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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

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Pedro Feliz is a popular BL topic no doubt. If someone could sit this man down and say to him, "Pedro, we get it, you can only hit a fastball. What you need to realize is that opposing pitchers understand that too, so try and work into a hitters count once i n awhile so that maybe, just maybe, you can get said fastball."

JW is right on here. If Feliz can continue to show he really can hit the fastball, all it should take is more patience from him to see more of them. Here is to hoping his success continues, cheers!

Still, nobody intimidates an opposing batter like Pete Happy. Ryan Braun was obviously visibly shaken at the plate (I noticed he started to run harder around 3rd because he knew he was in the land of Pedro... sorry bored at work).

That bomb by Braun yesterday looked like it was going to be one of those that requires a colored seat in the 2nd deck, i can't imagine if that was on a muggy August evening or if it wasn't off a 70mph changeup.

JW: Couldn't find a way to throw in that Pedro - went deep to the opposite field!?! That might be the only thing more spectactular than his 7BBs on the season already.

He has also scored 6 runs--remarkable after he crossed the plate only 43 times in 2008. Keep that bat on your shoulder, Pete!

pete is trying to get his option picked-up. it looks like this year he is taking what the pitcher is giving him.

Or he could just be having a good/lucky 12 game stretch... but here's to hoping.

Also, after last night we are 2-0 against lefties this year. At this point last year, we were 2-1.

Pirates complete the sweep of Florida today, winning 7-4.

maybe we have a shot after all, now that florida has moved on from all those games with the "natinals" to the MLB behemoth that is pittsburgh.

Mac Tonight on the last thread said that Pat's slow start was "Pat being Pat." Of course, Ibanez's unsustainably hot start is Ibanez being Ibanez. Both are extremely streaky hitters. In fact, if you look up Ibanez's cold months the past few seasons, they're worse than Burrell's. For instance, September '08 - .233/.292/.301, 1 HR. July '07 - .184/.241/.262, 0 HR. (The latter was followed by an 1.129 OPS August. Talk about streaky.)

Brian G - On Pedro
That's what I was thinking. The BBs are out of character, however, with his past hot streaks. So maybe this is something new.

The whole Burrell vs Ibanez thing will, of course, play out over time. I have to say I do like Ibanez' over all game though. Loved his baserunning last night. He really manufactured a run. That is somethhing PtB rarely did(ok never). And I know he's not exactly Ricky Henderson out there, but it was really sound fundamental baseball. So far it does look like balls to left field will be an adventure though. If he was only a righthanded hitter I could develop a man crush.

And on Florida, note that they're 11-4 without getting anything at all from Uggla, anything remotely close to expectations from Ramirez, anything from Ross, and anything from Ricky Nolasco. Which isn't to suggest that they've yet to play their best ball, record-wise, but it is a little disconcerting. The weird thing about them, statistically, is that they're 7th in baseball in runs, but they haven't really hit. As a team they bat .257, 21st in MLB, they're only 13th in home runs, 17th in OBP, 21st in OPS.

Btw, I also meant to commend JW on his use of alliteration in the header.

Hippo - Pirates very quickly have been getting very solid starting pitching (which they didn't last year year except from Malholm). Malholm has been dominant in the early going and everyone has been pitching better.

Likely doesn't last (especially with guys like Karstens) but it would be nice to see the Pirates be the surprise team of the year by finishing .500/break the losing season streak.

Ibanez already has as many steals as he did last year. He's had 4 since 2006.

Feliz has 2 2 walk games this year. Coming into this year, he had 14 games with 2 walks or more in his entire career. He's had 2 or 4 a year since 2004. In 2003 he had 1.

With a day game tomorrrow,this is usually when teams split catching duties. Do you think its more important to match each catcher's bat to the oppossing pitcher,or,in light of all the talk here about game-calling,to match the catcher to his own pitcher? Also,do you think Cholly & Co. actually discuss things like this and look at stats,or does he just go by his famous gut?

I won;t be looking for Ibanez to be burning up the basepaths. But its like bunting for a base hit. Catching the other team napping and taking advantage of it is one of my favorite things in baseball. And taking third last night on a ball that was only barely mishandled..well that's just alertness on the basepaths. No team can get enough of that.

Some other funny things about small samples

Feliz LD%

Career: 17.1
2004: 15.4
2005: 17.5
2006: 16.5
2007: 15.3
2008: 16.1
2009: 40.5

Tray: Your Ibanez-Burrell streak comparison is Sacrilege! You can expect the wrath of the Sir Alden Trio any moment now.

sophist: This is just a wild stab, but I'm leaning toward Feliz not having a 40.5 LD% at season's end.

My position on Marson: As long as Ruiz is out, he's your number one catcher. Let's see what he's got.

