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Thursday, February 12, 2009


My guess is some people can probably carry weight better than other people. Jon Leiber's weight got under everyone's skin, I think, because of his attitude. No one likes a cranky fat guy.

Weight certainly doesn't seem to affect the way a player swings a bat (see Tony Gwynn and others for anecdotal evidence), or the arm speed of a pitcher.

The one area I do think it can make a difference is in late season energy. It seems to me (no, I have no statistical evidence, but maybe there is a study or two) that a player who is carrying around less weight would experience less fatigue later in the season.

Also, less weight on the frame may be consistent with less joint stress and there may be a lower injury correlation.

Anyone know?

No one likes a cranky fat guy? Well, on the political talk radio they do.

There's much debate about whether the other 103 names on that survey in which Alex Rodriguez was pinpointed for using steroids should be released or not. I want to see the names, and many others do too, but are we ready to see some Phillies on that list?

Seeing a Phillie on the list is almost inevitable, and it wouldn't bother me too much unless it was someone like Burrell or J-Roll that were big parts of the teams during those years and during recent years. If it was Jose Mesa, I'd just laugh.

Hopefully Myers is in good shape. It would be a shame to regress after his demotion to the minors last year.

The whole weight issue is overblown. Just be in shape, that doesn't mean skinny, that doesn't mean cut like a diamond, it means be ready to take the physical activity that a 162 game season throws at you. Some people need to be light, so middle, and some heavy, it all depends on your body type and how it affects your endurance.

Happy 44th bday to Rube today.

Guarantee Abreu is on that list...I figure PtB is a good juicing candidate as well (sadly).

I was having this discussion at work with the 2 other Phillies fans in this northern wasteland of a was agreed that the only name that would really really hurt to find you was a user would be Utley. If Utley ever tests positive, I don't know what I'd do...probably break some stuff, I would think.

So is Joggin' Ronny Paulino at camp yet? Myers was a tub of crap last year because he didn't want to start and was in a pissy mood.

"The whole weight issue is overblown. Just be in shape, that doesn't mean skinny, that doesn't mean cut like a diamond, it means be ready to take the physical activity that a 162 game season throws at you. Some people need to be light, so middle, and some heavy, it all depends on your body type and how it affects your endurance."

I agree with this. Some people are better bigger. All depends on the person. David Wells would have sucked (worse) skinny. Pitchers especially, some just need those extra Lbs

Baseball players are far from the greatest atheltes in the world, i think their overall fitness is less important here than in other sports.

Probably the only sport where skills like hand eye coordination and mechanics are more useful than speed and agility.

I always try to keep my weight under control when I plan on posting.

{For the purpose of this post, "under control" means the weight at which I can squeeze my fat butt between the arms of my office chair.}

Jack: I'm sort of surprised you don't know this, but quite a few defensive managers will go with the traditional righty/righty lefty/lefty matchup because, on the whole, it favors the pitcher. Now sometimes that doesn't work out and in a particualr year some teams with a strong righty lineup may actually hit righties better than lefties. But generally speaking, "the book" usually works. And a lefty-heavy lineup will be vulnerable to LHP.

We'll find out with the Phillies this year. Just as we discovered last season that your declaration that Feliz was the best defensive thirdbaseman in baseball and ought to start every game vs. RHP had no basis in reality.

I remember a Richie Ashburn saying " He's not heavy, he's just built that way".

see: Michael Jordan

You need to preface this thread with that old John Kruk story. Think he would have been better with a little more conditioning? Probably could have played longer but, obviously, he wasn't motivated. I doubt he turns up on any steroid lists.

As for this: "Probably the only sport where skills like hand eye coordination and mechanics are more useful than speed and agility."

This is true unless you consider golf a sport. Or ping pong.

Sickels' prospect book is just out and he ranks Carrasco, Michael Taylor and Travis d'Arnaud ahead of Donald and Marson.

He raises same questions about Donald's range at SS as others have. Thinks 2B may be his best position. I think he should be moved to 3B, where he's got the arm to play it and the need is more acute.

He sees Marson as a .250-.270 hitter with little power and OK defense, which would make him a stopgap starter or backup on most teams.

He ranks Carrasco as 24th best pitching prospect in baseball, the only Phillie to make the Top 50 pitchers or Top 50 hitters.

with the lack simultaenous competition, its hard to consider golf a sport rather than a game.

"No one likes a cranky fat guy."

Hey, c'mon. I have a couple of friends.

