General Discussion – Week of 8-11-14 – West Coast Swing

At home today for the wrap-around with the Mets at 1:05, then two late-nighters at Anaheim starting tomorrow, an off day, then three at San Francisco. At least both weekend games are 4:15 EST. Back home next Monday with Seattle in town. No King Felix, but Hisashi Iwakuma looks like he’s lined up for Monday the 18th, if you’re inclined to head out for a good visiting pitcher. He’s having a really fine year.


72 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of 8-11-14 – West Coast Swing

  1. Apparently the Phillies are scouting all levels of the Red Sox’s system. Lester is going to have a lot of teams after him so there is a good chance he does not end up back in Boston. Boston has a pretty good farm and they seem to have some interest in Hamels as a backup plan if they can not resign Lester. Mookie Betts and Sean Coyle are both guys that could help the phillies. Betts could be the next second baseman after Utley or be an upgrade over Revere in center. Coyle can also play second base where he probably has the most value. Blake Swihart would probably be a guy we target as well. He has a chance at being an above average catcher and possibly replacement for Chooch. Henry Owens also would be a target, but IMO he is a guy they would not want to give up. I may be wrong and if they made a trade I would hope Owens was a part of it. With Boston doing another quick turn around they may be willing to trade the pitching prospect for an experienced ace. Allen Webster, Anthony Ranaudo, and Rafael Devers are all guys to be interested in as well. (2 starting pitchers and a young 3B respectively)

    1. I love how they wont give up henry Owens. Then they wont get hamels. Why don’t you read how boston feels about two great prospects from two years ago, JACKIE BRADLEY who most on here thought was a stud. now Boston is saying he cant hit. and they are not sold on the most highest prospect they had bogarts, worried he cant hit. pls stop with the untouchable prospects, when you are talking about a guy who hasn’t given up more than three runs in thirteen straight starts. And is in the top ten in pitchers in baseball.

      1. I don’t think they should trade Hamels to Boston without Owens, unless they really got blown away with a large number of prospects in bostons top 20. (which more than likely would never happen, but they have the prospects to do it if they wanted) I never proposed a trade with or without Owens in it. I was just hitting on some guys that they have who could potentially end up in a deal. I think they are higher on Owens than they are on Betts and would prefer to keep Owens over Betts. If I gave the impression he is untouchable than I didn’t clarify my true feelings. I would personally rather pass on Betts and take Owens as the center piece (of course getting both could be an option as well). Roccom you are right about Bradley and Bogarts, which makes me weary about Betts and all prospects for that matter. You never know who will be a bust and who will be a star. What good has Hamel’s last thirteen outings been though? They never give him run support and Hamels prime is being wasted on a last place team. At some point in the near future he will need to be traded because he’s the best trade chip we have. There will be plenty of competition for Hamels this off season which would probably eliminated reservations Boston had on trading Owens. There will be a team that ends up giving us a good return on Hamels. And even though all prospects are risks until they prove otherwise, the more you have the greater chance some succeed in the majors.

        1. I am right now in agreement with you. Hamels is being wasted with this organization. But he is there best asset and you must get a great return, to move him. But imo if they got the Cuban outfielder and he can hit, it would help a lot, The thing about this team is they cant hit with runners in scoring position. especially with two outs. Jimmy Rollins just keeps swinging at high pitches with 3-2 counts it drives me nuts. 314 obp for him stinks. same with Byrd, he is hitting under 200 with runner in scoring position and two outs. But all the talk we have on here means nothing if ruben is still in charge, that to me is the key to turning it around. Get someone new. with a track record.

          1. Ruben is in way over his head and everyone knows it. We went from a great team to a last place with a laughable roster. I would like to see them bring in Rusney Castillo as well. He could be a very good outfielder and we do not have many of those to build around. I like Revere as a fourth or fifth outfielder. It is a shame he doesn’t draw more walks, play better defensively (that includes his noodle arm), and have some kind of pop in his bat or I would love to have him in CF everyday. There’s just so many holes in this team. We get little to no production from the hot corners and Howard’s defense is fading quicker than Lebron’s hair line. Asche has been good at third, but not much more than that. At least he has time on his side. Besides Byrd and Sizemore and Revere of late the outfield has done nothing with the bats. Brown’s route to fly balls are worse than little league kids! He had one good month of baseball in the bigs and has not made a single adjustment. Rollins has hit more home runs this year, but whoop dee doo. Roccom is spot on with Rollins swinging at high pitches, his consistent pop ups drive me nuts. Utley has been very good IMO considering Howard hits behind him, what a joke. Utley did fade for a while after the hot start, but he’s starting to heat back up. Kendrick and Burnett have under preformed. Throw in Lee getting hurt and you have a true nightmare on your hands.

