Brown Back, Nix Nixed

nixThe Phillies planned to have Domonic Brown play two rehab games this week before activating him tomorrow night against the Cubs.

Instead, they activated him a day early.

They designated Laynce Nix for assignment to make room for him on the 25-man roster. I thought the Phillies might release Delmon Young, making room for Brown in right to keep Darin Ruf in left. But they have decided to try Ruf in right field instead, pushing Young to the bench. It should be interesting. Ruf has never played right field before and had not played much outfield before this season. But I guess the Phillies figure Ruf can be as adequate as Young, maybe even a little better? I’m not sure.

But parting ways with Nix is another negative mark on the season in regards to the front office’s player personnel evaluations. The Phillies signed Nix to a two-year, $2.5 million contract in Dec. 2011, despite the fact he had never signed a guaranteed big-league deal before. Nix followed a two-year deal to outfielder Ross Gload. (I wonder if anybody else would have offered Nix or Gload a two-year deal.) The Phillies in November then non-tendered Nate Schierholtz because they figured they already had a left-handed-hitting fourth outfielder in Nix.

Schierholtz signed with the Cubs and enters tonight hitting .268 with 23 doubles, three triples, 14 home runs, 43 RBIs, a .500 slugging percentage and .827 OPS in 337 plate appearances. If he had enough plate appearances to qualify, his slugging percentage would rank fifth among 22 big-league rightfielders. His OPS would rank seventh.

Nix, meanwhile, hit .180 with four doubles, two homers, seven RBIs, a .258 slugging percentage and a .486 OPS in 136 plate appearances.

Now what is interesting is Schierholtz never would have put up those numbers with the Phillies because they never would have provided him enough opportunity to play. They were committed to Young in right field once he got healthy — they needed a right-handed bat in the lineup — and Charlie Manuel doesn’t make it a habit of playing his bench players unless absolutely necessary. They simply didn’t think Schiertholtz was good enough to warrant a spot on the roster, much less playing time. But the point is they missed badly on Schierholtz over Nix. Schierholtz was the much better player and they simply let him go.

This follows decisions like John Bowker over Brandon Moss, releasing Jason Grilli, believing Ben Francisco and John Mayberry Jr. could be everyday corner outfielders, Danys Baez, Chad Qualls, Chad Durbin, not developing a utility player in the system better than Michael Martinez, etc. Now it should be noted every front office makes mistakes. Remember that Pat Gillick acquired Adam Eaton, Geoff Jenkins and Freddy Garcia. But too many decisions lately have landed in the minus column than the plus column. Certainly injuries to players like Roy Halladay, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Mike Adams, etc., over the past couple years have played a role in this team’s struggles. But those personnel decisions have hurt, too.

16 Comments

Thanks for pointing this stuff out. The problem lies in the front office.

I have said this time and again on these blog comments. The player evaluation team for the Phillies is one of the worst in baseball. I don’t even know who they are, but their results speak for themselves. Almost every perennially good team excels in this area. If the Phillies are serious about becoming a perennially good team, they must have a major house cleaning in the talent-evaluating portion of the organization.

Excellent article, Todd! I couldn’t agree more – how bad are our talent scouts/evaluators? It just seems like they’re off the mark much more often than they’re correct. Hopefully, someone in the front office wakes up to this problem, because it’s glaringly apparent to the fans!

Don’t know if problem is evaluation or being able to change course in middle. Jenkins was dumped, despite guarenteed contract when better option became available. I have never seen RAJ do this until now with Nix- and that came way to late

Are we invited to the docvegas “Laynce Nix go the f*** away” farewell party??

definitely gman, you will be the master of ceremonies. why not make it a pure hat trick by throwing in martinez, and mcdonald.

Martinez and McDonald do not belong in the major leagues. Period. A little while back, Charlie pinch hit McDonald for Lannan – my first thought was that Lannan was actually the better hitter of the two. No kidding.

And Charlie did that on Sunday too, only to have McDonald bunt. I thought, Cliff Lee can’t bunt?

Oh, no, my good man. You are definitely the Master of Ceremonies. Your pure hatred of the man, shown in every blog post on here even when they had nothing to do with him, earns you the title. And I say this with love because I hated him and his signing 2 years ago also, just not to your level. I’ll bring cupcakes.

Why not Brown in right field better utilizing his arm and Ruff in Left where is more comfortable? So tired of continual poor decisions

Seems like Brown would be better in RF. Usually the weakest defensive OF plays LF. (Pat Burrell, anyone?) I just hope Ruf gets to play every day.

since we are on the subject of bums (nix), let me tell you a quick story. out here in vegas whenever the la angles list fat joe blanton as the starting pitcher it is like a fire sale at the bettting windows in all the casinos. i really owe joe a drink or two, he has made my baseball betting season real success, by of course betting against the angles. the only problem all the locals who make a living by betting on the games have caught on, so you got to lay a huge amount of juice. a few of the casinos take the angles off the board when fat boy is scheduled to pitch

Angels doc. The team is the Angels. As far as I know, there are no geometrically based team names. On topic – Blanton has been rather abysmal this year and they just released Madson who hasn’t pitched sine he left here – so I guess the front office doesn’t /always/ make terrible decisions.

andy, i made a similar post the other day on that sunday game, when i said i think lee should have hit for himself, even if they were going to yank him when the inning was over.

What kind of talent evaluator believes that the better outfield has your weakest arm in RF and your strongest in LF? Admit that you got it backwards in spring training and correct it now — Brown in RF, Ruf in LF!

could not be any happier than seeing the offensive numbers that DARIN RUF is putting up since his call up from lhv. personally i never thought he should have been sent down in april when they broke spring training. with ruf, dom brown, and ben revere they could have a nice offensive outfield next season if revere hits they way he was before he went on the dl.

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