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Sunday, March 15, 2009

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Remember some time back, there was a discussion on this board about the definition of "Irony?" Well, here's my definition: to have your post be declared the "dumbest post ever" by none other than mikes77.

Utley leading off...interesting.


Good to see Chase back in uniform on the field.

I hope Park has another strong outing.

To recap this inane discussion, mikes77 declared that Jenkins has had a better career than Stairs because Jenkins has 3.5 tools and Stairs has only 1. So I wrote that, according to this logic, Greg Golson (4 tools) is better than Albert Pujols (3 tools).


For succinctly pointing out the stupendous idiocy of mikes77's methodology, I won his award as the "dumbest post ever."

"Yo new thread. Utley returns.

Posted by: J. Weitzel |"

Confirmation that Jason is, in reality, not clout but East Fallowfield.

b-a-p:
Because of the distinction bestowed upon me, you have now, officially, become my hero.

Wow, Werth crushed that thing.

From the last thread:

I just said that Stairs was a better HITTER than Jenkins. His best career years are as good/better than Jenkins and so are his career numbers.

While Stairs was a pretty productive hitter yet at 35, it may well be that Jenkins won't get a job in MLB if he performs very poorly again this year.

Let use the somewhat outdated "5 tools" approach that mikes77 was talking about:

1. Hitting for power - Stairs has had better career power numbers (19.4 AB/HR for Stairs vs 21.3 AB/HR for Jenkins). I never understood why people just look at raw power numbers with no context for anything.

Like people who said Feliz was a power hitter last year and that was largely nonsense. Hitting 20 HRs when you get 600+ ABs in a season does not necessary make you a "power hitter" as their were a ton of guys who hit 20 HRs last year in MLB.

2. Hitting for AVG - Limited way of evaluating a hitter. While Jenkins may have a slightly better career AVG, Stairs has a better OBP, %BB, %K, and BB/K ratio. Pretty clear that Stairs has been a more selective hitter in his career than Jenkins and doesn't make as many "outs" (especially with no contact which mikes77 always harps about).

Plus, let's not forget that Jenkins is a notorious "streak" hitter who often can go long periods without doing much of anything productive. One of the reasons I thought Jenkins would have a slightly better year last year was that he would have another decent "streak" late in the season over 2-3 weeks where he was fairly productive. It never came and by Sept. he was a bench fixture.

3. Speed - The difference is as great as people are making it out to be. At their respective ages, there wasn't a huge difference. Jenkins is the better runner but he still was never a guy who was going to make any kind of real difference with his speed (stealing a base, going from 1B-3B o 2B-home on a single) either.

Jenkins may had more value in his career because he was a solid corner OF with a decent arm. Stairs was really a 1B/LF/DH type player who you had to kind of rotate around.

Crushed is right. Guess he's feeling good again.

I just hope that Utley's "Take no prisoners" approach results in him overdoing it. Really wouldn't have matter if he missed another week in spring training before starting next weeek.

BTY - The "5 tool" heuristic is largely dated. Yeah it hold some value I guess as a summary-type metric but with all of the other value data/measures out there today it is pretty much a relic at this point.

No BAP. You were bestowed the honor of dumbest post ever, for comparing a AA player with 'prospect tools' to the best player in the MLB. As if that is the same as comparing two MLB players.
The only way you could've made a plausible argument for Stairs being a better player than Jenkins is if Stairs' '1 tool' was far and away better than Jenkins. Stairs' 1 tool is power. The one thing he does well is not even better than Jenkins. Jenkins has the same power. More speed. Better arm. Better defender. Better average.
Your Golson argument is stupid. If Golson hit for better (MLB) Avg and Power than Albert, then your argument makes sense.
Leave it alone. You were wrong in your orignal statement. You were wrong to start the argument. Your explanation is dumb.

On the Stairs/Jenkins thing...part of Jenkins ability was that he was a very very good RF for a long time...people forget that he used to be a borderline elite corner OF. Even in 07, Bill James/Fielding Bibles had him as the 4th best RF in MLB with the glove.

Stairs really cant say that. Stairs is a professional hitter...and was a very underrated one for a number of years.

Park looks good so far (from the box score) 2 IP, 2 K, 2 H, 0 R...can't watch as its not on TV up here.

Nevermind...thank you MLBNetwork!!!

