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Friday, May 16, 2008

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BOOO, Rain!!!

If it can rain for about four more days then Cole makes the next start for the Phils, right?

Anybody ever hear the song rain delay by Marah with Harry K's cameo in the beginning?

He could probably handle short rest if it only rains the next 3 days straight...

AWH: From the last thread . . . yes, Andy was being faceitious.

CJ: From the last thread . . . third time through the lineup, in only the 4th inning -- and against Brandon Webb, no less? It's not likely to happen, but if it ever does, Feliz is definitely the man I want at the plate. Those numbers prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Can we trade Brett Myers for Randy Wolf?

AWH - sorry for the confusion. Next time change out of your Official "Pat Gillick Hawaiian GMâ„¢" jersey before posting.

Joe:
I think we should trade Bret Myers and Adam Eaton for Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes.

I'm sure that Yankees would pull the trigger on that blockbuster in a heartbeat...why not toss in Feliz to see if they'll give us ARod.

Marah is an excellent band, and having Harry Kalas cameo on your debut album is pretty much the coolest I can think of.

Mike C: I'm sure you're just joshing. Thinking that where a guy hits in the order is predictive of how much he'll hit is beyond ridiculous. The numbers that count are his totals, not what he hits while playing thirdbase against redheaded sidearmers. Same goes for Dobbs. It's the totals that count. If you want to break it down further, numbers against righties and lefties are obviously relevant, but to say that moving someone between 6th and 7th in the lineup will somehow cause him to hit more or less is laughable.

Tray: As you know, I'm in favor of a straight platoon between Feliz/Dobbs, so your post supports my position.

from the district: Does Harry play bass on one track?

At this point, I would trade Eaton for Terry Mulholland

Unless it is raining really hard, they will play the game. Too much money on the line.

Hey...Mulholland at least threw a no-hitter...I should know, I was at the game. It was against the Giants.

clout: For his career, Feliz is hitting .286 and slugging .487 when batting in the cleanup spot -- his highest totals at any spot in the batting order. He's also hitting .364 for his career on 3-0 counts. Hence, to optimize Feliz's value, what I propose is that we keep him on the bench and wait until the opposing pitcher goes 3-0 on Ryan Howard. Then we bring in Feliz to pinch hit. Afterwards, we can move Dobbs to first & put Feliz in at third, thereby upgrading the defense for the remainder of the game.

No hitter and all, the signature moment of Mulholland's career definitely came when he was with the Giants. Keith Hernandez hit a comebacker to the mound and, when Mulholland couldn't get the ball out of his mitt to make the throw, he just threw his whole mitt to first base to retire the hitter. I remember I was watching on tv when that happened.

I was thinking to myself earlier that no Phillies starting pitcher has missed a start yet this season. I then wondered how many other teams in MLB can say the same thing. The answer- none. Yes, that's right the Phils are the only team in MLB that has only used 5 starting pitchers through the first part of this season.

Starting Pitchers Used:
8- Rangers, Rockies, Yankees
7- O's, Braves, BoSox, Cubs, Indians, Astros, Rays, Angels, Twins, Mets, A's, Pirates, Padres, Giants, Mariners, Nationals
6- DBacks, ChiSox, Reds, Tigers, Marlins, Royals, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Brewers, Cardinals
5- Phils!

unfortunately no bass, just a spoken word introduction


Although I hear that he can really shred on lead guitar.

I see Kalas as a keytar player.

GM-Carson: That makes up for the last couple of years when we probably used the most starters in the majors.

It'd be nice if our #2 - #5 starters were good, rather than healthy.

Actually, I wouldn't mind at all if a couple of our starters missed a few starts.

That is the thing that worries me about this pitching staff is because with the exception of the first week really (Lidge being out), they have been completely healthy and pretty mediocre overall.

Besides Myers (who arguably can't pitch worse than he has), I don't see any room for improvement really.

Enough abut media person complaining about Interleague Play. Like the Phils need to play more games against the Fish or the Nats. If anyone, my biggest gripe right about the current scheduling in baseball is the lack of times the Phils play teams in the NL West or NL Central.

Actually one of the things that Selig has done that I readily agree with (including the introduction of the wildcard and the 3 division format). Numbers back it up too because attendance is typically much higher on average so the paying fans much agree too.

Carson: Great stat. Amazing how rare it is to have all 5 starters healthy for even a month. Too bad that includes the lame perfomances of Eaton and Myers thus far. I think Kendrick and Moyer have been more or less as advertised, and really Eaton has been as well, and Cole. Its just Myers whose been the real dud (Eaton doesn't count b/c that's what he does).

