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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Comments

Can someone explain to me again why any intelligent person would ever write out a lineup in which Feliz bats ahead of Coste?

IN today's DN, Myers says he's puzzled by his problems because they were hitting "quality pitches." To me, a belt-high fastball that catches the fat part of the plate, regardless of velocity, is not a quality pitch. It was nice to see that Charlie also mentioned location as Myers' problem. Apparently Myers himself hasn't noticed.

Kazmir signs an extension. Numbers/age very similar to cole..dare I say we have a framework?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3396451

On the prior thread there were a number of turning points mentioned that cost the Phillies the game: Howard's misplay at first, Feliz' failure to hit with runners on base, Myers' HR balls etc.

Here's one I didn't see: Madson allowing 2 inherited runners to score. Those runs were the difference in an 8-6 game.

We mentioned it during the game chat last night...we just didn't go into detail about it...somewhere right around when the Phillies made it 8-4 it was commented how costly those 2 runs by Madson were.

Thoughts on the game:

1. Feliz is continuing to kill the Phillies in critical situations.

2. Howard is about 80% out of his slump...his swing looked real good last night even if he only went 1-4 w/ HR.

3. Myers has NO movement on his fastball and his cutter is completely ineffective.

4. Why does Uncle Charlie continue to start Vic in Right and Werth in Center?...both are playing out of position and its hurting them defensively.

clout: Following your comment about the batting order, I'd like to ask why a catcher who's consistently hit as well as Coste is relegated to 1-2 starts per week. I have to imagine that this is what we get for having an organization that shuns statistics. Ruiz "looks" like an everyday catcher, while Coste doesn't. Then Coste goes and plays well from the backup spot until he gets an extra start, and if he doesn't get more than one hit, he's relegated to the bench again.

As for inherited runners, Clout, that's a tough one. He gave up one hit, which is pretty much the expected outcome for an inning of work (yes, I know there was one out when he came in). It was a big moment and he didn't come through, but there's a reason those runs are charged to Myers. Just like with hitters, pitchers' hits are going to be distributed pretty randomly, with no relation to "clutch" situations, and a pitcher like Madson is going to have more hits to distribute than a pitcher like Lidge.

Can someone explain to me again why any intelligent person would ever write out a lineup in which Feliz bats ahead of Coste?

Posted by: clout | Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 10:01 AM

Only thing I can guess is that he fears having the pitcher lead off repeatedly.

Feliz is a total dog but I'm at a loss ot understand the comments singling him out for blame for last night's loss. Feliz put good wood on a ball in the 5th that could have really closed the gap. Blanco made a good play in left or we'd probably see happy comments this morning about Pete's semi-monthly clutch hit.

Taguchi is really going to be 39??? I always thought that speed was what he brought to the table off the bench (and that he'd be PtB's personal late inning pinch runner). I guess I didn't realize that he was that old. Not that it means he can't run (Kenny Lofton appeared to still have some wheels last year), but I'm dubious to the value he can bring in any sort of sustained fashion.

I'd rather have someone who can hit the ball out of the infield and pickup up those pitcher spots AB's late in a game after Dobbs has already been burnt.

Funny you should bring up the idea of cutting bait on Taguchi, because I was lying awake last night (literally) thinking the same thing. Seemed like a decent signing at the time, but it hasn't worked out. My move would be to waive Taguchi and bring up Jeremy Slayden, who has hit at every level.

Although starting pitching is certainly at the top of this team's problems, I wouldn't give a free pass to the offense. The only way this team seems to score runs is with the homerun ball -- and when that's your whole offense, you're going to have a whole lot of games where you get shut down completely. Instead of signing duds like Jenkins & Feliz, the Phillies should have signed a few guys who can hit .285 or .290 & draw some walks. Slayden looks like he might meet this description.

Clout:

You'd prefer a lineup in which Wes Helms bats ahead of Coste?

Speaking of Coste, did anyone else see his hilarious quote about Myers?
"It's almost a little bit of the Adam Eaton syndrome, where any time the ball was anywhere near the hitting zone, they killed it,"

Yikes, Coste- two insults with one quote!

I wouldn't mind sending Myers to the DL for 15 days and giving Happ a couple starts.

