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Tomas Come Today
2006-04-03 16:17
by Mike Carminati

The Phils are today flying their shaving cream pies at half mast. For Tomas, mighty Tomas Perez has been let go.

First, they dye the Phanatic red, ….

And now this. What's next, will they get rid of Schmitters in the left field concession area? Heaven forefend!

Perez became expendable when the Phils signed the cast of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" —"O'Brien to Ryan to Goldberg"!—to buttress/replace lamb-duck third baseman David Bell. The team acquired Alex S. Gonzalez, who you'll remember from "Family Ties", who was shortstop in his former life with the Blue Jays and Cubs, and Abraham O. Nunez, who filled in for exiled ex-Phil Scott Rolen at third for the Cards last year. The Phils evidently want to change their tradition of signing lesser siblings (Ken Brett, Tim Worrell, etc.) to signing players who need to use a middle initial so as not to be confused with another player of the same name. At least they have a schtick.

It takes a village to replace the Tomas Perez, who was basically a backup or emergency backup at every defensive position (he even pitched once). Ostensibly Gonzalez (who made a nice stop yesterday in the spring finale) will cover short and third and Nunez will cover second and third.

As for who's backing up first, your guess is as good as mine. The only guy the Phils have on their bench who has ever even played first in the majors is backup catcher Sal Fasano, who has a grand total of six games there. I guess David Dellucci becomes the logical choice, but he has never played first—not that it's rocket science—and he is a lefty bat, the same as starter Ryan Howard. Or maybe Pat Burrell (58 career games at first) will shift to first and Dellucci, the superior fielder, would play left. I'm not sure how'll Burrell will react to that especially if Howard goes down for an extended period of time with an injury.

The outfield is better stocked than usual. They have Shane Victorino AND David Dellucci now backing up the starters as opposed to just Jason Michaels. As for emergency catcher, I hope Victorino has invested in a catcher's mitt. Two 34-year-old catchers? Eek.

Anyway, as Tomas passes the baton, er, cream pie to the next generation benchwarmers, I am reminded to the great utility men on the Phils clubs from my childhood (Greg Gross, Del Unser, Luis Aguayo, Tommy Hutton, Terry Harmon) and I am left trying to figure out how Tomas compares to them. Let's see.

First, I looked at just those players who were exclusively bench players for the Phils. That means that they never played more games at a given position than any other player and they never qualified for a batting title as a Phil. I wanted just career bench players (sorry Del Unser—he was the starting center fielder in his first tour of duty in Philly). Next, I limited the list to just primarily position players.

Here are the men who spent the most years in a Phils uniform as a benchwarmer:

Greg Gross1019791988
Terry Harmon919691977
Luis Aguayo919801988
Todd Pratt819922005
Fred Jacklitsch719001910
Tomas Perez620002005
Bob Dernier619801989
Ed Burns619131918
Kevin Sefcik619952000
Jackie Mayo619481953
Jason Michaels520012005
Randy Ready519891995
Jerry Martin519741978
Mel Clark519511955
Bob Bowman519551959
Gary Bennett519962001

Next are the men who played the most games exclusively as a bench player in Philly"

Greg Gross10197919881080
Terry Harmon919691977545
Tomas Perez620002005504
Luis Aguayo919801988471
Jerry Martin519741978444
Bob Dernier619801989439
Kevin Sefcik619952000424
Jason Michaels520012005383
Ron Stone419691972362
Ed Burns619131918320
Todd Pratt819922005299
Randy Ready519891995289
Harry McCurdy419301933281
Ollie Brown419741977272
Jimmy Walsh419101913259
Bob Bowman519551959256
Rick Joseph419671970253

Perez makes both lists.

He also comes in fourth in career bench homers:

Luis Aguayo91980198833
Todd Pratt81992200528
Jason Michaels52001200521
Tomas Perez62000200520
Jerry Martin51974197819
Mark Whiten21995199618
Bob Bowman51955195917
Ollie Brown41974197716
Bobby Estalella41996199914
Rick Joseph41967197013
Joe Lis31970197213
Ron Jones31988199013

And second in RBI:

Tuck Turner418931896138
Tomas Perez620002005128
Greg Gross1019791988128
Todd Pratt819922005114
Jason Michaels520012005100
Pearce Chiles21899190099
Luis Aguayo91980198893
Jerry Martin51974197891
Ron Stone41969197289
Jimmy Walsh41910191386
Ollie Brown41974197782

Perez was sixth in runs:

Tuck Turner418931896186
Greg Gross1019791988168
Terry Harmon919691977164
Bob Dernier619801989147
Jason Michaels520012005134
Tomas Perez620002005128
Luis Aguayo919801988123
Jerry Martin519741978121
Lonnie Smith419781981119
Randy Ready51989199599
Todd Pratt81992200599

Tied for second in hits:

Greg Gross1019791988431
Tuck Turner418931896279
Tomas Perez620002005279
Terry Harmon919691977262
Jason Michaels520012005235
Bob Dernier619801989230
Todd Pratt819922005221
Kevin Sefcik619952000212
Luis Aguayo919801988208
Jimmy Walsh419101913188
Ron Stone419691972188

He's first in doubles:

Tomas Perez62000200565
Greg Gross101979198859
Jason Michaels52001200549
Todd Pratt81992200546
Jerry Martin51974197844
Gibby Brack21938193941
Jimmy Walsh41910191338
Kevin Sefcik61995200036
Tuck Turner41893189635
Luis Aguayo91980198835

