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Manuel Full of Gusto as Spring Training Nears

Posted by Jay Floyd, Thu, January 24, 2013 07:00 AM | Comments: 132
News, Offseason, PN Interview, Posts

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel grows older each year, but you’d never know it from the gusto he exudes when talking about a new season ready to blossom. Decades of the baseball grind, thousands of miles worth of annual travel, countless ups and downs and the pressure that comes with coaching in the most demanding sports city in the nation simply don’t take a toll on the 69-year-old.

Appearing at the annual charity winter banquet held at Lakewood, NJ’s Woodlake Country Club on Wednesday, Manuel smiled and expressed considerable enthusiasm toward what’s to come. The baseball lifer, whose days in pro ball date back to 1963, beamed as though he was slated to begin his coaching career instead of heading into what some deem as potentially being his final year leading a team, as his contract is up following the season.

Manuel, who is entering his ninth season as the skipper of the Phils, is excited about many aspects of the current team, despite finishing last season with an 81-81 record, their first non-winning season in a decade, and missing the post-season for the first time since 2006.

A surplus of outfielders is where Manuel will focus plenty of his attention this spring. He has high hopes for off-season acquisitions Ben Revere and Delmon Young, but players like Domonic Brown, Darin Ruf, Laynce Nix and John Mayberry Jr. will likely be trying to prove themselves worthy of a spot in the lineup. Manuel thinks the competition may bring out the fire in each man trying to land steady at bats. He also expressed eagerness toward getting to the preseason schedule, so he can begin figuring out the right outfield formula.

“I think we’re gonna have some fun in spring training because all six of them are gonna get to play,” Manuel proclaimed.  And there’s things I like about every one of them and if we just get some consistency in the outfield, to me it doesn’t matter who’s out there, as long as they can perform and as long as we can score some runs.  We got some talent there to do it with.  I’m excited about it.  I want to get there and get it going and watch them play and see what happens.”

Also, this off-season, the Phillies added a duo of hitting coaches in Steve “Hendu” Henderson, who previously served as the organization’s minor league hitting coordinator, along with former big league All-Star Wally Joyner. Triple-A manager Ryne Sandberg, who was a Hall of Fame player, was also promoted to be the third base coach with the big league team.

According to Manuel, the team’s collection of coaches will help the offense as well by improving the hitters’ all-around mentality.

“I think between Hendu and Wally Joyner and Ryne Sandberg and myself, I think, and with Utley and Rollins and some of the guys on our team (who are) already good hitters, I think we should be able to establish an atmosphere where we love to hit and have a lot of fun. We’ll be offensive minded and we’ll really enjoy playing the game,” Manuel stated.

Stressing the focus on the team’s bats, Manuel said that the health of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, two main cogs during the Phillies’ five-year run of division titles, who were each injured for lengthy stretches last season, would be very important to the club. He also expressed that the addition of third baseman Michael Young was something the team needed. All three men are former All-Stars with substantial post-season experience.

It’s not just the offense that will carry the Phillies in 2013, according to Manuel. There’s another aspect of the roster that has the Phils’ skipper fired up.

“I’m excited about our team and we have a chance to have a big offensive team. But even more, probably, I’m excited about our young bullpen,” Manuel said with a grin.

Asked to describe his thoughts on the team’s collection of young relievers, Manuel offered three words: Big time potential.

“We got a whole bunch of guys. We got (BJ) Rosenberg, we’ll get (Mike) Stutes back, we got (Jeremy) Horst, we got (Raul) Valdes, we got (Antonio) Bastardo, we got (Phillippe) Aumont, and we got (Justin De Fratus), we got (Jake) Diekman. And if Adams is healthy and if he’s slated in the 8th inning for us, we still can use Bastardo on lefties definitely, in the 7th and the 8th. And I look for the young guys, after about a month or two months after the season starts, you’re gonna see our bullpen become a big time bullpen because we have a lot of talent,” Manuel stated.

Add in enthusiasm about his starting pitchers as well as the depth of his infield and Manuel is more than happy with the current Phillies roster and thinks that things can certainly improve from last season’s disappointing finish.

“The goal is always the World Series. We can do it. I want us to be better than we’ve ever been.”

________________________

**Other quotes from Charlie…

Speaking on the collection of prospects that were announced as non-roster invitees to spring training on Wednesday:

“I talked to them all last week.  I saw Asche hit in the Arizona Fall League on TV, in the All-Star Game, and that’s why I watched the whole game.  He got a hit, hard line drive to right field, he looked like a good hitter.  He’s a bigger kid than I thought he was on TV.  When I saw him on TV, I was guessing he was 6-foot or 5’11″, but he’s bigger and he swings the bat good.  And those other guys, that I met, they’ll all get to play in spring training.  We’ll play them all and we’ll send some of our guys over and play minor league games and things too.”

When asked how he felt about the signing of outfielder Delmon Young this week:

“I was excited (about Delmon Young) because I’ve known him quite a while.  I saw him in (the South Atlantic League) when he first signed.  I think he was with Charleston.  But he’s a good hitter, he’s a good clutch hitter, he’s good with men on base and late in the game.  He’s gonna help us. We’re gonna go to spring training and play him in right field, get him back to the place on defense to where he was about three years ago.”

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  • Posts: 436 Ian Riccaboni

    Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

    Great stuff, Jay.

    The one take away I got from this: Ender Inciarte is headed back to AZ. Sad because he could be a fantastic utility outfielder/pinch runner and can swing the bat well, too.

     
    • Posts: 305 Jay Floyd

      Avatar of Jay Floyd

      Honestly, Ian…I would be surprised if Charlie even knew Inciarte’s name right now. I am sure he’s aware there’s a Rule 5 pick that needs to get a look, but after they acquired Revere, I think Inciarte being offered back to AZ was a forgone conclusion. The Phils will just hope the team declines, so they can hang onto him, like they did with Victorino.

       
  • Posts: 120 Dave P

    Avatar of Dave P

    So months ago I posted – “The phillies should sign BJ Upton and trade for his brother Justin”

    ….now the braves have done just that.

     
    • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      ….and your point is……???…..

       
      • Posts: 120 Dave P

        Avatar of Dave P

        We are heading into the season with question marks in the outfield while the braves have strengthened theirs, so now we have to deal with stiffer competition within the division. If the braves could pull this move off, the Phillies likely could have as well.

        To think that the strength of a team within your division isn’t relevant to the Phillies is preposterous.

         
      • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        Maybe they could have and maybe not. WE really don’t know for sure. But maaaaybe the Phillies felt that a situation like that wasn’t/isn’t in their best interests. BJ was too much money for what he is and Justin would have cost too much in a trade. An Upton/Upton combo is nice but it’s ceratainly no guarantee.

         
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        You’re right, Chuck – an Upton/Upton combo is no guarantee if by that you mean it doesn’t guarantee that Atlanta will beat out Washington for first place in the East.

