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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Comments

I think the gun was about 2 mph fast last night.

I really don't think that Hamels was hitting 96 and Madson 99 last night. 94 and 97 sound more like it and are more in line with their season totals.

Rumor:
Saves leader Hoffman heading to Phillies bullpen?

By Mark Miller

The Milwaukee Brewers have reportedly put all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/rumors/post/Saves-leader-Hoffman-heading-to-Phillies-bullpen?urn=mlb,185463

Manuel has said on several occassions that Feliz is one of the best bunters on the team. Knowing the hitting funk Feliz is in, the team's woes recently in getting the runner home from third, the failure of Francisco the hitter before, the importance of the run given the situation, I ask why didn't Feliz suicide squeeze? If ever there was a time, it would have been then. Why won't Charlie do it?

Big Piece - great name.

My biggest concern about Myers is his conditioning and coming back too quickly, leading to some sort of arm injury.

Pitch/fx sez Cole did top out at 96 (avg 93), but Madson was at 97.5 (avg 96).

I wouldn't be opposed to Hoffman, but it sounds like Myers is looking good. 9 Ks in 4 innings of work sounds like a guy that is ready to close.

I feel like the only reason they've been this "patient" with Lidge is because they know once Myers comes back they have his replacement. What would have been the point of tinkering with the closer spot prior to this? Not only would you have further derailed any chances Lidge had of turning it around, but you may have damaged the mindset of the other guys in the pen (Madson, Park). By being patient they have given Lidge every opportunity to regain his form. It isn't working out. Now they can, in good faith, tell him to take the rest of the year off, rest up his knee and come back healthy for next year. And turn to Myers in the 9th and let him do his thing. You don't think he's going to be pumped for this?

The situational hitting was very frustrating last night. The most frustrating moment for me, though, was Howard failing to score when Werth hit htat bloop to left. There was no way it would be caught yet, he stayed glued to the bag until it hit the grass. But, you can't argue he didn't make up for that. He's really putting some nice swings on the ball and off a lefty to boot. AFter the way Maholm owned him, it was very encouraging to see him come through in the tenth.

What would it take to get Hoffman? He is only on a 1 year deal, so the Brewers wouldn't get anything for him. Pick up the salary and a fringe prospect? That would be a no brainer to me.

no interest in hoffman and i doubt the phillies do, either. i think if lidge continues to fail, they go with the hot hand come october. the answer is in the pen.

There's no way we pick up a waiver-wire reliever. We are already overflowing as it is. With Myers coming back (and possibly Condrey, Mathieson, & Romero) there would be nowhere to put them. As it is, Amaro/Manuel are in the unenviable position of possibly telling either Jamie or Pedro (or both) that they won't be on the post season roster. Walker will miss it too. But you add someone else, then the cuts go much deeper. Ain't gonna happen.

Hoffman is having a pretty outstanding year. If they can get him I can't see a downside to it.

So you can't cut condrey or Durbin off the playoff roster for Hoffman?

Eyre, Romero, Madson, Lidge, Park, Myers, Hoffman.

Looks like a nice playoff pen to me.

One final beef. Since both were wasted anyway, why didn't Charlie pinch hit Stairs for Ruiz first, and then come back with Ibanez? Any idiot knows they would walk the first left-hander (unless they were completely certain that Staris is utterly useless right now). Even though he's been in a slump, I like Ibanez with the bases loaded a heck of a lot more than Stairs right now.

Well, I have tempered my criticism of this team because they are on such a roll, but I have to agree with Jason's assessment.

We can all post here and criticise the bullpen for blowing the lead, but with the way Hamels was pitching last night it should not have come down to that.

The lead should have been much larger going into the bottom of the 9th.

This team has had problems with situational hitting lately (early in the year it seemed they were great with RISP, especially late in games - is this a reversion?) - not scoring after a leadoff triple by Vic is one example - and it is starting to cost them.

But, last night's example in the 9th inning was THE MOST PATHETIC DISPLAY of situational hitting we have seen all year.


TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY PATHETIC.


