I tried taking a couple of pictures and was not quite satisfied. Then, I realized I was being too results-oriented. I just thought about Jay Bruce. And so: we have this photo.
Broad (Street) strokes:
- As a trade, the Jay Bruce acquisition stands as a good trade for the Phillies, who gave up a fourth round draft pick and probable future utility infielder in Jake Scheiner. When I heard the rumors, I expected the Phillies to have to absorb most of Bruce’s contract, and am baffled that the Mariners are covering all but $2.75 million of the $21 still owed. Dipoto gotta Dipoto, I guess.
- As long as Bruce is filling the role that Nick Williams has not yet succeeded in filling, I am fine with this trade. The Phillies are righty-heavy, and need a power lefty off the bench. They have so many heart-poundingly talented players, but they also have the depth of a kiddie wading pool.
- If Bruce truly slots in as a Williams upgrade, that will presumably also mean shuffling him into the outfield Sudoku, given that without Herrera (I have a long piece on this coming soon), they have no true center fielder. That is, as long as Roman Quinn isn’t healthy, which he’s not, since it’s a day that ends in y. I’d sing, Where have you gone, Aaron Altherr, but I know he’s gone to San Fran and then New York, and I also know I’m the only person in America who would rather have a hole in the batting order than a hole in center field. Our nation turns its lonely eyes to Adam Haseley in Triple A.
- All this said, it’s Scott Kingery month on my Phillies calendar, and I think that’s a clear sign that Jetpax should get everyday ABs. I want that now, and always. So, there is a part of me that is also happy to see him regularly in CF.
- The additional positive side is that I would actually like for Williams to join Haseley in Triple A so that he can get regular at-bats. I find his fielding sad to behold, but I still believe he can be perfectly good if he gets into a regular groove, as we saw last season. I want that for him.
Some Jay Bruce numbers.
- Jay Bruce does become the new Phillies club leader for home runs, with 14. However, please note:
- 7 of those home runs came in the Mariners’ first 13 games, at a point when 7 of his 9 hits were homers.
- To date, he has 10 singles to his 14 homers.
- He sports a .321 isolated power, but beware: last year it was .147. I feel like I watched all of those at bats at Citi Field. .210-.250 is a more reasonable even high-end expectation.
- Last year, Bruce had a career-high 11.4% walk rate. This year it’s down to 8.7%, closer to his career average. Respectable, but not like an ultra-dreamy 16.1% Rhys Hoskins walk rate or anything. His OBP will pad his .212 batting average, but not exceptionally.
- Remember when I said that Nick Williams’ fielding is sad to behold? Hilariously, in that you-have-to-laugh-so-you-don’t-cry kind of a way, Jay Bruce will be a defensive upgrade on Williams according to both DRS and UZR, looking at both players’ stats for 2018. However please note:
- Bruce is still negative in both categories.
The Ellen Photo Review
Curious about this tradition? Aggrieved?
It all started with taking a very grumpy photo when the Phillies acquired one of my least favorite players, Clay Buchholz. The accompanying reviews have become gradually more detailed, to the point that, in the dark days before I met the Turf, I had to post three separate pictures about the JT Realmuto trade to fit in all my bullet points. (One. Two. Three.) Boldly testing Instagram’s character limits is my brand.