        As for the cost, the Phillies are giving up something like $100,000 per shed pound to a beached whale who they expect to start in right field and whose hitting stats over the last two years are inarguably less impressive than those of Dom Brown. By the time Delmon Young gets down to a size closer to the Uptons – and by that I mean the weight of both Uptons together, he’ll be making $20 million a year in incentive bonuses and still stink as a fielder.
        With each new move in the outfield (and trusting the positive health news on Utley and Howard about as much as I trust the health news on Andrew Bynum) I’m starting to reevaluate my expectation for a 3rd place finish this year.

         
    • Posts: 0 William Rennick

      I’m a little surprised they gave up Prado, but it’s still a great trade for the Braves. The Phillies didn’t have the pieces to make this deal – they already gave them up to bring in Oswalt & Pence.

       
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        That’s probably a fair assessment.
        And not a promising one considering the team has nearly as many holes as the Eagles starting twenty-two right now.
        It seems RAJ is living in a nether world, neither competing for a playoff position this year nor rebuilding for a future winner.
        If it’s not already too late, I’d give up on third place this year and trade any starters they can dump (and other teams can afford) while their aging talent and ever-growing list of journeyman still have value, and in return, buy themselves the twenty most promising minor leaguers available in return.
        As a fan, I could live with that move sooner than with lingering mediocrity.

         
  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    Speaking about the possibility of the Uptons coming to Philly. Tampa Bay and Phoenix are two entirely different atmospheres and both are more similar to Atlanta, but far from Philly. The Uptons generally are very talented but spoilted athletes. B.J., worse of a spoiled athlete than Justin. NO WAY would the Philly fans tolerate B.J.’s lapses in his hustle and in his professionalism. Justin is a better hitter and a solid fielder, but the fans’ expectations for him in Philly would be off the charts. Philadelphia would be a less-than-desirable venue for these two brothers. However, it might be the perfect landing place of a talented and underachieving player like Delmon Young. He may feel that he has something BIG to prove to the world of baseball and Philly fans may provide the needed impetus for him to do just this.

     
    • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      Agreed that D Young has something to prove. And I think professionals like Utley, Howard, Rollins, Lee, Halladay, Hamels, etc. won’t tolerate his BS either.

       
    • Posts: 427 Publius

      Avatar of Publius

      Oh man, good thing the Phillies avoided going after two very good players and instead went after a below average one! Excellent analysis as always Bart.

       
      • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        Again….BJ was too expensive (5/75??? No thanks) and Justin would have cost too much in a trade. If they would have gotten one of these guys…let alone both….guys like you would have b!tched about that, too.

         
      • Posts: 427 Publius

        Avatar of Publius

        I’m also a Mariner fan, and I was pissed when JUpton vetoed that trade. Both Upton brothers got a deal that either reflected their value (BJ) or got a package which was a hilarious underpayment (Justin). If the Phillies made either move I would’ve been very happy.

         
      • Posts: 5195 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        Yeah it’s probably Bart’s fault that Justin Upton publicly humiliated your Mariners when he dissed them with the NTC, right Pubsy?

        Must be rough to be on your own board right now, so you show up here to throw punches.

        He has a right to his opinion, the same as you. “Excellent analysis” with a call out? That’s just brutal man, totally unnecessary. But you already knew that and did it anyway.

        CHARACTER:
        a : one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual

         
      • Posts: 0 psujoe

        I think the Dbacks got the better end of the deal. Prado is a better hitter than Upton away from their home ballparks. They get a 22 year old starter, a stud AA pitching prospect and their eventual starting SS. Phillies coudn’t offer close to the Braves package.

         
      • Posts: 1135 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        lol PSUJOE.

        Of all the people evaluating this trade very, very few of them think the Dbacks got the best of it here.

        From Jeff Passan’s (no fan of the statistical minded approach) article on the trade:

        “He hit 31 home runs and posted an .898 slugging percentage. In baseball history, 12 outfielders had that many homers and that high an OPS in their age-23 season: Andruw Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez, Juan Gonzalez, Jose Canseco, Reggie Jackson, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Duke Snider, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and Mel Ott.

        Teams don’t trade that guy.

        [...]

        The result is a fascinating experiment: a team stressing culture over talent. [...] a consensus of scouts and sabermetric wonks agree: In both trades, Arizona sacrificed one for the other.”

         
      • Posts: 0 psujoe

        It’s easy to pick out one statistical outlier like that guy. it’s clear that Justin Upton doesn’t do very well away from the Desert. he’s a .250 hitter with an OPS of .731 in a large sample of over 1500 plate appearences. Prado has a .283 average with a .753 OPS away from Atlanta in a large sample of 1441 PAs. In other words Prado is performed better. Prado can play 3B to boot. So, IMO, very little downgrade in hitting, but the Dbacks picked up a 22 year starting pitcher and 3 pretty good prospects as well. it would be like the Phils trading utley, Biddle, Galvis, Worley, Asche plus more for Upton and Johnson.

         
    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      At the moment, the biggest thing that Delmon Young has to show is his backside.
      Give me a couple of spoiled talents in the outfield and have them room with Michael Young.
      Maybe he can help turn them into the superstars that, given the right atmosphere and guidance, one or both could become.

       
  • Posts: 0 Dave

    On paper, the Phillies have the 3rd best team in their division. Some big things will have to happen during the season for the Phillies to be better than the Braves or Nats.

     
    • Posts: 427 Publius

      Avatar of Publius

      If the Mets sign Bourn, the Phils would be close to the 4th best, and would have the worst OF in the NL East

       
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        Between the foot-work and glove-work of Ruf and Young and the arm of Revere, we may see a few singles go for inside-the-park home runs.
        Always an exciting play.

         
  • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

    divisions aren’t won on paper! or did you forget , they have to play the games.

     
    • Posts: 0 Dave

      Of course I didn’t forget. There are slumps, injuries, etc. But I also haven’t forgotten how inconsistent the Phillies lineup was last season and they’ve done nothing to address it. Their lineup is missing power, speed and the ability to work counts. Other than that, it should be wonderful.

       
      • Posts: 0 George

        Nothing to address the inconsistent lineup? What about hiring TWO new hitting coaches? And if I’m not mistaken Ben Revere is noted for speed, which you say was lacking, too. I’m also pretty sure that Michael Young, even in decline, has more power than Placido Polanco ever did. And more power will return with a healthy Ryan Howard.

         
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        As down on this team’s makeup as I am (and boy am I ever down) I actually like having Michael Young here. Yes, he’s 110 years old and can’t hold a glove to Polanco but he’s the kind of player that won a pennant for the Phillies back in 1993.

        I’d happily take three more of him in the outfield.

         
      • Posts: 0 Dave

        Well, I don’t put much faith in hitting coaches. Could Greg Gross hit? Yes. Could Milt Thompson hit? Yes. But yet, they didn’t seem to make a difference as a coach. If the players don’t take your advice, it could be Tony Gwynn or Stan Musial and it wouldn’t change anything. As for the players they’ve added…Young, Young, and Revere…I don’t believe any of them have a good OBP, none of them have real power and only one of them has speed. Michael Young could hit 10-15 homers i guess, and Delmon Young could hit 20 maybe, but that’s a stretch. Revere has no power at all. As for speed, outside of Revere and Rollins, who’s going to steal bases on this team? I guess you could say they have average speed if Brown learns how to run the bases, but it’s certainly not a strength. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        Dave:

        Just because you don’t put much faith in hitting coaches doesn’t mean the Phils did nothing to address their inconsistent lineup.

