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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Comments

The guy that no one keeps talking about and really needs to have a bounce back year offensively is Vic especially given the strong odds he might be the leadoff hitter.

He stunk vs. RHP last year

.235/.306/.386 in 422 ABs.

Need him to get back to more of his career norms:

.274/.336/.406

I would love to see a year of what JRoll typically did out of the leadoff spot this year:

.280/.340/.430 with 15-17 HRs and 30-35 SBs.

He does that and he will score 100+ runs as he did in '08 and '09.

I really like his chances to get back there unless he really has a serious leg injury this year instead of his annual 2+ week muscle pull & trip to the DL.

Why does everyone assume that Michael Martinez has a serious shot at making the Opening Day roster over say D. Young?

Ben Francisco has pictures of Rube and Gillick...something something..rusty trombone.

The book on Ben Francisco has been that he can be an everyday player. I'm fine with him being our RF.

There is probably a RF somewhere begging to be traded to the Phillies. This is another clever Rube ruse.

MG: Agree with you about Martinez. I know the Phillies value versatility, but you can't have 3 guys on your bench who can't hit at all. I don't know who will win that final bench spot, but Brown, Mayberry, Young, Quinlan, and maybe even a guy like Matt Miller all have better shots than Martinez at making the opening day roster.

BAP, like you I have absolutely nothing to base it on, but I suspect that you're right about a BenFran "break out" year. Just one of those feelings.

If it does happen, it certainly changes the dynamic of him being a "throw in" on that trade. Maybe we could discuss that trade ad nauseum?

BTW, don't look now, but I think we lost Sophist again...

I'm higher than most on Ben Fran. I really never understood why people like Clout and others were insisting we would get a mediocre righty RF from outside the org when we had a perfectly fine mediocre righty RF on our own team. It never made any sense to go after those other guys as long as Francisco was here.

It will be interesting to see, however, how the battle between Francisco and Brown plays out.

"It will be interesting to see, however, how the battle between Francisco and Brown plays out."

As much as RAJ and the org will never admit it, you're exactly right, Jack. It will be played off as a "platoon" but Cholly would prefer an everyday guy and it really is a battle to be starting RF between an up and coming prospect and a fairly solid bench player looking to become more.

Shades of the Jenkins/Werth "platoon" from a few years back and we saw how long that lasted...

Gload proved to be a poor defensive option in right?

On what basis. He only played there rarely and seemed to catch everything he got to. He isn't sir speedy out there and he doesn't have a cannon arm like you wish your right fielder would have. But he's adequate from the time I've seen him play.

what did he do to convince anyone he was poor out there? Am I forgetting something?

I was going to ask the same thing, Aksmith. I know his range is pretty bad, and he's not the quickest guy in the field, but it's not like he butchered plays out there. Either way, I'm sure he could go 2-3 at bats and then be defensively subbed for if he's really that dreadful. I wonder if Wilson Valdez is any good in the outfield. His arm strength would definitely be nice, and he's somewhat quick.

i may be crazy but i don't think there is a way in hell that mayberry can play an adequate cf.

jack: really never understood why people like Clout and others were insisting we would get a mediocre righty RF from outside the org when we had a perfectly fine mediocre righty RF on our own team"

Can't speak for others, but my personsal reason is that Francisco is already busy helping out Ibanez in LF to be slated in as our RF.

BAP - My bet is that Young has the inside track because:

1. He is a veteran and known commodity at the MLB level
2. He can play the INF in including 2B and 3B in a pinch.
3. He has a little speed.
4. He is a switch-hitter

Mayberry is a better defensive option in the OF, has some power, can possibly can play CF, and has nearly as much/if not as much speed as Young.

Basically it is Mayberry or Young (who has the slight nod because he can play the INF) for the final roster spot going into camp with Brown a near automatic option in the OF for Opening Day.

"Put those numbers together and Francisco has a career .775 OPS, which would have ranked 36th out of 69 qualifying outfielders in baseball last season.“"


Going into the 2010 season, I posted Ben Fran's career OPS+, and compared it to all the other MLB OF who got at least 350 PA in 2009. At the time,he ranked 29th in that group.

I have stated this here before:

While he certainly isn't Vic, Raul, or Werth at the plate, he would start on a lot of other MLB teams.

