43 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of 2-17-2014 – A Farewell To Arm Edition

      1. Unfortunately for Joe Savery…his splits turned ‘bizarro world’ these last few years. Lefties hit him better then righties.

  1. 10 predictions for 2014 in no particular order:

    1 Cliff Lee wins 20 games, all with the Phils

    2 Ryne Sandberg wins NL Mgr of the Year

    3 Ryan Howard starts more games hitting out of the cleanup spot vs in the cleanup spot

    4 Jimmy Rollins contract will not vest next years option due to injury and Freddy will win the hearts of Philly sports fans everywhere

    5 Tocci finishes 2014 at Clearwater

    6 2014 will finish with Phils wondering how to trade Paps to clear the closer role for Kenneth Giles

    7 Ben Revere will hit an inside the park HR and then hit a true HR over a fence

    8 Jonathan Pettibone will not pitch in a major league game in 2014

    9 The Phils bullpen will have a dominant 2014

    10 The Baltimore Orioles will win the World Series

    1. I’d say most are possible. The least likely in my mind are the Orioles, Cliff Lee, Pettibone and Rollins, who only needs ~334 PA to vest. He may suck these days, but he generally shows up to work.

  2. This may not be the appropriate spot – but hey, Buddy said it all so I am movin’ on. It was a great job with the top 30 – obviously a time-consumptive, technically and logistically challenging task. But with the draft less than a half-year away, and the Phils organization counting on this site for guidance, here’s what I was wondering: Is it possible that we (meaning you, since I am incapable of it) can create a matrix of the Phillies draft’s actual top 30 selections let’s say over the past 7 years, then columns for region of country, scout who found them (which is really what I would love to see), then current system ranking /MLB status. Wouldn’t it be interesteing to see if there is good data that supports giving higher weighting, or optimism based on the original evaluator!

    1. That sounds like a fun project that I will never have time to compile. I think if you have a BA subscription, you can probably get the lists of draftees and their signing scouts fairly easily, but to then compile the data you’d like to see would likely be a chore.

  3. Watching the Bowa interview with Wheeler over at the Phils’ website is pure joy for me. For those of us of a certain age, Bowa is and will remain the fire of any team he’s on. He loves Franco and Asche by the way. In the video, you see Bowa and Sandberg discussing 2B and SS play and how to make the double play turn. Very cool stuff.

    As for this year’s team, its really going to be about staying healthy. I don’t think we’re going to see much of JRoll, Utley, Howard, Byrd or Chooch prior to the last two weeks. I sure hope Ruf has a chance to play his way onto this team because I really want his bat but they need a CF back up and Mayberry leads that and they won’t keep both Ruf and Mayberry. Also, if Abreu makes it, Ruf won’t, again because someone has to play CF. My guess is that they’ll try to find out if Byrd or Abreu could play CF in a pinch.

    1. I’ve been assuming all along that Byrd is the back up CF. Not sure why he couldn’t do it- probably considerably better than Mayberry. He was a full time center fielder as recently as 2011 – yeah, he had lost a step even then, and maybe more by now, but … with all due respect to Mayberry, who I like in some ways, it won’t take much to better his CF play.

      While not as high on Ruf as some, if he isn’t on the opening day roster that will IMO be a pretty serious indictment of the front office. Gotta find a spot for him on the 25 man.

        1. Because he’s by far the best hitter of the first base/corner OF bench guys, and his defensive limitations are less of an issue as a bench guy (primarily because the guys he is competing with aren’t much better, or, in Abreu’s case, arguably even worse).

          His WRC+ of 125 last year was quite good. I realize that there is some skepticism as to whether he can repeat it, but it didn’t come out of nowhere. And again, it’s not as if the guys competing for the spot are all that good. Mayberry was awful last year, and a platoon specialist even when he was somewhat good. I didn’t hate the Abreu signing, loved him back in the day, and if anyone should appreciate his one remaining talent (drawing BBs) it should be me, but … I was going to say that Ruf has more of an upside; more accurately, at least he HAS an upside.

