Why Buy the Cow When You Get the Milk for Free?

David Murphy notes:


Using K% instead of K/9 yields similar results among lefty relievers:

Jake Diekman falls down the list, but his 26.7 percent strikeout rate was above the 21.9 percent NL average for relievers. The Phillies’ two off-season additions, Mike Adams and Chad Durbin, posted strikeout rates under 20 percent last season. What percentage of the high leverage innings do you think the Phillies will give to the less effective veteran retreads instead of the more capable, younger arms like Bastardo, Horst, and Phillippe Aumont?

Despite an awful first half that should have been blamed almost entirely on Chad Qualls, the Phillies finished 2012 with one of the best bullpens by defense-independent standards. Their collective 3.24 SIERA was sixth-best in all of baseball, featuring the second-best strikeout rate at 26.1 percent (behind Cincinnati at 26.2 percent). The bullpen was the last area that needed an upgrade, yet nearly half of the money GM Ruben Amaro spent this off-season went to the bullpen.

The $5.85 million that the Phillies are paying Adams and Durbin this season could have gone towards a better fix for their corner outfield situation, or perhaps a starter better than John Lannan. Not that such an event would have turned them into NL East favorites over the Nationals and Braves, but either or both teams could fail to live up to expectations and the Phillies could capitalize on that, old age and all. And the second Wild Card is still there. This is just one example of the many small mistakes the Phillies routinely make that snowball over time.

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  1. Pencilfish

    February 14, 2013 01:49 PM


    Using Bastardo against lefty-killers is fine but not sufficient. I imagine he could also close when Papelbon is not available or be used as LOOGY in some games. He averaged ~55 IP/year the last two years. How many innings do you think he might pitch in 2013 with your approach? 70? 80?

    Adams adds another reliable arm in high-leverage situations. As RAJ likes to say, you can never have enough pitching.

  2. hk

    February 14, 2013 01:53 PM


    1. I doubt RAJ had visions of Drew Storen in the NLDS 2012 when he signed Papelbon 8 months earlier.

    2. I can counter Williams, Broxton and Storen blowing up in the post-season with Adam Wainwright, Keith Foulke and Bobby Jenks becoming their World Champion team’s closer during the season. Cherry-picking a few closers who did poorly and a few others who were great proves nothing.

    3. You can have too much pitching if the opportunity cost of having it is paying Chad Durbin $1M+ to be reliably average and taking those innings from someone else, younger and cheaper.

    4. If Halladay is terrible this year, who do you propose should / will be the Phillies #3 starter next year? Will he be better or cheaper than Anibal Sanchez?

  3. Pencilfish

    February 14, 2013 01:56 PM


    There are 3 spots open in the BP. It is likely they will be filled by young, relatively inexperienced arms such as De Fratus, Horst and Schwimmer. Why do you think the Phillies don’t hand any responsibilities to them?

  4. LTG

    February 14, 2013 02:15 PM


    En Garde!

    *Looks for XBox, remembers does not own XBox, picks up coffee, urge to kill fading…fading…, realizes coffee is empty, urge to kill rising*

  5. Scott G

    February 14, 2013 02:19 PM

    I don’t even understand Pencilfish’s last comment. I want to respond with: “because they’re stupid,” or “they make mistakes”.

    Also, bump hk’s response.

    I still can’t get over many people backing the signing of Mike Adams. They’re paying him $12 million over 2 years as he’s coming off surgery on his arm…. That doesn’t worry you? Not to mention the fact that I don’t think anyone thinks that Adams will play proportionally better than Aumont when you factor in their contributions vs. their salaries.

  6. Pencilfish

    February 14, 2013 02:45 PM


    It’s interesting how you (and others) discount the possibility of injury and ineffectiveness. Stutes and De Fratus missed significant time in 2012. I recall reports of “fatigue and soreness” with Bastardo and of course Halladay. An abundance of pitchers is normal operating procedure for all 30 MLB franchises, because people know pitchers will land on the DL at some point in the season. It’s just common sense.

    If Halladay is healthy, and we signed Sanchez, isn’t it contradictory to criticize too much RP pitching, while advocating too much SP? If he’s not healthy, can Sanchez replace Halladay of 2010 and 2011, be the ace of the team and carry the team into the post-season? In Detroit, Sanchez is NOT Verlander. You can’t be serious…

  7. BobSmith77

    February 14, 2013 02:52 PM

    Square peg in a round hole. Repeat. Phils did need to add an arm or two in the pen this offseason.

