2012 Spring Training

Writer’s Roundtable, Part 2: Press On

Vance Worley will look to repeat his rookie season. (AP)

The grass is getting greener, the birds are retreating back to the Northeast, and my allergies are flaring up; these are, of course, the telltale signs of baseball’s return. The comments on both the blog and our Facebook page have been heating up with both optimism for the 2012 season but also some legitimate concerns for the Fightins. The Phillies Nation crew got together and put together the top reasons to panic as well as the top reasons to have faith in the Phils, or press on. Feel free to take a look at ours and add in reasons of your own! Today, we press on!

The Reasons to Press On

The Three AmigosNick Staskin, Retired Beerman

No matter what starting eight Charlie trots on the field, the trio of aces is going to keep the Phillies in games for 3/5 of the season. While some teams may have one or two shutdown stoppers, the Phillies still sport the best top three in all of baseball.

Much like last year when injuries plagued the team to start the season, I fully expect the big game pitchers to eat up innings and keep the Phils in games.

Opportunity is knocking. Loudly. – Jay Floyd, Minor League Specialist

In 2012, I’m looking forward to- INJURIES.  Yep, more of them.  Not because I wish it upon the team or any of its players, but because they always happen and they are what it will take for the likes of talented arms like Michael Schwimer, Phillippe Aumont and Justin De Fratus to get a shot with the big club.

The Phillies are likely to open the season with about 12 pitchers on the roster, but it’s inevitable that they’ll use an additional 8 to 10 hurlers at the big league level this year, as is regularly the case. Guys like Schwimer, Aumonth and De Fratus all have very little left to prove in the minors.  And while Aumont struggled a bit with his control during Grapefruit League play this year and De Fratus has been out of action with an elbow ailment, once those two guys and 2011 Triple-A All-Star Schwimer get comfortable in their likely opening day hometown of Allentown with the IronPigs, it won’t be long until they are ready to contribute in Philadelphia.  All it will take is some openings, which always come.

The Vanimal takes a bite out of the NL EastJonathan Nisula

Vance Worley had a great 2011 season, pitching well enough to be in the running for Rookie of the Year. There were some concerns, however, that Worley would not be able to replicate his performance as hitters grow used to his delivery and pitching style. So far this Spring, he’s proved that theory wrong as he’s pitched to a 2.81 ERA in sixteen innings.

He looks ready to step into the same role as last year, which will work wonders for a Phillies team that could struggle offensively. All of a sudden, the Phils have three #1’s and maybe even a #2 or #3, instead of settling for three #1’s and a #4. Over the course of the season, he could make a huge difference in the Phillies record and therefore the division race as well.

HP3 and the Improved Bench – Don M.

Thank the Baseball Gods that we traded for Hunter Pence last season. Without Utley and Howard in the lineup until school lets out, and because we don’t know if Mayberry’s power will project as well as we hope over a full season, I am so very thankful that Ruben Amaro acquired Hunter Pence last year.  Slotted anywhere in the 3-4-5 positions in the batting order, Pence has become the player that opposing pitchers must think twice about.

The other positive? The bench upgrade.  If used correctly, in platoon situations, we could see very productive seasons from Wigginton, Nix, Thome, Pierre/Pods, etc.  If the roster is a puzzle, sometimes its the little pieces that make all the difference, and these new additions are going to get their chances right from the start.

The Phillies still have the best pitching. Kieran Carobine

The Phillies are blessed with a brilliant staff again this year.  Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee are shoe-ins for Top 5 in the Cy Young voting year after year.  Cole Hamels is slowly making his name known and should see his name atop the list in no time.  Hamels gets the nod for the home opener, while Vance Worley gets tabbed to take game three of the season.  This shows Charlie’s confidence in the kid.  Worley has something to prove.  Something that JA Happ and Kyle Kendrick couldn’t do; that the sophomore slump is whack.  Rounding out the rotation is a ‘new and improved’ Joe Blanton.  Blanton is in a win/win situation if you ask me.  He is being asked to replace Roy Oswalt, which seems daunting.  It really isn’t.  Oswalt went 9-10 with an ERA under four.  If Blanton finishes the season .500 and an ERA around 4.30 I will be happy.

Left FieldIan Riccaboni

My area of panic is also my reason to press on. I cannot recall a time in recent history when the Phillies had this amount of capable Major League talent competing for what may amount to the fifth outfield spot but what could turn into the starting left fielder position. Pierre and Podsednik are not the players they used to be and Montanez will not become the player he never was but there is reason to be excited that Pierre and Pods can contribute on the bases and get on base at a good clip to generate some more offense.

Because there is no choicePat Gallen

You press on, it’s what you do as a team and as individuals. Ruben Amaro built this team the best way possible in his mind, so it’s what we’ll have to go with it. As fans, it’s time to rally around a group of unknowns. The hope is that Utley and Howard can be ready to contribute by mid-season for another run. The pitching is solid and can carry the team at times. There are plenty of talented offensive piece that can hold down the fort. You have one of the best ninth-inning options in your bullpen. It might not be 2008 all over again, but it’s still a hell of a team that many cities would be desperate to have.

An exciting regular seasonCorey Seidman

The regular season will be much more exciting in 2012 than it was in 2011.

The Phillies are now a team with an excellent pitching staff and a patchwork offense. The 3-4-5-6 of two years ago is physically gone. There will be more 1-run games, more extra inning games, more low-scoring games.
I realize that won’t pique everyone’s interest, but I love it. I love being emotionally invested all summer and being unable to sit still during September. Last season, the Phillies jumped out so quickly that the division was wrapped up by the All-Star break. The Phillies took 2 of 3 from the Braves heading into the break and while Atlanta was still mathematically well in the hunt, you got the feeling it was over when the Phillies pounded Derek Lowe and the Braves, 14-1, on the final day of the first half.

In an improved division, that won’t happen. I expect the season to be much like 2010, when the Phillies were ravaged by injuries and played good-but-not-great baseball until late-August, when they swept the Padres in San Diego and surged all the way through September.

I like excitement. I was the kid who stopped playing baseball video games if my team was 30-1. That just wasn’t as much fun.

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0 Comments

  1. therookie300

    March 28, 2012 at 8:50 am

    I know this isn’t really on topic with this article, but it is a worrisome thought I just had. This sale of the Dodgers could be bad news for the Phils. I think they would be serious players for Hollywood if he reaches free agency. RAJ better get him locked up before the end of the season.

