Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Philadelphia IronPigs

Interim manager Ryne Sandberg's lineup against Gio Gonzalez features six players who spent time at triple-A Lehigh Valley this season.

The Philadelphia IronPigs

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg. (Paul J. Bereswill/AP)
Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg. (Paul J. Bereswill/AP)

The Phillies entered Tuesday tied for the 11th-worst winning percentage in baseball. That is not insignificant.

Interim manager Ryne Sandberg's lineup against Gio Gonzalez features six players who spent time at triple-A Lehigh Valley this season. Any advocates of "tanking" a season are misled; professional sports are played to win games. No one wants to pay big-league money to see a minor-league product.

So, with that said, here is the lineup:

1. Cesar Hernandez 4
2. Freddy Galvis 6
3. Kevin Frandsen 3
4. Carlos Ruiz 2
5. Darin Ruf 7
6. Cody Asche 5
7. John Mayberry Jr. 9
8. Michael Martinez 8
9. Ethan Martin 1

More coverage
Download FREE Philly Sports Now app for iPhone!
Final season stats for Phillies
Buy Phillies jerseys and other gear
WATCH: Daily fantasy baseball updates

Of those nine, only Mayberry was in the Phillies' opening-day lineup.

So why is the 11th-worst winning percentage significant? Well, if the Phillies finish among the 10 worst teams in baseball, their first-round pick is protected should they sign a free agent who was offered arbitration. Instead, they must surrender their second-round pick if they sign a certain free agent.

The Phillies have money to spend this winter. They have holes. They could be quite active in the free-agent market. The bigger free-agent names will be offered arbitration by their current clubs to ensure draft-pick compensation.

These picks, especially in the top half of the first round, carry great value. Finding value through free agency is becoming a difficult exercise. Teams place a higher value on their prospects than ever before, making trades all but impossible. The draft is where the Phillies built their success, and it is the vehicle for replenishing talent.

The folks at Baseball America have this handy page to track reverse standings. It is something to watch in the final weeks.

Have a question? Send it to Matt Gelb's Mailbag.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

The place for up-to-the-minute Phillies coverage from The Inquirer's beat writers and columnists.

Jake Kaplan Inquirer Staff Writer
Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
Matt Breen Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter