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Thursday, August 27, 2009

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JW, I know I'm not Beerleaguer Elite, but Clout just reposted my idea while (finally) agreeing with me on something. Oh well, maybe someday I'll reach that pinnacle of achievement.

JW- Good comments on Madson.
I also recall that his earlier stint of closing , when Lidge was on the DL, coincided with inter-league play and the most prolonged team funk of the season.

Great point on Utley. I don't know if it's Charlie or Milt Thompson or just the players themselves, but I think there's been a marked improvement up and down the lineup as far as plate discipline goes. Werth went from good to great, Utley is walking all the time, and forgive me if I haven't checked the stats on this, but I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, it seems like even Howard and Feliz are striking out at a lesser rate than last year.

It is a very selective club with a ten year waiting list.

Smoky: You're right. I've added you into the header.

I think Utley gets pitched around far more because until recently you could depend on Howard to strike out or make the easy out.

Jason has so much love for his posters, how kind. <3

Technically, SmokyJoe was only agreeing with me on Ryan Madson ;-)

Seriously, though, I'm still a proponet of Madson as closer, although that weakens us in the 8th inning. I guess we'll see.

Brett Myers is still the wild card and you KNOW his mouth is watering over the possibility of being our closer in the playoffs. He wants it and he wants it bad.

I will be interesting to see how Galvis plays during an extended time in AA. Obviously, he has gotten off to a hot start, but his previous numbers aren't exactly encouraging. From what I can gather Galvis receives praise mostly for his glove at SS. Anyone know what kind of hitter he projects to be? I suppose his age is a plus for him, it will give him some extra time to figure out the finer points of hitting.

I believe CJ was actually concurring with me on Madson...just sayin'.

Best group on the internets.

I think NEPP was actually concurring with what I was thinking regarding Madson.

Honestly, other then the apparent ability of beerleaguers to peer into the psyches of ball players, does anyone on this board think that Madson does not have the "stuff" to close?

I think Utley gets pitched around far more because until recently you could depend on Howard to strike out or make the easy out.

Still good on Utley for taking the walks instead if flailing wildly at stuff outside the zone. His OBP is getting insane at .424. His OPS is the highest ever at .972, a mere 28 points from 1.000. Despite all the recent nationwide recognition, this guy still seems somehow underrated.

Utley is one of the top 5 players in all of baseball. I don't think he's really underrated at this point as everyone pretty much thinks that he's the best 2B in the game and a top player overall.

That was the best thing that has happened to me all month. JK, but Thx for the Citation.

According to ESPN player rating for all MLB, Utley is #2, behind Pujols, but ahead of Haren, Lincecum, and everyone else.

I'm definitely a Chase Utley fan (how could you not be), but I do get a tad annoyed when fans start making claims about Utley's intensity and grit.

Could you imagine if Utley had turned that triple play? It wouldn't of been "luck" like it was for Gnome, but first time posters would be alluding to some sort of "6th baseball sense" Utley must possess - Utley's ticket to Cooperstown is punched.

Perhaps I'm just colored by all the fanfare around guys like Manny Ramirez, Prince Fielder, and Albert Pujols, who are all admittedly superior to Utley, but not by too much, especially when you throw in Utley's fielding component.

Bay Slugga: The intensity and grit just makes him a fan favorite, because Philly fans like hustle. Casual fans can like him without knowing why he is so good, whereas diehards like BL can appreciate him for all the real and tangible reasons why he is "the man" as HK would say.

I'd take Utley over Fielder or Manny...he's a pretty good defensive 2B on top of his offense (which is very very good.).

It's too bad there's no agreed upon fielding adjuster to apply on top of OPS to give a more complete picture. This could probably be derived statistically by crunching the historical OPS+ of every player at every given position, but I am unaware of such an effort.

What I like most about Utley is his ability to see things before they happen on the field, and the quick reaction to make them happen. He visualizes the plays before they occur. That's what makes a transcendant athlete to me.

While the rest of you guys and gals drool over the best 2B in MLB (and the guys' endorphins kick in because of their collective man-crush) I'll keep to first topic JE posted: Freddy Galvis.

IMHO, his call-up to Reading, despite sporting "only" a .247 BA and a .307 SLG, is significant in this sense:

Do the Phillies project him as the SS of the future?

