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Sunday, June 17, 2007


I'm willing to be proven wrong too, but I don't think Sanches has what it takes to be a quality MLB reliever. Only positives I see from him is his control (only 4 walks in 30 ip) and strikeout ability (39 k's in 30 ip).


The Phillies misread just about every part of their bullpen during the offseason. The health of Gordon, the effectiveness of Smith, the readiness of Castro, whether to give Borowski a deal. These are major oversights that cost them games. That is why names like Germano and Borowski keep surfacing here. The only part they got right was giving Alfonseca a try.

When Myers gets back, they will have five pitchers (Mesa, Myers, Hernandez, Zagurski, Sanches) who weren't in their original bullpen plans. Nevertheless, in a haphazard sort of way, and in spite of all the poor decisions and non-acquisitions, the bullpen hasn't totally imploded.

Even Alfonseca looked pretty "touchable" last night. Hurry back Myers!!!

As I said before, it's been a stunning week -we've added a has-been (Mesa), a never-will-be (Sanches), and a might-be at some future date (Kendrick). It's amazing how many games we win with only about a dozen competent major leaguers on the roster.

What's really astonishing is that someone like Sanches is on the 40-man roster.

The only thing to say about Sanches is that somebody has to finish the games we are losing by a TD or more.

He'll get steady work.

Sanches will probably be in the Clay Condrey role.

Would be really, really big to win this series. Like I felt Moyer would pitch well yesterday, Eaton has pitched so well his last two starts you almost fear it will not be good today. I hope I am wrong. I think they will hit Verlander hard, so we could be looking at a Friday night like score.

CF Granderson
2B Polanco
LF Monroe
RF Ordonez
1B Casey
C Rodriguez
3B Inge
SS Perez
P Verlander
-quite a PH in Sheffield today

SS Rollins
RF Victorino
2B Utley
1B Howard
CF Rowand
LF Dobbs
3B Nunez
C Ruiz
P Eaton

Thought maybe Werth would be in right today but I guess not.

Ben: You wrote "I think they will hit Verlander hard" and I'm not sure what you base that on. How did Verlander do in his last outing?

I base it on a hunch that they will....obviously they havent faced him. They are hitting well.

Ben: eep, I would not want to see Werth against Verlander. A lot of cool breezes for the fans, but that's it.

"Sanches will probably be in the Clay Condrey role." Isn't that Mesa's 'role'? What is the bloody point of carrying *two* mop-up relievers who don't belong on a big league roster?!?

Carson, I used to love Stark's Week in Review columns every Tuesday in the Inquirer when I was a kid...I've long since grown tired of his writing style (especially his grating use of the word 'we' when he's referring to his own opinion), but he seems like a good guy. And he gets points for royally pissing off Dallas Green and Jim Fregosi.

Rollins swung at low ball 4 - guess he wanted to breakup no hitter

Nuni says No to No-No

Just call him "break up the No-Hit" Nuni.

Not to worry, right after the next strikeout, the idiots will be back to screaming for Helms or whoever

Sanches gives up too many homers to be a real asset, but he does have a decent K/BB ratio. He's most likely a better bet than Mesa, but that isn't saying much. If they get lucky, however, he'll toss them a bunch of league-average innings. Its not particularly probable, but given the nature of the game not out of the realm of possibility.

Curt, you make the rest of us Beerleaguers seem like we're in a good mood, hardly an easy feat! Hell, I feel like Pat Croce next to you...

How about Utley, 30 doubles with over half the season to go?

That could be the Phillie motto: "If we get really really lucky he could be an average pitcher."

Rowand, man. Impressive.

rsb, sorry. I'm actually in a great mood. This is the basic lineup I'd like to see the next 90 games or so. If Cholly had gotten here a month or so ago, we'd have a nice lead in the East now.

No, it wasn't really a knock. I can appreciate the skepticism.

This is a pitching matchup that heavily disfavored the Phillies. It'd be awesome to come way with a series win here if Eaton can keep this up. Almost enough to make you forget about last weekend.

curt: Nunez is the worst everyday player at his position in baseball. I don't think anyone is clamoring for Helms, but most of us recognize reality.

