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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

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Off topic -

Does anyone know how Anthony Hewitt is progressing?

Lisa, Anthony Hewitt's line from the rookie league is 197 .256 .299 .555, with a BB/K ratio of 7/55.

I'm not a stat expert but don't think that's very good.

Lisa:

I asked that a few threads back, I think the Monday before the MLB draft. I'm sure you'll get the answer here shortly. I frankly can't remember... it wasn't noteworthy.

With these next 6 games, the Phillies finally have a chance to build some momentum at home. All 3 pitching matchups in this series are favorable and, after that, we face the pathetic Orioles for 3. It would be a real failure to win anything fewer than 4 of these 6 games. Even 5 wins seems within the realm of possibility, although it's not easy to sweep any team, even a terrible one like the O's.

He's hitting over .450 leading the league in SB, 2b, HR and Slugging. He's fielding at 3b with his bare hands and scientists believe his tears cure cancer. The downside is the man never cries.

I heard there is a delay in the lineups due to an issue with one of the starters during BP. Anyone else hear anything.

"He's also having an unusually good year, one that you certainly wouldn't expect from a change in venue alone."


Tray, I get your point about Ibanez, but then how do you explain the career nor near years had by players like Cobb, Aaron, Williams, Fisk, Sauer, etc. that Stark cited.

Were they on 'roids?

You see, I'd be more inclined to agree with you if there weren't some historical precedent for what Ibanez is doing - one of the precedents being set by he himself - "20 homers and 70 RBIs at the All-Star break" in 2006.

It ain't like it's never happened before.

coach greg, which starter?

Oh no, I don't think he's on steroids, not at all. I just don't think this is solely a product of his change in home park. Because we know he's become a lot better on the road too.

Romero (Blue Jays version) had some injury issues earlier in the year so it may be that he could have aggravated that same injury. I'm not sure what it was, but I think it was an oblique strain.

And, to be clear, while I don't think that he's on steroids, I don't think that Stark's arguments that he's not are convincing. It is a good article though, or at least the reporting on his training is interesting.

Hewitt is in extended spring training in Clearwater until the short-season leagues start. The stats posted by AWH are from last year when he really struggled to make contact. Hewitt was a high school player from the Northeast when he was picked, which means he didn't get to play that much (bad weather), and in Hewitt's case means the Phillies pretty much have to teach him how to play baseball. This is what they are attempting to do right now in Florida.

He is a long-term project, and to try to draw conclusions about him now would be kind of silly. The only people who might have a better idea of Hewitt now then when he was drafted are the guys who are teaching him in Clearwater. All of the reports that have surfaced from those people are positive, but keep in mind who signs their paychecks.

Not sure I just know the lineup has not been posted yet because one of the starters wanted to go through BP and make sure he could go. Yet could not get the info on which one. That's why I asked if anyone else heard anything.

JW: No love for the Blue Jays vs. Blue Jays series? Don't the Brewers and Braves both play in throwback jerseys some games, Braves vs. Braves? The Phils should break out the 1944, 1945 Phillies jerseys with the Blue Jays on the sleeves for the series.

I have had the Blue Jayes lineup for over 1 ½ hours.
Toronto
Scutaro SS
Hill 2b
Wells CF
Rolen 3b
Lind LF
Rios RF
Millar 1b
Barajas C
Romero LHP

The pitching match-ups definitely favor the Phillies overall but the Blue Jays have a fairly solid line-up that could mash some runs if the Phils overlook them.

Lyle Overbay has been hitting real well latlely. Old friend Scott Rolen is 11 for his last 22 and having a great year. Marco Scutaro has cooled off some but still hits well. Aaron Hill is looking to be having a career year. Vernon Wells and Alex Rios are dangerous hitters despite the averages. Adam Lind has been mashing the ball too.

Other than Jason Frasor the Blue Jays pen is really not very good. Knock around the starters, or run up pitch counts, and abuse that pen and we should be able to take the series.

These two teams know each other fairly well because of spring training so I don't see automatic wins for the Phils. Here's hoping Werth is ready to better his performance against them from last season.

From the previous thread:

BedBeard, I believe Hughes will be a good MLB pitcher, I was just making the point that he, too, was overhyped. And, as I said, I think it has something to do with all the media exposure that NY brings.

Your question of Milledge vs. Mayberry is an excellent one, which I cannot answer.

Maybe Mayberry, because he's not a headcase, will have a better career than Milledge?

At the MLB level, Milledge is hitting a HR every 40 AB, which is close to what he did in the minors, 1/36 , but in the minors Mayberry hit a HR every 21 AB.

Their lines in AAA:

Milledge: .272 .360 .406 .767
Mayberry: .264 .322 .478 .800

(Mayberry 674 PA - Milledge 506 PA)

So, it seems pretty close.

Who is rated better defensively?


