Open Discussion: Week of March 9th

I’m still tired of the Cole Hamels discussion.  However, if that is what you want to discuss, go ahead.  But first …

Whether you are a long time follower of Phuture Phillies or a new visitor, please take a look at “Are there rules for commenting on an article?” under FAQ on the menu above or the link provided.    Or just read it here,

"As the site is currently configured, anyone can leave a comment as “Anonymous”…I recommend picking a username of some sort and using the same one every time. We’ve kind of formed a tight knit community here with a group of regulars, and it helps to have a name to put with someone’s opinion. Of course this isn’t required, and if you never comment and just have one thing to say and don’t want your name or even a fake name attached to it, that’s your prerogative. I have only 2 rules when it comes to comments: be respectful and keep it on topic. The first one should be self-explanatory. Don’t insult someone you disagree with by name calling, using abusive language, or any other arguing tactic that went out of style in 3rd grade. The second one is more specific and requires more explanation. This site is geared toward the minor leagues. There are tons of Phillies websites out there that cater to the big league club, and I frequent a number of them. I go there to discuss the big league club, I don’t go there to discuss prospects. Due to demand, I have created a weekly post to allow for all big team related chatter. My goal is to keep this chatter out of other unrelated posts for 2 reasons. One, my hope is for the content here to be archival, including the discussion. If I want to go back and look at a post in 2 years, I don’t want to wade through 30 comments dealing with how the big league team did that night or how much you dislike player X on the big league team. Second, the people who help me with this site do so on a voluntary basis. They donate their time and energy to provide you interesting content, organization reports, interviews, and other interesting stuff. Extend them the respect they deserve by not taking their posts off topic and just posting the first unrelated thought that came to. It shouldn’t be difficult. If you think either rule is unfair, that’s your right, just know that this is my site, my baby, and I am overprotective of it. I think these are simple requests.  

This is very important. If someone attacks you and breaks rule #1, do not react in the comments. Simply send me an email (prospectpoll@yahoo.com), alert me to the issue, and I will take care of it. Things get out of hand when people can’t let something go and continue to insult back and forth. Those comments will simply be removed, and if the person does not stop, their IP address will be banned. Don’t make me do that. We’re all capable of behaving like adults."

I was in the ER the other day when the site went bonkers.  I spent a lot of time addressing comments the next day.  I only have Editor priviledges and can’t block an IP address as threatened above.  But I can and will delete comments that become personal attacks on other commenters.  It looks like sometimes these deletions affect the comment thread.  Sorry.

I have also deleted comments by people with vulgar usernames.  I know I have women readers, and I will continue to delete the witty-yet-sexually-explicit usernames that appear under my articles from time to time, regardless of content.

I will use my discretion on the acceptability of other usernames.  I was as offended as most of you by a reader’s unfortunate choice of username, but his comments were baseball related and consistent in his support for a prospect.  I gave him the benefit of the doubt that the name might actually be his last name.  It was only after relentless personal attacks that he let us know the reason for his choice of that username.  If he posts again on our site, I hope he chooses a new handle (how about Mitch?).

This is a baseball site, specifically a prospect site.  I will delete non-baseball content under my articles as I see fit.  As stated above, the Open Discussion is open to any baseball discussion but is primarily intended for the major league team since Phillies’ talk is discouraged under he other article threads.

I really don’t want to be the “comment police”.  It’s time consuming and boring.  Please talk to each other the way you would want a stranger to talk to your mother.  Thank you.

I posted the first minor league work groups in another story.  Cliff Lee has a sore elbow.  Papelbon and Biddle both were in the 93-94 mph range Saturday.  The floor is now open to any baseball discussion.    Go for it.

55 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Week of March 9th

    1. I would give him a B+ and only for the off-season. It looked like he made a plan that met the realities and followed it. He traded veteran players for good, young minor league players. He will keep Hamels, who can be a keystone for the pitching staff, and obviously will not trade him unless he gets a fabulous deal from some other team. He chose well to provide back-up players for this year’s club. Slowey may be some thing more than that. He could have done better by Ryan Howard in the personnel sense by being kinder to a decent human being. I am glad he apologized.

    2. When I was working, I evaluated my employees according to a different set of criteria than I was evaluated against by my superiors. While my employees were evaluated for the current year against their personal baseline established by their performance the previous year, I was evaluated on the expectations set for me by my manager. So, I would evaluate Amaro’s performance against the expectation of finally beginnng to rebuild the team, ignoring past history.

      He was faced with the daunting task of turning aging, contracted veterans into younger prospect base.

      His first significant move was trading LHP Antonio Bastardo to Pittsburgh for LHP Joely Rodriguez. At the worst, he acquired a younger version of Bastardo.

