Some Thoughts on Amaro’s Thoughts

CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury has a very informative article up today with plenty of quotes from Phillies GM Ruben Amaro. He discussed the production of the core players and the state of the team going forward. I’d like to parse through Amaro’s thoughts and respond to them with some of my own.

On Ben Revere:

“Listen, we got what we thought would be good complementary players, especially in center field,” Amaro said. “We wanted to make sure we had someone who could defend and stabilize the position. It’s so important to have that in the middle of the field.

“Ben has been OK. I was hoping that he’d be playing better. He hasn’t played up to expectations yet. He’s still a young guy. He’s still adjusting to a new club and he wasn’t an everyday centerfielder in Minnesota. Unfortunately people expect a lot from a guy when you trade for him. We still need to be patient. Hopefully he’ll be the player we think he can be, but you always run a risk with a young player.

“From what we saw [when he was with Minnesota] we felt he’d be an above-average defender. He’s had some issues with routes. Again, he’s still learning. People wanted young players. We wanted young players. Sometimes it takes a young player time. You can’t expect them to all be stars right away.

I think I might be one of the few people left who still views the Revere trade positively, and it has nothing to do with how poorly Vance Worley has fared with Minnesota. Revere will never hit, that’s just a fact of life. Anyone expecting him to slug .350 will end up broken-hearted. Revere also certainly has some work to do in the outfield in terms of reads and routes.

That said, the best feature of Revere’s is his arbitration-eligibility through 2017. He is earning $515,000 this year at the age of 25 and enters his first year of arbitration after the season. There are two possibilities: 1) Revere continues to perform as he has, which makes him relatively cheap going forward; or, 2) he exceeds expectations, in which case the Phillies will gladly pay him an escalating salary. They are in no way bound to Revere the way they are bound to Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, et. al. so they could even non-tender him if a better option comes along.

On Domonic Brown:

“Look at Domonic. People said, ‘What’s with Domonic Brown? He’s never going to be a player. Trade him.’ I see that stuff. The fact of the matter is it takes time for guys to develop. What Domonic has done has been great. I didn’t expect this type of success this early. But he’s always had the ability and the talent and now you’re seeing what can happen when it comes together.”

Amaro deserves credit for holding onto Brown when other teams were knocking down his door trying to convince him to throw him in a trade. However, let’s not forget the poor way the Phillies handled Brown. In 2010, they called him up for the first time and let him start every day for two weeks. He posted a .607 OPS in his first 42 plate appearances through August 11. From the 12th through the end of the season, Brown started four times and appeared in 24 of his team’s final 48 games. Raul Ibanez, despite hitting well, shouldn’t have been taking away crucial playing time from the Phillies’ best prospect, who had dominated Triple-A pitching that year to the tune of a .951 OPS.

Brown was hit on the hand with a pitch during spring training prior to the 2011 season, breaking his hamate bone. While the recovery period for such an injury isn’t that long (Brown was back in the Minors by the end of April), it takes a while for players to get back their power. Keith Law estimated that at 12-18 months. It took Brown about 18 months to get his power back. In the meantime, he hit reasonably well in the Minors. The Phillies called him up again in mid-May. Between May 20 and July 29, after which they demoted him again, Brown posted a .729 OPS but with a sub-.400 slugging percentage. He started regularly but it was out of necessity, not choice.

Going into 2012, many expected Brown to earn a starting job out of spring training, but Juan Pierre took that honor. In order to get regular at-bats, Brown started in Triple-A. There, he hit .286 with a .335 on-base percentage, but not enough power. The Phillies called him up at the end of July after trading away Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence. In the final two months, playing every day, Brown hit .235 with a sub-.400 slugging percentage.

At no point did Brown get more than two months of consistent playing time in the Majors. The Phillies expected him to hit for power after an injury that specifically saps power, and they expected him to do it while moving back and forth from the Majors to the Minors. That is not how you develop talent. Judging by recent comments from Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, that is not an uncommon sentiment.

As mentioned, Amaro deserves credit for protecting Brown from inclusion in trades several years ago, but also deserves criticism for the unprofessional way with which he was handled in more recent years.

On Delmon Young:

“Delmon has had success in fits and starts,” Amaro said. “By this time I had hoped for a little more consistent offensive production. How patient can we be? I’m not sure. But we’ll be patient until he improves or somebody produces more than him.”

Young’s production over the last three years:

  • 2011: .268 AVG/.302 OBP/.393 SLG (503 PA)
  • 2012: .267 AVG/.296 OBP/.411 SLG (608 PA)
  • 2013: .232 AVG/.290 OBP/.438 SLG (124 PA)

Considering the sample size, Young is hitting almost exactly how he hit over the last two years. Young is one of the least-difficult players to project. That the Phillies had hoped for better production out of Young speaks to a poor talent evaluation process. That his inclusion on the roster came at the cost of non-tendering Nate Schierholtz only speaks further to that point.

