Schierholtz/Nix Fiasco Yet Another Miscalculation

Posted by Corey Seidman, Fri, April 19, 2013 11:40 AM | Comments: 26
Analysis, Payroll, Transactions

The Phillies are getting absolutely nothing out of their outfield. In 183 at-bats, Phillies outfielders are batting .219 with five home runs.

Ben Revere hasn’t gotten off the ground, Laynce Nix and John Mayberry are doing pretty much what you’d expect in one outfield corner and Domonic Brown remains the wildly inconsistent, baseball version of Evan Turner.

The Phillies’ outfield is as unsettled as it was months ago when the offseason was just underway. Of these four players, Revere has the longest track record as a starter and that was one full season in Minnesota. So it is odd today — as it was months ago — that the Phillies so easily gave up on Nate Schierholtz.

Schierholtz is hitting .350 with eight extra-base hits for the Cubs, who are paying him a measly $2.25 million. The Phillies had a chance to offer him arbitration but instead non-tendered him at the end of November.

It was a curious move at the time. The Phils had no regular outfielders, had to know a platoon would be utilized in one corner, and yet still parted ways and got nothing for Schierholtz. This despite his well above-average defense, his .287 batting average vs. righties since 2011 and his overall superiority to Nix.

The Phils’ reasoning? Nix was under contract already for $1.35MM in 2013. High-priced outfielders were still on the market, and they were still “players” for guys like Angel Pagan, Cody Ross, etc.

But it’s not as if the Phils have never eaten the final year of a bad, unnecessary contract. They did it in Danys Baez’s second year. They did it in Adam Eaton’s third year. If you didn’t want both players on the 25-man roster, Nix could have been moved or cut. To keep him over Schierholtz just because Nix had a small guarantee … well, that’s the kind of move that has gotten the Phillies to this place. It’s poor talent evaluation. Had Schierholtz not gotten hurt after being traded to the Phils, they probably would have kept him. But instead his track record was dismissed, and Ruben Amaro chose to go with Nix, the guy who has some power but never walks, plays worse defense than Schierholtz and doesn’t put the ball in play as much.

It just made no sense, and it continues to make no sense as the Phillies’ outfield gives them nothing. This is a poorly assembled team. Schierholtz isn’t some sort of savior, but he has 2.5-WAR potential as a platoon outfielder getting 70% of at-bats in a given season.

This 6-10 record, this pathetic offense, these situational struggles, they just feel like the culmination of years of myopic moves and strict adherence to an organizational philosophy that doesn’t mesh with winning in this day and age. Schierholtz is yet another example.

Amaro expressed shock on Monday that the Phillies had gone three (now four) games without a walk.

Why is he shocked? This is the only organization in baseball that doesn’t employ an advanced stats department, and he’s the one who built the team.

Avatar of Corey Seidman

About Corey Seidman

Corey Seidman has written 210 articles on Phillies Nation.

Corey is Analysis Editor for Phillies Nation and also writes for CSNPhilly.com.

  • Posts: 5229 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    You forgot one important thing Corey, giving Schierholtz away for nothing also means they got basically NOTHING for Hunter Pence, a guy they paid dearly for the previous year. Tommy Joseph may one day be a decent player but 7 passed balls in his first nine games in LV says he’s a long way from major league material.

  • Posts: 0 Rudy Canoza

    Thanks Corey. Somebody at PN needs to say these things. A lot of the posters here have been saying the same thing for two years now.

    “This is a poorly assembled team.” I couldn’t agree more.

  • Posts: 0 frank

    I live in California and watch the giants a lot. Shierholtz was a big part of the giants 2010 championship team. He a great defender and saved games, and he hit well against right handed pitchers. Also, he had a lot of clutch hits late in games to give them a lot of wins. I think a lot of times players on the west coast don’t get the exposure unless you’re a superstars. Anyway, the only reason he was traded was because he wanted to be an everyday player and asked to be traded, so they reluctantly traded him. He is a really important piece to a team. Maybe not full time at this point. I also was surprised that the phillies didn’t seem to want him but he got off to a bad start. I think you need to be patient with some players and most important, look at their history before giving up on them.

  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland


    I’m not so sure Schierholtz really has headline place in this criticism of the outfield. I don’t dispute that over far more than this year, he’s better than what they have in several names, but he’s not finishing at any .350, and by the way, since walks are so popular around here (as they pretty much should be), Nate’s walked 3 times in 48 at bats Possible that he’s working deep counts within that, don’t know, so that’s just a headline stat..

