General Discussion – Week of 8-18-14 – Yo No Soy Marinero Edition

A long homestand kicks off with the Mariners tonight, tomorrow night and Wednesday afternoon. Off day Thursday, then three with the Cardinals this weekend and Washington next week.

Yo no soy Cardenal o Nacional, either. For the record.


238 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of 8-18-14 – Yo No Soy Marinero Edition

  1. I don’t believe I’ve ever read a worse comment in my sports life …

    “Ryan Howard’s .373 slugging percentage is just two points better than Ben Revere’s .371”

    1. It is the ONLY thing you need to know at this point honestly. I mean, I love winning baseball games. But, every game where Howard goes 0-3 with 2 k’s and then hits a walkoff makes my blood boil.

    2. Hahaha I read that earlier as well. That is truly pathetic. I do not see why they just don’t start Darin Ruf at first, at least until they bring up Franco (If that’s what they do). We all know it’s only a matter of time before Howard gets released. Why not let Ruf play and see what kind of numbers he puts up? If he is not a guy they view as someone who can help in the future they can at least let him build some trade value by playing everyday, Howard can’t help the present let alone the future. Ruf could probably be traded to a team like the yankees for multiple reasons. He is cheap, he has power, he can play a few positions, and could DH in the american league. Not playing him is a dumb move for this organization. Howard couldn’t be given away at this point and provides no value IMO. He is taking playing time away from a guy who could actually get us a decent return if he put up good numbers from now until the end of the year or next July. I think if Ruf played every day he would put up better numbers then Howard and would play better defense.

      Tip of the cap for Revere who has been on fire. While he does not hit for enough XBH the singles he has been getting lately have been stung most of the time. With his speed he should score more often then he does. Rollins has provided some pop this year, but not much else. He does draw his fair share of walks, but is not a true two hole hitter. Utley can only do so much with Howard hitting behind him most of the time and he often gets pitched around. When teams are pitching around your three hole hitter to get to the cleanup guy there is a problem…

      1. ‘We all know it’s only a matter of time before Howard gets released’….probably after the 2016 season.

          1. So the Phillies eat his contract for 2015 and 2016 if he is released?
            I do not see it.
            Might be easier moving him in a trade and eating 50% of his remaining contract.

            1. They tried that and nobody wants him even at half his salary.

              Right now he is a borderline MLB player.

              In terms of Ruf, everyone knows what they have. He is an older prospect with little chance of being a full time player.

            2. You jest. What would you think if the Phillies considered signing a Howard clone for $25 mill for 2 seasons. The guy isn’t worth $5 mill a year, let alone $12.5. You’re going to have to eat way more than 50% of Howard’s salary to find a taker. I seriously doubt if you can find an AL team willing to pay $5 mill per year of his salary. He’s replacement level and getting worse with each passing season. I mean, seriously, he’s a sunk cost for the Phillies and yet, as fans, we’re close to unanimously in favor of sitting him and playing the MLB-minimum Ruf. I’m not sure other GMs set his value quite that low. Perhaps they’d take a chance on him for $1.5 mill/year. It would be dumb to pay more than that.

            3. Actually Howard would command more then $1.5M on the market….maybe $7/8M. Especially a team that needs a DH/!st, and naturally only a team who are contenders.

      1. Rever would be a good player on a contending team…if he could play cf…but he can’t so he’s a 4th outfielder…unfortunately

  2. Question: can the Phils still trade players who have passed through waivers or are we past that point? I am surprised, even given his contract particulars, that a deal could not be made for M. Byrd. He really looks like he would be a good addition to a playoff contender especially in the post PED era where teams need right handed power. I guess the asking price is/was too high.

    1. Yes, Phillies can still trade players who have passed through waivers. I think Hamels and Byrd are the only ones that got claimed, and obviously, got pulled back.

  3. Phils get Jesmuel Valentin as one of the PTBNL from the Fausto deal. Son of Jose, he is BA’s #22 prospect for the Dodgers. 20 year old 2B. decent bat and great speed. There is a pitcher coming, but they are reviewing his medical records and we’ll hear about it in a week or so (as per the Philly papers)
    WHo knows, maybe something will come of it….

      1. He is about what you can expect for Hernsndez
        With the pitcher coming it gives the phils two rolls of the dice for a piece that was going to be let go. A good trade in my opinion

    1. He won’t turn 22 until next week either. I think his age often gets lost in the hype. If I were the Phils brass I would give him little chance of breaking with the team out of ST. If he OPS’s north of .800 heading into the end of June, then by all means consider a callup. Otherwise there is nothing to gain for the organization or Franco’s development in allowing him to win a job out of ST.

      I’m becoming somewhat optimistic as to the Pharm. We now have 3 very legitimate prospects and another half-dozen or so who have breakout potential heading into 2015. Hopefully they pick another winner in the top 6-9 next at next year’s draft

  4. Ben Revere would be looked upon much better if the 2-4 guys did a better job. I mean Revere doesn’t walk much or get many xbh but he does get on base. Hell he’s hitting a MLB best .378 (almost positive that’s the right number) since June 26th. He’s only had one bad month in terms of BA which wasn’t even THAT bad .270 in May. If he was to hit say .290 in May he’d be close to .340 BA on the year. It’s not a pretty swing but he’s grown on me.

    1. I don’t see how he’s grown on you. He’s the exact same player he was the day the phils traded 2 pitchers for him. He makes contact all day, every day but cannot field his position or keep runners honest with his arm. He takes bad routes to balls and runners take liberties on the basepaths bc they know he can’t throw them out.

      Starting CFs have to be good defensively. It’s a critical defensive position.

      1. Revere may be better suited for LF in the long run with his arm.
        But then you would need power from CF.

        1. Can.nayone remember Richie Ashburn. From what I remember, decent (not great) centerfield with weak arm, but an on-base machine.

          1. Revere is going to bat well over 300 and produce well under 100 runs not counting what he cost in the field. I know some can be attributed to the poor cast around him but this is the least productive 315 i’ve ever seen

      2. He’s grown on me bc he’s once again put together a long stretch where’s he’s hitting at a clip that’s the best in baseball. He’s also in the running for a batting title.

  5. Btw I read that it’s believed that the Phillies are the favorite to land Castillo. Should get close to 50m if not more.

      1. Who knows John Middeton may pull another Jim Thome and tell Monty ‘ please step aside’ and he will pay the salary needed to get the player to sign..

      2. There’s a NY Post writer that thinks the Phils are the favorites yet Jim Salisburry thinks they are a long shot. I doubt either writer knows a damned thing lol

      3. I think Boston and the Cubs will go after him hard. It would be nice to see the Phillies nab him. Hopefully Ruben is going under the radar like he did when he resigned Lee. Castillo and Franco would be a couple of guys who could bring some excitement to the lineup. Management may not know this, but exciting lineups sell tickets. There is a good chance Nola could make it to the big club next season as well. Biddle is another guy who may arrive, but I think it’d be closer to September before we see him (if at all). My point is that a guy like Castillo would be an exciting sign and a smart one IMO. He would be a key contributor to a new core of guys that will hopefully turn this thing around. Guys like Diekman, Hollands, Giles, Franco, Nola, and Asche will all hopefully be good players for us for a while. Add Castillo and a few players from the system or in the next couple drafts and we are on our way to competing again. If our team is not quite ready to compete they could always trade Castillo after a couple seasons and bring back some young players to help the rebuild. Castillo could always be a bust so there is some risk involved. However, with the success of international players lately, especially Cuban ones, I think he is worth the gamble. Even if he doesn’t turn out to be that great can he really be worse then Brown at this point?

