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« Breaking News: Brewers fire manager Ned Yost | Main | Game chat: Phillies' season down to a dozen »

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Comments

Jason,
Do you mean "will be" better off leaving alone for the coming off season or "would have been" as in last season? If its this coming off season I agree with keeping Jayson in right. If they could upgrade Feliz I would do that though. How do you feel about not using any of the extra men they called up. I would have faith in the Olympians to pinch hit or run and play in a limited role. Charlie looks like he is content to only going to use the 25 guys he had.

Brave talk from Wright, considering they've lost 3 of 4, so you could say Saturday and Sunday's bumps in the road carried over to Monday.

Theme in NY papers today is it's not really a collapse because their lead never got as big as last year, and it's all OK cause the WC is theirs if they drop out of first.

Like I've said before, the collapse really lowered the bar for these Mets. After 2006 it was Championship or Bust, now it's all 'as long as we make the playoffs' for them to have a successful season.

Carson. Nice picture. Where do you get this stuff?

Jason -
Hmmmmmm...you place me in a bind here. I'm a noted Feliz critic, but I do not believe that Helms would have been better.

Given the choice of Jenkins + Feliz OR Werth + Dobbs, I'll take the obvious choice. That said, I'm happy about the Feliz signing and have no problem with seeing him (along with Dobbs) at third next season.

Pedro is painful to watch now. I used to like watching him throw 95 with that unhittable 85mph changeup. Now his fastball is 85.

I would like to see Jenkins play RF for my company softball team next year.

At this point I'm hoping for a one game playoff. That would sum up this season and last pretty well.

New Brewers manager Dale Sveum was a Phucco.

Phucco = Phillie/Bucco

The picture Andy referred to above.

Andy- I scour the Internet for funny stuff and sometimes come upon gems like this.

I'm back after a 5 day trip out of the country so I'm trying to get back in the loop about what happened. It looks like Ryan Howard is playing MVP type baseball all year and basically everyone is playing up to potential. It seems like we've waited the whole year for everyone to be playing this well together. Is all this accurate?

One thing that is great is touching down in the USA and having the Phillies tied for the wildcard and right on the heals of the Mets, who seem to be struggling. This looks like a fun final two weeks.

Trade for a 3B this offseason, perhaps Garrett Atkins, who has been said to be on the block this winter? That being said, I'm not sure what the Phils could give up.

I hate saying tonight is the biggest game of the year, but it quite possibly is. Phils win they at least remain tied for NL Wild Card and .5 back of the Mets. Phils win and Mets and Brewers lose, Phils are then 1 game up on the Wild Card and a half game up on the Mets. So yeah, it's pretty big.

Crazy idea- Phils trade Carrasco, Happ, Taylor, and Drabek for Atkins and Holliday.

Guaranteed you guys will be in 1st place by the end of tomorrow. We should win tonight, but ya never know. And D. Wright speaks up after he does an absolute choke job last night. Down by 5 in the 8th, bases loaded, one out, Mr. Wrong grounds a 2-0 pitch into a 6-4-3 double play. There is no way he gets the MVP this year. If you watch this team every day, his numbers are very soft.

It just occurred to me that, even though they are both trying their hardest to repeat last year's choke jobs, either the Brewers or the Mets have to make the playoffs--unless Houston turns it back on. While it remains to be seen what the firing of Yost will do to the Brew Crew, there seems a very likely possibility that one of those teams will back into the postseason having lost more games than they won in September.

I remember listening to Jason Stark on the radio last week, saying the Phils could only lose 3-4 more game the rest of the way, and the Muts would need to lose 7-8 for the Pightins to have a shot. Well, we are already there. The Brewer sweep took care of that. Now that we are even, basically, its take care of OUR business...

Obviously we hope the Mets are setting up their pitching to get Martinez the maximium number of starts. Another season el foldo and Omar and his boy Pedro will both be looking for work !!

For my money, the biggest offseason miss was letting Rowand go.

Lets hope this 6-0 record in Turner Field is a trend, instead of a sign that the Braves are due. Look for Victorino to get hot again, he loves hittnig down in Atlanta.

Offseason regrets: Not getting Lohse for 1yr/$4.5 mil or whatever the Cards ended up getting him for.

carson: why would the phillies give away their three best pitching prospects and their highest ceiling position prospect for a 1 year rental of a guy who will outplay burrell but not FA Manny Ramirez and Atkins?