Jack - Love your running tally of 2009 record vs. LHP compared to 2008.

Big Boy Joe will go seven innings tonight, 3 ER.

clout: Agree 100%. No reason that Marson isn't, minimally, receiving 50% of the starts while Ruiz is out. Brian Thom will disagree, but whatever.

JW: I have the Ashburn DVD and it's great. It's 95 mins. but there is a bonus DVD of 3.5 hrs. Harry is all over both of these,making them even more memorable to me.

The Pirates actually have decent starting pitching. Mahlom is really good and looks to be getting better. If Duke and Snell can figure it out and guys like Karstens and Ohlendorf pitch well their rotation could be good enough to get them to .500 The Nationals on the other hand don't have any good starters in the rotation and their only consistent bullpen guy is hanrahan who would probably be a 7/8th inning guy on most teams.

Of course I hope the Pirates have just 1 more losing season so that they hold the record for most consecutive losing seasons (they are currently tied with the Phillies).

I don't see the point of bringing up Marson if you aren't going to have him at least share half the starts with Coste. Marson needs actual playing time, either in the Majors or at AAA. If the Phillies are just going to keep him on the bench and not use him they should have just let him start everyday at AAA and brought up Hoover who although is an awful hitter, is a good defensive catcher.

philsphan: After a WFC,we don't have to think about triviality's like that.

We've all heard of late bloomers, but I struggle to think of any everyday player who has ever taken a quantum leap forward at age 34. I'm as happy as anyone to see Feliz doing well, but at some point he's going to come crashing back to his career norms and it won't be pretty to watch.

Ironic that it's been during his relatively hot start that I finally lost patience with Feliz. He had terrible ABs in key situations in back-to-back ballgames last week, and I said that if he hasn't gotten it by this point, he was never going to. But maybe the increase in walks speak otherwise. He frustrates me for the same reason Howard sometimes does (did?): he doesn't get a good ball to hit in most of his plate appearances, thus cheating both the team and himself. He has the ability to be a much better player if only he'd more consistently apply intelligence at the plate. Maybe someone on the coaching staff is finally starting to get through to him where this is concerned. It bears watching. As it is, nevertheless, it's a joke that Dobbs hasn't started a single game yet.

"The weird thing about them, statistically, is that they're 7th in baseball in runs, but they haven't really hit. As a team they bat .257, 21st in MLB, they're only 13th in home runs, 17th in OBP, 21st in OPS.

Posted by: Tray
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Tray, the stats you cite don't tell the whole story.

While it may be that the Fish have not hit their stride offensively, they are still 3rd in the NL in runs scored, at 79, which in the end is what matters more. Also, they are averaging 5.6 RPG, which is 4th in the NL. So depite the stats you cite, they are still scoring.


In what matters most - PITCHING - they are giving up a measly 4 RPG, which is 3rd in the NL.

If you want to know why they're at the top of the standings, look no further than the pitching.

It really is amusing the extent to which Feliz-haters will go to find ways to not acknowledge that he's simply had a good stretch. Sample size. He's changed his approach. He has a different batter ahead of him.

"He frustrates me for the same reason Howard sometimes does (did?): he doesn't get a good ball to hit in most of his plate appearances, thus cheating both the team and himself."

RSB, I have a question for you:

Has it ever occured to you, specifically in the case of Ryan Howard, that he may not be getting "a good ball to hit" because the pitcher isn't throwing one?

Now, if you want to criticize Howie for SWINGING at slop (a legitimate gripe), then please do so. (And maybe that's what you meant?)

But I don't think if he's not getting a good ball to hit that it's necessarily his fault.

Flipper: You're one of the denser posters on here, but sometimes you surprise even me. The posts made by the people you call haters all share the same message: That Feliz is simply having a good stretch. In other words, they're making the same point you just did.

Do you need a translator?

phlipper: Feliz, Utley, Ibanez and Howard have ALL had gooD stretches. The team is scoring 5.8 RPG (IMO it won't stay that high).

It's going to come down to the pitching, and to a lesser extent, defense. If they don't materialize than there will be no repeat WFC. If they do, then the Phils have a shot.

Speaking of good stretches:

Feliz May 2008:

.311/.336/.491 .827 OPS in 106 ABs

He is currently 65 ABs short of his May totals, so let's see where he is after that and if he beats his previous best month as a Phillie.

phlipper: I agree with your observation -- that, instead of just acknowledging that Feliz has had a hot streak, people are tripping over themselves to come up with implausible explanations. I DON'T agree with your snippy conclusion that this is all somehow connected to a dislike of Feliz. If anything, it seems to me that people are searching for reasons to believe in him.