            1. He hasn’t played in 2 1/2 years so probably no. He will need at least some time in the minors to get his timing back and figure out his best MLB position.

            1. Everything that’s been written says that he would help a team immediately. However If you think he’s going to play better then Byrd has right off the bat you are crazy.

        1. I know it’s about stockpiling talent, but it’s a little confusing to see both Boston and the Cubs go after him. I guess Boston has less outfield depth but already a loaded system and a high pick next June. The Cubs have depth in the minors in the outfield and only so many people can play the infield. Assuming Russell stays at short, Baez at second, and Bryant at 3rd (though many see him in the OF), you still have Almora, Soler, McKinney, Schwarber . . . geez. Maybe this is a move to free some of these prospects up to go to the Phillies for Hamels.

  6. Looks like the only decent MILB game is getting rained out in Clearwater tonight. Quinn leading off as usual with Valentin 2nd and JP 3rd

        1. I agree Quinn might be ready or knocking on door in 2016…i liked Perkins…his AAA time has me thinking 4th OF

      1. Seriously, Lavin? He’s age 26 with a .765 OPS at Reading after his 3rd partial to full season in CLW. He is not a prospect.

      2. I hope your kidding disfrigginguy, cause all three of these guys have shown nothing, Perkins is a flop in triple a and is older, Lavin is ready for social security, and alter is not hitting enough in reading to think he is a major leaguer,

        1. Perkins has plenty of time to iron things out. Doesn’t even need to be protected this off-season. Seems in hindsight like he was rushed to AAA. I thought it was time, a lot of people here did, but it really has gone quite poorly.

          1. He is struggling but that is not because he was rushed. The holes in his swing were not being exploited by AA pitchers so he had no need to adjust. This is where we find out if he can become a MLB player or become AAAA filler.

            1. According to Joe Jordan, It’s more a hole in his approach than his swing. Young hitters will get themselves A LOT when facing experienced pitchers

          2. He’s just getting a taste of AAA. The lack of success should tell him and the team what needs to be worked on over the winter and in ST. The true test of how can he perform in AAA comes next season. Still, I would be surprised if he was more than a 4th/5th OF. He may surprise me to the upside.

        2. No, Roccom, I’m not kidding. Cam Perkins is 23 and trying to make the adjustment to AAA. That is completely age appropriate. He did nothing but hit doubles for a year and a half in A and AA. There is no reason to believe he cannot make the necessary adjustments at his age.

          Altherr is 1st or 2nd in the entire system in home runs. He started slowly because of a wrist injury but is now driving the ball hard to all fields. Look at Altherr’s OPS, it certainly suggest an ability to play at a higher level than AA.

          Lavin may or may not have seen a light turn on but just bc he’s 26 doesn’t mean he will never make it at a higher level.

          1. He’s in AA, still old for AA, but give him credit that it may be still an adjustment period. Sorry, but if a guy is being projected, over-enthusiastically in my view, as an MLB starting OF, then he’d better be OPSing more than .767 at Reading at age 26. Even if he were age-appropriate, those numbers would be mediocre at best, to wit: they 3-yr younger Perkins OPS of over .900, Dugan at .820 and three years younger, Hernandez as an IF and 2-years younger at .895, People say, ahh but Lavin can play CF. Well, Collier is three years younger, is a better fielder and has an OPS only .030 lower than Lavin. Jiwan James, who is a year younger than Lavin, was a great defensive CF. At the time of his release, he had a SSS OPS higher than what Lavin’s got today. It’s hard to see how ‘mediocre’ is not an apt description of Lavin’s offensive performance at Reading.

    1. Sizemore, castillo byrd IMO is much better than Brown Revere Byrd…i would sell high (as high as i believe revere will ever be) on revere in off season…change of a scene trade for d brown and trade byrd at next years deadline…heck can trade sizemore too

      1. Trade Grady Sizemore? A 30+ year old with two blown knees and no ability to run or field his position anymore??

        What value do you think he has exactly? He was picked up on waivers for a reason – he has no value.

    2. The thumb downs are funny…sizemore has been solid since we called up, castillo is HOT name and Byrd has 20+hr and 70+ rbis

      1. Sizemore hasn’t been solid, he’s been awful. That’s slightly masked by an unsustainably high BABIP rate that makes his BA look pretty good. But he doesn’t walk, plays lousy defense, and doesn’t have much power. His best attribute at this point is a roughly league average contact rate.

        There’s no argument, none, to bring him back next year. Really there is no reason he should be starting over Brown, and I say that as someone who has mostly given up on Brown. With Brown you have at least some small chance that he rebuilds some trade value.

        Of course the fact that the Phillies apparently don’t realize the above is a pretty sad comentary on their talent evaluation process.

        1. Ruben was very clear today on radio. Ryan Howard is not leaving this Club. He is highly paid and expected to contribute. Those are not ABs going elsewhere. Ruf’s best position is 1B. We have to practice patience with Dom. Schmitty was almost booed out of town. rube’s words. Maybe they move Brown back to RF, move Revere to LF and get CF? I know 2015 will be dreadful also, but I was hoping for some plan.

          1. That Amaro interview was really depressing. I agree with Donellon’s comment that the excuses are getting more and more absurd. Top that off with Salisbury saying he gets the sense Amaro is going to get another shot to right the ship.

          2. That Mike Schmidt comparison is ridiculous. Schmidt produced 9.7 bWAR in his 2nd full season and over 25 WAR by the end of his age 26 season (Brown’s age). Brown is getting worse..

        2. Larry you had me until you mention brown. I Believe right now it should be ruf, revere and Byrd, and Sizemore fills in for Byrd when he needs a day off. but it really doesn’t matter they aren’t going anywhere so if you play brown, it means nothing imo.

  7. What are the chances of the Phils trading Dom Brown for “a change of scenery”? IMO, thr FO must be fed up with the potential sometimes showing itself…and quickly disappearing. Wally Joyner got the best out of him in ’13; with Joyner gone, Brown looks lost.

    Do the Phils have any justifiable belief that he will turn things around….? Somebody might take a chance on him for a scenery change….??

    He does look pathetic at bat; not good but decent in LF.

    Wither Dom…..?

  8. Revere might win batting title this yr steal 50 bases. That for me is good enough for a another. There’s a lot more wrong with this team then him.

    1. Ben’s biggest challenge will be to go from a -1 WAR outfielder to a plus 1 WAR outfielder. Given his speed, even with the weak (but improving) arm, he should be able to do this. It’s the difference between him being a borderline regular and a pretty decent, albeit very odd, regular. Right now, he’s got 70 speed, a 70 hit tool, 20 power, a 25 arm (used to be a 20), so he needs to go from being a 40 fielder to a 55 or 60 fielder and hopefully, the team is now sufficiently aware of the metrics that they realize that this is the one area where he can and must improve. To give him credit, I really do think he has been working on it and his arm has definitely improved so it’s just bad, not a total joke.

    2. His wRC+ is up to 97 on the year, which is almost remarkable considering his limitations and how he started. His time with the Phillies has consisted of some high peaks and low valleys. He started each year ice cold and eventually caught fire; can he reduce the length or the ugliness of his slumps? Maybe not, since he doesn’t bring any skills to the plate beyond batting average. But if he can, we may have a nice, low cost player on our hands. Especially if he gets a little better on the defensive side also.

  9. I still think that Revere can play in LF. Need CF will some pop as well as high Defensive skill. I think Brown gets traded in off-season, and that next year is Ryan Howard’s last.

