70 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of 9-1-14 – Combined No-Hitter? Edition

  1. Since yesterday was the last day for most of the Minor League teams, I just want to take this space to thank everyone who contributed to the site over the course of the season. No doubt there is solid content in the offseason, but I will definitely miss checking this site every morning after getting my coffee to see how the kids did. All the hard work and efford is much appreciated, and I am glad that this site exists. I love knowing as much about the Phillies minor league system as most of my friends do about the major league team. Great job everyone, posters, commenters (most of you), in what was actually a season that provided more optimism than expected.

  2. I concur. I read it while drinking my coffee every day, and check back a couple of times a day. That game was fun. The season was awful, Management has done a terrible job for 3 years but it was fun to see that game. Looking forward to discussing the new Top 30.

  3. With “ditto” and “concur” let me go with “I agree” (after that I am thesaurus bound). I can’t thank enough the great folks who run and contribute to this site. It’s a go-to site for me and is a terrific source of information, from overall farm system news to detailed game reports. I know the time and effort it takes to put this together so my thanks as well.

  4. Same here. Thanks to everyone who makes this site great. There is nothing like it. I am excited for the top 30 as well, I think it’ll be the deepest it’s been in years.

  5. I will have to wait til the AFL starts to check on our guys.
    Thanks to all for their contributions. Best site around.

  6. Here’s my Phillies 2014 Minor League All Star Team (Position Players First). These are based on numbers alone.

    Phillies Minor League All Star Team

    C – William Astudillo .333/.366/.433 30 Doubles 4HR 61RBI
    Andrew Knapp (CLW/LKW) .260/.324/.385 6HR 32RBI

    1B – Jake Fox .308/.373/.591 22HR 70RBI
    Joseph Miranda (VSL) .283/.344/.445 5HR 40RBI

    2B – Tim Zier (GCL) .324/.415/.408
    Andrew Pullen (LKW) .270/.332/.374 9HR 61RBI
    Tyler Henson (LV) .272/.331/.415 9HR 45RBI 19SB

    3B – Carlos Alonso (CLW) .272/.367/.396 10HR 44RBI 60BB
    Maikel Franco (LV) .257/.299/.428 16HR 78RBI

    SS – JP Crawford (LKW/CLW) .285/.375/.406 11HR 48RBI 24SB
    William Cuicas (GCL) .310/.433/.431

    OF – Pete Lavin (CLW/R) .287/.332/.441 11HR 49RBI
    Roman Quinn (CLW) .257/.343/.370 7HR 32SB
    Jiandido Tromp (LWK/WIL) .256/.316/.456 15HR 42RBI 19SB
    Jesus Alastre (VSL) .314/.409/.371 22RBI 13SB

    I’m sure there with be some disagreements. I was bored at work, when nothing goes on in the town I work then there’s not much for me to do (which is a good thing for all involved).

      1. Haha Very good at reading in between the line.

        Looking at the numbers again, while as a whole I think it was a good season for the farm system. It’s still sad to see that the best numbers where put up by many “non prospects”.

    1. Interesting that only 4 of MLB’s top 13 (not counting Valentin as #14) Phillies position prospects made this all-star list.
      I thought you did a pretty decent job.
      I think Pullen should be on the Top 20 MLB list.

  7. But add in hope that Nola, Imhoff and Aaron Brown are good prospects and the terrific job done by Ken Giles and a Biddle may be 8th on my Top 30.

    1. Aaron Brown’s serious lack of plate discipline has me concerned – if it doesn’t improve a lot, he won’t make it – so let’s see what he does in a full season. Not sure what to make of Imhoff.

      As for Nola, I’m a big fan. AA Reading is a notoriously favorable hitting environment and Nola, with almost no seasoning, has gone there and done very well. As for concerns regarding his strikeout rate (which, in turn, is translated into a concern about his ability to suceeed at higher levels), I’ll preach patience for many reasons. First, it’s a small sample size. Second, it’s been a long season for him. Third, I think he’s feeling his way through the process of how to pitch to professional hitters. Fourth, the velocity is still quite good (low to mid 90s, touching higher). Fifth, striking out batters for Nola will be as much as about command and setting hitters up the right way as it will be about his pure stuff – so give him time to work out the rough spots. If he stays healthy, I think Nola will be quite good and deserving of the pick.

