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Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Marquis has been 'lucky' so far this season. His BAbip-against is .262; the average COL BAbip is .315 and the NL avg is .296.

Given his luckiness, his performances have been mixed. Although he has effectively shut down some high-powered offenses, including the Phillies, Cubs and Detroit, he has had some horrible games against some offensively challenged teams like ARI, HOU and SFG.

Some key peripherals:
xFIP: 4.71 (Hamels is one of the best at 3.19)
GB%: 52.7%
K/9: 4.1 (career low)
BB/9: 2.9 (career low)
WHIP: 1.29 (career low)
Infield Fly%: 21.0% (career: ~9%)
In terms of career splits, he's a much better 1st half pitcher than 2nd half, and progressively gets worse with each month.

If we take that long-standing trend into account, factor in an offsetting in luck, and assume he reverts back to the career mean over the rest of the year (and his year-to-year stats show a good amount of consistency), his performance could dip significantly from here until the end of september.

However, he has become a Lowe-esque sinkerball pitcher this year and has found success pitching to a great deal of contact. He has limited damage done by non-grounders by inducing an extraordinary number of infield flys. The numbers also show that hitters have been almost over-aggressive against him and have made contact with an unusually high percentage of pitches thrown out of the strike zone. (either that, or his movement has been extraordinary this year)

So on balance, he may not be a bad person to give a shot for the 4-5th starter position. He could be a decent fit if he can continue to throw his sinker with as much success as he has so far this year.

But there is also the good chance that he'll fade hard towards the end of the season.

I wonder what the Rockies are asking for him.

I want no part of Marquis. Are things really that bad that we are resorting to considering another mediocre starter like him? I'd rather give Kendrick another shot then trade Marquis for someone like, say, Kendrick.

Back to last night's game: one of the most frustrating and irritating losses of the season among Helms, (seriously, are you kidding me between the HR and the pretty nice play on Stairs' grounder in the 9th?) Paulino and Victorino losing his mind in the 9th. Saturday's loss was much more acceptable then that nonsense last night.

We're getting ahead of ourselves, but if Amaro thought this past off-season was a challenge, wait until this winter, regardless of what happens this season. Ready to find three, maybe four new starters there, Rube? Certainly doesn't look like Carrasco is ready and although he's only what, 22, you have to start to question if he ever will be.

You're already starting to question whether a 22yo pitcher in AAA will EVER be ready?

God, could there be a more Phillies-esque acquisition than Jason Marquis?

Actually, yes. His number this year are horrible-an ERA near six and a WHIP near 1.50. The team has publicly said they didn't like they way he reacted after bad outings. Somebody can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't ever remember reading that he's a "can't miss" prospect and most scouts have project him as a 3-4 type starter, which seems to be a very high ceiling for him at the moment. Sure, he's young and has time to figure it out, but if you go back and read my post, I was talking about having to find starters for 2010. Going into this year, it was widely assumed that he would be a legit contender for a spot in next year's rotation. If I had to guess, the team was probably also hoping he would pitch well enough to fill in in case of an injury or at worse, a September call-up, looking forward to 2010. Now? Well...

Marquis - Difference-maker? That's a stretch but unless you think the Phils are going to get a much better performance out of Moyer (not much better) or Blanton (probably but just how much is a stretch) Marquis would likely give the Phils the other starter they are missing instead of playing the next 2 months before making a move at the deadline.

Question is what do the Rockies want in return for him now vs. say in 2 months or so. They might be desperate to save a little cash but I imagine they want at least one very solid prospects in return for him and probably another decent prospect. Means you are talking a Carrasco/Marson type and another player.

Putting Marquis in this rotation is somewhat akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Or, maybe it'll be like swapping Eaton for Blanton. I, for one, wish they'd set their sights a little higher. I wouldn't shed a tear if they moved several prospects for a Peavy.

MG - I think it would be beyond idiotic to give up a Carrasco/Marson level prospect for a guy like Marquis.

He's better than Moyer

Sounds about right. Maybe we'll only give up something like Dom Brown and Kyle Drabek too.


From Yahoo Sports:

May 26: [Joe] Blanton and Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee have discovered a mechanical flaw that they believe is partly responsible for Blanton's early season struggles, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

"When I'm coming set," Blanton said, demonstrating by clasping his hands together and freezing them near his belt, "I've been sloppy. My feet are too wide apart. If both Dubee and I noticed it, you figure there must be something to it, and it made sense because I really have felt like I've been throwing the ball well lately." Blanton did not know how long the bad habit had been in place, but he expected that the correction would result in an improved performance in his start on Tuesday.

I don't know the actual numbers, but it seems to me that Joe Blanton's starts have fallen on an inordinate amount of days where games are rained out or at least there is rain.

I wonder if that becomes frustrating after a while.

In Re Marquis: Marquis is objectively horrific. If Carrasco or someone else from the minors could not do better, then the situation is pretty sad.

Horrific? I don't see it.