    1. Ryan Howard has killed the Phillies this year. It’s so clear that, right now, Darin Ruf would be a better optiona at first base. But they won’t budge and give Ruf his chance because they have this delusional belief that Howard will find his stroke and the team will be able to use him or get some trade value for him. They have to decide if they want to both eat the cost and have a AAA first baseman (Howard) or play the younger guy (Ruf), who will add no incremental cost and will probably produce 2-3 WAR over a season. It ain’t rocket science but, for the Phillies, apparently it is.

      1. Concerning Ryan Howard.
        The one club in the off-season who may want to try their hand with him may be the Balt O’s…..that is if Nelson Cruz decides to walk.
        Howard could be both a DH and 1st baseman.
        Chris Davis does have HR power, but he is a high K guy with a lower BA then Howard and OBP..
        And naturally the Phillies will need to eat a good portion of his remaining contract..

        1. Romus he cant run, strikeouts a ton, fielding is getting worse, why would Baltimore want him? He clogs up the bases, and really isn’t near the hitter he was, I believe even if we eat salary, no one would take him. but crazier things have happen

        2. If Howard was a free agent at the end of this season, he would get a non-roster invite to spring training from an AL team, no more

      2. I agree the off season make over needs to start with making sure Howard is not the starting 1B next season.

        The 08 guys I think have become to complacent except for Hamels.

        1. Utley and Rollins are both having good seasons. The only difference between them and Hamels is that they’re ~5 years older than him and physically incapable of performing at their peaks anymore.

        1. These are his prime years, but so what? That’s not a reason to keep him on the bench and play Howard when Ruf is most likely a better player at this point.

          Ruf has a .373 wOBA this year (career .364) and Howard is sporting a robust .299. Exactly how much better does Ruf have to hit to be considered worth playing 1B? Ruf may crash and burn with extra playing time, but he may not.

    1. Romus, what do you expect from a New York paper? I am glad they made a very good offer and agree with DMAR in crossing my fingers for positive news!

  10. I am hoping that the Phillies sign Rusney Castillio as well. Running an OF of Byrd, Castillo, Revere next season would look pretty decent. Couple that with a healthy Chooch, Ultey and Rollins, I wouldnt be too worried about lineup. Asche at 3b and Howard/Ruf/Franco at 1b provides for a decent lineup. I would put bp at a position of strength with Pap, Giles, Diekman as a good starting point. Biggest question is rotation, if Hamels stays and Lee comes back as Lee, who knows it could be a wild card team.

    1. It would be similar to this year. If pretty much everything goes right, we could get a wild card. Hamels-Lee-Burnett-FA-MAG/Buchanan looks solid. The offense should score an okay number of runs if everybody has a good year and the bullpen could be strong. But most likely the team would be held back by injuries and disappointing performances.

      1. That is a lot of ifs and next year is likely to be worse than this year.

        Everyone is a year older and still on the decline. MAG will likely be in the bullpen on the Phillies and not the rotation.

        Pettibone should be back but I think the team will look vastly different by Spring Training next year as the rebuilding process starts.

    2. So with the line up essentially the same except for Castillo in place of Brown, and a mid-level FA starter similar to Roberto Hernandez, the Phillies will win an additional 15 or so games next season. I don’t see it. We got healthy years out of Howard, Utley, Rollins, and Byrd this season with all appearing in 119+ games out of 125 games so far this season (119, 120, 120, 123 before tonights’s game). Hard to imagine this happening again next season.

  11. I actually somewhat agree with him. The outfield would be above replacement level in terms of fielding, from an overall perspective. Utley and rollins should provide good defense. From a defensive perspective you have howard at first who is terrible and asche, who is slightly below league average, and revere with his noodle arm. Base running should be there with revere, rollins, castillio scampering around the base paths. I think the power could be there too, byrd, howard, castillio all capabale of 20-35 hrs. Utley and Rollins at 12-20 a piece. Add chooch’s gap power i think we would be ok. Like he said it really depends on whether or not Lee comes back to old form and whether or not another fa pitcher acquisition.

    1. You have a couple of major problems. First is paying out $129 million to just 9 players; there is not a lot of room left money wise to add someone.

      Second, you have Rollins hitting .236 and Howard at .221.

      Rollins August is particularly dismal. 18 K’s and 11 hits. 8 K’s in the last 4 games. .175 BA so far. He started the season with a .236 in April and every month has been progressively worse. There are your problems in the lineup.

      I don’t expect either one to mean revert next year.

        1. Older players decline and like some say on here….lets turn the page and see what happens with a new set of characters……is there now anything lower then last place!.

      1. They should have about 42m in the off season to fill 4 spots. That’s plenty of money and if they were to move Lee over the off season that’s 67m for 5 spots which is a ton of money (assuming they don’t have to eat any money). There is ZERO reason to be concerned with money in the off season.

          1. 25 Man Roster 2015

            1. Ryan Howard 25m
            2. Cliff Lee 25m
            3. Cole Hamels 23.5m
            4. Chase Utley 10m
            5. Jonathan Papelbon 13m
            6. Aj Burnett 11.25m
            7. Jimmy Rollins 11m
            8. Carlos Ruiz 8.5m
            9. Marlon Byrd 8m
            10. MAG 3.667m
            11. Antonio Bastardo (Arb) 3m (maybe 4m)
            12. Ben Revere (Arb) 3.5m
            13. John Mayberry Jr. 1.587m
            14. Dom Brown (Arb) 750k
            15. Jacob Diekman 500k
            16. Justin De Fratus 500k
            17. Cody Asche 500k
            18. Mario Hollins 500k
            19. Ken Giles 500k
            20. Jonathan Pettibone 500k
            21. Cam Rupp 500k
            22. Open
            23. Open
            24. Open
            25. Open

            Those should be pretty close give or take 1.5m. This comes out to 147.754m. I believe the cap before lux tax is 189 next year, correct? That leaves about 42m to spend. You can obviously add or subtract ppl for example if Franco makes the team outta ST there’s another 500k guy.

            Yes there are 9 guys with locked in salaries (I believe it’s 10 with Rollins) but there are still about 10-11 guys under team control and most of them at league min or close to it. That’s what a young bullpen does for a teams. Helps them out financially.

            1. So where do you add guys? One, maybe two outfield spots, you need some bench players for the infield, and a starter or two. MAG is likely to be a bullpen pitcher for the club.

              MAG averages less than 2 innings an appearance and has yet to start a game. He will not be in the starting rotation next year.

              It is still a 90 loss team with limitations on where you can ad. $42 million on four guys is not getting you back into contention.

            2. Out of your 21 guys it squares up like this

              OF – Byrd, Revere, Brown, Mayberry
              IF – Howard, Utley, Rollins, Asche, ???????, ???????
              C – Rupp, Ruiz

              SP – Lee, Hamels, Burnett, Pettibone, ??????
              RP – MAG, Paps, Bastardo, Diekman, De Fratus, Hollins, Giles, ???????

              So where does the $42 million go when it comes down to bench guys and a starter?

            3. Not sure why it wouldn’t let me reply to your post below but I never said they will be a good team next year I just said that they don’t really have an issue with payroll (besides the fact that 25m is being thrown away by paying Howard). 42m would be enough to sign 2 pitchers to 15m per yr contracts, then split the 10m up between 2 players. Or sign RC and still have about 30m to play with. They don’t have salary issues.