I know they are winning....I know they are on a roll.....but that's the kind of crap that will cost them in the playoffs.....and I know Charlie doesn't want to rock the boat when things are going well.......but.........IMO he needs to have quiet sit-downs with a couple of these guys and make them understand how important it is to get an insurance run in that situation........OK, I know they probably understand, but he should communicate his displeasure.

Remember one thing:

This is the Pirates they are playing.

Against a good team in the playoffs, they stand a much lesser chance of winning if they contnue to come up short like that.

Are they choking?

CY, if that's your playoff Pen, what happened to Moyer & Martinez?

And CY, you have no problem keeping Walker, Condrey, and Durbin off the playoff roster, despite their contributions over the year? I doubt Charlie shares that opinion with you.

AWH: Relax man. It will be ok. I think you are smart enough to know that this Phillies team never has and never will be good in hitting with RISP. This team is made to scores in bunches and homeruns. Thats how they win, I.E. Howard's game winning homerun last night.

Phillies are 10th in the NL in RISP ave. But 1st in Homeruns. Also are 1st in the NL in runs score.

Basically, we have to live with this flaw at times and no sense dedicating a whole day complaining about it because it won't change.

I don't buy that Hoffman report.

I don't think anyone should buy that Hoffman report...there's no way he'd ever clear waivers.

awh: phils sucked at RISP in last years playoffs and won the world series.
and
J: yeah i don't buy the Hoffman rumor either. its typical "hes available and the phils could use a closer" type of fantasy rumors that lazy sports writers make up

tommy, I'm almost ready to join the CJ bandwagon - that is, the division race may be over. I am on record as posting that "until they clinch - they haven't", but it's looking increasingly unlikely that the Braves or Fish are going to be able to catch this team.

Also, if they somehow manage to falter and don't take the division, according to coolstandings they have a 94% chance of being in the postseason. So, I'm OK with how they are playing - they're winning.

I am concerned about how poor situational hitting is going to "play" in the postseason.

They won't be the Bucs bullpen in the 10th inning in the playoffs.

**I think the gun was about 2 mph fast last night (NEPP)**

I believe it was in the third inning that LA mentioned that the PGH park has 2 - count 'em 2 - radar guns. One measures release velocity. LS was not clear on what the other gun measured, be it average velocity or vleocity as the pitch approaches/crosses the plate.

JW, agree on the Hoffman rumor.

Great to have, but no fit.

With almost every game being a sellout, I don't think the money is an issue, but bringing him is probably not going to happen.

Also on the closer situation:

Madson another blown save. So that makes Madson have 5 blown saves in 9 opportunities. Are we all here in agreement that Madson CAN NOT be a closer? He doesn't have the mentality to get the job done.

Lidge is our BEST option RIGHT NOW until Myers gets back. If Lidge blows a couple more before Myers gets back then the switch needs to be made.

Also before BLer announcing Chan Ho or "Chopper" as the closer. Do you all realize last year he had 4 Blown saves in 6 opportunites. That tells me he isn't effective as a closer eithier. Where you all like it or not, it is a 2 horse race. If Lidge continues to blow saves then it is Myers' job.

Also keep in mind, Lidge when he pitches more than 2 days in a row has an ERa of over 9.00, when he pitches on 1 or 2 days rest he has around a 2.00 ERA. Big difference, to me the answer is clear as day. Look no further than Boston, where Papelbon very rarely pitches more than 2 days in a row anymore.Also, I believe I read that Boston has set some kind of rule prohibiting Papelbon from going more than 2 days in a row. Maybe we should impliment that rule here.

For everyone saying "it's only the Pirates," think of it as beating the 2011 Yankees, and it feels a lot better.

****Lidge is our BEST option RIGHT NOW until Myers gets back. If Lidge blows a couple more before Myers gets back then the switch needs to be made. ****

The first 9 blown saves weren't enough...or 3 of his last 4 1 run save attempts?

Just great to get the win last night.
To have 2 blown saves and 2 losses in a row may have led BL'ers into a lemming like mass suicide.
Howard saved us in the 10th.

Now, let's win one by at least a dozen runs tonight and we can half our blood pressure meds for a day.

