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Monday, November 24, 2008


Purely off the top of my head, I'd rather have Rios than Wells. I believe Rios is younger and in much better shape (phycial and health). I could see Toronto dealing one of them, possibly for a year rental of Brett Myers and a Phils prospect.

If they acquire a lefty bat for Burrell's spot, can you rely on Werth as your right handed power to bat in #5 spot between a streak of utley/howard/newguy?

And another thing to ponder, Victorino does not have the power of a typical #5 guy, but did lead the team in batting average last year, meaning he puts the ball in the play for hits as good as anyone on the team, which could generate a decent amount of runs. Does take away his speed with Hoawrd in front though.

Toronto's offense was abysmal last year, so I don't see how it benefits them to trade either one of their two best hitters. That is, if they feel like they can compete this upcoming season. They did finish ahead of the Yankees last year, though that's not saying much. I don't think the Phillies are looking to add a contract like that anyways, what with all the arb money due.

I've always been a fan of Wells and Rios, but didn't Wells sign a 10 year deal (or something close to it) a few years back?

I doubt Rubie would want to take that contract on...not sure of Rios' contract, but on that not alone, I would consider Rios before Wells.

I still think Ludwick (been saying this for months) would be a good replacement for Burrell, should he not re-sign.

on that not(e)...wrong thing me typed.

But if they deal someone like Myers, who's due $12 million, the cost offsets. Toronto is fooling themselves if they believe they can keep up with the AL East. It's a shame because they have some nice players.

Wells signed a seven-year extension in Dec. of 2006. Full NTC; I should have mentioned it.

JW: foolish was once the thought that Tampa Bay would won the AL Pennant in 2008.

Can't manage a team with the thought that you can't compete in your own division.

BlueJays were 37-35 vs the AL East, going 9-9 vs the yanks and sox, 12-6 vs orioles and 7-11 vs rays. So they didnt dominate , but they held their own, well enough to have hopes of competing.

The Phils don't have what Toronto would want to acquire Wells or Rios.

thephaithful: they also beat the WS champs two outta three!

From last thread:
phaithful: "I don't think Feliz batted 6th at all, and if he did, only a small number of times, so no need to get your feliz bashing into this."

Feliz batted 6th in 28 games. Jenkins batted 6th in 63 games.

Over on MLB trade rumors it looks like Eddie Wade might try to dump Wigginton...I know he can play multiple positions and played 30 games in LF last year...would he be a good righty platoon guy for LF?

Not sure if anybody mentioned this already, sorry for the repeat if they did.

He could also fill in for Feliz if he misses any time to start the year, and he's played 2b in the past as well, so he could help with Uts being out.

Lotsa teams have nice players to trade for, but (MOTO) who do the Phils have to give up.

JW, does it make sense to "sell high" on Donald right now, with Uts and Pete Happy coming off of surgery. IMO, no.

So, while I would love to have Alex Rios (no interest in an overpriced/overweight Wells)manning the OF with Werth and Vic, it would probably cost Myers and at least 2 prospects (Marson to replace Barajas and Taylor\Mayberry?) to get him.

IMO, they might have to give up less to get Wells because of the magnitude of his contract. Wells, however, has a FNTC for the length of his contract (in which he'll eventually be paid 21MM/yr) and Rios has a FNTC in '09-'10. What it would cost for either to waive his FNTC? Based on escalating salaries, IMO Rios would certainly want a bump financially.

Besides, if you trade for Wells, where does he play? Yeah, you can say CF, but is he, with the additional weight he's been carrying, really a better CF than Vic? I'm not sure.

And what would be the point of the trade?

Answer: To replace a RH power bat (Burrell).

So, trading for either of them costs prospects AND money, though less so for Rios. Wells will eventually cost more than Burrell is projected to make.

To give up a front line pitcher (and prospects), seems to me, to be an excessive cost for the financial commitment the Phillies would be undertaking for either player.

Re-signing Burrell to a three year deal would cost no talent, and is likely to be less of a long-term financial commitment.

Once again, for all of those saying that losing Burrell spells doom for next year.

Burrell had a decent year overall - but the gap between Burrell and a somewhat lighter-hitting LF was not the difference-maker in this year's championship.

The primary factor in this season was the bullpen. They might have won with a little less offense, but a weaker bullpen would have cost the Phils tens of games (see, Muts, New York).

Burrell' lack of speed hurts the Phils defensively, and offensively when he's on the basepaths.

