Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/12/13
Using 20/20 hindsight, players were available on the market for the Philadelphia Phillies besides Mike Adams. There were other third basemen, outfielders and relievers. Why didn’t Ruben Amaro Jr. corral them? TAL’S HANDY CAPS Welcome, Newcomers: This article represents the thinking of a baseball man in my opinion. Most fans do not consider the budget, prospects on the radar, the organization’s weaknesses, the track record, the competition and the other intangibles. There will be a published storyline each week. Check out this complementary review: Storyline: Amaro’s Fingerprints on the 2013 Philadelphia Phillies   Cameron Rupp Catches a Sixth-Inning Foul Pop During His Major League Debut at the Bank Against the Padres on September 10. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)     NITECAP INSIGHT         Retooling Puzzle: Despite the stat sheets and scouting reports, general managers play a lottery for prize acquisitions. Amaro paid $5 million for five months of Michael Young, who is now a .275 hitter. He was the perfect stopgap giving Cody Asche four months to mature at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The rookie has impressed everyone as Chase Utley 2.0, but he has grown since his arrival in Philly. He’s revised his goal to staying in the majors and increased his effort subconsciously: He might even hit .290 by season’s end. Lee Deals a Seventh-Inning Curveball at the Bank Against the Padres on September 11. (Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images North America) According to a self tally of AAV (Average Annual Value) from Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the front office only had $24 million before touching the competitive-balance threshold of $178 million. There were holes at third base and all three outfield positions, but a eighth-inning setup man was priority number one. Management’s plan was an average of $6 million for four slots and a hungry cub in the fifth spot. With hindsight as an advantage, Chris Branch of the Courier Post wrote that Amaro exposed the entire franchise to failure. Opining that this path to mediocrity was the direct result of large contracts to older veterans, Branch mentions Utley and Ryan Howard but implies Jimmy Rollins, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Jonathan Papelbon and Adams. However, scrolling to the bottom line, other clubs are inking stars before their free agency, which means the talent pool offers less. Secondly, even without the signings and the trades for Halladay and Lee, the Phils would not have a new core four from their farm system because that requires high draft picks after an extended period of cellar dwelling: Pat Burrell, JD Drew and Wil Myers (the Kansas City Royals) are examples. The Hitters: Michael Young had 36 extra-base hits out of 129 knocks here for 2013. That projects to 43 extra-bag blows out of 154 hits for 2013. He had 38 extra-base knocks out of 169 hits last year. This table includes completed stats through 8/31. * AAV (Average Annual Value). PLAYER & AGEGMSABAVGHR - RBIBB-IBBSB-CSSALARY Michael Young, 36126468.27608 - 04242 - 401 - 0$16.00M * Young Projected 150558.27610 - 05050 - 501 - 0---- Young 2012156611.27708 - 06733 - 302 - 2$16.00M * Ben Revere, 25088315.30500 - 01716 - 122 - 8$00.52M Revere Doubled176630.30500 - 03432 - 244 - 16---- Revere 2012124511.29400 - 03229 - 040 - 9$00.49M Delmon Young, 28080272.26108 - 03114 - 000 - 0$00.75M Young Doubled160544.26116 - 06228 - 000 - 0---- Young 2012151574.26718 - 07420 - 100 - 2$06.75M   Freddy Galvis Scores the Go-Ahead Run During the Seventh Inning at the Bank Against the Padres on September 11. (Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images North America) Reflexes Required: The easy out is to blame the decision-maker; however, factual exploration might yield a different outcome. The general manager sent Josh