Remember, the 2008-2009 Phillies OF are all All-Star calibre players when they are at their best.

Ben Fran is not that elite, but he's a whole lot better than what trots out to many MLB OF during the season.

With the rotation the Phillies have, IMO they would still win the division if he got every AB if RF this season.

If Francisco does hit 5th in this lineup (and I still like the lineup more with JRoll 5th potentially instead at least from the outset), then BAP's prediction in the previous thread isn't crazy at all as long as Francisco gets close to 500 ABs as largely a full-time starter in RF. Especially the 20 SBs and 80 RBIs.

I would still rather see a Francisco/Brown platoon in LF with Francisco getting around 300-350 ABs this year instead.

So we're just ignoring a 39 year old Raul Ibanez's .720 OPS vs LHP last year and his .444 overall SLG?

i know numbers rule, and maybe everyday playing will change some of this, but those of us who watched him at all saw a fielder who misplayed balls frequently, had a weak arm, seemed to lack good baserunning judgment (often overslid the base when stealing) and let's not forget that brutal at bat in NLCS game 6. Why oh why wasn't Sweeney sent up there for a SF?

I eagerly await a chart that tells me that anyone with an OPS+ above 70 should be considered an "above average" right fielder because a bunch of minor leaguer/bench players drive the average down.

jason, WTF was that comment?

jason - I wouldn't mind seeing Ibanez sit either vs. LHP from time-to-time either but that isn't too likely unless he gets into one of his deep funks.

He will play everyday. Just the way Cholly rolls.

yup, why discuss otherwise if it isn't going to occur. kind of pointless

I hear you, Clay. That Game 6 at-bat just reinforced what I’ve felt all along; Ben Fran is not a starter on a club with championship aspirations. My sense is that the right fielder might be someone who is not available now who will be ripe for the picking later in the season. Remember, in-season adjustments (Huff, Burrell, and Cody Ross) were major reasons why the Giants won last year. Outfielders tend to become more available as the season progresses; pitchers tend to become less available.

Good thing pitching wins championships.

Conservative estimate on Francisco's 2011 season:

.334 AVG/.439 OBP/1.134 OPS, 48 2B, 42 HR, 132 RBI, 17 Assists, Gold Glovs & Silver Slugger.

Weitzel should have just reposted threads and comments about Werth prior to the 2008 season. I think there were a number of clever "Werth-less" comments. Little did we know....

NEPP: I'll take the over. Going to be a hell of a year for Ben.

"So we're just ignoring a 39 year old Raul Ibanez's .720 OPS vs LHP last year and his .444 overall SLG?

Posted by: jason.tp"

Actually, I won't ignore it, but I won't get criticize Raul for it either.

Ignorance must be bliss, eh, jason?

A little homework would help.


1) How many LHB OF in all of MLB, with at least 175 PA against LHP, had a higher OPS against LHP in 2010 than Raul Ibanez?

2) How many had a higher SLG?


I'll help you with the answers:

1) Five (5). Cargo, Markakis, Bruce, Hamilton, Heyward. Raul had a higher OPS vs. LHP than Crawford, Span, Suzuki, Choo, Kubel, Abreu and Ethier (.625).

2) Four (4). Only CarGo, Bruce, Markakis and Hamilton had higher SLG vs. LHP in 2010. Ibanez outslugged Heyward, Crawford, Span, Kubel, Suzuki, Abreu, Either, and Choo. Last I checked, only Abreu is even close in age to Raul.


I wonder whether guys like you just have unrealistic expectations of players.

"jason - I wouldn't mind seeing Ibanez sit either vs. LHP from time-to-time either"


MG, for a guy who usually does his homework I'm surprised by that statement.

Who would you suggest they play?

Also, does that mean vs. LHP you would sit Heyward, Crawford, Span, Kubel, Suzuki, Abreu, Either, and Choo if you were their manager?

Ooh. Sounds like a fight's a brewing.

Wow, I'm a little surprised. I guess jason and MG just can't be satisfied unless they get HOF performance.


I just ran the numbers of ALL MLB OF with at least 175 PA vs. LHP in 2010.

Raul Ibanez's OPS of .728 vs. LHP ranks him at #18.

18th out of ALL MLB OF.

Then, I ran ALL MLB OF who had at least 350 PA vs. RHP in 2010.

Raul's OPS of .822 ranks him 22nd.

