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Thursday, May 28, 2009

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That's not too too brutal of a split. I think he's a 140 start a year player personally...where he gets one day off a week for guys like Mayberry and Stairs.

Yeah, but look how far it's dropped in such a short amount of time.

First the fans are too hard on the players; now we're too soft. Did I miss when we were "just right"?

Actually, the most surprising part of those splits is not his stats against right-handers -- which are pretty much in line with last year's numbers. The surprising part is that his numbers against left-handers are much, much worse than they normally are. Hence, his drop in overall numbers is not a product of his problems with right-handed pitching; it's simply that he's slumping against left-handers.

We know Werth can hit left-handed pitching. He will come around eventually and, when he does, his overall numbers will look a lot like last year's.

I think he's just slumping...he looks like he's wearing down more than anything. Has he even had a day off yet this season?

zo says Charlie backtracked a little on the fans being too easy on us thing.

It sure was frustrating to have Howard then Rollins leave all those runners on base to end the 8th & the game.

Maybe the team shouldn't have needed all those runs--especially considering Myers discomfort or worse--but not converting any runs out of those situations was disappointing.

JW - Yeah that is the amazing part is when I was at the game on Monday was Volstad and Nunez both attacking Werth with fastballs early and often. They gave him fastballs middle in even when he was behind in the count and he just didn't do anything with them.

As for JRoll, his production has been among the worst in the NL. Only a handful of guys are having worst seasons. It also doesn't help that JRoll continues to run his month and spout off about having a ".400" May when he isn't even hitting .250.

JRoll has been very solid in the field again but he is killing this offense at the top of the lineup.

I also think he's just slumping right now... some uncharacteristically poor defensive plays may point to that - a day or two off may be necessary. To carry part of the conversation over from the last thread, Werth's platoon splits this year are 1/4th of Howard's. I wouldn't advocate benching or trading either. I firmly believe that Stairs and Mayberry have fatal flaws that should prevent them from being frequent starters this season.

FYI: I added a couple of small minor league tidbits to the header.

I agree, I think Werth is just slumping overall, although BAP raises a good point that the majority of his decline is that he isn't dominating LHP as much as normal, but only hitting them adequately. If he can't rake lefties to a point where it cancels out his inferiority vs RHP, then his overall numbers will never reach his potential.

When you strike out a lot and hit for power, you're ripe for peaks and valleys. Werth fits that role of a player almost as much as anyone in the lineup/league.

Stairs is the man, that bomb he hit yesterday was an absolute monster. Watching him play a subpar RF is well worth a moonshot every other game.

Question: how long does "extended spring training" last, anyway? We're in the end of May, after all.

It is amazing just marginally talented the Lehigh Valley team is again this year. They may have a slightly better talent base (at least than the one they started with last year) but it is still a team I wouldn't to see.

Wow. Tracy didn't even look pregnant.

hey all is well j roll says hes hitting .400 dont read the real stats,,and angel castro well all the pitching woes are solved great job ruben!!! as for wheels praying and hoping and wishing and wondering when sheffield is gonna break down..are you serious is that whats being waited for... for the mets who have 6 position players out to lose another one.. thats one worried fanvase

Could somebody tell me why the link below (linked from mlbtraderumors to baseball prospectus) has the Mets at a 75 percent chance to make the playoffs and the Phillies at 25 percent when they are only a half game apart?

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/ps_odds.php

Extended spring training goes until short season and rookie ball starts. That is after the draft. So they will be starting on 19 June.

dukes: Phils runs scores/runs allowed per game is 5.5/5.2 (+.3) while the Mets are 4.9/4.3 (+.6). So play that out over another 110+ games and the Mets look like the lock in the NL East... and we all know how the usually works out.

thanks, phaithful

Not too worried about Werth. I, along with many, once seriously doubted his ability to play every day but I'd pretty much stopped questioning by the second half of last season.