    Phils’ younger relievers may strike out out of hitters but several of them have notable command issues too including Bastardo, Aumont, and Diekman.

    A number of the relievers the Phils used last year too have no business pitching meaningful innings either on a team contending for a playoff spot including Savery, Rosenberg, and Diekman.

  8. nik

    February 14, 2013 02:57 PM

    Having Adams/Durbin also helps create depth at AAA. Instead of Savery, Rosenberg and Schwimer we can now bring up Stutes or Diekman when an injury occurs. Can’t hurt for Diekman to get some solid innnings in Lehigh to work on that ugly walk rate of his as well.

  9. Phan analysis

    February 14, 2013 03:08 PM

    Did you see Durbin’s bb/9? It was over 4. And his FIP was well over 4 as well. That tells me that the defense bailed him out on more than one occasion. Tell me, what is the thing that everybody CAN agree on? Our defense with the 2 Youngs, Brown, Howard, Ruf, and Nix is suspect this year.

    Scott, I agree we spent well above what Adams should have received after a serious injury, but I definitely think, if he is healthy, that he will pitch well and take some pressure off of the “young guns”. Which is why I don’t think we needed Durbin, at all.

    We have PLENTY of competition without Durbin, and plenty of options as well. It was simply unnecessary to give him a major league contract.

  10. Pencilfish

    February 14, 2013 03:10 PM

    Scott G,

    Mike Adams had surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. That’s the region
    between the rib cage and collar bone. He did not have arm surgery.

    Aumont has pitched 14 innings in MLB. How can you project him to be the setup man with such limited experience? We are not the Marlins or the Mets. Let’s give him time to develop and then decide if he’s the real thing or not before crowning him the setup man in 2013…

  11. Scott G

    February 14, 2013 04:01 PM


    1. To your hk point (too much SP vs. too much RP) – SP is more important that RP. They pitch many more innings.

    2. To my having the surgery wrong – Sorry, I just knew the symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome were felt in the fingers and arm.

    3. Re: Aumont as “set-up” man – I would never peg any reliever as anything because that’s when you start to misuse players.

    Phan Analysis,

    I don’t really believe in this “pressure” you speak of. Some young players perform well. Others do not. I don’t think most of the results are based off a perceived pressure some players can handle and others cannot. Even if this pressure existed, I imagine expectations for this team are pretty low this year, thus alleviating some of this pressure.


    Yes, both will be pitching, but I’m claiming that the outcomes when having Adams (high leverage) and Aumont (whatever you want to call him) wouldn’t be much different than Aumont (high leverage), De Fratus (whatever you want to call him), and that unused money spent somewhere else.

  12. Scott G

    February 14, 2013 04:02 PM

    Sorry nik, when I add that last part about the unused money used elsewhere I would probably prefer to argue that the outcomes would be better! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. MattWinks

    February 14, 2013 04:21 PM

    Having depth in AAA is one of the worst arguments here. There is already a second wave of relievers ready to step up. Here are some guys with major league reliever upside not on the 40 man who will be in AA/AAA in 2013:
    Juan Sosa
    JC Ramirez
    Tyler Knigge
    Kyle Simon
    Justin Friend
    Kenny Giles

    Plus these conversion candidates:
    Julio Rodriguez
    Ethan Martin
    Austin Hyatt
    Tyler Cloyd
    Perci Garner
    Austin Wright
    David Buchanan

    Essentially if they need a reliever due to injury it is just a matter who will step up (not mention even without Durbin there are like 4-5 guys on the 40 man in AAA)

  14. hk

    February 14, 2013 04:25 PM

    I don’t discount the possibility of injury and ineffectiveness. However, I would expect the older ones like Adams to be more likely to get injured and the worse ones like Durbin to be more likely to be ineffective.

    If Halladay is healthy, Sanchez is a huge upgrade over Lannan. Plus, if they had signed Sanchez, they would not have signed Lannan, so there’s no contradiction there. Plus, I’m still waiting for an answer to what the team is going to do – other than pay more than what Sanchez is getting – for a 3rd starter in 2014 if Halladay blows up.

