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Monday, April 27, 2009


I suppose I have to clarify my "trade Jimmy Rollins" discussion yet again, as so many posters have taken it upon themselves to put words in my mouth and ignore things that I actually did say.

1. I would only trade Jimmy Rollins at the trade deadline if, and only if, we could land a legitimate ace. The example I gave of Rollins & Happ/Kendrick for Halladay & Rolen was just an example. If he could be moved to Boston for pitching prospects in the off-season, I'd make that deal as well.

2. The reason I singled out Jimmy has nothing to do with his performance in the 2009 season (despite your insistence that it does), but because his contract is manageable and because I feel that the rotation is in desperate need of an upgrade for the 2009-2010 season, particularly due to Moyer's advancing age and the 2010 free agent status of Myers, Blanton and Park.

3. My argument is based on my opinion that whoever replaces Rollins (be it Bruntlet or eventually Donald) will give up less runs for the defensive downgrade than would be saved by a pitching upgrade.

I'll admit fully that I can't stand Jimmy Rollins as a human being, but that has to do with his hot dogging, his insults towards the fans, his lack of hustle and his overall Reyes-like attitude. The poor start to the 2009 season is just icing on the cake, not the reason the cake was baked. Does this make my opinion biased? Absolutely...but I still feel that this team would benefit more from an ace in the rotation (which would also strengthen the pen with Park returning) than an excellent defensive shortstop who may, or may not, figure out how to swing the bat again.

I'm surprised you didn't mention Ibanez and Clay Condrey in the up column. Ibanez is at least tied as being the team's MVP thus far, and Condrey as been the best pitcher by a large margin on the team so far this year.

I'd throw in the bench, with the exception of Stairs, as a concern. Dobbs is off to a poor start, and do we even need to mention the righthanded bats (including Coste)?

Wow. Hate him as a human being? Did Jimmy Rollins kill someone in a DUI?
The front runners comment doesnt merit hate. Hell. No Met player merits hate as a human being.

Werth's lack of strikeouts are very pleasing. I thought he'd challenge Howard now that he's playing every day.

Eyre is doing far better than I envisioned.

Howard's defense continues to make me smile, along with his decent batting average. The power will come.

Dobbs needs a start or two against some righties in the upcoming week(s).

Jimmy is alarming. His eye is horrible, nearly everything he hits is weak, we need him at the top of the order over the long haul.

Miguel Cairo is worthless and should not be on this team. The sooner Amaro replaces him the better.

I know there are many Coste defenders out there (and don't get me wrong I like the guy), but he looks bad right now. His defense is sagging, his bat is slow, he just looks shot.

GM: nice additions to JW's pretty throrough recap. I definitely think he should have mentioned ryno's glove along with his drop in Ks.

And it's almost common knowledge and not worth repeating at this point, but Cairo does not even resemble a major league players right now. They should just some sign some track star to pinch run and never even touch a bat or glove, and it would be a overwhelming improvement to the team as soon as he stole one base.

After three weeks, there are several positive indicators that the Phillies are still sporting a very good team, namely: several come-from-behind victories; an excellent road record; excellent defense. The three detractors in their performance have been a moderately inconsistent offense; sub-par pitching in general; an unbalanced bench. The pitching is the only thing that threatens to hold this team back in any substantial way. The Phillies desperately need Hamels to have a vintage start on Tuesday, and perhaps just as badly need Lidge to have a vintage ninth inning. The remainder of the rotation and bullpen is adequate to middling, and they're going to continue to be what they are: but the two lynchpins of the staff, along with Rollins offensively, really need to get it going in order for this team to take a step further.


mikes77: he didn't say 'hate'. Don't put words in people's mouths.

Again I agree with phaithful: Replace Cairo with someone who can steal a base.

Twice this weekend we could have moved the tying run into scoring position, but the pinch runners were Bruntlet and Cairo. Thankfully, the Phils tied and won both games anyway so it didn't matter.

"can't stand Jimmy Rollins as a human being"...

That might not be the word "hate"... but that as darn close as you can possibly get...

and completely devalues any argument @Mac has on JROLL.

He can take that stuff elsewhere.

Tried to throw out a few new topics. Obviously, Ibanez is a huge positive, but it was discussed previously.

Mac: "whoever replaces Rollins (be it Bruntlet or eventually Donald) will give up less runs for the defensive downgrade than would be saved by a pitching upgrade."

What is the factual basis for this opinion?

MacT: although you say that the original idea came before his struggles in 09, its hard to not argue with you when you come on right after sunday's game and start posting about how unimportant Rollins is because the Phils won 13-2 without him.

And again, a last time to try and genuinely consider your side of the argument:

Contenders don't trade top or rotation starters.
NonContenders do, but only to build for the future.

So why would a team who wants to win right now trade away a frontline starter and why would a team trying to build for the future trade for a 30yr old SS?

I get what you are saying, Jake Peavy would add more wins to the Phils, but its not a logical thing to persue since San Deigo wants prospects for the future and not veterans. And Brandon Webb would be nice too, but the Dbacks are trying to win this year, so they wont be shopping him.

You have to feel a little sorry for Dobbs, who's one of the best pinch hitters in team history. Stairs has become a folk hero. Cholly needs to figure out a way to get Dobbs into a game. Even Stairs got into a game.

B-Mac: Clay Condrey has pitched 9.2 innings. Let's not get carried away.

Wow, Mac. I think I understand now. You think getting an ace is better than having a great defensive SS, who is above average offensively. That's OK, you're entitled to your opinion, but I disagree. A great SS who plays 150+ games will impact the team as much or more than a pitcher who gets 33 starts - if healthy.