          2. Some guys hit very well with runners on. It’s truly amazing how many RBIs Howard has been collecting as a guy whose spent the past two months hitting below the Mendoza line and the .600 OPS line.

        1. Under the current CBA you need to build from within. A premium is placed upon home grown talent for good reason.

            1. This article (while great) does not refute the above point. This article is about drafting position players vs pitchers. 4 straight years of top 5 picks should yield a great farm system. But, to be clear, these kids have yet to do anything in the majors. Let’s let them produce first before we enshrine them.

  2. It’s hard to read these comments because the columns on the right block out the content of the comments for the first few screen shots…

    1. Are you on Internet explorer? if you can switch to something else, that should help. I use IE at work sometimes and that’s the only time I ever see that.

      Sorry I’m not more help on that front. Matt did the redesign last year (or whenever that was) and I should have brought that up when he was still around. I’m not sure how I would fix that.

  3. Henry Owens would HAVE to be part of a Cole Hamels trade. I don’t pretend to be a great armchair GM, but if you move a talent like Hamels who is clearly in the beginning of his prime. You have to pay for that. Owens would be a must have in that scenario.

    1. Idk if Hamels it at the begining of his prime, but he is in his prime. IMO players are in their prime from about 28-32. There is obviously wiggle room and players who are exceptions. I would agree that Owens would have to be a part of the deal, unless Boston offered a package too good to take without him. I think Hamels is going to be a hot name this off season and will be traded.

    2. Completely agree with this scenario. Owens has to be the starting point. For one of he best LH’s in the game in his prime, I would expect no less than Owens and Swihart, if they say no then too bad, we don’t need to shed payroll. I just have a feeling Mookie Betts is all hype so I would not want him as the 2nd piece of any deal. I say screw it, throw a boat load of money at Scherzer and Shields, keep Bastardo and Sizemore and see what happens.

    1. Maybe, but according to mlbtraderumors they want to fill void internally and called up 3 guys from AAA. I would think they would have more interest in Bastardo if they did decide to acquire an arm.

    2. They always have BP issues and it always bites them in the A$$ maybe they will learn this time and actually splurge on a closer , but for some odd reason the GM over there thinks you only need starting pitching

  4. If Ruben trades Cole to Boston and does not get Owens AND Swihart and another lower level but with upside guy, then he needs to be…ill leave it at fired but my feelings go beyond that. Cole is in such a grove now…his last 18 starts rival Kershaws. if you trade him, you need a kings ransom

    1. Let’s all collectively pray in hopes that if Cole is traded in the off season it will be a new GM making the trade and not RAJ

    1. rocco….I think he steps aside upstairs like Paul Holmgren did with the Flyers.
      The Philly precedent is there and he saves face.

    1. except for the fact that they are not selling tickets. if upper management wants to sell tickets so bad, do they not remember how many tickets they sold when they, you know, won

    2. If he’s purely a puppet, what’s the point of firing him? Would the next person suddenly have more autonomy?

  5. I still think its very likely Amaro is fired at years end. Season ticket base is down over 6,000 over last 2 years and its only gonna get worse. I personally know 2 season ticket holders and both are threatening to get rid if their tix if Amaro is back. They both are serious, too. I’m sure they’re not the only ones saying that, too. That was the main reason Wade was fired years ago. Too many season ticket holders threatening not to renew.

    1. Philsphan did you see Friday night they showed the club at the ballpark there were less than ten people drinking, empty. I wonder if the vendors get a discount on rent when they don’t draw.

      1. Yeah it’s pretty bad. Less fans means less money spent in the park, obviously. That and people seem to general spend more when things are going well. You don’t know how many people I’ve heard say they won’t spend a dime in the park on concessions now. Those same people weren’t doing that 4 or 5 years ago.

  6. Slightly off topic but still about the farm , Did you notice that updated the prospects list for the phillies and it has Aaron Brown with a 30 speed is that even possible that Franco and Brown are the same speed and one plays centerfield ???

    1. most reports you hear are that he could stick in CF and that he’s good defensively. It’s pretty unlikely that a 30 runner could do so, so either he can’t play CF or his lack of speed is being exaggerated.

    1. walking 5 A ball hitters is not a good start. He needs to find his command before he moves up or he will find himself in the same hole he was in before his break. Very disappointed in that pitching line actually.

  7. Tigers are slipping. Can we hope for a Pap trade again? Maybe throw in Kendrick. Did he pass through waivers?

  8. The tigers are having big pitching worries now…..if Verlander’s MRI on his shoulder comes back showing a tear or labrum issues, then he may be done this year, an their bullpen is having their own issues.
    Dave Dombrowski could be calling to Ruben for some relief.

