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Friday, April 25, 2008

Comments

I don't know what the outfield solution is. But one reason to keep Victorino on the bench is the versatility he could bring late in the game. Pinch runner, pinch hitter, defensive replacement.

I'd like to see this lineup when everyone is healthy:

Rollins SS
Werth RF
Utley 2B
Howard 1B
Burrell LF
Victorino CF
Coste C / Feliz 3B
Feliz 3B / Ruiz

The way Ruiz is struggling I'd have him 8th on days he plays. With Coste's pop I'd like to see him 7th. If Dobbs plays, I'd put him in at 6th and move Shane down to 7th.

Unfortunately, Werth's surge would lead to a 2009 outfield of Werth-Victorino-Jenkins.

Anyone excited about that?

Mike, I've been predicting that future outfield for months...

IMO, once Rollins and Victorino return, you have to put them back where they belong - at the top of the lineup. For one, Vic was actually starting to hit the ball before he went to the DL. For another, with Burrell hitting the way he is, it would be nice to have some protection hitting behind him. I think we can all agree that Werth fills that role a little better than Vic. Plus, you have to love the combo of speed and switch hitting out of the 1 and 2 spots in our lineup, followed by Utley, Howard/Burrell (who knows, maybe Cholly will eventually switch them), and Werth.

No one should excited by that. Unfortunately, it's even worse without ANY right-handed bat. The free agent market is thin, and my gut tells me the Phils are only lukewarm to the idea of bringing back Burrell to begin with, let alone Burrell who could command a competitive price with the season he's having. And they're committed to Jenkins for sizeable money, and Hamels hits arbitration, etc.

Just noticed that ESPN has us listed as underdogs for tonight's game (?!). Is this because Adam Eaton is pitching?

I agree that Burrell is playing his way out of the Phil's price range. So Werth/Jenkins/Vic is probably our future outfield. Maybe Golson can enter the mix and add excitement.

Charlie needs to keep Werth in the lineup for 4-5 out 7 games a week. That means sitting Victorino a game or two and/or the same with Jenkins.

Dobbs needs to keep getting PT at 3rd, especially against tough righties.

Feliz is turning out to be worse than people expected and same goes for Jenkins. I'm thinking Jenkins will find his rhythm though and hit righties well once again.

Coste needs to play more than Ruiz.

I saw Gavin Floyd pitch against the Yankees last night and he looked like the pitcher the Phillies had in their system. Constantly frustrated with the mound, he was wild all night even to the extent of hurting Pierzinski with a wild warm up pitch between innings. AJ would stay in the game.

He was looking like a good #2-3 starter before last night's outing.

Is all of the Thome money off the books after this year? With the Fish picking up Helms's $750K buyout, will the Phils owe any money in 2009 to players with other teams?

With the Feliz and Jenkins acquisitions, and Werth's production, PG is solidifying his trend of failing with the big off season moves, and succeeding with the small moves and in-season moves.

Jeltz - No, but there is a $1MM buyout for Gordon if we don't pick up his $4.5MM option for 09

My guess is that the Phillies would sign some journeyman right-handed outfielder to platoon with Jenkins next year (i.e., Juan Encarnacion, Jay Payton), while giving the other 2 OF spots to Vic & Werth.

To show you how serious they are about resigning Burrell, I read on MLBTR that they had offered him 2 years, $14M. That ought to get him signed. How could he possibly refuse that offer?

They've wasted a lot in positional fallback measures. Too early to say Jenkins and Feliz will be wastes of money, but they both fall into the same category. But that's also the nature of free agency. High-priced players past their prime.

Carson- i disagree with you on Pedro Feliz. i dont think he's turned out to be worse than expected... now maybe he's benefitting from my dreadfully low expectations (Nunez-esque average, no walks, and an occasional homerun), but the empirical evidence from the nightly radio broadcast has disabused me of that notion. sure, he's no superstar like Utley or Burrell, but i'm not cringing when Franzke calls his name to the plate like i am with Howard.
now his glove... that's another story. definitely played below expectations there.

