3. Oswalt was NOT mediocre. I have no clue where you get that. We also got a year and a half of Oswalt. Not 2 months.
      4. You can’t crap on Amaro for the Howard signing and then crap on Amaro for not LUDICROUSLY overpaying Werth. Pick one of those and stick with it. Werth was, in no way, worth that contract.
      5. Schierholtz was not “unexpectedly good” for the Phillies. He was TERRIBLE for the Phillies. Literally worth ZERO WAR.
      6. “Mediocre to awful Papelbon”? Say what you will about overpaying a closer, but Papelbon has been pretty damn good and on a team that was actually competing would be a totally valid signing.
      7. Marlins, White Sox. Tigers. Rockies. Rangers. Phillies. Pirates. That is the list of teams Grilli has been on. The dude was a total career non-factor for the vast majority of his career. It was a mess up, but not an epic blunder.
      8. Seriously dude? Brandon Moss? That’s on your list? He was a 30 year old career minor leaguer. Seriously?
      9. I actually can’t believe they go Ethan Martin for him. I thought RAJ extracted good value for him.
      “9” 10. That signing was completely fine. Relax. Jimmy was worth 4.8 WAR last year and 1.6 this year. Not a blunder.

      Some of these things are completely valid points. Others are really bad.

      1. I agree with almost all of this, but on #4 I think you have it exactly backwards. Werth was an overpay, but not a ludicrous one. Howard is MUCH worse for more money (because of the 2017 option year buyout) and a higher AAV.. If they had signed Werth instead of Howard, they would have been much better off. Some of that is hindsight, but even knowing what we knew at the time, it was clear that Werth’s age 32 to 38 seasons were going to be more valuable than Howard’s ages 32 to 36 seasons.

        In the first 3 year’s of Werth’s contract, even with two disappointing seasons, he has already produced more value than Howard likely will over the length of his contract.

        Finally, speculating, but I would guess that Werth would have signed for a bit less if Amaro had been aggressive about resigning him before he hit free agency.

        You can argue that they should have signed neither, but between the two Howard’s contract is far worse.

        1. Oh, the Howard contract to me is the worst move BY FAR that Amaro has made, mainly because of how insanely unnecessary it seemed even at the time. No one understood it. The Lee trade is probably second. Not because of the prospects we got but because of the opportunity loss of having both Lee and Halladay in a year we went to the world series. Also, we wouldn’t have traded for Oswalt. Next is obviously the Pence trade, but at least I understand the WHY of it even if I disagree with the move over all.

          1. The Lee trade was not an opportunity loss. There was no chance to have both Lee and Halladay that year — the budget would not permit it. Lee was traded specifically to free up $ so that Halladay could be afforded. It was always one or the other.

  10. Nolan Ryan, Jon Daniels and the Rangers are smarting today.
    Take a risk Rube….what would the Rangers give in exchange for a 36-year old (2014), but reliable now Cliff Lee and Darin Ruf?

    1. They have no need at all for Ruf. None. Not a negative reflection on Ruf; they just have plenty of guys whole can fill that role.

      They would have an interest in Lee. They probably aren’t going to give us an “A” prospect. If you think, trading Lee for a couple of B prospects and a couple C prospects is worth doing – I don’t, but I can see the argument for it – then that could happen. Especially if the Phillies kick in some salary. But it just seems to me that, if the Rangers are going to trade one of their top prospects, it’s going to be for someone who is at least 5 years younger than Lee. (Some people might think that we could steal Profar because of his mediocre debut. Not happening.)

      However, the Rangers will certainly make some moves this off season.

      1. Not sure about that Larry, concerning Ruf’s need.
        Beat writer Gil Lebreton writes today in the Ft Worth StarTelegram:
        ‘It’s the Rangers’ everyday lineup, though, that will need the most off-season work. The individual fingers have all been appropriately pointed. David Murphy’s batting average plummeted 84 points and his OPS dropped by 203. Mitch Moreland’s numbers fell 43 and 53 points, respectively. Even worse, from May 25 to the end of the season, Moreland batted .194 with a .275 on-base percentage. It stamped him statistically, for those final 98 games, as the worst first baseman in the American League. Moreland is 28, so his awful season came in what should be the peak of his career. First base and left field, where Murphy started 106 times, are the two primary positions that must be fixed for 2014. Whether it’s by trade, free agency or an international amateur signing, Daniels, Ryan and the owners are going to have to become salesmen who won’t take no for an answer. ‘

        —so apparently LF and 1B are their two big offensive needs…Ruf qualifies for both plus the DH factor. Wouldn’t hurt Ruben to explore all possibilities.
        Not sure about letting trying to move Cliff lee….that would be a huge risk.