22nd of ALL MLB OF vs. RHP.

So, relatively, when compared to his peers Raul is actually BETTER vs. LHP than RHP?

Who'da thunk?

donc, no fight, but sometimes posters here type before they actually do some research to put stats in context.

I like Raul, but he looked abysmal for a lot of last season. He's naturally a streaky hitter, but he's also an old, streaking hitter. That, coupled with the thought of Ben Fran (or Gload/Mayberry) as an everyday player is a fair reason to bring some concern to a phan's mind. I'm fairly optimistic about those guys, but things might not break the way we want them to. Ben Fran did turn out well by the end of the year, but IIRC, he was sloppy all around for much of the season.

awh, those are good numbers, sure, but if you have the option to get better performance against lefties, wouldn't you do that? In other words, if you think a Ben Fran, or some other righty hitter can beat Raul's performance, don't you go that route?

BTW, I'm somewhat bullish on Raul this year, at least against right handers.

I say let Ben have a shot to prove himself. I think he probably has what it takes to start in RF or at least play right with Brown and spell Ibanez here and there.
More ABs is just what the doc ordered for Ben. As an everyday player I suspect he would hit as well as he did in '09. I would even venture to say 18 HRs and .272 BA.

In real life, Rube should just make a serious attempt at ST or while heading North to shake a real spare functional RH outfielder lose from a team who has one to spear or pay a tiny bit extra for a real legit 4th outfielder if Mayberry and Francisco can't make sh-t happen. You don't rely on a glued together monster of Gload-etc going into the season. Odds are we will have injuries again and this stuff just doesn't work.

Sorry, terrible spelling, I am trying to do this while the docs eye drops are wearing off.

Phils interested in John Maine.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/01/phillies-interested-in-john-maine.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Strikes me as a decent tire to kick. Always wears out by the end of the year, but as a swing man type, could be a good way to keep his IP down. If it's a minor league deal, it would be perfect.

I wouldnt platoon Ibanez completely. He is the better player.

But I would use Francisco more often then years before to play LF and starts against left handed starters for two main reasons:

- To keep Francisco fresh from the bench and to optimize his performance by increasing his share of ABs vs LHP.

- To minimize wear and tear on Ibanez and optimize his performance by increasing his share of ABs vs RHP

awh - Those are some interesting numbers but you don't think it would be a good idea to rest a 39-year old OF occasionally vs. LHP with Francisco? I don't want Ibanez starting 150-155 games this year but he will almost certainly do that given the options the Phils have in the OF right now.

I know then 'who plays RF' which is a good question. It likely means Brown would start in RF.

I have to see how Ibanez does in spring training because that almost always has been a good indicator of how well he will hit in April.

I do like Ibanez's chances of hitting 20+ HRs again this season largely due to the fact that he will likely get a crazy number of ABs (~600 ABs).

Gload will almost certainly get a handful of starts in LF too but I would even mind seeing Mayberry get the seldom start vs. LHP if he sticks as the 5th OF on this team for most of the season in LF.

And I don't believe in letting Francisco start full time because he's already had 3 seasons of identical statistics with an OPS+ right around 105. Hard to expect a breakout year.

Marcus Thames, unwanted RH outfielder in NY according to NYC radio. Less than a mill contract.

Thames is just the sort of high contact guy we need in our lineup!!!

In all seriousness though, he's worth checking out.

NEPP~ Yes he is. Wouldn't hurt, would it?

Bed Beard~ Maine would be a great move on a Minor League deal. I don't think there's room for him at the Major League unless someone is moved, which could happen. Question is, is he healthy enough to pitch in the big leagues?

"awh, those are good numbers, sure, but if you have the option to get better performance against lefties, wouldn't you do that?"

Ph-Red, sure I'd want better but who is?

If it's Ben Fran then that probably means that Brown is in RF. Is Brown better than Raul vs. LHB at the MLB level?

I don't know.

awh: Ibanez's SLG was .444 against ALL pitchers, not just LHP. He slugged .419 against lefties.

You claimed that he had the 4th highest SLG pct against LHP, but that seemed to be using .444, which is the wrong number to use.

Unless I misinterpreted your post?

I would also not be surprised to see Francisco put together a very solid season(even if not "break-out" caliber) if given the chance to play everyday. Gotta say, that would sure be nice.

