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Wednesday, April 16, 2008


There might not have been a greater disappointment this spring than Outman, who was given several opportunities and was abjectly wild and ineffective in each of them. Swindle sounds more intriguing than the out-of-control Kline from what you say, but I wonder if that slower-than-slow repertoire could fly in the bigs. If it were all simply a matter of location and know-how, there would be fans lined up from here to the Chesapeake Bay wanting a chance to get hitters out with their 60 mph stuff, too...

The odds are against Swindle, but he's fun to follow. Kline will be in Philadelphia this season, probably as soon as Madson goes down.

A Ryan Madson question... is there a reason he's always the guy that comes out to toss between innings with the right fielder? Just low man on the totem pole?

From last thread.

RSB: That's what I am afraid of. Hopefully it's not that bad.

JW: Non sequitor: what ever happened to Oisin???? Always liked his transAtlantic posts.

Given the questionable health status of the relievers in this pen (Madson, Gordon, Lidge) and the constant need for them to cover 7 relievers due to suspect starting pitching they are likely to receive all season from the back of the rotation, my bet is that there will be plenty of opportunities for guys at T-AAA and maybe even at AA.

Speaking of bullpens that are in shambles though, the Braves have to come to the top of the list. Trading Yates looks like a big mistake, Ohman can't get out lefties in the early going, Acosta is struggling to throw stirkes, Soriano is down until the end of month/Moylan probably out for the year, their bullpen is going to a mess for the foreseeable future. Compound that with a rotation that includes Bennett (a marginal guy at 5 spot) and Glavine's injury and it is going to be hard for the Braves to put together a decent winning streak even if their offensive picks up a bit.

If there was one team that was coming to town this weekend, I wish it was the Braves because it would be a good time for the Phils to take at least 2 out of 3 against them.

I'm rooting for Swindle too (great last name). I know the odds are stacked against him, but he's experienced some serious success through the minors thus far, albeit in the low minors. I'd like to see the Phils bump him up to Triple A soon, and if he continues to pitch well there, there's no reason not to give him a shot in the bigs.

MPN: Yeah - it's been quite a while since oisin was seen here. He was one of my first readers.

Since we're sorta talking about minor leaguers- what's up with this Dennis Winn guy in Clearwater (or maybe it's Lakewood)?

If anyone finds some good info on Winn (Dennis not Randy), email me. Thanks

No Rollins tonight, according to 950 AM.

The Swindle story may make a better movie than the Chris Coste story. I hope he has continued success.

In regards to the last post about Howard:

Another big NL basher is also struggling at the plate just as bad as Howard - Prince Fielder.

Haven't seen enough of him to really say why he is struggling but willing to bet that once he comes around (along with Braun), that the Brewers awful will be pretty decent again this year. I just wonder if either Hardy or Weeks will ever put together a full decent offensive season.

Thome is another not doing so great. He will come good just like Howard will

From The Daily News Notebook:

Manuel doesn't think the Phillies will miss much with Jayson Werth batting leadoff and playing centerfield in place of Shane Victorino, who is on the disabled list with a strained right calf. In fact, the Phils manager said he thinks the 6-5 Illinois native would give the 5-9 Hawaiian a test in a footrace.,

I wouldn't call this a snub per se but why do I get the impression that Cholly just really isn't a fan of Victorino? Victorino is the only player that I can remember in the past year that the media has mentioned that Cholly has pulled aside and spoke to at great length behind closed doors (last year in June if I recall and this year in spring training).

MG - not only that, but consider how quickly the Phillies flung Victorino on the DL as compared to what's been going on with Rollins. might be a good spot to check on Dennis Winn.

Prince Fielder needs to go back to eating meat. A nice NY Strip, bacon cheeseburger, or fatty porkchop should cure his power outage.

JW: That is too bad. He's definitely missed.

Agree that it is way too premature to get obsessed with Ryan Howard. I think many have pointed it out before, but I can't remember a time when this team has had Rollins, Utley, Howard, and Burrell all simultaneously on fire.

Future Phillies prediction: If Antonio Bastardo ever cracks the 25 man roster I predict that his numbered "jersey" t-shirt will be continuously sold out.

tonight's lineup:

If your last name ends in "iz", you get to bat 2nd I guess, that's my only explanation of why Feliz or Ruiz would bat second in this lineup.