            4. rocco…..if Burnett doesn’t come back it saves money, but other then bookends with Hamels at the top and Buchanan at the bottom of the rotation….you have question marks in the middle three. Lee has to get healthy and at his age that is risky, Kendrick probably walks. So you need to get two more pitchers for the rotation, assuming Lee returns 100%.
              I do not see Pjhillies spending for aLester or Scherzer type pitcher, so it will need to be a lower caliber pitcher (s).

            5. Signing big free agents will cost us draft picks which we so desperately need to rebuild the farm system.

              Even if they free up salary running the books up to $189 million will not guarantee a winner. For the last two years we have been top five in payroll but in the bottom ten in the league.

              It is not about spending money, it is about spending money wisely and the Phillies do not do that.

              If salary gets cut to $150 million next year it frees up money that can be used to take on larger salaries in trades.

              Remember all of the talk after the deadline about the option years Amaro put on contracts for guys like Byrd and Burnett and how GM’s did not want those deals?

              Look at how the Cubs handle pitching. The use analytics to find guys that are better than their record indicates and sign them to affordable deals. We need to do more of that this offseason.

  12. For all the dozens of ballplayers who have been called upon to adorn this roster during the Ruben tenure, especially these last three years, ie Mini Marts…many of them failures…the only guy I have noticed ever getting called out and disparaged in the press by Amaro has been Darin Ruf.
    “He needs to be able to hit righthanders better” or ” His outfield defensive play needs more work”

    But Rube often says “I don’t have a problem with so-and-so.”
    Then why a problem with Ruf?

  13. This is not some conspiracy theory. It is unbelievable. Why not let him bat tonight when he has been playing well? DBrown is terrible in LF. If he has to paly, let Byrd rest. Play Brown in RF, he can’t be worse than in LF. It is as if they are embarrassed that no one in the org liked him. A LHP going tomorrow, so he could get a nice run of consistent ABS. But that time is not here yet, according to Rube! It is just pathetic.

      1. So lets see…….the great defensive outfielders on this team are in, no partucular order,…Dom Brown, Ben Revere, Grady Sizemore, John Mayberry….all gold glovers I would think!
        Ruf just doesn’t measure up to any of those defensive stalwarts.

        1. No, he doesn’t. And that’s a reflection of how bad he is, not how good the other guys are.

          I’m not adverse to letting him play occasionally in the OF, but ultimately what’s the point? It’s not like there is ANY chance that he could be a viable regular in the OF, even transitionally. Whereas he could probably hold down first base for a couple of years. Any future Ruf has as a major league player is as a first baseman.

          1. I think the point is since Amaro already nixed the idea of benching Howard the OF is the only place where Ruf will get consistent ABs

            1. As I said below, that point makes no sense. The response to Amaro’s idiocy isn’t “hey, let’s play the guy out of position,” it’s “Amaro is an idiot.”

            2. I mean really, what is the point? Why play him in the OF? The goal here is to make the team better down the road. How does playing a guy out of position help in that goal? He’s NEVER going to be an adequate outfielder. Whereas conceivably he could be an adequate first baseman when the team next contends.

            3. Because he gets ABs that way. Of course Amaro’s an idiot, and of course Ruf should be at 1st everyday, but since that isn’t going to happen I don’t see where sitting him on the bench everyday is helpful

          2. Ideally, Ruf is a truly viable first baseman…..won two college equivalent gold gloves at Creighton…so he knows what he is doing and has played the position since HS.
            I personally would like to see his bat more in these last six weeks.

          3. WTF is the point of letting the rest of their scrubs play???? The only determining factor when making a lineup for the Phillies for the next 2-3 years minimum should be age.

      2. Ruf probably has to go somewhere else, too many overpaid old men ahead of him. I don’t think he’s ever getting a chance here.

  14. Well if ruf has to play first. Then we have to move him in trade, Cause Howard isn’t going anywhere for two years .Ruf will be 31, so maybe we can get a equal value outfielder for ruf.

    1. Here’s the thing … you can either talk about what a good organization should do, or what’s “realistic” with the organization we have. If the former, he plays first base, regardless of Howard’s contract status, AT LEAST in a platoon role and probably full time.

      If the latter … well you can see what’s happening. He isn’t playing anywhere.

      Just doesn’t seem to be any point in the “play him in the OF since they have Howard at first” argument.

      Unfortunately he doesn’t have much trade value.

      1. Isn’t it important to get him as many ABs as possible regardless of where he plays defensively? We are not talking about putting the best team out there defensively, just getting Ruf more ABs. Especially since we know that this organization is not the smartest. Get his trade value up or, maybe a miracle happens and a team says Howard can hit 25 HRs and knock in 90 runs, maybe he is worth $6Mill/yr. Then next year’s 1B, Ruf, had more opportunities this year to hit.

  15. Tonight’s line-up announced and, yet again, Darin Ruf is on the bench? Really? Why? I’m going to really enjoy things next year when Ruf is hitting 35 homers for the As or Pirates with an .845 OPS and Ryan Howard is still playing first base poorly, clogging the bases and yielding an OPS under .700. Ruben and Ryne – youz guyz are genuses. This is incomprehensible.

      1. Maybe Ryno is worried that J-Stroll would sulk and not give maximum effort from the 8 hole…oh wait, he’s doing that now in the 2 hole…trade him for a 2 liter of Acme Cola

        1. If we had a manager with some guys and willing to bat people where they belong, the lineup would look like this:

          1 Revere
          2 Ruiz
          3 Utley
          4 Byrd
          5 Ruf /Sizemore
          6 Asche
          7 Rollins
          8 Howard
          9 Pitcher

          1. More like this (below) – Howard is no longer a major league calibur first baseman – he shouldn’t be playing; Ruf should be at first. To be honest, I think the below line-up scores some runs. Maybe not a crazy amount, but quite a bit more than we’ve been getting. You’d have to work Brown in there too (some in left, some in center and some in right) because it’s still possible that he develops.

            Also, I’ve gone from being a Sandberg liker, to a Sandberg second-guesser, to a Sandberg doubter, to a Sandberg disliker and if I have to see another year of this I think I’ll become a Sandberg hater. He’s not a good strategic manager (either in terms of game management or in terms of team growth and development, in fact, in this latter respect he’s positively dreadful) but worse yet, he jeopardizes the healthy and long-term well being of his pitchers. He won’t go soon, but he should.

            1 Revere
            2 Ruiz
            3 Utley
            4 Byrd
            5 Sizemore
            6 Ruf
            7 Asche
            8 Rollins
            9 Pitcher

    1. I agree with that……Ruf would look great in a friendly cozy AL park.
      Even Ben Davis last night, and Rick Bottalico tonight want to know what is going on with Ruf and the team at this point.

  16. I don’t know that that is a bigger question but another good one. The short answer is that this team has no clue how to put a productive line-up/team together. They pay zero attention to any meaningful statistic and think 2007 JRoll is walking through the door as long as they pencil him in.

  17. I agree. Your two worst hitters are in the 2 and 4 spots. That sucking sound you hear is Rollins and Howard sucking the life out of any rallies.

    BA, OBP, OPS in August

    Rollins .175, .246, .437
    Howard .213, .296, .640

    I just have to say that Revere, Utley, and Byrd are having great seasons despite Rollins and Howard’s best efforts to pull down the top of the lineup.