I don't see it either. He's been better than Blanton and Moyer. Those two have been horrific.

I don't see horrific either. I see more fringe rotation material. Giving Moyer the benefit of the doubt (which he has earned), I don't see how you confidently bump one of the guys we have to slot Marquis into the rotation. I recognize that Moyer has been awful, but, he's earned (and the Phillies have invested) alot of rope to hang himself with before he's moved. I don't think he necessarily replaces Blanton, either. I think Joe will turn it around by mid-June or so, if not this week. Give me someone clearly better than these guys, not another journeyman.


Just trying to be objective.

I was thinking that Marquis' numbers and stuff (a little less so) kind of remind me of Cory Lidle and damned if Baseball Reference doesn't have Lidle as the 2nd similar pitcher as career numbers.

People scoff but Marquis would be a notable improvement over Moyer right now and likely would be over Blanton too. Phils realize that they made a huge mistake with Moyer but are willing to see if he can work himself out of it. I think though that they are less than thrilled with Blanton (a guy who was never known as an especially hard worker in Oakland and was generally not a favorite of management including Beane).

This team right now reminds me a years past when the Phils had a pretty good offense but a pretty shaky pitching staff including being a couple of starters' short and one/two major issues in the bullpen. Right now, this team strikes me as a team that will win about 85-86 games but will be hard pressed to make the playoffs with this pitching staff over the course of the season.

As for Moyer, his location wasn't bad last night but he was getting smoked. If the Phils INF defense wasn't one of the best ones in baseball (and you can say that with Howard playing at a Gold Glove caliber right now), Moyer would have easily given up another 4-5 hits last night. Feliz, JRoll, Utley, and Howard all made at least one very solid/spectacular play last night.

Okay. Had a sip of coffee.

We get lots of Jason Marquis reporting in Staten Island. Most of it details the various ways people sock him around. Before this season he has gotten beaten up quite a bit. The ONLY upside I see is that he hits better than Miguel Cairo. But there are reasons that STL and CHC have divested themselves of his services. Good reasons.

Really. If you're not in for Peavy, then save the money and prospects for, like, Bedard or Oswalt.

Cripes. Despite having spoken loudly against our Kyle "I Don't Miss Bats" Kendrick, I would rather give him another shot and save whichever prospects they were looking to send to COL than get Marquis.

Now having to give up two highly-rated prospects for a guy like Marquis would be a stretch but is it better to play the next 2 months a starter short?

Of course, if we can send Moyer and Park to COL for Marquis and Corpas, I would do that.

Marquis' worth is sort of relative. If Hamels and Myers can continue to progress and become the 1-2 or 2-2 they seemingly can be, then Marquis would indeed work as a stabilizing presence in the back-end, supposing he continues to pitch well.

If Hamels and Myers, or more likely, just Myers, fades to average, then adding Marquis is largely ineffectual. In that case, we will need to find front-line talent.

I have to be honest, I'd sooner stick with what we have than cough up prospects for Marquis. He's not that much of an improvement. If we're going after Peavy, Oswalt, or Bedard that's an improvement. Marquis is just more of the same.

One redeeming grace about Marquis - he keeps the ball in the park and on the ground. Two keys to success in CBP especially with this INF defense.

The only issue with him is that needs to keep the walks in check. So far, he has done a good job of that but even a slight uptick north would be an issue if the Phils got him.

MG - Marquis is fully capable of surrendering gopher balls. In 2006 he led the league.

Happ really showed something on Saturday. 75 pitches in 6 effective innings against the best lineup we've seen all year. No free passes (Yanks are 9th in MLB in BB) and 50 of those pitches went for strikes. He also got 4 K's, which showed that he can pitch for contact outs and can punch guys out too.

Happ is 26 and has improved every year at the minor league level, culminating in a very strong season at Lehigh last year. Perhaps he has been unfairly banded as an overachiever because he's never been a "top" prospect in the system. Regardless, it seems like he can pitch at the ML level, and potentially surprise us.

Re: Carrasco. What has held the kid back is makeup, not stuff. He's got 2nd or 3rd starter ability but he seems to show the maturity of a teenager and not of a 22 year old who has been in the system a while. This has been the long held consensus on him. Don't forget he started the Minor League All - Star game a year ago (FWIW). We know he has talent, but he does not appear ready to make the jump.

I am with those who think Marquis is "more of the same." Let's be honest, you can find reasons, objective and subjective, that suggest he has turned the corner. Granted he is a FA after this season, but his career path shows another marginal, league average, back of the rotation guy who does nothing for me. We already made that move with Blanton, who we have under control at cost and will inevitably have to be patient with. In some ways, more patient than with Moyer because there is no reason Blanton should be in for a steep decline (park factors aside). Moyer, on the other hand, is 46 years old.

The Phillies need to show some patience and wait this trade market out. Based on what the economy did to FA this winter, and declining ticket sales through 2 months of the season, I think they can afford to. A better, front end starter should come available later in the year, so let's not waste any potential trade pieces too soon. You never know what Ed Wade might be willing to accept for Oswalt and that contract. For the right price he's absolutely worth it.