  15. Pencilfish

    February 14, 2013 04:42 PM

    Scott G,

    Stating that SP are more important because they pitch more innings than RP appears reasonable, but you are assigning equal importance to every inning. That is a mistake. For example, runs scored in the initial innings (ie, 1st inning) have less impact on the outcome of the game than runs in the latter innings (ie, the 9th) do. This is true of other professional sports (NBA, NFL, etc), too. Finishing games matter, and that’s why closers are valuable.

    Baseball is littered with examples of failed closers who find work in the 6th-8th inning because they couldn’t handle the closer role. Whether you believe pressure exists or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is whether teams and pitchers believe in it.

    If you are not pegging Aumont as the setup man, why are you comparing him to Mike Adams, who has been mainly used in the setup (ie, high-leverage) role?

  16. SJHaack

    February 14, 2013 04:58 PM

    I am honestly fine with the Mike Adams signing. He is a good pitcher with a good track record. Overpay? Yeah, some. Durbin is a dumb decision.

    I also STILL have no idea why they non-tendered David Herndon, aka their best RHP out of the pen who wasn’t Papelbon.

  17. Scott G

    February 14, 2013 05:05 PM

    1 run in the 1st inning = 1 run in the 9th inning, I think. The first game of the season is 1/162 as is the last. I understand the timing affects how much one team has a chance to recover from surrendering the run, but I don’t really want to get into that.

    Many people thought Ryan Madson couldn’t handle the closers role. That’s just because of small sample size randomness.

    I find it very hard to believe many if any major leaguers have trouble dealing with pressure, I guess there was no pressure in high school when being scouted? Or in College when competing for draft position? Or in the minors when fighting the way up the ranks?

    I’m advocating using pitchers in appropriate situations, not just trotting ppl out there because the scoreboard says a particular inning. It was just an example, although maybe it wasn’t a great one.

  18. Pencilfish

    February 14, 2013 05:21 PM


    I agree Sanchez is a huge upgrade over Lannan. Sanchez is also much more expensive. You and I discussed it before, and we concluded if the Phillies signed Sanchez, we would be very close to the luxury tax threshold, and it would restrict (preclude?) us from making significant trades in July. We would also carry Sanchez’s contract for 5 years, whether or not the team is competitive in 2014 and beyond.

    If Halladay blows up, we can’t compete with the Braves and Nationals, period. It would mean we must significantly alter the make up of the team for 2014 and beyond (pursue pricey FA’s position players to generate more offense?, go after Tim Lincecum?, etc). Sanchez cannot replace the Halladay of 2010-2011. In fact, I have doubts Lee or Hamels can replace Halladay of 2010-2011. I will concede that Sanchez would be a great #3 starter. You may ask, why do we have to replace the Halladay of 2010-2011? The answer is, we don’t have the Phillies offense of 2007-2009 anymore, so we must win with pitching and defense. Very few pitches can replace that Halladay. Verlander, Felix Hernandez, David Price or Clayton Kershaw to mind, but no one else.

  19. Pencilfish

    February 14, 2013 05:30 PM

    Scott G,

    You may not want to get into it, but timing is everything. Anyway, let’s just agree to disagree on the importance of innings.

    Don’t believe some MLB players can’t deal with pressure? Read this article about Zack Greinke:


    Many people also thought Jonathan Broxton could handle the closer’s role. We know how that one turned out, right?

  20. hk

    February 14, 2013 05:34 PM

    We did talk about it, but that was before they squandered $2M to $4M on Delmon + Durbin. How are Delmon’s Durbin’s and Lannan’s contracts calculated for luxury tax purposes? They are are going to pay between $10.5M and $15M on Adams + Durbin + Lannan + Delmon, so $16M for Sanchez looks much better in comparison. I also would have preferred someone like Eric Chavez for $3M instead of Michael Young for $7.2M, so for roughly the same (and maybe less) money, Sanchez + Chavez > Adams + Durbin + Lannan + 2 Youngs.

  21. Scott G

    February 14, 2013 05:35 PM

    “Many if any”. I was specifically mentioning greinke and those suffering from disorders. I’d say he’s handled himself pretty well regardless, though.

    Jonathan Broxton has been a very good pitcher. I’m not sure what you’re getting at? A few outstanding memories?

  22. Pencilfish

    February 14, 2013 06:10 PM


    Don’t disagree with your arguments for Sanchez + Chavez money-wise or performance-wise, but as I said, we don’t know what will happen with Halladay, Utley and Howard. If they can’t perform, the Phillies likely remain a .500 team with or without Sanchez + Chavez.