I agree that pitchers can do well even carrying a lot of weight, especially if they're "drop and drive" types who carry the weight in their upper legs and buttocks. Wells was already mentioned; we old-timers would also cite Mickey Lolich.

I consider Rickey Ledee to be a shoe in for the list of 103 steroid user names. His 2003 numbers were way off pace the rest of his career.

As for weight, I think stamina is the main issue. If a guy can get away with weighing 250 but isn't huffing and puffing while rounding the bases, then so be it.

Alby: And I bet some even older geezers can remember Big Newk. His size was especially noticeable compared to the typical player of the 1950s.

If Pat Burrell was juicing, and they started testing in 2003, and he stopped that year, does that explain his 2003?

But then, how do you explain his performance during 2005?

"Just be in shape, that doesn't mean skinny, that doesn't mean cut like a diamond, it means be ready to take the physical activity that a 162 game season throws at you."

That's a good distinction.

Something unprecedented in today's Inquirer. By Jim Salisbury, on Jason Donald:

"In 25 games in the fall, he hit .407 with five homers, 17 RBIs, and a combined on-base and slugging percentage of 1.223."

OPS? In the Inky?

Its a brave new world...

Cheeseburger Sabathia is an excellent example of a hefty lefty doing just fine.

"Fitness" is generally probably overrated a bit in baseball but it does make a big difference with players older than 30.

There are really only a few guys I am really interested in seeing how they come into camp - Paulino and Myers.

Myers clearly didn't build up the stamina in his arm adequately enough early in the season to become a full-time starter again.

Paulino showed up into Pirates camp incredibly out of shape last year and played himself out of a job. You can bet that Coste shows up in great shape and ready to compete for a position. If Paulino shows up to camp out of shape and doesn't perform well, there is a good bet he opens the season at Allentown.

Paulino was ridiculously out of shape and disinterested last year.

For the not quite so old, Rick Reuschel was a porcine pitcher of some note.

from the daily news:

Third baseman Anthony Hewitt, the Phils' first-round pick in the 2008 draft, was among the early arrivers. He was invited to big-league camp as part of a contractual agreement. Considered the rawest talent in the first round, Hewitt has a tremendous physique - Utley called him "Bo Jackson" - and huge power potential. He showed off that power by hitting several rockets out of Bright House Field during batting practice yesterday.


The late note . . .

Hewitt also generated some incredible breezes during batting practice when the pitching coach went to an assortment of offspeed stuff including a steady diet of changeups and sliders.

Just got by opening day tickets! And I'm heading down to Clearwater on the 10th of March for the 4th year in a row. My Phillies expenditures are ballooning this year.

Back on topic, I wonder if Moyer makes guys like Myers and Lieber feel guilty about their soft middles. He really keeps himself in great shape.

Hard to believe Paulino will be out of shape, given the Winter League numbers he put up.

Clout: I've never denied that platoon splits exist. Everyone knows that. And of course it affects the decisions made in the late innings. What I've argued is your claim that "Teams that struggle vs. LHP face a lot more lefty starters". I just don't think there's evidence to support that claim. Please provide some.

Jonesman: how did you get opening night tix?

There was a partial season ticket holder lottery. I have a 17 game plan, and got an email that I could go on and buy tickets. I think they are doing an open lottery at some point, not sure when.

David Bell could be listed if he thought PEDs would help his back. Lieber's weight was perfect for a guy who drove a truck as fat as his.

Maybe Davis Bell did PEDs, thinking it would help his back (or was that bat?).
Lieber was a load because guys who drive a truck his size generally emulate their rides.

Sounds like we have a Pedro Cerrano on our hands in Hewitt.

"I ain't an athlete, lady, I'm a baseball player."
Gotta love Kruk

jones: congrats. Now if we could get the past few days' weather for April 5!

Yeah the open lottery isnt until end of this month, thats why I asked, since I thought maybe they announced the winners already and i was SOL - still hope tho.

Don't forget Babe Ruth.

Jack: OK, let me get this straight. Even though you agree that managers will try to use platoon splits to improve their chances you just can't imagine that a manager might try to use more lefthanded pitchers against a team that is vulnerable to lefty pitching? You need proof of that? Or are you just in a snit because I embarrassed you on your declaration that you'd never said Feliz was the best defensive thirdbaseman in baseball?

Now clout, we haven't gotten into it lately, but don't engage in diversionary tactics. Jack's opinion of Felz's defense has nothing to do with the question.

Jack asked you a straightforward question as to whether there is any evidence to support your claim.

I'm not getting in the middle of this, but it does seem that you ought to be able to provide a straightforward answer.