On Darin Ruf:

“People think because the guy hit 30-plus homers in Double A … ,” Amaro said. “Again, it’s Double A baseball. Yes, he has ability. But there’s a whole road of adjustments to be made at higher levels. He hasn’t gotten on a roll yet, but we do believe he’s going to come around and get hot. Hopefully he pushes us so we have to make a tough decision.”

I tweeted this earlier:

twitter.com/CrashburnAlley/status/344148315560087552

People got way too excited about Ruf last year when he was a 25-year-old beating up on 22- and 23-year-olds, most of them in Double-A for the first time. Ruf had actually spent his previous three years at various levels of Single-A. Eric Longenhagen sees teams employing a right-handed shift on him if he ever has an extended stay in the Majors. Ruf’s status in the organization is a reflection of how little top-level talent there is.

On the team overall:

“The best chance we have to be a winning club now and in the future is to have the top of the rotation we have with those two big lefthanders,” he said of Lee and Hamels. “That’s our best chance to win games. That’s what we’re in the business of doing.

“People think we’re going to blow up this team. We’re never going to be in the position of blowing up. There’s no blowing up. There might come a time when we make changes to improve for the future, but we don’t have a reason to blow it up. Boston didn’t blow it up last year. They retooled. That’s the challenge we have whether it’s July 31 or November 1.”

The difference between the Red Sox and Phillies is that the Red Sox had a decent farm system from which to extract talent. They were also lucky enough to find a team willing to take on $250 million in salary.

The Phillies tried retooling for the 2013 season. It’s not working because the roster is heavy on old, injury-prone veterans. Among players with 150 or more plate appearances for the Red Sox this year, David Ortiz is the only one older than 31. For the Phillies, five of the seven players to accrue 150 or more PA are 33 or older.

For the Phillies to do what the Red Sox did, they would have to do the following:

  • Find a team to take on Howard’s remaining contract the way the Red Sox did with their trio of stars, and the Angels with Vernon Wells
  • Make a series of trades (Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz, Michael Young, Delmon Young, Jonathan Papelbon) to acquire top-level Minor League talent that can be plugged into the starting lineup either immediately or in the near future
  • Fill in around the edges with smart, low-risk free agent signings (e.g. Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew) and risk-free trades (Mike Carp)

The Red Sox, though, have one thing the Phillies have not had, do not have, and most likely will not have for the foreseeable future: a willingness to embrace modern analysis. Rather than wed analytics with scouting the way most teams around baseball have done, the Phillies remain one of the few teams that still relies almost exclusively on its scouts. For this reason, the Phillies have whiffed big time on no-brainer free agent signings, selecting talent in trades, and identifying existing talent within the system. The Phillies can mimic the Red Sox all they want, but until the GM and the organization at large remains in the 20th century with the way they evaluate talent, they will continue to repeat the mistakes that put them in this position in the first place.

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94 comments

  1. btvgeorge

    June 11, 2013 04:39 PM

    I think it is rather obvious with out going into much detail that the Phillies as an organization despite the very high payrole are a middle of the pack team and with no real shot of ascending back to elite level status given the current broup of aging core layers. The team literally needs to be blown up.

    1.Trade utley
    2.Trade Lee
    3.Trade Paps
    4. Try and trade young and Howard
    5.Trade Ruiz.
    6.Trade whoever the heck you can

  2. Phillie697

    June 11, 2013 04:48 PM

    @LTG,

    Let’s examine the actual facts then: Dom Brown played regularly ALL THE WAY up until the day Hunter Pence was acquired.

    Let say we accept the premises of your explanation. Apparently, he wasn’t developing in the majors, but since we didn’t have anyone else better, what are we going to do? We have to play him, nevermind that we have determined that leaving him in the majors was detrimental to his development. Oh but wait, we have this Hunter Pence guy we can trade for, so hurray, we can now care about Dom Brown’s future and not let him bat himself into stupor by his ineptitude in the majors, and we can now send him back to the minors!!! Oh but no… We don’t think the boy has had enough… So you know what, we’re going to send him back to the minors AFTER we acquire Pence, since you know, we played him this long in the majors up to this point because we were trying to win so Dom Brown’s long-term future be damned but now we can send him down, we’ll fuck with him some more and tell him, “yeah, you’re gonna have to go learn this new position now, because yeah, we have this Hunter Pence guy now playing where you were playing.”

    Whether Dom Brown would have developed or not earlier wasn’t my focus. My focus was on how RAJ’s actions showed that he didn’t care as much as he could have. That by definition is mishandling, regardless of whether it may or may not have hampered Dom’s ACTUAL development.