    2. Darin Ruf only has value to the Phils, nobody will give up much for him in a trade and unfortunately the phils don’t seem to want to use him. My prediction is that the Phils bounce him around next year and eventually cut him loose. After that and he ends up signing on somewhere else and produces good enough for everyone to say I wish we still had Darin Ruf aroud.

  11. Beerleaguer says:
    :Ruf isn’t the fastest guy in the outfield. What he can get to, he’ll catch. His arm isn’t bad. His bat — over half a season — was pretty good. And he doesn’t cost anything.
    Ruf’s a guy who will take pitches. He finds his way on base, and he does it in bunches. His .247 average wasn’t pretty, but his .348 OBP over 100 points higher was. So was his 33-game on-base streak. He saw 4.17 pitches per plate appearance, hovering in a range with guys like Joe Mauer (4.25), Mike Trout (4.21) and Dustin Pedroia (4.05).
    He strikes out too much. In 251 at-bats, 91 whiffs is way too many. Over a full season, that translates to about 200 K’s. It’s not atypical for a power hitter though, and his 14 homers translates to 30+ bombs.
    What’s really a shame is that Ruf will probably give you as much production at less than a million dollars as Ryan Howard will at $25 million. Ruf’s 2013 numbers are basically identical to Howard’s slash line over the past three years of .248/.327/.467.

  12. If Chooch walks, would the Phillies and Ruben perform their due diligence, and look to that Cuban catcher, Bello, to come in if he is able to sign? Does anyone have any info/scouting reports on him?

  13. I expect the Phils to do the following:

    1 Sign a legit starting pitcher, like Garza.

    2 Sign an outfielder – Choo, Ellsbury, Beltran, Cruz type

    3 Attempt to trade Rollins, which is unlikely but if they do, they’ll play Galvis and use the Rollins money to sign a second outfielder.

    4 Sign a high reward, low risk starter like Halladay or another in a similar situation

    1 Choo CF
    2 Utley 2B
    3 Beltran RF
    4 Brown LF
    5 Ruiz C
    6 Howard 1B
    7 Asche 3B
    8 Galvis SS

    Bench: Rupp, Ruf, Frandsen, Revere, C Hernandez

    1 Hamels
    2 Garza
    3 Lee
    4 Gonzalez or Kendrick
    5 Kendrick or Halladay type

    Veteran FA

    1. I think much of this is likely – but if they are that aggressive in terms of adding free agents, trading Rollins is the last thing they would do. Trading Rollins is a move you think about making if you’re giving up on 2014. Galvis is (at least not yet) not a regular on a contending team.

      1. I think it depends on what they can spend, if they can add the above and keep Rollins I agree. But if trading Rollins meant they could financially add Beltran, I would.

        What is Ryan Madson doing these days?

      2. The same goes for Rollins, however. His arc is down, his OPS for 2013 is about equal to Galvis, and Galvis is the better defender. Rollins has the edge on speed. Certainly trading Rollins costs depth, but it is unlikely to be much of a step down from 2014 Rollins and 2014 Galvis. That may just be another way of saying we’re screwed either way.

        1. I’m just not sure how you are going to get Rollins to accept a trade…unless you tell him Galvis is the SS going forward in 2014 and a trade is Rollins only chance at starting.

            1. That assumes Rollins still has a fair amount left in the tank. Bowa could light a fire under me and I couldn’t play Little League-level SS. If Rollins is no longer an average overall MLB stating SS, no amount of inspiration or fire-lighting will change that. If he can only go hard for 100 games a year as an average/plus SS, then that is a limitation which must be accepted by him and the team. Same with Howard against LHP. These guys are well beyond their prime, which has magnified the flaws in their game and sapped their speed, endurance, and ability to avoid/quickly come back from injury.