      1. I agree about Nola. But here is a question. Chooch is widely regarded as a terrific handler of Pitchers. Who do we have going forward who has that Catching tool? I know Chooch is here for 2 more years, but after him.

  8. Ditto on thank you for the contributors.

    As for a discussion topic, Amaro seems to be making big statements about changes. I am actually pretty skeptical that major changes actually happen. I think the lineup will be little changed next year. But I hope that I am wrong.

    1. Agreed. “Significant” is one of those words whose meaning is relative to the goals of the speaker. Four new bench players and a couple new “Carmona-like” pitchers could be “significant” to the organization. But, I think that to most of the readers and commenters here, “significant” would involve the movement of one or more of the big contracts – Ruiz, Howard, Utley, Rollins, Byrd, Hamels, Burnett, and/or Papelbon. Toss in Brown, Revere, and/or Bastardo. Insertion of Franco, Ruf, Nola, et al into the lineup, platoon, or rotation. In that respect, I think there will be little movement and no “significant” change to the lineup next season. Sorry, but my mug is always half empty.

  9. Great job by a lot of guys. the daily reports from Clearwater by Jim are great ty. Hope the site continues its great work.

  10. If Revere was a FA going into this off season what kinda contract do you think he’d get?

    He would be coming off of 3 decent seasons:

    2012 – .294/.333/.342 w/ 34SB
    2013 – .305/.338/.352 w/ 22 SB in a injury short season
    2014 – .310/.328/.364 w/ 42 SB

    The 2014 is incomplete, I think he may hit the 50SB mark.

    What would he be worth on the open market?

    4years 25m?

    1. 3 yrs; $15-21 million. He’s about a 1-2 WAR player now and his only apparent upside would be achieved through improving his fielding, which may or may not happen. He would be signed but the market for him is limited. I don’t see him getting much more than $5-7 million a year right now – maybe a little more, but not much.

    2. Revere compares favorably to Billy Hamilton and Dee Gordon as well. We bang on his low OBP, but it’s higher than both of theirs. OPS is similar as well. They have more students, but Revere has a much higher success rate. Can we Tommy John his arm? I’ve heard people come back throwing harder . . .

  11. I think we should keep him and play him in LF where his arm is not an issue and then trade Brown for whatever and somehow find a CF. Who that would be I don’t know yet. I don’t see Byrd getting dealt in the off-season either, maybe at next year’s deadline. Franco starts season at LV and Ruf plays 1B, IF Howard moved. But the big changes that Amaro is hinting at I think are fantasy.

  12. Thoughts on Nori Aoki with Kansas City? Looking at Cot’s Baseball Contracts and he is a free agent. Good left handed bat with a plus arm.

    Revere, Aoki, Byrd, Tomas?, Brown, Invite Franklin Gutierrez to camp?

  13. This is more of a comment on the appalling lack of young or even prime talent on the major league squad, especially among the position players, as opposed to an endorsement of the older vets (after all, none of these guys will be part of the next contending Phillies team), but Utley, Rollins, Ruiz and Byrd collectively now have 12.8 fWAR. Whereas the rest of the position players – four regulars and numerous bench players – are collectively 2.9 fWAR below replacement. Things are a bit better on the pitching side.

  14. MAG making his major league debut now. I’d be curious what others who may be watching the game, are thinking. He’s already touched 96.

  15. A little late to the party but a big thanks to all who make this such a worthwhile site. I’ll miss the box scores everyday but look forward to interesting discussions during the off season.

  16. I would like to see Sanberg run this lineup out a few times.
    Revere
    Rollins
    Utley
    Byrd
    Ruf
    Sizemore
    Franco
    Ruiz

    1. I like the personnel, but I think you want to change the order a little bit. Chooch, while not fast, is ideally suited to being a number 2 hitter due to his OBP and his ability to hit the ball consistently to all fields. Perhaps something like this:

      Revere
      Ruiz (or Rollins)
      Utley
      Byrd
      Ruf
      Sizemore
      Rollins (or Ruiz)
      Franco

      I think Sizemore is going to be a very valuable player next year – perhaps 2 or 3 WAR or more. I’d be fine going into the season with an outfield of Sizemore, Revere and Byrd, with Franco and Asche battling it out at third in ST and Ruf playing first (project his numbers out to a full season – he’s at least 2-4 WAR – the dude can hit and he’s a good defensive first baseman). I’m also having Asche learn to play multiple positions, including the outfield and perhaps some at second base (going back to second made Daniel Murphy’s career – I think Asche is as good of an athlete as Murphy).