  3. Phillie697

    June 11, 2013 04:54 PM

    @Cutter,

    All I got out of your latest post is that

    1) You thought Brown wasn’t very good, but now you changed your mind.

    2) You have no idea whether that was due to him being mishandled or not.

    Although I did re-read your original post, and I agree with you perhaps the best we can do is just enjoy the Dom Brown we have now, and not worry so much about how we got here. But I’ll tell you what tho, this is not the way I prefer our mega-prospects be dealt with by the FO, and I’m not so certain any future prospects wouldn’t be handled in a similar fashion by RAJ, and THAT is why we all still talk about it as if it’s relevant.

  4. btvgeorge

    June 11, 2013 05:04 PM

    @ Phillies 697

    I love love love your infatuation with Pence blocking Dom brown. I mean you are just not willing to give it up. I almost have to respect you because you are a man of your convictions.

    23 year old Dom Brown in 2011 had a line of
    G56 PA210AB 184 AVG. 245 OBP.333 SLG .391 ops.725 ops+98

    28 year old Pence
    g54 PA 236 ab 207 avg.324 obp.394 slg.560 ops.954 ops+159

    He beat D brown in EVERY offensive category while playing much better defense. It was the right move to play Pence at the time. D. brown while good was a work in progress and the Phillies had plans to win the world series. Sending brown back down was the move.

  5. Ted Kennedy

    June 11, 2013 05:10 PM

    Obtaining Pence was the right call? You’re crazy man. There was no reason to obtain Pence when the team did.

  6. Ted Kennedy

    June 11, 2013 05:12 PM

    When people call for trading every valuable player the Phillies have, I know that they aren’t really baseball fans. Also thinking like a small market team. Those “fans” just want change for the sake of change.

  7. btvgeorge

    June 11, 2013 05:24 PM

    @ Ted Kennedy

    granted we gave up a lot to get Pence but it also made the Phillies a better team at the time and to some degree filled the void of Werth.
    It really cant be argued that the 2011 team was better team with Pence than without. The players we gave up are very young while also being blocked by other current MLB players.

    You cant forget Pence played very very well for the Phillies that year was under team control for multiple years and the team won a club record 102 games while just losing to the eventual world series champs 1-0 in game 5.

  8. Phillie697

    June 11, 2013 05:43 PM

    @btvgeorge,

    We can agree or disagree whether sending Brown down and trading Pence was the right move overall or not, but regardless, don’t you at least agree that we did it to the detriment of Brown in order to win in 2011? Are you disputing THAT?

    Therefore he WAS, by definition, mishandled. Whether that was overall a mistake or not, that I agree we can differ in our opinions. I keep bring Pence up because most people realize now the trade was a mistake, as we gave up too much for too little. So if it was a mistake, shouldn’t we also acknowledge that there was ANOTHER cost to the trade that we paid, but haven’t been talked about?

  9. btvgeorge

    June 11, 2013 05:52 PM

    @ Phillies697
    “don’t you at least agree that we did it to the detriment of Brown in order to win in 2011? Are you disputing THAT?”

    I def agree on that and I think that is exactly what happened. But since baseball is a team sport if sending a 23 year old back to the minors makes your team better even if it might come at that 23 year olds expense it is the move to do. Remember after we sent brown down the Phillies ended up having the best record in baseball and were almost unanimous word series favorites. From a winning stand point, it is the move to do 100 out of 100 times.

  10. btvgeorge

    June 11, 2013 05:59 PM

    @ Ted Kennedy

    When people call for trading every valuable player the Phillies have, I know that they aren’t really baseball fans. Also thinking like a small market team. Those “fans” just want change for the sake of change.

    I am a huge baseball fan and even bigger Phillies fan. But I am a realist too. The current group of Phillies is just not good enough to win the word series plain and simple. I am not saying make trades for the sake of making a trade. That is just stupid and not kind to the fans. But if we can get good players in return for current players and not a bag of baseballs or some, “prospects” then from a winning standpoint NO ONE should be off limits.

  11. Phillie697

    June 12, 2013 12:13 AM

    @btvgeorge,

    Hence he was mishandled. Whether or not that was worth the price, we don’t know. I’m just glad he’s finally busting out now.

  12. Corn

    June 12, 2013 03:33 AM

    @ Ted Kennedy.

    If you look at wins then it looks like they did well under Amaro. If you look at the results though ( world series ) that is a different story.

    They have regressed each and every year since winning the world series.

