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Thursday, April 20, 2006


The Phils bullpen pitchers are either very very good, or very very bad. One would think that trading for adequate middle relief would be something which can be accomplished this year.

David Bell has always had a good mitt with good range. His major problem defensively is his arm strength and accuracy. Yes, he did hit a homerun last night, but I doubt if he plays regularly that he'd post anything higher than a .230 batting average with very, very, very low OPS. But hey, do we have better options right now?...not really.

i move that bell still be platooned to maximize his effectiveness, the way lieberthal is being platooned with fasano. you have two other scrubs who are above average mitt guys, why not try and ride the hot bat or at the very least, get the other two a chance to swing the bat and warm up their ability to pinch hit? there is no reason to play david bell everyday. he's not consistent, he doesn't have an excess of power, he's not THAT much better defensively than the other two guys and his splits at the plate are lopsided. if he's not a platoon player and this isn't a platoon situation, i don't know who or what is.

Seriously, I don't get all this Burrell-bashing...oh, wait...

Hey, I'll agree here. Burrell's an above-average left-fielder with a terrific arm and ability to make nice catches going back, coming in, and laterally.

Bell, though, I won't agree on. He can make some very nice reaction plays, but his range is terrible. Maybe it's just having been spoiled by Rolen for so long, but there are so many balls that get by him that someone with even average agility would flag. I don't think his level of defense can suffice as an argument for letting him continue as a regular.

Bell's biggest weakness in the field is balls hit right at him that bound chest high.

Burrell is a continual surprise in left. Not great but never bad. And he has a great arm.

Charlie Manuel has burried Abraham Nunez who must wonder why in the world he ever signed here. A terrible mistake. At a minimum he should have Nunez spelling Bell when some righthanders are facing the Phils but CM's insistence on loyalty to veterans prevents him from seeing the virtue of at least giving Nunez a chance to show what he can do. And sticking a guy in as a pinch hitter in a tense and often desperate situation hardly qualifies as giving someone a chance to show what he can do!!!!

For all the comments about how well Manuel handles men, he doesn't really handle his bench and role players well at all.

Agreed 100%, Tom. Manuel is doing a horrendous job implementing his role players (other than everyone's hero Fasano), rendering them strictly bench players. This is a better team with Nunez in there. No question. The worst thing a team can have in a lineup is too many players with similar characteristics, especially aligning them back-to-back (i.e. Bell/Lieberthal). Nunez isn't an all-star, but he's a markedly different player than Bell, a contact hitter with better speed.

The trouble with the Phillies offense is that isn't nearly *dynamic* enough. You see the result, scoring via the homerun or usually nothing else. This was the basis of my argument that a guy like Chris Roberson (remember him?) would work well in the lineup, because he's a guy who can do a lot of things offensively. Even the best power guys fail to hit homeruns in three-quarters of the games. A team scores more consistently with players who get on base and get around the bases, and maybe occasionally can hit one over the fence. There are too many players on the Phillies who lack that multi-dimensional offensive ability. They are only as good as they are thanks to what Utley, Rollins, Abreu, and Rowand bring to the table; Howard and Burrell to a lesser extent; and obviously, the bottom third to virtually no extent. Nunez isn't in a category with the other six at the top, but he is a considerable improvement over David Bell. There really can be no excuse for Bell continuing to anchor the lineup as he does.

I will also help to try to dispell any myth that "David Bell can't hit, but he's solid in the field." He does make what appear to be splendid plays on balls he has to go after, but he routinely screws up the routine. So routinely, in fact, that he has been among the league leaders in errors at 3rd for the past two seasons with 21 and 24 respectively. As someone also said above, it's his throws that are sometimes really bad.
Burrell continues to impress in the field, yes.
And some of the walks last night were great to see from the young guns.
Once again, Abreu "wins" the game for them. He will do this many more times a year than he will "lose" the game for them, as he did in the field the night before. st

Tonight's a nice opportunity to play a sub against this unknown left-hander. Abreu and Utley have not had a day off. Nunez and Victorino need some work. I would give one of these guys a start.

No subs tonight...just scrubs. The Phillies are once again a huge disappointment!

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