David Ortiz: .113 BA, .242 OBP, .170 SLG, 12 OPS+, 1 HR, 3 RBI

Prince Fielder: .222 BA, .357 OBP, .289 SLG, 73 OPS+, 0 HR, 6 RBI

Miguel Cabrera: .213 BA, .315 OBP, .383 SLG, 88 OPS+, 2 HR, 5 RBI

Mark Teixeira: .196 BA, .281 OBP, .353 SLG, 68 OPS+, 2 HR, 6 RBI

Alfonso Soriano: .175 BA, .230 OBP, .298 SLG, 36 OPS+, 2 HR, 5 RBI

Adam Dunn: .162 BA, .407 OBP, .243 SLG, 75 OPS+, 1 HR, 5 RBI

Ryan Howard: .180 BA, .333 OBP, .400 SLG, 89 OPS+, 3 HR, 6 RBI

Yeah, let's trade Ryan Howard. He's a bum, just like the rest of the bums on this list.

Pedro Feliz batting second?!?!?!


I couldn't imagine a scenario... any scenario... in which that makes even the least amout of sense. There is no justification. Period. None. I'd bat Kendrick second before Feliz... at least Kendrick can get the sac bunt down.


CJ: His career OPS vs. Oswalt (26 PA) is over 1.200. So, maybe we should cut Charles Manuel some slack on this one until proven otherwise?

Tune in for this week's batting lineup saga, "Quest for a 2-hole hitter"

Watch as Cholly randomly pulls in any player into the 2-hole with mixed results.

Wow, Feliz batting 2nd. I think it's clear at this point that Charlie looks at a hitter's past success against a pitcher and adjusts the lineup accordingly. I wonder if he understands sample size...

I guess they're trying to get Feliz as many appearances off a guy he's proved he can hit. Good luck to him.

Feliz vs. Oswalt: 25 AB, 12H, 2HR, 7RBI, 1BB, 2K, .480/.500/.920 (1.420 OPS)

WTF is Charlie doing?? Ruiz in the 2 hole last night, and now Feliz?? Send him to the home now!!

What is so complicated about leading off w/ Werth and moving everyone up a spot? Werth-Utley-Howard-Burrell-Jenkins is a formidable 1 through 5, and yet Manuel seems to be doing backflips to avoid putting it together.

at least charlie is basing it off of some kind of statistic.

Even with those numbers, I don't like it. I'd rather see Brunlett there. I'd rather have Brunlett bunt Werth to second than Feliz hitting into another DP.

Bruntlett doesn't seem to be bunting well lately.....

I guess Feliz makes as much sense as anybody tonight considering he is coming off a 3-4 night and has good career numbers against Oswalt.

This crap though of inserting poor hiters into the 2 hole needs to stop.

Werth-Utley-Howard-Burrell-Jenkins (against RHP)

That simple really until JRoll returns.

Well, by all means, those 26 PAs vs. Oswalt mean a lot more than Feliz's 3000 other career PAs!

Iceman: Bat Werth first & then move everyone else up one spot in the order? No . . . that's just what the Astros would be expecting us to do.

really guys...all the complaining about the 2-hole? charlie does some dumb things, but, who would you hit there with the current cast of characters?

Yeah, 26 PAs just isn't enough of a sample size to convince me. Plain and simple, I don't want a guy with a sub-.300 OBP coming up to the plate 5 times. If Utley must bat third, I wouldn't be offended with batting Werth & Jenkins 1 and 2. Better yet, how about giving Snelling a chance to show something & batting him 2nd?

fair enough, moving everyone up might be a better idea on most nights.

cj: are you saying that individual match-ups are totally meaningless?

Bathtubhippo: Chase Utley

Jon: Bruntlett has had as much failure in getting an important down as Feliz has had in grounding into DPs. Both are terrible options for the 2 hole.

Seriously, just bat Chase there. Not hard.

bathtubhippo: In essence, yes. I think those numbers are generally overrated. Especially for just 26 PAs. That's a rather small sample for a guy with a 3080 PA career.

Why not Jenkins there? He has twice as many PAs against Oswalt and an OPS of 1.006. His career OBP is also 50 points higher.

And, yes, I agree, in this situation, that it makes more sense to move up Chase and use this lineup:


Re: Feliz in the two hole...I just saw a Sus Ferrum fly past the window and my friend's evil uncle just called to let me know that Hitler and Stalin are choosing sides for a game of shinny.

Seriously, isn't Pete Happy hitting in the two hole the 8th sign of the Apocalypse?