Second in strikeouts:

Todd Pratt819922005239
Tomas Perez620002005217
Jason Michaels520012005182
Terry Harmon919691977175
Luis Aguayo919801988168
Jerry Martin519741978156
Bob Dernier619801989137
Rick Joseph419671970130
Mark Whiten219951996125
Ron Stone419691972120

Second in intentional passes:

Greg Gross101979198832
Tomas Perez62000200524
Todd Pratt81992200513
Ron Stone41969197213
Luis Aguayo91980198811
Joe Lefebvre31983198610
Johnny Oates21975197610
Jerry Martin5197419789
Tim Corcoran3198319859
Ollie Brown4197419778
Rod Booker2199019918
Tom Foley2198519868

Eighth in bunts:

Jimmy Walsh41910191332
Dots Miller21920192122
Ed Burns61913191818
Joe Ward31906191018
Terry Harmon91969197716
Kevin Sefcik61995200015
Tom Downey11912191215
Tomas Perez62000200514
Paul Sentell21906190712
Bob Dernier61980198912
Mel Clark51951195512

Third in plate appearances:

Greg Gross10197919881819
Terry Harmon9196919771276
Tomas Perez6200020051227
Bob Dernier6198019891053
Todd Pratt8199220051010
Luis Aguayo919801988983
Jason Michaels520012005941
Ed Burns619131918903
Ron Stone419691972903
Kevin Sefcik619952000883
Randy Ready519891995817
Jerry Martin519741978808
Tuck Turner418931896808

100th in batting average (.249). Here are the leaders (min. 100 plate appearances):

Tuck Turner418931896.379
Tripp Sigman219291930.326
Monk Sherlock119301930.324
Lonnie Smith419781981.321
Dave Gallagher119951995.318
Jim Lindeman219911992.313
Al Oliver119841984.312
Dick Davis219811982.311
Ralph LaPointe119471947.308
Doc Miller219121913.307
Rene Monteagudo119451945.301
Dave Philley319581960.300
Buck Jordan119381938.300

134th in on-base (.303):

Tuck Turner418931896.432
Tommy Glaviano119531953.410
Hugh Duffy219041905.390
Rene Monteagudo119451945.389
Lonnie Smith419781981.389
Jim Lindeman219911992.384
Wally Kimmick219251926.381
Phil Geier218961897.381
Monk Sherlock119301930.380
Jason Michaels520012005.380
Tim Corcoran319831985.380

66th in slugging (.371):

Tripp Sigman219291930.519
Ron Jones319881990.516
Tuck Turner418931896.492
Buddy Blattner119491949.464
Dick Davis219811982.463
Frank Thomas219641965.459
Joe Lefebvre319831986.459
Chuck Essegian119581958.456
Dave Philley319581960.454
Davey Johnson219771978.449
Gibby Brack219381939.446
Jason Michaels520012005.442
Mark Whiten219951996.442
Bobby Estalella419961999.441

And 95th in OPS (.674):

Tuck Turner418931896.924
Tripp Sigman219291930.898
Ron Jones319881990.860
Buddy Blattner119491949.835
Lonnie Smith419781981.826
Joe Lefebvre319831986.825
Jason Michaels520012005.822
Dick Davis219811982.814
Davey Johnson219771978.813
Dave Philley319581960.805
Mark Whiten219951996.802
Tommy Glaviano119531953.802
Dave Gallagher119951995.793
Gibby Brack219381939.787
Monk Sherlock119301930.778
Chuck Essegian119581958.774
Todd Pratt819922005.769
Jim Lindeman219911992.765
Dwayne Murphy119891989.764
Ollie Brown419741977.763

I put Perez number three among Phillie utility infielders, behind the great Little Louie Aguayo and the long-lasting Terry Harmon. Among outfield-first base types, I would rank Gross first followed by Lonnie Smith, Joe Lefebrve, Jason Michaels, Jerry Martin, and Downtown Ollie Brown. The recently departed Todd Pratt comes in at number one among catchers with Bobby Estelella.

Also, Tomas Perez gets added brownie points for having played six positions as a Phil. Here are all the Philly players to play at least six. Rojas played all nine in one game. (And you might notice the ubiquitous Kid Gleason, as always, makes the list):

Name# POS
Cookie Rojas9
Bernie Friberg9
Jimmy Walsh9
Bill Gray8
Lave Cross8
Kid Gleason8
Bill Hallman8
Bobby Pfeil7
Kevin Sefcik7
Charlie Reilly7
Phil Geier7
Shad Barry7
Red Dooin7
Jack Clements7
Heinie Mueller7
Pop Schriver7
Ed Delahanty7
Dode Paskert7
Tommy McCarthy7
Tomas Perez6
Bill Harbidge6
Tony Cusick6
Jimmie Wilson6
Joe Ward6
Jim Fogarty6
Cozy Dolan6
Nap Lajoie6
Ernie Courtney6
Cliff Lee6
John Coleman6
George Wood6
Ed Mayer6
Derrel Thomas6
Charlie Ferguson6
Russ Wrightstone6
Frank Ringo6
Stan Benjamin6
Sherry Magee6
Fred Jacklitsch6
Dick Allen6
2006-04-03 19:11:15
1.   fuzzycopper
Couldn't Utley back up Howard?

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