        And as far as power and speed, I’d have to say that last year there was less of either. So that’s been addressed with Revere, if only to bring the team up to average in speed. Brown will likel;y play more, too, and that’s more speed, even if it’s not base-stealing speed, which isn’t the only place where good running helps. I didn’t see power last year out of anyone; no one hit the 15 or 20 homeruns that you think the Youngs could produce. Pence hit some, but he was only one guy, not two. And you are still leaving out Howard, who has always been the primary power source for the Phils. In other words, the lineup, to me, is going to produce more this year; that management did, in fact, address some weaknesses. I can’t help it if you don’t think they did it properly.

         
      • Posts: 0 Dave

        I’m not as down on the team as some, but I also don’t think the offense will be much improved. Most of the comments have been negative regarding the lineup. You are one of the few people I have heard who think it will be better. Not saying you’re wrong though – it will be interesting to see what happens. Amaro went for the inexpensive fix this year. I was actually one of the few people that was happy when they traded for Michael Young. I think Delmon Young could be a good signing, but there’s alot of if’s there. And Revere is supposed to have blazing speed. Still not big on hitting coaches though:-) Have a good one!

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        I think the most likely scenario for the offense is that it will be about the same as in 2012, i.e. within about 15 runs for the year.

        Looking at it by position, the biggest changes are likely to be at Catcher and CF which will probably be worse, and at First and Second which should benefit from more time in the lineup from Howard/Utley. Howard should also be expected to be better than last year. Those are my expectations, but who knows? Time will tell.

         
      • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

        nice going dave you brought a smile to my face. i like that comeback ( it should be wonderful). ahh the way i see it dave, is they’re in a transitional rebuild. it is what it is. as they say! whoever the hell they are! some day i wanna meet them, or they, or whoever

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        Dave, my point was to debate your statement that the Phils did nothing to address the lineup. It may, indeed be very similar to last years offense.

        I do, however, think it will do better. How much better is hard to say. As you put it, “lots of ifs.”

        To tell the truth, my faith in hitting coaches is limited, too. But obviously Phils management has at least some confidence in them. And anything would be better than Greg Gross; a cardboard cutout could have a greater effect on Ryan Howard’s pitch selection.

        In some cases, I think hitting coaches do help, but it has to be the right coach. Terry Pendleton seemed to have a really positive effect on the Braves of the nineties; the same could be said of the Card’s current coaches.

        I’d like to know your thoughts on pitching coaches, and if you have faith in them, your reasons for not having the same faith in hitting coaches.

         
    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      Then they shouldn’t sign cardboard players.

       
  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    Sorry my analysis offends you, Publius. But come July you will see that the Braves paid too much for both Uptons. Why would Arizona be interested in moving Justin? Morover, I visit Phoenix, Atlanta and Tampa Bay every year to be with old buddies who retired around the same time I did. They are baseball fans and transplanted Philadelphians. We ALWAYS visit while the teams are playing at home. The atmosphere at those stadiums is nothing like CBP, in fact the excitement is light to say the least. You would be disappointed with both Upton brothers. They are not the answer for us based on the cost. Amaro made a good deal for Delmon Young, especially based on what he paid. In the meantime, keep the faith and keep your temper.

     
    • Posts: 0 Dave

      I will say one thing…5 guys in the Braves lineup struck out over 120 times last year (BJ Upton 169, Uggla 168, Heyward 152, Freeman 129, Justin Upton 121). That’s 739 K’s. That will be one weakness in the Braves lineup.

       
      • Posts: 427 Publius

        Avatar of Publius

        There is literally no statistical relationship between team strikeouts and overall runs:

        http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/justin-upton-the-braves-and-their-strikeouts/

        In other words, it’s not much of a weakness

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        That could be debated. Most lineups don’t have 5 guys who strike out that much.

         
      • Posts: 427 Publius

        Avatar of Publius

        Ok, let’s debate this.

        Stance A: Teams filled with lots of players who strike out, will have trouble scoring runs. I submit no proof, but I just think it makes logical sense.

        Stance B: There is no mathematical correlation between team strikeout percentage and runs scored in the last 15 years of baseball.

        Well that was fun!

         
      • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        Were you debating yourself?

         
      • Posts: 427 Publius

        Avatar of Publius

        Well I wrote on behalf of George there for stance A

         
      • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        Except that maybe he has a point.

         
      • Posts: 427 Publius

        Avatar of Publius

        A point with absolutely no proof or backing, sure

         
      • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        Fair enough…we’ll just have to see what ACTUALLY happens.

         
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        Not much of a weakness statistically but at least those guys will look bad (like Schmidt) between a rash of doubles, triples and 3-run homers on the way to an NL East title.

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        My point has obviously openned a debate that I think is silly. I only wanted to point out that some teams have had really high K rates, but that some of them have had only one or two guys that contributed to the total, guys like Howard or Reynolds that supplied their teams with about 200 Ks all by themselves.

        I would wonder if perhaps a team with one or two guys with huge totals can produce runs at a higher rate than a team with five guys with what may not be huge totals, but very high totals. In other words, Howard could strike out, but the next guy might not have such a high K rate and get a hit, whereas, if B.J Upton whiffs, Uggla might be behind him, and whiff, too.

        There’s still probably little relation between K rate and run scoring capability, but I think there’s still a real possibility that five guys could have a slightly higher effect.

        Remember, I only said it COULD be debated. I’ve read all the arguments, but I still don’t know whether the matter has been broken down to the extent it should be. That’s the trouble with some stats; they’re general, not specific. I’m with Chuck A here: we’ll just have to see what happens.

         
      • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

        Publius i didn’t go to your link that you posted. but ill say this. a lot of people complain about the amount of times howard strikes out. yet i get the feeling that you think the braves strikout totals won’t mean anything in run production, yet people get down on howard for the amount of times he stikes out. and i admit i also get that way at times. but he’s just one player in the lineup. if i recall the phils struck out a lot less than people think last year and they’re run production was (meh). schmenkman could probably clear that up.
        but i think having what was it five guys who strike out 120+ times has got to hurt an offense, i would think. i could be wrong though.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        It might be elsewhere in this very thread, but yeah – the Phillies had the…

        Fewest strikeouts in the NL in 2012
        Second fewest Ks in 2011

        I for one would expect the Ks to have a minimal impact on their run scoring.

         
      • Posts: 427 Publius

        Avatar of Publius

        Chuck said: “Fair enough…we’ll just have to see what ACTUALLY happens.”

        Even if the Braves have the most strikeouts and fewest runs in modern baseball history, it STILL won’t be enough to make the relationship significant. One data point does not suddenly invalidate almost 20 seasons’ worth of data. It would be just as significant to say the reason the Braves are good/bad is because they play in Georgia, not their strikeouts (because neither ultimately matters)

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        Publius, I don’t think Chuck was refering to the “big picture” but only to the results this year.

