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Friday, April 17, 2009

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Lack of a bullpen, bad defense, and young(although good) starters will be the eventual death by the end of the year for a team loaded with raw talent.

Although if the Marlins FO take their 'one and done' mentality this summer while they're still near the top of the standings and go out and splurge on veteran rent a players to fill their needs, than Floria could be the real deal.

Also, at no point should we note the improvement of the Nationals just because the phils are playing like dogshit.

OMG we are 4-4 trade Rollins he is obviously washed up! Rebuilding year for sure!!!

Zimmerman, a healthy Nic Johnson, Adam Dunn and Elijah Dukes looked like an improvement to me.

Alright, I'll bite and offer some reasons why the Marlins aren't as good as they seem:

1) Young pitching, while being their best attribute, and very dangerous, is still young pitching. If a couple arms get hurt, they don't have any depth in the rotation; replacing Johnson or Nolasco for any bit of time would seriously hinder their chances.

2) Their big hitters, other than the incomparable Hanley Ramirez, are streaky power hitters prone to strikeouts. Ask any Phils fan what that can be like for months at a time. I'm thinking of Uggla, Cantu, and Hermida here.

3) Bonafacio sucks. Seriously. He could barely crack a .340 OBP in the minors. If they continue to bat him leadoff, he will hurt the offense, not help it.

4) Bullpen. Clearly their weak link. If you keep the game close, you can score runs late in the game.

All that said, of course I'm worried about that team. They have talent, youth, and great starting pitching. Dangerous combo.

JW: Agreed that the Nats offense is very improved. In fact, I'm confident it will be above league-average. Their pitching, however, is atrocious (last night notwithstanding).

Yea they have come out of the gate firing. They have been playing in warm weather so that helps I suppose. We are 4-4 and people are smashing on the panic button. I still can't get over the suggestion of trading Rollins. I actually think its ludicrous. Don't even try to tell me Donald can step in and play SS everyday for the Phillies.

Dunn is a huge improvement to that lineup, but he has no protection (Unicorns are more easy to believe in than a healthy Nick Johnson) and should never be given the chance to hurt you. Challenging him in that lineup is absurd. Guzman looks like he has really came along over the past season and early on in 09 - hamstring aside - but other than that I can't see how they're improved. Anyone who lets them hold onto the same lead for more than a few innings is obviously getting themselves out.

Intimidating? Man, we won the World Series last year, nobody intimidates the phightin' phils!

Many of the Phillies everyday players had career years in 1993 ... The Phils came nowhere near close to repeating their '93 performance in 1994.

Could the same be said of our rotation last year? On paper a rotation strung together with the likes of Myers (who was sent to the minors), Blanton, and Moses (I mean, Moyer) isn't a World Series rotation ... but they were. But can they repeat? I hope, but I'm not confident.

Marlins did have both an 8-1 stretch last season and a 9-0 streak last season (and both included series with the Nats, just as their start this year has).

But I'm fine if they have to adopt the 'team to beat' mantle early on.

With the Nationals and Pirates next on their schedule, the Marlins could easily be 13-2 or 12-3 when they return home April 24 to open the series against the Phils.

@chris -- that 1993 had career years after being a last place team the year before. It was lightning in a bottle that season. The stars aligned.

There is NO comparison to this team, who won the division the year before and danced with the Wild Card race the previous few years.

They are one of the league elite teams. It's very hard to repeat in general. But with all the distractions the season has opened with and the terrible starting pitching, the Phils are 4 and 4. That tells you a lot about the make up of this team.

They will be fine.

Well, 2 years ago the Phillies owned the Mets. Last year it was the Braves.

I'd be OK if they decided they were finally able to own the Marlins...;-)

Random factoid...

The Angels record since Nick Adenhart was killed by a drunk driver, just hours after pitching 6 shutout innings, is 3-3.

Oh goody! People want to trade Rollins again. Mac Tonight- I will give you this, you’re idea of what to get back for him is certainly better than the clown who wanted to trade Rollins for David Eckstein last year.

But to be fair: here’s why I think it’s a bad idea. We do not have anyone in the minors who is ready to come up right now and be a productive major league shortstop. Donald could handle the offensive end most likely but scouts are almost unanimous in his lack of defensive skill. Shortstop is arguably the 2nd most important defensive position in the game so you can’t really afford to take a big hit there. Offensively you could take a hit, but not defensively, and that is precisely where you would take the hit in a switch from Rollins to Donald.

If we had somebody like Alcides Escobar or Elvis Andrus (or fill in whatever top shortstop prospect you can think of) in Triple A than by all means explore the possibility of moving Rollins for pitching or third base help. I would be all for it in that instance because we have a guy who can move to the leadoff spot and fill in there. Until we have someone though (and Donald is not that guy) who can give us 90-95% of Rollins- on both sides of the coin- it’s a really bad idea. Right now you have a top 3 shortstop in baseball it’s foolish to rush him out the door when you have no back-up plan. That’s how teams go from contenders to battling for mediocrity real quick.

There have simply been too many distractions for this team so far this April, and I do think that's been playing a big role in the mediocre play.

Quoth Cholly: “We’ve had a lot of stuff going on here in the first part of the season. I want to see us get all that behind us and start playing baseball. I know there are (championship) ceremonies that linger in the early part of the season, and Harry passing away, that definitely plays a part on our team because he was one of us. But once we get this stuff behind us and get settled in, we’ll be OK.”

