Open Discussion: Week of January 19th

Here’s a recap of some of the recent Phillies news.

A few weeks ago, former Pirates’ left-handed pitcher Wandy Rodriguez (who turned 36 today) agreed to a minor league contract with the Phillies.  Rodriguez (formerly Eny Cabreja), made the Pirates’ opening day roster in 2014 and started 6 games (0-2, 6.75) before being sent to their AA affiliate in Altoona for the rest of the season.  This past week, Rodriguez became this season’s Chad Gaudin when he failed his physical.  Subsequently, he signed a $2M deal with Atlanta. 

This week, Pirates’ right-handed pitcher Jeanmar Gomez (26) signed a minor league contract with the Phillies that included an invitation to Spring Training.  Gomez made 44 appearances out of the Pirates bullpen in 2014.  He made 8 starts among his 34 appearances in 2013.  Gomez spent all but one week on the Pirates major league roster the past 2 seasons.

The Phillies claimed left-handed hitting outfielder Jordan Danks (28) off waivers from the Chicago White Sox.  Danks is able to play all 3 outfield positions.  Over half of his major league starts have been in center fielder.   He has spent parts of the past 3 seasons on the major league roster.  This action is notable because it brings the 40 man roster up to 40 men.

Aaron Nola was invited to attend major league spring training.  The non-roster invitees now number 18 – pitchers: Paul Clemens, Jeanmar Gomez, Nola, Sean O’Sullivan, Kevin Slowey; catchers: Rene Garcia, John Hester, Koyie Hill; infielders: Andres Blanco, Russ Canzler, Chase d’Arnaud, Chris McGuiness, Chris Nelson, Cord Phelps; outfielders: Jeff Francoeur, Darin Mastroianni, Xavier Paul, and Brian Bogusevic.

A group of ten young players attended the Phillies Prospects Program in Philadelphia this week.  The group included Aaron Nola, JP Crawford, Roman Quinn, Severino Gonzalez, Neifi Ogando, Cameron Perkins, Tim Windle, Zach Eflin, Joely Rodriguez, and Ben Lively.  Hector Neris was scheduled to be a part of the group but was still pitching in winter ball.  Lively was added in his place.

The Phillies entered the off season with 4 players entering arbitration.  They reached an early agreement with Cesar Jimenez back on October 23rd (probably just above league minimum).  They avoided arbitration with Antonio Bastardo when they traded him to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Joely Rodriguez.  Bastardo and the Pirates came to a $3.1M agreement.  This week they avoided arbitration altogether when the reached agreements with Ben Revere for $4.1M and Domonic Brown for $2.5M.

And in Clearwater, the new scoreboard at Bright House Field remains under construction.  It doesn’t appear that much work has been completed since the old scoreboard was removed.  Phantasy Week starts this week.  A sign of the times could be the $12 charge for a ticket to the first “spring training” game against the University of Tampa on March 1st.  In 2012, the Phillies opened with a game against Florida State.  There was no charge to attend that game.  In 2013 and 2014, the college game was replaced with an intrasquad game that was open to the public for free.  Another interesting fact is the availability of tickets for the Tampa Bay game on St. Patty’s Day.  Historically, the March 17th game has been among the toughest tickets to acquire.  And the Rays draw better than most other visiting teams at Bright House.  As of this morning, there are still over 1,800 tickets available.



119 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of January 19th

  1. Along with the new attitude of the front office away from the 2008 players, their free agent signings have been more thoughtful and productive, at least in Winter Baseball. Their trades have been better also. Is it the liberation the GM’s office feels about making trades? Also, in thinking about the second Lee trade, which exposed the tight control of the front office over Amaro, their information came from the guys that came from Seattle (Looper, etc.) filled with unreal expectations.

  2. Perfect now Wandy can pitch well for the Braves and they can flip him at the trade deadline for some prospects. Argghh

  3. If…big if…they can say Moncado…would he go to Reading to play along with JP…that would be my next Big Move. As much as I dont want to trade Hamels because I want him to be a career Phillie, they need to get 3 legitimate prospects! I think they may find a taker for Howard in Spring when teams start to see what they have plus injuries. I am not sold on Revere because of D so I would trade him and give Herrera every chance to be our CF with Sizemore or Danks backing him up. Also, Ruiz needs to go…I like veteran catcher espescially with younger pitchers coming but if we can get a prospect and clear $ id go for it. Strip this down!

