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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Comments

From last thread-
I truly believe this club is just as good if not better than last season's. If Lidge can handle closer full-time again, we're much improved because of Myers being back in the rotation. The defense is better in the infield, and our outfield will miss Rowand but we've got depth there now. Chad Durbin and Kris Benson are sexy names (Anna Benson is though) but they'll help most likely.

Carson - the defense may be better in the OF, too.

But the offense took a hit when they added Feliz. His OBP and BABIP are close to a good-hitting pitcher's. And he just about always puts it into play by the third pitch.

Incidently: Happy P&C Day!

Anyone else find the link to the broadcast to be faulty?

it's funny how P&C coincides with V-Day. My wife isn't doing cartwheels as she knows that today is the day I officially become a lunatic, not that I am a non-lunatic 365 days a year. Now it's official.

Goodluck on '08, Phils & Beerleaguer.

Oh, and Mrs. Reed, happy Valentine's Day (insert signature Nelson from Simpsons laugh)

following up with Kris Benson... a quick google search uncovered this from a 2004 article on slate.com

"But if pitchers with torn labrums were horses, they'd be destroyed. Of the 36 major-league hurlers diagnosed with labrum tears in the last five years, only midlevel reliever Rocky Biddle has returned to his previous level. Think about that when your favorite pitcher comes down with labrum trouble: He has a 3 percent chance of becoming Rocky Biddle. More likely, he'll turn into Mike Harkey, Robert Person, or Jim Parque, pitchers who lost stamina and velocity—and a major-league career—when their labrums began to fray." http://www.slate.com/id/2100895/

the robert person mention is particularly painful

From the "No {Stuff}, Sherlock" Department -

Rotoworld just posted this revelatory statement:
"Manager John McLaren announced Wednesday that Erik Bedard will be the Mariners' Opening Day starter."

Wouldn'a guessed that!

Andy: You know that BABIP isn't supposed to be used as a measure of a hitter's skill, right?

Jack -
If you put one of the first three pitches into play, it needs to be. Otherwise you're swinging at stuff that you're not able to handle.

Did the audio link work for anyone? That's Reading Eagle for you.

BABIP is used mainly to measure luck, not skill. The only players who can consistently post a high BABIP are speed players like Ichiro because they have a natural ability to make hits out of balls in play, using their speed. The large majority of players will have a BABIP around .280-.300.

Ryan Howard had a very high BABIP of .363 in 2006, which contributed to him hitting .313 overall. This is why last year's big drop in batting average was not unexpected. His BABIP regressed to normal levels, and his BA dropped accordingly.

I don't think BABIP means what you think it means.

It's essentially used, when discussing hitters, as a tool to measure whether someone's BA was sustainable or whether it was a fluke. It's not a measure of skill.

Oh man, Robert Person.

Andy, I think I get your point- that he plays like a slap hitter without the skills to back that up. That's fair enough.

Jack, that's true in general. But if someone has a consistently low BABIP over the course of their career, it's likely bc they are good at making contact and putting the ball in play, but don't do it with much power or don't square the ball well. The stat isn't based solely on luck.
It's kind of like how, if there was a man on first and under two outs, I always wanted Nunez to strike out bc the other possibility was a double play grounder to the 2bmen.

Brian G: Agreed on Nunez. You're right that a batter establishes a baseline level of BABIP, and it does depend on a batter's skill set. That said, I think Feliz's OBP "prowess" more than demonstrates his one skill- making outs. BABIP, while not necessarily a total measure of luck, is also not a discernible skill.

Good piece in the Daily News today from Paul Hagen summing up the Phils' offseason. Nothing surprising to readers of this blog, but it shows the media is not in the tank.

Sorry it's Marcus Hayes, who I believe has been a whipping boy here at times, but on the rotation, bullpen and Ped-ro Feliz he is in line with the Beerleaguer CW.

Jack - I was heading out so I had one other thought to add.