Maybe the Yankees have been distracted by their shiny new stadium & the obnoxious contracts they have with several of their players.

Maybe they should have put Swisher back on the mound last night...

Sorry about the off topic Yankee crap. I'm enjoying their suffering.

Anyone holding a bat is intimidating to our laughingstock of a pitching staff right now. I know we won't be this bad all season, but it's very alarming in the early going.

Marlins main offensive numbers the past three years:

R BB SB HR AVG OBP SLG
770 543 76 208 .254 .326 .433 (2008)
790 521 105 201 .267 .336 .448 (2007)
758 497 110 182 .264 .331 .435 (2006)

Reality is that Fish really didn't make up for the offense loss last year of Cabrera in the middle of the that lineup. Less runs, lower AVG, OBP, and SLG because they missed Miggy's bat.

They did reply more upon the HR to keep their runs scored in the upper 1/3 of the NL (5th last year).

Now they traded away Jacobs and his 32 HRs and moved Cantu to 3B. Issue is that by using Bonifacio and Helms at 3B, you aren't likely to get more than 10 HRs this year. Huge power drop off from Cantu. Unless Baker really becomes a dominant HR hitter, I am willing to bet the Fish hit 25-30 HRs less this season. That is a notable decline in power.

Really the Fish are a team that will probably have a notable decline in power and is stacked with a ton of hitters (Hermida, Ross, Maybin, Cantu, Carroll, Bonifacio) who are also low OBP guys too. Additionally there isn't a ton of speed in this lineup either to play small ball to manufacture runs either.

Main reason the Fish are scoring so many runs is that they are hitting .282 as a team. That clearly wasn't last especially the high averages Bonifacio and Cantu. In fact, they will likely be lucky to hit much better than .255 or .256 as a team this year.

Basically what I am saying is that the Fish aren't a team with a bunch of high OBP/AVG guys, likely will have a decline in power, and aren't the kind of team that has enough speed/quality hitters to consistently manufacture runs either.

It adds up to an offense that likely will finish in the middle of the pack in the NL in runs scored. Combine that with horrendous defense and a shaky bullpen, the Fish will need some historically great starting pitching to win the NL East including likely having the Cy Young in their rotation.

Last point - Fish are paper thin too and don't have a stacked system in year past. Braves have a potential difference maker in a guy like Hudson. Don't see that guy lurking in the Fish' farm system in the 2nd half.

doubleh - Yeah I heard that comment too from Cholly. Sounds more like an excuse though because the reality is that for the 4th straight year in a row this team hasn't played well at all the first 1st week or so of the season.

Whatever Cholly does do, it really hasn't been sufficient because this team has generally been pretty pitiful (12-22) during the 1st week of the season during his tenure.

One positive thing right now the Phils are tied for 12th in the NL in HRs (8) and have are dead last in the league having surrendered HRs (20). Neither will last.

MG: "Additionally there isn't a ton of speed in this lineup either to play small ball to manufacture runs either."

Cameron Maybin, meet MG. MG, say hello to Cameron Maybin.

P.S. Besides the speed and bunting ability, Maybin's minor league career OB is .389.

Devil's advocate - Said it last year and said it again this year in particular but the Phils should always be at least willing to listen to trade offers for JRoll.

Without the elevated power numbers of '06 and '07, JRoll is much more of a league average SS. Yeah he is still a good SB threat and very solid in the field. Reality is though is that JRoll depends greatly upon his legs/speed to make his game work.

Like a PG in basketball though who has played a bunch of minutes early in his career, SS in MLB who are 30 and up can get old real quick.

It would be foolish for the Phils to trade JRoll for prospects given that they have constructed their team/payroll to try and win again this year but I would still be willing to listen especially if I could get MLB talent to fill in other holes in my team that are likely going to emerge this season.

BTW, I agree with everyone who says Bonifacio sucks. But if 3/5ths of their rotation pitches to their potential and Maybin produces 75% of what he's capable of, Bonifacio will be irrelevant and so will the questionable bullpen.

Fish have three speed guys in their lineup - Bonafacio, Maybin, and Ramirez. Given Ramirez various ailments, I would be surprised if he runs quite as much this year unless the Fish are really struggling to score runs.

As for Bonafacio, it looks like reality is already starting to keep back in for him and I would be surprised if Maybin gets on enough this year to really take advantage of his speed all that much. You really think Maybin will hit better than .250-.260 this year or that his OBP will be than say .330 or so?

Mac- don't feel alone in your exploration of a Rollins trade. i also subscribe to the philosophy that no player should be labeled untouchable, but Truth and several other posters bring up excellent points against the sagacity of trading Rollins... we don't have a capable defensive replacement for him... and we would lose his influence in our incredible clubhouse chemistry, which IMHO was the difference between us and the Mets in 2007 and was also significant in 2008 but, let's face it, the Mets just couldn't pitch in 2008, so that helped too... i watch more Mets games than I get to Phillies because i'm stuck here in Brooklyn and i can tell you exactly what's wrong with that club. they've got no guts. Rollins and his brand of (admittedly fallible) leadership and team camaraderie make me proud to be a fan of these Phillies.

besides that, i think it's ludicrous you proposed bringing Rolen back to town in a Rollins trade. if you're going to trade Rollins then there's got to be something in it for the Phils. Rolen, at this point in his career, is a stop gap measure at third. he's not an improvement over Feliz offensively anymore and he likely only has another year left in him. he'd be David Bell all over again. and we'd likely have to bring Abe Nunez back... sigh.