    08 World Series win ( Gillick )
    09 World Series loss 4-2 series ( Amaro )
    10 NL Championship loss 4-2 series
    11 NL Division series loss 3-2
    12 No playoffs ( wildcard expanded even )

    Now sure there no way up from the world series but each year since their last appearance they have been looking worse and worse. Even with the 102 win season they had alot of problems. They didn’t look like a 102 win team tbh.

    Now you figure in the diminishing returns for post season play. The increasing payroll and aged roster, the lack of farm system.

    Its not good & that falls at the hands of Amaro.

  13. jake

    June 12, 2013 04:39 AM

    1) How did boston not “blow it up?” They traded away major stars that were free-agent headline signings. That’s blowing it up. Maybe not with a nuclear device, but TNT for sure. Idiot.

    2) I think it’s time to trade Dom Brown. Value will never be higher and we need several major pieces.

    3) 2011 was a good team done in by bad managing and bad matchup. Had that team won the WS Amaro would be remembered differently. Also- maybe he’d be more willing to stop chasing the grail now.

    4) @ BTVgeorge- are you in Burlington, VT? Me too. Be good to watch some phils games with another well educated phan. (See what I did there. Replaced “f” with “Ph.” ‘Cause I’m core.”

    5) Shoot howard now or just wait till his legs fall off?

  14. Scott G

    June 12, 2013 05:26 AM

    Phillie,

    I agree Brown was mishandled. However, it’s starting to seem like you’re suggesting that any time a major league team demotes a potential prospect for the reason of playing a better player in his spot that should be considered mishandling. Not quite sure I agree.

  15. hk

    June 12, 2013 05:45 AM

    btvgeorge: “It really cant be argued that the 2011 team was better team with Pence than without.”

    The 2011 team won 63% of their games (66-39) before the trade and won 63% of their games (36-21) after it. Was the team better with Pence? I would argue yes, but minimally. I would also that they would have been better with Pence and Brown than they were with Pence and Ibanez.

    However, that’s not the real point of whether it was a good trade. The questions that need to be answered are (1) how much did they give up to get Pence? and (2) since they were already practically a lock for the post-season, how much would they reasonably expect Pence to improve their chances in the post-season? In my opinion, the answer to the first question is too much and the answer to the second question is not enough.

  16. Phillie697

    June 12, 2013 09:52 AM

    @Scott G.

    It stems really from my non-confidence of RAJ. I don’t trust him to make those decisions balancing the continued development of major prospects, i.e. our future, vs. enhancing our current chances of winning the wildcard/division/pennant/WS. Since the Pence trade is now viewed as a negative, it just goes to show that we paid a hefty price for that trade, and not just because we gave up some valuable prospects; we even hampered the one we did keep.

  17. Cutter

    June 12, 2013 11:51 AM

    @hk -

    When they traded for Pence, it looked like the team’s biggest (only?) weakness was vulnerablity to left-handed pitchers, specifically situational relievers.

    In theory, putting a RH threat like Pence in between Utley and Howard would minimize that weakness.

    Over a full season, that type of thing might not matter as much, but in a short series against a notorious micromagaer like LaRussa, it could mean a lot.

    Also, Pence wasn’t just acquired for the 2011 season. Part of the reason they wanted him and gave up so much for him was because he was under club control for the next two seasons as well.

    So it wasn’t just helping them win the 2011 WS, but the 2012 and 2013 WS as well.

  18. Fish Fry

    June 12, 2013 02:42 PM

    Inherited to Today
    C Ruiz to C-broken down
    1B – RH to broken down RH
    2B – Chase to broken down or FG
    SS – JRoll to JPOP
    3B – Feliz to Mike Young (no pop, less D)
    LF – Burrell to Dom via Raul
    CF – Victorino to Revere
    RF – Jayson Werth to D. Young
    P – Cole Hamels to Cole Hamels
    P – Moyer to Lee
    P – B. Meyers to KK
    P – Eaton to Pettibone
    P – Blanton to Cloyd
    RP – Lidge to Paps
    RP – Madson to Adams
    RP – Durbin to Durbin
    RP – Romero to Horst
    RP – Condrey to misc
    2008 Bch Stairs, Dobbs, Coste, Taguchi, Bruntlett
    2013 Bch FG, KF, JMJ, Quintero, Hernandez

    If you really look at his methods, RAJ saw value in Starting pitchers, little value in Defence and extreme value in experience and Closer and when guys begin to breakdown, he hasn’t been able to let go and walk away. Partly because of contracts, partly because he has trouble properly evaluating player ability either through poor player personnel teams or methods.

    I am sorry, when I look at where we have gotten and the steps we took to get here, I keep hoping that RAJ will show a capacity to learn from his mistakes. I don’t know why, few of us learn lessons quickly from our mistakes unless the consequences are harsh. So far, we have seen no consequences to his blunders. The beatdown continues.

