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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

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I realize it is a huge need for the 2011 team, but YAAAWWWN.

There is no obvious choice on who to sign for this role, as it will basically a crap shoot. I recall loving the Castro signing last year, and I also recall the MSP saying Wilson Valdez was nothing more than organizational depth.

Sometimes you catch lighting in a bottle with these types of signings, and other times you get a Jaun Castro.

I often thought last year that the Phillies really would have loved to have had Jason Donald as a young, versatile backup option with a little bit of upside. I guess that's why those prospects-for-starter rental trades are never as one sided as they first appear.

I'd Punt-o on that option.

Ruben Amaro Junior, what can be said about this list of playas that hasn't already been said about Afghanistan. They are bombed out and depleted.
(* except Uribe who sold his soul to Scott Rolen last month)

My bet is the Phils got the cheapo route here and sign a guy to slightly above the league minimum.

Then they will get juju dolls of Polanco, Utley, and JRoll and place them in temperature controlled safety cases before the start of spring training.

Feliz is to Dobbs as Polanco is to Punto. Dobbs could pop the (extremely occasional) pinch-homer, but most of the time he'd be flailing away brainlessly, getting himself out. Punto would not only be a huge defensive upgrade, but he can run a little and most importantly, he knows how to put together an intelligent AB, bunt if need be, put the ball in play. Dobbs at one time displayed the attributes of a successful pinch-hitter, but it seemed that not only his skills deserted him but also his smarts.

Everybody says it is 'always a crap shoot' with backup middle utility infielders. That's bunk to a degree and was especially in Castro's case. Prior to the '09 stint with the Dodgers, he hasn't been an effective sub since '06 with the Reds/Twins. Every scout said his defense had declined and that he really had lost a step. Yet the Phils signed him anyways touting the two attributes which scouts had flagged.

Odds are a 38-year old middle utility INF is washed up & Castro was last year.

Castro played well for the Dodgers in 2009 in a utility role, no?

I realize his 2009 was fluky, but this happens all the time with guys like this. Would anyone be surprised if Wilson Valdez stinks it up in 2011?

Slugga - He did but he was useless offensively the prior two years, had slipped defensively at SS despite the BS praise he got last year from Amaro & Cholly, and was 38.

Yeah maybe he could have been adequate defensively and hit .260-.270. Odds were against that those are both accounts.

This post has been written every year since like 05, I'm pretty sure. We always need utility infielders. Not sure why we need to act early, though--those guys all suck, and will all likely be available in January.

Saw this list of where writers think FAs will end up. Most think Pedro Feliciano will be a Phillie.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/11/mlbtr-writers-predict-free-agent-destinations.html

Interesting article from Bill Baer on Howard; while he improved against lefties this year, overall, his production against righties dropped significantly. He wasn't hitting any fastballs well inside, and his power dropped against breaking balls outside too.

http://www.baseballanalytics.org/baseball-analytics-blog/2010/11/10/downfall-of-a-goliath.html

The Phils' best option for a utility IF might already be on the roster...A lot of us figured Polly would end up a UT guy by the 3rd year of his deal, maybe the time table's been pushed up a year?

Sign a 3B, make Polly a super-sub (he has actually played games at 1B, SS, and OF in his career as well).

Am I crazy?

The Phillies got by with just one backup SS for most of last year. So, if they resign Valdez, they don't even really need a utility infielder; they just need a backup 3rd baseman. There are plenty of utility guys out there who could be signed to minor league contracts & stashed at AAA as organizational depth, the way Valdez, Bocock & Ransom were last year.

So the Phillies are eyeing Juan Samuel, Mickey Morandini and Ryne Sandberg for coaching positions. Is this job recruitment or a 2nd baseman old timer's game?

I'm waiting to hear that we're interviewing Steve Jeltz as bench coach.

Hopefully they'll squeeze in some bullpen help and a right handed power hitter after they finish staffing for Dream Week.

Chris: I'd say moderately crazy. I'm actually not a huge fan of Polanco, but a $6M utility player?

bap: We've already got an $11.5M platoon LF, so why not a $6M utility player?

Sorry if this has been mentioned, but Bill James has released his 2011 predictions. He seems to think our offense is going to rebound, and Dom Brown is good for 25 and 90.

Bay Slugga: I don't know if Brown will hit for 25 and 90 (and I don't really care to predict an RBI total because that's totally dependent on so many factors like playing time, lineup position, guys in front of him performance, etc.).