I don't question Rollins' motivation at all, especially when a big part of his problem appears to be that he's trying too hard.

doubleh makes a good point: the reason cited for the Phils' poor play at home used to be because the fans were too demanding. Now they're supposedly too coddling. If ever there was a season in which the pressure would be completely thrown off, you'd think this would be it; and besides, this team has proven itself to respond awfully well to pressure situations in general. It sees like it's just something that's snowballed and is in their heads now, though, even if there wasn't an obvious reason why it happened in the first place.

prospectus also looks at injuries and DL. the fact the mets have half their team on the Dl and are still in 1st..well you do the math

mike: Well, the fact that the Phillies have had such awful pitching and yet have been in first more than once proves that it's still going to be a long, interesting season.

I will give you that doubleh.. but as long as the mets bullpen stays healthy.. and they dont have bobby ayala . heilman( hes working out great for the cubs) shoenweis wont touch that one..it's not last year.. the fact that pfoolies fans claim the mets had all this talent and just choked last year is a farce yes their offense was awesome giving them lead after lead after lead night after night after night but they had no stopper!!.. the bullpen was completly depleted and filled in with rookies ie kunz and has beens ie ayala..you cant plan for all those injuries. The bullpen is great this year and the phillies bullpen is well umm not worth mentioning. But if k rod goes down i agree it could be close.

@MG -- re "Rollins running his mouth"...

Go back and re-read that article again. The article was obviously very light in town -- especially given his struggles. And the "prediction" was Rollins perhaps trying to do some self-motivating. Or perhaps reverse-black-catting himself.

Running his mouth. Sounds like something a Mets fan might say. Please see the troll that followed your comments.

Sometimes MG your frustrations make you sound like the reactionaries on 610.

mike: The Phillies BP, outside of Lidge, is performing pretty well right now and we are poised to get Romero back in a few days. So it's not like it isn't worth mentioning. The Mets are better, but then it had better be for the money you spent/trades made in the offseason to rectify what was one of the worst in MLB.

I, for one, have never claimed the Mets choked last year; AAMOF, I believe they played over their heads for much of the season to try to cover up for their hideous BP. The Phils had good pitching and a great BP which was the recipe for success and were in first most of the year. To claim the Mets choked is to discount what the Phils were able to do.

No one can plan for injuries, but you have to try to play through them. The Phils were very fortunate to have no significant rotation injuries last year (although they had several who imploded/were sent down) or BP issues. It would be foolish to think they could somehow avoid it again this year, as teams rarely do.

We'll see how it all plays out.

But, why in the h*ll did the Cubs want Aaron Heilman? Yes, a team that's been trying to overcome a 100 year drought...I've got the perfect reliever for you!

Clearly, there's either some bias or some very fallacious statistical assumptions which underlie those Baseball Prospectus odds. There's no such thing as a team -- ANY team -- that is a half game up in their division on May 28, and a half game behind in the WC standings, yet still has a 75% chance to make the playoffs. Now, if you start analyzing the rosters, maybe you could say the odds of some team making it are 75%, but that kind of roster analysis is inherently subjective and hardly the type of mathematical truth which BP makes it sound like.

If phaithful is right, and these odds are based on runs differential per game, then they are based on a bad data pool. Do these same odds-makers think that Zach Greinke has a 75% chance of having an ERA under 1.00? Or that Jason Bartlett has a 75% chance of hitting .370? The runs-differential per game that they are using to make their assessment is based on the identical sample size as Jason Bartlett's batting average. Hence, it is just as unreliable in predicting future events.

BAP:

No, it is based solely on computer-date driven material. BP does not subjective calculating whatsoever.

Right now the Mets just have been playing with a much better run differential.

Look at the Indians odds in the AL Central compared compared to the White Sox. It's not just the record. It's the quality of the play and the team.

BAP: I am pretty sure thats a big part of their analysis. If you look at Cleveland, they have a bad 20-28 record and a not so bad run differential of only -.2 and their playoff odds are 2-3x that of their cellar dwellar counterparts with better records.

bap..they base it on alot more than that like i showed... the likelihood that the mets will incur more injuries is suspect..more likely the pfoolies will get injured as these things happen and very rarely do you have two years with no pitching injuries. The mets SP and Bp was decimated and you guys barely pulled it out.. based on tens of thousands of simulations the mets are a far more dominant team based on your all LH hitters which will get crushed at the end of the year by teams with LH pitching..most good teams have lefties in the pen.. the teams the pfoolies have beat up on this year do not which is why they have so many come from behind wins against teams with crappy pens.. plus youi have no closer no closer what so ever.. lidge is a mess and if you put madson in that spot you've lost lidge forever andthen you have no 8th inning guy so closer wont matter. sorry to rain on your parade with facts

From Jayson Starks latest

Phil 'er up: Is there a prominent starting pitcher in the July shoppers' catalogue that the Phillies haven't looked into? Clubs all over baseball report that the Phillies are, as one exec put it, "looking everywhere for starters." And for once, he said, "they've got pieces to give" to get one.

