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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

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Blow it up and start over

Boy, Houston stinks.

This is the first time I've seen the Phillies place in the standings all spring.

Zolecki posted an update on Hamels...

http://zozone.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/03/good_news_on_hamels.html

"The Phillies just announced that they have received good news from Cole Hamels' doctor's visit today in Philadelphia: there is no structural damage to his left elbow. "

Zolecki reports:

The Phillies just announced that they have received good news from Cole Hamels' doctor's visit today in Philadelphia: there is no structural damage to his left elbow. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is in a meeting, but we are told he will provide more information later.

Well, he's not getting Tommy John surgery this afternoon, at least.

Pittsburgh is going to be awesome this year.

Not that it means anything, but Golson only has 22 Abs this spring. Donald and Mayberry lead the team in ABs with 44 and 43. Golson's OPS has stayed high because he is'nt playing

Yes, and the more Mayberry plays the closer to his minor league career norms (if not lower, probably lower) his numbers will fall most likely.

I heard "Boomer" Esiason on 660 this morning cheering for Hamels' injury. "This is great news for the Mets ... The Phils have *shut him down*." Meanwhile, Mike and Mike were talking about Strahan's newest venture: a sitcom. God, I hate sports radio.

Good news on Hamels. I'd be happy if he threw 180 IP this year in the regular season.

The Astros have one of the worst systems in baseball, which might have a little something to do with their record. Hard to say.

Don't they have Kolby Clemens though? That's got to count for something.

steroids?

Sounds like the good news on Hamels that most of us hoped (and many expected). There is inflammation. It's not abnormal for pitchers to experience this, especially in Spring Training. Even if it pushes back his schedule to start the season, I'm not concerned. I'd like at least 25 starts out of Cole this year. With the huge increase in innings from 2007 to 2008, a visit or two to the DL is not unexpected.

The Zo Zone has a new Cole Hamels update. Basically his elbow is tender, needs a bit of rest, got an anti-inflammation shot, and is questionable for Opening Night.

I would prefer 30-33 starts plus 5 more in the post-season for Hamels. If that can't happen, it's not the end of the world.

This is the best possible outcome.

@CJ -- how did you get such news? According to Hagen's column today (and following a beerleaguer meme), the Phillies don't tell the whole truth about injuries. Hagen must not read Murphy, Zolecki or the new guy's blogs.

Maybe the Phillies customary April losing spell is coming a month early this year. Let's hope so.

The only saving grace in all of this is the fact that personnel of this Phillies team that takes the field in these ST games bears little resemblance to the Phillies team that will take the field in CBP in April.

Surprised not more reaction on Cholly's comments. Few thoughts:

1. Unequivocally Cholly's team now. Ever since the Eskin incident, Cholly has really been to assert himself as the dominant personality on this team. When someone questions his ability as a manager or person, he will respond.

Additionally, there really isn't a player on this team who really is more of a dominant voice than Cholly. Most of the leaders (Hamels, Utley, Howard, Moyer) are more non-vocal, lead quietly by example types. The most vocal one is JRoll and he clearly was humbled a bit last year when Cholly benched him twice. Amazing how winning the World Series kind of just washed that controversy all away.

2. Mentality of being "the champs." I was glad that Cholly chided his players publicly yesterday. Some will say it was overkill given that the lineup only had a handful of starters and the 3 pitchers who gave up the runs will all start the season in the minors somewhere.

Cholly just wants his team to realize that teams might give a little extra effort against the Phils this season. They have to be prepared at times to counter this.

I don't anticipate vocal outbursts often from Cholly but I am willing to bet that we get 2-3 times this year where he grumbles/chides his players' efforts a bit publicly unlike seasons' past. He now has the credibility in the clubhouse, FO, and media to do so.

3. Preparing for the season. While most of the team has showed up in good shape and prepared to play (Werth being the only real exception), Cholly realizes that this team for whatever reason just mentally takes a vacation in spring training.

Results in some sloppy play that usually translates over in the field during the first 7-10 days of the season with a poor record to show for it.

With all of the World Series celebration stuff on Opening Day, I just think Cholly is going to push their buttons a bit more this year to hopefully avoid the first week funk this team has had during his 4 previous seasons.

UCs just practicing for the first blowout of the regular season.

For once, I don't think the Phils are being that opaque with Hamel's injury. Frankly they didn't know much until he got back to Philly to be further examined today.

