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Saturday, August 16, 2008


Regarding the minors, it looks like signing Jarred Cosart is a step in the right direction. Ryan Weber would have been nice as well, but Cosart is clearly the superior prospect. He seems like he had future top-15 pick written all over him. Now if only we could get some coaches to teach him and the rest of this great draft class, Hewitt and Gose (as an OF) aside.

From last thread:
Theory: Good summary. This is a team that beats up on weaklings and loses to good teams. That will have to change if they are going to win the division.

After this series and the 3-gamer with the Nats, which should pad their lead, they have a 23-game stretch in which 20 of the games are against the Dodgers, Cubs, Mets, Marlins and Brewers. If they don't break that bad team/good team trend the Phillies will be out of the race at the end of that stretch. I look forward to some exciting baseball.

Does anybody know if Jenkins is anywhere close to being on pace to enable his vesting third year option. I could drink a bottle of tequilla in one chug and still not puke as much as i would if his option vested. Think he's bad now? Think he'll be worse next year? How about the year after that for $7,000,000? Sounds like the contract a GM in his last year would offer, no?

Trade Jenkins to the Mets and he'll discover his swing.

Seems like there is a lot of talent in the lower-level minors. The sad part is, by the time those guys are ready to really help, either directly or through trades, the current big-league team's best chance might have already past.

Help spread the word of Campaign Cheer, coming to Citizens Bank Park Tuesday August 19th.

Jenkins's swing reminds me of the one I crafted playing whiffle ball hours each day with my brothers in our back yard. To clear the 'Green Monster' tree in front of the shed, I used this handsy, hitch uppercut, but it did me no good when I transitioned to hardball or, later, slow-pitch softball. I had to become a left-handed hitting -- not my natural side -- in all types of ball to be able to drive the ball.


Before you take me up on that bet, here are the relevant stats for the first seven players in the lineup on June 17 last year versus how they finished the season:

Player/average on June 27/career average/Average at the end of the year/who's right and who's wrong:

Rollins:284(+15)/269/296(+27)/+ +(I'm right)
Bourn: 294(+17)/237/277(+40)/+ + (I’m right)
Dobbs:296(+20)/276/272(-4)/+ -(you’re right)
Utley:327(+42)/285/332(+47)/+ +(I’m right)
Howard:256(-21)/277/268(-9)/ – -(I’m right)
Rowand:314(+28)/286/309(+13)/+ + (I’m right)
Burrell:204(-45)/259/256(-3)/- - (I’m right)

OK, I'm ahead six to one. And that includes Burrell, who had a significantly below average first half and a significantly above average second half.

Any time you want to put some money on the line, clout, I'm game.

While watching last night's game I had a sense of revulsion. All I could think of was how completely inept both of these teams are offensively. Now after some time to reflect, you have to come to the realization that you just witnessed a classic pitchers duel in every sense of the word. Two old master that combine for almost 600 wins isn't something you see every day. Especially these two old masters, who outthink hitters to a degree that is nearly historic. Sure the Phillies can't get out of their own way right now. And sure the Padres offense is just plain anemic. But the two geezers on the hill had a lot to do with that last night.

Drabek has been great since his return. It would be nice if there were someone at AA/AAA who could help him when he gets there.Maybe Moyer will be finished by then. I give him the credit for the present staffs success,not Dubee.

Actually, clout, I did overstate my case there. In order to determine the winner and the loser we'd need to define exactly what the terms above/below average, and average mean.

But there's no doubt that Burrell's example from last year will be in the minority. In fewer cases will a player have significantly above or below stats in one half of the season and the exact opposite in the other half of the season -- as opposed to a similar half or even an average half.

clout: If a veteran player is hitting .100 pts below his career average on April 15, you can reasonabaly predict that he'll wind up with career norms. If he's still hitting .100 pts below his career average on May 15, he's still pretty likely to reach those norms. June 15? I have my doubts. September 15? Definitely not.