      1. I saw that as well…but if he is a better defensive CF with more power…thats what i want…also i would hope they can sell high on revere led league in hits and plenty of sbs

        1. Sell high on Revere? Don’t you think every team has scouts? Don’t you see every team running 1st to 3rd on his arm? Everyone knows what Revere is, for better or worse. I could see him as an adequate LF if we had a very good CF. Herrera has played CF for about 2 months now so he’s hardy a gold glove out there. The way the Florida winds make good outfielders look bad in ST, I look forward to watching Herrera play OF down there. By the way, he has very little power also and is actually very similar to Revere except without the top notch speed. The key will be to see how this converted IF does in the OF.

          1. LF is a position you need power from…so sticking revere there doesnt make sense and if herrera has little power as you say that would also not make sense. And they are going nowhere in 2016 and probably 2017 so having herrera in cf would not be a risk

    1. What do you think Ruiz is a vet that had great respect in the club house. Herrera I like to but he’s not going to jump AAA and start . I think he will stick with the team not as a everyday starter . Revere fine for right now as long as he hits 300 and steals 50 a yr. Herrera can learn to play all outfield positions. I’m not to worried about Ruiz contact I rather lose Howard, lee, pap .

      1. Interestingly the Red Sox would be an interesting destination for Ruiz and that’s if we traded for Vasquez and Ruiz held the fort for Swihart. Trading Ruiz is surely dependent on who the Phils get for Hamels in terms of whether they get a catcher back who is ready to play. Texas getting Gallardo might remove them from any Hamels talk. With Scherzer signing and one of the Nats’ existing arms now likely to be traded, the Hamels market is still very unclear.

    2. As much as Revere isn’t a true CF, neither is Herrera. Herrera, however, has a chance to become a solid LF (not necessarily this year, but they need to keep him and let him grow like they did with Vic). Park him in left for 140 games and see what kind of player he becomes. No need to play him in CF where he has almost no chance at thriving. Keep Revere in CF, let him make highlight diving catches to distract people from the bad routes and piss poor arm, and let him hit 200 singles, then trade him if/when Quinn is ready. I’m not saying Herrera is going to be an All-Star or anything, but I think that was a great pick up, and I think it’s going to be pretty exciting watching him grow up.

    1. As much as I’d like to say yes, I just don’t see it happening. I’d give it 5% chance of happening.

    1. I started this discussion a short while ago by asking the same question ( I mistakenly thought Wandy had to go onto the 40 at the time) and suggesting Aumont would be first DFA. There were valid arguments pro and con for Aumont and others. I still think it will be Aumont. Among other things, I think his non call-up in September speaks volumes of where he stands in the organization.

  4. Rizzo deals with Boras and nabs Scherzer for 7 years.
    With Lucas Giolito and AJ Cole knocing on the door, I guess this means Zimm and Fister get ante-up against Hamels, and eventually gets traded for a boatload of prospects loading up the Nats farm.

    1. Why would the Nationals get a boatload of prospects for two Free agents to be next year? They will face the same problems all the teams do trading a FA to be although they do have fewer holes to fill. Hamels still should bring more back than either Fister or Zimmerman.

          1. I think Willy Adames is a pretty good prospect….maybe top 4/5 in Phillies org.
            TB considers him to be a pretty good prospect.

  5. I hate the Nats, but you have to give Rizzo credit for some great deals. Fister was a steal. Gio a great deal, also. When they were awful they got real good draft picks. Have a ton of $ as Lerner is one of the richest owners in Baseball. I think Zimmerman or Strasburg brings back some serious talent. They already have a terrific rotation, and now add Scherzer. And, IMO, waiting to move Hamels just waits to add more competition to the SP market. none of the so-called Scherzer contenders got him, so Cards, Pads, Texas Bosox still need an Ace.

