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2011 Los Angeles Dodgers: Is Matt Kemp the Most Underrated Player in Baseball

Is it possible for a player to be one of the consensus top five players in his league and still be underrated?

If that player is Matt Kemp, then the answer is an unequivocal Yes.

Last season I took Matt Kemp to task not once, but twice, for being one of the worst regular everyday players in baseball.  

You see, Kemp was in the middle of a bad season; he was getting caught stealing way to much (15 times in 34 attempts), his batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage were all on the decline, and he was not scoring, driving in or creating as many runs as he had in the most recent previous seasons.

And, for the most part, I will stand behind those assertions.

The mistake I made, though, was assuming that these aspects of Kemp’s season reflected who he was as a player rather than simply reflecting a bad season.  And on that note, I was wildly incorrect.

Because in 2011, Matt Kemp is back, with a vengeance.

So far in 2011, through 111 games, Kemp is setting full-season career highs in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, which necessarily means OPS and OPS+ as well.  After hitting 25 doubles in each of the last two seasons, Kemp already has 23 doubles this year. He has already topped last season’s total of 19 stolen bases by stealing 28, and he has only been caught four times.

Kemp also has 26 home runs. Let’s put that in perspective: last season, he had 28 dongs in 162 games, and the year before he had 26 dongs in 159 games.  This year’s pace, so far, is well ahead his career best pace, and him on course to top 40 for the first time in his career; not bad for a guy who has never hit 30.

Kemp also leads the NL in total bases, with 235, and (for those who care), he is going to run away with the league lead in WAR, which measures a player’s overall value.

He is, truly, having an amazing season, and at only 26, there is no reason not to believe that Kemp’s prime may just be getting going.

So . . . .

How can Matt Kemp be underrated even as he establishes himself as one of the dominant players in the National League?

The answer is a simple, two word answer: Dodger Stadium.

There are certain stadiums in Major League Baseball which suffer from a presumption of skepticism, stadiums which are so decidedly pitcher-friendly or hitter-friendly that we must look at a player’s home/road splits to verify the validity of their performance.

For example, if a player enjoys a monster offensive season playing at Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, Coors Field or Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, chances are there is a home-field explanation.

By the same token, if a hitter has a down season at Petco Park, Safeco Field, Citi Field or Dodger Stadium, chances are he was swimming upstream and walking in mud for most of the season.

Knowing that Matt Kemp plays his home games at Dodger Stadium we must naturally suspect that his numbers are being suppressed, even despite the amazing year he is having.

So, let’s take a look at Kemp’s home/road splits so far this year (care of

The evidence, as they say, speaks for itself.

So far in 2011, Kemp is hitting 34 points higher on the road than he is at home. His on-base percentage is over .400 on the road, and his slugging percentage is over 600 on the road. His OPS is nearly 200 points higher on the road (1.070) than it is at home (.892), which is quite literally almost unheard of.

And, of course, Kemp has three more doubles and four more home runs away from Dodger Stadium, in seven fewer games and 16 fewer plate appearances.

Put quite simply, in 2011 Matt Kemp has been one of the best players in the National League despite playing his home games in Dodger Stadium.

In all likelihood, Matt Kemp is a far better player than his 2011 stats, as good as they are, make him out to be.

And oh by the way, Kemp’s current contract is up after this season, but he has one more year of arbitration eligibility left before hitting free agency in 2013. This means that, with Kemp’s true value being under-represented and with him being captive for another season, this would be an excellent time for the Dodgers to ink him to a comparatively cheap, comparatively short-term deal.

If Matt Kemp would re-sign, right now, for something in the three years, $30-40 million range, it would be an absolute steal.

And if some other team, perhaps one in a hitter-neutral or hitter-friendly park, could trade for him and get him to sign a similar deal, well, the windfall would be unbelievable.

You heard it hear first.

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Top 25 Career Milestone Near-Misses in Baseball History

In 2009, Trevor Hoffman fooled the Milwaukee Brewers front office, coaches, players, and fans by being nothing short of awesome. In 55 games, he put together a 0.907 WHIP, a 3.43 K:BB ratio, a 3-2 record, 37 saves, and a 1.83 ERA. It was the best season he’d had in a decade.

Hell, I’ll bet he even fooled himself.

Truth is, Hoffman hadn’t been a truly effective Hoffman-esque reliever in a couple of seasons, and his 2009 performance was likely a mirage. Nevertheless, there were reasons for optimism in Milwaukee going into this season.

