Philadelphia Phillies v Miami Marlins

What, were you expecting a picture of that dopey-looking Ross motherfucker?

While the Jays were in the midst of their spring debut an interesting, perhaps oddly-timed piece of information came our way. Or, to be more precise, came the way of Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly:

And hoo boy, apparently that was hilarious. He’s got the same name as that guy from Friends! He’s the lone Jewish player on the team that just acquired Delmon Young!

The Twitter gags just write themselves, don’t they? But there’s an intriguing arm coming the Jays’ way, and an intriguing young hitter going the other way, so let’s– please– skip the jokes and have a look at what the hell just happened here…

Once the game concluded the Jays confirmed the deal through an official release, noting that in order to make room for Schwimer on their 40-man they’ve moved left-handed reliever Luis Perez to the 60-day DL. We also learned, thanks to some digging from’s Chris Toman, who points us to a Philadelphia Inquirer article from last week, of a strained relationship between Schwimer and the Phillies, dating back to last year.

According to the piece, the Phillies demoted Schwimer last August, but the pitcher insisted that he was injured. ”Major League Baseball’s rules prevent an injured player from being sent to the minors,” the Inquirer’s Matt Gelb explains. “The Phillies disagreed with Schwimer’s diagnosis by publicly stating he was not hurt, and the pitcher soon sought action.”

Schwimer didn’t report to his assignment at Lehigh Valley, and though he remained with the organization over the winter, the friction remained, as in a post-trade piece from the Inquirer he explained that “It’s still definitely an open issue,” though both he and the club denied it had anything to do with the trade.

On the field, Schwimer is a 6’8 right-handed reliever who has struck out 24% or more of the batters he’s faced in every stint he’s had across pro ball, save for 20 innings at Triple-A in 2010. He has posted excellent numbers throughout the minors, but they haven’t quite translated yet at the big league level. For example, he pitched 34.1 innings in the Majors in 2012, striking out 36, but walking more than 10% of batters faced. However, the Inquirer piece speaks of an “epiphany” during a bullpen session in June, after which Schwimer made 27 appearances, striking out 30 batters over 25.1 innings, walking only ten, and holding opposing hitters to a .597 OPS. He followed that stretch with three poor outings, possibly due to injury, and then the demotion that ended his season.

During his brief MLB career, lefties have hit him to a .381 wOBA, compared to .296 against right-handed hitters, though his K/BB against left (4.20) is much better than against right (1.72), for whatever that’s worth. And according to the Pitch F/X data at FanGraphs his fastball averaged just a shade below 93, and that he also throws a two-seamer, slider and changeup– though a commenter on an excellent Crashburn Alley piece on him from the time of his big league debut suggests he actually throws two sliders. Regardless, he’s not quite a flamethrower, but he seems to fit the pattern we’ve seen with AA’s recent bullpen acquisitions, as he is deceptive enough to rack up a lot of strikeouts, but hasn’t quite put it all together. Plus, he’s probably coming cheap thanks to the friction about last season’s non-diagnosis, and has an option left, having been only been optioned to the minors in 2011 and 2012 so far.

Hello, Buffalo! Y’know, assuming he reports. Eric Longenhagen, in a Crashburn Alley piece from late this afternoon, called Schwimer “a known commodity at this point; an up-and-down reliever who thinks he’s owed a full time roster spot and isn’t afraid to make a stink about it. He was more of a headache than he was worth.”

OK then. So… what about that worth, in terms of today’s deal?

Art Charles turned 22 in November, and moved above Rookie ball at the end of 2012 for the first time, appearing in 33 games for the Vancouver Canadians, where he posted a .366 wOBA. In a piece on the Canadians for FanGraphs, Marc Hulet explained that “a hulking slugger, Charles was a two-way player (pitcher and hitter) in both high school and junior college. Some teams considered drafting him as a left-handed pitcher but the Jays were clearly intrigued by his left-handed power. He’s a guy you can definitely pitch to, though, as long as the hurler on the mound can command the ball down and away to him. I’m not a huge fan of his setup at the plate and feel he holds his hands too low and out in front but that might be by design to help him attack the outer half of the plate.”