AWH: You said "am concerned about how poor situational hitting is going to "play" in the postseason."

Well they were just as bad if not worse last year and we seemed to fair fine in the playoffs. Just enjoy the ride. Baseball is a funny game where no team is ever flawless. Our flaws right now happen to be RISP and closer. By next week it could be different you never know.

Phils magic number is 31???

Talking magic numbers in August is a worse jinx than mentioning a no hitter during a no hitter. Ask Matt Cerrone.

"The first 9 blown saves weren't enough...or 3 of his last 4 1 run save attempts?"

NEPP, lets go by percentages.

Madson 4 saves in 9 opps. is 44%
Lidge 25 saves in 34 opps. is 74%

2008

Lidge 48 saves in 48 opps. is 100%
Chan ho Park 2 saves in 6 opps. is 33%

So yes NEPP, Lidge IS our BEST option right now.

Rube denies it, but Bret Myers will be our closer down the stretch run, or at worse it will be a Lidge-Myers tag team closer tandem.

Colbert piched like the Cole of old last night and Madson robbed Colbert of his victory, leaving him still with a losing record on a winning team.

I'm not sure if I like the name "The Big Piece" for Ryan Howard. When I think of "The Big Piece", the image that flashes in my mind is a big legged woman in a short dress, not our man Ryan.

Whoops, sorry about that one, J.

If I can jinx a 94% chance at the postseason, I'll respectfully never set foot on the internet again.

Phillies offense has 3 players with OPS+ over 130, 4 over 120.

Everybody talks about the improvements Howard has made in his defensive game. And obviously Vic has taken a step forward this year on both sides of the ball. One improvement no one is talking about is Uts' K/BB rate, and the number of walks he's taking in general. He surpassed his career high in walks weeks ago and is getting on base at a much higher clip than he ever has. This willingness to be more selective at the plate and take walks is an adjustment on Utley's part that will hopefully pay dividends in the playoffs.

SJ - I don't have any emotional connection to COndrey, Walker or Durbin. So no, I don't care.

And with that pen we would have 11 pitchers. Do we typically carry 11 or 12? if 12 then you can have one of Moyer or Pedro.

Most likey all 7 of those relievers won't make it to the playoffs anyway, so there will be another slot at least.

How could anyone argue that having Hoffman close games would not improve this team? Maybe the report isn't true, that is a much better argument

MVP, Madson's blown save numbers are bogus, because of stupid 8th inning rules regarding the stat. Please do not use that stat to back your argument. Keep to only the 9th inning blown saves/opportunities when he was actually the closer

"Also before BLer announcing Chan Ho or "Chopper" as the closer. Do you all realize last year he had 4 Blown saves in 6 opportunites. That tells me he isn't effective as a closer eithier".


That was LAST YEAR. Brad Lidge was 48 for 48 LAST YEAR too. That means NOTHING in 2009.

Chan Ho is the best option to close RIGHT NOW, at least until Myers comes up. He has the best stuff of any reliever on the staff (he can get you out with multiple pitches; Madson and Lidge rely on 1 pitch). He has been nearly unhittable in the majority of his outings in the pen, many times making it look extremely easy in the process. Madson has very good stuff; but just seems to be missing that killer element in the 9th inning. He is great in the 8th though.

How many more opportunities do you need from Lidge and Madson in that role? They have been given multiple chances and failed. Lidge has 3 more blown saves then any other closer in baseball. With most teams, you get replaced before you even get to the point Lidge is at now (See Gregg, Kevin).

Chan Ho should be given a chance. Period.

If and when JC returns in form, I wouldn't mind seeing him in save situations vs. lefties.

smoky: Ok, so now we are using special rules regarding stats to decipher "real stats" from "bogus stats". Just like yesterday, clout saying Rollie fingers "stat" for all time blown saves leader in a season with 14 wasn't "real" because it was harder back in the day. You CAN'T knit pick through stats. I guess we have to go back and discredit the blown saves for lidge that were "bad luck", that would only be fair right?

mvptommyd, those stats of those sample sizes aren't comparable.

