A Right-Handed Bench Bat Rundown – Phillies Nation

A Right-Handed Bench Bat Rundown

Ruben Amaro Jr. is searching for that elusive right-handed bench bat. Here’s what we know.

Nomar Garciaparra: The first name surfacing, Garciaparra may not retire, which may make him a possibility for the Phillies. A 1B/3B/SS combo, he would jump into the top right-handed bench spot while providing slight relief for Pedro Feliz and Ryan Howard.
2008: .264 AVG / 8 HR / 28 RBI

Ty Wigginton: Hitting 20+ home runs for three consecutive seasons, Wigginton is a powerful bat who can play 1B/2B/3B/LF. While not amazing with the glove, he’d be a decent defensive upgrade from Howard and Ibanez when necessary.
2008: .285 AVG / 23 HR / 58 RBI

Moises Alou: Somewhere in his 40s, Alou is hurt a lot, but if healthy is a very potent bat who could platoon in left field (or right field, maybe). He barely played in 2008.
2008: .347 AVG / 0 HR / 9 RBI

Kevin Millar: Mr. “Cowboy Up” hit 20 homers as the Orioles’ starting first baseman. That doesn’t keep you a starter. He could play the corner outfield positions, too.
2008: .234 AVG / 20 HR / 72 RBI

Rich Aurilia: He can play all infield positions, but is fitting in more at first base these days. He’s a better contact hitter than Millar, but has half the power.
2008: .283 AVG / 10 HR / 52 RBI

Mark Grudzielanek: The man who once threatened to break the league record for doubles in a season has become somewhat of a one-trick pony. He can hit the ball, but for singles and doubles. He can play second base and shortstop.
2008: .299 AVG / 3 HR / 24 RBI

Thoughts: Wigginton is the best option, bar none. He can step in at multiple positions, and though his playing time might dip, he could still pound 20 homers playing half the time at Citizens Bank Park. I wouldn’t mind Garciaparra or maybe Aurilia, but by adding Wigginton, it would push Eric Bruntlett to a defensive replacement position, which is where he’s best. It would also push Matt Stairs off the roster, which is okay. Wiggy would fit in well.



  1. Manny

    January 26, 2009 at 10:38 am

    I agree Tim.

    Plus, you could always put Wigginton in LF for Ibañez in the late innings, without sacrificing offense. As much as I like Ibañez, his defense is just as bad as Pat’s… and Pat had a good arm which allowed to get plenty of outfield assists… I just don’t see that happening with 37-year-old Ibañez.

    Also, Bruntlett is good at SS, so Ty would fit in nicely. We’d have LF, 1B, 2B, 3B, and SS positions covered with those two guys.

  2. Geoff

    January 26, 2009 at 10:43 am

    As teh market prices drop for players across the board, someone liek Wigginton may slip into the Phillies grasp. He is a far better option than any of the rest of those names. The rest of those names are kind of just old trash each with their own good attribute and bunch of other bad attributes. Wigginton would do well here with his average and power, and that should be the target here.

    They basically said they wont sign another starter unless its a cheap guy so that leaves the bullpen to shore up.

  3. Tim Malcolm

    January 26, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Honestly – you put a Wigginton on this team, opposite Dobbs, with the chance of taking an injured guy’s spot or whatever, and you have potential for two Greg Dobbs’ at the top of the bench. That’s unquestionably the best bench in baseball.

    Add a backup catcher (probably Paulino), a fine defensive utility man (Brunt) and a hopefully improved Jenkins, and that’s a heck of a collection.

  4. NJ

    January 26, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Wiggington’s not a bench guy and he’s not signing for bench money, Manny makes a good point about him playing the outfield though the point of Ibanez was not to have to defensive merri-go-round in the late innings so don’t expect him being subbed much if at all. If we sign Wiggington it means Feliz isn’t viewed as a viable option this year at 3rd base either because of injury or expected performance, I like Wiggington but again you can’t go around signing 20+ homer guys and have them warming the bench because their production won’t translate and getting them playing time will be at the expense of others.

    If Wiggington comes here it’s to man 3rd close to full time for at least the year, Nomar’s the best name off the bench.

  5. Tim Malcolm

    January 26, 2009 at 11:05 am

    NJ: I understand your point that he’s not necessarily a bench player by trade. But there are a few caveats to that.

    A: Would he be willing to work as a bench player for the chance to win a championship? B: Would he think about doing the job for a year or two, so that if he succeeds, he could translate it back to a bigger deal as a starter going into his early 30s?

    And you can sign 20-homer guys for the bench. They did it with Werth (who had 20-homer potential). Remember, Wig would be a Feliz/Ibanez/Rollins/Utley/Howard injury away from a 15-game start stint. Anyway, the point for him would be to translate himself to a bench role. That could be done, especially with the experienced bench bats the team already has.

  6. Don M

    January 26, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Wigginton can’t carry Pedro Feliz’s jockstrap at third base..

    He either comes here as a Pinch-Hitter, or doesn’t come here.
    I agree 10000% with the notion that we can’t expect a 20-HR guy if we only sign him to a bench-role..

