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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

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I can answer questions about the contest here. If not, use this thread to continue our previous discussion on the state of the Phillies' pitching staff.

Carrying over the thread... my last two thoughts...

If Burrell is in the five hole and Feliz in the six hole all season then Feliz will likely shatter the record for "most outs responsible for."

Don't know if this was noted or not, but Jeremy Affeldt was sent back to the bullpen. He signed with Cincy for a "chance to start."

Bro, I don't own a PS3, but I do have the Wii...how about hooking me up that way?

Can anyone make a credible argument that any of the Phils pitchers, both in the pen and the rotation, will improve on last year's performance?

Mike H. - I predict Myers will eat more innings than he did last year.

That's bold, sifl. Very bold... :-)

sifl - Innings or donuts?

Why wouldn't you expect Cole Hamels to be better?

Why wouldn't you expect Brett Myers to improve upon whatever our 2nd starter did last year?

Don't need a game but to tie in the Reading angle - Which player from the Reading Phillies' opening day roster is likely to have an impact with the big league club this year?

Model Dictator. Only because the 'pen will clearly be the key to getting to the bigs with Philly this year. All warm-bodied pitchers in the Phils' minor league system should be excited!!

At least Romero is pitching well. He's another guy who potentially could fall way off his '07 stats.

Tray - Romero was mediocre today. He gave up one of 2 inherited runners. But, yeah; he's been okay.

(Which is like noting that Darensbourg has a great ST ERA.)

Feliz meter:
49 ABs, 74 NP.

That feels like an improvement. Maybe he hasn't been "happy" with his results lately?

Carson: So you have a Wii, eh? That's pretty cute. When you want to get serious, go get yourself a PS3 or 360. I'll give you my gamertag.

I know it's only spring training, but I find that statistic about Feliz to be one of the most astonishing stats I have ever seen in my life. I would also note that the next walk he draws in ST will be his first.

For anyone who doesn't win MLB08 the show, GO BUY IT.

Best baseball game i've ever played. although i'm up to april 18th in my season, and i think i need to adjust the difficulty up a bit. howard has 10 homeruns in 16 games.

Not to belabor the point, but I'm so stunned by Andy's Pedro Feliz statistic that it has rendered me unable to think of anything else. Let's ruminate on this for a moment, to truly appreciate the magnitude of what it means.

Before today's game, Feliz had seen 59 pitches in 45 PAs. 6 of those PAs resulted in strikeouts, so that's 18 pitches right there. Do the math. He saw at least 18 pitches in his 6 strikeout ABs. And he saw at least 39 pitches in his 39 other ABs. That only leaves 2 more pitches, distributed among all 45 ABs. This means that, at most, he has taken 2 balls in all of ST -- and, for all we know, it could be 0, since those 2 other pitches might have been 2-strike foul balls.

It also means that, in his 39 non-strikeout PAs, he swung at the first pitch at least 37 times, & put the ball into play all 37 times. I suppose, on some level, that's actually an impressive display of some type of hitting skill -- just not any hitting skill that helps your team win games. Maybe it would be impressive if he hit .400 on balls put into play, but he hits closer to .250.

More wood for the Feliz fire. Since and including Satuday, he is 0 for 13, 4 strikeouts, 12 LOB. We cannot honestly say we're shocked, can we?

b-a-p: it might also be, given that MLB now has him at the post-game figures I used above, that the numbers they had as of this morning were wrong.

Still, given the number of strike outs, even 74 in 49 is pretty impressive. He sure does put a lot of balls in play - a lot of easily fieldable balls in play.

I wonder - do you think anyone's ever explained to him that if the pitcher throws four pitches out of the strike zone, he gets to walk down to first base for free?

It's quite simple, really. Feliz is such an awesome fielder that he wants to get this boring offense stuff out of the way as quickly as possible so he can get back to manning the hot corner.

Andy: As you can see, I did lots of thinking about those 59 pitches in 45 PAs. Don't go ruining it all with new facts.

Hey, it's what MLB had before today's game. I was as almost as stunned looking at the numbers as I was by your analysis. If their numbers were accurate, he's basically been swinging at the first pitch, every time, no matter what. It's like the only way to walk him is to hit the mascot four times.

I simply can't believe those Feliz numbers...how is that possible? Hasn't anyone on the coaching staff or in the FO noticed this?! Maybe Steve Smith should start using the 'take sign' when Feliz hits. Force him to take some pitches damnit!

Maybe: Mr. Happy-to-swing

What's funny is that Feliz did manage to enormously cut down on his strikeouts last season. You would think that meant that he was being more selective with his pitches, & you would also think that it would translate into a higher batting average & slugging percentage. Yet Feliz's walk total was as paltry as always last year. Meanwhile, his batting average was only a few pts higher than in the last 2 years and his slugging percentage was actually lower.

The only conclusion I can reach is that he cut down on his strikeouts, not by being more selective, but by shortening his swing. The result was that he did indeed make more contact but the quality of that contact was even worse than it had been before.

Have any of the philly journalists asked Gillick, Manuel, or Feliz himself about Feliz' seeming ignorance of basic hitting fundamentals? I remember coaches yelling at kids to take pitches, not to swing at everything...it astounds me that a little league coach would have a better idea of basic hitting approach than the phillies starting 3B. Ridalin-juiced teens with massive ADHD take more pitches in video games than Feliz takes in real life! How about this for a Feliz fan group: The Feliz Breeze. Or how about Feliz the Sleeze: he may be married but he's always swinging!

