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Thursday, February 28, 2008

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Isn't this also technically Kyle Kendrick's Spring Training debut?

Technically, it's all of their debuts. I made a special point of Savery since he's a first-round pick, mixing it up for the first time with the Phils.

Can't wait to see Rosario and Holdzkom as they duke it out for a roster spot. Add Savery and Outman to the mix and we have a great day of baseball ahead.

FYI: the new name is Bright House Field, sans Network.

I've said this before, but I'm very concerned about Kendrick this year. It's not just that I expect a drop-off; it's that I could easily envision him falling off the cliff completely. Admittedly, February games aren't exactly good predictors of anything (recall, for instance, that Hamels was awful during last year's ST). Still, when a pitcher gets lit up early in spring training, it can sometimes carry over into late spring training & even the season itself (See, i.e., Adam Eaton, 2007; Jon Lieber, 2006). This is even more true for a control pitcher like Kendrick because, if his confidence goes, there's not much left to his game. So I'd like to see him do at least reasonably well today.

Lineups

Phils
Rollins ss
Taguchi cf
Howard 1b
Feliz 3b
Jenkins rf
Werth lf
Dobbs dh
Ruiz c
Kendrick p

Pirates
Mclouth cf
Morgan lf
Nady rf
Doumit dh
Laroche 1b
Paulino c
Gomez 3b
Bixler ss
Wilson 2b
Dumatrait p

Lookin' for Linc!

It would be nice for him to get his head together and make the squad. If he could get some command he could be the real deal. (If he doesn't he could be the "Real Deal 2.")

Why don't we have a 2B in this game?

Forgot utley batting 3rd at 2b.

Billy Mac: Not to play on the old joke but, WHO'S ON SECOND? And is Feliz really hitting cleanup...even in ST that scares me.

Again its only ST, but why is Feliz hitting ahead of Werth

In regard to one topic on the last thread (Chollie's tendency to bat catchers 8th), I am not so upset by that. All things being equal, it's not a bad idea. If there's no reason to bump the catcher much higher (i.e. he can really rake), why not put him in a line-up spot where he has to bat a few less times a year? He's already gonna get more wear and tear than anyone else. Give him (what is it - 17 ABs?) more rest.

lekh: It scares me too. Even in ST, Cholly wouldn't bat Feliz 5th unless he has at least entertained the thought of doing it during the real season.

Three best reasons to pitch around Ryan Howard:

3 105 HRs in first two full seasons.
2 285 RBIs in first two full seasons
1 Pedro Feliz!

If Chollie starts Feliz 5th in the real season, I'll be watching Tampa Bay that night; it's the only way not to lose lunch.

"Why don't we have a 2B in this game?"

To keep things sporting?

Werth against lefties is at least a 150 ops improvement over Feliz.

It's going to be very interesting to see who gets the 5th spot in the rotation and remaining slots in the bullpen. Condrey, Blackley, Rosario, Darensbough, and Holdzkum are all fighting for their lives...competition in this case is good.

No Gorzelany today. 52 degrees with stiff wind blowing in.

There is reality and then there are Brian G posts: "If Ruiz's limited offensive skills improve then I'm sure he'll adjust the lineup accordingly."

Among the 16 NL catchers who had 300 or more plate appearances last season, Ruiz ranked 5th in OPS. In other words, offensively, Ruiz is in the upper third of everyday NL catchers.


Clout: Agreed that Ruiz is a pretty good NL catcher. But I believe the question had to do with the lineup order, so the real issue is how he compares to the rest of the lineup, not catchers on other teams, right?

If those lineups are correct, Feliz is betting cleanup. kdon will stand up and cheer!

Jack: The question that started this ball rolling was whether Ruiz should hit above or below Feliz. Brian G's statement was made in support of the notion that Ruiz should hit 8th, below Feliz (ie. Ruiz is so weak offensively that he needs to hit 8th).

Feliz went 2 for 2 yesterday.
Give him a chance to eff it up before you bury Cholly for batting him 5th in a GL game.

CrazyJon -
I'm not gonna bury Cholly for batting him 5th in a GL game.

But I am very, very afraid that he might do it in a MLB game.

And I would want to bury him for that.

As to Feliz going 2-2, hmmm.... I'd be more impressed, in ST, if Feliz walked twice. That would get me drinking kool-aid.

What's the OPS of someone that's 2 for 2?

Why is MLB.com doing maintenance at 1 pm today?
Didn't they just have 3 months where they could have done this?

CrazyJon - Need more information. Someone who hits two homers has an OPS different than someone who hits two singles.