Well, it has been a disaster. Hoffman has doubled last season’s earned run numbers in 30 fewer games, and has blown five saves.

More importantly, Hoffman entered the year just nine saves from becoming the first player ever to get 600 saves in his career, and now—even despite solid pitching in non-save situations—Hoffman looks perilously far from attaining that goal.

Hoffman’s failure to reach 600 career saves would almost certain make the Top 25 Career Milestone Near Misses in MLB History.

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10 Worst NL Pitchers With Better Records Than Roy Halladay in 2010

On Wednesday, the last day of June in the 2010 Major League Baseball season, Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies pitched a complete game in which he allowed 13 hits but also struck out 10 batters while walking none.

He gave up four earned runs and took the loss.

In one sense, Halladay bears the blame for the loss.

He took the ball in the eighth inning up 3-2, and gave up a Jay Bruce two-run home run to seal the win.

In reality though, the blame falls to Roy’s supporting cast: the Phillies hitters for their terrible run support and the Phillies bullpen for their terrible everything.

One day after closer Brad Lidge blew a three-run lead in the bottom of the ninth, Halladay was the only option going into the eighth where another team would have turned over the one-run leader to trusted relievers.

And so July 1st will come tomorrow and Roy Halladay, one of the best pitchers in baseball and the pitcher with the now-sixth best ERA in the National League at 2.42, has six complete games, three shutouts, a perfect game, and a 9-7 record.

To put that 9-7 record in perspective, here’s a list of 10 far-inferior National League pitchers with better records, winning percentage-wise.

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The 12 Best MLB Pitchers Ever Under 6 Feet Tall

How tall do you have to be to ride the rides at the ballpark? Being tall doesn’t hurt, but it is certainly no requirement.

In 1999 and 2000, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson had the honor of standing next to each other as they accepted their Cy Young Award trophies. The vision of the two of them standing together conjured notions of some big time Texas rancher, and the little latino boy he hired to help clear the brush.

But more to the point, Pedro and Randy stood in direct contrast to one another: Randy was there to remind everyone that taller is better with major league pitchers. Pedro was there to say “hogwash.”

You could probably stand anyone next to Johnson’s 6’11” frame and they would look small, but there is an entire foot of difference between Randy and Pedro’s 5’11” frame. Unreal.

But you know what? The short guy is the one who had the dominating six year stretch of any major league pitcher ever.

Was it enough to make him one of the 12 best pitchers under six feet tall ever?

Let’s find out.

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Top Player in the History of Every Major League Team

Is Chase Utley the Greatest Philadelphia Phillie of All Time?

As of now, no. That title goes to Mike Schmidt, and after Schmidt there are probably at least three other players—Ed Delahanty, Steve Carlton, and Pete Alexander—ahead of him on the list, to say nothing of current teammates Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, and maybe one day, Roy Halladay.

Just to see where we stand, here is a Major League Baseball-wide look at the greatest player in the history of each franchise.

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Top 10 Philadelphia Phillies Prospects to Get Excited About

There can be no doubt about it: the cream of the Philadelphia Phillies minor league crop is none other than Domonic Brown. A potential five-tool star at the major league level, Brown was recently promoted from Double-A to Triple-A and will probably get a September call-up with an eye towards making the Big Club in 2011.

But Brown isn’t the only reason to get excited about the Phillies’ minor league system.

Let’s have a look.

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Frank Thomas, Ted Williams, and the Adjusted 500 Home Run Club

In a recent column, I set out to provide an Adjusted 400 Home Run Club , with alterations made based on era, missed time, and favorable vs. non-favorable home ballparks.

Humorously, this simply raised more questions about the 500 Home Run Club than it did answer questions about the 400 Home Run Club.

So, maybe we should adjust that club as well.

(Eek, eek. Twitch, twitch.)

Are we about to change the baseball world? Probably not, but let’s give it a try. As with the 400 Home Run Club, we should probably do this by era. 

And remember, McGwire haters, this isn’t about era and it isn’t about steroids. Yet. 


The Pre-1993 Club

The pre-1993 500 Club had the following members: Frank Robinson (586), Harmon Killebrew (573), Reggie Jackson (563), Mike Schmidt (548), Mickey Mantle (536), Jimmie Foxx (534), Willie McCovey and Ted Williams (521), Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews (512), Mel Ott (511), and Eddie Murray (504). 

