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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

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Not so fast. First of all, isn't it Gillick with the premonitions? He's the one that stacked this team with the most capable bench in the national League while everyone was whining about needed an ace pitcher. Isn't he the one who signed the (suddenly capable?) Eaton? two years ago? Secondly, the only thing that will return the Phillies to form are Rollins and Howard. Those guys come back, then you'll see some real winning. All you're seeing right now is what the west has been showing us for 5+ years: Put up decent pitching, post some zeros, and any mediocre half-disabled offense can compete. Once Utley and Burrel have their mates back to form, then you'll see the 08 Phillies take the field.

I'm drinking the cool-aid too. Without their 2 "table setters" and last season's "MVP", the phillies have won more already than they did last April. I agree that the real winning will come shortly, but try to enjoy this winning too. The pen has been spectacular, way above my best expectations. The bench has contributed well.

Gillick deserves some credit, but look at the last 3 wins. Against the mets, Manuel has a "feeling", pinch-hits Feliz and wins. In game 1 of the rox series, has a "feeling" and goes with Ruiz and the phillies win. Last night, blows the whole bench on 3 straight pinch hitters and turns it into a 1 run game. During this span, the pen gave up 0 runs.

Might be luck that all the moves worked, might be managerial prowess. Might be a bit of both.

Brought this over from the last thread:

Excellent win for the Phillies.

I think we need to stop with the "questionable decisions from Charlie that ended up being right." At what point do people look at all the right decisons he has made from the All-Star break last year up til now and stop attributing it to accidents? He may do things that make you scratch your head but he knows his players better than we do. He has faith in them to do what he asks and they respond. Make fun of everything about the guy but he is managing a defending NL East champion team and a team that seems to be clicking into place in April- something we've missed out on the past few years.

Want to add to the chorus of praising the base running in that 9th inning. Taguchi and Utley did great on the single to center. Howard did a great job of reading that ball to the gap and made an excellent slide on the play. Burrell did a great job moving to third on the throw reading that there would be a play at the plate.

The bullpen pitched a couple really good scoreless innings. Also it seems like the scouting reports about Lidge from last year were correct.

When was the last time Pat was still in the game in the 9th inning? Will this be the beginning of a trend?

Also, I know it wasn't last night, but I was pretty impressed with Werth hot-footing it all the way around for his home run. That was cool.

Very exciting game... got home from work just in time to see Atkins homer, and to see another come from behind win for the Phightins... does anyone actually know how many games they've come from behind in? It seems like they're following last years trend with all the come from behind wins.

Werth has been great. He has really stepped it up both times he has had to fill in for Victorino. Is he still under Phillies' control next year?

At some point opposing managers are going to forego bringing in closers against the phils and instead use soft-tossing swingman they have never seen before.

The Phillies are

4-8 when trailing after 6 innings
3-7 when trailing after 7 innings
2-6 when trailing after 8 innings

I don't have the overall Come from behind numbers which include anytime they trail.


Mike: 6 comeback wins overall.

@phargo -- it was fairly simple why Burrell was still in the game. We never had the lead in the 7th or 8th innings. And the only time he came to the plate during those innings he popped out.

It's possible... if Burrell got on base to start the 8th down 2 runs, Manuel might have taken him out. I'm not sure what his threshold is. Down 3 runs, burrell would have stayed. Down 1 run, he would have been pulled. But down 2 probably would have been a judgement call or a "feel".


Not sure if it's been mentioned... but Miguel Cabrera is no longer the best third baseman in the game...

He's now a first baseman effective immediatley. I think this is something we all saw coming.

What's different this year (on a macro scale)?
Phillies Team ERA 2007: 4.73
Phillies Team ERA 2008: 3.72
BAA 2007: .276
BAA 2008: .245

OK, it's still April, but that is one run less given up per game than last year. Is it possible that the mad days of Mesa and Alfonseca and the 2007 version of Eaton are behind us and that this 2008 pitching staff has a chance of performing at least at a mediocre level?

and BTW - batting stats are pretty similar so far between 2007 - 2008

It's a good question to wonder at what point we should stop staying things like "Charlie guessed right" and start saying he has a knack for making good choices with pinch hitters.