@LSG: "I believe it was in the third inning that LA mentioned that the PGH park has 2 - count 'em 2 - radar guns. One measures release velocity. LS was not clear on what the other gun measured, be it average velocity or vleocity as the pitch approaches/crosses the plate."

It measures velocity when it reaches the plate.

TNA: Great point. Abreu and Burrell were pros at drawing walks, and it's nice to see the Phils supplement the loss of them with patient ABs from Utley and Werth.

Denny B: I have said "No" to Madson from the beginning dating back to when Lidge was on the DL. I never believe in messing up 2 spots to fill 1. Chan ho is effective in Relief, not as a closer. I am sorry to tell you that. Just like Madson is effective in setup but not closing.

We have to live with Lidge until Myers gets here. Maybe Charlie should try the Boston method as stated above. Use Lidge no more than 2 days in a row. He is effective in those cases.

mvptommy: not saying i agree/disagree with your conclusion, but a little info on the saves stat:

Save opps can come before the 9th inning. Madson has actually only "closed" 5 times counting last nite. he is now 2/5 in those chances, which is just as bad as what you were saying, but only with a little better clarification.

"Entering play Wednesday at PNC Park, the bullpen’s ERA was 3.93, 15th best in baseball.

However, with Lidge’s numbers taken away, the unit is right were it was a year ago: second best in baseball.

After subtracting Lidge’s stats (0-6, 7.33 ERA), the Phils bullpen is 21-12 with a 3.45 ERA. Only the Los Angeles Dodgers (29-18, 3.38) have better numbers.

Without Lidge

those 4 blown saves that Park had last year were actually in middle relief. So he was 2 for 2 in actual save opportunities

Charlie made a point in his postgame (you can read it in the MLB.com summary) about Madson pitching very well last night, except for the homerun obviously. Charlie pointed out that Madson (and that crafty veteran game manager Bako) should never have given Moss a Changeup. He was saying that Moss could never hit a homerun the other way, and the only way he goes deep is to be able to get around on something soft. As I stated last night, it was extrememly poor pitch selection on a 2-2 count, especially considering Moss's approach on the previous 4 pitches. Bako called for the changeup, and Madson did not shake him off.

And why was Bako in the game? The move to pinch hit Ibanez for Ruiz in the 9th, when everyone watching knew he'd be walked.

Some of you guys are allergic to giving compliments I guess.

It's always "Yeah, but..." arguments...Cole pitched well last night, but...

Fact is he looked really good last night. Good movement on his pitches and he was hitting the corners well and moving his pitches up and down in the zone. He gave up a few hits but didn't come unglued like he has in past starts. Say what you want about the Pirates but like any line-up they have guys who can be dangerous in the mix. Hopefully Cole can build on this and we get some semblence of the Cole we know he can be.

NEPP - If Cole's fastball was 2 mph slower, what does that make all those 81 - 82 mph change-ups he threw? I actually think he was cranking up his velocity on the FB, which is why he handled the Bucs so easily.

awh - Let me clarify. By PATHETIC, do you mean "SIMPLY PATHETIC," "INCREDIBLY PATHETIC" or "EFFIN' PATHETIC?"

TNA - It occurs to me that Vic and Pete Happy are close to or above career highs in BBs (BsB?)as well.

Academic question:

Which team is better right now - the Mets or the Pirates?

I know Madson't stats as closer are bad, but last night he looked a whole lot better than Lidge. I don't know about you all, but I'd much rather see Mad Dog in the 9th than Lidge.

Unlike Lidge, he was attacking the zone rather than trying to get hitters to chase. The problem with attacking the zone is that sometimes a hitter makes solid contact. If Madson bounced that 2-2 slider to Moss, the results would have been different. He'll learn.

Kudos to Howard. The Big Man (much better nickname) now has single-handedly won the Phils 2 games in the past 10 days or so. When he is locked in like he has been, even LHP relievers have to be really careful with him.

It looks to me like some of the people who post here don't understand what the Phillies already know -- pitching, defense and three-run homers. That's the way you win ball games.

Last year Cerrone put the Magic Number up for the Mets on Metsblog and stuff started falling apart that same day. I'm not even joking a little bit; it was like someone threw a switch. Or changed the calendar to September.