Today’s Crashburn Alley piece talks of big defensive limitations in Charles’ game, explaining that those “put a lot of pressure on the bat and it is unlikely Charles will do the necessary raking to overcome those limitations. He has above average raw power and a good idea of what is a strike and what is not, but struggles to make contact with the things that are thrown over the plate because his bat just doesn’t stay in the zone very long. There are things I don’t like about Charles’ feet in the box, which are different at five o’clock than they are at seven, and it negatively impacts his balance. Are these things that can be fixed? Sure, but it’s not as if the Phillies have worked a slew of developmental miracles recently and I doubt the sort of time coaches would need to devote to Charles to make those changes will be dedicated to someone in which the Phillies have very little invested.”

Longenhagen adds, “Looks like he’s an org guy.”

Yeah… I think we can handle that.

Comments (59)

  1. Getting a guy who’s allready pitched at the ML level and still has upside for a “project” first basemen who can’t catch the ball seems like a steal to me.

    • Charles (21 years old) has hit 28 bombs with a triple slash of .239/.358/.482 in only 585 minor league at bats.
      Intriguing bat but I’ll take the ML ready arm with how close the Jays are to finally being relevant again.

  2. The most important things about this trade is that he is a reliever with minor league options for 2013.

    • This. Good depth reliever with minor league options with decent K rates at the MLB level for an organizational filler at 1B? I would do that trade any day of the week.

      Did some old scout in the Phillies organization think they were getting the next Ryan Howard?

      Speaking of scouts, the Jays hired Dan Evans, former Dodger GM and the guy who signed Matt Kemp, to be a scout. Looks like AA is adding more analysis and brain trust to the fold.

    • Exactly.
      It sounds like the Phillies dumped him because they thought he was bad for team chemistry. They didn’t like his character.
      No way you trade a MLB arm, for a player who most suspect won’t even play in AAA.

      Chemistry… oh oh. I sense a debate coming! lol

  3. Something for nothing?

  4. If schwimer was on the 25 man roster that would give the jays, Johnson, Dickey, and Schwimer. Am I missing anyone?

  5. BTW, how did Boston do today. Oh yeah…they lost. Suck it Farrell!!

  6. There is no such thing as a 1B prospect. And the guy they gave up doesn’t sound like the exception.

    Good depth move.

  7. Stoeten, aren’t you on vacation? Get some 75 cent PBR into you fer chrissake.

  8. I’m home sick and bored so here are the points of contention I have with Stoeten. Not that anyone should care, least of all Stoeten.

    1. His refusal to comprehend the value of chemistry and how it can have an effect on individual performance and by extention team results.
    2. His mentions of the McGowan contract. Enough already.
    3. His inability to admit he would be thrilled if Toronto FC got Dutch players while going on how silly it is for us to enjoy having Canadian players on our team.
    4. Quick to put down others when he has a good argument, disappears when he gets trumped.
    5. Lastly, and my biggest gripe, his refusal to acknowlege he resembles a furry ewok.

    Might seem like a lot, but if those are my only complaints, it means I think the rest is pretty fucking awesome and he deserves thanks for this blog. I don’t say this to avoid getting banned again either. Oh, that should be point 6.