The list of pitchers they've called on, from what we've heard, includes every conceivable usual suspect: Oswalt, Peavy, Brandon Webb, Roy Halladay, Doug Davis, Erik Bedard, Cliff Lee, Aaron Harang, Brad Penny, Chris Young and Jason Marquis.

But which Phillies prospects are clubs targeting? The group we're hearing starts with three Triple-A names the Phillies have balked at dealing in the past -- catcher Lou Marson, infielder Jason Donald and pitcher Carlos Carrasco -- plus catcher Travis D'Arnaud, shortstop Freddy Galvis, pitcher Kyle Drabek and outfielder Dominic Brown (all in A-ball).

Then there's a left-hander who is climbing everybody's charts, Antonio Bastardo, who has a 50-9 strikeout-walk ratio between Double-A and Triple-A. The Phillies dangled Bastardo in July for Rockies reliever Brian Fuentes. But a year later, he is actually drawing some Johan Santana comparisons, and might have passed Carrasco as their No. 1 pitching prospect.

I like Bastardo, but a Santana comparision? Can I dream about that?

thephaithful - I might be in the minority here, but I don't think Stairs is at all a butcher in right. He definitely has zero range, but he knows it, and you rarely see him take unnecessary risks or watch something fly by him. For a 41 year old, I'd say he isn't half bad.

I know when you have a daily updated (most days more than once a day) blog that sometimes you need to find a topic. However wondering whether Werth is an everyday player is grasping at straws to me.

Jayson is just struggling right now at the plate- nothing more, nothing less. It's a slump that every hitter in major league baseball goes through at least once a year. Besides that- even if he only finishes with a line where it is now he still has 20/20, and maybe 25/25 potential, and plays an above average right field. A guy like that is more than deserving of an everyday role.

Also, after they generated their predictions based on data, they used their PECOTA and ELO projections to adjust the odds and they seem much more logical, to us philly fans at least:

PECOTA Adjusted: Mets/Phils @ 62%/54%
ELO Adjusted: Mets/Phils @ 57%/51%

but before we get in too deep like we did last offseason, its just a computer program they simulate, so nothing to get worked up about.

I simulated Tecmo Super Bowl on NES about 1000 times and Ernest Byner led the league in rushing every year, but then when i played the entire season manually, Bo Jackson always rose to the top(with a christian okeye sprinkled in once inawhile).

clout will have a field day with that Bastardo/Johann Santana comparison.

Re: Bullpen comparisons

Mikeschmuckt is talking a little too much smack and the 2 pens are probably a lot closer in quality than one might think. While the Met end of the pen is impressive with K-Rod, Putz and emerging Parnell, the rest of the pen leaves something to be desired. There is a big drop off to Sean Green, Stokes, "lefty specialist, but I give up Ryan Howard bombs" Feliciano and Takahashi. The Phils are a lot more solid in the middle relief innings (Durbin, Condrey and Romero coming back).

The x-factors remain Lidge's health (be it mental or physical), Whether Parnell is for real, and how Romero will settle back in. Additionally how the Met and Phillie rotation plays out (Will a Redding or Happ return to the pen, or stay as starters).

Simulations are great, but all the computer programs in the world can't predict what will actually happen on the field. It's called the human element and it takes into account fragile egos, psyches, umpires calls/no-calls, mgmt, etc. If computers were correct, the Cubs would have won it all last year.

Grasping at straws? This is Werth's first season as an everyday player, at age 29. They committed $13 million to Geoff Jenkins just so Werth would be spared games against right-handed pitchers ....

Met fan: Yeah, what you said.

However, it was hard for me to take mike's argument seriously when said fan punctuates the argument by calling our team the pfoolies. I wonder how far we'd get on a Mets blog by calling them the "Muts".