Lindblom to Texas for Young, and the hurler only saw action in call-up starts. He, however, could not succeed above Triple-A even with several rotation jobs available. On the other hand, Young was a concrete solution before the swap with Los Angeles. That stated, the hot corner had two other possibilities: Kevin Youkilis and Scott Rolen. Youkilis inked a one-year deal with the Yankees and has seen limited playing time due to his physical difficulties. He’s been out since mid-June following surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back, and–at 34–he is on the scrap heap. The injury-prone Rolen wanted a starting role, did not get one, and retired. Alternative Hitters: This table includes stats through 9/11 with daily updates. * Last game was on 6/13. ** Last game was on 8/11. PLAYER & AGEGMSABAVGHR - RBIBB-IBBSB-CSSALARY Scott Rolen, 38, 2012092294.24508 - 03930 - 002 - 1$06.50M Kevin Youkilis, 34 *028105.21902 - 00807 - 100 - 0$12.00M Youkilis 2012 122438.23519 - 06049 - 200 - 0$12.00M Cody Ross, 32 **094317.27808 - 03824 - 103 - 2$08.67M Ross 2012130476.26722 - 08139 - 302 - 3$03.00M Josh Willingham, 34099348.21014 - 04859 - 201 - 0$07.00M Willingham 2012145519.26035 - 11072 - 403 - 2$07.00M Ryan Ludwick, 35026082.25602 - 00806 - 000 - 0$07.50M Ludwick 2012125422.27526 - 08039 - 300 - 1$02.00M B.J. Upton, 29 114371.19109 - 02638 - 212 - 4$15.00M Upton 2012146573.24628 - 07845 - 031 - 6$07.00M   Warning-Track Patrol: Galvis Comes Up Short on His First-Inning Effort at the Bank Against the Padres on September 10. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) There was no shortage of available jobs beyond the base paths, but limited funds were the biggest obstacle. The red pinstripes offered Vance Worley and Trevor May for Josh Willingham, who was under contract for 2013 and 2014. However, the Twins countered with Ben Revere instead, which gives Ryne Sandberg  a center fielder who is a .300 hitter and base stealer in the leadoff position. Worley’s demotion by Minnesota was on May 22, but his right shoulder inflammation disabled him at the Triple-A level on July 18. Willingham, on the other hand, missed six weeks or 25 percent of the campaign, while Revere went down eight weeks ago. The other possibilities for right field did not create envy. Atlanta agreed on five seasons with BJ Upton, but he has been an expensive disappointment. Arizona signed outfielder Cody Ross–whose preference was other than right field–but disabled him on August 11 in his first of three years. Ryan Ludwick returned to Cincinnati for two tours, but his campaign did not begin until August 12. The Pitchers: * The adjustment deducts the results from the two injury-removed starts before his DL stints. This table includes stats through 9/11 with daily updates. ** Worley's last appearance was on 7/7. HURLER & AGEERAW - LINNGMSSALARY Mike Adams, 353.961 - 4025.028$6.00M Adams Doubled3.962 - 8050.056---- Adams 20123.275 - 3052.161$4.40M John Lannan, 29 5.333 - 6074.144$2.50M Lannan Adjusted *4.173 - 4071.142---- Lannan 20124.134 - 1032.215$5.00M Vance Worley, 267.211 - 5048.210$0.53M Worley @ AAA **3.886 - 3058.009---- Josh Lindblom, 26 5.461 - 3031.108$0.50M Lindblom @ AAA3.088 - 4108.020---- Trevor May, 24, @ AA4.519 - 9151.227---- Chad Durbin, 359.001 - 0016.016$1.35M Durbin 20123.104 - 1061.076$0.90M   Rosenberg Earns His First Career Save During the Ninth Inning at the Bank Against the Braves on September 8. (Chris Gardner/Getty Images North America) Path to Papelbon: Adams was the premier setup man in baseball, but Amaro’s first choice was a younger option. Wilton Lopez was on the radar despite his elbow concerns, but his worrisome physical voided his trade here. He has not duplicated his 2012 success in Colorado, which means even Antonio Bastardo was a better fit. The bullpen prediction here is that Papelbon will have a bounce-back 2014, and Adams will pay dividends on his costly contract. Where the