There is a great deal of difference between month to month or even season to season BABIP and career BABIP. I know BABIP in-season or year to year is used as a measure of luck (and particularly with regard to pitchers). But career BABIP, with a large sample size, is another matter. Someone who has played as a regular for several seasons and has a career BABIP under .270 is, simply, a poor hitter. If I were clout I'd challenge you to name someone with a career BABIP under .270 who is regarded as a good hitter; but we all know, without looking, that there is no one.

I also believe that career BABIP has to be viewed with a nuanced perspective and balanced with other stats. A player might have a substantially decent career BABIP, but might not be that great because he strikes out A LOT. I wonder, for instance, what Gorman Thomas' career BABIP is. I'll have to go look.

Feliz's BABIP indicates that his swing (and pitch selection) probably sucks. The reason its so consistently low is because a large % of his fly balls are infield flies, probably the most worthless of any type of hit. He also has a below average line drive % (the most valuable of any GB/FB/LD) which means that his batting average is low. Someone who hits a lot of grounders, hits a lot of infield flies, and has a low LD% will have a low BABIP no matter what.

I don't expect a collapse from Kendrick, I'll be surprised if he does. Isn't the best predictor of success at the ML level....success at the ML level? Who cares what he did in the Minors? It's not like he had a month of good starts...he was dependable for what, like 4 months after he as called up? The only times he was blown up was by the Rox. Whether he's a 3, 4, or 5 starter is a valid question.

Moving on ...If Kris Benson is on the team at some point, yeah his wife is hot, but a big pain in the ass...a loud-mouth with no class. That's at least part of why the Mets dumped him. We need the good clubhouse chemistry to continue.

Jack,
I have to print a minor retraction. Some of those TTO guys do have really low career BABIPs. Kingman, for instance, hovers around .250ish land. I'm sure there are people who would consider him a "good hitter," (or at least someone "with pop").

Still - when viewed alongside his OBP and SLG, Feliz's BABIP gives a very good statistical picture of what's going on when he come to bat: poor pitch selection, fueled by his need to swing-swing-swing, followed by a lot of poorly hit balls which are easy to field. Luck does not play much of a part in how he does.

control- i agree with you on Kendrick. he's a pitcher who lets batters put the ball in play. as long as the defense behind him is solid, he's a solid pitcher. that's the difference between his AA and mlb stats.

on Feliz though i have a question... could his swing and batting eye improve under the instruction of Milt and Uncle Cholly? they do seem to make hitters out of guys you expected nothing from (Werth comes to mind)...

and, last one, where in the hell do people think Lohse winds up? i can't believe he'd seriously sit out the season. is he waiting now for teams to run into injury trouble in ST to increase his bargaining leverage?

Andy: You're generally right about BABIP, because line-drive hitters are favored when it comes to putting up career BABIP numbers, and they are, of course, usually the best hitters (Chase Utley and Todd Helton come to mind). I think we both understand what the other is saying- I was used to using BABIP as a way to compare small sample sizes and see if they are indicitave of sustainable success, and you were using it as a career indicator of hitting ability.

Since I'm in the mood to nitpick though, I will note that Gorman Thomas wasn't THAT bad of a player, and that most of his negatives came not from his strikeouts but from his lack of walks and his surprisingly low career SLG of .448. Ryan Howard and Adam Dunn, for example, both strike out a TON and hit a lot of homers, but also walk a lot and have SLG %'s that are much higher (Dunn .519 and Howard .610). Just a small point though, I only bring it up because people tend to overrate the negative value of strikeouts. Productive outs happen less often than people think they do; in most cases, a K is the same thing as any other out.

Cube and Control: While Kendrick has many strong attributes, and he was great for us down the strecth, I think you guys are expecting a lot if you don't expect some sort of regression. Hopefully I will be wrong.

In the meantime, please find me one good pitcher with a lower K/9 rate than Kendrick (3.6).

