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Can the Phillies Offense Change?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, October 13, 2011 09:05 AM | Comments: 44
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

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When I was a kid, I fell in love with the long ball. Like everyone else, I was enamored with Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa back in 1998; the Summer of Baseball Love.

Well, the game ain’t the same, friends. More teams are manufacturing runs the old fashioned way. The Phillies are slow to change with the times.

It’s not really any fault of theirs, truthfully. Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez and others were all used to winning by playing a certain way. Swinging for a three-run homer was the plan four or five years ago. It’s how they made their coin. Just ask Shane Victorino; he might tell you that paydays are a little bigger when that HR number is larger. A guy who hits .280 with 17 homers might get paid more than a guy who hits .300 with 9 homers. A little pop goes a long way.

But now, the philosophy is clearly changing within the Phillies; or at least that’s what Ruben Amaro hopes will be the case. In what became a mission statement of sorts, Amaro challenged everyone in the organization to a revolution. Well, you know.

Easier said, Rube. Easier said. The question isn’t whether the Phillies need this philosophical restructuring when it comes to their offense; it’s quite apparent they do. The question is can the players be something they aren’t?

Amaro thinks that change can occur.

“Ability-wise, there is no question in my mind this is a championship caliber lineup and championship caliber players. We have to go about it in a different way. I have talked to Greg Gross and talked to Charlie. We have to have a different mindset or different approach than we did in ‘08 or 2010. We don’t have nearly as much power, have to be better with two strikes, better situational at-bats. Those are frankly things we have to change.”

Charlie Manuel is also on board with the changes to come.

“I think I’m definitely on board with what Ruben says when I talked to him,” said Manuel. “At the same time, if you guys listen to me during the course of the year and last couple of years, I touch on it when I talked about hitting. He would like to see us grind out more at-bats, learn how to work more counts, plate discipline. All those things he talks about, I talked about, I teach that…”

Situational dysfunction is nothing new with this team. They’ve been playing with fire the past two seasons and finally got third-degree burns when they got too close to the Cardinals, a team that Amaro must be eluding to. He witnessed long at-bat after long-at bat from the opponent in the NLDS, while the Phillies couldn’t start a rally if they tried. He saw batters choke up and spray hits to all fields. He did not see much over-swinging.

Charlie Manuel has, for the most part, been a hands-off manager by allowing each player to play to their strengths. That has basically meant let everyone swing for the fences, because that’s what the Phillies were good at. What lies ahead for Manuel and his staff is an offseason of going back to the drawing board. How can they fit a square peg into a round hole?

But Manuel did lay some blame on the sub-par statistics on the inability to field a true lineup for the better part of the year.

“From an offensive standpoint, with the core players, the health thing definitely comes into play, having them on the field for a period of time and instead of having a disarray of lineups.  When I say together, I don’t know how many lineups changes we had, if we have same guys in our lineup for a long period of time we get a better read on it. The last 2-3 years we just haven’t had that.”

Amaro mentioned Placido Polanco in the same breath as the new strategy he’d like to see implemented in 2012.

“Polly is the kind of guy that we’re trying to strive to have more readily at our disposal. Those are the kinds of at-bats. He works the count, he understands the importance of making contract with two strikes. Those are the things we’re looking to improve [overall].”

To me, Amaro is saying that it’s time to back off the home run swing in counts that don’t call for it. It’s time to read more into the numbers, get down to studying, and figuring out more tendencies of pitchers. It’s time to do real work. Because for years, it has been exceptional players getting by on brute strength and an aggressive approach.

To be a perennial contender, it will take a keener eye and more patience. It will take going the other way when baserunners and counts dictate it. Are the players willing to make this kind of concession?

Think of it like this: if you’re at the top of your occupation, making top dollar, are you going to let someone making less than you, or someone in a position of less power, tell you what to do? That’s the issue Greg Gross will come to find once Spring Training rolls around in February. Will the players shelve their egos for the greater good? In theory it’s possible, but try telling a smoker he can’t smoke two packs a day. It takes a long time, with many hiccups and several setbacks.

