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Ruben Amaro is still spinning Jayson Werth’s impending departure

Oct 26, 2010, 10:04 AM EDT

Alberto Gonzalez, Sam Perlozzo, Jayson Werth

Yesterday we heard Ruben Amaro trying to spin things in such a way so that if Jayson Werth signs elsewhere, Amaro can claim that it wasn’t about the money.  Apparently he also tried to spin things in such a way so that he can also claim that Werth wasn’t necessarily worth it in the first place. How? By saying that Werth “did not have an extraordinary year.”

Which is kind of nuts. I mean, sure, if you believe that Werth was never an elite player to begin with, his 2010 isn’t necessarily going to make you think otherwise. You have crazy high standards, I guess, but good for you for having them.

But if you think Werth was a top talent prior to this year — which I’m guessing Amaro certainly did — you can’t reasonably claim or even imply that his 2010 was some kind of disappointment. Werth’s agent Scott Boras certainly agrees, saying in response to Amaro that “the only way to argue that Jayson had a decline in 2010 is to look at home runs, where he was down by nine. But so many other areas of his performance were up. A lot of people would say he had a better year in 2010 than he did in 2009.”

Not substantially better, but his on base and slugging percentage both went up. While the homers dipped by nine, the doubles increased by 20 and he hit an extra triple. It’s certainly hard to argue that he had a falloff from 2009, even if a lot of people wanted to believe he did earlier in the season.

The key thing here is that there is no way on Earth that Ruben Amaro would have said, a year ago, that, Jayson Werth didn’t have an extraordinary year. The fact that he’s saying it now is more a matter of politics than it is a matter of baseball analysis.

  1. Jonny 5 - Oct 26, 2010 at 10:21 AM

    Well I wouldn’t say it was an extraordinary year for Jayson either. Extraordinary for Jayson was when he was picked off the scrap heap with wrist issues and became one of the best OF in the game for Philly. Last season was a season that for Jayson was what is expected of him I think. Extraordinary for the average OF yes. Extraordinary for Werth? At this point, No I’d say, it was an ordinary season for Werth. In other words, “nothing has changed from last season with how much the phillies value him” . Which they do value him highly, as they should. They need RH power or they might as well forget about next season in the playoffs too.

    • Utley's Hair - Oct 26, 2010 at 10:43 AM

      Yup. Extraordinary when compared to others, but not so much when compared to himself.

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 26, 2010 at 10:24 AM

    Werth had a really odd year. He had 3 years in one really:

    Part 1) 4/5-5/6 .354/.417/.657/1.074

    Part 2) 5/7-7/16 .238/.338/.426/.763

    Part 3) 7/17-10/3 .320/.418/.569/.987

    He ended up with better #’s than last year, except for the home runs, but his OPS was 40 points higher and like Craig said, he hit 20 more doubles and led the league.

    Last year, he was more consistent at the plate. He had some smaller slumps, but for the post part, he was consistent. This year, his 58-game slump was much more prolonged…but when he was good this year, he was pretty spectacular.

    I wish the Phillies still had Pat Gillick.

    • Utley's Hair - Oct 26, 2010 at 10:41 AM

      Looks like Pat Burrell-type splits–only with a bigger bounce back.

    • Jonny 5 - Oct 26, 2010 at 11:04 AM

      His defense is pretty damn good too. Not many people can gun a guy down running from second to third when he’s standing in right field. His up sides stretch to offense and defense. Most guys with his numbers play a DH or first base role, or they stink up the OF.

      • Utley's Hair - Oct 26, 2010 at 11:08 AM

        Ask Cody Ross about that.

  3. jwayne11 - Oct 26, 2010 at 10:37 AM

    You missed the biggest stat as to why Werth did not have as good as year in 2010. Runners in Scoring Position he batted over 300 in 2009, in 2010 he battedin the 170’s. That is a huge drop off.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Oct 26, 2010 at 10:42 AM

      Yeah, I remember he had a stretch where he was something like 1-38 with RISP. it was even worse with 2 outs…like 0-22 or so. He definitely struggled, like the rest of the team, in May, June and July. But his April, August and September were pretty sweet.

    • mcsnide - Oct 26, 2010 at 12:45 PM

      Even worse, he hit .143 with runners at second and third! And you don’t even want to know what he did with runners at the corners (hint: it starts with a .0)

      According to B-Ref, he hit .183 w RISP this year, .279 last. The difference in that sample size (140-147 ABs) is 13 hits. I’m having a hard time saying a guy had a “worse” season because he happened to get one fewer hit in a specific situation every two weeks.

  4. Utley's Hair - Oct 26, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    I have chosen to resign myself to Werth leaving. It was a good run with him, but after Howard’s king’s ransom last year, the Phils budgeted Werth’s way out of the Bank. But, in addition to me not being disappointed when it happens, it also means that I’ll be pleasantly surprised if he stays.

    But I see Rube as playing preemptive spin doctor, and readying the Phightins for JDub’s exit. Sigh.

  5. Kevin S. - Oct 26, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    This really sounds like a public version of what happens in an arbitration hearing, where teams have to demean their own players to keep the price down.

  6. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 26, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    As soon as he hired Bor-ass I resigned myself to the fact that Werth would be gone. I hope he stays. I disagree with Ruben that this wasn’t a very very good year for Werth. And I agree with jonny that Werth’s defense is excellent as well. And I have zero faith in Amaro.

  7. schmedley69 - Oct 26, 2010 at 9:03 PM

    He completely disappeared for 2 months in the middle of the season when he was needed the most (when some of the other big guns were on the DL). I would hardly call his season “extraordinary.” Jayson is a good player, but he has shown that he’s not a “carry the load” type of guy. As bad as Ryan Howard can look at times, he is capable of carrying a team for months at a time. Werth is not in that same class. He also tends to lose focus a lot. That being said, he was probably the Phillies most consistent playoff performer over the last 4 years and will be missed.

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