RSB: "Well, speaking of clout, no doubt he would not approve of my emotional unsubstantiated gut feeling, but my gut tells me this team is out quick this time around and if it happens I will not be mirthful in the fulfillment of this prediction but I will have seen it coming from miles and miles away."

There's nothing "gut" about it. You are simply betting the chalk. I happen to think this team is better than last year's (as the 1977 team was better than 1980's), but the best team wins only about 25% of the time. And the odds against winning back-to-back titles are quite high.

Yeah, curb the anti-enthusiasm. We've won 12 of 15, 7-game lead with 38 to play, in play for home field thru the NL playoffs, if Cole really is "clicking" we have 4 starters pitching pretty damn well, pitching depth and lots of bullpen options for the playoffs, Myers included. I'm not worried about the closer spot, we'll figure it out. Let's enjoy this time in Phillies history -- very, very rare.

anyone else have trouble connecting to fightins.com? i want my UC t-shirt.

I want to agree with my good friends SmokyJoe and BAP on a couple things.

1. Smoky is right, Madson had great stuff and good location last night except for one pitch and it was as bad as it gets: An 86 mph changeup, just below the letters, middle-in to a lefthanded hitter with very little break on it. That's not enough for me to declare Madson ineligible for closing.

2. BAP is right. dennyb's contention that CHoP has the "best stuff" in the bullpen is laughable. Madson, Lidge and Romero all have better stuff and Mathieson does too. Of course, having the best stuff and pitching the best are two very different things. If dennyb wants to argue that CHoP is pitching the best, I'm with him. I don't think moving him to closer or setup is a good idea, however, because he's been invaluable in gobbling up 2 and 3 innings at a time. If you make him a 1 inning man then you turn those middle innings over to the likes of Durbin and Condrey. To which I say, "No thanks."

TI - Agreed. Yeah the Pirates lineup stinks. It was still the best Hamels looked in a quite a while including really focusing when he had to and making the necessary pitches with runners on. It was hopefully a sign that his really rough patch in August is over. He isn't going to repeat what he did down the stretch last year but hopefully he can be somewhere in between.

Also, I should hasten to add that Earl Weaver is correct, as always.

And in honor of one of the greatest managers in baseball history, I encourage the younger posters, who may not be aware of his full body of work, to click on this link:

http://videolicious.tv/2007/01/baseball-managers-three-minute-tirade-9/

EF - if you take Lidge's numbers away from this year, wouldn't you want to take his numbers away from last year's BP numbers?

Andy - Feliz is projected for about 41 walks, which would be right above his career high. His higher OBP this year has been somewhat compensated for consistently declining power. I hope Manuel gives Feliz several days off to energize him before letting him loose for the next two months. Also wouldn't be a bad time to sharpen Gnome's and Cairo's bats. Somewhat akin to well-considered preventative maintenance. Same thing should be done with all the starters who have been workhorses this year. There's a fine line, or a constant balancing act between retaining the timing and touch of your players and fatiguing them so they have less than optimal stuff in the tank for october. My approach would be to use this week and the first week of September to rest players and then getting back to regular programming in the second week of Sept.

Vic, on the otherhand, has been constantly improving in all phases of his game; not surprising for someone who is still on the upward slope of his baseball curve. He also hit a career high in walks a few games ago, but then again, he doesn't have much of a record being relatively new to being a full-time regular. It should be noted however that he's in his age 28 year, the supposed usual breakout year. (but where are the steals given that he's not hammering as many doubles as maybe he should be with his speed? that said, he does have a lot of triples. anyway, not too many complaints about Vic's offensive production so far)

Good teams win ugly sometimes...

TNA: I would assume that Vic doesn't have as many steals because they don't want him to steal in front of Utley to leave that hole open on the left side. Utley has become more of a pull hitter and he might be better off with someone at first then with someone at second.
I could be wrong, it has happened before, but that is why I think he doesn't have that many steals.