            2. The sad thing is that apart from Utley (whose health is an open question going into every season) and Lee, our veterans have all pretty much become meh. They are no longer stars and can no longer be counted upon for a full season. They range from albatross (Howard) to mediocre (Rollins) to giant question mark (Ruiz, Papelbon, Halladay). The Phillies biggest problem has been the laser focus on this old core to the exclusion of just about anything else in their strategic and tactical planning. The old core has come down to Utley, plus the acquisition Lee, with Hamels young enough to be the bridge between the declining core and the new one.

      3. I can certainly see Garza or equivalent. Can also see an uncomped Choo, or if he is comped, the closest non-comped equivalent. I still don’t see two OF.

    2. Buddy- good post. Specific player names aside, I think this is exactly the type of offseason they are gearing up for- and I would certainly support those moves.

      I am an advocate of looking to add 2 OF starters…

    3. Halladay is the exact opposite of a low-risk starter. He ended 2014 unable to pitch at all, after having shoulder surgery and some mysterious genetic health problem. He is also unlikely to be super cheap. I think he retires rather than coming back super cheap.

      1. It’s low risk if the deal is structured the right way. I love Doc but at this point I would rather the Phil’s take a gamble on someone younger.

        1. I just can’t see Doc signing cheaply, especially with the Phillies, or signing an incentivized deal with a small enough guaranteed $ to make sense for the Phillies. He wants a chance to go to the WS if he is able to pitch well. The PHillies aren’t the team to give him that chance. I also think pride makes it a lot harder to be demoted to a 5th starter with a small guarantee and incentive-based salary with the team on which you were the ace. A guy might do that if the team had good prospects and all his buds from the heyday of the core were still there, but they aren’t. Manuel and Dubee are gone. Werth and Vic are gone. Ruiz is uncertain. It was clear that the 2013 Phillies were a very different team than the 2010 and 2011 PHillies. From a starting pitcher’s prospective, the defensive play is down and fewer runs are being scored. The team also had a loser’s rather than a winner’s energy. I’d be very surprised if Doc was back.

      1. The Phillies have an internal option for LF but it is risky; could they try Mikael Franco in LF for Winter Ball and Spring Training to see if he can play it at all? Before anyone criticizes this idea they tried it with Ryan Howard way back (which did not work) before trading Jim Thome. This would keep Asche at 3B and allow Franco to be the RH power bat they want and allow us to spend our FA dollars more wisely.

        1. Ruf’s already begun the transition to OF, why not just put him in LF. Franco can play 1B.

          1. That’s a real possibility also as the Milwaukee Brewers need a 1B and have always been interested in Ryan Howard. The solution will need some creative thinking and probably sending lots of cash in a trade.

        2. Makes more sense defensively in that case to move Asche to LF and keep Franco at 3B. The range is going to be really bad in the OF for Franco just because the speed is horrible in short burst (when he is underway it isn’t bad but acceleration is poor). The defensive difference between Asche and Franco at third is going to be less than their difference in the OF. I would caution against a 2014 strategy that involves Asche and Franco in starting roles, they are both going to have growing pains (especially Franco, who will have to make large adjustments early on as he faces better pitchers). It is fine if your goal is to pray for bouncebacks and breakouts across the team but there is not enough there to win with what they got.

          Having money for FAs is not going to be a problem this offseason (as long as they don’t start dropping big money in the bullpen), it is going to be about spending the money correctly.

        3. I mentioned this three months ago and got burned on the site.
          Would not be surprised if Joe Jordan and the group have not explored that option.
          Franco will join the long list of power bats in Phillies history patrolling LF.

          1. But not in the first half of 2014. If he hits well in AAA and doesn’t embarrass himself in LF and Ruf isn’t getting the job done, then they bring him up mid-season. He’s not ready today.

            1. allentown…not sure what Ruf’s status will be in 2014. Ruben is giving some signals that are puzzling concerning Ruf, ie ‘not a RFer, not sure an everyday player’.
              Maybe he sees him as the RH bat vs lefties like Kershaw et al, and sit Howard.
              Ruf is not defensive liability at 1st, but the OF is questionable.
              Franco , OTOH, could actually be a pretty decent LF or 1B.

