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Sunday, May 31, 2009


I think it's important to distinguish between "stuff" and "command". A 98 mph fastball, or 2/3 plus-level offspeed pitches constitutes as "stuff". I'm not sure Bastardo fits that description, although I have read where he's added an improved slider to his repertoire this year. But what he has showed over the last several years is increased command, able to hit his spots and make pitches. I'll gladly take a kid with 90 mph fastball and average offspeed stuff with great command over a 98 mph heater and no ability to hit his spots.

To give you an idea about the important issues that are being tossed about in my subsconscious . . . I actually had a dream last night that I was watching Bastardo's major league debut. I'm sorry to say that the debut in my dream turned out about as well as clout thinks the real debut is going to go. He hit the first 2 batters with pitches, walked a few more, and left after allowing 8 runs in the first inning. True story. I really dreamed that.

If Moyer's to get No. 250, it will have to be one of these wins like last night's, where Moyer manages to pitch 5 ugly innings & the Phillies score a bunch of runs to give him a cheap win. Unfortuantely, I don't see that scenario unfolding today. Lannan isn't great, but he's head and shoulders above the Nationals' other starters. It's not too likely that the Phillies can pound out 8 runs against him -- unless the Nationals help them out with a bunch of key errors, which, fortunately, is always a distinct possibility with the Nationals.

I sure hope Moyer gets to No. 250 soon because I can't imagine Cholly pulling him out of the rotation until he gets there.

From the last thread:

I agree with Sneed that this isn't a "showcase" start for a trade.

First off, we're in a battle for first place, and it's June already, so the FO is going to bring up a guy based on whether they think he can win games at the major-league level, first and foremost. Simple as that.

Secondly, the way he's pitching in the minors, the best way to "showcase" him would just be to let him sit there and keep dominating.

I also agree with JW that bringing up Bastardo instead of Carrasco is a nice way to both try and take advantage of Young Johan's real nice run of pitching, and also to protect the long-term asset of Carrasco by not throwing him to the wolves before he's ready. You can ask Gavin Floyd, Homer Bailey, Phil Hughes, and plenty of others how that turned out.

Also, on the last thread, someone asked what more Michael Taylor had to prove in AA given his number so far (and they are great-- .344/.400/.617).

I believe the FO wants to see him do it for at least a full year at the high levels (AA/AAA). Right now, he seems like a "can't-miss" prospect, but people forget that a year ago at this time he was a 22-year old in Low-A who wasn't ranked in our Top 30 prospects and had struggled in Short-Season ball the year before.

That's a long way to come in a year, so you can see why the FO wants to take a little bit of time and make sure the progress is sustainable. Besides, there's no room for him right now, or even probably next year, in the starting lineup. Which makes me think he's a prime trade candidate...

I'm a lot more worried about Moyer than I am about Bastardo. It's one thing to have to find replacements for one, or even two, starting pitchers ... but w/ Myers now out for the foreseeable future, the Phillies are on the verge of having to replace a full 3/5 of their rotation. Moyer didn't even pitch well against the freakin' Marlins (a team he has historically owned) his last time out. Today, Jamie is facing a thoroughly awful Washington team, but he put up numbers practically identical to that aforementioned Marlins start (6 IN, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR) in his only start vs. the Natinals this season (6 IN, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR). Let's just say I'm less than optimistic.

I'm with Jack. Carrasco isn't ready, otherwise he'd be here already. The best we can hope is that the mere speculation that he may be needed at the big league level soon might be a nice kick in the rear for the kid. Time to start preparing like it matters.

I think people are making a big deal out of nothing here re: Bastardo's "stuff" and "repertoire." Most, if not all of us, have never seen him pitch live, so it's quite hard to say what he is or isn't yet. We know what his numbers are historically and what he appears to be or could be, but were mostly dealing in the abstract. I think two starts next week will help us get some more perspective on whether his K totals are a fluke or if his fastball really does have movement that can't be understood on Baseball Cube.

Maybe Jamie will be inspired by the fact that not only is he going for 250 (again), and that with a win the Natials will be the first team in the majors with a two-digit magic number.

I hope as that Bastardo does well, but odds are that he'll have his struggles. The best I can hope for is that he'll be at least as good as Myers; meaning that for every couple of good starts he'll thow up an Eaton.

You can also ask Tim Lincecum, whose major league ERA stood at 5.88 after his first 9 starts. Or Cole Hamels, whose ERA was at 5.71 after 12 starts. Or Mike Pelfrey, who was battered around in each of his first 2 seasons.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've never really bought the notion that it does some kind of long-term damage to a pitcher's psyche if he's brought up too soon & struggles at first (didn't Floyd win 17 games last year?). Maybe the likes of Bailey & Hughes just weren't that good to start out with. Or maybe they WILL eventually be good, but they just went through the same rookie problems that a lot of touted pitching prospects go through.