It is worth mentioning that for a short while last night Utley was only the second best hitting second baseman, as Albert Pujols spent a bit of time at 2nd. Not sure how that came to pass, but amusing none the less.

The Theory - Molina PH in the pitcher's spot, and the back-up catcher, who started, moved the 1B.

CJ - Did they move Guillen to third?

Guillen is at 3rd... being that he's a former shortstop, he's probably a better fit there than Cabrera.

Sophist:

Yes, Leyland flopped them. Guillen played short last year, I guess.

Jonesman:

Jayson Werth is signed to a one-year, $1.7 million deal, plus performance bonuses. He is arbitration eligible and can be a free agent in 2010, as far as I understand.

By the way, congrats to you Flyers fans. I'd say the better team won, but I'm really, really biased. ;-)

Good luck with Les Habitants!

This is a pretty small sample size for me to start giving Cholly credit for his hunches. Besides, neither of the examples which Sam gives were really "hunches." A hunch would be to send Eric Bruntlett up to pinch hit for Chase Utley. The decision to bat Feliz for Dobbs, against a left-handed pitcher, was a no brainer than any manager would have made. I suppose you can call it a "hunch" to let Ruiz bat for himself. But it wasn't an unreasonable hunch, since everyone knows that Ruiz is a much better hitter than he has shown in the first 3 weeks of the season.

In general, I do think Cholly seems to be making better tactical decisions this year than in years past -- with the glaring and repeated exception of the Pat Burrell pinch running move. However, for every questionable decision that has worked out, there have been plenty that didn't work out. Of course, that's true of any manager, so it's not really a criticism. My point is simply that I'm not ready to ascribe any magical powers of premonition to Cholly, simply because he did what any manager would have done and pinch hit Feliz for Dobbs against a left-handed pitcher.

bap: I'm not sure anyone is asking you to ascribe magical powers to Charlie. I think what's being asked is that people stop saying Charlie is just getting lucky when one of his decisions works out.

jonesman: Completely agree about Werth. When Gillick signed him, I was fairly appalled. But it may turn out to be the best move of the Pat Gillick era. I'd love to see the Phillies trade Jenkins and make Werth the full-time outfielder. Unfortunately, as with Abreu & Helms, Jenkins undoubtedly has only negative trade value, since his contract is so out of proportion to his on-field value.

CJ: We do tend to over-analyze (and over criticize) Cholly's every decision. And I have no doubt that, even when he makes a decision which most of us find dubious, there may well be a good reason behind it. The decision not to pinch hit for Myers is probably a good example.

Still, just because a decision works out does not mean it was the right decision. And just because it doesn't work out does not mean it was the wrong decision.

bap - talk about making judgements based on a small sample size

64 abs is now enough to declare jenkins unworthy of his contract?

bap: I agree. And I shudder to think how many bad decisions I'd make as a manager... or what this list would say about them!!!!

A winning April would be welcome, surprising, and inspiring!

all i asked for before the season was a .500 april. looks like they'll get it PLUS mediocre starts by the Mets and Braves.

I'm inclined to side with BAP here. Manuel may have a 'knack' when it comes to selecting pinch-hitters, but he continues to (if you will) lack that knack when it comes to knowing when to replace pitchers - a far more important commodity for a manager to possess. And the comeback gets him off the hook for leaving Myers in way too long last night. (Speaking of which, the beat writers' relief in getting to ask Myers questions about the rally rather than about his sh*tty outing is rather palpable.)

I'm not trying to insinuate that everyone should get back on the stupid-dumb-Cholly wagon - I've always maintained that he doesn't hurt this team nearly as much as people have wanted to believe through his tenure. Just keeping the season's thematic phrase 'he is what he is' alive and well. He's not bad, he's not good. He's just Charlie Manuel, a hitting coach masquerading (sometimes adequately) as a manager.

district: Jenkins' contract was well out of line with his worth at the time it was signed. They paid him starter's money to be a platoon player. And I'm not judging him on 64 ABs. I'm judging him as a soon-to-be 34-year old player coming off the 2 worst seasons of his career, who is now off to an even worse start this year.

