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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Comments

Anyone who witnessed his starts in the minors care to comment? I can only go by the numbers. Only one HR in that time, right?

According to BP.com today is the last day you'll ever be able to go to Shea and Yankee Stadia to see a game on the same day.

I just got hail here in Montgomery County, PA the size of golf balls. It's raining sheets.

What are the odds this game actually happens tonight? I know it's an ESPN game, so they'll do everything possible to get it in.

From last post-
By Mets Fan in Peace- "I can agree that there are a lot of dumb Met fans. You could likely say that about other teams as well.

While I appreciate the invitation, I think I'll pass. I bleed orange and blue."

By me- "After being with my wife for 9 year (married 6) I've finally converted her from a Braves fan to a Phils Phan. MFiP- you too can convert brotha!"

Sophist: I never understood the logic that pitching well against minor league hitters was somehow different for Myers than other minor league pitchers. If Myers does it, it is what he should be doing, but if a minor league pitcher does the same thing, they are "ready." Something doesn't compute. Aside from his first start in the minors, he has done what you would think a MLB pitcher would do.

I guess Myers is supposed to go to the minors and throw 3 perfect games, and then he would be "back." Maybe I haven't been paying close enough attention to what other pitchers do in brief stints in the minor leagues, but I don't recall anyone throwing three perfect games in a row. I could be wrong.

anybody who can be converted from their team to another (especially a division rival) wasn't much of a fan of the first team to begin with.

I don't know, Parker. I can see your point about expectations. Aside from pitching near perfect games, it's hard to prove much to the casual fan during a "rehab" stint.

But maybe others have more insight. Perhaps he was working on his fastball primarily, or he really got knocked around.

Parker: I get what you're saying, but also, I think it's fair that we might expect more from Brett Myers, our opening day starter and an above-average major league pitcher, than from a minor league prospect (who most likely doesn't project out to being what Myers is).

I'm not sure what we could offer to the Dodgers to make them bite on Matt Kemp, but if we could do it, I would absolutely love it. He's a 23-year old playing CF and putting up above-average offensive numbers. Not that they'd want Victorino, considering they already have a glut of OFs, but I'd trade Victorino, Donald and Bastardo or another pitching prospect. If they wanted some pitching help now, I'd send Myers and a prospect for Kemp.

Nady doesn't really interest me considering the high asking price.

From the District- I beg to differ. My wife grew up watching the Braves, owns multiple Braves jerseys, and still loves Chipper and Bobby Cox, but since she lives with me, a crazy over-the-top Phils fan, and watches them everyday or listens to them in the car she's had no choice but to convert. Also, she reads my blog daily and that has helped sway her our way too.

Just wanted to post these Matt Kemp numbers from the last thread in re: to his BABIP.

BABIP

2006 (AA): .377
2006 (AAA): .418
2007 (AAA): .374
2007 (LAN): .411
2008 (LAN): .378

He has a history of high BABIP.

You know Matt Kemp never walks, right?

Myers' comments were that he was working on locating his fastball, which seemed to be his biggest problem, so I hope he comes out pounding the strikezone tonight (or tomorrow, or whenever this game is actually played).

I love looking at stats. I came across this amazing show of consistency by Shane Victorino- '06: .287/.346/.414, '07: .281/.347/.423, and so far in '08: .279/.347/.412.

We're getting exactly what we're supposed to and should expect from him.

Jack, if the Phils traded Myers for a position player (which is unlikely) they'd *need* to find a way to add another pitcher not named JA Happ. For this team to win anything this year, they'll probably need another pitcher with #3 or better capabilities. Right now, Myers is the only possibility on their roster. Without him, their rotation is Hamels-Moyer-Kendrick-Blanton-Happ. Wow. Not that it looks pretty with Myers inserted, but at least he has a history (2 full seasons of 120+ ERA+ starting pitching.)

GM - PECOTA's 7-year forecast of Vic has him hitting between .271-.280/.334-.343/.419-.432 between now and 2014.

Although they also only have him stealing 22 bases this year -- a number he's already attained.

Jack: I see what you are saying with the expectations, but I've seen multiple posts that bash him for giving up 2 runs and 7 hits in 5 innings. I just don't think that several good performances in the minors should be somehow held against him by saying that he is an MLB pitcher, and he should do better.

