So we find ourselves in a lazy, snowy Saturday. It is rare I do a post with links, but here are a few good reads I recommend you check out.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN Writes of the Phillies Odd Offseason:
....they're giving off a bit of an "all good things must come to an end" vibe this winter. Fresh off a 73-win season in which attendance dropped by more than 500,000, the Phillies made several moves that have been greeted with yawns or skepticism by the fan base. And even Amaro's closest friends and relatives might be hard-pressed to pick them to finish ahead of Atlanta or Washington in the National League East.
Barring a turnaround, the obligatory "general manager on the hot seat" references are only going to increase. Someone will have to answer the tough questions, and it won't be the Phillie Phanatic.
The Phillies seem to think that people won't buy season tickets if the Phillies rebuild. I am the opposite; I canceled my season tickets because they will NOT rebuild. I am happy to pay to watch young players, but not more of the same.
John Stolnis of The Good Phight Wonders Why Darin Ruf Isn't Getting Time
Ruf....isn't a very good defensive outfielder. Whether you trust defensive metrics or not, an objective eye coupled with those metrics will tell you that glaciers move faster in the outfield than Ruf.
We all know this. Ruf is not an All-Star, and probably isn't an every day Major Leaguer.
But here's one thing Ruf does have that, frankly, almost no one else on the 40-man roster actually does have.
Ruf has power. Significant power. And despite his high strikeout rate, he gets on base and knows how to draw a walk.
The Phillies desperately needed defense in right field. But Domonic Brown and Ryan Howard probably will sit against some lefties and there will be plenty of DH at bats against left-handed pitching in the year-round Interleague Format we're in. In the opening series of the season the Phillies will face the Rangers in Arlington, and Ruf probably starts against Rangers' lefties Matt Harrison and Martin Perez. Bobby Abreu probably gets the DH start Opening Day against Yu Darvish if he makes the team.
On CSN Philly: Corey Seidman, Marshall Harris, and John Gonzalez on Mike Adams and "Chemistry"
"Last year we started playing a little more inspired, I think," Adams said of the final two months of the season. "You never want to see a change in coaching staff, your manager or anything like that, but it kind of lit something. Ryne wanted to pull the best out of everybody, and he challenged people, straight-up challenged people."
More talk about the Phillies having "chemistry" issues. Maybe the Phillies could do as Kevin Cooney suggests and dump Papelbon. No teammate is going to say that Papelbon is an issue if they have to go to battle with him. But if "chemistry" is an issue and Papelbon is part of the problem. Of course, Adams not giving the Phillies much for his $6 million salary is no help either.
Jay Floyd of Phillies Nation took a look at Rule 5 draft pick Kevin Munson
Selected by the Phillies in this off-season’s Rule 5 draft, right-handed pitcher Kevin Munson is probably the most likely prospect on this countdown to make the team’s opening day roster.
Since Mike Adams will not be ready by Opening Day, he may have a shot. I think that the Phillies have several locks: Papelbon, Jake Diekman, Antonio Bastardo, Justin De Fratus, Chad Gaudin; That would leave two spots for Munson, at the expense of the likes of Mike Stutes, Phillippe Aumont, B.J. Rosenberg, and Erik Kratz trade acquisition Brad Lincoln.