Besides, you ignored the Bill james quote I posted in the last thread,#10 from his 1988 abstract:

"A great deal of what is perceived as being pitching is in fact defense."

No one here would disagree with you on the value of an ace, but I think you undervalue defense - or JRolls, at least.

I know this: Brad Lidge was not perfect in the save department last season. The defense behind him was, though.

I only need to point to the throw Vic made in Atlanta - where Lidge had basically blown the save - to get the runner at the plate.

Then, there is the play JRoll made to start the DP in the division clincher last September. If he doesn't make that play a run scores and maybe the whole season turns out differently.

Incidentally, Bruntlett missed a ball yesterday that IMO JRoll would have had and started a DP with. He just didn't get there fast enough - doesn't have JRoll's range.

So, I guess what I'm saying is I understand it takes great defense to help pitchers out - to make them look good.

If you have great starting pitching and lousy defense you can get swept in a series - just ask the Marlins.

There is no reason Dobbs should not start tonight. Blanton on the mound, opposing RHP, it is an ideal time. I just hope Manuel doesn't overemphasize Pedro's 3-5 day yesterday.

Jonesman, good point, but don't hold your breath.

Chollie might take pleasure in watching you turn blue.

@JW-- agreed. I understand Charlie's reasoning on not benching Feliz while riding a relative (for him) hot streak.

I feel like Charlie will get him a start this week... I'm thinking tonight since Blanton is on the mound... but if Dobbs couldn't get the start against Dave Bush against whom he was batting like .461 with 2 HR and 5RBI... I don't know when he'll get a start...

Two things that have really surprised that haven't been mentioned:

1. Defense - Led the league in a bunch of conventional stats and are really strong in a bunch of the newer saber ones. Howard has notably improved and Ibanez has been competent in LF with a strong arm thus far. In fact, I would say the Phils have the best INF defense right now in the NL.

If these pitchers can keep the ball in the park, they have a good chance their defense will help them out.

2. Stabilization of the starting rotation - Yeah the short starts hurt but we are starting to see the starters get to the 6th and 7th innings with more consistency the last time through the rotation. If Hamels can round back into form and Park & Moyer in particular can really limit the number of outings where they destroy the bullpen, the rotation should be adequate.

I'm heading down to the game tonight which is forecasted as 90º late this afternoon. If they can't mash Shairon Martis in 90º weather after just seeing him a little over a week ago, then I completely give up trying to gage what kind of offense we have - other than completely impossible to predict.

Jones - Guaranteed Feliz starts tonight. Cholly never sits Feliz after a good night and my bet is that Feliz takes another 0fer tonight because he was starting to look more like typical Feliz the past week (swinging at some bad offspeed pitches and trying to pull every pitch across the plate).

It's weird, I had almost been convinced by Clout that the Marlins' bullpen wouldn't be an issue for them. Then, I watched this weekend's series, and I remembered that bad bullpens are a serious issue--some people may remember the 05 and 06 Phillies.

Also, through 17 games, we're now 3-0 in games started by lefties. Last year, through 17 games, we were 2-2. And the 18th game was also started by a lefty, which we lost. So unless the Nats have an emergency starter tonight, we'll be 3-0 through 18 games, whereas last year we were 2-3.

I really have to wonder why somebody would have such a deep dislike of Jimmy Rollins, especially if that person claims to be a Phillies fan. After all that he's contributed to this team, you'd think that he'd be able to work through a 3-week slump without this sort of vitriol directed at him. But something tells me that Mac is the sort of dude who says he hates the Mets but respects David Wright... and that line always rubs me the wrong way.

I didn't use the word "hate", Mike. I said that I can't stand him. I will root for him to succeed because of the uniform he wears, just as I would root for any player that I don't like personally who plays for Philly. However, I also look forward to his playing elsewhere, particularly if it can be arranged for the greater good of the team. I feel a trade of Rollins for pitching would not only suit my dislike of the man, but also would be beneficial for the team. It's not like I'm suggesting he be traded for Taguchi.

The basis of this idea has to do with the following:

* Rollins has a relatively modest salary.

* His reputation as a "team leader" and a former MVP might be something that a rebuilding team would like to build around.

* We desperately need pitching. I don't think many of you appreciate the challenges we will face in 2010. Myers is entering free agency in a pitching-weak market. We will either have to vastly overpay him or lose him. I'm pretty sure Blanton is as well. We could probably re-sign Park cheaply, but as much as I've said he deserves a fair shot, I think we could definitely do better. We are pitching-rich in the minors, but none of them (apart from possibly Carassco) is major league ready for this season or next.

This means that the 2010 rotation is Hamels (who can hopefully remain injury free), Moyer (who will be another year older and closer to his eventual breakdown, no matter how much I wish it wouldn't) Happ (who is a question mark) and Kendrick (who is a bigger question mark).

I would MUCH rather have a Hamels, Peavy/Halladay/inserthere, Moyer, Happ and an open competition between Kendrick/Carassco or whomever we could acquire.

You can say my opinion is invalid because I just plain don't like Jimmy Rollins (and no, I do not "hate" him), but I was honest enough to say that from the beginning. My opinion is biased, but it is also grounded in addressing the needs of the team. Clout asks on what factual basis my opinion comes from. I'm not sure that any prediction of the future can have "factual basis" since you really don't know. That's why it is an opinion. Unlike clout, I don't claim my opinion as fact.