My thought is, the Phillies can do it, but with caveats. I think you’ll see them grasp the concepts of it, however, I don’t believe it will be the smoothest of transitions for some. To survive, Ryan Howard will have to fix his swing. His baseball life depends on it. But, there will be times when he reverts back to what he’s known for so long. Same goes for those who stick around for next year.

So, while the memories are still relatively fresh, think back to the 2008 and 2009 seasons when the Phillies launched 448 home runs combined. Those days are long gone. Prepare to welcome the slap-hitting Phillies of the new decade.

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1667 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 2068 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    When did Rube and Cholly say this? It had to be after the season – certainly not during the 0-37 streak (losing 8 in a row) by the top 3 in the lineup – todate, Cholly has said “The players know what to do, they have been here for a long time, they will work their way out of this (whatever this was at the time)…”
    Such crap. The point is, the men have be willing to listen and someone has to be willing to lead. The evidence is clear. Why so few stolen bases? Why does Howard continue to hit in the eye of the coverage instead of where the defense is not? Small ball (God I hate that term anymore) is not part of this teams makeup and it starts at the top, we all know this.
    I’m not disagreeing with you Pat I just want to know when this ‘revelation’ actually came to Rube and Cholly – long past due – changes are neede.

     
  • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

    Avatar of Pat Gallen

    Brooks, I guess you missed the press conferences the last few days. Ruben and Charlie both spoke about it and Amaro stated he wants to see changes made.

     
  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    The offense MUST change if this team is to remain a serious contender for a World Series appearance.

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    I agree with the premise of this post – the Phillies need to display better plate discipline overall but I don’t agree with certain aspects.

    First, I think that there was a shift early on towards exhibiting a more disciplined approach and playing situational baseball but the key to the order in that type of lineup is the two hole hitter… Placido Polanco. Early on, he was the quintessential two hole hitter – slapping singles, allowing guys to go first to third and driving in that guy standing on third base by driving the ball to the deep parts of the infield. After his injury, that changed everything. We could no longer rely on him in the two hole and so the team reverted back to what they knew. It is an adjustment and it does take time. I think that a full season on Hunter Pence will help. I’m not sure what the lineup will look like but it won’t include Ibanez so you have an opportunity to bring in someone that plays the way you want them to play. Everything sort of hinges on Jimmy Rollins, at this point. I don’t think that they can afford to head into next season with “role players” at first, short and left field. Someone has to be able to drive in runs, which brings me to my next point.

    Asking Ryan Howard to be a singles hitter is crazy- like fitting a square peg in a round hole. You’re asking one of the best power hitters in the game to forget about his power. I agree with everyone that he has to have a different approach at the plate – he has to be more balanced, more patient (he’ll get better pitches to hit if he can focus on knowing the strike zone) and, of course, he needs to understand the situations better but I still want Ryan Howard driving the ball.

    Check out this video of his 58th HR from 2006 – http://youtu.be/V5Qwzx7yVpo

    The first thing that I noticed compared to his current swing was how balanced he was. There is such a smooth transition of weight onto his back leg… that swing was controlled. He also looks very athletic – I think that he kept the bat back a little bit (maybe a little higher) but his bat was definitely faster through the zone so it didn’t matter. I also think that the swing was a little more level – not much of an upper cut there.

    If I’m Greg Gross, I’m working on his bat speed, pitch/plate recognition and someone needs to tell him to move a little closer to the plate (and not so open in his stance).

    And let me put this out here now… I said it all season this year and I’ll say it again this offseason and all of next year – I don’t care what we look like in April-Sept. With our pitching, we WILL cruise into the playoffs again. I don’t care about meaningless regular season records- we need to be preparing for the postseason run all season. That means ample rest, and not rushing ANYONE back from ANYTHING. I don’t care if we don’t see Howard until July… everyone needs to be healthy when the postseason rolls around.

     
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      Chuck, I’m not asking for Howard to become a singles hitter, just to have a more disciplined approach. He’s too strong to be just a singles hitter, he’ll get his home runs, but he’ll get some more if his approach at the plate is what it used to be.