  2. schmenkman

    March 28, 2012 at 9:11 am

    “I love being emotionally invested all summer and being unable to sit still during September.”

    Obviously the downside of an exciting September is that it means the Phillies have a very real shot of not making the playoffs.

    Here’s hoping for another boring September (with the Phillies ahead, of course).

  3. Manny

    March 28, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I’ll have to disagree (again) with Don M on this one… “I am so very thankful that Ruben Amaro acquired Hunter Pence last year.”

    If we don’t make that trade, we most certainly would’ve acquired a free agent outfielder this offseason, costing us no prospects.. just money (which we’re giving to Pence since he isn’t really cheap). We would’ve landed a guy like Cuddyer or someone of that sort. AND you’d still have the prospects we gave for Pence (Singleton, Cosart, Zeid, and Domingo Santana) THIS season to make a move if our offense is struggling… Those guys, or some combination of them, would be enough to land you someone like David Wright mid-season. Instead, we have a depleted farm and an offense that will most likely struggle in the early months… making yet another trade to boost the offense again would be a questionable move, to say the least (I’d say borderline insane).

    So, it comes down to this: Pence ….VS… Cuddyer/Willingham/someone else AND Wright/someone of that caliber. I know which of the two options I’d prefer…

    • GM

      March 28, 2012 at 10:27 am

      The front office seems very concerned about the luxury tax, at least based on their public comments. Pence is making $10.4 million this year, Cuddyer signed for 3 years / $31.5 million, or basically the same annual cost. The choice for 2012 seems obvious to me.

      Over the past 3 seasons, Pence has hit for a higher average (.293 vs .276), averaged more HR (24 vs 22), more RBI (86 vs 81).

      Also, not sure where the money would come from to trade for “Wright/someone of that caliber”. And my guess is that it would cost a lot more than the prospects we traded for Pence to convince the Mets to make that trade.

      • Don M

        March 28, 2012 at 11:04 am

        The Mets are going to have to be floored by an offer to trade him within the division – David Wright is currently THE ONLY REASON that Mets fans would go to Citi Field this year… unless there are big Lucas Duda fans out there that I just don’t know about

        I kinda feel like that arguement isn’t a legit one (I wanted Cuddyer before 2011 began, knowing the Twins would suck, and they’d loose him in the offseaon, I thought they would trade him – and it wouldn’t cost much .. .but instead they kept him) .. so we traded for the best available player – helped us to be the best team in baseball (obviously fell short in the postseason) . but now we have Pence for a full year … Pence, who again, is a legit 3-4-5 hitter .. vs. Cuddyer, who wouldn’t scare a soul in the absence of Utley/Howard

        I understand your point about the 2 players vs. Pence – but kinda feel like you know exactly what I mean and you’re just arguing to argue my point ?

        The fact that you quoted me with, ““I am so very thankful that Ruben Amaro acquired Hunter Pence last year.” …….. That’s something i’ll say time and time again this season. Because we have a LEGIT threat in the lineup for a full season

      • Manny

        March 28, 2012 at 11:23 am

        I realize Pence is better than Cuddyer… but you also have to keep in mind that last year was a career year for Hunter… It reminds me of Werth’s 2010.. a pretty good player who had an elite-year. I do not feel as certain as most people on here that Pence will be as good as last year, simply because he hasn’t had that type of performance before. I think he’ll have a good year, but we shouldn’t raise our expectations too much. Sorry but Pence is NOT a legit 3-hole hitter (unless you’re the Astros, Mariners, or Athletics) That’s a spot for the M.Cabrera, Pujols, A Gonzalez, CarGo, J. Upton, Cano, Braun, healthy Utleys of the world.

        Re: Wright’s money… it would be half a season worth –maybe less. He has a club option for 16 million for 2013 that might not be exercised, essentially making him a rental this summer. Based on that, it would take a lot but not much more than what we gave up for Pence –I do want to remind everyone that we paid for him at his highest peak value, essentially what we’d pay (in terms of prospects) for an elite player.

        The main point is, though, that having those prospects would give us the flexibility to make a move (maybe go over the lux tax for half a year) if the offense is stagnant in 2012. That is a much better alternative than tying our hands up before the season has even started.. which is exactly were we are.

      • GM

        March 28, 2012 at 12:04 pm

        If you want to consider last year a “career year” for Pence, that’s fine, but you still need to go back and review his last 3 seasons vs the last 3 for Cuddyer; I started with 4, but Cuddyer was hurt in 2008.

        We needed to make a move last July, and Pence was the right player at the time, and he is still a better option than Cuddyer. Neither is a great defensive outfielder, and I completely agree with Don, nobody is going to be afraid to pitch to Cuddyer.

      • Manny

        March 28, 2012 at 12:22 pm

        @GM: It WAS a career year for Pence any way you slice it. Highest WAR, OBP, Avg, etc….

        He also had a very high BABIP of .361… compared to .301 in 2008, .308 in 2009, and .304 in 2010. His 2011 numbers simply seem unsustainable. He’s not THAT good.

        (Disclaimer: I went out of my way in Fantasy Baseball and drafted Pence cause I think he’s a very good outfielder… but people thinking he’s a legit 3 or 4 hole hitter are most likely in for a heartbreak).

      • schmenkman

        March 28, 2012 at 12:23 pm

        IMO there was no reason to make a move in July. They already had the highest-scoring offense in the league (for the prior two+ months, i.e. since Utley returned), and there was about a 98% chance they would make the playoffs.

      • Don M

        March 28, 2012 at 12:32 pm

        Pence was not far beyond his Career Avgs last year – in his Age-28 season in 2011, he’s likely still in his prime (turns 29, April 13th)

        Avg is 25 HRs, last year hit 22
        Avg. Batting Avg is .292, last year hit .314
        Avg. RBI is 91, last year had 97
        Avg. Runs is 86, last year had 84
        Avg SB is 14, last year had 8
        …. His OBP and OPS were higher than normal last year

        but I don’t think its a stretch to say that Pence could exceed last year’s numbers in all categories.