Many BLers seem to think that because they wish it to be so, Cholly's going to change his ways. Given his success with the Phils, that he's made his living from baseball for decades, and has been surrounded by advisors who have made their living in baseball - I'd give Cholly the benefit of the doubt there. So, Cholly will not bat The Bat 4th except on rare occasions. Which means that next year, again, with Burrell they will have a #5 hitter who comes to the plate looking to get on with a walk, even though often Ruiz and Feliz following him in the lineup. It also means that with Burrell, you essentially have a seven-inning player, and that you will have slop replacing him at the plate and in the field in late innings.

The Phils main problem on offense last year was inconsistency. Burrell's main offensive problem last year was inconsistency.

I expect that among Rollins, Utley, Feliz, Ruiz, Howard, and Werth - it is unlikely that any of them will have a worse year next year than they had this year. I expect at least 2 or 3 of them to have a better year next year. That would help offset the offensive drop-off from losing Burrell.

The money saved from not signing Burrell could be used to help strengthen the bullpen. As I mentioned above, I think that the bullpen was at least as important, if not more important, than any other facet of the Phils game this year. It is unlikely that the bullpen will (1) have so few injuries, and (2) have so many players pitching at career-high levels.

I admire the loyalty expressed by many BLers - not wanting to see Pat go, but I still say.

Free Pat Burrell.

Brace yourself, phlipper. Here come the OPS stats

Vernon Wells walked fewer times than Pedro Feliz in 2008. He also turns 30 next week, so he's not a "young" player. In 2007, Wells had the lowest "range factor" of all center fielders. Wells signed a 7 year, $126 million dollar extension, with a no trade clause in Dec 2006.

Last year Alex Rios had 44 walks, 112 strikeouts and only 15 home runs. Rios signed a 6 year $64 million extension last year, with an option for a 7th year at $13 million.

No thanks on either of those guys.

Not sure if this was discussed in the initial Hermida talk, but as with many Marlins, it's noteworthy.


home: .248/.320/.404
away: .284/.363/.467

home: .203/.273/.312
away: .288/.364/.487

home: .267/.333/.452
away: .324/.401/.548

Let's see, the Phillies biggest problem last season was offense. Flipper's solution? Weaken the offense.

Yep, that sounds about right.

" I expect that among Rollins, Utley, Feliz, Ruiz, Howard, and Werth - it is unlikely that any of them will have a worse year next year than they had this year."

phlipper, on what do you base that expectation\assertion?

Rollins was hurt last season, so I too expect more from him, and Ruiz was so bad at the plate last season he lost significant playing time to a 34 year old backup, so he should have no place to go but up.

But let's look at the rest:

Utley will be coming off of tricky hip surgery - no guarantees - he'll be 30 next month - and he may not even play the first 2 months. (Who carried the team in '08 when Howard didn't show up the first 2 months?)

Feliz - surgery also, and he'll be 34.

Howard has declined in EACH of the last 2 years (and based on last season, he'd be the poster boy for the problem of "inconsistency" you identify). What evidence do you have that he won't decline further?

Werth may have had a career year at age 29. Next year he's 30. What usually happens to players who hit that age?

And what evidence can you cite that Vic won't regress a little?

So I ask again, on what do you base your expectations, other than "hope"?

I await your answer.

You're acting like 30 is old. These guys are baseball players, not NFL running backs.

clout, there goes phlipper again!

"Burrell had a decent year overall - but the gap between Burrell and a somewhat lighter-hitting LF was not the difference-maker in this year's championship."

I don't disagree with that analysis but who is the "somewhat lighter hitting LF" going to be? My definition of a "somewhat lighter hitting LF" would be someone like Jermaine Dye or Nick Swisher. The Phillies' definition of a "somewhat lighter hitting LF" appears to mean a Geoff Jenkins/Kevin Mench platoon. If that had been our left field situation for 2008, no, we would not have won the NL East let alone the World Series.

Oh, and phlipper, JRoll will be 30 in 3 days [HAPPY BIRTHDAY JIMMY!], and Ruiz will be 30 before the start of the '09 season.

Just FYI.

AWH. I think that Utley, once recovered, will have a more productive year than he was for 1/2 the season last year. I think that Werth, with more playing time, will begin to hit RHP better, I think that Feliz was injured for at least some significant portion of last year - he hit better before he was injured; so I see him hitting better also. I think that Howard bottomed out last year - if you're looking for trends, try looking at the second half of his season last year. I think that Ruiz can't be worse than he was.