MVPTommy: And the same point about Park's "save stats. A reliever gets a blown save if he enters the game in the 7th inning, and proceeds to blow a 3-run lead or less. But if that same pitcher preserves the lead, then leaves the game, he doesn't get a save; he gets a hold. So speaking of a non-closer's save percentage is completely meaningless, since a non-closer can ONLY get a blown save, but not a save. This point has actually been made over and over again on this board, yet you keep resorting to the same faulty statistic to make your point that so-and-so can't close.

If you want to get some sense of a non-closer's ability in high leverage moments, I would look to his blown saves as a percentage of his holds + saves. A hold is the same thing as a save except that, instead of finishing the game, the pitcher gives way to someone else. Park has no saves this year but is 8 for 8 in hold opportunities. Last year he had 2 saves, 5 holds and 3 blown saves. So, over his career as a reliever, he is 15 for 18 (83%) at preserving slim leads. Of course, if you subscribe to the view that pitching in the 9th inning is different (and maybe it is), then this stat still doesn't tell us if Park can close. But it's certainly a more intellectually honest way of evaluating his ability to perform in high leverage moments.

Ryan Howard since July 7th (44 games):

299/390/635 for a 1.024 OPS with 15 HR and 46 RBI.

He has now tied Pujols for second in RBI, just 5 behind Fielder and he's 4th in HR, just 5 behind Pujols.

On Aug. 12th, Pujols had 11 more HR and 19 more RBI.

The real problem with Vic running is that he often ends up at 3B with less than 2 outs, and we know how that story ends. Might as well stay at 1B and await the HR.

I'll stipulate that the Phillies' situational has been atrocious of late, but it's a bit of a myth that this team can't hit with RISP. The Phillies' team average with RISP is .258. The Phillies' team average in general is .258, which places them 23rd among all major league teams. So it's not that the Phillies suddenly go cold with RISP. Their struggles in those situations simply reflect the fact that they don't hit for very high average as a team. After all, they've only got 2 guys in their starting lineup hitting above .285; they've got 2 guys, including a leadoff hitter, hitting under .250. And their bench, as a unit, is hitting .181.

The Phillies manage to score runs without hitting for high average. But their offense would greatly benefit -- particularly in these RISP situations -- by having a few more high average hitters in the lineup & on the bench. Rollins' returning to career norms (in batting average, that is) would be a nice start.

Lidge is obviously duping everybody until October when he'll whip out an entirely new arsenal of curveballs, cutters, change, slurves, and 4 new wicked sliders. He'll be able to throw them front door and back door with Maddux-esque precision; sometimes it'll be so nasty, the pitch will be said to have gone through a trap door.

"I know they are winning....I know they are on a roll.....but that's the kind of crap that will cost them in the playoffs"

How about losing? Might that have more of an effect than winning?

BAP: Two great posts.

Also to point out, Rollins' average has helped drag out team average down this year since he has so many at bats.

I'm going to second Old Phan's poignant point: winning is better than losing.

My bet is the Phils score in double digits tonight. Charlie Morton meet the World Champs.

Just think how many runs they'd score with a true leadoff hitter . . .
That Jimmy Rollins likes to swing away.

BAP: Great Posts. I see your point on Chan Ho, just wanted to express my point that you should, "Be careful what you wish for". Also, on the other post. You are correct with the averages. The only thing we have to realize is, they are who they are. Which is a homerun hitting, scoring in bunches offensive team.

Think of how dull it would be if they won every night. There are only so many insults you can hurl at the Gnome before you get tired.

Old Phan: Have you read this site alot over the past 2 months? Even when we win 10 in a row, people still complain about something here.

Where the Phillies' team average does plummet is with 2 outs and RISP. In that situation, they're hitting just .228. On the other hand, almost all teams hit far worse in this situation. I imagine that's because of factors like situational relievers, opposing teams pitching around hitters, the absence of drawn-in infields, the inability to hit a sac fly, and probably a bunch of other factors I haven't thought of. In fact, the Phillies .228 average in these situations actually ranks them 22nd in the majors, whereas they rank 23rd in overall batting average. So, relative to the rest of the league, their performance with 2 outs and RISP actually improves slightly.

