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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Comments

Obviously, the question of whether or not to bring Myers back rests on several unresolved factors. Who do we trade for in the next few weeks? How do our pitching prospects develop? Are any of Worley, Drabek, Carrasco, or Bastardo able to stake a claim to a rotation spot for next year? Are any of them traded? Does Happ show he is a legitimate major league starter, or does his future belong in the bullpen? If we have the oppurtunity to bring Myers back on a one year incentive laden deal, than I say we do it, no question. I'm really curious to see whether he finds his velocity again post-surgery. If he does, he could take his game up a level, as he's already learned to pitch without his former velocity.

Longshot but they should give Carrasco a try. Happ seems to be a legit 4/5 guy so far. He's not really given any reason for us not to think that.

On Myers: Do you offer him arbitration in the off-season? Talk about a crappy decision to make. I'd hate to see him walk and get nothing in return for him. Would he even be a Type A?

He'd probably be a Type B, won't he? I mean, his numbers aren't exactly great over the past couple seasons.

Prediction: Myers regains velocity and better command next year post-surgery and has a good season. He will probably be on another team, but shouldn't be because he would probably sign the cheapest for Philly.

Wondering why exactly we shouldn't bring up a lefty if they're the best choice? Four lefties in the rotation is too many, folks say, but it's not like we regularly move pitchers around to face certain teams. Don't see what the big difference is between 3 lefties and 4.

As for the strike zone, with the center field camera always off center (so you can see both the pitcher and home plate) you're never quite sure where the real strike zone is, but during one AB vs Durbin there was a pitch that 'just missed' inside and another that 'just missed' outside. Seems like one or the other had to be a strike. Wish we had the over the plate angle more often.

Myers is never afraid to say anything. I've always admired that about him. On this team, Jimmy Rollins and Brett Myers are at the very least, the vocal leaders.

does anyone know of a source for phillies uniform numbers, throughout their history? e.g. i'd like to see a list of every phillie who worn #1, etc, etc. with dates.

EFF: Is bringing up a lefty the best choice? Tell us why.

I think Carrasco should be given the opportunity as a shot in the arm type deal to get him out of the AAA rut. Plus he has the best stuff out of all of them.

I remember going to a promo event at the Vet for season ticket holders in 2002-03 off-season. The 2 players there were Myers and Burrell, promoted as the key ingredients for the team going forward. Myers was touted as a potential number 1 starter, great fastball and curve etc.

In fairnes to Myers, the overwhelming majority of prospects touted as #1s fail to achieve that level. And sometimes a guy touted as mid-rotation surprises everyone.

The confusion about Myers arises from both high expectations and the fact that in '05 and '06 he seemed on the way to fulfilling those expectations. But that road ended in '07, maybe because of the move to the bullpen or because of physical issues.

Today, Myers is simply a league-average, middle of the rotation pitcher, a nice #3 on a winning team. Nothing more, nothing less. Odds are he'll remain that way.

Here's 2 bits of conventional wisdom that have come out over the last couple of days and with which I disagree:

1. You can't have 4 left-handers in your rotation. Why not? What difference does it make? And, even if someone can convince me that it makes a difference, surely that difference is made virtually moot by the fact that Happ & Hamels both have reverse lefty-righty splits.

2. You can't succeed as a major league pitcher with 2 pitches.

It's not ideal, but if you can change speeds and locate those pitches well, you CAN suceed. Happ is out there doing pretty well with basically just 1 pitch (plus a changeup which he rarely throws and a curve ball that is truly horrible). And a guy named Hamels is a pretty good major league starter with only 2 pitches.

All of this is my roundabout way of saying that, if Bastardo has a couple more good starts at AAA, he should definitely get a call-up. I don't know why everyone is so quick to write off a guy whose minor league numbers have been spectacular at every level. The comments about Bastardo are virtually identical to the ones which were written about Happ before his call-up. Happ has done a pretty good job so far & Bastardo strikes me as a very similar pitcher.