    We for some reason thought that Wes Helms, and Geoff Jenkins would all of a sudden belt HRs like nobody’s business because of this “Hitter’s Ballpark” but we forgot the fact that they wouldn’t get enough at-bats to have numbers add up… AND.. because they don’t get regular at-bats, its almost impossible to have hitters get into a groove.. 10 HRs in less than 300 at-bats is pretty good, obviously we’d like to see that average be higher than .246…. but thats not THAT bad.. its his contract that hurts more than his production.. but I’d expect Jenkins to get more comfortable with a Pinch-Hitting role, and he’ll have double digit HRs this year and 40+ RBIs

  7. Manny

    January 26, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Tim, you read my mind when you said “Wig would be a Feliz/Ibanez/Rollins/Utley/Howard injury away from a 15-game start stint.” Exactly what I was thinking. And there’s already a pretty decent chance that one or two of those guys may not be ready for April. And did anyone expect Rollins to get injured after playing every single game in 07? Not me, at least… Sh** happens in a long baseball season, and even with our already strong lineup, I could see Wigginton starting at least 60 games.

    The Werth example is perfect.

  8. NJ

    January 26, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Understand your point Tim although I think a good every day guy with power translates to a very average bench player where you want a guy who can just flat out hit and avoid streaks. I was very excited when we signed Werth although given his health at that point I don’t think many were truely expecting for him to unseat the everyday guy.

    Wiggington became an everyday guy after becoming a viable stopgap in Tampa and Houston but it’ll be a major step-back for him championship or not to be seeing the field maybe once a week. I understand looking at Nomar, Aurilla but looking at Wigginton tells me the Phils aren’t so sure Feliz can’t be relied on to be at 100% this year which makes Wiggington a viable option by the very definition of his role as a stopgap 3rd base/outfielder.

  9. Don M

    January 26, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Honestly, if they add ANY of these guys to the team, its better than what they have now.. and it would be better than what we had last year with So Taguchi (who was a very good part-time player in his career… except for last year!?)

    I think the most important thing is not to add the player with the best numbers.. but which player can be added to improve the “team” … Wigginton and Moises Alou are great, but if you can’t be certain that they would A) be comfortable with, and B) excel in a part-time role… then they wouldn’t be the smart move to make..

    If Wigginton is open to the part-time role, thats great… otherwise, Rich Aurilia is a hell of a fit, or if Nomar comes back, he obviously knows that he isn’t competing for anything close to a starter’s job… he’s get paid a few million just to swing the bat.. HRs are nice (Matt Stairs).. but I think we need guys that put the bat on the ball coming from the bench, more than we need additional power.

  10. Geoff

    January 26, 2009 at 11:24 am

    With Utley and Feliz being injury question marks I think it would be VERY wise to sign a 20 homer guy like this to cover yourselves. remember, the only reason geoff jenkins is still on this team is because of his contract. ever since werth became an everyday player, jenkins has become basically useless.

    If they signed Wigginton, I would view him as the 4th OF/first guy to start off the bench. Given that feliz and utley are hurt it probably a very good idea to have some quality there filling in for them. When they come back and if they diminish Wiggintons role then maybe you can work out a deal to move him if playing time is his main concern. The point is, id rather have too many bats then not enough. the guy can play enough positions that it makes his likelihood of getting PT very high.

    also, money isnt an issue here because i think you can get this guy for an affordable rate, even if its on a one year deal.

  11. NJ

    January 26, 2009 at 11:27 am

    The numbers never translate off the bench, to hit 20 homers Wiggington would need almost everyday playing time like Werth got last year.

  12. B-Dizzle

    January 26, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Wiggy is the best option, but also the most expensive and probably looking for the most guaranteed playing time. Aurilla is versatile and knows he’s nothing more than a bench guy at this stage in his career. I don’t think Phillies Phans would suffer through Nomar’s 47 minute batting glove routine…instant boo! Grudz is a good dude, but he really only plays 2nd and once Chutley is back, what’s the point?

  13. Jeltzismyhombre

    January 26, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Ty Wigginton has got to be the ugliest human being alive.

  14. Tim Malcolm

    January 26, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Helms, for one, was supposed to start at third, and just plain stunk.

    I don’t think Jenkins was prepared for the jump from everyday starter to platoon. Plus Werth’s surge made it impossible for Jenkins to see a lot of time.

    Wigginton has played less time before, and could develop into a solid pinch hitter. Having Dobbs (who also had to adjust into the PH role) as his LH doppleganger could be a blessing.

  15. Monktavian

    January 26, 2009 at 11:38 am

    I wish the Phils would have signed Wigginton instead of Ibanez in the first place. He is versatile, has pop with the bat, and is much younger that Raul Ibanez. Plus he would have cost less. I think $10 mil for Ibanez was a mistake from the beginning. The man is too old and despite his excellent training, hitting is largely dependent on reflexes, which are among the first things to go in an athlete.

  16. Chuck P

    January 26, 2009 at 11:38 am

    I’m a bit concerned… Looking at this list, it seems like an indication that Feliz is not going to be ready. I mean, if he’s not, Dobbs has to play 3B and that leaves us no backup at 1B (and no options on the farm at that position).

    Wigginton would be a great addition but he’s probably the most expensive name on this list… with that being said, they need to consider Wigginton because he’s the only guy on this list that could be a legitimate option every day.

    Millar, Aurilia… not really feeling it…they might have a little bit left in the tank but I would like to think that we can find a better alternative. If you’re approaching this thinking that you’re going to need someone to be ready to step in and play 1B (if Feliz is not going to be ready) and Wigginton ends up asking for $5-6 million, I guess that you have to consider one of these two. If you’re just looking for a RH bench bat, I would rather see us go after Alou or Nomar…

    They’re both professional hitters. When healthy, Alou is remarkable… emphasis on when healthy… he can’t play the field anymore but if he’s limited to a bench role, maybe… I think that he would come here with the intention of mashing the Mets (you gotta love that) and the only way that he’s going to play anywhere this season is if the price is right. Nomar is probably the best fit but if it has taken him this long to decide whether he wants to retire or play again, that really means that he’s not willing to play under the terms suggested and it’s unlikely either side will budge.