       
      • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

        I’m not so sure that his approach has changed… his mechanics have worsened but I think that he has always been up there with one thing on his mind (hitting the ball out of the yard). I think his failure to adapt has caused problems – once pitchers realized how much of a free swinger he really was (that they could get him out with pitches out of the zone) he stopped seeing good pitches to hit. He’s a tremendous mistake hitter and I, for one, would rather see him swing than NOT swing. He’s strong enough that if he makes contact, he’s hitting the ball into the outfield (so if there’s a man on third with less than two outs, he’s going to drive in a run) but there are obviously flaws to a free-swinging approach. It’s crazy to expect him to become a high on-base guy or a singles hitter but I think we all would agree that he has not adapted well which has held him back from reaching his potential. He has all the potential in the world to be up there with the great ones and truth be told, he’s not that far off – instead of 30 2B, he could hit 35, +5 HR and maybe 10-15 more singles and that would take him from a .265-.275 hitter to a .300 hitter. I mean, he had 141 hits this season to go along with 30 HR and 20 2B… and he missed some time. It’s not as if he was non-existent… but there is room for improvement.

        I think that we’re probably pretty close in our assessment and criticism of Howard.

         
  • Posts: 0 Adrian M.

    For an offense that went through peaks and valleys in 2011, I always hark back to Opening Day, when it took the Phillies until the fifth or sixth inning for a hitter to see more than four pitches in an at-bat. That could have been first-game jitters, but it lasted right up through the NLDS. Such an (dare I say) Achilles Heel cannot exist for this team anymore. “Working the count” should be the primary focus during offseason workouts and Spring Training.

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

     
  • Posts: 0 Sandy Durso

    If making this change was possible with most of these established players it would have taken root earlier in the season. This is something that Amaro and Charlie have known for a while. I think the majority of these guys are what they are and will immediately fall back into old patterns even if they accept the notion that they need to change. They have been telling Rollins for years to be more selective and he may go through times when he tries that but always falls back into his old pattern of trying to knock one out of the park. Not that I am picking exclusively on Rollins its just that he has been around long enough that you can see the pattern best. I think if Amaro want to see this its going to mean moving some players ….not an easy thing to do because of contracts and because of the overall success of the team in general.

     
    • Posts: 0 stash

      but just wondering in the days of massive drug testing will our stars naturally start slowing down with age. if they hit 40 50 homers in there thirtys is it wise to expect that when they get older or after they reattach an tendon. im just wondering they talk about the long ball stars mcgwire sosa blah blah all were juiced probably even ruth who knows. and this series was lost by whoever told pence and utley to steel and stop all that momentum.

       
  • Posts: 2952 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Original Chuck….you say you don’t care if we don’t see Howard til June or July, that it’s all about the playoffs. But with Howard out til then, this lineup will have it’s share of problems scoring runs and winning games….which puts them behind the 8-ball with their competitors in the division. The Braves will be back, the Marlins will put up a fight and the Nats are improving. Winning the division isn’t gonna necessarily be a cakewalk like it was this year.

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    I’m pretty confident that we can get by with Halladay, Lee and Hamels. We saw it this season – you won’t see many 3 game losing streaks or dropped series with a rotation that consists of three aces and that means we’ll be where we need to be in August/September. I think that Howard being out could help this team, in the long run. It makes us a little less reliant on the long ball… it puts more emphasis on that term we all hate (small ball). Who knows, maybe we start stealing bases again. Now imagine that we’re in first, playing good situational baseball and Howard returns for the stretch run… what a shot in the arm that would be!