You called that one about strike out - but then again the odds were that he would

The reality is he's what we have. It's not a fantasy league.

Actually I would rather see helms in lieu of Nunez - I feel that Helms has a better chance for a rbi or hit than Nunez - put Nunez in for defense later in game

I really don't see Nunez as soul suckingly bad as he and Bell were last year. He's been okay this year, definitely better than Helms has been.

I love the phrase "soul suckingly bad." I'd like to see Dobbs get more time at third with Bourn getting an occasional start in left.

Ben: Nunez OPS (.655) is better than it was last year. It is also the worst in baseball for an everyday player at his position.

P.S. How's the arm? Do you ever play catch with Tyler Green, Tommy Greene, Robert Person or Dave Coggin?

Jeltzie: If I were the manager, I'd run a platoon of Dobbs/Coste at 3B and Nunez would be what he should be: A utility infielder.

I've rarely seen a hitter get himself out as many times as Howard's done it this season. He just can't lock in to a zone.

clout: That seems like the best way to go with the guys they have. So of course they won't got that way.

Ahh the arm's holding up ok. Me and the Greenie hang out and talk about the old days when we still had major league jobs. Not all of us can pitch forever like Terry.

I like the Dobbs/Coste idea. Dobbs has amazed me so far.

Nunez will always have a bad OPS because he'll never hit for power like a "normal" 3B. It's like saying that Burrell doesn't get enough triples -- aint gonna happen. We balance the weak bat with extra power elsewhere in the infield.

Coste aint here, and they won't play him at 3B when he is. So he doesn't count. It isn't a fantasy league. We need Dobbs to supply a few rbis from the LF slot. Bad defense matters a bit less out there.

Hey Curt there was your Nunez

I really don't have a problem with Nunez this year. The quasi-platoons at catcher and third base have proven to be a bit more effective than the black hole from last year and the year before. And I'd much rather see him play on a regular basis and hit .250 than pinch hit every once in awhile and hit .150.

Well, I thought we were a mortal lock to lose this game - our bullpen still has a great shot at blowing it but so far, so good. You have to commend Eaton for his second straight great start, this one being much more impressive because it comes against such a strong lineup. And Dobbs continues to be such a pleasant surprise at the plate.

Maybe Eaton can play third base.

A few pitcher swho can actually hit the ball is a big upgrade on last years team.

curt: In fact, OF is NOT Dobbs prime position. He played more games at 1B and 3B in the minors. And OPS is NOT just power. It is the most credible measure of overall offense. Nunez' defense is no better than league average. The Coste/Dobbs platoon would make this a better baseball team.

Eaton got Dobbs/Steve Smith off the hook--how could he not score on that play?!!? Jimmy has no plate discipline whatsoever--has made 4 outs on balls not in the strike zone.

One really encouraging things about the Phils this year is that they're bearing down against the better teams. Yes, it'll drive us insane when they turn around and lose to the Royals, but in the end it's a trend that will bode well towards the end of the year.

Not that I'm saying they have this game locked up. Not with Sheffield on that bench...

This is classic Eaton. He has great stuff and when he has command of it, he's a top-rank pitcher. Of course, no one has a clue on any given day whether he'll have command or not.

Does anybody have statistics on team pitching? I'm curious to see the average innings/start for the rotation this year compared to last year. I feel that Manuel's letting the starters go into the 7th much more frequently this year.

rsb -- you could say the same thing about Jimmy. He either shows up on fire or zombielike. You can usually tell which Jimmy is here by his first AB.

Oh no not Geary. Why would you bring a contact pitcher in with a guy on third? Geary always gets knocked around. Damn you Cholly

Kind of a quick hook, but Eaton was starting to get the ball up. Problem is, I'm not chock full of confidence for Geary here either, and now the pen has to get eight outs.

I hate being right

Yeah. That's looking like a big mistake.

