2010-11 Free Agency

Warming to the Idea of Ben Fran in Right Field

As I write this, I have the heat pumping near my desk, a hot cup of tea to my left, and long johns on. It’s friggin’ cold. We need something to warm us up during the doldrums of winter and the idea of having Ben Francisco get a full season of at-bats is something everyone could get used to.

Let’s face it – the average fan is searching to find something wrong with this team. One of the remaining issues is the hole in right field. Depth chart followers realize that Ben Francisco, Dom Brown, and Ross Gload are the current right fielders on the roster. It’s unlikely the Phillies will make a move to add anymore payroll to a bloated budget. If anything, Joe Blanton and his $17 million over the next two seasons will be unloaded to free up some space.

The three men who must now make up for the loss of Jayson Werth all have their own issues, their own faults and strengths.

Ross Gload would appear to be the least likely to take over as the starter – he’s just too valuable off the bench, although an increase in at-bats is not out of the question. Domonic Brown was to be handed the reigns – or so everyone thought. He’s been assured nothing heading into Spring Training. Brown will have to earn his keep.

That leaves Ben Francisco. Ben Fran has started in the league for an extended period (one and a half years in Cleveland) and still presents some upside at just 29 years old. Remember, Werth was a late bloomer himself, reaching stardom at the same age. To be fair, Francisco doesn’t have the same pedigree as Werth and comes with less fanfare and hype. Still, with the right coaching and an opportunity, he can be a valuable asset in right field.

His glovework pales in comparison to the departed Bearded One and his arm isn’t nearly as strong. Offensively, however, their are some signs he can be a constant contributor as a starter.

His 162-game average comes out to .263/18/63, with an OPS of .775; hardly All-Star numbers. But an All-Star isn’t exactly what the Phillies need. On the bases, Francisco stole eight bases in 2010 in just under 200 plate appearances. At 500 at bats, he has 20 steal potential. If he can provide a stat line similar to that while playing adequate defense, Ben Francisco can be a commodity.

There are some numbers that also present Ben Fran as just another guy. His career 3.6 WAR says he’s a bit above a replacement level player. The advanced fielding metric UZR is also a negative number for Francisco: -6.6 over his four years in the major leagues.

So where does Ben Francisco sit? Is he a talent that can blossom with the proper opportunity in a lineup filled with potency? Or is he simply a nice player best suited for bench duty? You have three months to warm to the idea of Ben Francisco as the starting right fielder. It just might happen.

65 Comments

65 Comments

  1. Brooks

    December 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    I think we’ve discussed this before – at least I have – Benny got a starting job in Cleveland and his numbers were .250-.260 average with 15-18 hrs – nah.

    Nothing to get excited about. Try platooning him with Raul? Sure why not! Pencil him in? no .

    That means both right field and lf are still a question. If Raul can hit, we are Ok – if Brown can show his mettle in the NL – we are better than OK but, if we have to toy with Brown/Gload/Ibanez/Francisco – I think we’re in for some trouble. Nothing that the starting 4 cannot get us out of but, enough to make us competitive instaid of dominant.

    Not a big Ben fan here – sorry!

  2. Chuck

    December 28, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Gotta go with it. Who else is there? Give the man some ABs and see what happens. I think we all can agree that more playing time will be to his benefit.

  3. tavian

    December 28, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    I hate to say it and hope I am wrong, but I believe Ben Francisco is a second-string outfielder. He is a nice player, but not an everyday player. The Phils need to bolster their outfield with a strong right handed bat and decent fielder. To expect Ibanez , Victorino and even Brown to go injury-free is naive. The Phils can go after someone who can field and hit lefties like Andruw Jones. He can still field, hit the starch out of lefties and prove to be a huge right-handed power bat off the bench or in the field. His last two seasons were not that bad. Reed Johnson is another name that can play all outfield positions and fill in competently. Neither of these guys would cost more than $1 million. And who knows, Jones may find new life in Philly and if he returns to near what he had been with Atlanta, then we all will forget about Jason Werth’s departure. The Phils are smart to start the season with platoons in left and right field. That is what we had in 1993 and it worked out well. Maybe Pete Incoviglia is in shape to play somewhere?

    • bruce

      December 28, 2010 at 7:20 pm

      Werth who? (chuckles) I don’t dwell about him and his moneybags. He’s gone and we move on.