The Holliday/Atkins trade was just me being silly. I think that has a -99% chance of happening. Basically, not a snowballs chance in Hell.

Nah...its not like we'd want those pitchers in a couple years. Cheap good pitching is the most valuable commodity a team can have.

Anyone know anything about James Parr? Looks like his first two outings in the bigs have been lights out. Could be a tough match up. From the looks of it in two games he hasn't given up a hit to a lefty yet.

In right, I think everyone is comfortable handing werth the full time gig. At third, I couldn't imagine who would be an upgrade over Feliz...his defense really is something special.

Does anybody know who the 3rd baseman FAs are this offseason?

Aaron Rowand - 2008: .276/.346/.420 OPS+: 101 Salary: $9.6M (with $50.4M more to come)

Shane Victorino -- 2008: .282/.345/.427 OPS+: 98 Salary: $480,000

Jayson Werth -- 2008: .276/.373/.508 OPS+: 125 Salary: $1.7M

Phillies' record with a much better version of Aaron Rowand in 2007: 89-73

Phillies' projected final record without Rowand in 2008: 90-72.

Now explain to me again why "the biggest offseason miss was letting Rowand go."

Phillies need to be careful not to fall into the same mire as the muts have. At this point of the year you need to beat these "spoiler" teams back where they belong - and that's in the basement. Don't give them the f'n satisfaction. C'mon already - let's GO!

Yeah, Werth is already a better player than Rowand offensively. The idea of paying Rowand 12 million in four years is just ridiculous.

considering that feliz is astronomically better than nunez offensively as well as better defensively, the upgrade worked in that regard. It'd be nice though to have a guy at 3rd that manuel can just leave in for 9 innings.

as far as jenkins goes, isn't the guy a career high .260 low .270 hitter? sucks he fell off the cliff this year. maybe he'll rebound next year as good LH PH.

Who is starting tomorow??

Yahoo says Kendrick will start tomorrow...

Why do the Mets feel that they have the Wild Card "locked" if they only have a 1/2 game lead on the Brewers?? I mean a reason other than outright arrogance.

But Phillies.com says TBA

PHIinBK: But Nunez wasn't the Phillies' third baseman in 2007. He was a backup and part-time starter, along with Helms & Dobbs. He also wasn't one of the alternative options for 2008.

In the final analysis, Feliz has been a marginal upgrade over what we had last year (which ain't saying a whole lot, but still counts for something). He would have been a much more significant upgrade if Cholly had started platooning him with Dobbs earlier in the season. Since Feliz is under contract for another year, hopefully, Cholly will be smart enough to use a full-time platoon next year.

Just a thought.....Would it have been strategically smart to let the Brewers win one of the four games, therefore preserving Yost's job, therefore allowing him to continue call the shots the rest of the season? :)

"TBA" is code for "Oh, sh*t, we're royally screwed!".

This Division is far from sewn up. Only a fool would think that. But that cuts BOTH ways

Has there been any talk that the Phils have the division "sewn up?" If there is, I haven't seen it. I think the sentiment around here has been that the Phils have to keep up their good play of late to have a shot.

But, as always, thanks for stopping by uninformed Mets troll.

Tonight does become very important given that tomorrow's starter is such a question mark.

I'll repeat my question from earlier in the thread, does anyone know anything about the Braves starter tonight? He looks nasty!

Agreed, Carson. Someone really has to step up here and give them some solid innings.

BAP: Nice analysis of Werth's, Vic's and Rowands stat lines. No way is Rowand worth the money they would have had to use to keep him.

But to go back to Weitzel's main point, I do think they should have left RF well enough alone. Jenkins is a bust. He can't hit lefties at all anymore, and 13 mil over 2 years is ridiculous for the numbers he's put up. I'd sure like to have the second year of Jenkins money available this offseason.

I gotta say though that I'm satisfied with Feliz. Not thrilled, not bummed, just satisfied. We knew we were getting a .250 hitter with very low OPB. That's not why he was signed. Feliz was brought in primarily as a defensive upgrade and to platoon with Dobbs. He's certainly much, much better at 3B than Wes Helms. Is his price tag a little too high? Sure, but that's what happens in free agency.