Interesting post this morning. I tend to view Myers in the same regard as J. Weitzel. At times he has been an extreme underachiever; other times, Myers gave you the quintessential "gutsy" performance that is so well respected by the Philadelphia sports fan. That day in Boston is something we will never forget, but neither was the save he had to secure our first playoff appearance in 15 years. His body of work is hard to judge because statistically he never lived up to expectations, but I tend to think most of us will remember him as a valuable competitor on some classic Phils squads. Despite good and bad times, it's a shame to see him end his career in Philly this way. It seems a bit too early to write his eulogy so the optimist in me is going to hold out hope that he comes back in September.

That said, time to look forward, and I think it presents an interesting challenge for the early Amaro tenure. This organization has traditionally been conservative in bringing up pitching prospects, but for the first time that I can remember we actually have both depth in prospects and young arms performing well at all levels of the minor leagues. My guess is that Kendrick or Carpenter take the first crack, but are only short term solutions in the eyes of the FO. Carrasco and Bastardo, if they continue to perform well at AAA, will ultimately be called on next month with the intention of keeping them up if they perform. Bastardo has 2 strong AAA starts under his belt after being promoted from a red hot opening month in AA; Carrasco has been excellent in his last 3 starts after a rough patch to begin the season. 21 K and 7 BB with a 2.49 ERA over 19 2/3 IP is nothing to sniff at. The kid can pitch and the FO has already stated their expectations are that he can "help the team at some point this season." And this was before we lost Myers.

Granted Baseball is different than the other major sports, but I am staunch believer that at some point you just have to let your talent play out at the top level. Sometimes athletes need a better challenge to reach their true potential. We still need two pitchers and we can only afford one. Therefore, if we plan to be a championship caliber team this year, we are going to need to find a contributor from within, and preferably one that sticks and not a rotating door of AAA 'averageness.' I think Carrasco fits the profile. Hopefully young Johan does too.

I think it's clear the Phillies will not call up Carrasco, at least for Myers' next turn in the rotation. The open spot in the Phillies' rotation is on Tuesday, and Carrasco pitched last night. That means he would have to pitch on 3 days' rest to fill the spot, which I think we can all agree is something the Phillies organization would never do.

It's funny that clout mentioned the event which linked Myers & Burrell. I was just about to write that Myers' Phillies career will kind of go down much like Burrell's Phillies career. Burrell was a better overall player, but there are some similarities between the 2. Both were No. 1 draft picks, who were highly touted and were here for a long time. Both were pretty good players on the whole but neither was particularly well-liked by the fans, in part becuase, when they were bad, they were REALLY bad. And neither ever quite lived up to what fans expected of them.

I agree with clout that Myers is a league average pitcher but he was certainly better than that at one point. Evidently he has been dealing with this injury for awhile, so it's possible that it has been the reason for his problems. Considering he's only 28, he wouldn't be a bad gamble for some team next year -- on a one-year contract, that is. I doubt the Phillies will be the team to give him that one-year deal, but I certainly wouldn't rule it out.

b_a_p & EFF: I think we'll see the reason tomorrow afternoon. People will make excuses that it is because Moyer is washed up, but if you give the other team the same look three days in a row then you have prohlems. Hamels world class change up tonight will prep them for Moyer's change up tomorrow, etc. Baseball is all about trying to create unbalance and asymmetry with your opponent.

dwr: Correct about Carrasco. I was going to say the same thing.

One last thing about Myers: he has spent most of his career being a truly terrible hitter. Then, in the playoffs last year, his bat really shined and he has carried it into this year. It's a tiny sample size, but you need only watch the ABS (the Sabathia walk being the prime example) to realize that, actually, this guy does have some ability to hit; he just hasn't really been working at it. I bring this up because it's sort of a metaphor for his pitching career. He probably could have, and should have, been better.

BAP: "You can't have 4 left-handers in your rotation. Why not? What difference does it make?"

You can, but it's probably not a good idea. Here's why: Most hitters are right-handed. And the overwhelming majority hit lefties better. In addition, there are a number of bench and platoon righties that totally kill lefties. Many more than lefties that kill righties.

The A's used an all-lefty rotation from mid-August thru mid-September last year and went 9-10. The 1954 Senators had 4 lefty starters and went 66-88. Obviously the quality of the pitcher and team dictates he results, but it seems to me giving hitters different looks (lefty, righty, power, finesse) in a series gives you an edge.

Not saying you can't win with an all-lefty rotation. Heck, teams have won with bad bullpens, bad offense, bad defense etc. I just think it's a disadvantage.