I wouldn't call up Carrasco either. But it's not because I think a call-up would do long-term damage. It's because his AAA numbers say he'll be a liability, not an asset, if called up right now.

Baseball Cube (voice).

On Hughes...all Yankees prospects tend to be overrated just on the basis of them being Yankees. The same with Kennedy. Why they didn't trade them for Santana will never be known..other than that Cashman bought into his own propaganda apparently.

NEPP: I think the Yanks didn't trade for Santana because they knew they could get Sabathia the next year just for the contract, instead of both the prospects and the contract they'd need to give up for Santana. Not a bad decision.

I'd rather have Santana...but that's just me.

I know you guys are excited about bastardo, but dont expect big things from him right away. I remember last year when jonathan niese was dominating the minors, but didnt pitch well in the bigs.

NEPP - At this point I'm thinking Santana would much rather have the Yankees.

I'm hoping that the Phils will send down Mayberry quickly and bring up Westbrook. We're gonna need two or three touchdowns to pull this one out today. If we get'em in the first quarter, maybe Moyer can get his "Big Win."

As for why his getting to some arbitrary number is more important than the team, I am at a loss.

i watched is last start in aaa against the bisons...he looked confident and he threw strikes but he did not miss bats and he did not throw above 90 miles an hour. that does not sound like santana to me. i think it's a terrible comparison.

Niese was 11-8, with a 3.13 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 164 innings at AA and AAA last year. Those are nice numbers, but hardly "dominating" ones. Hughes and Kennedy, however, are good examples of guys who did have dominating minor league numbers & still got battered at the major league level. I'm hoping for the best, but expecting the worst, from Bastardo.

random mets troll: "I remember last year when jonathan niese was dominating the minors..."

Niese's 2008 numbers:
WHIP=2.0; H/9=12.9; HR/9=1.3; ERA=7.07

Clearly. Dominating. Numbers.

People were probably just shaking in their cleats when he was due to pitch.

mea culpa
I posted the guy's major league numbers by mistake.

Thanks to bap for getting it right.

Of more immediate importance than Bastardo or Jonathan Niese . . . it's a Sunday game. Day game after a night game. Left-handed starter on the mound for the Nats. Lots of runs needed with Jamie Moyer on the mound. Please, please, please, Cholly, DO NOT START ERIC BRUNTLETT AT 2nd BASE.

Does anyone have the espn insider?

Maybe not dominating, but these numbers are pretty good :

2.97 ERA, 8.17 K/9, 2.97 BB/9, .25 HR/9

Ladies and gentlemen... Carlos Monasterios

Sam, I refuse to pay for something I can get for free through blogs.

Yeah. Hunt down, call up and start Terry Tiffee instead!!!

In re: Niese
An apt comparison if you ignore the H/9s (9.3 for Niese, 6.7 for Bastardo) and K/9s (8.3 for Niese, 10.1 for Bastardo).

But really, all I really hear is: the Mets promoted someone who did much suckier than the FO led people to believe, so that's gonna happen to everyone else, too.

I'm skeptical. But I skeptically believe that Bastardo would do better than Niese's first partial year (inadvertantly posted by stupid ole me above).

Wow, Dave. And to think we gave up almost NOTHING to get that guy!

ya i agree nepp but it says something about park stoping a peavy trade.

Lineups posted... standard 1-8 for the Phils with Coste catching an hitting 8th. We've got the three lefties in the middle again.

Well, isn't Coste Moyer's regular guy anyway?

Sam, if its a typical "insider" article, then its merely a rehash of this article in the local paper:

Same issues you are mentioning.

Dave - Just wanted to quickly point out that the Washington offense is not that bad. In fact they're third in the NL in OPS, behind Philly and LA. (Of course, that has a lot to do with facing Philly pitchers, but whatever).

NEPP: Day game after a night game... so it was gonna be Coste no matter who was pitching.

By the end of next season, Ryan Howard should be 2nd on the Phils career HR list behind just Michael Jack Schmidt.

it looks like the nats have assembled a lineup of 1st basemen, with thick, power- hitter bodies. the problem is, they can't all play 1st base.

Quite a hike to reach MJS though.

he never even caught the ball, horrible call by the ump and good call by the third base ump to correct it.

did vic run through a stop sign?

For those who haven't seen Bastardo, don't think Santana. Those comparisons are laughable.

Think Odalis Perez. That is who he reminds me of.