Its not like he is pitching to a policeman's softball league in the minors. Some of the guys either will be stars in MLB or have the credentials to already be in MLB. The only difference is volume of talent, not necessarily difference in talent. In some ways it might actually be more difficult in the minors. I think a lot of those players are hungrier than some of the pros he faces all the time. They have something to prove, and hitting Myers (or another MLB pitcher momentarily in the minors) is just the way to do it. I think there are plenty of MLB hitters that take the night off sometimes, or don't try as hard. In some instances it could be a tougher gig than people give it credit for. No?

Sophist- Myers minors stint was trying to work on command and mechanics. I saw him pitch in Reading. He looked good and was throwing his fastball for strikes which helps set up his curveball.

I think he'll do fine tonight.

That should be 2 runs in 7 innings. I would bash him for 7 hits in 5 innings.

According to the guy at BP who does all of their news & rumors stuff, we're planning on going after Holliday this winter in order to replace Burrell. It's probably a smart move, as long as he doesn't get traded somewhere else first. The asking price will be lower in the winter than it is now, and we'll be able to play him in LF and not lose production when Burrell leaves.

I'd still like to see them get him now, though, and put him in RF. That would be a monstrous lineup.

Re-posting from the last thread:

Long-term Kemp's a way better move - young, cheap talent, tons of room for growth - but if you want to win now, you can make a very strong argument for Nady. In the first place, Kemp does most of his damage against lefties. Against RHP, he's got an extremely pedestrian .729 OPS. That would go up in CBP some, but still, he isn't really a solution to our problem. All he'd do is give you another guy who hits lefties really well, and we already have that in Werth. He'd basically just be a small upgrade on Jenkins's side of the platoon. Secondly, Nady's just flat-out better this year. Outside of PNC, he has a 1.001 OPS with a .420 OBP. Kemp - just .836. If Nady were on our team right now, he'd be our third best hitter. Of course, he might go and have a mediocre last two months of the season, but that's the chance you take.

Parker: Could be a tougher gig than people give credit for, but there's no way it is even close to as difficult as facing a Major League lineup. At the highest level, Triple A, you're facing a team full of Chris Snellings and Mike Cevernaks. At Double A, you're probably facing 1 or 2 guys that will be major league-quality hitters (and the best are probably better than the guys at Triple A), and the rest of whom, well, will not be, and will max out either there or at Triple A.

Didn't Nady play for the Mets and they traded him? As badly as they need OF's, if they aren't in the Nady talks, I would consider that a bad sign.

I think the Phils and Pirates match up better than the Phils and Dodgers. Although I'd rather have kemp long-term than Nady, I don't believe LA has any LH relievers that interest the Phils while the Pirates do (Marte & Grabow).

Carson, congrats on the conversion. Be careful though. I hear Braves fans treat it as an apostasy, and if they can locate your better half, will come after her with tomahawk chops.

MFiP, come over from the dark side.

The Mets traded Nady to Pgh for Oliver Perez.

They may not be involved, but they were supposedly interested in getting him back.

Parker- the Mets traded Nady at the deadline in 2006 in an absolute emergency situation. it was July 30 when the (at that point) lights-out Duaner Sanchez was involved in a freak taxicab accident in Miami and was lost for the season (and 2007, as well.)
the Mets absolutely did not want to trade Nady, but with the loss of Sanchez, they had no choice but to trade for a bullpen arm. the Bucs strongarmed them into trading Nady for, i believe, Roberto Hernandez. oh, and Oliver Perez too.
as a Phils fan stuck squarely in the midst of Mets country, i can assure you that the loss of Nady has been a constant conversation. to which i always reply, well, what if that taxicab had crashed just one day later?

Looking at Nady's career numbers, this season just looks like an aberration. Sure he could be having that turnaround season, but I don't see it. It seems to me that the Pirates would prefer to get the best value out of him because he is playing well.