    1. Yea I saw that. But just to clarify I think he said they are in fact in on Castillo but might not like him as much as some other teams to pay enough. But you are right he seems to have some info that they love Tomas and are preparing a big offer for the winter

      1. Ok so with all the money coming off the books soon, you trade Hamels this offseason, and dump Papelbon for nothing and let Butnett and Rollins walk, and sign both Cubans, and your 2016 lineup is:

        1 Castillo CF
        2 Utley 2B
        3 Crawford SS
        4 Tomas LF
        5 Byrd RF
        6 Franco 1B
        7 Asche 3B
        8 Ruiz / Knapp C

        1. I would like to see that happen, but am very doubtful our lineup looks like that in 2016. I am hoping the Ruben will sign one of these Cuban guys let alone both. Tomas is younger than Castillo so he makes a little more sense for us. He could potentially be a right handed corner outfielder with power. I think that they will/have made an offer on Castillo, but I do not think they will get overly aggressive on him knowing that he’s not the solution for this team. I expect an aggressive approach towards Tomas. If they can sign him we may be looking at Crawford, Tomas, Franco as our 3,4,5 in 2016. They really need to bring back some frontline starting pitching if they deal Hamels. Nola, Biddle, and Imhof are all projected to be mid rotation guys, but there are not any pitching prospects in our system projected to be #1 or 2 pitchers. If they can get a guy like Owens from Boston in a trade for Hamels that would help. I would also try and get a pitcher early in the draft who projects as a frontline starter. They can most likely do this since their pick should be in the 5-10 range and that would give us some young pitching to move forward with.

    2. Perhaps the other teams are doing the same, no guarentee in getting the younger guy. I say strike while you can and get Castillo and see what develops with Tpmas

      1. I like how he said Ruf needs to work on driving the ball the other way as one of the reasons he isn’t playing as if the other 1B on the club doesn’t have that problem

        1. Howard’s only pulled 1 home run this year, I think that’s been the real problem, his inability to turn on fastballs.

      2. he’s one of the worst no. 4 hitters in the league, and only has the RBI total he does because he bats with men on virtually every AB. what is ruben smoking?

  18. “When Castillo showed up on Saturday at the University of Miami, scouts saw a different physique, which has translated to more power. At 5-foot-9, 205 pounds, Castillo is 20 pounds heavier than he was in Cuba, and it’s in a good way, with plenty of muscle packed on to his athletic frame.

    The biggest difference was in Castillo’s power. Scouts get to watch Cuban players take batting practice at international tournaments, and Castillo showed more juice in his bat than he had before he left Cuba.”

    Juice being the key word. Do these guys get tested before getting signed?

    1. What they are finding out on the Cubans….their blood test reveal low calcium levels. Muscular men in their twenties normally have pretty normal calcium readings…..I guess their Cuban diet may be deficient in that mineral.

  19. It really puzzles me how some people just can’t be objective about Rollins. Yes, he’s in a slump. So is Mike Trout. Players have slumps. Yes his BA is poor. And BA is important, but only one component in player evaluation. The truth is that Rollins overall is playing at an above average level, a borderline star. Indisputably so. Basically he is doing everything else at an above average level:

    (1) His BB rate is over 10% and he is hitting with good mid range power. As a consequence, his hitting overall is roughly major league average despite the poor BA, and comfortably above average for a SS.

    (2) He is above average as a base runner, and well above average as a fielder.

    Put it all together, and he is at 2.7 fWAR and 2.8 rWAR. The former places him in a tie for 4th among major league shortstops. WAR isn’t perfect, but it’s hard to see how it isn’t a good representation of his value in this case.

    He is, incidentally, having one of the best seasons ever for a shortstop his age.

    Now, it is certainly true that he isn’t going to be part of the next contending Phillies team, and one can argue that they need to move on for that reason alone (though the lack of decent options – I don’t see Galvis as a decent option – somewhat undercuts that argument). And he probably is miscast as a number 2 hitter at this point in his career. But to put him in the same class as Howard – a guy who isn’t even a replacement level player any more – as some people have done – is just bizarre.

    1. omg give it a rest Larry with your love for Rollins. I am so tired of his selfish play. Watching him hitting with 3-1 or 2 counts and his inability to take the walk, he swings at such bad pitches, a very selfish player. He is a good fielder would never argue that, but he isn’t a team player and I would love to drive him out of town personally.

      1. This isn’t one of those areas where reasonable people can disagree. You are objectively wrong. Basically flat earth stuff.

          1. There is no evidence at all that he is “selfish.” None. And not even any “subjective” evidence in support of that claim. roccom flat out misstates one “fact” – Rollins does not have an inability to take a walk – his BB rate this season is above average and about average on a career basis. His other “fact” is that he supposedly “swings at bad pitches.” Now, there is at least SOME subjectivity in that statement (though objective evidence doesn’t support it). But even if true, it wouldn’t make him a bad player. The notion that more aggressive batting styles are a sign of selfishness is one of those beliefs that just plain doesn’t make sense. And I say that even as someone who prefers patient hitters.

            1. In a sense – I mean, it’s certainly not objective in the sense that it is quantifiable, and “selfishness” is an amorphous enough term that it has a certain amount of subjectivity.

              But it’s not subjective in the sense of “my favorite color” or “I prefer spicy foods.” You don’t need evidence to support those kind of internal subjective options. But when dealing with the external world, even subjective opinions need to be supported by evidence. “Need” in the sense that, yes, even “subjective” opinions, when supported by not evidence at all, can be considered to be objectively wrong.

              And in this case, there is just no evidence at all in support of the loathsome libel that Rollins is selfish. None. Not even weak evidence – no evidence. Flat earth stuff.

      2. You’re dead wrong about Rollins being selfish when he gets in a three ball count. Let’s compare him to Chase Utley, who I think we can agree is a disciplined hitter:

        3-0 Count: 87.6% in 170 PAs
        3-1 Count: 51.4% in 346 PAs
        3-2 Count: 32.3% in 825 PAs
        Total 3 ball walk rate: 44.3%

        3-0 Count: 95.1% in 202 PAs
        3-1 Count: 46% in 552 PAs
        3-2 Count: 29.4% in 1,017 PAs
        Total 3 ball walk rate: 42.1%

        Basically, Rollins walks about two times a YEAR less than Utley in these counts.

        1. Nice work by you Pat but what is the problem with being a little self centered, it is what made him great. Every great team has a cast of characters to fill the various roles that make a 162 game season bearable for them and us.

          You guys go off the deep end some times with this stuff. Fact is no matter how you slice it he will be the greatest SS in Phillies history for a long time. A selfish player at times sure but a Red Light player at times with some pretty big walk off moments because of it.

          I’ve enjoyed watching him play here over the years. Have I cursed him you bet I have but when it is all said and done he has had a great career, he has been great in the community as well as an outstanding citizen (to the best of our knowledge)

          1. dmar I too have enjoy him, but its time for him and his selfish attitude to go. That all I am saying, not that he wasn’t a great player and shortstop for years for this team, but the time to go has come imo. that’s all I meant,

            1. How’s he selfish again? You have no evidence besides you’re own opinion of his attitude. Just stop you’re making yourself look foolish

            2. And I think your opinion/critique is a fair one. I wouldn’t go crazy trying to dispute its validity.

              I just wouldn’t run him out of town over it is all.

        2. Pat did I mention Utley?? I said he swings at bad pitches on 3-2 and 3-1 counts. Now how tell me how your number show if he is swinging at balls or strikes????? I see him swinging at bad pitches is my point; your countering with he walks 29 percentage with 3-2 count so that is showing he is doing good, I say he is getting himself out at a high rate and 71 percentage is high. with 3-2 count. When you can show me he doesn’t swing at bad pitches with the count in his favor I will listen.

          1. I used Utley as a comparison because Utley is considered a fairly disciplined hitter, is also a middle infielder, and played in the same park during the same era.