Starting at the top of the list, we look to Frank Robinson , who finished only 14 home runs from 600. It is hard to put Willie Stargell into the 500 home run club without putting Robinson in the 600 Home Run Club, as Robinson missed many games after the age of 30 during which he easily could have mustered 14 more dingers. But you can’t say he didn’t have a nice long career—he ranks 19th on the career list in plate appearances. 

At the end of the day, he fails the Rocky Colavito Test. For his career Robinson hit 321 dingers at home, and only 265 on the road. He is probably a lot closer to 550 than he is to 600. 

Harmon Killebrew was the elite slugger of the 1960s, and led the lead in dongs six times in his career. He missed 49 games in 1965, 62 games in 1968, and 93 games in 1972. He led the league in home runs in his first full season, at the age of 23, and he played his last full-time season at the age of 35.

In 1957 he hit 29 home runs in the minors and still didn’t stick in the majors until 1959. Scatter a few more games around his career, bring up sooner or leave him in longer, and he gets the 27 home runs he needs to get to 600 easily.

In my opinion, if Reggie Jackson had begun his career in 1950 or in 1990, he would have hit 600 jobs easily and would have gunned for 700. Again, that’s not what this is about. 

Over the course of his career, Reggie had a 280/283 home run split. He was kind of like Stargell in that he didn’t ever play full seasons—only six seasons out of 21 with 150 or more games played. He missed a handful of games to strike in 1972, and missed a lot more due to the strike in 1981.

Could he have managed 37 more home runs over 21 seasons if not for strikes and games missed? I am less willing to say “definitely” than I am with Stargell, because Jackson is not as close to 600 as Stargell is to 500, and Jackson did not miss as many games. With over 11,000 plate appearances, it is hard to say he didn’t have a full career. 

Mike Schmidt finished with 548 home runs. He hit 283 home runs on the road, compared to only 265 at home. He led the league in dongs eight times, including with 31 in the strike year of 1981. But 52 home runs is a lot of home runs to find in a guy’s career, and Schmidt’s appears to have been a full one. 

Mickey Mantle and Jimmie Foxx are both guys whose own ruinous behavior cost them potentially hundreds of games, and both finished about 65 shy of 600. 

Mantle hit 54 home runs in 1961 at the age of 29, but then never played over 143 games again and was out of baseball at 37. If not for his own behavior, he probably would have easily accumulated 65 extra home runs over the next seven years, and probably could have played until the age of 40. 

Foxx tumbled out of baseball even earlier than Mantle, leading the AL with 35 home runs in 1939 (in only 124 games) at the age of 31, and then playing only two more full seasons after that. I expect that Foxx, too, could have managed 65 more home runs if he’d been on the field every day in those years. 

These are two of the greatest sluggers of all time, but I’d be a whole lot more comfortable if either of them had reached 550 or 560 home runs. 10, 20, or even 30 home runs can be chalked up to alcoholism, but 65 is too many. 

At the bottom of the list we find Eddie Murray , trembling in his seat only four home runs over 500. He had the great benefit of playing past 1993, and capturing his 80-plus home runs in the expansion/steroid era. But that’s his prerogative.

He also led the league in home runs during the strike season of 1981, and missed about 50 games in 1994. Furthermore, he hit 262 home runs on the road. He’s fine. 

Mel Ott has 511 home runs and led the NL in home runs six times. He played 22 seasons and had over 11,000 plate appearances, so he gets no credit for being done at the age of 36. Ostensibly, I would give Ott the benefit of the doubt until I saw his splits officially.

Unfortunately for Ott, numerous sources state that he hit 323 home runs at the Polo Grounds. If this is true, it leaves only 188 home runs on the road. Not only does Ott not make the 500 Club without the Polo Grounds, but he is dangerously close to failing the Rocky Colavito Test for the 400 Club. Sorry Mel. 

Ernie Banks , on the other hand, needs no benefit of the doubt. Banks hit 512 career home runs, but only 221 of them on the road. If not for Wrigley Field, he would not have hit 450 home runs. 

Eddie Mathews , on the other hand, hit at least 20 more home runs on the road while playing his career in Milwaukee County Stadium, and was out of baseball at age 36. His spot in the 500 Home Run Club is well earned. 

Can’t take anything from Willie McCovey . He was robbed of home runs by playing time, injury, and arriving late to the league. At the same time, can’t give him 79 home runs to get to 600 for any reason either. 