At the All-Star break this year, Burrell was well above career norms in most statistical categories. So the crux of the debate was whether the AS break is deep enough into the season to say that he would likely finish at career norms, when he was significantly above them at that point. You said no. Phlipper and I and others said yes. In actuality, we're all right.

My comment last night was mainly made in frustration that Burrell hasn't been hitting lately. As a result of that slump, his average is now very much in line with his career norms. However, he still looks like he's going to finish well above career norms in most other stats (OPS, slugging, homeruns). I actually think he'll finish above career norms in batting average & OBP also. He has been in a long slump and he usually follows up his slumps with long hot streaks. If I had to guess, I'd say he ends up with an average of about .275, an OBP of about .400, and about 35 or 36 homeruns. But even if he hits .260-ish, he's still going to have the best power numbers that he has posted since 2002.

Hate to correct you Jason, but you made a typo in the headline. It should read, "Moyer wins one for the aged".

King: I believe his headline was intended as a play on words.

An interesting development from last night which I don't think has been discussed really:
The decision to bring in Madson last night in the 8th inning. Whereas Durbin had become Charlie's go-to guy over the last couple weeks, I think Madson has unseated Durbin from his recent role - and not a moment too soon.. Durbin has been fantastic as a long reliever/7th inning guy/fireman thus far this year, and I believe his role should be unchanged.

What's the consensus on using Madson as the primary right-handed set-up man for the remainder of the season?

I don't trust Madson as far as I can throw him. But if you don't feel Durbin is the guy, what choice do you have? Romero has trouble with righthanders. It seems like Charlie just cycles through these guys. Go with the hot hand for as long as you can. It has worked remarkably well so far. But these are guys who have performed considerably better than could be reasonably expected. At some point you will run out of luck. The biggest development from last night IMO, is Lidge's spectacular comeback. He looked terrific. If he's back to his old self, the back end of the bullpen question becomes considerably less critical.

"Time to blow up the Phillies’ business model of rewarding organizational soldiers with key roles in development, open the wallets and hire qualified personnel to mold the players of the Phillies’ future."

Jason, your sentence that I quoted above represents perhaps the most utopian, wishful thinking sentence that I have ever seen posted on BeerLeaguer, by you or anyone else.

This ownership group simply doesn't have the package that such a move would take:

No self examination, no vision, no balls, and they certainly haven't demonstrated that they have the brains.

In short, it will never happen.

Another thing to consider about the bullpen; I wouldn't neccesarily give up on Durbin just yet. When Lidge went down his work load got pretty heavy. He was way overdue to hit a rough patch anyway, but I think he was on the verge of overwork as it was. He has been absolutely brilliant all season long. I agree with dropping him back into the 7th inning slot temporarily. But at some point I could see him back in the 8th inning slot too.

"Time to blow up the Phillies’ business model of rewarding organizational soldiers with key roles in development, open the wallets and hire qualified personnel to mold the players of the Phillies’ future."

I'm for whatever it takes to improve the development of pitchers. Lots of good young position players have come up through the ranks but our pitching development could be a lot better.

The Cosart signing is a positive step. I wonder if he'll convert to the outfield or stick to pitching.

Three of the four full season minor league teams seem locks for last place in their respective divisions and two the entire league. Something is just not right with that! But the GCL Phils are in first and Lakewood has been in and out of first this week even though they lost Naylor and Taylor to High A at the All Star break. Reading is the enigma. Donald and Marson did seem to have continued to develope but Harman and Golson treaded water. The pitching staff has been in disaray. Outman was set back by the bullpen move and then traded, Carpenter needed a do over in Clearwater but now is getting hitters out once he came back. But the real mystery has been Carlos Carrasco. Under manager Dave Huppert at Lakewood in 06 and early 07 he was dominating but his numbers at Reading in 07 and this year were pedestrian with flashes of brilliance. Now reunited with Huppert at AAA he has been been on the verge of dominating once again if it wern't for unearned runs in his three starts. Huppert should be at AA for developement purposes and not waste his talent on 30 something, six year free agents that they stick at AAA.