With a top starter and Park in the bullpen, we would greatly improve two aspects of the team by sacrificing one. I don't agree that the defensive downgrade would translate to as many runs given up as the rotation and bullpen upgrade would prevent. You can argue against that if you like, but I'd like to know your side of the argument. Why do you think that replacing Park in the rotation with an ace and plugging Bruntlett/Donald in at SS would result in more runs scored against the Phillies? Even if it were equal, the runs would be more evenly distributed. Even if the replacement SS botches a play per game that results in a run scored, it's easier to overcome than a 4 - 6 run deficit that Park presents every fifth day, not to mention the ease on the bullpen and the upgrade that Park would represent in the pen.

I get that Rollins is a top defender, and I get that contending teams do not frequently trade starters (except for the Sox trading Manny and the dozens of other times that this exact sort of thing happened over the past decade), but would someone like to itemize exactly why my idea is SO ridiculous that it can't possibly benefit the team?

And yes, I do hate the Mets, but I do respect David Wright. You mean to tell me that you wouldn't do cartwheels right where you're standing if you logged on to BL and found that we had somehow acquired Wright?

Again, for what must the the 8th time, my dislike of Jimmy and my idea to trade him have nothing to do with his slump to begin the 2009 season. The repeated insistence that it does tells me that you have no counter to my argument. Since you can't counter the actual position, you're inventing your own position to counter. The idea has FAR more to do with the starting rotation and the bullpen than it has to do with Jimmy's bat. Frankly, if he was batting .320 by the all star break, I'd propose the same trade, but with more hope of getting value in return.

I'd love to hear some theories on what our rotation might look like in 2010, or even in 2009 in case of injury, if we didn't make some sort of deal for pitching. Our rotation is skating on some pretty thin ice. We're betting that Hamels will stay healthy despite the # of innings logged in 2008, that Moyer remains effective well beyond the age that nearly every MLB pitcher has been able to, that Myers doesn't suffer another meltdown and that Chan Ho Park can get the job done. Then, next season, you're betting that, in a very weak pitching market, we can re-sign Myers and Blanton for a reasonable amount of money (or to sign someone else who would be equal to or better) and that Happ and Carassco can pitch effectively at #4 and #5, and that Moyer can once again defy the odds of his advancing age.

It's not a perfect situation, and losing an excellent defensive SS is not a good thing, but it is a more manageable loss than the issues we will face as Hamels and Moyer pitch further into 2009 and the gaping holes become apparent in 2010. We've got a lot of promising young arms, but they won't be ready for this season or next, and I'd like to see the WFC contend in the meantime.

--No Met player merits hate as a human being.--

Is Pedro back with them yet?

Also crappy so far:

- General play at CBP so far. Hopefully the Phils can take care of business this week with the Nats & Mets and have a solid 4-2 homestand.

Been thinking about Howard and his D. Remember how Amaro surprised us in Feb. with a contract extension with Howard? I wonder if there was more talk between them than just about dollars.

Could it be that Howard had gotten by on raw talent, particularly his hitting and personalty, so that he got little if any pro instruction on playing the position? Amaro could have factored that into the equation: Take instruction to improve your D and we will see that you get the money you deserve.

Pitching phenoms often have to learn to pitch when they find out their raw ability has its limits. Given his reputed skills in negotiations, it would not surprise me to one day find out that Amaro had something to do with Howard's improved defense as well as the big guy himself.

likelyhood anyone would give us an ace for Rollins: 0%

likelyhood there would be an open revolt in the clubhouse if he was dealt (this yr): 100%

2009-10: Theoretically you have Carrasco and possibly Drabek cracking the rotation. If Blanton pitches effectively, the Phils will bring him back. Moyer is signed for 2009 and I unless he implodes he will be back. I think Myers is a 50/50 shot.

kf - That might have been part of it because Howard doesn't strike me a lazy guy and he has never been criticized as having a poor work ethic by the Phils' FO or the management.

Only exception was when Howard came into camp out of shape in '07 but he readily admitted that his busy offseason schedule prevented him from doing his offseason training regimen.

I'm convinced Mac Tonight doesn't actually watch Phillies games. According to him Jimmy Rollins:

- is a hot dog
- lacks hustle
- has a Jose Reyes like attitude

Sorry to go all SNL on you but, Really?!?!

Also, Jason Donald or Eric Bruntlett is a huge step down defensively from Rollins. They are also both downgrades offensively to varying degrees.

So basically you advocate trading a top 3 shortstop in the majors without a good back-up plan? Really?!?!

I get that it would be nice to have a starting pitcher like a Jake Peavy or Roy Halladay but the Padres are looking to cut money and Rollins doesn't do that. The Blue Jays will want a ransom for Halladay and the Phillies would be strip mining their farm system when it is finally showing some progress.

" I get that contending teams do not frequently trade starters (except for the Sox trading Manny and the dozens of other times that this exact sort of thing happened over the past decade), "

MacT: contending teams do not frequently trade starters - as in Starting Pitchers. And top of the rotation starting pitchers at that.

I haven't scowered the recent trades the past few years, but off the top of my head I still can not think of a team who traded one of their best pitchers unless they were looking for prospects and young talent. The twins traded Matt Garza for Delmon Young, but again, were both very young players. Thats all I can even think of that is closely remote to what you are suggesting.

Can you think of any more? Can anyone?

FYI: Blanton is under team control until 2011. He is not eligible for free agency this offseason.

MacT: Your argument has a fatal flaw about 2010. Yes, it is true that Myers, Blanton, Park, & Moyer are suspect. But, you mentioned Carrasco, Happ (which most BL's have a love affair with), and KK. We do have starters ready to step in.

I do not think trading J-Roll, wrenching the heart and ruining the chemistry of the team just to get some rent-a pitcher or overpriced top of the list starter will help this team.