    The big problem in all this is that Ben Revere, to this point is showing signs of being a real bust. Unfortunately, Dom hasn’t carried over his spring, but Bennie, once he presumably shows he’s a drag in any spot in the order may max out Joel Sheman’s pre season take that he would flop and pave the way for the Ryne Sandberg era. Shame he can be fun to wacth, but that’s not cutting it.

    I agree that it’s silly for the Phils not to take advantage of advanced stats. How much might be another story, but the long, long history of being outpaced by other clubs in progressive thinking is one of the true characteristics of this franchise. They’ll get around to it at their own pace. Without advanced stats, they’ve made some good, some bad decisions. I can only hope it goes up. Hard to believe it won’t.

  • Posts: 0 teeejay

    Can’t agree on Scherholtz. He showed absolutely ZERO in his time here.
    The strangest move the Phillies made last year was getting rid of a 30 homer, 100 RBI guy in their outfield.

    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      Read frank’s comment two posts above yours, sir.

      • Posts: 0 hk

        But sir, isn’t it always a good idea to base your assessment of a player on the 73 PA’s, most of which occurred while he was injured, he had for your team as opposed to the larger body of his work?

  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    I agree that losing Schierholtz was a really stupid move by Amaro. He would be our best outfielder if we had kept him. Amaro and his ‘boys” are not good judges of talent and Schierholtz is not the first player he literally gave away. I understand that Oakland sends him frequent ‘thank-you’ notes for one slugger Amaro and his ‘boys’ have given up on.

    The Phillies would be smart if they began a search for Amaro’s replacement soon. This team is reverting back to the teams of the late 1960′s and early 1970′s. Personally I believe that the salad days are over. Still love this team. Habits are hard to break and I will be loyal to the Phillies until I die. But, please, fix the obvious problems. NO WALKS WHATSOEVER FOUR GAMES !!!! Also, platoon Ryan Howard. Let Mayberry play first base against lefties when Delmon Young returns. Not platooning Howard, despite what he earns, is like slapping the fans in the face. Philly has intelligent fans that realize Howard is totally inept against lefties and is a sure-fire ugly out when a lefty is pitching. It is so bad, that it only takes a lefty three or four pitches to strike this guy out. PLEASE !!!!!

  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    Oakland’s Brandon Moss was a Phillie who was released and went to Oakland. In 290 at-bats he hit .296 with 21homers last year. He would have been a very good replacement for Ryan Howard while Howard rehabbed. He plays first base and the outfield. And he is doing well this year, too, for Oakland. Dumb Rubin Amaro !!!!! Double Dumb

    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      I know we only care about the Phillies, but the Pirates and Red Sox also gave up on Moss. By the time he was released by the Phils, he was a 28 year old minor leaguer who had hit .236/.300/.382 in over 700 plate appearances in the chances he had gotten in the majors. Good for him that he finally put it all together, but I can’t really fault Amaro for that one.

  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    NOTE: Schierholtz was hurt for most of his time last year with the Phils. His performance was not a good example of his true ability and value.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew From Waldorf


    When the Phillies Nation writers arent towing the company line is like Chris Wheeler calling out Ryan Howard.

    OK people are finally realizing the things that have been obvious to me for a long time.

    Sadly I think the Phillies would be closing the barn door after the horse got out now.

    Ruben has GMed like a fan. Somehow Rollins and Utley and Howard are untouchable. I presume because they are organizational players.

    While Victorino and Pence and Werth all were not a priority.

    Id like to have seen Ruben gone a long time ago.

    But if there are big deal to be made this summer as the phillies fall out of contention.
    I hope there is someone else making these deals.

    Firing Charlie or any other decision is not a move forward.
    Until Ruben is releaved of his duties as GM.

    Until that day arrives yuo are at go on the monopoly board. You cannot move past it until he is gone. Then you start making baby steps.

    They will be baby steps because Ruben has done long term damage.
    He has made it so there will be no quick fix.

  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    This should be interesting…

    1. Jimmy Rollins (S) SS

    2. Freddy Galvis (S) LF

    3. Chase Utley (L) 2B

    4. Michael Young (R) 3B

    5. John Mayberry (R) RF

    6. Kevin Frandsen (R) 1B

    7. Ben Revere (L) CF

    8. Humberto Quintero (R) C

    9. Roy Halladay (R) P

    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Howard sitting vs. a lefty — good.

      For the self-imposed KB photo quiz: Ruthven and Rose?

  • Posts: 0 Andrew From Waldorf


    I have to keep Howard in my starting line up because Freeman is still on AAA rehab assignment.

    Maybe he will get a clutch pinch hit grand slam!