This Season: 25 BB, 54 K (318 AB.910 OPS)
Last Season: 33 BB, 101 K (431 AB, .805 OPS)
2006: 30 BB, 85 K (203 AB .813 OPS)
2005: 22 BB, 67 K (326 AB, .760 OPS)
2004: 5 BB, 13 K (77 AB, .717 OPS)
2003: 24 BB, 74 K (371 AB, .712 OPS)

It just looks to me like he is having a career first half of a season. Maybe this is the year he turns it around for good? I'm skeptical.

As for the weather out the window updates, I live about a half hour from Shea (and the weather often goes from here to there) so I can provide those eyewitness reports on the storms.

Right now it's pretty gray and thunder is booming in the distance.

Also Parker, the Mets have been mentioned as parties to the Nady talks.

If Kemp does his damage against lefties, bring him in (that's assuming he can hit Santana, Sabathia, etc.)! We have other guys who can mash right-handers.

Anyway, anyone have any idea what LA would want for him? I think he could help us now and in the future.

I just think he is one more hacker that would be added to a hacker lineup. I'd rather see someone who either walks more or makes better contact/hits for high average, or all of that. To me Nady is a RH Jeff Jenkins.

Matt Kemp is Jayson Werth with 20 more points of BA and slightly better power. In other words, pretty darn good and while there will be a big dropoff vs. RHP it won't be enough to bench him (as it is with Werth). I have no clue what it would take to get him except that it would be very expensive.

I should say a RH Geoff Jenkins with less power and more injury problems. I can't imagine he would be that much of an improvement defensively.

What, his .350 road average isn't good enough for you? I would never sign the guy to a contract, but he'd be a great addition short-term, in the same way that career-year Aaron Rowand was a huge asset for last year's team. He's really the best available fix for our offense out there, as far as this year goes anyway. Down the road, Kemp ought to become an All-Star, would fill a big void in what'll shortly become a very punchless outfield, etc. But as a win-now move he doesn't make a great deal of sense. I guess it comes down to how good you think our chances are this season.

Sophist, you made me think of an interesting question.

I've often wondered what I'll call a player's "SB Adjusted Slugging Percentage" would be if steals were factored into it.

SLG measures how far a hitter travels around the basepaths, on average, per hit.

But, hitting a single and stealing 2B has the same effect as hitting a double - the runner ends up on second.

My point is, simply, that for players like Vic (and others) who are basically singles hitters, but steal bases, SLG can be a little 'misleading' when measuring how far they advance on the basepaths.

Higher SLG guys, though, do seem to drive in more runs (HRs).

Blanton's performance was well discussed on the prior thread, but the key point for me was the Delgado AB. Two outs, firstbase open and Damien Easley, who does not hit righties well, waiting on deck. And yet Blanton pitched to him. That's a mental failure either by Blanton or by Dubee/Jimy Williams.
Also, I was quite concerned about Blanton's big K/9 dropoff this season and saw nothing in that game (1 K) to ease my concern.

Mets manager Manuel expects a blowout from his boys tonight in response to last night's debacle...

On the other hand, since Kemp would make Werth completely superfluous, you could flip him in another deal for pitching, so there is that side benefit to Kemp.

I think the Pirates will probably fleece somebody for what Nady turns in during the second half.

I'm sticking to Randy Winn. Maybe not as flashy as Nady or Kemp, but he adds more overall to the team. Namely he wouldn't be a 100+ K guy, would get BB, steal some bases, play good defense, hit a few HR (probably more in Philly than SF).

Either way, I don't think they move for an OF.

Parker: Kemp isn't remotely like Jenkins. Jenkins is more of a power threat, but has a lifetime BA of .275, which is 26 points lower than Kemp, who is a career .301 hitter. The only thing about a Kemp trade is that you'd have to sit Victorino vs. LHP unless Werth were sent to the Dodgers aas part of the deal.

God this stuff is nerve racking...I am sitting in a internet cafe in Kavardarci, Macedonia excited about the win from yesterday but biting my nails over the game tonight.

Clout: I said Nady was a RH Jenkins with less power and more injury problems, not Kemp.

clout, what about Werth and a couple of prospects for Kemp?

EastFallowField: Really? If it's that easy to blow teams out that they can do it "at will," why didn't the Mets do it last night?