            How about this? Out of 152 qualified batters this year, 121 have swung at pitches outside of the strike zone more frequently than Rollins. That is a fact:


            1. Pat looked at the stat you linked up , what interested me the most, is out of the thirty guys you say swing more outside the strike zone. Rollins has the worst obp of the lot unless I missed one, but I believe I got them all.

          2. alex how is he selfish look at his obp hitting second it stinks. I am stating a opinion, you have seen his numbers month to month, I guess that is a lie too.

    2. Rollins BA OBP OPS

      pre All Star .246 .327 .719
      post All Star .210 .285 .631
      August .182 .260 .457

      Not borderline superstar when you are dragging down the lineup in the two spot. He should be hitting in the 7 or 8 spot not in the 2 spot with those numbers.

      3 ball count stats are meaningless when you are hitting this bad. You need to look at the whole body of work not the one stat that makes your point.

      1. That last sentence evidences an hilarious lack of self awareness on your part.

        That aside, his August performance is a mere 73 PA – absurd to draw any conclusions from that. His second half numbers are reflective of the bad August; he was fine in July. Yes he has been bad in August. Players go into slumps. ALL players go into slumps.

        1. Every month since May has been progressively worse. This is not a one month slump but a trend. 30 games since the All Star break is more than a slump.

          Month BA OPS OBP

          May .255 .392 .800
          June .243 .288 .643
          July .234 .305 .782
          August .182 .260 .457

          You can say there was a stabilization in July but he walked off the cliff for 16 games in August.

          Post All Star break splits are horrible and I posted them above. He should not be batting in the two spot.

          1. If you are going to play Rollins top hitting him in the two spot until he breaks out of his funk. His poor hitting in the two spot adversely affects Revere and Utley. Nobody is scared of Rollins hitting second if Revere is on base.

            Put him down in the 8 spot, move Sizemore or Ruiz up and at least give yourself a chance.

            Revere is chasing the batting title and Utley is having a solid season at the plate. Rollins hurts both of them with his poor hitting.

            1. I’m fine with putting him lower in the batting order while he is slumping, and maybe even longer, as I at least implied above.

              But if you look back at your own prior posts on the topic, and other people’s posts, the criticism went a lot deeper than just batting order position.

          2. Every month since May has been progressively worse? At least let’s not sensationalize the facts and turn them into lies. The sad thing is Rollins has been one of the best hitters on the team this year.

            1. I don’t see any lies. His post All Star splits are horrible. Not sure how you dispute that.

              At this point in time Rollins does not belong in the two spot.

              I don’t hate the guy but continuing to bat him second make no sense. Put him seventh or eighth until he break out of his slump.

            2. You do realize that Batting Average is the only stat for hitters, right? It was a whole 9 points lower than June. Those other numbers to the right of that don’t matter, especially the .782 OPS.

            3. July was far and away his best month as a hitter. The notion that he is on some kind of steady downward path over the course of the season isn’t just wrong, it’s absurd.

            4. One of the best hitters with a sub .240 BA? Revere, Utley, Ruiz, Byrd, and Sizemore (since signing) have all been better. One can make the argument for Asche as well since he has been batting at the bottom of the lineup with far less chances than Rollins who hits in the two spot sandwiched between Revere and Utley.

            5. You are, as usual, overly fixated on BA. That aside:

              Yes, Utley, Ruiz, and Byrd have all been better hitters (Ruiz’ edge is rather small). Rollins has been more valuable overall than two of those guys (defensive/base running/positional advantages on Byrd, base running/playing time advantage on Ruiz).

              Rollins has been a bit better as a hitter than Revere. Much more power and BB outweighs Revere’s large edge in BA. Of course the overall value gap is larger, mainly because of defense.

              As for Sizemore … if we’re going by production, Sizemore has been a better hitter, though not by a lot. That advantage has been entirely BABIP driven. Even with Rollins slump, he’s probably the better hitter going forward. And the only reason it is merely probably and not certainly is the small sample size going forward (35 games). Of course on overall value, even if we were to equalize playing time, Rollins has a HUGE edge, defense/position/base running.

              And no, one can’t make the argument that Asche has been a better hitter.

              As I said, there is an argument that Rollins shouldn’t be in the 2nd slot.* But your account of his season is overall massively misleading.

              *Though of the guys you mention, one is batting first, one is batting third, one should be batting 4th, and two have no business hitting 2nd. The one guy who has a good argument for the #2 slot in the lineup is Ruiz. And yes, I agree that he should bat 2nd.

            6. Nothing I am saying is misleading regarding Rollins. His August and post All Star splits are horrible no matter what metric you use.

              There is no sense discussing that point.

              Right now Revere is a much better hitter than Rollins. Maybe he does not walk as much but he has a bad hitter behind him (Rollins).

              Rollins has many opportunities with Revere ahead of him but is not doing well. Again, the post All Star splits bear this out.

              I do agree that Ruiz should be in the two spot which offers up another question of why Sandberg does not make that switch.

              Rollins gets more options in the two spot than Asche does at the bottom of the order. Rollins should be doing more with the opportunities he is given in the two spot versus the opportunities Asche is given at the bottom of the order.

            7. I don’t think you understand the concept of sample size.

              It’s laughable to say that Revere is a much better hitter than Rollins. I realize you leave some wiggle room for yourself by saying “right now,” but that simply evidences your lack of understanding of slumps and sample sizes. Basically your argument makes the assumption that a three week slump is indicative a real decline in hitting ability (if you AREN’T making that assumption, your argument makes even LESS sense). And that is simply, indisputably NOT true.

              Rollins has been better than Revere as a hitter on the season as a whole, and he will probably be better going forward. Not a LOT better, but better.

            8. It’s funny also how you are ignoring July now.

              That aside, let me ask you this: do you deny that, on the year as a whole, Rollins has been a roughly average major league hitter*. If so, on what basis?

              We understand batting statistics very well, and there isn’t any room to argue to the contrary. Batting average is not everything, or even close to it.

              *To be precise, about 2% below average.

    1. I am sick after reading Montgomery statement on mlb. I only hope that ownership fires them both. or we are in for a lot of bad seasons,

      1. rocco….better hope for Comcast to use alittle of their influence and force some mangement personnel moves…..other then the ‘cosmetic’ moves of replacing Sarge and Chris Wheeler in the booth.

    2. It is just one comment with a couple from June and February.

      I hope that he was just being professional in this situation because you don’t want to say that he is gone.

      I hope that the feelings within the organization are much different after reviewing the drop in attendance and potential cratering of offseason season ticket sales.

    1. lmao from a guy who is scared to post his name, instead of your stupid comment, bring something to the table, and with your name, at least I have the balls to put my name with what I believe, right or wrong in your opinion, I say what I feel and am here to defend my comments, why are you so scared to post your name? and what brilliant dialogue do you bring to this forum??

    2. While you might not agree with his points, he is merely expressing his opinion, which is exactly what this site is designed to do (besides keep us up to date about the Phillies and the farm. I know that I look forward to people responding to my comments when they diasgree with what I say.

    1. I’d say it’s a certainty. It’s the only way that ownership/management know how to do business. It’s the old Chicago Cubs approach: “we all know we’re not going to win many games, but come see Ernie Banks.” Ownership seemed truly surprised and upset when Rolen and Schilling didn’t want to be Ernie Banks in their business plan. Now Rollins, Utley, and Ruiz are in this role in the business plan, and the constant cry of “RBIs — productivity” suggest that TPTB think they can actually sell Howard to the fans next season.