        …..
        For the arguement that he’s not a legit #3 hitter …. he’s a career .292 hitter, with an .828 OPS ………for the sake of a where-they-stand … I added career AVG + OPS .to the hitters you mentioned as legit #3 hitters (except Hall of Fame bound Miggy and Pujols since they are obviously great players)

        1. Braun .. 312 avg, .933 OPS = 1245
        2. Utley .. .290 avg, .882 OPS = 1172
        3. CarGo… .298 avg, .871 OPS = 1169
        4. Cano … .308 avg, 843 OPS = 1151
        5. J.Upton … .277 avg, 845 OPS = 1122
        6. Pence … 292 avg, 828 OPS = 1120

        I think you’re selling him a little short if you think he’s far off from that company.

        ……..
        I think it’s weird that you’re basically saying that you don’t approve of giving up prospects in 2011 when our offense needed a boost …..because now we don’t have prospects to make a trade if we need to in 2012 ?

      • Manny

        March 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm

        Don, you do realize that OPS already takes AVG into account.. so you’re double counting and giving substantially more weight to AVG than any other factor… which is why Pence gets close to these guys according to your calculations…

        Mind also taking into account Pence’s very high BABIP compared to his previous years?

      • EricL

        March 28, 2012 at 1:32 pm

        Don, why in the world are you adding batting average to OPS? Batting average is already part of OPS.

        And for the umpteenth time: THE 2011 PHILLIES OFFENSE OF MAY 23-JULY 29 DIDNT NEED A BOOST.

        We’re saying it was stupid because the difference in performance between Pence and a free agent OF is not significant enough to justify giving up 3 of the top 10 organizational prospects on an aging team.

        Look at it this way. In 2001 the Phillies finished 2 games behind the Braves in the NL East. What would the last 5 years of this franchise looked like if that team had decided, hey, we’ve got to make a huge push to get to the playoffs, let’s trade that young 1st round pick 2B we drafted last year, and that big 5th round first baseman we drafted this season. We can improve enough to MAKE THE PLAYOFFS for the first time in 8 years! The same thing happened in 2003, when the Phils finished 5 games out of the wildcard, which went to the eventual WS Champion Marlins. I can just picture all of you clamoring for an upgrade to hopefully get to the playoffs, and why do we need that kid at 1B in Reading, I mean, after all, he’s blocked because at the time there was a sure-fire first ballot Hall of Fame player manning that position. Why keep a guy like Howard around with a HoF player blocking him, right?

        And here’s the thing: Last year’s Pence trade was actually worse than those hypotheticals, because those teams were merely making a playoff push. As I’ve said, the important thing is just getting to the playoffs. Once you’re there, as we’ve seen time and time again, anything can happen. This is why making those kinds of moves on a team almost guaranteed to make the playoffs is a mistake. They’ve already got their lottery ticket. There’s no reason to waste more resources because no matter how much you spend, you still only get one entrance into the tournament, and a few bad games/calls/bounces can go against you and you’re out. (That 2003 season I mentioned above? The Braves finished the regular season with 101 wins. They lost in the first round to the Cubs! The Yankees also finished that season with 101 wins. They lost in the WS to the wildcard Marlins. THERE IS BASICALLY NO BENEFIT TO MARGINALLY IMPROVING YOUR TEAM FOR THE PLAYOFFS.)

        This current era of success has been the legacy of Ed Wade (Coupled with Gillick making a few very good, timely moves). The era of rebuliding in 3 years is going to be the legacy of Ruben Amaro. That’s a little unfair, because there’s still enough time and money available for the Phils to right the ship, but they need to abandon this idea that getting X player guarantees you anything and that you always need to be reaching for the brass ring.

      • George

        March 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm

        “They could have signed an FA this offseason who would give you 90% of what Pence will give you this year…”

        Let’s have a few names here. Cuddyer certainly isn’t 90% of Pence and he’s a heckuva lot older. Willingham probably isn’t either. What other decent OF free agents were available this off-season?

      • Don M

        March 28, 2012 at 3:43 pm

        I just saw this – pretty late …. the reason I wanted to throw Average on top of that is because I still value a high batting average as a stand-alone stat … and while I understand that BABIP can be high/low from season to season (I like others, use that more to judge Ptichers) … I feel that looking at a hitters Career-Batting Average is a very useful stat … and sometimes the SLG numbers make “bad hitters” look “good” … …. (Mark Reynolds, with his .815 OPS)

        I shouldn’t have added them together – but I felt like the AVG alone just gets discredited by people nowadys, but I think its very useful (especially career, or over a 3-year-span, etc)

      • schmenkman

        March 28, 2012 at 4:19 pm

        OK George, ask and ye shall receive.

        Below are the key FA outfielders. I show yrs/$ they signed for, 2012 age, and the mid point of the OPS estimates from the five projection systems published on fangraphs.

        Pence ……..1/10, 29, .810, with one more Arb year before free agency (highest of the five: .835)

        Cuddyer …. 3/32, 33, .803
        Beltran ……. 2/26, 35, .845
        Swisher …. 1/10, 31, .818
        Kubel ……… 2/15, 30, .797
        Willingham 3/21, 33, .808
        Cespedes. 4/36, 26, ???

        Have at it.

    • George

      March 28, 2012 at 11:24 am

      Singleton would have to be traded anyway, because he’s blocked at his position, 1st base, for the next five years. Might as well get Pence for him.

      By mid-season, I look for Wright to be on the DL. He’s too expensive for an injury prone player.

      • schmenkman

        March 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm

        Agreed on Wright, especially with his awful defense.

        Also agreed that Singleton would likely have to be traded (barring the DH being introduced, or the Left Field experiment being tried again), but what many of us have said is that instead of trading for Pence, they could have signed an FA this offseason who would give you 90% of what Pence will give you this year, and still have Singleton, Cosart, and Santana to package in a deal to fill this year’s needs.

        Now, is there a chance Pence could somehow turn into a .900 OPS/35 HR guy? It’s possible — unlikely, but possible.

      • Manny

        March 28, 2012 at 12:11 pm

        Exactly.. that’s the point, schmenkman. Forget the names (Cuddyer, Wright… those are just some obvious examples). Couldn’t have said it any better:

        “They could have signed an FA this offseason who would give you 90% of what Pence will give you this year, and still have Singleton, Cosart, and Santana to package in a deal to fill this year’s needs.”

  4. Jeff of Nova

    March 28, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Manny,

    I see your point and it sounds good in theory, and having Singleton and others still would be awesome, but you are talking about players that have not prooved that they are of the caliber of Pence. Cuddyer is no spring chicken, Williingham is not all that, David Wright will never come here. Pence showed he is awesome in the clutch and he is YOUNG

  5. Jeff of Nova

    March 28, 2012 at 10:33 am

    On an off note,

    If for some reason Chase Utley was forced into retirement by injuries, would the Phillies save money on his salary the next 2 years?

