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Saturday, May 23, 2009


DH rules actually show why it makes sense to DH Mayberry. It's quite likely that Stairs will pinch hit for Mayberry for some time today. If Mayberry is in LF, you are then left with the choice of leaving Stairs in LF or putting Bruntlett in the game. The Phillies are better of DHing Mayberry unless Raul could really use the break from playing the outfield.

I guess they wanted Ibanez to get the rest, line-up hot off the twitter-presses:
SS Rollins
2B Utley
LF Werth
1B Howard
DH Ibanez
CF Victorino
3B Feliz
RF Mayberry
C Coste

In the bad old days Cholly used to get a months worth of lineup cards printed up at the same time. Now, the lineups often reflect whose hot, who we're playing and where, who's pitching, etc. Thank you Jimy Williams.

Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile.

It's going to be a great day of baseball.

Look at Mayberry's splits so far this season at LHV, B-Mac before making that assertion.

Stairs had an awful collar last night and Mayberry's OPS is higher and all of his homeruns thus far this season have been against RH pitching.

Does anyone have a breakdown of the Phils' era when Coste/Ruiz are catching, respectively?

I think we keep forgetting that a lot of being in the Majors is a mental thing. Eaton was supposed to be a good pitcher given his natural abilities, same with Gavin Floyd. They never mentally could handle the game at this level. Hopefully a weekend at the launchpad will give Mayberry some confidence.

I see Adam Eaton was released by the Orioles.


CERA (Catcher's ERA)
Chris Coste 2009 5.40
2008 3.98
2007 4.90
2006 4.60

Carlos Ruiz 2009 5.10
2008 3.84
2007 4.62
2006 4.13

So, that would be empirical evidence that Ruiz is indeed a better defensive catcher than Chris Coste?

Maybe the Nationals will sign Eaton. Or the Padres if they trade Peavy, San Diego was the only place Eaton was ever "successful."

curt - Right on but generally Cholly's lineups weren't ever an issue. It was his burning through his bench early in games from time to time.

Shouldn't be an issue though playing in the AL. You really don't need a deep bench.

mpn: thanks for posting that. I would have thought the gap in catchers ERA was much wider this year.

Caught Steal %
2009 .417 (5/12 in 15 games started)
2008 .228
2007 .286
2006 .194

2009 .385 (5/13 in 19 games started)
2008 .235
2007 .313
2006 .214

Those CERAs probably need to be put in some context. Without additional context, we don't really know whether the difference between the two players' CERAs is a lot, a little, or medium. My impession, however, is that it's a lot.

Assuming all else is constant, I wonder what the difference in CERAs would be if you took the worst pitch-calling catcher in the majors & compared him to the best one? I have no idea what the answer is, but would be pretty surprised if it was appreciably higher than, say, a half run per game. If my theory is correct, then that means that those CERA numbers show a pretty vast difference between Ruiz & Coste in terms of game-calling skills.

NEPP: Well, a .30 of a run is statistically significant over that number of observations. I don't want to be a "numbskull" but that appears to be empirical evidence to me.

MPN - On the Caught stealing percentage you're including those who were picked off by the pitcher. Chris Coste has only "gunned down" two this year. Chooch has gotten three.

I think catcher's ERA is more reflective of game-calling skills than defensive prowess.

And even for evaluating game-calling it's far from a perfect stat. For instance, say Coste caught the majority of Eaton's starts(no idea if that's true or not). That's going to hurt Coste's catcher's ERA. That may be in part due to Coste's pitch selection for Eaton but it probably has more to do with Eaton being a terrible pitcher.

It's a helpful stat but doesn't necessarily tell the whole story.

I concur that the CERA is kinda conclusive in this case. Note that Brad Lidge's ERA in particular is second worst throughout his career with Coste as his battery mate.

I actually think it's just because the pitchers get unintentionally intimidated staring in at Coste.


Good catch. I was going between three windows and didn't parse the data closely enough. Thanks!

It also depends on whether one catcher tends to catch a certain pitcher. For example, if Coste always caught Eaton and Kendrick, that would raise his CERA, whereas if Ruiz was Hamels's sole catcher, then that would lower his CERA.