      Next, the Phillies selected 2B Odubel Herrera and LHP Andy Oliver during the Rule 5 Draft. While we are excited over one or both of these players, let’s keep in mind that neither organization felt highly enough about them to include them in their top 40.

      Then he traded Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers for LHP Tom Windle and RHP Zach Eflin. Both were subsequently inserted into the Phillies’ Top Ten Prospect Lists of most industry rankers.

      Then Marlon Byrd was traded to Cincinnati for RHP Ben Lively, another prospect who was also inserted into the Phillies’ Top Ten.

      The Phillies re-signed Grady Sizemore and also made several free agent acquisitions – Elvis Araujo, Jeff Francoeur, Kevin Slowey, Aaron Harang, Chad Billinsley.as well as a slew of lesser signings.

      He wasn’t able to move veterans Papelbon, Hamels, Howard, Utley, Ruiz, or Lee.

      Now, we all know that Howard is virtually untradeable. Utley doesn’t want to leave Philly. There’s no pressing need to move Ruiz. Lee isn’t likely to be traded until he proves he is healthy, which took a step backward today.

      Papelbon is an expensive commodity who they may be able to move. The hold up to date appears to have been money for the option year.

      And Hamels is generally considered to be over-valued by the Phillies and likely will not be traded.

      In general, I like the trade acquisitions and even some of the free agent signings. I understand the economics in play with trading the big contract players and don’t have a problem with it.

      I’m not thrilled with the lesser free agent signings and am happy that Clearwater is not the Phillies AAA affiliate. The Phillies seem to have fewer prospects at the AAA level than other teams. Due to the continued dearth of talent at that level, I would give him a C, maybe a C+.

      1. When it comes to recent acquisitions….especially young arms into the system…I have to give Ruben an ‘A’.
        Now when it comes to young future positional player acquisitions, that were available and he decided to pass on, ie the Cubans like Tomas, Moncada and Castillo from last year, I have to give him a ‘D’.
        He publicly stated they will explore all avenues for talent.
        Spending more international monies then they ever did in the past, as expected come post-July 2015, for 16-year olds…does not cut it with the high attrition rate of this particular talent-base and the long-lead time to MLB productivity
        Overall…..I see it as a C-.

      2. Hey Jim, Heading over tomorrow to the complex. Any tips on parking, what times stuff happens. I’ll be going to the game at 1PM (Tuesday Detroit) but wanted to know how early I should get there and how late the minors guys are on the field. Thanks, Ron

        1. They started around 9:00 today, but were expected to start at 10:00. I plan on arriving around 10:00. If you’re going to the game, you may as well park in the Complex lot for $10. I refuse to pay to watch at the Complex, so my wife will drop me off. I think the gates open at BH at 10:30. Since it’s a home game, some of the camp invites may be at the Complex, disrupting the minor leaguers normal schedule.

    1. He’s a 4A guy unfortunately. He’s behind several other guys for a chance to get called up this year.

  1. B minus. Agree with Puddinhead, but I think there are some missed opportunities: I think a much better job could have been done in minor league free agency, and I’m not a big fan of our Rule 5 picks (Herrera may prove me wrong, but he strikes me a slightly-better Cesar Hernandez, and Oliver is already 27).

    I also think he does a crappy job on the PR/fan relations side of the job. More could have been done to create more tangible signs of a new beginning … I tenatively won’t hold not pursuing Moncada against him because I’m assuming we’re going VERY big on July 2 … we’ll wait and see. If not, this grade drops to a C.

  2. If the Yankees offered Sanchez, Clarkin and Judge for Hamels would that be too much on the Yankees part or a favorable return for the Phillies?

    1. I asked myself the same question once it was reported the Yankee’s made a strong offer. I think if I’m the Phillies I would take it.

      When I think about the Yankees and Hamels I think how it would be a nice get with Severino and Judge but admit that would probably be too much.

      1. I think Judge and Sanchez are two that Ruben would want….being they are both positional players at positions they need , plus they are MLB ready within a year or two. A pitcher like Severino may be a little too much for Cashman to swallow in giving up, though Clarkin is also a pitcher who is highly regarded plus he is a lefty..

        1. My problem with any deal with the Yankees is the serial overrating of Yankees prospects by almost every national publication. When was the last time a highly touted Yankees prospect panned out? Jeter?

        2. I’ve seen quite a bit of Sanchez being real close to Trenton. I like him. I would say his floor is Ruiz. He’s got tremendous power to all fields. He can get a little sloppy defensively behind the dish.

          Judge strikes me as something between an Alex Rios and a Jayson Werth.