  6. Ian Riccaboni

    March 28, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Yo Corey – you gotta take The Show off of Easy! You overriding all CPU trades? No reason to be winning 30-1!

  7. Chuck A.

    March 28, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I KNEW when I read the article above that the Hunter Pence issue raised by Don was gonna be mentioned on this thread. And sure enough, 3 comments in, someone has to complain about the trade.

    Yeah, sure, it cost us something. But, time and time again, the argument is raised that in order to get quality you have to GIVE quality. Having Hunter Pence here for a full season could very well be the difference between the Phillies making the playoffs and not.

    • GM

      March 28, 2012 at 11:58 am

      As I much as I disagreed with you yesterday, trading for Pence was the right move.

    • Manny

      March 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm

      “Having Hunter Pence here for a full season could very well be the difference between the Phillies making the playoffs and not.”

      Just as you think that’s true, one can also argue that trading for him could be the difference between making the playoffs or NOT… Have we not made the trade, we would’ve had a player almost as good as Pence for a full year, and enough talent in the farm system to get even more offense if needed later in the season.

      We’re out of bullets now, partially because of that trade.. and that’s not a good thing.

      • GM

        March 28, 2012 at 12:41 pm

        Maybe JMJ can give you 90% and he’s already here and very inexpensive. You can argue that we’re out of bullets, but if the front office isn’t willing to exceed the luxury tax, then it doesn’t really matter, and you’ve got a much better investment with Pence & Mayberry for approximately $11 million than you would with Cuddyer at $10.5 million.

        Pence has a .292 career average – 90% for Mayberry = .263
        Pence has averaged 24 HR the last 4 years – 90% for Mayberry = 21.6

      • Don M

        March 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm

        I’m confused, because I think that you’re talking about Cuddyer and Willingham when you say “we couldve had players almost as good as Pence.” I think that Willingham could’ve/ would’ve been a good addition – but mostly in a platoon situation (and maybe that was the right way to go? … with Brown in the mix too). .

        But Pence’s career numbers are very good vs both RHP and LHP … he’s got power, speed, and can hit for average …. he’s the better player by anyone’s measure ….

        and my stance of Thank God we got Hunter Pence … is because can you imagine a lineup without Utley and Howard …OR Pence

        Rollins, Polanco, Victorino, Willingham, Mayberry/Wigginton …. that doesn’t scare anyone, and that doesn’t excite Phillies fans ……….we added the best possible player last year to help spark our offense for what was shaping up to be a good postseason run ……

        The best team in baseball’s regular season, took the best to the “dance”, and got booted by a team that was playing it’s best at just the right moment (like the ”08 Phillies, and ’10 Giants) . . Baseball Playoffs are a crap shoot – and we lost last year, but when you have that “open window” and no gaurantee that Hamels, Victorino will be back – or that Halladay will play much longer than his current deal ….and your franchise has exactly 2 WS championships in about 130 years of trying …. In my mind the Phillies were 100% right in going after Pence last year … and again, I can’t imagine the lineup without him right now, we’d be in serious trouble

      • EricL

        March 28, 2012 at 12:59 pm

        GM, you’re doing the math wrong.

        It’s not Mayberry + Pence @ $11,000,000 vs. Cuddyer & Mayberry @ $10,500,000.

        It’s Mayberry + Pence at 11mm versus Cuddyer, Mayberry, Santana, Cosart & Singleton. @ $10.5mm

        Taking the full cost into account, and looking at how the Phillies were faring (1st place in standings, 1st place in offense) there was no need to blow up the top ranks of the organizational talent pipeline.

      • EricL

        March 28, 2012 at 1:05 pm

        @Don, for teams with a large enough payroll there is only “A Window” if you create one by doing stupid things. This is what Amaro has done.

        If you waste your homegrown talent on acquiring big names when you don’t need them and then further waste your payroll flexibility by handing out huge contracts to players who aren’t deserving or play a non-essential position you obviously do create a window, because you have no youth to take over when your veterans start to break down AND you’ve got no flexibility with your payroll to pay for top-level free agents.

        Smart teams with lots of resources (Boston, LAA, NYY, etc), however, generally stay competitive year after year after year because they do a very good job of not blowing up their future by selling out their farm system for a particular playoff run. As was mentioned, due to the nature of baseball playoffs, the best team frequently loses, so the marginal gain in talent is very rarely reflected in extra playoff series wins, and thus it’s wasteful to try to do that…like the Phillies did last year.

      • GM

        March 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm

        No, for 2012, the math is correct.

        Santana, Cosart & Singleton would not have played in Philadelphia this year. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to be very excited if the Phils miss the playoffs and Reading or Lehigh Valley has a great year.

      • schmenkman

        March 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm

        GM, Correct — THEY wouldn’t play in the majors in 2012, but they would still be available to be traded for players who could contribute this year.

      • GM

        March 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm

        So we should hold on to prospects so that we can trade them in the middle of the 2012 season? Would 1/2 season of the player we get back be better than a full season of Pence? That sounds a little silly to me.

      • EricL

        March 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm

        What?

        No, you hold onto them last season because the Phillies really didn’t need Pence.

        That allows them to sign an OF through free agency, which costs them only cash.

        That then provides them more flexibility when injuries arise this season (like to a certain second baseman) because they’ve got a lot more bargaining chips if they need to use them, or they can alternatively hold onto the players if are so inclined.

      • GM

        March 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm

        You’re still assuming that they would pay the luxury tax.

      • EricL

        March 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm

        Not necessarily. Say, for example, they sign a guy like Cuddyer. They probably don’t sign Wigginton after that, since Wigginton is basically the poor-man’s version of Cuddyer. So now you’ve got an extra $4.5 million to work with, AND you’ve still got all of your minor leaguers as trade bate.

        That would work perfectly to allow the Phils to try to pick up a guy like Albert Callaspo, as Corey mentioned a couple weeks ago, or any number of other options. Or maybe instead of re-signing Rollins they take that extra money and try to sign Jose Reyes. Or whatever. It’s impossible to predict, I’m just saying they’d have more flexibility than they do with the way they went about things, and that the cost of the move with respect to the improvement the team saw was way out of line.