Is his glove THAT good that they'll tolerate a sub .250 average in today's game of offense, offense and more offense?

JRoll has a contract that runs through 2011 if the Phils exercize the club option.

Will the Phillies be able to afford JRoll past that, especially if they want to keep Howard beyond the length of his deal?

Is the move up to Reading a "test" for Galvis to see if he fits into their long-term plans, or is it simply a numbers game where he was moved up to replace Leon?

I don't think it's Utley's "intensity" and "grit" as much as his acute baseball sense.

Like The Play in game five of the World Series. Sure Jason Bartlett overplayed his hand, but Utley kept fully aware of the play unfolding. I've seen multiple times that Utley makes plays — offensively and defensively — that others just don't make, and not simply because of talent, but because of focus and awareness.

That's what separates Utley from almost every player in baseball. Pujols trumps him, but I don't think any other ballplayer possesses the high qualities Utley possesses.

And when all is said, those qualities should — at this rate — drive Utley into Cooperstown.

Galvis was called up because of a shortage of middle infielders at AA, not because he was considered ready for that level.

Madson has blown 5 straight saves. He's a good pitcher, but everytime he's given a chance, he's blown it.

Maybe the team can move J-Roll to 3B in 2011 if Galvis is ready.

I think it is pretty much another rare moment when we all agree with exactly how good and important Utley is to this team.

I think in around 10 years when the Rollins', Utley's, Howard's are all gone from this team, it will be then that we will realize how special and unique these years of Phillies baseball truely has been.

JRoll's bat (which is barely acceptable at SS) doesn't exactly play at the hot corner.

JW - You mention his ability to pitch in the post season last year as reason he ca handle the high pressure situation.

He blew 2 saves in the post season last year, which means he coughed up leads in the 7th or 8th. One came in game 5.

Not sure I necessarily agree that you can put that on Madson's resume.

As good as Pujols is, he plays 1B. Although he plays it very well, it is not as physically or intellectually demanding a position as SS or even 2B.

I think we'd need to wait until 2011 to see how well Rollins holds up vs. Galvis' advancement. It doesn't seem like either are going anywhere for a while so there isn't much pressure.

NEPP: You're kidding with that crap right? JROLL's bat isn't acceptable at SS?

NEPP: Barely acceptable? Really? Jimmy ranks 6th in HRs, 9th in RBIs, 4th in Rs, and is tied for the lead in SBs. And oh, by the way, his first half was utter crap. Those are his numbers in a bad year. That's not barely acceptable.

Sneed: I think we are the only ones here in agreement that Madson is not the guy for the closers role. It is a whole different animal to tackle. Each time he is put in the situation he doesn't excel. I don't care what kind of stuff he has shown, if it he can't get it done, then he can't be trusted in that role.

4-1 Mets over Fish in the 4th. I'm sure they'll find a way to lose it.

Those figures are for amongst SSs this season.

MPN: On top of that, up until this year he's been top 10 at the position in OPS since 2002.

And in the 2nd half of 2009, he's 8th in qualifying players.

NEPP was talking about JRoll's bat not being ideal for a THIRD baseman.

"JW, I know I'm not Beerleaguer Elite, but Clout just reposted my idea while (finally) agreeing with me on something."

Step 1 of the BL Elite initiation ritual is having clout agree with you on something. Step 2 is having JW quote you in his article. You just managed to acccomplish both steps all in one day (even if it took a little lobbying to accomplish Step 2). The next step is to have MVPTommy attack you for relying on statistics instead of your eyes. Once that happens, we will hold a secret ceremony and give you a 90-day probationary period to prove your worth. Of course, you also have to keep up with the annual membership dues, which are pretty stiff. We have to keep this club "elite," after all.

Bay Slugga: At this moment in time Galvis projects as a dazzling fielder at SS, possibly one of the best in baseball, with a low-power, low-OB, low-average bat. Think Omar Vizquel with a line of .226/.294/.325, a sub-.600 OPS.

Obviously, if his bat improves, that projection does too. And at his age, there's plenty of time for him to learn strike-zone judgment and develop at least doubles power. Some scouts think he won't ever be anything more than a utility INF, but IMHO it's way too early to draw that conclusion. Even if the bat never improves, if his glove continues its path of development, there will be plenty of teams happy to start a great-field, no-hit guy at SS.