    • 1. I can comprehend that you believe in a myth for no reason other than it’s been repeated ad nauseam forever because it makes a tidier explanation than “shit happens” quite easily.
      2. McGowan can’t be mentioned without the bizarre contract coming up anymore, sorry. Not my fault. Should have tried harder to grasp it was dumb at the time if you didn’t want your feelings hurt when the inevitable eventually happened, I guess.
      3. TFC had Aaron Winter running the club and former barely-capped Dutch international Danny Koevermans plays there. Colour me still as casually interested than ever– less so, even, because the team was/is terrible. I’ve spent far less on that sorry franchise since then than I did before. Because, y’know, I want the teams I support to get the best players, not the players with the “right” passport.
      4. I disappear from all threads eventually, because they get old and stale. Sorry if I didn’t stay in some comment circle jerk long enough to accept someone’s “trumping,” but if that’s how you’re viewing those conversations, I’m glad I wasn’t wasting even more of my time on them, frankly.
      5. Star Wars is for children.

      • 5. ” I will take a guess and say that you are not yet 35, and possibly not yet 30. If you had made it to that age, you would never have made this statement as your entire existance would have been shaped retroactively by the awesomeness that is the Original Star Wars (Episode IV, V, & VI).” – 36 yr old male whose first movie theatre experience, at age 6, was Episode VI with, yes, the Ewoks.

        May the Force Be With You (Suck It Farrell, and Suck It Lucas for making Episodes I, II, & III)

      • Geez, I saved this comment to post it late on a Saturday hoping to catch you after some wobbly pops and hoping to get some feisty response. Saddened by the relative tameness, but I should have realized you’re in Florida drinking that American Beer. You’re probably more sober now than you would be in the office.

        1. Not a myth. Napoleon Hill quantified it somehow with the concept of “mastermind” or a group think/mob mentality study. Also, I base this on experience of working at a job surrounded by miserable people who dragged the rest of us down with their negativity. If you don’t like you’re co-workers (teammates) you’re more likely to not perform as well as you would if you liked them and support each other. Attitude affects performance, and if you hate going to the ball park because of bad teammates, your play may suffer.

        2. Understand most of us here were critical of the contract at the time and we “assumed” he would get hurt. The fact our assumption was right doesn’t make it inevitable. You don’t think AA had JP’s Chris Carpenter blunder in the back of his mind? What would look worse. Having stuck with McGowan for years to let him go for nothing and risk being a star elsewhere, or sign him to a contract which hardly puts a dent in the team’s pocket. You call this a blunder, I call it a perfectly reasonable risk/reward gamble that didn’t pan out. AA has earned a pass and to keep mentioning it is just silly. When I think of McGowan I think of a talent hurt by injuries. Not a contract.

        3. If you’re being honest, bravo. You are a blogger without boarders. Personally, I admit I cheer for Jays players first, Canadians second, and do think it is special if they can get quality Canadians on the team. I do pay more attention to a Loewen at bat than another minor leaguer at bat.

        4. “eventually” is a lot quicker when you’re debating against someone who can articulate their position as well as you.

        5. How dare you.

        Thanks for responding.

        • 1. I am not, and have never been, talking about any environment other than elite professional baseball when it comes to the chemistry stuff. Anything about office jobs is irrelevant. The tasks, pressures, length of apprenticeship, and incentives are so vastly different that it’s silly to me to act like they’re at all the same.

          2. It’s not that simple, because the timing of the deal and his health at the time added significant risk that doesn’t exist when you think of the deal in the abstract. The parameters of the deal aren’t the troubling part, it’s that they didn’t wait until he was healthy and had some more starts under his belt. Considered in terms of risk/reward, doing so would have made for a much, much better proposition.

          3. Yes, like pretty much everyone else in the world, despite what some will claim, the birthplace of players on a team I like matters not.

          4. I suspect you’re talking about Jays2010. Don’t tell him this, but he can’t.

          5. Sorry. (Also, to Pudge, I’m 32. Was never a big thing for me.)

          • Probably not as entertaining for the others, but I do prefer it when you engage in a proper debate with me instead of the dismissive insults. lol.

