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Friday, July 27, 2007


My thoughts... he's the late-inning defensive replacement with Nunez moving to third.

I can't believe they thought that was the best choice for our vacated roster spot.

Curt: "They each [Burrell and Howard] get a hit about once every 5 ABs, and Howard strikes out half the time. Back to back it adds up to a black hole."

Dude, are you starting the weekend early? They each get on base more than twice per 5 plate appearances. Who cares how much they strike out?

Alby: We were actually just talking about vs. left handed pitchers. Howard's OBP this year against lefties is .338 and Burrell's is .381.

So I guess they're on base between 3 and 4 out of every 10 at bats against lefties.

Alby - If our 3/4 hitters are walking (as opposed to hitting and driving in runs), who's producing the runs against a lefty? It would all be on Rowand, and with those shoulders I don't know how long he could carry that load. The rest of em aren't worth crap against a lefty.

I am a pessimistic Phillies fan of the first order when it comes to predicting a meltdown or no playoff berth for the next decade. But something tells me this team is gonna rise to the occasion.

In fact after yesterdays debacle, Im more confident that the Phils will come out swinging with something to prove, then if nothing changed and they started the PIT series with a healthy roster.

Utley will be gone for a month. Its not half as bad as it could be and ive seen this team rise up before when Howard (possibly a bigger a contributor) landed on the DL,and the team began a hot streak.

Dont know where it came from, but the optimism feels good...

From Jayson Stark:

"There are rumblings the Phillies even took a run at Dontrelle Willis, offering Bourn and fast-rising pitching prospect Carlos Carrasco."

Why haven't I heard about that before? I know that we have discussed trying to get D-Train on this board but I hadn't heard anything specific like this. What else could the Marlins possibly want?

I'm not without my criticisms of Pat Burrell. But his low average/OBP against left-handers is just a classic example of a statistical fluke. For his career, he has hit .20 pts higher against left-handers than right-handers & his average against lefties has exceeded his average against righties in each of the 3 seasons prior to this one.

If you want to argue that Burrell isn't the all-around hitter he once was, you might have a point. But I simply cannot believe that a right-handed hitter, who has always worn out left-handers, has suddenly & selectively forgotten how to hit left-handed pitching & left-handed pitching only. That is just nonsensical.

CJ- I second your statement about the way Thurston will get used. Nunez will be the primary starter at 2nd (unfortunately) and move to 3rd for defense late in the game replacing either Dobbs or "The Butcher" Helms. Then Thurston comes in at 2nd base. This means our bench will become even more thin, especially the way moron Manuel uses it.

Your - Actually, I suggested a few days ago that that exact offer "might get the Fish's attention."

I don't see Thurston contributing to this team but they needed to call up a middle infielder. You can't expect Nunez & Rollins to start everygame at 2B and SS respectively until Utley's supposed return this season.

Sorry, Jake. "Something tells me" they WON'T rise to the occasion. If anything, I wouldn't at all be surprised if they completely went into the tank & gave up on their season. I've certainly given up on it.

Losing Utley is even worse than losing Howard. Guys like Dobbs & Coste could fill in at first base & maybe give us 50% of the offensive production that Howard gives us. Nunez doesn't even give us 20% of Utley's offensive production.

You guys are so negative. Let's at least give them the weekend before we all jump off the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Wow Jason, that is one seriously negative review, and I can't think of anything that is worng with it, or anyone at AA or AAA that would be better as a fill in IF.

Pretty sad.

We were asking 5 or 6 guys to do the wotk of 25 yesterday, now we're down to 4 or 5.

Although the phillies should have called back up Geary, can anyone be sure that this is really that bad? If my memory serves, Thurston wasnt that bad at the plate for the time he was up here, and really, can he be any worse than our buddy Abe? Im gonna get grilled for this, but maybe somehow the phils find some good mix amoung all of our bad extra infielders and make it work until Utley comes back. However, it wont really matter if the pitching stays the same, Utley or not.

Curt: I would have thought you were right, but apparently it did fail to get Florida's attention. Wonder what else they wanted.

Great - once I heard Thurston's name I immediately thought of Gilligan's Island.

We can now set sail on the SS POSTSEASON.

The cast is in place for our 3 month tour:

SKIPPER - Charlie Manuel (Jimmy Williams will be his acting coach)
GILLIGAN - Ruben Amaro, JR (Victorino will be stuntman)
PROFESSOR - Pat Gillick (Moyer would make a better professor but concedes to Pat)
MILLIONARE - Dave Montgomery (Bill Giles is only a Western Union away)
MOVIE STAR - Male version Pat Burrell (competition tough with Hamels, Rollins, and Coste all in the mix)

All aboard.....

"Just a terrible, terrible call-up." What more is there to add, besides perhaps one more 'terrible' for good measure. What a pathetic organization.

If it's true that Wigginton can play both 2B and 3B, he's well worth an inquiry. The Phillies already needed another legitimate infielder, and now they need two.

If the Phillies want to maximize the feeble offensive skills of Abraham Nunez and give the lineup the best overall balance, they'll hit Nunez second. A bottom third of Helms/Dobbs, Nunez, pitcher would be unsightly. Nunez is a contact hitter with a decent eye and decent speed, and these assets would make him a more productive player at the top of the order than at the bottom. I'd move Victorino down to number three and leave Rowand hitting fifth.

JB - I'm not sure if this is what you're going for, but for the Movie Star, clearly it should be Pat in a dress. I mean, it's obvious.

Alby Who knows? Probably the same old story - other teams don't value our prospects as highly as we do.

Jason - there is no reason to bring Geary up because Manuel will have Myers pitching every relief inning from here on out until his arm pops out of its socket.