    You are saying the Phillies are better off with these two than with what RAJ got. No issues there. I’m just saying these two can’t carry the Phillies past the Nats or Braves without healthy and near-vintage Halladay, Utley and Howard. If the Phillies are competitive, RAJ can be a big buyer in July. You are advocating going for broke now (that is, a multi-year deal for Sanchez and hoping Halladay, Utley and Howard all perform) and becoming (at most) a bargain buyer in July. Different philosophies, but the former is a more cautious approach, one that more naturally matches our GM’s instinct for self-preservation. Your approach carries more risk to his future employment ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Phillie697

    February 14, 2013 06:29 PM


    Appparently, the Yankees (aforementioned young pitchers in their starting staff), the Braves (Heyward, and before you give me any quibble about him being a proven commodity, as if Bastardo isn’t, Freddie Freeman), the Giants (Belt), and Reds (Frazier, Cozart, Leake) didn’t have designs on the WS.

    In fact, the Giants CONTINUED to play Belt despite his less than stellar 2011, and guess what they did in 2012… Right, win the WS. So please, don’t give me the “Teams that have designs on winning the World Series don’t have the same ability to put up with growing pains.” They do when they realize the talent they’ve got is better than wasting money signing “proven” commodity when said money can be spent better elsewhere, and don’t tell me there weren’t any 1Bs around for Giants to sign last off-season.

  24. Phillie697

    February 14, 2013 06:35 PM


    “Baseball is littered with examples of failed closers who find work in the 6th-8th inning because they couldn’t handle the closer role. Whether you believe pressure exists or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is whether teams and pitchers believe in it.”

    No offense, what is relevant is how many games the freaking team wins. Players and managers believe in a lot of hogwash, but at the end of the day, it’s what gets you wins that matter. But of course, you’re also the guy who has defended RAJ on the “what were his intentions” school of thought. Sorry, but I want to WIN, not pat RAJ on the head for trying to do what he thinks is the right thing.

  25. Phillie697

    February 14, 2013 06:36 PM


    “You are saying the Phillies are better off with these two than with what RAJ got. No issues there. I’m just saying these two can’t carry the Phillies past the Nats or Braves without healthy and near-vintage Halladay, Utley and Howard.”

    Neither can Papelbon, but you seem to not had any issues of paying the man FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS to be someone who can’t carry the Phils past the Nats or the Braves.

  26. hk

    February 14, 2013 09:44 PM

    “You are saying the Phillies are better off with these two than with what RAJ got. No issues there. I’m just saying these two can’t carry the Phillies past the Nats or Braves without healthy and near-vintage Halladay, Utley and Howard.”

    What I’m also saying is, if we get the healthy and near-vintage Halladay, Utley and Howard, Sanchez and Chavez have a better chance of helping the Phillies past the Nats and/or Braves than Adams, Durbin, Lannan and the Young Brothers do.

  27. Pencilfish

    February 14, 2013 10:21 PM


    Again, no disagreements. Trouble is, if Sanchez, Chavez, Halladay, Utley, Howard (and Ruiz) perform, we can’t pay them all in 2014 because we gave a multi-year deal to Sanchez (5/80 to use the Detroit numbers). I suppose you are also hoping none of these guys get injured. If one (or more) do, we don’t have the resources to trade for significant help in July, do we? RAJ built a more modest team in 2013, but he has the financial flexibility (all the 1-yr contracts, 10 million under the luxury tax threshold, etc) that your approach lacks.

    As I said, you are advocating going for broke. It’s risky. RAJ’s livelihood may be on the line if he gambled with your approach and then didn’t overtake the Nats and Braves. Self-preservation rules.

  28. Pencilfish

    February 14, 2013 10:26 PM


    You are interested in winning now, which is what a fan wants. RAJ is too, but he wants to field a competitive team for the future as well. It’s how he keeps his livelihood. It’s not easy to grasp if one doesn’t have the responsibilities that he has. He has to balance the present and the future, while earning a profit for his bosses, which implies keeping the fan base happy. Not an easy job, if you represent the average fan.

  29. amarosucks

    February 14, 2013 10:28 PM

    Put me in the camp who doesn’t like the adams signing (or any of the offseason moves…the revere trade is ok, but dc gave up less for a better player)

    Adams now = scot shields in twilight of his career.

