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Old 07-01-2019, 12:08 AM   #21
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Thanks! I'll post an update tomorrow; I've just been away for a few days.
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:44 PM   #22
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June 25, 1984

Rookie ball gets going today, which means it’s time to clean up the minor league rosters and make some promotions, if necessary.
  • LF Keith Hughes promoted to AA Reading

The outfielder was electric in A Peninsula (301 PA, .316/.392/.506, 29 XBH, +3.5 ZR, .995 EFF, 3.3 WAR) and will take the starting job in Reading.
  • RF Kevin Ward promoted to AA Reading

Same idea here. Ward was awesome in Peninsula (303 PA, .322/.396/.468, 23 XBH, -0.3 ZR, 1.005 WFF, 2.9 WAR), adding speed, as well. The defense was about average. He’ll need to step that up in Reading, but the new Phillies outfield is Peninsula’s opening day group: Hughes, Todd Soares, and Ward.
  • LF Jerome Stone promoted to A Peninsula
  • RF Jim Vest promoted to A Peninsula

The former was a signee and will get to start his 1984 campaign, while the latter was down in extended spring training and needs to come out swinging.
  • RF Gib Siebert promoted to AAA Portland

The 23-year-old had a decent half-season in Reading (255 PA, .284/.349/.402, 20 XBH, -1.1 ZR, .984 EFF, 0.8 WAR); this is a pseudo-aggressive attempt to see if he can clean up the defense, mostly. We’ll see.

June 25, 1984

With the season starting to slip away, it’s time to make another change or two. And finally, I think I’m going to move on from John Wockenfuss. His numbers: 79 PA, .222/.282/.306, 2 XBH, 0.0 WAR. Looking at team strengths and weaknesses, I see the Royals could use a backup catcher with experience, so I offer Wockenfuss for a minor league reliever.

Game 1984-74: Veterans Stadium - Mets 4, Phillies 3 (10) / 30-44

Sheesh. A homer by Hubie Brooks off Don Carman in the 10th wins it for the Mets. Would be nice to get one of these Ws, but alas.

June 26, 1984

Kansas City rejects my trade offer for Wockenfuss, countering by wanting any number of decent but not top prospects. Meh. Meanwhile, Wockenfuss himself is angry that he’s not getting playing time. Get in line with the other guys who stink, John.

Going down the line, I can’t find a fair deal for Wockenfuss (essentially, I’m not trading additional players in a Wockenfuss deal). I’ll try again tomorrow, but if no dice, he’s heading to Portland (he has one option left).

Game 1984-75: Veterans Stadium - Mets 2, Phillies 1 (10) / 30-45

A recap of yesterday. Bleh. This time we have a 1-0 lead and Tug McGraw blows it in the eighth; of course, he’s not having a bad season otherwise (16.1 IP, 2.76 ERA). It’s just this time …

Also Kevin Gross leaves the game early with a sore back. Nothing major.

June 27, 1984

Late in the morning we hosted the USA baseball team, who played an exhibition against the South Korean amateur club. It’s a talented group, including likely top 1985 draft choices Barry Larkin, Will Clark, Pete Incaviglia, Bobby Witt, and probably the top draft prospect, North Carolina’s B.J. Surhoff. Plus, the team has a bunch of 1984 draftees, including Drew Hall with the Cubs, Norm Charlton with the Expos, and top prospect Mark McGwire with Oakland (hitting around .200 in AAA right now).

Game 1984-76: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 7, Mets 6 / 31-45

We finally get that comeback win I’ve been pining for. Down 6-4 in the eighth, we tie it with a throwing error and a Greg Gross single; then, we win it in the ninth with a Juan Samuel triple and Sixto Lezcano single.
  • C/1B John Wockenfuss demoted to AAA Portland
  • 1B/RF Mark Funderburk promoted to MLB Philadelphia

In this now lost season, it’s time for a pick-me-up. Mark Funderburk, who was out of baseball and looked finished before returning in our spring training camp, hit .275/.325/.546 with 17 home runs in AAA Portland. He makes it. Give him a hand.

June 28, 1984

Last series of June, and we’re getting to a turning point in this 1984 campaign. For now, let’s take on the Astros, see if we can win two, and get a good feeling.

  • SP Joe Cowley activated from 60-day disabled list; placed on irrevocable waivers

Cowley has no options remaining (he was a waiver claim back before spring training), so I’m going to try and get him through to get settled in AAA Portland.

Game 1984-77: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 8, Astros 5 / 32-45

Like clockwork, a 5-0 lead disappears almost immediately. But! The game holds steady for a few innings, with Tug McGraw doing yeoman’s work for two. And in the eighth we break through, as Len Matuszek singles home a hard-charging Mike Schmidt, and two batters later Gary Maddox (!) strikes a two-run single for his second and third RBI of the season.

The unfortunate thing is Kelly Downs now has a 6.39 ERA. His K/9 (3.9) and BB/9 (2.8) are in line with his norms, but his HR/9 (1.8) is much higher. Essentially his lack of movement isn’t playing against these better hitters. Once John Denny returns, I may decide to send Downs back to AAA Portland for a bit more seasoning, so he doesn’t ruin his confidence. That said, he’s a hard worker, so I believe in him either way.

June 29, 1984

Welp, just found out that Steve Carlton has a bruised thigh and may miss a start. With no days off until the all-star break (10 games), this might be a great time to give Lefty a breather. Downs will stay for now.
  • SP Steve Carlton placed on 15-day injured list
  • RP Jim Kern promoted to MLB Philadelphia

Basically, I’ll see how John Denny does in his rehab start tomorrow in Portland. If he’s ready to go I’ll just add him when Carlton’s number comes back around, and send Kern back down to AAA. If not, I’ll see who can take a start from Portland.

Game 1984-78: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 12, Astros 7 / 33-45

Schmidt snaps out of his funk with a 3-hit game, while Sixto Lezcano adds a home run, and Glenn Wilson strikes three hits.

June 30, 1984

The Cardinals have claimed Joe Cowley.

Game 1984-79: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 4, Astros 1 / 34-45

Four straight wins! Jerry Koosman pitches well (8.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 5 K), lowering his ERA to 4.67 and giving me second thoughts about cutting short his rotation time. Schmidt adds his 15th homer, and Von Hayes strikes his fifth. With a .279/.359/.391 line, he’s my first-half offensive MVP.

Last edited by The_Myth; 07-01-2019 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:19 AM   #23
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July 1, 1984

We have one more against the Astros, but first, thereís plenty of news.

First, Bill Giles checks in with a review of his goals. Heís glad about the Larry Andersen extension (his 3.94 ERA is looking better than it was in May), and heís happy with Paul Owens, for now, but he hates that weíre well out of contention. Look, buddy, it wasnít the best group to begin with.

Second, a bunch of coaches are in the last year of their contracts. Iím on the fence about extending Owens, as I might want to bring in some new blood. The guys in the minors - thatís a conversation for a little later in the season.

Third, the Cubsí Leon Durham has overtaken Mike Schmidt for leading vote-getter among National League all star hopefuls. Gotta be a mild upset, but Schmidty also had a terrible June (118 PA, .210/.297/.343, 3 HR, 22 K, 13 BB).

Finally, the Red Sox are offering us SS Glenn Hoffman (age 25, 38/38) for Andersen and Mike LaValliere. No thanks.

Game 1984-80: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 6, Astros 3 / 35-45

A four-game sweep! Kevin Gross goes eight strong (9 H, 3 ER, 4 K), while Von Hayes continues his hot hitting (4-for-5, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R). Weíre playing our best baseball of the season, and with the win, we pull ahead of the Cubs for fifth place in the NL East (13 back of first-place Pittsburgh).

By the way, weíre up to 16th in the latest power rankings. The top-five:

1. Toronto Blue Jays - 57-24
2. New York Mets - 46-32
3. Detroit Tigers - 49-29
4. Pittsburgh Pirates - 48-32
5. Kansas City Royals - 45-33

July 2, 1984
  • SP John Denny promoted to MLB Philadelphia
  • SP John Machin promoted to AAA Portland
  • RP Jim Kern released

Denny pitched well in his rehab start, going eight while striking out six. He comes up, Kern is gone (he refused to be demoted), and Machin, who was great in Reading (87.1 IP, 2.78 ERA, 6.4 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 2.1 WAR), gets a shot in AAA. Heís not special by any means, but he harnesses six pitches, so maybe heís a fill-in-type at some point.