It seems then, that trading for Milledge would be kind of pointless, as statistically, Mayberry appears to be about the same, though Milledge did outperform him at lower levels. I'm not sure how significant that is.

"He is a long-term project, and to try to draw conclusions about him now would be kind of silly."

While this is all true, I don't think it's silly to question the wisdom of using a first round pick on a long-term project who is basically nothing more than a lottery ticket.

re: stark article

Alright i was overblown when I said it was horrible, but i'm with Tray in saying that the few goodpoints he made were not focused on very well. Comparing him to Hank Aaron and Ty Cobb did absolutely nothing for me if I was a reader on the fence about whether Ibanez is or isn't juicing, along with his pitches per PA and numbers on certain pitch types.

"after that, we face the pathetic Orioles for 3"

Well, they are certainly sub-.500 right now. However, as of the end of May, the Os were playing the 4th toughest schedule in the MLB... the Phillies the 29th toughest. As one of my Os-loving friends put it... "If only we played the Nationals 18 times a year..."

I suspect the Nationals, in a division with both Boston and NYY, not to mention the also above-.500 TB/Toronto, would have a much worse record... while the Os, in our division with a weaker #1 and much weaker 2-4, would probably fare much MUCH better.

We SHOULD win the series... but funky things happen in inner league play. And I don't expect the Os to just be pushed over the way we would expect weak NL teams to.

phaithful, I don't think using the older players was as much a comparison as a reference point.

Simply, Raul ain't the Hammer or the Georgia Peach. But then, the players of those eras didn't train as hard in the offseason as the players of today.

Not sure this really matters, but if they didn't draft Hewitt, they were likely to draft Collier, who they ended up getting in the Sandwich round. If he was still available, the Phils probably would've picked Hewitt with the Sandwich pick.

Orioles are actually stocked with some rising talent and while their pitching isnt great (pen is pretty terrible) dont overlook hitters like Markakis and Jones. Those boys can drive in some runs. I go to school at U of Maryland so I try and watch a good amount of O's games as I think they have a fun fanbase and park.

Yeah, the O's might, at the least, be a "fun" team to watch for once.

Theory, excellent points. Our Phils will do well not to take any team lightly.

(though I do wish Eaton were starting for the O's this weekend!)

Phillies are done BP and still no lineups> Anyone hear anything?

Theory - really, you think the top 5 in the AL east is so much better than the top 4 in the NL east? Phils and Mets are both 3-3 against BOS and NYY. I think the AL east is overrated this year, like most years.

shop at mets.com, JW? at least that silly avatar viking isn't the creepiest advertisment you're currently running...

Be interesting to see the hyped Matt Wieters. Not exactly having a Jay Bruce start to his career but put together a few multi hit games recently.

More interesting to me than the Stark article was the Baseball Prospectus article that you can get as an Insider. Some highlights:

"Using information from Hit Tracker shows us what Ibanez's homers look like. He's leading the league in three home run types that are tracked on that site, with nine "no doubts," seven "just enoughs" and three "lucky" homers. "Lucky" homers are those that would not have left the park on a 70-degree day with calm weather... Hypothetically, if we were to count [eight of the just enough/lucky homers] as fly-ball outs, Ibanez's line would be .289/.351/.545. That's still very impressive, but it's not the same as the ridiculous pace he has set for himself and in fact looks a lot like his 2002 season with the Royals."

"Looking at Ibanez's average home run distance tells us a little more about his luck. The average true distance of his homers this year is 409 feet -- how far a ball actually traveled, without any adjustments for conditions such as wind or temperature. His average standard distance -- the measurement when those things are factored in -- is only 401.2 feet. Last season, that margin was much less, as his true distance was 400 feet and his standard distance was 398.3. With his true distance from this year almost identical to his standard distance from last year, consider how many of those "just enough" homers might not have cleared the fence were the weather not kind to him; it's also possible that a few of his "no doubt" shots got an extra boost that pushed them out of standard or lucky homer territory."

"It looks as though a wonderful chain of events have unfolded for Ibanez all at once. Between the league switch and favorable weather conditions for hitters in his games, Ibanez has been able to make the Phillies' front office look smart for signing him. Assuming he does not have the same meteorological blessings in the second half that he has had in the first, we should see his performance return to a much more Ibanez-like level. That's still pretty good for the Phillies, though, especially with the first third of the season already in the bank."

If there's something to do with a starter being banged up, it could be Ibanez. He didn't play Sunday and Charlie said he had a sore ankle.

It's way too early to make any judgments on Hewitt except to say he is one of many high-round Phillies prospects who have enormous physical tools and zero baseball skills.

One of these days, one of those guys will achieve the high ceiling his tools can reach. It hasn't happened with Golson or Mattair or Hewitt or Collier yet and it didn't happen with Henry or Taylor or Jackson or McCall or Cooper or Colpitt or Moss.