Tim: I agree with you about Utley's play in the WS, and unfortunately it was one of the more overlooked ones during last October. However, the point I was trying to make was that the triple play would of been magnified x10 if Utley had been the one to turn it.

Poor, poor Bruntlett.

Galvis and Jimmy (in 2 years) in the lineup gives you two low average, low OBP guys in the lineup.

Jimmy is a 100 OPS+ guy essentially (101 OPS+ over the last 5 years)...I.E. AVERAGE. Assume a slow decline and he doesn't give you much help at 3B (a good step down the defensive scale from SS). Guys that have made that switch have usually been offense-first SS, not GG winners. Jimmy is valuable because he plays SS, not because he can hit a good number of HRs. Just as Utley's value goes down significantly if you put him at 1B instead of 2B.

Two of those "blown saves" of Madson's came in the 8th inning, but we all know Madson would look pretty bright were 8th inning saves possible.

Nepp said his bat was barely acceptable for a SS, which isn't true. Since 2002 he's been one of the 5 best hitting SS's in baseball. His bat wouldn't be abover average at 3B, but he could probably field the position longer than he will at SS. Plus his bat would be an upgrade over what we've seen out of Feliz lately.

Clout: Who would you say will be better in the major leagues as a SS, Donald or Galvis?

NEPP: If offense out of a SS is to be judged different than other positions, wouldn't that hold true for an assessment of his OPS?

"JW, I know I'm not Beerleaguer Elite, but Clout just reposted my idea while (finally) agreeing with me on something."

In order to be in this club, you need to complain about any little thing. Even if the Phillies are 20 games over .500, that doesn't matter. Also, on slow days you MUST be solely negative, bring up the Burrell vs. Ibanez debate, bring up Bobby Abreu regularly and say that ANY player having a hot streak will revert back to career norms. This is all BLer Elite tactics to drive up post counts for their leader, JW. Once you have accomplished each of this goals in succession your in.

So Feliz is now the standard for production at 3B? Saying someone would be better than Pedro at 3B doesn't make them a good 3B.

BAP, Already been Tommy-Whacked on several occassions, most recently when I told him he needs to adjust his "Saves" stats for 8th vs. 9th inning saves.

One wonders why MVP bothers to post on the site if he hates it so much.

My point was that if a 3B was giving you Jimmy's current production, we wouldn't be thrilled.

Sorry the grammar police (are another department of BLer) may be out. "your" should be "you're" in my last post.

Thanks.

Bay: Galvis. No contest. Even if he never hits. Donald might end up being a valuable player, maybe even a regular, but he will never be even an average defensive SS because of his lack of range. His ceiling is probably Mark Loretta, a terrible fielder who played a lot of SS because of a great bat. IMHO, he won't reach that ceiling because his bat, good as it is, isn't Loretta good.

So, looking at bullpen options, anyone know if Uggie Urbina is out of prison yet? This being the City of second chances and forgiveness and all that crap.

If Urbina ever came back as a closer, he'd have the greatest nickname ever in baseball: The Hatchet Man

Urbina, Myers, and Julio Mateo could form the Three Amigos (of violence).

Jimmy's current .707 OPS would rank him 19th among the 20 eligible 3B this season. His career mark of .768 would make him 11th overall. And he'd be 2 years older and declining further in all likelihood.

Sorry, 13th overall, not 11th. Stats didn't refresh the first time.

"One wonders why MVP bothers to post on the site if he hates it so much."

Because it is so entertaining to read the follishness that is posted by "experts" here.

These posts were literally 5 days after the parade. 5 days!

" Jamie Moyer's season was a fluke and he shouldn't be resigned. Murgatroid showed how silly this post was.....We don't need to re-sign Burrell because the players we have will mostly have better years next year on offense. This is so laughable as to not warrant a response.

Posted by: clout | Tuesday, November 04, 2008 at 10:20 AM"

Clout: Interesting - Sorry, couldn't resist.

I do agree with you though. It may be a little earlier to say that Galvis will make a ML club, but I don't think it is a stretch. Was this kid drafted or signed out another country?

clout: You probably shouldn't use the acronym IMHO, because the "H" stands for humble.