BAP: Happ's curveball is pretty good, or it was last year at LV.

JW: Glad to see you focus on Myers. In a previous thread, someone wrote: "The wife beater gets what he deserves. Hopefully his career is completely over."

I have no reason to excuse Myers' conduct in Boston, but he and his wife have accepted counseling and, absent any indications to the contrary, is trying to do better.

I do not wish that his career is over. I do not see this as Myers "getting what he deserves." Physical damage occurs to athletes. This could be another "stepping stone" in his maturing as a young man. I would rather hope for the best for him and his family. I get the impression that the Phils' management, led by Charlie, take into account the personal side of an athlete's situation, not just the W/L or BA. We could all learn from that.

There is a common belief that starting. pitchers don't really find themselves until they hit the age of 27. Myers age 27 season was one marked by uncertainty and a huge personal choice. He got a taste of being the closer the prior year and liked that role, then he got moved into the starting rotation and admittedly didn't work as hard as he should have to get ready (a refreshing piece of honesty from a player). He then was sent to the minors and came back and looked like the guy he was pegged to be years ago. And really, he was a major contributor to us getting to the playoffs.

I think there is still time for him to realize more of his potential but like clout I think he is going to settle into a 2/3 starter and never be an ace.

Secondly, hypothetically let's assume we can bring in a Jake Peavy or Roy Halladay type pitcher. Why should that dissuade the team from trying to sign Myers? Especially if the injury lowers his market price some. Going 3 deep with those guys would give you a very good top 3 and then all you need is average production from 4 and 5. I wouldn't expect the front office to sign Myers given this scenario but I don't think it's something that should just be dismissed out of hand.

Just remember, the Orioles released Adam Eaton. He is available, and he would be free.

phillies should pick up a game today. The Mets are waving the white flag and bascially throwing out what is probably the weakest lineup a first place team has ever assembled against Josh Johnson:

Pagan, F Martinez, Beltran, Tatis, Murphy, R Martinez, Schneider, Valdez and Redding.

Giving Wright, Sheffield and Castillo all a day off when they are short 3 other starters obviously shows what a brilliant manager Jerry Manuel continues to be..

The notion that you can't have 4 Lefties in a rotation is generally correct. It leaves you vulnerable to RH hitting. On this team it (4 LH) would work though. The Phillies' LH pitchers are better against RH hitters. That's part of the reason the Phillies matched up so well against the National league playoff teams in '08. They were RH heavy teams. I think for THIS particular team a LH pitcher who is actually tougher on Lefties would help the team... Now after saying all that, I still would rather see Carrasco get the 1st shot at Myers spot in the rotation.

The idea that an all left-handed rotation is a bad thing is arguable at best, complete hogwash at worst. How many all right-handed rotations have there been in the last few years? Can someone show any data that correlates improved performance from one game to the next when the same team faces the same type of SP? And what if a team faces two soft throwing LH on one team, move onto another series versus a new team, and faces two more soft tossing LH? Doesn't this kind of stuff happen all the time. Surely if there was a pattern, there would be data to back it up?

The single greatest commodity in baseball today is a good left-handed pitcher, and we're complaining that we could get too many? Only on BL...

Furthermore, I know there have been times in the past where we have had a three game series against all LH starters. Have you ever even sniffed a post along the lines of "Oh good, we'll definitely have this down by the third game"? No, the general sentiment on BL is "I hope we can win at least one, but it's going to be tough."

So if you argument is that all LH starter leaves you vulnerable against RH hitteres, what about the inverse? Isn't it a team-by-team, game-by-game scenario? And if your argument is too much similarity, I paraphrase Cuba Gooding from Jerry Maguire when I say "Show me the Data".

"The notion that you can't have 4 Lefties in a rotation is generally correct. It leaves you vulnerable to RH hitting."

If this were valid logic, there would be no left-handed starting pitchers. If a guy is left-handed & good enough to be a major league starting pitcher, chances are pretty good that he's not terribly vulnerable against right-handed hitters. If he were, he wouldn't last long as a major league starter. He would either be a LOOGY or he would be pitching in the minor leagues.

anon: Will look up, could you also provide us with the empirics that disprove the position counter to yours? clout already produced winning percentages for teams that ran out 4 southpaws. I think hypothetically you may be correct that a staff with 4 starters could excel, but a staff with Cole Hamels, CC Sabathia, Steve Carlton, and Sandy Koufax would of course be great.