    1. But what is stopping a contending team in July from pulling a ‘Tigers with Price’ transaction and getting a Zimm or Fister, give up the obligatory prospect for a rental, then negotiate with that pitcher after the season?

      1. If they don’t trade a starter before the season starts, they’re not going to do it at the deadline. They’re not giving any of those three to a team they might have to play in October. If they can’t find the right package, they’ll just get 2 extra freaking 1st round picks when Fister and Zimm walk. When you look at their farm, they can probably let one of Gio or Stras walk next year too. They definitely got lucky with Harper and Stras being incredibly close to “sure things” with back to back #1 picks, but that front office is the one that I’m the most envious of. I think they’re smart enough to keep the band together and win 110 games in an awful division. There’s no need for them to help another team get better when they’ll definitely get 1st round picks when/if each pitcher walks.

  6. Wow nats really brought themselves a boat load of talent with this deal. They can flip two starters of quality for prospects, smart gm.

  7. I think the Max Scherzer signing will hurt the Boras’s (oops Nationals) in the long run as all their current players will become more expensive and their attendance can’t support all the payroll. This does not look like a Rizzo signing but more of a owner(Lerner) signing like Raphael Soriano was.

    1. Attendence, anymore, is not as big a nuggat as it was years ago.
      Maybe they will soon get a windfall of money from a TV contract from MASN, similar to the Phillies and Comcast.
      The network is carried by most cable and satellite providers in the mid-Atlantic region.

    2. Yes, the Scherzer deals looks good in the short term but it’s going to look downright ugly the last few years of the contract when he declines. 7 years for a pitcher who is already 30? 7 years is just too long for a power pitcher. Verlander will turn 32 and he’s already declining. Verlander only has 5 years, $140 left.

        1. If they go ahead and win just one WS with Scherzer in the rotation, some people may consider that a success.

          1. Romus one world title and the contract is worth it. imo. The nats giving this guy 30 million a year, is just going to kill the sport, how high are teams going to go to sign guys. I didn’t think this guy is worth that kind of money.

            1. rocco….it is $15M AAV for 14 years….deferred.
              Mr Lerner will be 103 -years old when Max’s contract is done. He may want to stay around to see that.

      1. Scherzer’s deal will really look ugly for the 7 years the Nats will be paying him $15m per year when he’s no longer there. that’s a ton of deferred money.

        I assume Lerner bought the deal because he wants to win now and the deferred money will be someone else’s issue once he’s gone.

        1. That’s happening a lot, in other sports, like the Doug Marrone draft picks that he left the Bills with, or the business world too. If we were able to trade picks in baseball, it would be worth taking advantage of this mentality by stockpiling draft picks a year in advance. They’re valued lower than current year picks in trades, but they’re worth the same once they come around.

  8. Were some of the supposed Hamels suitors also hot after Scherzer? I have not followed the Scherzer FA process closely. I understand that the Nats might now look to trade a couple of their other starters, but would think that the Scherzer deal makes the Hamels contract look all the better to trade partners. Hamels almost looks cheap in comparison and 4 years is a heck of a lot better than 7. If they trade Hamels, I am just sorry that the Phils will not get to take advantage of having Hamels long term at a “reasonable” salary. It is so hard to get the FA ace without an overpay. I am just not sure it is worth keeping him aroound to play on these 2015 and 2016 clubs in the hopes that the 2017 team can make a push.

  9. One thing to note with the Scherzer deal is that half the contract is deferred. I was off yesterday so I spent the day watching the MLB network. I think they say with the deferral the AAV amounts to roughly $15 mil.

  10. Other notes that I found interesting is that Lerner is 89 and wants badly to see the Championship before he passes on…

    I made a bet with someone here that Scherzer would not get over $200 million so technically I lost that bet and will be watching every pitch of the Phillies this season to the degree that I am home and they are on TV.

  11. At the end of the day having an overpaid Ace is not in and of itself a guarantee to win the WS. Just look at the WS winners going back to the 2008 and the Phillies.

    Which if any of those teams won a WS by going into FA and getting an overpaid Ace. Maybe the Yankees with Sabathia. Hell the Dodgers had arguably the best pitcher in baseball the last 2 seasons and didn’t even get to the WS.