Here is an indicator of why K rate matters:

Top 5 starters by K rate last year in the NL (100 IP+):

Peavy
Lincecum
Hamels
Chris Young
Smoltz

Bottom 5 starters by K rate last year:
Zach Duke
Mike Bascik
Aaron Cook
Brad Thompson
Kyle Kendrick

Well, you might say, Aaron Cook is a good pitcher, and so is Tom Glavine, who wasn't far from Kendrick on the K rate list (4.1 per game). However, Glavine had an overall bad year last year and is over 40 and most likely will be a serious below-average pitcher this year (his career K rate is a much better 5.4).

Also, Aaron Cook is a great groundball pitcher, with a 57 % GB ratio. Kendrick, despite what we have been led to believe, is only a decent GB pitcher, with a 47% ration, behind the likes of Ryan Madson, J.D. Durbin, Tom Gordon and Geoff Geary.

All of these are reasons why I believe Kendrick simply does not have the stuff required to be anything more than a competent #4 or #5 starter. Like I said, I seriously hope that I am wrong.

BABIP does not include HRs, does it?

Jack: You need to look at Kendrick's breakdown vs. LH and RH. His numbers vs. righties are excellent and his K rate is nearly double what it is vs. LH. His problem isn't K rate. His problem is getting a breaking pitch that lefties will chase. If his numbers were more balanced I'd be a lot more worried about regression.

"In the meantime, please find me one good pitcher with a lower K/9 rate than Kendrick (3.6)."

In 2006, Chien-Ming Wang had a K/9 rate of 3.14, with an ERA+ of 124 over 218 IP.

"BABIP does not include HRs, does it?"

No.

The formula is (H-HR) / (AB-K-HR+SF)

Two pitchers at age 22:

Kyle Kendrick

W L IP Hits R ER SO BB ERA WHIP
10 4 121 129 53 52 49 25 3.87 1.273

Pitcher 2

W L IP Hits R ER SO BB ERA WHIP
10 7 136 149 73 60 72 51 3.97 1.471

Pithcer 2 is John Denny.

I'm not saying that Kendrick is the next John Denny ... but it's a little early to say all he is capable of being is a #4 or #5 starter.

stjoehawk: Good example. Another guy with a pretty extreme lefty/righty split.

Just read that our old pal Gavin Floyd is out of options and the ChiSox may look to move him. Just throwing it out there, but any interest in bringing him back as a possible long guy out of the pen? Probably not.

The Hayes article wasn't too bad. It touched on many of the points that we discuss ad nauseum.

Just curious to check the pulse of the Beerleaguer Phaithful, do we really buy the assertion that Cholly's contract situation played a role in how miserably they came out of ST last year? If so, how do you explain the start of 2006?

JMARR: I understand your point about Kendrick. Obviously, there's no way to know with certainty what his upside might be. He could develop another pitch. He could substantially improve his current repertoire of pitches. Who knows?

Of course, he could also go exactly the opposite way like, say, Marty Bystrom or Pat Combs or Bruce Ruffin or Charles Hudson. All of these guys were as young, or nearly as young, as Kendrick when they had solid rookie years. None of them was ever able to duplicate that rookie success.

It goes without saying that Kendrick has earned the right to be in the starting rotation this year. But I would temper my expectations. He is certainly the betting favorite to be 2008's biggest Phillies flop.

Its possible for someone with a real poor K rate to succeed. Kendrick just can't walk anyone. While a strikeout-heavy K/BB ratio is better than a control-heavy one, a good ratio is still a good ratio. Players like Paul Byrd or Carlos Silva barely strike anyone out and don't necessarily have sky-high GB rates like Wang does. If he keeps his walks at the level he did last year (as opposed to the rest of his career) he should be OK. If it goes back up to around 3 like in the minors, its going to be a very rough year for him.

JMARR: A decent comparision, but I'd like to look at Denny's minor league numbers before I jumped to any conclusions.