      Andruw Jones?? Seriously? He will be 34 years old next April and has continued to struggle with his ABs since going to the AL 2 years ago (.214 in 2009 and .230 in 2010). As a matter of fact, his last year in the NL (2008 with the Dodgers) he had a pathetic .158 BA. No wonder he decided to take the first offer to play in the AL. 😉 If you thought Howard strikes out too much, Jones is even worse. I don’t see where he would be effective against lefthanded pitching. A 256 BA vs LH pitching last season is not going to do much for the Phillies.

      I’m all for giving Ben Francisco more ABs and confident he can produce in a big way for the team.

  4. Bill Baer

    December 28, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Pat, you said that Francisco was a -0.2 WAR player. I think you were looking only at his defensive WAR (dWAR) on Baseball Reference. Over 1221 plate appearances, he’s been worth 3.3 WAR, or about 1.6 WAR per 600 plate appearances (approximately a full season).

    As I’m sure you’re aware of, defensive stats aren’t completely reliable yet, so using them down to the decimal point isn’t a great idea. BBref has him at -0.2 dWAR, but given our uncertainly around these metrics, the most we can really say is that he’s about average.

    Francisco is a decent option for a platoon, be it with Dom Brown or Raul Ibanez. He hits lefties decently (career .352 wOBA), plays about average defense, and is about an average base runner. Ideally, you’d like to have a RH hitter that crushes lefties like Magglio Ordonez or Josh Willingham, but those ships have sailed.

    The best part about utilizing Francisco is that he’s cost-controlled for the next three years. If he turns out to be productive, the Phillies can either be happy with their finding, flip Francisco while his value is high, or let him go as a free agent and recoup at least one draft pick. That’s thinking further down the line, but nonetheless relevant.

    • Pat Gallen

      December 28, 2010 at 7:50 pm

      Bill, thanks for pointing out my mistake – clearly jumbled the numbers.

      That makes things a little better. But you’re right, for the price, you should take a shot with this guy.

  5. Jay aka Phillyboy

    December 28, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    I HAVE BEEN SAYING SINCE DAY ONE OF THE OFF-SEASON, THAT IF WE DID NOT SIGN JAYSON,BEN IS MY MAN FOR THIS TEAM.IF BEN PLAYS MOST OF THE SEASON,IT WOULD COME HAS NO SURPRIZE TO ME IF HE PUT UP A 275-21HR-85RBI TYPE OF YEAR……………..

  6. psujoe

    December 28, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    They’ll be plenty of time to get a RH bat at the deadline f the experiment fails. With the starting rotation the Phils can afford to check this out for a few months.

  7. Chuck

    December 28, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    275/21/85 ….. ??

    …..He does that and this discussion is moot.

  8. NigeyJ

    December 28, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Love the new Phillies Nation. Really class looking website.

    RAJ has given a great opportunity for the young blood of this team to start coming through and winning jobs, a lot of the role guys have their deals up at the end of this year and for guys like Brown and Ben Fran we’ve all seen what top pitching means and this team can go out and win 95 even with a sketchy offense.

  9. Lefty

    December 28, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    I’m not too concerned about Ben Fran offensively, the other guys will pick him up if he fails, but I’m actually optimistic about his bat. I don’t think he’s ready to step into the 5 spot yet, at least not until he proves himself worthy. I’d rather see Jimmy, Vic, Raul or Chooch there pending righty lefty.

    It’s what we lose on the defensive side that bothers me. Corner OF’s don’t have to be stellar, but if Pat is right about his arm strength, that could be a soft spot. Having a RF with a gun, or just as important, a reputation for arm strength, keeps runners from taking chances.

  10. Pedram

    December 28, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    i don’t think we can rule john mayberry jr in right field out either. anything can happen in spring training. i’m not really concerned about it. you gotta figure that at least one of three (j-roll, utely, howard) will have better numbers than their injury plagued season last year.

  11. Ted Bell

    December 28, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Well, none of us really know what to expect from Francisco or Brown at this point. We’re sailing into uncharted territory this season, and until either one of them show they can produce in a significant manner I’ll consider them both unknown quantities. I won’t project Francisco to be a 20 HR guy just yet – we still don’t even have a clear idea of what his playing time will be.

    Speaking of 20 HR players, other than Howard, who on this team is a LOCK to hit at least 20 HRs this season? Maybe Utley?

