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Thursday, September 14, 2006

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Thank you for the compliments, Jason. I check in at Beerleaguer 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10 times a day and am always rewarded.

Couldn't agree more on Geary. Aside from Gordon, I have the most trust in him coming out of the pen. I never thought I'd say that.

nice to see those numbers on geary. when I was stateside on honeymoon, I remember watching him on TV in a game against the rockies and thinking that everything about the guy seemed to have changed from last year, right down to body language. It cheers me to know that he's sustained it throughout the season - middle relief can be so up and down year to year that its great to see a guy make a definitive improvement.

As much as I like Victorino now, there is now way he is deserving of a starting corner of job. CF, yes, corner, no way.

Geoff Geary has got to be the Phils unsung hero of 2006! A perfect example of an unheralded minor-leaguer who figured out how to pitch in the major-leagues with less than spectacular stuff.

I have a lot of admiration for a guy like Geary. There was a recent clip (on Phillies Clubhouse?) on Geary's work ethic and desire to succeed. His inspiration often comes from memories of a close friend and former college teammate who tragically died from ALS disease. The clip contained a lot of insight into the life and personality of a relatively anonymous middle-reliever.

Geary may put on a poker face when he takes the mound, but underneath he has the guts and tenacity of a pit-bull.

With that being said, I hope his arm doesn't completely fall off from overuse!

personally, I'm more than happy to see him in a corner, preferable RF. he has the arm for it.

vic, obviously, not geary.

Could be interesting if Rowand exercises his option and returns in 2007. Do the Phils try to trade him? Move him to a corner? Or put him in center and move Vic back to right?

VoR:

I think that Rowand moves to right and Vic stays in center.

and we need a big, lovable guy to play LF. Hey, I wonder if manny will be available.

rowand in right? but then he has two walls to run into!

Joe, I'd also like to see Vic remain in center. His defense continues to impress. With his speed and arm he could be the Phils center-fielder for a long time. If he can drag a bunt frequently enough to draw in the corners and continue to cut down on his strikeouts he'd make a classic lead-off hitter. Factor in his limited major-league experience and he still has a lot of upside and should improve even more in 2007.

Personally, I'd like to see Rowand traded if he exercises his option. I thought he'd be the center-fielder of the future at the time of the Thome trade but he has been an extreme disappointment. Takes bad routes on flyballs, weak arm, misses the cut-off, wild swinger, and doesn't make contact (except with the wall & teammates).

i see rowand as one of those "intangibles" guys, and would love to see hime covering RF.

I think that Rowand will excersize his option (3.5M), and that the phillies will keep him. He's had too rough of a year to get proper value.

No mention of that stellar at-bat by Randall Simon??? Who isn't excited about him? It looks like he's been on the HGH (Hamburgers, Gorditas and Hashbrowns) since I last saw him.

I'd like to see Rowand traded for an plus bullpen help, prospects, or starting pitching. Rowand is a gutsy guy and I love his style of play but I don't think his bat helps the Phillies that much. I know people love his "catch", but he's just not all that great.

I think vic is no better than rollins at leadoff, and the only argument for keeping him there is rollins power is more use elsewhere in the line-up (which isn't a bad argument). Jason has made the point before that his strikeouts aren't likely to decrease, on account of his swing, and I'm inclined to agree.

Phillies play in a bandbox, which puts a premium on power. The team cannot afford to play Victorino in a corner OF unless they add a slugging CF. The power has to0 come from somewhere and Howard and Uts can't do it alone, especially in this ballpark. Now, if Victorino is truly a .290 hitter then I'm fine with him in CF even with the bad BB/K ratio. But the Phillies need to get power from the OF corners unless they move to Petco.

joe, you don't think of Burrell as big and loveable?

I take your point, clout, but can you cope with a less power-orientated outfield if we manage to snag a 3b man with more power? gillicks questions suggest he's focusing on the latter rather than an OF, and maybe patch up burrell's swing.

tom g - its just to hard to hug pat, y'know? to hard to get close to him cos of those potato fields he's busy farming on his shoulders.

Oisin, I missed the point about Victorino's swing. What is it that makes him more susceptible to stikeouts?