I don't think enough attention was given last night to Charlie pulling Pat Burrell, our entire offense for the game, when he was due up NEXT in the top of the ninth. Really Cholly? REALLY??? How does a half inning defensive upgrade outweigh the upgrade of Burrell over Taguchi at the plate. Yeah, it ended up not mattering, but my head almost exploded when trying to figure out how that made any sense whatsoever.

"The biggest development from last night IMO, is Lidge's spectacular comeback. He looked terrific. If he's back to his old self, the back end of the bullpen question becomes considerably less critical."

I agree completely with this. Good words donc.

Brian, I agree. And considering Burrell's errorless streak, I'm not sure Taguchi is that significant of an upgrade defensively.

flipper, BAP: The truism that most players end up close to career norms refers to OPS+, not individual stats like doubles or HBP or BA. Again, I didn't invent this notion, it's widely accepted in the sabremetric community.

Obviously, the closer you get to the end of the season the better idea you'll have as to whether the player will fall into the "most" category.

Six weeks ago when we had our discussion and Burrell's OPS+ was 150 and I said I expected him to wind up close to his career norms, which the past 3 seasons have been in the 120s. At the moment I'd say he'll be slightly above that, in the 130 neighborhood.

I sometimes get the feeling that Charlie continues this particular brain dead maneuver just because of the criticism he receives for it. If he stops doing it now, it will be an admission that he was wrong. Either that or, ala Tony LaRussa, he just wants to prove that he's smarter than everyone else. And that would just confirm many of our suspicions.

I'm watching Olympic coverage right now.

RJ Swindle is pitching for the Canadian team. Why was he ever on the Phils?

He was a "feel-good" story. Much like can only scour the Independent League for talent so many times.

Moyer is incredible this season. Against almost any MLB team other than the 47-75 Padres, the moribund Phillies offense would have lost.

Moyer is a beast...I really hope he comes back next year.

I posted the other day that, assuming Moyer is willing, the Phillies should just keep signing him to one year deals. That way the worst that can happen is that you pay him for one year too many. More likely you will only pay him for part of a year too many. Considering the longer term deals we've been saddled with (see Eaton, Adam) that doesn't seem like much of a risk at all. And if you let him walk and he goes elsewhere and wins 13 or 14 games, well the villagers will be out in front of CBP with torches and pitchforks.

Yeah, I've brought up the similar notion of a Tim Wakefield deal where he's signed indefinitely for as long as both parties are interested. The Red Sox have been "renewing" him on one year stints and have it set that he can continually be renewed at $4 million per...Something like that would probably work...though maybe a bit more 6-7 million considering his previous and current salary. At worst he gets injured and then you ahve a really well paid pitching coach.

Yeah NEPP. You are thinking just like I am about it. It's hard to know just how much influence he has on the rest of the staff. I hope it's a lot. I learn a lot watching him on TV and from the stands. One would hope that the younger guys are paying close attention from the dugout. Hope they're aware enough to realize what a resource he is.

I think he has a good effect on Kendrick (Kendrick seems to be that type taht would be sucking knowledge out of him). I remember that interview where he was talking about approaching Brandon Webb earlier in the year about throwing his change and sinker...That alone helps out.

Kendrick is a good example. If he develops a go to pitch like Moyer did he could have that kind of career arc. But when you think about it, that would be possible for almost any young major leaguer. 99% of them have better arms than Moyer. He just proves that if you're cagey enough, you can make a very long succesfull career of fooling major league hitters. Greg Maddux is maybe an even better example.

Carson, I will be at the 19th game as well and I had the same exact plan! Viva la positivity.

