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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

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I'm very excited about this team. We could be seeing a World Series preview next week when Boston/Anaheim come to town. Yes, a World Series preview.

way not to jump the gun

I'm just excited to see Colon/Hamels on national TV Monday night. Colon is 3-1, but he's been helped along by some strong Sox hitting during the early innings of his first three appearances. A rightie who relies on a once-dominating fastball? Bring him on.

Some team from the National League is going to make the World Series. Many teams in the National Legaue stink. The Phillies don't stink. It's just saying something other people are afraid to. Or, maybe if I included some obscure stats that no one cares about with my post, it would have generated a reaction.

Anaheim is an interesting team like last years Diamondbacks. They have the same record as the Phillies (39-26) but have scored 274 runs while allowing 274 runs. Their record should be in for a correction in the near future. They are playing in a weak division, so they could still easily make the playoffs. Still, I think their over-the-hill offense is gonna eventually take its toll. Team leader in HR's: Mike Napoli with 10.

As for the Phillies, does anyone else think the lineup would benefit switching Howard and Burrell in the lineup? It would throw a stick in the wheels of the lefty specialist that Utley and Howard are always subjected to. Burrell is also a better on-base guy than Howard, so it could mean more runs for Pat and more RBI for RyHo.

The Aaron Rowand Impact: Don't look now, but San Fran is legitimately in the race for the NL West crown.

squads, switching Burrell and Howard has been extensively discussed on the board.

The general consensus is that they should be switched when the starting pitcher is LH, though some disagree and feel it should never happen, and a few have said that it should be done all the time, to break up the two LH.

I hope Boston's road tendency continues.

And hope Anaheim's returns to the mean.

From watching the Red Sox regularly (I live in New England afterall and get NESN), Colon still has a pretty good fastball. I've seen him hit 95/96 with it so far this season and it sits around 93 for him. He's not ever gonna be a 100mph guy again but he's still a power pitcher with some good stuff when he's on.

****As for the Phillies, does anyone else think the lineup would benefit switching Howard and Burrell in the lineup?****

Probably everyone not named Charlie Manuel. The problem is that nothing is really broken and having Burrell behind Howard gives him much better pitches to hit than he would see otherwise.

One of the best aspects of Charlie Manuel is his commitment to playing the hot hand. Some managers are so stubborn about the difference between bench players and starters, but not Charlie. And he seems to be able to handle the communication aspect and get good performances all around. That's not an easy trick with today's big salaries and egos. Kudos!

I still think Chooch is going to have a great second half.

"having Burrell behind Howard gives him much better pitches to hit than he would see otherwise."

NEPP, statheads would disagree eith you if you're referring to the "protection" factor.

But, in this instance, I'm actually going to disagree with you to a point.

Rowand batted behind Howard for most of last season. The Werth and Jenkins platoon is producing just about as well as Rowand. My point is that if Burrell were moved to cleanup against LHP, the Werth/Jenkins combo should provide enough protection for Howard.

The only problem I can think with switching the K Machine and the Man or Machine would be the frequency with which Burrell gets replaced by So in later innings. Do we really want So hitting 4th in the 8th/9th innings?

(Weak argument. I'd switch, regardless. Or maybe such a switch would get the Gut to think twice about replacing Burrell).

Swapping em would make those managers who go lefty/righty against us in the late innings go lefty/righty/lefty against us, which means they'd expose their weaker lefty to either Chase or Howard, or leave their lefty in for Pat.

"Probably everyone not named Charlie Manuel. The problem is that nothing is really broken and having Burrell behind Howard gives him much better pitches to hit than he would see otherwise."

Yeah it is tough to argue for this while the Phillies are winning so consistently, but I think its always good to look for improvements. The other side of the coin is Burrell would see better pitches hitting ahead of Howard and that would be wash IMO.

I think its time to accept the fact that Howard is not developing nearly as well as expected. Pitchers have adjusted and he has not returned the favor. He never seems to have a gameplan when he steps up to the plate. Throw RBI out the window because Chollie himself would probably have 40 hitting with our 1 to 3 guys ahead of him.

*Que Howard going on tear for the next 3 weeks and shutting me up*

what i don't get about Bartolo Colon is that he opted not to have surgery on, what was reported as, a partially torn labrum- the same injury Garcia tried to pitch through last season.
i advocated signing Benson over Colon in the offseason specifically because he opted for rehab and did not repair the damage, as Benson did. so my question is, how long does Colon maintain his fast start and his fastball velocity?

i'm hoping he craps out next week against the Phils... full disclosure: i am not a medical doctor nor do i grasp even a smidgen of pitching mechanics. this is common sense represented above and nothing more...

****NEPP, statheads would disagree eith you if you're referring to the "protection" factor.****

I think Rowand would be a slight upgrade offensively than Werth/Jenkins. He hits for higher average than their combination for one (.309 last year) and his power numbers were about the same. I'm not saying that switching them would weaken or strengthen the offense all that much in either direction.