Most BL's will argue stats until they are red in the face. They forget that chemistry makes good player stats winners (this is a team game). Given J-Roll's position at HK's memorial service and watching his interaction with UC, he means more to this team than a temporary downturn in his batting skills.

I think we are better setup for the losses of Myers, Blanton, and Park than most people think.

I credit Howard's improved defense to the work he & Sam Perlozzo have put in. Steve Smith clearly wasn't doing his job last season, in more ways than one. But regardless of the reason, it's great to see the Big Man playing so well in the field AND having solid appearances at the plate. The thing that most frustrates me about Rollins in '09 is not that his PAs are almost all awful, it's that they're all awful in the EXACT SAME WAY. It's like J-Roll is not even trying to be more patient or selective -- & if he's unwilling to try a different approach, what makes him think his results will improve? Nevertheless, I'll be @ the game tonight, & I'm eager to see how Charlie handles the lineup. I'm not as concerned about Dobbs as others seem to be, but it sure would be nice to see him finally get a start in '09. :-)

Mac - your interpretation of Rollins is several years out of date, at best.

On the field, is Rollins a 'hot dog'? Does he routinely loaf? Does he engage in emotional outbursts or childish celebration dances like Reyes?

What is it about him you can't stand? Does he smile too much? Not act like an android and actually convey enjoyment of the game? Your characterization of Rollins is well off the mark, so you might want to consider what exactly it is about him you 'can't stand'.

If you want to latch on to Rollins' missteps of last season and use them as an eternal rallying cry against the guy, that's your prerogative. A more well-informed fan knows that Rollins plays the game with a healthy respect and brings considerable value to the team even when he's not hitting.

Anyone here TMac's segue yesterday after the PA Lotto commercial:

"Must be 18 or older to play...which means that 46yr old Jamie Moyer can certainly play, and he'll be starting it off here in 4th facing Dan Uggla"

Haha, the man can not just go into a call, he must find a way to 'sugar it up' some how that is so bad its actually becoming comical.

OT: I see Joe Bisenius gave up four runs in relief yesterday. Time to cut bait with that guy. Geesh.

thephaithful: T-Mac was tolerable when he only did Pre Game/Post Game, but he's a big heaping bowl full of Suck Frosted Crappy-O's in the booth. Add Wheels, & it's enough to make even the most die hard fan's ears bleed. Please, I implore you: start listening to the games on radio, before Team MoronBore drives you completely insane!!!

phaithful -
And there are a lot where what you say holds true - Santana to NYM and Bedard to SEA, for instance.

Personal feelings aside (and I still cannot understand the depth of the "can't-standing"), there is no way the Phils could get equal value for Rollins. No one out there would give us equal value in a trade to what he brings to the team. We definitely wouldn't get a starting pitcher beyond a 4-5 guy.

Coste still has options. Why not send him to Lehigh Valley for two weeks to work on his swing. In the interim, Marson can start and Ruiz can back-up and get his swing back.

Tonight's line-up against the Nats?


Sound about right?

phaithful - I agree with you re McCarthy. He actually could be pretty good if he would refrain from inserting those types of comments into his call of the game. He's pretty knowledgeable of the stats, personnel and history of baseball.

To me, Sarge is even worse. Occasionally he'll thrown in an insightful tidbit. But in the meantime, you have to wade through way too much inane commentary. A few days ago, after Vic lined a ball just foul down the rightfield line, he actually explained to us that 'its not where the ball lands, its where the ball is as it goes over the first base bag.' THE BALL WAS IN THE AIR.

Andy: You can't take the "O" out of the Phillies. It's the Natinals that lack the "O".

Although not apparently when facing liver Perez.


Andy: haha nice, I might have to hang on to Victrin anytime they're playing the Nats.

to quote noted phiosopher Kanye West..Mac hates black people.

similar to Kayne West, mac loves fishsticks too.

Been away from computers for three days. Man, I'm suprised (pleasantly) about the Fish Sweep and the way they were done, two 9th inning come from behinders and a blowout! F the Fish.

What's all this trade Rollins comments crap? J-Roll is an integral part of this team. His glove alone is worth having him on the team.

Lets get out the fly swatter and swat the gNats for another sweep.

T-Mac and Wheels form the dorkiest booth in the history of baseball. Harry and Whitey taught me that baseball announcers should be cool. These guys are unbearable nerds (and not in the endearing stat-head Nate Silver kind of way). Franzke and LA are cool, Sarge is cool in a crazy weirdo way, so lets have a combination of those 3 on TV and I will be happy.

Mac is a bit irrational in some of his zeal to trade JRoll but the gist is he would trade JRoll for a frontline starting pitcher who the Phils would control at least this year and next year.

A Top 20 pitcher would like contribute more wins over the course of a season than JRoll would and that is if JRoll matches his stellar defense output from last year. Likely he gets close but it will be pretty hard for him to duplicate that. Just as '07 was JRoll's offense career year, '08 was likely JRoll's defense career year.

All of it is completely a moot point though. JRoll isn't going to get traded this season, no team is going to give up a frontline starter with the season underway, and it would talk more than JRoll at this point to get an elite caliber starting pitcher.

And let me say that I can deal with Wheels when he is not with T-mac because he does offer some insight. McCarthy is a disease, he must be eliminated.

Gosh. I take my eye off the ball for one weekend and we're trading Jimmy Rollins. No wonder we never run out of things to talk about. Incredible. 17 bad games and he's a bumb.