Park looks like a professional.

Werth 2 for 2 now.

Remember how Carlos Carrasco improved after his promotion to AAA, as Lou Marson said he would? Carrasco seems to feed off of symbolic votes of confidence. Carrasco has allowed one run in six innings as a starter, and ten runs in five innings pitching out of the bullpen. His explanation couldn't be more straight-forward:

"I feel better because I like starting," "I don't like throwing behind somebody . . . so I felt different today."

Carrasco has better stuff than Happ, but there's more to pitching than throwing. Happ has demonstrated the mental toughness needed to pitch well in Philadelphia; CC has not.

Carrasco should pitch 5 innings every 5th game in Lehigh Valley until someone struggles or gets hurt. Forget breaking him in as a reliever.

Why the hell was werth waved around?

Perhaps all Phillies 3B coaches are given lobotomies? That was brutal.

Werth was running maybe 3/4 speed at best to begin with...why wave him around?

It's spring training for third base coaches, too.

Good point.

mikes77: When Golson gets promoted to the major leagues, he will still have those same 4 tools -- speed, defense, power, throwing arm. So, by your criteria, he will instantly be a better player than Albert Pujols, who has only 3 such tools.

6 Ks for Park...he's just plowing through this lineup...he looks good.

I'm starting to think that Park might be our 5th starter out of the gate.

Park was impressive today

At least I started a new debate. Jenkins was a better player because he defensively he was superior.

Still, Stairs was the better HITTER throughout his career. The single advantage that Jenkins is a modest highly AVG (less than 10 pts) and SLG (again less than 10 pts). Stairs has better career numbers on a bunch of other stats including OBP, %K, %BB, BB/K, ISO. Plus, Stairs numbers are weighed down a bit because his production has obviously declined a bit the last few seasons.

As impressive as Happ has looked in ST, an honest assessment is that Park has looked slightly better.


Happ 11 IP, 3 runs, 10 hits, 2 walks, 1 HBP, 9 strikeouts


Park 11.2 IP, 2 runs, 10 hits, 0 walks, 11 strikeouts


What really jumps out at me about Park are those 0 walks. That is in stark contract to Park's career norms. Park has 1,846 innings of major league experience, during which he has posted a downright horrific ratio of 4.18 walks per 9 innings Even last year, when he had his first good season since 2001, his walk/9-inning ratio was still over 3.00.


We know that Happ is fairly wild but we also know that he has succeeded, despite that wildness, at every level of the minors and in his limited time in the majors. Park appears to be succeeding in ST because he is throwing strikes. But he also has a long track record which says that this kind of pinpoint control is not likely to continue. The Phillies are not required to ignore that track record, and they would be fools if they did so.

anybody else surprised by the relative lack of commercials and sponsors?

(as i type this, they are talking up southwest and budweiser, but still...you'd think this game would get superior ratings to whatever channel 17 usually shows on sunday afternoons...)

Phils Spring Training 5th starter battle:
Park vs. Happ with hotshot prospect and previous starter headed to AAA.

Mets Spring Training 5th starter battle:
Livan Hernandez? Garcia can't pitch anymore. Redding is on the shelf indefinitely. "Hotshot" prospect hasn't impressed. Ouch.

Oh... almost forgot... Mets other starter problem may be John Maine who got rocked in the first inning by the Marlins today.

Park did look good today against a lineup that was filled with some decent hitters. Good life and movement on his fastball including a couple of times it cracked 90 MPH. Happ is going to have to respond with another strong outing to keep pace.

As good as Park looked though, I though Lohse was better today. Doesn't get mentioned but a rotation of Wainwright-Carpenter-Lohse-Wellenmeyer-Piniero is actually underrated especially with a guy like Duncan who always seems to get the most of least. Hell, he turned Wellenmeyer into an above-average starter and rehabbed Piniero's career into being a credible starter again. Interested too to see if he can crap a solid bullpen out of the likes of Franklin/Reyes/Ring/Miller.

If Carpenter and Glaus can actually stay healthy this year (2 big "ifs", the Cards are my favorite darkhorse pick to make the playoffs and possibly win the NL Central too.

Like the Braves last year with Smoltz and Chipper, I don't think either guy will play an entire year although the Cards have a better cast of talent than the Braves did last year. I also bet their bullpen struggles again a bit too.