Clout - Guess we disagree on Maybin. Jump from AA to regular MLB is really tough at his age and every scout/reporter says that a guy with decent offspeed stuff who can locate consistently can handle him right now. Just don't want to get behind him and throw in a fastball (especially middle-in).

MG: While it may be an excuse, I believe it is a somewhat valid one, considering these guys are only human and yo-yoing from the ecstasy of a Ring Ceremony and various other "We're so awesome" pat-on-the-back celebrations to the sheer agony of losing an integral cog in the Phils family...and all the ceremonies that will now surround that...well, you'd have to be made of stone to not let any of it affect you.

Yes, they always play like crap in April, but the fact that they are and still managed to get to .500 amidst all these distractions...well, I guess I'll take it.

While we're ruminating on small samples, The Marlins pen was very effective in their sweep of the Braves. 9.2 IP, 0 ER, .543 WHIP, 8 SO. Don't know how sustainable it is, but if their pitchers continue to average around 6 IP/start their pen shouldn't be too much trouble.

MG: Hard to predict what a 22-year-old will do at the major league level and Maybin strikes out a ton for a guy with only medium power, but I think he will be a big star. The only question is when.

JRoll's "chemistry" and "leadership" are generally vastly overrated. This team strikes me as one that is largely without a dominant vocal personality leader in the clubhouse including JRoll. As for leadership, JRoll strikes me as a guy who is liked by his teammates but can be a bit selfish/prickly at times too.

Cholly had to bench him twice just last season and this is a guy who has generally refused to come out of the leadoff spot regardless of his performance.

If the Phils could trade JRoll for a true frontline starter who they could control for at least the next 2 years, I would make that deal in a heartbeat.

MG: "If the Phils could trade JRoll for a true frontline starter who they could control for at least the next 2 years, I would make that deal in a heartbeat."

And your shortstop would be...?

No matter how much you believe in the Marlins, it's a fun time of year to pay attention to teams other than the major market clubs. Every season has its Padres, Mariners, Marlins, Blue Jays ... teams that start hot and make you pay attention, at least for a little while.

Donald. Strictly theoretical talk because no team is going to trade a frontline starter at the beginning of the season. Logic is simply this - not sure how Hamels is going to do over the course of this season and another frontline starter would allow the Phils to put Park in the pen.

Basically the ugprade from a frontline starter form Park would offset the decline from JRoll to Donald especially if JRoll is back to more of the form where he hits .280 with 10-15 HRs each year.

JW - Actually the WC generally makes most fans pay attention deep into the summer and usually until at mid Sept or so. Baseball purists (and sport writers) hated the idea but the WC is arguably the best thing that Selig did for baseball for his tenure as commissioner.

Steve Jeltz:
There's no secret handshake (to join the "beerleaguer elite") but you need to know all the songs on this album.

In a running theme this year time for Ibanez vs. Burrell:

Burrell (10 G)
.212/.308/.364 with 1 HR and 3 RBI

Ibanez (8 G)
.303/.343/.667 with 3 HR and 7 RBI

Ibanez has been as good as advertised at the plate and then some. Burrell has struggled in the DH role.

Two thumbs up for Ibanez so far.

Mac: No one is untouchable and this is even more true for guys who are 30 or older. But if you propose that the Phillies trade Rollins, and you expect people to treat your post seriously, write that post when he's in the middle of a hot streak, or when he's hitting .285, or in the off-season. If you write it when he's hitting .111 after 8 games, you are opening yourself up to ridicule, since just about every player in baseball will endure a similar 8-game stretch this season.

Keeping the team together was Amaro's goal in the off-season. He won't just trade of JRoll early on. If we're totally out of it by mid-season though, it's a possibility...

Of the early surprises, I actually think the Padres may have the best chance to make some noise this season. Last year was a mess, but they have generally been mainstays near the top of the NL West for the last 5 or 6 years. If Young is healthy again this year, as he appears to be, then they have two excellent starters at the top of their rotation. Adrian Gonzalez is one of the more underrated players in baseball, Giles & Gerut are solid players, & I still think Kouzmanoff may break out and become the star he was supposed to be when he came up from the minors.

Their lineup is not the greatest, and they have some serious question marks as their 3-4-5 starters and in the back of their bullpen. But they're playing in a very weak division. If a few things bounce right, I could easily see them in the thick of the NL West race all year and conceivably even winning it.

@MG - For the Ibanez vs. Burrell comparison, can we get the defensive stats too?

Even though I am a PtB fan, you can't argue that decision by Amaro.

I was wondering how MG would work in a backwards dig towards Hamels and sure enough there it was.

The constant talking about Rollins benching last year is really old too. One of the two times we have a clearly defined reason as to why he was benched. The second one seemed more a closed door type thing, and Rollins seemed to fall in line after that incident. Maybe the “leadership” of Rollins is overrated, but so is the belief that he is a troublemaker of any sort.

Like I said, and clout seemed to agree with, there is no shortstop ready to come up and give you anything close to what Rollins does on both sides of the ball. Donald is not that guy and until we have that guy it’s short-sighted to trade JRoll.