Just looked up his stats and his BB/K and K/PA ratios have improved dramatically since mid-season. Also consider that he has only 425 ML AB's and is still learning. He has already shown much improvement since earlier this season.

Vic looks like a player with "baseball sense" and can have a successful career by maximizing his speed both in the field and at the plate. Prior to the season, I thought he was a 4th OF (at best), now he looks like a player who realizes his limits and works on improving his weaknesses. It was nice to see him hitting line drives yesterday. If he continues to be more selective at the plate and cuts down on the popups, Shane can stick around for a long time.

VOR - y'know, I thought jason had said something specific about the swing over at Swing and a Miss. But I've just searched, and it turns out I was wrong. So for now I'll say nothing more than he's a free swinger, and look hard at his swing during tonight's game (actually staying up for it for a change!)

Also its not the k's so much that I'm concerned about, but whether he can up his walks. I'll take your point that his BB/K ratio has improved (.30 to .80 Walks per K is some jump!), and maybe being a full-timer would see continued improvement, but I would be surprised if it increased dramatically better than rollins' own ratio.

I did. I made the point that I would seriously hesitate to anoint Victorino with a leadoff spot with that swing. If he was asked to set the table night after night, we could expect Victorino to come away with about 110 strikeouts a season, and that's too many.

This was posted in response to criticism about Rollins in the leadoff spot.

In my mind, Rollins has gone from the biggest question in the lineup (back when Abreu was here) to the biggest no-brainer next to Howard hitting fourth. There's no one better suited to lead off on this team than Rollins, and it isn't close. He's hitting for extra bases, he's got speed and he's scoring runs. Good enough for me.

Victorino should be a starter in 2007, in CF or RF - positioning depends on the rest of the roster.

I'd really like to see Gillick explore a 3B deal with the White Sox. Crede is coming off a career year, but Josh Fields has nothing left to prove in the minors. It makes sense for them to trade one of them, and neither one would be particularly expensive, salary-wise, especially compared to what a guy like A=Ram would go for if he opts out of his contract.

Next year I'm expecting power to come from 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and LF/RF. SS and C should have moderate power numbers. CF and RF/LF may be quicker guys with good arms (Bourn, Vic, etc.). This assumes that Burrell stays and Rowand goes, although I don't expect to get good value (if anything for Burrell) from either. Also assumes that Conine stays to platoon with Burrell. If neither goes I do expect a platooning approach to pretty much the whole outfield for the first half, then a trade of Rowand towards mid-season.

Not expecting Delucci to stay.

Jason: Rollins is on a roll now, no doubt about it. But even with that his OB is .339. How many playoff teams have leadoff hitters with a .339 OBP?

Clout: He's not the prototype for a leadoff hitter, agreed. What I'm saying is he's the best choice on current team. If they went out and got an OB guy with some speed, I'd move Rollins down to take advantage of the extra-base hits.

Good observations about Geary and the difference in him this year as opposed to the past; you can see it in his "body language" and you can see it in the way he trusts his stuff now. Geary, who used to understandably be always looking over his shoulder, expecting to be the next one sent down, reflected the lack of conviction which the organization seemed to have regarding him. Now that he knows he's here to stay, he comes in and throws strikes, throws hard, and acts like he belongs. It's amazing the difference such confidence has made for him. He looks like an entirely different pitcher now than the guy I used to dread coming into games.

Disagreed that the Phillies need more 'power' from a corner OF position. Just because the Phils play in a small park doesn't mean they need to load up on power hitters, bowing to a self-defeating strategy that contributed to eons of losing in Boston and Chicago (Cubs). If you have a 50-homer guy and a 30-homer guy in Utley, you don't need four other guys having to hit between 20-30. Victorino and Rollins are good for 10-20 homers, as would a Ruiz/Coste split, as most likely would be whomever is gotten to play third. That's plenty of power. A balance of speed, contact, and power is what is desireable toward creating a dynamic offense, not power alone. As it is, the Phils' offense still seems too reliant on homers, and I'd like to see them get away from that mentality and be more consistent in scoring runners they get on base.

4-2 Padres, top 8. Nuts.

It's official: Scott Mathieson to have Tommy John surgery, as reported on philly.com.