            2. Nothing in his history suggests that Franco could be a better LF than Ruf. I agree that Franco should be a good defensive 1B, as is Ruf. Ruf is not a RF. It is beyond strange that the Phillies put him there. Brown is better in RF than he is in LF.

          2. Sorry I was not aware you mentioned that three months ago but I agree with your idea if Franco can pull it off.

  14. In a poll by The question..stay or go-Ruben Amaro.
    Of the 2800 participants, approx 2200 or 80% say go.
    Is there no pleasing the Philadelphia fan!

    1. Philadelphia fans and all other large city fans prove that a little bit of knowledge of sports is dangerous.

      1. Fans are understandably upset after the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Fans know they can’t fire the owners and have difficulty determining what policies/decisions/limits come from owners and what the GM has done, within the parameters he has to operate. No question that RAJ had an atrocious off-season last winter. He managed to not improve the team at all and not build for the future, allowing a 73 win season to occur without actively rebuilding. That is the sort of crap year you would expect to have to eat in order to rebuild. An actual rebuild might only have reduced the wins by less than a handful. We got just about the worst of all worlds. At least our primo prospects weren’t traded and we weren’t locked into any awful huge new contracts, but other than that — yuck!. Fans do realize that the GM can be fired and hope that things will change with a new guy in the GM seat. Because of the playoff blowout, which is a combination of short series bad luck/Manuel RAJ doesn’t get the credit he deserves for building the 102-win team, the strongest Phillies team in my lifetime.

        1. I don’t agree with your statement that RAJ had an atrocious off-season, matter of fact I thought he did one of his better jobs last winter by not falling into the trap and getting stuck with a BJ Upton of course that could have just been a matter of being outbid.
          He has certainly made mistakes but so has every other GM. I think he gets blamed for way to many things on this board.

          1. While I agree that RAJ often gets too much blame, I think he deserves blame for trying to straddle the fence in 2013, with inadequate resources, and succeeding at neither progressing a rebuild of the Phillies or fielding a respectable 2013 team. Other than saying there are some huge mistakes that he might have made but didn’t, I don’t see how last winter can be viewed as anything other than bad. I have heard he wanted to hold the fort for a season and field a respectable team, while holding onto all of our prospects and did the best he could strapped for budget $$. But that fails on the fact that he did not field a respectable team — the $12+ million he spent tinkering achieved nothing, either for 2013 or for the future. He should have gotten one quality guy and filled in with younger AAAA cheap players, rather than the older, expensive injured or AAAA quality vets he brought in. The Phillies were boring in 2013 and their fate was clear early in the season. Having a lame-duck manager didn’t help. Doubtless the owners wouldn’t let him fire Manuel over the winter. In that case a one-year extension might have saved a lot of heart-ache and wouldn’t have been that many $ to eat.

  15. Rays Manager Joe Maddon on Delmon: “Everybody keeps talking about everything else, but Delmon quietly has made a tremendous impact on this group,” manager Joe Maddon said. “His at-bats have been really good in regards to accepting his walks, not expanding his strike zone, hitting the ball hard, hitting all kinds of pitchers. “He’s done a great job.” “I really thought he would have this kind of an impact, honestly,” Maddon said. “He’s been through these moments. DY is not going to be really overwhelmed by any of this stuff.”

  16. Ruben says he is going to hire metric analyst to give him more data for decision making.
    Perhaps he should look into hiring Director, Scouting RJ Harrison from the Rays. Every year or two they come up with phenom arms.

  17. Looked over Matt Gelb’s article today dealing with his campaign on Michael Martinez, guess will give credit for an OK job on this one. Included an interesting link (I say) appearing to deal with a question he asked to BR, concerning lowest OPS in Phillies history (non-pitchers) from 1901 till now. Some other notables on list ( of course lowest in OPS are more towards 1 on the list).