What's the over/under on Feliz getting frustrated with the fans booing and him saying so in the media?

I'll set it at May 22.

"The only conclusion I can reach is that he cut down on his strikeouts, not by being more selective, but by shortening his swing."

Bap, based on spring training, I'd say he cut down on his Ks the easiest way possible: Swing early and often.

As a general rule, patient hitters strike out a lot more than hackers.

It's almost sad with Feliz. In my pre-Moneyball innocence I could have just rooted for the guy based on solid d, some HRs, and some RBI, but no, now I have to know about OBP!

I mean, was anybody ripping Mariano Duncan in 1993? I was blissfully unaware of his 12 BB in 496 ABs that year.

It may also be that Feliz (I cannot believe I'm about to take the role of Mr. Happy-to-Swing's apologist) it may be that he simply does not believe in the efficacy of Spring Training. "I might as well," he thinks heading to the box, "Get this over with."

So in ST, his approach is even worse than in the regular season (one can only hope).

Then, on the other hand, maybe he's thinking it's time for a new appraoch - 3.3 P/PA is simply too many.

kdon: Duncan's OB in 1993 was .304 and he had pretty good speed. Feliz's OB last season was .290 and he has pretty bad speed.

One other Duncan point. He was not brought in to be an everyday position player the way Feliz was. The idea was to have him be a super-sub, platoon with Morandini (who couldn't hit lefties), play some OF and be the top righty PH, an extremely valuable skill set for a bad baseball team (which the 92 Phillies were). What happened in 93 is the SS situation was so hideous with Juan Bell and Kim Batiste, that Mario wound up the starter there until they brought up Stocker at mid-season and so again picked up way more ABs than you'd want him to get.

If Cholly truly does insist in batting a short-swinged hacker immediately after PtB, you may see a new record for GIDP's this year. I can't wait! Maybe we really do need to hang on to Helms.......

Feliz the breeze would imply he's still K'ing a bunch. If the trend continues, I'd propose "First Pitch Petey."

Not to be a Feliz apologist, but I think there's something wrong with those "number of pitches" Spring Training stats that are posted on the Phiilies website. According to those stats, hardly anyone on the Phillies has seen more than 2 pitches per PA. Chase Utley is shown as having seen 70 pitches in 45 PA, Ryan Howard 108 pitches in 53 PA and Pat Burrell 102 pitches in 47 PA. Those numbers can't be right. Now the fact that Feliz has ZERO walks in 49 ST PA, that's another story...

Yeah, that does sound like there's some glitch in the statistics. Oh well. Feliz still sucks.

This, from MLBTR: "The Tigers and Phillies are both hunting for bullpen help; Detroit's sights are set higher than Philadelphia's."

So the Phillies want bullpen help but they haven't set their sights very high? Gee, this comes as an absolute shock.

Those numbers do seem low, but players really do hack a lot in spring training.

On Feliz, I'm not expecting much more than that .290 OBP. For me, given his vast defensive superiority to Helms/Dobbs, he would have to hit about 230/270/400 to think about benching him.

I'm planning on pulling a Billy Beane when he bats...just close my eyes and look at the zone rating the next day!

Speaking of the bullpen, (lol) I think Ramon Ramirez of the Rockies would come cheaply.. He is out of options and is on the bubble for their bullpen. Nothing spectacular, but he's only 26 and he's better than probably 2-3 of our projected bullpen hurlers. Maybe a "B" prospect and cash for him?

Rob: I don't think the Phillies need any more fringe major leaguers who are out of options. All these players do is create roster havoc. Besides, the trade you propose could never happen. The Phillies regard Cash as untradeable.

Haha "The Phillies regard Cash as untradeable."

Funny, 'cause it's so damn true.

I know this hasn't been addressed in awhile... but can't we trade away Some Dudes for bullpen help?

Or many trade away some middling prospects for Some Dude?

BAP I just thought a career ERA of 4.45 is better "fringe" than the crap we're throwin out there.. (Condrey and the Durbin Twins)

Rob: Perhaps. But ERA isn't a terribly reliable stat for relievers, especially when it's based on only 78 career innings. Ramirez was good in 2006 but was horrendous last year & ultimately spent most of his season back in the minors. In short, he's a 26-year old who has pitched only 78 career innings, & who spent last season shuttling back & forth between the majors & minors. That's pretty much the living definition of a fringe major leaguer.

"BAP I just thought a career ERA of 4.45 is better "fringe" than the crap we're throwin out there.. (Condrey and the Durbin Twins)"

The Durbins I can see, but Condrey's career ERA is 4.30 and he pitched better than that last year. A few blowouts inflated his ERA.

Chad Durbin is on the team no matter what, and he is probably as much a hit or miss guy as J.D.

And are you sure he is out of options? He has only been in the bigs in 2006 and 2007, so I would think he has an option year left.

You only have to be on the 40 man roster for 3 yrs to be out of options. Making the 25 is another story

Ramon Ramirez looks like a great AA relief pitcher. He also looks like he has 2 option years left.

Ahhhh.... The 40 man roster. I forgot about the 40 man roster. So, Rob, you're probably right.

ok.. maybe i read it wrong.. The Rockies are concerned that he'll be lost on a waiver claim if he doesn't make the club.. Hence, Fleece Factor considers him "trade bait"

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