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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

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Great to hear about Chase, and it was a treat to see Kendrick last night as well.

Heading to the game tonight, should be drop dead gorgeous, and am eagerly waiting to see if the Phils bats continue to pound. Only fly in the ointment is that every time I have a ticket to attend a game, it seems Eaton is scheduled to pitch. Oh well, there are worse problems to have...

Eaton needs a win tonight, it's almost June for crying out loud and he's still winless.

Utely is Mr. Awesome, he deserves to be one of the marquee faces of MLB.

Loved what we saw from Kendrick last night. But until we see more from non-Hamels starters on a regular basis, we aren't on a par with playoffs teams like Arizona (Webb, Haren, Owings) or even Chicago (Zambrano, Dempster.) Last year, we all saw how pitching can dominate a potent offense in the post season.

I believe we can slug our way to the playoffs, but pitching will be the way to go deep and win.

Let's get Burrell to his first all-star game.

On paper, the Phillies wouldn't appear to have the pitching to go deep in the playoffs. But they're going to have to live with what they have. Kris Benson will probably this year's Kyle Lohse. Unless they trade Myers, I don't see them being able to add anyone significant to the rotation the rest of the way.

It should go without saying by now that the Phillies have a strong shot to get back to the post-season, but they would hardly be a favorite to advance very far. 'Course, you get there, and who knows what can happen. Look no further than tonight's opponent as evidence of that.

This could finally be the year for Burrell, whether he's voted in or not. Not exactly a banner year for NL outfielders.

The N.L. should have quite the squad this year. But when are people going to realize Ken Griffey Jr. isn't close to an all star anymore. He gets voted in every year!

I'm fine with Kendrick/ Moyer competing to be that # 3 pitcher in the playoffs. It's not an ideal situation, but they both compete and can do a decent enough job. The problem is that Myers looks like a shell of his former self. If Myers doesn't turn it around, where are we going to find that 2nd top shelf starting pitcher you need in the playoffs? Benson would help in the regular season, but for the playoffs would he really be that big an upgrade over Moyer/ Kendricks?

The N.L. should have quite the sqaud this year. But enough of Griffy Jr. already!

what's wrong with those AllStar voters? there are some serious crimes being perpetrated there...
JR Towles? what in the hell is he doing in the top five voting for catchers???? i was down in Houston last weekend and that kid couldn't get the ball out of the infield! he's batting below .200 for goodness sake.
Kaz Matsui and Mark DeRosa ahead of Dan Uggla? wrong. that guy has been a monster this year.
Ken Griffey, Junior is third in outfield voting? seriously? what is this 1999? he can't field his position anymore and he's in the middle of a serious power drought. so what, exactly, does he bring to the table? enough already.
and Lance Berkman ahead of Albert Pujols? riddle me this, if a ball is hit down the first base line and Lance Berkman is too fat to bend down and pick it up, does it still count as a hit?

on the charge of talent evaluation, the verdict is GUILTY.

um, Berkman is a triple crown candidate.

um, Berkman is a triple crown candidate.

Hard to believe that Burrell has never been to an All Star game. I'm guessing he might be the best player in baseball who has played more than 5 years and never made it. At least to this point, he certainly deserves to be in the starting lineup -- along with probably 2 of the Pirates' outfielders. The top 4 on the voting list are a joke.

It's pretty clear the Cubs and to a lesser extent, the 'Stros are stuffing the ballot. I'm sure Japanese fans are voting a ton online to get Fukudome in the game and that's having a spillover effect for his teammates.

I doubt any fans outside the Windy City and Tokyo really wants to see Theriot more than Jimmy Rollins.

BAP: A buddy of mine (who's a Cards fan) and I actually had that conversation last summer. He agreed Burrell is probably the most accomplished player in MLB (discounting guys with less than 3 years in the majors) to have never made an All Star team. I suspect Burrell might also be fun to watch in a homerun derby.

Way to go, Utzzz! I think Berkman deserves to start over Pujols. I'd like to see PtB go, but that'll just drive up his FA value to sign elsewhere.

I feel for you Bob, Eaton is like a bad curse.

By the way, Chris Coste would make an excellent write-in candidate.

Would love to see Chase, Cole, J-Roll, and Pat at the all-star game. My guess is that the first two are close to locks if they keep up a similar pace. J-Roll, questionable. With the MVP, at least he's gotten some of the recognition he richly deserves. And yes, it would feel really good to see Pat the Bat being introduced before the game. We will punch our cards and hope for the best.

true, Berkman is a triple crown contender, but only on the basis of a scorching hot May. his splits:
March and April- 8HR, 25RBI, .303AVG
May- 8HR, 21RBI, .483AVG

i don't believe he can keep up that kind of production all year long. he'll fall back to Earth as a very good player. in fact, from what i saw in Houston last weekend, he's already cooled off. i came off kinda harsh on him, which i didn't intend to, so my apologies, but my point is that his defense is near as bad as Howards...

The reason Burrell has never been is that he usually slumps in late May and June. When people are voting the Manchine is idling. I'm not sure I want to vote for him, though. If he's an AS, does that mean his contract demands will be higher? Which means he's less likely to be retained?

Ah...what the heck. I'm gonna vote for him anyway.

"I suspect he's a clubhouse asset, too."

Careful with that kind of talk! Sophist and Jack don't believe in it!

(Relax. I'm just being a jerk.)

Cube: Well, if I were going to vote today, I'd have to base my vote on what has happened so far, not on what I think will happen in the future. By that measure, as good as Pujols has been, Berkman deserves the nod at first base.