As for the fans being skeptical of the current FO and Phils' injury history, they have good reason to be including the whole Garcia issue a few years ago (Phils did lie to the fans about this one to try to cover incompetence) and dating back at least to the infamous Dykstra car accident that involved Daulton.

NEPP - When did Cholly make this kind of comment in '05 or '06 after a blowout? I can't vividly recall a situation where they were so critical to a media outlet.

MG: Fans should be skeptical of EVERY professional sports team when it comes to injuries. They all lie, hide, shade, etc. It's just not their job to tell us anything, frankly. I am consistently baffled and amused by the "outrage" fans express at not know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

"Maybe the Phillies customary April losing spell is coming a month early this year."


Problem is, the Phillies usually lose in March also, and that March losing invariably carries over to the first week of April. The focus on the Phillies' April woes is really overly broad. It isn't April, per se, in which they have been pathetic; it's just the first week or so of the season. Throw out the first week, and their record over the rest of April has generally been fine. Over the last 5 years, the Phillies have gotten off to the following starts:


2008: 2-4
2007: 1-6
2006: 1-6
2005: 1-3
2004: 1-6


I'd like to see someone crunch some numbers to determine the probability of a team that has won at least 85 games in each of these seasons going a combined 6-25 (.193) at the start of the 5 seasons combined. The managers and coaches have changed during that time, but it's pretty clear that the Phillies, as an organization, are doing something systemically wrong in getting their teams ready to start the season. That said, this year's ST record doesn't concern me at all. We're obviously missing a huge number of key players and the players who have been primarily responsible for the vast majority of these losses are players who will not be on the opening day roster. Of more concern to me is the health of players like Hamels, Utley, Werth and Feliz. Even if some or all of these guys are able to start the season, they will go into the season without the benefit of many ST innings. Both recent history and present circusmtances suggest that another bad start is very likely in the cards.

Where's the standings for exhibition games that aren't considered "Grapefruit League"?

Who is the Astro's GM? Thought so.

"Team USA and Puerto Rico in must-win territory"

So says MLB.com. A loss would be perfectly fine with me. You have to be from a tiny island to care about winning exhibition games of any kind.

Who signed the core of the WFC? Thought so.

b-a-p:
When you say you're worried about the health of Feliz, are you saying you're worried he'll be injured or healthy?

Just curious.

Today's Lineup:

Utley, 2B
Bruntlett, SS
Ibanez, LF
Howard, 1B
Stairs, RF
Feliz, 3B
Mayberry, CF
Ruiz, C
Myers, P

I'm listening on MLB.com radio, I'll try and give some updates.

Myers has struck out two in the first.

BAP - I posted on that too. The Phils are 50-55 in April under Cholly. If you remove their dreadful 9-19 mark during the 1st week of the season, then they actually have been fine in April.

Even if Utley, Feliz, and Hamels are healthy to start the season, I still expect the Phils to get off to a slow start the first week. Only consolidation is that their early schedule isn't that difficult (Atl, Col, DC, SD) and that they have a bunch of days off early.

Kind of makes you wonder why the Phils don't just shut down Hamels instead of having him resume throwing again just 2 days. Better to have him rest until the inflammation subsides further because they don't need a 5th starter to take Hamels' place in the rotation until the 3rd week in April.

Frankly I would rather have Hamels get shut down, let the inflammation subside further, and have him beginning throwing in another 7-10 days at the earliest. If the Phils need to push him back a few weeks and let him stay down in Florida until it gets a bit warmer in Philly, so be it.

I've enjoyed the WBC.

Utley leading off today. Myers on the mound. The Reds fielding a few regulars, maybe 5, and Harang on the mound.

With Ibanez and Stairs at the corners, Mayberry in CF should get a very nice workout.

Ya, they are expecting a lot of Mayberry in center today. Surrounded by 2 statues.

Here we see Myers stepping up to the challenge of temporarily filling Hamels shoes. Well, one can dream.

Andy: Thanks for the great link on the last thread. Talk about a wuss,he started 72 games one year and only had 71 complete games. The other game was probably a 19 inning job. He also played SS and OF on his off days to keep his arm loose.

You do have to remember that back when Galvin pitched, the mound was only 45' from the plate. Most teams only had one or two pitchers.

Jeez, Yankees/Mutts cheat even in spring training

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