A small Sample size might make sense when you are looking at ALL LEFT HANDERS versus ALL RIGHT handers. But when you get to individual numbers against INDIVIDUAL pitchers... 25 at bats is a PRETTY good sample size against another pitcher.

CJ than you might as well eliminate any stat regarding any pitching matchup.

Of all the pitchers in ALL the world...that Pedro has EVERY faced... He has the greatest success against Oswalt.

I actually would flip flop Utley and Feliz in this lineup. As Feliz is more likely to hit for power against Oswalt and have Utley work to get on base.

Burrell still has to hit fifth here even though he has poor numbers against Oswalt.

I sympathize with the alternative viewpoint, i.e. bat Utley second, but not the outrage, i.e. the multiple exclamation points. Given his night last night and his career numbers, I don't think this is a terrible idea. It may not be ideal, but it's nothing to yell about.

Seriously, isn't Pete Happy hitting in the two hole the 8th sign of the Apocalypse?

Jeltz - Only if Feliz tries to drag bunt for a hit tonight.

At least this way he's less likely to be up with runners on.

MG: Or walks 5 times.

Mike Cunningham: So why not Jenkins there instead? As I pointed out, he's got a great OPS with an even larger sample size and better overall career numbers. What's not to like?

Phils' overall stats out of the No. 2 hole:

BA - .259 (12th)
R - 6 (tied for 7th)
OBP - .328 (8th)
SLG - .431 (8th)
OPS - .759 (8th)

The real issue at the top of the lineup has actually been Howard out of the No. 4 hole:

BA - .180 (16th)
R - 7 (tied for 5th but Phils at 8th best)
OBP - .333 (10th)
SLG - .400 (15th)
OPS - .733 (13th)

Another alternate lineup...


Now I don't love it (too right-hand heavy at the bottom and I'm not thrilled about batting Ryno 3rd), but isn't this better than batting Pete Happy 2nd?

If Feliz's hits against Oswalt came in games in which Oswalt pitched well overall, then this move makes sense. Some hitters just own some pitchers.
If all of Feliz's hits came in games in which Oswalt was knocked out early, then the move may not be wise. I see that those 25 ABs vs. Oswalt came in 15 games over 6 years. That's not even 2 ABs per game, which makes me think they came in games in which Oswalt didn't last very long.

Dave X: Thanks for clarifying on your "Eaton will suck" prediction. I agree that his ERA+ will wind up around 85-90 and his ERA around 5.00. It should be noted that would be a substantial improvement over last season.

CJ with Jenkins in the 2 hole... you'd have 3 left handers 2,3,4.

I'm fine with Jenkins batting 2. But in this case I'd put Feliz fourth and Howard 5th.

Given the fact that Burrell is riding a hot streak right now, his 0 For his career, you might think he'll get a hit.

Manuel gets blasted for his lineup nearly every day here. (Mostly because people want Utley batting second.) But others blast him for not having an imagination and just slotting guys in places (Well catcher has the 8 hole.)

Injuries are determing a lot of the lineup and the fact that there are certain guys (Mr. Howard we are looking in your direction) if have yet to get it started..

But given the fact that Howard hasn't turned it on... I'd rather have Utley in a RBI position than not.

Just like Gargano's favorite day of the year, when the NFL schedule comes out. My favorite part of the day is stretch when the lineups come out and the game starts.

At the end of the day... I really think Manuel puts together his lineup on a combination of stats and "FEEL".

I'll always trust Manuel's line up choices. Bullpen maneuvers and the double switch decisions, I reserve the right to question.

Mike Cunningham: That's a typo, right? You didn't actually mean Feliz in the 4 hole. That's crazier than the 2 hole. If you're desperate for a righty, you move up the red hot Pat Burrell into the 4 hole, move Howard down to 5th and suffer through Feliz in the 6 hole.

What makes Swindle so effective is a 25-30 mph difference between his fastball and super-slow curve, along with pinpoint accuracy. Good to see him getting some love from the hardened Phillies fans.

RJ Swindle has been to Triple A. He closed out the 2006 season with the Yankees AAA team (Columbus.) He pitched a hitless, scoreless 9th inning in the last game of the season. He might throw slow, but he gets guys out. Isn't that the name of the game?

RJ Swindle has been to Triple A. He closed out the 2006 season with the Yankees AAA team (Columbus.) He pitched a hitless, scoreless 9th inning in the last game of the season. He might throw slow, but he gets guys out. Isn't that the name of the game?

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