      1. I don’t see any team taking a chance on Howard unless he is released. There are other players that can be had via free agency or through a trade that would be better than Howard for 1B/DH positions. IMO they need to land Tomas this off season. He is 23 and IMO a much better fit than Castillo. If you add Tomas to Nola, Franco, Crawford, and Giles and their are some very good players to build around. Trading Hamels would also bring back some players to add to that list. Next years draft should bring in some more talent as well. If they trade hamels they will have a bad 2015 season giving them more good picks. If all goes well in 2016 we have a young nucleus with some more guys on the way and a lot of money to spend in free agency or to pay players acquired through trades. We also wouldn’t lose or 2016 draft pick on a big name free agent because we would most likely be a bottom 10 team. If they do not sign Tomas or player of his caliber I will not be pleased.

        1. I agree with you. They have a potentially good core coming up in a couple of years.

          The question becomes do you trade the pieces like Hamels, Utley, Rollins, Papelbon, Howard, etc. and gain additional prospects to strengthen the core and bite the bullet for a few years?

          It appears the ownership wants to take the alternate route.

          1. No, they really don’t. Not yet, at least. It will take more good drafts. Who do they have coming up who make up a good new core? Crawford may be a near star at SS, but likely simply an above average starter. Nola likely a very solid #3, maybe a decent #2. Quinn perhaps a slightly above average CF. Franco maybe an average 1B. Better than we’ve had on the farm for a while, but doesn’t hold a candle to Utley/Rollins/Werth/Victorino/Hamels and then the added FA. What’s on the farm is a start, but it’s far from being a new core. That’s why trades were so important. The Phillies need more lottery tickets for potential future starters. They need more low finishes to draft even better than #7. Frankly, they need some great scouting and a little luck. Even if you squint really hard, you can’t turn what is now working its way through the farm into the core of a new WS team.

    2. Jayson Stark seems to think Ruben is on the hot seat, no matter what affirmations David Montgomery had given him the other day.
      And iof Ruben is moved out, with a new GM then next year, and the changes that will probably occur, then next year would seem to be another long season.

      1. I don’t know that is what he said exactly. He mentioned a lot of talk about the decision makers under Ruben, and it is quite possible that, unless Monty steps down, all that will be done is adding an Asst. GM with some nebulous analytics connection and another player development guy. That is, I guess, a more accurate prediction of what they do.

  20. David Urban- I’m lost then . . . What was your point in mentioning 9 players under contract for 129m? If you don’t want them to sign big names (not that there are any of those available outside 2-3 ppl) then why mention their payroll as an issue for the off season?

    1. On a team as rich as the Phillies, there is absolutely nothing wrong with 129 million for 9 guys. The problem is with two or three of those contracts (depending on Lee’s health). But none of those three contracts are moveable, except maybe Papelbon’s and his is the least egregious (assuming Lee is out or ineffective). But you can’t fix that problem by trading the other 6 guys, all of whom have reasonable contracts.

      There may be other reasons to trade those guys, but “freeing up money to sign free agents” is not one of them.

        1. Not at all.

          Look, we both know it’s a moot point, as the team isn’t going to be contending for at least the next couple of years (I’m less pessimistic about the system than you are, but even so, contention is a LONG way away), and therefore aren’t going to be spending much on the FA market anyway.

          But I was responding(indirectly) to Urban’s argument that spending 129 million on 9 players is problematic. It’s not, as long as those 9 players are worth the price. They currently are not on the Phillies, but that’s a function of the horrible Howard contract, Lee’s injury, and to a lesser extent the Papelbon contract.

          But if your core is solid, filling out those last 16 slots with 50 million is doable and should even be pretty easy. Now, the current Phillies team does NOT have a solid bottom 16. Actually, their non-core players are (relative to typical good teams) very weak. But that’s not because they spend too much on their core – it’s because of a combination of poor talent evaluation and a farm system that has produced essentially nothing since Ruiz came up.

          Moreover, Urban used this argument as a way to justify salary dumps. And that’s just plain silly. As I said, there are reasons to think about trading Utley/Ruiz/Rollins/Byrd/Burnett/Hamels, but saving money isn’t one of them – they all have contracts that, by current FA market standards, are decent to good. NONE of those guys could be replaced by a superior similarly priced FA.

          1. You are exactly right LarryM. The main asset the Phils have is $. Dumping salary helps in no way unless the salary that is eaten brings a prospect that could help the team. I have said a # of times that Ruben has done a terrible job, but this last trade deadline is not one of his mistakes. Despite the Buster/Peter Gammons reports of what he asked for, not a single mention has been made of a quality prospect that Ruben turned down. I think clubs, like a few on this site, think that just dumping $ helps in some way. It does not. There is not a FA in this coming class that the team cannot afford without losing the 1st $ of salary that they are currently obligated to.

            1. It is not about dumping salary so much as it is to give your team salary flexibility going forward. $129 million to nine players and when you look at the 21 potential guys that were posted above almost all of the starting spots are filled with the exception of a starter and bench players.

              If you trade guys you gain flexibility to add a player either through free agency or trade. Keeping a high payroll through rebuilding and losing 90 games is not a smart business strategy.

            2. Just bear with me here.

              Going back to Eric’s 25 man roster for next season.

              OF – Byrd, Revere, Brown, Mayberry
              IF – Howard, Utley, Rollins, Asche, ???????, ???????

              Let’s say we sign Tomas in the offseason and put him into a corner OF position.

              Let’s say that Franco builds upon the second half of this season in AAA and pushes for a spot on the roster next year.

              Where does he go? Howard has him blocked at first, Asche at third, the outfield is set.

              Where does he play and who sits? Are you going to give up on Asche already and let him sit or convert him to the outfield? If you convert him who sits in the outfield?

              The problem is that the lineup is already being penciled in for next season by bringing back almost everyone from consecutive 90 loss seasons.

              That is not the way to rebuild your team.

            3. You’re conflating two different issues, and repeating arguments without even addressing the counterarguments.

              Your specific substantive arguments (your second comment) have nothing to do with salary flexibility at all, but rather with blocking players. That’s an arguable concern (undercut somewhat by the lack of major league ready prospects; Franco is the one exception, but he doesn’t help your argument because (a) we all would love to see Howard traded, as would the organization, but he is untradeable, and (b) Despite your argument about Asche, it would be a really stupid move to bring Franco up as a first baseman).

              But the salary flexibility issues is non-existent for the reasons that I stated and that you quite frankly ignored. Just repeating “you gain flexibility to add players through free agency or trade” doesn’t address the facts that:

              (1) The FA market is lousy
              (2) The team doesn’t have the assets to trade for young guys, or a reason to trade for old guys, and
              (3) The tradeable contracts are market rate or better contracts.

              Again, there are OTHER reasons to consider trades, and I advocated a more aggressive approach at the deadline. But you’re just not getting players as good as Rollins/Utley/Hamels/Ruiz/Byrd at their contract AAVs. Burnett maybe, though it looks like he is going to retire anyway.

              The point is, under those circumstances, salary flexibility doesn’t help. Sure, freeing up Howard’s salary would be useful, but that’s extremely unlikely (and it’s clear that the organization will trade him if they can). Papelbon also, but again the team is trying to trade him. And Lee is untradeable for health reasons.

            4. I disagree 100%.

              Amaro has created a roster where guys are blocked all over the place. I never included Ruf but this week Amaro said that we need to find out about Ruf. How?

              You have no idea who may be available at the Winter Meetings and at what price.