      • EricL

        March 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm

        *trade BAIT

      • GM

        March 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm

        I believe that the Wigginton deal include some cash from Colorado. So we wouldn’t necessarily have $4.5 million under the tax threshold

        .

      • George

        March 28, 2012 at 3:44 pm

        Again, you’re assuming that a player “almost as good as Pence” could have been acquired. A team doesn’t win crap with assumptions.

      • George

        March 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm

        One thing I take exception to is the idea that the Phils didn’t need Pence. They wer in first place, but with an outfield that wasn’t performing, there’s just no telling how long they might have stayed there. And the argument that they had the best offense is bogus, because although it had improved when Utley returned, a few weeks of Utley is too small a sample size to base an entire season on. I just can’t imagine the results of a full year of Francisco’s bad offense and Brown’s horrible defense. (Yes, his batting looked okay, but it was nowher near what Pence was doing.) Also, at the time, Mayberry had far from proven himself.

        Tems always have to pay top talent in a mid-year trade, and the Phils certainly paid a premium for Pence; that can’t be argued in the least. What can be debated, though, is that whole “we didn’t need him” thing.

    • EricL

      March 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      The difference between Hunter Pence and Willingham or Cuddyer is not worth Cosart, Santana, Zeid & Singleton. No way, no how.

      • GM

        March 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm

        That depends on whether you want to win now, or hope to win in a few years. They’ve established a culture now where making the playoffs is expected, to many of the new fans anything less than winning a World Series is a failure. If we waited on the prospects, then Howard & Utley would be to the point where we’d be looking to replace them as well.

        Maybe you don’t remember the last few years at the Vet, the teams were competitive, building towards the future, and had plenty of empty seats.

      • therookie300

        March 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm

        Who’s to say they wouldn’t have just traded for Pence in the off-season knowing that Howard would have been out for a couple of months. The same prospects could very well have been used.

      • schmenkman

        March 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm

        They may have, but at that point they would have had this choice:

        a) get Pence for $10M/year and 3 of your 10 best prospects
        b) get Cuddyer for $10M/year

        (using Cuddyer as an example with similar price tag)

        I know I would have chosen “b”, but that’s just me.

      • GM

        March 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm

        If you want to win in 2012, you take the best available player, which RAJ did. You can’t worry about 3 guys in Single A that won’t be here for at least a few seasons. If they scout & draft well, we could have 3 new prospects in Clearwater by the end of the summer.

      • Manny

        March 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm

        Yea, GM… or we could’ve had 6…or 9 or 20… elite and near-elite prospects don’t grow on trees, you know.

      • EricL

        March 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm

        @GM Those are not mutually exclusive concepts. You can win now AND in the future, but only through prudent management, which I’ve been arguing, trading for Pence was not.

        The Phillies, at the time of the trade, were in first place. That sounds like a culture of winning.

        The Phillies, at the time of the trade, had an offense that was producing amongst the best in the league.

        The Phillies, at the time of the trade, had the best pitching staff in baseball in terms of runs allowed.

        As I said previously, they were essentially guaranteed a playoff berth prior to the Pence trade. Due to the nature of baseball, the ‘better team,’ at least in terms of wins, often loses in the playoffs to an inferior team. Thus, slight improvements in talent do VERY LITTLE to change your odds of winning a championship.

        Taking all of the above into account, adding Pence was only a very marginal improvement which had a negligible effect on their WS odds. The cost for that marginal improvement was very large with respect to the amount of talent they had to give up to and the salary they now have to pay him. Those costs prevent other, future moves from being made. Those potential future moves would ideally be not just marginal improvements, but improvements that fill big holes on the team, and as these big holes arise due to an aging team, we’re left with an organization that has little flexibility to deal with them because they instead chose to spend their resources on small improvements elsewhere.

        That’s the mistake.

        @Rookie – Why on earth would they trade for a RF when their power-hitting firstbaseman went down? The smart thing to do would be to sign one of the bigger-name free agents who can play OF & 1B, so that they can use him at both positions both before and after Howard comes back.

        Trading those same prospects for Pence in the offseason would have been just as big a mistake as it was during the season.

      • Don M

        March 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm

        on the surface, that comment sounds great …. but nobody knows what any of those guys will turn out to be …

        there are comments about them getting “3 of our top 10 prospects” … well at one point, not long ago – Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, and Lou Marson were those guys too – and look how great they’ve been in their MLB careers ….. Michael Taylor was a sure-thing, stud RH_bat … etc..

        you just never know with those guys, and if the Phillies can continue to draft and develop players that other teams want – they’ll use them to obtain players to help them win NOW. . . where the window is open . It’s easy to say that the window shouldn’t close because of their payroll, but when you have Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels together on your team for a limited number of seasons ….. then yes, there is a window that is not entirely controlled by the organization. Halladay might decide to call it a career after this deal, Hamels might decide he wants to play in LA … etc.. there are other factors at play besides just MONEY and right now the Phillies have a good chunk of “homegrown” talent – matched with top flight pitchers that wanted to be here … Once Utley, Ruiz, Rollins are done – it’s not easy to replace them. There aren’t always good Free Agents out there, you can’t always develop similar talent, etc . . . . . when the Yankees have to replace Jeter, and Mariano Rivera – it won’t be easy, despite them having the largest payroll …. only very recently did they try to hold onto their top prospects- and that was after years and years of buying/trading .. and winning.


        “The Phillies didn’t really need Pence last year” … maybe so, but again, thank god we have him now when Utley and Howard are about to miss significant time

      • schmenkman

        March 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm

        Don, it doesn’t matter what they turn out to be. But their status as top prospects means that they are desirable commodities that other teams will give up a quality major leaguer for.

        Sure, Cosart MIGHT develop into a quality major leaguer pitcher, or he might not. Who knows at this point? And for the purposes of this discussion, it’s not important.

        They only thing that’s important is that, unlike the 100’s of other minor leaguers, he has that potential, and therefore other teams will give up value to get that. Because, after all, that is the holy grail of managing a major league team: good, cheap, cost-controlled players.