I must say I hope Truth Injection and Jack are right about what a great year Lidge is going to have and how it's a great trade, but I'd be a bit nervous extrapolating that from 9 IP.

A short post like today's "if time permitted..." has just served to highlight for me how good Jason's writing -- not to mention the graphical skills -- has been on Beerleaguer this season. I've been reading for a few years and posting very infrequently, as I live in the land of limited bandwidth, and I think the quality of this site just gets higher and higher. I used to find the game chat threads the most entertaining part of Beerleaguer, but this year, the morning-after analyses have been just as good.

I think part of the reason that we find some of Cholly's decisions "suspect" is that the baseball IQ of many of the posters on Beerleaguer is so outrageously high. People here have a seemingly endless array of stats at their disposal, and they use them to argue with Cholly's moves on the basis of such-and-such a matchup or split. To a casual baseball fan, I think there's no question that many of Cholly's moves are working. What else do you want in a manager? I'm not trying to argue for gut instinct over stats, but he's doing something right, and maybe it's only the overload of smart, opinionated posters here that is generating the controversy in the first place.

I still criticize Manuel, but I've been giving him props this season too for some sound decisions. Every manager is going to make "dumb" moves, it's the nature of the game, especially since there's 162 games, but overall I'm pleased with Manuel this season...finally.

jenkins ops+
02 101
03 137
04 103
05 130
06 101
07 101

there's nothing in the statistics that shows an obvious decline.

and he's making 5 million dollars this year, 6.75 next . . . not exactly breaking the bank. I think 5 million is a reasonable price to pay for someone who can slug out of the sixth spot against righties.

Clout: All I'm saying is early in the season it looks like all the scouting reports on Lidge in the second half of last year were correct.

There is still plenty of time for them to be wrong though.

Truth: That looks like a decline to me. That 2002 season was one in which he was injured and had only 265 PAs.

Also, you left out a few years:

2001: 108
2000: 137
1999: 134

Add in those years to get a complete picture of Jenkins' history, and his 2006-2007 seasons start to look very much like a steep, age-related decline.

I'm happy to be above .500, but these heartwrenching come from behind victories are tough on the old ticker, however, wins are better than losses, so let them continue to win ugly late in the games.

I'm still concerned about our starting pitching, Cholly's managerial decisions, Ryan's batting slump, J-Roll's injury, Pat the Bat's foot and Gillick's future moves.

I actually wrote this essay, this morning (and didn't come on Beerleaguer until a few minutes ago--great minds and all that)...

Cholly's Frightening Brilliance (or Uncanny Luck)

bap -

9 years of baseball, 5 of those years were ops+ right around 100. If he is in "steep" decline why didn't that show between 06 and 07?

What was the move you would have made instead?

(note jayson werth's career ops+ of 90 against right handed pitchers, his history of injury and career high in abs being 337)

From the District,

It's not Werth fighting it about Jenkins. There were comments, before the season even started, already counting Jenkins as a failure. I'm on the side of giving the guy more of a chance before I consider him a failure. On the flip side, he's gotta pick it up a bit.


(best political answer, in this primary season)

I agree with BB regarding Jenkins; it's too soon to tell. This time last year most of Beerleaguer had written off Werth as a terrible signing.

district (sorry . . . I mistakenly referred to you as truth before):

The move I was advocating at the time was to sign Luis Gonzalez to a one-year contract -- which doesn't exactly look like a brilliant idea right now. I admit, also, that I was not really against the idea of overpaying to get Jenkins because, given Werth's history, I believe it would have been risky to expect another good season from him. The point of my original post on this subject was not to criticize the Jenkins signing, but to argue that, in the future, the Phillies would be better off trading Jenkins & giving the full-time job to Werth. However, I think it's going to be difficult to trade Jenkins if he continues on what I perceive to be a strong overall downward trend.

RE: Ruiz batting for himself a "hunch"

Yeah that is pretty subjective...the only reason I consider that a managerial decision worthy of analysis as opposed to a non-move is that I was thinking about that situation during the game myself, and I would have sent in Coste.