          Clarkin would be the one piece that would make me really uneasy if I was presented with that offer and had to decide on it.

        3. severino is a much better prospect then sanchez. you dont just pick guys because the play a certain position. you take the best player you can get.

    2. I don’t think they would offer you that deal. Maybe sanchez, and clarkin and that would be a lot. Consider that hamels will get hurt, percentage say so. and judge looks like he can hit, so he is off limits. a sloppy catcher and a number 4 pitcher is a good haul. don’t you think romus?

      1. rocco…I detect sarcasm…..’a sloppy catcher and a number 4 pitcher’…now that’s funny. And of course Hamels getting hurt.
        Look, Lee until last June was a pretty durable pitcher…..now he is considered damaged goods and delicate…but he also has over 2500 pro IP. And just like ever other power pitcher in MLB history, sans the Wilbur Woods, Satchel Paiges and Warren Sphans of the world, father time catches up to them.
        Hamels has just over 2000 pro IP to date. So he is getting close and becomes risky.
        Why not try to get the most for him now….when the Phillies are under a reconstruction phase!

        1. Romus my point from day one was this. Why let him go for lower level prospects? it wont improve your team, We have a lot of guys who project to be 3-5 starters. I haven’t heard one good prospect mention that was offered. Would you trade cole, for a number 3 or 4 starter and a 250 hitting catcher. how does that help us? not like they will spend the 25 million in latin market or on a Cuban player.

          1. rocco…and my point is Matt Carpenter was a lower level prospect 3 years ago and Rangers 3rd basemen Mike Olt, at the time 2/3 years ago was a top prospect that Lee was rumored to be involved with….and look how each turned out.
            Jackie Bradley was an untouchable in 2013 and now he is an after thought.
            David Buchanan was a lower lower level tier prospect…and he could be the next Greg Maddux……just a joke
            Dom Brown was….well we know how that all ended up.
            My point. its all a risk……just do it already. With Hamels, are the Phillies going to the WS this year or next?
            Pull the trigger.

    3. I would take that deal but I doubt the Yanks would offer all three. The problem with Severino is that the Yanks would probably not want to add value in addition to Severino, and Severino alone wouldn’t and shouldn’t be enough. I really like Clarkin though. He and one of Sanchez or Judge would be a good start to a deal.

      Interesting question; would you prefer Clarkin and Judge or Wisler and Hedges? I’m particularly fond of the Padres as a potential trade partner

      1. With San Diego, now down a catcher, offer Hamels and Ruiz for Wisler, Renfroe and Hedges. Take a bad contract back like Cameron Maybin’s. Try and get away offering as little money as possible, maybe Ruiz’ salary.

  3. I would give RAJ a B- for this offseason. I like the returns for Rollins and Byrd. I think they missed on not getting any of the Cuban players, and I cannot deduct for not trading pap because I actually think that they can move him in July as long as he stays healthy.

  4. On a different topic, former Phils 1st rd pick, Larry Greene,Jr. is pursuing a career outside of Baseball. Can this now be the worst 1st rd. pick since Jeff Jackson was taken instead of Frank Thomas?

    1. Seems unfair to compare it with the Jackson pick since Jackson was taken so much higher than Fudgie. Also, I doubt JBJ will achieve the level of greatness that Frank Thomas did. Maybe the worst since they took Chad McConnell in ’92? Could’ve had Shannon Stewart or Jason Kendall.

    2. He was the 39th pick in the draft, a sandwich round pick — you can’t compare him to Jeff Jackson. It’s apples to oranges. They went after a guy with one strong tool who didn’t pan out. When you’re picking at 39, you’re not going to get a 5-tool player. They gambled and lost. In the next round, they picked another guy with one strong tool (Roman Quinn), who seems to be a better bet for success.

      1. They did pass on Jackie Bradley Jr. to draft LGJ, despite the former being a more highly regarded player. Bradley has his warts, but he’s a good defender who would likely have made the Revere trade unnecessary.

        Good luck to Larry. Perhaps he can still play football?

  5. I am going to say a B.

    The trades this offseason of Bastardo, Byrd, and Rollins infused the farm system with a lot of talent at the high end of the system. I am not sure when AA and AAA were stacked with this much talent. Nobody has an ace ceiling but let’s give it time to shake out. There may be a hidden gem in here.

    The fielders need an infusion of talent but I believe that is what guys like Hamels, Ruiz, Papelbon, Sizemore, Harang, Billingsley, and others will bring.

    I like that they did not overpay for the Cubans and stood ground on LA. The monies being bandied about are just crazy.

    I like Herrera as a Rule 5 pick.

    This is a transition year and the type of year that I hoped from them last year. Sign a bunch of 1 year players that can be flipped for prospects if they do well and if they do not free agency awaits.