In his defense, Maddux used to throw 92-94 with the same location...back in the days when he posted those insane 1.62 ERAs in the early 90s. That's why he's won 350 games though...that location of his. They all prove that location is more important to than blowing it by a guy. When Kendrick has his location he's a good pitcher, when he doesn't he gets blown out. If he can develop a legit change to use against lefties he'll be a good middle of the rotation guy. If not, he'll continue to fight through it every start like he does now. Don't get me wrong I'm one of Kendricks biggest supporters. THough I must admit I thought he would seriously regress this season and he hasn't yet. So continue to prove me wrong Kyle. I'll love every second of it.

NEPP: I'd love to see you cite a single source that says Maddux ever threw a single pitch 94 mph at anytime during his career.

There is a great baseball name on team Canada - Stubby Clapp. I don't remember him, but he had a brief stint with the Cards.

Anywho, tonight's pitcher looks incredibly beatable: " Right-hander Chad Reineke, acquired from Houston on July 22, is 5-10 with a 4.37 ERA in 23 Triple-A games—22 starts—between the two organizations.

“He brings a fastball in the high 80s,” Padres manager Bud Black told the team’s official Web site. “From what I’ve been told, he pitches with an aggressive style and comes at you.”

I know those are famous last words, but the Phils have a golden opportunity to get on a roll.

I remember watching him regularly hit low 90's when he was in his prime Clout.

Here's a quote from when he was a prospect in 1987: "He went down to winter ball in '87, and he could have blown that whole league away with his fastball. But we got him to throw 30 changeups a game". He used to have a good fastball.

KK won 10 games last year. I predicted in the off season that he wouldn't win 10 more games in his career. I thought he would be Bystromesque. Obviously, he's proven me wrong too and I couldn't be happier. I think the thing with him is he's just so unimpressive the way he gets people out. It seems lucky to me, but after the equivalent of more than a whole season, and with his record that seems like a pretty flimsy argument. And I am a recovering speed freak. I Jones for pitchers with live arms. I know I place way too much importance on lighting up the gun. Someone said here the other day that if MPH was all that mattered, Kyle Farnsworth would be a god. It was a great point. But I'm old enough to remember Randy Jones winning a Cy in the 70's for the Padres. When he lost it the next year it was over for him. He was an extremely soft tosser. Kind of like Moyer. When he lost his control he was toast. I always think at least if you can throw gas, you still have a fighting chance to get guys out when you're a little off. I guess that's what makes baseball so fascinating. There are about 1000 ways to skin a cat.

I probably made a bit of a mistake lumping Maddux in with Moyer. He's no power pitcher to be sure, but he's not in the "cant break a pane of glass" category either. Randy Jones was truly in that category and, like Moyer, he was a lefty.

velocity gives you a margin of error. We all are applauding Myers for coming back after his demotion and its because of his velocity ticking back up a bit. Reportedly he was throwing 93/94 in his last start when we all shudder to remember fastball after fastball at 89-90 earlier in the year. Moyer doesn't have that velocity so he gets by on his location and like you said, when its off, he's dead in the water. I will give Moyer credit that he's a battler and will still attack a hitter even if he doesn't have his stuff. Honesetly, Jamie Moyer has been Gillick's best acquisition as Phillies GM. had a good point about locaiton and it is what has allowed both to pitch well into their 40's.

In case we forget just how good Maddux was in his prime: 1993-1995: 55-18, 1.89 ERA during those seasons where everyone was starting to crush the ball. That period is up there with Pedro's mid to late 90's where he was simply unhittable for like 4 straight seasons with the Expos and Red Sox.

Don't forget Brad Lidge, but yes he's been a revelation. As for Myers, I was wrong about him too. At least so far. I saw that 94mph the other night too. The best part about it was that the pitches had movement too. A lot of guys can overthrow a flat fastball up around the letters. Even worse some do it around the belt buckle and the ball becomes a souvenir. I wouldn't have given a plugged nickle for Myers chances to come back and be of even minimal help. So I've been wrong about a lot in regards to our pitching. I guess all I really know about pitching is that I can't hit it.
I don't know about everyone else, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Myers will be traded in the offseason. That assumes that he continues to pitch well and further enhances his value. I've got to believe the Phillies have had enough of his antics. They have been quite good to him IMO. Last weeks blowup with the skipper shows that he doesn't appreciate it, and I think he's out the door. Full disclosure: I have never been able to stand him.