Jenkins frustrates me because he just looks like a wild swinger up there. In his PH appearance last night, he struck out swinging at three pitches out of the zone. But part of that might be his unfamiliarity with coming off the bench.

My guess is that he'll be a solid contributor when all is said and done.

there may very well have been bedrosian's beard, but not from bay area phan. (and actually i remember there being a general consenus before and after the signing that it would be a good idea)

bap said,

"Just a gut feeling, but I think Jenkins may have one more good year left in him. He has been pretty up and down throughout his career and, after 2 rather mediocre years, he's due for a good one. It won't hurt that he's playing half his games at CB Park."


so for him to come out calling this another in a long line of gillick blunders, when all evidence pointed to it being a worthwile risk, kind of grinds my gears. (Nothing personal against, you bap)

Every signing involves risk. I don't see the argument that this was not a good, level baseball move that took into account the needs of the team and the pros and cons of the player.

sorry, bap didn't see that last response. that does clarify your position somewhat . . . I would, however, hesitate to be so bullish about werth. He's a great piece, but I don't see him as an every day player. I think you run the risk of over exposing him against right handers, and he does have a history of injury.

either way, I still think Jenkins has plenty of time to turn it around and contribute decently to this club. We can argue about how much he is worth, maybe he over-paid, but lets just agree that the ownership could easily cover that loss if they wanted to.

any argument can be resolved by just blaming the ownership.

RSB - Great summary. Exactly I how feel about last night (Cholly left in a clearly gassed Myers too long when he had plenty of options in pen and got bailed out by the offense) and Cholly in general.

Jenkins can still mash, but he's just a stupid hitter. You see him up there swinging as hard and as indiscriminately as possible in every single at-bat, which for a player of his age and experience is hard to understand or excuse. That's not how you approach hitting successfully. I understand he had better success with this approach earlier on, but after pitchers made adjustments and found more ways to get him out, Jenkins clearly hasn't been able or willing to make counter-adjustments. He will end up contributing to this team regardless, but it frustrating to watch him because he could be a better hitter than he is if he went to the plate with a plan instead of demonstrating this over-anxiousness to hit the first reachable pitch 550 feet every time up.

Agreed the Manuel can be better - maybe much better - at knowing when to lift his starting pitcher. This is one area of admitted weakness. But when it comes to pinch hitters, I trust him.

Though it remains to be seen what Jenkins will ultimately contribute to this team's offense this season, I take solace in the length of the deal: two years with a vesting option for a third. At the time I was relieved the Phils opted for Jenkins over Mike Cameron, who is making about the same amount of money and is still serving his suspension. One thing I think could said is that Jenkins seems to be a positive, stabling influence in the locker room.

district: The only reason I made that statement about over-paying Jenkins was because I'd just gotten done praising Gillick for the Jayson Werth signing. It somehow didn't feel right to say anything nice about Phillies' management, so I threw in a little potshot at the end.

Kind of overlooked point is that Myers' struggled again last night. Got hit hard all night long and really didn't miss many bats all night long.

More worrisome is that Myers continues to give up HRs by the boatload and it really hasn't even warmed up yet at CBP. Myers is giving up 2.24 HR/game. You give up 2 or more HRs a game at CBP (or anywhere really) and you are going to lose a majority of those starts. He has struggled mightily against right-handed bats but this is probably a fluke due to a small sample size.

If he can get this one problem under control though, he should starting posting some very solid results again. All of Myers' other peripheral stats (%LD, K/9, BB/9) and several others look alright so far and don't raise any red flags.

One thing I have noticed though is that Myers' doesn't seem to have quite the same velocity on his fastball that he did when he was a starter 2 years ago (Myers can't seem to deal it up to 95 or more like he used to when he needed it). I have to wonder if the shoulder injury last year was more serious than the Phils' let on and has had some lingering effects.

The issue with Jenkins (and Feliz) is that they are really role-players at this point in their careers and shouldn't be starting everyday. Dobbs should be starting 2-3 a week at 3B against RHP and Jenkins should even get the occasional blow against RHP too.