  8. betasigmadeltashag

    March 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    For me the biggest reason to press on is simple- Opening day is a week away and home openier is only 12 days away which means BASEBALL IS BACK. You press on to watch this Great Phillies team play 162 games take on all comers and pitch them to death 1-0 2-1 3-2 games where you are the edge of your seat(or in my case most time the bed, since I work nights and DVR all the games on MLB extra innings) Pap’s scowl in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and two on, it really does not get any better then that to look forward too. Maybe my head is in the sand but I have Phaith that this team will eke out enough runs to win games, maybe it is Thome with a PH double or HR or maybe it is Glavis stealing second and scoring on a Chooch single or maybe even Pods/Pierre/Nix/Wiggy getting a clutch hit in a platoon start. What ever it is you press on to cheer the Phillies on to victory as frustrating and nail bitting as it may be. Then you look forward to the around the All star break or sooner to get the big dogs (CHase and Ryan) back in the line up the anticipation of how well they will do and the elation of returning to the line up. That is why you press on because that is what fans do, complain, insinuate(sp) argue agree question and simply enjoy the fact that the Phillies will soon be back on the field for real

  9. Jeff Dowder

    March 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    I think losing Gose and Villar for 36 Roy Oswalt starts was a much worse trade than the Pence deal. At least the Phillies will end up with two and a half seasons from Pence. If RAJ had just held on to Cliff Lee the first time he had him, he wouldn’t have had to make that Oswalt deal at the 2010 deadline (and he wouldn’t have lost a draft pick for bringing Lee back in 2011). The old domino effect at it’s worst.

    Eddie Wade often gets made out to be a clown, but he made a couple of nice deals there.

    • George

      March 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm

      If he hadn’t traded Cliff Lee, the Phils would be short some of the prospects that everyone talks about trading mid year. Without the prospects, you can’t make ANY mid-season trades.

      • Jeff Dowder

        March 28, 2012 at 4:54 pm

        George – Anthony Gose is rated MUCH higher than any of the “Seattle Three”. The Phillies would still have Gose if it wasn’t for the wacky Lee chain of events. Using the “we have to replenish the farm system” theory, shouldn’t RAJ be shopping Hamels right now? He’s entering the last year of his deal (just like Lee was), so it’s got to be a great time to trade him for two or three prospects!

        We’ll never agree on this, which is fine, but I have a hunch that even RAJ would admit off the record that he screwed up the entire sequence of events with Lee starting from December 2009.

  10. Jeff

    March 28, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Casey Blake released. Pick him up

    • EricL

      March 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      Why? The Phillies already have him. He’s called Ty Wigginton.

      Look at Blakes B-R page and see who the first listing in “similar batters” is.

      Beside, he’s of no real use unless he learned to play 2B/SS over the winter.

    • Jeff Dowder

      March 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      A 38 year old thirdbaseman coming off of neck surgery is pretty low on the list of the Phillies’ needs right now.

  11. Chuck A.

    March 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I think Pence is gonna have a MONSTER year. A full year in a city that has already fell in love with him and he’ll be even MORE juiced and motivated. Plus he knows he’s the guy in the lineup right now that the Phillies need to count on for power and run production. He’ll run with that. In fact, I’ll go out on a limb….right now….and say that Pence will have a legitimate shot to be in the top 10 or maybe even top 5 for MVP this season.

    • EricL

      March 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      I’ll go ahead and disagree.

      • Chuck A.

        March 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm

        Hey, why not? Go right ahead and be my guest. You disagree on just about anything I or most people say anyway, so why should this time be any different?

      • EricL

        March 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm

        I disagree that I disagree with most people.

        I often agree with schmenkman, Publius, Manny, Lefty etc. I don’t usually post when I don’t think I can add something to the conversation, so if I’m agreeing with what people are already saying there’s really no need for my comments. (Such a style of posting makes it seem I’m more contrarian than I really am)

        That being said, Pence has never been an MVP caliber player and I don’t think he’s going to all-of-the-sudden blossom into one at age 29.

      • therookie300

        March 29, 2012 at 7:29 am

        “That being said, Pence has never been an MVP caliber player and I don’t think he’s going to all-of-the-sudden blossom into one at age 29.”

        Jose Bautista would like to disagree here…

      • schmenkman

        March 29, 2012 at 7:34 am

        I don’t think Bautista would disagree. I’m sure he knows he is an extremely rare case.

    • Manny

      March 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      Oh boy… once his BABIP comes back down to earth you’ll realize how outlandish that statement is.

    • Lefty

      March 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      I like your attitude Chuck, sounds good to me.

      As far as BABIP- you guys have to remember that sometimes it doesn’t fall all the way back to baseline. Sometimes guys just -through experience or extensive video coaching, or whatever, learn to hit better. Maybe it won’t be high as last year, but it doesn’t mean it falls back to his norm.

      IMO- BABIP is better used as a pitchers stat. Like Verlander’s 80 point drop from normal last year. Doubt he has a .230ish BABIP again.

    • brooks

      March 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      I think that is a legitimate shot as well!

  12. Lefty

    March 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I don’t really need a reason to press on because I’m addicted to this team anyway, but I think my favorite thing to look forward to is-

    Who will be this year’s surprise? There is usually at least one. For me, last year it was Vanimal, JMJ, Stutes and Bastardo.

    After watching KK yesterday, he seems to have mastered Worley’s out pitch, maybe he will be one. On the offensive side it’s no surprise that Jim Thome can still put up an .800 or better OPS, but maybe the shocker will be that he can play first base more often than originally thought so he can get more AB’s. As far as young guys, we don’t know who goes north, but Freddy’s a hell of a defensive player, and has shown a little bit surprising pop so far.

    I can’t wait.

    • Manny

      March 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm

      I’m also excited to see Galvis play… and Kendrick has been improving –meets the eye test and the numbers… Wish we could trade Blanton now and avoid that headache down the road and just go with Kendrick from the start.

      • Lefty

        March 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm

        Did you see the ESPN broadcast with Blanton the other night, he was barely hitting 83MPH on his FB. Oops, Shhhh!

      • Manny

        March 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm

        I didn’t!! 83?? For real?

        I wonder if (ie. hope) they’ll skip him during the first week or two. Everybody would stay on normal rest because of all the off days.

      • EricL

        March 28, 2012 at 2:03 pm

        Jamie Moyer says, “Really, that fast?! Good for him!”

  13. Manny

    March 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    This is like arguing Tea Party folks… you give them facts, they give you passion lol

  14. TheDipsy

    March 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Wait a minute – what’s the option to not “pressing on”? Pence is a good ball player. As far as the minor leaguers we traded for him – they haven’t done shit yet. What about all those great minor league guys we gave up for Halladay – oh, wait…..they’re weren’t great either.