        I could be reading things wrong, but I also think you have a bit of an attitude in your comments, as if most of us are inferior. I’m not saying this to be nasty, because I realize that sometimes it’s hard to refrain from being blunt when you feel you’re in the right. I’m only pointing this out because many times we’re unaware of how emails can’t communicate too many inflections or facial expressions (none of us can see a smile or an eye gleam in an email) and must be worded in a really rather bland manner. I’ve been unaware myself, at times, and received more than a few complaints.

         
      • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        My “Fair enough….we’ll just have to see what ACTUALLY happens” comment was meant to actually acknowledge that maybe Pubes has a point.

        BUT…. that the games have to be played…ON THE FIELD, NOT ON PAPER.

        And, yes, George…you are correct in your assessment of Publius’ approach. It can sometimes be condescending, demeaning and attitudinal.

         
      • Posts: 5195 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        Sometimes?

         
  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    If you take a look at Justin Upton and Delmon Young you will find that their offensive stats are very similar. But there is a BIG difference in what they will be paid. If our goal was to seek high potential for a discounted price, then Amaro hit the nail on the head by signing Young.

     
    • Posts: 427 Publius

      Avatar of Publius

      Delmon Young, the last 2 years: .267/.299/.403, 89 OPS+, -1.4 WAR
      Justin Upton, the last 2 years: 284/.363/.481, 125 OPS+, 7.8 WAR

      How the HELL are those two lines anywhere CLOSE to being “very similar”?

      Also, that’s not counting the gaping chasm between them when it comes to defense

       
      • Posts: 0 William Rennick

        I think Bart was just being facetious.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        In case Bart was not being facetious, I’m going to try to get from what he sees, to what I see.

        Young has played pretty much full time since 2007, and Upton since 2008.

        So let’s compare the 5 years since 2008. I think Bart sees this:

        Upton: .281 AVG, 106 HR, 352 RBI, 139 doubles in 688 games
        Young: .282 AVG, 73 HR, 379 RBI, 138 doubles in 688 games

        I can see where if you only looked so far, they look very similar.

        The difference comes in when you look at walks and OBP.

        Upton: 10.3 BB%, .361 OBP
        Young: 4.3 BB%, .316 OBP

        That difference in OBP is HUGE. There were 507 players with at least 500 plate appearances over the last 5 years:
        Upton was 56th best out of those 507 in OBP;
        Young was 325th.

        Or just looking at the 211 outfielders with 500+ PAs:
        Upton was 23rd.
        Young was 148th.

        So when you add up all of of their contributions as hitters, with wOBA (and wRC+ to normalize for league and park), you get this:

        Upton: .364 wOBA, 120 wRC+ (20% better than the league, even after adjusting for his more hitter-friendly home park)
        Young: .322 wOBA, 98 wrC+ (2% worse than the league average)

        Using OPS and OPS+ isn’t as accurate but gives similar results:
        Upton: .842 OPS, 120 OPS+
        Young: .743 OPS, 100 OPS+

        Young, as a hitter, is not in the same league as Upton.

        Never mind the huge differences defensively and on the bases (hence the difference in WAR).

         
      • Posts: 0 Double Trouble Del

        The problem with much of your analysis is that sabermetrics appears to be your SOLE basis for decision-making and/or evaluation, an almost too sterile approach. I believe in utilizing game theory in which multiple variables would need to be considered including, but not limited to, change in playing venues, change in teammates, change in coaching, motivation etc. P.S. try not to be so condescending and angry, you’ll live longer. Valete Publius.

         
      • Posts: 0 rdc

        are you serious? how was he angry? or wrong?

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        DTD, the above post was just about the past. It’s true, those things (change in venue, teammates, coaching, motivation, etc.) COULD have an effect on his 2013 season. I just don’t know why anyone would assume that they would (were things really so bad in Minnesota and Detroit), or that they would have enough of an impact to turn a bad baseball player into a good one. Has it happened before? Sure. Is it likely to happen in each case? I don’t think so.

        In fact, those things could have no effect at all, and he could still improve this season because, on average, 27 is one of a hitter’s best years, and after a couple of bad years maybe he’s due for a bit of a bounce back. But I think of the future as a bell curve, with the most likely scenarios in the middle, and less likely scenarios on the low and high end. What’s most likely is that he’ll be a little better than the last two years, but still not very good (about average hitting, i.e. below average for a corner OF, with bad defense offsetting much of his offensive contribution).

        Finally, if the previous post came across as angry, all I can say is it wasn’t written in that frame of mind, but that can get lost sometimes in the written word.

         
  • Posts: 0 hk

    Dave,

    There’s almost no correlation between MLB offenses’ K’s and run scoring. E. Seidman or Schmenkman, please provide the numbers again.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      There is some correlation. For 2002-12, I calculate that there was -0.32 correlation between a team’s runs scored and their K%, meaning that a lower strikeout is correlated to higher scoring at 0.32.

      That’s higher than the correlation between more runs and…

      -0.06 = more stolen bases

      But lower than the correlation between more runs and…

      0.40 = hitting fewer grounders
      0.47 = drawing more walks
      0.70 = hitting more home runs
      0.79 = higher batting average
      0.88 = higher OBP
      0.91 = higher slugging
      0.95 = higher OPS
      0.95 = higher wOBA

       
      • Posts: 427 Publius

        Avatar of Publius

        Here’s a graph from the article I linked earlier. Note the miniscue r-squared:

        http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/diffstrikeouts.png

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Yeah, I just saw that. It’s measures something different from what I listed above, but it’s very telling –i.e. that a team’s strikeouts have essentially no bearing on how many runs they score.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        The Phillies had the fewest Ks in the NL last year, and the 2nd fewest the year before. But I didn’t hear many people talk about what a “strength” that was for them.

         
    • Posts: 0 Dave

      Hk,

      I see the Braves not manufacturing many runs, but getting them quickly and in bunches with the long ball (much like the Phillies used to do). I want to see how this strategy of loading your team up with mashers will work for Atlanta. Removing Prado gives them no real leadoff man either…I’m guessing they go with B.J….

       
      • Posts: 0 William Rennick

        The people who cover the team seem to think it will be Andrelton Simmons batting leadoff.

         
      • Posts: 0 hk

        Dave,

        I hear what you are saying, especially in light of the Braves effectively swapping Michael Bourn for BJ Upton. However, yesterday they acquired a “masher” in Upton who also happens to have a higher career OBP than Prado, so the trade with Arizona does not really fit the narrative of mashers over run manufacturers as much.

         
  • Posts: 305 Jay Floyd

    Avatar of Jay Floyd

    On this day, I am a fan of @Publius

     
    • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      He makes decent enough points, I guess (although I wasn’t in favor of the Uptons coming here)…but he’s pretty snot-nosed about it in the process. I am NOT a fan of that…on this day or any day.

       
      • Posts: 1135 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        Maybe he just has a cold. There’s a lot of that going around, you know.