Earlier today, I wrote:

Yesterday, East Fallowfield wrote: "Of course, at this point in 93 we were playing .700 ball, not .600 ball, but 15 of 19 gives us a flavor of that season."

Of course, like a fool, I believed him. Today, I read an article that stated that at this point in 1993, the Phils were 40-25.”

Later today East Fallowfield wrote:

“Lake Fred, According to Retrosheet and baseball almanac, after 65 gms the 1993 team was 45-20, not 40 and 25. Where did you get 40-25 from?”

I stand corrected. I checked Baseball Almanac (a source I trust) and found that EastFallowfield was correct with the 45-20 record which translates to a .692 winning percentage. I got my erroneous numbers from the Team Report on FoxSports. Who can you trust, Beerleaguer or the news media? It’s BL by a mile.

EastFallowfield, please accept my humble apologies.


I suppose with the amount of late inning runs we've scored this year it really doesn't matter that we don't expose the second lefty.

What is the over-under attendance-wise in the 3 game series in FLA? Watching the replays of Griffey's 600'th HR, the stadium was so empty it looks like a scene out of 'I Am Legend'. Upon further review, I swear I saw Will Smith in the stands in Miami.

Re: Rowand. And the 2008 Rowand is significantly better than the Werth/Jenkins combo. 138 OPS+, 15 points better than last year, and 30 points over career average. Still tooearly in the Rowand contract to really say, but I would gather it was money well spent.

mike - yeah, too early. They have him signed through 2013.

Mr. Mack, a truly sad commentary on the FL baseball fan. Sad, but true.

mike cunningham, it's not necessarily about exposing the second lefty, it's about forcing the other team to burn a RHP in between to get Burrell out. It's about taking away what is an advantage to the other team.

A LOOGY (Lefty-One-Out-Guy) is exactly that.

But the Phillies lineup give the other manager the opportunity to turn his LOOGY into a TWO-GY.

Splitting the two LH up from time to time eliminates that competitive advantage.

Thanks for the blurb about Chris Coste, Jason.

As you might guess, I like Coste. It's a requirement of living here in Fargo. But I like Chooch fine, too. Just not quite as much. I was not sad to see Barajas go and these two take over.

I regularly go to see our Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks, for whom Coste played for years, and I have yet to spot the next major leaguer on the team. Still, hot dogs are only $1.50 at Newman Outdoor Field (yes, "outdoor" is specified in the name), so who am I to complain?

Thanks again.

Mike Cunningham: Yeah, Rowand is definitely off to a good start, a better one than I or most around here probably predicted. The issue with that contract is not his performance this year or the money they're paying him this year- it's what he's gonna look like in the 4th and 5th years. I'm guessing it won't be a 138 OPS+, and it won't be particularly pretty on the defensive end either.

So Phargo lives in Fargo! Cool! The bloodstripes are all over the country, lurking where you least expect it.

Only a few weeks ago, did I learn that a lady who lives across the street from me is a Phillies fan. We've lived across the street from each other for twenty plus years. Her husband subscribes to MLB.com to watch the Red Sox. They are all excited about the upcoming series.

If Howard hadn't been so exposed so often to start the season, the Burrell lineup switch might be reasonable. But as it stands, he will not see any hittable pitches batting behind Burrell. Say what you will about the overall lack of statistical support for lineup protection, but I say Howard is sort of a special case.

Can't cry over spilled milk with Rowand being gone. The Phils made a value judgement that he wasn't worth 60 million over 5 years, not that he wouldn't worth 12 million a year for 2 or 3.

Vic is playing well and the RF combo is doing ok. This team needs another LH reliever and could use another starter so we'll see if Gilmarbuckle will do domething prior to Juy 31. If they do, then we would be in real good shape. We are in good shape at the moment but I wish things were a little better.

Mr. Patrone, good to hear from you again. I hope they don't do a "domething". They've done plenty of that in the past. I realize your attempt at spelling it phonetically, but the correct spelling is "dumb thing".

Yes, that describes the Phillies' 'oxymoron' perfectly.


Can you tell it's been a slow day at work, I'm bored to tears, and I can't wait for the game to start?

AWH, I know how you feel. We go all winter without games, but during the season, during a winning streak, these off days like last night are killers.

AWH~

Sorry. I meant " do something". But let's hope the "something" is a "dumb thing" is possibly suggested.

I have posted very sparingly over the last few weeks. Just the way things are. I must admit that I never expected the Phils to 13 games over .500 at this point and everything is working out well.

As the saying goes "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". I like to say "If it ain't broke, don't break it". My biggest fear here is that it isn't broken, there are butts in the seats, and they won't make things better. As I stated earlier we need another LH reliever for sure. Let's see if we get one.

Dude, we're like 40-10 and now we want to mess around with the lineup?

I'm glad Rowand isn't here, seriously.

Rowand insisted on playing CF, despite playing below average defense. He still strikes out too much, doesn't walk enough and doesn't have enough power for a corner outfield position. Most of all, he demanded 14 million dollars over 5 years. Thats 70 million better spent elsewhere. Pat Burrell would probably accept much less.

