There is more to the infield of the Philadelphia Phillies than Michael Young as an addition. He is not just a stopgap third baseman for 162 battles.
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Check out the complementary review: Philadelphia Phillies story-poll: Suds or studs, the youngster
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The Brightest Stars:
The blueprint illustrates that Young will not be returning next year, but that is not an foregone conclusion.
There are many factors leading to the fruition of management’s plans. They are the finances, the available talent, the club’s shortcomings, the performances of Young and Cody Asche. It will depend on the end results of this campaign, which also determines the skipper for 2014. If Ryne Sandberg is in charge, it could alter the direction the general manager takes.
Asche must earn his promotion to the Bank, and the higher-ups are eyeballing every aspect of his game. Last April, he was at Single-A Clearwater in the first half and Double-A Reading until the season concluded. At Triple-A Lehigh Valley, he is in the 3 hole, which is the slot for a squad’s best hitter. Then, for the majors there is the start of his service-time clock. That for 2014 could mean he may have to play April and May in Lehigh Valley.
The competitive-balance threshold increases to $189 million for ’14, which allows another $11 million of payroll. Rube Amaro is paying Young $6 million for this summer, but he is in the final 162 of a 5-year $80 million contract, which is $16 million per. Texas is on the hook for the deferred $15 million and ate $1.6 million of the balance due this season. He could return on a $10 million deal if Asche needs more time in the minors, but Young will probably command more than 1 or 2 campaigns despite his age.
By the Numbers:
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He does have one priceless attribute that figures into the equation: He is a cornerstone commodity. The red pinstripes have a core four: Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels. On Sunday, there would have been no need for a mound conference of those four, Young and Carlos Ruiz, because they act as one unit. The point is that Young is a perfect fit with the field leaders, and he has earned that after 12 summers on the Rangers, averaging over .300 eight times.
Texas had 7 losing tours during his first 8 years, after he began his career there in 2001. Rollins had his first full 162 in Philly during that same season. In other words, Young went through the learning-how-to-win process during that time, and his new infield mates have embraced him accordingly. Like them he also knows the route to the Fall Classic and recently has been there twice.
The Phils have had solid complementary pieces at the hot corner during this dominate run, but now they have an equal to Rollins, Utley and Howard.
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This is the 30th storyline for 2013. Check out my recent publication (Red Pedigree) on the Phillies page or my author archives, where there is an excerpt photo. Also, my new feature is Story-poll. The last one was The Hot Corner.
I will periodically publish the 2013 ERA for the NL East and the MLB 5. Thank you, to all who bookmarked my page.
Philadelphia Phillies storyline: Young gun discovery (Red Pedigree)
Philadelphia Phillies story-poll: Suds or studs, the youngster (The Hot Corner)
Tal Venada (Author Archives)