    I don’t see the Marlings doing much… they have major internal issues and that pitching staff is too inconsistent behind Johnson. The Braves are going to trot out the same team next year, except there are major concerns in the rotation. Hanson finished the year with shoulder issues and Jurrjens has been mired with injuries over the past two seasons… oh yeah, and Derek Lowe stinks. That’s 3/5 of the starting rotation- so they might be forced to rely on Beachy/Minor/Teheran/Delgado… not a great situation. Freeman looks like he’s a good one but he’ll be a sophomore, who knows what’s going on with Heyward, Chipper is old and McCann is good but he’s a catcher which means he’s going to be dinged up. I just don’t see it. The Nats are improving but they’re probably a couple years (and a solid starting pitcher) away from being a serious contender. Strasburg and Jordan Zimmerman form a formidable 1-2 punch but Strasburg will be under a serious pitch restriction and Zimmerman is still young. The young guns are still learning how to play baseball the right way (Espinosa, Ramos and Desmond) and Bryce Harper looms on the horizon but I don’t think that it comes together this year… too young and too soon. Who knows, maybe Werth gives them a boost this year. Maybe Zimmerman stays healthy. Maybe Morse repeats… a lot of maybes.

    All that being said, I like our chances.

     
  • Posts: 2952 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    OCP, I see your point. But we didn’t exactly “get by” with Halladay, Lee and Hamels in the NLDS. Bottom line is that those guys can all go out and pitch 1 hitters but if we don’t score some runs we’ll be in trouble. I do like the idea of “small ball” though. Absolutely have to do it more.

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Well Teheran is suppose to be a good one. The Braves have a knack for pulling “some guy” from seemingly nowhere and Bam the next Venters is born. I think they will still compete and the Nats will improve slightly…The Braves dont seem like they want to spend much $$$ and Lowe appears to be their Albatross for another year. I still think that we will win the division except for a few teams the NL as a whole is somewhat weak…( this could change in offseason)….Our problems will lie once we reach the post-season and the bar gets raised….

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    At the trade deadline, I said to one of my friends, a Braves fan, … “the Braves almost looked willing to let the Phillies go all-in for this season and next …… but by keeping all your top pitching prospects, you guys just ensured another great run in the near future”

    My thought was that once Lowe and Hudson ..and Chipper hang it up … the Braves still have a ton of talent, and a whole lot of it will be pretty cheap, team controlled players ..

    Hanson, Jurrgens, Beachy, Minor… Teheran and Delgado.. with Freeman, Kimbrel, Heyward, Prado, … McCann is only like 28 years old .. Uggla singed a big deal, but nothing too crazy ..

    Basically, because their pitching staff will be relatively cheap, especially compared to the expected performance they’ll give you.. The Braves will be able to spend $$$ on one or two key Free Agents somewhere down the road … Matt Kemp … comes to mind. … Kemp, Eithier, Howie Kendrick and David Wright are all Free Agents (31 or younger) after NEXT season … thought Wright has a $16 M club option, with only a $1 M buyout ….Curtis Granderson also has an option after next year, $13 M with a $2 M buyout, he’ll be 32 years old

    Not sure that the Braves will go crazy, but THEY COULD … they’ll be in a better financial situation than most teams due to their young talent … (Nationals should be in the same boat)

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    For all this talk about how our offense needs to change…. I think that HEALTH plays a big, big part in production. and without a healthy Polanco, Pence, the guys that usually battle the most … it looked like they were both just wiped at the end of the season ..

    Obviously Howard needs to improve, but so many times in the NLDS I watched these guys take a called Strike 1 ….. Swing at a bad pitch for Strike 2 .. and either miss it, or roll it into the ground … Hitting the good pitches is more important than grinding through at bats …

    after winning 102 games, for people to say that this team “can’t win anything” just isn’t right..

     
    • Posts: 4542 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      I am for a change of approach, not a “do it this way, it’s the only way that works”. I want them to adjust on the fly to their situation. That would be like a QB not reading a defense in football, and just running your plays. I want our coaches and hitters to do what quarterbacks do- read the the pitcher. Obviously when a guy like Carpenter is throwing all first pitch fastball strikes, standing there looking at them is foolish. We should recognize that better than anyone, it’s the way most of our pitchers attack, at least the first time through the order. But what is even more foolish is swinging at the second pitch in an 0-1 count when you have a 50/50 chance it will be out of the zone. Obviously this is an oversimplification, it’s much more complicated, just making a point.