          1. Here is the counter. Ruf is a first baseman only. You need two OFers, and a SS and C off the bench. Galvis and Nieves are locked into two spots. That leaves the rest of the bench down to these players:
            Mayberry, Ruf, Frandsen, Abreu, Tony Gwynn Jr for three spots
            Of that group Abreu and Gwynn are the only LH batters, and Frandsen and Mayberry have guaranteed contracts. If you choose to take the 3 guys on the 40 man roster north (Ruf, Mayberry, Frandsen) then you have a bench of 4 RH bats and a switch hitter (who is better from his right side). If you take a LH batter than you have to dump a guaranteed contract of Mayberry or Frandsen. If you drop Frandsen then Galvis is the only one capable of playing 2B, SS, or 3B at all. That tends to say that Frandsen is a lock here (unless they take another light hitting IF). If you drop Mayberry then you are taking either two backup OFs who can’t play the OF (Ruf and Abreu) or you are guaranteeing Tony Gwynn Jr (all career .244/.312/.318) of him a major league roster spot. (not to mention you are having the FO eat Mayberry’s contract).

            So the question is, how does that guarantee Ruf a spot on this roster? I am not saying I would be upset or disappointed if he made the roster, but there isn’t exactly a clear path here for him to make the team. In the end is opening the season in AAA, the worst possible outcome?

            1. You’ve forgotten Cesar Hernandez and he is still very much in the mix for a spot. I expect him to play CF, 2B and maybe even a little 3B this spring to see how he does. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out because with an older team, the bench will be important.

            2. Ruf can play the OF – not well, but, if you buy the metrics, Mayberry didn’t played it that well last year year. And the metrics are even worse for Abreu.

              I really can’t imagine why they gave Mayberry a guaranteed contract. I’ve been one of his biggest defenders, but at this point I don’t really understand how Mayberry beats out Ruf for a spot on the merits. Mind you, the guaranteed contract might make the difference between Ruf making the team and not making the team, but that’s a bad reason (or at least relocates the mistake to giving Mayberry the guarantee in the first place).

              If you need a back up center fielder, that’s an argument for Mayberry. But with Byrd able to move to CF if needed, the don’t need a back up CF.

            3. I mean, the bottom line to me is this – you can build a case for Ruf not making the roster, but it just seems to me that you need a pretty strong case to have one of your 3 best hitters (on last year’s numbers, anyway) playing in AAA. Especially on a \team that is going to be offensively challenged at best.

          2. I haven’t forgotten Hernandez. If he is on the 25 man, that will be as big a mistake as leaving Ruf off the 25 man. Ironically, while I suspect that many (most?) of the people who want Hernandez on the 25 man are over rating him the fact is that, the more that one thinks of him, the more one should want to see him playing full time in AAA, rather than sitting on the bench in Philadelphia.

        2. Why does Ruf need a spot?
          Well for one,’Ruf’s .348 on base percentage tied him with Chase Utley for the team lead among players with at least 50 PAs. His .806 OPS and 121 OPS+ ranked third (behind Utley and Brown). Yet Utley and Brown finished with twice as many plate appearances. And therein lies the issue. Ruf has logged the equivalent of about a half of a season of major league plate appearances.’

        3. My primary interest in Ruf is as the right-handed part of a first-base platoon. I will be very disappointed if there is not a platoon at first, at least in modified form.

          If there is not a first-base platoon, then Ruf loses a lot of his utility.

          Ideally, I’d like to see Ruf 1) at first whenever a lefty is on the mound or the DH is being used, 2) as the primary right-handed PH in games he doesn’t start, and 3) starting in the OF once a week. Let’s see what Ruf does with 350 PAs.

          1. Personally, I’d like to see Howard playing every day and hitting lefties and righties. However, if he continues to struggle against lefties, I’d like to play Ruf, who plays a very decent 1B, more often. Sandberg likes to play his bench a lot more than Charlie did.

          2. Just want to add real quick that Darrin’s been a bit of a slow starter the past couple years. Hits and OBP not horrible, but that power hasn’t shown up until the weather gets warm.

            And he’s the one with options. If he earns that RH bench bat spot, then great. But if he doesn’t, let him get warmed up with the IronPigs and he’ll be up soon enough if needed for 1B, or OF, or RH bench bat.

  4. Amazing how a few Instagram pictures from Clearwater will chase away one’s capacity for rational assessment.

  5. I will remain optomistic and positive until the team on the field is no longer in contention for a playoff spot. I LOVE the Philles and I LOVE baseball….I don’t get the miserable Phillie fans out there that bitch and moan non-stop. Do they find any joy in watching a double play get turned?? Or watching an opponent stare at strike 3 on the outside corner??? Or watching a young farmhand play with wild abandon as he get’s his shot in the show???