I was ok with the Jenkins signing because he clearly filled a need for the Phils and he is pretty solid defensively yet with some pop. With Werth, Jenkins shouldn't ever start against LHP.

However, if his third year option vests it will wind up being a poor signing because it will leave the Phils will a guy making big dollars and will have little value. Just like the Feliz signing though, Gillick really didn't care because he won't be around to deal with it though.

Jenkins hits righties and Werth hits lefties and neither can do the opposite. Both have value, neither is an everyday player.

Any chance on seeing Pat hitting in the #4 hole? I think it would be wise for Charlie to put him there thus breaking up the back-to-back lefties in Utley and Howard, especially with Howard struggling. Any thoughts?

It's worth noting that when Utley came up, one knock against him was that he couldn't hit lefties. ... We all know that, but I think it's worth testing to see if Werth can ultimately master righties in an everyday role. We don't really have a big enough history to fall back on with Werth because he's been hurt a lot.

I guess the argument is then Howard wouldn't have anything to hit..but even with Burrell hitting amazing behind him they are still going to throw Howard all balls and Howard will either strike out or walk. (So far, strikeout more than walk)

Callison sez: "OK, it's still April, but that is one run less given up per game than last year. Is it possible that the mad days of Mesa and Alfonseca and the 2007 version of Eaton are behind us and that this 2008 pitching staff has a chance of performing at least at a mediocre level?"

Mesa wasn't on the team in April 2007 and Alfonseca was an asset, not a problem in April. He went 1-1 with an ERA of 3.38, 4 holds and no blown saves.

Neither of them had anything to do with how bad the pitching was last April. So why the big difference? Well, you're right about Eaton, he was awful then, pretty good now, but let's not forget last year's #2 starter, Brett Myers: 0-2, 6.95 ERA. And the brilliant ace acquisition, Freddy Garcia (1-1, 5.65). Mix in a little Tom Gordon (1-1, 5.40) and Francisco Rosario (0-1, 6.43) and there you have your full run-per-9 worse April pitching staff.

Jenkins is hitting for a higher average than Howard right now (.250 vs. .190), and has a comparable OBP (.294 vs .316).

I'm just sayin'.

I just cited my first stats on Beerleaguer! Ha ha!

Okay, you can flame me now.

clout: I agree with PB. I'm by no means convinced that Werth can't hit right-handers, or that his deficiencies in this area are a permanent state of affairs. Werth's OBP against right-handers last year was .371 -- which was much, much better than Jenkins' OBP against right-handers. Werth is a very disciplined hitter & has made great strides at the plate since coming to the Phillies. Those traits speak well to his potential for improvement against right-handers.

It is not nearly as hard for a right-hander to hit a right-hander as it is for a left-hander to hit a left-hander. A right-hander with good all-around hitting skills stands a good chance of improving in this area, if given an opportunity to play against right-handers.

On a misc. note:

- Barry Zito is hands down the worst contract in MLB right now. He isn't even a middle of the rotation guy right now with his mid-80s fastball and off speed stuff that he can't consistently throw for a strike.

People in the Bay Area (who are crappy sports fans in general and really only come out for a team when they are winning in the playoffs) are kind of kind of reserved about their criticism of him.

I can only imagine what would happen if Zito were playing in an East Coast market (Boston, NY, Philly) or even Chicago. Would be a much bigger story in baseball but he is playing on a terrible team and his poor results are really going to not get a lot of attention nationally this season.

No question, they seem to be gaining some traction, and I'm starting to get the sense that I had late last year, that this team truly does not know when to give up and that they will grind until the last AB. But boy, all these up and down games are tough on them. Myers looked exhausted and you wonder whether the extra strain on him was worth saving the pen for. As I recall, late last year he hit 98, maybe 99 as a closer a few times. It could take several more starts for him to adjust as well to the starter role as he's going to be able to, and for everyone to evaluate where he really stands. Pre-Cole Hamels he seemed to be developing the look of an ace. Can he regain that form? Too early to tell, but I think it's possible.