Kidding, of course. You've been much more agreeable these last few days and, perhaps coincidentally, I've found myself agreeing with you more.

This is a link in Buster Olney's blog to a Q&A with Cliff Lee. This is a portion about his personal catcher.
"DW: You don't seem to be missing your personal catcher in Cleveland, Kelly Shoppach.
CL: Honestly, (Phillies catcher) Paul Bako reminds me a lot of Shoppach. He's a pretty savvy catcher. It didn't take long for him to understand the way I like to pitch. Bako and Shoppach are pretty crafty. They both call unbelievable games.

DW: What percentage of your success with the Phillies would you attribute to Bako/studying scouting reports/relying on your ability?
CL: I'm relying on Paul Bako, what he throws down, and a feel for the game. Obviously, scouting reports are important, but it's mostly working with my strengths.

8-1 Mets over Fish in the 5th.

"The next step is to have MVPTommy attack you for relying on statistics instead of your eyes."

Ironically, Tommy has been attacking Madson based on his statistics while others (SmokeyJoe, clout, JW, bap, myself, etc.) have used their eyes and said Madson looked better on the mound than Lidge.

Funny game. Fun to be a fan.

I don't care if Stairs has to be Lee's personal catcher. If your not giving up runs, even hits for that matter, it doesn't really matter who it back there. Charlie recognizes this and won't mess with the battery of Lee/Bako.

How did BAP get into the BL elite and why is he spilling out secret requirements and ceremonies on BL? My secret ballot to stealth vote on incoming covert inductees from the clandestine nominating committee failed to reach my super secret elite email inbox during the undisclosed voting period. I'll need to contact our secret president to file a surreptitious complaint.

All who read this communication must disavow any knowledge of it for fear of cruel and swift retribution on them or their closest family members and loved ones. As Sgt. Schultz used to say, "I know nothing!"

NEPP & company: Why again are we comparing Jimmy to 3rd baseman? He doesn't have the size to even be a possible candidate. Jimmy is 5'8, 174 lbs. Most 3rd baseman are 6'1-6'4 and 220-230 lbs.

He is top 5 in his position which is SS, so why even dicussing him compared to power 3rd baseman such as Zimmerman, Reynolds,and A-Rod.

Baseball is a funny game. As painful as the last two games have been, and even with FLA and ATL playing two of the worst teams in baseball, the Phils will be 8 up if they win tonight (in Happ I trust!!)

As expected, ATL looked past SD to Philly and Miami, and are paying the price.

****He is top 5 in his position which is SS, so why even dicussing him compared to power 3rd baseman such as Zimmerman, Reynolds,and A-Rod****


Because someone suggested moving him to 3B to "make room" for Galvis in 2011. I was showing why that's not a smart move.

MVPtommy, those who comment on the grammar, spelling or typing skills of fellow commenters on BL are ineligible for consideration for elite consideration.

NEPP: Well he doesn't have the size as I mentioned above, so that will not happen. No wonder his numbers don't stack up, because he is lacking 5 inches and 50 pounds to the guys you are comparing him with.

NEPP: You said his bat was barely acceptable at SS. Certainly, this year, it's been pretty bad, but over the course of his career, Jimmy has quite clearly been an above-average offensive SS. A 100 OPS+ is quite good for a SS. Positional adjustment is important. It's why Jimmy with a 100 OPS+ is above-average, but Ryan Howard with a 124 OPS+ last year is only average, because he's being compared to 1st basemen.

I do agree Jimmy loses a ton of value at 3rd base, because the bat isn't as valuable there and his defense, which is obviously quite good, is less important as well.

LF: Yeah, I knew as soon as I sent that post that I would be in big trouble with the committee. I was wrong to post it & I accept whatever punishment is coming to me.

I would highly recommend perusing phuturephillies.com for the latest post by Michael Schwimer (Philly minor league pitcher in Clearwater, going to the AFL). He goes into incredible detail about his thinking process during every pitch of a 2-inning save in a 1-0 win. Really great stuff about using scouting reports, along with reading the hitters reaction to pitches, to determine what to pitch.

Point being that no pitcher can execute every pitch every time. But they sure can make a plan and purpose for every pitch. That homerun in the 9th last night was due to pitch selection as much as execution of it.

