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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

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Prediction:

Vic goes 2-4, with a 2B, 2 R, and an outfield assist.

Minor surprise that Victorino is starting his first day up.

Let's hope the Phils med staff is telling the truth on this one. Missing two starts ... well, it sucks that it's against the Dodgers-Padres-Mets, but let's see how they do with Durbin tonight (which would have been Hamels) and Castro tomorrow (which would have been Durbin). I'd say if they go 1 for 2 in these two games that's not bad. Then next week, against the Mets, will it be Castro again? Or will Eaton be back?

Another prediction:

Adam Eaton gets lit up even in a bullpen session.

Dare I say that this Hamels ordeal could turn out to be a good thing? He'll be two starts fresher down the stretch.

Another prediction:

Adam Eaton gets lit up even in a bullpen session.

You know, they should have him pitch batting practice.

Might help Howard get out of his current funk.

Not the best Brett Myers quote, but I get what he's trying to say: "We have heart, man," Myers said. "You've seen those feel-good movies. In Rudy, it took him all the way until the end and he got to play in a game, right? That's a true story, right?"

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/mlb_experts/post/Five-and-Fly-Hamels-injury-latest-roadblock-for;_ylt=Av1dB6ct5BPTIyEvhFJ64XwRvLYF?urn=mlb,42694

doesn't eaton have his best starts against the mets?

In the last discussion thread someone said Victorino is batting 6th, has the order been announced?

I'm curious to see who's playing 3rd, both Branyan and Nunez have decent numbers against Lowe, albeit in very few at bats.

Coste and Dobbs in the lineup tonight

Rollins
Iguchi
Burrell
Howard
Rowand
Victorino
Dobbs
Coste
Durbin

Dodger Sims blog has the Dodgers as a 53.7% favorite using their baseball simulation program. Las Vegas Hilton sports book as the Phils as slight favorites.
vr, Xei

Thank you for the good news! Hopefully it is only two starts and that Cole comes back rejuvenated and ready for the last part of the stretch run!

That looks to be our best offensive lineup since the night shane and bourn went out. Dobbs and Coste are clearly the best offensive options at their positions, and as great as Werth has played, Shane is a starter for a reason. Nice to have Werth as a PH as well. Charlie thinking we might need to score a lot of runs to win tonight? I'd agree

From Mike Radano: Eaton threw in his bullpen session today, is encouraged, and is scheduled to come of the DL on the 27th and fully expects to start in the Mets series.

I really don't think we could have gotten better injury news than we got today. Prospects included everything up to Hamels needing TJ surgery and questionable timetables for Vic and Utley.

Now we know Vic is starting tonight, Utley is likely back Monday and Hamels should be back Sept. 1st.

For once... relatively good injury news.

Clout (From earlier): I am not necessarily saying that Iguchi can play third, but you would be hard pressed to tell me he couldn't do better than Helms. Maybe he is not quite the glove that Nunez is, but he is much more of an offensive threat than Nunez. Heck, he might be more of an offensive threat than Helms. Whether he can play third or not, this team needs him to play third.

Steve Phillips (Not that I have any respect for his opinions) talked as if the Iguchi to third idea was definite once Utley came back. I don't know, but he is the first so called "in the know" person that I have heard say that. I figured it lent some credibility to the idea. Any thoughts?

Parker, I understand and respect your point, but when you have to rely on Steve Phillips for evidence on what the Phils will do, you skate on very thin ice.

i am not an Eaton apologist ...he has been terrible, but i've seen him pitch well in stretches for other teams and i'm going to give him one or two more chances after getting the shot and resting his shoulder..

i don't disbelieve that he was hurting and just not able to pitch with the soreness

Parker, Manuel or Gillick (or both) are balking at putting Iguchi at 3B. Gillick has said he can't play there. I can't imagine Iguchi is worse than Helms or Dobbs either. Regardless, I don't see it happening.

This is the same organization that started both Joe Thurston and Placido Polanco in left field.