People will probably always see fit to give Myers the benefit of the doubt. Now the conventional wisdom is that he'll come back with his previous velocity in tow as he enters his peak years.

Maybe. But he'll always have that ten-cent head.

There is a fair chance he could again become a very good closer. But as a starter, I reject the notion that Myers is a 'work in progress'. We've seen all there is to be seen in that regard.

The Phils knew when to cut bait on Burrell, and I'd be shocked if they didn't do the same for Myers, a guy who has spent too large a portion of his career making the organization look bad.

MPN,
you missed part of my point...it's not just about one staff, but about teams moving from one series to the next. Based on your hypothesis, it shouldn't matter what team it is pitching, only that continued similarities in SP should lead to a better hitting perofrmance as batters get acclimated.

The reason Clout only came up with two (bad) examples is that there aren't many staffs historically that boast only LH starters. Why is that? Because LH starters are rarer than RH! There have been many more example of all RH starting staffs. How have they performed?

MPN, not likely to happen...I'm too lazy to look it up:) However, the onus is not on the counter argument to disprove the initial argument if the initial argument had no meaningful data to back up its claim. I did not put forth the notion that "An all LH staff would be awesome". The position was formed when you, clout, and others took the stance that it is innately a bad thing, but the only data whatsoever presented to back up that position was clout's two examples. I'm saying I think that it's not so obvious, but if I'm incorrect, you should have plenty of examples of data showing the correlation.

I find clout's argument against 4 LH starters funny. A guy that complained bitterly against anyone who said the Phillies would be fine with 3 LH hitters in the lineup, because there are more RH pitchers. Now he wants to turn it around and say that you can't have 4 LH pitchers because there are more RH Hitters.

?????

If you can use that argument, how is it that phlipper was an idiot for using the same logic when employing 3 LH hitters in the middle of the lineup?

The 1984 Tigers were the only team in recent memory to win the World Series with an all RH rotation.

You are correct, there are fewer LH people in the general population than RH people, but historical meta data from 1876-present show that about a third of ML pitchers have been LH.

Bill James says that there is about a 99% platoon success bias for players, he claims that while there will be outlier cases in individual years, players tend to regress to the mean and hit the opposite armed throwing pitcher better. That suggests that in the long run that a mixed rotation works best. Now, if you play in a ballpark that favors a LH staff or you are in a division with an inordinate amount of star LH batters than perhaps loading up on LH pitchers is a strategem (perhaps employed to affect against the Phillies), but in the main that doesn't favor the Phillies in my opinion because the skill sets of our lefty pitchers is not divergent enough to create separation in looks that opposing teams will see. I am offering up tomorrow's game as an experiment on this hypothesis. I hope that I am wrong.

BTW, I am against having 4 LH pitchers in the rotation also. Not because there are more RH batters though. It's because Jaime Moyer should'nt be in the rotation and I say let Bastardo keep building his value in AAA so they can package him for a real pitcher.

MPN,
I appreciate that argument, and believe you have made a decent case. But how important is the handedness of the starting pitcher, when in the modern game, they only average less than 6 innings per start and there are multiple options in the bullpen (and for most teams, they have many more right-handed bullpen options than left-handed)? But if you follow James' logic to its ultimate conclusion, there never should be any starting left handed pitchers, because there are more right-handed hitters. Better yet, no team should ever have any starting pitchers, just a bunch of ROOGYs and LOOGYs coming in and out throughout a game.

Your example of tomorrow's game is so un-controlled from an experimental standpoint that it hardly offers as a valid test to that hypothesis.

It's probably true that we have seen the last of Myers in a Phillies uniform, unless he has some kind of miraculous recovery. I wish him well.

There are three reasons he will probably be offered more money by another club - maybe even a multi-year deal if the surgery is successful:

One, there is still a dearth of pitching in MLB.

Two, the injury is not to his arm.

Three, both Chase Utley and ARoid have had similar surgery and have recovered well from it. There is no reason to believe Myers won't.


Interesting debate on who they should call up.