  17. Don M

    January 26, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Tim, I agree 100% with what your saying as I think there is a chance Wigg/Dobbs would be a deadly combination off the bench… but Wigginton has been getting pretty regular playing time lately.

    Dobbs was our #1 pinch-hitter/ spot-starter.. and he only had 226 at-bats, and played the field in about 60 games.

    I’m guessing that would be about the most time Wigginton would hope to see too.. 250 at-bats, with 50-60 games in the field.. If he’s fine with that, he would be a nice fit, but from what I read earlier this offseason, he was looking for MORE playing time, not less..

    The two seasons that Wigginton had less than 300 at-bats, his average was bad. In 2004, 182 at-bats with a .220 average. In 2005, 155 at-bats with a .258 average. Like most players, he’s more productive with more regular playing time… that is what makes Greg Dobbs such a rare-breed, and why so many players aren’t open to the idea of Bench roles, because its so hard to succeed only playing every so often

  18. Griffin

    January 26, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Alou is the best hitter of the bunch, but he’s never healthy.

    Nomar can NOT play 3B or SS any more than Greg Dobbs can. He’s a 1B/corner OF.

    Wigginton is a good fit if as a bench player. If he signs with the Phils, he’ll know that he won’t be starting.

    Isn’t it funny that guys like Wiggy, Dunn and Abreu can’t even find a team and the Phillies gave 37 y/o Ibanez $30.5 million? I think Ibanez is a good player, but the Phils way overpaid for him. Oh well.

    I’d got with either Wiggy or Alou for the last bench spot. They both kill LHP.

  19. Chuck P

    January 26, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Monk… I agree with you, to an extent. Wigginton might be more a little more versatile and younger but, like Don M says, he couldn’t hold Ibanez’ jock. You can’t actually believe that we would be better off with Wigginton as our everyday LF… if we grabbed him and upgraded 3B or RF, maybe we would have been better off but not with Wigginton alone.

  20. Mazinman

    January 26, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Before I say anything on the subject, did everyone just realize that Tim said that a player might be willing to come to the Phillies in order to win a championship? How awesome is that after all these years!?

    I agree that, based on pure talent, Wigginton is the best option. Alou would have been my second or even first choice if he could just stay healthy. Maybe if he was on a bench he would not get injured so frequently? With Alou’s injury problems, Garciaparra would definately be my second choice but he has to be fully committed to the team and not looking more towards retirement.

  21. Chuck P

    January 26, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Paulino kills lefties… gotta feel pretty good about that move.

  22. MikeMc26

    January 26, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Wigginton would be a great pick-up for the fightins! He’s a great pick-up/draft option for you fantasy managers out there too…

  23. Wilson

    January 26, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I doubt Wigginton comes though. He’s going to be looking for more money and playing time then the Phills can offer. Which is the main reason he’s leaving Houston

  24. Chuck P

    January 26, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Someone told me that the Phillies are still quietly pursuing Sheets.

  25. Griffin

    January 26, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    “Paulino kills lefties… gotta feel pretty good about that move.”

    Now I do!
    I didn’t know that he kills lefties, so I’m feeling better about him. I didn’t mind the move because Jaramillo is nothing much.

  26. Tim Malcolm

    January 26, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Well it is very possible there’s more to Feliz’s injury than we think. If he misses a month, that makes Wigginton that much more possible.

  27. Manny

    January 26, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Holy sh*t.. Ronny Paulino vs. lefties (2006-2008):

    .354 avg
    .414 obp
    .498 slg
    .912 ops


  28. mick

    January 26, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    I like Alous bat , but the first time he busts it down the line the hammy goes–6 weeks later he does the same thing.Nomar is in the same boat–can not stay healthy–plus both these guys are a year older. Phils really need Ibanez to hit lefties the way he did last year–if not we will be in trouble. No way Wigginton comes as a bench player–unless the Phils PAY. Maybe they know something about Feliz’ back that we don’t

  29. mick

    January 26, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Paulino, Ruiz, Coste, Marson–something has to give here, especially when so many teams are looking for catching–If Paulino can shake off last year and return to 2006/2007 Phils may have something

  30. Don M

    January 26, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    With the way the market is shaping up right now, yea, it looks like the Phillies, Cubs, etc.. overpaid greatly for Ibanez and Milton Bradley… but those were the players they wanted and they went out and got them.

    If you would have told me you could get Adam Dunn for $5 M, but that Lowe would get $15/ 4years, and Manny Ramirez was still seeking MORE than $45 M /2 years from the Dodgers.. I’d call you crazy..

    Nobody knew how much the market would change in the course of the past month or two..

    From everything I’ve read, the Phillies still view Ruiz as the starter, Coste as #2, Paulino as #3, with Marson as #4… but Marson as the prospect will get loads of playing time in AAA… I haven’t heard any Coste trade rumors in about a month. Are the Marlins still looking?

  31. mick

    January 26, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    I would give Sheets a Schmoltz type deal–not sure he would take it, but when healthy he is a good one

  32. Griffin

    January 26, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    I came across this last week. It’s an article by Tom Verducci at SI.com

    It basically says that on May 12, 2006, the Phillies called up Hamels to make his first start. If the Phillies had waited an additional 19 days before calling him up, he would have received a full year less of service time. So he wouldn’t be arbitration elgible until AFTER the 2009 season.

    Interesting stuff. I wonder what the Phillies were thinking (or not thinking)?