Stjoehawk: Also a good comparision (Chien-Ming Wang) and one that I figured would be brought up. Kendrick has nowhere near the ground-ball prowess that Wang does. Also, Wang has improved his K rate every year in the league. If Kendrick can do this, he will certainly have a good chance of keeping up his success. If he doesn't, he will not.

Clout: So can we just platoon Kendrick with a guy who can get lefties out?

Didn't work for me, Weitzel.

Great new header logo with the palm trees!

The Lake Fred Bear awakes from his winter hibernation as the first stirrings of baseball season begins.

My boss is taking tomorrow off as he drives his son, Marcus Gwyn, to the airport tomorrow. Marcus is a non-roster invitee relief pitcher with the Florida Marlins. He had a short taste with the Angels last season. He figures he has a better chance of making it with the Fish. I hope he makes it.

Happy Spring Training Everyone!!!

I love every one of you!

Jack: You had the same immediate though I did, when it came to JMARR's comparison. Denny's overall minor league numbers were 39-35, 3.18 with a WHIP of 1.31. Kendrick's were 26-44, 4.28 with a WHIP of 1.39. So Denny's were decidedly better.

I would note too that Denny followed up that solid rookie year with a much, much better year, in which he won the NL ERA title. So, let's see how Kendrick does this year. If he puts up another solid season, it will largely put all the skepticism to rest.

Jack: HA!!! That was funny.

I'm not sure what it is, but the mood on Beerleaguer seems pretty good today. It's either the Benson signing or the fact that pitchers and catchers reported. I'd tend to believe it's the latter.

Or maybe we're a bunch of hopeless romantics on Valentine's Day.

BAP - Just asking, even though I agree with you. How long do we need to see if Kendrick regresses to the mean? Would 18 starts suffice, or are you sticking with the whole season?

47% for a GB/FB is above average, and a key stat for pitching in CBP. Put it this way, I'd rather Kendrick's 47% GB/FB in CBP half the time than Lincenum's 47% GB/FB in San Francisco half the time.

You forgot to mention one stat with Denny:

HR

Denny, 5 in 136 IP
Kendrick, 16 in 121 IP

The problem with comparing Kendrick to Denny (or Wang) is that you basically have to one of two things: strike people out or be an *extreme* GB pitcher.

Kendrick is neither really, but I think his K-rate should improve, based on minor league numbers.

Denny was a fascinating pitcher, a 140 ERA+ with a 1/1 K/BB ratio (1976) is insane!

And twice after that, he walked more batters than he struck out in a season. That '83 Cy Young (and Denny) is one of the biggest WTF out there.

Unfortunately, for every Denny, there are about 40 pitchers with peripherals like Kendrick who wash out of the league.

Final point:

Denny allowed 13 unearned runs his rookie year, while Kendrick only allowed 1.

This may seem good, but actually it means that Denny basically just got lucky and should have had a higher ERA than he did.
To maintain his ERA, he had to become a better pitcher.

Same with Kendrick. I think I can pretty much guarantee he won't beat his fielding independent ERA by a full run again.

There is no way of knowing whether Kendrick will regress. So there is no point to discussing "if" at the moment. The same can be said of a lot of pitchers on a lot of teams.

I mean Eaton could very well have a better year than last of it could be just a bad. What needs to be done is this get a little more depth for the rotation (Lohse) and for the 'pen (??). Put the best staff together the buget will allow. Do that and great things can happen.

Pitching can be very iffy. Right now I think Hamels and Myers match up well with Santana and Martinez. Of course that is assuming they pitch like they're capable of. I don't know about the rest of the starters. Kendrick may imorove he may not. Moyer can win 14 games or lose 18. He's 45. Benson? Not gonna be ready. If and when he is, he can help. Let's get what we need and see what happens.

Right now too much chatter here is based on stats, projections, this and that. In '72 Carlton had the best year I've have ever seen a pitcher have. Two years before that he won only 10. In '73 he lost 20. In '74 he came back to win 16. Very streaky. That's what happens sometimes. Things change year to year.