The thing is, we don't know what Ben Fran can do given the opportunity because he nver been given the opportunity. It's another question of is it worth taking the risk?

Same with Gload or Brown. Gload is a 1b-man by trade. I saw him drop a very catchable ball in RF against the Braves last year. So who knows. My position is well-known aboth the situtation. A RH bat with pop who can play well most of the time is my wish.

"The thing is, we don't know what Ben Fran can do given the opportunity because he nver been given the opportunity. It's another question of is it worth taking the risk?"

IMO, yes. His track record indicates that he probably won't be the worst starting RF in the league. And if it turns out that he gets exposed by playing all the time, there will likely be someone available from a non-contender come trading deadline time. It's not like BF is going to cost the team more than a couple of games, in the worst case.

In regards to Thames, he can't do more than pretend to play RF, can he? 154 innings in the last 5 years would indicate that he is Gloadish out there.

Clearly, all those bad defensive plays I saw Francisco make last year were in my imagination.

Folks, there's no way in hell that Francisco gets 500 ABs in RF no matter how deep Jack's fantasies about him are. He is not a starting player on a quality team. Rube is trying to light a fire under our Phenom. I hope it works.

Clout: Hey, I hope so too. As deep as my fantasies are for Ben Francisco, you and I both know they run far deeper for Brown.

And I actually don't want Ben Fran as our everyday RF. Just like I didn't want any of the other mediocre righty RFs who you suggested who were largely the same as Francisco. My point of the post was that all the clamoring for a mediocre RF from outside the organization ignored that we had a similar one right in front of us.

On the OF:
If I had to pick only 3 guys...
Ben, Vic, Raul

Ben's the best RH bat of the bunch, right now, so he has to be one of them.

Vic is the best of them.

Raul over Brown and Mayberry. Why? Neither of them are better than Raul is at this point offensively. At least not what they have shown us at the ML level.

Of course, in an ideal world I would much rather have a dual platoon (Ben/Raul) (John/Dom) 'cause I think it would really be the most effective offensively, especially for the bench. Having 2 batters ready to hit, that have been getting good playing time. Then next season Raul retires, and we'll have a better idea of who we want between Ben, Dom, and John.

Jack, I used ESPN's stat sorter.

Raul had the 5th highest (the post said there are 4 above him) SLG vs. LHP of LHH OF who had 175 or more PA against LHP.

Go look yourself. .419 is 5th highest in that group. Heyward, the young stud, omly slugged .399 vs. LHP last season.


Now, why did I used 175 PA as the threshhold? Because when I tried to use 250 the list was non-existent (which surprised me). No LHH OF got 250 or more PA against LHP in 2010 so I used 175 PA to get a decent sample size.

Jack, another thing that surprised me was how absolutely putrid Andre Ethier was against LHP last season.

awh: Ah, ok. I see now. I misinterpreted the post, and thought you might have made a mistake in assuming the .444 OPS was against LHP as opposed to all. I apologize.

Anyway, you're right that the issue of Raul against lefties maybe is overstated, at least as far as power is concerned. He is 12th (out of 14) on that list in terms of OBP, though. That's kind of an issue, no?

He also drops to 23rd out of 40 qualifying LH if you switch to SLG against righties. So still not great overall, even if he is better against lefties than I and others may have given him credit for.


awh: Yeah, it surprised me just how bad Ethier was against lefties, and how good Jay Bruce was. A .277/.352/.547 line would be good for an OF against opposite-handed pitching or overall, let alone against same-handed pitching. I'm not surprised the Reds locked him up to that big deal.

Awh,
not discounting what Bowa (could be sour grapes) and others have said on MLB TV as well as some other baseball shows recently, the Dodgers OF of 2011 is rather suspect in the eyes of many both fielding and hitting.

If Ben Fran hits .200 w/RISP, some in here will be naming him a stud, of course. Because we know how badly Werth stank because of that stat.

I can't see Francisco ever batting 5th, behind Howard.

I think you'll see Rollins or Vic in the 5 hole, before Big Ben.

A possible lineup (against LHP):

1. Rollins
2. Polly
3. Utley
4. Howard
5. Victorino
6. Ibanez
7. Francisco
8. Ruiz
9. Hurler

In fact, I think the 7 hole is probably where Dom will slot in, when he plays RF.