       
      • Posts: 0 Don M

        I agree… I just think are fans are oversimplifying stuff too with this “this team sucks” … “blow up the core to change the culture” etc …

        They won 102 games, despite a CRAZY amount of injuries this season … maybe the layoff hurt them after they clinched, but due to those injuries, it was the right thing to do .. Imigine if Pence, Utley, Rollins would’ve gone out for the postseason injuring something in games that didn’t matter …

        I just think this fan base is so over-reactionary.. and our problems aren’t that big

         
  • Posts: 4542 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    OCP- With all due respect, please tell me that you don’t really believe this.
    “He’s a tremendous mistake hitter and I, for one, would rather see him swing than NOT swing.”

    I have played and coached most of my life my friend, and I can tell you without any hint of doubt that – not swinging (being more selective), along with the ability to foul balls off- is the most effective way to get a pitcher to make those mistakes. This is what Amaro is talking about. Trust me, if more pitchers were (un-intentionally) walking him twice a game, they’d groove one for him one sooner or later, they’d have to. From April through mid August they didn’t have to, hence less mistakes. I was delighted to see him get a little more patient late in the season until the foot/ankle thing happened.
    I just completely disagree with your notion that being a high OBP guy is crazy to expect, it’s just the opposite friend, it would help his power numbers. In fact his best power season was the one that he had a .313 BA and .425 OBP, his highest ever.

     
  • Posts: 4542 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    During the same press conference that you reference Pat, Charlie also was asked if he thought the players listened to him. He was quite adamant that they do.

    That doesn’t jive with some of the other things he said like ” All those things he talks about, I talked about, I teach that…” and his other ramblings on how good a hitting coach he is.

    I hate to stay it, I like Charlie, but I really wonder if he understands what Ruben has told him.

     
    • Posts: 4542 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      I meant to say that if he is already teaching the new approach Ruben has spoken with him and GG about, and the guys do listen to him, what is going to change?

       
      • Posts: 45 artemis

        Avatar of artemis

        Nothing will change if this is the case. It’s called “denial”, its the first step to overcome in the grief process. The moment the manager and its team begin to stop denying their weaknesses and start to accept the need to change, then improvement will begin. I really like Charlie, but he has to be the first to step out of the denial stage because he is the team leader, he has to be the first to see and recognize his flaws. Painful lessons need to be learned and changes need to be done to improve, otherwise all the effort and the heartbreak this season will come to waste. Do you believe that the Phillies have the ability to learn and change? My answer is YES.

         
  • Posts: 0 George

    Finding the “best pitch to hit” is an approach that is so obvious it’s a laugh. What fans don’t understand is that many times that best pitch is the first of the at-bat, or is a pitch which early on that appears to be very hittable. Is the player to wait, then, for something better? Sometimes that better pitch never comes, especially when the pitcher is “on.”

    What the Phils need to improve on is actually reading the pitches correctly. Perhaps they need to study the scouting reports more. As for constantly “swinging for the fences,” I don’t think it’s the case. Sometimes, yes. But I’ve seen even Ryan Howard place base hits that plated runs.

     
    • Posts: 12 psujoe

      Avatar of psujoe

      So true. Carpenter threw 3 straight first pitch fastballs(actually meatballs) to start the game and not one swing. You can’t let the best pitch you’ll see go. Cards had 15 RBI after the first six games on 1st pitch hits. It’s not when you swing, it’s what you swing at, period.

      The Manager also has to stop this loyalty crap. It was obvious Polanco couldn’t swing the bat properly, Pence as well, but to a lessor degree. Mayberry should’vepinch hitted for Polanco in the 8th or even started inplace of Pence.

      Victorino is not a 5 hole hitter and putting him there only encourages him to over Swing. Likewise, Pence is not a 3 hole hitter.

      For the 3rd straight year I’d like to advocate for the Phils to try and sign Jamey Carroll to a one year deal. Would love to have a guy for a year with a .380+ OBP in the 1 or 2 hole. He comes cheap as well. A great 2b, SS and 3b option, IMO.