         
  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    I still say that for the money (investment) that the Phillies got a decent deal. Is Justin Upton better? This I concede. If he were so great then the Diamondbacks would not have been so eager to trade him. I am glad we had this discussion but my point still resides in the fact that the Uptons will cost the Braves dearly. Young will not cost us that much and Amaro did a decent job if in fact staying within the budget (luxury tax) was a major obstacle. The proof will be in the play of Justin Upton and Young.

     
  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    Justin Upton is a $38,000,000 commitment for the Braves over the next three years. Delmon Young is AT BEST a $3,500,000 commitment (and at worse $750,000) next year. BIG BIG DiFFErEncE.

     
    • Posts: 427 Publius

      Avatar of Publius

      Yes, bad players are often paid significantly less than good ones. What exactly are you getting at?

       
      • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        The point Bart is getting at is that ….FOR THE COMMITMENT OF MONEY…Young may (and I say may) be a better value.

         
      • Posts: 1135 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        Except Young quite likely has negative value, both because his contributions in the field are so bad and because playing him at the expense of other players who are better than him (Brown, Mayberry, possibly Ruf) worsens your team.

        So, paying any money for a guy who is going to decrease the performance of your team by taking up a roster spot is not worth it, even if it is just $750,000 plus $600k in not-fat bonuses, plus nearly a million more in roster bonuses.

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        EricL,

        It’s quite possible that if Young is taking at bats away from Brown and others it would be because he’s playing better than those guys.

        Young was signed as depth. He still has to win the position.

        (Please note that I’m not saying that Young won’t be a negative; just that it’s POSSIBLE that he won’t be.)

         
      • Posts: 0 EricL

        Amaro has all but anointed Young the starting right fielder.

        Under no circumstances should Delmon Young be starting anywhere. Hell, John Mayberry is better than Young, so even if Brown isn’ t in the conversation Young is STILL taking playing time away from guys who are better than he is.

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        So what if Amaro said that BS about starting Young in RF. “All but” still contains that “but;” it’s not a guarantee. If Young exhibits bad habits in the spring isn’t it likely that he’ll still be dumped? Besides which, C. Manuel is still the on-field manager, and there are two hitting coaches and fielding gurus, and they’ll certainly have input on the situation.

         
      • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        I guarantee you that if D. Brown and D. Ruf WAY out-play D. Young in Florida that they will be in the starting line-up on Opening Day.

         
      • Posts: 0 EricL

        Chuck, spring training is such a small sample size against a bunch of AAA pitchers and guys working on certain pitches or their stamina as to be useless as a predictor of regular season success. Hector Luna was one of the best offensive players last spring, for example.

        The point being, even if Young somehow outplays Ruf and Brown this spring it’s irrelevant and he still shouldn’t be starting.

         
      • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        Hector Luna. That is a ridiculous and terrible example. Hector Luna, before appearing last Spring, had 801 PAs in his career and missed the ENTIRE 2009 and 2011 MLB seasons. And in 2007, 2008 and 2010 he had but 77 PAs. Virtually no success at the big league level before that. He’s a AAA player and that’s it. I’m not saying Delmon Young is Babe Ruth reincarnated but he’s light years ahead of Hector Luna.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Chuck, I think the point was not to compare Luna and Young, but just that anyone can look good for 25 or 30 games, and it’s nearly meaningless.

         
      • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        Yeah, schmenk, I get your point. 25-30 games in Florida isn’t much to go on to guage what a team has or doesn’t have. But Hector Luna looked really good last spring and started the year at AAA because he’s a AAA player. The team had no use for him at the time except to wait in the wings for an opportunity. Delmon Young has a LOT more success in the big leagues and, if he looks as good as Luna did last year, will not only make the team but probably an Opening Day start, especially if Brown and.or Ruf is terrible. But he still has to play well enough to keep his job. If D. Young sucks through the first month of the season I highly doubt that Charlie’s gonna run him out there every night just because Ruben said something that Eric interpreted as his being “annointed” the right fielder.

         
  • Posts: 0 wbramh

    The Braves may have the Upton brothers but we have Delmon Young.
    Excuse me. I’m going to be sick.

     
    • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      I’ll make sure that I don’t stand in front of you at the parade.

       
    • Posts: 5195 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      “The Braves may have the Upton Brothers but we have Delmon Young.” You make it sound like they have Ruth and Cobb, and we have one fat guy.

      I understand your feelings. But RA Jr. has said at least 100 times, we have built a team around our pitching. “We’re going to have to pitch it and pick it.”

      So yeah, we have Delmon Young, and – Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels as the top three starters, three of the top ten in the Major Leagues, (MLB Network Top ten Right now) and the fine young bullpen led by vets Mike Adams and J Papebon.

      So yeah, we have Delmon Young-, and Darin Ruf, Dom Brown, John Mayberry Jr, Laynce Nix, and Ben Revere are the outfield.

      So Yeah, we have Delmon Young-, And Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Michael Young are the infield.

      The leadership of this team has made up it’s mind that this is the way to build a champion. They may be horribly wrong, or this may be the team that played so well in the second half of the year last year or won 102 games the year prior. No one knows.

      I asked this before and will again- Is it April yet? Because I can hardly wait.

       
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        “So yeah, we have Delmon Young-, and Darin Ruf, Dom Brown, John Mayberry Jr, Laynce Nix, and Ben Revere are the outfield.”

        And collectively they may put up Willie Mays’ career numbers.

        Okay, so I may be a little pessimistic.

         
      • Posts: 5195 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        You and 90% of Phillies fans right now, it’s completely understandable. I just choose the optimistic route. There were people like me in Baltimore and Oakland last year at this time, and everyone thought they were out of their minds. At least we have some superior players to back my positive take up. They had very little to bank on. I mean Josh Reddick? Brandon Moss, Jim Johnson?, these guys just break out some times.

        Maybe our break out guy is Darin Ruf, the fifth rated first base prospect by Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com. Or maybe a late bloomer like Brown or Mayberry, who knows? Having the Upton brothers along with Heyward does indeed give them an awesome looking outfield, but they haven’t won anything yet. The old saying is that they play it on grass, not on paper.

         
  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    Let’s all keep a cool head. It is just baseball. We are lucky to have something to get excited about, argue about and blow off some steam about. I try to be optimistic in the face of common sense.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ron

    Has anyone looked at J Uptons home vs road splits last year?

    Home:
    .313/ ,390/ .534 11 HR 47 RBI

    Road:
    .252/ .326/ .344 6 HR 20 RBI

    I think we really need to take into account the kind of padding playing half his games in Arizona has had on his overall stats, its like playing in Colorado! Everyone noted this when the Phils were interested in Dexter Fowler…

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      It has come up here. For his career it’s:

      home: .307/.389/.548 (.937 OPS, 138 wRC+)
      away: .250/.325/.406 (.731 OPS, 96 wRC+)

      This article argues that in spite of that, he’s not just a product of Chase Field:

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/justin-upton-is-not-a-park-effect-mirage/

      He has actually struggled the most in NL Central parks Road OPS by division:

      .746 – NL East (311 PAs, .340 BABIP)
      .585 – NL Central (365 PAs, .247 BABIP)
      .762 – NL West (686 PAs, .300 BABIP)
      .892 – AL (172 PAs, .429 BABIP)

       
      • Posts: 0 psujoe

        Prado has better road numbers than Upton.

