Playing the Rube: A Baseball Experiment – Chapter 2 – Spring Has Sprung

The Phillies won a world championship in 2008.

Then Ruben Amaro Jr. was named general manager.

The Phillies didn’t win another world championship.

Tim Malcolm and Dan Walsh wonder if they can do better. So, we continue “Playing the Rube,” a weekly series with accompanying podcast in which Tim and Dan attempt to steer the Phillies to more victories, starting in 2009, through the deep simulation game OOTP Baseball ’18.



We are now at the doorstep of spring training. And we realize pretty quickly that this team needs starting pitching. Also, they need a utility infielder.

Thus, we troll the free agent market, and we find two players we like for the infield: D’Angelo Jimenez and Brendan Ryan.

We decide that Jimenez, who plays multiple positions and gives an average-at-best bat, is the best option for us as we look for someone to compete with utility man Eric Bruntlett.

As for starting pitchers, our current depth is:


  • Cole Hamels
  • Brett Myers
  • Joe Blanton
  • Jamie Moyer


  • Kyle Kendrick
  • JA Happ
  • Chan Ho Park
  • Andrew Carpenter
  • Rodrigo Lopez
  • Gustavo Chacin
  • Carlos Carrasco

We feel we need a little more, and we both love Colby Lewis.

The problem is Lewis won’t simply sign for our terms. In fact, there seems to be some competition for the young-ish right-hander. So we play the game a little and offer him a little more.

Because we weren’t completely sold on our pitchers, we also signed 23-year-old Eric Hurley to a minor league deal. He’ll compete for a starting rotation spot this spring.

Meanwhile, the team begins spring training play with a round of losses. And after two weeks, we get our first sample size if we’re attempting to determine final roster spots:

Also, we get a pretty juicy trade proposal from the Diamondbacks. Take a listen to this week’s Playing the Rube for more!

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