But he will most likely be better than people on here seem to think. We've talked this to death already on here, but people are massively underrating Brown because of 60 ABs this season, half of which came as a pinch-hitter.

Jack: Do you know how James comes to his forecasts?

Like all sabre guys James prays at the altar of regression to the mean (not that it's not a valid and useful concept).

If Brown gets 25/90;

1) I can you can conclude James doesn't think he'll be platooned (much )

2) A lot of us will be shouting Hoo-Rah!

Bill Hall! Bill Hall! Bill Hall!

World Series contenders can, do, and should have 6M dollar bench players if necessary. And it's not like there's no track record: Jenkins and Eaton to name two in just the last 3 years.

Polanco and Ibanez as bench players? Do you guys actually watch the games?

I've said it before, but there's no one out there that's going to replace Werth's production right away so if you don't resign Werth, you've got to spend money to get better in other areas like bench & bullpen. Hall, Hairston, and 1 shutdown righty and a competent loogy would go a long way towards making up the difference between Brown and Werth for about the same amount of money.

Also, I'm kinda excited about the possibility of Juan Samuel returning to the fold. Ryne Sandberg coming back just makes me think about what might have been. . . and I get sad.

Clint Barmes has likely played himself out of Colorado. He'll be 32 and probably nontendered into a free agent.

He's coming off a pretty awful year, but his splits stayed in proportion.

He is career .820 / .663 OPS vs LHP/RHP.
His 2010 splits were .748 / .612 OPS vs LHP/RHP.

Plays all infield positions and did hit 23 HR just a year ago in 2009.

keep exxon as 25th man, sign Mike Fontenot as backup third/second/ph. Bill Hall would be great sure, but think he'll be too much money

How did Barmes do away from Coors Field?

One aspect I don't think has been covered in enough Beerleaguer detail is, if Werth leaves, who becomes the emergency (3rd) catcher?

NEPP: oh yeah, Colorado..forgot.

Home Career: .793 OPS
Away Career: .618 OPS

Yeah Barmes might be closer to Punto/Valdez than I thought.

Bay Slugga - Chicken bones and animal sacrifice.

Ted - Yeah I do and Ibanez should be a platoon player next year.

Jack - Yeah although the degrees of suckiness vary except Uribe who likely gets signed sometime in Dec. These guys will all be available though in July.

GBrettFan - That wouldn't surprise me. Signing a veteran OF who bats right-handed & can play RF is probably offseason priority is #1. I bet a veteran left-handed reliever is a close #2.

Hah, I should have noticed that Barmes' .790 OPS in 2008 translated into an OPS+ below 100.

Sandberg deserves a good position somewhere as he was totally screwed by the Cubbies. He played the good soldier managing in their system based on expectations he would become head coach and was passed over.

If John Russel winds up with the Phils we can have a 1985 team reunion. Can we round up Glennbo, Ricky Schu, Timmy Corcoran, Kevin Gross and Louie Aguayo?

Glennbo can only come back if he coaches in fatigues with bandoliers across his chest.

Hugh: Remember when he pitched an inning once when the Phils were being blown out, I believe out on the West Coast? From what I remember he did ok.

Joe - I do not remember that. He certainly had hte arm for it.

My prediction on GG:

Vic wins his 3rd but JRoll is denied his 4th. People will say Ruiz deserves one but Molina is a better defensive catcher & had just as good a year defensively.

GBrettFan - did you notice as well that two of the 5 projected Takahashi going to the Phils as well? Hedging their bets with the lefty relievers and the Phils need for one methinks.

Peter Happy on a minor league contract works for me.

Things not faring well for the Yankee-Jeter love-fest. Today's NY papers are mocking his gold glove win for 2010 as "Fool's Gold" and accusations that the club is supporting the negative press in their negotiations to re-sign him. Never a dull moment in the Bronx.

My feeling is that if the Boss was still around and coherent he would have been locked up mid-season.

cowley: August 5, 1987, Glennbo's lone pitching appearence vs NYM:

Gary Carter Groundout: SS-1B
Howard Johnson Strikeout
Rafael Santana Groundout: P-1B


There you go, I know we were down like 10-1 against a good team at the time. Given how bad we were during that period times like that stick out.

Colin - Yes, I did notice that. And one writer thinks Brian Fuentes will be a Phil.

MG's right, getting a LH RP is a top priority, so it's not surprising that we'd be linked to 3 of them.

How long 'til April?

I agree on Vic nabbing his 3rd but Jimmy and Chooch missing out. Jimmy missed way too much time to be considered. Tulo will probably win his 1st.

'How long 'til April?'