RT: Totally out of it by mid-season? How likely is that scenario? In 2006, we were 9 games under .500 on July 25 and we came back to briefly take over the lead in the WC chase. Same thing with the Astros last year, who were 9 games under .500 on 7-23, but ended up right in the thick of the WC chase. It's pretty far-fetched to imagine that the Phillie are going to be so far out of the division or WC race in late July that they would consider being trade deadline sellers.

Cantu is an upgrade at 1b over Jacobs defensively. Ditto for Bonafacio over Cantu at 3b. Ramirez is not a finished product at SS and improving, so their defense should be better this year. So far, they've committed half the errors of their opponents. Their only glaring weakness is their bullpen.

"@MG - For the Ibanez vs. Burrell comparison, can we get the defensive stats too?"

DH's typically don't have defensive stats.

MG: "Basically the ugprade from a frontline starter form Park would offset the decline from JRoll to Donald especially if JRoll is back to more of the form where he hits .280 with 10-15 HRs each year."

That statement has no basis in reality. You do understand the defensive importance of shortstop, right?

I would sort of compare this year's Marlins to last year's Rays. I haven't at all given this much thought, but the only huge difference I see between the two teams is relief pitching, although Florida's bullpen isn't out-and-out terrible by any means. All the criticisms offered of the Marlins could have just as easily been said about last year's Rays - young starting pitching, strikeout-prone hitters (particularly Pena), not a ton of power. I suppose Tampa was better defensively. At any rate, Florida can certainly contend for the wild card.

Clout: Agree that Maybin is going to be a star. But I don't think he will be this year. His contact issues mean that Major League pitchers will attack him with offspeed stuff, and until he shows he can handle it, those walks that he got in the minors won't come as easy up here.

And I disagree that if 3/5 of their rotation pitches well and Maybin plays well, Bonafacio and the bullpen won't matter. Ask the Mets or Cardinals from last year how a crappy bullpen can derail a season. Ask the Twins how having Carlos Gomez at the top of their lineup last year was. Those were all contenders whose fatal flaws were a bad bullpen or OBP issues at the top of the lineup. It is entirely possible that that one of those two, if not both, come back and bite the Marlins.

"For the Ibanez vs. Burrell comparison, can we get the defensive stats too?"

Small sample sizes in offensive stats are bad enough, but now we want small sample sizes in defense metrics? The right 8 games of defensive stats could make Bruntlett a better SS than Ozzie Smith.

But continuing on anyway, did anyone else notice Ibanez was only a few feet away from that HR in the 7th inning? No he didnt catch it and no it won't happen often enough to matter, but knowing that a ball to LF that should be a hit has at least the slightest of chances of being recorded as an out makes me feel a bit better with Ibanez out in LF.

Sorry this is basically a repost, but below is my area's schedule for Extra Innings. The Phils aren't on it tonight. I am baffled. Is it really not showing? I have Comcast. Anyone else have the same thing?

http://www.indemand.com/sports/mlb/

JW: Is beerleaguer dropping anything off at the Kalas memorial near the Schmidt statue?

I'm heading down to Chickie and Pete's for the flyers game tonight and was going to throw in a rally towel after scribbling down a few thanks and prayers.

Tray - Two huge differences between Rays and Marlins (among others): defense and the pen.

TK - I'm in the same situation. Luckily (or unluckily), I was automatically renewed for MLB.TV, so I can switch on the game on the laptop while watching the Flyers. One place where DirectTV is superior to cable (as far as I know) is that the former package gives you every game. I've been disappointed in how few games come in HD as well.

Its funny to see you cable users complain about missing a game. I have DirectTV and somehow get the baltimore feed, so phils are blocked out a lot for me here in North DE.

DirecTV finally wins one!

I think it bears repeating that my proposed Rollins trade is for the 2009-2010 off season. At the very earliest, it would be if the Phillies find themselves a distant third or fourth at the trading deadline.

It is also contingent upon Donald's continued development as a serviceable shortstop at the major league level. I wouldn't trade Rollins in the months of April - June, or at all in the 2009 season unless we are so far out of first at the deadline that a wild card seems out of reach.

A lot of words have been put in my mouth on this matter. I do not believe that Rollins is "washed up" and this has ***NOTHING*** to do with the first 8 games of the 2009 season. I feel Rollins will continue to deliver average production at the plate, above average speed.

Albert's mocking that this has something to do with a 4-4 start and that I feel that this is a "rebuilding year" is ridiculous. I simply believe that the Phillies should not live in a 2009 vacuum and that now is the time to start thinking about addressing the issues that this club will face. I feel that trading Rollins is the key to keeping most of the '08 team intact while addressing the needs that will allow this team to avoid becoming the NL East Cardinals.

My reasons for this belief are as follows:

1. I believe that Rollins had a career year in 2007 and he is very unlikely to replicate it.

2. I believe that the lineup is not balanced enough to manufacture enough runs to counterbalance what our rotation will give up this season.

3. I believe that with Moyer's advancing age, the upcoming free agency of Myers and Blanton, the unpredictability of Park, Happ and Kendrick and the potential injury concern for Hamels (considering the # of innings he logged in '08), the Phillies need to address the 2010 rotation.

4. With the relatively thin crop of free agents and few teams willing to part with a pitcher that might truly make a difference, I feel that #3 should be addressed sooner rather than later.