    3. Michael Martinez
    9. Sparky Anderson
    12. Putsy Caballero
    16. Bobby Wine
    20. Teddy Kasanski
    21. Kim Batiste
    26. Red Dooin
    33. Steve Jeltz
    34. Abraham Nunez
    35. Bobby Malkmus
    38. Denny Doyle
    40. Bob Dernier
    46. Terry Harmon
    49. Klondike Douglass
    50. Kid Gleason
    51. Chico Fernandez
    55. Danny Murtaugh
    60. Dick Groat
    61. Gary Sutherland
    63. Ruben Amaro (Sr.)
    64. Larry Bowa
    65. Roy Smalley (Sr.)
    68. Ted Sizemore
    71. Cookie Rojas
    72. Ivan DeJesus
    75. Desi Relaford
    77. Freddy Galvis
    85. Joe Koppe
    86. Wilson Valdes
    91. Charlie Smith
    92. Kevin Jordan
    100. Ruben Amaro Jr.
    101. Tony Taylor
    104 Charlie Hayes
    105 Bobby Gene Smith
    106. Possum Whitted
    107. Tomas Perez
    113. Dickie Thon
    118. Heinie Sand
    119. Lance Parrish
    120. Manny Trillo
    121. Granny Hamner
    123. Coaker Triplett
    124 Heinie Mueller
    126. Mike Anderson

    1. Shows how easily memory can betray you. I never would have believed that RAJ was virtually identical to Tony Taylor and better than Kevin Jordan. And Jordan played 1B.

  18. Here’s some things from the new transactions thing at BA;

    Anybody sweating out whether Jiwan James would be back- just signed a new minor league contract, might be a case of lowered expectations from various parties. Also signing new minor league contracts; Ryan Demmin, Justin Dalles C, Albert Cartwright 2B- OF.

    Steve LeRud C, elected Free Agency.

    Looks like someone erroneously stated that only Tyson Gillies was re-called at the end of the season. The list at BA says that Phillippe Aumont, Zach Collier, and Sebastian Valle were re-called as well. Raul Valdes was, apparently, also re-called at the end of the season, only to be placed on waivers and claimed later, so any of these guys could still go, I say.

    1. “Looks like someone erroneously stated that only Tyson Gillies was re-called at the end of the season. The list at BA says that Phillippe Aumont, Zach Collier, and Sebastian Valle were re-called as well.”

      Not necessarily “erroneous.” Gillies was recalled on September 30th. The other three were recalled two days later, on October 2nd. If somebody reported prior to October 2nd that only Gillies had been recalled, that would have been an accurate statement. See the transactions page.

      I agree that any of these guys could still be waived and outrighted (if they clear waivers) sometime between now and when the winter roster is set (November 2oth, I think).

  19. What is the consensus on Tanaka? Ceiling of a number 2 starter? From what I see he doesn’t look like a small guy, not big by any means but not small. He’s thrown over 170 innings in 6 outta 7 seasons with a ridiculously low walk rate which you would think would follow him over to the states. With that being said some of his videos show that the strike zone in Japan is a little bigger. His fastball is in the 91-94mph range with minimal arm side run. His secondary pitches is what stuck out to me, looks like he throws a decent curveball, change up and split with the ladder being absolutely filthy. I’d be interested to hear what former MLB players who are playing in Japan would say about him/his stuff.

  20. Tanaka has maybe the best splitter in the world (including current MLBers). I think his ceiling is probably #2. I most certainly would want the Phillies to be in on him because I think they should be in on *ANYONE* who can improve the team and not cost draft picks.

    The one red flag on Tanka is that unlike Yu Darvish Tanaka much like Daisuke Matsuzaka had his arm *ABUSED HEAVILY* during high school. He pitched multiple times in the Japanese High School tournament and ran ridiculous pitch counts. A lot of other Japanese pitchers who have done this end up with arm problems in their 20s. Darvish’s Father was extremely protective of Darvish and would not let them abuse his arm during HS.

    I think he’s still worth the risk because of his command and youth(turns 25 in Nov). I don’t see the Phillies as being willing to pay $50-$60m just to then acquire a players rights though.

  21. (worthless reference I know) has a reader poll on “stay/go” for the Phillies. Interestingly the people generally get it right. The only problem is, if it was up to the people, we’d only have 10-11 people left of the 25 man roster… which funny enough I would say is a solid reflection of where the phillies are in the standings.

    Going to be a long time until we’re out of this mess… 4 years before we’re a serious contender.

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