Spring Training comes upon us a lot faster than it used to. Thanksgiving occurs basically 10 days after the World Series ends, and by the time the Super Bowl ticks down to zero pitchers and catchers report. There's really no long empty period of time any more before they start up again.

Joe Cowley: "If the Boss was still around and coherent he would've been locked up midseason."

The Boss implemented the policy that the Yankees still adhere to, which is that they don't negotiate with pending FA's during the season.

(Off topic - did your RSS feed just get fixed? I have something like 20 Beerleaguer posts in my Google Reader now!)

Take Takahashi AND Fuentes.

Bill Conlin on Joe Morgan:

"Anybody else shocked that the ESPN suits sacked their longtime lead "Sunday Night Baseball" team of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan after 21 years? Morgan had a lot of detractors, many of whom were put off because Little Joe never tried to prove his vast knowledge of the game with the help of acronymic formulas devised by men who never played it. And maybe Miller was just a little too laid-back for the Bristol Bunch, which targets a demographic that thinks it is cool for studio heads to bang cliches together like cymbals, and middle-aged sports writers, raging at the dying of the print, shouting each other down."

Nah. Morgan knows alot about baseball and it showed when he chose to focus on that. He just put off with his constant self-references. His lack of general preparation showed too because he generally wasn't up-to-date with the latest developments on a team & their players.

When does spring traing start? Threads about utility infielders only become hot topics in the middle of a hot pennant race.

I have no problems with a signing of anyone on that list to a minor league deal or even 500K for a year. This is a utility player who's primary purpose is defense and a replacement for an injury. Given how weak 2B and SS players are, overall, if they could hit at all they'd be starting somewhere else instead of riding the bench as a backup.

Why is Feliciano more sought after than Beimel or Reyes from the Phillies? He's not as good statistically and just as old. Beimel and Reyes can both hold their own against righties, Feliciano can't.

Godfather - I don't think either of them made the Trade Rumors' list of "Top 50 Free Agents."

Yeah but both have better numbers than Feliciano. Ignore the ERA stat. Check out their K, BB, WHIP rates. They're both better than Feliciano's.

Guess it shows you how much that list is actually worth...

Why not Uribe or Hall? Depending on whether you want potential pop or (some limited) speed and defense, one of them would be a better choice than others on that list.

In re: pitchers
Fuentes and Takahashi would cover the LHP thing. In addition to filling the LOOGY role, both can pitch to RHBs. Takahashi could even get stretched out an start (though I'm not sure I'd want that).

Phils don't need 2 veteran left-handed relievers. They can and will almost certainly use Bastardo for one. Just good to have a contigency option available that is proven at the MLB & can stay healthy for an entire year.

I'd take Beimel or Reyes over Bastardo any day. Let Bastardo stay in the majors for a full year as middle relief, fine. But you need a lefty setup/high leverage guy for late innings in place of Romero. Bastardo's not that guy yet.

Godfather: All 3 of these guys stink against right-handers; if they didn't, they'd be setup men or closers, instead of LOOGYs. But, over their careers, Feliciano has been the best of the 3 against left-handers. That is precisely what the job description calls for.

Reyes, by the way, may be ever-so-slightly better than Feliciano against right-handers, but he's still terrible against them. And since he's not so great aganist left-handers either, that makes him a horrible candidate to be a LOOGY. We already have a Danys in our bullpen and he's awful. We do not need a Dennys.

That is the most unexciting list of players I have ever seen.

Vic wins GG again.

The yanks are out of their minds if they lock up Lee for 7 years. I predict he'll be injury-plagued throughout the majority of that contract.

Zimmerman should have beat Rolen this season at 3b for GG.

Congrats to Vic.

Good for Vic.

Remember when something would happen with the Phillie and we'd get a new thread. . . that was awesome.

Its the off-season and JW has lots of other stuff to do...I'm sure we'll get a GG thread at some point in the next day or so.

I'm sorry, I was under the impression CSN was paying him to do this now. oh well, I come here for the comments more than the writeup at the top anyway.

Rolen and Jeter winning GGs have nothing to do with the current quality of their defense.

A more interesting debate is Utley vs. Phillips. Utley 3-year average of UZR is superior, but Phillips is way better on the error/fielding pct. side of the equation.

JBird - He's a manager of online content which is quite a different capacity than a writer/creator of content. Beerleaguer just came along as a part of the package.

Comcast really expanded their digital presence in several markets nationally and I would bet that JW is responsible for more than just the Philly market.