At the same time, however, both Myers and Hamels have pitched significantly better with Coste than Chooch.

Strange but true. I guess those two are harder for a catcher to intimidate.

****NEPP: Well, a .30 of a run is statistically significant over that number of observations. I don't want to be a "numbskull" but that appears to be empirical evidence to me.****

I was being a bit sarcastic. I agree that Ruiz is the better gamecaller (part of good "defense" from a catcher)

I would've seriously considered this:

SS Rollins
2B Utley
LF Werth
1B Howard
DH Ibanez
3B Feliz
RF Mayberry
C Coste
CF Victorino

or even this:
SS Rollins
2B Utley
LF Werth
1B Howard
DH Ibanez
RF Mayberry
3B Feliz
C Coste
CF Victorino

1) So that Vic could possibly be an extra fast baserunner ahead of Utley.
2) So that Coste wouldn't be prone to double up Vic.

and for the second line-up
3) To give Mayberry a chance to beat out DP groundballs with Ibanez or Howard on first.

That being said, it's still kinda warm and a little humid and they're in the new Yankee stadium. The line-up can be kinda irrelevant during hittin' season.

Hoping the Phils get to Petitte's 116th pitch early in the fifth inning or sooner.

It is really hard to rate a catcher's defense because even the caught stealing is a reflection of whether several factors including the pitcher is a leftty/right (steal attempts are generally lower against LHP), pitching from the stretch, etc.

If anything, Ruiz defensive prowess is probably overrated and Coste is underrated. Ruiz isn't Johnny Bench behind the plate but he is a everyday starter if he can keep his OPS above .700. Problem is that the last 2 season he has gone an extended stretch (at least a month or more) where hits with a sub .600 OPS. Basically a Mendoza line hitter with almost no pop.

You just can't start a guy 5/times a week with such poor offensive numbers especially in the NL. You give up too many outs and create too many easy innings for a starter.

If Ruiz can keep doing what he has been (hit slightly above .250 and get his share of walks), he is fine and an everyday starter.

NEPP: Yeah, another poster (guess who???) called me a "numbskull" yesterday for posting something on our backup catcher...

I can't imagine who would do that.

Bottom line is that most of our pitchers love throwing to Chooch. That's huge. Its no coincidence that the team ERA has improved since he returned. Offense from him is secondary.

Hmm, the nervous Nellies of Beerleaguer were all in a tizzy at the idea of Ibanez being DH even though it made perfect sense and there's no empirical evidence that using NL players as DH causes them to fall into slumps.

Is it possible Cholly is smarter than he's given credit for?

MacTonight: Out of respect for your incredible sensitivity, I promise not to criticize your posts no matter how lame-brained. You've been a quivering mass of hurt feelings lately and I don't wish to add further burdens.

P.S. Bill Conlin is actually pretty tall.

Rosenthal just said we are checking in on Marquis??? Ugh. Another guy who pitches well against us, so he must be good.

I can't imagine even davethom arguing that Coste is a better defensive catcher than Ruiz. The stats support what your eyes see.

"the nervous Nellies of Beerleaguer"

Is this an official group, like "The Beerleaguer Elite" or "Clout's Minions?" Are there, like, membership cards and secret handshakes? If one wanted to join (which I don't think I really want to - I'm more of a "Soggy Old Blanket" than a "Nervous Nellie"), if there a complicated form and a joining fee?

Please advise. We Beerleaguers need full disclosure!

clout: To davthom Christ Coste makes the laws and breaks the laws, he's the devil and the Mesiah. Now, that said, I don't have a problem with Coste when he plays well, but he's had some bad stretches last year and early this year, so there was room for concern.

clout - If you cannot imagine davthom making that argument then it's clear you have a pretty limited imagination.

davthom would argue that Chris Coste invented the concept of "defensive catcher."

Ken Rosenthall discussing the fact that the Phillies have inquired about Jason Marquis is about the worst thing that I have heard since "Miguel Cairo pinch hitting."

Amaro needs to ask himself these questions:

(1)Why does a pitcher go to Colorado? (2) Why is Marquis in Colorado? (3) Why is Marquis the number 5 starter in Colorado?