Jack: Positional adjustments are appropriate considerations but they can also be overdone. Ryan Howard has the 13th highest OPS among major league third basemen. Craig Counsell has the 13th highest OPS among major league shortstops. I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb by saying that they are not equal players.

Smoky (btw, is your handle in honor of 40th and Walnut?) - Hatchet Man or the Machete Man?

hh- Utley making 'visualized' plays is obviously reflective of someone who eats, breathes, and dreams baseball. That said, sometimes he does get a little too cute; plays like those where he purposely drops a liner to start off a double play.

For those who we're engaged in the previous argument about Hamels' with regard to luck.

http://myespn.go.com/blogs/sweetspot/0-4-222/Cole-Hamels-as-good-as-ever.html

I hope we've all learned a valuable lesson!

NEPP: JRoll's OPS+ has been consistently around 100, which average for ALL HITTERS, right? What is the average OPS+ among NL shortstops? I'm asking because I don't know, but I would suspect that 100 is actually very good for a SS and ranks near the top.

TNA, no never been there. I had three nicknames in college: SmokyJoe, Josephus, and Joseph of Arimathea. The other two were too esoteric for a handle on this site.

yea, it would be Machete Man, I remembered incorrectly (although that nickname is just as cool).

Okay, I mispoke on him being "barely acceptable" at SS. My main point remains the same...moving him to 3B is not a smart idea.

Mike Drago checked with team officials today, and according to the Phillies' gun at the game Tuesday, Mathieson topped out at 98. Which is where he's been since he got to Reading, consistently at 96-98, Drago says.

Moving Rollins to 3rd doesn't need to be debated any furthur than his height and weight. Rollins can not possibly play 3rd base under any circumstance.

Since there is only 4 days until the deadline for dealing players. Are we to assume that we are done. And another RH bat is coming from within?

In re: Jennie Finch (see previous thread)

While I would like, as much as anyone, to see Jennie Finch pitch for the Phils, I think we'd be better served by her brother Sidd.

Chone Figgins is listed at 5'9", 155 lbs and he plays 3B.

NEPP: Ok and the Angels also are 5th in the league in hits given up. Behind of Baltimore, Minnesota, Nats and Cleveland. You don't think this is due to him being short and having balls going over his head? Or due to the fact he needs to gaurd the line more because of his short reach?

It must purely be Figgins...no other possibilities exist.

People seemed to think I was pretty good despite my height disadvantage.

Just saying. I mean it is extremely rare for a short player to be at the hot corner for the reasons of height and reach.

Mets up 9-3 on the Marlins...Tatis hit a HR.

If you have to revert back to the 1940's to find a good short 3rd baseman, than obviously it doesn't happen often. I mean are we seriously debating this? It is common knowledge that you need a tall and bigger 3rd baseman. Are there exceptions? Sure. But most teams even going into NCAA teams have bigger 3rd baseman.

Figgins actually has an UZR rating over 11...

Defensively, I'm sure Jimmy would be a great 3B...it'd still be a bad move to make.

J.R. King: Could be that. Or it could that you haven't posted anything stupid lately.

Is this a complete list of road series that we didn't win this year?

Split 2 gms @ DC

Lost 2 gms @ NYM

Split 4 gms @ LA

Lost 2 of 3 @ TB

Swept in 3 games @ ATL

Lost 3 of 4 @ SF

Happ needs to come through cause you don't want to put @ PGH on this list.

Of the embarrassingly low 10 Hall of Fame 3rd Basemen, 7 of us played our final game before 1980. Sorry my references aren't hip or new enough for you Thomas my boy, but thems be the breaks.

mvptommyd: Wow, you are really an old school "good face" talent evaluator, aren't you? I guess Billy Beane didn't manage your Legion teams after all.

I said 1940's. At 87 years of age, I am sure your reading skills are lacking. So your excused.

MPN: No, and eithier did coaches who gave me college scholarships. I am sure if they wanted the 5'8, 160 lbs third baseman they could have found one.

From Jason Stark's Rumblings today:

Ruben Amaro told Jason Stark today "We believe in Brad Lidge as a World Championship closer. But when push comes to shove with a pennant on the line, it's our job to win games. And if we feel like there is a better alternative, that's a decision Charlie has to make."

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