5. Pedro Feliz would be an excellent late inning defensive replacement, but he represents (with Ruiz and the pitcher) a very sizable hole in the lineup. I would rather have two .260 - .275 hitters in the lineup than a lukewarm Rollins and a cold Feliz.

6. I believe that Victorino has the ability to develop into a productive leadoff hitter in seasons to come.

7. While Donald would most definitely represent a defensive downgrade even in the best case scenario, I believe the offensive and pitching upgrade would more than make up for what we are losing. ie: as much as I've beaten the drum for Park, I think that a Halladay on the mound would save you more runs than a Donald as SS would cost you (not to mention the increased scoring potential).

8. (and this is the least important of the list, and just a personal opinion) While I respect his abilities as an athlete, I do not feel that Jimmy Rollins is a "leader". The old adage of "How Jimmy goes is how the Phillies go" is pretty silly considering we won the World Series despite his poor regular season and abysmal post season. Defensive issues aside, I feel that the Phillies won in 2008 despite Jimmy Rollins, not because of him. He was benched on more than one occasion, showed a lack of hustle on more than one occasion, and generally hasn't been the same since his stint on the DL. I feel that the Phillies already have a better leadoff hitter in Victorino, if an opportunity becomes available at this stage in his development.

FYI to all those who can't get the game tonight and live in Philly/have Fios (like me):
Tomorrow's tribute will air on Comcast SportsNet beginning at noon and air again at 10 p.m. CSN also will replay tonight's game with the pregame tribute at 3 p.m. tomorrow.

Truth - Hamels was the No. 1 reason this team won the World Series last year and made the kind of run they did in the playoffs.

When have I ever been a Hamels' basher?

Clout - Since you are supposedly a numbers' guy lets use this rundown.

Rollins likely had the best defensive season of his career last year. It was 12.8 runs above replacement level for SS last year. Let's say he falls a bit back this year to his previous two years to say around 8.0 runs. Very good but not elite.

If JRoll produces offensively like '06 and '08 he is likely around a 5.0 wins above replacement level player. If Donald were able to hit at above average levels offensively at SS (which isn't hard to believe), he likely would be a 2.0-2.5 wins player above replacement level.

So basically the Phils lose about 2.0-2.5 wins.

No contrast this between the difference of Park and a frontline starter. Most starters who threw 180 IP last year were at least 3.0 wins above average. Moyer was 2.6 wins above replacement level. Blanton was 2.3 and Myers was 2.1. None of these guys were even in the Top 40. (Hamels was the highest at 21 with 4.6).

Given that Park (or whoever replaces him in the rotation) might not even be above a replacement level starter. The Phils would likely improve by at least 3.0 wins above replacement level and likely more if they really did get a frontline starter.

So yes I do think that trading JRoll for a frontline starter would make sense given that the Phils do have Donald and would experience a huge lift in their starting pitcher (and their bullpen if Park was moved back).

Mac - I would generally agree with most of what you are saying except the part about JRoll having a poor season last year. He was excellent in the field and still had a decent offensive year. It was just felt disappointing given what he did in '07.

Phils should always be open to change and that includes listening to deal on just about one including a 30-year old SS.

I take solace in knowing that the Phillies WON'T trade Rollins. So say what you will, its all meaningless banter.

Question: Does Jimmy have a no trade in his contract?

Guys, guys, guys.... calm down.

1.) Jimmy Rollins is in no sense of the word a "league average shortstop," whether he ever replicates 2007 again or not. He's a notoriously slow starter, and there's no reason to panic about him. His stats dipped last year because he had a high ankle sprain, which really takes months to get over. He'll be fine. He'll give us 20 HR's and 40 SB's. Oh yeah, and a gold glove.

2.) I totally agree with all the critiques of the Marlins. Maybin WILL be good, someday. He's a rookie, let's not treat him like he's their next big star. There will be growing pains. They will miss both Jacobs and Willingham's power. Bullpens matter, even on teams with great offensive line ups and starting pitching. Their bullpen is garbage. Also, last I checked, none of the Marlins starters have ever put together full seasons like this. I am fairly confident that Hamels and Myers will do what they are capable in time, and that Blanton should be solid. I'm a little iffy on Moyer yet, but he'll probably prove me wrong.

3.) Look, our pitching will get straight one way or the other. Happ is just waiting to show last year wasn't a fluke, Kendrick is throwing really well for Lehigh Valley, and Carrasco is blowing people away there. Couple that with guys like Savery and Drabek coming out fairly decent, and we have lots of reasons to feel fine. Don't forget guys like Worley, Stutes, and Knapp who we drafted last year who are impressing everyone. We wouldn't have to trade a Jimmy Rollins to get an upgrade to the rotation.

4.) On a negative note, with the fact that Hewitt isn't even in A ball yet, why aren't we playing Donald at third in Lehigh Valley?

5.) On prospects, Lou Marson keeps hitting like last night, he's going to be sticking around a while.

We should actually just trade Utley too. Donald can learn second base, or Ozuna can fill in because he is scorching hot in the minors?

Sorry for all my sarcasm but I get a little sensitive when it comes to one of my favorite players.

I agree that no player should be labeled as untouchable in terms of trades, but Jimmy does not need to be moved. There are a lot of negatives that would ensue if we moved him.