Re: Myers minor league stint... nothing about that stint indicated to me Myers was knocked around. His cum WHIP during the time was 1.14. K/BB ration was 28 to 7. ERA at 3.00. And this was while he was working on mechanics and his fastball not unlike a rehab.

And at no time did he look like Benson down there.

I think that should be encouraging.

Of course if Myers returns to 2008 form, we should say 2 homers in the first inning. We won't have long to wait to decide if it worked assuming the weather holds in our favor.

The Phils don't need a position player. They need pitching. Period.

Their main problem is adding a #2 (meaning someone who's better than Moyer - until he proves otherwise, Myers is not a playoff starter in my book).

Their second need is another lefty in the bullpen. They could trade to improve their lineup, and it will not significantly affect their chances of getting to, or advancing in, the playoffs.

doubleh: It's on the front page on the dreaded Metsblog. Same page you'll find the "We Hate Shane Victorino" entry.

You know, Werth and "somes dudes" for Kemp?

would the Dodgers want Werth back? remember that's who let him go after the wrist injury...

Weather update: a big patch of blue sky just appeared over my apartment, which is about twenty minutes away from Shea. I'm gonna try to go to this game and hope to avoid the rainout!

I hope Myers dominates them tonight, assuming they play the game. Did Manuel really say those exact words? What a moron. At least Willfredo Randolph didn't come out and say stupid things about his team, although he did about himself.

AWH, Baseball Prospectus's EqA stat tries to get baserunning into a players offensive value. It rates Victorino as an above average offensive player (.271 as opposed to the MLB average .260), whereas OPS+ only puts him at 96.

Local weather says sea breezes are keeping the storm activity on the Jersey side of the Hudson but after sundown the storms should start heading east towards Manhattan/Queens etc.

Question: I'm relatively new to Beerleaguer, but has there ever been a "We Hate Player X Headline" on here?

I mean, I don't blame Met fans for hating one of our players--personally, I don't care for many of theirs--but really, an entry dedicated to it? Seems they are picking at the wrong scab.

"The Phils don't need a position player. They need pitching. Period."

This all good to say, and I think people recognize this. It's just that names like Kemp, Holliday, Nady, etc are actually out there. There aren't any pitching names out there, so do we just pull names out of thin air?

It doesn't seem like there is pitching out there to go get, so, if the team is going to improve somehow and the realistic targets are hitters, why would they not go after a realistic target?

Why does everyone seem to think Myers is suddenly going to come up big in this game? Frankly all I am looking for Myers to keep the Phils in the game and give them a shot to win. If he goes 6 innings and gives up 4 runs, that's fine. Just can't afford to give up a few bombs and give up 6 or 7 runs.

Hibachi:

First, I highly doubt that any of these rumors will reach fruition - particularly the one of the Phils acquiring Holliday by trade. There are tons of trades that make great sense to BLers; unfortunately (well, maybe fortunately), there aren't any BLers in the Phils FO.

But there were, and still is at least one realistic pitching target out there: Burnett. Is there anyone at BL who would doubt that he'd immediately be the second best starter on the team, and would give the Phils a reasonably good shot of winning the first two games of any playoff series?

Sure, marginal improvement in the starting 8 would be nice - but what would the point really be? Would it make the difference between getting to or advancing in the playoffs? I don't see that. With their rotation and potential problems in the bullpen as the season wears on, the Phils have bigger fish (no pun intended) to fry.

" If he goes 6 innings and gives up 4 runs, that's fine. Just can't afford to give up a few bombs and give up 6 or 7 runs. "

Bingo. Any other expectations are completely unrealistic. If Myers had just been somewhat bad, instead of completely putrid, the Phils would have a 3 or 4 game lead in the standings. If he performs at a highly mediocre level the rest of the season, the Phils have a great chance of getting to the playoffs.

But they will go nowhere, NOWHERE, in the playoffs if they don't get #2 starter.

phlipper: The Phils will never get Burnett. They won't take on his contract. That's the real reason they went after Blanton. He was cheap by comparison and not a rental. And Burnett has made it known he doesn't want to come to Philly.