       
  • Posts: 2952 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    I think Charlie is a good hitting coach, Lefty. Problem is he has to focus on a thousand other things as the manager and can’t really devote the time and attention that’s really required to actually “coach”.

    My feeling is that the Phillies are possibly grooming Ryne Sandberg to take over for Charlie in two years when his contract is up. I think Sandberg could possibly be with the Phillies next year (I’ve heard some rumblings that Pete Mackanin could be in the mix for the Boston managerial job). If that’s true, what I’d like to see is Charlie delegating more and more responsibility to Sandberg, which might free him up to do some actual hands-on coaching. Of course, Sandberg knows a thing or two about hitting as well, so I can foresee a change in the offensive approach anyway.

    Is Greg Gross even relavant??…

     
    • Posts: 4542 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      Chuck I hope you are right about Charlie, because I do like him a lot. It’s just that that press conference made was worrisome. He was very defensive, maybe that’s just the competitor in him. Or- maybe he’s not on board with what Ruben is trying to tell him.

      I won’t post a link here because it was on a different/possibly competitive site, but if you google Charlie Manuel press conference someone has condensed it down from 25 minutes to 13. Personally, I was a bit shocked the way he almost seems to be in denial.

       
  • Posts: 31 Gavin

    Avatar of Gavin

    I don’t know what Manual teaches them, I’m sure he isn’t where he is for nothing. But he certainly made some stupid choices this NLDS.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I think that Theo Epstein will be under strong pressure to consider hiring Ryne Sandberg as the new coach of the Chicago Cubbies …

    Epstein as GM… Sandberg as Manager….. Prince Fielder as their new 1st baseman ???

    ….
    There is little doubt that Charlie isn’t the greatest X’s and O’s guy… and that Jimmy Williams and Davey Lopes added a lot to this team.. But i DEFINITELY believe that the 2011 team is better than the 2008 team, despite one winning the World Series, and one losing in the NLDS

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Kyle Lohse vs Randy Wolf today.

    2 guys that would be the Phillies 6th and 7th starters.

    I am a huge pitching and defense guy and over 162 games it really shines through.
    But in a short series hitting really comes into play. The last 2 years have shown that when you dont hit or score you cant win. Period. No matter how good your pitching and defense is.

    Does the team suck? No not close?
    But the lineup is old and stale. Was old after the Giants series. And older this year.
    The fact that out of the starting eight 6 are having surgery and 2 are going to a nursing home should be enough.
    Yes this line up must be completely changed. You will make the playoffs with a healthy Lee, Halladay and Hamels and fair bullpen.
    But when the playoffs come what do you expect if you keep bringing back the same old guys?
    Next year they are all older. Not younger. 30 something guys dont get better. They get worse and they get hurt more and more.
    No one can be or should be untouchable. You certainly dont want Jimmy back. Need a 3b and LF. I am fine with giving Brown a year in left. I wont bitch regardless of his play. Hes young.
    I think you shop Utley and shane and even Ruiz if he has value to other teams.
    And oh yea too bad the first baseman is owed $125,000,000.00 the next 5 years. That hampers things a bit with player movement.
    That was the Phillies choice though and not his fault.

    What was better the Braves 18 straight division titles and one world series? Or the Marlins never winning a division title but winning 2 world series?
    I will go with the Marlins run being superior. You measure it with titles. Not playoff failures. Id rather get 1 more title and not make playoffs for 15 years. Then make it 15 years in a row in the playoffs and never win the world series.

     
    • Posts: 0 Mark

      Don’t want Jimmy back? Then who? There are no good SS outside of Jose Reyes. Shop Utley?? And bring in who at 2nd base? Did you happen to see how good Chase was in the playoffs. The only thing I’d agree with is the Howard contract. It would take balls on Amaro’s part, but if Howard approaches what he did this past year they should look to dump him on any AL team looking for a DH. Howard will never live up to that contract.