Ken Mandel making an appearance to talk nice about Eaton? That's honorable

i'm willing to give him another chance when the alternative is fabio castro (though if he looks good tomorrow, i could change my mind).

??? is that an inside joke? who is ken mandel.?

On Castro: He Wont look good, unfortunatley. He's going to get lit up like a christmas tree.

Please prove me wrong fabio!

Again, tonight and tomorrow afternoon are telling: if they can take one of two with Durbin and Castro starting, that's not bad.

They may have to score 11 in one of the games to do so, however.

Actually, starting Castro tomorrow makes more sense than starting him Saturday.

He is on regular rest. If he can give them 5 good innings, that is all they can ask for. Happ would be the better option (since he was clearly the better pitcher, at the same level, in the past month). But, that would mean yet another roster move. Plus, Moyer gets a extra days rest, which at his age, at this point in the season, is probably good.

Just gotta win 1 of the next 2 against LA. That is all you can realistically ask for, with the pitching matchups in the next 2 days.

The Phils will see Maddux (who they usually hit well), Hensley (who is a #5 starter) and maybe Chris Young, who is having back problems, and may not be able to make his next start. The Phils go with Moyer, Lohse and Kendrick.

Then, in the Mets series, it will be Durbin, probably Eaton, who somehow has pitched well against NY this year and in his career, Moyer and Lohse. The Phils will likely miss Maine (who has killed them the past 2 years). Plus, that All Star 2nd baseman comes back too, which won't hurt.

Hamels comes back in Florida next weekend, along with the other September callups.

Not a perfect scenario, but gotta take it right now.

Clay Condrey better be rested for tonight and/or tomorrow. He may get a bit of work (depending on whether the good Durbin or bad Durbin shows up).

question?? I know burrell has hit well in the 3 spot but wouldn't it be a better lineup if vic batted 2nd, gooch 3 and burrell 6...imagine all that speed in the front of the lineup! I know gooch doesn't have great power but it is decent..what do yous think?

madubbs: i agree, especially with nasty lowe going tonight.

that said, maybe they want to ease vic back in.

@madubbs -- my guess is that they are going to "ease" victorino "speed" situations... Plus Gooch is a MUCH better 2 hole hitter and not really a 3 hole candidate. If anything, I could see the Phillies going

Vic, Gooch, Rollins before Rollins, Vic, Gooch

Would it shock anyone if in two weeks on Sept. 1'st, Hammels elbow is still feeling tender? Selling tickets, based on the hopes of Cole coming back, to long suffering, Phillies fans, could play a part in the 2 week prognostication by the medical staff. Why tell us now that he is possibly out for the season if it could hurt at the gate? Conspiracy theory, yes. I for one, wouldn't put it past them (the front office) though.

Um, no. Gooch has no power lately ... .359 slugging in August with 5 doubles and no homers. Meanwhile, Burrell slugging .578 in August, higher than Rowand (.500) and Howard (.412).

elliot and mike c...very good points, but i think this line up with be absolutely lethal with all three of those guys at the front of the lineup, it would generate a lot of runs with their speed alone...maybe they might think about it once vic gets comfortable running on the leg again

I gotta believe that they know Victorino's value at the top half of the order. I am assuming that they want to ease him back in to test the leg, more as a precautionary measure than anything else.

I'm also beginning to think Iguchi's natural speed is being wasted. He's scored only 12 runs since being acquired (22 games) and attempted only 4 steals while the big bats behind him have been struggling. 'Course, that's just the stats talking ... I haven't been able to watch him play on a day-to-day basis on the West Coast.

Tell that hypochondriac Hamels to get his tochis back in the rotation.

If anything, they would move Vic back into the 2-hole and Gooch down in the lineup. Neither Victorino nor Gooch are legitimate 3-hole hitters.

I also like Gooch there because he is a much more patient hitter and can be more effective at moving runners. For now, I think Victorino is good where he is.