I love the Lidge acquisition but I'd give Moyer a slight edge because it was so unexpected that he'd still be pitching 2 years later for us and be our 2nd best pitcher. Together, they were easily the best 2 moves he's made.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Myers traded either.

NEPP: I'll buy 92 mph on occasion when he was at his peak, but he never threw a 94 mph fastball in his life. That's why he fell to the second round in the draft. Your other point is exactly right. He had perhaps the best command in the history of baseball. He'd locate his mph fastball at your knees on the outside corner. Speeds on his fastball range from 82-88. It also has late movement. The combination of changing speeds and precise location is what got guys out. If you make contact, you ground out. He is an extreme groundout pitcher. He also throws a 75-79 changeup with the same arm speed and that also hits the low outside corner. He also uses this pitch to bust righties down and in. You see a lot of long foul balls on this pitch. When a hitter does get it fair, it's a groundout. He has a curve and slider that he doesn't use much.

His nickname is "the professor" and he was once asked about this and he said something like, "You know why guys think I'm smart? A low fastball strike on the outside corner."

The pitch that Rollins took for a called third strike last night to lead off the game was all you need to know about Maddux. He's thrown that pitch to lefties about 2000 times in his career. I don't know of anyone else that can consistently throw that thing inside to the hitter and have it dart away from them about 3 inches and catch the inside corner. It is truly evil.
I do have to admit that I have always thought of Maddux as a guy who came up small in big games though. I know that the post season records don't support that, but I think if you included big games during the regular season (which would be very difficult and very subjective) I think I would be vindicated. Having said all that, I know I'm about to get torched. I will just add that I do think the guy is an artist on the mound. Now if he could just blow people away once in a while....he might make it in this game.

Seriously though clout, he was capable and occasionally hit 93/94 early in his career and was known for having a good fastball. He decided to focus on location and started throwing 89-91 with perfect location instead. You should read his "art of pitching".

He fell in the draft because of doubts about his size (he was rather skinny when he was drafted and only 6 ft tall. Not because of lack of a decent fastball.

Yes and that pitch I am talking about is also poisonous to right handers as well. Like clout said, it breaks so late. Truly evil. Nobody else throws that. And it aint for lack of trying.

Not really, Maddux doesn't have a big game reputation...his ERA in the playoffs is a career 3.34 which is good but higher than his regular season numbers (unlike a Curt Schilling where the reverse is true). 10-11 career record in the playoffs afterall...THat's unfair perhaps but it is the results.

Greg Maddux is the greatest control pitcher of all time and one of the top Righthanders in the live ball era. I'd take him over Clemens if I were building a team. (If both were in their prime)

Cool. Now maybe I can take off my flack jacket and helmet. When I argue this in bars etc. I get stared at like I'm Daren Dalton talking about the end of the world.

Just say "Who would you rather have in Game 7? Greg Maddux or Curt Schilling?"

Red light Curt will get into the Hall based on his post season record. An absolute Viking when it came to big games.

clout is right about Maddux. Maddux's absolute top velocity was 90-91. He was never someone, at any point, who could reach back and blow the ball past hitters.

By the way, 52-74 isn't all that bad for the IPs considering how they started the season. But of course, it's still bad.

Hiring LaMar was at least an indication of some kind that they intended to pay a little more attention to the minor league side of things, but that's a small first step. Nothing changes long-term in this organization until that farm system is restored to an overriding priority.

donc: Well, at least we got Travis Lee for him.

Schilling should be a lock for the Hall...He might not get in on the first ballot but his numbers and reputation are good enough. His postseason numbers should put him over the top.