Does anyone think one of the subs would have caught that ball near the line that Pat dived for and just missed last night? I have my doubts and I'm sure glad he was in the game to hit when the time came.

It's been said and alluded to plenty, but in the thrill of the comeback wins, I was floored by the swings Ryan Howard was taking last night. I know he is struggling, but a coule of his strikeout swings looked like they were grafted onto his body from some little leaguer. Bottom line, however, is that after a couple of nice wins in a row against a tough team in their home park, I'm in a good mood and betting he and Jenkins turn it on, and that the gloves continue to shed the cement casings they were in for the first couple of weeks.

Or just ignore it, that's good, too.

Sorry, it was kind of a big moment for me there.

Carry on.

Bob: "I was floored by the swings Ryan Howard was taking last night. I know he is struggling, but a coule of his strikeout swings looked like they were grafted onto his body from some little leaguer...."

This is spot on. ... And I'm starting to wonder whether Howard needs to get his eyes checked. Seriously, I'm not joking. He told M. Thompson that he was having trouble seeing the ball leave the pitcher's hand. This could be mental, but if he's not seeing the pitch, he's just guessing up there, which I think might be leading to his mechanical breakdowns.

bay_area_phan - I'm curious about your assertion that righties hitting righties is easier than lefty/lefty. (Perhaps the stats bear this out, I'll take your word if this is true.) Does it boil down to both batters seeing more right handed pitches during their careers?

Remember how close the Mets were to signing Zito...that would have been awesome.

PB - That is an interesting point. Hadn't heard that point before. Might explain why Howard is not along K so much but flailing so wildly at times up there. Just flat out missing the ball on some pitches that just hittable in the zone right now.

phargo: But, when you compare their VORPS and TPRs and win shares and IsoPs, and PECOTA projections, Howard is by far the better player.

(That was a joke, everyone. I haven't actually looked up Ryan Howard's VORP or IsoP or PECOTA projection, and I really don't need to know it).

lekh - Yeah, I was thinking about that. Too bad because the Zito contract would have been a big financial millstone even for a team with an annaul payroll of $120 M or so.

joe: There is probably some stat on it. I don't know what it is. But you need only watch a left-handed hitter face a left-handed pitcher to see that it is a lot more difficult than a right-handed hitter facing a right-handed pitcher.

I'm not sure how many posters there were in the off season wanting to hand over the full time RF job to Werth. Even now, it was still a good idea to get a LH platoon player to match with him. Given his career numbers against right handers and his injury history, it would have been irresponsible to have count on him for 600+ quality AB's.

Jenkins has already made some positive contribution's, and should be an overall net plus.

Hey Phargo, if you want some attention to your post, here is how to do it. Instead of comparing Jenkins to Howard, compare Feliz to Howard.

Pedro Feliz is like a lightning rod for comments in here.

Its like that 3 Stooges episode where whenever someone mentioned Niagra Falls, it set Moe off into an uncontrollable rage.

Pedro Feliz...(and the Beerleaguers say) "slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch..."

Clout: Agreed that there is plenty of time for Lidge to blow a few saves and Myers to end up on the DL because the stress on his arm switching roles is too much. That said, so far it's worked out, and Lidge certainly "looks" like he is back to his dominant form, which he also was during the 2nd half of last season. Let's hope it keeps up.

PB and bap: If Werth were a young 1 or 2 year vet as Utley was at age 24 and 25, I would agree that, like Uts, he's got a chance to master hitting both righties and lefties.

But Werth is 28, not 24, and this is his 6th year in the bigs. I'm not saying he can't ever learn to hit righties enough to play everyday, but at this point in his career it is unlikely. Werth's career OPS vs. RHP is .750 (.250 BA). That's not enough.

Jack: I agree.

MG: Zito has become the lefthanded equivalent of Livan Hernandez: Huge innings eater who gives up lots of hits, but wins 12-15 games a year and a sub-5.00 ERA. Obviously not close to the value of his contract, but still a pretty valuable commodity.

In the early going Jenkins has reminded me a bit of Jeremy Burnitz.

clout: "Jack: I agree."