    Eric – Jon Singleton can’t play a position. I didn’t like giving Cosart but thats the way it is. But Gose and Villar was a lot worse than that. I like your math….Pence – Wiggington < than the guys we gave up to get Pence. Uh……Wiggington stinks as an everyday player. And…Cuddyer is on another team and he can't field….thats why he plays seven positions – none of them well.

    The Dipsy

    • Manny

      March 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      The great minor league guys we gave for Halladay?

      Um, you remember a guy called Travis D’Arnaud… you’d have to be crazy to say that he isn’t a great asset.

      And the latest on Drabek:

      News: Drabek tossed five scoreless innings, allowing five hits and a pair of walks while fanning five against the Yankees on Tuesday. (Tue Mar 27)

      Spin: Drabek is making a strong push to open the season as part of the starting rotation and lowered his ERA to 3.14 for the spring.

      • Lefty

        March 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm

        If the prospects in the Halladay trade all become HOFer’s, I’d still make that trade three times over. You gotta give to get, and Doc was a GET. It’s one of the few thing RA Jr. has done that I liked, and then he even blew that on the same day with Lee.

        O/T- Did you say you were going up for opening day? How’d you score he Tix?

  15. Chuck A.

    March 28, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Eric, it’s funny that you agree with Lefty most of the time and not me…. yet Lefty and I agree a lot of the time. I also agree a lot (not always) with Manny and to some extent, Schmenkman. And when those guys do disagree with me at least they do it with a sense of grace or with respect. You, on the other hand, are just flat out ornery about it and it comes across really crass and yes, “contrarian” on here. I’m not saying your comments are necessarily wrong all the time or that you don’t know the game of baseball. But your delivery gets old and tiresome.

  16. TheDipsy

    March 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Manny…….my bad. I meant Cliff Lee. Sorry. Carrasco, Marson, Donald, Knapp. Eric just likes to disagree for the sake of disagreeing. You don’t get to look like him by agreeing with people all of the time. Word.

    Theb Dipsy

    • EricL

      March 28, 2012 at 2:49 pm

      I’d like you to try to find where I’ve ever criticized the first Lee deal.

      That was a significant improvement to our rotation, and while it cost a number of prospects, they weren’t as highly regarded as Cosart and Singleton at the time, and the improvement of Lee over the man he replaced in the rotation (Rodrigo Lopez!) was HUGE. That’s a huge improvement, and the kind of deals I like. Addressing a legitimate, visible weakness is an appropriate use of top-level prospects.

      Very slightly improving is not a legitimate use of multiple top-level prospects.

      Also, you might want to take note that forever vigorously I attack your arguments, I cannot personally attacking you. The ad hominem remarks are unnecessary.

    • EricL

      March 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm

      Geez. That last sentence should read: “You might want to take note that however vigorously I attack your arguments, I am not personally attacking you.”

      iPad autocorrect sucks.

  17. wbramh

    March 28, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    If it wasn’t for the acquisition of Hunter Pence the Phillies would be starting the season with a center fielder and catcher as their only set positions. This team just can’t hit. They were barely hitting last year with Howard and a wounded Utley and Rollins in the lineup and they’re only going to be worse with 2nd tier cast-offs from other teams filling in the numerous holes.

    Sure, the Dodgers teams of the early ’60s had great pitching and little hitting, but they had speed and made things happen on the base paths. This year, the Philles could set a modern team record for shutouts, both for and against them.

    • EricL

      March 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      By “barely hittling last year” you mean, “they had the best offensive production in the league after Utley returned on May 23” right?

      • George

        March 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm

        One other way to look at the Pence deal that I think you have overlooked is that the Phils knew they’d only have one legitimate outfielder this year, with Ibanez gone. While there may have been options, Mayberry still isn’t one hundred percent proven, Brown needed work, and Francisco, although proven, was proven in the wrong sort of way.

        I effect, Amaro wasn’t just adding to last year’s offense, he was also adding to this year’s.

  18. Chuck A.

    March 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Dipsy, I agree.

  19. Lefty

    March 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Completely O/T, but is anyone else a bit baffled by the price paid for the Dodgers. If Forbes values the Phillies at 723 Million as stated right here in this very blog, how can the Dodgers be worth 2.15 Billion dollars. 2.15 BILLION DOLLARS?!

    Sheesh, a franchise that was almost into the ground by the McCourts with a stadium that was built sometime during the Roman Empire. I think Forbes is going to have update their estimate of the Phillies, no?

    • Chuck A.

      March 28, 2012 at 3:13 pm

      Ruben Amaro can’t like this. I would think it certainly may not bode well for Cole being re-signed. Hopefully, Cole likes it enough here to take a significant discount…which I can’t see him doing.

      • Lefty

        March 28, 2012 at 3:24 pm

        I don’t know if they can afford him now. Where the heck did Magic Johnson and 5 partners even find someone to finance this kind of money? Magic probably made 50 million during his career. But he wouldn’t have that now unless he’s a super sharp investor in a bad market. I know Stan Kasten doesn’t have that much, don’t know the other partners. I haven’t read enough on it. Maybe be a big TV deal brewing there, they can only draw 3million people per season.

        Would they even have anything left for Free Agency?

      • EricL

        March 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm

        I don’t see how they’re not active in free agency.

        If you’re going to spend 2 billion dollars on the franchise, it doesn’t make sense to be cheap with the payroll. What’s a Prince Fielder-like contract (~25 million a year?) when you’re already spending billions? It’s like pocket change to them, and adding good players actually increases the value of their franchise.

    • EricL

      March 28, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      Obviously the TV contract they’re going to sign is going to be absolutely huge, but it still seems like an exorbitant price to pay for a business in bankruptcy. I read somewhere that the Magic offer was something like $600 million more than the next closest offer, which tells me that someone is using some very optimistic valuation calculations.

      I also don’t imagine you spend two billion dollars on a team to watch it wallow in mediocrity. I have a suspicion that they’re going to be quite active in the free agent market, and that spells trouble for the Phils if they let Cole get anywhere near free agency. If there’s any kind of competition between the Yankees, Los Angeles and the Phils his contract has the potential to make him the highest paid pitcher in baseball. (Of course, if San Fran can’t re-sign Cain that will put some downward pressure on the market, since there would then be at least two young ace-quality pitchers available)

    • schmenkman

      March 28, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      • George

        March 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm

        Just to push matters into the realm of the totally absurd, it’s been said that Johnson, Kasdan, et al, are paying that $2.15 billion IN CASH!!!