When you cite "facts," generally you should supply some to emphasize the point. Observations are not facts. Facts will point out that Lidge has been beyond awful, but stats will prove he has recovered before. Stats will prove that Madson could probably close and Romero could be the set-up guy. Of course, they could fail, too, but then a friggin line drive could also take our your best pitcher on any given night.

mikec - Give it rest. JRoll probably was being tongue-in-cheek a bit about the .400 but it still a foolish thing to say.

I am not questioning JRoll's effort on the field but he does tend to run his mouth a bit too much even if I largely agree with what he is saying.

Especially when Stairs, a very similiar player to Jenkins (little less glove, little more bat) is right there on the bench.

Even when if you think Werth is an everyday player, I still think you should be pulling for more playing time for Stairs, at least until he proves that he isn't worthy of it.

I love to read Stark's Grumblings column because it usually has at least one item on the Phils and because it generally it interesting.

I know that starting pitching is at a premium but from Starks' column some of the teams are being ridiculous. The Braves want something significant in return for a stiff like Jo-Jo Reyes and the Giants want a middle-of-the-order bat for a marginal starter like Sanchez?

I can only imagine then what teams are asking for a truly established starter like Peavy or Oswalt that a team would control for the next 2 years even if it is at significant dollars.

One thing is clear is that the Mets/Phils both erred in not making a concerted effort at signing Lowe. If he team had signed him, they would likely be in the driver's seat this summer.

Speaking of Bastardo, he pitched 7 shutout innings today for Lehigh Valley. (interestingly though he only had one strikeout). I haven't seen much on his stuff, but he's always racked up K's, and the good sign this year is that he is walking pretty much no one. If his control has truly improved while keeping his high K rate, then his value goes up tremendously.

Stark mentioned that teams are really asking about Carrasco, Donald, and Marson because I would imagine they think these guys are the most likely to contribute in the very near future.

I do wonder if their values though all have diminished a bit even since spring training because of their poor starts so far and if the Phils are willing to trade low-cost players they likely are desperately going to need to round out their roster next spring as they have already committed a huge amount of money to their core players.

At the minimum, the Phils will likely need Marson and Donald to come in at the rookie salary to round their roster unless they either manage to pare payroll elsewhere or the Phils run a payroll next year at $145M or so.

Yo new thread, just to discuss Stark's piece.

JW: But the questions about Werth's ability to be an everyday player have always been about his ability to hit RIGHT-HANDED pitching. If he were hitting .220 against right-handed pitching, and that was dragging down his overall numbers, I would agree with you that it would raise questions about whether he's an everyday player. But he's actually hitting right-handed pitching about as well as he did last year. The problems is that he hasn't hit left-handed pitching nearly as well as he usually does.

Since there really isn't much question about Werth's ability to rake against left-handed pitcing, it's reasonable to assume that his numbers against lefties (and, hence, his overall numbers) are going to go way up as he gets more PAs.

JW's post really sparked in my mind that Werth is the same kind of hitter that Burrell was.

Very Streaky. Solid power. Strikeouts a lot, but also very patient. Can look amazing and terrible in back-to-back AB's.

If Werth can get to 30HR/90RBI over a season with a .250 average, it would be like Burrell was with still with us in spirit!

BTW, Stairs isn't a great fielder, but he doesn't make mistakes. I don't think it would hurt the club at all to give Stairs a few more starts a month than he has been getting.

With Werth struggling so much, I wouldn't mind seeing either Mayberry get a start tomorrow night or stacking the lineup with lefties against Martis on Sat. night with Stairs in RF.

Vic could also use a rest but he actually has been quietly hitting quite well over the last week or so and you need to play start him every night when he is swinging a solid bat.

HH -- Well Mike also mentioned Bobby Ayala as a Met reliever right there. That kinda killed his credibility for me also considering Bobby Ayala hasn't pitched since the late 90's IIRC. Similar to last year i see it being tight all summer and coming down to the last few weeks. All i can hope for is Ollie giving us a similar hot streak to what Myers gave you guys at the end of last year. Has any news on Myers MRI come out yet?

Yeah, even on his best days Werth still spends a lot of time looking overmatched by the righties.

IAMF: I think he meant Luis Ayala?

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