    Thanks to amaro’s adeptness at misreading markets and team needs, this team is going to stink. He really needs to go

  30. Kevin

    February 14, 2013 10:32 PM


    I think Aumont will do fine and be a better value than Adams over the next two years. I wouldn’t spend that kind of money to acquire a bullpen arm unless every other position was rock solid.

  31. pedro3131

    February 14, 2013 10:37 PM

    Where was all this Adams hate when he was signed? I seemed to remember virtually everyone here, writers included said it was a good deal

  32. Kevin

    February 14, 2013 10:54 PM

    Cutter has the same veteran superstition Phils’ management has. It’s ok if Ibanez, Polanco, Rollins, Howard, Lidge etc go frigid for months at a time. However, if a promising youngster has a few bad games, the team can’t afford “growing pains .” As long as I’ve been following baseball players go hot and cold, but the Phillies only afford that luxury to those in their 30s.

  33. Phillie697

    February 14, 2013 11:12 PM


    Okay… There would be some truth to what you say if he didn’t, you know, sign a god damn reliever to a $50M contract last year. Apparently he’s neither “win now” nor “prepare for the future,” nor is he producing any admirable results. So tell me, what the hell is he?


    I made no such claim that Adams was a good signing, so please don’t count me as “virtually everyone.” I didn’t make any comments on the deal in fact, since (1) at the time the RAJ defenders would have said, “oh it was just $6M a year, stop griping about it; RAJ has plenty of spending left to do,” (2) it was before I found out RAJ’s plans to compensate for dumping another $6M on a damn reliever: the Douchbag Brothers.

  34. hk

    February 15, 2013 07:32 AM


    Over the past 3 seasons, Denard Span has generated 8.7 WAR in 1,584 PA’s, or 0.55 WAR per 100 PA’s. In his career, Revere has generated 5.2 WAR in 1,064 PA’s, or 0.49 WAR per 100 PA’s. Since Revere is 4 years younger (and theoretically more likely to improve) and moving to CF (which should increase his value and potentially increase his WAR depending upon how he fields the position), a case could be made that the difference in WAR will be negligible going forward. Even if Span continues to be worth ~10% more WAR than Revere and despite Span’s team-friendly contract, the fact that Revere is significantly cheaper means that there’s a good chance that Revere will provide better value than Span over the next three years.

    As far as DC giving up less than the Phils in the team’s respective deals is concerned, on the prospect ranking lists that I’ve seen, Alex Meyer is ranked between the top 40 and top 61 prospects in baseball while Trevor May is not ranked at all, so clearly DC gave up the better prospect (at least in the eyes of those that research these things). Therefore, one’s view of Vance Worley is the key to which team gave up more. I think there’s a decent argument to be made that it is better to give up the lesser prospect and the decent SP than the better prospect with higher upside.

  35. amarosucks

    February 15, 2013 08:59 AM

    You are more optimistic in revere’s ability than I am. He can’t throw or hit. Yes, he will track balls in CF and run fast. I’m not a worley or may fan, but that’s a lot to give up for an OF with a limited skillset.

    For a team in ‘win-now’ mode (I’m guessing that’s what amaro’s plan is based on the last few offseasons — it’s tough to know what his plan is as most of his moves are perplexing), I would much rather have span than revere. Even at the higher price.

    Add this to the ever-growing list of Amaro failures. He’s terrible at his job. This team will be battling for third place in the division until he is replaced.

  36. hk

    February 15, 2013 09:22 AM

    I am as down on most of what Amaro has done as anyone, but I do think the Revere deal was a good one. If he can reproduce or improve upon his .333 OBP, I think his speed on the base paths and in the OF will make him a valuable addition despite his lack of power or a throwing arm, especially when considering he doesn’t even become arbitration eligible until next season. Having said that, I thought it was an even better deal when it happened because I felt that it set them up to have a great off-season by signing a high end SP (e.g. Anibal Sanchez), which would have given them the best rotation in MLB. Instead, they made a lateral move or downgraded by going from Worley to Lannan and accumulated a lot of junk that no one else wanted.

  37. amarosucks

    February 15, 2013 09:28 AM

    Yeah, the offseason has been (another) disaster. The main problem since the 2010 nlcs has been the lineup. I don’t understand why fans can see this and the GM doesn’t. Bringing in guys like D Young, M Young, Revere, Betancourt, etc is equivalent to putting a band aid on skin cancer.