The headline is "Shane Victorino Wants to Stay"...the hate comes in the body of the post and the comments from the classy Met fans.

doubleh: I don't doubt what you say. The Blanton trades makes it pretty clear that the Phils will not be improving their starting rotation this year. But I see little point in them doing much of anything else outside of possibly getting left-handed pitching in the bullpen - so I doubt that they will pull anything off unless someone absolutely hands them a steal of a deal.

We just all need to go to an animal shelter and get a dog, and buckle up our seatbelts and enjoy the ride on the bandwagon.

Lineups

Phils
1. J Rollins, SS
2. C Utley, 2B
3. P Burrell, LF
4. R Howard, 1B
5. G Dobbs, 3B
6. S Victorino, CF
7. G Jenkins, RF
8. C Ruiz, C
9. B Myers, P

Muts
1. J Reyes, SS
2. E Chavez, RF
3. D Wright, 3B
4. C Delgado, 1B
5. C Beltran, CF
6. M Anderson, LF
7. D Easley, 2B
8. B Schneider, C
9. J Maine, P

Great lineup, with the exception of Rollins leading off.

Vic's OBP against RHP is higher than Rollins' this year, so it would have been nice to see Vic lead-off with Rollins' considerably higher SLG where Dobbs or Vic is. But Rollins' is having an off season.

Finally. Cholly has realized that Utley/Howard need to be broken up and that Victorino should be hitting lower in this lineup. Glad to see Dobbs getting a start at 3B too with Feliz swinging a cold bat.

Some Dudes!!!!!

Hope Dobbs has been taking some infield practice. I think the last time he played 3B was the game with the 1 (should have been 2) errors. I like Dobbs a lot, but he really is not a 3B.

Okay... nice to see Charlie Manuel sticking to the Burrell batting third lineup. I was worried he'd go back since we were facing a righty. The other thing I LOVE is that Dobbs is starting at third and batting fifth. I hate not having him on the bench, but Myers is a fly ball pitcher and Feliz can't hit righties. Also, batting Jenkins 7th shows the staff realizes his bat just isn't what it should be.

Parker: I agree. When Moyer pitches, Dobbs should never, and I repeat, never, play third.

Parker, still probably better than Feliz' non-bat against RHP (.651 OPS) with Dobbs in RF for Jenkins. This is their best lineup against righties until they make a cheap trade for Chris Duncan, the LH position player equivalent of Blanton (.371 OBP against RHP this year, 3 year split .287/.375/.569. His SLG is way down this year but he still gets on base.)

Over/under on which inning Dobbs gets his first error?

BTW, clout, that was for your benefit.

Sophist: I think Duncan is on the DL, and I think his dad likes him being around St. Louis. j/k

i've said this before and i'll say it one more time before i go home to watch the game... i really think the best way to improve our pitching is to upgrade in the bullpen.
i see Seanez faltering. i see Gordon's swollen shoulder. i see Eaton only as a 15th inning pitcher.
if the Phils can upgrade in the 'pen, the starters can keep every game within striking distance. let's face it, the pitching talent across baseball is very very thin, meaning the bullpens (where the traditionally weaker pitchers are stashed) are where leads are being won and lost this season, across the league. * Let's go Phils!
*on my next slow day at work, i will come up with a way to statistical quantify my theory.

On to tonight - obviously Myers is the story. But another thing I'm watching is the plate approach by the Phils. John Maine has been struggling lately, specifically struggling with pitch count and control. He's been getting behind guys, going 3-2 to a ton of hitters. If the phils come out swinging and make it easy on Maine, allowing him to get into a groove, I'm going to be pretty pissed.

mb: You must be pissed a lot. Have you watched the Phils this year?

flipper: Considering only 2 or 3 balls are hit to thirdbase in any given game, I'd say chances are good he'll field both cleanly. As would Feliz, while going 0 for 4 and leaving 5 on base.

Your move.

phlip: yeah, its been tough to watch, I think most would agree on that.

what I should have added though, is that I am hoping the phils are able to "curb their enthusiasm" coming off last night. i dont want them to be all jacked up out of the chute, swinging for the fences as usual, and giving maine some quick innings which he so desperately needs.

CubeHostage: I don't think it's hard to quantify statistically. I'm guessing someone could show me that the average start by pitcher in baseball is about 6 innings. Am I way off there? If starters, on average, can only pitch 2/3rds of the game, that means a bullpen has to finish about 3 innings every night.