If Happ pitches decently, I'd consider rotating rotation guys on the DL for awhile. For example, when Myers comes off give Eaton a little two week vacation. Maybe that will provide a little competition and maybe the Phils will catch lightning in a bottle with someone (probably not).

There's gotta be someone out there better than Taguchi. Someone with some speed, can play defense and hit for a respectable average....waitaminnit, I just described Kenny Lofton!

I hope Charlie doesn't fall too much in love with Bruntlett playing outfield unless in a bit of a pinch. I don't think he's going to win any gold gloves and he has an infielder's arm.

*Loved* Coste's quote comparing Myers and Eaton. Just love Coste in general, really. Every time he's on base, it matters.

Would Golson be any worse than Taguchi at this point? 44 K's in 149 ABs so far in Reading is brutal but he would bring more speed and some pop.

I don't see them bringing Lofton back. I wouldn't mind it, but from what I've heard, he's a terrible clubhouse guy.

Morty: You and the other Feliz backers keep putting up this bogus argument as if the choices this past off-season were either Helms or Feliz. They weren't and I refuse to believe you're that dumb.

Feliz should bat 8th when he plays and he should only play against LHP. And he should NEVER bat ahead of Coste. Anyone with two eyes and a brain can see that. Dobbs should start vs. RHP.

Mike: Golson would be about 75 or 80 on the list of potential replacements for Taguchi.

I like Lofton too, but I don't think his ego would let him come back as a 5th outfielder. I think if he comes back at all it will be when some team's centerfielder goes down and he has a chance to play (almost) everyday.

clout: Amen on Feliz, Dobbs, and Coste. Except I'd make an exception when Moyer and Kendrick pitch--Dobbs just doesn't inspire enough confidence at the hot corner.

sifl: Moyer I understand, but I'd like to see stats on how many ground balls are hit to 3B while KK is pitching. I bet the average is less than 3 per game, and unless you assume Dobbs is incapable of catching anything hit to him, that isn't remotely enough to offset Feliz lack of offense.

Lofton would be an upgrade but, since we're talking about a 5th outfielder position that isn't exactly at the epicenter of the team's problems, I would rather see the Phillies take the opportunity to look at one of their prospects. I'd go with Slayden (Javon Moran would be my second choice).

The fact that Slayden is slow & can't play defense is actually a major PLUS in my book, since it would limit Cholly's options when it comes to replacing Burrell in the 6th inning of close games.

Phils should give Taguchi more time but at this point I imagine Gillick will consider cutting bait with him if the performance doesn't pick up by early June.

Only issue is the Phils don't have someone who can readily replace Taguchi and this means that Cholly might start using Bruntlett as a defensive replacement for Burrell (one of the most foolish ideas that Cholly has considered implementing during his tenure as the Phils' manager).

Someone else posted a lineup with Coste hitting 2nd when he plays, which I agreed with at the time and still do.

vs LHP

Rollins
Coste/Vic
Utley
Burrell
Howard
Werth
Vic/Chooch
Senor Out
Pitcher

vs RHP

Rollins
Coste/Vic
Utley
Howard
Burrell
Dobbs
Jenkins
Vic/Chooch
Pitcher


I liked the Taguchi signing too, but it's becoming obvious that he's really not needed and worthless to the team. Burrell, Vic, Werth, and Jenkins are all outfielders while Dobbs and Bruntlett have shown the ability to log some innings out there too, so no need for SO anymore.

I'm still pissed off at Myers.

In their careers, Feliz has actually been considerably better than Ruiz has been versus LHP. Bruntlett beats them both.

A couple of threads ago I compared Brett Myers to Adam Eaton.

Now, the team's best catcher is doing it.

Think about that for a second.


Myers certainly has the talent to turn things around.

A problem that will arise if he doesn't is the confidence that his team has playing behind him will suffer. Based on Coste's comments, one wonders if it already hasn't.


In how much trouble are the Phillies and Myers?

The success of the entire season may hing on the answer.

It is very worrisome, especially the inconsistency in his velocity and his drop off from last year. He thinks he's making good pitches and he's out of his mind. I don't get to watch every game on TV as I live in Vermont now but I catch all the national broadcasts and he's hasn't had any control in any of the starts I've seen so far this year. Eaton is actually pitching better than him right now and that is very scary.

Coste made an accurate comment that I think may be open to interpretation or it may have just been a Freudian slip...I doubt he meant to throw Myers under the bus like that.