My bottom line is that I don't think it's likely that any of them will have worse years, and that it's quite likely that any of them could have a better year. In balance, aggregating their seasons, I expect more offense in total from that group next year than this year.

As for the Phillies' biggest problem last year being their offense. The had, by most measures, perhaps the third or second best offense last year. The biggest problem with their offense was a lack of consistency. Again, I think that a lesser hitting LFer would be, at least to some extent, mitigated by a better defense, better speed on the basepaths, better hitting by other members of their lineup, and the lack of Cholly inserting slop into LF in the late innings. However, I think it's highly unlikely that their bullpen can reproduce their results of next year. Given the importance of their solid bullpen this year, given the trade, I'd talk somewhat less offense and more confidence in the bullpen.

It's an opinion, clout. Try real hard, and maybe you'll be able to grasp the reality that your opinions aren't facts.

"I don't disagree with that analysis but who is the "somewhat lighter hitting LF" going to be?"

Admittedly, BAP, that is the weakness of my perspective. I don't know MLB rosters like you guys - and I can only assume that there's got to be someone out there with more speed, less salary, and not horrendous hitting skills. If there is no such player, then I'd agree that Burrell should be resigned. What I'm saying is that I don't think that they need to "replace" Burrell's offensive contributions to have a good shot next year. Some loss of his offense could be offset by better defense, better speed on the basepaths, better consistency (in offensive numbers as well as because another LFer wouldn't be pulled in the late innings), and more money to spend in other areas.

Tony D, it is a statistical fact that in the pre-steroid era, players' peak years were pretty much from 26-30. By age 30 they began to experience a decline, some slower than others.

My point to phlipper is that his "expectation" is an 'empty hand', much like 'potential'.

Most of the Phillies' regulars are in their peak years. As they gradually decline, the window of opportunity to win another WS will close.

Replacing Burrell's bat is, IMO, imperative in order to keep the window open as wide as possible.

If phlipper has even bothered to read previous threads, the Burrell advocates are really RH power bat advocates, and "loyalty" has nothing to do with it.

They're not signing Manny Ramirez, who would be a huge upgrade, so..............

what's the alternative?

I actually think phlipper makes some cogent points. Burrell's best offensive attribute is the ability to draw walks &, with Feliz & Ruiz hitting 7th & 8th, that attribute is largely being wasted. Of course, that's not Burrell's fault and the apparent solution would not be to let him leave, but to move him up in the order where his walks can lead to more runs. But phlipper's right: that is never going to happen while Cholly is manager.

He also makes valid points about Burrell's maddening inconsistency being part of the Phillies' offensive problems, and about Burrell's high salary being better put to use in other areas (though I would spend it on starting pitching, instead of the bullpen).

But here's the problem: if not Burrell, then who? We've hashed out the potential replacements ad nauseum, and they all have their issues. The 2008 Phillies were wildly inconsistent on offense but were carried by their pitching. That isn't too likely to happen again, unless you think a 46-year old Jamie Moyer can repeat his 2008 success. Given that our pitching is likely to be considerably worse next year, the idea of also downgrading on offense is completely unacceptable.

"If phlipper has even bothered to read previous threads, the Burrell advocates are really RH power bat advocates, and "loyalty" has nothing to do with it."

I've read some of the other threads. And my point is that basically, when you say that Burrell's hitting needs to be replaced, you aren't looking at the full equation.

Of course, if all you do is subtract something, their chances next year are less. But there could easily be mitigating factors to offset the loss of Burrell's strengths, and you need to consider as a team which strengths and which weaknesses are likely to have the biggest impact next year.

I'd go with starting pitching too, BAP - except when I look at having Eaton for much of the year, Kendrick for much of the year, and an absolutely terrible Myers for most of the year, I don't think a significant dropoff in pitching, as compared to last year, is likely.

clout: Feliz batted 6th in 28 games. Jenkins batted 6th in 63 games.

Cool, Thanks for the info.

that clears up the 'burrell was more valuable in 2008 than Howard' argument pretty well.

I say we go with the platoon for beginning of the season. If that doesn't work out, we can trade for a LF in June. If Jason Donald hits well in Utley's absence, he'd make an obvious trade chip.

I just don't think we need to overreact to a problem that might not exist. If Michael Taylor rakes in Reading, he could even join the team by August. Taylor's not a young prospect, so a jump would make sense.

I'd be fine with a trade for a decent young LF, but I wouldn't trade young talent for an underperforming veteran signed long-term.