When you cut through all the drivel, Mac's argument comes down to this: an ace pitcher would be worth the defensive (and maybe offensive) downgrade at SS. That's a plausible premise but that's about the only thing that's logical about the analysis.

First of all, if your premise is true, why do you want to wait until July to trade Rollins for this ace pitcher? Why not do it yesterday?

Second, considering that the ace starter you want will come with high price tag, why do you want to trade away a guy whose salary won't even come close to covering what you'd have to pay for that ace starter?

Third, why on earth would any non-contending team be interested in trading an ace pitcher for a 30-year old SS with an $8.5M annual salary? When was the last time you saw any team trade an ace pitcher, or any star player, for anything but prospects?

Fourth, I find it strange that you claim to be a Phillies fan, yet you have such contempt for the best SS in team history. Rollins doesn't have an arrest record. He has never been suspended. He has never beaten up his wife. He has never been accused of being anything other than a team leader. His worst offense is that, while joking around on a tv show, he -- God forbid -- called the fans "front runners." To be obsessed about this extremely minor transgression nearly a year later is downright bizarre.

b_a_p: He wasn't joking around, I remember him and Howard sitting there with plain faces when he said it. Now I'm not saying we should trade him, but that's enough to dislike him. He totally characterized us wrong, never have I heard the Philadelphia fans be called front runners, that made no sense at all. I'm surprised more people don't like him.

Hey guys, who is the expected pitchers for the phils this weekend?

Go to hell Mets fan!

Friday- Park
Saturday- Moyer
Sunday- Blanton

Mac: As for who the starting pitchers will be in 2010 . . . I don't know -- just as you don't know who the SS would be if we traded Rollins.

It would be great if you could plan out your future starting rotation years ahead of time. But you can't. I do know that Hamels, Blanton, and Moyer are under contract for 2010. I also know that the Phillies will have more than $35M in salary coming off the books in 2010 (i.e., Myers, Jenkins, Eaton, Thome, Park, Feliz, Eyre). I also know that, in addition to Happ, they have decent pitching prospects in Carrasco and Stutes, who are both at AA or higher, plus Drabek who may be ready for the majors before the 2010 season is over. And I know that, with prospects like Marson, Donald, D'Arnaud, Brown, Taylor, plus all the pitchers I have mentioned, they have the ammunition to go out and trade for a pretty decent starter.

If Rollins had any chance of landing us that ace starter you talk about, then I'd be all ears in listening to any offers. But he doesn't -- for reasons that have already been discussed. At bottom, there is a disconnect between your premise (that we need pitching) and your conclusion (that we should trade Rollins).

Hmm well alright then Jonesman. Thanks? Well anyway should be a high scoring weekend...Pelfrey vs. Park, Perez vs. Moyer, and Maine vs. Blanton.

Just having some fun with you MetsFan. Should be a wild series.

kf, that's certainly a plausibe theory on Howard's defensive improvement. I would not be surprised if the front office mentioned it.

Keep one thing in mind though:

While Howard has been signed to a pretty healthy contract the next three seasons, he's still an FA at the age of 32.

He knows this, and he knows if he doesn't improve his defense that fewer NL teams will be interested in him.

He'll be perceived as a DH only - and that will hurt his market value - IMO a lot.

So, Howard has a great number of reasons to be self-motivated.

M$ll$on$ and m$ll$on$ of them!

MetsFan, as much as we detest the team you root for, reasonably respectful, insightful commentary and questions are always welcome here.

Frankly, the Nats have been the gnats in the Phillies ointment this season.

I'll start worrying about the Mets' series on Thursday.

bap- don't forget that there are also ~$19M of salary increases built into the contracts of Utley, Ibanez, Howard, Werth, Madson, Hamels

When, not if, Jimmy heats up this debate will be even more ridiculous than it currently stands. I'm not sure what rational factors could substantiate one not being able to stand Jimmy Rollins as a human being. Anyone that thinks that Jimmy is (a) lazy and (b) is Jose Reyes-level cocky must have unique filters through which they examine baseball games -- and humanity.

HK didn't feel the need to seque way from a promo to the action. Another lesson for the following generations of announcers.

We sit at home and click around the channels and do just fine without seque ways from one thing to the next. We know you gotta do a promo, do it like HK, read it, move on.

I can't wait until the Mets series ends and we get dozens of wild proclamations about how the season will end up based just on those three games.

bap, I understand Mac's argument, but, if Bill James is correct(and who are we to argue with the guru), then I'm not so sure that trading JRoll for an ace improves the team.

clout asked Mac to provide some evidence, but he declined saying he couldn't predict the future.

I guess he doesn't want to do any homework to see if there are situations in the past where it's happened.

I don't know, maybe Win Shares or Wins Above Replacement Player are stats that one could use to make some kind of judgement?

Still, SS is such an important defensive position I don't know that it's worth trading arguablly the best in the game for any pitcher.

Here's the definition of WARP:

"Wins Above Replacement Player
From BR Bullpen

Wins Above Replacement Player, or WARP, is a statistic published in Baseball Prospectus that attempts to measure the "total value" of a player over a given season.

WARP, intuitively, attempts to express the total number of wins that a given player adds to his team over the course of a season by comparing the player's performance with that of a fictitious "replacement player". A "replacement player" is assumed to be an average Triple-A callup who might appear in the majors only as replacement for an injured player, and whose hitting, fielding, and (if applicable) pitching skills are far below league average. According to Baseball Prospectus, a team consisting entirely of replacement-level players would likely be historically bad, winning only 20-25 games over a full 162-game season.