I agree with GM-Carson. Let's see the 103 names. What's the big secret?

I find it laughable that Selig is considering punishing A-Roid. Like it just became news to Clueless Bud, too!!!

Release the names, punish them all. Ban them all from the Hall!


Dan Uggla Wins Arbitration Case

By Tim Dierkes [February 12 at 12:50pm CST]

According to's Jon Heyman, Dan Uggla won his arbitration case. He'll be paid $5.35MM in '09 instead of the Marlins' $4.4MM submission. 2009 is Uggla's first arb year, so the decision will have a ripple effect on his '10 and '11 salaries.
Hey, maybe the Fish will look to deal him now.

AWH - Theres definitely no proof that more Mgr's will use more Lefties against a left handed lineup. Its just common sense (that is if there are left handed pitchers to do so).
I'm sure a pitcher will be held out so a lefthander would pitch, especially if crucial game. also common sense.

3 things every BLer can count on each day:

1) sunrise in the east
2) sunset in the west
3) clouts opinion of Feliz (he's not a big fan)

curt, LOL!

OK, I don't have time to waste on doing a lot of research on this, so I picked a team at random: Oakland. They had a pretty big split, with OPS of .643 vs. LHP and .704 vs. RHP. They faced LHP 33% of the time. That was more than the 30% league average and more than any other team in their division.

Yesterday I mentioned the Marlins. All their top hitters are RH. They faced fewer LHP than any team in the NL except for PIT.

Jack will no doubt say those things are coincidence. Maybe sophist can do a full study. Since you're so intersted AWH, how about you?

Perhaps if sophist would like to undertake a project we could have a more complete picture.

clout doesn't need to come up with stats to "prove" that teams will juggle their line-ups to take advantage of an opposing team's weaknesses. This fact is a fact of baseball. Teams do this. clout doesn't need to prove it.

How many times during the year do we hear things about so-and-so pitcher needing a rest and being shelved. The shelving adjusts the pitching rotation for the upcoming games. It happens all the time.

agreed LF, this is one of the more pointless squabbles that has carried on lately.

The proof for all of this left vs right thing... is the fact that splits exist in the first place!! If l/r didnt hold relevance than no one would have ever bothered to distinguish them seperately.

Hopefully people will stop misrepresenting my argument. Of course I know platoon splits exist, and of course I know managers try and exploit them. It happens in bullpen usage every game. If you think I'm arguing against that existence, you are either stupid or disingenuous.

I simply don't believe there is statistically significant evidence that proves we will face "far more" lefty STARTERS this year, as Clout claimed. I do not think managers will go out of their way to juggle their STARTING ROTATION against us because we replaced Ibanez with Burrell.

Clout: So the A's, who were terrible against lefties, faced one more lefty starter, 53 to 52, than the Rangers, who had the best OPS+ in baseball against lefties? Not convinced. I just don't think there's real, factual evidence to back up your claim.

I guess the proof will be in the pudding this year. Clout, the Phillies faced 54 lefty starters in 2008. Going by your claim, how many do you think we will face this year? 55? 58? 60? I don't think we will see any statistically significant difference in lefty STARTERS whatsoever.

Clout: Also, last year lefties started 32% of the games pitched, not 30%, so the A's facing 33% shows nothing whatsoever. 1% falls within random variance. Totally irrelevant.

I'd like a DavThom-esque Coste notification for when this Jack/Clout discussion is over.

Was thinking earlier today... Why would Selig all of a sudden want to throw out Bond's HR record? Just because A-Rod got caught?

I think we did this. I believe that the philly sports fans did this when Selig was presenting the World Series trophy and everyone in CBP let Selig know what a bad job he has done over the years. Has he ever gotten that kind of feedback anywhere, ever?

Maybe...just maybe Selig started thinking about his legacy because of that moment. With that in the back of his mind, the A-Rod situation comes up and he ponders growing a spine and doing something instead of letting it pass.

Jack: This is such a common thing that it is hardly worth arguing about. When managers play a team that has a weakness they will, when possible, juggle the rotation or, if a sub is needed, use the appropriate-handed pitcher to gain an advantage. There's usually 2 or 3 stories a year about so and so being held out so he can face Team X. It is amazing you don't know this.

I guess for you the difference between facing 30% and 33% or 35% LHP is "not statistically signifcant." That the Marlins faced more righties than anyone in their division is "not statistically signifcant."

What would work for you, Jack? 70%, since you know that's not possible?

You're embarrassing yourself, yet again.

Jack, here's where your discussion with clout is slightly flawed.

You only mention SP and not RP.