       
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    @ Mark.
    Yes shop utley. Youd get something back for him. Preferably younger players.
    Glavis at SS.
    How many old guys do you want and how long do you want to keep them? Forever?
    The team has regressed 4 consecutive years with the same line up. Only they have ADDED pitching every year. How long is enough to see enough? I understand you guys are attached to your players. But its really enough. See when you lose players someone comes in.
    Trust me someone else will play first this year and knock in 100. Someone else can play SS or 2b and you can make the playoffs. They replace major leaguers with other major leaguers. It isnt going to be some hole in your line up. Hopefully young healthy hungry guys.

    Howard HAS NO VALUE. None. You have to PAY other teams to consider him. Meaning you pay 20 million of the 25 million for someone to take a flyer on him. Youd get nothing back for him. NOTHING. But saving 5 million in dead salary.

    That you over value the Phillies players doesnt mean another GM will.

    If the Phillies come back next year with the same old stale team and same manager unwilling to change anything about them ( this isnt 2008) its going to be a long year.

     
    • Posts: 0 Mark

      How is leading the league in wins for 2 years in a row regressing? They’ve gotten beat in the playoffs the last two years by great situational hitting. I agree this team needs to get younger, but how does trading Utley (who’s still one of the best second basemen in the game) help them? And Freddy Galvis may be ready right now w/ the glove, but absolutely no one thinks he’s ready w/ the bat. How exactly does that help the offense??

      Some of the comments make it seem like this is a team that barely made the playoffs. They lost an extremely close, short series against a team that matched up very well against them. They bring most of the core team back. Sure they need to get younger, but with Dom Brown, Freddy Galvis, Trevor May and Sebastian Valle waiting in the wings, there needs to be a little patience. Barring some drastic injuries to their pitchers, this team will make the playoffs again next year.

       
      • Posts: 0 Don M

        Mark,
        I couldn’t agree more … and part of this goes on what Theo Epstein just said …something along the lines of “it takes some luck to win a World Series, you hope to put yourself in a position to be a 95-win team, to be able to make the playoffs …. and for every 8 trips to the postseason, you hope to win ONE World Series .. ” (they managed to win 2 in a five year playoff run)

        Some people put too much emphasis on the fact that players are on the down-side of their career …. just because they aren’t “getting better” .. doesn’t mean that they aren’t effective major league players … as evidenced by their best record in the majors the past two seasons.

        Getting younger for the sake of being younger does not make sense when the rest of your team has propped open a window of opportunity … replacing Rollins with Galvis… or anyone with Domonic Brown .. WILL NOT HELP THEM NEXT SEASON …

         
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Problems arent that big?
    Injuries? So the old guys will get hurt less next year.

    2008 win WS
    2009 lose WS
    2010 lose NLCS
    2011 lose NLDS

    Yea the problems arent that big. You are winning.

    But there is a real regression that is easy to see. The next one is you dont make playoffs.
    You bring back basicly the same group and I think it will continue to the next logical place.

    They will be a year older more susceptable to injury. Not less.
    The steroid era is over. Old players dont get better or more healthy.
    The get worse and more hurt.

    Their came a day when Ted Williams and Babe Ruth no longer could play.
    When your whole team is in regression you have to change it up.

     
    • Posts: 4542 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      Good post Elmer,
      After watching Charlie’s press conference, I don’t think he sees it that way.- Or it’s a smokescreen.

      i’d say there came a day when I could no longer play too, but there are some would suggest that was the first day I ever played. :)

       
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Galvis plays short. He’s already defensively as good as Jimmy. Save that money and go get some offense. If Charlie really wants to change the hitting culture of the team, I think he can. If they don’t use their heads when they hit, then they can sit the bench. Utley has two years left at 15m per. If you could trade him for quality, I would do it. But no one is going to give you value and we don’t want/need minor leaguers.