"Burrell's best offensive attribute is the ability to draw walks &, with Feliz & Ruiz hitting 7th & 8th, that attribute is largely being wasted."

The glass-half-full angel on my shoulder tells me that having Feliz/Ruiz end the inning is better than having Feliz/Ruiz start the next inning. :) Those walks aren't entirely wasted. But it sure seems that Burrell 4th/Howard 5th is the sensible move on paper both for Burrell's walks and for making the LOOGY choice tougher on the opposing manager.
We can't know the psychology of the players -- presumably Chollie has a big psychology detector in his famous gut.

I wonder if there would be any interest in Eric Byrnes. I know he's owed a lot of money in the next few years, but if AZ is willing to eat some of that, I think it would be a good "buy low" situation. He is the odd man out in AZ, and I love the fire he played with in years past. Of course his health is a major concern, hard to say how he'll come back from hamstring injuries. Just an idea.

If they resign Moyer, I am actually optimistic they can duplicate their starting pitching performance as long as Hamels stay healthy. Remember that 1st half Myers was one of the worst 5 starters in the NL and this also includes Eaton.

It is the bullpen that is unlikely to duplicate their performance including Durbin, Lidge, and Condrey. I can see why Amaro wants to shore up the bullpen even with resigning Eyre (which for 1 yr/$2M looks like a good signing given that the going rate for a decent setup reliever is +$3M/year).

I wouldn't take Eric Byrnes if they gave him to us.

Predictions for 2009:

Of all the Phil's position players, Burrell is most likely to have the steepest decline due to age.

Phil's 2009 offense will fall somewhere between 2007's (which was great) and 2008's (which was okay, but inconsistent).

With no upgrades, Phil's 2009 bullpen will perform worse than 2008's.

So I agree with many of phlipper's points.

thephaithful: Huh? What I was clearing up was your false statement that "I don't think Feliz batted 6th at all."

And repeating my point that having Jenkins and Feliz hitting behind him might've had something to do with the number of Burrell's walks.

I find it odd that Moyer hasn't resigned yet. I think the Phillies are really making a play at Derrick Lowe and plan to use the money they save on Moyer and Burrell to get Lowe.

With the massive rise in payroll due to all the arbitration cases I believe that you have to be in dreamland to think we will get any kind of big bat to replace Burrell. We are looking at a righthanded hitting version of Stairs/Jenkins to platoon with those lefty counterparts.

I do see Burrell returning if he ends up being this year's Kyle Lohse though and that is a strong possibility at this point. Perhaps Moyer will be in the same boat, too.

I don't think Jason Donald will be traded until the Utley situation works itself out. I would sell high on JA Happ now if they are able to sign someone like Lowe. I do think that everyone here is underestimating the impact that the Phillies feel that Lou Marson will make too and he is a righty. I'm not saying he'll be the opening day catcher, but I think the Phils are counting on him making a contribution at somepoint in the season. Ruiz does give us the luxury of time so that Marson won't be rushed, but you will see his name in the starting lineup at somepoint in 2009.

I have warmed up to the idea of signing Cruz to bolster the bullpen and then that might make Madson expendable. I wonder what a package with Madson and Happ could bring as far as a righty bat.

I said, 'just a note' to the feliz batting situation, and was not making a point with it either way.

I havent mentioned burrell's walk totals at all. My last statement was that "Burrell would get better pitchers with Howard on deck than Howard does with Burrel behind him'. And that is another example of why Howard is a more feared hitter and effects the opposition greater than Burrell, adding to why I believe Howard had a more valuable 2008.

I hate Derrick Lowe. He was a "mental midget" in both his NLCS starts against the Phillies.

BobbyD - Lowe's NLCS performance was cause for concern.
But all in all, Lowe + Value Village RH platoon LFer > Moyer + Burrell.
Mainly because in can see a significant decline in 2009 Moyer/Burrell vs. 2008 Moyer/Burrell.

BobbyD: Phils are world champs i know, but they are definitely not in a position to only evaluate players based on their October performace and take the regular season for granted. Phils need every bit of help they can get in the regular season if they want to be playing in the NLCS again.

bonehead: "Of all the Phil's position players, Burrell is most likely to have the steepest decline due to age.

Phil's 2009 offense will fall somewhere between 2007's (which was great) and 2008's (which was okay, but inconsistent)."

Well, there you have it. What a bonehead would think.

Now Lowe's interest in a "Zito-type" contract is just agnet hype but if the Phils won't resign Burrell what makes you think they will committ 3 or 4 yrs to Lowe at around $14-$16M per.