"There is no way of knowing whether Kendrick will regress."

Sure, there is no way of knowing, but there are plenty of ways to approach the question.

If you chose to approach it by throwing your hands up in the air, be my guest.

"Right now too much chatter here is based on stats, projections, this and that."

And trust me DPatrone...there are *plenty* of places you can go if you don't want to deal with all of this.

I think WIP has an open line right now!

Keith Law picked us to win the Wild Card, sort of:

Jacob (Amherst): Top 5 NL teams for next year? I say 1. D'Backs 2. Rockies 3. Mets 4. Phillies 5. Cubs

Keith Law: 1. Mets 2. Cubs 3. Snakes 4. Phillies 5. Dodgers

We could use more of this:

"Kendrick may imorove he may not."

I'll have to say, the great thing about Santana going to the Mets is now the Mets are everyone's pick to win the East again. The Phils don't have to worry about targets or stress or etc. (if all of that is real in the first place).

Enjoy the warm, spring air, boys.

Mike H: Obviously, I can't give you a bright-line number. When a pitcher is slumping, it's always difficult to know when to wait it out & see if he improves, & when to cut bait and send him to the minors or the DL.

Clearly, Kendrick earned himself considerable leeway with his strong rookie season. If he gets off to, say, an 0-5 start with a 6+ ERA, I still think you need to stick with him because he has proven himself capable of much better. But if June rolls around & he has an ERA well north of 5.00, then I think you definitely have to start thinking about alternatives -- whether it be Benson or Outman or Happ. By the way, I don't mean to be picking on Kendrick. I would apply the same logic for Moyer and Eaton and even Myers, all of whom have some serious question marks. Among the starters, only Cole has earned the right to go 0-20, without being pulled from the starting rotation.

kdon - good stuff...

You know you're a Phillies geek when cautious optimism turns into giddy spending because of P&C Day. Pitchers and Catchers finally got me excited enough to pull the trigger on a Sunday package and a Mitch Williams jersey. GO PHILS!

That was exactly a very good article by Hagen today. Did a nice job of recapping this offseason and asked some tough questions. The only thing I really disagree is about Rowand.

The Phils will certainly miss Rowand's production from last year but I highly doubt that Rowand would have put similiar numers again this year. In fact, there is an outside chance that Victorino actually puts up better numbers than Rowand this year if he stays healthy.

I could easy see Rowand's power numbers taking a slight hit in SF. Plus, Rowand will be hitting in arguably the worst lineup in MLB this year. I could easy see Rowand only hitting .270-.280 with 15-18 HRs. Nice season but nothing to write home about.

Plus, Rowand's defense was overrated. There is no way he should have won the Gold Glove (argualby the most bogus award in baseball) last year. Below average arm and didn't quite have the range that was supposedly advertised. Maybe Rowand did really help position the OF. That I don't know but Rowand certainly didn't always take the best route to ball himself.

The biggest issue with the Phils' OF is the platoon in RF. Hopefully the Phils didn't sign a lemon in Jenkins and Cholly utilizes his depth in the proper matter (pretty unlikely).

I am actually pretty optimistic on Werth. If not overexposed by playing everyday, Werth can ve a very valuable asset. In fact, he is one of the better reserve OFs in the NL. Proved to be a much better player than I thought he would be last year and arguably one of Gillick's best moves since he became GM.

Rowand won the Gold Glove?? I had no idea. They should really just stop giving that award out, clearly all the voters just listen to what Tim McCarver says and vote accordingly. I don't think any award in sport is so consistently given to the wrong players.

The Race to 100 wins PHINALLY begins. Heres to a incredible season and Anna Benson in a bikini!!

Kendrick was extremely poised for a rookie without fabulous stuff last year in the middle of a unforgetable playoff chase.

Jimmy Rollins got the MVP with his prediction but his performace backed up his mouth. However without Kendrick there would have been no award nor playoffs.