            1. I think you’re too confident in the mental state of professional athletes to think the chemistry factor doesn’t apply. It would be nice if professionals were robots who don’t let others influence their mindset and thus performance. As we just saw with the retirement of that tennis player (in an individual sport no less), even professionals are impacted by their surroundings, and if you’re on a team of bullies, jerks, and bad teammates, it does affect some players adversely.
            In the early 80′s Dave Steib was a bad teammate because he would lose it if a fielder made a bad play. He would scowl, and bitch at them in the clubhouse. Management had to talk to him and make him realize that his outbursts made his fielders worried about fucking up, and the more they worried about fucking up, the more nervous they were and this contributed to them fucking up. You can’t play baseball when you’re nervous. Stieb couldn’t help the instinctive scowls, but he eventually did soften the blowups to try to put his fielders minds at ease. I also know for a fact George Bell had to be spoken to because he was picking on and intimidating Tony Fernandez (though I can’t quantify the impact of his bullying). Sorry I don’t have recent examples, but those are ones I know for facts.

            2. The timing of the contract may be a fair point, but is it really a big enough deal to refer to it whenever speaking of McGowan? Who are you saying looks bad from that contract? To harp on AA’s harmless blunder seems a bit small. I’m glad we have a GM who takes some risks. Maybe the fact he’s been so good is the reason why you find this so remarkable. I’m pretty sure if we analized all the GM’s in baseball, a blunder of McGowan proportions wouldn’t make the top 200 list of blunders by a GM, and those blunders probably get mentioned less frequently.

            Anyway, good chat.

      • Awww. Stoeten still appealing to his own authority on the McGowan contract being dumb at the time. Isn’t that precious?

        Are his widdle feelings hurt because he was too busy not learning English in college and refuses to catch up?

        May I point him to where he can see that ‘unreasonable’ is an antonym of ‘defensible’. And, of course, one of the meanings of ‘unreasonable’ is ‘ridiculous’.

        Which just illustrates the holes in his stance. He knows the McGowan contract is/was defensible. Calling it ‘defensible’ and ‘ridiculous’ is a contradiction in terms.

        Which is a legitimate dichotomy for the record.

        I’d consider it a great step in his evolution to acknowledge he is wrong.

        P.S. As Looper says, this is a great blog. Please do not think I am being patronizing simply because I am criticizing and complimenting in the same comment :)

        • Seriously, guy, you can stop embarrassing yourself. I sorted you out in the other thread. (And, as I said there, if you actually knew what a false dichotomy was, you’d understand that the one you think you’ve picked up on here is not what I’m referring to.)

          I admit I’m wrong lots, though. Just not usually when I’m right and some clown who thinks he’s a whole lot smarter than he is capable of demonstrating develops a pathological need prod me into it for the sake of his own ego. Sorry.

          • Haha sorted me out? By continuing to appeal to your own authority?

            You continue to trot out ‘false dichotomy’ without giving an example. How convenient. If you had spotted the false dichotomy in my argument, I suspect you would provide some evidence in your argument. You know, quote me to poke holes in my claim.

            In the context of the last two threads, you continue to ignore that once you acknowledged the deal was defensible, that was the end of your ‘ridiculous’ argument.

            I’ll take you at your word that you admit you are wrong lots. I’ve seen some examples, though not once you have dug in your heels. But that is not what I said, of course.

            Forget this argument for a moment. Yes or No. If one suggests something is ‘ridiculous’ and defensible, is it a contradiction in terms? Here is a softball to admit you are wrong. Because as I said, this isn’t debatable.

            And just so you don’t think I am taking it out of context, you wrote “was the McGowan deal defensible? Sure, it could be defended reasonably enough. But roster spots are finite, McGowan’s health speaks for itself, and the timing of it was awful at best. Sorry, but calling it ridiculous is entirely fair”.

            I tell you what. Get in touch with a graduate level English professor or two. Ask if something can be defensible and ridiculous (and dumb) at the same time. Present a succinct form of what you have been saying.

            Include your ‘ridiculous’ position as well as your “it could be defended reasonably enough” position. But expand on the reasons why it can be defended reasonably enough for a balanced argument.