        Everyone raving about the Braves moves but is Upton/Upton/heywood/Johnson better than Prado/Bourne/Haywood/Chipper? they’re also down Hanson and Delgado as starters.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        psujoe, I agree they haven’t improved much there. The biggest improvement will likely be in having a full season of Simmons at short.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        (which hk already stated below)

         
      • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

        hey schmenk. i personally think the big sleeper in this trade that nobody is talking about is the stud third basemen johnson. i think he has a brealout year and puts up big power numbers. if i remember the D-backs got him from houston. i remember telling my son i wish the phils had aquired him cause he’s gonna be a force.

         
      • Posts: 0 psujoe

        Duren, Johnson is Ok, but he’s never hit more than 16 hrs at 28 after 4 years in the league. Can’t really expect too big a jump.

         
    • Posts: 0 William Rennick

      Keith Law: “Way too much has been made of Upton’s home/road splits; talented players in extreme parks often produce extreme splits where neither half measures their true talent, with Matt Holliday a solid recent example. Upton’s ability to hit and hit for power has never been tied to the ballpark but rather to his bat speed, his wrist acceleration and his eye at the plate.

      If he is healthy in 2013 and gets some support from his new coaching staff, he should become a top-10 player in the league again, and at an average of just under $13 million a year for the next three seasons, he’ll be a relative bargain for his new employers.”

       
      • Posts: 0 hk

        psujoe,

        Leaving out Heyward, who is in both equations, I would say that Upton + Upton + Johnson / Juan Francisco should produce approximately the same as Bourn + Prado + Chipper next year. However, that analysis leaves out the fact that the Braves will have Andrelton Simmons at SS for the whole season instead of some combination of Paul Janish, Jack Wilson and Tyler Pastornicky. Simmons produced 2.2 WAR in 182 PA’s as compared to the other three, who combined to produce -2.1 WAR in 451 PA’s. Therefore, I would submit that the Braves will get better results in 2013 from the combination of SS + 3B + CF + LF than they did in 2012.

        That being said, I do not think that the Upton for Prado deal is a huge upgrade for 2013. However, the big benefit to Atlanta in the deal is that they get Upton at a reasonable price for 2014 and 2015 whereas Prado is a free agent after 2013.

         
      • Posts: 0 Dave

        If the Phillies had acquired Upton, Law would have ripped into them saying it was a terrible move and we gave up too much.

         
      • Posts: 0 EricL

        hk,

        The Braves are also likely to see improvement from Freeman and possibly Heyward, both of whom will be a year older (a robust 23!) and closer to their peaks.

         
      • Posts: 0 hk

        @ EricL,

        I considered adding improvement from Heyward and Freeman to the equation, but I figured their improvement might be offset by reduced production from 2B if Uggla continues to decline and from C where David Ross’s results (1.5 WAR in 196 PA’s) may be hard to reproduce.

         
  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    Can’t do much about the transactions of the last 2 days. I don’t think the Braves helped themselves in knock ‘em dead jump up and down style, but there’s a better chance the Phils hurt themselves. We’ll see how it plays out.

    Chipper was a t a banquet a week or 2 back and admitted to getting a little itch with spring coming, but wild guess that it is, I don’t think he’ll be back. Between him, Prado and Bourn being gone, the new talent has a lot to fill and advance billing is ony gonna go so far.

    In real time at the time, I wasn’t exactly unhappy Polanco signed with the Fish. I was hoping he’d get a shot at going out on his terms. I suspect that had he waited, he might have made a nice fit with the Braves now, but that’s assuming health.

    I could absolutely see the Braves getting crushed in a playoff series, filling notebooks with “We didn’t hit’ quotes”. Tough to imagine a consistent offense down Dixie way, and with multiple aces on a fair amount of teams now, the frustration may not be done..

     
    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      “I could absolutely see the Braves getting crushed in a playoff series,”

      I vaguely remember a certain rag-tag team beating the mighty Braves in 1993.
      I also vaguely remember sitting eleven rows behind 3rd base for every glorious moment.

      I’m not sure this team has the same baseball IQ or hustle.

       
  • Posts: 0 CC5

    In a few months the stadium will sound like a doggie choir. Outside the stadium folks who hear will be puzzled by what sounds like a chorus , but barking,
    ” Ruf, Ruf, Ruf.
    RUF, RUF, RUF.”
    They will learn, and smile, hearing this often.

     
  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    IF D. Young will be as bad as many say then he will be dropped from the roster. All of the “incentives” are really built around him staying around (weight, PA, games, etc). Amaro can save money if the other OFs outplay the guy. That is what makes D. Young low risk. If he delivers he will play and get paid more, if not he has his $750K and that is it.

    It is a small move to add another competitor for a weak outfield. This is no big move because Amaro is out of money.

    So, let’s chill on this.

    As to the effects of Ks on production, obviously hits and walks are better. But if K’s come from power hitters then the effects of those extra base hits can outweigh the lost flies and grounders. The data supports this.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      I guess the fear is that Young will continue to play like he’s been playing, and since they thought that was attractive enough to sign him in the first place, it will be enough to hold on to him, maybe even with a starting job.

      Of course a lot depends on what Ruf and Brown do, especially if Young starts the season on the DL.

      By the way, I’ll just throw this out there since I did the research and this thread is petering out: both Young and Mayberry (both RH hitters who don’t do much vs. RHPs) have each had a stretch of ~50 games when they were very good:

      Young:
      51 G in mid-2010: 1.048 OPS
      rest of career: .723 OPS

      Mayberry:
      51 G in late 2011: .983 OPS
      rest of career: .715 OPS

       
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Obviously the difference there is while Mayberry and Young are very similar as hitters, Mayberry is much better defensively.

         
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        I’ll take Mayberry.
        He may never be a star but he’s smart, always in shape, a decent fielder, good baserunner and when he can get his beautiful extension going, for stretches can look great at the plate.

        It’s hard to compare JMR to JMS (a job for you), but I believe their career batting averages are about the same at the moment. and Senior managed to contribute enough to have a long career in the majors.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Mayberry Jr. and Sr. did in fact have the same batting average (so far):

        JMSr – .253
        JMJr – .254

        But Sr was a way more productive hitter (and at a time when runs were harder to come by):

        JMSr – .361 OBP, .439 SLG, for a wRC+ of 123 (23% better than the league average)
        JMJr – .313 OBP, .448 SLG, for a wRC+ of 105

        However Jr is much better defensively, playing tougher positions, and playing them pretty well (at least in the corners). Sr. was only a first baseman, and not a very good one at that.

        By the way, I don’t think it’s very important what kind of shape Young, or anybody, is in, as long as they can play. I’d take Sandoval any day to play third base over the Phillies’ current options.