      As for Howard and Brown – I’ve had enough for both, which is saying something when it comes to Brown as I’ve been one of his biggest supporters. Brown has no trade value so I’m not getting rid of him unless he becomes a cancer, which is looking increasingly possible (in which case, I get rid of him). If Brown surprises me and Byrd and Sizemore continue to be good values, you can trade either player.

      1. I see no reason to play both Sizemore and Byrd next year. The objective is not to put the best product on the field next year, because the best case scenario is still not a very good team. Rather, it’s to set us up for the best chances later on down the road. In that case you have to go with (at least mostly) the players who have a CHANCE at being a part of the next competitive team.

        Neither Byrd nor Sizemore fit that criteria. What I would do is trade Byrd in the offseason and sign Sizemore to a “show me” deal. If he does well, trade him at the deadline. Meanwhile, Brown has a chance, even if small, of contributing to the Phils beyond this year so let him try to work it out. Same with Revere’s defense.

        We really don’t have anyone to take over for Utley or Rollins yet, so let them keep playing unless they want to leave/someone will give us a good haul for them. Same with Ruiz (time to step up, Rupp…).

        As for Asche, he would have stayed at 2nd if he could play there. He’s immensely more valuable there and we are much thinner at 2B in the minors than 3B (which is kind of depressing to think about in multiple ways). If the bat doesn’t come around, he’s pretty much a flame out. But let him play in the bigs to begin with while Franco accrues a little more service time at AAA. Let their play determine what you do next, whether it’s to relegate Asche to the bench, move Franco to 1B (if only temporarily until a trade is made), or let Asche see some time in the OF (maybe after Sizemore has been traded).

        You’re right about Howard, though. There is almost literally zero benefit to playing him anymore. I’d really like to remember him for his Bonds-like early years rather than the abomination of hitting he has become, but it gets harder to do that each time management trots him out to 1B. Even if Ruf has little chance to be anything, at least the chance exists. And hey, if Ruf falters too that opens a spot for Franco to get some at bats versus ML pitching while we figure out what we have in him and Asche.

        1. If we have to move Ascho or Franco to 1B, why Franco and not Asche? You can say his bat doesn’t play there, but does Howard’s (assuming we aren’t putting Ruf there)? We shouldn’t move Franco off 3B so Asche can stay there, when Franco is obviously the better fielder.

        2. You make some good points and there’s a lot to respond to here, so let me just say this.

          1. May you’re right about Asche at second but either way, I’d like to increase his positional flexibility and get him onto the field. I think, in the long run, he’s going to be a very productive major league hitter, but it may take a while. He’s worth waiting for and it’s wise to give him multiple opportunities to play.

          2. Ruf can play. I’m almost certain of it (his lifetime offensive stats in the majors are very good). He’s unlikely to be a first tier first baseman, but he could very well give you the type of production that you get from, say, an Adam LaRoche in a good year, all at a cheap price.

          3. I agree that Byrd and Sizemore are not part of a long term solution, but I think Sizemore could be part of a medium term plan and both could serve as “assets” for the team with reasonable contracts (Byrd has significantly outplayed his contract this year). I understand what you are saying about Brown, but I think Brown now needs to get a dose of reality and fight for playing time because he hasn’t justified the team’s confidence in him. If he plays great, they can always trade a player, even if they have to eat some salary. Of course, if the team signs a young stud like Tomas, maybe it trades Byrd now, puts sizemore in right, keeps Revere in center and platoons Ruf and Brown in left until Tomas is ready.

          1. Would Byrd qualify as a Type A FA after next season?? Provided he had another season like this?? He’s Top 20 in more than a few categories. Is that still how they figure Type A/B??