Let me be crystal clear on this, and if you want you can dig up my posts in the offseason about it. Feliz was, is, and always will be a dead pull hitter. He's got some pop. He puts the ball in play, doesn't strike out all that much. But he also doesn't walk. You could do worse for a 7-hole hitter, and defensively he's a big, big upgrade over Helms, and Dobbs for that matter. He's OK. Sure I'd take Atkins over Feliz in a heartbeat. Yes, there are better 3B out there. But I don't think he's as poor an aquisition as Bell was.

We need to at least split the first two in Atl and have Cole take care of business in the last game. I am dreading the weekend series in FLA. They love to play spoiler and they have given the Phillies FITS this season (the Phillies have lost 9 of the 15 games aginast the Fish so far---3 of which I have personally attended)

My feeling that we need a plus defender at 3B has grown over this season, watching Moyer, Kendrick, Blanton, and more recently, Myers on the hill putting the ball in play. Dobbs isn't a butcher, but he can't start against lefties, and Feliz just has the stronger arm and better agility.

@godfather -- agree mostly with your post, except for the Jenkins question. While Werth ended up proving that he could hit right handers better than his career splits, to @clout's dismay, before the season started there was no indication that he would have. Gillick needed to get a left handed bat.

Unfortunately, because you face much more Right handers than lefties over a year, you need to find a better option than a aging good citizen with some pop. Jenkins was brought in to get about 375 to 400 at bats. Right now in his career, he should not be anything more than a role player, unfortuantely. Although, had he just performed his league average 101 OPS+ that he averaged the last 2 years, the move would have been a success. In hindsight the move is a mistake. At the time, it was the right move.

Is it an aberration as clout had tried to express all season long, that he would revert to his norms? Perhaps. But I certainly don't want to risk it for next year. Send Jenkins back to Milwaukee as a gift for dropping 4 straight to us. If we make the playoffs, we'll take on half his salary.

Regarding Feliz. Were there better options available? Yes. But Pedro Feliz wasn't the problem. Had Feliz remained healthy the entire season, he gave us exactly what we expected. And he had a decent amount of big hits that I don't recall from other right handed 3B had last few years. And despite what some people think, defensively his upgrade is such a significant upgrade that it does make up for some lack of offense.


While I don't disagree that Vic and Werth have been fine replacing Rowand in the OF, I think Rowand's locker room presence has been sorely missed. I bet if we had him we'd be up at least 4 games right now.

I've been happy with Feliz this year. He's played great D and even got a few clutch hits. That's exactly what we signed him for. Jenkins.....definitely a regret at this point.

Excuse me if this was mentioned earlier, but the Metsblog no longer displays the "magic number." Their fans are like the people in those B grade horror movies... they know the guy in the hockey mask is going to show up with an axe or a pitchfork before the end of the flick, they just don't know exactly when.

BAP: Feliz "would have been a much more significant upgrade if Cholly had started platooning him with Dobbs earlier in the season."

That's exactly right. I never cease to be amazed and how much love Feliz gets on this blog. Far, far more than Howard, Burrell or Hamels. The guy is one of the worst offensive thirdbasemen in baseball and idiots think the 3 balls a game he fields offsets that. Just amazing.

Godfather: "Feliz was brought in primarily as a defensive upgrade and to platoon with Dobbs."

That is completely FALSE. He was brought in to be the everyday thirdbaseman. It was only through injury that Charlie finally began giving Dobbs more time vs. RHP.

skeeter: Which 4 Phillies losses would have been wins if Aaron Rowand's locker room presence had been there? I'm always pretty skeptical of these totally unprovable claims about the importance of leadership & (the even more elusive) "clubhouse presence." The Phillies just finished their most important series of the season, and they seemed to step it up just fine without Aaron Rowand's clubhouse presence.

"Feliz was brought in primarily as a defensive upgrade and to platoon with Dobbs."

If only this were true. Before the ASB, Feliz played in 82 games against RHP. Post ASB, he's played in about 20. Here's his TPA against RHP by month along with his OPS.

March/Apr: 63 - .631
May: 76 - .654
June: 58 - .511
July: 50 - .846
Aug: 21 - .607
Sept: 20 - .649

It wasn't until he was injured that we stopped seeing Manuel trot Feliz and his .645 OPS against RHP out there on those days. Manuel's handed 290 PA to a guy with a .286 OBP.

Contrast this with Dobbs

March/Apr: 37 - .981
May: 37 - .906
June: 38 - .573
July: 26 - .669
Aug: 54 - .806
Sept: 23 - .907

In contrast, he's given 147 PA (as a starter) to a guy with a .299/.329/.480 line against RHP.