And speaking of fill-ins, weíre at the Carlton turn in the rotation, and Denny isnít 100 percent to go. Moreover, my option to sub in at AAA has an ERA over 7.00. So, Iím opting for a bullpen game to start the next series. Steve Mura will start the game, maxing out at 75 pitches. Weíll see where it goes from there.

Meanwhile, weíre at the halfway point of the season. Time to analyze the roster and give out some grades.

  • Bo Diaz - 202 PA, .262/.280/.372, 6 HR, 9 XBH, 21 RBI, 34 K, 6 BB, +1.9 ZR, 1.062 EFF, 35.5% RTO, 1 PB 0.8 WAR (Grade: C-)
  • John Russell - 127 PA, .237/.283/.441, 6 HR, 12 XBH, 17 RBI, 40 K, 8 BB, +1.1 ZR, .981 EFF, 43.3% RTO, 0 PB, 0.7 WAR (Grade: C)
  • John Wockenfuss - 80 PA, .219/.278/.301, 2 HR, 2 XBH, 7 RBI, 9 K, 6 BB, +1.3 ZR, 1.062 EFF, 54.2% RTO, 0 PB, 0 WAR (Grade: D-)
  • Darren Daulton (AAA) - 252 PA, .249/.357/.413, 7 HR, 17 XBH, 29 RBI, 56 K, 36 BB, +0.4 ZR, .931 EFF, 34.4% RTO, 7 PB, 1.8 WAR (Grade: B)

Diaz has struggled at the plate but otherwise has been as advertised. Russell has played well behind the plate (eighth in runners thrown out percentage among those with at least 15 chances), but at the plate the discipline lacks a bit. Wockenfuss just hasnít lived up to his end of the bargain, as he was supposed to be a solid bench bat. As for Daulton, he hasnít been a world-beater in Portland, but heís good enough now to reach Philly and not be too far behind.

Future outlook: Iíd like to move Diaz at the deadline; once that happens, Daulton comes to Philly to work a pseudo-platoon with Russell for the rest of the season.

First Base
  • Len Matuszek - 282 PA, .277/.351/.430, 6 HR, 24 XBH, 37 RBI, 45 K, 28 BB, +1.6 ZR, 1.025 EFF, 1.6 WAR (Grade: B+)

Give it up for Matuszek, putting it all together in his first season as a full-time starter. Very happy with his game offensively and defensively.

Future outlook: Sadly, Matuszek will turn 30 in September, which means he could be peaking right now. Investing in a solid second option at first base for 1985 is a good idea.

Second Base
  • Juan Samuel - 353 PA, .264/.313/.401, 5 HR, 28 XBH, 20 RBI, 34 SB, 85 K, 23 BB, -11.6 ZR, .894 EFF, 0.9 WAR (Grade: C+)

I love watching Juan Samuel. He leads the National League in steals, trailing only Rickey Henderson for the major-league lead (37). His 17 doubles and six triples lead the team and are among NL leaders, and one would imagine as he strengthens, some of those extra-base hits become homers. But. He strikes out a ton and plays terrible defense.

Future outlook: I want to give the 23-year-old a chance to play every day up here. He could be a cornerstone piece for this franchise, and the excitement he brings proves that.

Third Base
  • Mike Schmidt - 336 PA, .241/.330/.446, 15 HR, 29 XBH, 44 RBI, 0 SB, 66 K, 40 BB, +0.9 ZR, 1.024 EFF, 2.2 WAR (Grade: B)
  • Mike Diaz (AAA) - 292 PA, .321/.373/.586, 17 HR, 36 XBH, 52 RBI, 0 SB, 38 K, 20 BB, +0.5 ZR, 1.031 EFF, 3.5 WAR (Grade: A-)
  • Chris James (AA) - 315 PA, .296/.332/.502, 12 HR, 33 XBH, 45 RBI, 13 SB, 38 K, 14 BB, -1.8 ZR, .982 EFF, 2.3 WAR (Grade: B)

The power is there, but Schmidty hasnít been the same this season. His defense also hasnít been exceptional, just slightly above average. Diaz has been outstanding, very similar to last season in AAA Iowa. And James needs to work on defense at third base, but heís learning, and the offensive profile is strong.

Future outlook: Schmidt remains the starter, but Diaz needs some work in the majors this year. Is there a version of 1985 with Diaz at third and Schmidt at first? I donít think so. James is still a year away, at least. For now, itís still Schmidtyís world.

  • Ivan De Jesus - 256 PA, .225/.290/.281, 0 HR, 10 XBH, 16 RBI, 1 SB, 33 K, 22 BB, -11.1 ZR, .887 EFF, -1.1 WAR (Grade: F)
  • Kiko Garcia - 64 PA, .224/.270/.276, 0 HR, 3 XBH, 5 RBI, 0 SB, 12 K, 3 BB, +1.5 ZR, 1.078 EFF, 0.1 WAR (Grade: D)
  • Steve Jeltz (AAA) - 264 PA, .237/.333/.329, 2 HR, 12 XBH, 19 RBI, 5 SB, 48 K, 31 BB, +2.6 ZR, 1.044 EFF, 1.4 WAR (Grade: C+)

De Jesus has been atrocious out there - a bad fielder, and the bat hasnít redeemed him at all. Garcia isnít an everyday player, but Iíve used him a bit more lately because his glove plays. Jeltz utilizes his eye and speed, and his glove is good.

Future outlook: De Jesus is gone, and Garcia is probably gone, too. Iím thinking about upgrading at shortstop in free agency, but moreover, I need a good fielder out there. Jeltz has one option year remaining; chances are he uses it up this year, which means itís do or die next year. At worst heís probably a decent utility infielder off the bench, but Iím uncertain about his chances as an everyday guy beyond that.

Left Field
  • Glenn Wilson - 184 PA, .256/.272/.347, 3 HR, 10 XBH, 25 RBI, 1 SB, 19 K, 5 BB, -1.7 ZR, .987 EFF, -0.2 WAR (Grade: D+)
  • Greg Gross - 126 PA, .235/.302/.270, 0 HR, 3 XBH, 3 RBI, 0 SB, 5 K, 11 BB, +1.0 ZR, 1.033 EFF, -0.1 WAR (Grade: C-)
  • Jeff Stone (AAA) - 307 PA, .270/.306/.353, 3 HR, 15 XBH, 27 RBI, 22 SB, 44 K, 14 BB, +5.2 ZR, .986 EFF, 1.1 WAR (Grade: C+)

Wilson has had a few moments, but mostly heís been poor defensively and even poorer offensively, nowhere near the slugger we hoped to see. Gross isnít having his usual solid season as a bench bat. I think we screwed around with Stone too much, as moving him to center field (to build his flexibility) caused his offensive numbers to crater.

Future outlook: Von Hayes is likely to slide over to left next season. That means Wilson really needs to show something to earn a starting job in the outfield in 1985. I think weíre likely to move on from Gross, as heís a free agent. And going forward, weíre gonna keep our hands off Stone and let him stay comfortable in left field. In short: We need another outfield option for Ď85.

Center Field
  • Von Hayes - 339 PA, .288/.366/.411, 6 HR, 23 XBH, 32 RBI, 18 SB, 58 K, 38 BB, -9.8 ZR, .933 EFF, 1.5 WAR (Grade: B+)
  • Garry Maddox - 61 PA, .153/.164/.186, 0 HR, 2 XBH, 3 RBI, 0 SB, 8 K, 1 BB, +1.6 ZR, .994 EFF, -0.3 WAR (Grade: F)

If Hayes is just passable out in center field, weíre talking about a 3-win player right now; offensively heís been terrific, and a change of position should really help. Maddox? Tough to watch.

Future outlook: With Hayes moving to left field in 1985, weíll need a center fielder. Nobody in the system right now stands out, so weíre scouring the trade market as we speak.

