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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Comments

Condrey should enjoy pitching a full inning while he can, because as soon as Romero is back, Condrey will be lifted at the first sight of a lefty in the 7th.

If we're still having SP troubles near the deadline, who do people want/think we can get? And for what?

I'd have to imagine Seattle would be willing to trade Bedard, a pending FA, for just about anything, seeing as they gave up a ton for him 2 years ago and have nothing to show for it. You could probably deal something like Donald and a low-level pitching arm for 2 and a half months of Bedard, presuming Seattle is out of the race at that point. I would do that.

"Metsblog didn't even bother to allow comments on their game post from the start tonight. Or their pregame post."

EF: Now that's just plain sad. Is it a ploy to try & force Mets fans into their overpriced, underpopulated new park? If so, it would be typical of the Mets to launch the effort while their team is on the road. Probably Omar's idea.

What would turning off comments on a blog have to do with getting people to go to Citi while they are on the road?

The Blog has become famous for stupid stunts like this, especially when the fans have more to say than usual. Why Murphy and Jeremy Reed don't switch positions, I don't know...

Again, people, attendance is down across the board, so I think it has less to do with their ticket prices (plenty of 11, 15, 20 dollar tickets) than the state of the economy.

Finally, Maine had to take the game into his own hands (with his god awful fielders) driving in 2 runs with a single

The Phillies might not be a juggernaut but god, do I love the way they play on the road. That's 13-4 now. Tonight was solid starting pitching, solid relief pitching, and efficient offense. Even if the Reds aren't sporting the best lineup in the world right now, that's a first-place team kind of win.

Great win, Great game.

It is fantastic to have a game that we won that was not a slugfest.

These are the kind of games we won all the way down the stretch last year.

Can't wait till Romero comes back. If Lidge gets himself right, and with Condrey's emergence, and with Park making a smooth transition, this BP will be scary.

RSB..ehhh maybe. A solid first place team win against a team like the Reds is 5-2 final.

This is not Condrey's emergence..this is Condrey pitching above his career norm..similar to Romero and Durbin last year..we've already seen Durbin revert to career norms..Romero is probably next and Condrey probably won't last the year.

Killbillrain quickly taking his place among Beerleaguer's wettest of the wet blankets.

Seriously....they have won 5 in a row. Deep breaths, people.

Jason,
You have 148 followers on Twitter who find it useful, stop apologizing. It's true that the regular readers may not benefit as much as the occasional readers or the potential readers. Twitter can work as a very effective filter for posts of interest.

"Help me, before I tweet again!"

"Condrey should enjoy pitching"
Condrey should enjoy pitching after the sixth while he can. If Park is the middle reliever he was supposed to be (before promises were made) and Durbin is the least bit reliable, Everyday Clay may return to being the all important fourth inning guy.

3 Run jack for Casey Blake, Dodgers leading Mets 5-3.

Chad Billingsly has two hits off of Maine tonight.

Lots of pitchers hitting tonight.

Sorry JW. Just trying to remain objective. The truth hurts sometimes. Though that my wet blanketness has gotten me a mention has made it all worth it!

"I'm using Twitter and I'm not sure why."

To remind the Phillies' beat writers you can also generate better content with fewer words?

No offense to @tzolecki or @HighCheese, who I also follow and appreciate on twitter.

"Killbillrain quickly taking his place among Beerleaguer's wettest of the wet blankets."

I won't give up my mantle without a serious fight.

Nice win tonight. Cole was good, but not great. I'm surprised there hasn't been more complaining about that as many here expect that an Ace is not supposed to be human. Me, I know any Ace is going to have his share of bad and mediocre games.

What makes them an Ace is that they have far less of those types of games than other pitchers. That's mostly because their stuff is better, and when they're "on" they're almost unhittable. Also, they find a way to win even when they don't have their best stuff - like Cole did tonight.


As a Condrey fan, I'm not at all surprised by his success. He has had periods like this in the past where he has pitched well for an extended period.