You really have to break it down to IP and not just games started, because if the platoon differential exists (it does) then it stands to reason that any lineup that is more susceptible to LHP is going to see more LHP than a lineup that isn't.

BTW, I happen to agree with clout on this point, I just don't like posters purposely getting off point.

There are several here who do it in the midst of heated exchange, and it would be better for all if they would stick to the part of the discussion that is germane.

The "sacred nature" of baseball records is thing I am really tired of hearing the past few days.

I think it is clear that Jack understands that the Phils can expect a good dosage of left-handed relief pitchers: that part of the pitching game is the most flexible for managers to adjust, who cannot always pull an extra lefty starter out of their ass just because they are facing a lefty-heavy lineup. This argument, or rather constant re-stating of one's opinion and failure to address the opponent's arguments, is fruitless, as are the self-gratifying ad-hom's.

You ppl didn't want to listen to me the first five times I said this, but there are simply not a lot of left-handed starting pitchers in the national league, and even fewer good ones.
A large percentage of the decent ones play for us. Should I post the list again? Its very short.

NCPhilly: Thank you for understanding my point. Once again, I have no doubt the Phillies will face more lefty relievers. My point is that they will NOT face more lefty starters, which is the only part of Clout's argument I took umbrage with. Why is that so hard for people to understand?

AWH: I'm sure the IP by LHP will go up, albeit probably not by as much as Clout and others think. It was Clout who originally said we would face more starters. That's why I'm talking about it.

Clout: I think the Phillies will face about the same number of lefty starters as last year. What do you think? Why don't you give a number if you're so confident in your theory?

Anyone else getting the spam filter warning?

Like McPhilly says - the relief pitchers are where the decision of whos pitching against what batter

I got a spam filter warning when I tried to post some thoughts on the thread so here I'll try again.

1.) Clout and Jack please stop this discussion. You're not going to convince each other. It's reaching Halloween:H20 levels of overkill

2.) I don't want nor need to know the remaining 103 names on the steroid list. Those players took those drug tests in a show of good faith to baseball and under the caveat that the results were going to be kept confidential. Someone broke that trust and released A-Rod's results. That doesn't mean you destroy the rest of the people.

It would also further drive a wedge between the players, their union, and MLB

Truth Injection: Happy to stop here. We'll see at the end of the year whether the Phillies faced significantly more lefty starters this year, as Clout claimed they will. I'll leave it at that, except possibly to clarify for the dummies who think I'm arguing platoon splits don't exist. Although they probably aren't worth my time.

BAxter - I heard you all those times and agree.

1 Extra Lefty isn't worth getting all fussy over since there aren't that many good ones that we will be facing.

Jack: That's a direct, simple question and deserves an answer: Yes, the 2009 Phillies will face more LH starters than the 2008 Phillies, assuming the number of LH starters in the NL East remains about the same.

NL left-handed starting pitchers, sorted by 2008 ERA:

1 Johan Santana NYM 2.53
2 Cole Hamels PHI 3.09
3 Paul Maholm PIT 3.71
4 Jamie Moyer PHI 3.71
5 John Lannan WAS 3.91
6 Randy Johnson ARI 3.91
7 Ted Lilly CHC 4.09
8 Scott Olsen FLA 4.20
9 Oliver Perez NYM 4.22
10 Randy Wolf HOU/SDG 4.30
11 Manny Parra MIL 4.39
12 Zach Duke PIT 4.82
13 Barry Zito SFO 5.15

We have two of the top 4.
Including studs like Zach Duke, Barry Zito and Marry Parra, there are literally eleven players to worry about, out of 16 teams.

Everyone flipped out when I posted Johan Santana matchups, but he's the starting pitcher we faced most last year, and the one we're likely to face most again this year. Who else are you worried about?

@Truth -- I'd rather not know the other 103 names either. However, if AROD is disciplined for coming clean about a test that was supposed to be private because someone (Selig/Bonds/Mountain Landis) decided to reveal his name and he had to clean up his disgraced image, then ALL names must be released.

This revelation came under Selig's watch. Bud Selig MUST be forced out immediately. This is a mess.

It's sad. But truly Selig allowed this culture to exist. He didn't act quick enough. And the damage is NOW worse than the Mitchell Report, Bonds, The Congressional Hearings were. It's hard to believe.

Baxter: Perez, Olsen, Lannan worry me, because they're in the division. We'll probably face Maholm, Johnson, and Lilly only once each, twice at the most.

Santana is tough on everyone.

