Phillies, Et Cetera…
I’ve been quite busy lately, so you may have noticed few posts. That may continue for a while, but hang in there. I wanted to say a few things about Dom Brown. Well, one. He needs to pick it up. He has one home run this year, and his average is down to .242. There was an article written not too long ago about how Brown is trying to “learn how to hit first” before trying to hit with more power. Learn how to hit? I’m sorry, I thought a Major League player was supposed to know how to hit already. Isn’t that like your contractor telling you “Sorry, I know you wanted a two story addition, but I need to learn how to build a birdhouse first.”? A while back when I got on Chooch’s case, he started hitting, so hopefully that will happen with Brown now, too.
Do you ever wonder why the Cardinals are always good? Just look at their pitching staff. There is no better evidence that shows how great they are at drafting and developing talent. Four of their five starters were drafted by the team. All are 27 years old or younger. All have ERAs of 3.60 or lower. The last time the Phillies developed a good starter was Cole Hamels. No, Kyle Kendrick doesn’t count. Their best pitcher, Adam Wainwright was acquired in a trade. This is why the Cardinals can let their high-priced free agents go. Speaking of that, here is an article about John Henry, owner of the Red Sox. To be honest with you, I haven’t read it all yet, but from the summary on mlbtraderumors.com it sounds like Amaro should read it. In it Henry discusses the danger of paying long-term contracts as well as the need for “ignoring sentiment” when making decisions regarding players. Here’s a quote that I did read:
…baseball success has come to hinge less on signing expensive stars, as George Steinbrenner’s Yankees once did, and much more on making smarter bets than the competition on which young players will emerge as the next stars
It also refers to the very fortunate trade the Red Sox made with the Dodgers:
The lone bright spot was a blockbuster trade that, as Henry has put it, “sent a quarter of a billion dollars of unhappiness packing”—Beckett, Crawford, and Gonzalez were shipped to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a pair of stud prospects and the chance to start over with a clean slate. For the Red Sox, this was a stroke of almost unimaginable good fortune.
Oh, and one other thing Ruben “I don’t care about walks” Amaro should read:
A Bloomberg Sports analysis of the Red Sox’s 2013 season conducted for Bloomberg Businessweek sheds light on what lay behind the team’s worst-to-first turnaround. In a nutshell: The Red Sox got on base more often than any other team in baseball, saw a ton of pitches, rarely swung, and crushed the balls they did swing at, especially fastballs.
Lastly, what is going on with Cody Asche? Amaro says that he is a slow starter and the Phillies have to give him time. That’s true on both accounts, but Asche is lucky that their other third base prospect, Maikel Franco, is also off to an equally bad start. On a radio interview Amaro stated that teams have to be patient with players and gave Mike Schmidt as an example. He said that it took three years before he was good. That’s a little debatable since Schmidt’s first year was only 40 plate appearances. If you don’t count that year, it was two, but that’s not really important. The main thing is that if the Phillies were rebuilding as they probably should have, Asche’s performance wouldn’t be an issue. However, Amaro stubbornly attempted to try to compete again putting young players in a tough spot.
Lastly, the Phillies bullpen could really have used Joel Hanrahan who signed with the Tigers. The Phillies payroll, though, is at its max for the most part. Another problem with trying to continually compete with aging players and not having enough turnover on the team.