Yea Hugh, with Vic's emergence as both a capable hitter and better plate discipline, I don't know why the lineup could be Vic, Utley, Werth, Howard, Rollins, Ibanez...
Great balance, and is better suited to let hitters do what they are best at. (I could see swapping Werth & Utley vs. right-handers).

BAP - could you tease out the NL numbers? It's not really fair with pitcher batting. i think the phils are still bottom third, but just sayin'

I can see why UC likes having J-Roll and Vic 1-2 in the lineup, but I think Vic would be better the leadoff role. Either that, or he could be the new closer.

I'm amazed that people keep listing Mathieson among our post-season bullpen options. The guy hasn't pitched in the majors in 3 full seasons and, when he did pitch there, he was as horrible as a pitcher can possibly be. He will probably get a September call-up and have the opportunity to pitch in some garbage time situations. But, with at least 11 experienced major leaguers (Lidge, Madson, Park, Myers, Durbin, Condrey, Romero, Eyre, Walker, Moyer, Pedro) to fill 7 bullpen spots, we are NOT going to give one of our bullpen spots to a complete unknown just because he can throw hard.

To BAP, Mathieson was considered a legit starting pitcher prospect before the 3 surgeries. I agree that he sucked when he was up but if you'll recall, he was an emergency call up due to injuries in our rotation. They knew at the time that he was a roll of the dice. His ability has never been in question, just his health and readiness.

That said, he's not a legit option for the rotation or BP right now. He's recovering from a 2nd TJ and no matter how well he does at Reading, he won't be on the 25 man anytime this year. He's going to the AFL period.

TNA: Good point. I was lazy.

Phillies are 11th out of 16 NL teams in overall batting average. They are also 11th with RISP. With RISP and 2 outs, they are 10th.

I don't think I'd list Mathieson's starts 3 years ago when he was 22(?) as a mark against him when he's pitching brilliantly in the bullpen role in the minors. That said, NEPP's point above is right.

I hear the Phillies are looking to sign Jennie Finch to close...

Jennie Finch could probably strike out most MLB hitters...if she was using a softball.

Shes hot I'd probably just stare at her and let her strike me out.

Cipper- That might get more press coverage than the Pedro experiment.

Marlins get a leadoff HR vs Cy Redding. Harry K calling Redding that noted by SNY crew.

If Phils lead the league in runs and are 11th with RISP then apparently we get enough RISP to make up for our failures or RISP is not the most important stat?

Mets tie up the Marlins at one. They are due to win a game, aren't they?

NEPP: I completely agree with you re Mathieson, but I think we're talking apples and oranges here. Yes, he was a legitimate starting pitching prospect who was rushed into duty. No, his 2006 performance doesn't carry any weight in evaluating his legitimacy as a prospect -- particularly since he's now being groomed as a reliever. But people keep bringing up his name as though he's some kind of immediate solution to our bullpen problems. He isn't -- and his 2006 performance IS part of the reason why. If he wasn't ready in 2006, he's not ready now, as he has hardly pitched since then. And yet people want to throw him into the middle of a pennant race -- and in a closer's role, no less?

Another new thingy.

I know there are some posters who don't feel that RBI is an important stat. If that's the case, then it would follow that average with RISP wouldn't be important, either.
On gameday, RISP is only as important as your pitching. If the team is 2 for 13 with RISP and score 2 runs, but your pitcher throws a shutout, it doesn't matter. Conversely, if you're 5 for 5 with RISP, but Lidge goes out and gives up a 9 run homer in the bottom of the 9th....

If I understand the save/blown save stats correctly, if you enter the game under any of the criteria for a save - no matter the inning or situation otherwise - and you blow it, it's a blown save.

I don't think this should be the case; I think we need a new stat called the BH (blown hold). A guy comes into the game in the 8th nowadays to setup the 9th-inning closer - his job isn't to save it. So if he comes in with a slight lead and blows it, he should get a blown hold, not a blown save. After all, if he's successful he'll get a hold (unless he's left in for the 9th as well).

yo new thread

The Big Piece? Really? C'mon. Sounds like cleverness gone awry. The Big Piece conjurs images of the excremental log my 2-year-old son left in the bathtub last night.

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EST. 2005

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