The problem with Dobbs playing 3B regularly is his defense is atrocious while Feliz is a top defender who probably couldn't hit for average in a Connie Mack league.

On Taguchi, I liked the signing at the time but he's just not performing in the field or at the plate...if there were any other options in the minors I think he would have been cut by now. Even Snelling would be a better option if he wasn't on the DL.

Clout: I recall you advocating for a Helms/ Dobbs platoon instead of Feliz, that such a platoon would out-perform Feliz. Obviously, that would not have been the case so far. Please feel free to correct the record about your support of a Helms/ Dobbs platoon.

Feliz is batting .280/.308/.748 in the 7th hole. He was batting .146/.226/.518 in the 6th hole.

I don't think he's moving out of that spot for a while.

I don't think that letting Taguchi go necessitates replacing him with another OF option. Listening to Gillick last night, the FO feels that they have PLENTY of OF options, even without Taguchi (Burrell, Werth, Vic, Jenkins, Dobbs). Pat G even sounded as if he's excited about getting Bruntlett out there, too.

I don't think you need to fill that spot positionally. You need to think of that spot as off the bench offense (or pinch runner, or whatever they dictate they need). However it is viewed, it is a late inning, spot-type of a need. That being said, I think that there are plenty of options, outfield or not, who can fit the bill better than Taguchi. I still can't believe he's 39. Jesus, I'm getting old.

Willard:

I like you thinking about that bench spot, especially if they are serious about using Brunlett in the outfield. Perhaps that is a test to see if they can get by replacing Taguchi with a good bat, no field type player.

Willard: Good post. Something I had planned on posting on after lunch, the idea they have enough versatile players to cover the OF, plus they don't necessarily need to replace Burrell every night.

regarding taguchi. I'm not going to discuss keeping him or dropping him. But the real mistake was Manuels.

You were bringing in Jenkins, because you really needed a homer. Taguchi's splits versus LH aren't much better than Jenkins. A double play was the WORST case scenario. The best case scenario for Tag was what a base hit? We would have been better off with Jenkins striking out then Tag hitting into the double play.


According to fangraphs pitch type stats, Brett Myers is throwing 50 % fastballs, 24 % sliders, 16 % curves, 8 % change, and 1.4 % cutters this season. What is notable (if you trust the fangraph stats) is that he is throwing less curves and more sliders than in previous seasons. Over the prior 3 seasons, he was always over 20 % curves, in 2007 -- 26.6 %.

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=962&position=P

Last night regarding Myers.... the amazing thing, on the outs he recorded, he looked like the MILLION dollar arm. 6Ks. I was at the game so I dont' get great location. But there was one pitch he painted on the inside corner for a called 3rd strike that was just a beauty. He had 2 DP balls after walking batters and should have had a third.

But it wasn't like he was recording those LONG LOUD outs that you get from Eaton sometimes.

I'm not sure that hitting 89-90 versus 92-93 is indicative of injury. I think it's really just a location problem. And that could be mechanical. But i think it's more in his head than anything.

Morty: Why is it "obvious" that a Helms-Dobbs platoon would not have outperformed Feliz up to this point? Helms/Dobbs have a combined average of .256, and a combined OBP of .292. Feliz's numbers are .233 and .282. Dobbs/Helms also have 4 more RBIs, and only one less homer than Feliz -- despite 16 fewer PAs.

Besides, when you have a platoon, the manager also has the option of discarding the platoon & just going with the hot hand. If Helms were still with the Phillies & hitting .200 right now (as he is with the Marlins), Dobbs might well be the full-time third baseman by now -- which he may well be in the near future, anyhow.

If it's his best pitch, shouldn't Myers be throwing a lot more curves? At least switch up the percentages with his slider, a mediocre pitch at best. That and stop throwing his fastball down the middle is my expert analysis.

BAP:

Because Helms is less than useless with both the bat and the glove. Dobbs isn't that hot against lefties, and doesn't inspire much confidence with the glove at 3rd. I certainly would not make Dobbs the full time 3rd baseman. If you want to argue that he should be getting more time at 3rd, especially against righties, by all means.

bap: Damn you and your "statistics". We all know that Pedro Feliz is superior to a Helms/Dobbs platoon because we have two eyes. Numbers mean nothing. NOTHING I tell you!