For example, one period from June 8, 2007 until September 12, 2007 he pitched 33-1/3 innings in 20 appearances with an ERA of 2.16, and a WHIP of 1.26.

What does differentiate this year is that his WHIP is lower than it has been when he's done this before.

Of course, Condrey has also been prone to the big blowup which raises all his numbers and makes him look mediocre overall.

My sincere hope is that he continues to throw strikes and avoids such innings this season. If he can do that he'll help this team immeasurably.


Madson continues to impressand was in command for the entire inning, depite giving up a hit.

Assuming he stays healthy, IMO he looks to be a closer in the future - somewhere.

Durbin has pitched a bit better than his overall numbers indicate. With another righty in the pen now in Park, hopefully the heavily utilization of him and Park will abate a bit.

Mayberry had 2 hits today against former major league lefty (and a guy who seemingly pitched lights out against the Phils in the past) Mark Redmon.

And, former Phil farmhand Josh Outman, had his 2nd straight strong outing tonight for Oakland. His ERA now right around 3.00, for the season.

HUGE start, for Grandpa Moyer tomorrow. The Reds are bad against lefty starters, so he needs to come out and give the Phils a solid 6 IP, 3 ER or less outing tomorrow and show that he still has something out there. The Phils have gotten to Harang in the past (he throws a ton of high fastballs), so it should be a good matchup for the bats. Supposed to be over 80 degrees in Cincy, so the ball should be flying.

kilbillrain, I have to disagree with you about Condrey. He is not pitching much above his career norm.

Take a look at my post above, and take a look at his gamelogs the last 4 years.

The pattern has beenone of a pitcher who pitches really well for extended periods, and then blows up for one or two games in a real short period of time. The blowups have been really bad at times, and make his overall numbers look mediocre, but the good periods are, indeed, good.

Caveat: His periferals are sometimes mystifying, as his WHIP has not been great. However, he seems to find a way to pitch through it.

killbill: I would actually disagree with your assessment on Condrey. Condrey has been steadilly improving in every season since 2006 and was actually a very effective reliever for us last year. His peripherals were pretty ugly, but that was largely because he continued to have problems with the occasional implosion about once every 7 or 8 games. But when he wasn't imploding, he was quite effective.

Considering that opponents have hit over .300 against him for 3 years in a row, his current BAA of .203 does seem unsustainable. Still, Condrey can get away with giving up some hits because he has good control, doesn't allow many homeruns, and he induces a huge number of ground balls. I think it's time for people to acknowledge that, while he may not have the stuff of Ryan Madson, Condrey has turned himself into a pretty good reliever. Of the 8 million relievers that the Phillies shuffled back and forth between here & Triple A during the 2006 and 2007 seasons, few would have guessed that Clay Condrey would be the one to emerge as the lone success story.

MG, Durbin has actually pitched pretty well this year except for a couple of outings.

You could say his season thus far has been "Condrey like".

Despite that he still has an ERA below league average, and his periferals look OK:

.190 BA, .320 OBP, .367 SLG (outstanding), for an OPS of .687.

Walks have hurt him. His blowups have come when he issues free passes. He has walked 12 batters in 22-1/3 IP.

If he can lower and limite the free passes, there is no reason to believe he can't pitch really well.

killbrain has a point that Condrey's AVG of .205 BAA of .221 right now is going to inevitably creep up.

Still, the Phils use Condrey has a trash man to clean up innings (multiple innings if needed) when they are up and down big. His pLI was 0.45 last year and an overwhelming majority of his appearances were where the Phils were up or down 3 or more runs (38 of 56 appearances last year). The Phils almost never used him when they were tied or up by 2 runs or less (9 of 56 appearances).

Tonight was an exception but Cholly/Dubee are still generally using Condrey in the same fashion as last year - a trash man who is somebody you put in when you are up or down big. 14 of his 20 appearances so far this year have been when the Phils are up or down 3 or more runs.

Part of that is a function of the starting pitching being so bad this year but he still isn't a guy who is being used a primary setup man. That role is still Durbin's and likely Park to a lesser degree.