Presumably, however, you were pointing out that 2 singles are better, OPS-wise, than 2 BBs. Yep. You're right. What Feliz needs to work on (and what is my chief concern about him in the line-up), however, is pitch selection. I would like to have some information demonstrating that he is working on laying off pitches. If he hits two singles on full-counts, that bodes better for the season than if he hit two first pitch singles.

In other words - in the small sample size demonstrated yesterday, Feliz' BABIP was 1.000. Do you expect that to continue into the regular season?

"What's the OPS of someone that's 2 for 2?"

We don't know.

We can't figure out the OBP, because we don't know if there was a sacrifice fly (which would lower the OBP) or a walk (which wouldn't impact a 1.000 OBP, but if there was a sacrifice fly, it would be relevant).

We can't figure out the SLG, because we don't know what type of hits they were.

Is the webcast down for anyone else?

From Conlin's column today:
"I scouted [Freddy Garcia] at the end of the 2006 season," Braves scout Jim Fregosi said over lunch yesterday at Bright House Field. "Here's a guy who always threw in the 90s, suddenly throwing low 80s. Something had to be wrong."


Yeah, webcast is down for everyone I think. Bummer.

Hawk: I thought a sac fly wasn't counted against batting average. If that's the case, is it counted against OBP?

Alby - Yes, for some reason, a sac fly is counted against OBP, but not against AVG, while a sac bunt is not counted against either one.

Webcast (audio, at least) is working with me, although it took a few tries.

My webcast came up just in time to hear LaRoche's home run.

webcast came on for me... just in time for a nice start of an inning!

Phillies..........Phever!

This must be a good inning. My live Box Score hasn't updated in awhile!

TJ - kinda frustrating, huh?

Clout: I've never heard someone argue about sports in the fashion that you do, as if they are in a political debate with a strongly vested interest in a particular position. So they put most of their emphasis on clever rhetoric or denigrating their opponent in order to win voters... and then answering a different question when Jack calls you on it.

On your post, I think Jack responded clearly. It doesn't matter if Ruiz is the best offensive catcher in the majors, if his OPS+ is 86 while being aided by 10 IBBs, then he is still limited offensively. Feliz is only marginally worse than him, and therefore it is inconsequential to our offense if Charlie chooses to consistenly put his young catcher 8th in the lineup in order to relieve him of pressure.

I must admit I'm a bit surprised by 3 Phillies pitchers going 3 innings so early in spring (Kendrick today and Moyer and Blackley yesterday). I though usually they starting only tossing 2 innings at a time.

Andy:
No kidding...Almost tempted to get the MLB radio, but they block streaming audio here, and Im worried that I'd pay the money for something I could't use.

For all the talk about Ruiz, he just doubled and scored on an RBI single by Rollins. MVP then scored on an Utley double. It's 2-1.

Gamecast took a dump on me, and I am guessing most of you, so here you go.

Dobbs single
Ruiz double, 2nd and 3rd
Rollins RBI groundout
Taguchi walk, 1st and 3rd
Utley RBI double, 2nd and 3rd
Howard 3-run shot, 5-1 Phils.

Phils scored at least 5 in the 3rd including a 3-r bomb by Howard....Feliz picked up another double, he's 2-2 again today!

oh and john maine got shelled......

Oh wait.

THREE RUN BOMB RYAN HOWARD.

5-1. Yay!

Feliz is 4 for 4 in spring training. It's time for us all to apologize. Feliz is the 2nd coming of Mike Schmidt and Gillick was brilliant for picking him up.

well, i guess the kid ain't ready yet

I was very harsh about the signing of Feliz, but I'm not going to bash him until he "earns" that. There is the possibility that he is rejuvienated by the Phils lineup and ballpark and puts up #'s above his career line while playing stellar defense...that's better than anything else we've had at 3rd base in a long time. Now if he falters horribly and puts up a line offensively like he did last season, then yes bring on the rants and boos, but lets at least give this guy a shot because he's with us like it or not.

Brian G: My point was that your statement about Ruiz was ridiculous and proved false by the facts. This statement is equally false: "Feliz is only marginally worse than him"

Ruiz beats Feliz in virtually every offensive category except HRs. I'd say that's more than "marginally", wouldn't you?

Brian G: Another hilarious statement:
"Charlie chooses to consistenly put his young catcher 8th in the lineup in order to relieve him of pressure."

Yep, batting 7th for a player in his third year in the big leagues would be awesome pressure! Good thing Cholly has him 8th where he can relax and not feel like the entire offense is up to him!