Bullpens can keep a team in it long enough for them to comeback or shut another team down when you have a lead. That's what ours has done.

But beyond our top four (Lidge, Romero, Madson and Durbin), we have BIG questions. I think we could use 2 new arms in the bullpen.

I know every time Myers opens his mouth something stupid comes out, but am I the only one that thinks when he talks about
"learning to have fun again" and "getting his swagger back" etc. he's trying to talk himself into believing? I have to think that with all the lousy things he's done and said that he's one huge head case. Even worse than we may have feared. Hope I'm wrong, but I think he's really headed off the tracks.

I like the lineup too, except I'd flip Rollins & Vic.

Pat in the #3 spot is way overdue. Slightly against traditional baseball logic but he gets on base too much to put behind Howard. And here's is a very telling Ryan Howard stat:
Any situation, as long as a runner is on second: .340 avg, .440 BABIP. Verse not having a runner on 2nd: .210 avg, .220 BABIP. Stop the shift!

And a big "here here!" to Victorino in the leadoff spot. This year when leading off an inning Rollins' OBP is .250! Vic is at .333 wiht a .304 average to boot. This year, in the NL East, Rollins is the absolute worst at getting on base to lead off an inning. The next worst, .134 points better is the Nats Guzman. When Rollins was MVP his power picked up and his OBP still stayed the same. Put him in the 5 spot!

Parker, yes, he is. I don't think it's serious, though. Just a neck strain -- he's been banged up all year.

I was mostly joking. Like the #2 SP problem, the Phils will probably just hope they get career norm second halves from their current roster (Jenkins, Myers.)

Easily my favorite pre-game quote tonight: "If [Myers] performs at a highly mediocre level the rest of the season, the Phils have a great chance of getting to the playoffs."

"I'm guessing someone could show me that the average start by pitcher in baseball is about 6 innings."

I think it's lower than that. League average in the NL is 577 IP and 100 games played. Phils are right above 6 IP/S and they're 7th in MLB.

The pre-game interview with Cholly saying that the minor league appearances for Myers were a great "confidence booster." Yeah facing A and AA hitters is a true test. Hate when managers/teams spin garbage like this.

Anyone else not able to watch this game on ESPN?

I always thought the local broadcast gets blacked out when it's being shown nationally.

If the choice is between Nady and Kemp then the answer is so obviously Kemp. Nady is having a great season, but it's obviously an outlier, and on the whole he is just an average hitter for an outfielder. Kemp is 23, already producing like an average outfielder, but has the potential to be a star. That said, I highly doubt the Dodgers are really shopping him.

Also, the "going after Holliday this winter" strategy is dumb. Why not just re-up Burrell for 3 years? That way we get similar production and we don't have to give up our entire farm system. What am I missing here? And for everyone celebrating how wonderful compensatory picks are.. Adrian Cardenas was one, and he turned out very well for one, and he still wasn't even enough to trade for Joe friggin Blanton straight up.

MG: In fairness, the key to Myers isn't who he's facing. It's how he's locating. From everthing I've read, his location was very good and his strike/ball count much improved in his minor league stint. If he cannot do that tonight, that would suggest his problems are mental, not physical.

Ah nevermind. I got it backwards.

So far so good for the Maineiac...

The SNY announcer just suggested that Charlie put together a lefty-heavy lineup because Maine has a tendency to be wild up and away to lefties...

I thought he had a lefty-heavy lineup because, well, the pitcher was a righty.

anyone else get extremely agitated at the coors light commercial where beefy brad leaves his hot girlfriend at home so he can go "vent" with his buddy?

Hope Brett gets it together tonight.

Did Tmac just say that Chavez had a good game last night?

Not sure Brett is locating very well... doesn't bode well. Four pitch walk to no-hit Endy.

donc: Endy did have a good game last night. His 3rd base coach had a very bad one.

Myers is throwing all his fastballs up. His release point is off.

Man... every fastball is high. I thought he worked on locating that better?

Did Wheeler just say that the good thing is Myers is consistent. All his bad pitches are high? Keep drinking the kool aid, Chris.

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