To compute WARP, Baseball Prospectus uses three other proprietary statistics: Batting Runs Above Replacement (BRAR), Fielding Runs Above Replacement (FRAR), and Pitching Runs Above Replacement (PRAR). The three numbers are added and divided by the number of runs per win that season (another proprietary number. In recent years, this number is around 10).

Most regular position players will accumulate 3-5 WARP over a season. A legitimate All-Star-caliber player may have over 7 WARP. Over 10 WARP is a strong MVP candidate, while over 15 WARP is a "one-for-the-ages" season. On the flip side, a player with -1 WARP or less is probably in danger of disappearing from baseball.

Teams can also be ranked by their cumulative WARP. A team with a total of 30 WARP or less among all players would be a disastrous, certain last-place finisher. 50-60 WARP can be expected from a .500 team. 65-70 WARP is a playoff-caliber team, while much more than that would be a strong World Series candidate."


Now, I don't know where Hallday or Peavy rank compared to JRoll on the WARP scale, but I suspect it's close to a wash.

CJ, bank on it.

J-Roll has given his heart and soul to this team and this city in an effort to bring a championship and it happened.

He made one unfortunate comment about some fans (and many believe he was right!). My goodness. Certainly no reason for the venom sent his way. Can't stand him as a human? Wow.

I only found Halladay's 2008 WARP in an old BP article: 9.8.

Where that puts him next to JRoll or Peavy, I don't know?

Also, it's only for one year. It seems to me that more than one year's numbers ought to go into the evaluation.

Could someone please provide proof that an ace starter + Jason Donald/Eric Bruntlett at short would provide us more wins than what we currently have + Jimmy Rollins at short?

Couple important things to keep in mind:

1.) An ace pitcher doesn't guarantee wins. You need to have a bullpen that can hold leads and play solid defense(Johan Santana), and an offense that can score runs (Jake Peavy).

2.) How do you replace a guy who averages .276/.331/.438/.770 with 16 home runs, 109 runs scored and 38 stolen bases, and is arguably the best defensive shortstop in baseball?

I'm guessing Mac used to like Jimmy before Jimmy ran over his dog while driving drunk while kidnapping some honor students while on a mission to blow up stuff for Al-qaida after delivering a pound of crack to a preschool.

Oh...while littering.

Truth, that's exactly the question Mac has been asked.

I'm not a BP subscriber, but if anyone is, I'm sure some sort of evaluation can be done.

Andy, you forgot to add pedophelia and child pornography.

Like it or not, McCarthy is the future of the Phils' broadcasting on TV. The Phils didn't sign him to a 5-year deal (through the '12 season) unless they didn't think otherwise.

I am willing to give McCarthy a chance. Wasn't a big fan of Franske initially either but he really grew on me by the end of the first season. Solid play-by-play call now who has a genuine chemistry with LA.

Thing that really bothers me about McCarthy though isn't him trying to hard but his focus on things that are completely irrevelant to the game or even baseball at times for notable stretches of the game. This shouldn't happen on a TV broadcast.

Also, my biggest/irrational pet peeve about McCarthy though now is his inability to correctly identify an offspeed pitch. He always says "offspeed pitch" or "breaking ball."

Is it really too much to ask to know if an offspeed pitch was really a changeup, curveball, or a slider? If he can't tell the difference between these pitches when they are thrown (especially with the velocity gun), then he needs to do some more damn prep work and know what each pitcher throws and be able to visually identify. It really makes him look like amateur hour.

I never thought I'd write this sentence, but That Dude really nailed it up there. Jimmy Rollins has a hip-hop style that most people have no problem with. But to call him "lazy", "hot-dogging" and having an "attitude" betrays an inability to separate your preconceptions about hip-hop culture from the reality on the field.

It's kind of sad if you can't appreciate the way the plays the game and helps the team!

Same Jimmy Rollins who was the only USA baseball player to be selected to the ALL WORLD team a 4 weeks ago....

RELAX....he's going to hit, give him a hot minute. Jimmy turns it on when it matters and when the game is on the line, he's the guy I want up at the plate.

He hustles, has the best glove in the league for his position, and is a team leader. He's also a main reason why we have a World Championship.

Schadenfreude update on the Mets:

Jerry Manuel is reportedly considering dropping "Bad" Ollie Perez from the rotation. This from the NY tabloids.
I wonder how it can be checked, but it seems to me the creative folks who post on this site come up with terminolgy that eventually gets copied by the beat writers and columnists.

I don't remember anyone in NY referring to "Good" or "Bad" Ollie before. AAMOF, I believe the good/bad terminology was applied to none other than Brett Myers, though I think the Jekyll/Hyde reference was used first - HERE.

It seems to me, anyway, that BeerLeaguer terminology is making it's way into the mainstream. If that's the case, then that means the beat writers definitely read this site, or people that come here visit their sites and post there as well.

Am I wrong?

AWH - And human trafficking and stock fraud.

I guess I'm slipping.

MacT - Incidentally, I'm just joking around a bit. Everyone has players they like and those they don't. I like the presented personalities of the vast majority of the guys on the team this year. But the real difficulty with standing or not standing any of the players "as human beings" is that we don't really know them. We know some of their attributes, but only to a limited degree.

Win Values, last 3 years 06-08

Rollins: 5.0, 6.7, 5.3

Halladay: 5.7, 5.8, 7.6

Peavy: 4.0, 6.2, 2.8

AWH: The relevant question is: would the difference between Halladay and Park outweigh the overall difference between Rollins & his replacement?