    I say Ryan can have a better year next year. I think he know’s the jig is up. Can’t have the plate discipline of a 6 year old anymore.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 2952 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Andrew, I think they will change it up. JImmy possibly leaving will be the start. Galvis isn’t ready though. 2013 for him at the earliest.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Galvis had 19 errors in 137 games ….. Rollins had 7 errors in 138 games…

    Now I know that “errors” and “Fielding Percentage” etc.. aren’t everything, but Rollins is obviously more valuable DEFENSIVELY than he is with the bat … he’s one of the best DEFENSIVE SS’s – a premium position- in all of professional baseball ….. the fact that he manges to hit for a league-average Batting Average, Steal bases, hit some HR, etc … is a bonus

    you could replace Ryan Madson a lot easier than you can replace Jimmy Rollins

     
    • Posts: 0 Mark

      Exactly. I’ve come to love Madson as a closer (always thought he was capable even when others thought he didn’t have the closer mentality), but it’s hard to justify spending alot of money on a closer given that it’s one of the easier holes to fill cheaply (see Stutes, Bastardo, DeFratus, Schwimmer).

      I’m continuously suprised by how many Phillie fans don’t appreciate how good Rollins is defensively. His continuous pop-ups drive me crazy, but I’ll take him over what’s available.

       
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Phils have to start getting younger and if Rollins wants 5/50+ he’s gonzo. I just wouldn’t tie up the money. I didn’t realize Carroll played 37 games at SS this year. Seriously if you’re thinking of going with Galvis, Carroll makes a ton of sense as a stop gap, specially since you have a solid fielder in Valdez as your utility guy. You’re giving up a good bit of range if Galvis doesn’t work out:

    Carroll 3.24 chances/game, .981%
    Rollins 4.24 chances/game .988%

    Carroll is old, but we need him for 1 year. Here’s what I like

    .287 when ahead, .288 when even, .294 when behind. Just a solid hitter.
    .380+ OBP in the 1 and 2 hole is what this lineup needs.

    Not a great base runner, but 10-0 on SB.

    However, with that 10-12 million you can get upgrade 3B/LF.

     
  • Posts: 0 Psujoe

    Pointless Question:

    Would the Padres have traded Bell and Headley for:

    Brown
    Cosart
    PTBNL

    If so, would the Phils have been better off with Mayberry in RF and Headley at 3rd (plus another stud reliever) or Pence in RF and Polanco at 3B. Wishful thinking Polly would turn it around injured like that.

     
  • Posts: 2068 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    I did not catch the press conference, I did not want to see or hear the chatter of excuses or limp reasoning. It’s hard to accept, hard to imagine this team, even this lineup failing so miserably at the end.

    Reviewing the posts, I take from it that Cholly gave lip service to the point that changes are needed. I too do not believe that Cholly can or will change this teams approach. As much as Cholly has meant to this team, if he does not adjust to reality, he needs to move on. Hey, he has already earned a spot in the Phily HOF IMO. But, I don’t think he is capable of changes. Explained: Whoever has kids, you let the children do things a certain way and then whomp, you tell them they have to change – it ain’t easy. These are not kids, sure but this message and probably the messenger has to change.

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    I think people overeact to the last game.

    FACT – Phillies scored 329 runs post all star game which was tied for 2nd in the NL. (They were a lot lower in the first half).

    Being second in the league in runs scored does not sound like there is a problem.

    Of course, if you watch each and every pitch it always feels bad because even the best player is going to be out 70% of the time.

    Sure players could do better some of the time but the bottom line in baseball is scoring runs and the Phillies (with Pence) seem to be able to perform at a very competitive level. I mean, they won 102 games! What do other team’s fans think of their hitters when they face Halladay, etc?

    The only thing the Phillies need to do is start getting younger because many of these players are on the descending part of their career. But this is the price that was paid to “win now”.

     
  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Again.. “descending” only means so much .. Pujols isn’t getting better, but he’s still better than X-player “on the rise” …

    Rollins isn’t getting any better …. but is still better than almost every other option at SS

    Utley isn’t getting any better… but he’s already here, he’s our guy, he’s solid, etc … for people to suggest the Phillies trade him is just a waste of everyone’s time because you know it won’t happen … Getting younger for the sake of being younger isn’t the way to go when you’ve got a few years left of solid production from guys that have proven their worth here

     
 
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