Well, since moving to Indiana, I've seen tornadoes, floods, ice storms and earthquakes. Now I know the apocalypse is coming.

joe, mg,

I'm not a stats guy but if one just observes RHP's they seem to throw much more than lefties (on the whole, mind you - there are exceptions) with an overhand or 3/4 motion, which is easier to follow than a sidearm. If you watch LHP's, not as many seem to throw overhand, and many seem to throw with a sidearm/almost crossfire motion that kind of explodes from the first base side, angling across the plate.

On Howard, hadn't thought about his eyesight. Good point, PB. I was mentally contrasting his K's with those of Helton and Holliday. Helton and Holliday either guessed wrong when they took a K or JUST missed with a swing and you breathed a sigh of relief. But Ryan was truly sad. I was feeling bad for him and that's hard to do for a late 20's year old slugger making $10M per year.

You would hope the Phils mgmt. had at least had that cross their minds. I mean, they're paid to think this stuff out. C'mon guys, give him some help.

Clout - Not right now he isn't. Trust me. Zito can't throw 2 curveballs in a row for strikes and his fastball has nothing on it right now. It is 83 or 84 MPH and up.

I can only imagine how bad Zito's numbers would be if he didn't pitch in a pitcher's like AT&T. Move him to a park like CBP, Coors, Wrigley, or Cingery in Cincy.

Last point on Zito - if we were on the Phils we would be a 5.00-5.50 ERA pitcher. That is tolerable for a back-end rotation like Kendrick (particularly when the Phils' don't exactly have a ton of attractive alternative options either right now) but not for a guy you are paying big money too.

Even if Eaton pitches like he so far, I will be thrilled. With this offense and a defense that is likely to improve once JRoll and Victorino are back, Phils just need Eaton to give them the "Cory Lidge" special most nights out of 6 or so innings and 3-4 runs. If he can mix in the occasional outing where he goes 7 innings or more innings or truly is dominant great but you just can't have him revert to the guy last year who went too many starts where he didn't even make it to the 5th inning.

Clout:

You would be hesitant to make judgment on Lidge through 9 IP? Fine, but what do you say to his career K/9 being above 12. That is the highest of any reliever in history. If that is not an indicator of past success for a closer, then I don't know what is. He had a couple of "off" years. I wouldn't say that any of them were atrocious. Its not like he has lost his stuff like Gagne. He still has the gas, and he still has the slider. I don't understand why you have consistently been so down on him?

clout:

Point well taken. Werth is not exactly a fresh-off-the-farm prospect learning to hit big league pitching. And so far this season he's hitting .350 against lefties and .267 against righties. But I'm not quite ready to concede the fact that he can't master righty pitching if given a chance to play every day. In his six-year career, Werth has not once been healthy enough to take more than 350 ABs, and while some baseball execs might consider that enough of a sample size to cancel him out as an everyday player, part of me is very curious if he could make it on the Phils, who don't necessarily need both corner outfielders to provide power, 100+ RBI, and a .330+ BA. I also think about it in terms of the Phils' budget. Werth comes cheap; at least a cheaper and arguably more versatile, athletic option than Jenkins. He will turn 29 next month, but remember Ryan Howard also will turn 29 later this later.

Parker, because if you find a way to blow over a quarter of your saves, having great stuff doesn't mean a thing. And he did that last year. I'm optimistic on Lidge, and always thought that a change in scenery might very well turn things around for him, but just because he strikes out a lot of people doesn't mean he'll necessarily be a good closer. He struck out a ton of guys in his bad seasons too.

Inside/Outside: I'm not really down on him. I am down on guys who make up new screen names.

Phillies have a 43% chance of making the playoffs, according to Baseball Prospectus!

What ... too soon?

Be nice to have Bohn pinch hit here - doh.

why not use Coste to Pinch hit, still have Harman for the field

looks like no clutch to me? and some bad guts from Cholly. Am I wrong?

But Charlie went to the well once too many with Hamels who had logged 110 pitches through 7 innings. He got away with it with Myers on Tuesday because of Pat "the Bat." But the left Taguchi stranded at 3rd base in the 9th against the Brewers.

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EST. 2005

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