Even if we assume that Rollins' WARP is the same as Roy Halladay, there's still quite a bit of missing information. Who would be replacing Rollins? If it's Bruntlett, he might only be a touch better than that hypothetical AAA player. If it's Donald, we really have no idea how he'd do on offense, and we don't know a great deal about his defense either. Then you have to ask: on offense, which Jimmy Rollins are we talking about? The 2004-2006 version? The 2008 version? Or perhaps, like many middle infielders, his 2008 season signaled the start of an early, and steady, decline? If Rollins hits .240-.310-.400 in 2009, then obviously his overall value would drop significantly, no matter how good his defense. And how long can we reasonably expect a soon-to-be-31 year old shortstop to keep playing Gold Glove caliber defense? These questions would all have to be answered in order to determine whether Rollins or an ace pitcher would be of more value to the Phillies.

Of course, the questions are all moot because any team that is bad enough to trade away an ace pitcher is going to demand nothing but low-priced prospects in return.

Since Win values are considered 'above replacement' then it'd be safe to assume that a back up shortstop for the phils would be 0 and the pitcher that the 'ace' replaces would be 0 as well.

I just used Halladay and Peavy since they are aces on the trading blocks - or least rumored. I still stand by my point that no team would trade a top rotation pitcher unless they were tryin to build for the future which makes this all nonsensical.

But i'm a such a nerd, so i still had to go look it uip, hah.

phaithful - JRoll is likely going to be a 4.0-4.5 win value this year. He isn't likely going to duplicate the power numbers again from '06 or '07 and his defense is likely to come back a bit to his more career norms.

JRoll is a very valuable player but if I could if you could get a frontline starter you are likely better off.

You to way it in context - Halladay/Peavy vs. Park and JRoll vs. Donald/Bruntlett

If JRoll hits .270-.280 this year with only 10-15 HRs, he isn't going to but up the kind of .SLG numbers he did in '07 or '08.

Why are people taking such extremes here? No player should be untradeable and if somebody were to offer me a deal for my 30-year old SS that included a frontline starter I controlled for the next 2 seasons at least, I would have to at least give it some serious consideration.

Re: Oliver Perez

Metsblog reports Perez will get his next scheduled start against the Phils.

I'm torn... if we rough him up, he's likely out of the rotation for awhile and they might get better. If he pitches well against us, they'll likely leave him in to suck for at least a few more starts.

Decisions, decisions...

"endearing stat-head Nate Silver kind of way). Franzke and LA are cool,"

- There is nothing cool about Nate Silver.
- Can anyone tell me what is so great about Larry Anderson? He sounds like a frickin funeral director.

phaithful, so, is what that is saying is that in a direct comparison, Peavy is not an upgrade from Rollins, and Halladay would have added 2.1 wins over the last three seasons?

Does it account for who the replacement/alternative would have been?

MG: Except all reasonable people know there is absolutely, positively no chance of someone offering a frontline starter under control for the next two years in exchange for J-Roll.

But, in great Beerleaguer fashion, we've spent a lot of time talking about it! :-)

If you look at JRoll's number so far they are pretty damning:

- His rate of LD is down bigtime and his rate of GBs is up
- He is swinging more (including at stuff out of the zone) and making less contact in the process
- His rate of BBs is really low too. Generally JRoll has generally found ways to get on base when he goes through his AVG slumps. Not this time.

JRoll will definitely hit more but if you look at his performance at the plates with the numbers and our own eyes (a bunch of really weak hit grounders too), he is really struggling at the plate at much as he has at any point in his career.

CJ, you crack me up.

How about this:

The Phils beat the Mets 4-3 in Ollie's start and he stays in and gets to suck for a few more starts?

That would be the best of both worlds,no?

Once again, I'm reading that he's not valuable enough to land an ace and that he's too valuable to trade for an ace in the same thread. Which is it?

The comment about race is absolutely absurd. I could understand if I was dying to package Howard and Rollins in a deal, but really. You're assumption is pretty far fetched that I could only want to trade a guy who insulted his fans and lacks hustle because of the color of his skin (particularly when you have no idea what my skin color might be).

I'll respond to BAP, since it's the closest thing to a conversation that anyone cared to respond with:

1. I'd wait until July to assess the need for the trade. If there is a serious injury to a SP, there is an immediate need. If Hamels or Moyer begin to decline into the season (due to pitch count and age respectively), there is an immediate need. If Park, Blanton and Myers suddenly have career years and Hamels and Moyer remain healthy, there is no need, and I'd wait until the off season to make a deal, if at all.

2. The salary bump is temporary. The money coming off the books in 2010 would go towards an effort to resign said ace.

3. Why would a non-contending team make such a deal? For all of those reasons you have described in defending J-Roll as untradable. Team leader. Former MVP. Reasonable salary. Under team control through 2011. Keystone to build around. Throw Kendrick into the mix and you have your "prospect" (if you can call him that).

4. Let me get this straight: in order to be a Phillies fan, you can criticize the front office and management every day of your life, and then invent the "Sir Alden trio" to mock those who try to find the reason behind an unpopular move (or play devil's advocate for such a move), but if you dare to offer criticism or dislike for the shortstop, your status as a fan is questionable? That's some pretty far fetched criteria for being a fan. I'm not a parole officer, so I don't really care about an arrest record", and I don't buy his status as a team leader when he was benched LAST SEASON (not 10 years ago) for laziness and who insulted the fans LAST SEASON (not 10 years ago). You make it out like this is ancient history when it hasn't even been a full year yet. He may be a well liked player in the clubhouse, but that's pretty darn far from being a "club leader". Thankfully, most of the roster hasn't followed his "lead".

As for the wife beating, I agree. I hope that they let Myers walk in free agency. If I thought for a minute that they could get anything of value for him, I'd hypothesize a trade involving him as well.