On Mayberry, I agree with MG. It probably comes down to him or Del Young for the final bench spot. My thought now, is that Young wins that final spot for a couple of reasons. Young can play both the infield and outfield. And Mayberry still has one minor league option left. So a way to keep both, is to keep Young initially. And if he doesn't work out in the first month or so, then can easily be dumped.

Think Thome still owns a glove? Let's bring back Thome and teach Ryno how to play LF. LOL. Problem solved. Yes we'll have two terrible defensive positions on the field, but it's the only way were getting more than 25 Hr's and 75 RBI's out of a corner outfielder this year.

Jack, I suspect Bruce is going to be good for more than a few years.

Also, to put it in proper context (IMHO) there are, on opening day, 90 starting OF in MLB.

So in that context, Raul is still in the top 3rd of his profession - at least at the plate.

Lastly, we need to remember that Raul was injured in 2009, so the last 1/2 of the season was a struggle for him, and in 2010 he was coming off of surgery.

In 2010, through June 30, he posted .240/.328/.394, 6HR, 36RBI in 294 PA.

From July 1st to the end of the season his line was .303/.368/.485, 10RH, 47 RBI in 340 PA.

It was "A Tale of Two (Half)Seasons"

Now, I don't expect "2nd half Raul" for all of 2011, but, barring injury, IMO he has a shot at being better than his entire 2010 body of work.

"And I don't believe in letting Francisco start full time because he's already had 3 seasons of identical statistics with an OPS+ right around 105. Hard to expect a breakout year.

Posted by: jason.tp"


jason, how many MLB OF with significant sample sizes have a lifetime OPS+ of 105 or higher?

In some ways, Young is actually the perfect 25th man for the Phillies. He can play both 3rd base & OF, two areas where the Phillies lack depth. He's a switch hitter, equally adept from both sides, which is a great trait for a bench player. He's got good pop, which is another good trait for a bench player. Plus he's got some upside & is young enough to still fulfill that upside.

Of course, the .236 batting average kind of trumps all the positives. But I tend to agree with denny & MG that, because of his pluses, Young probably has the inside track for the last roster spot.

BAP, yeah, I agree about Young. The rule 5 kid also plays the corners, and switch hits. He trades pop for speed, from what I've read. And he also basically can't get on base, a skill (or lack thereof) shared with Young.

Either way, in theory, could be an interesting competition for the 25th spot.

BAP: You need to evaluate the .236 batting average in the context of his .286 OB and his poor defense. Also, 2011 will be his age 29 season.

Other than that, there are some positives.

clout: As someone wrote the other day, there's value in a guy who can play the unusual combination of 2nd, 3rd & OF, even if he plays them all kind of poorly. Eric Bruntlett made a major league career on that skill-set alone & he couldn't hit his way out of a paper bag.

That said, .236/286 is unacceptable no matter how versatile he is. On the other hand, if he could hit to his career numbers, his overall versatility would probably make him a better bench player than a guy like Mayberry.

awh: I think Dom Brown is better than a 105 OPS+, so I am in favor of him playing RF.

Maybe Mayberry Jr. will wake up tomorrow realizing that he is really just a scrappy curveball hitting slap hitter destined for center field. I'm betting on Mayberry to be the outfield story in ST.

Raul finished strong, so starting him in left with an occasional breather will be fine. If Brown has a strong spring, then he can start or platoon with Francisco in right. Gload is a pinch hitter with an occasional appearance in the field.

The 5th OF spot is a crap shoot with Young, Mayberry, Martinez, and maybe another late signing thrown into the mix.

Brown will only make the team as everyday RF or platoon partner after a good spring. He's not in the mix for the 5th spot off the bench.

Unless Dom Brown really lights it up in ST, I believe he will be in Allentown until at least the middle of July.

If Mayberry can't outplay Martinez and Young for the 5th OF spot...

Is Dom Brown still a can't miss or is time to cut bait? I feel the Phillies brass have soured on him especially defensively where he looks lost out there except for a strong arm. Would not mind BenFran and Gload platoon or just put Brown out there everyday and platoon brown with Raul

Sorry meant platoon Ben Fran and Raul

I seem to be the only person on Beerleaguer who holds this view but, to me, the issue with Domonic Brown is less about his readiness than it's about the overall composition of the lineup, which needs a right-handed bat a lot more than a left-handed one. I'd rather give Brown another season at AAA & then incorporate him into the lineup next year, when he can replace Ibanez without affecting the lefty-righty balance in our lineup.