Cowley - have you seen Zimmerman throw the ball over to 1st base recently? He has some big issues right now over there.

Seriously with Zimmerman? He's having Rick Ankiel syndrome when it comes to throwing to first.

It's hard to believe Greg .... but unless he gets his sh#$ together over there, they might have to move him. Bad, bad stuff.

I appreciate JW's busy job. Clearly he's much busier than those of us who post on a Phillies blog mid-day during the immediate off-season....

At any rate, if nothing else, I'm still lobbying for a "Jump to latest comments" link for those of us who aren't using Firefox.

Oh, and about that emergency 3rd catcher, I think JWerth became expendable once Oswalt showed what he can do in the field. He's the clear 3rd catcher.

BAP here's the statline for each, splits for past 3 years and career:

Feliciano (34, will be 35)
Year: (OPS/PA/BB/K) LH vs. RH
2008: .575/119/8/34 vs. 1.104/118/18/16
2009: .594/156/6/41 vs. .851/86/12/18
2010: .574/139/10/35 vs. .831/141/20/21
Career: .580/762/53/210 vs. .795/854/106/131

Beimel (33, will turn 34)
2008: .641/100/5/17 vs. .700/114/16/15
2009: .781/105/5/22 vs. .741/135/14/13
2010: .653/102/7/15 vs. .862/86/8/6
Career: .720/929/68/169 vs. .794/1531/165/146

Reyes: (33, will be 34)
2008: .537/101/5/23 vs. .802/87/10/16
2009: .517/108/8/17 vs. .874/72/13/16
2010: .862/88/11/20 vs. .481/75/10/5
Career: .669/1237/139/293 vs. .801/1996/259/348

Alright, all 3 aren't good against righties. Beimel has the worst K/BB ratio but he also has the least drastic split of the 3 from 2008 to 2010. Reyes seems to have had a freak year in 2010, but for the 3 years prior he's been as good as Feliciano. Thing is, Feliciano seems consistently awful against righties, while the other two have up or down years against them.

Feliciano's one clear advantage seems to be a higher K/PA rate. That's about it. Thing is, Feliciano is a Type B free agent. That means the Mets get another complementary pick, just not from the Phillies. Neither Beimel or Reyes are Type B's. Another Type B with very similar numbers to Feliciano is Randy Choate.

And Will Ohman also deserves a mention.

I won't particularly miss Miller's incessant sucking up to "my Hall of Fame partner" Morgan for the rest of my life. Miller's somewhat canned theatricality gets a little tiresome after awhile, also. Gary Thorne should be their top play-by-play guy.

RSB - I love Gary Thorne. He is the O's play-by-play guy and been the ESPN radio guy with Dave Campbell the last 3 years. One of the more underrated national set of broadcasters around in any sport. Frankly, I would love to see these two just replace Miller/Morgan on the TV broadcast.

"I'd say moderately crazy. I'm actually not a huge fan of Polanco, but a $6M utility player?"

bap - The Yanks and BoSox have employed utility guys/backup OFs at that price before...and I don't think it's insane to say the Phils are now in that financial stratosphere. Between the various IF positions and corner OF spots (not to mention injuries) you could probably get Polly 100 or so starts. I don't think he'll be able to hold up for 150+ at 3B on an annual basis going forward, so that could quite possibly maximize Polly's contributions anyway.

I fully recognize that it's extremely unlikely, but signing Beltre and turning Polly into a super-utility player (perhaps platooning at an OF spot as well) would make up for the loss of Werth's production...

That link from George to the Josiah Viera story was great. It was neat to see the excitement of the kid and to see so many Phillies take a second to shake his hand and make him feel welcome.

Here's another E:60 I found while there...about the Moyer family's Camp Erin. Very moving.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5789360&categoryid=2378529

Congrats to Vic!

Chris - Yeah but Beltre wants a huge payday too. That's not even remotely feasible.

Yo, new thread

Adrian Beltre is definitely near the top of this year's FA list when it comes to bust probability. Once every 6 years or so -- and always in a contract year -- he has a monster, MVP-type season. The rest of the time, he's a slightly better version of Pedro Feliz in his prime. He's looking for a massive, multi-year deal based on his great 2010 season. Any team that meets his demand is going to regret it, big-time.

For once, bap and I appear to agree on something.

Ryan Howard Sucks...Massive mistake signing this guy to a long term deal. He is the reason this offense choked in the postseason. The Giants should sent him a world series share. And the 2009 Yankees should send him a share too. This guy is the single most overated player in baseball. He is the lefthanded Dave Kingman.

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