            Whether you realize it or not, you would never be able to get away with this if you had to present your stance as an oral argument in an academic environment. The hole would be evident the moment you say ‘defensible’ and give your reasons.

            Finally, enough with these suggestions that I am trying to outsmart you for my ego.

            As I have (sincerely) said, you have a good blog. It’s one stop shopping for the Jays fan. Since you began incorporating stats, Batters Box became redundant for myself and many others I am sure.

            But yours is not an academic/career path I revere.

            • I’ll pinch hit for Stoeten to demonstrate an example of how it can be both.

              While your position about “false dichotomy” is defensible, this is ridiculous.

            • It is defensible if you lean on a bunch of unlikely and miraculous outcomes and pretend that McGowan had all these other choices of where to sign. It’s ridiculous if you remove your home grown prospect bias. And uh an english prof? Wtf.

            • This debate is very amusing. The blog is turning into Drunk English Grammar Blog. You have to love it to see posters using the words like false dichotomy at 3am on a Sunday.

              In light of the high cost of pitching at the time Mcgowan ‘s contract was defensible.

              If he had pitched 100 innings with ERA under 3, wouldn’t that justify his cost based on the 1 WAR value, costs about 5 million or so?

              • I was about to comment that this is the most literate and erudite snipefest I’ve had the pleasure of reading. On one hand, it sounds like a couple of profs having a tiff – on the other, it’s strangely refreshing not to see a debate devolve into gutter talk, personal insults and comments about how I did your mom last night.

  9. Wow shut up guys. Stoeten, you must be a success, people hate you. I didn’t like how you told me to fuck off just over a simple defense I made of Doc when he made his comments about loving Philly the best. It makes me think these guys are getting to you a little.

    It looks like 2 or 3 guys. Dump em. If they attacked one point and it was on topic, fine. But listing everything they hate about you is bullshit. Don’t hesitate man. If someone came to my work and listed ten complaints about me, I’d throw them out.

    • Dumb, on so many levels.

      I was going to leave it at that but it’s just so funny I’ll point out your lunacy.

      1. You can’t tell the difference between a debate and a rant. Look at how Stoeten responded to the different posters. If by 2 or 3 you mean ONE…

      2. Listing everything they hate? You mean listing some legitimate baseball topic disagreements and a throwaway joke is having a hate on? You are a sensitive little fella.
      Hate? What part of “he deserves thanks” and “thanks for responding” indicates hate? I thought I was sucking up too much
      Have you taken the time to thank him for entertaining you?

      3. Indicating it wasn’t on point or topic? As you mentioned, I fucking listed it numerically. How much more can a guy stay on topic?

      and for my favourite dumb comment about your post:

      4. ” listing everything they hate about you is bullshit.”
      You say this after you write “I didn’t like it when you….”
      This is comedy gold right there

    • Don’t lump me and Pudge with that “false dichotomy” stuff.

  10. Did anyone here notice that the Jays won their first ST’ing game. False dicohotmy’s are fascinating, but maybe we could discuss those on the Drunk Philosopher’s Blog

    • +a lot

    • Drunk Philosopher’s Blog?
      I read that Socrates was a wild man.
      Liked to get fucked up on Patron and play with Plato’s head.
      When Plato replied to questions with “I dunno”.
      Socrates would fall down laughing and say “I’m just fuckin witcha” and get even more shitfaced.
      Good times.

      • I kind of like the drunk philosophers blog idea, but not sure “drunk” is the mindset I would choose for philosophers. lol.

        RADAR, thought for sure you’d back me up on the debate. Too much reading to do for this one? lol

        • I thought you handled it well, besides the nurses put me to bed at 1am and I had to kick them out at 7am.
          A man needs his rest.

        • Re drunk philosophers: Monty Python beat you all to it.