My impression was that some or all of hte A-Roid leaks originated outside of baseball, with law enforcement, judicial staff and/or the U.S. Attorney's office.

Mike: I still don't think we should know the names because you are essentially letting whoever the weasal was that outed A-Rod throw 103 other guys under the bus. All you are doing is justifying his behavior.

That said- Selig shouldn't suspend A-Rod either. It sends a mixed and bad message to the players and their union.

Also, while I blame Selig partly for this- he was trying to clean up the game once the ball started rolling. He did let it start rolling but he tried to stop it once it did. Fehr and Orza stood on the other side of the ball pushing it against Selig. They are the real scumbags in all this. They have let down the players, and Orza kept the test results after the assumption was they would be destroyed. A-Rod being outed has as much to do with Orza as anyone else.

Release ALL the names. It's stupid that every player will be under a cloud because 103 tested positive while 500+ did not.

I've heard and read in a few places that Cynthia Rodriguez may also have been involved in leaking the ARod news. Woman scorned, yada, yada.

Everyone was complicit in this steroid mess. The person/people you blame most probably is/are linked to your own personal bias. i.e. If you are already a Selig hater, you probably blame him most. If you are a Red Sox fan, you probably blame A-Rod most. But this has been a MLB/MLBPA/player-wide mess and I blame them all equally.

OK, maybe Selig a little bit more--but only because I think he's an absolutely horrible commissioner who can't handle even a modicum of criticism about his reign. But then again, I'm biased.

Man spring training really needs to start so that there is actually something interesting related to the Phils to actually talk about again.

"They have let down the players".

Truth, that is true, but even moreso, they have let down the CLEAN players.

Their motivation is obvious, higher stats = higher salaries = higher union dues.

"Hewitt also generated some incredible breezes during batting practice when the pitching coach went to an assortment of offspeed stuff including a steady diet of changeups and sliders."

This reminds me of a story Conlin noted a few years back. Apparently the Phillies, who held the 3rd overall pick in the 1974 draft, were trying out the top prospects at the Vet. Dale Murphy, 18 at the time, was clobbering the ball until Ray Ripplemeyer, the longtime pitching coach, started throwing him sliders, making him look awful.

The Phillies drafted Lonnie Smith instead.

Alby, if Anthony Hewitt turns out like Dale Murphy did then it will be one of the all-time great Phillies' draft picks.

MG, lets look at how much there is really going to be able to talk about.

This is the starting lineup, SP and BP:

The asterisks are the only spots that are up for grabs.

C Ruiz
1B Howard
2B Utley - only question is WHEN not whether
3B Feliz
SS Rollins
LF Ibanez
CF Victorino
RF Werth

BCH C Coste - Paulino *******
BCH INF Bruntlett
BCH OF Stairs - Jenkins *******
BCH Util Dobbs

SP Hamels
SP Myers
SP Blanton
SP Moyer
SP Happ - Park - KK - Carrasco *******

RP Lidge
RP Madson
RP Romero\Sub
RP Durbin
RP Eyre
RP ?????????? *******
RP Condrey
I have both Bruntlett and Dobbs as sure things. One, because they can play multiple positions, and two, because of their salaries and experience.

As you can see, most of the team is settled, and should be primed for another run.

I'm hoping the confidence they got by taking the division the last two seasons and winning the WS last season will help some, because the Mets will be tougher.

And that's not to forget the Fish and Bravos either.

AWH: I'll be jumping for joy if Hewitt turns into Lonnie Smith. Skates played 17 years, stole a ton of bases, hit over .300 6 times and finished with an OPS+ of 118.

Alby - I was just joking about Hewitt but he did struggle to make contact at all last year. Dale Murphy is an interesting case though.

Here is Dale Murphy stats:

He clearly struggled as an 18 & 19 too. I would really take what Hewitt does this year in the minor too with a degree of salt although it would be nice if he begins to make a bit more contact this year. If struggles mightily two years from now, then he probably is a bust.

Absolutely. And I'm not saying I think he will; the odds are strongly against it. What the story tells me is that human nature doesn't change much over the generations, and that old coaches don't like looking bad even when they're just serving up batting practice.

Couple thoughts

First, raise your hand if you don't think Henry Aaron was the greatest HR hitter of all time.

The HR record isn't what we're gonna use to define that doesnt matter that Bonds bested it with some help and that AROID very well might do the same. Any real baseball fan will still know that Aaron was the greatest of all time.

Also, they should release the rest of the names just so it clears the large majority that didn't test positive...its not fair to them to deal with this.

Oh and Selig is an a$$...nothing has changed there.

Yo, new thread

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