Anyone notice that Ryan Howard might not end up leading the majors in Ks this year? Arizona's Mark Reynolds is only 3 behind at 187 to Howard's 190. And Reynolds has 67 fewer ABs (503 to 570). Hard to believe someone could strikeout more than our boy Ryan. He has cut down on them in the last few games though, and his strikeout rate is much lower than last year (199 in 529 ABs in 2007), believe it or not.

"I never cease to be amazed and how much love Feliz gets on this blog. Far, far more than Howard, Burrell or Hamels."

clout and I have some similarities in our writing style. We both like to use hyperbole to make our points.

Some notes on Parr (taken from another message board):

"The 22-year-old right-hander has tossed six scoreless innings during each of his first two Major League starts. Without an overpowering fastball, Parr has found early success with his slider and changeup. Dating back to his final three starts with Triple-A Richmond this year, he's allowed one earned run in his past 29 innings."

Latest ELO-adjusted odds

division

Mets - 51
Phils - 49

WC

Brewers - 41
Phils - 24
Mets - 22
Astros - 11

Again, Phils and Mets WC odds are dampened by their secondary path to the playoffs.

Clout: You always make this ridiculous claim that Feliz gets way more love on this blog than Howard, Burrell, or Hamels. How could that possibly be true? I know that in your mind I'm the founding member of the Feliz fan club, and never once have I ever, or would I ever, state or imply that Feliz is even close to as good as any of those players. Seriously, try and find an example where I, or anyone else, does.

I could make the point that you've shown way more love for Kyle Kendrick than for Chase Utley, but it would be disingenuous. Which is exactly what your point is.

Mike:
I liked the Jenkins signing in the offseason. A bunch of us did. But it hasn't panned out. Hindsight is 20/20.

MW217: Interesting point with the pitchers. Assuming the BABIP stays the same, I wonder how much of a difference Feliz makes with his defense? Do those pitchers on average give up fewer runs than if Dobbs is out on the field?

It's a fact.

The Phils would have been better off handing Werth the full-time RF job and finding a lefty bat for the bench and would have been better off keeping the Helms/Dobbs platoon at third.

We spent $8M on Jenkins and Feliz for 2008 alone. AND we paid Helms' entire $2.15M contract so he could play for the Marlins.

That $8M could have been much better spent.

Sophist: are those numbers when Dobbs starts or when he pinch hits? Two separate things. What are Dobbs numbers when he starts at 3B vs. righties?

Clout: You're correct, I'm mistaken. Feliz was to be the starting 3B.

Attributes like defensive play, speed/baserunning, and (more so) leadership, chemistry are very hard to quantify, and don't fit nicely on a BA/OBP/SLG/OPS/OPS+ stat line.

These attributes do, however, contribute to a winning baseball team. But it seems that on this site, whenever someone suggests that these attributes might be factors to consider, that person is quickly denegrated.

Bonehead: No... those people are denigrated when they try to attribute a specific number of wins (like 4) to these impossible to quantify attributes. Or when someone considers these impossible to quantify attributes to be more important than the easy to see differences in actual production. Finally... none of us have any idea what REAL affect Rowand had on the clubhouse because none of us were there.

Godfather - From Opening Day until July Feliz made 85 starts at 3B. Dobbs made 24.

In Aug Dobbs started 12 of 24 games; he's started 7 of 11 this month.

Nevermind I'll answer my own question Sophist. Here's Dobbs statline at 3B:
AVG/OPB/SLG/OPS
285 .314 .477 .791

Here's Feliz's statline now:
.254 .301 .407 .708

But here's Pedro's line against lefties:
282 .333 .504 .837

That's with 130AB (Dobbs line at 3B is 131AB). Feliz is the better guy at 3B with a lefty on the mound and he's much, much better defensively. Given the way they've played, I think Charlie's best move is to platoon the 2, whilst subbing in Feliz as a defensive replacement late when Dobbs starts and using Dobbs as a pinch hitter when Feliz starts.

Dobbs has stone hands. You don't want him on the field with a small lead late.

Jack: Where did I say Feliz is equal to those players? I'm simply pointing out that you, and many other here, leap to Feliz's defense at even a hint of cirticism. That does not happen in nearly the numbers or with the fervor when Hamels, Burrell or Howard are criticized.