I've got to think Burrell is finally in this year. He may not get voted in, but he'll get in as a backup.

The Phillies actually have 4 no-doubt-about-it All Stars: Burrell, Utley, Hamels, & Lidge. Once he gets his ABs up, Rollins will probably be a viable candidate too. But he'll very likely miss out since the Phillies will already have 4 All Stars and there are plenty of strong candidates among NL shortstops.

Rollins may very well end up getting squeezed out. If we're lucky he may end up on that "Final Five" ballot or whatever it's called where you get to vote in the last guy.

I'm not sure Burrell is a definite, but I agree with the other 3 BAP mentioned. Barring injury or horrendous slumps, those guys will be at Yankee Stadium.

Cube: Um... are his splits really that out of whack? Sure, his BA is way up in May so that will come back to earth, but 8 HR and 25 RBI in his first month of the season is a GREAT month! He's the clear pick to be the starting first baseman in the NL this year. It's not close right now.

- I was somewhat amazed when I saw the stat about Kendrick never pitching that deep into a game before last night. I have never figured that one out, especially when he has gotten some pretty strong run support in many of his starts, especially last year. I really felt he could have completed the inning to go 8 full last night too.

- Chris Coste is finally getting some of the credit that he is due. As his batting average goes up, so do the eyebrows on the critics who said he wasn't good enough. Even as a three to four day-a-week catcher, Coste is a true Philly guy, overcoming the odds and never quitting. He is Philly's true life Rocky. He might be the most popular part-time player in Philly since Vince Papale suited up for Vermeil in the 70's.

- Hey JW, maybe we could run a thread on who our all time favorite Phillie's part time player was/is. It might be fun stuff to reminisce over and see what transpires. Any thoughts?

Lidge has a decent chance of being one of the relievers--depending on how things go the next month.

I can't believe Cube criticized a guy on the grounds that his two month old season stats are skewed by one phenomenal month.

Cube, isn't that sort of like..."Other than that Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?"

At this time the Phils have Carlos Carrasco tracking Brett Myers. The Phils need a No. 2 ASAP and especially for post season. Right now they do not have one. They can not keep running Myers out there every 5th day and allow him to keep getting lit up. Carrasco is the only guy in the organization with No. 2 stuff right now: 92-95 fastball, knee locking curve, an effective change up and good command. Over Carlos' last three starts for Reading he has thrown 17 of 18 scoreless innings walking 4 and striking out 20. To me Carlos is the key to this team's future this year unless you believe Myers can still become true No. 1 or 2 that he was penciled in as when the season began.

I don't know who'd beat out Lidge for a reliever spot at this point. Molina and Lincecum mean we don't need Brian Wilson, Tejada and Berkman mean we don't need Valverde. They'll be plenty of Cubs and D-Backs (Wood and Lyon), and Isringhausen has an 8 ERA. Those are all the closers with more saves than Lidge, and the only one in the top ten with an ERA even close is Wagner. Plus, if you've watched the guy all year like we have, you'd be hard impressed to admit that there's been a better closer in all of baseball.

Reading stuff like this from Buster Olney just warms my heart:

"But evaluators with other teams continue to say that they see a regression in Santana's stuff, and that he has gone from flat-out dominant to very good. "The effort required for him to throw his fastball was something very different," said one evaluator. "I mean, he used to throw 93-94 mph effortlessly. Effortlessly. And now he's got to put a lot of effort in his delivery to throw 90-91 mph." And evaluators this year report the same thing they did at the end of last season: He throws his slider much less than he did in the past."


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I'm not going to say the contract will end up being Barry Zito bad (that's nearly impossible), but what do the Mets really think they're going to be getting in years 4, 5, 6 and 7?

When a poster says the Phillies don't have the pitching to go deep in the playoffs, I don't think it means they CAN'T go deep into the playoffs, just that the odds are very much against it.

The Phillies rotation consists of offspeed, command guys. And those guys have a way tougher time being consistent from game to game than power pitchers. The only starter who is close to consistent in spotting his offspeed stuff is Hamels.

However, any of them can shut down anyone in the league when they are on and hitting their spots. Kendrick last night was a great example. And we saw Moyer do it under pressure late last season. And if Myers is locating his yakker every time he throws it, it won't matter that his fastball only clocks at 89.

Thus, can the Phillies win the World Series with this rotation? Yes, if each of them has great command in the game he pitches. Given the historic inconsistency of each of the starters (save Hamels) is that likely to happen? No. Chances of it happening are remote.

J, I'm with you regarding Burrell. I've already cast my ballots for him.
Would it be too much of stretch to see Dobbs in the All Star game? I know he's not a starter, but he deserves some recognition for an amazing season so far.

NCPhilly: The June 1 deadline will be pushed back. Benson will certainly not be ready to help at the major league level by June 1.

just to be clear re: my criticism of Berkman, my original comment was that he was a horrible defender and that Pujols should be considered ahead of him in that regard. just wanted to clear that up.
i understand all the consideration he's getting on account of his torrid May. i just don't think he'll sustain that pace up until the All Star game a month from now, so it seemed strange he'd be out in front of the consensus best hitter (and a top defensive first basemen) in the league in Pujols.
what i don't understand is why i'm being so critical of Berkman... must've had a bad day at work. go phils.

RE: Evidence of Dobb's clubhousiness

Don't know if anyone saw that interview Victornio gave in spring training over the phone, he was out playing mini-golf with dobbs and jenkins. Not much, but it is a hilarious interview if you ever see (or hear) it and you can hear dobbs in the background. A lot of funny moments. Victorino calls Dobbs the second-most player white girls want after utley.

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