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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Comments

As non-important as these games may be, seeing Carrasco pitch to MLB calibur talent is pretty insightful. He gets blown up, he's not finished and if he goes scoreless innings hes not Cy Young - but he's getting to a point where his innings are going to be under a microscope.

Hoping he looks good.

phaithful - I disagree. There really isn't a chance that Carrasco is competing for the No. 5 starter spot with Happ, Kendrick, and Park in camp.

Plus, its his first spring outing against a lineup filled out with at least 2-3 guys who won't be in the majors come Opening Day. With the exception of guys competing for roster spots or rolls, spring training largely meanings nothing.

Have fun today, doubleh! Give J Roll a big smooch for me.

Curently 3 degrees above 0 in Fargo, snowing with winds from the north at 18 mph.

I am looking forward to seeing the Phils in 3 weeks!

...and give Gred Dobbs a big smooch from clout.

I am ready for Carrasco's start today, no matter how long he goes. I is his turn to shine.

Agree with Clout about Giles. Given that there has been nearly no updates on Feliz, I am pretty amusing that there hasn't been much progress at all including even resuming baseball-related activities. At this point, I would be surprised if he opens the season with the club on Opening Day.

As for Utley, we'll have to wait and see. I would imagine if he can play the last week in spring training that he will be with the Phils on Opening Day. If not, it is likely that the Phils will have 2 roster spots open in the INF to start the season.

MG: I think there's a slim possibility that CC wins the 5th starter's job, but he would have to be lights-out in spring training & the other 3 candidates would have to royally suck. The 1st part of that equation is more unlikely than the 2nd.

Zo zone reported that Feliz is feeling good but has no timetable to begin to swing a bat.

Still more than a month 'till opening day but I agree with you -it doesn't sound too good.

My money is on Giles being washed up. While I hate the fact taht so many players are now under a cloud of suspicion, it seemed very likely when he was in Atlanta that he was involved with steroids and his decline seems to be confirmation. You have to wonder about his brother, too. What happened to the guy who was hitting 35 HRs a year? Petco isn't that big.

Hugh - I would disagree about his brother. There is really nothing about Brian Giles numbers that really scream "fluke year." He had his best power numbers at ages 28-30 in a ballpark (Three Rivers Stadium) that was relatively power neutral.

As he aged his power began to fall off after age 32. Again nothing out of the ordinary. Plus, he got shifted to Petco in 2004 and his power numbers declined a bit because it is the toughest park in the majors for power numbers.

Hugh- Brian Giles hit 30+ HRs in his age 28-31 seasons, which is basically a guys peak. Last year he was 37. What do you expect from him? He still got on base at a .398 clip and slugged .456. His lack of power is not surprising, and actually follows a fairly typical career path: peak power between 28 and 32, followed by a decline in raw power but sustaining plate discipline and actually a decrease in strikeouts.

I know it might seem crazy, but guys do actually get worse as they get older- especially guys who DON'T use drugs to help sustain their performance as they age.

MG- I hope I'm wrong about Marcus and I hope you're right about Brian. I saw Brian play many times and he had forearms like Popeye. You're right,he didn't have fluke years. He had prodigious power in Pittsburgh right up until the numbers fell off a cliff in 2003. He became a different player in San Diego.

Marcus Giles does raise some eyebrows because he put up big power numbers starting in 1998 at A ball and they were right through 2003 until steroid testing became mandatory in 2004.

After 2004, his power numbers tailed off notably. Maybe he did age and is one of those guys done by 29-30.

clout: I agree with you more often than not, but I have to call inconsistency when I see it. For a guy who generally seems to thinks that switching positions is as difficult as learning a foreign language, it is vey surprising to me that you would declare Marcus Giles as someone who can play third base. He has played all of like 5 or 6 games there in his entire career and those games occurred 7 years ago.

Carrasco and Happ today; Carpenter tomorrow; then Kendrick and Park. How many other organizations have 5 legitimate starter candidates for No.5 in the rotation? By Sunday in Disney we will all know which one of them is leading after Round One of the Great Phillies pitch off. Will make it to Disney on the way down from up North to see Park then on to Dunedin to see Carlos and Happ on Monday just ahead of minor league catchers and pitchers reporting back at the Complex and Selig's WBC boys squaring off at Brighthouse. This is what this time of year is all about.

"By Sunday in Disney we will all know which one of them is leading after Round One of the Great Phillies pitch off."

Considering that it's the first week of ST, and these pitchers are all going to pitch only 2 innings at most, I would call this more like the first 15 seconds of Round One.