Heck when Burrell was going bad last year there were only 2 or 3 posters defending him. This year, there are only 2 or 3 posters who've had anything critical to say about Feliz and many more, with you being number one, who defend him anytime he's criticized. Just read the blog.

The_GodfatherSJP: I don't have that exact split, but I have this:

As a starter, Greg Dobbs has an OPS of .769. The vast majority of those at bats would be against a RHP.

As a starter, Pedro Feliz has an OPS of .681. Against RHP, Pedro Feliz has an OPS of .645.

There are no 4 specific games to point to, I just think there were times when the team went into incredible funks that a clubhouse voice would've been beneficial to have. Plus, if we had Rowand we would've have Jenkins. That alone is worth 4 games.

I think is the only season anyone is going to be remotely pining for Aaron Rowand. His contract is absurd, and his output is going to decline. Plus, Phillies fans are the least likely in baseball to accept "lack of chemistry and leadership" as an excuse for not winning. I'm not gonna miss Rowand and that contract just because Utley/Howard/Burrell/Rollins/Moyer aren't as chummy or inspiring or fun to be around.

Bonehead: Defense and speed/baserunning are much different than leadership, as I think you realize. They actually are part of a baseball player's skillset ON the field. They're part of the game.

Personally, I have no doubt that clubhouse "chemistry" and "leadership" exist and play a part in affecting performance. The problem, as you note, is that you can't quantify it. Thus, discussing Rowand's leadership is pointless for us because we have no quantification of it, and since none of us spend time inside the Phillies locker room, we don't even have any experiential connection to it. All we know about it is that a few reporters have claimed that it existed. How I'm supposed to then say that it means we would have won more games this year is beyond me. How could you possibly make that claim?

Also, I'm much more skeptical that "momentum" exists. Just look at the Phillies-Mets this year. Almost ever single series we played against them this year, we had a huge comeback victory in the first game that was supposed to be a huge shift in momentum. We then went on to lose the series to them. These guys are very good baseball players who are professionals, and my guess is they aren't nearly as affected by the daily ups and downs of the season as fans are. And rightfully so.

The_GodFatherSJP:

Dobbs has stone hands?

Dobbs FP% .969 (3 errors in 93 chances)
Feliz FP% .972 (8 errors in 279 chances)

By that measure, Feliz must have stone hands as well. If you extrapolate Dobbs' numbers, he'd have just 1 more error than Feliz.

The argument is that Feliz has better range than Dobbs (although these same stats suggest Ryan Howard has great range). There's no evidence this year to suggest Feliz has better hands than Dobbs.

Lots of b****ing going on this site in the past few days. You'd think the Phils were in last place and not playing meaningful games.

The Godfather - I've been arguing for a platoon since late-April -- on this *very* board. You're preaching to the choir. Your post that Feliz was intended to be part of a platoon with Dobbs all year was news to me. I must be watching the Phillies in a bizarro universe. clout must be as well, since he was the other vocal exponent of this position.

The reality is that Feliz was the full-time 3B until he injured his back. We can argue for the platoon all we want, but would only be repeating positions this board has seen all spring and summer.

CJ: Those who've actually been watching the games realize that Dobbs has improved his fielding at 3B the more he has played there. In fact, he's made some pretty good plays the last few games he's started.

sophist is exactly right. Even those of us most critical of Feliz's harm to the offense think he's a fine choice to start vs. LHP. Our problem is Cholly's stubborn refusal to sit him vs. RHP.

Which Cholly mule-headed moves are more egregious--the refusal to platoon Feliz and Dobbs or the refusal to split Utley and Howard in the lineup? Any manager smarter than Yost can exploit that situation late in games.

And let's not fool ourselves...

It's NOT a platoon now.

On Sunday, Feliz started against RHP Jeff Suppan. He had just 3 chances at third.

On Thursday, Feliz started against RHP Ben Sheets. He had just 4 chances at third.

If we're going to reminisce about our manager's bungling of the third base situation this season, then let's not forget how he gave Eric Bruntlett the bulk of the starts while Feliz was on the DL. That's even more bizarre than his failure to platoon Dobbs & Feliz.

HH - that is an interesting question.

When Burrell leaves, are we looking at a Jenkins/moderately proied right hand hitting bat to be acquired platoon??