Morty: I advocated for an upgrade at 3B in the offseason. I don't consider Feliz playing everyday as an upgrade (although a Dobbs/Feliz platoon would be an upgrade.)

Regarding a comparison of their current stats, which is a bit bogus since Helms is a bench guy with only 65 ABs, the combined OPS of Dobbs/Helms would be .684. Feliz is at .688.

Feliz, as I've said repeatedly, is the worst offensive thirdbaseman in the NL. His alleged Gold Glove defense does not offset his harm on offense. He is a net negative for the team.

And you have to compare Helms Dobbs combined playing time at 3rd, with Feliz/ Dobbs combined playing time at 3rd as well in your comparison.

Morty: Helms' career OPS is 10 points higher than Feliz's. So if Helms is less than nothing with the bat... what is Feliz?

Didn't Taguchi lead the league in pinch-hits last year, or PH average? I agree that he hasn't shown much so far - okay, nothing at all - but a month and a half seems kind of hasty to cut bait on him. I think the Phillies will be rewarded if they stick with him - I see him being a very valuable contributor late in the season, the type of guy contending teams are scrambling to add to their roster come September. Giving him some of the starts vs. LHP wouldn't hurt, either. Manuel has used him very sporadically outside of one week where he got some starts in the leadoff spot.

Regarding Coste hitting eighth: there is a school of thought in baseball which supposes that the no. 8 hitter is a more crucial spot in the lineup than no. 7, at least in the NL - because of his ability to get on base in front of the pitcher, in order to either be in a position to make the pitcher's spot useful by having him bunt, or simply to turn the lineup over. The other school of thought, of course, is that the hitter lower in the order will get fewer plate appearances in a game - which is why the pitcher hits ninth in the first place. Either viewpoint makes a certain degree of sense, however, and I think Manuel's angle is somewhat defensible here.

Morty: Huh? I just got done saying that a Dobbs/Feliz platoon would be an upgrade over last year. You and the other Feliz aplogists keep inventing this position that I've never held: That Helms is better than Feliz. I wanted to dump Helms as much as anyone. He's washed up. But I wanted an UPGRADE at 3B. An actual real everyday player, even a medicore one. Having the worst thirdbaseman in the league isn't an upgrade to me.

AWH: I like those lineups.

CJ, you must have missed the 2nd half of that sentence where I continued about Helms "...and with the glove."

RSB: I see what you're saying about the 7/8 spots but I don't think there's any school of thought that a player with the HIGHEST BATTING AVERAGE ON THE TEAM (outside of the .500 BA of C. Durbin) should be hitting 8th.

Morty: Dobbs' career average against lefties is .289 -- .20 pts higher than his average against right-handers. He also hit lefties well in the minors. There is literally no evidence to suggest that he can't hit left-handers. Cholly simply operates on the default assumption that, if a guy is left-handed, he must stink against left-handers. Not all of them do.

That said, I am not yet ready to say that Dobbs should be the full-time third baseman. However, Cholly should do a strict platoon, which would mean that Dobbs gets the majority of the starts. If Feliz is still hitting under .240 by the end of May, then I think Cholly needs to seriously entertain the idea of giving Dobbs at least some of the starts against left-handers.

At his career norms, Feliz would be barely tolerable as a platoon player. But he has been on a downward path for the last 2 years, & seems to be sinking even lower this year. That is NOT tolerable from a starting player -- even a part-time starter.

Both Helms and Dobbs are brutal in the field (feel free to look up the fielding statistics) while Feliz is great defensively. That counts for something in the argument.

One problem I see with Myers (feel free to contradict me) is that he trys for the "big money" pitch. He focuses way too much on trying to strike a guy out instead of getting weak contact. He has a fairly good defense behind him and he needs to pitch more to bad contact instead of always trying to be a strikeout guy. I always felt that that was one of the biggest things he loved about being a closer...striking guys out and having the spotlight/adrenaline rush of doing it...He loves to be the center of attention and he knows that Ks are "sexy".