Right Field
  • Sixto Lezcano - 214 PA, .220/.346/.384, 7 HR, 13 XBH, 22 RBI, 0 SB, 28 K, 35 BB, +1.4 ZR, 1.022 EFF, 1.0 WAR (Grade: C+)
  • Joe Lefebvre - 212 PA, .274/.344/.421, 3 HR, 20 XBH, 32 RBI, 2 SB, 35 K, 20 BB, +1.7 ZR, .995 EFF, 1.2 WAR (Grade: B)
  • Mark Funderburk (AAA) - 237 PA, .275/.325/.546, 17 HR, 24 XBH, 45 RBI, 1 SB, 26 K, 14 BB, +4.8 ZR, 1.003 EFF, 2.1 WAR (Grade: A-)

Lezcano lacks power but has set the table a little, and his defense is solid. Lefebvre does everything Lezcano can do but has more gap power. Funderburk lit up AAA for a while and was just promoted to the majors.

Future outlook: Lezcano is a free agent, and I might try to move him in a trade. Lefebvre is a free agent after 1986 and should be considered the favorite to start in right out of spring training next season (though an upgrade might be necessary). On his best days, Lefebvre makes a fine seven-hole hitter on a good team.

Starting Pitcher
  • Steve Carlton - 106.2 IP, 4-6, 3.80 ERA, 3.10 FIP, 71 K, 33 BB, 2.4 WAR (Grade: B)
  • John Denny - 88 IP, 4-3, 3.07 ERA, 2.42 FIP, 53 K, 17 BB, 2.9 WAR (Grade: B+)
  • Kelly Downs - 25.1 IP, 0-2, 6.39 ERA, 5.50 FIP, 11 K, 8 BB, -0.2 WAR (Grade: D-)
  • Kevin Gross - 102.1 IP, 10-4, 3.43 ERA, 3.57 FIP, 75 K, 28 BB, 1.6 WAR (Grade: B+)
  • Charles Hudson - 111.1 IP, 4-9, 3.80 ERA, 3.13 FIP, 68 K, 35 BB, 2.5 WAR (Grade: B)
  • Jerry Koosman - 98.1 IP, 3-9, 4.67 ERA, 3.37 FIP, 42 K, 16 BB, 1.8 WAR (Grade: C)
  • Curt Young (AAA) - 88 IP, 4-8, 4.81 ERA, 4.22 FIP, 49 K, 27 BB, 0.7 WAR (Grade: C-)
  • Mike Maddux (AA) - 96.1 IP, 6-5, 4.02 ERA, 4.38 FIP, 57 K, 32 BB, 1.1 WAR (Grade: C)

Carltonís decline is happening, as all his numbers are on the downswing, though heís still mid-rotation effective. Denny isnít as dominant as last season, thanks in part to an injury, but heís nevertheless been very good. Downs earned a promotion but hasnít yet figured it out. Gross has been consistent, a mid-rotation stalwart. Hudson has shown flashes of brilliance but has otherwise been just a decent starter. Koosmanís 41 years shows, but to his credit, he was much better in June. Young has pitched like a spot starter. Maddux had a great June; hopefully he continues to play it crafty.

Future outlook: Lefty, Denny, Hudson, Gross, and Downs are all under team control in 1985. Koosman is if he reaches an innings threshold, and considering his improved play, thereís no reason to keep him from that at the moment. Itís a decent rotation on paper, but it could use another mid-rotation arm, as age (Carlton, Koosman) and inexperience (Downs) can be exploited. Young hasnít yet shown he can grab a rotation spot, and Maddux needs to improve his movement before even getting to AAA.

Relief Pitcher
  • Al Holland - 29.2 IP, 3-2, 16 SV, 2.73 ERA, 3.46 FIP, 24 K, 10 BB, 0.3 WAR (Grade: B)
  • Bill Campbell - 41 IP, 3-3, 10 HLD, 2.63 ERA, 2.95 FIP, 23 K, 10 BB, 0.7 WAR (Grade: B+)
  • Tug McGraw - 19.1 IP, 2-2, 1 SV, 2 HLD, 2.33 ERA, 2.23 FIP, 14 K, 2 BB, 0.6 WAR (Grade: A-)
  • Larry Andersen - 29.2 IP, 2-2, 4 HLD, 3.94 ERA, 4.14 FIP, 22 K, 12 BB, 0.0 WAR (Grade: C)
  • Steve Mura - 36.2 IP, 0-1, 1 SV, 3.68 ERA, 3.35 FIP, 36 K, 20 BB, 0.3 WAR (Grade: C+)
  • Dave Wehrmeister - 30.2 IP, 0-1, 4.70 ERA, 4.52 FIP, 18 K, 15 BB, -0.1 WAR (Grade: D)
  • Don Carman - 4 IP, 0-1, 2.25 ERA, 3.85 FIP, 6 K, 1 BB, 0.0 WAR (Grade: C+)
  • John Flinn - 2.2 IP, 0-0, 13.50 ERA, 13.35 FIP, 3 K, 7 BB, -0.3 WAR (Grade: F)
  • Rich Gaynor (AAA) - 33 IP, 0-2, 1.91 ERA, 4.64 FIP, 21 K, 16 BB, -0.1 WAR (Grade: C+)
  • John McLarnan (AA) - 22.1 IP, 2-2, 13 SV, 1 HLD, 1.61 ERA, 3.14 FIP, 19 K, 4 BB, 0.5 WAR (Grade: B+)

Holland hasnít been lights out, just effective enough. Campbell has done a nice job as the main setup man, while McGraw has done very well as a LOOGY. Andersen struggled early but has picked it up. Mura has held his own as a garden-variety middle reliever. Wehrmeister walked too many hitters, and Flinn really walked too many. Carman has mostly impressed in a small sample, while Gaynor is young and hungry, and still needing some work. McLarnan has potential, but the movement and control must improve.

Future outlook: Holland wants out, so Iím going to try to accommodate that; plus, the numbers tell me heís not good enough to lock down those crucial, high-leverage situations. Either way I lack that fireballer in the majors, as Campbell and Andersen rate more as second fiddles, Carman still needs some polish, and McGraw is just a specialist at this point (he needs 30 innings to vest a 1985 contract, and heís on his way). Iíll be on the hunt for a gas can this offseason, and maybe McLarnan shows something big next year in AAA.

Meanwhile, hereís where my guys rank in the National League:


Home Runs
5. Mike Schmidt - 15

At Bats
5. Juan Samuel - 322

T3. Juan Samuel - 6

Stolen Bases
1. Juan Samuel - 34

Caught Stealing
T3. Von Hayes - 10

2. Juan Samuel - 85

Bases on Balls
7. Mike Schmidt - 40

Sacrifice Hits
T4. Steve Carlton - 10

Isolated Power
4. Mike Schmidt - .204


T2. Kevin Gross - 10

T4. Charles Hudson - 9
T4. Jerry Koosman - 9

3. Al Holland - 16

Walks / 9 IP
3. Jerry Koosman - 1.5
5. John Denny - 1.7

Fielding Independent Pitching
6. John Denny - 2.42

Winning Percentage
7. Kevin Gross - .714

1. Bill Campbell - 10

Game 1984-81: Veterans Stadium - Reds 2, Phillies 1 / 35-46

The bullpen game works perfectly. Steve Mura pitches 3.1 innings and surrenders one run, and then Don Carman pitches 3.2 solid frames to bridge the game. Bill Campbell allows a run in the ninth, however, and we canít score. Wish we couldíve found just another run or two in there.
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Old 07-04-2019, 01:50 AM   #24
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July 3, 1984

Game 1984-82: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 4, Reds 2 / 36-46

Well this one is a doozy. Kelly Downs throws one pitch, then has to leave the game with a finger blister (heís day-to-day). So, Paul Owens turns to Tug McGraw to throw more pitches than he has all season - 56 - over four innings. Then Larry Andersen hurls 1.1 innings, and Bill Campbell finishes the fifth. Don Carman - who threw 50 pitches yesterday - fires 10 more before being lifted, then Steve Mura - who threw 66 yesterday - tosses five pitches before being lifted. That leaves it all up to Al Holland, who guts through three innings and 65 pitches to finish the game. Insane.

Offensively, Mike Schmidt hits homer No. 16, while Glenn Wilson and Len Matuszek both pick up two hits. I canít believe we won this game.

Meanwhile, late at night we receive news that the Cubs have traded pitcher Steve Trout and cash to the Indians for prospects Joe Carter, Joseph Kramer, and Mike Jeffcoat. It surprises me that the Indians - who are 14.5 in back of first-place Toronto - would make this deal, but good for the Cubbies to score some interesting young talent.