    1. tigers rather lose than give up there prospects it seems, the royals the same. most of the teams are holding prospects like there gold. so I cant see any trades with amaros demands.

  9. Reading reports that the Phillies are heavily scouting the Red Sox minor league system and young players, with the intention ofincluding Cole Hamels in an off-season trade.
    And two positional players mentioned as possible inclusions in the trade are Z. Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley.
    Last year they were hot prospects, today the Sox have seemed to sour on their potential due to their lackluster production this season.
    Boy, I hope Ruben discerns the correct any Hamels trade, What the Phillies do not need is more of the once-prominent prospect Dom Brown rollercoaster type players.

    1. How can we trust him to make a Hamels deal. I know that we discuss here what we would have to get to make a deal but I have little faith that this group can choose the right prospects.

    2. Bradley can play a solid CF but has not hit at all this year but Bogaerts has potential. However, if we will need some young starting pitching.

    3. Given the article posted above and the Cubs waiver claim I would not be surprised if either team came knocking on the Phils door come November.

    4. The Boston writer imo is a Moran. He talks like we will give them Hamels for two prospects that Boston doesn’t want, cause they believe they cant hit. Bradley is a good outfielder, who cant hit, why in gods name would we want him? I read this story as Boston will give Phillies all there junk, for hamels. Owens is untouchable. lmao. what is rube’s play, to trade hamels, and then sign Lester? and the Cuban outfielder?

      1. rocco… are some of the FAs for next year.
        Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, or James Shields, will cost top-dollar. Cannot see how the Phillies could get any of them.
        Lower costing then the top are: Jason Hammel, Ryan Vogelsong, Jorge De La Rosa, Colby Lewis, Kevin Correia, and Edinson Volquez
        Then there are: Ervin Santana, Francisco Liriano, Brandon McCarthy, Justin Masterson, and Jake Peavy, who may command larger commitments.
        So there you have it, if Hamels is moved the rotation without him, and probably KK, will have to be revamped with a hopefully healthy Cliff Lee.
        Might be yet another long season…..but with a high draft choice again!

      2. If Boston decides not to include Owens, then Ruben could have the choice to take both Webster and Ranaudo…both big righties who are presently excelling but are older -mid-twenties- and who may have had a few cup of coffees with the big club.
        SoO it could come down to Hamels for Bogaerts, Bradley or Vasquez, and pitchers Webster and Ranaudo. Not sure I would want that, but then again Hamels will be almost 34/35 when the Phillies will again be competing for a division title, so what the heck!

        1. Romus you would do a hamels to Boston for one of the three stiffs, and two older pitchers. Who were sent down, I don’t get that. why??? hamels is too good to settle for that package.

          1. Actually no…..Bogaerts has to be one of the ‘stiffs’ as you put it, and either Bradley or Vasquez, as the other ‘stiff’….then if Owens is off the table, then I would insist on both Webster AND Ranaudo.
            Looking at any return on Hmels in any trade, the Cubs would be the only other team that could offer more then the the Red Sox. But understand Epstein/Hoyer may be targetting Lester this off-season.

            1. I actually think Lester has a deal to go back to Boston. I really believe that but only a opinion.

            2. That will be interesting.
              Hamel’s contract will actually be more economical then Lesters.
              Lester will command more monies and years.
              So will have to see how the Sox go with that.

  10. With Sizemore playing a regularly does this mean he’s in the plans for next year and if so what salary does he command now after a little bit of a comeback?

  11. Starting to get a little worried about Asche. I’ve consistently been in the optimistic camp – that is, I believed he would be an average major league regular (of course among a few people here this was regarded as pessimistic, reflective IMO of wildly unrealistic expectations). And I cling to that hope – but increasingly it looks like I may have been overly optimistic.

    Asche looked like a guy who could be pretty much average across the board. In fact, he’s been below average across the board. And notably isn’t he making progress, he’s been a little worse this year than last & is mired in a bad slump.

    Defense – the metrics looked really bad early on this season. I said at the time that he wasn’t that bad,but likely a bit below average. Time has vindicated that opinion. Looking at both the metrics and the “eye test” he isn’t awful but he is below average with poor range.

    Base running – again, not horrible but a bit below average.

    Hitting – this is probably the biggest disappointment. A few weeks ago it looked like he might have turned the corner as a hitter, but he has slumped badly since. Again not horrible in any specific metric, but uniformly just a bit below average. BB rate, K rate, power all a little below average. Not horrible in any component, just a little sub mediocre in everything. He’s over 500 PA now on a career basis, a decent SS. Many players have turned it around after that many PA; more players have not.