Answer Key: (1) To slowly let their career die, (2) Everyone except Marquis was ready to let his career die (3) Because he is freaking horrible.

Oh good, Buck and McCarver. I hope they somehow find a way to talk about how wonderful David Price is for a few innings.

The only upside to Jason Marquis would be that he would provide a better RHB off the bench than Cairo or Bruntlett.

Oh, it would also increase the local Staten Island coverage of Phillies baseball, since he's (evidentally) from here.

Prior to coming to Philly, Ibanez spent his entire 13 year career in the AL, so I tend to think of him as an AL player who is just now getting a deeper understanding of NL play, not the other way around.

Will Wheels be on the radio the whole game today? I hope not.

Andy, true. I hadn't considered the possibility that the Phillies might be adding Marquis for his bat off the bench.

Is anyone else intermittently losing sound?

Ugh, an afternoon of McCarver. I will never forgive him for his World Series announcing. Remember how he went crazy during the rain game about how it was a huge disadvantage for the Rays since they couldn't steal bases? Meanwhile, he neglects to mention the effect is has on the fielders as gold glove Jimmy Rollins can't handle a routine play due to the rain. Meanwhile, the Rays still stole a base. I hate McCarver.

Bring on Roy Oswalt! I see no point in Marquis unless they really think Moyer is done.

In any event, I don't understand how anyone could argue that Marquis would be an improvement over anyone in the rotation other than Park, and he is not in the rotation anymore.

jms: yes, here too.

Anyone else noticing FOX is having some glitches in their broadcast?

Here as well.

And picture now, too. Awesome. Glad to see FOX spent the allotted broadcast money on Buck's hair gel.

I was about to post about the glitches to see if I was the only one. Fox sucks, plus now Rangers vs. Astros isn't on Extra Innings so I don't get to see the next chapter in The Silver Boot series.

Just for the record I LOVE Utley in the 2 hole. Wouldn't mind this lineup vs. RHP either.

Happ needs to hit his spots with his breaking stuff and he'll be fine. Fastballs on the edge and then breaking stuff for strikes.

Happ is only throwing 89-90!! What happened to 93! Game = over!

Love it. Fastball on the inside corner at the knees

All those years in AAA, Happ must of really learned to pitch. He doesn't have awesome stuff but he just throws strikes.

Cy Happ!

I hope Happ has been working on the curve, which was outstanding in the minors, but he abandoned in the bullpen. If he just goes fastball/slider he may have problem the second time thru the lineup.

According to gameday, Happ has thrown all fastballs. It could be wrong though. Nice to see he can throw the same pitch with good location and get by. Just threw a changeup as I wrote this.

Why would anyone bother to listen to what Rosenthal has to say? He'd make a far more credible lawn jockey than he does MLB "hot stove" guru.

Also, Fox is the worst thing that has happened to professional baseball since Bud Selig. Or did they happen at about the same time? No matter. Both SUCK.

Positive 1st inning, Happ's under control.

Happ is the anti-Park

Dave: I actually think that Rosenthal is way underrated. He's basically a one man shop at Fox and he always seems to have good scoops.

As much as I loathe Mc/Buck, this is infinitely better than Al Leiter and Michael Kay. I actually thought Al Leiter was pretty good on MLB channel, but as a color guy he was abhorrent.

It seems like every time someone mentions announcers, Rob Dibble gets bashed. I like Dibbs. Some have complained that he is too much of a homer. For my dollar, who cares. I never heard him rip any of the Phillies players or provide unwarranted defense of any of the Nationals players. Dibbs tells it like it is and takes no prisoners. His honesty and bluntness is refreshing, IMO.


Ibanez is incredible.

DH=Slump inducing?


Its easy to scoff at adding a mediocre guy like Marquis but even Marquis would be a pretty big improvement over what the Phils have gotten out of the likes of Blanton and Moyer so far.

I am glad to see though that Amaro realizes that the Phils are just a solid starter short though right now of potentially building a solid lead in the NL East.

Hmmm, have to say, unless he goes on the DL, Ibanez is a cold lock to get 30HRs this year.