Condrey has some real value as a mopup type guy but I really hope that Cholly/Dubee don't suddenly decide that he should face a ton of left-bats or be used a setup in a tight game.

On a related topic, I'm not quite as confident as everyone else that Romero will be able to rejoin the team and replicate his success of the past 2 years. There's no denying that Romero is very difficult to hit, but he's also one of the wildest pitchers in all of baseball. To be effective, he relies on his uncanny knack for making good pitches at the critical moment -- usually after getting himself into trouble with walks. But that's a dangerous formula, as we saw in his stops with Boston & the Angels and at the end of his years with the Twins. It's not hard to imagine it suddenly falling apart -- particularly when he's coming back after a 50-game break.

I'll be glad to have Romero back, because he's definitely one of the more talented relievers in our pen. But I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that he'll be the J.C. Romero of 2007-2008.

I can think of more uses for Paul Bako than for Twitter.

LakeFred summed up my views about Twitter: when I want to know what's happening on Beerleaguer, I come to Beerleaguer. I don't need my cell phone to ring every time clout and Phlipper are arguing about Pedro Feliz.

13-4 on the road now and the next best road record in MLB is the Brewers at 13-7. Hell, only two AL teams having winning records at road right now (Blue Jays, Yanks).

Someone said "... the phils bullpen will be scary".
It's scary right now, if Clay Condrey is the best you can put out there in the 7th inning. The Phillies have too many Condreys in the pen right now. Condrey, Tashner, CH Park, guys who have no business on the mound in high leverage situations.
June 1st can't come soon enough. Eyre(LOOGY) Durbin (ROOGY) in the 6th. JC in the 7th. Madson in the 8th. Hopefully, JC does'nt fall apart from not being able to take his 'supplements'.

I'm fine with a one run win, especially against a guy with a 1.93 ERA coming in. I know first place teams normally never ever win a game like this by any score other than 5-2, but I'll take it.

I think i'd only subscribe to EFF's "Yo, new thread" tweet.

Does anyone else love waking up and putting on sportscenter to see which Met outfielder blew the last nights game? Hahaha, I get almost as much joy out of that as watching Phils wins.

J-Dub, Twitter is for dorks, you are much cooler than this. BTW I love cooking on the grill out on my patio while listening to that Vampire Weekend cd you have listed on the right. Did you go to the Kings of Leon concert last month? I would have gone but I got married that day. New Alice in Chains coming this August, I dont know what to think about that.

Killbillrain speaks of Durbin as having "reverted to career norms". Fortunately, that's incorrect, although it remains a possibility.

I'd pat myself on the back and call myself objective, but I'm just a subject.

twitter = fail. as Lake Fred said in a few threads back, when I want to have some Beerleaguer, I come to Beerleaguer.

good for Happ, I'm looking forward to this weekends' games!

Tony D: Perfect scenario to listen to that album. Actually, I beat my friend 15 games to none at table tennis with Vampire Weekend playing in the background recently. I did not see Kings, but one of my friends went.

Hey Jason, many of us here would appreciate it if you ask your colleague over at metsblog why he turns the "comment" section off. The last 5 posts have not allowed comments.

Is it because the Mets have lost their last 3 and his 'partners' at SNY and the Mets organization can't take the heat in the kitchen?

If so, that has got to be the lamest, most cowardly action I've ever seen taken by a sports blog.

I try to imagine BL without the insightful comments posted by the more erudite here. I cannot, and would not continue to visit the site if they didn't exist (no offense to you personally, but it would be a protest move on my part).

If Cerrone and Metsblog continue this policy, it will, IMO, be a recipe for disaster, as the site will lose readers and posters to other blogs that allow them to comment, praise and vent.

If Cerrone thinks that what he and the other lead posters on his site provide is 'that' insightful, I think he needs to re-evaluate things.

If they continue this policy 'Metsblog' will quickly become 'metsblog'.