  33. Geoff

    January 26, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Id give sheets about 6M with 6 more in incentives and two vesting options if he can make X amount of starts in this season and then next season too. the options would both be for like 12M. Itd probably be the best offer hes gotten so far, so hed at least consider it. Id definitely be happy if they were still quietly pursuing sheets…and Id also try and sign wigginton to a one year deal for a few million, maybe throw in a second year if he wants it.

    as for freeing up payroll space, well, i dont feel like arguing about that today…

  34. Griffin

    January 26, 2009 at 1:05 pm

  35. PhxPhilly

    January 26, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    I agree with Monktavian.
    I wanted a trade for Wigginton when the Astros were looking to dump him. We could have offered next to nothing (fringe prospect) and got him for a one year deal to be and right-handed Dobbs. Both can play third (badly but it counts), corner OF, and 2B in a pinch.
    Leave the Ibanez $ for mid-season pickup.
    Go with Jenkins/Wigginton platoon in LF both have power and hit opposite handed pitching. Wigginton becomes super bench player playing some OF to give Werth and Victorino a rest, fills in for Feliz earlier on and could take some time at 2B.
    Phillies would have him locked in for the year then could decide who stays next year between Jenkins, Wigginton and Feliz.
    Ibanez is a much better hitter than Wigginton/Jenkins but I would have rather spent that money on midseason pitching (Peavy!).

  36. Johnson

    January 26, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    phils are content with giving the 5th spot to the winner of carasco, happ, kendrick and CHP so signing a starter isnt going to happen
    dealing coste for a young pitcher would be real nice since marsen and paulino will produce a good backup backstop
    doesnt look like they will have trouble moving stairs when they sign a righty bat…stairs only make 1mill and thats a bargain for a lefty pinch hitter that can hit the longball
    would be nice to package coste and stairs to the same team who needs a catcher and a lefty bat and get a real nice prospect

  37. Joe O'Phillie

    January 26, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Wigginton is a tweener, not good enough to play every day, too good to be on the bench. Considering the injuries to Feliz and Utley, he may get tweener type playing time with the Phils. Feliz’ back is almost guaranteed to flare up throughout the season so the Phils may rest him more than usual giving Wigginton more playing time. He also has the ability to play more positions than the alternatives.

    A one year contract with the Phils may be attractive to Wigginton since Feliz may be gone by the end of the year and he may be able to step into the “mostly” every day role then.


    January 26, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    No more Garciaparra, please

  39. Joe O'Phillie

    January 26, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    O yeah, and keep Stairs. There is no way you can get rid of him after he hit arguably the best homer in Phils history. Pay a million or 2 of Jenkins contract and someone might take him. Stairs is better suited as a pinch hitter anyway.

  40. Chuck P

    January 26, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    “Pay a million or 2 of Jenkins contract and someone might take him. Stairs is better suited as a pinch hitter anyway.”

    I like that thought… someone would probably take a look at Jenkins if we were willing to eat some of his salary. He’s obviously not comfortable being a backup here.

    I don’t see how anyone can think that we would have been better off with a LF platoon of Dobbs/Wigginton… it would have been cheaper but not better.

    If Adam Dunn signs for anything less than $12 million/year, I will throw up… Dunn has hit 40+ HR and 90+ RBI in each of the past 5 seasons. I’ve been saying that he would have been the best fit since day one. The only reason that anyone could give for not making an offer was that he was LH… and we ended up with a LH.

  41. Griffin

    January 26, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    “If Adam Dunn signs for anything less than $12 million/year, I will throw up… Dunn has hit 40+ HR and 90+ RBI in each of the past 5 seasons. I’ve been saying that he would have been the best fit since day one. The only reason that anyone could give for not making an offer was that he was LH… and we ended up with a LH.”

    Amen to that Chuck P., I’m with you 100% there.

  42. Don M

    January 26, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Could you guys even imagine how frustrated EVERY Phillies fan would be Howard-Dunn together in our lineup????

    Look how much people have been bitching about Howard’s strikeouts over the past week… and then think about adding Dunn, who strikesout just as much, but he’s less productive than Howard when he actually does hit the ball

    They added what they needed, a contact hitter that can hit 2,3,5, or 6… he hits from the left side of the plate, which bothers some people.. but if you can hit, you can hit. Did they overpay?.. yea its looking like they did, but they would have lost him to the Cubs, Angels or Mets if they didn’t get him when they did.

    Ibanez hits for higher average, and drives in more RBIs than Dunn… who would have been a TERRIBLE fit for this team in my opinion.. I’d like to have Dunn on my slow-pitch softball team.. but not on the Phillies

  43. Don M

    January 26, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Averages of the past 3 years:

    Ibanez: .291, 26 HRs, 113 RBI

    Dunn: .245, 40 HRs, 99 RBIs

    That batting average seals the deal for me. Over that same 3 year period, Dunn Strikesout an average of 174 times per year.. Ibanez 107 …. that is a whole lot more contact, and a much more reliable bat in the lineup

  44. NJ

    January 26, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    The Phils don’t need to be anymore explosive, it’s consistency that’s what the team has lacked and guys like Ibanez bring.

  45. Geoff

    January 26, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    You can have Howard or Dunn, but not both. Dunn is a cheap alternative to howard if you want to unload howard because of his salary, which we could argue about all day, but together they would set the all time record for strikeouts in a lineup

  46. Griffin

    January 26, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Don M., if you look at a stat like BA, then obviously Ibanez is going to be better than Dunn.
    What about OBP? For the last 3 years:

    Ibanez: .353, .351, .358

    Dunn: .365, .386, .386

    or what about SLG?