Wow, Savery got lit up big time...6-5 buccos

Carson - as I have said, I'm drinking the kool-aid for that very reason. But I'm not going ga-ga over him until the regular season. Lots of guys rake in ST only to fall back to career norms beginning April 1.

I love this Spring Training so far. Howard practicing for his 60 HR season, Utley practicing for his forthcoming MLB record for doubles, and, er, Savery posting a 45.00 ERA.

Don't think we'll be seeing Savery in that 5 slot any time soon.

Actually, I think I like Ruiz 8th and Feliz 7th, because I would prefer having a guy bat 8th who is more likely to take the walk or get on base and, (as Chris Wheeler would definitely remind us in that situation), "turn the lineup over.."

Oh well. I guess we can rule out Joe Savery as the mid-season call-up who is going to save our pitching staff.

Tim - exactly.

Even though Savery got lit up, he would have never been pitching against an MLB team in spring training this year had the Phils/FL St. game not been rained out. And he did get 2 strikeouts in 1 innings work despite the 5 runs he gave up. I'm glad that Kendrick did well (except for the Adam LaRoche Homer) although it is only Spring Training.

Clout: What "facts" proved my assertion wrong? Please let me know. And I'm assuming the assertion is that "Ruiz is limited offensively". I'm speaking relative to other hitters on the Phillies as well as the league as a whole, which is the only relevant point when debating where he should hit in our lineup or how good a hitter he is overall. His comparison to other catchers is irrelevant to that discussion.

As far as his comparison to Feliz, we're talking about an OPS+ of 86 vs 81 (which some might argue is "marginal" already, at least when considering lineup construction), but then when you take out Ruiz's 10 IBBs, which I'd assume he only got bc the pitcher was behind him, I'd imagine that OPS+ would quickly become the same.
(get ready everyone for the "I'm obviously wrong on this one but I'll stubbornly refuse to admit it" version of clout)

So...anyone out there able to say how many pitches Feliz is watching before he mashes everything? (I'm hoping, against all rational thought, that he's seeing 4 or 5 P/PA and waiting for the right pitch and that's why he's doing so well.)
(The Giants, after all, thought of him as a .280 BA, 40 HR guy when they drafted him.)
(That's the kool-aid talking; but who knows, maybe by mid-season, I'll be lovin' me some bright red, funny-face-pitcher, icy-cold, fake-raspberry-flavored, secret-ingredient-enriched, capital K, Kool-aid.)

I wouldn't worry at all about Savery getting lit. He may be in Reading by the end of the year, if he pitches well. Next year is the year we talk about him coming up maybe by July. There's Outman, Happ and Carrasco ahead of him, and probably Carpenter as well.

If Savery is in Reading by the end of the year, I'll be more than mildly surprised.

Bruntlett in CF?

"Bruntlett in CF?"

I remember hearing from somewhere (it may have been during the broadcast from yesterday's game) that some scouts said that Bruntlett might have been the best CF on the Astros roster last year. No clue on if that's accurate or not (or where I heard it, for that matter).

Brian G: Apparently you didn't read my post so I'll repeat it: Ruiz beats Feliz in virtually every offensive category except HRs. I'd say that's more than "marginally", wouldn't you?


Savory was not very savory today!

I don't know, LF; the Buccos ate him right up.

Can Savery play 3rd base?/sarcasm

I meant:

Savery was not very savory today!

clout/Brian - you're arguing the wrong point. Neither one of the two lit things up (although Ruiz will probably do better this year, while Feliz will not; I refer to the way every predictive statistical mechanism has Ruiz improving, while Feliz wallowing around .235.). There are better hitters than each of them in every other position. Therefore they will be the 7 and 8 hitters.

The question, then, is how will batting 8th influence Feliz' ability to hit? I surmise, from his desire to swing at every ball pitched (and many, evidently that have not yet been), that Feliz will be a less than ideal 8th batter. I do not want the opposing pitcher trying to pitch around him only to fail by pop-out.

ahhh I come back from a late lunch to find no 1210 broadcast and mlb.com crappin out. What gives. Word is Savery gets rocked??

We can bring Savery in as a late inning defensive replacement at first base. He may have some power in his bat. I think this pick will be an injury gamble that crapped out.

was savery really that bad? was he even using all his pitches? I wouldn't put an ounce of significance into this unless he was all over the place, couldn't break 86 mph and his pitches didn't move.

Clout: No, I wouldn't say that. If you are only better by a small amount in every category, it's still marginal. Regardless of what "virtually every offensive category" entails(and what does it entail?).
It also helps that Ruiz played his home games at CBP and bats 8th(the IBBs).

