Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Quick Hits

I shudder to think where the Phillies would be without Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, but if pressed I would have to believe the team would be somewhere near the bottom of the standings in the Cape Cod Baseball League. One or both of the youngsters have picked their team up more times this disappointing season than we can count.

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Fabio Castro, our favorite Phillie in the Witness Protection Program, was sighted again Sunday night pitching against the New York Mets. He worked two innings allowing a single hit while lowering his ERA to 1.93. Fabio then disappeared.

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Charlie Manuel is no different than the rest of us when it comes to making decisions based on personal experience. A career .198 batter in portions of six big league seasons, Manuel is understandably a players’ manager, especially if that player is a beleaguered veteran. Asked why he wasn’t using Chris Coste’s hot bat at third base instead of the continually struggling Abe Nunez, Manuel replied that the club had traded David Bell with an eye toward giving Nunez a chance to show what he could do as an every-day player and they were going to stick with that plan out of fairness to Nunez. Most of Coste’s experience is at third base, not catcher, but he isn’t the peer of Nunez with a glove. Still, how long can the Phillies afford to start a player who is hitting 34 points below his own weight?

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The other Brett Myers showed up again last night in Atlanta, the one who couldn’t throw strikes and worse was handed a big lead and went right back out there and surrendered a good portion of it. Pitching after two straight losses to the Mets, Myers wasted yet another opportunity to show everyone he is the Phillies’ stopper. He isn’t and never will be.

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Add Ryan Franklin to the list of players who blame their own inadequacies on a perceived failure by their team to use them properly. Franklin claims he signed with the Phillies because he expected to be a starter and that the club then reneged on that promise and used him exclusively as a reliever, a role to which he was by his own account ill-suited.

Franklin should count himself lucky Pat Gillick has a fondness for former employees; otherwise, he never would have been signed in the first place. On the other hand, the fact that the Cincinnati Reds just did the Phils a favor and agreed to a trade for Franklin (the Phils will receive a minor leaguer in exchange and agreed to pay a portion of Franklin’s remaining salary) suggests that the dearth of quality major league pitching right now almost certainly would have guaranteed Franklin a job somewhere for the balance of this season.

Is Terry Adams still available?


Corey & Carson said...

Nunez defense: suprising sparkling.

Nunez offense: characteristically horrible.

How much longer can he be given a "chance"?...as Manuel would put it.

Anonymous said...

Nunez should be given a chance. His defense makes up for what he misses out on at the plate. He helped Myers contain one of the Atlanta rallies. Put Coste in there, and the game is over.

Pitching and defense go hand-in-hand, and that is what this team has been missing for years. I'll take Nunez at 3rd as long as keeps making plays like that.

Tom Goodman said...

Nunez has made several sparkling plays including the one you cite, but great defense is an acceptable offset to a batting average in the low .200's and a luxury with one 44 points below the Mendoza line. I am not advocating playing Coste there, but Abe has got to show something in the next week or so or the Phils should consider an alternative. I was one of the people clamoring for Nunez to be given a chance, but I do not believe a major league team can start a guy hitting .156 day in and day out even if he were the second coming of Brooks Robinson.

egrissom said...

Nunez may have value as a utility player but there's no way he should be an everyday player anywhere, much less at third base.

I'm not as impressed with his defense as everyone else seems to be. He's made two of the last five Phillies errors (all five of which have involved Howard).

The question isn't whether or not Nunez is a good everyday third baseman -- I think that position is almost indefensible. The question is whether or not the Phillies have a better option. I think they're trying to find one.

Rev. Smokin Steve said...

Ryan Franklin has no right to complain. He never deserved a chance at starting because he never did anything to prove he deserved a chance.

Tom Durso said...

Somebody -- you? the other TomG? Jason? -- speculated that Franklin was signed purely as a warm body, so that Gillick could assess the talents of Hamels, Floyd, etc., before deciding this off-season what the Phils' pitching needs might be. The in-season release of Franklin lends credence to that view.

Anonymous said...

I think Nunez will raise his average now that he's playing everyday.. he is a career .240 hitter (not great but also much better than he's got now). Most of the AB's he had before August were all pinch-hit chances, so all that tells you is that he stinks as a pinch hitter.

I might be biased because I saw him drop a bunt successfully the other night.. have any other Phillies done that this year? Ever?

Point is, egrissom said it best.. they don't have another option. I'd still take Nunez at 3rd over Coste or Bell.