    1. Agree….brought that point up last month.
      All the WS winning aces of late have been younger home-grown pitchers.
      Sans Sabathia in ’09.

      1. With a big hardy laugh I wouldn’t mind trading our roster for theirs.

        They can let Zimm walk collect the pick and have AJ Cole next year. They can let Desmond walk collect the pick and they have Escobar to fill in until Turner.

        Rizzo and his staff have done a real nice job down there helped of course by 2 back to back #1 picks.

        1. From 2007-11, they had 5 top ten picks signed. So there’s a reason why the Nats system has talent. The Phillies have 1 top ten pick signed, and it was this season with Aaron Nola. If the Phillies have that many top 10 picks signed, our system would be pretty good too.

          1. It is not just top 10 picks but developing talent. Just because you have a top 10 pick does not equal success. The A’s and Cardinals draft well no matter where they pick and have some of the strongest systems in baseball.

  12. And that does not excuse the Phils for their failure to build the farm system in other ways than drafting in the Top 10. They had ample opportunities and whiffed on all of them. Now, it will take more than 3 or 4 top 5 picks to get back.

  13. I guess we will know soon whether Monty steps aside and retires.
    January was the month that a decision was suppose or predicted to happen.
    It was reported by the one philly sportcaster in November that he was going to do it….either on his own accord or asked to.
    Pat Gillick at 78 is interim, as he well prefers.
    IMO, Ruben could be jettisoned up from the GM position to the Prez position.
    The other sports teams in Philly seem to be establishing that trend of the ‘upward mobility promotions’….Flyers with Holmgren and Eagles with Roseman.

    1. I guess we will know soon whether Monty steps aside and retires.
      January was the month that a decision was suppose or predicted to happen.
      It was reported by the one philly sportcaster in November that he was going to do it….either on his own accord or asked to.
      Pat Gillick at 78 is interim, as he well prefers.
      IMO, Ruben could be jettisoned up from the GM position to the Prez position.
      The other sports teams in Philly seem to be establishing that trend of the ‘upward mobility promotions’….Flyers with Holmgren and Eagles with Roseman.

  14. I just saw the BA list of Dodgers’ Top Ten prospects, and it was interesting that Zach Lee is not on it. After Windle came here, there was some talk of people preferring Lee. I just found it interesting

    1. BP has him still in the top ten at 5, and has him at 6th.
      Though, I think he projects more of a Kyle Kendrick-type pitcher

  15. Who do you think Sandberg is referring to when he says how awful the veteran clubhouse was last year?

        1. Yes they would be the ones that you would think.
          Though not sure why Sandberg would say that with papelbon still here….for today anyway.

  16. Three Tyler Greenes to don a Phillies uni somewhere in the org..
    That must be a record.
    A pitcher and two infielders.
    Unfortunately , for the one Tyler Greene, the 2011 11th round pick, he never made it to the majors

    1. It will be interesting to see how much money the Phillies send the Brewers. I’m thinking $8M should get it done.

      1. I was thinking about $10M based on $13M – 8M x 2 years. If they want a good prospect they might need to go higher but I’m not sure they will. This is one where RAJ doesn’t want to admit that he paid Pap too much money. I looked at the Brewers top 10 and there wasn’t too much there other than a good looking offensive catcher without good catching skills.

  17. I was thinking that it would be $13 million to the other club if the 2nd year option is guaranteed. $6.5 million per season for a fairly high level closer would not be bad for the other team. I really have no idea what the Phils are willing to pay or what they are being asked to pay, but would be very interested to hear those discussions. I would have thought a team like the Tigers, who had a horrible BP, would have made some overtures. I am not sure if other teams just don’t want Pap at all because of his personality or if the Phils are holding onto him in the hope of getting better prospects.

    As it stands, I am not holding my breath that the Brewers deal will get done, but hope it will be,

  18. Looks like speculation right now is 10 Mill + paps for Taylor Jungmann. Wouldn’t hate it even if Jungmann ends up being just a bullpen guy because of control issues.