Once Utley gets back, and if they move Gooch to third (which I will not accept is off the table) then I expect a lineup like this:

Rollins
Victorino
Utley
Howard
Rowand
Burrell
Iguchi
Catcher
Pitcher

I think Iguchi's run scoring totals have more to do with the lack of RUN production from 3, 4, 5 than the lack of his "speed"

Update on Padre series....

Chris Young will not be able to make the start on Sunday (back problems). Look for Brave cast-off Wil Ledezma to get the start Sunday.

Moyer, Lohse (both with extra rest) and Kendrick versus Maddux, Hensley and probably Ledezma. Those look like good matchups on paper for the Phils.

ajc1 wrote: "I'm also beginning to think Iguchi's natural speed is being wasted."

I'm not sure where all this talk about Iguchi's "speed" comes from. He had a career high 15 steals in 2005 followed by 11 last year.

He's actually running MORE with the Phillies than he did with the White Sox (averaged a steal attempt every 10 games in Chicago compared to one ever 5.5 games with the Phils).

We are taking advantage of his "speed," it's just that it's not great. The rate at which he's scoring runs with the Phils hasn't dropped since joining us either. He had 45 runs in 90 games with the Sox and 12 runs in 22 games with the Phils. That rate would be even higher if the middle of the lineup were producing like it should.

Good news on the injury front but I am still dubious that Hamels will miss only 2 starts. Hamels is just too important to this franchise to rush back out there and risk serious injury. One thing I would rather have the Phils take their time and be sure he is healthy.

Also kind of surprised that Victorino is playing tonight. No way is 100% and I wonder how his leg injury is going to effect his defense and ball running. Imagine that Lopes and Co. will be fairly reluctant to have him stealing until he knows Victorino is healthy enough.

Mike - I agree. That's why I said his natural speed is being wasted. Since he's not hitting for power, I think he should be attempting more steals to get into scoring position - espeically with the power outtage behind him.

I don't know if this has been discussed before, but if the Phils plan on keeping Iguchi a few more years until Cardenas or some free agent successor is there to take over, what do you think of the Phils working on transitioning Utley to third. He puts up numbers comparable to a good 3rd baseman. I have no idea how he'd handle fielding the position.

Well, we can 'experiment' all we want to. I mean, Burrell played 3B in college, why don't they try him out there too. I mean, why not just open it up for anyone who wants to give it a go? You know, open try outs.

The best thing to do is see if anyone is better than what they have, in the off season, and look to sign a quality FA 3B'man. Besides A-Rod, who else might be available as a viable option? Please don't start a thread about bringing ARod here either. You got a better shot at getting Scott Rolen to come back.

I think Jeff Cirillo will be available as a FA 3rd baseman.

ajc1: As I said, I see little evidence of his "natural speed," and he is, in fact, stealing more with the Phils than he did with the White Sox.

Josh M: It was discussed on this list before, but it was pointed out that Chase struggled at third in the minors. Besides, why risk messing with your best player. The more reasonable option is to find a better third baseman. Also... Iguchi is not likely to return to the Phils next year.

I nominate the "Iguchi to 3rd" posts as possibly the most ridiculous and overhyped single point of discussion on this blog all year.

Hopefully, Iguchi starts one game at 3B when Utley returns, commits 3 errors, and we don't have read any more stories about moving Iguchi to 3B, Iguchi's arm strength as a 3B, and resigning Iguchi to play 3B next year.

Iguchi may have *some* natural speed; he stole over 40 bags twice in Japan. But the fact that he didn't steal more with the "little ball" White Sox means he has either lost a step, or that his speed didn't translate to the Majors.

And transitioning Utley to 3rd is a ridiculous idea. If you watch him play 2nd everyday, he has turned himself into an above average defender; at 3rd, he would be starting all over again.

If you want Iguchi in the lineup, play him at 3rd. The Kruker also seemed pretty certain that Iguchi would move to 3rd, but he may just be parroting Phillips. I have no real reason for saying this, but I feel confident Iguchi would be a better defensive 3B than both Dobbs and Helms.