That said, even in the first 15 seconds of Round One, there is a slim possibiliby of getting knocked out. If someone gives up 5 earned runs in 1 inning, it would be very nearly a knockout blow to their chances of winning the 5th starter's job. After all, the main job requirement of a No. 5 starter is to not get blown out of the game inside 5 innings.

Dull- Carpenter is just trying to reestablish himself as a viable prospect and I would be stunned if Carrasco gets a starting spot in the rotation.

Most sensible move would be to let the winner between Kendrick/Happ get the 5th spot, put the loser in the rotation at Allentown, Park in the bullpen, and Carrasco/Carpenter in the minors to start the season.

Carrasco, Marson, Donald are some young dudes to get excited about. I know people predict varying degrees of success for each, but it's nice to have some "prospects" recognized by baseball that are on the verge of the majors.

News that only a BeerLeaguer could love:
One of the Blue Jays pitchers scheduled to go today is our old friend Fabio Castro.

Viva la Model Dictator

I'm predicting if we ever see the "A-Rod list," Marcus Giles - all 5'6" of him - will be listed first, in bold and all caps.

Probably should have posted this yesterday, but in re: Slayden, I think this year he will just be the token head-turner who gets sent back down, but next year, with Jenkins and Stairs presumaby gone, and Dobbs hopefully playing more regularly at 3rd, he could be a very cheap, somewhat valuable lefty off the bench guy. So I am thinking of this Spring for him as an audition for the 40 man roster next offseason, and a possible bench role.

phargo - The smooch to Dobbs is very funny.

Incidentally, I realized the other day (well after I did this) that I said South instead of North in a post referencing your local bar. Sorry. I'll try to keep my flatlands straighter. It's 45ish on Staten Island right now - enjoy the snow.

Hugh M - "Petco isn't that big."

It's not just size. It's close to sea level and very dry in the Summer (both of which increase the barometric pressure - the weight of the atmosphere pushing the ball down). It's a perfect storm of a pitchers' park. There are several reasons that no one hits there.

Good point Andy. And, if you look at his home/away HRs, most of his SDP years there is about a 40/60 split, except the year he hit only 1 at Petco. He tended to hit more on the road than in Pittsburgh, too. Still, even if you give him +3 or 4 for the park factor, the dropoff is pronounced.

Andy & Hugh- If that is true about Petco- should we expect more HRs from Raul Ibenez than his past years?
Would be nice!

Did I miss someone mentioning that Johan Santana was scratched from his start tomorrow because of pain in his elbow?

Chalk up one K for CC!!!

Chalk up two K's for CC!!!

Larry says his stuff is nasty.

Line on Carrasco so far: 0.1 IP, 0 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 1 strikeout (of Marcus Scutaro). I think we've found our No. 5 starter.

And a ground out to THIRD BASEMAN Jason Donald. Nice first inning for the kid.

bap: He's got 2 K's. Struck out the first two hitters.

Forget about the No. 5 starter's job. I'm ready to make Carrasco our opening day starter.

Are you guys actually following the game somewhere online, or are you just checking the MLB.com updates?

Mayberry makes an apparently great catch at the wall to save Carrasco.

I'm listening to the game on MLB.com.

Thanks, CJ. I haven't bought my subscription yet, so I don't think I have that option. Which is probably just as well since I have work to do.

Carrasco gets his third strike out in 2 innings. 6 up, 6 down... one on a great leaping catch at the wall by Mayberry Jr.

Good to see that Ryan Howard is already in mid-season form.

Mayberry Jr. first base-runner of the game, working a walk.

Dobbs grounds into what should have been a DP, but the 2nd baseman throws it into left field. Third base coach unwisely sends Mayberry home and he's out by a mile.

Thanks for the updates CJ.

Ks from CC and an athletic catch by Mayberry - not the worst news in the world.

Welcome Mr. Perlozzo.

Giles grounds out to third in his first Phillies at bat.

uh oh, where's Steve Smith when you need him.

Perluzzo(sp?) got Howard to make a sucessful throw to second base yesterday, that'll be his claim to fame over what he does with sending runnners home

Vuke we miss you.

Larry Anderson raving about CC's performance, although he cautions us with "it's just the start of spring training." He was very impressed with his control.

JA Happ pitches a 1-2-3 inning with a strike out.

Maybe we should just put both these guys in our starting rotation and trade Hamels while his value is sky-high.