Ben: You're right about the starters going deeper, but I think it's because the bullpen sucks so badly, Cholly wants to keep them out of the game as long as possible.

i have more confidence in Madson than Geary these days

clout -- in your dreams, Coste would play 3B for the Phillies. And Abreu would play RF. Tejeda would start for them. Etc. Etc. And it would be a great team. Dreams are fun.

Clout: Manuel diverted from this strategy today and it's going to cost him. We don't know if the Tigers would have continued to hit Eaton, but I think I'd have let him go longer than that.

Eaton has made Gillick look a lot smarter his last few starts, and Dobbs was a great pick up. I'll never get over wasting money on Barajas and not getting offseason bullpen help, but i guess i need to suck it up and deal with it. If Eaton keeps this up, he could be, gasp, worth the $8 million.

Why go Geary for only one batter? YOu either stick with Eaton for one more, or let Geary stay in there.

There is no manager in baseball who burns up his bullpen as much as Cholly.

Clout, clearly that's part of the reason. Charlie doesn't have that 7-8-9 order he loves so much ala Madson-Urbina-Wagner. But I think we have been getting much better and, pitch count-wise, more efficient pitching, which allows Charlie to go to the pen later and later.

The dilemma here is, even if you hold 'em, who pitches the 8th inning? There's no one qualified on the team.

Was that the first time Bronco had been in a high pressure situation like that? Nice work.

There goes Zagurski. Who does Manuel have in his bullpen that he can waste pitchers so liberally.

kdon: Geary is not talented enough to pitch in that situation with a lefthanded hitter coming up. This bullpen isn't nearly as good as you think it is.

I can't believe we're using 4 pitchers in one inning. It's only a one run game and this could easily go into extra innings. Charlie does this way too often. Remember that Mets game where Madson had to go 7?

i would think Madson could pitch the 8th after only facing three batters last night (assuming Yoel gets them out of this)

Zagurski was in the ninth inning of a tie game in NY.

The announcers can't figure out why the fans are booing Manuel...Sarge protests that it's the correct move to bring in a right-hander to face Polanco. Yes. They're booing him for taking Eaton out, numbskull.

We haven't had a Charlie-is-an-idiot game in awhile now...this one could be a doozy.

curt: Coste is not a dream. He's at Reading. All they have to do is cut one of their worthless bullpen pitchers and bring him up. We already know what Nunez provides.

Charlie Manuel is a certifiable idiot.

Seriously, a piling idiot.

What situation clout?

You leave Eaton in to face Sheffield, then Zagurski pitches to Granderson, then Geary comes in against Polanco instead of Yoel.

Geary is very tough against RH hitters (most of the the Tigers lineup), and he is wasted for one batter.

Yoel Hernandez is not qualified to pitch in this situation but at least Monroe is helping him out.


No, really, a fucking idiot.

The situation was Geary facing Granderson. That's whay Cholly was right to yank him. He's just not good as you think.


This was so easy to see coming.

Another situation where Cholly creates his own mess. I think the agony of watching this guy manage the team is starting to overtake the joy I get from watching guys like Utley, Howard, and Cole.

I think I need another vacation.

easy to 2nd guess taking the starter out, but Eaton was starting to get racked pretty good. if they had gotten another hit, everybody would be complaining that charlie never pulls a guy when he's getting hit.

"The situation was Geary facing Granderson. "

Yes, but that is a situation Cholly himself created by pulling Eaton too early. It was a stupid move.

Maybe Eaton gives up a 3-run bomb to Sheff, but the entire stadium and most of this board knew Eaton should have stayed in there.

Johnny, I don't care that he took the starter out. I care that he used 3 other pitchers.

I thought the moves were good....Eaton was getting hit, Geary should have come out, he is terrible, and Hernandez just didnt get it done.

The real fantasy here was that the Tigers - or, I guess any superior team - wouldn't be able to eventually expose the Phillies' holes. Only took a half-inning to come back to earth.

JG, it ain't second guessing when you say it's wrong BEFORE the plan fails.

Coste at 3B is a dream. He was here last summer. The way Cholly loves sticks, don't he think he would have found a way to give him an inning there if he thought the guy could play the position? Remember he went with Bell & Nunez all year long instead. So what chance does he have of playing there now, after 2 yrs of catching? Zero, of course. Dream on.