              The Red Sox sold off their team a few years ago, made smart signings, and won a World Series. They are positioning themselves once again to do the same.

              What are we doing? Leaning on history.

              Whose strategy works?

              If you are happy with the current strategy then fine that is your opinion.

              I believe that the state of the roster is a mess for this and next year and laid out how it is a mess.

            5. Okay, last point first. Yes, the roster for next year is a bit of a mess, but THERE IS NO CURE FOR THAT. The combination of an almost complete lack of young controllable talent, one really bad untradeable contract, an injured and expensive ace, and a 12 million dollar closer is toxic and unfixable in the short run. (There are other problems as well with the roster that CAN be addressed with better roster management, but that won’t be enough to make the team competitive, and won’t require the level of payroll flexibility that you advocate.

              You can disagree all you want, but you have to support your argument by making good arguments, and actually REFUTE the counterarguments made against your argument. You’re doing neither. Your only decent arguments have nothing to do with “payroll flexibility” – they have to do with clearing space for prospects. I don’t fully agree with those arguments (Ruf is a first baseman; again, no one, including the Phillies brain trust, such as it is, would object to trading Howard. The problem is no one wants him), but you at least have an arguable point on that issue, and I have no interest in arguing in detail about my somewhat different take.

              But on the payroll flexibility issue, your arguments aren’t even coherent. Let’s start by repeating – it needs repeating – that you basically fail to EVEN ENGAGE the counterarguments. If this was a college debate you would lose on that point alone. But onto your “arguments:”

              -“Boston type turn around” – you keep citing this, but it is laughable on at least two fronts. First of all, Boston manged to do that by trading bad contracts, not by trading decent to good contracts. The Phillies do have 3 bad contracts, but one of them is so bad that it is untradeable (and if I’m wrong, it will be traded – not a controversy), one is for an injured pitcher and is untradeable for that reason, and the other is probably untradeable, is only 12 million, and again the team is trying to trade it. The other contracts are decent – NOT the kind of contracts traded by Boston – and it just doesn’t make sense to trade those kinds of contracts for payroll flexibility. (Again, it may make sense to trade them for other reasons.)

              But even more to the point, that Boston team, after the LA trade, retained a much, much stronger core of talent than the Phillies do. The idea that the Phillies have enough talent to contend next year if they make a couple of good trades and a couple of free agent signings is ludicrous.

              Anyone who thinks the Phillies can do that kind of turnaround doesn’t know baseball. But this isn’t merely a difference of opinion about whether such an approach can work. If I’m right – and I am – then it implies an entirely different strategy. And that strategy does not involve taking on big contracts. And if you’re not taking on big contracts, you don’t need the kind of payroll flexibility that you are advocating.

              I’ll throw in a third problem with the comp, though this is moot given the other two issues above. The LA deal was likely a once in a decade deal – the chance of an equivalent deal happening with the Phillies is slim and none.

              -“you don’t know who is going to be available this winter” – well of course on free agents we DO know, and it’s a sorry list except for a couple of guys who will get mega contracts. But I expect that you mean trades. It doesn’t matter. At all. Old guys it would make no sense to trade for, young guys would cost a king’s ransom in prospects. Or are you one of the fantasists who think that some team will trade us a young star for a few marginal prospects?

            6. And the “are you happy with the current strategy” “argument” is embarrassing. Deeply. I really feel kind of bad for you. (Hint: there are, indeed, more than two strategies for building a team.)

  21. 7yr/72.5 Million for Cuban OF . Going to Boston. I reject the notion that the Red Sox have any financial advantage over the Phillies. Won WS last year after dumping players, but getting back talent. Now down again, so made more smart moves. And, a much better farm system than the Phils. We, on the other hand, are the exact opposite. We will stink for 5 years minimum, and have zero plan to get back to the top. This may not work again for Boston, but it has once, and I bet they are better situated to get back than we are.

    1. 7yr/ 72.5mil was a bit of a surprise to me. If he is good then Boston just signed a good player for roughly 10mil a year which is a pretty good deal now a days, I think Tomas will be looking at about 7yrs as well. He will probably make more than Castillo did. Tomas is worth 7yrs because at the end of that deal he would be 30. Castillo will be 34 when his contract is up. My best guess would be Tomas 7yr/80-90mil. Tomas is in a good situation because if he produces he will hit free agency again at about 30 years old, just in time for another good pay day.

      1. I look Boston and they just keep going out and trying, they got rid of bad contracts, and tried with some new players it didn’t work and now they are bad at adding talent. I really like that they are out there trying to get better. I wish we had there attitude.

  22. Tomas is a dream. The price tag for these guys will keep
    Going up up up as long as they keep producing on the bigs. I don’t think the phillies will overpay for an
    Unproven player. But it’s nice to dream.

    (Brad’s note: Someone used Romus’ handle to make this comment. Note sure why. If it was you, don’t do it again. If we find a pattern in the IP addresses, we’ll block your IP. And if it happens to be someone we know doing it to be a jerk to Romus for some reason, I will out you and shame you and then make posts under your username to make you seem like an idiot.)

    1. IMO I think we actually have a good chance at landing Tomas. He is more valuable than Castillo, so yes he will cost more money. So far we have seen Ruben get the player he wants on numerous occasions. He traded for Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay (Who was absolutely fantastic before his injury), resigned Cliff Lee on the open market, traded for Oswalt, then Pence, and he quickly signed Byrd this past off season (to a bad deal). My point is that if Tomas is a player they believe can be a middle of the order bat in our lineup that will pursue him aggressively. If Tomas can hit for a decent average while smacking 25-30 or so home runs and play relatively good defense he is worth ever penny. 12-14 million would a year would be a good price for that kind of production. Hunter Pence is making 18mil a year so 4-6mil less per season for a guy who has more power and is a lot younger seems pretty good to me. Granted Pence has consistently hit at the MLB level while Tomas is unproven. It is hard to think that Tomas can’t be at least a decent regular with the success of recent Cubans. We have watched a lot of big name international players sign lately and thrive in the big leagues. How many more players like Tanaka, Darvish, Abreu, and Puig will we have to watch on opposing teams before we grab one ourselves? Soler is another guy who could be on the verge of making it to the show. Yes there is risk involved, but the rewards are so much larger. I say roll the dice on Tomas and let him launch balls at the bank!

      1. ematthews9… are answering my fictious ‘twin’ using my handle.
        He can be a thorn in my side.

      2. And I agree with your take on Tomas…..he may be signable.
        At this point, Ruben needs to do something drastic.

        1. Will the real Romus please stand up? Its one thing to post stuff on here and be an idiot. It is another thing to do that under someone else’s user name. Stop being classless and cowardly fake Romus because real Romus usually brings in some good perspectives and comments. You bring in nonsense.

          1. One thing I look forward to next year is no more Kendrick’s, I Wonder if Franco has a good spring he would head north with club. I just cant figure out asche. very average at best as hitter and fielder so far, guess we need to give him some more time to develop.

            1. I would not read too much into Asche’s rookie year.

              He is a rookie and expected to be a solid regular. The guy got hurt early on which probably affected him somewhat but has improved as the season went on.

  23. Ben Revere has his faults (BB rate, arm strength, reads in CF and OBP/ISO limits) and his merits (speed, contact hitter).
    But hard to believe Harry!
    But looking at Ben Revere’s first 1800 plus MLB PAs compared to Mickey Rivers first 4/5 years with the Angels….and they are strikingly similar with Rivers having a little nudge up in ISO
    I say, keep him around for awhile and see what he can do for you.

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