If it were my decision, while I recognize that stability is something to strive for, I realize that the Phillies are in a pennant race and need the best possible pitching they can get.

I would have no problem bringing up any of the AAA pitchers for a couple of starts, and if he doen't work out, send him down and bring up a hotter hand. Keep doing that until one of them sticks.

I know it might cause some disruption, but this team has shown they can take some knocks and stay in the race.

If Bastardo gets the call and has a couple of good starts - then gets shelled - bring up CC and give him a shot.

How much difference is there really going to be between any of them?

I think my problem is that the argument about 4 lefties in the rotation is just a bit too abstract. Yes, most righties hit left-handers better than right-handers. And, yes, most left-handed pitchers do worse against right-handed hitters. But we're not dealing with abstractions; we're dealing with specific players.

Take Erik Bedard. Sure, right-handers hit him better than left-handers do (.234 to .204). But they still don't hit him well. I'll take a pitcher with a .234 BAA any time.

Even for a somewhat lesser left-handed starter, the usual trend is that, while they are much better against lefties, they do well enough against right-handers to get by. Mark Buehrle (.272 career BAA for righties) is an example. Or Randy Wolf (.261). Or Cliff Lee (.262.). Or Scott Kazmir (.254). Or Joe Saunders (.268). Or even someone as mediocre as Manny Parra (.281). If you've been successful as a left-handed starter, it means, almost by definition, that you are pretty serviceable against right-handed hitters.

Well, Clout did tell us that we can't have 4 lefties because a mediocre team had a mediocre record when they did it for a month in 2008 and another team had so-so results 55 years ago.

Anon: It is uncontrolled, but it is quasi-experimental because that will be the third game against the Washington Nationals in a row where they will see a left handed starting pitcher from us and Moyer's slower stuff after seeing Hamels stuff tonight might look like 16" softballs.

Yes, I agree to an extent with some of the logical problems of taking James' research to an extreme. Re-call that the Red Sox tried the closer by committee approach a few years back and it backfired big time because baseball is a human endeavor where luck, chance, and emotion play a roll.

By the way MPN, just to clarify, I've always appreciated your comments here. Very informative and appropriate. And I've never gotten then sense that you used this blog to exert your intellectual superiority over others. I've always enjoyed your approach.

Recall and play a role. Sheesh. Grammar police, book me!

"If you can use that argument, how is it that phlipper was an idiot for using the same logic when employing 3 LH hitters in the middle of the lineup?

Posted by: mikes77phillies"

mikey, it's because you and phlipper are founding members of the Sir Alden Trio. As a result you get the Rodney Dangerfield treatment.


anon and MPN: interesting debate. I think MPN nailed it when he talked of a rotation that included "Cole Hamels, CC Sabathia, Steve Carlton, and Sandy Koufax". Add Johan Santana to that and it would be filthy.

I think we all agree that the "handedness" of the pitcher doesn't really matter as long as he's good enough. I have not seen Bastardo pitch, but if he's good enough it's really not going to make much difference what hand he deals with.

After all, there is lot's of speculation that they may trade for Bedard. If he comes in and pitches his best, there will be little concern on this board or anywhere else that he's a lefty.

MPN: I agree that there's something to be said about giving the opposing teams different looks. But let's back up to your argument about Moyer, in which you're already predicting that he'll get battered tomorrow (that part, I agree with), and you're already attributing that battering to the fact that he's following Happ & Hamels in the rotation.

Moyer has spent most of the season pitching after Chan Ho Park. His ERA is 7.42. The only time all year in which Moyer pitched after Hamels (and against the same team) was the May 20 game against the Reds, which was actually 1 of only 2 quality starts Moyer has made all year. If he gets battered tomorrow, and fans howl that he is washed up, those fans will be right. His battering will have nothing to do with pitching after Hamels -- a pitcher with reverse lefty-righty splits whose changeup & pitching style bears no resemblance whatsoever to Moyer's.

MPN: I agree with anon about your comments, here and in general. You are a very knowledgeable poster and always argue your points courteously. I just don't agree with your conclusion on this issue.

Am I wrong in remembering that Moyers usually followed Hamels last year? Just asking, not making a point.

Last point and then I get on with my Saturday.

mikes77 writes, "I find clout's argument against 4 LH starters funny. A guy that complained bitterly against anyone who said the Phillies would be fine with 3 LH hitters in the lineup, because there are more RH pitchers."