Couple things:

1. I never said that Maddux would blow it by people but he could throw it htat hard if he really wanted to. He focused on control though. Just like when Zach Greinke first came up with the Royals and he threw 91-92 but could easily hit 96 on the gun. Maddux would be the first to tell you that throwing hard is compeltely overrated.

2. We got Omar Daal too guys...its not like we GAVE him away.

3. This year's draft was a smashing success where the Phillies finally paid attention to getting high-risk, high-reward HS prospects and they even busted slot a couple times to get guys they wanted. Very impressive and a huge shift in the organizational mindset.

Yes clout. Travis Leave and Nelson Figueroa and the ultimate ten cent head Vicente Padilla. At least when we traded Tiny Tears we got back Polanco. Who we ultimately traded for a handful of magic beans named Urbina. I'm certain he's the only major leaguer ever with the initials U. U. Gof it would be nice to be sitting across the table from the Phillies "braintrust" in a negotiation.

On a completely unrelated note, anyone else notice that Jroll should be a lock for his 2nd straight Gold Glove? Last night emphasized it when he made a couple of gems in the field but he's clearly got the best defensive numbers among NL shortstops.

What kind of argument is that? If you can throw 94, you bloody well throw 94.

"So which of our top prospects did you want for your AllStar pitcher?"

"Um...lets see...Travis Lee? Is he on the table"

"Well yeah I guess we can talk about Lee...he's a hell of a defensive 1B though..."

Rollins is an awesome defensive shortstop. He is the type of fielder that should have a bunch of GG's on his mantle. Playing in the NL at the same time as Omar Vizquel has definitely cost him. BTW I will probably never make my peace with the fact that Bobby Abreu owns a gold glove and Rico Brogna doesn't. That is right up there with the OJ verdict when it comes to a travesty of justice. ( I know...I should just get over it).

RSB: If you knew the first thing about pitching, you'd know that's not true. You almost never throw as hard as you possibly can because your pitches flatten out and you have no location. You throw at the level you can hit your spots and you trade location when you rear back to "blow it by him". Say I can throw 88-93...I'll usually get by at 88-89 and hit my spots and then I'll once in a while reach back and throw it 93 but I won't do it very often as it tires me out faster and if I miss (which Im more likely to do) its gonna get killed. Its the same reason you can throw harder as a reliever as you don't have to worry about pacing yourself.

I think we just broke the record for the most mentions of the name Omar on one blog page.

Also NEPP: if you've been paying any kind of attention to recent history, what happened with this year's draft - other than paying above slot in some cases - was anything *but* a 'shift in organizational philosophy'. The Phillies have taken this high-risk, high-rewards approach for years, seldom if ever getting them anywhere. I guess it's all new to you, though. the hell did Abreu win a gold glove? His numbers weren't even that good even if you ignore the fact that the wall terrified him and he would almost never dive for a ball. I remember when that happened and my first thought was "How the hell did that happen?" and I'm a huge Phillies fan...

Yes, NEPP, but your argument is that Maddux once had the ability to reach back when he needed something extra and hump it up to 94. Which isn't true.

RSB: When in our recent history did we ever bust slot like we did for guys like Shreve or Jared Cosart (a supposed unsignable) that signed at the last minute yesterday? This is a shift...a huge shift for the Phillies.

According to the Cubs org in the late 80's it was true. Feel free to google it.

NEPP: I agree that that much is encouraging to see. But that alone doesn't make for a successful draft. Time will tell.

The Abreu GG totally pisses me off. But how in the name of god did Rico Brogna not win one. I go back to Tommy Hutton and Willie Montanez. Brogna was a wizard, plain and simple. The best in my memory in no particular order... Keith Hernandez, Don Mattingly, Wes Parker, Mark Grace, Rico Brogna. I know I'm leaving out a few. But Brogna was incredible. Better than Ryan Howard even. Seriously, as bad as Howard is...and he's brutal, I do think he's pretty good at throws in the dirt. Brogna was absolutely the best at that.