Also he's getting alot more fly ball out than he has in the past because he's leaving the ball up more. His GB/FB ratio is down significantly from his career norms (1.17 in 08 vs. 1.46 for career). He's trying to be a power pitcher when he simply doesn't have the stuff for it anymore.

clout: So what should the Phils have done instead? All I recall you specifically saying was that you thought a Helms/ Dobbs platoon was preferable to what we have now - which is mostly Feliz/ occasionally Dobbs. Am I mistaken that you would have rather stuck with Helm/s Dobbs? Please feel free to correct the record.

In any case, if the combined OPS is basically tied, fielding has to be the tie breaker, no?

BAP:

Like I said before, giving Dobbs more playing time at 3rd is fine by me. However, he often makes the routine play look shaky over there, and does not convert the more difficult plays. And I love his bat in the PH role as well.

Jeltzie: true enough, and that does make me stop and realize that it's Manuel's rigidity, more than anything, which is responsible for him leaving Coste in the eighth hole. I don't really think a 'school of thought' has as much to do with it as the fact that Manuel just cannot or will not budge from lineup configurations which he etches in stone. He has proven to be the stereotypical American League manager whose weakest trait is an ability to improvise or adjust to conditions which may change during the course of a game or a season.

If you compare Dobbs career(which are higher than the past 2 years) ZR and RF with all qualified 3B in the NL, he would would rank 15th out of 16 on Zone Rating and 8th out of 16 on Range Factor. He would also be 7th out of 16 in fielding percentage. He is not a good defender at all and that would hurt the Phillies alot. Feliz is near the top (#4)in all those categories and within shooting distance of the 3 above him.

It doesn't seem like he tailors his approach to each batter. He seems to have a general approach to the entire lineup.

Btw....he is hurt....we'll see in three starts....shoulder reconstruction

"He is not a good defender at all and that would hurt the Phillies alot."

Define "a lot." And tell me if that is hurting the Phillies more than having the worst regular third basemen in the game getting 4.5 plate appearances a game.

Actually, he's at 3.5 plate appearances per game.

From Jason Stark today:

WAITING FOR MR. BENSON: Teams that have spoken with the Phillies report they've stepped up efforts to find a rotation upgrade over the exasperating Adam Eaton. Kris Benson was supposed to be that upgrade, but he's stuck in rehab limbo. And with his June 1 opt-out deadline approaching, the Phillies may have to mull moving on if Benson doesn't start progressing.

Morty: And is that still acceptable to you?

Jason Stark's 'Rumblings' column today, link here:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&page=rumblings

has this:

"• WAITING FOR MR. BENSON: Teams that have spoken with the Phillies report they've stepped up efforts to find a rotation upgrade over the exasperating Adam Eaton. Kris Benson was supposed to be that upgrade, but he's stuck in rehab limbo. And with his June 1 opt-out deadline approaching, the Phillies may have to mull moving on if Benson doesn't start progressing."


Just a thought, but after the word "exasperating" couldn't one substitute the words "Brett Myers" for Adam Eaton?

JBrod, nice. that's what I get for editorializing - 2nd fiddle.

****And is that still acceptable to you?****

Feliz in the 7 0r 8 hole isn't a big problem as long as the rest of the offense is clicking. The Phillies will score enough runs no matter who's playing 3B. They need better defense and better pitching. Feliz was acquired for his defensive abilities not offense because the Phillies let alot of balls through the left side of the infield last year despite Rollins GG performance at SS. Dobbs/Helms was brutal at the hot corner. When Howard and Victorino are actually contributing, the Phillies score a ton of runs so Dobbs offensive contributions are somewhat overrated especially as a starter. I love what Dobbs gave us last year but we needed defense and we went out and got it.

Also on Rumblings...SD was mentioned as a possible seller early on, maybe we could make a run to get Wolfy back. He'd probably be available and he's a good lefty who could replace either Moyer, Eaton, or Myers in the rotation...besides he already has his own fanclub here.

Smallwood article on Myers:

Everybody has a theory about what's wrong with Myers.

There has been talk about a loss in velocity, a lack of conditioning, a bit of pouting because he's no longer a closer.

I don't know.",

This is a great example of really poor reporting. Not any type of real statistics that might educate the reader on why Myers is struggling and not a single quote. Few hundred words of wasted space.

When we're writing posts about getting Randy Wolf back, it sort of points out the need for a little perspective on Myers. Wolf's numbers aren't a whole lot better than Myers -- and that's with the benefit of playing in baseball's most pitching friendly park (Wolf's park adjusted ERA is exactly 1 point better than Myers'). Yet, we look at him and say, "Maybe he would be an upgrade." We'd undoubtedly be saying the same thing about Brett Myers, if he were putting up the same terrible stats right now, but for another team.