But someday it will happen.

clout: And when it does... someone's going to be called a "genius"!

I guess it's a good sign that, instead of debating whether Raul Ibanez is an adequate replacement for Pat Burrell, we're debating whether he started juicing after he left Seattle.

Thank you to everyone who answered my question about Hewitt. And a lol to Bedrosian's Beard.

clout: I agree. Some day in our lifetime, the Phillies will spend an early draft pick on a high-risk/high-ceiling guy who actually does achieve that ceiling. A better question is whether he will achieve that ceiling with the Phillies, or whether it will happen after he flames out & ends up in another organization via a trade, minor league free agency, or the Rule 5 draft. Usually when these kind of projects eventually pay off, it's many years down the road, long after the team that drafted them has already given up on them. Victorino is a perfect example.

The lesson I take from this: if you want toolsy projects, it's better to grab some other team's failed project, who already has 5 or 6 years of minor league experience under his belt. You're more likely to hit pay dirt with this approach and if you don't -- as will usually be the case -- it won't cost you a large signing bonus.

AWH: Love the comparison of Milledge and Mayberry.

They are both very good defensive corner outfielders. I'd rate Mayberry's arm better, with Milledge, who can play CF but shouldn't, having slightly better range.

Mayberry has WAY more power, but will never hit more than .270 in The Show, while Milledge can hit .300, but will never hit 25 HRs. Both have above average speed, but Milledge is the better base stealer. Both suffer from low OB with Milledge more likely to improve in that area. Mayberry, of course, strikes out way more.

All in all, I'd rate Milledge more likely to succeed, but with Mayberry having more potential to make a big impact.

>while their pitching isnt great

Yeh, I'll call that the understatement of the day.

Remember, this is the team that STARTED ADAM EATON.

lineup is normal. rollins,utley,werth,howard,ibanez,vic,feliz,ruiz,hamels

Going into tonight, through 61 games, we've faced 22 lefty starters and are 15-7. At this point last year, through 61 games, we'd faced 22 starters and were 15-7.

If you recall, before the season Clout predicted that with Ibanez replacing Burrell in the lineup, we would see "far more" lefty starters, and do significantly worse against them.

jack: thats a pretty cool stat actually, that they've faced the exact amount of LHP and faired the exact same, regardless of what lineup changes the team has went through.

Even when the Blue Jays were winning World Series, nobody cared about them. Now that they're a middle of the division team without the glamour of the Yankees or Red Sox, who cares about them? I don't.

Jack: You forgot to add my caveat: Assuming the same number of lefty starters in the division as last year. So you need to check that part. Also, I hope you keep a running count all season, not just until you're wrong.

LF, I don't care about the Blue birds either, but I do care if the Phils play well and win against them!

CJ: Interesting article from BP. Any chance they included a similar analysis of the rest of the Phils? I'd assume that if Raul was benefiting so much from the weather so would other Phils, if not, it kind of a bit sounds like data mining too me.

I'm not sure why everyone needs to find a 'reason' for Raul's great start at the moment. It may be more beneficial to wait to the year is over and look at the entire season to put it into context with his career.

The Phils win a lot of games with late rallies or in extra innings, long after the starter is gone. I wouldn't put a lot of weight on their record against LH or RH starters.

Anyone watching on mlb.com gamecast? I'm curious to see where those first two curveballs from Hamels showed up, as they landed about 10ft in front of the plate on the grass.

Something was wrong with the grip on his curveballs I'm thinking. They literally bounced about 6 feet in front of the plate. He's joking about it now with Blanton in the dugout.

That'a boy JRoll! Another liner, this time down the 3rd base line for a double.

bap/cj: Bunt him over!! hah.

Do many teams have enough starters that they can plug in lefties or righties depending on the team they're playing?

vroom vroom party starter

Utley for MVP.

jroll n utley with the one two punch to get it started!

This ump calling some interesting strikes. I thought Hamels' first pitch of the game was very low to be called a strike, and then that 2nd strike to Howard was pretty bad as well.

Jack: If they call that low and inside pitch to Howard a strike, he'll be out of baseball in a year!

Wow... this ump is all over the place!

Now he's squeezing Hamels. Weird, weird umpiring so far. No consistency.

what is going on with this strike zone?

EF: Yeah, it's not like teams have a great deal of flexibility over starting pitching assignments. I would think the presence of Ibanez, instead of Burrell, is much more of an issue when it comes to the opposing manager's choice of a reliever.

Oh boy. Here comes circus time.

Well, Howard's mind-block on the throw to second is back.

Now I'm sure he's thinking about it every time it happens.

nice throw howard

Bad defense... meet good defense. Nice bailout by Feliz.

Nice bailout by Ruiz, you mean. Feliz nearly threw it away as well.