In the meantime, I am excited to see what JA Happ can do. Sometimes conventional wisdom is trumped by good old fashion outliers.

I think optimism with regards to Cole and Brett is justifiable. In the month of May:

Hamels: 2.88 ERA .247 BAA .734 OPS
Myers: 3.76 ERA .248 BAA .795 OPS

And that includes Myers' first May start, a 5 inning 5 run job vs. STL.

If you're betting that 1) Cole and Brett will continue along this path and 2) that Moyer will not rebound, then acquiring Marquis makes sense, depending on the price tag.

Marquis could be a dangerous pitcher for the Phillies. Though he is currently pitching well I don't see a huge upside to him. This is a difficult decision for sure, and the price would have to be right.

Great quote courtesy of TNA from last thread:

Manuel on shifting Lidge to setup: "That's what Houston did. They used to slide him in the sixth and seventh. What good did that do?"

Well, it enabled him to win back the closer job with impressive, less-pressure outings and set him up for a perfect season last year. Other than that, it didn't do a thing.

"That's what Houston did..."

There's the right way;
there's the Marine way;
and there's the Manuel way.

Again, common sense has no place in the Lidge discussion.

clout - Yeah I was kind of baffled by the foolishness of that comment too. It appears Lidge will be the closer be damned according to Cholly regardless of performance.

Sadly, more and more it seems the Phils will get a 2003 Jose Mesa season out of Lidge. That trainwreck prevented the Phils from making the WC that season. Hopefully the result isn't the same this season.

I think we're looking at the Marquis talk the wrong way. Detailed statistical analysis shows we're mistaken about the Phillies intentions:

Miguel Cairo 2009 OPS .235
Eric Bruntlett 2009 OPS .415
Greg Dobbs 2009 OPS .466
Jason Marquis 2009 OPS .572

Their not looking to replace Blanton; they're looking to replace Dobbs.

Marquis would clearly be an improvement over Moyer and to think that Moyer might rebound this year is pretty ridiculous. Moyer historically owns all of those free swinging Marlins and last night he got rocked. Marquis would also be an ideal end of the rotation pitcher for the Phillies because he made himself a ground ball pitcher, which the Phillies really need in this ballpark with this infield defense. A rotation of Hamels-Myers-Happ-Marquis-Blanton (in that order) would be significantly better than what we have now and hopefully help to reduce the strain on our bullpen.

Jason Marquis hit a grand slam lefty-lefty off Jon Niese last year in the second-to-last series of the season.

He is not what you're looking for, though, especially if you want him in the postseason rotation. He has been the odd man out of the Cubs playoff rotation the last two years and for good reason.

I'm not comparing the Cubs staff to the Phils staff, but he just can't be trusted. He just throws sinking two-seamers that are hit or miss every time out.

You're best bet at a "difference-maker" would be Eric Bedard, who is in a contract year and is quietly regaining some 2007 form over in Seattle.

If i remember correctly Colorado gave almost nothing to the Cubs to accquire him, so unless the rox are just looking for a salary dump, i'm not very inclined to pay them for the sell high approach and the Phils will be stupid to do so.

If Dave Duncan and Tony LaRussa, the resurrectors of so many pitchers that others have given up on who go on to turn it around in St. Louis, saw no reason to keep Marquis, then I don't see any reason for the Phillies to acquire him.
As others have already pointed out, we don't need another mediocre pitcher.

Trade Moyer for Marquis. Moyer has just been a diaster.

"God, could there be a more Phillies-esque acquisition than Jason Marquis?"

Very true, Myno. Rosenthal reported on Saturday that the Phils were kicking the tires on different pitchers west of the Mississippi. He noted Peavy (too much money), Bedard (too stubborn), and Washburn (too Joe Blanton). But the most intriguing name to those of us watching the FOX telecast in Philly was Roy Oswalt. Oswalt, 31, had his best season in 2005 with a record of 20-12 with a 2.94 ERA and 184 K's in 241.2 IP.

Since then his number have diminished, although he posted 17 wins with a mediocre Houston team. I personally would love to see the Phillies pick him up. He signed a 5-yr/$73MM contract in 2006 and is due $14MM this season, $15 million in 2010 and $16 million in 2011. He has a complete no-trade clause and a $2 million buyout of a $16 million club option for 2012. If the Phillies want to return to October, I think a move like this would be very helpful.

Any other names we should be looking at?

I don't get the "Moyer has earned more time in the rotation" line. Don't Amaro and Charlie have an obligation to win games now, not reward Moyer for what he did last year? And, by the way, he sucked in '07, so it's not like Jamie has an unblemished record of success here.

Moyer's absolute best start now is anybody's else's mediocre one. Time to move on-sentiment got him an undeserved two year deal, let's not let the same sentiment stop the club from bringing in Marquis or someone else who might improve the rotation.

You really can't count on the Mets choking in September again.

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