    1. The review sounds interesting. A big guy, aged 25, who throws a killer sinker and gets lots of ground balls with it. I could see turning him into a two pitch reliever who gets lots of ground balls. Like so many, control is his issue.

      1. Hellweg throws 98, but comm and cont issues, and had TJ in April, so question marks exist.
        But at 6’9″ throws the proverbial and literally downhill.
        Burris could straighten him out.
        The again, maybe a Jorge Lopez could be in play.
        Is Ruben set on getting more pitching in trades?

  19. Crawford and Quinn starting in Clearwater next year w Nola starting in Reading.

    On a side note just got back from a 76ers game w “Phil from Mt Airy” real cool guy.

    1. I thought they said Quinn might start in Reading. In any event, it would surprise if both weren’t in Reading by June or sooner. If he’s healthy, I think they should start Biddle in AAA, yes, he really doesn’t deserve it, but I think a change in an scenery might help him and the better pitching environment certainly wouldn’t hurt.

      1. I think they want Biddle to have some success at AA first and regain the psychological edge that he needs. He has to overcome physical and emotional setbacks. Certainly hope that he does but it remains to be seen.

        1. I think they want him to have some success there before he leaves. I also think they like the idea of 5 prospect pitchers in one rotation, playing off each other.

      2. Catch- they were talking about this the other day saying that Quinn and Crawford will start in Clearwater until AT LEAST June/July. Nola will start in reading with Biddle as well. I believe it was Joe Jordan doing the interview.

  20. I just read that Tommy Joseph will still be delayed in spring training due to his wrist. I’m not sure what that’s about but it’s certainly not good news for Tommy and it’s been a long time since he sustained the injury. He needs at bats and he needs them this year – let’s hope he returns to full strength soon. Joseph is iffy as a receiver, but has a strong arm, great leadership skills and a lot of potential as a hitter if he can get his reps.

    1. Joseph tore something in his wrist during the collision last summer. Rest didn’t work and after it continued to bother him in GCL he had surgery late in the summer. He just posted a video this week of him swinging a bat for the first time since surgery

  21. Has there been any athlete in Philadelphia’s history who has played above-average well and contributed, but is, by a large majority, universally disliked and hope to be traded then Jonathan Papelbon?
    That is odd.

    1. I remember Dick Allen wasn’t particularly well liked when he was Richie Allen in the 60’s with the Phillies. Mike Schmidt had problems with fans on his way to a hall of fame career. And, Eagles RB Ricky Watters was an all-pro his 3 years in Philadelphia who was universally hated (“for who, for what”).

      1. Yes Jim I remember the first time around with ‘Richie’ Allen, there were those that didn’t want him to go, plus there was TO in 2005.
        Schimdty did start having the people come around in the mid-80s near the end.
        And yes spot-on Ricky Waters…he produced but people weres ready to ship him out

            1. I don’t really think Philly fans are more or less knowledgeable than most fanbases (more passionate maybe). It’s a big market with a big fanbase, so there are a lot of people that fall into both camps.

      1. Definitely. I remember people started booing him because he would never dive for the ball, and then when he gave in to the pressure and started diving for the ball, he was so bad at it that he was never the same for us. He took a lot of heat because Ed Wade never put together a good enough team or the right manager after Bowa, and Abreu got a lot of our misplaced anger.

        This town has a huge “backup quarterback” fixation. Sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have in a player, in any of our sports.

        1. Because Abreu cared for stats he was superb analytically. I’ll never forget the day after Bowa was fired, last game of season, quite the memorable game. Abreu came out for 1 AB to secure his .300 BA and then quit. Yes, I know BA is not the best analytic tool, but, this was definitely a Wade Boggs moment.

          BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. There was his sudden shrinkage after the PED scrutiny increased. I have a vague memory of Bill Conlin commenting in spring training about Abreu looking like someone let the air out of his upper body. And his power suddenly disappeared!

          For those who favor the eye test over the numbers, Abreu is exhibit A.

          1. Before someone flips, I am NOT someone who hates analytics, but the Abreu nostalgia is extremely misguided. People forget that one reason Gillick got rid of him ASAP was his affect on the other players.