         
    • Posts: 0 hk

      Bob,

      Cases like those of Chad Qualls and Michael Martinez, in which they held onto a bad player for much longer than they should have, is what have a lot of us concerned about this signing. Many of us knew that Qualls was cooked a lot sooner than the Phils apparently did. Most of us knew that Martinez was useless after his .196 / .258 / .282 season in 2011, yet the Phils gave him 115 PA’s in 2012 to prove that 2011 was the high side of what we could expect from Mini Mart.

       
      • Posts: 0 George

        In the case of Qualls, the man himself said he had worked through some mechanical issues, so he was allowed a few more (not many) attempts on the mound. He probably never should have been signed, but when you’ve added a player, you have to give him some chance, and Qualls only got less than half a season.

        In the case of Martinez, he was held onto because of injuries to others, including the guy who could have replaced him, Freddy Galvis. Please remember that others were tried, like Orr and Fontenot, and they didn’t cut it, either, partly because they didn’t have enough versatility. People gripe constantly about Mini (not that he doesn’t deserve some of it) but never seem to see all the other utility men who are just as bad as hitters, like the overrated and over-the-hill Wilson Valdez. There just aren’t that many good bats that can also field several positions adequately.

         
      • Posts: 0 hk

        George,

        First of all, the Qualls signing was roundly panned on sites like Crashburn Alley at the time of the signing – based on Qualls’s declining performance from 2010 to 2011, so you can say that the bloggers knew more than the GM on that one before he even pitched for the Phillies. Even so, Qualls had 6.10 ERA in the month of May, at which point his ERA for the season was 4.82. At that point, most of the fans and bloggers, but not the GM, knew he was a waste. Yet they gave him 15 more appearances in June to prove what most everyone else already knew.

        Also, your “but when you’ve added a player, you have to give him some chance” defense of the GM is what I’m afraid of in regards to Delmon Young. If that is the team’s philosophy with veteran players that they sign, and I believe that it is, I fear that Young might get 300 PA’s to prove that he’s not better than what was already on the roster. As Shmenkman has pointed out, JMJ is a comparable hitter vs. LHP’s and a much better fielder and base runner. I know I’ve beaten the dead Schierholtz horse too many times, but a Schierholtz / JMJ platoon would have projected to produce significantly better hitting, fielding and base running than Delmon Young projects to produce.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        “JMJ is a comparable hitter vs. LHP’s”

        JMJ is actually a better hitter vs. LHPs, and they’re comparable vs. RHPs.

        And over the past two years, JMJ has been better vs. either.

         
      • Posts: 0 hk

        Schmenkman, thanks for clarifying and correcting…

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        I still disagree with your sentiments, hk. How many other BP arms did the Phils have at the time other than Qualls? I can remember names like Sanches and Savery also being used. Some other options were on the DL. In fact, just about the entire ‘pen in May-June was terrible. And if you actually THOROUGHLY read my comment you’d have seen that I said “He probably never should have been signed…” In other woprtds, there’s no use in bragging to me about the panning of that signing.

        You seem to imply that a signed player shouldn’t be played at all and also seem to believe, for whatever mysterious reason, that even a bad Young will get 300 ABs. There have been far too many players the Phils have traded, optioned, DFAed or released immediately or almost immediately (Pinero, Willis, the aforementioned Sanches, a couple whose names I can’t even remember-one had played 2nd for the Mets, another was a spot starter they released after one whole inning-and these are just a few) to believe so strongly that they’ll cling tightly to a guy they’ve invested a whopping $750K in.

         
      • Posts: 0 hk

        George,

        Dontrelle Willis, Joel Pineiro, Luis Castillo and Brian Sanches were all signed to non-guaranteed contracts. Comparing the Phillies’ willingness to cut them to their willingness to cut players with guaranteed contracts like Danys Baez, Chad Qualls or Ty Wigginton is like comparing apples to oranges or Hector Luna to Delmon Young – not that EricL was making that comparison. Horst, De Fratus and Aumont were all in the minors while Qualls was still sucking it up for the Phillies. Once they were given their chance, they each pitched better than Qualls.

        Pete Orr had a .772 OPS and Mike Fontenot had a .683 OPS for the Phillies last year and both are capable of playing multiple positions. Michael Martinez had a .461 OPS. I will give you the fact that Orr and Fontenot don’t play SS, but are you going to tell me that there wasn’t another SS floating around the minors or out of baseball at the time who could not produce better than a .500 OPS?

        Based on past history, Delmon Young is not an improvement over John Mayberry, Jr. and we don’t know what we have yet in Dom Brown or Darin Ruf. However, since apparently the GM is more concerned about batting average than he is about OBP – and he’s apparently not concerned at all about defense on the corners – and he signed Delmon to a guaranteed contract, if Delmon produces another season like last year’s .267 / .296 / .411 line, it seems likely that the GM will think he’s getting good production from Young when most fans will know otherwise.

         
  • Posts: 5195 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Sometimes I think you guys worry too much, it’s not good for your overall health.

    They don’t always hang on to players too long. They signed Dontrelle Wiliis and Joel Pinero in December 2011 and released them both the same week in March 2012. If a player really can’t perform, they cut bait. When they realized that Jim Thome couldn’t play after Inter league they got out of the Thome business.

    If Delmon Young really can’t play, as many of you are convinced is the case, he won’t last long.

    @hk, I agree with George that the Mini Mart example is different because of his versatility in the field, due to injuries, and then the Victorino trade.

    @Scmenkman- I agree that JMJ is better than Young in every way, but Young has done one thing JMJ hasn’t, he has come up large in big situations against very good pitching. After observing this teams hitting performance in several playoffs where they couldn’t get the big hit against the best pitching, I think that was their motive for this deal. Again, you know I’m a fan of JMJ, so this is not my opinion, it’s what I believe motivated them.

     
    • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      Worry too much?? That’s the understatement of the century.

       
      • Posts: 0 George

        “We argue too much” is probably right up there in the understatement department, too. And, “We argue too vehemently,” probably is really close; maybe even photo finish close.

        While I’m at it, I could nominate yet another statement: “We get ticked off at each other too much.”

         
  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    The basic theme of the 2013 Phillies is if a lot of things go right. Charlie’s positivity in this article is a full measure of that. Well, close. Ill fate in Wahington and Atlanta still might be needed to bring that to full fruition. Time will dictate how that develops, not Hot Stove guesses..

    But let’s for conversation’s sake imagine the plot leaning a certain direction, and just for that sake of conversation,allign with Satan and say the Phils wind up sellers again this year. Last year, Roy Halladay was hurt, and carried a 20 million dollar obligation. And that’s not to suggest the Phils would have moved him irregardless. This year, he might be healthy, and pitching somewhere between well and an age affected reasonably close to himself. But there is no contractual obligation beyomd 2013 unless The Doctor pretty miraculously validates an IP driven option that executes off that qualifier.

    You may have noticed the Toronto Blue Jays have attempted to return from the dead with a bunch of acquired talent this off season. The same GM that dealt Halladay to the Phils, Alex Anthopolis brought in personnel that coupled with his exsisting decent roster has propelled his club to the most favorable Vegas odds of any ballclub to win the World Series.