You also lose me when you lump "sample size" in with these other silly explanations. It IS a small sample size, is it not? Feliz has had a great start to the season. I don't see anyone disputing that. The dispute comes when people start asserting that it is something other than a just fast start & that this is the new and improved (34-year old) Pedro Feliz.

I know this is off topic, but ... did anyone notice the Threshers box score from last night? Kyle Drabek outpitched Dontrelle Willis. Drabek is 3-0 in three starts with an ERA of 0.96. He has 26 Ks in 18 2/3 innings. Opponents are batting .152. As Florida State League dominance goes, those #s are Hamels-esque.

Awwww, c'mon clout. Lay off the guy. Feliz is capable of putting up those types of numbers for a whole season!

BAP. I haven't noticed anyone saying that Feliz will keep this up throughout the entire season. What I have seen is that people feel compelled to point out that although Feliz has had a hot start - it's only a small sample size.

What I find most amusing about the small sample size arguments is that people use it when it suits them, and ignores it when it doesn't. Whenever Feliz screws up, many people post to say how typical it was. As if a sample size of one AB is a significant marker. But then when he gets a solid hit, they feel it's necessary to explain it away as an artifact of a small sample size. That's what indicates to me that anyone who does that is driven by an emotional reaction.

But you do make a good point. The majority of said posters do, undoubtedly, want to see Feliz to succeed. Only a small minority (cough..cough.... clout) actually hate it when Feliz does well, because they have some odd fixation with Dobbs.

Marson is in the lineup tonight, which makes me happy. Let the kid get some cuts in while he is up with the big club.

I actually went looking through Feliz' numbers to see if there was anything different about his approach in this young season (with an eye towards his patience and zone behavior in particular). I posted the LD% stats because I thought it was humorous. I posted it without comment, besides the belief that he won't likely exceed his career rate so dramatically (seems a plausible argument). I could easily have noted that it's a product of some nice contact, as basically all that extra % is coming from his usuall GB% which is down as far as his LD% is up.

Oddly enough, even in the young season, his plate discipline numbers are very close to their usual figures. The most significant change is his first strike % (12% below career norms). His contact numbers are slightly up, and his swing % at outside pitches is slightly down, but the difference to me his just the percent of pitches to him in the zone. About 10% below the career norms. To his credit, he's swinging at balls 5-6% less often than last year (so far).

Maybe Feliz had Lasik?

"because they have some odd fixation with Dobbs."

phlipper, you're nominating yourself for the "Trio" again.

Why is it so hard for the Feliz sycophants like you to understand that Dobbs does actually hit RH pitching BETTER than Feliz?

Why is it so hard? Why is it so hard to discern that the Phils might actually be a better club with Dobbs in the lineup vs RHP?

How that opinion, in your mind transmorgrifies into an "odd fixation" is a subject best investigated by doctors.

"I'm as happy as anyone to see Feliz doing well, but at some point he's going to come crashing back to his career norms and it won't be pretty to watch."

That's the ticket. We can't exactly bitch just now, but we can certainly start anticipating his future failures.

It would be worth the giggles to see him re-upped for a 3rd year -- the BL chorus would be berserk with horror.

AWH - what I meant by 'getting a god ball to hit' is that in any given at-bat, a hitter usually gets at least one good pitch, or at least an optimally good pitch within the sequence of pitches, to swing at. Feliz very rarely waits around for it, hacking away at the first or second offering too large a percentage of the time regardless of whether it's a pitch he can do much of anything with. Howard may never get a good ball to hit in a given AB, but his job in that case is to sit there and not get himself out by swinging at the crap they're throwing him. If they don't get it near the plate, don't swing at it. Sooner or later pitchers will observe the discipline and be forced to come closer to the plate, thereby increasing his chances of getting a pitch to handle. I'm definitely seeing evidence of a consciously changed approach on his part, and maybe here and there with Feliz - but thus far, Howard's been much more consistent with his approach.

curt: Feliz's option would cost the team $5M. Do you think they should exercise it?

RSB - With the exception of last night where Howard looked pretty terrible at the plate again (especially given how wild just about every Brewers' pitcher was). He looked like Howard of April '08 last night.

BAP: In Re career turnarounds at age 34

How about Chris Coste. Maybe Coste is passing along some of the old man recreation savvy to Ruiz (like Moyer with Phils pitching staff). And now that I think about it, how about Moyer?

Of course, I don't seriously believe any of this, but I'd say Coste had a rather drastic career turnaround at roughly the same age.

It is possible, however, that Ruiz is now making adjustments that he should have/could have many years earlier. He might see the end of the road and knows that if he wants to be a starter, not a defensive replacement for his last few years, he has to become more patient.

clout: Unless they have a trade lined up, I don't see how they do anything but renew Pedro at 5m.

Yo, new thread

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