Rauuuuuuuuuuuul. Fantastic.

So much for being DH and effecting his swing . . .

It's amazing the kind of season you can have when you sell your sould to the devil.

Did Brad Lidge used to throw high 90s? I am looking at the baseball almanac's fastest pitcher in baseball history page, and it has a picture of Brad lidge in a game against the Phillies in 2007 at CBP throwing 100 mph.

I always thought he was a mid 90s guy?


MPN: To each his own. I find Rosenthal to be a disingenuous weasel, who is prone to changing his opinions to fit the facts. *shrug*

Nice patience on that pitch by the kid

I have a feeling Ibanez merchandise is selling briskly these days.

I worship at the Church of Rauuuuuuuuuul

johnnysanz: Lidge wasn't with the Phillies in 2007. It's Wagenr throwing 100.

Kid got down the line pretty good, and wasn't too upset by a horrendous call on strike 2.

Not bad first at bat for the kid, should have gotten the walk, hard hit ball. Not too shabby.

I did love though how Fox before the game was all Yanks ball-washing even though the Phils kicked in their teeth last night. Don't have an issue with Buck or McCarver being "homers" but it is ridiculous how Fox coverage in general focuses on the NY teams.

Clout: Ya it was against the Phillies, he was with the Astros. It showed him with an Astros uniform on throwing the pitch with the 100mph on the scoreboard in the background.

IOP: Dibble is great. I enjoy watching the Nats telecasts because of him. It is hilarious when he rips on the Nats, especially the bullpen. He calls 'em like he sees 'em.

Don't Worry Mayberry: We all know your first mlb at bat was very good looking walk, and not the groundout that was recorded because of the blind ump behind the plate.

clout: he said "against the phillies."

Johnnysanz: Lidge did throw 95+ (100 at times) with the Stros.

He threw in the high 90's last season as well, though less consistently.

I think he has sacrificed some velocity for better control of his fastball. Obviously, even at slower speeds, he still has some issues.

Here is the link: It's halfway down the page with the other pics.

Tsk..Tsk.. Maybe Werth should of stayed in RF =)

MG: If it's not NY, Boston or the Cubbies, Fox, ESPN, etc. don't give a flying *bleep*. Screw 'em.

FOX is really screwing this up. Gimme Comcast.

I never would of thought that Ibanez would be hitting 333 .396 .689 1.085 vs LHP (not counting the Hr he just hit) at this point.

They're really scoring that a hit?

johnnysanz: Thanks for the link. I had never heard of Lidge throwing 100. Don't recall it being mentioned when he was acquired and you'd think a writer might've mentioned it.

Starting Werth in LF was not the best way Manuel could have handled the DH insertion. Just not a good idea after the guy's been in RF all year. I know that technically he and Mayberry are both better fielders than Ibanez, but not enough so that it justifies completely altering the OF configuration.

Scorers screwed Happ on an earned run there.

Len39: Yeah, when the Phils played the Nats, I got the impression that Dibbs was actually more critical of the Nats. Plus Dibbs knows his stuff, at least when it comes to pitching. Where some announcers will just say "breaking ball," Dibble can actually recognize the difference between a slider and a curve. I've seen him accurately recognize all types of pitches and it was impressive, considering what I am used to.

RSB: Charlie heard about all the raving on Beerleaguer about Mayberry so he figured he would put him in RF to jump up and catch any possible HR's to RF, figuring he was super-human.

I expect Ibanez will start to pick it up as he gets to know NL pitchers as he does these guys.

RSB: Werth and Mayberry are both better fielders than Ibanez, but Werth has played LF in the past so it's not like it's a huge challenge. He just lost the ball in the sun.

Is the ump Joe Girardi in disguise?

Good way to screw your battery mate there Coste. Argue the call when Happ is getting a nice strike zone, too. Nice.

IOP: Having never heard Dibble broadcast, I don't have any opinion on his skills (or lack thereof) ... but wouldn't it be damn sad if a former Major League pitcher couldn't accurately identify the types of pitches being thrown?

If I was a reporter I would be asking Ibanez if MLB is testing him weekly now lol

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