Which brings us to Ted Williams.  

For the record: 9791 plate appearances, 521 home runs. We only have split data for his last seven years, and during those seven years he hit 22 more home runs on the road than at home (81/103).

So out of the gate, his numbers are already incredible. We’re not dropping him, and he’s probably already up to 550 home runs. 

Williams, of course, went to World War II from 1943 to 1945—three full seasons. In 1941 he had one of the greatest hitting seasons of all time, and he led the league in home runs in each of the two years before he left with 37 and 36, respectively. Upon his return, he hit 38 and 32 in consecutive years. It would be conservative to say he lost 100 home runs to World War II. 

Then Williams got called back to the military in 1952, and missed most of 1952 and 1953 due to the Korean War. His performance in seasons around Korea were less impressive than those around WWII, but he hit 30 home runs in 1951, and then hit 29 in 117 games in 1954. It would be reasonable to say he missed about 50 home runs due to Korea. 

So, let’s add it up: a bump to 550, then 100 for WWII, and 50 more for Korea. Low and behold, he’s a 700 Home Run Clubber! 

Actually, I have a hard time adding 179 home runs even for Ted Williams. But I have no problem at all bumping him up 79 to 600. 


The Post-1993 Club 

The post-1993 500 Club had the following members: Mark McGwire (583), Rafael Palmeiro (569), Alex Rodriguez (594), Jim Thome (570), Manny Ramirez (554), Frank Thomas (521), and Gary Sheffield (509).

This is actually a really easy group to deal with. Right away, you take Mark McGwire and put him in the 600 home run Club. Even with the injuries, if he cared about the club he’d have played the one more year to get there. A case could be made that he is a 700 home run guy, but you only spot a guy so many home runs because of injuries. 

Rafael Palmeiro is a bad person. He lied to Congress, and he got busted. He also hit 311 home runs at home and only 258 on the road. But he is a 500 Club member, nothing more, nothing less. 

Alex Rodriguez is currently approaching 600 jacks, and may one day have over 700. Right now, he is right where he deserves to be.

Jim Thome has a shocking split: 315/255. Still reasonable though. He’s in.

Manny Ramirez currently has 554, with a 281/273 split. He’s got an outside shot at 600.

With 247 road bombs, Gary Sheffield is legit.

Frank Thomas, on the other hand, is a problem.

On the one hand, with 521 home runs he could have gunned for 600 if he’d been healthier from age 32 to age 40.  However, Big Frank managed to hit only 209 home runs on the road during his career.

The Rocky Colavito Test tells us that a player whose road home run total is 19 less than half the number required to be in the Club falls out of the Club. Thomas has 41 fewer home runs than half of 500 on the road.

Even injuries can’t make up for 41 home runs. Sorry Big Frank. 

So, after all of that adjustment, where are we?


600 Home Run Club 

Harmon Killebrew

Ted Williams

Mark McGwire 


500 Home Run Club 

Rafael Palmeiro

Reggie Jackson

Alex Rodriguez

Mike Schmidt 

Jim Thome

Mickey Mantle

Jimmie Foxx

Manny Ramirez

Willie McCovey

Eddie Mathews

Eddie Murray

Gary Sheffield 


400 Home Run Club 

Frank Thomas

Ernie Banks

Mel Ott 




Asher B. Chancey lives in Philadelphia and is a co-founder of

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MLB Trade Rumors: Matthew Rizzotti Heating Up at the Right Time

In a season in which the Philadelphia Phillies have made Ryan Howard one of the richest first basemen in major league history, the unexpected has happened in the minor leagues: left-handed hitting first baseman Matthew Rizzotti has turned into a legitimate major league prospect.

Phillies fans will recall that Rizzotti was Philadelphia’s fourth round pick in the 2007 draft.  He is a lumbering giant of a player, standing 6’5″ and weighing 235 pounds.

For whatever reason, the Phillies have brought Rizzotti along very slowly since drafting him.  Rizzotti signed relatively immediately in 2007, and managed to play 63 games in low A-ball with Williamsport the year he was drafted.  Rizzotti started 2008 in rookie ball before being quickly promoted to Single-A Lakewood, where he hit .268 with 10 home runs, but also posted an impressive .380 on-base percentage.

In 2009, the now 23 year-old Rizzotti spent an entire season at High-A Clearwater, where he hit only .263 with 13 home runs and 58 RBI in 101 games.  His .806 OPS and 159 total bases were unimpressive, and landed him an encore performance in Clearwater in 2010.