    • Bill Baer

      December 29, 2010 at 1:25 am

      “Maybe” Utley? His HR since becoming a regular:

      2005: 28
      2006: 32
      2007: 22 (injured, broken hand)
      2008: 33
      2009: 31
      2010: 16 (injured, torn thumb ligament)

      Unless he suffers another freak injury, I’d say he’s about as close to a lock for 20+ HR as you can get this side of Ryan Howard.

      • Ted Bell

        December 29, 2010 at 10:34 am

        He also had hip surgery in the fall of 2008, which is sort of the point here. His OPS has now declined in four conscutive seasons.

        I’m Ted Bell.

  12. jonnyboy

    December 29, 2010 at 1:52 am

    I still think Manny for right field. Manny Ramirez. Let’s offer him 3.5 mil base salary with incentives. If he reaches 20 hr, add 1 million. If he reaches 25 hr, we add 2 million. If he reaches 30 hr we add 3 million. Add 500 k for All-star appearance, Silver Slugger, whatever else you want to add. Maybe an incentive for reaching a certain number of hits. The Rangers took a chance on Ben Sheets, lets take a chance on Manny!

  13. The Dipsy

    December 29, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I also would like to see the Phils offer Manny a contract. I’ve said this before. Let me address it with bullet points.

    PROS: He’s righthanded. He’s an awesome hitter. A virtuoso, really. One of the greatest hitters of the modern era. I truly believe he can still hit. He can be very funny.

    CONS: He’s asocial (at best). Can be a distraction, has been a distraction. Can cause problems in the dugout. can’t play D and shows no inclination to.

    BOTTOM LINE: He will sign for a low base, incentive laden contract. If we get good Manny, what a bargain! Charlie was his manager with the Indians, so…. We have a strong clubhouse that will not allow Manny to act up. If he does, the players will give him a blanket party and Ruben will place him on waivers. The risk is worth the reward.

    The Dipsy

  14. Chuck

    December 29, 2010 at 9:53 am

    jonnyboy must be related to Dipsy. A son maybe? A brother?

    You guys are nuts…..

    Manny’s potential to totally screw up the clubhouse FAR outweighs any PROS to your argument. And I agree with your pros, Dipsy. He IS (or maybe the word is HAS BEEN) “one of the greatest hitters of the modern era” But I don’t think he’s that good anymore to risk it.

    • Ted Bell

      December 29, 2010 at 10:44 am

      I still haven’t seen a comment from a scout or front office person that categorizes Ramirez as anything but a DH. Whether he can still hit or not (and there’s mixed opinions on that), I don’t see him as a fit for anyone in the NL.

      And where is the bullet point from Dipsy explaining where Raul Ibanez and his $11.5 million contract ends up?

  15. The Original Chuck P

    December 29, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Wow… it’s great to finally be on here. I have had all sorts of problems logging on. But I’m here now.

  16. Chuck

    December 29, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I looked at Ben Fran’s totals since he got here in July 2009..

    276ABs
    .272 avg.
    11 HR
    41 RBI

    And that’s in a more limited role. Regular playing time can only help him.

    Let’s assume he’s a regular this season and his ABs are doubled, thus doubling his numbers…. .272 / 22 / 82

    Jay suggested above .275 / 21 / 85

  17. The Original Chuck P

    December 29, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Need to somehow expand the width of the “Reply to this Post Flag this Comment…” box.

    I think that sending Dom Brown home and making the comment about him not having the job locked up was the Phillies way of saying, “You’ve gotta come out ready to play in Spring Training.” I still think that there is no way he’s not playing the majority of games in RF… a platoon is likely but he’s a lefty which means that he’ll get majority of the playing time (there aren’t as many left handed starters in MLB). As for Gload- you can’t play him every day in RF because he’s untested in that role… he’s never played RF every day. What you might get from him offensively would be wiped out by the huge disadvantage that you’d get from having to play him every day in RF. Frankly, I think that everyone needs to cool down when it comes to Dom Brown – he’ll be fine.

    BA Top Prospects Year by Year:
    2001 – Josh Hamilton, 2002 – Josh Beckett, 2003 – Mark Teixeira, 2004/05 – Joe Mauer, 2006 – Delmon Young, 2007 – Daisuke, 2008 – Jay Bruce, 2009 – Matt Wieters, 2010 – Jayson Heyward

    Brown might not be the top prospect when the 2011 list comes out but he’s surely going to be in the top 10 and BA rarely misses.

