TBAG #6: Can Any Phillies Play Safety?


Yo, did you guys SEE what Giancarlo Stanton did last night?

It’s almost as if Stanton was specifically auditioning for Ruben Amaro with that blast. Knowing the man-crush Amaro has for Stanton, it’s likely that Amaro would now not only trade Domonic Brown, Cody Asche, Jesse Biddle and nine or ten other prospects, my guess is he’d also buy Giancarlo a unicorn, shares in IBM, and the planet Jupiter.

Seriously, how awesome would it be to see Stanton hitting home runs in Philadelphia like that, only doing it FOR the Phillies, not against them?

Yeah, I know. It’s never gonna happen. I’ll just have to watch this video over and over and over and over and dream a little dream.

Now, onto this week’s TBAG. As always, these are real questions from my Twitter followers, and can be on the Phillies or anything else your little heart desires.

Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Freddy Galvis is an enigma. The kid has an incredible glove and yes, he has just as many homers as Rollins (6) in much fewer plate appearances (620 to 204). But Freddy is still a guy who strikes out a lot (42 times this year), and doesn’t get on base enough (career MLB .271) to be considered a top-of-the-order hitter. He’s had some big hits for the Phillies this year, but he doesn’t seem to be an everyday player.

Galvis is a utility infielder, good to give Rollins and Utley a day off here and there. Of course, the Phillies have another one of those guys named Cesar Hernandez, who has been killing it since being called up at the beginning of the month (19 for 51 with a .329 batting average and .450 OB% w/ 7 multi-hit games in 13 starts). However, Hernandez cannot play shortstop, while Galvis can.

So, while Hernandez is the better offensive player, Galvis is better defensively and is more versatile. If the Phils were to keep Hernandez next year, they’d also have to keep Galvis, and that just seems like one too many utility infielders, unless the Phillies decide Hernandez plays center field well enough to trade Ben Revere. But that’s a lot of slap hitters, y’all.

A trade of Hernandez seems the best option, with Galvis staying in a utility role, similar to the role Wilson Valdez played for the Phils. As bad as Rollins was this year, Galvis probably isn’t up to the task of replacing him full time.

@LuckyLance88 “Think the offseason will help [Roy Halladay] regain form? (somewhat)

Honestly, I think this is what Roy Halladay is. His velocity is gone, with his fastball topping out at 88 mph against the Marlins this week. TOPPING OUT. His cutter doesn’t work going at that speed, and no matter how many people try to tell you that he can re-invent himself as a completely different pitcher from what he’s been for his entire life, I remain a skeptic.

Look, Halladay will turn 37 years old next May. That’s really old for a Major League starter. As great as he was, and as great as Steve Carlton was, time eventually catches up with you. It happens to everybody. Roy Halladay will be a 37-year-old pitcher coming off a major shoulder surgery, which means the odds that he’ll “regain form” in some fashion are extraordinarily low.

Sorry, I just don’t see it.

Ah, a Birds question. Sweet.

Stop with the Mr. Kool-Aid jokes, guys. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

This is a pretty good jump-ball question. Andy Reid was renowned for burning his timeouts and screwing up challenges, despite all the success he had as Eagles coach. And the Eagles’ offense has been decent at hanging onto the ball so far this year (no interceptions and two fumbles), so I’ll go with Andy botching the clock in some way, likely in the form of ridiculous timeout usage.

Which leads me to the larger issue, which is the return or Reid and Donovan McNabb tonight.

If you boo either of these two men today, you should be placed on a rocket and blasted to Mars.

Look, I was as ready for the Reid/McNabb era to end as anyone. By the end of it, the time for both men in Philadelphia had run its course. Reid had obviously lost his taste for coaching the Eagles and McNabb’s effectiveness disappeared when his spectacular running ability went away. But Andy Reid is the greatest coach in Eagles history, and Donovan McNabb is the greatest quarterback in Eagles history, and on these points there can be no debate.

Reid went 130-93 with a .583 winning percentage and won 10 playoff games. The next closest Eagles coach to those numbers is Greasy Neale‘s 63 wins and .594 winning percentage (slightly better than Reid’s). And the most playoff games any other coach has won is three.

Donovan McNabb, even though he had his flaws, was simply an amazing quarterback.