J-Roll knocks in the first run of the game. Ellison singled, Ruiz walked and J-Roll singled.

bap: It's clear at this point that our rotation should be: Carrasco, Happ, Moyer, Blanton, and a competition for the 5th spot.

Donald strikes out looking on three pitches with 2nd and 3rd and no one out.

Ibanez pops out in the infield with runners on 2nd and 3rd and one out.

Looks like we're in mid-season run-production form!

Howard up now.

I remember when Jason Ellison was a hot-shot prospect with the Giants. Turned out to be a major flop. Still, I'll bet he turns into this year's TJ Bohn -- a guy who gets a brief call-up or two when an injury occurs, because our management is too cheap to start the arbitration clock rolling on someone who might actually help the team.

Oh wait . . . I guess I'm not allowed to call them cheap anymore.

BAP-

Why would you want them to start the clock on a prospect for a brief call up? Seems shortsighted.

By the way, let the record reflect that I'm following this stupid game batter-by-batter on MLB.com, even though I'm exceptionally busy with work and this game is as meaningless as meaningless can be. I want this matter on record because there will come a time this year when I will mercilessly rip on the team, and several posters will come out of the woodwork to say that I'm not a true fan.

Correction: Mayberry Jr. was HBP his first at bat, not a walk.

He grounded out to first in this most recent at bat.

CY: You're reading a bit too much into my statement. My main point was simply that, even though he's putrid, Jason Ellison is the kind of guy I can see playing a few games with the major league team this year. Whether that's appropriate or not would sort of depend on the situation. But there is surely a middle ground between someone who has almost no chance of helping the team (i.e., Jason Ellison, TJ Bohn), and someone who is a blue chip prospect whose clock you might not want to start. Guys like Jeremy Slayden and Brandon Watson jump to mind as useful emergency call-ups.

And we're tied. Solo shot to start off the 5th for the Blue Jays.

And another solo shot, back-to-back. Guess this pitcher ain't making the roster!

And...

Saved by the foul pole. Shot deep down the line just foul.

Bohn went 2-5 while given a few ABs in emergency roles, how could you say that Slayden would be more useful?

And Bohn can actually cover ground in the field.

And now that i think of it, how could you even argue a point that relies on the differences between Bohn and Slayden? one guy sucks and so does the other.

BAP - got it. Just making sure you didn't want to call up a blue chipper to pinch hit for a few games.

Johan scratched from tomorrow's start with elbow soreness...oh no!

Majeski looks solid, striking out two in a 1-2-3 inning.

phaithful: And your evidence that Slayden sucks is . . . ?

Bohn, on the other hand, had a long and distinguished track record of sucking. Yes, he got lucky and went 2 for 5 (he also had an appalling and crtical in left field after coming in as a defensive replacement for Burrell). But call-up decisions are made in the present tense, not the past tense. Viewed at the time the transaction was made, Slayden had a much higher chance of giving us a few useful ABs than Bohn did -- just as he has a much higher chance than Jason Ellison of giving us a few useful ABs in 2009 (although, given our roster, the fact that he's left-handed is a definite problem).

My God . . . I make an off-hand observation that Jason Ellison is the type of guy who will probably get some major league ABs this year, and I get severely taken to task for it. If you want to rip me, wait til I say something substantive to do so.

you can't just rip TJ Bohn around here and expect to get away with it.

Stand up double for Mayberry on a shot down the line into the corner.

Only on Beerleaguer...

The respective benefits of a Slayden call-up vs. a Bohn call-up.

BAP: Giles has played 68 innings of 3B at the major league level, but you're right, it's been awhile ago. However, I disagree that having him at 3B would be the same as learning a new position.

Dobbs ties it up knocking in Mayberry Jr. on a single.

Dobbs with a hit off a LHP!

skeeter -

That LHP will probably be bagging groceries in 2 months, but a knock is a knock.

Anyone else think Giles is a fallout from the late Steroid Era? Makes sense to me....

thats probably a common assumption

Mr. Mayberry, Jr. is playing like he actually wants to break camp with the team.

I'm not listening to the game, but the Box Score says Majewski posted 2 IP with 2 Ks.

Any thoughts from those whos have listened to the game?

This exchange on ESPN during the Braves-Astros game:

They were talking about fantasy baseball (which ESPN is ridiculously promoting) these these great two barbs game up.

1. Kruk obviously has no interest in fantasy baseball whatsoever. In fact, he was generally being dismissive at best with Matthew Berry and a jerk in general. Berry is trying to encourage Kruk to join the Baseball Tonight league.