    Can he still be what I had hoped? Sure. But you would have to have your head in the sand to believe that it is a sure thing. What should the Phillies do with him? Obviously at a minimum give him the rest of 2014 to turn it around. Next year it will depend upon whether they think Franco is ready. IMO even if he is, Franco won’t be up until June for obvious reasons, giving Asche a couple of more months to establish himself. If he does, the team will have an interesting dilemma.

    If he doesn’t … I don’t know. He won’t have much trade value if that’s the case, but nor will he have a regular role on the team. The move to the OF option, which I was never a big fan of but briefly considered a possibly viable option, is not looking like an option now. A ,242/.295/.369 line doesn’t cut it for a third baseman; it REALLY doesn’t cut it for a left fielder.

    1. I have been on the fence on asche, In fact asked what people thought of him 2 weeks ago. I listen to the broadcast and heard matt stairs talk about his feet and how its hard to hit with the way he moves. I sit here and wonder how a hitting coach doesn’t see it,? What concerns me is his obp and power. not enough imo for a third basemen, and he is often a big mismatch against left hands, doesn’t even give a good effort it seems to me.

    2. Maybe a Greg Dobbs/like Utility guy? It is easy to root for him because everyone says he is a hard worker. But I do not see a regular on a contending team. I don’t see a move to LF either. I do not want to be negative, but below average/average is all I see.

    3. I want to ask your opinion of a Hamels deal again. I am of the “big package” or keep him camp. A lot of Boston talk. What would you consider a good deal. A legit question, I am not looking for a reason to argue, just interested.

      1. Without getting into specific names, I think one true elite prospect and two good (not top 100) prospects, or two top 100 (but not elite) prospects and one other good prospect would be enough.

        Getting more – especially considering you’re probably dealing with Boston or the Cubs,two organizations not known for undervaluing prospects – is unlikely, so saying that you won’t do a deal unless you get more is the same as saying that you won’t do a deal, full stop.

        And I get why people feel that way. Among other reasons, the rotation without him would be a true horror show. The main reasons that I disagree (related):
        (a) Many people underestimate the risk factor on even an elite starting pitcher;
        (b) The chance that Hamels is even close to an elite pitcher on the next contending Phillies team is quite low.

    4. When Franco gets there in 2015—June/July—-Acshe would have to be involved as a chip in a deadline package deal if whoever is GM at the time decides to take a risk and pull the trigger on a trade, unless they intend on moving him off 3rd. Can see the Phillies as sellers next season also. But can his bat play as a corner OF? Maybe not.

    5. I wouldn’t say I’m worried about him, but I do have some doubts.

      Of course, he’s a guy in his first full year in the majors and some growing pains are to be expected. Defensively he’s been disappointing. We had hoped for average but it looks like he’ll be below, although not the trainwreck it looked like early on. There’s still hope for improvement offensively and, as you said, not that long ago his batting line was much better.

      He had a DL stint and he’s been in a slump since returning. We don’t know how the time off has affected him or if the injury has lingered. His July was terrible but, although it hasn’t shown up in the results, his strikeout and walk rates have rebounded a decent amount so far this month.

      As for what the team will/should do with him, that’s a good question with no clear answer. The outfield is crowded, so it would be tough to get him reps there, but he shouldn’t hold Franco back from advancing at 3B. And his trade value is low. Quite a conundrum.

    6. I look around the league and see many prospects who looked like above average starters seem to be foiled by the MLB. Middlebrooks, Bogaerts, Asche, Brown, Polanco Harper. A little early but Tavaris is struggling

      Back a little farther with the Royals bunch Hosmer Moustakis

      I’m not sure what the deal is with these guys but all around the league you can find young players struggling to make the adjustment.

      1. Exactly.
        Young players are hot prospects then at times when they get to the MLB, it takes time for them to adjust., except for maybe the Mike Trouts of the world. And every manager and GM knows that. Some players take 3/4 years, others burst on the scene like a nova, then trend downward for awhile.
        It is a risk to move Franco to third and move Asche in a trade, though selling low, but Asche is inexpensive and controlled and young, so he does have value, and GMs wear glasses that envision future potential. Franco, otoh, can field the postion but you wonder about his bat initially.
        So the risk is there and common knowledge among the media is that Ruben avoids risk.

      2. There is nothing wrong with them. First off i am thinking your expectations are too high for Kids starting out. And it takes TIME for players to adjust and for them to fail. Baseball success and failures are measured in years and not months or even a season

  12. Concerning comments from Kruk today about the org mood during alumni weekend – essentially, everything’s okay and somehow miraculously next year the same old players will somehow make a run. It will be frightening to see if they are not sellers to some degree in the off season.

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