            1. The Qualifying offer at that time would be upwards of $15mil and at that age why would Byrd turn that down?

              Not likely at the age he is then he gets a multi year deal so type A/B is moot

        3. Ruf’s biggest problem is age. He is 28 and in his prime. What you see is more than likely what you will get.

          Sizemore may be ok next year but we have this log jam of bodies in the OF with Byrd/Revere/Sizemore/Brown/Ruf.

          Sizemore is in his early 30’s and not worth more than a year or two. Since we are a rebuilding team it does not make sense to give him at bats at the expense of Ruf or Brown.

          If you sign Sizemore then Brown has to go. If Sizemore goes then Brown plays.

          If Byrd is traded (which he should have at the deadline) then you can make the case for keeping Sizemore on a one year, team friendly deal for one corner and put Brown in the other saving a few million per year.

  17. De La Rosa signs extension with Rockies. He was on the Phils off-season list along with Brandon McCarthy. We know they are going to spend money. Tomas fits the Gillick “think outside the box, can’t rely on Draft, have to take chances” comment.

    1. I’m as excited about Franci as everyone else but I prefer he work on his plate discipline problems in AAA next year than the majors. It will give the club a second chance to see what they have with Asche’s bat.

    2. I was looking at de la rosa numbers, he got 12.5 million a year,. and he had 28 starts. 16 were quality starts. I also looked at his numbers on the road and they werent great. so I am really wondering if he is a big upgrade over Kendrick’s, with his 4.26 era.

  18. I know what we want them to do, but realistically we can hope for Tomas, unloading Howard and playing Ruf at 1B, a middle of the rotation P, like McCarthy, and maybe some risk that pays off for Dom Brown. I don’t know what that team will paly like, but it is a start.

  19. The free agent pitching market as David Murphy sees it:
    Tier 1 ($20M+ year, 5+ years): Max Scherzer, James Shields, Jon Lester

    Tier 2 ($12M+ year, 3+ years): Ervin Santana, Francisco Liriano.

    Tier 3 ($8 M+ year, 2+ years): Jason Hammel, Brandon McCarthy, Jorge De La Rosa.

    Tier 4 ($8M+ year, 1+ year): Jake Peavy, Justin Masterson.

    Tier 5 ($5 M+ year, 1 year): Ryan Vogelsong, Edinson Volquez, Kevin Correia, Wandy Rodriguez, Kyle Kendrick.

      1. I’m sure we can pry Fernandez and Stanton from Miami while we are at it… 2015 WS here we come!

    1. I don’t know that Shields gets 5+ years. But I guess the current trend would make it pretty likely.

      Anyways, I like Lester, McCarthy, and Masterson of that list. Lester will cost more than we’ll want to pay, though. As long as the other two aren’t offered a QO, they both represent options that could bring in some value at the trade deadline with little risk. Josh Beckett could also fit that mold.

      I’d also like to re-sign Sizemore or go after Rasmus (after trading Byrd) for the same reason.

  20. My patience with Dom Brown is done. How can he complain about playing time with as bad as he’s played, I just don’t get it. He needs to go for another team’s failed prospect. I’m sure someone would take a shot on him. I like Sizemore as a 4th OF if they can find someone to play LF full time like the Cuban guy. I’m sure they’ll explore trading Byrd but its not like he’ll get us a lot and he’s had a very solid year offensively and defensively. I’d be fine bringing him back. I feel the same with Pap. He’s been fine and if he doesn’t bring us back anything, there’s no reason to trade him. We’re stuck with Howard so everyone should just stop saying we’re going to trade him. Who in their right mind would eat $45M to watch him play elsewhere? Its not good business. Rup and Galvis will be on the bench, possibly with Sizemore and Nieves is as good as any back up catcher, it doesn’t matter that much honestly. The rotation is where it gets dicey. Unfortunately, we all know there’s only one guy we can trade who will get us back something of value and that’s Cole. The question is whether you trade Cole now and stink for at least 2 years or keep him and probably stink for 5 years. I think we need to trade him if we can get back a premium package.