    Ibanez: .516, .480, .479

    Dunn: .490, .554, .513

    Anyone can cherry pick stats to make one player look better than the other.
    Ibanez is a good player, but so is Dunn. Ibanez is older and just signed for $10.5 for 3 yrs, Dunn may have to sign for $5 million for one year. Who is the better value?

  47. Chuck P

    January 26, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    I agree that Dunn is a poor man’s Ryan Howard and he might not be a “great fit” but he hits homeruns and would provide protection. We would all be frustrated with the strikeouts but it would be fun to watch!

    He would have many more RBI’s and his average might be better if he wasn’t playing for the Reds. And when Howard leaves this organization (and we’re all assuming he will), we would have a pretty decent HR hitter to bank on. What happens when Howard walks and Ibanez is done?

  48. Griffin

    January 26, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    I agree that Ibanez is the better fit for the Phillies, but value-wise, they overpaid.
    Enough about the Ibanez debate, we all know where each other stands. Any updates on Wiggy/Nomar/Alou?

  49. Don M

    January 26, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    They felt, and I agree.. that the lineup would be better suited with more consistent production from a different LF..in this case, Ibanez.

    It looks smart that they didn’t offer Burrell arbitration, because a guy with 30 HRs isn’t going to lose his arbitration case, he would have been awarded somewhere around that $14-15 M mark again, which is too much for Burrell.

    I’ve heard that Burrell will be missed most OFF the field.. he was the “Judge, Jury, and Executioner of the clubhouse”…

    Rollins becomes the longest-tenured, Utley can lead by example all he wants, but if he’s not willing to speak his mind, then nobody can listen if he’s not talking, Victorino brings energy.. but who is going to be the guy to tell him to tone it down when he needs it? Myers brings lots of fire and passion, but was so bad at one point last year, he was sent to the minors, so will anyone listen to anything he says? Hamels is the ACE, but at only 25 years old.. there no way he’s able to lead the clubhouse.. It will be interesting to see if Rollins is mature enough to lead ON and OFF the field, or it Utley is finally ready to be the guy the Front-Office and fans want him to be..

  50. Chuck P

    January 26, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    We need consistency… didn’t we win the WS with Mr. Inconsistency playing left field? If you have more runs on the board than the other team, you win the game… both players are run producers and neither is going to win a gold glove anytime soon (so defense doesn’t really factor into the decision). I think that Ibanez is a great fit and a great player but when you add money into the equation, $5 million per year for Adam Dunn is exponentially better than $10 million per year for Ibanez IMO.

  51. Don M

    January 26, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    What you need from #5 and #6 hitters, is the ability to KNOCK IN RUNS… not to GET ON BASE..

    Burrell had a nice OBP.. and that’s great and all, but a walk from Burrell and then counting on an injured Feliz, or a struggling Ruiz last year wasn’t what the team needed, and we all voiced our opinions on that all year long.

    I’m telling you for a FACT. that Howard-Dunn together in the lineup would be 1000x more frustrating than it would be fun. And not for nothing.. but BATTING AVERAGE, HRs, and RBIs are the common stats, its not like I’m digging for things..

    SLUGGING% is great and all.. but when you only hit .238, does it really matter?

  52. Chuck P

    January 26, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    These comments are coming in too fast… we’ll settle this debate another day. Right now, Dunn is unsigned and we know that we have a pretty good LF so lets leave it at that.

    Utley’s not going to be the vocal leader. Have you ever heard him talk?? Not the epitome of charisma. They’re going to need Ibanez to step into that role… and Myers needs to step up in a big way.

  53. Griffin

    January 26, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    If someone wants to use stats like BA and RBI, then fine. It’s the old school/new school sabermetric debate.

    RBIs are dependent upon how often you hit with runners in scoring position. After Howard hit his home runs last year, Burrell hitting a single would not result in a run scoring, was that Burrell’s fault?

    In a hitter’s park, getting men on base is vital and both Dunn and Burrell do that better than Ibanez. They also get more extra base hits than Ibanez. Ibanez will hit more singles, but get on base less and has less power.
    OPS (which is OBP + SLG) is a more accurate measure of a player’s value than antiquated stats like BA and RBI.

  54. Don M

    January 26, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Ibanez is quiet… and a new guy on the team.. he’s not stepping into that role.

    The only thing I worry about is that J-Roll takes over the lead, and this cool attidude comes over the team.. I’ve met Victorino before, and he acts like the best thing to ever come from Hawaii.. in my opinion, he a very good baseball player, but he couldn’t hold a Pineapple’s jockstrap!

  55. NJ

    January 26, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    All I’m going to say here now is when you take one stat particularly OPS you’r looking at a team that do the exact same thing, the Phils needed addition by subtraction to not be so hit or miss and that’s what’s being worked towards.

  56. Don M

    January 26, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    From everything I’ve read.. and from Player-Polls in Sports Illustrated:

    The most accurate measures of how good a Hitter is, are Batting Average and RBIs.

    The most accurate measures of how good a Pitcher is, are ERA and WHIP.

  57. NJ

    January 26, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    OPS the stats anyone who’s ready Moneyball takes to literally…

  58. Don M

    January 26, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Getting on Base is VERY important.. but SCORING MORE RUNS THAN THE OTHER TEAM WINS GAMES… now how you get those Runs, and what way you feel is the most effective is the debate..

    I want a #5-6 hitter that drives in Runs and can make contact.. Walks don’t do anything for me from that spot in the order because often (especially in the National League) your #7 and #8 hitters are players who are in the game more for their defense than for their bat. So to be happy that your Power-Hitters are getting ON BASE for your defensive specialists just doesn’t make sense to me

  59. Brett

    January 26, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Let’s not forget that we have Moyer, who everyone looks up t and respects in the clubhouse. Burrel had more of an older brother feel, but Moyer is the Grand Pappy, and I think that the club listens to him.