    Halladay, who left Toronto seemingly disgusted with the club’s lack of commitment to winning (JP Riccardi would be a synonym for that) has never voiced a word of discontent with his lot in Philly. But if Satan runs the pre deadline part of the year, as time slips away from a ring possibility, it sure seems a rosy idea for him to think of a return there, assuming the Jays year is going to plan.

    It’s not that the Jays have a glaring need for a starter. They have capable starters, like RA Dickey, and the awesome when he’s healthy Josh Johnson, and Mark Buehrle, and what has to be a better Ricky Romero, but it’s not necessarily a collection, if healthy where you’d feel warm and fuzzy matching up against a Verlander type in the playoffs like you can fall back with Lee and Hamels, which obviously isn’t everything anyway. So in that regard, for a short term major expense, and a chance to reacquaint with one of Toronto’s most popular athletes ever, it’d be short sighted to think there wouldn’t be open mindedness, especially since Anthopolis is a creative thinker.

    In such a situation, loyalties are secondary, and Ruben Amaro’s job is to execute the deal that’s does the most for his club. But doing The Doc a favor, so to speak, can justify at least heading a certain direction, and if not getting the best deal, at least close to it. Halladay, no trade in hand could limit choices, too.

    So what could the Phils get from the Jays?. Best I can tell from scanning their top rated prospects, they appear pretty solid in starting pitching and catching. Not necessarily areas the Phils might prioritize. The Phils are probably in good shape with catching depth, and more in need of position guys than starters.Any trade talk would certainly include Anthony Gose, who may or may not be a Jay this year. He’s a good example of how a player who Amaro traded away still might come back to haunt the Phils, although that’s the price of acquiring talent. But what else the Phils could get in terms of position of need is a 64,000 dollar question. The Jays have DJ Davis,with great speed, but he’s said to be 3 years or so away as an outfielder and doesn’t carry can’t miss. If it comers to it, which hopefully winning times negate, perhaps the 2 parties work something out, but from a very unqualified organization evaluator, it doesn’t look like it’d be easy.Then again, very few trades are.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Ryan Howard is the 30th ranked first baseman in fantasy now.

    That does not incldue that he is the worst base runner and fielder in the sport.
    Thats a bonus.

    The shark has been jumped.

    Its wrapped around to the other side.

    I need to come here to read you guys say hes still a great player and future hall of famer.
    Along with Utley and Rollins.

    I believe.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Where did you see that Andrew?

       
    • Posts: 0 George

      Andrew’s definition of fantasy probably differs from ours, and may even be his own private thing.

      One can always leave it to him to put in his two cents worth about Ryan Howard, even when its actual value comes in at 1 1/2.

       
    • Posts: 5195 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      Ah, heeeee’s back. The not so subtle sounds of a broken record.

       
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    2 spots behind Jordan Pacheco?
    1 spot ahead of Yonder alonso.

    4 spots behind Michael Young

    Sporting news fantasy projections.

    15 spots behind Ike Davis

    LOLOL

    19 spots behind Adam Larouche

    2 spots ahead of garrett jones?

    a .718 OPS does that

    I just wish the Phillies would manage him as the 30th best first baseman.

    Again to sound liek a broken record.

    None of this is on Howard.

    You have a manager who says publicly we dont take walks.
    You have a GM who every signing is a bad one.
    Howard jsut happens to be his worst signing. That is not Howards fault though
    You have fans that feed into it all thinking hes a hall of famer and the most feared hitter in the sport.

    But like I said the shark has been jumped.

    This team is in neutral until Amaro goes by by.

    Scary that the mets are doing it right now.
    Starting 2014 Ill be losing that bet on a yearly basis.

     
    • Posts: 0 hk

      On Ryan Howard in 2013: I would be much more inclined to use Bill James’s or the ZIPS projections for fantasy purposes than some fantasy magazine’s projections. James projects .251 BA with 36 HR, 102 RBI, 82 Runs and a .838 OPS and ZIPS projects a .788 OPS. I would be willing to bet that Howard will be closer to an .838 OPS and much closer to a .788 OPS than a .718 OPS. The worst OPS that Howard has ever produced in a full season was .835 and that was in his injury plagued 2011 season. If he’s fully healthy, there’s no basis to project a drop-off from .835 to .718.

      On RAJ: I agree that the team would be better off with a different GM, especially as we look towards 2014 and beyond. However, despite what I think was a bad off-season (other than the Revere trade), I am still optimistic that this group could have one more run in it this year.

       
      • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        I don’t see how anybody can be all that uphappy (although a lot will be for sure!) if Howard hits pretty close to those James numbers.

         
      • Posts: 0 hk

        Chuck A.,

        I would be happy – and not particularly surprised – if Howard produced somewhere near what James projects. I feel the same way about Utley. I just hope that they can both do it in 550+ plate appearances.

        James actually projects a pretty good year for the starting lineup:

        C: Ruiz .801 / Kratz .778
        1B: Howard .838
        2B: Utley .835
        SS: Rollins .728
        3B: M. Young .759
        RF: Brown .792
        CF: Revere .662
        LF: Mayberry .753 / D. Young .749 / He did not do a projection for Ruf
        P: Collectively in 2012 .370

        The National League team average OPS last year was .718 and the top scoring team, Milwaukee posted a .762 OPS. If the starting lineup is mostly healthy, the Phils project to be an above league average offense this year.

         
      • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        hk – So let’s lay this out….

        An above league average offense (with the #3 and #4 hitters in there from Day 1), an improved bullpen (unless Adams bombs out completely and Durbin is Chad Qualls Part Deux) and a starting rotation that’s still one of the very best (even with question marks surrounding Doc and the presence of John Lannan).

        Certainly a lot of “ifs” but all completely possible and by that I mean more likely than just possible. There is really no reason to think that this season is over (as some on here are suggesting) before the first pitch is even thrown in Clearwater.

         
      • Posts: 0 hk

        Chuck A.,

        I agree. I think they project to win ~87 games with (obviously) the chance to win more if everything goes right and less if everything goes wrong. My main complaints this off-season were (1) that they did not spend more on a starting P to replace Worley, to protect against an injury from one of the top 3 and to potentially replace Halladay next year and (2) that they did not leave well enough alone and go with Dom in RF and a platoon of Schierholtz and either Ruf and Mayberry in LF. I would put them closer to ~90 wins if they had signed Edwin Jackson instead of committing ~ the same money this year to Michael Young, John Lannan, Delmon Young and Chad Durbin.

         
      • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        All good, valid points, hk. I said early on that I thought 90 wins was completely possible (and that was before Adams was signed) and I will stick to that. Of course, anything can happen and that number could be significantly less.

         
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        I wrote up the Bill James projections on another site and worked out that they translated to 89 wins with some optimistic (but not overly so) playing time assumptions. This was before Delmon or Durbin, which wouldn’t change the end result much, if at all.

         
      • Posts: 2991 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        Well, I’m not a SABR geek ( very much appreciate and understand it though) and I came pretty close with my projection just based on the common sense that Utley and Howard would be in the lineup for the majority of games and with an improved late-inning bullpen.

        Will be interesting to see what actually happens.

         
 
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