  19. hk

    June 13, 2013 05:38 AM

    Pencilfish: “Don’t give up on the Phillies yet. Since 2007, they have performed much better in the 2nd-half than in the 1st-half.”

    I heeded your advice of the other day and held onto hope…for two more games. After losing two straight to the pathetic Twins, it’s time to be realistic. The team currently holding the 2nd Wild Card spot is playing .600 ball, which projects to 97 wins. Even if we assume that Pittsburgh can’t keep up the .600 pace, they’ll only have to go 53-44 to win 92 games and can play just below .500 ball the rest of the way and still win 87 games. The Phils, on the other hand, have to go 61-35, a pace that equates to 103 wins in a full season, to win 92 games. They’ll have to play .583 ball to win 87. Heck, despite the fact they they’ve been a 2nd half team in years past, I’m no longer confident that this group can win the 52% of the remaining games that would be necessary for them to finish at .500. The time has come to start looking at 2014 and beyond.

  20. Joecatz

    June 13, 2013 09:05 AM

    Hunter Pence went 4-19 with a .496 OPS in the 2011 NLDS.

    He just as easily could have gone 10-19 with two HRs.

    The reason it was a bad trade had nothing to do with his post season performance or the teams record before or after or it’s effect on Dom browns development.

    It was a bad trade because the phillies were 90% to make the postseason. But pence wasn’t traded for to replace brown in 2012. He was traded for to replace Ibanez with brown moving to LF. Browns injuries delayed that.

    The epic fail of the pence trade and doms development are two seperate issues that people like to muck together.

  21. Phillie697

    June 13, 2013 10:50 AM

    @Joecatz,

    If you for a moment thinks that RAJ was not aware that trading Pence might be detrimental to Brown in some way (asking him to switch positions, for starters, hello!), then you’re probably as blinded on the other side as you accuse people on this side are.

  22. joecatz

    June 13, 2013 12:39 PM

    Phillie697,

    Yeah your right. Brown has been nothing short of a bust with the move to LF, and has failed miserably.

    Do you have any idea how many players switch between LF and RF and CF over the course of their careers? Is it a NEGATIVE OR A POSITIVE today, right now, in the grand scheme of things that Dom Brown has the ability to play EITHER LF or RF???

    Thats a plus. a big fat juicy plus, that would not have happened if the Pence trade didn’t go down. It makes him more valueable!!

    what WOULD have happened, is Dom would have split time in RF with Mayberry in 2011 and had less AB’s, less development, and been further behind.

    You consistently want to do nothing but beat up the front office, and I get that.So do I. But not every move they make is bad.

    You can’t look at this shit in a vaccuum and say they should have done this that or the other thing. You look at it in the context of reality.

    And I’m not blinded to shit. The Pence trade was an epic fail. Dom should have been sent down in 2010. non tendering Nate Schierholtz made the trade worse, and was the biggest mistake of the offseason.

    But none of those things were done purposely to stunt Browns development, and none of them had any effect on his development.

    All they did was allow him to develop at a different place and a different pace and anyone who thinks Dom Brown is in a worse position today because of that isn’t watching the same player.

    Whether it was done on purpose, with thought, with blind luck, or chance is debateable. But nothing that happened to Dom Brown from the Hamate injury on, in early 2011 stunted his develpoment, made him an inferior player, or hurt him.

    It all HELPED HIM!!

    he added a position to his repertoir!
    his swing is shorter!
    he’s living up to potential beyond anyone’s wildest dreams at 24 years old!!

    the number of hitters to hit 20 HRs in a season under 24 per year:

    2012: 8
    2011: 7
    2010: 5

    Look up the names and its a list of all star talent that youd KILL to have in the OF. Kill.

  23. Pencilfish

    June 13, 2013 01:57 PM

    hk,

    Emotionally-speaking, I don’t disagree after another heartbreaker in the late innings last night,but the Phillies are 8.5 games back of the 2nd WC, with 96 games to play.
    Mathematically, the Phillies have to make up one game every 10 and leap over every team ahead of them to get the 2nd WC. Possible? Yes. Doable? Probably not without changes.

    The Pirates (who would be the 2nd WC if the season ended last night) were 42-36 on July 1st, 2012. They finished 79-83 last year. Ditto for 2011. If anything, the Pirates are a first-half team. There are, of course, other teams in the WC chase (Giants, Rockies, Nats, etc), but my point is that it is still early to give up, though not by much.

  24. Pencilfish

    June 13, 2013 02:01 PM

    hk,

    I forgot about 2007 and 2008, when the Phillies came back from 6 games (or more) in SEPTEMBER to win the NL East. Both times they victimized the Mets. I’m not suggesting this team is capable of doing this, but again, wait a bit more before officially giving up.