            1. No, not at all true. If you really believe that bit of Phillies PR nonsense, which Gillick was almost in tears as he told us, then the owners have a bridge to sell you. It is so very, very clear that Gillick got rid of Abreu to remove his affecting other players that… this isn’t even what Gillick tried to do. This was move B after the desired move A was thwarted when Pat Burrell refused to drop his no-trade clause. Abreu graciously waived his. It should have been very clear at the time that Burrell/Abreu/somebody expensive had to be moved ASAP at the owners insistence to get back on budget, because revenues were unsatisfactory. If you believe this tale, then you likely believe the other Phillies ownership propaganda that they actually offered Rolen a ton of money before St. Louis agreed to acquire him. Just another obvious big lie brought to you by Phillies management.

  22. He was actually productive and from all reports was a real nice guy. He carried himself like a Stockbroker, and did not appear to have that Larry Bowa fire in his belly. And there was that 5 for 1 stuff. I wonder if people remember, but just that last trading deadline, the Phils refused to part with Julio Franco to get Dave Stieb when Stieb was still really good. The next off-season, Franco went as 1 of the 5 to get Hayes. Another brilliant Bill Giles move.

  23. “Gillick o mentions pitchers Aaron Nola and Severino Gonzalez, shortstop J.P. Crawford, centerfielder Roman Quinn, and infielder Maikel Franco as prospects with high ceilings but admitted some of them will never get off the ground floor.”
    —-Reading between the lines……IMHO, if I had to guess, Sev Gonzo and Roman Quinn may be the two who will not get off the ground floor…..then package them in trades with Hamels, Howard, Chooch or Paps for a better return.

    ….just the contract modification aspect of me.

      1. As much as we like to think our prospects in the AA level and below will all become the next superstars, the odds are , like Gillick mentions, they will not get off the ‘ground floor’. And from what he said the other day, and he being in the scouting and baseball business for over 50 years, leads me to believe he may be correct. I just assume that Nola, Crawford and Franco will not prove all the analyst incorrect….so leaves me with Quinn and Sev Gonzo, as the ‘some’ he was referring to.
        Then for analytical measures, just comp Quinn vs Revere from MiLB stats alone, and I can see that maybe he is correct there.
        And if including youngsters in a package to get the ‘ready-made’ players at the AAA level then I would be inclined to do that.
        For example….Hamels, money, and Quinn could net just Betts alone from the Sox or Swihart.

        1. I don’t think he was referring to any particular ‘some’ at all, but merely to the fact that some of a team’s best prospects will fall by the wayside. Some of those that fail will be for obvious reasons like a serious injuries. Others will have flaws exposed at upper levels, which were less apparent farther down the minors. The ones who flame out aren’t as predictable as all that. Howard was the guy who was going to be exposed at the higher levels, when he was bashing opposing pitchers at Reading. It finally happened, but not until after he bashed about 200 HRs in the bigs and was the preeminent power hitter for half a decade. Brown was the guy who couldn’t fail, until he did. Ruiz looked like total crap with the bat until half-way through his season at Reading. Floyd and Myers were absolutely can’t miss starters for the Phillies. We’ve had a lot of catchers of the future, until they inexplicably couldn’t hit in AAA. No guarantees with Quinn, but I certainly wouldn’t write him off. Coming back from injury and changing positions, his 2014 was quite impressive. Franco could be the one to flame out. He hit a large speed bump in AAA, recovered, then hit another bump in Philly. Some guys adjust and surge ahead, others don’t.

  24. Papelbon is so outspoken about wanting out of Philly, it’s his desire to play for a winner. So the Phils finally find a taker for him and he make demands for his option year to be guaranteed, most likely putting an end to the deal. He is a total loser.

    1. Ihatepaps. why should he leave 13 million on the table. I love how people can just brush aside the financial gain. Pap playing for a winning isn’t going to let him leave the money on the table. This is the Phillies fault, last year they should have said we want to see Giles in closer role. That would have stopped him from getting in the innings to spark the extra money.