Anybody else on here like the Cards as a darkhorse?

b-a-p:
Phils should definitely replace Howard with Hewitt. Howard is way too one dimensional; while we all know that Hewitt's got a ton of tools. (He makes, in fact, Home Depot look like a Hallmark store - that's just how many tools he's got, baby).

And we all know how important them tools is.

MG: I was thinking the same thing. And aside from the pitching, it sounds like LaRussa is trying to get some better hitters on the field, with Schumaker moving to second. But they have to stay healthy like you said.

CJ - The Mets have yet one more problem. Pelfrey is only about as good as Kendrick.

BAP said, "Stairs is/was not a 1-tool journeyman... that's mostly because of Stairs' ability to draw walks, and we know how much value you attach to drawing walks.

You were wrong. You should have argued that while Stairs IS a one tool player, he is productive because he has a high OBP.

Instead you argue in circles until you try to make the argument about Greg Golson's scouting report.

Just be a man, and admit your initial statement was wrong, instead of being a clown like your boy clout.

It has been great to hear Kalas' voice again today on the broadcast and watch a game where you are starting to see more of the regulars/playing deeper into games. Start of the time I actually start to care about spring training again as you see more regulars playing deeper into games.

10k plus for the Phils' spring training game. If this team gets out to a solid start in April, Phils' tickets at CBP are going to be tough to come by regardless of how crappy the economy gets this year.

mikes: The difference between you and MVPTommy is that, whereas MVPTommy is merely clueless, you are both clueless and obnoxious.

re: Bench spot
Giles - playing LF, but not hitting a lick, while Cairo continues to get knocks.

re: 5th starter
Anyone who can strike out Pujols (someone who stikes out in less than 10% of his plate appearances) deserves kudos. I also especially appreciate the fact that Park didn't walk anybody today. Game on! This battle for the 5th spot is turning out to be quite the competition.
Even better is that the phils probably could add a starter like Blanton last year if they are still in the running; there are going to be tons of good pitchers on sale this summer. That provides a hedge against the Phils' injury-risk to the top-four and if Happ, Park, KK and CC all flame out.

Anyone believe Ed Wade slept rather than catch the final innings of the WS? Didn't think so.

Park's close to getting his wish.

I'm surprised no one mentioned Stairs' second tool he just showed, SPEED. he stole that base uncontested!

Anybody who plays hockey has to have decent leg drive. Hamels got his chiropractor. Maybe the Phils should buy Stairs an ice rink.

Jason Ellison with the walk off hit to score cairo, phils win 2-1

I was not thrilled at the Park signing, to say the least. However, his spring so far has been encouraging to me, hinting that we should have a capable emergency starter whether that be Happ or Park. I'm certainly not expecting a strong K/BB ratio to carry over into the regular season, but at least I can feel optimistic that Park is no Eaton.

Maybe Giles should be focusing more on his hitting and less on tattoos...as much as I love human interest stories in early ST.

mikes77:"Just be a man, and admit your initial statement was wrong, instead of being a clown like your boy clout."

Is there really something to be gained by being so juvenile?

Well, Park has always been a good SO pitcher (7.75 K/9 for his career, 7.46 K/9 in 2008).

oh and for laughs, check out the MLB.com article on Eaton - "Eaton could stabilize O's rotation."

Yes - Eaton could do a lot of different things to the O's rotation. But of ALL the different things Eaton COULD do, stabilizing it is not the most probably outcome.

How bad does your rotation have to be for Eaton to be a stabilizing force?

NEPP - Yeah but his Ks have notably decreased the past few years. While Park has pitched well this spring so far, I think it is a mistake to put him in the starting rotation. Several past years of pretty poor results as a starting pitcher have to mean something.

I hope that Happ continues to pitch well and that Park stumbles in his last 2 starts to make this decision easier for the Phils. Otherwise, Park will likely get the nod in the starting rotation (which I thought he would all along as long as he pitched decently regardless of how KK, Happ, or Carrasco pitched).

Yeah, you can't just ignore 6 straight seasons which say that Chan Ho Park is a terrible starting pitcher. In his 11 innings of spring work, Park has succeeded because he has thrown strikes. Did he suddenly learn to find the strike zone at age 35, or is it more likely that this is just a passing, unsustainable hot streak? 1,800+ innings of work say that it's the latter.