MG, maybe you have posted on this before, but why is moving Iguchi to 3rd a ridiculous idea?

And there have certainly been many, many more ridiculous ideas on this board, like benching Howard, cutting Burrell and eating his salary, starting Chris Roberson, and, of course, moving Brett Myers to closer..oh wait!

Gotta agree with kdon...

Iguchi to third is not a ridiculous idea. It may turn out that he doesn't have the ability to do that, but Iguchi himself is quoted as saying he'd be up for it if asked once Chase returns.

With the questionable returns we've gotten from Nunez/Helms/Dobbs... it certainly can't hurt to give it a try. It will hardly wreck the season given how disasterous our current 3B platoon has performed.

CJ - you did a better job digging up stats than I did, and you proved my point better. I deferred to others who actually get to watch the games that Iguchi has some "natural" speed. I just don't see it in his stats. Furthermore, I don't see him as a top-of-the-order type guy. His OBP, steals and runs scored all seem inadequate for a guy hitting second.

The White Sox do not play "small ball". They have been consistently in the top 5 in the last 4 years in reliance on the home run to score runs. So that's irrelevant; also, moving Iguchi to 3rd is not totally ridiculous, but it won't happen. Why? He's not that good, for one. His first 10 games or so here were awesome, but his career numbers and his numbers in the last 2 weeks indicate not so much. Also, Charlie is gonna stay with his 3B platoon. Dobbs is a better hitter than Iguchi, Nunez is a good defensive third baseman, and Helms... well, Helms sucks. But I'd bet a lot that Iguchi doesn't play third; instead he just boosts our bench, which actually has turned out to be pretty good. If Hamels and Chase come back healthy, I like our chances in September.

kdon - Because Iguchi has only ever played 2B in MLB and was used sparingly at SS in Japan. Additionally, both Cholly and Gillick have downplayed the notion of moving Iguchi to 3B.

Yeah, 3B continues to a problem area for the Phils. I just don't understand how some posters think it is possible a guy for a who has never really played a position before to be expected to perform adequately in the middle of a playoff race. Maybe you make this move in spring training and see what happens but not at the end of August. Just plain foolish.

Phils will just have to live with a platoon of Dobbs/Helms and Nunez as a late-inning defensive replacement. Not ideal but the best the Phils have to offer until this offseason.

First of all Iguchi is not gonna make 3 errors - what is the concern is his throwing arm. I'm sure the front office and Cholly will look into this and if he can't make it there - then do not expect to see him there and he will be just a pinch hitter which is a shame.

At the risk of telling you all something you already know I'll do it anyway, just in case...

NEW YORK -- Right-hander Chris Young will miss his next scheduled start on Sunday, and he might be headed to the disabled list after experiencing tightness in his lower back during his start on Tuesday at Shea Stadium against the Mets.

ajc1: If the discussion is whether Iguchi is a prototypical 2-hole hitter... I agree, he's probably not the best answer for this lineup. I think with Utley out, he's a better option right now than Victorino.

When Utley returns, I'd move Vic back up, Burrell back down and Iguchi, if in the lineup would bat 7th or 8th.

My point about Iguchi's speed is that I think we ARE using it as much as we can. He doens't have great speed, but he can steal a base on occasion... which he's doing with the Phils with more frequency than he had done with the White Sox.

Well, even Howard can steal a base on occasion...

Iguchi saying he'd be willing to move to 3rd when Chase returns doesn't indicate that Iguchi has the ability to play third and play third well... it just means he wants a spot in the starting lineup.

Josh M: Sure... but if they suggested Iguchi pitch, you think he'd say the same thing? Besides, there was more context to the quote than I presented. It mentioned something about his time in Japan which made him believe he could do it.

I think Iguchi could have made that play.