  25. joecatz

    June 13, 2013 03:49 PM

    Pencilfish,

    on June 30th last year, the Oakland A’s were 37-42. they stood 13 games back in the division behind the Texas Rangers, who, at 50-29 had the best record in baseball.

    Texas went 43-40 the rest of the way, and the A’s went 57-26.

    stranger things have happened.

  26. hk

    June 13, 2013 03:57 PM

    Pencilfish,

    I don’t know that the 2007 through 2012 teams being 2nd half teams is predictive of this year’s squad also being a 2nd half team. Those teams had Howard, Utley, Rollins and Victorino in their primes and didn’t have the likes of Delmon Young, Michael Young and Ben Revere. I also don’t know that last year’s collapse by the Pirates is predictive of another collapse this year. I appreciate your optimism, although I don’t share it.

  27. hk

    June 13, 2013 04:16 PM

    Pencilfish,

    Now that Mini-Mart went on a mini hot streak and got recalled (with Hernandez being sent back to AAA), I may have to re-think my pessimism.

  28. Kevin H

    June 14, 2013 04:35 AM

    @joecatz you reveal your biases when you state that Brown “lived up to potential beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.” Plus you are off on his age. He will be 26 by season’s end. He should have been getting primed for big league stardom in 2011 (at 23- and he was getting used to the league and hitting well when they acquired Pence and sent him down). He should have been settling in and hitting 20+ HRs in the big leagues at age 24 if Amaro could get out of his own way- but Brown was toiling away in the minors while Mayberry and Nix (on a multi-year deal!) were given regular time. All-in-all, encouraging and showing faith in your young talent tends to work better than sending a loud and clear message- “we can’t trust you in a pennant race”, “we trust 10 year trash like Nix more than you.” I’m certain the same thing is in play for young relievers like Aumont- who see themselves filling a role- when they see Amaro go out and acquire garbage like Durbin and Adams and put them in the roles.

  29. Cutter

    June 14, 2013 08:17 AM

    @Kevin-

    Are you saying that the acquisition of Durbin and Adams is the reason that Aumont struggled?

    So you think that if Aumont had been given the 8th inning setup role at the start of the season he’d have had a better season?

    And once again, for everyone villifying Amaro for Brown not fulfilling his potential before this season…he did have some opportunities! If he had shown close to his 2013 form, he likely would have kept playing.

  30. joecatz

    June 14, 2013 09:19 AM

    kevin H,

    Mike Adams is far from garbage. and Aumont has sucked at every chance hes gotten. and he been given plenty of chances. 10 BB to 15Ks in 13 IP this year with a 435/519/522 opposing slash against RHB. all but one of those innings were 7 8 or 9. and in the 8th inning role you want to see him in the dude has an ERA over 12 this season.

    you really think the reason Brown didn’t hit 20 HR’s is because Amaro got in his way?? if thats the case why didn’t he hit them at AAA?? cause he felt sorry for himself??

    again, he didn’t toil ANYWHERE in 2012. he was HURT!!! to start the season!!! and he got hurt again in june and was called up 2 weeks after he healed and has been here for good since.

    he hit 20 HRS over 2 seasons between AAA and the majors from 2011 to 2012 in over 870 plate appearances.

    he didn’t hit home runs becaue his hamate wasnt healed and his swing was shit.

    thats got nothing to do with anyone but Dom Brown. plain and simple.

  31. hk

    June 14, 2013 10:10 AM

    The “Did they?” or “Didn’t they?” argument about whether the team mishandled Dom is one in which neither side should be as sure of their position as those on both sides seem to be. There’s no one right way to develop a prospect, so we obviously don’t know what might have happened to Dom (or the team) if they had either not traded for Pence or if they had dumped Ibanez when they did trade for Pence. If they had not replaced Dom with Pence, there’s a chance that Dom, coming off a .400 OBP in July 2011, could have continued getting on base at a very high clip over the remainder of the 2011 season and into the 2011 post-season, after which his power could have returned in 2012 and he would have been the Dom we see now a little sooner. He may also have been part of the team going further in the 2011 post-season than they did. There’s also a chance that Dom, in an effor to get more production instead of walks, could have regressed during the remainder of the 2011 season, struggled in the post-season, lost his confidence and never become the player that we are seeing today.

  32. joecatz

    June 14, 2013 10:42 AM

    the point in all of this is that Regardles of where he played or didnt play in 2011 and 2012, NOTHING would have changed regarding the injuries.