I know clout is perfectly capable of defending himself, but I am almost positive that you've got this argument exactly backward. clout was against the Raul Ibanez signing specifically because he did NOT think we would be fine with 3 LH hitters in the middle of the order (a concern which I shared -- particularly for late-inning situations). So far it hasn't been a huge problem, since Cholly has often split up the 3 lefties and since Utley & Ibanez are both raking against left-handed pitching.

The issues, by the way, are apples & oranges. I do not want 3 left-handed hitters in my lineup, who are vulnerable to left-handed pitching; it would be a killer in the late innings. However, I do not mind having 4 decent left-handed starters in my rotation because, almost by definition, a decent left-handed starter is someone who can handle right-handed hitters pretty well.

mikes77: Never mind. I misread your post. You have correctly stated clout's position. And I have pointed out why I think the 2 situations are apples & oranges.

Hypothetical:

If cloning becomes a reality and MLB teams can produce multiple clones of one pitcher from their history, which pitcher do the Phillies clone?

My answer: Steve Carlton.

So the rotation would be, Carlton, Carlton, Carlton, Carlton and Carlton.

All lefties.

But it would be a HOF rotation, and I don't think anyone here would be complaining about the "handedness".

(IMO, the Dodgers would probably clone Koufax, and I don't think they's be concerned either.)

AWH, "it's because you and phlipper are founding members of the Sir Alden Trio. As a result you get the Rodney Dangerfield treatment."

That Sir Alden Trio comment always gets soo many laughs. Brilliant. How did uou come up with that, AWH?

AWH,Why don't you go back to making a fool of yourself every day, trolling on Mets blog, trying to irritate Met fans.

anon: Thanks for the kind words and right back at you. As for Moyer, even last year it was clear, if he gets the extra 2-3" of plate he's successful, if not, he's not. This year, using the very unempirical tools of my eyeballs, I think the problem is that he's not getting those close calls which then shrinks his strike zone and causes his pitching repertoire (gahr-bage as 1Chair has written) to be less effective.

mikey, there's no reason to as long as I can get under your obviouly thin skin here.


LOL!

Moyer did follow Hamels last year up until the AS break. (You'll recall Myers was the opening day starter, and back then Moyer was our 3rd best pitcher, ahead of Kendrick and Eaton.)

Mets' Tim Redding done after giving up 7 runs in 4+ innings.

EFF: Yeah, but his ERA was 3.39 after the All-Star break and 8-1 compared to 3.95 and 8-6 before.

I feel it would be a great shame for Myers' career w/ the Phils to end this way. Like him or not, Brett has been a fierce competitor, has accepted w/out complaint being jerked around both in the rotation & from starter to closer & back, & never gave the fans any grief when they took him to task for poor performances. In many ways I think Brett Myers is the quintessential "Philly guy" athlete, in that he plays hard, wants to win & is probably harder on himself than the fans could ever be. The bittersweet irony is that Brett is less beloved & will be remembered less fondly as a member of the '08 WFC Phillies (to which he made an invaluable contribution) than he would be if he had been a member of the '93 team that resembled him a lot more, personality-wise, but couldn't quite get the job done.

AWH - I see your Carltonx5 and raise (literally) you an Alexanderx5.

I'm thankful for the good stuff Myers did for the Phils over the years, but being completely honest I don't care for him. I find him hard to root for and am tired of his roller coaster ride. I won't be upset at all if he never pitches for the Phils again.

If we trade for a top starter with years on his contract (Peavy, Halladay) and Myers is willing to sign cheap for one or two seasons, I'd extend his contract now.

Depending on the situation, he could pitch out of the pen with Romero, Madson & Lidge or be a part of a (Halladay/Peavy), Hamels, Myers, Blanton, Happ rotation. It's worth the gamble.

Andy: I fold.

Drabek with a CG Hurtout last night and Micael Taylor is hitting 340 in Reading. We'd be insane to trade these guys for anyone but Brandon Webb.

Can anyone explain why the Mets trotted out a AAA roster today? Considering the margins the last two seasons were razor-thin, I can't imagine why anyone would so willingly give up a game.

The Mets just had an off-day on Thursday, so it's not like players needed a rest.