Myers has pitched like absolute crap but this may be one of these situations where the best solution is the one you already have: waiting it out and hoping he improves. Admittedly, there does come a time when you have to cut bait, but I don't think we're quite there yet.

Ugh. If the Phils had just spent the damn $3.5 M on Lohse, they would have had that starter they needed instead of Eaton.

Myers seems to me the type of guy that sits on his ass all winter and plays video games. He doesn't train at all and right now he's realizing he's not 24 anymore and can no longer get away with it.

Lohse may be saying "if only I had accepted the Phils' three year offer..."

NEPhilliesPhan: Sorry, but that's false. Feliz wasn't brought in simply to be a good glove at third base. He was brought in (and paid a two-year guaranteed contract!!!) because he was to upgrade the position. There are no-hit, good glove fielders that could have been had for less than we spent on Feliz.

And... again... you're spinning falsehoods. If this offense were better, we'd probably have won more games. Feliz's dreadful performance (which was completely predictable in so much as I predicted it) is costing us.

The Phillies are 9th in the National League in runs scored per game. They are down almost a full run from last year. If you don't think a more production from third base would help this team, you're fooling yourself. This "we have enough offense" defense of Feliz is laughable.

****Ugh. If the Phils had just spent the damn $3.5 M on Lohse, they would have had that starter they needed instead of Eaton. ****

Have you actually checked Lohse's stats from his last couple of starts? His fluke start to the season is quickly wearing off.

Last 3 starts: 0-2, 10.06 ERA in 17 IPs

You know starting pitching is at a premium when:

Multiple teams including the Brewers and Rockies are going after Tavarez. It is why not signing Lohse or Affeldt looks even all the most foolish in retrospect because the Phils could have just said "we will have a competition in camp and if you pitch well you will win a starting job."

Are we really pining for Kyle Lohse?

Last 5 starts:
1-2, 8.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 11 BB, 12 K, 34 H, 27 IP... opponents hitting .312 against him.

Lohse has had a few really poor starts. I will be shocked though if he doesn't finish with better stats than Eaton.

The thing that boggles my mind is that the Phils don't like signing pitchers to long-term deals (which is actually a pretty savvy strategy 90% of the time) yet they have no problem signing potentially mid-teir, over-the-hill veterans like Jenkins or Feliz for multi-year deals. Never understand that philosophy.

NEPhillies: Ha! We may disagree on Feliz... but we sure are on the same page with Lohse!

Even if Lohse had flubbed in the starting rotation spot, you could have moved him back into the bullpen as a swing man. Durbin has paid huge dividends in that role so far this season and a guy like Lohse would be a big upgrade over Condrey.

Feliz was brought in because he's great with the glove and he'll chip in 15-20 HRs from the hot corner, nothing more. Everyone swooned about how great his power would be in CBP (He might hit 25 HRs was the common phrase used). Blaming the offense on Feliz is a joke. Perhaps if former MVP 1B Ryan Howard wasn't batting .100 points below his career average while on a record pace for strikeouts the offense would be better. Maybe if JRoll hadn't missed a month to injury and Victorino hadn't also got hurt, the offense would be better. Even Ruiz is well below his average. Feliz is basically doing exactly what they expected but both his Avg and OPS are about 20 points lower than his career average (.230 instead of .250, .688 instead of .720). Its not Feliz's fault that Howards under the Mendoza line or that Rollins and Vic got hurt or that the starting pitching other than Hamels has been atrocious.

****If this offense were better, we'd probably have won more games.****

Really? No crap. If any of the starting pitchers other than Hamels had a respectable ERA, they'd probably win more games too. Or if Howard was batting .280 instead of .180 they'd probably win more.

**** This "we have enough offense" defense of Feliz is laughable.****

They're scoring less runs because Howard has been a black hole in the 4-hole and the the #1 and #2 hitters have been injured...or are you ignoring that? Yes, its all Feliz's fault. He's on pace for 20 HRs and 64 RBIs which is about what he did last year in SF (2007: 20 HRs, 72 RBI)

I still say signing Lohse wouldn't have hurt the Phils in any regards. Not for a 1-year deal. Yet they sign Feliz for 2 guaranteed years when it is pretty likely no other team was willing to do the same (at least what Sabean said as Giants' GM).