KK's desire, confidence, and competitiveness cannot be questioned.

I'll bet being pulled in the ROX series and keenly aware of all the skeptics that he will find a way to be as good if not better than last year.

Too bad we cannot put his heart and head in JD Durbin's or Eaton's body.

BAP, Once again, I agree.

Didn't Carlton lose 20 in 1973 because of all the drinking he did in the offseason? It was after the mid-70s that he began Zen training, rice barrels, and all that. Somehow I remember this from ESPN Classic's piece on him.

Kdon~

Not trying to get on anyone's case. Merely commenting on something like this and am papaphrasing: "Well, Eaton sucks, he makes too much money, they were nuts for signing him etc."

All valid points. But what if he's healthy this year and wins 15? IF that happens then 8 million is a bargin. Two cases in point: 1 Masusaka I think won 15 last year. Look who he's pitching for. Would he have won 15 for the Royals? Impossible to say. 2: A lot of people wanted to see Kuroda here, myself included. Has anyone in the US ever seen him pitch? How do we know he won't go 10-10 like Eaton did? We don't. Look at Zito, 17 million I think for 11 wins. So on paper Eaton looked better than Zito as far as wins for $$ paid. That's all I'm trying to say. We hope things will will out. If they do, it'll be a fun season.

KDon~ And I'm not throwing my hands in the air. But stats sometimes ddo not tell the whole story.

Look at Zito, 17 million I think for 11 wins. So on paper Eaton looked better than Zito as far as wins for $$ paid.

I know the season hasn't even started yet, but this has to be a frontrunner for the coveted Most Tortured Attempt to Apply Logic to Baseball award.

Wins per $$ paid. If that's not a relevant stat, I don't know what is. So, I guess Eaton WASN'T the worst SP in all of baseball last year. Who knew?

DPatrone: Stats are a useful tool for analyzing strengths and weaknesses and making projections.

What puzzles me is everyone here is ignoring the big righty/lefty differential in Kendrick's stats. Looking at his overall stats and concluding he doesn't have much stuff or can't repeat what he did last season while ignoring his excellent numbers vs. righties is just silly. You'd have way more grounds to doubt him if hitters on both sides of the plate hit him equally well.

DPatrone: Stats don't tell the story, specifically when it comes to wins and losses. For a starting pitcher, they are not a good measure of their contributions. Sure, Kendrick could win 20 games. Or he could lose 20 games. Who knows, right?

But since there's not a whole lot to talk about otherwise, some of us want to talk about the Phillies. So we're talking about Kendrick. And my take on Kendrick is that based on a lot of historical evidence, he's due to regress from a 10-4 record and a 3.87 ERA. I hate betting against a Phillie, and I would never do it with money, but if I was being objective, I would bet any stakes you wanted that Kendrick finishes with a higher ERA this year.

Don't compare JD Durbin with Adam Eaton. Durbin is a fierce competitor, but he's flukey and inconsistent. Eaton has great stuff, but no heart. They're almost opposites. The one thing they have in common is that neither is worth discussing.

Speaking of not worth discussing, anyone know how contracts work on rule 5 picks? Do they go on waivers if they don't make the 25 man roster?

What if, and this is a HUGE IF, Holdzkom and Blackley both impressed in Clearwater? The Phillies couldn't send them to Allentown, right? Could they send them down later?

This scenario isn't completely far fetched. If a starting pitcher gets dinged up(they always do) and Eaton gets shelled all Spring, Travis Blackley could start this season as our #5 starter.

Holdzkom was very effective toward the end of last season, and could easily beat out guys like Clay Condrey, JD Durbin and Joe Bisenius for a spot in the bullpen.
Consider this- the Red Sox released JC Romero before they released Lincoln Holtzkom.

Both our rule 5 picks were top prospects before they got hurt, and pitched well toward the end of last year. Given the poor quality of our pitching, I wouldn't be completely shocked if both stuck around.

