Phillies mailbag: World Series, Trading Carlos Ruiz, Freddy Galvis and Odubel Herrera
Once again it is time for the weekly Phillies mailbag. Submit your questions anytime on the Sports Talk Philly Facebook page or on Twitter at @FrankKlose.
Now that the Cubs are down three games to two, do you want to change your World Series prediction?
Well, I must say have to change my prediction, since I had the Cubs winning in five games. I felt that that Cleveland would win at least one Corey Kluber game and that the Cubs starting pitching depth would help. Even though the Cubs are on the brink of elimination, I still pick the Cubs, but it has to be in game seven now.
The Cubs send starter Jake Arrieta to the mound for game six. Cleveland will counter with Josh Tomlin. Tomlin's numbers look pretty good in the playoffs - but he usually pitches about five innings or so. With a 4.40 earned run average in the season, and the with the Cubs having faced Tomlin, I would expect that their offense edge out the offense that Cleveland will put forth. Andrew Miller will likely be lights-out as usual afterwards, as will Cody Allen.
I think the Cubs will strike early and take game six. Then, in game seven, Kyle Hendricks will face Kluber. That game will be ace versus ace, and I still think the Cubs can edge out the offense.
Why is there Dodgers trade talk about Carlos Ruiz? I thought his contract was up.
When the Phillies traded catcher Carlos Ruiz to the Los Angeles Dodgers, it was clear that the Phillies wanted to give him a chance at the postseason, especially since 2016 represented Ruiz's final guaranteed contract year. However, Ruiz has a $4.5 million contract option for 2017. In this case, the Dodgers are probably looking to add prospects to the system in any way that they can.
So, the Dodgers could exercise the $4.5 million option and trade Ruiz's contract to someone who is need of a veteran backup catcher. Ruiz demonstrated great worth in that role during the playoffs for the Dodgers, so there may be interest from a contending team. If they make such a trade, the financially-wealthy Dodgers can throw money into the deal in exchange for a better prospect.
The Dodgers gave up very little to acquire Ruiz. If they throw some money with Ruiz to trade him for something of value, then the Dodgers made out well. It is a smart way to do business.
Do you think either Odubel Herrera or Freddy Galvis have a shot at this Gold Glove?
It is certainly an honor in itself to have two Phillies players named as "finalists" for a Gold Glove. In coming up with the award, managers and coaches vote for players other than their own for 75% of the total, while the remaining 25% comes from the Sabermetrics involved. I would think that of the Odubel Herrera and Freddy Galvis, Galvis has the better chance.
The voting is not an exact science. While in the past players have won, perhaps because the casual voting process was distorted by offensive statistics (think Bobby Abreu in 2005 or the award Rafael Palmiero won in 1999 after appearing just 28 games in the field), the Sabermetrics element has helped level it out. The Sabermetrics favor Ender Inciarte over Herrera by a pretty large margin, but the numbers lineup pretty well for Galvis.
But, the human judgment makes this a pretty unpredictable award. The coaches voting may have seen Galvis make some very nice plays over the course and were left with a favorable impression. We are all witnessing the stellar defensive play of Addison Russell for the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. There's a real chance that because the Cubs are a really strong team, the voters thought of Russell before Galvis.
I am not a fan of this "finalist" system because the coaches voting has already taken place and the numbers are the numbers. That means there is no further vote taking place; they are simply naming three names that rated well (or perhaps not) so that they could spread the offseason interest across all 30 teams. With nine positions and three finalists each, it was very easy to name "finalists" for each of the 15 teams in the league. Most teams had two.
We will find out what the coaches thought on November 9. I cannot begin to speculate what the coaches thought, but I think that if Galvis wins the award, it will be well-deserved.