1Donovan McNabb14812692-49-12801474659.0328732161002.1222.186.51523
2Ron Jaworski1429269-67-12088391853.3269631751513.9189.974.01521
3Randall Cunningham12210263-43-11874336255.7228771501053.1187.578.71922
4Norm Snead856128-49-31154223651.6156721111245.5184.467.7610
5Tommy Thompson8876-6-0723139651.810240901007.2116.467.401
6Sonny Jurgensen833917-22-2602110754.4963976736.6116.179.143
7Michael Vick493619-17-0734122060.2940056302.5191.889.476
8Bobby Thomason683619-21-1556111350.0812457807.2119.561.200
9Norm Van Brocklin364519-16-154299854.3749755515.1208.375.765
10Roman Gabriel533112-25-1661118555.8722147373.1136.274.234

When you think about the fact that fans wanted Ricky Williams, and that the two QBs that sandwiched McNabb in the 1999 Draft were Eric Couch and Akili Smith, you realize how lucky the Birds were to make Donovan their selection.

So, as the team honors McNabb and Reid comes back to Philadelphia for the first time tonight, please, please, PLEASE show the world that Philadelphia fans aren’t an ignorant bunch of boobs. Philly fans like to rant and rave all the time about how unfair the national media is to them, how unfair all the criticisms are. Well, now’s your chance to show that it’s either bunk, or that you are exactly who everyone around the world thinks you are.

Let’s be classy, Philly. Put aside the near-misses of the last 15 years and the what-could-have-beens, and embrace these two guys for bringing you the most sustained run of excellence this franchise has ever known.

Let’s class this joint up.

Obviously, this question is being asked because of this…

But Brown would be a terrible free safety. He’s way too tall (6-foot-5) for that position and, besides, the dude was a hot wide receiver prospect that almost agreed to attend Miami University on a full scholarship to play for the Hurricanes. So, Brown would more likely fill in for Jeremy Maclin than be out in the secondary trying to shore up the run game and deliver hits to receivers coming across the middle.

That said, the Eagles need help at safety. Things have never been the same since B-Dawk left. So, which Phillie would be the best candidate for the job?

The most obvious answer is Chase Utley, mainly because of this.

Yeah, I’d take that. But I don’t think his knees could stand up to the pounding. So let’s look in a different direction.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Kevin Frandsen.

Frandsen is about the right size (5’10” 185 pounds) and has that gritty, hard scrabble attitude that has endeared him to the masses, despite his .231 batting average and general substandard play. He is beloved because he plays the game with a dirty uniform and has just the right amount of facial hair to look intimidating. I imagine that if Kelly were to place him in the secondary, he’d come charging from out of nowhere, pine tar dripping from his facemask, to deliver a crippling blow to a tight end coming across the middle.

“Dawkins who?” we’d say.

There’s your guy.

But before we leave this topic, enjoy.

Coming into the season, it sure looked like the one thing the Phillies wouldn’t have to worry about is the starting rotation. But as we enter the 2014 off-season, that may be the one part of the team that has the most question marks.

I want Ubaldo. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

If the goal is to have a better pitching staff than last year, then Kyle Kendrick and Roy Halladay cannot be a part of it. And no one knows what Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is going to give you, although it appears at least one rotation spot is going to be given to him, meaning Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and MAG will take the first three spots.

That leaves two spots open. The #5 spot will likely be a cheap signing or filled in-house. Jonathan Pettibone probably is the leading candidate for it, but his shoulder issues at the end of this year are worrisome. Ethan Martin appears to have pitched himself into a bullpen role for next year, and I don’t think the Phils have the stomach to bring John Lannan back. Adam Morgan didn’t pitch much this year because of injury, but looked good at the end of the season upon returning. He’ll have a shot to win that fifth spot in spring training.

I would love to see the Phillies aggressively pursue Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka, but it doesn’t appear as if the Phils are among the teams scouting him at the moment. Cleveland starter Ubaldo Jimenez was going to be a stealthy free agent sign until this recent Indians run for the playoffs. Ubaldo’s stellar year likely means he’s going to get a big, big deal.

Two pitchers who are perhaps more likely options are Bronson Arroyo and Josh Johnson. Johnson had injury issues this year, but his K-rate was right in line with his career numbers, despite a decrease in fastball velocity. Arroyo is a steady veteran who can likely be had on a two-year deal and would make a good #4 starter.

My guess is the Phillies go with a rotation of Lee, Hamels, MAG, Arroyo, Morgan to start 2014. But that’s just a guess.

That’s it for this week, friends! Go Birds!

Oh, and Phillies too.