    He still breaks his Hamate in spring of 2011. He still needs a month of rehab in the minors and he still doesnt get the philly till late May of that year.

    he still slugs at .393 through the trade deadline. he still only hits 5 HRs in 54 games.

    maybe he hits better than 227/374/299 in the bigs the rest of the season. thats provided he gets more than 123 plate appearances in RF.

    he still gets hurt in ST in 2012. he still only gets 20 ST ABs, and he still tarts the year in lehigh BECAUSE OF THAT.

    he still hits 250/291/347 with 0 HRs8 BB and 28 Ks though the end of May there. while he gets his swing back.

    he still gets his stroke going in June, for two weeks, and smacks two HRs and a 306/360/592 line with 5 BB and 8 ks and the phillies still decide to call him up that week.

    and he still GETS HURT AGAIN, and still misses 4 weeks from june 14th to july 10th.

    he still gets two weeks of rehab from the injury, and still hits 374/433/609 over that period and still gets called up end of july of 2012.

    NONE OF THAT CHANGES. the timeline stays the same.

    I’m not arguing a bias here. I’m just stating facts that are conveniently forgotten.

    Dom brown was a walking band aid for half of 2011 and 2012. the injuries forced more of this than anything else. he was never healthy to make a roster in 2011 OR 2012 OUT OF SPRING TRAINING.

    and in every season going INTO THE SPRING the job was his to win.

    its so freaking simple to see but because ruben and the organization are idiots its their fault. thats just plain off base and convenient. there are GMs smarter and better than Ruben who would have cut tie with him long ago. And I love Dom. always have. but the blame for what took him so long falls on him and injuries more than anyone else.

  33. Pencilfish

    June 14, 2013 10:56 AM

    joecatz,

    I agree stranger things have happened, and that’s why I’m not ready to pull the plug on the season just yet. I am reminded of a game I gave up on in 1987, when the Phillies were trailing the Pirates 6-5 in the 9th inning. I missed Mike Schmidt’s 500th HR, a 3-run shot that won the game that afternoon.

    hk,

    Sending Hernandez back to AAA is a good sign. It means Utley is coming back soon. Hernandez will play on a regular basis in AAA. If Utley is traded, expect Hernandez back in August. As for Mini-Mart, he will ride the bench for a week or so, until Utley is back.

  34. hk

    June 14, 2013 11:01 AM

    Pencilfish,

    If you are not giving up on this season as you mention in your response to joecatz – by the way, the Schmidt 500th HR game is not really analgous to the Phillies season – wouldn’t you want someone better than Martinez on the bench in case he’s called on to PH with the game on the line?

  35. hk

    June 14, 2013 11:05 AM

    joecatz,

    It is absurd to think that everything that happened in Dom’s career would be unchanged if the Phils had made a different decision (either not traded for Pence or kept Dom in the lineup and benched Ibanez) at the 2011 trade deadline.

  36. Pencilfish

    June 14, 2013 11:16 AM

    hk,

    Yeah, Mini-Mart is not the right PH with the game on the line, but he can be a pinch-runner and play 2B, SS and CF (I think) as a defensive replacement. As an added bonus, we don’t run or restart the arbitration clock on more valuable potential call-ups. This all assumes Utley is coming back soon. If that’s not the case, then it makes no sense to call up Mini-Mart.

    Also, what other IF could we call up
    instead of Mini-Mart for a short stay? I am not sure there are that many viable options.

  37. hk

    June 14, 2013 11:23 AM

    Pencilfish,

    If they are still thinking about this year, I would sooner see them keep Hernandez on the roster – and actually start him more frequently with Galvis sitting – until Utley returns. Losing that 4-3 game to Milwaukee a few Saturdays when Mini-Mart made the last out still bothers me.

  38. Pencilfish

    June 14, 2013 11:39 AM

    hk,

    It’s tough to see minor-league lifers in Philly on a constant basis, I know. Here some good news: Ruiz will start his rehab tomorrow, and he’s on schedule to return next Friday, according to CSN.

  39. joecatz

    June 14, 2013 11:51 AM

    joecatz,

    It is absurd to think that everything that happened in Dom’s career would be unchanged if the Phils had made a different decision (either not traded for Pence or kept Dom in the lineup and benched Ibanez) at the 2011 trade deadline.

    why?

    the Hamate injury happened BEFORE the trade.

    if he tayed on the phillies roster would he NOT have shown up to spring training in 2012? he got hurt. hows that change?

    the only thing that would have changed, is if he had been on the roster in 2011, unless he suddenly hit better staying up than the 227/374/299 he did in lehigh the rest of the way, the phillies would have signed A DIFFERENT OF than Pence in the offseason to replace Ibanez, or traded for one. unless you think they would have gone into last season with Mayberry and Brown in the corners.

    NOTHING WOULD HAVE CHANGED EXCEPT

    Pence would be someone else. and that someone else might have cost Brown at that point. who knows.