    Absolutely brutal. Least excited I have been for a phils season since they signed thome. Regretting my decision to re-new my season tix.

  38. Phillie697

    February 15, 2013 11:13 AM


    I think amarosucks’ assessment of Revere is pretty spot on. I know you are optimistic about Revere, but the ONLY way his OBP is going to improve is if he walks more, and the stats suggest that he’s not going to. Coupled that with a Z-Contact % of already an impossible-to-improve 97.4%, what you see is what you get with Revere. The only theoretically possible improvement is if he starts to develop some more power. Not out of the realm of possibilities, but not likely either.

    I suspect it’s why the Twins traded him. A prospect who has already reached his ceiling are worth the most when they are young. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a decent CF, but I’m not expecting any more improvement.

  39. BobSmith77

    February 15, 2013 12:01 PM

    Matt Winks – Fallacy of the mythical ‘league average replacement reliever’

    Your list includes several guys who are starters and won’t be moved to the bullpen this year along with several nonprospects who the Phils wouldn’t bring up unless they were gutted by injuries. Not how the Phils’ organizational depth chart looks at all on relievers.

    There is a reason that huge numbers of minor league pitchers (even in the Top 100) washout and either don’t make MLB or don’t have any success there.

  40. Cutter

    February 15, 2013 12:43 PM


    Just because some teams succeed with young players, it doesn’t mean it’s always a good idea.

    And you even provided a good example of why: Heyward and Belt’s disappointing seasons in 2011 are part of the reason why their teams didn’t make the playoffs that year.

    As far as the Papelbon signing goes, it was made in the 2012 offseason, when the Phillies had a much different perspective about their future.

  41. Scott G

    February 15, 2013 01:05 PM

    Which part of Heyward’s 5.5 rWAR (6.6 fWAR!!) season makes that a good example? I mean Heyward’s offensive numbers aren’t overwhelming, but the Phillies sure could have used him.

  42. hk

    February 15, 2013 01:05 PM


    Belt’s 2011 may have played a part in the Giants not making the post-season, but it had to be a small part considering that he produced above league average hitting, fielding and base-running in the limited opportunities that his manager bestowed upon him. I would say Bruce Bochy’s unwillingness to give Brandon Belt more than 207 PA’s while giving 579 PA’s to Aubrey Huff had a lot more to do with the Giants’ absence from post-season than Belt’s performance did.

  43. hk

    February 15, 2013 01:06 PM

    Scott G beat me to part 2 of my comment and did so in excellent fashion.

  44. hk

    February 15, 2013 01:11 PM

    Actually not, because Scott G was looking at Heyward’s 2012 season. My point was going to be that while Heyward had a disappointing 2.1 WAR season in 456 PA’s in 2011, he was still better than the VETERAN Nate McLouth, who was barely above replacement level, yet had 321 PA’s bestowed upon him. Also, we should not overlook the fact that the Braves were willing to let Heyward play through his rough season, which probably had something to do with his 2012 season that Scott G referenced.

  45. Cutter

    February 15, 2013 01:22 PM

    While it’s terrific that Heyward’s 2011 season might have helped him in 2012, I’m sure that wasn’t much consolation for the team when they watched the 2011 playoffs on TV.

    And sounds like people are getting into “WAR is the absolute measure of a player’s value” mode, which is dangerous.

  46. hk

    February 15, 2013 01:55 PM


    You conveniently ignore how veterans like Huff and McLouth, not to mention Miguel Tejada and Prado worse much worse for their teams in 2011 than Belt and Heyward, respectively. And they were much worse independent of how you assess them, be it WAR or some other measure.

  47. hk

    February 15, 2013 02:25 PM


    On the 2011 Giants, all of the following players had more PA’s and a lower OPS than Brandon Belt: Mike Fontenot, Aubrey Huff, Andres Torres, Aaron Rowand, Jeff Keppinger, Miguel Tejada, Brandon Crawford and Eli Whiteside. We can ignore Whiteside, because he’s a catcher. Now, how much of the Giants missing out on the post-season do you want to attribute to Belt’s growing pains?

  48. Cutter

    February 15, 2013 03:55 PM

    Well, certainly he wasn’t the only one responsible.

    I’d like to mention that Belt and Heyward were two of the absolute best prospects in baseball.

    The Phillies young relievers (which if you recall, was the subject of this story) aren’t quite of that caliber.

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