Carson, very nice.

IMO, there's room for OVERALL improvement from Hamels and Kendrick.

Cole was great last night, but he's had a couple of games that were clunkers.

Kendrick can improve slightly.

Eaton - well, I just hope his head doesn't explode.

Moyer - he is what he is at this point - a #4 - 5. He'll win 10-12 with and ERA below league average.

Myers is the one area where the SP can improve dramatically, and really make a difference.

The Phils need to acquire some pitching help. It's looking like Myers will never be a true #2 (#1 is out of the question), and the Fightin's are never going to be a serious contender without a complement for Hamels.

NEPhilliesPhan: I remember that game with clarity. Charlie Hayes snagged a hot line drive off the bat of Gary Carter to end that game.

I honestly didn't think our rotation was that bad so I decided to check out the stats on the phils site...

starters are 12-13 on the season so far...
relievers are 11-6 so far...

but what I'm thinking is that obviously a handful those wins (or losses) for the relievers are from Eaton's starts... so in my point of view, Eaton's not doing too bad according to his record... he is keeping us in games right?

secondly... the rest of the wins for the relievers are just from how the Phils offense has been since they score a large amount of runs later in the game...

Am I assuming right or do I just sound like an @$$ now? haha

I think someone mentioned in a previous thread that Feliz is hitting well right now, but likely to return to his career norms...

Well, it's true that Feliz is hitting .302 over his last 15 games with an OPS of .874, but he is, in fact, still pretty much right as his career average (OPS+ of 82 this year so far, OPS+ of 84 for career).

Sorry I guess I don't see where this rotation can pitch much better that it has. If the offense had been a bit more robust in the early going, they might have a few more wins. Contrarily, this bullpen has been pitching over their heads and their performances have been key to several comebacks.

@MG - actually I'd prefer more games against the Cubs and Cardinals than some random AL team.

@clout -- oh you genius. I didn't realize that batting order never mattered with production. You are going to ahve to tell Larussa about your finds!

Completely Misc. Note:

- How is Mark Hendrickson pitching even adequately well for the Fish? He is the definition of "stiff."

By and large our pitching staff has kept us in ballgames... which all things considered is all I ask right now. Moyer will do what Moyer does and that is fine. If Kendrick can maintain his last handful of outings that should work. Myers needs to improve, period. Eaton... well, his first three or so starts were pretty good. His last few have been... adventurous. But he's kept us in games and as long as Manuel has sense enough to know when to pull him we can work with it.

The only reason I brought up batting order, was the other day, there was all sorts of gnashing of teeth and rending of garments that Feliz was batting 7th while Coste was batting 8th.

I pointed out that in the 7th hole Feliz has peforming THIS year at a MUCH higher rate than when he was in the 6th HOLE.

I understand we're dealing with small samples. But the manager rides the HOT hand. And right now, Feliz is hitting well in that POSITION which would lead Manuel NOT to make a change there.

But I'm not saying that just being in the 7th spot alone makes the difference. Perhaps having Coste hit behind Feliz gets him better pitches? Maybe he feels more relaxed in the 7th hole and doesn't have the pressure to KNOCK in runs.

But to throw away stats like his results in the 7th hole in comparison to the 6th hole. To ignore his recent success, to just look at his baseball card results just so you can say, "Pedro Feliz sucks, he shouldn't be on this team" seems silly to me.

And totals don't always matter. Dobbs "totals" are skewed by pinch hit stats so his percentages seem higher because it's a smaller sample amplified by situational stats. When you look at his numbers playing EVERY day from last year, they aren't significantly better than Feliz' numbers. Which when you add in Feliz' defense makes playing Dobbs 75% of the time the Phillies weaker than not.


Mike: I don't think Larussa ever said that moving a player in the batting order will change that player's offensive performance. Larussa's theory is that player's offensive performances will remain relatively constant, no matter where they bat, but the TEAM's offensive performance will vary, depending upon how the players are arranged in the batting order. I think that's a pretty uncontroversial theory. It's why teams don't bat their pitchers leadoff, for example.

mike c: Last season, Dobbs got his most work as a starter beginning on Aug. 27th. Over a 32 game stretch (21 starts), he hit .250/.361/.382 in 83 PAs. His .743 OPS is higher than any season Feliz has had since 2004.

I'm not sure we should make any declarations about Greg Dobbs' potential as a more regular player until he truly gets his chance. We can make a pretty definitive declaration about Feliz because he's a terrible, terrible overall hitter and has proved it for years.