He doesn't have "great" stuff. But, he is sneaky with his fastball. Like a shorter version of Happ. It seems to surprise hitters and gets on them quicker then they expect.

Carrasco has far more upside and has pitched much better then his record and ERA would indicate (as I showed with graphic evidence the other night). But, he is not quite ready.

Neither is Worley; although he isn't far away either.

I thought they would likely go with Carpenter, as he was the "safe" choice and he has been pitching well in his past 2 starts in LV. But I am fine with AB too. He has earned his promotion.

Why Cholly is batting the 3 lefties back-to-back-to-back against a left-handed pitcher is beyond me. It was one thing to do that when Ibanez was raking, but he was 3 for his last 18 coming into this game.

So, interestingly enough, HP ump Dana Demuth has the 3rd Smallest strikezone in MLB according to Hardball Times.

Doesn't bode well for Jamie overall today.

The Nats have that "lets get out of town ASAP" look to them today. Lots of early swinging.

Not going to take much to get them to roll over and play dead.

denny: "Sneaky with his fastball" also sounds very much like Happ -- another guy who was unloved by the scouts.

"Why Cholly is batting the 3 lefties back-to-back-to-back against a left-handed pitcher is beyond me."

"The Gut" hasn't had the strongest of series.

That lineup, is taylor-made for an opposing manager, to mix-and-match in the late innings. Its a good thing its Washington.

Both, Werth and Ibanez look like they could use a day off (Werth especially). Hopefully, that Mayberry kid they brought up gets more then 1 AB per week soon (he's had 1 AB since last Sunday).

Awful swing by Werth.

He absolutely needs a day off.

C'mon Chollie, you have an option now.

Good thing we started Coste.

Bench Chooch, now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *sarcasm*

Coste woulda hit that one clean outta th...

I mean - good job, Costey!

Count down to davthom telling us to trade Ruiz: 5...4...3...

That was a nice way to flip the lineup over.

Coste, by the way, is starting to silence those who were sure he couldn't hit anymore. It's not that he couldn't hit anymore. It's that he's an extreme streak hitter and when he's bad, he's horrific.

Coste has posted a 1.213 OPS in May... 22 ABs.

If Moyer wants his 250th he better stop making stupid errors.

nice flip howard, i hope moyer didnt break his hip

Coste is a very good backup catcher, & a very mediocre everyday catcher.

Ruiz and Coste have both been warm lately with the stick. Ruiz is about 100 points higher with his BA, from where he was last year at this time.

Marson also has been swinging it better at LV, since they moved him into the 2 hole.

All the catchers hit!!! WHOOO!!! HOOOO!!!!

Coste is a backup catcher... that's the point. In limited at bats, i.e. the right situations, he'll produce. There aren't many good backup catchers out there and Coste is among the better ones.

I would've given Mayberry the start over Werth, who is really slumping right now.

I also agree with bap that the most logical comparision for Bastardo is Happ, another lefty fb-changeup guy with decent velocity and very solid K/BB numbers in the minors.

Nice take out slide by Lannan. I bet if it had been Utley he would have added a forearm shiver.

Natinals do indeed look like they'd rather be on their way home.

CJ: In the early part of the year, w/ Chooch out of the lineup, Coste was stinking up the joint & Beerleaguers were howling for his head. Now if Chooch had been lost for the season, they may have had a point. But he wasn't, & that kind of shortsighted attitude gave no credit to Coste for being what he is: a very good backup at a very difficult position.

Franzke just mentioned that, if you remove the Natinals (against whom he is hitting .360) from J-Roll's stats, he would be batting .190 ... Ouch.

Snyone tell me what Moyer record is with Coste catching vs. his record with Ruiz catching? I'm too lazy to look it up.


Dave -
And if you remove all the other teams, J-Roll would be hitting .360.

I think Utley and his .244 avg for May can't wait for June.

Andy: Don't kill the messenger. Even those notorious homers, the Phils' broadcasters, know who the worst everyday player on the team is.

FWIW, Moyer has an identical tOPS of 114 for both Ruiz and Coste.

NEPP: Thanks. For some reason I thought he was much better with Coste catching.

I can't seem to find ERA and W/L records for them...where's Sophist when you need him?

Wasn't killing anyone. There are always ways to slice and dice stats to make them look how you want. Compare Utley's May to Rollins for instance.

Awww, *bleep*!!! :-[

Both Myers and Hamels have pitched better with Coste than Ruiz.

Fans tossed ball back in. Then Shane tried to bean the ballgirl with it.