July 4, 1984

Happy Independence Day. Iím currently listening to this fantastic new album by Prince, Purple Rain. Canít get enough of ďBaby Iím a Star.Ē
  • RP Arturo Gonzalez promoted to MLB Philadelphia
  • 1B/OF Mark Funderburk demoted to AAA Portland

Our only available relievers seem to be Andersen and Campbell, and even the latter is a stretch. Thus, in comes Gonzalez, a 28-year-old who was out of baseball between 1981 and Ď83. He came back this year and put up a 1.69 ERA in AA Reading, then a 1.93 ERA in AAA Portland. He also has plenty of stamina. He might be used tonight.

Game 1984-83: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 4, Reds 3 / 37-46

Before a full house (the box score says 27,181 but I refuse to believe it) watches the traditional Independence Day fireworks above Veterans Stadium, we have our best win of the season. Charles Hudson pitches a tough but effective 7.1 innings, departing with a deficit at 3-2 (John Russellís two-run homer is our offense to that point). Then, in the eighth, Joe Lefebvre slams a two-out, two-run double to pull us ahead at 4-3. Larry Andersen, who came on in the eighth for Hudson, slams the door, preserving the bullpen and wrapping up a series win. Wonderful.

July 5, 1984

One more series before the all-star break. I should probably vote for all-stars. My picks:

American League
  • SP - Dave Stieb - TOR - 10-5, 2.61 ERA, 7.4 K/9, 3.8 WAR
  • SP - John Butcher - MIN - 14-4, 2.18 ERA, 4.3 K/9, 3.1 WAR
  • SP - Floyd Bannister - CWS - 10-6, 3.29 ERA, 7.0 K/9, 2.2 WAR
  • RP - Tippy Martinez - BAL - 5-5, 14 SV, 2.49 ERA, 8.8 K/9, 0.2 WAR
  • RP - George Frazier - CLE - 7-4, 13 SV, 2.66 ERA, 6.1 K/9, 1.5 WAR
  • C - Dave Engle - MIN - .335/.373/.470, 7 HR, 144 wRC+, 2.8 WAR
  • 1B - Kent Hrbek - MIN - .310/.362/.541, 18 HR, 153 wRC+, 2.9 WAR
  • 2B - Hal McRae - KC - .283/.340/.427, 10 HR, 121 wRC+, 1.8 WAR
  • 3B - Wade Boggs - BOS - .368/.438/.476, 3 HR, 164 wRC+, 4.6 WAR
  • SS - Tony Fernandez - TOR - .377/.430/.513, 6 HR, 174 wRC+, 5.7 WAR
  • LF - Kirk Gibson - DET - .306/.401/.526, 14 HR, 163 wRC+, 4.1 WAR
  • CF - Lloyd Moseby - TOR - .330/.392/.500, 11 HR, 153 wRC+, 4.1 WAR
  • RF - Don Mattingly - NYY - .318/.369/.513, 14 HR, 157 wRC+, 2.2 WAR
  • DH - Greg Walker - CWS - .342/.413/.570, 11 HR, 179 wRC+, 2.7 WAR

National League
  • SP - John Candelaria - PIT - 10-2, 1.96 ERA, 7.8 K/9, 4.9 WAR
  • SP - Dwight Gooden - NYM - 9-4, 2.62 ERA, 10.1 K/9, 5.2 WAR
  • SP - Fernando Valenzuela - LAD - 5-7, 2.57 ERA, 7.0 K/9, 4.9 WAR
  • RP - Rich Gossage - SD - 0-2, 22 SV, 1.55 ERA, 10.0 K/9, 1.7 WAR
  • RP - Jeff Reardon - MTL - 2-0, 27 SV, 1.04 ERA, 8.2 K/9, 1.4 WAR
  • C - Jody Davis - CHC - .322/.347/.510, 9 HR, 141 wRC+, 1.7 WAR
  • 1B - Keith Hernandez - NYM - .358/.455/.485, 6 HR, 166 wRC+, 3.4 WAR
  • 2B - Bill Doran - HOU - .287/.342/.412, 3 HR, 118 wRC+, 2.5 WAR
  • 3B - Mike Schmidt - PHI - .241/.328/.449, 16 HR, 117 wRC+, 2.2 WAR
  • SS - Ozzie Smith - STL - .272/.326/.356, 2 HR, 92 wRC+, 2.9 WAR
  • LF - Dale Murphy - ATL - .281/.329/.452, 10 HR, 117 wRC+, 2.5 WAR
  • CF - Eddie Milner - CIN - .305/.363/.424, 4 HR, 125 wRC+, 2.8 WAR
  • RF - Jack Clark - SF - .300/.393/.495, 15 HR, 155 wRC+, 2.8 WAR

Schmidt has led NL third base ballots since the beginning, so he should make it. Otherwise, I could see either Bill Campbell or Al Holland sneaking in. Maybe Von Hayes as a dark horse? Thatís probably it.

Game 1984-84: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 10, Braves 2 / 38-46

Heck yeah. Sixto Lezcano hits two home runs and drives in six, while Juan Samuel collects three hits, steals a base, and scores three runs. Jerry Koosman goes eight, giving up two runs, to continue his hot stretch.

Also tonight, Tommy John of the California Angels records his 250th win against the Red Sox. A highlight in an otherwise bad season for the 41-year-old (5.04 ERA).

July 6, 1984

Still 12 games behind first place, since the Pirates are now 50-34. Still in sell mode. And speaking of trades, Houston proposes one: They would send shortstop Dickie Thon and pitcher Vern Ruhle to us for pitcher John Denny.

Thon is a decent shortstop, hitting .292/.315/.416 with 16 extra-base hits in 260 plate appearances, plus swiping 12 bags. His 1.5 WAR is eighth among qualified shortstops. Heís 26 and in line for arbitration next season, then becomes a free agent after 1985.

Ruhle, 33, is a control-first reliever whose 4.55 ERA doesnít tell the whole story, as heís been hurt by a high BABIP (.315). Heís a free agent after this season.

Denny, meanwhile, is under contract through 1986 and having a nice sequel to his Cy Young 1983 season.

If I traded Denny Iím looking at a rotation of Carlton, Gross, Hudson, Koosman, and Downs for 1985. That isnít enough to contend, especially as Lefty and Koos get another year older. Trading Denny isnít good for short-term business, and Thon isnít enough of a return. Iíd need to get another starter back, and Houston doesnít seem to want to do that. Hard pass.

Game 1984-85: Veterans Stadium - Braves 3, Phillies 1 / 38-47

Twenty-five-year-old Ken Dayley pitches a strong seven against us, while John Dennyís first start back from the injury list is a solid if unspectacular 7.1 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 5 K performance. The offense doesnít put up enough of a fight.

Later in the night, there was a brawl in the Oakland vs Milwaukee game at the Oakland Coliseum. Milwaukee pitcher Mark Ciardi plunked our old friend Ozzie Virgil, who stormed the mound and toppled the 22-year-old. Virgil is suspended four games, while Ciardi gets two. By the way, here are Virgilís numbers this season: 203 PA, .314/.369/.524, 22 XBH, 2.6 WAR.

Yes, Virgil is having a better offensive season than anyone else on our club. Thatís a thing thatís happening right now; what really irks me is heís rated a 40 defensively, and yet heís carrying a +1.1 ZR and 1.018 EFF. Just incredible.

Speaking of former Phils, Gary Matthews is in waivers. His numbers arenít that bad (.250/.328/.433), but thereís apparently nowhere to play the 34-year-old in Chicago with Joe Carter now on board.
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Old 07-06-2019, 10:51 AM   #25
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July 7, 1984
  • 1B/OF Mark Funderburk promoted to MLB Philadelphia
  • RP Arturo Gonzalez demoted to AAA Portland

The bullpen mess has sorted itself out, and I want to get Funderburk a start up here. Against a lefty, itís happening.

Game 1984-86: Veterans Stadium - Phillies 12, Braves 5 / 39-47

Von Hayes goes 4-for-4 with a home run, a walk, and a stolen base, raising his average to .294 in a rout. We bat around in the first, Juan Samuel his his sixth home run, Ivan De Jesus goes 3-for-3, and Kevin Gross gets through six while surrendering five runs. Also, Don Carman lowers his ERA to 0.93 (he also has 12 strikeouts to 3 walks).