CJ: Considering that you started off as a full-fledged Gillick defender, it warms my heart every time I see you preaching the gospel about the Phillies' stupidity. I think you were the first ever scientifically documented Beerleaguer convert. Excellent work.

"Besides Myers (who arguably can't pitch worse than he has), I don't see any room for improvement really."

Umm, you'd rather they'd pitched worse thus far, so that they could eventually improve? The way I see it, Kendrick, Eaton, Moyer and Hamels are performing at about their expected levels, but the number two guy is performing way below expectations. Thats actually kind of a good place to be, because there is a drastic room for improvement in one case, and no one else is really playing over his head either, so we don't have to worry about them crashing back to earth.

Given the Phils' history of terrible starts and their current win-loss record I actually like how things have gone with the rotation so far because I think Myers will figure things out.

Mike C: Rare do we read a statement as bizarre as this one:

"Perhaps having Coste hit behind Feliz gets him better pitches? Maybe he feels more relaxed in the 7th hole and doesn't have the pressure to KNOCK in runs."

timr: I couldn't agree more.

bap: Hmmmm... I wonder how I earned a reputation as a Gillick defender. I defend the signings are think are good and I explain which signings I think are bad.

I think Gillick deserves credit, however, for getting this team to the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade. Some believe it's happened in spite of Gillick, but that's naive. On Feliz (and other mistakes) he deserves no credit.

Lineups... against another lefty starter:

Phillies
SS Rollins
RF Victorino
2B Utley
1B Howard
LF Burrell
CF Werth
3B Feliz
CA Coste
PI Moyer

Blue Jays
SS Scutaro
2B Hill
CF Rios
3B Rolen
RF Stairs
LF Mench
1B Overbay
CA Zaun
PI Purcey

Amazing that Scott Rolen is coming back into town and it hasn't been mentioned. Guess it's old hat now that we've faced him on the Cardinals so much.

Also, Kevin Mench is starting for the Blue Jays. Lots of talk about getting him in the offseason. He's hitting .188 with a .423 OPS.

Finally, I think there was a lot of talk about trading for Alex Rios at one point (crazy talk, I believe since Toronto wasn't going to trade him). He's hitting .255 with a .702 OPS.

Oh... one other thing... nice to avoid Vernon Wells who was really heating up before he broke his wrist. And B.J. Ryan is back as closer and he's been perfect this year and has yet to allow a run in 12 appearances.

I give Gillick lots of credit for making those little in-season moves to help the ballclub even if he has swung and missed on some of his larger deals (Garcia, etc). It seems like his strength is more of identifying guys like Moyer and Seanez that still have some tread left and then acquiring them to help on the fringes. Moyer was supposed to be a mid-season rental and now we're 2 years in...I'd say he's been worth it. He also identified and signed role players like Dobbs and Werth that were both key in our playoff run last year. He's done alot of good overall despite some crucial errors.

Wow. Kevin Mench.
I think I started the talk about him in the off-season - not because I wanted him, but because at one point Gillick was interested in him. As clout pointed out, after Werth was acquired, the Phils no longer needed what Mench potentially brings. Werth is younger with a better bat and more speed.

A line-up which starts Mench in LF and has Scutaro leading off, somehow, doesn't scare me too much. Even with Rios and Rolen.

Actually, I wonder where Chollie would bat Rolen. Would he move Uts up to second, or Burrel down, or put Rolen sixth?

The only reason to keep Feliz at seventh is that, with the pitcher next, he would get even fewer pitches "to hit." (Parentheses because he would swing anyway and pop them up.) In his last four years with the Giants they almost never batted him eighth, no matter how badly he was slumping. It's not because he's better than Coste - he's not - it's because batting him eighth allows the opposing team to more easily take advantage of his glaring deficiencies.

I'd bat him ninth.

What is going with Werth in center again?

Cholly's earlier-in-the-week statement of having him get some games there is one thing -- but this is beginning to look permanent.

Have I missed some explanation from Cholly?

Hope SE - It's baffling indeed. More baffling than where Pete Happy bats.

The only thing I can think of, regarding Werth in CF, is that Chollie wants him to get used to the position in CBP where he has less room to cover. That, plus Burrell is in good physical shape and maybe covers a little more ground now?

Gosh. That's reaching.

How about this?
Chollie's just being stupid. And now that he's been asked about it, he's being stupid and stubborn.

Gotta love it when Moyer starts the game with a 79 mph fastball.

Ha! Moyer throwing that fastball inside and blowing Rios off the plate!!!

Um... or... maybe not quite blowing him off the plate...

CJ - nudging?

Wow, was he really out?

Game thread up... moving there...

Guys, there's a new game chat thread.

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