    But NOTHING CHANGES IN REGARDS TO BROWN GETTING HURT. nothing.

  40. hk

    June 14, 2013 12:21 PM

    joecatz,

    I did not mean the hamate injury. I meant that the entire history of Dom Brown, not to mention the team and the whole world for that matter, would be different if the Phils had made a different decision on 7/30/11. On what basis do you claim he still would have gotten injured in Spring Training 2012? Is it that you believe those injuries were Dom’s destiny or God’s will?

  41. Phillie697

    June 14, 2013 12:45 PM

    @Joecatz,

    You continue to not understand my point. Most people agree that trading for Pence was to the detriment of Brown. Probably not a big detriment to many, but at least some. Most people also agree that we don’t know whether that detriment did or did not hamper Brown’s development, i.e. he may not have developed until 2013 anyway. Just because he’s doing good NOW doesn’t mean it’s because RAJ handled him right. Correlation does not imply causation, which should be one of the first tenants of the sabermetrically-educated.

    None of that change the fact that RAJ made the Pence trade not because he had the best interest of Dom Brown at heart; he made it because he wanted to win in 2011. Suggesting otherwise is just being stubborn. It may or may not have cost us anything as far as Dom Brown’s ACTUAL development is concerned, but it certainly IS a sign that RAJ was willing to sacrifice playing time of Brown AND force him to learn a new position for the sake of short-term gains. Was that a bad decision? I don’t think the sentiment is necessarily bad, but given that we ALREADY think the price we paid to get Pence was too much, this just piles on.

  42. joecatz

    June 14, 2013 01:34 PM

    HK,

    “On what basis do you claim he still would have gotten injured in Spring Training 2012? Is it that you believe those injuries were Dom’s destiny or God’s will?”

    on the basis that he was in major league camp, playing in a game, when it happened. he got hurt, because he got hurt. and that affected the decisions made at the start of the 2012 season. things happen the way they do because they do. whether Dom was in AAA or Philly in 2011 would have had no diffeence in where he was in 2012 when he injured himself in spring training. I don’t get how you can’t see that.

  43. joecatz

    June 14, 2013 01:42 PM

    Phillie697,

    im not most people. I look at things without anyones biased opinion affecting my judgement, and don’t take other stupid decisions into play when rationalizing why something else happened.

    let me ask you a question and rephrase this.

    Say they don’t trade for Pence.

    Say that Dom, magically, in 30 days in 2011 makes the adjustments necessary and goes on a tear in august. Does that stop Cliff Lee from blowing a 4 run lead in the NLDS?

    and say Brown is a lock for the starting RF job in 2012. Do you think that the phillies would have just gone with Mayberry in LF??

    no. They would have signed another FA or traded for someone. And Brown still would have been hurt to start the season and he still would have started at AAA.

    The Pence trade wasn’t made for 2011. It was made for 2011, 2012 and 2013. If they hadn’t traded for pence they would hacve moved for a different OF in the offseason, and Brown still might have switched to LF. That move was made to COMPLIMENT Dom Brown from Rubens skewed logic. But Dom Brown was always the guy in the other corner long term.

    I don’t get how people cant see that. The Pence trade wasn’t idiotic because you had Brown in RF. It was idiotic becuase you didn’t need to make that move THEN for the long term. they were locks for the playoffs.

    But they were signing another OF one way or another.

    We keep revising the history to meet the arguement we want to make, but i’ve spouted nothing but facts about Dom Brown.

  44. Johnny Podres

    June 27, 2013 12:02 AM

    To Cole Hamels defenders. He has gotten decent support from the Phillies offense. He blew an early 2-0 lead tonight in San Diego. He has had leads in several of his starts. He doesn’t have the same command of his pitches. His ERA stinks well over 4.40. I think giving these players enormous salaries is what causes their failures. He gets over 20 million a year whether he wins or loses he doesn’t care one way or the other.
    One last note the Phiilies can add 25 -30 wins to their record without making any trades. Simply fire Charley Manuel the worst field manager in baseball history. The other night in S.D. Lee piched 8 solid innings but made 109 pitches. He let Lee start the bottom of the 9th and he gave up a quick single and a double. Papelbon then allowed both runners to score and allowed S.D. to tie the game on a few crazy plays. Charley asked Lee how he felt after he came off the mound in the 8th. Naturally Lee tells him I’m fine (as he’s a real good competitor). Charley shouldn’t ask any pitcher how they feel according to them there all fine. I didn’t sleep at all that night and I need my rest as I’m a senior citizen been following baseball for 62 years. Originally a Brooklyn Dodgers fan. I pledge not to watch anymore Phillie game while Manuel is still there. My son’s dog could do a better job than Charley. The Phills should give him a rocking and send him back to WV where he belongs.

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