With four days remaining until pitchers and catchers and catchers report to Clearwater and one week until the full team reports, it appears the Phillies are done signing mediocre infielders and outfielders that don't get on base. Well, for now. I think Endy Chavez is still out there, go get him Ruben! After all, he "doesn't care about walks, he cares about production".
This winter has had its ups and downs within the Phillies organization. It began with a great swap for a young, underrated outfielder, a signing of a decent short-term 3B and the addition of a proven right-handed arm to bridge the gap to Papelbon. Not bad. But, wait, here comes Yuniesky and Delmon and... dammit. I'll elaborate more below on the major signings of players who will see time at the major league level:
*Phillies acquire Ben Revere from Minnesota in return for Trevor May and Vance Worley.
In perhaps their best move of the offseason they acquire a 24 year-old center fielder to replace the large void left by Shane Victorino. He is coming off of a season in which he posted career numbers, hitting .294 with 150 hits and 40 SB. Had he been on this team last year, he would have led in batting average and stolen bases, and been second in hits, to Rollins' 158.
Tough to give up May, but worth it. Grade: A.
*Phillies acquire Michael Young in a swap for Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla.
A lot of people question Michael Young's ability at age 36, and rightfully so. He's coming off his worst season since 2002, consisting of a .277 batting average and 169 hits, (once again, if he was on the team last year, he would have been our best hitter), and we will likely see a decrease in numbers this year. To add to that he's a pretty spotty fielder and a downgrade in fielding skill from Polanco. But I see this as a 1-2 year rental in preparation for 22 year-old prospect Cody Asche to take over, and not a bad rental at all. He's a great leader in the clubhouse and can hold the fort down for a couple years.
*Phillies sign left-handed pitcher John Lannan.
"Ok". Yeah, that's what I also said when I heard they signed Lannan. His career numbers don't jump out at you(42-52 record, 4.01 ERA), but he could provide good competition for the four and five spots in the rotation with Cloyd and *twitch* Kendrick. Pettibone could get called up midseason to compete for a spot, but that is doubtful. I would love for Cloyd to get one of these spots and get experience as a full-season bottom of the rotation starter, so whether the fifth is Lannon or Kendrick is pretty irrelevent to me. Their 2012 numbers were nearly identical.
Kendrick: 11-12, 3.90 ERA, 116 Ks.
Lannan: 10-13, 3.70 ERA, 106 Ks.
*Phillies sign veteran right-handed reliever Mike Adams.
Man, do I love this signing. The Phillies come off of a year in which their 8th inning rotation looked something like Qualls-Bastardo-Aumont-Schwimer-Diekman it was obvious an upgrade was needed to bridge the gap to Papelbon, and they have won. I'm not even going to go into stats on this one. They lost an innumerable amount of games in the eighth inning last year and Adams will save us quite a few of those.
* Phillies sign right-fielder Delmon Young.
Here, I'll make up for some of the stats I neglected in my comments on Mike Adams.
Delmon Young is essentially here to compete with Dom Brown, the Phillies' outfielder that had star potential but has shown none of it.
Young, last year, hit .267 with 18 HR, 74 RBI, an on-base percentage of .317 and has 120 strikeouts and 20 walks.
20 walks in 608 plate appearances. In his career, he has walked 145 times in 3,575 plate appearances. That is one walk every 25 plate appearances, and that single statistic speaks for itself.
Ruben Amaro Jr. can say what he wants about Delmon Young's imaginary production and his coming to camp to compete with Domonic Brown, or even win the RF job. This was an awful signing, and I don't even like Dom Brown. Not to mention his anti-semitism incident last year.
*Phillies sign infielder and sort-of baseball player Yuniesky Betancourt.
If I had to compare him to anyone, it'd be Ty Wigginton, for his ability to play multiple infield positions yet not have the ability to play the infield at all. It's really quite something.
As Spike Eskin of CBSPhilly.com once said, "Ty Wigginton is versatile in that he can be bad at a few positions and be a mediocre hitter in both day and night games."
Betancourt has less career walks in more career plate appearances than Delmon Young, a statistic that I refuse to calculate, and hasn't hit above .260 since 2008. Oh, and his career on-base percentage is .290.
Hooray for production, Ruben!
Grade: D-, because at least I can laugh at him.
* Phillies sign right-handed reliever Chad Durbin.
Durbin is an inconsistent reliever who had an up-and-down three year stint with the Phillies from 2008-2010. You never really know what you're going to get from him, so there's no way of saying if he's a particularly good or bad signing.
All I can is, it can't hurt to add another veteran reliever to a bullpen with primarily young arms.
So, if I had to predict the Phillies' lineup on opening day based on what they have and these additions, in no specified batting order, I'd say: C Kratz, 1B Ryan Howard, 2B Chase Utley, 3B Michael Young, LF Darin Ruf(fingers crossed), CF Ben Revere, RF Delmon Young.
The outfield midseason will likely be a Brown/Young platoon in RF, and maybe even a Mayberry/Ruf platoon in left, depending on how Ruf does in April and May.
Four days to pitchers and catchers, seven days to full roster reports, fifteen days until their spring training opener against the Houston Astros.