The Maine stuff is more rumor mongering by the usual website. Quote from his agent:

“The Phillies are one of many teams we have spoken to about John Maine,” Gary said last night. “Certainly, the Phillies right now have five starters so it’s clearly not something close to happening at all.

“There’s nothing remotely close to happening with the Phillies.”

Sounds like he's not interested in wasting away in LV to me.

if it makes anyone feel better, the fantasy site my league uses (CBS) is projecting Dom to hit .275/.345/.475 while going 20/20 and knocking in 77 runs in 480 ABs. . . seems pretty optimistic to me for his 1st year.

Jbird, as I've posted before, that sounds a little optimistic to me also.

I'd be happy if he's in this range for the season:

425 PA, .265/.335/.450 15/15 with 65 RBI

Now, I sure hope he surprises me, but I'd be happy with that or anything above.

Salisbury is reporting that Charlie is looking for 2/4 in an extension from the Phillies.

Actually, based on his body of work since he's been here, that sounds about right.

Maybe 3/3.5-3.75?

Does he want to retire then? Personally, I hope not. I was hoping he'd want to stick around for a few more years and at least help develop some of the guys coming up in a few years.

"Sounds like he's not interested in wasting away in LV to me. "

He can always waste away in Pittsburgh or KC then. :(

According to mlbtr, Heyman tweeted that a pitcher with this career line:

69 G, 65, GS, 19 - 32, 387 IP, 5.60 ERA, 1.457 WHIP, 1.93 K/BB

just signed for $1.75MM in his first year of arbitration eligibility.


Then what's this guy worth?:

93 G, 83 GS, 39 - 24, 483 IP, 4.69 ERA, 1.425 WHIP, 1.54 K/BB

"He can always waste away in Pittsburgh or KC then. :( "

Edmundo, funny.

Exactly $2.6 Million.

Oh, and the first pitcher was born Sep. 15, 1983...the second guy on August 26, 1984.


As many of you may have guessed, the 2nd is KK.

The first is Luke Hochevar of KC, a former first pick in the draft.

Meyer, my guess, and it's only a guess, is somewhere between $2.3 and $2.8 MM, so you could be right on the money.

Wow, read this:

http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/red_sox//view.bg?articleid=1309210


Red Sox rotation may not be all it's cracked up to be this season.

And from what I read, Maine's bone spur in his shoulder was as big as a battleship. And if there is a Mrs. Maine maybe she would like the L.V.

On the Joe Blanton front, the NYT is reporting that Andy Pettitte has told the Yankees that he won't be ready to start the season. Cashman is leaving open a mid-season return, though they haven't discussed it.

Hmmm.

Wasting time in Pitt and KC pays pretty well, I've heard.

Blanton for Montero, get it done. . . (sarcasm)

re: Hochevar / Kendrick

Not the best news for phils fans, but Hochevar and the Royals agreed on that deal outside of arb, so it cant really be used to say what arb would have awarded him.

My hope is that the Royals overpaid to an extent because of Hochevar's potential as a #1 pick.

Regardless, I really dont think Kendrick gets tendered as a Phillie after 2011.

jason, more likely, Kendrick will get traded for some dudes.

If Worley and/or others are ready to take over the bottom of the rotation, they may move him to get someone of value.

That would be best case scenario - however Kendrick making ~$2.5-3M and due for a raise in 2012 doesnt seem to be much trade bait. I think he'll get nontendered and signed by a team(maybe the Phils) for a lesser salary.

Hey, maybe they could package Blanton and Rizzotti for a decent RH OF bat?

I missed it, but Rizzotti batted .333 with 12 RBI in 19 games in the AFL.

Is Rizzotti at his peak value right now?

Yo, new thread

Why not Rizzotti, Blanton, and Brown for some right-handed bat like Hunter Pence from Houston? I think it's time to cut bait with Brown, while he still tops prospect lists and before everyone figures out he's not all-star material--if it's not already too late; opposing pitching seemed to get his number pretty quick last year. Hey, if we use this idea, then Houston's pitching lineup would look more like Philly than Philly--Happ, Myers, Blanton.

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