  18. tavian

    December 29, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Would Manny Ramirez accept a platoon role in the National League with no chance to be a DH ?
    I don’t think he would. If he is not occupied with a position, he may be a real bundle of grief and trouble for the whole team. He wants more time at the plate that a National League team could offer him in a platoon role,

    If he would agree to a platoon role and limited at-bats, then I would say go ahead. However, I think there has to be some serious conversations with him and his agent on this matter.

  19. Chuck

    December 29, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Gload sucks in the outfield. He’s a better defensive first baseman than he is an outfielder.

    I agree that we all just need to take a breath and relax when it comes to D Brown. Starting the year with the idea that he has a good chance to make the team as a starter…or at least a key cog in a platoon…should motivate him greatly I would think.

    As for Manny…can we all just please stop it with that nonsensical talk?? !! The only “serious conversations” should be “No, no and no”

  20. The Dipsy

    December 29, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Where would Raul Ibanez and his 11.5m end up? Well, Ibanez (the player) would end up on another team. Ibanez (the money) will be 1/4 to 1/2 be eaten by the team we trade him to. If Raul is a C- defensively, then Manny is a D+. But I’ll take the 25/100/.310 that a motivated Manny would bring to the lineup. You’re exchanging stink for stink defensively in the outfield….Raul just looks like he’s trying more.

    The Dipsy

  21. tavian

    December 29, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    …….. exhanging “stink for stink” defensively in the outfield. NOW THAT IS FUNNY !!!! And Dipsy makes a good point . It would be a brave move by Ruben .

  22. geoffrobinson

    December 29, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    I’m way more worried about not having a legitimate leadoff hitter. I could deal with Ben Francisco in right. Probably a platoon situation would be best unitl we get another free agent after Ibanez’s contract expires.

    • Pat Gallen

      December 29, 2010 at 1:42 pm

      I think secretly they’re hoping Singleton will be ready in 2012 after Raul’s contract is up. Or maybe not so secretly – hopefully he’ll be ready for prime time by then, although he’ll be very young.

  23. Lefty

    December 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    At Cliff Lee’s press conference RAJ said the following;
    ” frankly I believe in pitching and defense winning championships. We’ve seen it over the last several years, that’s what wins World Series.”

    What part of that statement would lead anyone to believe he would go after a guy like ManRam who can’t / won’t play defense?

  24. The Dipsy

    December 29, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Than I guess he should just trade every offensive player we have for more pitching and trot out a lineup of:

    Me
    Lefty
    Brooks
    Pat
    Andrew from Waldorf
    N.J.
    Pat Gallen
    Paul Boye

    But we’d have soooo much pitching! Leftmeister: You also need hitting to win a WS. Look back over the last 25 WS winners and, save the Giants, find me a team that didn’t have a good offense. And since when do you believe everything RAJ says? He’s introducing Cliff for God Sakes..what would you expect him to say? As for defense….Manny won’t play it, Raul can’t play it. In the end…same result.

    The Dipsy

    • Lefty

      December 29, 2010 at 3:33 pm

      LOL, Dipsy you crack me up.

      And you’re right about the fact that RAJ is sneaky and his words can’t be trusted.
      So I must retract.

      However, there is a huge difference in the clubhouse, when the teammates know a guy like Raul may be limited but is giving it his best, as opposed to the other way around. Not at all the same result. Manny, with all his talent should have won 5-6 WC’s by now, but he didn’t for three reasons, he divides clubhouses, destroys team chemistry, and eats managers for breakfast. If Torre couldn’t handle him, no one can. Poor Charlie’s not as young as the last time they were together.

  25. Greg

    December 29, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Wtf Dipsy. I’ve played Right Field and Center Field all throughout High School and College (also pitched a bit). Why am I not in the lineup?

    Seriously though, whomever brought up our leadoff man, I can only hope it will be Victorino, 2009 style. I’d love to see Vic return to a .290 hitter who slaps singles around, much like Polly but not as adept at doing it. If he can do that, a healthy Rollins is surely capable of manning the 5-hole. Rollins is a strong guy, and can smack twenty plus homers easily. He can also get on base after Howard K’s to end the inning, and resort to a “leading-off” position.

    Shane
    Placido
    Chase
    Ryan
    Jimmy
    Raul
    Ben
    Carlos
    Roy

    Seems like a fairly good lineup vs. LHP.

    Brown would assume Ben’s spot vs RHP. And back when Brown played every day for us, he did kick ass. He had a 4-RBI game, then got 2 more the next day. It was when he was sitting on the bench that he suffered.