My concern with JC will be less the steroid stuff than the strike zone. If the umps really are pinching left to right, it might inflate his walks enough to make him as effective as Aaron Heilman.

mikes -
If Park goes back to doing what he did last year with the Dodgers, he'll be better than Condrey. I seem to remember that at that point, since he knew he was just tossing one inning, he was juicing his FB up into the mid-90s. It made all the other junk he throws that much more effective.

loctastic, speaking of this weekend, I will be at Friday night's game in the new home run haven.

I'm really looking forward to it.

We get lots of starlings, house sparrows (weaver finches), and pigeons (rock doves) in our yard - along with robins, mockingbirds, grackles and crows. There are the occasional catbirds, blue jays, cardinals, flickers, red-bellied woodpeckers, and slate colored juncos. And one persistent red-tailed hawk that keeps our squirrel population manageable.

When I'm out in the backyard these all provide all the twittering I normally need to remain a healthy and vibrant human being.

He's been experimenting with a more robust commenting system. I considered doing something like that, but there's something to be said about keeping it simple and decided to keep it as is.

For those concerned about the Clay Condrey of the future, Chance Chapman (sharing both initials and upside with everyday) was just moved to reading where we'll see what he's really made of. To date, the over-aged (25) righty reliever $(2007 draft class from college - with some time wasted in a starting role) was tearing up Clearwater.

23 IP, 14 H, 7 BB, (WHIP=.913), 18 K, 0 HR, and an ERA of 0.78. In addition to a serviceable fastball (90ish), he's supposed to have a great slider.

In the Chapman post, both "Everyday" and "Reading" were supposed to be capitalized. More coffee is on the way.

JW - Simple is better. Generally is a very good self-policing bunch and you almost never get things that go out of control.

Turning off comments on a sports blog because of a couple of losses is pathetic.

I'm surprised they took that step.

I'm struggling with this notion that Condrey has been improving every year. ERA+ isn't a useful tool for relievers because of the small number of IP year to year but his ERA+ has been 149, 92, 134 and 181, all over the map. His BB/9 is virtually unchanged in 4 years and his K/9 was actually declining a bit until this year. The biggest difference this year is H/9, but there again we're talking about only 21 IP.

The key number for me with Condrey is his left/right split. He has always gotten out righties and always been terrible vs. lefties. This year the split is .607/.660 (OPS), which is about in line with the split differences of past seasons.

Conclusion: Everything about Condrey is the same except in his first 21 IP he's given up lots fewer hits. Why? His BABIP is .207. Odds of that continuing thru a full season? Zero.

Andy: Chapman has been old for every level and he's old for AA so his stats need to be seen in that context (i.e. taken with a huge grain of salt). His stuff is mediocre overall, except, as you note, the slider. FWIW he's not listed among Phils top 30 prospects by BA.

I'm just surprised that David Murphy has time to blog considering that he is moonlighting as the host of Tough Love on VH1...

clout - As I said, Chance's upside is Clay Condrey. On the plus side, many guys at 25 have difficulty posting the sick numbers he's done at A+. On the downside, it's a small sample size; AND it is A+. I was just noting that it will be a test for him. Can he command the FB and will the slider bite better hitters? We'll see. But he's not the next Brad Lidge. I merely noted the move because it was a move just made.

In re: Condrey
I think you encapsulated it all with this: "Everything about Condrey is the same..." Given that we're talking 21 IP, we need to note a certain flexibility in statistical expectations. As I watched him pitch last night, I saw the same Condrey that always comes out. A little wild. A little hittable. Able to miss a bat or two (but not TOO many). Having enough sink to get some ground balls. He's working on being the best 7th RP in baseball. But his BABIP will, indeed, rise. In the long term, he's not the guy to set up the set up.

In re: Chapman
I feel a little bad for the guy. To begin with, for some reason, he was old for a college student when drafted (23). Then, just because he was a starter in college, someone decided to waste time starting him in the Phils' system - despite seeing that his repetoire of above average pitches was limited. I wonder if they had just said to him from the get go: "Work on the velocity and command of your fastball, Kid, and refine that slider; and someday you might be pickin' major league bullpen splinters out of yer, um..."

b-a-p:
I forgot to mention. The reason you were excluded from the top of the "wet blanket" list wasn't cause you were bumped. I thought you were aware that a new category had been designed for you (and your minions!) (I love using the word "minions.")

