rosterfarianism

the american expletives corporation announced friday afternoon that it had renewed its contract with spokesperson chris carpenter of the st. louis cardinals.

a company spokesperson said: "nobody puts our product in front of the consumer like chris carpenter. In just the last week, we've seen sudden spikes in demand for products used publicly by mr. carpenter, like:

'way to fucking play.'
'get out of here, fucker.'
'man, fuck the reds!'
'shut the fuck up, you old ass motherfucker. if you weren't 900 fucking years old I'd kick your ass myself. i'm nobody's fucking bitch, and i'll fight every motherfucker on your fucking team. fuck!' and
'hey, scotty, watch my fucking pitching arm!'"

due to increased demand for these and other products, the american expletives corporation announced that they would be opening a new shit factory in o'fallon, ill., despite the uncertain economic outlook in other sectors.

the company spokesperson would not comment on rumors that AEC planned to generate capital by spinning-off its controversial children's line of products into a publicly-traded corporation named "little bitches, inc."

all is not well in the linguistics products industry, however, with Rat-Based Similies, LLC closing its doors after 90 years in business. the company hit its peak in the 30's and 40's with its james cagney-inspired catchphrase "you dirty rat." In 1952, Rat-Based Similies lost a costly intellectual property suit for rights to the popular catchphrase to Rat Metaphors, Inc., almost bankrupting the company.

now, decreased demand has doomed RBS. "young people just don't seem to use phrases like 'as filthy as a rat' or 'cornered like a rat' or 'hungry as a sewer rat' anymore," said the RBS chairman. "pity."

it's time for us to think a little about the 40-man, as the roster gets a bit more crowded. our 40-man looks like the table below. penny and lohse  are on the 60-day DL, so there are 42 players listed below. that also means that someone will have to be optioned, go through waivers, or be released when/if lohse or penny come back.

 

Starting Pitchers

Relief Pitchers

Infielders/Catchers

Outfielders/Catchers

Carpenter

Franklin

Pujols

Mather

Wainwright

Miller

Schumaker

Holliday

Lohse

Reyes#

T. Greene

Jay

J. Garcia

Boggs

B. Ryan

Craig

P. Walters

Motte

D. Freese

Robinson*

B. Penny#

McClellan

Hamilton*

Stavinoha*

J. Westbrook#

MacDougal#

Lopez#

D. Jones*

Suppan#

Hawksworth

Miles#

Rasmus

Maclane*

Salas

Molina

Winn#

Ottavino

Samuel*

Pagnozzi*

Hill

Larue#

Anderson

players marked with a # are free agents at the end of the season. players marked with a * are candidates to be removed from the roster.

 

 

so, how much space do we need? well, rule 5 eligibility includes anyone who, when drafted was, 18 or younger who has been in the org for 5 years. anyone who was 19 or older at the time of drafting who has spent 4 years with the team will be eligible.

the 2006 draft class is here - feel free to review and point out players i have missed. ditto the 2007 draft class. basically, the whole 2006 class is now exposed to the draft, and any of the 2007 class who were 19 or older - college or juco types.

 

a random assortment of names of interest from the 2006 class:

Tommy Pham

Jon Edwards

Mark Diapoules

Casey Mulligan

D'Marcus Ingram

James Rapoport

Nick Additon

David Carpenter

 

pham is a toolsy type who is finally putting it together this season. he's been murdering left-handers, which would make him an interesting prospect for our outfield. he has followers and detractors in the prospect-watching community. i'd say he's a decent candidate going forward, but given that he's only made it to palm beach, he'd be very hard to hide on a ML or even AAA roster.a promotion to the springfield or memphis roster by the end of the year would probably keep him safe. none of edwards, diapoules, nor ingram are that interesting to me.

mulligan has put up some good numbers, but lots of folks think his stuff will not translate to the majors. beware his 5.12 walk rate at springfield this season. rapoport was a college sign and thus exposed last year; probably the same will happen again. he was promoted to memphis this year and has not risen to the challenge. additon has done okay, but doesn't seem like a future ML starter. david carpenter is another name where the player has had some nice performances, but still doesn't seem like a major leaguer going forward. his numbers are fine at palm beach but should be taken with a "25-years-old-at-palm-beach-in-my-fourth-season-of-pro-ball" flavored grain of salt.

the paucity of names bespeaks the extent to which this club has relied heavily on college types, so let's get to the meat of the matter:

the 2007 class:

David Kopp

Dan Descalso

Kyle Russell

Thomas Eager

Oliver Marmol

Tyler Henley

Adam Reifer

Chuck Fick

Andrew Brown

Sam Freeman

Tony Cruz

Nick Derba

Adron Chambers

there are some much nicer names on this list. note that two biggish names drafted in 2007 - kozma and hooker -- are high schoolers and thus not eligible till next year. though sam freeman appears on the 2007 list, i believe we only actually signed him after drafting him a second time in 2008, so he won't be eligible for the rule 5 draft this time round.

three names jump out at me pretty quickly. dan descalso could be a backup infielder in 2011, and maybe something more going forward. his ceiling may be limited, but he's a solid player. at the other end of the list, adron chambers is a name to watch. recently promoted to memphis, he's showing signs of adapting well, notwithstanding a ridiculous BABIP. chambers is another speedy left-hander in the jon jay mold, with somewhat less power, with ridiculously good defense in the corners, capable in CF. he reads like a bench outfielder, though he may be capable of more. RF tyler henley is also a fairly easy choice; he had a hot start in springfield, followed by a crash in memphis and then TJ surgery. he's been a very solid prospect so far, and there's no reason to think he won't return from TJ as good as ever. none of these guys are superstars in the making, but very solid roleplayers, and you can't beat the price. not overpaying for these guys is how a team affords the hollidays and pujolses of the world; spending a roster spot on them is cheap wages.