If Lowe ends up in a Phils uniform next year, I would be floored.

I would feel very good going into the season with a rotation of Hamels, Myers (who while he might not match what he did in the 2nd half, would undoubtably have a better 1st half and is primed for a big season going into free agency), Lowe, Blanton, Happ/Kendrick/Carrasco. Add to that the same bullpen as last year (although you have to think there will be a few blown saves) and we have a pitching staff that will make us compete all year. I wasn't too impressed with Lowe in the playoffs, but he did only make a few bad pitches and you can't deny that he is a great #3 starter and then that moves Blanton into being a good, above league average #4 starter instead of an average at best #3 starter.

I know Madson is "unlikely" to repeat his 2008 season, especially the completely dominating end of it, but how can you even think of trading him? He locked down the 8th inning role which had been so problematic for this team, and I think the chance that he can maintain that role makes it absolutely essential that you hang onto him.

My main worry as far as pitching is Myers. I think he made it back based on guts and the adrenaline of a playoff race/ postseason, but he did not actually pitch too well in the playoffs, and I feel like the prospect of another long season as a starter is going to cause him to revert back to the unfocused, mediocre pitcher he was to begin last season.

" Burrell's best offensive attribute is the ability to draw walks"

Ummmmm, bap, how many hits and how many walks did Burrell have in 2008? And for good measure, look at the previous three years.

How many of Burrell's RBIs came on walks in 2008 and those other years, and how many came on that other thing he does at the plate which many actually be his "best offensive attribute"?

Get back to me and let me know if you still think your statement is accurate.

Brett Myers = Contract year

I think he'll have a decent 09 just based off that. He's not very bright but the promise of big $$$ should be enough to motivate him.

Bobby: That's the second time you have made the "mental midget" comment about Lowe. Were you watching the same games I was watching? In the games I was watching, Derek Lowe posted a 3.31 playoff ERA and pitched well in all 3 of his starts, including one on 3 day's rest. Upon what possible basis could you conclude that he pitched like a "mental midget?"

Wouldn't Russell Martin be to blame if it were a pitch calling issue which has led him to make the "mental midget" comments?

Last I checked catchers and coaches usually have a say with pitch selection and gameplans against certain batters.

This Derek Lowe mental-midget myth is just plain dumb. I don't remember Lowe taking himself out of the games. The guy would be a stud in Philly for at least the next three years if we signed him.

I agree completely with CJ's above comment.

BAP - everytime he got into a jam he started sweating like a pig and pacing around and shaking off pitches. Didn't he only pitch like 10 innings combined in the 2 starts? His ERA might have been respectable but he left the bullpen with too many innings to pitch and in both cases they lost.

Lowe would also give us insurance as a #2 starter if Myers falls apart and if/when he leaves after this season. I also like getting the potential of four picks for Burrell and Moyer to help rebuild the weak farm system. I wouldn't worry too much about losing the #30 pick to sign Lowe.

What if Brett Myers pitched 10 innings in 2 NLCS starts and the bullpen went on to lose both games and the team lost the series? Would that be an acceptable effort by your starting pitcher? Or would people be defending Myers?

Can someone explain to me why Madson's going to have a bad year next season? Why his second half was a fluke?

Isn't Madson progressing the way most pitchers do? With fits and starts and inconsistencies for 4 or 5 years and then finally hitting their peak for 2 or 3 seasons or longer if they're lucky enough to stay healthy?

That being said I would take Lowe. It's not my money.

AWH: I stand by my statement, which you are taking way out of context. Of course, Burrell gets more hits than walks and gets almost all of his RBIs on hits. The same is true of literally every player in the history of major league baseball. But his value lies in his ability to draw walks.

Burrell is not a good hitter for average. He is an above average power hitter, but hardly a great one. His glove is below average and he is obviously a liability on the base paths. The reason Burrell is a $13 or $14M player is because of one skill: his ability to draw huge numbers of walks. If it weren't for those walks, he would be Mike Cameron or Adam Laroche -- in other words, a $5 or $6M player.

Burrell's high OBP is his calling card, and the main thing that separates him from your garden variety LF platoon.

Because as normal Phillies fans we're already in the process of justifying why Madson won't be back after next year. It can't possibly be the FO that is cheap or wrong...therefore logically it must be Madson that is the problem. Thus Madson sucks and will be horrible in 09. Even if his "numbers" and "ERA" look good we'll be able to conjure up some stat that shows he is expendable. For example: "Madson had a 7.45 ERA in the 7th inning at home against switchhitters...he's a bum".