  60. Brett

    January 26, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    I think everyone likes Werth and that he has leadership potential also, depsite his short tenure.

  61. Don M

    January 26, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    MONEYBALL… Maybe it works and maybe it doesn’t …. Kevin Youkilis is one of the most underrated players in all of basell.. he’s better than Mark Texiera, but he’s too gritty to be glamorous

    So maybe the Moneyball theory works… and the Oakland A’s have been close a few times.. but “close only counts in Horseshoe’s and Hand-Grinades” so I tend to like the Tony LaRussa theory that stats are like a pretty girl in a bikini, they show a lot, but they don’t show everything… hustle and heart go into the equation too

    Anyone that read Moneyball, should also read Three Nights in August … they are both great books, and will make you appreciate the game even more

  62. Griffin

    January 26, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    ok, we agree to disagree on stats. I like players who get on base (therefore don’t make outs) whereas you would prefer a guy like Juan Pierre of a few years ago (high BA, low OBP) to a guy like Dunn (low BA, but high OBP).

    OPS shouldn’t be tied to Moneyball. Smart teams have been using it for years, don’t give Billy Beane credit for that.
    Also, Moneyball was about exploring discrepancies between actually value and real value on the open market. Guys who got on base, but didn’t have a sexy BA could be signed for cheaper than guys with high BAs who made more outs. Once teams realized that getting on base and not making outs was a valuable skill, then teams starting valuing those high OBPs properly.
    This offseason, corner OFs have been mostly undervalued (Dunn, Abreu, Burrell) with some GMs not figuring that out (Amaro, McPhail).

  63. Griffin

    January 26, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Don M, I have read Moneyball and Three Nights in August. I enjoyed them both. I’m trying to think of the leadoff hitter that LaRussa used to get so frustrated about because he didn’t take any pitches. I can’t remember the dudes name, but he’s obviously not in baseball anymore.

  64. Griffin

    January 26, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Kerry Robinson!, I just got way too excited for remembering that dude’s name.

  65. NJ

    January 26, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Buzzinger’s like the Terrance Mallick of sports novels… OPS guys commonly aren’t gamebreakers, they’ll hit decently sporadically and which will pad the bad elements of their stats, you’ve got to have balance in your line-up to get runs across and blow-outs just jade how well your guys are hitting.

  66. NJ

    January 26, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Wow the Braves are only prepared to offer Andruw Jones a minor league deal, that’s like your generous uncle not giving you that loan… How the mighty have fallen!

  67. Griffin

    January 26, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    On a separate note, anyone who lives outside the Philly area and wants to watch Phillies games, I highly suggest the MLB package on MLB.com

    Not only do you get to watch every single out of town game for $120 bucks a year, but you get to watch any archived games from years past. I’m currently watching the Phils-Nats final series of the year. It’s also fun to sporadically check up on the Mets broadcasts from the corresponding nights. It’s fun to hear how depressed the Mets announcers are when the out of town scoreboard comes up and Howard had just hit another homer. Good fun.

  68. Richie

    January 26, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    My hope is that Chase turns that World Series Fxxxing champs comment into a fiery attitude in the clubhouse and more of a leadership role because as much as I think Rollins can get a group going, his comments last year make me think that he still does not “get” this city and what we are about.

  69. Doug

    January 26, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Tim, The use of the word “doppelganger” was great!…Don, I’m in total agreement about getting Ibanez. We needed to add a bat that will keep rallies going, rather than killing them like Pat did all too often. He’s also got a better arm than Burrell, who got most of his assists either at 2nd. Pat’s throws to the plate were either late or up the first base line. he got assists on plays at the plate thanks to great relay throws from Jimmy. I can’t recall Pat throwing anyone out at the plate in ’08…As far as the catching logjam, Paulino was a nice upgrade for the back-up. I can see him getting plenty of starts, especially with all of the lefty starters we will see. Marson really isn’t in the picture yet, nor does he need to be as his “service time clock” hasn’t even started yet (I don’t think that a September call-up starts the clock). Sadly, Coste appears to be the odd-man out, unless God forbid, he’s kept as the righty off the bench…Speaking of which, Wigginton sounds to me like the best option, followed by Alou, but everyone being mentioned seems to be a better option the Coste. Hey, I love the guy, but “it’s not personal, it’s business” comes to mind.

  70. Chuck P

    January 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Anyone who has an uncle outside of the Philly area… strongly suggest the mlb.com package 😉

    I’ve heard that Ibanez is a quiet guy but I get the sense from watching him that he can talk if he needs to… a quiet guy that will make sure that you’re playing professional. We don’t need anymore loud mouths… we need a guy that can lead by example and get everyone to settle down when things get rough. With Vic, Werth, Dobbs, Romero and J-Roll, we have enough confidence to light a fire when we need one; we’re going to need that stabilizing figure that Pat used to be. Even though he’s new to this team, I think that Ibanez can be that guy. I’m sure that Moyer/Gillick had plenty of input when it came time to sign Ibanez. I trust both of those guys…

  71. Manny

    January 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Well Coste had a spectacular April and May in 2008… VERY impressive stats early in the season, so I wouldn’t rule him out yet.

    Doug: I haven’t heard anything that says that Ibañez has a better arm than Burrell… are you sure that is true?

  72. Griffin

    January 26, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    “I haven’t heard anything that says that Ibañez has a better arm than Burrell… are you sure that is true?”
    This should clear things up:


  73. Manny

    January 26, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Oh no! Are we really sure Ibañez is that great? or has he been hiding in Seattle all this time?