  26. Chuck

    December 29, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    You’re gonna put Andrew from Waldorf in that lineup and not me???

    And there’s a HUUUUUGE difference between Raul and Manny in the outfield. Raul has made some great plays. Granted…he’s not Willie Mays….but just his hustle and grit alone makes up for what Manny lacks

    • bruce

      December 29, 2010 at 3:29 pm

      I was going to say something similar about Ibanez. I followed the team closely during the past season and was impressed by Raul’s hustle and making plays that Burrell couldn’t when he played for the team. So I wonder about Dipsy’s remarks and how many games he actually watched last season. I think he just looking for reaction and feedback. He succeeded. 😉

  27. The Dipsy

    December 29, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Not really Chuck. They both stink.

    The Dipsy

  28. Chuck

    December 29, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Dipsy, what is this obsession with Raul’s lack of defensive prowess?? Like I said, he’s no Willie Mays out there. BUT….like Bruce just said…Raul’s hustle got him to some balls that Pat Burrell couldn’t touch.

    And since Pat Burrell is better defensively than Manny…..and I don’t want Burrell here…why would I want Manny in my outfield?

  29. The Dipsy

    December 29, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Chuck, I would ask the inverse of you. Why do you maintain that he doesn’t stink defensively? I believe that Pat and Raul are just about even. Raul does hustle….but when you’re as slow as cold molasses flowing upstream…that hustle, as nice as it is, just doesn’t get it. Try as he may, and he does, he still stinks. Raul is a good guy. He’s way overpaid, which pisses me off, AND he has been absolutely horrible for half the time he’s been here (that’s your queue). I didn’t like him on this team from the day he signed and I wish he would do something to change my mind. I just want him gone. Unless he is willing to take an 8m paycut.

    The Dipsy

    p.s. Chuck, I’m sorry I didn’t put you in the lineup. Would you be available to DH in interleague play? Thanks.

  30. Lefty

    December 29, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    My PN starters –
    Dipsy- I hear he’s fast with the womenfolk
    Chuck- great contact hitter
    Greg- Can play right,left and pitch if my arm blows out
    Brooks- Can down a ton on dollar dog night, gotta respect that
    Pat-Power hitter with a guitar
    JPB- HELL YEAHHH!
    NJ- Intelligent patient hitter
    Kate- Positive attitude
    Me- Can’t throw anymore, but will lob some meat up there sure to keep the rest of you on your toes!

    Backups-
    Ted Bell- the most interesting man in the dugout
    Beta sig-Cool dude
    jeff-Sharp as a bowling ball
    OCP Cause he’s back
    bfo- another cool dude
    krukdriver- best moniker
    BostonKate, Andrew and MikeD63 if they ever come back.
    Bruce – cool avatar
    And everyone I forgot, stop your moaning your on the team too!

    • Chuck

      December 29, 2010 at 4:22 pm

      “Womenfolk” LOL, Lefty. that’s funny.

      As for jeff and Andrew from Waldorf…..since the site changed they haven’t come on. They’re probably
      b!tching about that, too.

      And don’t forget Don M…cause he’s a sharp dresser (in his tux). And Bart Shart because he’s ALWAYS there.

  31. Chuck

    December 29, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Dipsy, firstly, no problem with the lineup thing. My feelings aren’t hurt. But, yes, I can DH if you want…or I could be a defensive replacement, I’m very versatile and I’m probably faster than Burrell, Manny and, yes, even my man Raul (even if I am a tad older than any of those three)

    As for the main topic at hand: I never said he was God’s gift to defense. I recognize his weaknesses. But I do think he’s faster than Pat the Bat (because he just is) and Manny (cause Manny doesn’t give a sh*t anyway). He certainly hustles more than those two, which by default, allows him to make a few more plays than them.

    And I’m not even gonna get into the contract thing again. We’ve been through that countless times on here. Also, he’s been “absolutely horrible for half the time he’s been here”…..BECAUSE HE WAS EFFING INJURED AND RECOVERING FROM THAT INJURY.

    Ok. I’m done.

  32. Lefty

    December 29, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Chuck, Has Bart been on since the changeover? He’s the oldest, so he’ll be the manager. Don M can take my place in the second inning when I get winded !