          Immanuel Kant was a real piss-ant who was very rarely stable. Heideggar, Heideggar was a boozy beggar who could think you under the table.

          David Hume could out-consume Schoppenhauer and Hegel. And Whittgenstein was a beery swine who was just as sloshed as Schlegel.

          There’s nothing Nieizsche couldn’t teach ‘ya ’bout the raising of the wrist. Socrates, himself, was permanently pissed.

          John Stewart Mill, of his own free will On half a pint of shanty was particularly ill. Plato they say could stick it away, Half a crate of whiskey every day.

          Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle, And Hobbes was fond of his dram. And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart. ‘I drink, therefore I am.’

          Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed; A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he’s pissed.

      • You READ that Radar? Sounds like you were there! Lol

  11. You’d think a guy who is 6’8″ could through harder than 92 mph. Tweak his delivery, higher arm elevation…it would be awesome if we can get Michael to be the Rolaides Relief Pitcher of the year…do they still have that award?


  13. New “Blue Jays up close” is finally on.
    The more I hear Gibbons philosophies, and the props he gets for his bullpen management, the more I think he might be the perfect manager for this team.
    Listening to him and his honesty folksy attitude makes me hate JF even more.

    Suck it Farrell!!!!

  14. Ryan Howard OPS age 22 season moving from low A to high A: .828. Art Charles OPS age 22 season split between Rookie and A: .909.

    I’m a little worried about how this trade could look 5 years from now. Guys as big as Howard and Charles are going to take longer to achieve the body control and refine their swings. All reports say that Charles BP sessions are one moonshot after another. Time will tell.

    • Stop, right now
      Players like howard come along once every 10 years, and most prospects experts consideres Charles as an Org player at best

    • I think AA is a genius so I have faith that he and his army of scouts have projected Charles as an Org player at best.

      One guy on a Phily blog said the actual trade was for a bag of baseballs. Charles was the one chosen to make the 10 minute drive to Clearwater to deliver them. They didn’t trade for Charles. They traded to get rid of a supposedly bad character (though from what I read he has a legitimate beef).

      The only reason I’m slightly nervous about this, and only slightly, is because Gillick is an advisor and he got Fred McGriff as a 1B org guy throw in with the Dale Murphy trade.
      Gillick knows talent.

      • I’m guessing here, but I’m quite certain Gillick has never laid eyes on Art Charles in his life. I don’t think Gillicks “advisor role” involves riding the busses around A ball.

        • Riding buses, no, but you’d be surprised.
          His passion is in scouting. When with the Jays he often let Gord Ash handle the negotiations and administrative suff, Gillick would often sneak down to the DR to spend time with Epy Guerrero at his complex watching kids play ball. Gillicks best skill was evaluating talent.

          Realistically, you’re probably right he’s never seen Charles, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he has.

  15. My point being, as unlikely as it may be that Charles is an impact MLB bat, is that you can teach swing mechanics at a later age. you can’t teach a guy to be 6’6 and hit mistakes 500 feet. He played more basketball than baseball growing up and then was scouted more as a pitcher. Like I said, time will tell.

    • Yep, you’re right he could turn into a huge beast, but not likely. He can’t seem to make contact and that is worriesome.
      We’re in win now mode, and while I think this RP is heading to Buffalo, I kind of like the sound of him and think he will be useful by season’s end. Pitching depth is always good.
      He pitched the 3rd most innings out of the pen for Phils last year, and to get him like this does seem like a steal, but your point is fair enough.

  16. Good! Real good! I hadn’t seen much of him since he left Friends, but I vaguely remember seeing him in a movie where he played a dentist I think. Also, he is pretty easy on the eyes. I’m sure that given his star power, he’ll quickly become a team leader in the showers.

    • Personally, I thought his best acting performance was when he played a the guy who invented breast implants and massaged breasts throughout the movie.
      Now that is a good acting gig

  17. The guy on Friends is David Schwimmer isnt he?

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