I don't care about the Twins at all, but it was tough to watch Liriano suffer the same fate yesterday.

I feel bad for him, but I heard he threw 45+ sliders a game. Didn't really help himself out doing that.

yeh... young power slider pitchers are scary. they can blow at any moment.

which is why its amazing that slider freaks like Carlton lasted so damn long.

and... wasnt Madson throwng some slider's last night? Did Mathieson pass out the slider crack to the rest of the pitchers?

4-2, San Diego, final. Moves the Padres back to 2 games in front of the Phils. Dodgers are up 2-0 in the 4th against the Cubbies. If they hang on and win, they'll be 1.5 games in front of San Diego with the Padres in LA for a 4 game set this weekend. Interesting to say the least.

Jason: No argument there. He's the best on the team as currently constituted. Getting a legit leadoff guy is one of their needs. In hindsight, maybe they should've re-signed Lofton.

re: lofton.

I think that Gillick values locker-room atmosphere and intangibles. Lofton has long been considerred one of the finer jackasses in the game.

I just dont think that he was a fit in Gillick's system.

Joe, I've checked a few sites looking for the "jackass" stat on Lofton. I can't find this metric. You may be subject to ridicule on this site by the stat police. That sounds like a heart comment, or one that is observable, but not measured. We need to be careful here. Numbers rule, or at least I think I read that somewhere,...or did I feel it somewhere? I'm not sure.

actually.. the stats is called "Bondses", with Barry Bonds being the equivalent of 1.0 bondses.

i believe that Lofton rated at a 1.5, which is one and a half times as bad as Barry Bonds, himself.

LOL. Even Cobb, Ruth or Aaron never reached such greatness to have a stat named after them. Is a "Bondses" equivalent to one jail stay requiring one to post a bond?

RSB: For little ball to work in a power park you have to have high OB, a stat you consider without value. Can't have it both ways, pal.

although he's struggling in September, it should not be forgotten that Chris Coste rose from the ashes to save the C position and allow the overdue dismissal of Sal Fasano back in June. Certainly not on the scale of Victorino has helped out, but he's shored up a previously gaping hole in the lineup. Along with Moyer so far, he's been the biggest catch of lightening in a bottle this year. Hopefully, he can put together a another 3 good weeks to close out the season at finish in the .325 range with 200 ABs. if only they'd have rewarded him with that 25th spot on opening day and cut sal loose. He might only be in the .275 range, but that would still be an imporvement over what we got in April and May. i know davthom73's with me on this. that play he made in the come from behind win against atlanta a few weeks ago -- where he somehow pretzeled under the tag at first to start off the 9th inning rally -- that's one of my favorite plays of the year.

When did I ever say I consider OBP with little value? What, just because I'm not a fan of Burrell and Abreu, guys with high OBPs, means I see no merit to the general idea of getting on base? Further, when did I say I wanted 'little ball'? What I said is there's plenty of power to go around as it is. You need a balance, an element of 'little ball' to kick in for when the power isn't there. Teams that rely exclusively on power generally don't get anywhere. Ask the Texas Rangers.

clout:

i dont think that its a little balls vs big ball debate, i think that its about balance.

we're got howard and utley for big power, jimmy, victorino, catcher platoon, and nameless third basemen for medium power.

it gives you some flexibility when filling out the corner outfields positions. you can go with speed and less power.

Don't forget Nunez in the "no-power" category. He has that sewn up.

GR, of course, I totally agree with you about Coste's performance, production and steady defense, as he has stabilized the catcher position for the Phillies this season. Coste's obvious rapport with the team's pitchers, and the respect that he has from his teammates in the Phillies clubhouse, clearly are big assets as well. And while Coste has had a few "ofer" games of late, just one week ago tonight, Coste had a key double and a key home run, with four RBIs, to keep the Phillies in that game against the Fish. Also, Coste has had several games in the past ten days in which more than one well-hit line drives of his have been "loud outs." Certainly, Ruiz has looked good in his September call-up, but as many in the MLB world have observed of late, a Ruiz-Coste tandem likely will be the Phillies best catching option for next season. As for "favorite plays", for me it was Coste's amazing tag at home plate in the Washington series, where one run made the difference in that game which the Phillies eventually won.

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