MG: A lot of "ifs" in your analysis, most of them a stretch. You'd be replacing the best defensive SS in the NL with the worst. And, even if he hits, Donald doesn't have J Roll's power. You'd get a boost in your pitching 1 of every 5 days and a lot of hits that would've been outs every day.

MG: You've been taking every opportunity to take little digs at Hamels. First it was injury related. Now you're questioning his ability to have a another season like last year. It's getting old.

Also, you and Mac are way undervaluing the defense Rollins brings to the table. Donald is not even close to him in that category.

And you're also ignoring the 35-40 stolen bases a year we'd be subtracting from our line-up. Maybe we can get an extra pitcher win to offset that too?

Trading Rollins for pitching in theory isn't a bad idea. It is a bad idea though when you don't have someone ready to step in and give you 90-95% of Rollins production on both sides of the ball.

Clout = dead on.

Clout - JRoll's power in '06 and '07 are what are likely his statistical high. He looks more like a guy who will hit 12-15 HRs this season. Ditto for AVG where JRoll looks like a .270-.280 guy.

As for his defense, I doubt he matches the level he played at again either last year. Just as '07 was likely JRoll's career offensive year, '08 was likely his career defense year. So he is likely at best around a 5.0 wins above replacement level player. Maybe even less if the defense slips back to what he did prior to last year and he hits again like he did last year.

As for a frontline starter, you are completely ignoring the impact of what a frontline starter does in several capacities. Not only would he replace Park in the rotation (a guy who was out of MLB in '07 and didn't pitch that well outside of Chavez Ravine last year) but it would means less innings for the likes of subpar middle relievers like Condrey and Taschner, and Phils likely would get a bump in their middle relief if Park is more effective than the likes of Condrey, Taschner, or Durbin.

Another sarcastic, unproductive addition to the conversation by Albert. Surprise, surprise.

I get that you really like J-Roll, but you've added nothing to this discussion except pointless mocking insults.

Please state your side of the argument like an adult.

As for "knowing" that they won't trade Rollins, ask the Bobby Abreu fans who KNEW he wouldn't be traded or the Pat Burrell fans who KNEW he would be offered arbitration or resigned. Going back, ask the Kruk and Daulton fans of yesteryear how they KNEW they would retire with the Fightin's. No one is untouchable. All things considered, J-Roll is perhaps the most valuable and tradeable part of their lineup.

-----

Clout: I don't think J-Roll has J-Roll's 2007 power.

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Rich: If the Phillies can land Halladay or another topline starter and/or an offensive upgrade at 3B using Happ, Kendrick, Carasco and Donald as their trading chips, I'm all for it. I don't see that happening though.

To answer your #4, the only reasons I can see to continue to develop Donald at SS is [A] because it will better showcase his abilities to make him a more valuable trading chip or [B] because they envision him as a post-Rollins Philadelphia shortstop. If not for one of those two reasons, I can't imagine what the reason could be.

Saw those Halladay talks before and laughed. People were acting like the Phils should turn down the Jays if they were willing to take a pu-pu platter of Happ, Carrasco, and Donald for Halladay.

If that is what Amaro would offer Riccardi, he would either laugh or say call back when you have a more serious offer.

Mac,

I don't believe they will land Halladay or Peavy with anything they have. To start with, they'd put Happ in, probably Carrasco too. That's before you even really start negotiating. You like have to part with one of Brown, Donald, D'Arnaud, and either Drabek or Savery. I see no chance of the Phillies being willing to do that for a rental piece, knowing this team. See, I don't think they'll see it as worth it. For starters, I think J-Roll's 2009 will be in between 2007 and 2008, closer to 2007 (he's healthy), and this team will score more runs than 2008, allowing them to get away with a reasonable decline from Moyer, and still win 93-96 games, which will get them in. They still have a great bullpen that will improve with Romero's return. They still have Hamels, Myers, and Blanton, who all should be fine. Next year, the only guys under contract in the rotation are Hamels and Moyer, meaning they likely will have to sign back either Myers or Blanton, leaving two slots for competition between Happ, Carrasco, Savery, and Drabek.I think the Phillies feel like they can be a playoff team with what they have, and that their pitching should only improve as some of their higher talent arms reach the big leagues.

I agree with you on Donald, I'm just kind of puzzled by the thought process that they undergo sometimes. If this guy can hit like it looks, turning him into a third baseman could wildly improve this line up.

MG: Your analysis assumes Donald is replacement level defensively at shortstop.

We just won the World Series with the help of one of the best defensive shortstops in the majors, who also hits better than an average player AT ANY POSITION. We have him signed for this and the two following seasons at WELL below market level on a team that is structured to win in the next few years, and we want to gamble throwing that cog away and take a shot with a complete unproven as our everyday shortstop. Thank God none of you are our GM.
And I guess I'm one of the few fans here that doesn't fall into the baseball as pure math problem way of looking at things. Don't get me wrong, I don't get overly emotionally attached to players and am in favor of using statistical analysis to help make clear upgrades where possible... but geez, we just won the World Series and some would be in favor of splitting up our homegrown nucleus on the basis that it may give us a very marginal upgrade. Does no one else want to see us try and defend the title first? Isn't that part of the fun?

MG,

I think they'll be trading for a 3-4 type of starter later, if anything. They can't land Halladay or Peavy.