Kruk says he is too busy with work. Philips then jumps in and rips with an with aside of "yeah like because you are too busy watching tape." It was a perfect rip and made things a bit uncomfortable. Ravich tried to move things along quite quietly right after it.

2. A bit later after the first barb Berry stays that they have done draft-only leagues where you draft a team/don't make a single move. They generally agree that this would be ideal for Kruk. Kruk pipes up that he doesn't want to make 3,000+ moves like Philips did. Little uncomfortable.

After a few additional comments, Philips adds that the draft-only league would be perfect for Kruk. Kruk (obviously pissed off earlier at Philips) says that a draft-only league would be "exactly like how Philips acted as the Mets' GM."

Wow. It won't get any press likely but it was really uncomfortable after that comment. Berry didn't know what to say and Ravich tried to get things awkwardly moving along by actually focusing on the game again.

I kind of figured that Philips and Kruk weren't huge fans of one another but it seems like there is some real dislike there.

My money is that Philips thinks Kruk is the protypical lazy ex-athlete turned broadcaster who doesn't do much prep work/analsyis at all while Kruk thinks Philips is a blowhard jerk who largely accomplished nothing as a GM and loves to hear his own voice.

Andy- Oh, that was an error? I thought you had independently discovered what we all know; that South Dakotans are cretins.

Could they both be correct?

Clarification:

'exactly what Philips needed as the Mets' GM' as I bet Kruk was ripping Philips for the seemingly endless trades/moves he made during his tenure as the Mets' GM.

Off topic, but after watching Ibanez speak with Barkhan (sp?) on DNL a few nights ago, I am convinced that Raul is the most well-spoken Phillie since Doug Glanville.

Let's hope he puts up better power numbers.

phargo - Yeah I think they are both kind of right. Baseball Tonight really has gone downhill and that is in part to Kruk taking over Reynolds role and less Gammons.

@ftl john -- I've been impressed with his media presentation. He's very likeable. Very baseball savvy. He knows his baseball history. The Glanville comparison seems apt.

I liked him right away....

Ibanez may be a great guy who is very well-spoken and articulate but if he struggles out of the gate in April my bet is that he gets booed regardless. Add Howard to that list too if he struggles at the plate with a ton of Ks in April.

"well spoken" WTF?

I'm assuming I either used "well spoken" incorrectly, or Clout disagrees/doesn't care.

I don't really care either, it was just an observation. I used the Glanville comparison because he's a UPenn graduate and them's peoples tend to be "well spoken"

Sorry for the double, but @ MG:

I completely agree, media presence doesn't get you very far in this city without the numbers to back up the words but I will admit it's nice to see someone give a decent interview.

Geeze, ever watch an NBA player give an interview?

bap: i guess i just didnt see how the example of Bohn backed up your Ellison comment at all, since he actually delivered a few times in his small little window of time.

Clout: "Well-spoken" is not always a nice way of saying, "Person X speaks pretty good for a (insert race, ethnicity, gender, and/or sexual preference here) person." Sometimes it just means that the guy sounds pretty intelligent. At least that's what I'm hoping the previous poster's intention was.

I, personally, am really excited about the contributions that Ellison could make for the team this year. After all he can, um...um...well, he's really good at...um...he's got the ability to...

What happened to Bohn, again?

Vic is going to be arguably one of the most irreplaceable players on this team besides maybe Hamels this year. Phils just don't have a player that can start everyday in CF if Vic goes down for an extended time (and no Werth is not the answer and would be exposed defensively in CF as even Cholly noticed last year).

mg wrote "Vic is going to be arguably one of the most irreplaceable players on this team besides maybe Hamels this year."

Lidge, Utley, Howard, Rollins are more irreplaceable than Vic. Would also argue Werth since he is the only RH power bat.

MG, Thanks for the Kruk update. Since he made the all time Phillies bad guy list, I'm befuddled. Am I supposed to like Kruk like I have all my life, or am I supposed to get all PC and hate him? Life is full of tough decisions.

"Well spoken" is a racist code phrase. Remember when Joe Biden took a lot of heat for saying that Obama was "articulate" when they were both running against each other in the early Democratic primaries? For Ibanez, you can say that you like what he says, but you cannot comment about how he (or anyone else for that matter) says it. If you do, then you are susceptible to be thought of as racist.

Does anyone know when the Phils last had a winning record in ST? Seems like they always play badly. Obviously since they had a losing record last year and won the WFC it doesn't matter too much.

I've never heard or read the phrase "well spoken" used about a white person, although that doesn't mean it's racist. More clueless than racist.

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