BAP, is that $14M per year or total for 2 years?

j: It's widely assumed that Dobbs is a platoon player who can't hit left-handers, but, other than a power drop-off, I don't see any actual evidence to support this theory. Though based on very few ABs, his career average against left-handers is .27 higher than his career average against right-handers. I also recall reading that he hit lefties well in the minors.

I'm not yet at the point of advocating that Dobbs be the full-time third baseman, with Feliz relegated to Abe Nunez's old role as late-inning defensive replacement. But if the end of May rolls around & Feliz still isn't even hitting to his very modest career norms, then I think it might be time to reassess.

Before Feliz is hailed as a massive failure, let's remember that he has won 2 games with his bat this month: The RBI Double against the Astros and the GW HR against the Mets.

If it's true, and I believe it is, that Pat does want to stay in Philly and would probably take a slight trimming in pay to do so, it's ridiculous to see the Phils offering him 2 years for 14 mil. After a year that will probably end up with above-average numbers for him, someone will offer him at least 3 for 30.

Just read this over on Yahoo Sports. Love to hear this about a player. I think Werth has definitely played himself into a bigger role on this team. Oh and his mom is hot!

CF Jayson Werth sat in his full uniform nearly 20 minutes after Wednesday night's loss and watched video of his ninth-inning strikeout against Brewers reliever Derrick Turnbow. But it was a seventh-inning baserunning mistake that had him despondent. Werth, who opened the inning with a double, was caught stealing third with red-hot Chase Utley on deck. "I single-handedly probably gave the game away," Werth said. "On second, top of the order up, my instincts have got to be better. It was a screwup. I take responsibility for this loss. It's my fault, for sure."

Carson: I agree with you about the changes that need to be made to this offense. When it comes to catcher, we're no longer arguing about the Coste vs. Barajas backup situation. This is about who is the starter and comes to the plate 4 or 5 times a night. And as I've said before, we need more playing time from Dobbs and Werth, less from Feliz and Jenkins.

Dobbs should be in a straight platoon with Feliz until such time as Dobbs cools off with the bat.

to be fair, Stark's column does not say that the Phillies actually offered Burrell 2/$7M. Stark says that unidentified "baseball men...speculate" that the Phillies will offer him that deal.

CubeHostage: I know you say you cringe more when Howard comes to the plate than Feliz, but his OPS+ is nearly identical to Feliz this year (65 vs. 67) and Howard still gets on base more (.280 vs. .297). Probably still worth it to cringe more when Feliz comes to the plate.

CJ: There are far more Feliz lovers on this site than Howard lovers.

clout: I know... if Howard only had a "gold" glove.

TK - He didn't win those games himself. RBIs and hits at the beginning of the game are just as important as those at the end of the game.

True, ae. I guess I'm so eager to see articles confirming the Phillies' cheapness that I took it as established fact.

Myno, I think you're significantly underestimating Burrell's worth on the open market. The relevant comp is Carlos Lee, who got $16.6M per year for 6 years. Burrell and Lee have overall very similar offensive numbers, and both are defensively weak -- though Burrell somewhat worse. Burrell is also 2 years older than Lee was when he signed his contract. Assuming a normal Pat Burrell year, he'll command AT LEAST 4 years, $14M. Assuming a year like his 2002 & 2005 seasons, he'll command around 4 years $17M. But I agree with your statement that Burrell seems to like playing here. For that reason, he could very likely be resigned at a discounted rate. The Phillies should be negotiating with him as we speak, but I doubt they are.

CJ

CubeHostage: I know you say you cringe more when Howard comes to the plate than Feliz, but his OPS+ is nearly identical to Feliz this year (65 vs. 67) and Howard still gets on base more (.280 vs. .297). Probably still worth it to cringe more when Feliz comes to the plate.