  74. Don M

    January 26, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Just read all this stuff now, I was away from my dizzesk…

    The way I look at OBP%.. is weird.. Bobby Abreu used to be my favorite player on the Phillies, because he was ALWAYS ON BASE… (and had a cannon for an arm)… but when Abreu was batting #3, they didn’t need him to also get on base.. they needed him to drive the ball somewhere and get Doug Glanville and such home to score a run..

    So I know the OBP theories, and I know that you need to have runners on to score runs.. but you need to have people making contact, and moving runners and driving them in too… its a lot easier for a guy to get on base than it is for a guy to knock in runs (yes, people need to be on base for the RBIs to happen.. so its all related)…

    Kerry Robinson.. yea I think he’s out of baseball.. that was a pretty good book.

    I wouldn’t even mind Coste being the RH hitter off the bench.. but for that to happen, Paulino would need to be up too.. but then Paulino hits LHP better, so he would be the PH and Coste would be backup catcher.. I can’t see them carrying 3 Catchers unless they get stuck.

    A bench of: Dobbs, Jenkins, Coste, Bruntlett, Paulino would be pretty good actually

  75. Joe O'Phillie

    January 26, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    “My hope is that Chase turns that World Series Fxxxing champs comment into a fiery attitude in the clubhouse and more of a leadership role because as much as I think Rollins can get a group going, his comments last year make me think that he still does not “get” this city and what we are about.”

    It was more the comment he made after that pointing to his teammates and telling them it was each and every one of them that made the champtionship possible that showed me that he may become a more vocal leader.

  76. Don M

    January 26, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Chase Utley being drunk/or stoned and dropping an F-bomb in front of a live audience, at the Stadium, on TV, and on Radio..

    THAT showed you that he may become a more vocal leader?

    That was a scumbag move, that was definitely planned, because before he said it, all the guys were waiting for him to do it… and he knew that nothing would happen except he’d have to apologize.. he’s a douche in my opinion. Hell of a ball player, but he’s a douche

  77. Greg V.

    January 26, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    What can all those guys do that Chris Coste can’t? Are the Phillies basically writing him off? In Coste we got a guy that can basically play any position and he’s a great right handed bat off the bench! Why would we even consider Nomar and Alou (who are both WAY past their prime) instead of Coste?

  78. Don M

    January 26, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    You aren’t seriously saying that Chirs Coste is better than either Nomar Garciaparra or Moises Alou are you???

    If my life was on the line and I had to choose them, in order to get a hit to save my life.. it would be Alou, then Garciaparra, then Coste

  79. timb

    January 26, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    I love this site, don’t usually post but I have to say something. Don M, how dare you say Chase Utley is a douche. When will society loosen up and realize curse words are just that, words. Sure they can make you sound like an idiot when overused… but c’mon, the Philadelphia Phillies won the WS !!!! What better time to blurt out ‘world f’n champions’ than that? I loved the fact that he said that, I love the fact that he walks his own way, I love the fact he is one of the faces of the Philles, and I love the fact that our team can be a bunch of class clowns. Oh – and I love the fact that we’re world f*cking champions.

    Don M, stop being such a douche. Do you even like the Phils? Or would you rather have a gentleman such as Bobby Abreu back? He’s so polite, he never gets in the right field fence’s way.

  80. Greg V.

    January 26, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    So no Chris Coste and no Chase Utley for Don M. Go root for the Mets asshole!

  81. Woodman

    January 27, 2009 at 8:23 am

    Don M: Lighten up, man. Utley a douche? If that statement by Chase at a “celebration” offended you, I agree with Greg V: Go root for the Muts!

  82. Jason B.

    January 27, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Don M…. Chase Utley said exactaly what everyone in the Delaware Valley were thinking and saying… World F*cking Champions. Everyone from toddlers to geriatrics were saying the same thing. The difference…. Utley said it in front of a microphone. I have yet to find more than 5 people who had a problem with that… None of them thought he was a douche, they just thought he should have lightened up on the reefer. Was it planned, probably. Was it childish, most people would agree. Does that make Utley the man, yes. Does it make hime a douche? NO! Don M you usually make some inteeligent comments on this site, but that sir is absurd. Lighten up, and get laid. It’s obvious to me that you need it. Hell, maybe you should smoke some of the reef that Utley smoking.( I heard Victorino gets it on the cheap from the islands!)

  83. Don M

    January 27, 2009 at 9:48 am

    You guys should read more.. obviously its not a huge deal that Utley said that.. but it was PLANNED.. I use that word probably more than anyone I know, but not if front of kids, and if I ever do its definitely not planned. I’m fine with people not caring about it, because I heard it live on the radio and thought it was hilarious.. and then later I saw it on TV and how it was staged and realized it was a scumbag move.

    I’m fine with people not caring about it, but anyone that thinks that it was “GREAT”, “MAKES CHASE UTLEY THE MAN!” or “THAT SHOWED THAT HE MAY BECOME A MORE VOCAL LEADER” …. you’ve got to be kidding me.. you are probably friends with the guys in the FanFriday video giving the camera the finger, with dragon tattoos on your forearms, and throwing bottles into the visiting teams dugout – and then running away . Actually, Jason B, I think that was you, right?

    I like Chris Coste, I’ve said that lots of times… but anyone that would rather have Chris Coste over Nomar Garciaparra or Moises Alou smokes TOO much of the reefer. I used to do that everyday in college, but quit, now Im married and I get laid more in a week, than you do in a month.. good thing we talk about baseball on here.

  84. Manny

    January 27, 2009 at 10:12 am



  85. Chuck P

    January 27, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Not a douche… but a bad decision nonetheless.