If this much is true:

Travis Blackley > JA Happ, JD Durbin, Youman
Lincoln Holdzkom > Joe Bisenius, Clay Condrey

they could both make the squad, especially since Mathieson's shoulder still hurts.

Clout: He faces a lot of lefthanders. Like I said before, do you have a platoon partner for his starts?

DPatrone - What kind of Bizarro logic are you using about Eaton? If anything, Eaton should be thankful that we even won 10 games last year given his horrendous performance.

I would be thrilled if Eaton even gave the Phils pretty pedestrian stats out of the 5th starter spot (say 10 wins but much bigger peripheal stats of 4.75 ERA and WHIP of 1.4 that would allow the Phils to pick up).

AE~

Not trying to apply logic. Just saying that Zito got a whole lot more money than Eaton for 1 more win. That's not logic. That's fact. And the only thing I'm saying is that we do know what is going to happen with any player. All we can do is speculate and debate. That's it. And too many people worry about stats and money. I'd love to see Loshe come back. But at what price does it become unreasonable? Or what's reasonable for that matter? Everyone says Eaton was a bad signing. And that's true for now. But he basically got maybe a little more than the new going rate I guess. I'm not a GM. If for instance PG signs Loshe to the same 3/24 and he goes out and wins 10. Is that good or bad? If it's good, why so? If it's bad, why?
He could pitch 160 to 180 innings and still only win 10. If that's the case is he worth the money or not? I don't know. Does anyone?

I like clout's optimism about Kendrick.

Kendrick is so very very crucial to the collective strength of our rotation, far more than Eaton and Moyer, in my opinion.

Looking back, it is really amazing the motley crew of starters the Phils threw out there during the course of last season. Man, were there some stinkers there.

BTW- I predict Kuroda will be a huge flop.

This is based entirely on the Youtube footage of him, but I don't think his stuff will fly in the big leagues. Maybe Kuroda could be a #5 starter, but I bet that Kyle Kendrick will have better year than Kuroda.

Honestly, I'm not sure I wouldn't rather have Adam Eaton. At least Eaton has upside...I just can't see Kuroda's stuff getting past MLB hitters, unless he completely changes his style. Maybe if Kuroda came here 10 years ago, he could've adjusted to MLB hitters and adopted a new approach, but at his age, I just don't see that happening.

I'm really happy the Phillies didn't sign Kuroda. That seriously would've been a bigger waste than Adam Eaton.

Clout: I'd be curious to see Kendrick's minor league righty-lefty splits. Based on his overall minor league numbers, I'm taking a highly educated guess that his minor league numbers against right-handers were not nearly as good as the numbers he posted last year.

In any event, I'm not sure I see a distinction between a pitcher who posts a 3.87 ERA by wearing out right-handers & struggling mightily against left-handers, & a pitcher who posts a 3.87 ERA by doing equally well against both left-handers & right-handers. Unless the Phillies want to turn him into a ROOGY, he's going to have to face both.

DPatrone: That was the most confusing post I've read in a long time. I wanna save that.

"He faces a lot of lefthanders. Like I said before, do you have a platoon partner for his starts?" - Jack

Maybe he's ambidextrous and never told anyone.

Baxter: Interesting stuff. So you think Kendrick will have a better year than Kuroda, and yet Clout thinks Kuroda will have a better year than Myers. I'd say people have some pretty divergent views here... As DPatrone would say, the only thing we know is that we dont know, and with the money, plus you add in the wins, and then ask yourself if thats worth it, or don't, because I don't really know and so neither can you, you know? That's my point.