CJ: Obviously, those are just two games. But from time to time this season, I've looked at five and six-game snippets and found the same thing: third base only gets three or four defensive chances all game. Furthermore, contrary to the conventional wisdom (not to mention the "wisdom" of our manager), those numbers do NOT appear to increase when Jamie Moyer pitches. As I've pointed out several times, most balls hit off Moyer go to the right side of the infield. Balls hit to the left side are usually foul.

HH, I agree. In know Jason kicked off this conversation, but anyone have any thoughts about tonight? Tomorrow's starting pitcher? The next 12 games? Anything more interesting than moves we could have made last winter?

hh: I would vote that the failure to platoon Feliz & Dobbs is the more egregious. But no discussion of this subject would be complete without including Option (C): his reflexive removal of Burrell for a pinch runner/defensive replacement. That move has come back to harm us at least a half dozen times this year and probably no fewer than 25 times during Cholly's entire tenure.

Clout is right on the mark about Dobbs at third base. While he'll never make us forget about Mike Schmidt, his defense has improved dramatically as he has played more. Does anyone know how many games he's played at third before he came here? He looks as if he's been learning on the job.

Just an FYI (KNOCK ON WOOD, NO JINXING, ETC.) The NL Playoff schedule is out. Both NLDS series are Wed., Thurs., Sat., Sun., Tues. meaning a 4 man rotation is likely unless teams decide to pitch 2 guys on short rest.

I suspect Jenkins will hit better next year although for a fastball hitter his bat looks awfully slow against good fastballs. My main qualm with him is he's another of these all or nothing, streaky hitters Phils FO seems to love.

It seems to me that Phils have more streak hitters than other teams--Howard, Burrell, Feliz, Jenkins, Coste,Rollins, even Utley at times. But this might simply be because I follow the Phils with obsessiveness and not other teams. Maybe you statistically-minded posters could address this: Can we scientifically prove that Phils have more "streak" hitters than other teams and is there any effect, good or bad, to wins/losses?

CJ - You have to give Pete Happy some credit on Thursday against Sheets as he had a very solid game at the plate - his Opposite Field double of Sheets was a huge part of the game ....

He is what he is, I for one feel a lot more comfortable when a seed is hit down the line with Pedro on the filed than Dobbs at this point truth be told ....

Can't argue with Dobbs getting the starts down at 3rd agains softer tossing RHP. But I'm o.k. trying to balance that with Pedro getting starts down there with Moyer and Kendrick on the mound.

From BP.com's preview of today's game:

Now the Braves will try to beat the Mets' chief rival, in the first of their six remaining games versus Philadelphia tonight. As manager Bobby Cox said, "We're going to help the Mets as much as we can when we play the Phillies six times, so it's our job to be up for every game and go at it as hard as we can." Cox doesn't have to tell Kelly Johnson to be up for these games, as the second baseman is the hottest hitter in baseball, salvaging a blasé season by hitting nearly .500 in his last 12 games (.489/.529/.894 in 51 plate appearances). Both Johnson and his double-play partner, Yunel Escobar, had poor first halves, a big letdown given their outstanding play last season, but both have hit much better down the stretch, bumping their numbers back up to above-average levels. Both members of the underrated young duo have yet to hit arbitration, and they'll likely be a key part of Atlanta's next contending team.

The Phillies currently set the standard for middle infield combinations with Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, but their third-base situation has been troublesome. That Pedro Feliz is hitting like Pedro Feliz this season (an OBP around .300 and for the exact same OPS+ as last year) has been enough for Charlie Manuel to sit him more and more as the season has progressed, and in the last 16 games Feliz has split time equally with Greg Dobbs. There is a case to be made for the lefty-swinging Dobbs to be in the lineup whenever Philly faces a right-hander, for Feliz has just a 645 OPS against righties this year (706 career), while Dobbs is at 809 (754 career).

-------

No mention of James Parr beyond his line this year:

150 2/3 IP, 3.58 RA, 1.24 WHIP, 125 SO
Double- and Triple-A.

My Thoughts:

Feliz is a definite upgrade over Helms on the basis of his defensive prowess alone. Pedro kills us at the plate, but Helms killed us at the plate AND in the field. I couldn't have taken another season of that.

The fact that Lohse has been great as a Cardinal has no bearing on how he might have performed as a Phil in '08. Good elsewhere does not necessarily translate to good here. Dumping him was the right move.

Jenkins has been a complete bust. As someone else said (in reference to Blanton), I didn't expect anything from him in the first place, & somehow he's still managed to disappoint me. Werth should be the everyday RF, no question.