****NEPhillies: Ha! We may disagree on Feliz... but we sure are on the same page with Lohse!****

LOL, I know...pretty funny actually.


****and a guy like Lohse would be a big upgrade over Condrey***

$4 million for a 7th option out of the pen? The math doesn't really add up. We can easily replace Condrey (who only pitches garbage innings) with someone from the minors.

So far, we are down this year compared to last year in runs scored, but Feliz is hardly the reason.

- I have to give props to BAP here. BAP warned us early on about Feliz and the reputation he carried with him...leaving runners stranded, not being very selective at the plate, drawing very few walks, over-rated glove. My bitch is that they could have done more with less money, but chose to spend un-wisely again.

- Who would have predicted that Myers was going to be so bad at this stage that we want to replace him with Happ? I for one certainly figured it would have been Eaton (which would still be alright with me) we wanted to replace by now.

- Question: Why does Pat Gillick have to stay on as the GM? Why don't they let this alleged baseball guru go now and be done with it so we can start abusing the next guy?

One of the biggest issues with the offense that no one has talked about is missing Rowand. Rowand has played well so far in SF and the guys who were supposed to make up for his offense (Victorino, Jenkins) haven't cut the mustard so far.

NEPhilliesPhan: There is no mor ebogus or misleading stat on the planet than Zone and Range Factor. They are Gabage In/Garbage Out because they assume the defender is the only factor in whether a ball gets fielded.

NEPhil - Have you seen what the Phils have in the pen at Allentown? The Phils won't be able to adequately replace any of their bullpen arms if someone goes down (maybe even Condrey).

One thing that has really been keeping this team afloat so far has been the bullpen and things could turn south for the Phils in a hurry if they have two guys down in the pen (Gordon and Seanez or even Madson).

****NEPhilliesPhan: There is no mor ebogus or misleading stat on the planet than Zone and Range Factor. They are Gabage In/Garbage Out because they assume the defender is the only factor in whether a ball gets fielded****

I would disagree with that and alot of other people would too. They aren't the end all be all of fielding statistics but its more accurate than just looking at fielding percentage.

On Rowand, If they could have done a 3 year deal, I would have been all for it but at 4 or 5 years, its tough to swallow that much money when Victorino "seemed" to be a good in house solution. Now if they would have actually used that money to sign a legit starter instead of Feliz and nothing else, my argument against Rowand would be slightly stronger.

On J.A. Happ, Keith Law referred to him as a 6th starter in the Majors at best in his chat today. I don't always agree with his opinions on prospects but he's right more than he's wrong usually. I'd still like to give Happ a shot though...he can't be any worse than Myers was last night and this year.

MG: The Phils offered Lohse a 3-year deal. Lohse turned it down.

NEPhilliesPhan: Yep Feliz hit 20 HRs in 579 plate appearances, or a HR 3.4% of the time he stepped to the plate. Does that impress you?

****NEPhil - Have you seen what the Phils have in the pen at Allentown? The Phils won't be able to adequately replace any of their bullpen arms if someone goes down (maybe even Condrey). ****

Yes, but that still doesn't equal $4 million for Kyle Lohse. Lohse has never pitched out of the pen other than last year's playoffs (where he was brutal) and he a 5th starter on a good day. Besides I was thinking more of the possibility of Outman or Castro making the move from Reading. Right now the Pen is the least of my worries...without another good starter we aren't going anywhere this year no matter how many runs they score.

CJ - They was much earlier in the offseason. Once Lohse realized that he was completely offbase with his contract demands, he scrambled to gather interest. Both Mets and Phils passed even though Lohse was willing to take a 1-year deal at that point because he was so desperate to pitch this year.

There is a place for Myers in the bullpen. Simply have him and Durbin change places.
How bad is Snelling hurt? He looked good in Florida but I don't think he got much of a chance.I recall LaForest getting lots of PH tries after 1 hit.