Eaton had given up 2 straight hits, his pitch count was 101. Sheffield was the batter. If you had a decent bullpen, you yank him, no-brainer. You bring in your righty killer. But with this bullpen, maybe you roll the dice. But the bottom line is: It's not Cholly's fault that this team has one of the worst bullpens in the NL. This will be game #13 that the 'pen has lost either by giving up the lead or by allowing the other team to widen their lead.

Sad thing is, the Phils (say it with me) had chances to score more runs. Howard, Rollins and the squandered bases loaded situation in the 2nd all amount to the problem.

And Eaton was getting hit hard, but Geary shouldn't have been in there in the first place. It should've been Zagurski or Madson.

It's remarkable that the BP held on to yesterday's game. 2 in a row against these guys would have been a miracle.

Why all the moaning about the 3 crappy relievers he threw out there to pitch a third of an inning? he had a two run lead, Madsen for the 8th, and alfonseca for the 9th. what am i missing here? why manage for extra innings when you still have a one or two run lead in the 7th?

Also, Hernandez shouldn't have intentionally walked Polanco there. Give him a moment to throw a strike for God sakes.

It isn't Manuel's fault he has the bad bullpen, but you manage according to your personnel. On a team with a better bullpen, Eaton is gone, no question. Not on this team. To me, Geary didn't have any better chance to get Sheffield out than Eaton.

Thanks CHARLIE..happy fathers day you dumb ass

Actually, I think it boils down to our anger that Gillick didn't get a better bullpen in the offseason. That's bottom line.

curt: Well, you're right in saying it won't happen. Which means we're stuck with the worst thirdbaseman in baseball until his contract expires.

Madson is a strikeout pitcher. And, despite all the vitrol poured onto him in these forums, he's actually been one of the better relievers this year. The problem with the pigeonholed roles of "closer" and "setup" is that it makes takes away the possibility of bringing in your best relievers when you need them - high leverage, bases loaded jams in the 6th and 7th. Instead, they pitch relatively low intensity innings in the 8th and 9th with no men on to start the inning. As a result, we're forced to put out our lesser relievers when we need our best ones.

Now, Howard MUST redeem himself here. No more almost-there pops and swinging Ks. Let's tie this bitch.

Yeah, our bullpen sucks, but that's not Charlie's fault, that's Gillick's fault. Pat just absolutely needed to get his hands on a terrible catcher and terrible 3rd basemen, bullpen be damned.

No. 6 is really pissing me off lately.

howards worst AB of the year

RSB: You're exactly right. Any manager in baseball would've yanked him in that situation. The problem is exactly what you say: The bullpen totally sucks and you're probably better off gambling with a tired Eaton.

About the Dobbs-Coste platoon-at-third base idea -- it is incomprehensible that Phillies management has subbornly refused to play Coste at third base for so much as one play in 2006 or 2007 -- considering the fact that Coste was the International League's All-Star *third baseman* in 2005 with Scranton Wilkes-Barre.

Coste's fielding numbers at third base with S W-B that year: 93 games, 47 putouts, 192 assists, 11 errors, 250 total chances, 22 double plays, and a .956 fielding %.

Nunez's numbers at third with the Phillies last year: 74 games, 36 putouts, 151 assists, 8 errors, 195 total chances, 10 double plays, and a .959 fielding %. This year, Nunez's numbers at third base are: 42 games, 22 putouts, 99 assists, 6 errors, 127 total chances, 7 double plays, and a .953 fielding %.

While most will say that Nunez is a better-fielding third baseman with more range than Coste, my purpose in reciting the above statistics is to make the point that Coste would not be a serious defensive liability at the position.

And certainly, Coste is a far better fielder at the third base position than either Helms or Dobbs, and few would argue that overall, Coste is a much more productive hitter than Nunez.

Coste should be on the Phillies' 25-man roster now.

Wonder if Burrell or Werth will pinch-hit for Dobbs coming up vs. a left-hander.

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