Fans overrated Rowand's "leadership in the clubhouse". Remember what Myers said about that? "Just because other players don't talk to the media, that doesn't mean they aren't leaders in the clubhouse". ouch

This is in no way a criticism of the idea of acquiring more pitching, but say the FO does get a starter--- who goes?

The assumption (probably correct) is that Condrey goes if a reliever is acquired. But with Eaton pitching well (knock on wood), Kendrick and Moyer doing exactly what they should be, Hamels dominating, and Myers hopefully continuing the trend of his last 14 innings or so, who goes if they get a starter? Is Myers sent back to the bullpen? Is kendrick sent to the bullpen, or sent down to triple-a? Do they dare remove Eaton from his newly found comfort zone? Do they release/trade So Taguchi and just carry an extra pitcher?

Thoughts?

Baxter, did Rowand hook up with yor girlfriend or something? The guy was great here and people liked him, relax.

Well Mark, they could release Taguchi but probably won't. Another LH reliever is an absolute need. Even more so than another starter. Can't go through the entire year with just 1 lefty in the 'pen. Condrey would appear to be the odd-man out.

Here's an interesting thought. What happens all of a sudden if Benson is able to help this team?

baxter: "Rowand insisted on playing CF, despite playing below average defense."

You'd be hard pressed to get support for that assertion from anyone who knows anything about baseball.

DP: Agreed on the LH reliever, and that Condrey is the obvious odd-man out.

Beyond that, I just wonder what roster moves would be made should another pitcher (Benson included) be brought into the fold. Who goes where? Short of an injury, that is...

"Stay humble or you'll crumble" .. a lesson for us (the fans) and the players.

This season could be amazing. Let's stay level headed. Do your part!

I'm not really that big on switching Burrell and Howard. I think Howard puts the fear factor in the opposition that forces them to pitch to Utley. Every time Utley crushes a fastball I think to myself, why would they throw a fastball in the strike zone to this guy? The answer, partially, they fear putting a guy on with Howard behind him. Big man mike be a K machine, but make a mistake and you'll pay. The other reason I'm against The Switch is I really don't believe in the left-right matching thing and I think Tony LaRussa did great damage to the game by introducing the so-called LOOGY. To me, a LOOGY isn't worth a spot on the roster. Give me Clay Condrey any day.

Rowand in my eye was the 3rd best CFer defensively on last year's team.

This year he'd be 2nd.

LakeFred: Never trust Fox! And I was off by .008 points, but they were at .700 right around that particular game.

Umm...not that they're that accurate but Rowand DID win a Gold Glove last year. He was pretty above average last year in CF so any talk of him sucking out there is ridiculous.

"Give me Clay Condrey any day."

You'd be hard pressed to get support for that assertion from anyone who knows anything about baseball.

There is some kind of thunder and rain here in Lancaster. I am quite glad this game is not scheduled for Phila, as our rain usually becomes THEIR rain...

Clout: And I agree with that notion on Rowand. I thought he struggled early last year with defense coming back from his injury, but was great for the last 2/3 of the year. Too many people jump from a guy is "slightly overrated" to "he's no good".

Dobbs in the lineup again tonight.

way to jump the gun about the world series preview..lol.

The phillies are good right now...however, we alll know how any lead is not really safe. so don't just assume the division is ours just yet.

Brian G: You are 100% correct on Rowand. Also on Condrey.

Winning a gold glove doesn't mean much. (Bobby Abreu?)

Rowand's OK in center, but if I had Victorino and Bourn one of them is playing center and Rowand's in left or right. (His arm screams LEFT!)

I also wonder what a 4 or 5 year $45-55M deal would do to Beerleaguer's Burrell/Howard/Lidge extension discussion.

LOL...Rowand did have a hell of a year last year in CF...2nd in NL in RF, 1st in Assists and Fielding %. Saying he's just OK in CF is ignoring reality.

Rowand was an above average CF, albeit an overrated one. Not to denigrate Rowand, but Vic is a clear upgrade defensively.

I meant a Rowand deal on the Phils books.

Vic IS better than Rowand but Rowand was also very very good last year in CF. I think its ridiculous to bash his fielding ability.

Sophist:

Of all the potential "salary cap" casualties you mention, Rowand was the most expendable. If management means to keep Howard, Burrell and Lidge longterm, then losing Rowand will have been best for the greater good.

NEP:

Not sure if that was directed at me, but I was specifically not bashing Rowand.

More of a testament to how good Vic is in the field.

Lousy weather in South Florida tonight - rain and storms on and off. Hope it doesn't become a factor.

Morty: No, my comment was not directed at you. I was responding to those saying he was OK or below average in the field...

NEP:

No doubt. Saying Rowand was below average is just not supported by either stats or observation.

MLB Leaders of Mistakes-
Brett Myers with 18 homeruns served up (pace- 44).

Ryan Howard with 89 k's (pace- 218).

By the way, the Marlins may have had only 3 people in attendance last night, but those 3 people did one helluva "over-rated" jeer for Howard, cracked me up.

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