    Yea, the team is old and health is key….but this is a (mostly) likable team that has the pieces to win in the NL East.

    1. I wasn’t being sarcastic, I was talking about myself. Seeing a couple of pictures from Clearwater makes me think, “Hey, those guys could be good!”

  6. Last week Mike Adams told Comcast that he felt fine and is ready to go this season.
    Today he starts the seaon on the DL.
    Go figure.

    1. I believe Adams is not going to rush back, he wants to be sure and not hurt the team.
      However, can someone just name me one pitcher in MLB history who has come back better after ‘shoulder’ surgery?
      I am drawing a blank.

      1. I believe Chris Carpenter, Curt Schilling and Roger Clemens all had some kind of shoulder surgery at some point in their careers. I no absolutely nothing about the way their surgeries compare to the ones we’ve been talking about lately.

        Seems like with Morgan and Watson, the talk around here has been about shoulder surgery as the kiss of death. Hopefully the prognosis is not quite as bad as we seem to be leading each other to believe.

    2. I think that was always the plan. In fact, I think Munson will get that spot for the month of April to show what he can do. I’m guessing Adams will be back late in April and they’ll then have to make a decision about keeping Munson.

  7. Earlier today, I was thinking about moves that teams could still make to improve and the biggest “black hole” on any contender is the first base hole in Pittsburgh. Given the Phils indifference to Ruf (Whom I love and think should be getting 600 PAs), How would anyone feel about a Ruf/Galvis/BP arm like Bastardo or Diekman for Pittsburgh’s Jason Grilli or Mark Melancon?

    1. I am sorry but this deal makes very little sense. Bastardo may end up being better than both those guys, Diek is a solid LH specialist and Ruf can be an everyday MLB 1st baseman for a non playoff team and most likely a platoon split/bench guy with Power.

      1. I understand where you are coming from but the reality is the current Phils management does not value Ruf. I believe he will be lucky to get 150 MLB ABs if Byrd/Brown/Howard are not out long term with an injury. There is just no room for him. AND he is 27 or 28. When do you think you will ever get value for him bc current management had a chance to give him a job and chose a 37 year old coming off a career year. He has no future here and they should maximize there current “window”. (To be clear I do not agree with managements thought process with Ruf)

        I would try not to give Bastardo but he has been very inconsistent, has not proven to be a high leverage back end option on a good team, and is a drug user (so I am not sure what is real and what is drug enhanced). A DeFratus/Aumont type would be preferable to give up.

        I do not believe Adams can come back, be healthy all year and be the same pitcher he was before becoming a Phillie. Who fills that hole? And Papelbon was shaky last year. Both Grilli and Melancon were dominant last year and would solve the biggest glaring problem on the current roster.

        1. Um, I’m not sure the lack of a dominant closer is the most glaring problem with a team that looks likely to struggle to finish about .500 this year. You’re talking about giving up 2 cheap young bench players, plus a late inning reliever, for a marginally better late inning reliever who in Grilli’s case is 38 years old … actually, now that you mention it, Rub–er, I mean “Anonymous”–how is the weather down in Clearwater?

  8. I don’t post here often, but everybody should check out what the phillies did to their 5th and 6th round picks from last draft. Apparently turned them in to the NCAA for having an agent, which all players do, after they didn’t sign. It’s about as petty as a multi-billon dollar corporation could possibly act.

    1. I see some articles about Ben Wetzler’s suspension but no mention that the Phillies had anything to do with it. Do you have any substantiated info on that?

    2. I just read about two draft choices,I am wondering if anyone ever saw a team do this before, and what do you think can come out of this move by Phillies??

  9. Not a great pr move but I also think they thought they had a deal with those to and the agents tried to climb the price. Those two cost the Phil’s inventory. The pitcher likely drops and probably dreads hearing with pick 745 phillies select Redraft Ben wetzler Holmes lhp pitcher Oregon State university

    1. What sad is, how completely predictable was this turn of events, given everything that has happened with this team over the past couple years? Other teams sign Cubans and they turn into Orlando Cespedes and Yasiel Puig. We sign a Cuban and he turns out to be the second coming of Joe Cowley. The #4 ranking we voted for him looks pretty insanely optimistic at the moment, doesn’t it?

Comments are closed.