Kendrick's 2007 (Reading) minor league splits:
vs LH 149 AB, .255/.317/.362, 27 K, 14 BB, 0 HR
vs RH 157 AB, .268/.295/.369, 22 K, 4 BB, 2 HR

2006 (Lakewood/Clearwater):
vs LH 304 AB, .247/.313/.391, 59 K, 31 BB, 8 HR
vs RH 401 AB, .232/.285/.357, 78 K, 26 BB, 8 HR

2005 (Lakewood/Clearwater/Batavia):
vs LH 193 AB, .264/.322/.389, 38 K, 15 BB, 4 HR
vs RH 265 AB, .302/.354/.464, 43 K, 17 BB, 5 HR

ae: Well, there is the slight problem of Zito pitching for the worst team in baseball and Eaton pitching for the best offensive team in baseball. I'd say Zito winning 11 for the Giants is quite an accomplishment. Anyone winning 11 for the Giants is an accomplishment.

and in case you're too lazy too look them up, his major league splits:
vs LH 224 AB, .321/.374/.549, 18 K, 19 BB, 11 HR
vs RH 237 AB, .241/.277/.354, 31 K, 6 BB, 5 HR

Clout: But the real question is whether the vaunted "Wins per $$ Paid" stat takes team and park factors into account. Perhaps we should adjust it accordingly and create "Wins per $$ Paid +"

clout, not sure why you're directing that at me.

Jack, BAP: A guy who's even is pretty much what you see what you get. A guy who's unbalanced, especially a rookie righty starter, is just someone who needs to develop one of his pitches.

If a guy has the skill to consistently get righties out, he's got a better chance of improving. If a guy is just mediocre both ways, it's a lot harder to raise the level of his game.

That said, there are a lot of good middle-rotation righty pitchers who get smacked around by lefties. I see no evidence to support the claims that Kendrick's ERA will rise to 5.25-5.50 this season.

All I want is for the Phils to get off to a good start. They just have to get lucky or something the first couple of games and then keep it rolling. It would be tough for them to play as well as they have the last couple of years down the stretch. I hope they feel loosey goosey and relaxed coming out of ST. Not being the favorite should help. I hope Kendrick does as well as last year but he really doesn't have great stuff and I believe he still hasn't pitched in AAA> I predict (unfortunately) that he will sometime this season, but hopefully not for too long.

GO PHILS!!!!

ae: I was agreeing with your post to DPatrone

baxter: If you're right, that makes you smarter than an awful lot of major league scouts.

Jack: You keep purposely distorting what I said about Kuroda. I said he'd win more games than Myers in the Phillies rotation if Myers were the closer (i.e. Kuroda starting/Myers closing wins more games than Myers starting/Lidge closing.)

Clout: Well, that's your opinion. I'm not really sure that I'd be convinced of that analysis without some evidence or proof to back it up.

I can just as easily say that it's my opinion, which it is, that a high K, high BB guy is more likely to improve his command and cut down on the walks than a low K, low BB guy (Kendrick) is to improve his stuff and start getting K's. Personally, I think that its much easier for a guy with great stuff to learn command and settle down and become successful than it is for a guy with limited stuff to improve on that and become successful. We'll see though, I could be wrong.

Clout: Relax, I'm just having some fun with you.

WP$+ is already a valid stat. Bill James talked about it in his 1982 appendix.

Today is a day for optimism as spring training officially starts. Things that will be fun to watch this year:

-Rollins and Feliz fielding like a vacuum on the left side of the infield.

-Chase Utley giving us 3 MVPs in 3 years.

-Lidge, Gordon, Madsen and Romero all staying healthy and shutting down teams from the 7th inning on (we can be a little overly optimistic today)

-Cole Hamels winning 20 games.

-Shane Victorino winning a gold glove and stealing 40 bases.

-The deep bench getting one big pinch hit after another.

-Kyle Kendrick shutting up his doubters.

I am so optimistic that I even visited the ballpark today to get my Phillies 6 pack. I'll get my Jimmy Rollins bobblehead and then see the Red Sox follow by the Mets four times. I can't wait for Rollins to line that double off Santana, followed by an Utley single to drive him home and then a 2 run homer from Ryan, who has reported to spring training early despite all this arbitration stuff.

Yes, it is a good day to be optimistic about this upcoming season. Now the countdown to opening day begins.

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EST. 2005

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