BAP, on the power numbers you have to appreciate that Burrell continues to chip in 30+ HRs despite the overall drop in power league wide. Hell, only 2 players had 40+ HRs last season (Dunn and Howard). 30 HR today is like 40 HRs just 5-10 years ago.

If Lowe were somehow to sign in Philly he would be the #2 starter, not 3rd. He's better than Myers. Probably not going to happen though, as apparently the bidding war between the Sox and Yankees for his services has gotten intense enough for the Mets to bow out of it.

About Burrell.. 1) He walks more because he's more disciplined at the plate than many hitters. And walks are, and I know this is hard for some people to grasp, in aggregate, actually more valuable than base hits as they require the pitcher to work harder and end with the same result. With a player with Pats's power it's easy to push him to swing, but swinging at bad pitches is what drives us nuts about another slugger we know. Why ask for more of the same? If Burrell was batting in his proper spot there wouldn't even be a conversation about this. Stop blaming the guy for doing his job correctly.

2) Slight increase in offense if all of our other player (it'd certainly be welcome) vs losing Burrell's consistent production = certain decrease in offensive output for next season. How many of those close games are we willing to give away?

I mentioned it as a good idea to shop Madson a few weeks back because I see resigning him past 2009 as unlikely and his trade value at one of the highest points it has ever been.

I dont think he'll have a bad 2009, but I think the Phils could benefit themselves more in the longrun by trying to trade him for a prospect. corner OF/3B/P.

What will Lowe end up getting?

At least 4 years, probably something in the $15-18 million per year range. That's alot for a guy who has a low-to-mid 4's road ERA outside that pitchers haven known as Dodger stadium

NEPP would you feel so unkindly if I told you he was 9th in the NL in ERA and had a lower WHIP than Santana?

Well, I'd want to know what his park neutral ERA was for one. I wasn't really "bashing" Lowe so I dont really care too much. He's gonna end up getting overpaid by either Bos or NY anyway so its a moot point.

Lol I know you weren't bashing him, it was more in the nature of a funny. Of course he'll be overpaid, but that's the nature of baseball. If you're looking for a good SP on the market it involves breaking the piggy bank. However, he had good success in Fenway, which no one would call a pitcher's park, so I would be too concerned there.

Oh and speaking of pitcher's stats here's a few that will hurt us in the FA market: Cole Hammels NL ranks for BAA: T-2nd WHIP: 1st. To go along with those two MVP trophies.. Arbitration is going to be ugly. Anyone want to take a balkpark guess? I'm guessing 6 million for next season.

So I looked it up out of curiosity...apparently Boras is asking for 5 years, $15-16 million for Derek Lowe.

Honestly, I think he'll probably end up getting that.

" If Burrell was batting in his proper spot there wouldn't even be a conversation about this. Stop blaming the guy for doing his job correctly."

And this is where I think one of the problems lie with the "the world comes to an end if we lose Burrell" viewpoint.

Cholly, will not, ever, in his lifetime, while he's coach of the Phillies, unless he gets lobotomized, and completely forgets his entire previous history, move Burrell up in the lineup on any kind of a regular basis. Ain't going to happen. He will also, never, ever, no matter what BLers have to say on the topic, stop pulling Burrell in late innings.

Whether you like it or not, those are givens, and those truths need to be factored into the discussion.

Burrell will work walks and then die on base as Feliz and Ruiz make outs. Burrell will be lifted in late innings and replaced with players like Taguchi and Jenkins.

If you had someone replacing Burrell who had a lower total OPS but was looking to drive in runs when runners are on base, instead of looking to work the walk, it would help compensate for losing Burrell.

While it seemed at times that Burrell was more aggressive at the plate this year, it also seemed, to me at least, that a less aggressive approach correlated with his second-half slump. He seemed to be working the walk more when he had runners on base in front of him - not a bad thing if you have run producers behind you in the lineup, and not a good thing when you have Ruiz, and Feliz behind you in the lineup.

actually, phlipper, when Burrell slumped in the second half of the season, it was because he was being more aggressive, not less aggressive. via the Good Phight: "He actually had a very low rate of out of strike zone swinging as of mid-August, but in his attempts to get out of his slump, he swung at a lot of bad pitches, worsening his slump."

World doesn't come to an end if we lose Burrell, phlipper, but there are less sunny days and frolicking kittens if we lose his production.