Just saw that the Phillies sent Cervenak down to make room for Seanez. They're carrying an extra pitcher now. Not sure why.

AFish: Might as well. We have two worhtless, seldom used bench pieces. What's the point.

clout- Maddux has thrown a 94 fastball. Find me one legitimate stat that says he didn't. (don't reference your own post)

I agree that it'll be 5 years till we know if it was a successful draft but the shift in drafting was a good sign of going in the right direction. Pettibone was another one they busted slot on...

I'm not a draftnick or minor league authority by any stretch. But it seems to me that just about any deviation from same old same old in regards to the drafting of players should be cause for optimism. The whole let's wait a few years thing...well no s#*t.

I didn't like the Hewitt pick at #24 but Collier at #34 (the one everyone thought they'd take at 24) makes up for it. The rest of their top 10 picks or so seemed to make sense and Colby Shreve would have been a top pick had he been healthy. Hopefully he's in the 90% that comes back from TJ surgery fully healed and he becomes a steal for them considering they drafted him around 200 overall. Knapp's got potential and a big arm as do alot of their picks. Hopefully Gose realizes he's better off as a pitcher in a couple years and they convert him to a lefty that throws mid-90's. He's only 18 so he's got plenty of time to figure it out. Say that 1 or 2 of these picks actually pan out...that would be a great draft. If only 1 realizes his potential it will still be okay. Even if they dont and the Phillies continue this type of draft strategy, things will improve with subsequent drafts. Now they just have to start developing raw talent like the Rays or BoSox.

Biggest key: 25 of their top 27 picks were signed. Only Weber and Coy didn't come to terms...that's pretty good.

On the Abreu Gold Glove...I'm looking at his stats from 2005 and I'm still lost as to why he won it. He did have fairly good stats. Most importantly he played 158 games and only had 4 errors (something that GG voters overrate). However, his RF and ZR were average at best as was his Assist total. Ironically Geoff Jenkins looks like he probably should have won it and arguably Brian Giles had better numbers that year as well. Jenkins had 10 assists versus 7 for Abreu despite only playing in 144 games. He had one more error with 5 but his Range Factor was 2.30 vs. 1.80 for Abreu and his zone rating was .891 vs .854. He also had 7 DPs vs 0 for Bobby. Giles was also far better than Abreu in ZR, RF and even fielding percentage with fewer errors. That Gold Glove was a joke...worse even than the ones Jeter has.

Like I said, I'm not up on amateur players and draft picks like a lot of BLer's and I really appreciate the info I get. I do follow it enough (also thanks to Beer Leaguer) to know that the Phils have signed an inordinately high percentage of their picks. Again that change has got to be a good thing. Thanks NEPP for the thumbnail sketch of the draft. I do occasionally get to a Reading Phils game. In fact my introduction to Brett Myers was there. No lie...He walked the bases loaded on the first three batters of the game. Imagine my dismay. He was supposed to be the second coming. He struck out the next three hitters on 10 pitches. It was electrifying. But also maybe a foreshadowing of a guy who does just enough to get by. Just a theory, but I remember being blown away by his stuff and thinking "why did he have to have his back against the wall before he turned it on." I think about that night a lot when I watch him pitch.

That's pretty much a microcosm of Brett's career.

Reyes already has a homer and a triple through the first two innings.

Looks like the Phils are going to have to win to keep up again tonight.

I always thought Abreu was a decent right fielder. Nothing more. He had a good arm, that year's stats not withstanding. He usually was up there in assists. But that wall allergy was nauseating. And the way he trotted after balls that got past him used to make me livid.
Nobody has chimed in on Brogna though. He was seriously under-rated. Full disclosure:No I am not, nor have I ever been, a relative of Rico Brogna.