grass is always greener in many minds, Brandon Lyon and Jon Rauch inked team bargains before their discharges led to Triple-A innings for other organizations. Each has since requested a release and remains available. Koji Uehara has excellent numbers, but the brain trust was not looking for a one-season solution from an aging veteran. Jason Frasor has been productive, but he is behind four others in the Rangers’ bullpen rotation. Despite the recent glimmers of hope from the relief corps with BJ Rosenberg, Jake Diekman and Ethan Martin, the higher-ups will add an arm or two for the next 162. Until a fortune teller can assist Amaro, he can weigh the statistics, scout the talent, and pray he doesn’t pick a booby prize. Alternative Pitchers: This table includes stats through 9/11 with daily updates. * Lyon exercised his opt-out clause on August 1. ** Rauch opted out of his minor league deal on July 3. HURLER & AGEERAW - LINNGMSSALARY Brandon Lyon, 344.982 - 234.137$0.75M Lyon @ AAA *1.690 - 005.104---- Lyon 20123.104 - 261.067$5.00M Wilton Lopez, 304.133 - 469.271$1.76M Lopez 20122.176 - 366.164$0.52M Koji Uehara, 38 1.084 - 066.266$4.25M Uehara 20121.750 - 036.037$4.00M Jason Frasor, 362.704 - 243.153$1.50M Frasor 20124.121 - 143.250$3.75M Jon Rauch, 357.561 - 216.215$1.00M Rauch @ AAA **2.891 - 009.110---- Rauch 20123.593 - 757.273$3.50M   The Rental Charges: The Rule 5 Draft consists of players who did not fit under the protective shield of their club’s 40-man roster. These athletes are trade bait for their teams to pick up pros for a postseason push. That stated, a franchise loaded with prospects, cannot protect them all, and deals the more expendable ones for temporary help in the final month or two of the year. Otherwise, the competition will select them in the draft for only monetary compensation. Rasmussen Dials Up a Two-Seam Fastball for Triple-A Albuquerque Earlier This Season. Rob Rasmussen (the Dodgers), Tommy Kahnle (the Yankees) and Nefi Ogando (the Red Sox) were on the table for Young and John McDonald. Boston settled for McDonald and parted with Ogando, who did not succeed as a starter at the lowest rungs of professional ball. The Phils waited an additional month for Rasmussen instead of Kahnle, who has only relieved in the minors. A pitcher who switches to the pen at a later point in his career has more upside, which may happen to Rasmussen at Lehigh Valley next summer. The southpaw will report to the FIL (Florida Instructional League), and management will decide if he warrants protection on the 40-man roster. The first workout is on September 18, and games run from September 24 through October 12. Five hurlers, disabled or restricted, who will command a 2014 roster spot are Adams, Bastardo, Jonathan Pettibone, Miguel Gonzalez and Mike Stutes. Currently, JC Ramirez, Luis Garcia, Zach Miner, Raul Valdes and Cesar Jimenez fill those slots. To earn protection, Rasmussen must unseat Tyler Cloyd, Jeremy Horst, Joe Savery or Mauricio Robles. Maximum Offers: Type is STR (Starter), CLSR (Closer) & REL (Relieve). * His last four games are after his demotion. TYPEPITCHER & AGELGEW - LERAINNGMS LH STRRob Rasmussen, 24AAA0 - 76.4654.112 LH STRRasmussenAA3 - 42.5581.116 LH STRRasmussen (Aug.) *AA0 - 13.0018.004 RH CLSRTommy Kahnle, 24AA1 - 32.8560.048 RH RELNefi Ogando, 24A2 - 34.0955.033   Phillies e-mail notification for Tal’s Handy Caps: Message me at talvenada@hotmail.com   Related Articles: Storyline: Evolving into 2014′s Philadelphia Phillies Storyline: Maneuvering, Amaro Style with the Philadelphia Phillies Storyline: Seller’s Remorse and the Philadelphia Phillies Storyline: Front Office Decisions for the Philadelphia Phillies     TAL’S HANDY STATS 2013 ERA for the Most Eyed Staffs at Philadelphia Phillies’ Game 143   2013 ERA for the NL East at Philadelphia Phillies’ Game 139

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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