Working a walk is what sportscasters call it. Baseball players call it a good at bat. If a pitcher is throwing you junk and you swing at it, expect to start having some unpleasant talks with your hitting coach, because you will be making a lot more useless outs.

I'm pretty sure Burrell is looking to drive in runs when he's at the plate, I mean, I'm pretty sure he's had a few over his career that I remember, but what he doesn't want to do is get out uselessly. That's a good batter.

So much for that theory, ae. But I do remember Sophist, or someone, posting numbers earlier in the year showing that when Burrell was hot in the first half, he was being significantly more aggressive than he had been most of his career.

lazarus, I'm not saying that you'd ever want a batter to swing wildly at bad pitches.

People make the case for Burrell by pointing to his OPS. OPS is indifferent between a walk and an RBI hit. When a player is hitting 5th - as Burell will be if he remains a Phillie - and followed by Ruiz and Feliz, I'd argue that sacrificing some in OPS for a player that replaces Burrell's walks with a combination of outs and hits isn't necessarily all bad.

Thanks for the link, ae.

AWH - you might find this comment from ae's link interesting re: Werth. "He has been steadily improving against right handed pitching,..... "

well, the fact is that Burrell actually has been really good at driving in runs. the only outfielders with more RBI than him over the last five years are Ramirez, Guerrero, Lee, Beltran, Abreu, Dunn, Ibanez, and Holliday. Burrell ranks among the top 10 outfielders of recent years whether you look at RBI or OPS+; in fact, he ranks higher on the RBI leaderboard than the OPS+ one.

But Burrell wasn't hitting 5th, and ahead of Ruiz and Feliz, during all of those years. That will be the case next year.

I am not saying that Burrell isn't a productive hitter. I'm only saying that assuming the Phils will not do equally well next year based because of the lost of Burrell's high OPS is too reductionist. There could be pluses and minuses to replacing Burrell with another LFer.

I know that you weren't suggesting that, phlipper, who would? But people have learned to pitch Burrell carefully, because he does have excellent power, and he has learned to make pitchers work harder for outs, rather than give away freebies. You don't control what gets thrown to you, just what you do about it. If the conversation was more situational, like very late innings down by 1 with a man on base, then there would be something to talk about maybe. Arguing against a higher OBP at large is kind of silly.

With the lack of interest in Burrell, he might actually return.

well, first, the fact that he's hitting in front of Feliz/Ruiz would not have any effect on his RBI numbers, so I'm not exactly sure what your point is.

and second, he hit all over the order in the last five years. 2008 was the only season where he really stayed at one lineup spot for the vast majority of the year:
in 2004, he hit fifth 57%
in 2005, he hit fourth 51% and fifth 49%
in 2006, he hit fourth 53%, fifth 32%, and sixth 13%
in 2007, he hit third 37%, fifth 36%, and sixth 27%
in 2008 he hit fifth 85% clearly hitting him fifth is not some huge shift in strategy for the Phillies.

Burrell was more "aggressive" earlier in the season... but that doesn't mean he was swinging at bad pitches. He talked about his new approach which was to aggressively attack the pitches he chose to attack. Burrell often gets in trouble when he's merely making contact with pitches instead of driving the ball. I wish I knew why things went so downhill for him in the second half. Did he get tired? Bat slowed down?

"If you had someone replacing Burrell who had a lower total OPS but was looking to drive in runs when runners are on base, instead of looking to work the walk,"

Hmmmm, phlipper, I think Lazarus kind of debunked that idiotic comment, but I'll ask anyway:

What evidence do you have that Burrell is just "looking to work the walk"?

"AWH - you might find this comment from ae's link interesting re: Werth. "He has been steadily improving against right handed pitching,..... "

Ummm, phlipper, you are the Master Of The Obvious. Any serious Phlis fan knows that's why Werth became a regular in 2008. Tell us something we don't know.

My question to you, which you still haven’t answered, was whether or not you had any evidence other than BLIND FAITH that the assertion you made:

" I expect that among Rollins, Utley, Feliz, Ruiz, Howard, and Werth - it is unlikely that any of them will have a worse year next year than they had this year."

is actually true or WILL come to pass.

Gosh, Burrell is a top ten run producer among outfielders the last 5 years.

Thanks, ae.

That's amazing for a guy who is just looking to work a walk.

Is phlipper just another name for mike77phillies. I mean, how can someone be so wrong, so often?

Baxter: I haven't heard much of anything on Burrell. I think he could definitely be this year's Lohse.

phlipper, I'll make it easy for you.