    • Chuck

      December 29, 2010 at 4:40 pm

      I haven’t seen Mr. Shart since the new site unfolded. If he’s the oldest, maybe he’s technologically challenged and having trouble getting on…

  33. Lefty

    December 29, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Dipsy, Come on- clearly you must see the difference between a loligager and a guy that’s trying but just can’t make the plays. Not the same result at all. The Manny result almost always leads to clubhouse chaos and poor morale.

  34. The Original Chuck P

    December 29, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Rollins is our leadoff hitter… can’t take his legs out of that leadoff spot. Shane is fast but Rollins has base running skills and there’s a big difference. And this is where we can all reflect on the loss of Davey Lopes and what that means to our team in 2011.

    • Don M

      December 29, 2010 at 6:39 pm

      I think that due to injury, etc.. the past few years . . . . we’ll be more likely to see Rollins in the 5 spot. I believe that they want to save his legs as much as possible, instead of trying to force steals, extra wear on his legs batting 1st.

      I also think that Rollins makes a better 5-hitter than anyone else on the roster right now..

      But i’d like to see Rollins stay healthy.. not to worry about the steals, but to have another great season on defense, and to just be a productive team player

  35. The Original Chuck P

    December 29, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I played football and ran track in college… that was 5 years ago but I still have some athleticism. Put me in coach…

  36. The Original Chuck P

    December 29, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    By the way… I started a general baseball blog with a couple of friends called “For Baseball Junkies.” We have regular trivia, Top 10 lists, All-Time teams, opinion and current events pieces from whatever is being talked about

    Would love to be linked in some way… feel free to check it out and give me some feedback.

    http://www.baseballjunkies.blogspot.com

    • Chuck

      December 29, 2010 at 5:41 pm

      OCP…it looks cool. I’ll definitely spend some time checking it out further. Thanks! (and to be linked to PN would be great!)

  37. Greg

    December 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Chuck P, try sending a message to Pat or one of the other admins. They can probably help 🙂

  38. The Original Chuck P

    December 29, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Thanks guys… I got bored waiting for PN to come back up so I had to do something to waste my spare time. Feedback is much appreciated…

    The one guy (Hersh) is one of the most well versed baseball guys I’ve ever met. When it comes to trivia, there is no one better. He could literally give you the Cy winner from either league in any given year and most likely he could tell you who finished second, too. We’ve done All-Time teams for every major league team and all-decade teams going back to the 50’s. I’ve learned a lot from Hersh… trying to share that knowledge.

  39. Don M

    December 29, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Im late into this discussion, but wanted to point something out…

    The Phillies are in the great position of having a very strong lineup, regardless of who plays RF next year… We base Francisco’s projections on what he has done before.. but all players grow and learn new things.. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another Phillies player post his career year under the instruction of Charlie Manuel

    With everyday playing time, Francisco would be able to get into a rythym, and comfort level… which would hopefully equal nice production. I would take a season of .260 batting avg, 15 Hrs, 15 steals …..and I don’t think its a stretch to think he could hit .270+ … or that either HR or Steals (or both) could be above 20..

    The other things to consider is that the Phillies have a STACKED/STOCKED farm system.. and will be in the position to add whatever trade candidates they want come July 2011. They won’t be frightened off by trading for any player with only 1/2 a year remaining on a contract …..which also may allow us to move Ibanez (should we want to)… LOTS of teams will be looking for a Lefty.. OF/DH type…

    I think the Phillies are wise to let the season play out.. see how far you can go with what you have.. and see if they want to add in July ….With Oswalt only under contract for next season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make a major push . … Rollins, Utley, Polanco , etc … they aren’t getting any younger. Phillies are going all out this year, but would be wise to deal with their NEEDS in July, instead of their WANTS in January.

  40. Chuck

    December 29, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    You know, that’s a very good point about being instructed by Charlie Manuel. Charlie says all along that he delegates to his coaches….and I believe he does….

    BUT.. the man is a hitting expert. It’s in his blood. Ever see him in an interview when someone asks him about hitting?? His eyes just sort of light up. He’s MORE than involved.

    Ben Fran can only benefit from that.

  41. Jay aka Phillyboy

    December 29, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    THATS WHAT I HAVE BEEN SAYING,YOU GIVE BEN THE AT-BATS AND I BET HE WILL PRODUCE ALOT BETTER THEN YOU THINK!!!!

  42. The Dipsy

    December 29, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Don M- Well thought out post. I agree with you. Ben Fran might be OK as the less used side of the platoon, but I would like to see platoon with Brown and Ibanez, sometimes irrespective of who’s on the mound. I’d like to see BenFran end up with about 375 AB’s. And yes, we can let it play out and make that deal in July if its not working.