    You are basically cycling guys through the roster giving players a chance to revive their careers until the pitchers and position prospects are ready (Quinn, Crawford, Franco, etc.) At that point in time, you use the available dollars to pursue players that fill the open spots on the roster.

  6. Guess no one got to see the game today, was wondering how Adam Morgan looked since I was a big fan before the injury and am looking forward to seeing how he looks now.

  7. Cliff lee has tear in flexor tendon of pitching elbow. Not good at all! Phils say that it is not bad enough to require TJ Surgery, but we can assume that, if he isn’t completely done, his trade value is. Won’t hit option but still gets $12.5Million as buyout for next year. The 1st pick in the next 3 drafts better be great.

  8. To clarify, Phils “not optimistic” pitching through it will help. Blue Jays lose Marcus Stroman for year. Can they be Hamels suitor?

    1. Looks like Lee may have pitched his last game with the Phillies.
      TJ surgery this year, will affect a different avenue on his contract status.

      1. If he needs surgery, it won’t be Tommy John surgery — though he would still probably miss the rest of this season so his option for next year won’t vest.

  9. I Give Amaro a C+ on the off-season. Overall he has done a good job with what he’s gotten in return for the guys traded but he gets downgraded for not moving Papelbon and Ruiz who both should have some value if the Phillies chip in some $$$.

    I’m also not a big fan of some of the veteran signings like Francour (really?). I do agree with keeping Hamels until the right deal happens. The Phillies need to resist being fleeced simply because they want to rebuild and the national media thinks the Phillies should give a great deal to the team they cover.

  10. So, Stroman out for the year, and two doctors are recommending that Darvish have TJ surgery. Is this going to trigger the start of a bidding war for Cole Hamels?

  11. Maikel Franco gained 35 lbs over the last two weeks.
    At the end of February, according to MLB.com he was 180 lbs….now he is listed at 215 lbs.

  12. Our old friend Michael Taylor has decided to retire. He used to be one of my favorite Phuture Phillies to watch. Good luck to him!

  13. I wonder if Ruben will heed Charlie’s advice:
    ” Peter Gammons’ says that the Phillies would be prudent to follow Manuel’s advice regarding Red Sox prospect Garin Cecchini: ….’Now, Charlie Manuel saw more games in the Boston system than any other team and believes Garin Cecchini is a rising star and loves several others, but while Manuel is one of the best evaluators—particularly of hitters—in the game, his voice is not heard by Amaro’…”.

    1. Not fully true Romus as Charlie liked Jeff Francouer and they brought him aboard this year and brought Grady Sizemore in last year. Peter Gammons was reputable before his stroke-not so much since.

  14. The problem is also that Cecchini’s status has dropped a bit and the only positive voice I have heard recently is Charlie’s. Who is the top prospect evaluator in the Phils organization? I long for the days of Uncle Hughie Alexander.

    1. Not sure what you mean by ‘status has dropped a bit’. The MiLB season has not started yet.. He will more then likely be at Pawtucket-AAA , and could be headed for a corner OF position at some point. Did he play winter ball and play below par?

  15. I’d be turning to the Rangers now that Dharvish is down and out and every other arm in their rotation is suspect.

    The Rangers have a wealth of talent to put a deal together and not really feel it. And you wouldn’t need to ask them for Alfaro or Gallo. Start the deal with Rua and Thompson add Nick Williams or Mazara and then a flier guy like Brinson or Eickhoff.

    I love me some Rua that kid is going to be solid.

    1. Rua, does have power but is just a little older then I would want, though Mozara, Williams, Thompson and Brinson all would be attractive.

      1. Rua is a little older yes but I think he is ready now and if I’m gonna trade Cole I want a young kid ready to play now so I can at least have something to watch every night.

        1. Well I don’t think he would budge Asche nor Franco from third since they are the future from what everyone is told, so I guess he can play 2nd or LF and he is the right-handed power bat that is desirable.

          1. I don’t know much about his defense other than he was on 2B for a while and 3B is his more natural position. I will say I think he is head and shoulders above what either Asche or Franco can be offensively.

            1. DMAR…..whoa slow down…head and shoulder over Franco! He is three years older and his slash thru his minor league career is just a notch better then Franco’s in 700 PAs less.. power I lean toward Franco.
              But Rua did do well in a SSS in last year.

            2. Rua’s career OBP is .365 I combine that with what I’ve seen which is tremendous pitch recognition skills. You’ll rarely see Rua flailing at off speed pitches plus he takes his walks which tells me he has a more sophisticated approach to hitting.

              But ok I know I’m embellishing because Franco should get more credit for the age/level he’s at now.

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