And that, perhaps, has made all the difference.

In his first 31 games this season at Clearwater, Rizzotti hit .358 with a .903 OPS, numbers that came seemingly out of no where.  He raised his slugging percentage over 20 points despite hitting only one home run, which indicated that he had become a more patient and versatile hitter.

But the real excitement, and the reason Matthew Rizzotti is suddenly on everyone’s radar, has developed since he was promoted to Double-A Reading.  In just 41 games, Rizzotti is hitting .385 with a shocking 1.132 OPS, 10 home runs, and 14 doubles.  All of this was good enough for Rizzotti to be named Minor League Player of the Month for the month of May.

One year after putting up modest numbers against High-A ball pitchers, Rizzotti is dominating Double-A pitchers.

So what is the meaning of all of this?

There is simply no room at the major league level for Matthew Rizzotti with the Phillies.  Ryan Howard is the Phillies’ first baseman of the past, present, and future, and Rizzotti doesn’t have the athleticism to move to the outfield.  If anything, he needs to move from first base to designated hitter, as he has done for 38 of his 72 total games this season.

That means he is trade bait.  And he may be peaking at just the right time.

Could the Phillies get some pitching help in exchange for the new hottest bat in Double-A?  Rizzotti is a prototypical American League first baseman/DH, the kind that Billy Beane loves to snag cheaply for the Oakland A’s (see Jack Cust, Scott Hatteberg, Daric Barton, Jake Fox).  Rizzotti is also the type of player that might be a good fit for Theo Epstein’s Boston Red Sox, Peter Angelos’ Baltimore Orioles, or Kenny Williams’ Chicago White Sox.

And, there is a certain offense-starved team in Seattle that has a certain pitcher that all of Philadelphia loves, and that could use a high-average, high-on-base masher at the DH-spot.

The Philadelphia Phillies have a legitimate major league prospect in Matthew Rizzotti.  Hopefully, someday, we’ll all remember him as a guy we traded as part of the package to get the pitcher we needed to get back to the World Series for the third year in a row.


Asher B. Chancey lives in Philadelphia and is a co-founder of .

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With Their Shortstop Back, the Philadelphia Phillies Are On a (J-)Roll.

The mystery is over.  No need to even have a vote.  We now know who the Most Valuable Player in the National League is.

It isn’t Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, or Ubaldo Jimenez.  He plays in the National League East, but he isn’t Hanley Ramirez, David Wright, Jason Heyward, or Ryan Zimmerman.  

The 2010 NL MVP plays for the Philadelphia Phillies, but he isn’t Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, or Roy Halladay.

The 2010 National League Most Valuable Player is none other than Jimmy Rollins.

Not on board with that idea yet?  No matter–I would not have been either if I had not seen it with my own eyes.  But the evidence is overwhelming.

The Phillies started the 2010 season with six wins in their first seven games, and frankly they were not close wins.  Only a 2-1 victory over the Houston Astros in the sixth game was decided by less than three runs.

Then Jimmy got hurt.  During the one month that Rollins was out–from April 12th through May 16–the Phillies went 17-12 and briefly fell out of first place in the NL East.

Jimmy returned on May 17th, with the Phillies getting the win in his first game back by a score of 12-2.  But J-Roll’s return was brief, as he went back on the disabled list after only five games back.

And that’s when things got bad.

The Phillies were without Rollins from May 22nd to June 21st–exactly one month’s worth of games–and history will remember it as the most brutal streak that the current incarnation of the Phillies has endured.

For the record: The Phillies went 9-17 during the time that Jimmy was out.  They were shut out six times, and scored only one run in four other games.  Out of nine total series during the time that Rollins was out, the Phillies won only two of them.  And, they went from 5.0 games up in the division to 5.5 games out of the lead in the division.

That ain’t the stuff that World Series teams are made of.

J-Roll returned to the Phillies lineup on June 22nd, and the Phillies have yet to lose.  More importantly, they are scoring again–after a 2-1 victory on Tuesday, the Phillies scored seven runs on Wednesday, 12 runs on Thursday, and (as of this writing) have nine runs in the eighth inning against Toronto.

Perhaps the most important statistic is this:

Assuming tonight’s game against the Blue Jays holds up, the Phillies will move to 12-3 with Rollins in the lineup, and 27-29 without.