July 8, 1984

First, another trade proposal, this time from Kansas City. Once again, another shortstop dangled our way, and this time itís Onix Concepcion, who is basically Ivan De Jesus with more speed and defense (.248/.281/.280, 11 SB, +6.4 ZR, 1.074 EFF). The Royals want Larry Andersen and Mike LaValliere. I feel as if Iím giving up too much for simply a good defender with speed (plus, I canít imagine Steve Jeltz in AAA Portland is much worse). For now Iíll reject, but I wonít forget Concepcion as an option down the line.

Meanwhile, all-star rosters have been finalized:

American League
  • * SP - Dave Stieb - TOR
  • SP - Floyd Bannister - CWS
  • SP - Bert Blyleven - CLE
  • SP - John Butcher - MIN
  • SP - Mark Langston - SEA
  • SP - Dan Petry - DET
  • SP - Frank Viola - MIN
  • RP - Willie Hernandez - DET
  • RP - Jim Barr - BAL
  • RP - Tippy Martinez - BAL
  • RP - Dave Schmidt - TEX
  • RP - Mike Stanton - SEA
  • * C - Dave Engel - MIN
  • C - Rich Gedman - BOS
  • C - Lance Parrish - DET
  • * 1B - Kent Hrbek - MIN
  • * 2B - Hal McRae - KC
  • * 3B - Wade Boggs - BOS
  • 3B - George Brett - KC
  • 3B - Carney Lansford - OAK
  • * SS - Tony Fernandez - TOR
  • SS - Alan Trammell - DET
  • SS - Cal Ripken Jr - BAL
  • SS - Robin Yount - MIL
  • * LF - Kirk Gibson - DET
  • LF - Rickey Henderson - OAK
  • * CF - Lloyd Moseby - TOR
  • * RF - Don Mattingly - NYY
  • RF - Jesse Barfield - TOR
  • * DH - Greg Walker - CWS

All stars by team: Detroit (5), Minnesota (4), Toronto (4), Baltimore (3), Boston (2), Chicago (2), Kansas City (2), Oakland (2), Seattle (2), Cleveland (1), Milwaukee (1), New York (1), Texas (1), California (0)

National League
  • * SP - John Candelaria - PIT
  • SP - Dwight Gooden - NYM
  • SP - Dave LaPoint - STL
  • SP - Tom Lollar - SD
  • SP - Larry McWilliams - PIT
  • SP - John Tudor - PIT
  • SP - Fernando Valenzuela - LAD
  • RP - Rich Gossage - SD
  • RP - Carlos Diaz - LAD
  • RP - Orel Hershiser - LAD
  • RP - Gary Lavelle - SF
  • RP - Jeff Reardon - MTL
  • * C - Gary Carter - MTL
  • C - Jody Davis - CHC
  • C - Danny Goodwin - ATL
  • * 1B - Keith Hernandez - NYM
  • 1B - Greg Brock - LAD
  • 1B - Leon Durham - CHC
  • * 2B - Bill Doran - HOU
  • 2B - Tommy Herr - STL
  • 2B - Johnny Ray - PIT
  • * 3B - Mike Schmidt - PHI
  • * SS - Ozzie Smith - STL
  • * LF - Dale Murphy - ATL
  • LF - Jose Cruz - HOU
  • LF - George Foster - NYM
  • * CF - Pedro Guerrero - LAD
  • CF - Von Hayes - PHI
  • * RF - Jack Clark - SF
  • RF - Darryl Strawberry - NYM

All stars by team: Los Angeles (5), New York (4), Pittsburgh (4), Saint Louis (3), Atlanta (2), Chicago (2), Houston (2), Montreal (2), Philadelphia (2), San Diego (2), San Francisco (2), Cincinnati (0)

Schmidt ran away with the fan vote at third base (second leading vote-getter among NL players), and Von Hayes! Awesome to see Stick make his first all-star team. Meantime, rough not to see one Red on the list (Eddie Milner or Ted Power shouldíve made it), and sad that the Angels were shut out, too (Bruce Kison or Gary Pettis wouldíve worked, or even Rod Carew).

Game 1984-87: Veterans Stadium - Braves 9, Phillies 6 / 39-48

Kelly Downs is having a poor start to his major league career. He raises his ERA to 7.36 after being shellacked for six runs on 10 hits in four innings. The score is never that close: Down 9-2 in the ninth, we load the bases with two outs, and Sixto Lezcano bashes a pinch-hit grand slam, his 10th homer of the season.

In the American League, Torontoís Tony Fernandez has a 25-game hitting streak ongoing. Heís hitting .378 on the season with a .430 OBP. Heís the clear favorite for league MVP for a team thatís now a pretty remarkable 61-27 (thatís a 112-win pace, which would break the American League record of 111, set in 1954 by the Indians).

And finally, the power rankings. Weíre in 18th this week. The top-five:

1. Toronto Blue Jays - 61-27
2. Detroit Tigers - 55-30
3. Kansas City Royals - 51-34
4. New York Mets - 50-35
5. Saint Louis Cardinals - 48-39
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:05 AM   #26
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July 9, 1984

As we enter the all-star break, itís time to ramp up those trade discussions. A quick recap.

Players Iím looking to unload:
  1. C - Bo Diaz
  2. RF - Sixto Lezcano
  3. RP - Al Holland
  4. IF/OF - Greg Gross
  5. OF - Garry Maddox
  6. 1B/C - John Wockenfuss
Diaz, Lezcano, and Holland are my priority. I want Darren Daulton in the big leagues; Lezcano has value to me now (and none beyond a potential compensation draft pick once he becomes a free agent); and Holland is unhappy here (plus I donít see him as a closer, and I canít risk that kind of issue down the line).

Gross isnít priority, but shedding him means freeing up more space in the outfield. Maddox is only gone if I can snare a playable center fielder, as I wouldnít mind moving Von Hayes to left field before the year ends. And Wockenfuss is in the minors, so purging him isnít a necessity, but heíd probably like to be somewhere else.

Meanwhile, hereís what Iíd like to get:
  • Top-100 prospect (no position preference, but probably not a catcher)
  • Power-hitting corner outfielder
  • MLB-ready center fielder (good defense and contact)
  • MLB-ready relief pitcher (preferably young with high stuff ratings)
  • MLB-ready starting pitcher (good control and movement)

Iím not assuming I get all or even some of these parts, but it gives me targets. Otherwise Iíd love cash, and minor league filler is acceptable in some situations.

So, letís start with Diaz. Teams that may need a catcher include the Mets and Mariners. The Brewers, now 15.5 games behind Toronto, probably wonít be buying now. Iíll add Cincinnati, whose backup is Alex Trevino (37). And after scouting those teams, the only kind of player they have is the MLB-ready relief pitcher. They include:
  • NYM - Kevin Brown - 20 - 31/31 - 65/65 stuff, 35/35 movement, 25/25 control
  • NYM - Mitch Cook - 21 - 39/39 - 55/55 stuff, 35/35 movement, 45/45 control
  • SEA - Karl Best - 25 - 36/36 - 70/70 stuff, 35/35 movement, 30/30 control
  • SEA - Bill Mendek - 22 - 32/32 - 70/70 stuff, 35/35 movement, 20/25 control
  • CIN - Louie Trujillo - 24 - 28/28 - 70/70 stuff, 35/35 movement, 20/25 control

I like Cook and Best over the rest. So I call the Mets about Cook, and GM Jason Kincaid wants to think it over. Iíd have to pony up $185K to make the numbers work (I have $346K available to trade). Then I call Seattle about Best, and GM Norm Willis says the same; for this deal, Iíd have to pay nearly an additional $210K. Finallyí Redsí GM Geoff Zubal echoes the other executives, and for that deal Iíd have to pay $203K. I think I want to look further into Best, so I propose Diaz and the minimal cash amount, $205,555.

July 10, 1984

Norm Willis doesnít like the proposed deal. He wants another prospect, and the only one Iíd possibly surrender is infielder Ramon Henderson, a 20-year-old in A Peninsula whoís hitting well (.299/.347/.411) but apparently tinkers with his swing too much and lacks anything that makes him stand out. He feels like, at best, a utility guy, if he even gets there.