Besides, I never knew you were a "virtually every offensive category" guy, always though you were an OPS+ guy. Because, as you have stated a million times, OPS+ is the best measure of overall offensive performance. Ruiz has only a marginally higher OPS+ than Feliz.. therefore the difference between the two is marginal.

Savery is the most inexperienced player in Major League camp.

Has Savery even pitched more than 4 minor league innings?

LFred, two things.
1) Savery does have pop in his bat. No question about it.

2) I am not down on him as a pitcher at all. He's just not ready for the majors. He's in camp to get experience. He got some today.

Looks like Rosario is...

um


Rosario.

Time for the Out-Man to get a few.

If Savery has Eaton-like pop in his bat there may be a place in the rotation for him yet!

Obviously anyone can have a bad day & he has hardly any minor league experience . . . but still, If a guy is a top prospect, I'd expect better than 1 inning, 5 earned runs allowed. It's not like Savery is an 18-year old fresh out of high school. He's 22 & from a major college program.

That's not to say that, because of 1 inning of work, he's no longer a top prospect. But do I think less of his major league prospects now than I did 2 hours ago? I have to say yes.

@bap -- I've missed your optimism

Brian G: OK, if you say so. And he doesn't have to sweat the high pressure of hitting 7th! LOL

So far today the Phils pitchers have missed a lot of bats.


They've hit a lot of 'em too.

Clout: I'd move him to 9th if I could.

Brian G: Clout did use OPS+ as the only measure of Feliz's offense when he was ripping Feliz a couple weeks ago. Now he doesn't want to use OPS+? That seems mighty convenient for him. But then again, this is what Clout does. For what its worth, I think you've made your point.

(Here's where Clout paints me as a Feliz lover and an apologist for management)

Everyone relax about Savery. He just threw his first inning against major league competition. If we were counting on him this year, then we were screwed in the first place. 2 of the 3 outs he got WERE strikeouts, which is a good sign...

Clout: I'm not sure why you insist on arguing there is much of a difference between Feliz and Ruiz offensively. Ruiz is better at getting on base, and Feliz has more power. Ruiz is a marginally better offensive player, albeit one who is also younger and less experienced and thus might be capable of breaking out more. I know that you hate Feliz, but it seems pretty obvious to most people that there really isn't much of a difference in who bats 7th and who bats 8th. What do you see differently?

Andy, I, too, am an optomist about the Phils this season. Savery will have his good days, just not today.

Looks like Outman got bombed too.

Jack: I'm relaxed about Savery. I'm quite aware that he's totally inexperienced and could not possibly be expected to be on the major league squad until at least 2010. And there could be plenty of reasonable explanations for his performance today. He might have been nervous. He might have just had a bad day. He might need to develop a greater repertoire of pitches in order to fool major league hitters. He might need to gain greater command of his pitches in order to be effective.

I'm merely stating an abstract proposition: that, on an average day, I would expect considerably better than 1 inning, 5 runs from a top prospect who is 22 years old & played 3 years at a major college program. If he pitches again & puts up a similar performance, I would be prepared to say that it's more likely than not that he'll never be a decent major league pitcher. That's not to say it would be impossible, just not likely.

Geoff Geary got taken deep by ..... Danny Sandoval.. Geary was smoked for 6 hits, 4 runs in one inning vs. the Tribe

Welcome to the Ed Wade era .. lol

Rob: Thanks for the heads-up. That could be tomorrow's headline.

Savery pitched 26 1/3 innings at Williamsport last year.

Mike: I plead guilty to being eternally pessimistic. It comes from years & years of being a Phillies fan. But, hey, I'm not as bad as bruceg.

bap: Give the kid a break. Even if he has a terrible first half of 2008, it is way too soon to draw any fatal conclusions about Savery.

Outman's day is more disappointing because there were rumblings that he might be ready to make the leap this season. Still, it is way too early to count him out.

Jenkins is hitting .167! WTF!*

*Sarcasm intended.

I love the bitching already, two "games" in. This season is going to be more fun on Beerleaguer than last, which I didn't think was possible.

Ok where was burrell? at the bar already???

xfactor: Did I draw any factual conclusions? I said I would have expected better from a 22-year old with 3 years of major college experience. I then allowed for all kinds of possible explanations for why he could have had a bad day.

Yes, he's very, very inexperienced, but if today is a reflection of his present abilities then, even under the rosiest assumptions about his future learning curve, he's a good 5 years away from the majors. The fact is, the vast majority of highly touted prospects DON'T turn into good major league players. Until I see evidence to the contrary -- and I sure didn't see it today -- I operate on the assumption that Savery probably falls into this category.

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