I'd be furious if Charlie trotted out a lineup like that!

CJ: Last night's game kept Sheffield & Wright up past their bedtime, & they needed to catch up on their beauty sleep.

On another subject, I don't understand the love for Bill Lyon in Weitzel's post. Maybe I'm too young and missed Lyon's glory days, but throughout the late 90s and early 00's, at least, he was always an awful, turgid, frequently laughable writer, who often didn't even have anything to say.

Reasons for Mets lineup:

Gary Sheffield is 40 years old and not supposed to be on 'roids any longer

D Wright striking out a lot, getting booed at Citifield, poor numbers vs Johnson lifetime.

Rest of the lineup is pretty much a normal lineup that they trot out there, substituting one no-hit SS for another one.

I heard Jerry Manuel give that matchup reason on DWright. Checked the stats on the internet, 2-7 with 3 Ks, not all that bad.

EFF: Sheffield was just off on Thursday. And isn't D Wright supposed to be a superstar? He can't play through a slump?

I'm just saying... as bad as the lineup is with the injuries already, why weaken it even further by benching two of your best three bats in the same game?

I predict Cholly goes with the "Lefty Armada" starting lineup tonight against Martis:

Rollins
Vic
Utley
Howard
Ibanez
Stairs
Dobbs
Ruiz
Hamels

And, then tomorrow against Johnny Lannen, he shakes it up some more:

Rollins
Bruntlett (2B)
Werth (LF)
Howard
Victorino
Feliz
Mayberrry Jr. (RF)
Coste


That would get every one of your position players in the starting lineup this weekend. That is what Cholly needs to do.

CJ, just the messenger.

JManuel supposedly is going to treat Sheffield 'like a catcher', getting him 2 days off a week due to his age and the idea that he hasn't played in the field so much in years.

DWright having issues playing at home so far, Manuel says there might be some 'anxiety' or 'trying to do too much'. Their fans do seem to enjoy booing their superstar 3bman much like Phils fans used to do with MJS.

So what's up with Chooch?

Over his last 13 games, he's hitting:
.391/.500/.696

That's a whopping 1.196 OPS with 8 doubles, 2 HR and 10 RBI.

I know he supposedly changed his approach to hit more gap to gap... but could anyone have predicted this?

EFF: Yeah, I've heard all the excuses... but I think any manager who's going to be that negligent deserves to go.

He could have sat Sheffield tomorrow instead of today.

anon: The reason good LHP are in demand is because they are far fewer of them. If an all-lefty rotation was desirable, however, why are there none? Leftys are rare but not THAT rare. The A's used an all-lefty rotation last season for awhile, but it was out of necessity. Their FO admitted it was not ideal or a goal. An all-RHP rotation is not really a disadvantage because the majority of hitters are righty. Duh!

God's gift to baseball, David Price, actually pitching very well today. 5 IP, 4H, 1 ER, 2 walks, 10 K's.

CJ: Day game after a night game.

I don't really think you can argue that, because few teams do x, x is not wise. As a group, baseball managers and GM's are less than creative and a little backwards.

BTW, just to be clear, the problem with an all-LHP is the weakness of LHP in general. I agree that a rotation of Carlton, Spahn, Koufax, Santana etc. would be tremendous.

I await, however, EFF and anon (his latest screen name) to explain how a rotation of Hamels, Happ, Moyer and Bastardo is so good that it nullifies that weakness.

Actually, Wright was 3-18 career off Johnson coming into today and badly looked like he was in need of a day off.

Sheffield was rolling around in the outfield and stealing bases. They have to keep him healthy at this point, even if that means basically throwing a game away.

It didn't matter. Tim Redding gave up 7 runs.

You guys better capitalize while the whole Mets team is hurt.

CJ: Please spare us your opinion on when a manager "needs to go" for being "negligent". Moron. You're used to football. Eagles training camp starts up soon...

Clout, you seem semi-intelligent, so I'll leave it up to you to discover the blatant contradictions in your post from a logic standpoint. It is also contradictory to several related posts you have made in the past...not to mention that you still haven't given factual analysis to back up your viewpoint, your excellency.

Clout, what evidence do you have that teams are better off throwing lesser quality righties rather than higher quality lefties?

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EST. 2005

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