You are now, actually, at the top of the "Soaked Blanket" list. (And on your way to the SB HOF)

Actually, b-a-p, I just realized I left out a crucial letter. I should have called that category "Soaked Ole Blanket." It makes the acronym that much more fun - especially for the Hall of Fame.

There's recognition worth striving for.

Jason, don't feel ashamed about using twitter. These ads won't click themselves ya know!

I think Clout called 610 WIP 10 minutes ago trying to persuade Glen and Anthony that Abreu is a hall of famer. All I could do is laugh.

By the way the highlite of the call was when Glen told the guy "To go slurp Bill James, because Abreu isn't a winner"

Tommy: Please don't mention Bobby Abreu

JR: I have to wake up this board...I figured my opinion of Bobby being overrated. Along with my opinion being shared by some of the best sports minds in the city should do the trick.

I think the argument about whether a baseball player is a "winner" is just plain dumb. I think the only major sport in which a single player can tip the balance over a season is the NBA... except for, perhaps, a hot goalie in the NHL playoffs.

If only that damn Ernie Banks would have been a winner!

Turning to tonights game: I'm as concerned as everyone else about Jamie Moyer. Some are attributing his recent struggles to his age. I don't think his age is as much of a factor as the league's new strikezone.

This year, it seems everyone around the league is getting squeezed. (I think I heard that bases loaded walks and grand slams are both up this year). That has more of an effect of Jamie, who needs to get the calls on the corners to be effective.

People have speculated that the new strike zone is due to the computers grading the umps. I wonder if the effect will continue for the whole year or if it will be like when the NHL used to crack down on holding in the neutral zone for a few weeks and then slowly start letting everything go.

To me, that's the biggest issue for our beleaguered elder statesman/number 3 starter: Will he ever get the calls on the corners this year?

If Moyer doesn't show any improvement against a Cincy team that struggles against LHP (and is without Votto likely tonight again) and against the Fish (a team he was owned in his career), then I think you can officially hit the "red light" button on Moyer's season.

Not looking for anything more than giving the Phils 6 and 4 or so both starts.

CJ: ok fine, don't use "winner", I will sub for "lack of hustle". Is that better?

King - Moyer has just been missing the strike zone badly and leaving a ton of meatballs over the plate. Yeah he is getting squeezed a bit but his control has been very erratic just about every start.

If Bobby Abreu is ever elected to the HoF the Phillies could place a statue of him in RF at CBP, & it would have better range & more enthusiasm for playing defense than the man himself.

G-town: Zing, good one....

Oh by the way, remember when in February I suggested getting Dontrelle Willis and most of the "elite" laughed in my face. Well did any of you catch him pitch a gem last night???

Okay... I give up. Some people just don't understand baseball.

mvp: Abreu is one of my least favorite Phillies of all time. Talk about wasted talent ... :-S

CJ: Why's that? Because just because a guy has a good Average and OPS means in some cases they aren't great ball payer, that makes me not understand the game?

How long exactly did YOU actually play the game? Because I for one PLAYED at the college level.

JR: I have heard about the new strike zone and all that as well. But I still don't understand why umps aren't calling anything above the belt when the rule says the upper limit of the strike zone is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants.

And when a strike does get called in that area, the batter, fans, and even announcers all gasp and call it a bad call. What's the deal?

Uh oh. The Abreu debate. Intangibles v. stats. "PLAYED [baseball] at the college level."

Have fun with all of that. See you tonight for the game chat.

MG: I understand Moyer has been "leaving a ton of meatballs over the plate," but I also think that's a result of this year's strict strike zone. I think he's trying not to give up a ton of walks, so he's been hittable.