david kopp, second round pick in 2007, has been an intriguing name. he's had a lot of fans in the prospect community, but has not really put it together. i'm not sure that i'd jump out to protect kopp at this point. if he's on the memphis roster at the end of the year, i really can't see him sticking even as a twelfth pitcher on a major league team. he doesn't strike out enough guys (runs about 6 k/9, a little lower this year), he walks too many given how few he strikes out (about 3.5 bb/9). he used to get the outrageous groundball rates (60% and 55% cumulatively in 09 and 08) he'd need to make up for those two deficits, but this year it's down to 46.8%. if left unprotected, he could be an interesting chit for another team, but i'd bet against anyone taking him and actually keeping him all season. still, it would be best to err on the side of protecting him. he may be having a down year and be able to adjust going forward.

i like tony cruz a lot, although i am probably in the minority that sees him playing the role of jason larue if anderson were traded or injured. fairly handy with the bat (an .856 OPS at Springfield, for a .635 MLE, which is . . . backup catcherish), his defense has improved: he had a 53% CS rate last year, and a 54% this year across two levels - much better than hill, anderson, or pagnozzi. give him a year or two and he might make it. you could get away with putting him at memphis, most likely, but he's not a crazy candidate for the 40-man roster. i'd rather see him in september than pagnozzi. in fact, as much as i like hill's bat, i think cruz is a hell of a lot more interesting as a player because he might plausibly play catcher on more than an emergency basis.

adam reifer (k/9 - 9.3; bb/9 - 2.4 at springfield) is a promising reliever and is close enough to the show that he probably merits protection. he's shown great improvements in his control this year, which makes him unique among our relief prospects.

so, where does this leave us? we probably need 4-6 spots on the roster (plus 2 for our 60-day guys). i won't be shocked if we re-sign westbrook, letting suppan and penny go. i hope we've seen the last of macdougal, and i have no idea whether dennys stays or not, but we'll need a LOOGY of some sort. so, there's 3 spots open in the pitching corps without breaking a sweat.

i would love to see lopez come back on a 2y/$6m deal. miles and larue are free to go, with anderson and descalso or greene filling their spots. winn can also walk, as far as i'm concerned. that gives us 6 spots just through free agent attrition, which pretty much covers us right there.

a little elbow room would be nice, so it may make some sense to clear the roster before the deadline to allow for our own rule 5 pickups, free agents, and players not eligible for rule 5 like matt carpenter to join the team. maclane, for instance, strikes me as fairly inessential. tony's comments were fairly telling when maclane arrived - something to the effect of "i just asked for a pitcher and this is what they sent." maclane is depth and not much more.

samuel, while he has a nice ceiling, has never put his control together (currently sporting 26 walks across three levels and 29 innings). hamilton has a lot of talent at hitting but not at staying healthy; if he can't be shifted in a trade, he's very expendable. both have real potential, samuel moreso than hamilton, but both have to show that they can hack it at a major league level and soon.

pagnozzi and stavinoha, on the other hand, are not going to ever be any better than what they are. both will be 28 by the time of the draft, past the time for development. i always read mo's comment that stavinoha had "nothing to prove at AAA" as a two-edged comment. yes, he's too good to play at memphis. but if he doesn't hack it at the ML level when given a chance, he really doesn't have a place in the org. nothing stavinoha did this year, other than showing the effect of random chance on BABIP, suggests that he belongs on an ML team. pagnozzi regressed to a .590 OPS at memphis, and, if he's a good defender, his 24% and 27% CS rates in 09 and 10 don't show it. he should just be done.

shane robinson remains eminently replaceable; i'm not sure what he does that rapoport or three other outfield prospects don't do, and robinson is coming off an injury. daryl jones is coming off a serious down year, and his prospecthood is being questioned. there's probably no harm in giving him another year, but the left-handed outfielder compartment on this train is getting very full. he'll have to rediscover his 2008 power if he wants to stand out before the end of 2011.

there are a further 7 names that could be cleared, fairly painlessly, off the roster, although hamilton, jones, and samuel still have some value and would be my last choices to remove. we have tons of room, should we need it.  one reason is that 2007 just wasn't a very good draft year. the most interesting prospects in the system are either already protected or came from later drafts. the pieces on the verge of joining the club are solid players though, with a reasonable chance for success.

footnote - two names missing above are josh kinney and eduardo sanchez, who were signed as an amateur free agents, one from the frontier league, one from venezuela. i'm not sure entirely how amateur signings are affected by rule 5, but i believe both are exposed this year. the good news is that kinney actually has put together a quietly good season, after being demoted from the big club - a highish walk rate in 2009 has dropped to 2.4 per 9 innings this season, with a k rate above 8. sanchez is having a strong season as well, splitting time between springfield and memphis, though his small-sample-size numbers at memphis are a little concerning. either or both of them may be worth putting on the roster before september. i'd rather see either of them in september than, say, samuel, macdougal, or maclane.

those are my initial, only semi-educated takes on the roster. take a look at the 2006 and 2007 drafts. did i miss anyone worth considering? anyone we absolutely should keep? absolutely shouldn't keep? remember that we aren't deciding who stays with the club, just whether we think that there's a decent risk another team lays claim to the player and keeps him.

if you are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of rule 5, wikipedia has a good explanation.

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