"I just don't understand how some posters think it is possible a guy for a who has never really played a position before to be expected to perform adequately in the middle of a playoff race."

Like Manuel starting Joe Thurston in LF for 2 games last year during the playoff race ?

If Nunez was playing that would have been a DP.

If I was playing that would have been a DP.

CJ - agree 100%. Was bringing it up for the people suggesting Gooch should stay at the top of the order and to dissuade those who keep talking about his "speed."

This is the kind of stuff that pisses me off. Durbin should be out of this inning. Period.

Helms and Dobbs might as well be playing bare-handed at third.

ajc1: We're on the same page there. Gooch has been good for what we've needed (not great), but he is NOT a long-term answer at the top of our lineup.

man durbin got lucky there...up and in.

God damn Dobbs... cost us a run.

Not to mention Durbin can't catch a break on the check swing strike.

Nice defensive relay!

J-Roll for MVP.

no credit for Coste who made a catch and tag at same time?

Yes, he was the other end of the relay! Good execution all around saving the extra run.

I'm sure Barajas would have made the play too, it wasn't much.

(cue davthom)

If Barajas was playing he would have stepped back to back up the pitcher on that play at the plate.

It's so simple... you give extra outs and teams will take advantage of them.

Before the game, the Phils were given an "A" for "D" from the announcers. We have the third fewest errors in the league and lead the league in outfield assists.

Then Dobbs goes and boots a sure double play. It's so frustrating.

Thats two straight nights we couldn't get ethier out with a strike strike count

Again, MG, I can't see how Iguchi could be worse than Dobbs or Helms as a defensive player. If you simply watch him play defense, he clearly has the athleticism to play defense. You would also be moving him *down* the defensive spectrum, and the thirdbaseman easily has the fewes amount of responsibilities on the infield.

And Jack, you are just wrong about the White Sox. While I agree that there great offensive production was not the result of small ball, they DID try to play it, which is the only part that is relevant to my point.

Their leadoff hitter had 82 SB opportunities in 05, and they were second as a team in stolen base attempts that year. You are confusing two different points: how the SOx actually scored runs (longball) with how they they were trying to score runs (small ball). Given this point, I would say my argument is pretty damn relavant.

greg dobbs should die of gonorrhea and rot in hell.

I just wish bruceg were here to give up on the game. That always seems to get them fired up.

billyb, take it easy. at least let the guy try and redeem himself with the bat first.

Oh, and Jack, the White Sox ranking in the AL in Sac Bunts the last three years:

2005: (1)
2006: (3)
2007: (T-2)

Still don't think they try to play small ball?

The worst thing about the error isn't the free run, it's the extra 13 pitches Durbin had to throw. That means he pitches 1 less inning tonight.

So Dobbs has to do much more than produce 1 run before he's even breaking even.

Holy cow

I hope we get a hit at some point tonight.

Texans up on the Ravens 21-3 in the 8th inning...

Four groundouts and counting...

Ummm, another field goal - 24-3

Five...

Phillies can not hit sinker ball pitchers to save their lives...Sean Hill last week and now Lowe..no hits through three

What's tougher to watch--Dobbs screwing up a DP or those damned WB Mason commercials?

Derek Lowe is a machine. That's six groundouts out of nine.

When your pitcher is the only one close to getting a hit up to this point, should we be concerned?

Hey Kid, even if you turn off the sound, that bad mustache is really annoying, huh?

Ethier. New Phillie killer!!

Yeah, I think they have to work hard to make office supply commercials that irritating.

Renteria reinjured his ankle in his return for the Braves. Not that it matters much with the way his replacement Yunel Escobar has been hitting. Braves up, 1-0.

Piss poor AB's by Burrell and Howard. Can't say I was surprised

Are we still questioning J-Roll's defense? I sure hope not.

J-Roll is incredible. He is really taken for granted, and that's in large part due to his durability.

Can't agree more. Jimmy has been the one constant this year.

I'd love to get instant Vegas odds on the Phils moving Rowand over

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