      1. If he is as good as he thinks he is and performs the money is guarented. He guarding against his sucking, which is a good possibility. The fact is almost nobody in the league would have paid him what he got from the Phillies. They wonder why they can’t compete, it’s because we have a team full of overpaid players on the decline. Papelbon has worn out his welcome now in another city no one wants him and he still thinks he’s a stud. He was a mistake from the get go and many people wondered that from the time they signed him.

        1. Would you take a chance going to milkwakee who isn’t a great team. and lose the money.? I agree its the Phillies overpaying which is hurting, but they could if they wanted to pay the money, to move players, they just wont. it seems

          1. If he doesn’t want to take that chance stop insisting on being traded, shut up and accept the fact you signed with the Phillies and they as well as you suck.

            1. You can make a case for Paps being inducted in the HOF someday.
              Fastest pitcher to 200 saves in the history of baseball, with the first 5 seasons over 30 saves a year.
              That’s dominance.
              Now when it come to his personality….well that could keep him out however.

            2. As an older player you want the last year guaranteed if you have a reasonable chance of not getting that money in free agency.

              Makes sense.

              As for Pap the closer, we were coming off a year where the close position was a disaster because stats people believed that closers were not important. At the time it was one of the hot points like stolen bases not being important last year.

            3. People need to look at stats in terms of context. The dividing line between being mediocre and in the playoffs is very small. In football it gets magnified because of the small amount of games and in baseball it sometimes gets forgotten because of the numerous amount of games.

              When the Phillies signed Paps they were coming off a season when the bullpen was atrocious. You could easily make the point that a solid closer would have put this team in the playoffs.

              They went out and signed a solid closer. Looking back they misred the team but when people say that a closer is not important or stolen bases are not important they miss the larger picture of how these areas fit into an overall roster.

              The Royals played a lot of small ball and got to the World Series.

              You have to keep an open mind when looking at numbers in terms of the overall roster.

        2. For Papelbon, who doesn’t care what we say or how we feel, it is enough to have supreme confidence in his command. He proved it last year without the fast ball. His command and confidence allowed him to have a terrific year. He will do the same wherever he goes, which of course includes his lack of awareness of others. He has earned his money. He is the Phillies’ Deshawn.

  25. Why did thy sign him to a contact like that in the first place. Another instance of the Phillies bidding against themselves. I hate Ruben too.

  26. On another note of interest; MLB just named Fred Wilpon of the Mets as Chairman of the Finance Committee which is incredible given his failure to recognize Ponzi schemes. David Montgomery and Bill GIles would be great candidates for that post and open the Phillies owners spot for John Middleton.

  27. Pap knows with his age that his is only contract that he makes over 10 mil. Now for a person that says winning important he could went to a better team as of now.he didn’t because to him money was more important. Phillies should paid 20 mil to brewers just to get rid of pap . We have a nice younger replacement waiting .

  28. funny tim. pay 20 million to brewers lmao. why/ cause you don’t like him? Why not just tell him Giles is the closer this year. And he wont get 45 games finished.

  29. Former scout Bernie Pleskoff writes this about LHP Andy Oliver (6-foot-3, 215 pounds)

    ‘The Phillies chose Oliver from the roster of the Pittsburgh Pirates as one of two Rule 5 Draft selections at the Winter Meetings. He had also pitched previously for Detroit. He has a strong arm and can bring his fastball from 93 to 97 mph. He also throws a very credible slider. The Phillies will work with him to refine his control, as he walked an average of 6.6 hitters per nine innings last season. But the southpaw also struck out 12 per nine. A starter in his past, Oliver can work in the bullpen as well. He has to remain on the roster all season or be offered back to Pittsburgh’

  30. I just read were Padres don’t have enough prospects to get Hamels. Brewers are still interested pap .

    1. Padres have plenty of prospects to get Hamels — whether or not they are willing to trade them for Hamels is another story altogether. Give me Wisler, Hedges, Renfroe, and Liriano and I happily have RAJ sign on the dotted line.

  31. Asche working out in LF and getting some instruction. He is the kind of guy you can root for. By all accounts, he is a hard worker. Has to hit better, but has gotten better progressively at every level he has played.

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