Still, Iíd rather give up less. I instead offer infielder Dave Kennard, also in Peninsula, who has been blocked this year and needs a fresh start.

1984 Major League Baseball All-Star Game: Candlestick Park - National League 2, American League 1

A classic all-star game at Candlestick Park.

The AL had a 1-0 lead into the sixth, when Gary Carter (who won the MVP) struck a tying home run. In the seventh, Jack Clark doubled to score the winning run, who was .... Von Hayes! Stick walked (of course), stole second (naturally), then scored the eventual winner. It was his only plate appearance of the game, and it was huge. Meanwhile, Mike Schmidt hit in the cleanup spot and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.

July 11, 1984

The Tigers and Brewers make a deal, with the former sending outfielder Larry Herndon to the latter for pitcher Don Sutton. I imagine Detroit figured Herndon was extraneous, needing a starter to shore up the rotation.

Still no word from the Mariners. Iíd love to get a deal done before the break ends.

July 12, 1984

The Mariners return with another rejection. They want Henderson, so I come back offering outfielder Tony Brown (24/33), whoís in A Peninsula and strikes out a bunch. Heís as good a prospect as Henderson, if not better, so I gotta believe Seattle is cool with this.

Thus, I ask for an additional player: an outfielder named Jay Erdahl, 25, playing in class-A. Heís a superior defensive player (55 in RF, +9.3 ZR, 1.048 EFF) with a decent eye (50/50) and speed (50), plus enough raw power to hack it (45/45). He belongs in AAA and could be a bench player down the line.

Norm Willis says yes. I feel good about the deal; sure, I lose some money here, and I donít get a great prospect, but I get an MLB-ready reliever (who will need some work) who needs a little change in locale, and a potential bench bat down the line. Diaz is a Type B free agent and could get me a supplemental draft pick, but Iíd rather get value now for him, especially as it gives me the freedom to move Darren Daulton to the majors. Letís do it.


To Seattle Mariners:

Bo Diaz - C - 31
Tony Brown - LF - 22
Cash - $205,555

To Philadelphia Phillies

Karl Best - RP - 25
Jay Erdahl - RF/CF - 25

Corresponding moves:
  • RP Karl Best assigned to AAA Portland
  • RF/CF Jay Erdahl assigned to AAA Portland
  • C Darren Daulton promoted to MLB Philadelphia
  • RP John Poloni released

Good news: Team morale is now ďhappyĒ and not just ďcontent.Ē Have no idea how this happened, but maybe my guys secretly didnít like Bo Diaz.
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:47 PM   #27
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The only thing I remember about Bo Diaz is that shortly after his career ended, he died installing a satellite dish on his house. Make of that what you will.
Originally Posted by John Hodgman
I didn't know that a dinosaur could do that much cocaine.
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You bastard....
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:06 PM   #28
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Yeah, poor Bo Diaz. RIP.
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:10 PM   #29
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Onto the second half of the season. Daulton is getting to Houston by late-afternoon, and with traffic, probably wonít be at the Astrodome until just before first pitch. John Russell will get the start at catcher, then.

Game 1984-88: Astrodome - Astros 5, Phillies 1 / 39-49

Charles Hudson pitches quite well (7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 7 K, 2 BB), but the bullpen implodes in the eighth. Bill Campbell is tagged for four runs. Yuck. At least Juan Samuel hits two doubles.

July 13, 1984

Game 1984-89: Astrodome - Astros 6, Phillies 3 / 39-50

We canít get enough big hits, while Jerry Koosman gives up five runs. Darren Daulton walks in his first game this season.

Meanwhile, congratulations to 40-year-old Joe Morgan. ďSweet PeaĒ strikes his 2,500th career hit while playing for the Athletics.

July 14, 1984

Game 1984-90: Astrodome - Phillies 4, Astros 2 / 40-50

Mike Schmidt hits homer 17, and Iím praying this is the start of a run. Something that happens frequently now: Juan Samuel doubles, steals third, and scores on the next play, in this case an infield single. His wheels get us an insurance run in the ninth. John Denny (6.2 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 2 K, 2 BB) pitches well.

July 15, 1984

Steve Carlton is now eligible to come off the injured list, which means an unfortunate end to Kelly Downsí first trip to the majors.
  • SP Steve Carlton recalled from injured list
  • SP Kelly Downs optioned to AAA Portland

Downs is carrying a 7.36 ERA in six starts, striking out just 12 while walking eight. He needs to improve his movement (35/45), as it led to eight opposing homers. The stuff (45/50) could also use some work. Also, the fastball (45/50). Movement is paramount, so weíll see where he is if that advances.

Game 1984-91: Astrodome - Astros 6, Phillies 3 / 40-51

Kevin Gross gives up four in the first inning, sealing our fate. Von Hayes drives in three with a homer and a double.

Before the day ends, I shop around Sixto Lezcano. Interested parties:
  • For prospects: Boston, Detroit, Chicago Cubs, Houston, St. Louis
  • For veterans: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago White Sox, Detroit, Chicago Cubs, Houston, St. Louis
  • For regulars: Boston, Detroit, Chicago Cubs, Houston, St. Louis

Iím surprised Kansas City isnít interested, and that so many bad teams are. But who am I to argue?

The best prospects offered to us are Detroit LF Bruce Fields (36/41) and Cubs LF Henry Cotto (32/41). Neither are top-100 prospects. As for veterans, thereís Detroit SP Pete Vuckovich (45/45), whoís a free agent after 1984, and Cubs SP Rick Reuschel (45/45), also a free agent after this season.

Boston is offering CF Reggie Whittemore (37/38), who has 50 defense in center and a +2.9 ZR, plus a decent bat with a good eye. Not much else worth thinking about, so this might either be a bulk trade or maybe I can score someone interesting by negotiating.

One last thing: power rankings time. Weíre 19th. The top-five:

1. Toronto Blue Jays - 65-27
2. Detroit Tigers - 57-32
3. Saint Louis Cardinals - 52-39
4. Kansas City Royals - 53-36
5. New York Mets - 53-36
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:07 AM   #30
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July 16, 1984

Game 1984-92: Riverfront Stadium - Phillies 4, Reds 3 / 41-51

Hey, a good win. In his first start back from the IL, Steve Carlton goes six and gives up three runs late to put us down 3-2. In the ninth, Juan Samuel singles with two outs, then Glenn Wilson doubles him home. A Mike Schmidt intentional walk later, and double-switch replacement Garry Maddox strikes a big winning single. Phew.

Also, Darren Daulton hits his first major league home run. Heck yeah.

And also tonight, Tony Fernandez singles in the ninth inning against California to run his hitting streak to 30 games. Heís hitting .377. Something to watch.

July 17, 1984

Big news out of New York: Mets closer Ed Lynch is out for the season with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Heíd lost save opportunities to Doug Sisk, but the loss is big. Gives me another team to think about with an Al Holland trade, and I really donít care if itís the Mets. They have a farm system; time to look into it.

(I do, and they wonít part with anyone unless itís for something big.)

So, letís check in on contending bullpens to see who might be interested in Al Holland. First, letís go over bullpen ERA needs:
  • Toronto - 4.24 bERA - Can really use a stopper to push Dennis Lamp to a setup role and move Jim Acker far away from the end of games.
  • Kansas City - 4.59 bERA - A better setup option than Joe Beckwith, or just a lefty change of pace, is needed.
  • Seattle - 4.38 bERA - Can use a better closer or stopper than Mike Stanton.
  • Atlanta - 4.06 bERA - A more reliable lefty than Terry Forster is necessary.

After checking in, nothing seems to work with either Kansas City, Seattle, or Atlanta.

Meanwhile, the call-back market for Al Holland, if we eat none of the contract, is the same as Lezcanoís market. If I eat 35 percent (which is what we can do without going over our cash flow), Kansas City enters the fray but not offering a top prospect; the best are Bill Pecota (30/40) and Mark Ryal (33/40). Both seem to be destined to be bench players, which isnít enough here. The only regular being offered thatís interesting is Candy Maldonado in Baltimore, but he canít play much defense (heís supposed to be a RF) and heís too much a liability against right-handed pitching.