That is why stats are only a small part of baseball. Have you actually watched some Phillies games this year? While Feliz and Howard's stats may look similar on paper, but if you watch them hitting, Feliz is head and shoulders above Howard right now.
Feliz is looking confident at bat, he has been fairly selective, has had a pretty good eye (especially for someone with a reputation as a free swinger) and he is hitting the ball hard, its just that he is hitting right at fielders right now. As is is a streaky hitter, it is not a huge leap of faith right now that soon enough some of those hard hit balls will start dropping and he will get on a bit of a roll.
Howard on the other hand looks clueless at bat. He is lucky right now just to make contact with a pitch. He has been an offensive mess all year. Sure he will probably eventually come out of it, but with the way he is going, that is less certain than Feliz hitting better.

Sometimes you need to throw stats out the window and believe what your eyes tell you. The eyes tell you that right now Feliz is a much better hitter than Howard.

Carson, it is very rare that I agree with everything you write, but in the case of your above prescription for the Phillies (at least for the time being), I am in complete agreement.

Re: Werth's playing time with Vic back

It seems to me that as long as Werth is performing the way he is, he should be subbing for Vic a couple days a week in center while playing RF every time we face a lefty. That should, in theory, give him starts about 5 days a week. If he shows success against righties, then give him even more time. If he shows he can't handle the workload, or the increased ABs vs. righties, then we scale him back again.

Wes: Yeah, you really should ignore that .213 BA and .280 OB when analyzing Feliz. It's how he looks that counts, not what he produces. Pretty sharp analysis. Hat's off to you.

Clout: You're absolutely right about Dobbs. Or how about we start Feliz when Moyer and Kendrick start?

Wes Chamberlain:

Yes, let's not consider the stats with Feliz and Howard. Howard has more home runs, more RBI, more runs scored and a higher OBP.

Howard also has career offensive numbers that dwarf Feliz's most spectacular years (and I use spectacular loosely there).

But we should ignore all that, and cringe more when Howard comes to the plate.

You say Feliz is "fairly selective," but Howard still sees more pitches per plate appearance, so he's even more "fairly selective." And Feliz isn't any more selective this year than years past, since his P/PA is right at his career average.

You also say Feliz is "hitting the ball hard" but he has just 6 line drives in his 65 ABs (vs. 10 line drives in Howard's 51 ABs).

The only thing Feliz is really doing better than Howard is not striking out as much.

If you want to say you "cringe more" because Howard strikes out more regularly than Feliz, than so be it. But don't trot out lines of BS like "i believe my eyes" and "he's hitting the ball harder."

CJ

Fisrt off, I am talking about Feliz vs. Howard in the present, 2008. So comparing their career stats is irrelevant, obviously Howard has put up much better numbers in the past.

As for the stats, Howard has ONE more home run, more RBI's but Feliz is hitting behind Burrell who has been clearing the bases leaving Feliz with less RBI opportunities, and Howard's OBP is higher thanks to opposing manangers current insane idea of intentionally walking Howard.

Clout
I'm not ignoring Feliz's .213 Ba and .280 OBP, I am comparing it to Howard's .176 BA and .297 OBP. I didn't say Feliz was having a great year, just that he is hitting better than Howard.

Also the main point was that while neither is putting up good numbers, Feliz is hitting better right now.

If you can say that Howard is hitting better than Feliz right now, with a straight face, well then you must know something about baseball that I don't.

Wes: You do realize how stupid this statement is, right? "Feliz is head and shoulders above Howard right now."

Wes: I never said he's hitting better than Feliz right now. I said it's stupid to suggest that an upcoming Howard at bat would produce more cringes than an upcoming Feliz at bat.

One is a world-class power hitter who's hitting poorly right now.

The other is the worst offensive third baseman in baseball over the past four years.

Let me settle this. They're both terrible.

Werth should play more. Dobbs should play more. Coste should play more. Too bad Charlie won't be able to figure that out.

I have to agree with Wes over CJ and Clout that I cringe more when Howard comes to bat. This is because I have much higher expectations for Howard then Feliz. I expect MVP type numbers from Howard and anything good Offensively from Feliz is more then I expected.
Also while at the Sunday night game against the Mets when Feliz came to bat I turned to my brother and said that if he hits a homerun here I won't bad mouth him again this season.
DAMN YOU FELIZ!

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