RSB, while I'm not sure I like Nunez at No. 2, I do like keeping Burrell at No. 6. One of the big gripes from the anti-Burrell posters is his lack of speed on the bases, but the fact is, when Helms and Ruiz (or other catcher) hit behind him, he's not exactly robbing someone behind him of a chance to fly around the bases. Sure, it still takes a lot of lumber to score him, but it takes a lot to score the others, too.

Agreed, Thurston is a minor league lifer, but what are your options ? Sandoval ? Is never pinch hitting for Nunez a better option? Nunez and Rollins were your only middle infielders. Dobbs never played 2b in his professional career prior to a few innings this year. You couldn't go with that.

Completely off-topic here, but I love the look of the Phillies players on those Topps Heritage cards currently gracing the right-hand column. Thanks, Jason. I stopped looking at cards 10 years ago, but those are head-turners.

curt: This season, the Phils have had the same OPS vs. lefties as it has vs. righties. We have been one of the most successful teams in baseball, especially recently, against left-handed pitchers.

I agree... losing Utley hurts. But it hurts us the same on both sides of the plate because Utley is amazing. It, doesn't, however mean this team will be terrible against left handed pitchers.

I'd like to know how one is supposed to "maximize" Nunez's offense by giving him more plate appearances. there's no conceivable reason for him to hit higher than 7th or 8th.

MG & BM: How many relievers can't pitch back to back games? Three? That leaves two LOOGYs, Condrey and Madson. That just seems much more problematic to me, and they're on fumes beginning tonight.

Re: The Marlins rumor

Isn't it possible some Phillies organizational guy leaked that to Stark so that it appeared as though this front-office is trying knowing full well that either the offer never really happened or that it didn't have a chance in hell anyway?

Jason's right... in light of the last few games burning out our bullpen, brining up Geary now made even more sense.

rsb, You absolutely cannot hit Nunez second. Besides wanting to give him as few ABs as possible (.627 ops), he is a double play machine. He's grounded into 6 dps already in 180 ABs. He needs to hit 8th.

9th when Eaton or Durbin pitch

How bout this...

SS Rollins
RF Bourn
LF Victorino
1B Howard
CF Rowand
3B Nunez
2B Thurston
CA Ruiz

And instead of trying to slug the ball, we just run a whole lot. Now THAT's the ticket!

er... Bourn in left... Vic in right...

Jason, I think there are problems with the pen, but 8 relievers is not the answer. Get rid of one of the one of guys that is not reliable or can only give you limited innings (say Zagurski) and replace with Geary.

Nunez is not nearly so much of an out machine when he plays on a regular basis. And he only hits into as many DPs as he does (if 6 is really so many) because he's making contact and hitting the ball on the ground. A lot of those grounders will find holes or advance runners.

It's difficult to dispute the other side of the argument - that he makes too many outs to hit more often than all but one hitter in the lineup - but I maintain that Nunez is probably best suited to hit second if he isn't hitting eighth.

What will *probably* happen is that Manuel will hit Rowand third and Burrell fifth.

CJ's 4x100 track team...kinky.

RSB: I agree with your thoughts on Nunez (see my posted lineup 2 threads ago).

RSB: I do anticipate the Rowand 3rd, Burrell 5th lineup... I think that was the very first one I figured we'd see.

Any chance the Phils could trade for someone like a Rob Mackowiak from the White Sox? He could fill in at second and be a nice bench upgrade when Utley returns.

Myers was just activated and Zagurski sent down.

Getting Myers back offsets the loss of Utley somewhat. I think the Phillies will hang in there, for whatever it's worth - but I don't see them being able to overtake their weak competition.

Also nice to see that the long denial over Zagurski's ability to pitch at the major league level is mercifully at an end.

If the Phils can get some pitching from somewhere, then they should go for broke and try to pick up Castillo from the twins. Since Bourn would likely be in a trade to get some pitching, Castillo would offer speed of the bench after/if Utley returns. The main focus has got to stay pitching. I loved the killed PtBB trade with the Twins to get but of course PtBB said no, thanks Ed Wade. Slowey is a 23 year old stud.

Slocs: which is why he was never coming here in a Burrell trade.

Some posters here seem unfamiliar with Joe Thurston. He is a below average fielder so to suggest he'd be a defensive replacement is absurd. To the extent he has any value at all, it is that he can play several positions below average and can hit the occasional pinch single. (He won't walk so he doesn't give you OB although several posters here think outs are better than walks, so maybe that's a plus). He did have speed when he was younger, but his 14 steals this season come with 13 caught stealing. He really isn't anyone you'd want on a major league roster.

clout: Thurston's defensive ability at 2nd is still likely better than what we'll have at 3rd with Helms in there.

If Myers is back and ready to pitch tonight, I suppose that gives us another arm so maybe it wasn't as essential to get Geary. I just wonder how "ready" Myers is. I hope he's more than good to go.

Thurston = a poor man's Ramon Martinez (the utility infielder, not the pitcher).

cj - far be it from me to disparage the OPS stat, but wouldn't it make a little more sense to look at the W-L stat when trying to figure out how we do against lefties? Now I haven't see that number lately, but a month ago we were something like 7-16 against lefty starters. And when you look up and down our lineup vs. lefties, it's not too hard to see why.

curt: I'll look for the article, but I'm pretty sure that I've seen since Howard came off the DL that we've got a much better record against lefties. I'll try and find the article again...

i guess we'll get to see if he's learned to bunt since last year. his failed attempt when hitting for burrell in september essentially landed him on the "do not use under any circumstances" list.

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