Let it not be said that Beerleaguers aren't a forgiving lot. Insult the fans? That's ok. It was 10 months ago. Beat your wife? That's ok...ancient history. At this point, I think Utley could sodomize the Phanatic during Seniors Stroll The Bases in May and it will have been forgotten by Independence Day.

The overwhelming childlike faith in Happ is touching. It doesn't seem to be grounded in reality, but that's besides the point. Small sample sizes are fine when elite members rely on them. As for our prospects, I hope that you're right and that the entire Phillies farm is ready for a pennant race a year from today, but I just don't see it happening. I'd sooner trade Rollins and keep Marson, Donald, Brown, Taylor, Drabek, Carrasco, Savery, etc, etc... If even one of them lives up to their potential, they represent a less expensive, longer term piece to a championship puzzle than Jimmy.

Your last statement pretty much contradicts everything you said in the past three threads in talking with me on this issue: "If Rollins had any chance of landing us that ace starter you talk about, then I'd be all ears in listening to any offers." Well, if we couldn't land an ace for him, I wouldn't advocate trading him. Like I said, I'm not in favor of trading him just for the sake of getting rid of him. It was a means to an end that I felt would be more beneficial both in the short and long term. If he were shopped around and such a deal could not be made, end of discussion, case closed.

Many of you have spent so much time arguing what each other are saying (17 games into the season, blah, blah, blah) that you've ignored what I actually said: IF we could land an ace (and maybe even a marginal shortstop or 3B) in a trade for Rollins and Kendrick/Happ, we would be in a better position to repeat as champions. Apparently, from your "all ears" quote, you agree (or at least agree enough to consider it), so your argument against me is a facade in order to fit in with the chorus.

Discuss a hypothetical trade and everyone has a conniption. Unbelievable.

That Dude: there's nothing 'great' about Andersen, but he's a solid color man. He can be cantankerous, but he balances humor with attention to the game and legitimate insight without sounding pedantic. And, probably most importantly, he comes off as a real person rather than Guy Smiley in the TV booth.

awh: thats assuming a 0 replacement level.

so if bruntlett was a negative , it'd be more of a loss. and if donald turned out to be a positive, than it'd be less of a loss.

same thing with the pitching: if halladay replaced Eaton who is most likely a negative, than his value would be greater, and so on.

Fangraphs has it all, click on Leaderboard and use the filters.

MG, Rollins "career norms" defense is GG calibre.

Why do you assume that he can't continue to play that well in the field?

Omar Vizquel played GG defense into his late 30's.

Are you saying JRoll can't?

Mac Tonight: If you are going to beat us up for being too forgiving, please tell us your feelings on Pete Rose, 1979-1983. He cheated on his wife, did a pretty good Vic Morrow in The Bad News Bears impersonation by slapping Jr. around for losing a ping pong game to his sister, etc., etc. Yet somehow I think that you'd not have been trying to run him out of town.

I like your trick above by saying that the rest of us wouldn't engage your argument. Aren't you the guy who also said that Sarge had no right to be an announcer?

dude r u on crack? Like I would actually quote an moron like Kanye West. Ur J roll comments stand on their own, which is to say, they dont.

MacT: You blame others for not listening...jesus, look at what you "think" people are saying to you.

First off, stop typing full pages. address a point or two with each post so you can keep up and not keep misremembernig what others are saying.

A team who wants to rebuild for the future will NOT want to trade for a shortstop signed through 2011, regardless of his leadership skills or salary(btw 8.5 to a small market team is not that great)

That is the only point I want you to address. Then later you can type another page for the other things you want to say, but lets slow down.

"Thing that really bothers me about McCarthy though isn't him trying to hard but his focus on things that are completely irrevelant to the game or even baseball at times for notable stretches of the game. This shouldn't happen on a TV broadcast."

MG, exactly!!!

He babbles on about things in the middle of a game when we want to watch and talk about baseball.

Maybe the Phillies will get smart and give Franzke more exposure. I really like the way he calls a game.

He, unlike McCarthy, seems to have learned about subtlety from being around Harry.

Sometimes I watch the Phils on TV, and McCarthy is babbling so much I have to mute the TV. He really is unbearable at times.

Mac: it's simple. Your proposal is strictly hypothetical and, as such, pointless. Rollins wouldn't get you an ace starting pitcher. Top-of-the-rotation pitchers are the most valuable commodity in baseball, and virtually no position player could be seen as equal value in a straight-up or primary component trade for one. Rollins is coming off a down season and has started this one badly, so it isn't nearly so simple as saying 'he's a former MVP!' The Phillies also have no viable candidate to replace Rollins at shortstop. Eric Bruntlett and Jason Donald are not viable options. The track record of Rollins' offensive ability is of far more value than what he's done in the first three weeks of this season.

There is simply no rational basis why the Phillies would be seeking to trade him, and therefore no use in even suggesting it.

Instead of getting so defensive, you would do well to question how much you really understand about the game. You want to call people who know they're stuff 'elite' but the fact is they have a stronger grasp of what they're talking about than you do.

MPN: I like Gary Matthews. Remember...I was mocked for agreeing with Sarge that Ibanez is a fine defensive LF and said that he ought to know more about the game than an ordinary fan on the internet.

That Dude: Post full words and I'll respond to your idiocy. Save the netspeak for text messaging other children.

Those who have brought up race or "hip hop culture" in this discussion should be ashamed of themselves. I said nothing whatsoever about his style of dress and/or music. Frankly, I don't care if he wears a viking helmet and sings Nordic opera on South Street.

The comments to this entry are closed.

EST. 2005

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