Howard already 2/3 of the way to a "Howard hat trick". If he homers, will that be his first hat trick of the year?

Great job by Cole getting out of an inning that others tried to screw up for him!

Jack - Yeah no "Howard" yet but the error is the toughest part. Nice job by Cole to keep his composure and the play by Feliz to get them out of what could have been a tough inning.

take 3rd vic, take it!

Me likey Erin Romero

Random note: Bruce Ruffin's kid pitching for Texas in the CWS on ESPN.

Werth is a lil pansy ass, how are you going to strut off and pose when you barely make it to the warning track?!

The gap between Adrian Gonzalez and Ryan Howard continues to grow.

BAL just walked a hitter, committed errors on two consecutive plays, then gave up a single. Mets: you have met your match.

That was a strike, and Ruiz dropped out. The ump called it a ball just because Ruiz didn't catch it. Awful, awful call.

Kevin Friggin' Millar?

Ha! Rod Barajas is such a douche!

Hamels doesn't really have it again tonight. They're fighting off his best pitches and hitting the bad ones. He's not getting swing and misses any more.

The Theory:

"I suspect the Nationals, in a division with both Boston and NYY, not to mention the also above-.500 TB/Toronto, would have a much worse record."

Really?

Currently they have 6 wins against the NL East, 4 wins against the NL Central, 5 wins against the NL West and 1 win against the AL East.

The primary assumption of your argument doesn't hold water. The Nationals are beating up (by National Standards) on teams not in the NL East. So, at a maximum, you are talking about a variable of 6 total wins. Even if they lost every game to AL East opponents (if they were in the AL East), there would only be a difference of 6 games.

I think another key assumption (that the AL East is better than the NL East as a whole) in your argument is flawed. The Phillies have the third best record in baseball and a winning record against the second best team in the AL East. You can argue that the Braves are worse than the Blue Jays, but even if so, the difference is negligible. And you can't consider the Nationals when weighing the overall strength of the division, because the Nationals don't play themselves.


Other than a couple of good games, Cole has been awful this year. He just can't miss bats tonight. They foul off 25 pitches in a row until they get one they can hit. He looks like a left-handed Kyle Kendrick.

We need to be able to hit a league-average lefty better than this.

BAP:

"Other than a couple of good games, Cole has been awful this year. He just can't miss bats tonight. They foul off 25 pitches in a row until they get one they can hit. He looks like a left-handed Kyle Kendrick."

This is a joke, right?

IOP: You need to work on your irony recognition. Obviously, I was using hyperbole to make a point.

Wait, I'm not clear on what point you were trying to make.

two things: Jeltz, thanks for making me feel old about Ruffin's kid pitching on ESPN tonight. Any day now, I expect somebody I grew up watching to have one of his grandkids trot out on the field, such as one of Bob Boone's grandkids or something.

Going back a couple of threads and my apologies if this has been brought up regarding the potential of all the Phils making the All-Star game... could this get uncomfortable for Uncle Chollie and management if some fringe Phillies All-Stars have All-Star bonuses in their contracts? Anybody have that info handy?

IOP: Who knows. The guy carries the team on his back to a WS title and is slow getting out of the gate the following year and it seems some people can't wait to complain that he's a bum.

Not that BAP's post is by any means outrageous in and of itself, but it fits a larger pattern, which I think GM Carson first kicked off last week.

Can't say I'm excited about the start of this inning.

...And here we go again.

I hope you enjoyed your day off, bullpen.

"A LH Kyle Kendrick" would never be mistaken for a World Series and NLCS MVP.

I could see a Matt Chico being mistaken for "a LH Kyle Kendrick," but that would really be an insult to Matt Chico.

What happened on the infield singles? Hard hit balls that got stopped or weaker ones too slowly hit? Could Rollins have made a play?

Tough inning for Rollins... so close.

Good thing the bottom of the inning was up here with the bases loaded and no one out.

Bottom of the lineup, I mean.

Jimmy looks down at the dirt and his glove for answers. He'll need to look at his bat a bit more for confidence.

Brian: It's interesting that you read "Cole has been awful this year" to mean "Cole is a bum." Does his being a World Series hero in 2008 mean that, for all of 2009, I have to live in an alternate universe and pretend that a supposedly ace pitcher, with the numbers of a No. 4, is having a good year?

phew!

That was a wacky inning with 3 singles that almost were outs in a row. Cole still has enough for the 7th inning. That inning was bad luck.

kart: 110 pitches. I would assume he's done.

BAP:

Come on, "Supposedly ace pitcher"?

I guess J. Santana should be stripped of his "definitive ace" status based upon his last performance?

Maybe C.C. Sabathia is also in that category because he is losing to the Nationals?

b_a_p: Nope. But the kid threw a hell of a lot of innings last year. We needn't genuflect at him, but we don't need to get on him about being a soft, whiner deserving Operation Jeer.

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