Unless he can get the calls on the black, he will always be hittable. We saw that in his three postseason starts. His strike zones were small, then eratic, then forgiving. His starts were awful, bad, and good.

clout: When I want to evaluate a relief pitcher, I start by looking at his game logs to see how often he allowed 0 runs to score. That's not as convenient as looking at a single stat, but it gives me a pretty good picture of how often the guy is doing the job that he's supposed to do. Here are Condrey's numbers in that department:

2006: 21 games, 13 with 0 runs, .619
2007: 39 games, 29 with 0 runs, .743
2008: 56 games, 37 with 0 runs, .661
2009: 21 games, 17 with 0 runs, .809

By that measure, he was actually better in 2007, when his ERA was 5.04, than in 2008, when it was 3.26. Of course, this is a pretty crude method of measurement, which is why I only use it as a starting point. Those numbers I just listed don't differentiate between complete implosions and games where the reliever allowed just 1 run. Condrey, for instance, had 4 complete implosions in 2007 and none (or, at most, 1) in 2008.

What is clear, though, is that 2007/2008 Condrey was much more likely to get the job done than 2006 Condrey. I would argue that 2008 Condrey was also better than 2007 Condrey since, when 2008 Condrey did screw up, he usually managed to keep the damage limited, while the 2007 Condrey did not.

Bottom line: if you want to argue that there was no real difference between 2007 Condrey and 2008 Condrey, I won't dispute the point. My point, however, is that both those pitchers were pretty decent, so it's no great shock to see him having such success this year. No, he is not likely to hold batters to a .200 average all year and, yes, that ERA is going to go up. But it would not be shocking to see him have a very good year because, in fact, he has been a pretty good pitcher for the last 2 years.

mvp - Willis is making $10M this year and $12M next year? The Tigers couldn't have given him away unless they eat a significant portion of his contract.

I hoped Willis does succeed again because I always kind of like watching him pitch but trading for that contract would be nuts.

mikes - Durbin shouldn't be the ROOGY. Walker, once he's healthy, should be the primary ROOGY. At LV, the guy has a .273 WHIP, 11/1 K/BB, 2 H, in 11IP. He obviously doesn't belong there. The question with him is missing bats. He historically isn't very good at missing bats, but then again, Madson wasn't very good at that either up until last year. However, from his results in LV, and last year with the Giants, it looks like he's turned the corner in terms of delivering his changeup more deceptively and mixing it in strategically more effectively.

I don't know when he gets called up, but when he does, our BP should be very solid with a good mix of pitchers:

9 - Lidge (fastball 95, slider 86)
8 - Madson (fastball 95, changeup 82, cutter 90)
7a - Romero (LOOGY, fastball 91, slider 80, change 79)
7b - Walker (ROOGY, fastball 92, slider 83, change 82)
6 - Park (fastball 93, slider 85, curve 78, change 81)
5 - Durbin, Condrey

****Oh by the way, remember when in February I suggested getting Dontrelle Willis and most of the "elite" laughed in my face. Well did any of you catch him pitch a gem last night???****

Or he just had one good game.

Hell, Eaton had a couple good games when he was here too.

Tommy: Actually, I don't remember that conversation at all, but I'll assume it took place. So what's your point? That 1 good game in the last 3 years proves that the Phillies would have been smart to take on a $19M salary obligation for an injured pitcher?

Condrey has been a "pretty good pitcher for the last 2 years," says b_a_p. I agree. He's been the best 7th-man-in-the-bullpen in the league.

I'm glad he's getting a chance to be a setup guy for a few games. I feel there's a decent chance the team will survive the 7th inning unscathed. But I'll be even happier when he's moved down the pecking order to the spot where he's thrived.

Is Dombrowski in the running for "worst GM" category? I mean he has really hamstrung that team for the next few years with some of those contracts but at the same time he did get them to a WS appearance.(granted they imploded once there but they were the favorite)

While I was inveighing against Eric Bruntlett during the recent Nats series, RSB asked if I would rather have the Nationals' Alex Cintron, who is batting .077. Based on Cintron's past performance, and the fact that he's only 30, I answered, emphatically, yes. Well, he can be had now. The Nationals just designated him for assignment. He won't fill the role of a power-hitting right-handed bat, but he has a career .300 average against left-handers and, unless you believe he's washed up at 30, he's light years better than Eric Bruntlett.