They CAN land Halladay or Peavy if they're willing to give up the pharm. I don't think they'll do that, but then again, I think ownership has new outlook on things now that they've won a WFC.

Bedrosian's Beard,

I'd agree, but they seem to clearly think Drabek is their next Hamels. I think in their minds, they need another Blanton-esque move later this year, and hey, I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Look Mac, I'm not targeting you here. You are just proposing trading a fan favorite for questionable reasons.

OK dad, allow me to state my argument like a knowledgeable "adult" Phillies fan. Ahem...

The 09 Phillies are not the 06 Phillies. We will not be trading Jroll for exactly the reasons stated by Clout and The Truth Injection. Would most fans not agree that the current construction of this team is built to win now, and for the next few years? Why should we trade one our greatest assets on and off the field, for a pitcher that may or may not be a good move for the Phillies? Obviously it would be very hard for Rollins to repeat his 07 offensive numbers, by why does everyone keep assuming he won't be able to reproduce his 08 defensive numbers? This is a statement that really is not grounded on much fact, when I truly believe Rollins can have a better defensive year.

Mac, stop referring to me as if I'm some troll from metsblog.com hassling you. You are proposing trading one of our best players for a very questionable reason. This team is a WS caliber team for the next few years, and as Jimmy is in the prime of his career I fail to see your logic, truthfully.

Also I think the Phillies could be major players for the likes of Peavy at the deadline. We have some legit prospects who I would most definitely trade (Donald, Carassco, Brown or Taylor). No need to trade AS caliber major league talent on a WS contending team if we don't need to.

I only said that b/c you said they "can't land___". Whether they want to or not is the issue. I think we should give their current staff a few more starts before full pitching panic mode sets in.

Rich - Agreed. If they do need a starter come the trading deadline, it will either be a homegrown candidate or a Blanton or Lohse type starter again.

Brian G - Yeah and dopey sentimentalism and being a homer with a rose-colored classes is usually a much worse recipe for disaster.

JRoll likely had his career offensive year in '07 and likely had his career defensive year in '08. I would be surprised if he matches either again. SS are like PG - they tend to wear down very quickly and their productivity after 30 tends to really fall off.

Doesn't mean that JRoll won't be a fairly productive player yet for the next few seasons but if you could get a frontline starter (Peavy or Holliday) who you could control for this year and next at least - you make that move in a heartbeat.

Haven't we just seen what a good pitching staff means to this team just last year and just how awful starting pitcher to start this year places all kind of difficulty and strain on the middle relief and the offense to change their approach?

Rich: I think Halladay is signed through 2011, but I may be wrong. Aside from that, I hope you're right.

I'm not really a trade-happy fan, but I fear that the divisions improvement has outpaced the Phillies nucleus. I think we can win without the best defensive shortstop in the league if it means adding a 15 - 20 game winner, upgrading the bullpen and adding two more productive right handed bats to the lineup.

In any event, I still believe that the time has come to groom Victorino to lead off. Assuming Rollins does have a year >2007 but < 2008, let him protect Howard in the lineup to break up the left handed trifecta.

MG: My sentimentalism isn't dopey, it's just a tiebreaker. And in the "trade Rollins" discussion it isn't even needed, as the empirical analysis shows the decision to trade him would clearly be "dopey".

The left handed trifecta has been broken up for must of the games this year, and I think it will stay that way mostly (Werth in the 5 hole). What would you like to see Mac?

Vici
Werth
Utley
Howard
Rollins
Ibanez?

Is that really so much better than

Rollins
Vici
Utley
Howard
Werth
Ibanez

???

An interesting point to note is that Rollins has never hit well outside the leadoff spot in the lineup. Consider that when talking about possible lineup mixups.

Albert: With all due respect, you just got done defending Rollins value on the club and his likelihood to replicate 2007 at the plate, and now you're arguing that he wouldn't be able to defend Howard in the lineup as good or better than Werth?

Shane strikes out less and hits for a higher avg while a productive Rollins might be more of a power threat.

My lineup would be

Vici
Ibanez
Utley
Howard
Rollins
Werth

sorry...

Vici
Werth
Utley
Howard
Rollins
Ibanez

Personally, I'd really be interested to see a lineup of:

Shane
Utley
Jimmy
Howard
Werth
Ibanez
Feliz
Marson
Pitcher

But I know it won't happen. And FWIW, I thought about putting Marson 7th instead of 8th, but with his OBP, I like his chances of being on base for Shane and Utley, rather than for Feliz and the pitcher.

As I noted, Rollins has never preformed well outside the leadoff spot. Hitting in the 5 hole could some what hamper his base stealing as well. I said that it would obviously be difficult for Rollins to reproduce his 2007 numbers; I do not think he will reach 30 HRs again.

Remember Phillip Humber, the third overall pick in the 2004 draft & one of those "hotshot" prospects the Mets traded away in the Santana deal? The Twins just designated him for assignment. Talk about a complete bust. I remember when the Mets were touting him as the next Tom Seaver -- just like Lastings Milledge was supposed to be the next Darryl Strawberry. Funny how, in these star-player for prospects trades, the team that gets the prospects almost always ends up on the short end. Unless, of course, the one getting the prospects is the Marlins.

Matt Smith...

bap: Or the Orioles in the Bedard deal. Or the Rays in the Kazmir-Zambrano deal.