Raising the ďIíll eat itĒ slider to 75 percent; that welcomes Toronto into the mix, and teams change the kind of prospect I could get, but it still seems not enough. Next, asking for regulars and not prospects Ö and finally, a bite in the form of a player I previously targeted, CF Rick Leach in Toronto. This at least tells me that if I ate fewer cash, Toronto would entertain this deal.

So, here is my center fielder group, which has changed in a month. In order of who Iíd ask about first:
  1. CLE - Brett Butler - 27 - 49/56 (50 CF), 402 PA, .247/.305/.319, 22 XBH
  2. TOR - Rick Leach - 27 - 47/50 (65 CF), 110 PA, .221/.255/.404, 11 XBH, -0.4 ZR, .995 EFF
  3. CWS - Dave Stegman - 30 - 48/48 (60 CF), 294 PA, .226/.313/.362, 21 XBH, +3.6 ZR, 1.023 EFF
  4. PIT - Eddie Vargas - 25 - 48/48 (50 CF), 159 PA, .248/.333/.418, 11 XBH, +0.9 ZR, .995 EFF
  5. SD - Gerry Davis - 25 - 50/50 (50 CF), 223 PA, .194/.300/.272, 10 XBH, -0.4 ZR, .995 EFF
  6. SD - Alan Wiggins - 26 - 48/48 (50 CF), 293 PA, .264/.343/.319, 9 XBH
  7. CWS - Rudy Law - 27 - 47/47 (50 CF), 199 PA, .223/.265/.310, 11 XBH, -0.6 ZR, .980 EFF

I changed this around since Leach has shown more potential in the last few weeks, and his defense - while not great statistically this season - should be the best among his peers here. Iím also willing to bring Stegman back in here, as this season heís been slugging, and heís also having a good defensive season.

So I go to Cleveland for Butler, which means I have to add some cash to make Hollandís contract work over there. They wonít even hear of it unless I add Mike Diaz or John Russell, at least. Considering Butlerís still paltry numbers, I wouldnít want to do that without a player in return, and thereís nothing else in that organization I like enough. Meh.

Moving to Toronto, they want Holland plus a prospect for Leach. That doesnít sound right to me, even if weíre talking about something close to filler. I mean, I like Leach, but Holland is the prize here.

Then thereís Chicago, who would do Holland for Stegman one-for-one. Stegman is under control through 1986, which works with me; still, Iíd love a prospect in the deal. Chicago has three top-100 prospects: CF Daryl Boston, P Doug Drabek, and CF Russ Morman. None are touchable here, but I could go after RP Dave White (age 22, 40/40, 55 stuff, 35 movement, 45 control) or RP Kenneth Walker (age 23, 38/38, 65 stuff, 35 movement, 35 control). I actually like Walker a bit more, as he has a fully-formed fastball (55/55) and slider (65/65). He could learn in the majors this season.

Interestingly, if I was to pivot, I could get Stegman and LF Ron Kittle (70 power) for Holland and John Russell, something my assistant loves. Iím not so sure - Kittle has to play left (where heís a -8.7 ZR), which means Von Hayes in right, where we only hope he could be average. Plus, Kittle strikes out a ton, which doesnít work in a lineup with Juan Samuel (22.7% K rate) and Mike Schmidt (19.2% K rate), and he has no other above-average traits. Essentially weíre talking about a guy with one skill, and that isnít enough when trading Russell, who plays good defense, can be a backup catcher, and has nearly the same power potential (60). I canít in good conscience do this.

Back to Stegman and Walker; I also ask for SP John Johnson (age 20, 34/34, 50 stuff, 35 movement, 40 control), and Chicago GM Matt Gillespie says heíll think about it.

I turn to Pittsburgh, and the conversation for Eddie Vargas starts with me adding prospects. No thanks. Same idea in San Diego for Gerry Davis. Again, Holland is the prize in every deal (except maybe a Butler trade); Iím not gutting my team to get a fringe starter.

That said, I still like Leach enough to keep Toronto in the mix. Letís compare Stegman (age 30) and Leach (age 27):
Overall: Stegman
Potential: Leach
Contact O/P: Leach / Leach
Eye: Stegman / Stegman
Avoid K: Leach / Leach
Against Lefties: Stegman
Against Righties: Leach
Speed: Stegman
Stealing: Stegman
Baserunning: Stegman
Outfield Range: Leach
Outfield Error: Stegman
Outfield Arm: Leach
CF Rating: Leach
Career wRC+: Leach (76 to 75)
Career WAR: Stegman (0.3 to -1.0)
So, Leach has more potential, but for 1984 and Ď85 itís a pretty even comparison. Iíll get more contact with Leach, but he doesnít have the speed to turn BABIP in his favor (this season .225, career .250, though Stegman is career .225). The issue for both is poor play in short-ish samples. Leach has 718 career PA (.233/.299/.346), while Stegman has 556 career PA (.206/.291/.334).

Defense is what I want most. Stegman makes 96.7% of routine plays, 79.6% likely, 69.2% even, 50% unlikely, and 25% remote. To compare: Chet Lemon (the best CF in the game defensively) makes 98.7% routine, 90.3% likely, 78.3% even, 80.8% unlikely, and 14.8% remote, and thatís in a huge outfield (Tiger Stadium). Leachís numbers are unavailable, as heís played just four games in center. (For further comparison, Von Hayes is 96.2% routine, 66.2% likely, 51.5% even, 33.3% unlikely, and 66.7% remote).

Stegman or Leach would be upgrades from Hayes in center, but neither is a slam dunk to hit well enough to stay starting in 1985. The only potential free agent who Iíd consider for center in 1985 is Fred Lynn, though heíll command a decent salary and is more playable in right field. Also, the only CF in my farm system who projects as a starter is Luis Polonia, whoís 20 and probably doesnít make the majors until 1986. Point is, I need someone, and itís gotta be either Stegman or Leach.

Toronto wonít budge, and they wonít offer me much in terms of prospects to balance out what they want. The White Sox, meanwhile, are willing to work, and the difference between Leach and Stegman is so small that the added players in a Chicago trade really sway me in that direction. Iíll see what they think about Stegman, Walker, and Johnson for Holland.

Game 1984-93: Riverfront Stadium - Phillies 6, Reds 5 / 42-51

Boy does Al Holland make it adventurous, allowing two runs in the ninth and putting the winning run on first. But we win. Charles Hudson goes 7.1 IP (9 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K), while - and Iím burying the lede - Juan Samuel probably has his best pro game, but in typical fashion (4-for-4, BB, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, SB, CS, E). Sammyís now at .286/.334/.439 with 40 steals, and that works.

Meanwhile, Tony Fernandezís 30-game hit streak ends. Shoot.

July 18, 1984

Chicago rejects the offer and wants a prospect along with Holland, so I take out John Johnson and ask for SP Rich Devincenzo (age 24, 29/29, 50 stuff, 35 movement, 30 control), who has a strong changeup and working curve, plus a passable fastball. My guys love him, and I think he has to become a reliever immediately. Chicago GM Matt Gillespie says yes.

Letís do it.


To Chicago White Sox

Al Holland - RP - 31

To Philadelphia Phillies

Dave Stegman - CF - 30
Kenneth Walker - RP - 23
Rich Devincenzo - SP - 24

I have my baseline center fielder for 1985 and possibly 1986. I also have a reliever I can plug into the bullpen right now, giving him a shot to solidify a role for Ď85. I also get a bit more of a flier who could be in the majors next season. Is it a perfect deal? No. But I like it.
  • CF Dave Stegman assigned to MLB Philadelphia
  • RP Kenneth Walker assigned to AAA Portland
  • RP Rich Devincenzo assigned to AA Reading
  • RP Ben Hayes promoted to MLB Philadelphia
  • 1B Mark Funderburk demoted to AAA Portland
  • RF Gib Siebert demoted to AA Reading
  • RF Bobby Mitchell released

Necessary moves. Walker can immediately start in the majors, but he has an ERA just south of 8.00 in AAA, so Iíd like to see him get some reps in Portland before I bring him up. Heíll be up, though. Ben Hayes, who had a 2.45 ERA, 17 K and 10 BB in Portland, comes to Philly. Heís 26 and is likely a blowout guy. Bill Campbell becomes the end-game reliever as a stopper, while Tug McGraw and Larry Andersen take on setup man duties.