But, with Bruntlett making $800K and the Phillies believing he's a whole lot better than he actually is, this move will never happen.

TNA: I can't comment on Walker because I haven't seen him, but I think Park starts at the bottom (below Condrey and Durbin) until he shows he can pitch consistently.

I know the guy performed well in the bullpen last year, but his performance as a starter was so awful that it makes me wonder whether he can be effective at all.

Until Park shows otherwise, my bullpen lines up like this:

9. Lidge
8. Madson
7. Romero/Durbin
6. Condrey/Eyre
5. Park

There seems to be a consensus about Clay Condrey.

Or, we could chalk it up to something scarier: BL Conventional Wisdom.

Cintron career against LHP: .300/.342/.412
Bruntlett career against LHP: .268/.359/.401

I don't see the light years difference, unless we're talking about comparing them within a black hole.

JR: Nice pen depth chart, i agree at this point, but I have a feeling that Park will fnid his way up near the 6th/7th after a few outings.

G-Town Dave, are you nuts??!!

The tone has been civil on BL recently and you have to evoke ghosts of BL past. Get in your BL bomb shelters as the Abreu lovers and haters will start lobbing morter fire at each other.

Sometimes words linger than you think they would, like from past threads. Thanks to BAP and loctastic for agreeing with me about Twitter. Just the name let's you know that it is for twits.

b_a_p: The fact that Cintron has a career .300 average against lefthanders is kinda irrelevant. If Charlie insists upon pinch hitting for Stairs and Dobbs every time the opposing manager goes to a lefthander, then the Phils need to have better righthanded options then either Bruntlett or Cintron.

Put more simply: If the Phils are going to pinch hit for Dobbs and Stairs, their righthanded options need to be better against lefthanders than Dobbs and Stairs.

If the Phils insist on having a versatile middle infielder, I think the best we can hope for is a guy who has enough speed to steal a bag or score from first on a double. He can be used almost exclusively as a pinch runner and the two righthanded bench bats can be a new outfielder with power and Coste.

BAP - Bruntlett has looked the "2nd half Bruntlett" at the plate so far which means he is worthless offensively. I highly doubt they move Bruntlett regardless because Cholly really seems to like him for his versatility.

BTY - Bruntlett's BABIP is a ridiculously low .182 so far and that will rise. I bet he finishes the year around .210 or so and has some of the worst offensive statistics in the league for has 200+ ABs including an OPS somewhere south of .600 (say .590 or so).

King - i'm fine with that too...Park, Condrey and Durbin are all interchangeable to me. I think Park has better and more pitches to throw at hitters than Condrey or Durbin, but at that level, it's just a matter of who's available.

as for Eyre, there's a gotta be a reason why he's been used less than half as much as any other reliever. i think it's because he can't throw strikes; he's decent against frustrated hitters who swing too much because they swing at his junk outside of the strike zone. but against others, he's useless - in fact he's been extremely lucky so far even with his terrible numbers.

I measure relievers on the "CJ scale" which has levels for how scared I am to see them in a game.

Right now, Clay Condrey scores very well on the "CJ scale" and, on some days, scores higher than Lidge!

Fred: I wasn't here for that mess, & I didn't bring it up today. If other people can't be civil to other posters w/ regard to their opinions, that's their problem. On the other hand, I don't see why any Phillies-related topic should be off-limits. That sounds like a Metsblog policy, not a Beerleaguer policy.

Let's not exaggerate Park's ineffectiveness as a starter. He was effective or above league average in 3 of his 7 starts, which is more than what you can say for Blanton or Moyer.

Hamels' game yesterday, in terms of effectiveness was only slightly above NL average. That's the kind of performance the #3 and #4 starters have to deliver on a consistent basis. It's just that our expectations are ridiculously low right that we're grabbing at straws.