    The Dipsy

  43. Chuck

    December 29, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    I would be willing to bet that he gets more than 400 ABs. Platooning in right and left (assuming D Brown makes the roster out of S.T.) will give him a lot of playing time.

    Here’s a question, though….Who spells Shane in center?

  44. Brooks

    December 30, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    You guys crack me up! I have to tell you a few months ago (yes, during the season) I dream that I was
    playing right field (as my seats are there and at the time, Jayson was knocking in nobody). I was nervous
    as heck and a ball came between me and Vic, thank God it looked like he had it but he dove and missed it so it was up to me to get the ball and heave it to second base, there was still time – I picked the ball and up
    did a sally! I got booed by all you guys…

    Anyway, you forgot Jay, you gotta put Jay in the lineup.

    And, I am ready to concede that OK, we give Ben a chance, platoon him with Raul and make the fuse short
    on both ends.

    • Lefty

      December 30, 2010 at 9:05 pm

      Jay’s in- I’ve had trouble getting used to calling him that instead of his former “phillyboy” so now I just use JPB- and HELL YEAHHH he’s in!

      Funny dream BTW. I onced dreamed I was on the mound and Dallas Green came out and yanked me after my first pitch.

  45. tavian

    December 30, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Has anyone thought of Vladimir Guerrera as a possiblity for left field? He is younger than Manny Ramiriz and despite having some knee issues, he might be able to play left field. The dude is a future hall of fame player who stills hits for both average and power. Seattle may welcome Ibanez back if we eat some of the salary and we should find a fit for Blanton. Just a thought to fill that needed potent right handed bat out of the outfield. Guerrera had his share of extra base hits last year, as well.

  46. Brooks

    December 30, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Rangers could still be contenders if they resign Vlad – without him, they are a better than average AL team –
    Tavian, I too have suggested him coming to Phily – I have salivated over that idea since the Expos were breaking up. Getting Vlad you’re almost a lock to get 30–40 hrs, 100-120 rbi – problem of course being defense. Remember, since 08 he has spent most of his playing time at DH.

  47. Chuck

    December 30, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    If we’re complaining about poor defense from Raul and Manny….why on earth would we want Vlad? He’s a butcher out there.

  48. Lefty

    December 30, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    IMO- No more old OF’s. We need youth, energy and defensive minded OF’s. Chucks right, we basically have no speedy backup for Shane in center.

  49. betasigmadeltashag

    December 31, 2010 at 12:12 am

    I have been saying for a month that you let Ben Fran get some consistant playing time, and if Dom Brown plays well in ST, he can get some playing time, maybe not a complete platoon, but Dom can play twice a week or so. But if Dom Starts out in AAA, Give Ben Fran at bats in this line up can give you 270avg/20hr/75rbi. IMO. And if he does not handle the every day RF job that well you find something at the dead line even if it is only for the rest of the year.
    And I have to say Dipsy did you get coal for christmas or what. Raul may not be the fastest but he usually takes good lines on balls and does not over play balls hit to him. He is a better defensive LF then Pat B who is far better then Manny. I really do not know where the hate comes from, is Raul making more then he should maybe, did he get too many years maybe. But if he can comes into to ST healthy he may surprise you this year, I do not see the power numbers from 2009 but the avg will be up, I also think he could benifit from some nights off against lefties.

  50. betasigmadeltashag

    December 31, 2010 at 12:31 am

    I also want to coment on the JC signing, I think it was a decent signing, I really think Bastardo will be the lefty to start an inning with 2 out of three lefties coming up or the second batter being a tough lefty. JC will be the guy to come in to face just one lefty or two if they are back to back. I also think Escolana sp is a future plan for a lefty for the phillies.
    And to bring it up again, a rh bat y ou can sign for cheap and if this locker room can not straighten him out y ou let him go his name is Lasting Milldredge

  51. Greg

    December 31, 2010 at 1:40 am

    Betasigma — Just so you know, Raul was worse than Pat last year in Left Field. I’m not going to get all into it, but Sabermetric’s will show you that Raul was good for a total of -9 runs, and Pat was good for +11. Neither good, but one’s much better than the other.

  52. The Original Chuck P

    December 31, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    If Benny fresh can give us .270 and +20 HR I would be ok with that but i think thats all we can expect and if Dom can put up similar numbers and gain experience with more upside then why not play him?

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