    1. I actually agreed with Amaro’s comments on Brown the other week. He essentially said that it’s tough to cut ties with his physical ability and background who has at least shown promise at times I. The majors, but that patience isn’t inexhaustible. I really got the impression that they’re nearing the end with him absent a turnaround

      1. I would agree.
        But David Murhpy had an article a few weeks ago, and wish I could have saved it, but identified many young ‘hot-shots’ who came on the scene from the minors with the best reports and top ten rankings, and struggled for years, then turned it around in their 26/27 age seasons….one he mentioned was Jose Bautista.
        So there is the risk and gamble.
        Trade Brown and he explodes with another club. Though hios defense will probably be what it is.

      2. Then again, the Phillies may be able to pry from the Rays,CF Desmond Jennings,for Dom Brown, who also is not living up to what the Rays expected.
        He does play a decent CF, then you could move Revere to LF or in a trade.
        But Jennings numbers are somewhat pedestrian like Brown’s so far.

        1. Desmond Jennings has a WAR of 11.7 for 4 years of play (not counting his first call-up.) He is also younger than Brown. D Brown has a negative WAR – why do you think the Rays would make a deal like that?

      3. If you are not going to play Brown then you might as well trade him for a turnaround prospect.

        It does not make sense for you to hold onto a guy with a load of talent to sit him on the bench when you are rebuilding. It is one or the other at this time in his career.

        If you let him go, which will happen eventually, and someone picks him up and he turns it around you got nothing.

        Either you commit to him and give him 500 AB’s or cut ties. On a rebuilding club Sizemore and Byrd bring nothing to the table.

        1. Well yeah, which is essentially what Amato said. He’ll start until they run out of patience and then they’ll trade him.

          I didn’t say anything about Sizemore or Byrd

          1. I just mentioned Byrd and Sizemore because I tend to look at the OF as a whole rather than one position. If Brown is going to play it will come at the expense of either one.

            Not to sidetrack the conversation but FWIW I think the signing and time Sizemore is getting speaks volumes about the organizations feelings about both Brown and Ruf.

  21. I don’t know fangraph, but a writer for them said, even with Kendrick’s and Adams off the books the raises, will offset there salary, that sucks.

  22. Someone better decide who these Phillies are… and soon. They are 7.5 games out of the wildcard right now. Everyone in their division is above them so they’ll probably be playing them a lot in September. If they play like they’ve been playing, they’ll make a remarkable run that will end up just short of the goal. They are also tied for 9th worst record in the league. Continuing to win puts them in serious jeopardy of getting a top 10 pick in the Draft. A protected top 10 pick. Someone didn’t sign their #1 this year. I think it was Houston. So they have to get at least to #9 worst record to have a top 10 pick in the 2015 draft. As I said at the top, someone better decide who these Phillies are. Texas has lost 8 in a row. They are really trying to nail down that worst record.

    1. Thats what makes it hard routing for them now.
      On one hand I like to see them win, then the other hand each win means a higher pick, plus the fact if this team wins in the next three weeks, does everyone return for the next season!

    2. Top 11. And yes it was the Astros, it was a pretty big story . . You know the first overall pick (Brady Akien) that they failed to sign.

  23. After yesterday’s game Bryce Harper’s remarks on the Phillies bullpen:
    “It’s unbelievable,” he said of the Phillies’ bullpen. “You’ve got Diekman, who’s 98 to 100 (mph) from the left side. You’ve got Giles, who is 100 also from the right side with a dirty slider. And then you’ve got Pappy, who has been out there for a long time. He’s a guy that has closed games for a long time and knows how to pitch. That’s fairly tough. When you have a guy that comes in the fifth inning like (Justin) De Fratus throwing 98 mph, you don’t see that. It’s pretty crazy to see.”

  24. The Phillies are going to have to get creative in their rebuild if they want to be relevant quicker then say 2019.

    Here’s an idea . . . Jung-ho Kang. He should get posted this off season . . He’s a 27 year old SS who has legitimate power (believe he had 37 HR this year) and has a good glove, arm IMO isn’t that strong which is where the creativity comes in. Move him to 2B. He’ll need time to adjust to 2B which is fine bc Utley has shown he’s still somewhat productive. Utley can mentor him and help him with 2B as Utley makes his move over to 1B (bye bye Ryan Howard). Look at an Inf of Utley at 1B, Kang 2B, Franco 3B and JP at SS come 2016 . . It may have some growing pains but could really be a good infield come 2017 on beyond.

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