  20. Don M

    March 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    @ schmenkman – .. that’s exactly my point on the prospects- they had more value as trade bait than they might ever have to your roster and actually winning games on the field…

    This entire comment section is basically knit-picking on various words and phrases …

    the bottom line is that I’m very happy that we have Hunter Pence right now, especially given the fact that Utley and Howard are due to miss significant time .

    Is there really anyone out there that isn’t happy we have Hunter Pence right now?? …

    • GM

      March 28, 2012 at 3:17 pm

      I’m happy that Phillies traded for Hunter Pence!!!

    • Lefty

      March 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      I am not the least bit unhappy

    • schmenkman

      March 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      Don — I think Singleton was likely blocked and had more value as trade bait. It would have been great if Cosart and Santana could have developed into good cheap players for the Phillies, but yes — they all had value as trade bait today.

      I’m saying the Phillies pi**ed away that value when they didn’t have to. You might see knit-picking but I see a fundamental disagreement about the value of prospects, and balancing between success today and in the future.

      Anyway, Pence is a likeable guy and he brings a great energy to the team. I’ll be rooting for him.

    • EricL

      March 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm

      Two things about prospects: (1) All great players were, at one point in their careers, prospects. Teams want to avoid trading away great players at that point in their careers because you get TONS of value from young, team controlled contributing players. (2) They’re still valuable today. So had they not been traded for Pence they’d still have the value they had last year, which would allow the Phillies a lot more flexibility in dealing with roster issues that arise today (like 2B, for example).

      Complaining about the gutting of the farm system to fill a non-existent need is, I think, more than just a pedantic squabble. It’s actually indicative of how the front office is running the team, which has huge implications for the future of the franchise.

      As to your question, yes, I like Hunter Pence in a Phillies uniform. He’s better than the average RF across the league, so that’s good.

      I’m not, however, happy with the cost it took to get him into a Phillies uniform.

      • Don M

        March 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm

        OK – I like him in a Phillies uniform too … and to me, he filled a need last year. Others would have been content to give the job to Brown and let him learn on the job.

        I agree that it took a lot to get Pence,…. I would think to land David Wright (especially within the division) the price would be about the same ..

        shoulda/coulda/woulda ………..RIGHT NOW … bottom line, I’m very glad we have Hunter Pence.

  21. TheDipsy

    March 28, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    First off all, “pedantic”? “All great players were prospects once”. Is that like “all elephants have long noses. Joe the Giraffe has a long nose. Joe is an elephant”?

    99.9% of all prospects turn out to be nothing. But teams still love prospects. Dominic Brown has lost value since last year. Harold Garcia has lost value since last year. Funny things can happen to prospects and “can’t miss” prospects” on their way to the majors. Some would argue that we should have traded Brown already. You never know what can happen with these guys. Give me the known quantity and you can have the potential.

    RE: Pence. We DID need a RH bat. It was a need, not a “perceived need”. Further, while we gave up good prospects, we did get a player that was young enough and under team control for a few years. For a team with WS aspirations, it was a good deal. At the end of the day, I’d like to play in the WS rather than be sitting around watching it on TV thinking about how great my farm system is.

    The Dipsy

    • George

      March 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm

      Well said, Dipsy!

      • schmenkman

        March 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm

        “Well said, Dipsy!” — I disagree. 😉

        I do disagree with a couple of things, but I’ll choose to focus on your last sentense, and finish the day on a positive note.

        One week from tomorrow can’t come soon enough.

  22. Chuck A.

    March 28, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    I am EXTREMELY happy that Hunter Pence is in a Phillies uniform. I was for the trade, it filled a need last year and at least this one as well. Yes, it cost us a lot. But, like I said earlier in order to get talent you have to give talent. And if getting someone like a Hunter Pence cost us PROSPECTS and that’s it, then it was a good deal….no matter how good those prospects may or may not be 2,3,4,5 years down the pike.

  23. brooks

    March 29, 2012 at 12:58 am

    Lets just take a quick peek at what the Phils would look like without Pence in the lineup:

    Jroll – not much left in the tank offensively

    Poly – Lets say he does hit .300 again, in how many games? 100? How many rbi (as insignificant as some say that stat is) – he’s not geting stronger guys

    2B – Galvis (?) pickem, martinez, Galvis – there is no power

    Junior – power is there, was last year a mirage or the real deal? The bulk of the rbi and power should not rest on this man

    Chooch – another low impact hitter

    Nix – Seriously? Make room Ben Francisco – here is your slower counterpart

    Victorino – I’d say he is legit but certainly not with power.

    Who would play RF? Would we still be toying with Brown? Pierre maybe? Or Pierre in left –

    Thome? I love Gentleman Jim but his time is over.

    The point is, until Ryan Howard comes back (I wont even mention Chase here), the Phils will not be able to play Cholly ball – that is wait for the big hit – I think probably (unless there is a surprise like Lefty mentioned) Pence is the ONLY legitimate power source the Phils will have.

    • schmenkman

      March 29, 2012 at 7:30 am

      brooks, I would be happy with Brown in right (not looking to start that debate though), but copied from above, these are the FAs that were available, without giving up any prospects…

      ____________
      I show yrs/$ they signed for, 2012 age, and the mid point of the OPS estimates from the five projection systems published on fangraphs.

      Pence ……..1/10, 29, .810, with one more Arb year before free agency (highest of the five: .835)

      Cuddyer …. 3/32, 33, .803
      Beltran …… 2/26, 35, .845
      Swisher …. 1/10, 31, .818
      Kubel …….. 2/15, 30, .797
      Willingham 3/21, 33, .808
      Cespedes. 4/36, 26, ???

  24. George

    March 29, 2012 at 6:12 am

    MORE injuries, Jay? While I’ll grant that some health issues will arise and that certain prospects will get their opportunities, I’d hesitate to wish for injuries. There’s an old adage about being careful about what you wish for, and “more injuries” isn’t very carefully stated, because it doesn’t exclude possible injuries to Hamels, Lee, Halladay, Victorino, etc. The Phils already have a cast of thousands attempting to cover 1st base and left field, and have a guy at second who’s normally a shortstop and wasn’t considered ML ready. Do you really want an entire staff of “prospects” or an AAAA starter or two? You need to be more specific in your desires or you may have hexed the team even more than they already seem to be!

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