  • Posts: 0 teeejay

    Sorry – GM’s do not have the luxury of giving every player ‘time’. Scherholtz was not injured most of the time he was here. He just didn’t show a thing. Period.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew From Waldorf

    See Schenk you CAN bench a 25,000,000.00$ player vs a lefty.

    I guess in philly though you have to be on a pace to lose 100 games for that to happen.

    Thats too bad.

    Red sox game canceled tonight.

    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      I guess Charlie is more progressive than most ;-)

      • Posts: 0 Andrew From Waldorf

        I like you Schenk.

        No one enjoys it when the team or players are stinking.

        He was limping pretty bad last ngiht and seemed to tweak the leg on that run to first.

        Just saying.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Guess who is backkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

    I said it this year. You dont win withouth a proven talent in the outfield. This team is a job. Ruby killed this team with bad contracts and moves. Ryan is becoming the most overrated player in Phillies history. Just throw him garbage. Utley is still the heart of the team. No outfield what so ever. Third baseman is 40. Brown said no pitcher can get him out in spring training. Guess what? They are working at Exxon now. What a waste of a player. Doc is done. Trade Lee, Howard, and rebuild. Rollins is finished.

  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    Howard sitting? Wow. Regarding Schierholtz v. Nix: Big whoop. It could just as easily be Nix tearing it up and Schierholtz stinking. Its not like he took Bobby Bonds over Roger Freed. Lets face it, they’re both “eh” players and the other guys happens to be playing well. So what? But a fiasco? Fiascos don’t involve players lik Nix and Schierholtz. Now HERE are some fiascos:

    Gavid Floyd and Gio Gonzalez for Freddy “Oh, We’ll Just Use Your MRI Results” Garcia;
    3y30m for Raul Ibanez;
    And wrong sport but its the biggest fiasco: Moses Malone and the #1 pick (Brad Daugherty) for Jeff “You Were Told My Knee Was Shot But Katz Wanted To Make The Deal Anyway” Ruland, Cliff Robinson, and Roy Hinson.

    The Dipsy

    • Posts: 0 George

      Hooray! An intelligent comment!

      “Fiasco” my butt! It’s just like last year when fans were upset that Amaro swapped Wilson Valdez for Jeremy Horst. Also, I wonder if it ever occurred to anybody that Amaro might have tried to trade Schierholtz or Nix and had no takers? Despite the statistical difference, which might amount to 2-3 hits in reserve player’s numbers, I think I’d get rid of the more expensive of the two players and use the money later to help get a someone with more impact. Schierholtz, if he’d been kept, would be making somewhat more than Nix.

  • Posts: 0 Double Trouble Del

    Schierholtz moaned his way out of SF and demonstrated nothing while he was here. I believe he was nearly a “throw-in” in the Pence deal . While I am no fan of Nix, I do trust the judgment of Bochy and Sabean. If he was worthwhile he still be in SF where they know what they’re doing like with that Barry Zito guy …..

  • Posts: 0 George

    Just because the Phils don’t have an entire department for advanced stats doesn’t mean they don’t use them at all. Also, maybe Nate was a clubhouse drag and more of a problem than fans were alloed to know. 20/20 hindsight doesn’t work when you’re not allowed to see the entire picture.

  • Posts: 5229 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Still- no matter how you feel about this, whether giving away Shierholtz was a fiasco or not for the present. There is no defending the fact after letting Schierholtz walk that- in effect- they got NOTHING back for Hunter Pence from the Giants but salary relief, a middlin’ minor league pitcher, and a guy that meh, might be decent hitter, but is a catcher that doesn’t appear to be able to um, catch. Are you telling me Hunter Pence (awkward is as was) is not a pretty good ball player that had value to a great many teams? I mean, I could be wrong about that, but we thought enough to give up 4 guys for him.

    I don’t hate RA Jr. like many of you seem to, and I try to be reasonable about the fact that you can’t be perfect in this business, that when scouting for young guys, they don’t always work out, that’s just the way it is. And in signings and trades, he’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t many times. (See Lee, Clifford) And I totally get that they were under the gun in terms of Luxury tax.

    But little to NOTHING back for Pence? That’s just hard to defend. I hope Joseph develops into a good catcher, but he’s going to have to be pretty damned good to justify the Pence trade.

  • Posts: 0 DavidE

    Nate Schierholtz couldn’t get playing time last year and that was before the Phils got Revere. Regarding Hunter Pence, I think he is the kind of guy who looks better when you don’t watch him play everyday. Defensively, he is about average for a starting outfielder even though he has a great arm. He just isn’t that fluid out there and Phillies fans found out the hard way. He wasn’t that great offensively either with the Phillies.
    We have played 16 games. Tonight, Revere has a single and triple and Mayberry has a double. Things can change quickly.

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