The Nationals' pitching is truly horrendous. Still, a .271 winning percentage? With a starting lineup that is third in the league in runs scored & OBP, and second in slugging percentage? Considering he's in his third year, and also lost 102 games last year, I'd be shocked if Manny Acta lasted the season.

l.a. is going off a bit about the state of umpires in mlb. good stuff

72 pitches through 4 for Jamie.

Getting fired would be the best thing that ever happened to Manny Acta. I can't even begin to imagine how miserable it must be to have to try & work for & w/ a franchise as utterly inept as the Natinals.

The Happ-Bastardo comparisons are OK to a point. But there are key differences:

Happ had a better BB/9 AND had more than 200 IP of Trip A experience under his belt when he came up.

Also, BAP's assertion that scouts aren't wild about these guys isn't quite right. Both have been considered above-average prospects, although scouts have rated Happ higher than Bastardo, probably because his command has been consistently good while good command is a recent thing with Bastardo.

Bastardo has a nice cut fastball that ranges 88-90 mph, a decent changeup (not as good as Happ's) and an improving slider (probably equal to Happ's curve).

If he pitches one more scoreless inning, Moyer will get his ERA under the magic 7.00 mark -- the gold standard for measuring whether a guy is an effective major league starter.

NEPP: Yeah, and he basically doubled his pitch count last inning.

Ibanez triple, nice!

Come season's end, someone will need to put together a video cataloging the lowlights of Nationals 2009 outfielding.

They should do the steal second, hope Bard throws the ball into CF play here.

Nice AB by Werth. Set's up Feliz for one of his favorite plays.

andy: haha you were almost right.

great job by werth

The Nats defense is a joke.

The Nationals really need their Kelly Leak.

Hernandez must really, really like us.

b-a-p: The "gold standard" line is, to my mind, an instant classic. Thank you.

All you need to know:

2009 Phillies starting pitching > 2009 Nationals fielding

I was at the game last night and went to look up for far Howard's bomb really went (432ft) compared to what CBP told the fans its was (475ft).

And when i checked, I saw something pretty interesting:

Rual Ibanez's HR off of Chein-Ming Wang in the 7th inning at Yankee stadim is the longest HR in 2009 @ 477ft.

thephaithful: On indirect fire, like the Ryno moonshot, you have to include the arc of flight, not just straight line distance.

To continue the Bad News Bears analogy, perhaps the Nats can get Jennie Finch to be their Amanda Whurlitzer.

thephaithful: Where did you get the 432 ft. measurement? I just bought myself a nifty new rangefinder, & was gonna use it to find the distance from the seat where Howard's ball landed to the plate the next time I'm at the ballpark. Keep in mind it's possible that the CBP estimates track the entire arc of the flight of the ball rather than straight line distance.

Also, is it just me, or does anyone else remember Charlie saying something to the effect of "If he's here, he's gonna play" w/ regard to Mayberry staying w/ the big club after the Yankees series? And has Mayberry started once since then? No. How many PAs has he had since then? One. So I'll ask once again the question I've asked so many times before: "What the f*ck was Charlie talking about?"

MPN - By the end of the season, Acta will, most likely, look a lot like Walter Matthau.

Here's a question for clout or someone else, why not place Brett on the 60 day DL if he'll be out for an extended period? Is this because of the room we already have on the 40 man roster, or is this a favor to Brett dealing with MLB service time?

Andy: Yeah, I look forward to seeing him on the Green Line Metro some day pouring some bourbon into a can of Schlitz then lighting up a Garcia Vega.

How to hit against WSN.

Hit a flyball to RF not exactly right at Dunn. If it lands more than 20 ft away, take extra bases liberally.

Nice swipe Uts.

gtown,MPN: I used Hit Tracker for the measurements.

They use true distance, which is where the ball would have landed uninterrupted in the actual environment it was hit.

Standard Distance is where the ball would land if it was in a completely nuetral environment - sealevel, 70degrees and no wind.

MPN: Excellent question. My guess is since they have the space they don't need to do that now. They can always do it later and make it retroactive if they need to free a space.

I thought Howard's 1st HR was measured at 432. MLB network said the 2nd one was 493.

On tv last night, McCarthy said the 2nd one was 475.

Easily Jamie's best start of the year.

Good Work Pops!

"McCarthy said..."

Well, there's the best evidence that it was something else.

Nice job by Moyer today! Threw 60% of his pitches for strikes, walked no one, only gave up 3H, 1R in 6IP. Looks like he'll get his 250th at last, provided the BP holds them. (My advice, no Durbin today, Jamie needs the W and Durb's struggling a bit.)

So whatever number it was, 475 or 493, that's calculated as to where the ball WOULD have landed on an even level playing field, correct?

Yes, agreed on the job done by Moyer today. Glad to be proven incorrect... of course, it was against the Nats.

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