I hope both do well personally...either way, an injury will open up a spot for the one that doesn't make it on Opening Day.

BAP: Happ gave up 3.5 walks per 9 IP in his minor league career. I would not call that "fairly wild."

mikes77: I think the problem here may be terminology. You seem to think that "tools" are something else than the standard baseball definition. BAP in correct that Greg Golson has more tools than Pujols. Whether he is able to translate those tools into baseball skills is a different issue.

The good news is they've got a healthy arm for a swing man, unlike other camps that took big risks with injured pitchers or guys who were almost certainly injured. Look at the Mets. The Mets could have used Adam Eaton.

TNA: Giles may or may not be done. Wouldn't surprise me either way. But I guarantee if Cairo makes the team he WILL hurt the offense regardless of what you see in ST. And his glove is barely mediocre. I'd rather have Bruntlett than Cairo.

Conlin said before ST began that Park was the favorite to win the 5th starter spot. There are reasons for that beyond performance and Conlin was right.

I feel Ho Park is best suited for bullpen duty, but damn he looked good today. A lot of movement on his pitches. Definitely going to be him on Happ.

Well, I was cautioned about getting what I hoped for.

With Park, Happ pitching well, and Carrasco pitching fairly well, it looks like the 5 spot battle could be decided by who was the better of the 2 or 3, not who was the lesser of two evils.

That is a good situation for the Phillies.

The only downside of that type of battle is if the guy who is not awarded the spot, yet pitched well, gets demoralized and it affects the way he pitches. Especially if he breaks camp with the big club.

To wit, Park seems to have thrown his heart and soul into starting again. If he loses out to Happ and is relegated to the 'pen, will the ensuing disappointment render him ineffective because of the letdown?

The same could be said for Happ or Kendrick.

I don't include Carrasco, because I think he'll take getting sent to AAA much better that Kendrick or Happ would, as he has never been on the MLB roster.

clout: i'd also prefer to have bruntlett than cairo. i still believe giles would be better to have on board than cairo or ozuna. i'm not sure i'd rather have giles over bruntlett however. brunlett, at the very least, is a good clubhouse fit who understands his role as a bench player. i'm not convinced (and i have no idea how i'd be convinced) that giles wouldn't be a whiny little punk when he's spending most of his time on the bench.

awh - i think managing the psyche of these pitchers is an important criteria in making the decision for the 5th spot. there's no way to say that happ's performance would suffer less (than Park) if made a reliever, but my hunch is that would be the case.

as for all of you worried about Park's past performance; why not put him on a relatively short leash as the 5th starter knowing that Happ is right there to take his spot? he hasn't been healthy in years and his current condition makes it obvious that he's in prime condition right now. i'm not saying we should judge him with a clean slate, but we should definitely weight things towards the present. he's obviously stepping up to the pressure and meeting the challenge.

I have a new nickname for phlipper, mvptommy and mikes77. Henceforth they should collectively be referred to as:


"The Sir Alden Trio"

Carson, Park has indeed surprised.

The best part is Happ has looked good, and Carrasco looks as if he'll be ready for prime time later this year.

Kendrick, IMHO, is the wild card. Is he capable of, as Dubee alluded to the other day, all of a sudden putting it together?

another reason to love utz: (courtesy of MLB.com)

Utley also returned to wearing his uniform the way he typically wears it. He pulled up his pant legs and socks for Saturday's Minor League game. The Phillies require Minor Leaguers to wear their socks up for uniformity purposes.

Utley could have gone to the Carpenter Complex and worn his pants the way he normally wears them -- with the bottom of his pant legs below the ankle -- but he chose not to.

"I didn't want to stand out," Utley said. "They were nice enough to let me play in their game, so I figured I would respect them and do what they do."

The very subtle gesture did not go unnoticed.

"It just shows his humbleness, if you would," said Phillies assistant general manager Chuck LaMar. "It shows his respect for the game. He was here at one time. He's a star because of the way he conducts himself. It doesn't surprise me."

That tells you everything you need to know about Utley...he respects the game.

hopefully, that'll be the last time he ever needs to pull his pant legs and socks up.
stay healthy kid!

Rollins is having a great game in the WBC game tonight. 4 RBIs through 5 innings.

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