The Phillies kinda blew their chance to build up a good lead and they're now paying for it with this tough stretches. If they'd have built up a 5-10 game lead in the division in June when they could have...they'd be able to handle getting swept by the Dodgers. Now's they're playing catch up against a team that can smell the blood in the water.

I agree on Brogna...he was great defensively. Its ashame he didn't have the bat to go with it. (Looking at his stats right now)...Yeah his highest error total in a season was 7. That must be nice. He had a fantastic year with the glove in 1998 when he was with us and a better year statistically with the mets at age 24. Its ashame he couldn't hit more.

RSB is right. There was almost no difference in the Phils drafting strategy this year. The only difference was that they actually:

- Actually spent some money and actually signed nearly all of their draft picks for a change.

They still didn't go after certain players in the 1st round though because of their high signing bonuses demands. Nor does it appear they are spending much more either in Latin America either.

NEPP: You nailed it. Things played out pefectly for them. They were about one week of good baseball away from taking the division by the throat. Or so we thought anyway. Now it seems that the division should be won by the contender with the easiest schedule. Last week we played the Nats and the Bucs and made hay. This week it's the hated Letsgos turn. The definition of mediocrity. He who sucks least wins.

The keys were they DID sign them, they didn't make up for it with joke picks to keep the money even and they got power arms instead of the control guys they usually target. On not going after guys like Garrit Cole...neither than 26 other teams that new his demands were ridiculous. I'd love it if they'd spend in the draft like the Sox, Yankees, or even the Tigers, but they won't ever do that. Call this draft an important step in the right direction though.

NEPP: I don't remember Brogna as that bad offensively. .275 with 20 homeruns. Something like that. Not too bad. I'll have to look him up. Of course the rest of the team was lame so you probably are looking for more out of your firstbasemn.

Hey, just a thought. Why don't we take up a collection to buy the team. I'm in for $100. JW could be the president and of course Carson for GM. We could draft our a%#es off.

For a 1B he was below average. His peak was a 24 HR, 102 RBI season with a .278/.336 avg/obp. That's okay for a 1B but its traditionally a power position. Considering their overall lack of offense from alot of other positions, it wasn't good enough...especially his OBP which was very low. His best OPS+ as a Phillie was 97.

Its funny. Abreu is generally remembered as a lackadaisical player because of his general demeanor attitude and later years in the field. Yet he was one of the greatest players in Phils' history in OF.

Rico Brogna seems to get remembered very fondly because of his exploits in the field yet people seem to overlook that he was generally a very mediocre offensive player who was horribly mismatched against LHP or power pitchers.

Yes. I remember he was a free swinger. Of course on a pitching dominated team...Oh never mind.

Brogna was a hacker at the plate who wasn't very selective, chased his share of bad breaking pitches, and was nearly useless when a LHP put pitches inside on him.

Also, those power numbers were kind of bogus too because it was 20 HRs with a ton of ABs. Basically an average/below average power who hit about .250-.260. Just not very good for any position but especially for a 1B.

On a good team, Brogna would be a complementary player but he is the guy who hits 6/7 in a good lineup.

MG: I'm really only talking about Brogna's defensive skills vs Abreu's. Rico was sick with the leather. And Bobby Abreu was an offensive force. Probably an underrated one at that. You only need to look at a list of Phillies offensive category leaders to see that.

The problem with Abreu was that you couldn't build an offense around him...he'd be a great leadoff guy or a great complimentary piece but he wanted to and DEMANDED to be the #3 hitter. As a Phillie, he was completely content to take a walk even if they had a runner on 3rd and only needed a groundball to score him. Beyond that, he brought a ton to the equation with at least a .300 average, .400 OBP, 20+ HR, 20+ SB etc etc.

Personally I always wondered if Abreu was a juicer. I still remember that Spring training where he showed up completely ripped and had put on 35 lbs of muscle in the off season...kinda odd is all. All the reporters made a big deal of how hard he had worked in the off season blah blah it looks kinda shady.

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EST. 2005

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