Finally, I wish Rowand was still a Phillie. I believe in the unprovable power of intagibles, & that guy had intangibles to burn. Yeah, $12 million was "too much", but everything costs too much in baseball nowadays.

I just don't understand why Cholly keeps making the same mistakes over and over again when he's tried the alternative and it has usually ended in a positive result.

Burrell has stated in the press that he hates being removed late in games, and although he will make some boneheaded moves in LF defensively, so will Taguchi/Bruntlett/Golson or whomever is our def replacement out there these days, so I fail to see how his defense is so bad that it outweighs his value to the team as a "possible" offensive threat. (in quotes because he's been a bit anemic as of late) Surely Burrell could make some mediocre BP pitcher pay in a way that Bruntlett or Golson could not. I mean, they don't remove Holliday for a DR, do they? His defense is at times absolutely atrocious...almost as bad as his baserunning. /kidding//sort of

But I still hate the Utley-Howard B2B, because it makes late game strategy too easy for a team with a decent 'pen. If the Phils can jump all over the starter, I suppose it's a moot point, but if they have to win the game in L&C situations...Howard can be neutered very easily by your LOOGY of choice (and either pitch around Utley or just hit him with a pitch, your call). I realize he's hot right now, but his odds of getting a big hit off of a LRP aren't high. There are still those who argue he's a platoon player.

Yep, doubleh. The argument only gets stronger when you realize that the Phils have two of the best RHB power/OBP bats in the league on their roster: Werth and Burrell. Werth leads baseball in HR against LHP, IIRC. Furthermore, earlier in games their high OBP would provide even more baserunners for Howard.

Werth vs LHP:: .309/.381/.669.

Sounds like a good #3 hitter to me.

JMARR: That's great... Pete Happy finally got a hit. That's not really the point, however.

The point is whether or not Manuel is putting the team in the best position to win. Starting Feliz against a RHP does not do that.

And why would Feliz need to be started with Moyer or Kendrick on the mound? There's really nothing to suggest that 3B gets more action with either of these starters on the mound.

My favorite line from the article posted by sophist: "That Pedro Feliz is hitting like Pedro Feliz this season (an OBP around .300 and for the exact same OPS+ as last year) has been enough for Charlie Manuel to sit him more and more as the season has progressed."

So Cholly needed to see 5 months of Pedro Feliz's act up close and in-person, in order to conclude that Feliz should sit more. 7 years of prior statistical evidence was insufficient information.

Sophist: So what's your ideal lineup then?

Would it be:
Rollins
Utley
Werth
Howard
Burrell
Victorino
Feliz/Dobbs
Coste/Ruiz
Pitcher

In my mind, Utley and Howard should never hit B2B, not even when facing RH pitching. Does that make me crazy? What is Charlies justification for doing so?

Yeah, when Kendrick pitches, the only positions that see more action are the outfielders and the bullpen.

Clay:
I don't know if other teams do or don't have players that are as "streaky." However, it does makes sense that another manager that utilized more platoons and paid more attention to statistics and propensities would be able to better manage around some of those streaks.

HH -I'm not sure what my ideal lineup would be. But I would always split Utley and Howard up.

CJ -

If you don't think that RHB are more apt to pull the ball off of soft tossing control pitchers who pitch down in the zone - I can't help you.

And yes, I think Dobbs should get the majority of starts against RHP at 3B - only there are times where I'm fine with Pete Happy down there and Dobbs on the bench for the late innings - we have NOTHING in the way of a LH Bat off the bench when Dobbs starts.

Ah, the bench. Didn't this team acquire Tad Iguchi and call up some guy named Marson?

When Dobbs starts, the Phils have Stairs and Jenkins off the bench.

I don't think that Lohse would have been as good as he has been in St. Louis had he been in Philly this season, but he could have at least put up numbers similar to what Blanton has given us without having to give up the prospects. Not signing him to a one year $5 million deal and getting rid of Eaton at the beginning of the season was a mistake.

bap: I believe Charlie used Bruntlett at third as much as he did when Feliz was hurt bc Dobbs had a bad back at the time. I could be wrong but I remember being just as angry as you about it and then hearing something about Dobbs back.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Lohse eventually sign in St. Louis for less than the Phillies offered him. If so, I'd say it was Lohse that made the mistake.

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EST. 2005

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