****NEPhilliesPhan: Yep Feliz hit 20 HRs in 579 plate appearances, or a HR 3.4% of the time he stepped to the plate. Does that impress you****

No, not really. For the record I was against the Feliz signing from the start. I'm pointing out that he's basically within his career norms so no one in the organization should be remotely surprised at his performance. Perhaps Gillick never stayed up late to actually watch the west coast games the last couple of years. Blaming the offensive struggles on Feliz while ignoring how bad the rest of it has been is a joke though. Feliz is simply playing how he has always played. Why do you think the Giants weren't at all interested in resigning him?

Not signing Lohse was a case of the Phils' desire for a set level of profit margin creeping in this year. Nothing more.

Instead they went the cheapskate way and took a flyer on Benson because they knew he would cost them almost nothing if he was hurt. They should have done both.

NEPhilliesPhan: At least fielding pct. tells you whether a guy is sure handed. Range and Zone are so greatly affected by outside factors as to provide only a vague metric for who has good range.

Look, no one would argue that Feliz isn't a good fielder. Where you run into trouble is in the unprovable and dubious assertion that he saves more runs with his glove than he costs with his bat. Especially at the 5th least important defensive spot on the field. Why do you think teams put guys like Braun and Cabrera and Kouzmanoff at thirdbase? Because you can get away with a bad fielder there and you can't at places like 2B, SS, CF, C.

Giants were interested in resigning Feliz at decent dollars. Sabean just wasn't going to give him a multi-year deal guaranteed. That is the real issue there.

At least the Mets are terrible.

MG: I think there was also an element of collusion there against Scott Boras. The Phillies weren't the only team to continue to pass up on Lohse as his demands plummeted. There's evidence that a tipping point was reached last season, and that the premium a player received for having Boras as his agent has disappeared. Of course, one bad off-season doesn't mean the guy is done, but the next 8 months or so should show whether teams are more than a little reluctant to negotiate with him.

Deal on Lohse: Making $4.25 M and might reach $4.45 M or so with incentives for IP.

Not that I am a big Lohse fan. The thing that bothered me most about spring training was the sham competition the Phils had for Eaton's spot in the rotation.

It was guaranteed he would get a starter's spot unless he was hurt and I still don't believe the rumors about the Phils moving him out of the rotation (not when he hasn't pitched horrendously yet and more importantly is under contract for another year big dollars).

All fielding percentage tells us is that he cleanly handles the ones he gets too...there's that joke that some writers use that Derek Jeter's real name should be "past a diving Jeter" because his range is so limited (his 3 Gold Gloves were almost as much a travesty as Bobby Abreu's). At least ZR and RF give us an idea of how effective a guy is. Clearly Feliz is hands down a great defender when compared to Dobbs. Dobbs is better offensively (most are) but good defense does help win...especially in the playoffs. My point was very simple: if the rest of the offense was performing at their career norms, then we wouldn't be bashing Feliz at all. We'd say "wow what a great play at 3rd and did you see those 3 HRs that Howard hit?" I also agree that defense up the middle is more important (which is why Vic in RF with Werth in CF the last 2 games is killing me).

For the record, Braun, Cabrera nad Kouzamanoff were at 3B because an even worse defender is at 1B and they have big bats that you can't bench.

Braun and Cabrera don't play 3b anymore, neither is older than 25.

Lohse is bad and didn't like CBP. Hell, I think Affeldt might have been a better option, but pining for Lohse is silly. He's dumb for not taking the Phils offer. That's one contract i'm glad wasn't accepted.

Both will be DHs by the time they're 30...well Cabrera will probably be the DH next year and Braun will be killing the Brewers in the OF for years to come.

Clout: Neither Braun or Cabrera are currently playing 3B, because their defense wasn't good enough to stay there. You do realize that right?

This is the same old argument. Feliz sucks offensively, everyone knows that, but he gives you the occasional home run (which, to be fair, we've gotten lucky on because it seems that most of his have come in important situations so far this year) and good defense. This team is not losing games because of poor offense at 3rd base. We got poor offense at 3rd base last year and scored a run per game higher The reason we're scoring less so far is that we missed Jimmy for most of the season so far, Howard has not played like a top 10 offensive player in the league, and guys like Ruiz and Victorino have not produced all that much.

Everyone needs to relax about the offense. We will still be a very good offense once everything is said and done. We scored 6 runs last night against a good team and people are criticizing the offense- that's ridiculous.

The starting pitching is, once again, the serious flaw in this team.

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