Game 1984-94: Riverfront Stadium - Reds 11, Phillies 3 / 42-52

So Jerry Koosman doesnít pitch well (5.1 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 H), and his reinforcements donít help. Not a great first outing for Ben Hayes (0.2 IP, 5 ER, 67.50 ERA). Joe Price, with nine strikeouts, make us look silly. Three Ks each by Juan Samuel and Len Matuszek.
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Old 07-12-2019, 12:10 AM   #31
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July 19, 1984

News that Texas traded LF Gary Ward to Toronto for two prospects, C Geno Petralli and SP Mark Clemons. Iím surprised by this trade, as Toronto doesnít need more outfielders. But oh well - the return for Texas is fine, especially as Ward is a free agent after 1984. One more team off the Lezcano market, I guess (even though the Jays never really seemed in it).

Game 1984-95: Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium - Braves 3, Phillies 1 / 42-53

Like most of our games this year, we start out with a lead, then a home run flips the score. In this case itís Dale Murphy hitting his 13th. Meanwhile Mike Schmidtís numbers are getting more alarming (.236/.328/.431). He shouldnít be declining this rapidly, and Iím thinking itís time for a couple days off.

July 20, 1984

We have two games against lefties coming up, then two against righties, then back against a lefty. Iíll start Schmidt these next two, sit him against the righties, and then see what to do after that.

Game 1984-96: Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium - Braves 5, Phillies 3 / 42-52

Ken Dayley outclasses us in 7.2 innings. Dave Stegmanís first hit as a Phillie is an unimportant home run in the ninth inning.

July 21, 1984

The Cubs continue their tear-down, trading pitcher Rick Reuschel to St. Louis for fringe prospects Mark Dougherty, David Crossley, and Eddie Tanner.

Meantime, a trade proposal from the Blue Jays: Willie Upshaw would come our way, while Jerry Koosman, Chris James, and $119,000 in cash would head to Toronto.

Upshaw, 27 and a free agent after this year-

Iíll stop there.

I mean, OK, Upshaw is an upgrade over Len Matuszek, but he isnít the meat-of-the-order thump we really need. And not for James, who at age 21 is hitting .291/.331/.475 with 37 XBH in 390 AA plate appearances. But, also, Upshaw is a free agent after this year.

Meanwhile, shopping Sixto Lezcano again, I get some pretty mild bites if retaining no salary. If I adjust to 50-50, the best return is 23-year-old SP Ken Dixon in Baltimore (43/45), who has a 3.58 ERA, 6.9 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9 this season. Heís better suited as a reliever, it seems, as heís a two-pitch pitcher (fastball, curveball). But that isnít the return I want. If I eat 80 percent, the returns donít improve much. Eh.

One more idea: packaging Lezcano with Mike Diaz (who Iím 95 percent not trading as heís the No. 69 prospect in the game, which is nice to have). That gives me some interesting results, including top Cardinals prospect Terry Pendleton (35/52). The Astros, Cubs (funny, as Diaz was a Cub), and Rangers become top suitors here, making me think I could figure something out, if just for Sixto.

To the Cardinals. I can probably trade any of their relief prospects for Sixto, one for one, except 21-year-old Jeff Fassero (34/47). It makes me think Iíll have to do a deal like Chicagoís recent trade with St. Louis, where the former received three fringe prospects with 30-39 potentials. Sample return: RP Joe Boever (31/39), RP Kevin Hagen (37/37), SS Jose Uribe (34/37). Fine, but Iíd like one guy who could make more of an impact.

I try Texas, and I get close but thereís ultimately nothing that works. Same with Kansas City. Itís taking too much time; gotta quit for the night.

Game 1984-97: Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium - Phillies 6, Braves 1 / 43-54

A wire-to-wire win, one of the best of the year. Steve Carlton is his old self (7.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 9 K, 2 BB), while Schmidty goes 3-for-4 with a double. Juan Samuel, Glenn Wilson, and Len Matuszek each add two hits.

A quick note on Wilson. Heís hitting .251/.268/.336 with 13 XBH in 325 PA. Not good enough (itís a 69 wRC+, which is nice if youíre a pitcher). However, heís been good against lefties (.298/.326/.438), which makes me feel good about a platoon with Joe Lefebvre (.277/.342/.418 against righties), at least through the end of 1984. It wonít be good enough as an everyday middle-of-the-order player, though.

July 22, 1984

Greg Gross chimes in. He wants to be traded, too. Back to the drawing board; I group him and Lezcano in a deal to see what kind of bite I get, and Detroit would give up LF Bruce Fields (age 23, 36/41), who was originally a consideration when shopping around Lezcano a week ago. Fields is hitting .302/.358/.380 with 19 XBH in 413 PA in AAA. His defense? A +15.6 ZR and 1.066 EFF. Heís outstanding defensively (a 70 at LF).

I like this. Sure, I have too many outfielders at AAA, but Iíll be trading two from the majors. Iíll figure this out. I will, however, need a second (or third) prospect. So, continuing with my theme, I ask for RP Chuck Cary (age 24, 35/36), who has 55/55 stuff, 35/35 movement, and 35/40 control, and has a 4.44 ERA in 26.1 IP this season in AAA. Not great, but heís still developing.

Also, I like 3B Kenneth Mahnken, who has no real discerning quality aside from hitting taters (55/55 raw power) and running (60 speed and stealing, 65 baserunning). Heís a 26/27 and age 23, so Iím not sure thereís a place for him to grow, but what the hell. I like a flier.

Plus, I get $269K back in this deal (wait, $319K, because I also asked for $50K). Nice. Letís do it.


To Detroit Tigers

LF Greg Gross
RF Sixto Lezcano

To Philadelphia Phillies

LF Bruce Fields
RP Chuck Cary
3B Kenneth Mahnken
  • LF Bruce Fields assigned to AAA Portland
  • RP Chuck Cary assigned to AAA Portland
  • 3B Kenneth Mahnken assigned to A Peninsula
  • 3B Greg Jelks promoted to AA Reading
  • LF Keith Hughes demoted to A Peninsula
  • 1B/3B/LF/RF Mike Diaz promoted to MLB Philadelphia
  • 1B/RF Mark Funderburk promoted to MLB Philadelphia
  • RP John Flinn released

In Peninsula, Jelks was hitting .272/.335/.446 with 32 XBH in 412 PA and at this point needed a push. Hughes comes back to Peninsula, as the 20-year-old was hitting a paltry .189/.255/.278 in 98 PA.

As for tonightís game, no Diaz or Funderburk, which means a skeleton crew. And trying not to play Schmidt tonight. Letís pray.

Game 1984-98: Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium - Braves 5, Phillies 4 / 43-55

Bob Horner socks a two-run homer off Charles Hudson in the seventh to put the Braves up 5-3. But its not over - Mike Schmidt comes off the bench to deliver a pinch single that scores tw- no, one, because Dave Stegman is thrown out at the plate, naturally. Thatís the end.

Another trade! The White Sox deal prospects Peter Venturini and Ed Sedar to Cleveland for veteran SP Jamie Easterly and cash. The Sox, by the way, are 16 games out of first. Weird stuff.

Power rankings! Weíre 21st. The top-five:

1. Toronto Blue Jays - 68-31
2. Detroit Tigers - 63-33
3. Kansas City Royals - 58-38
4. Saint Louis Cardinals - 57-41
5. New York Mets - 56-40

The NL East is the best race there is, with the Mets, Cardinals, and Pirates all tied for first.
  1. Mets - 56-40
  2. Cardinals - 57-41
  3. Pirates - 57-41
  4. Expos - 52-46 (5 GB)

In the NL West, itís a three-horse race, but separation remains:
  1. Dodgers - 56-44
  2. Reds - 51-49 (5 GB)
  3. Braves - 49-50 (6.5 GB)

The AL West isnít much of a race right now:
  1. Royals - 58-38
  2. Twins - 51-46 (7.5 GB)
  3. Mariners - 51-48 (8.5 GB)

But the AL East is once again tight:
  1. Blue Jays - 68-31
  2. Tigers - 63-33 (3.5 GB)
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Old 07-12-2019, 12:22 PM   #32
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Yeah, the trade logic that the AI uses does not always make sense. It seems to be focused more on whether a trade is fair more than, does it make sense for a non-contending teams to be trading for veterans in the first place,
many of whom are pending free agents?
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