G-Town, I am kidding and being sarcastic. Please don't take any offense at my comment, as my tongue was planted firmly in my cheek as I typed. The Abreu war of words rang hot and heavy for years on BL. There's nothing like it for the 2009 chapter of BL, even though we may debate stats and their values.

BLers generally agree on things like: Howard's fielding has improved, Brunlett is horrible, Park belongs in the pen, Myers and Blanton better straighten up their act, etc.

"He was effective or above league average in 3 or his 7 starts"

That's terrible.

His 4 completely ineffective starts were more than enough for me to put Park below Condrey and Durbin on the CJ scale.

TNA: I wouldn't trust Moyer or Blanton in the pen right now either, although the thought of moving Moyer to the pen next year to be an overpaid LOOGY always intrigues me.

Grabbing at straws is letting a few of Park's decent starts "cancel out" his complete meltdowns where couldn't even last out of the 3rd inning most of the time.

Also, I thought Hamels looked good. Did you see that Jay Bruce HR? He almost fell on his face after hitting the ball because he was so fooled on the pitch.

TNA: I would call a .32 point difference in batting average a pretty huge difference. But you really can't just look at their numbers against left-handers because that's not the only way Bruntlett is used. He has 16 ABs against left-handers this year; 13 against right-handers.

JR: I agree that Cintron would be inadequate as the first right-handed bat off the bench. But I wouldn't look at him as someone who could fill the need for a right-handed bat. I would look at him as someone who could fill the same utility infielder role that Bruntlett fills and not be an automatic out when we need him to hit.

TNA: I'll quibble.

Joe Blanton has three quality starts in his 7 starts. Chan Ho Park has 2 quality starts in his 7 starts.

Park failed to get out of the 4th inning twice. Blanton has never failed to get out of the 4th inning.

phaithful: Park made it into the 4th inning in 6 of his 7 starts. that said, he only completed 6 or more innings in only 3 of his 7 starts (which were all above average). again, i'm not defending his erratic and overall poor performance as he belongs in the BP for now (depending on what happens to Moyer), but let's not exaggerate.

BAP - I was using their lefty splits because you noted that cintron was a career .300 hitter against lefties.

b_a_p: I agree with you that Bruntlett needs to be replaced. I've always agreed with you on that.

Do you have any ideas on why Cintron's OPS this year is an amazingly low .220? I see he's only had 2 at-bats against lefthanders this year. Is he that bad against righthanded pitching?

BAP: I agree with your use of the scoreless games % as a good way to rate relievers. I made the same point several years ago about Joe Borowski being able to help the Phils (the year of their bullpen implosion) but virtually everyone pointed to his poor ERA (due to 3 of his 70 appearances).

My only point was that Condrey isn't pitching any differently than the recent past, his key stats are about the same, the big diff is H/9 and that is the result of an extraordinarily low BABIP that won't persist.

CJ - Blanton's thrown only one more stinker than Park: 4/8 vs. Atl, 4/27 vs. Was.

Park: 5/1 vs. Mets, 5/17 vs. Was, 4/12 vs. Col.

In terms of above average starts:
Blanton: 5/4 vs. STL
Park: 5/6 vs. Mets, 4/25 vs. FLA, 5/12 vs. LA

pardon, that should read:
Blanton's thrown only one less stinker than Park.

G-town Dave: The Abreu debate that raged here fell into two categories. Category one was whether the Abreu trade was a good one. Category two was whether Abreu's presence hindered the team because he wasn't a "winner," wasn't good in the clubhouse, didn't have fire in the belly, etc. etc. etc. The second argument is so nonsensical as to not be worthy of comment. The first argument was a legitimate debate, although I think the evidence is now so overwhelming that there's not much left to discuss.

If any poster ever suggested that Abreu is a HOF player I missed it. His closest comp thru age 34 is Bernie Williams, which sounds about right.

mlbtraderumors is reporting that the Indians are now fielding offers for Mark DeRosa. apparently, they aren't giving up hope in the weak AL Central and want pitching in return. would KK for DeRosa be acceptable to both sides? keep in mind DeRosa makes about $4.15 still this year...

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