I, or anyone else on this board, could just as easily type:

""I expect that among Rollins, Utley, Feliz, Ruiz, Howard, and Werth - it is LIKELY that ALL of them will have a worse year next year than they had this year.""

It would be a patently ridiculous comment, as there is no evidence to support it.

Your comment is just as patently ridiculous for the same reason.

It's all about how you FEEL.

If you don't undertand that I suggest you go take a class in Formal Logic at a local college night school.

To assert that the Phillies don't need a RH power bat to balance their lineup because you "expect" (or feel) that the rest of the lineup will have better years is no different from me saying:

"The Phillies really don't need more bullpen help because it's unlikely that any of the starters will have a worse year next year than they had this year, and that should pick up the slack."

Phillper should write a book about how to bait clout.

This is a very bizarre argument where we are criticizing a guy (Burrell) for getting on base. Does it matter if he walks? Why is it his fault that Ruiz and Feliz don't bring him home?

"My question to you, which you still haven’t answered, was whether or not you had any evidence other than BLIND FAITH that the assertion you made:"

AWH. Obviously, there is no "evidence" that can prove how any player will perform next year. So, no, I can't provide you "evidence."

I've already given you my rationale why I predict that none of those players will have a worse offensive year next year, and likely have a better year. There's no point in simply repeating the answer. I'm not saying that they'll all have a better year - only predicting that in aggregate, the group will have better overall stats.

I remember quite a number of BLers telling me how statistics made it obvious that picking up Manny to replace Burrell at the end of last year would be a mistake. How well did that work out?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. 8 outfielders had more RBIs than Burrell the last 5 years.

He really sucks.

Seriously.....there are 30 teams, and each has 3 starting outfielders.

That makes 90 in all of MLB.

Burrell's number 9 on the list?

Top 10%..............

that sucks..............

he and his production should be easy to replace.

Eh, phlipper???

"Jamie Moyer wants to return, and the Phillies want him back, so what's taking so long? At this point, it appears the two sides can't coordinate schedules. One person familiar with the team's thinking believes it's a matter of time for an announcement, and the 46-year-old may sign a multiyear deal. -- Ken Mandel"

Not sure if anyone posted that alread...

Allow me to clarify what I meant by this:

"I expect that among Rollins, Utley, Feliz, Ruiz, Howard, and Werth - it is LIKELY that ALL of them will have a worse year next year than they had this year."

What I meant to say is, basically, that in aggregate, that group will produce more offense next year than last year. The use of "all" was confusing. I'm not predicting that every one of them will have a better year. Obviously, that would be long odds. However, individually, I think that each player is more likely to have an equal or better year next year than they are to have a worse year.

flipper: Wait, let me get this straight, trading walks for outs isn't necessarily bad?

Not to get too off topic, but did anyone else read that Chad Billingsley broke his leg in an accident at his home? Odd part of the story is that the wire reports say his home is in Reading? Anyone know what the connection is? He's from Ohio, and obviously didn't play his minor league ball around here...

phlipper: "I remember quite a number of BLers telling me how statistics made it obvious that picking up Manny to replace Burrell at the end of last year would be a mistake. How well did that work out?"

Um... we won the World Series?

Never said Burrell sucks. Never said that walks aren't of value. Never said they don't need a RH power-hitter in their lineup. Never criticized Burrell for getting on base. Never said it was his "fault" that Ruiz and Feliz don't bring him home.

Any of you care to dream up anything else I didn't say?

" flipper: Wait, let me get this straight, trading walks for outs isn't necessarily bad?"

Good one, clout. Didn't say that either.

Keep dreaming them up, guys. I have to go now, but I'll check back later to see how many other statements I never made you can attribute to me.

Len39, baxter: Um, regarding the lack of interest in Burrell and every other OFer besides Manny. Do you think it might have something to do with Manny? As in the teams that lose out on Manny will then look to other outfielders?


In phlipper's world it would have turned out better for the Phillies last year had we picked up Manny to replace Burrell at the end of last year. I'd love to hear how that works...

"Um... we won the World Series?.."

Will respond to that one, CJ. I guess you missed my point. It was explained to me by a number of BLers that I was an "idiot" because I "felt" that Manny would likely have a better second half than Burrell. Lol!

CJ, if I remember correctly, Burrell had game winning home runs in 2 of the playoff games, as well as the leadoff double in the 7th inning of WS game 5, which led to the winning run scoring.

Worked out terribly, no?

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