At the end of the day, the picture these stats paint is too clear to ignore: with Jimmy Rollins in the lineup, the Phillies are a World Series team.  Without him, they struggle to stay about .500.

I don’t know who is going to come out on top in the NL MVP voting at the end of the year, but I can tell you right now who the Most Valuable Player in the National League is.

He plays shortstop for the Phillies, and he’s got them back on a roll.

A J-Roll.


Asher B. Chancey lives in Philadelphia and is a co-founder of .

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MLB Trade Rumors: Will the Philadelphia Phillies Re-Acquire Cliff Lee?

Philadelphia Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro has a decision to make, and Phillies fans can only hope he makes the right one despite recent history.

The Philadelphia Phillies need to get Cliff Lee back.

In seeking to acquire a certain pitcher at the trading deadline whom he also acquired last season at the trade deadline, Amaro has only negative history in the recent past to guide him.

In 2003, the Chicago White Sox traded away three little-known players to acquire Roberto Alomar from the New York Mets.  The Sox intended to have Alomar help them make a playoff push, but it did not go as planned.  Alomar played terribly, Chicago missed the playoffs, and in the off-season Alomar signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In 2004, the White Sox again needed help making a playoff push, and they again acquired Roberto Alomar.  The White Sox again missed the playoffs, and Alomar signed in the off-season with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and then retired.

The lesson here would appear to be straightforward: do not acquire the same player at the trade deadline two years in row because it will make you look foolish.


In truth, the Chicago White Sox-Roberto Alomar situation is different in every respect from the Philadelphia Phillies-Cliff Lee situation.  Unlike the 2003-2004 White Sox, the 2010 Phillies are a legitimate playoff contender.  Unlike Roberto Alomar circa 2003-2004, Cliff Lee circa 2010 is a dominant major league ballplayer.

And unlike the White Sox consecutive-season snatch-up of Alomar, re-aquiring Cliff Lee for the remainder of the 2010 season is the right move to make.

As of tonight, Cliff Lee is now 6-3 with a 2.39 ERA and 76-to-4 strikeout to walk ratio in 86.2 innings pitched.  Keep in mind he has done this pitching in the American League for a losing team (though with four starters with ERAs under 3.40, it has hardly been the pitching or defense that is costing this team games).

The reasons the Phillies must re-acquire Cliff Lee are simple: they know he can succeed in the National League; they know he is a perfect fit in the clubhouse; and (and perhaps the most important) the Mets or Braves may also be in position to acquire him.

The more relevant question is: Can the Philadelphia Phillies afford to acquire Cliff Lee?

This is a two-pronged question.

From the Seattle Mariners perspective, the team won’t simply take back the players they traded to get Lee.  Lee’s value is certainly higher now than it was in the off-season, but more importantly, the three players they sent the Phillies have been terrible this season.

Tyson Gilles is currently hitting .238 with a .619 OPS in Double-A.  Phillippe Aumont is 1-6 with a 7.22 ERA combined at Single-A+ and Double-A.  J.C. Ramirez, the best of the three, is 5-3 with a 4.22 ERA at A+ and Double-A combined.

These are not three players that will get Cliff Lee back to the Phillies Cliff Lee.

But who will?

At this point, it is clear to all comers that the Phillies’ success in the postseason, and for that matter their success in even getting to the postseason, is going to depend far more upon their ability to match dominant National League pitching than it is going to depend upon, say, inconsistent power-hitting from a home-field hero right fielder.

Like Cliff Lee, Jayson Werth is in a contract year but, unlike Cliff Lee, Werth is hardly putting up the types of numbers that merit a big contract at the end of the year.  Since May 19th, Werth is hitting .187 with a .643 OPS and four home runs, 13 RBI, and 9 runs scored.

But you know what?  Werth would make a great American League hitter.

At some point, and probably soon, the Seattle Mariners are going to announce that they have a deal in place to seen Cliff Lee to a National League East team.  For the sake of the Philadelphia Phillies, general manager Ruben Amaro, and Philadelphia area sports fans, that NL East team needs to be the Phillies.

Never mind the fact that the Phillies acquired him last year.  Never mind the fact that when the Chicago White Sox acquired the same player two years in a row it was a debacle.  The Phillies aren’t the White Sox, and Cliff Lee isn’t Roberto Alomar.

The Phillies need to have a conversation with Seattle, and the conversation needs to start with Jayson Werth.


Asher B. Chancey lives in Philadelphia, PA, and is a co-founder of .

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