Also, the reason the prospects end is usually the short end is because teams are trading stars out of a position of weakness. No one would trade a star player if they could afford to keep them. Teams don't WANT to trade stars, all other things being equal. But of course, things are not equal. So they trade stars for 70 cents on the dollar and hope they hit gold with a couple prospects.

You're right Jack. But for some reason a few people think trading Rollins is a good idea.

Albert - Rollins isn't going anywhere anytime soon. No team trade principal players in April.

The point was if this team could land a frontline starter along the likes of a Peavy or a Halladay and start Donald at SS vs. keeping JRoll at SS and keeping Park in the rotation, I am stunned at the people who think the Phils would actually be no longer (and actually worse) if this were the case.

I am also surprised by the extend of people who aren't willing to change the status quo even if it could likely improve the team.

Then again tons of research/work over the past 15-20 years shows that people consistently overvalue goods they possess and the willingness of others to purchase them and the tendency to hold on to an item because of the hope/belief that it will regain the former value it once had.

Well, if Rollins is on the downside of his career as some are suggesting here, why would any team trade us a valuable commodity like Peavy or Halladay for him?

Seems risky on their part, no?

doubleh - They wouldn't. It is a just an Internet argument that doesn't hold much ground.

JRoll is just in a funk right now that he tends to get in at least once every season for a few weeks.

"other posters bring up excellent points against the sagacity of trading Rollins... we don't have a capable defensive replacement for him."


Freddy Galvis meet MyersATB. MyersATB meet Freddy.

Myers, Galvis is already, according to some MLB scouts, better than a lot of MLB shortstops - IN THE FIELD.

The questions surrounding him are mainly whether he will ever be able to hit adquately enough to make it to the show.

For the purposes of this discussion I'd like to point out that Halladay is in a class above Peavy. We could get Peavy without completely gutting our farm system, Halladay not so much.

In more relevant news, did Marson earn himself another start tonight? I hope so.

I think the Marlins are a good solid team who will have an okay season. They may even be in the Wild Card mix this year. But I'm not sold on them regardless of their start.

Last year, the Royals started 6-2. Not amazing... but well enough that people thought they could be turning a corner. Then they lost 11 of their next 14. The Orioles started 6-1 and then went 2-6.

Lets see how their young pitching and hitting hold up as the year goes along... and their poor defense, as well!

CJ: Their defense is better this year as someone on the previous thread noted. Bonifacio is way better than Cantu at 3B and Cantu is better than Jacobs at 1B. Ross is better than Hermida in RF, Maybin is better than Ross in CF, Hermida is better than Willingham in LF.

CJ - Are all hot starts created equal? I'm thinking that many on here would be touting the Marlins regardless of their starts. They are a much, much better team on paper than the 07 Royals or the 07 O's.

You'd think after 16 years and two titles, people would stop underestimating the Marlins.

I, for one, wouldn't be surprised if they won the division.

But they're still cheap and don't have any fans. It's such a shame considering how much talent they crank out of there on a consistent basis.

Why don't we talk about tonight's game?

Chris R. Young is 2-0, and has looked very good by all accounts against the Dodgers (great lineup) and the Giants (not so much).

LAD: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 2 R, 5 SO, 97 pitches (66 strikes), 6-12 GB-FB
SFG: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 7 SO, 91 pitches (60 strikes), 7-11 GB-FB

His GB-FB career rate is much lower. Just from fangraphs, he's been relying on his slider much more in his first two starts than he did last year, and throwing his fastball far less.

Ibanez and Feliz have faced him the most, neither with much success

Ibanez: .227/.261/.273 (23 PA)
Feliz: .071/.071/.071 (14 PA)

Maybe a good night for Dobbs until

Dobbs: .125/.222/.125 (9 PA)

Utley has great numbers against him in limited appearances (8, a 1.250 OPS).

On Donald: Maybe the Phils are giving him a month or so to settle in with the bat/waiting for warmer weather before learning a new position. That would still give him plenty of time to prepare for 2010.

Feliz and Coste are playing, and lefties are 3,4,5 again due to SD having no LH relievers.

clout: That's fair. I still think they're weak up the middle. Uggla is a disaster and Ramirez is overrated, IMO. Maybin will make a huge difference in CF.

Sophist: Not all hot starts are created equal. But hot starts don't guarantee anything, either. Jason suggested they went from pesky to intimidating based on this start. I'd say that's overstating things just a bit.

Remember this? Perhaps b00b was onto something. Or at the very least, on something.

C: Baker >> Ruiz
1B: ??? (MacPherson?) <<<< Howard
2B: Uggla < Utley
3B: Cantu >> Feliz
SS: Ramirez >> Rollins
LF: Ross < Ibanez
CF: Maybin < Victorino
RF: Hermida > Werth
Bench
Marlins << Phillies (Dobbs, etc.)

Pitching:
Nolasco < Hamels
Johnson >> Myers
Volstad >> Blanton
Sanchez > Moyer
Miller >= Park/Kendrick

Lindstrom FLA Bullpen << Philly Bullpen (read: FLA bad, Philly average until Romero gets back)

If you tabulate all the <'s as a point each, FLA is way ahead based on the strength of their rotation.
You could argue that Ramirez is NOT 2>>'s better than Rollins, but offensively, I think he really is that much better. More speed, more power, more contact.

Posted by: b00b | Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 02:28 PM

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