    Honestly, I could care less that it was said, and I was there with my four year-old son so I would have every right to care… for parents saying that their kids heard it, I would question why their kids weren’t at school… you shouldn’t throw stones if you live in a glass house.

    The problem that I have is that it was thought out… it was a calculated decision and you have to wonder what he was thinking. I have no doubt that someone on the team (Werth) said, “You won’t do it.” and then it became a macho-beer-induced dare but that’s not an excuse. Forget the fact that he’s a role model and a representative of this team… his image is important for his own personal benefit (marketing and advertising $$). That’s just stupid.

    Saying that curse words are just words is really immature. I used to think that back in the day, too but at some point I realized that words have meaning and children really are like sponges. I have to watch everything that I say around my son… if I don’t want him dropping the f bomb at school, I can’t walk around claiming that I’m the f*ing man of the house.

  86. Georgie

    January 27, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Wow, I’m just now getting a chance to catch up on yesterday’s comments-Don, you actually think Utley’s a scumbag and a douche? Just because he got a little high after winning the WFS and said a bad word? The guy was playing with probably alot more pain than any of us knew for the majority of the season, knew he was facing surgery, which is NEVER 100% guaranteed, just a little stressful for him, don’t you think? Whether the f-bomb was planned or not, please let’s cut him a little slack here.

  87. Jason B.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Yes Don… I AM one of the guys on the fan friday video. Yes, I have children yes I am married. When Utley made the statement, I did what any responsible parent who doesn’t mind free speech would do… I explained to my son who is 5 that yes, Chase said a bad word, and sometimes adults do that when they are excited. No that doesn’t makee it right for you to say that. A 5 year old perfectly understood that. I was not the one in the video with dragon tattoos on the arms, just so you know. Also, the way we act in the video are snippets of what was a collection of videos covering a 4 year span. But you know what, to defend myself again because you were so obviously offended, yes, sometimes me and my buddy do act like that. Our dads acted like that and our grand dads acted like that. our grand dads were of the culture that booed the president after throwing out the first pitch or wrote the Phils stink on the Life Buoy bill board at Connie Mack. If you think that reminding me of the video will make me ashamed, it won’t. Actually it makes me proud to know it pisses people like you off. So just like I had to explain to my 5 year old, I will explain to you, sometimes adults act a little goofy, it doesn’t make it right, it just happens. I’m 27 and I may look a little childish according to that video, but you know what, I’m ok with that. If you don’t like it, don’t sit in section 305 on Sundays or during the plan b season ticket package, because that’s where we’ll be, and we may drop a few F- bombs along the way.
    PS, obviously the moderators of this site had no problem with the video… They posted it.

  88. Woodman

    January 27, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    I think we all know who the DOUCHE is here….. and it’s not Chase!

  89. Jason B.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Oh yeah, and we didn’t throw a bottle into the bull pen, my buddy threw a bag of sunflower seeds at the mets bullpen catcher because he gave my buddy the finger… But since it was a Met, I kind a wish it was a bottle.

  90. St Pete

    January 27, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    What about the guys they signed as NRI. Tiffee, Furmaniak, Giles as stop gaps. Furmaniak is the only one that I know who can play 3b,ss,2b and outfield. Giles can only play second, Tiffee only 3b. The payroll will already be at 130m so I don’t see them spending much more say 2-3m for a bench guy like Wigginton. I am waiting for them to trade Stairs of Jenkins they are the same player.

  91. Don M

    January 27, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    you guys are right, I’m a d-bag.. my issue isn’t even really with Utley as much as it is the people that think he is the man BECAUSE he did that. He’s the man cause he’s a nasty baseball player, and he’s on the Phillies, and he helped us win the World Series.

    I didn’t call him a scumbag; I said it was a scumbag move… to drop an F-bomb, on purpose with the whole world watching is really cool if you’re like 14 years old… I bought a shirt that says World Phucking Champions, cause my sister-in-law designed it, and its part of Philadelphia Sports History… I doubt I’ll ever wear it, because it’s offensive to lots of people…

    F-bomb at the Home Run Derby, F-bomb at the World Series celebration… both times into a microphone, and if people want to like him MORE because he does that… then they’ve got their own issues.

    I guess I just don’t think Utley is ready to be the TEAM LEADER the front office, the fans, and his teammates want or need him to be now that Burrell is gone.

  92. Don M

    January 27, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    i really mean im a big homo

  93. Don M

    January 27, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    i also post under other people’s names and call them “homo” and “fag” on the internet because I’m cool…

    nerds, if you have something to say, say it.. don’t hide behind your keyboard and be tough on the computer..

    You want to call me out because I knocked your man-crush Chase Utley?, that’s fine.. at least have a discussion about it though, don’t be like a NY Mets fan and trash this blog

  94. Jason B.

    January 27, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Hey Don… I promise although we may have our differences, just know that I would never call you either of those names. And I certainly wouldn’t trash this blog, as I completly respect the writer of it. Just so your clear that I would not go under a false name.

  95. matt p

    January 28, 2009 at 12:31 am

    Jason B is my hero.

  96. NJ

    February 3, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Wigginton to the Orioles, if that team can pitch some that’s the best division in baseball since that teams quietly had a hell of an off-sesaon.

    Off subject for us but you gotta give McPhail credit.

  97. Geoff

    February 3, 2009 at 9:37 am

    The Orioles have made some nice moves there. Theyll be better.

  98. Punt

    August 23, 2009 at 1:41 am

    great post, thanks for providing so much. Keep up the good posts.! http://www.hoover-f5914900.com

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