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Monday, August 17, 2009

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I present Cliff Lee's three starts as evidence that Carrasco was not "a steal."

Carrasco was regarded almost like a toss in. People seemed to be more broken up about Donald, Marson and Knapp. I think Carrasco has a chance to be a solid major leaguer. Lots of Ks for a young power pitcher at the highest level of the minors.

If Carlos can pitch effectively with runners on base, he'll be a good pitcher for a long time. Hope he makes it.

But I hope, even more, Cliff Lee is the WS MVP.

Three Sunday nights in five weeks.

Carlos needs to work through the mental hangups. Once he does, he has all the tools.

I've posted this on more than one occasion:

Right now, people can claim the Phillies "fleeced" the Tribe.

As long as the Phils go back to the WS in the next two years, it was a good trade for the Phils.

If not.....

OTOH, if Carrasco and Knapp both wind up somewhere from 1-3 in CLE's rotation, then down the road it will look like a good trade for the Tribe as well.

If Donald and Marson become at least solid backups, then CLE will have done really well and may be back in contention sooner than people thin.

awh: I did understand your point. Striking out a batter at a key time is not a matter of luck per se, just as getting a hit with RISP is not a matter of luck. But my point was that, over time, a player's situational stats tend to mirror his overall stats. Makeup and mental toughness are definitely important traits but, when you're citing those traits to explain a player's short-term success in certain situations, I think you're going down the same slippery slope that many of us (including yours truly) went down with Kyle Kendrick. There aren't many, if any, pitchers who can make a career by relying solely on "moxie" to get themselves out of sticky situations.

Jason: I doubt Cleveland considered Carrasco to be a mere throw-in. I think many of us have said that the package the Indians got was good value... but considering what Lee's done on the ML level, I'd still consider what the Phillies got to be a steal!

That said, like you, I beleive Carrasco could end up being a pretty solid MLer.

awh: Interesting discussion. I don't mean to put words in your mouth, but are you arguing that Happ may be more likely to strike a player out with RISP than he is in other situations?

JW: "Carrasco was regarded almost like a toss in. People seemed to be more broken up about Donald, Marson and Knapp."

That is exactly right. Most posters here flip and flop on prospects depending on their latest game, ignoring the underlying skill sets which really dictate what a prospect's ceiling is. Carrasco clearly had the highest ceiling of that group, with Knapp possibly his equal. Donald and Marson, overrated on Beerleaguer to a laughable extent, certainly have value, but neither projects as an above average everyday player.

As for who made out better in the trade, we're years from knowing that, but right now both teams are happy and should be.

RSR, the reason for that is simple: ratings.

The Phils must be drawing - that's the only explanation.

They are getting more nat'l attention because they're the defending champs, are playing well, have compelling personalities.....and because chicks dig the longball.

As for how Carrasco was rated at the time of the trade, he was very much a steal in my opinion.

However, in terms of value of what we got in return, I think it was more than fair, but i understand what JW meant.

awh: and pedro

bap, I don't disagree, but it could very well be a case of Happ becoming "hyper-focused" when he gets in trouble.

He may actually bear down and become a better pitcher in those situations.

It's been known to happen with certain hitters who have better lifetime stats with RISP.

I ask, why is it impossible for a pitcher?

Seems the Phils' organizations and many fans came to the conclusion that Carrasco is inconsistent.

Part of the fun of all of this is watching to see what he actually does.

Perhaps the nat'l broadcasters also feel the Phils and Braves might be battling it out until the end so it will make for great theater.

I don't know what the Phils' record is on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, but I seem to recall more wins than losses. Anyone know what the record is?

I never got the feeling that Carrasco had the mental make-up to pitch in Philly. I read somewhere (possibly MLBTR) that he may have even pitched poorly near the deadline to kill his trade value. I got the same feeling from Gavin Floyd, for that matter.

CJ, no, not "more likely" in the sense of future "probability".

If you read the previous thread, I stated that I had no statistical basis to make the claim as I don't have time for the homework today, but, that it seemed to me that he had gotten out of several big jams by getting a key strikeout or two when he really needed them.

I merely applied that (possibly flawed) observation to the discussion of how "lucky" Happ has been this season.

IMO, K's have less to do with luck than an abnormally low BABIP.

That's all.

If Chan Ho is unavailable, the Phils must get a Quality guy up here immediately. They cannot continue to cross their fingers with Durbin and Eyre

phaithful, you are correct.

I was going to mention Pedro specifically, but decided to leave him lumped in with all the other "compelling personalities".

I thought "chicks dig the long ball" was a better finish.

My concern with Carrasco was (is), how he handles adversity. Bullpens are full of head-case pitchers who have great stuff but fall to pieces when things aren't going their way (see: Park, Chan Ho).

On the other hand you have pitchers who lack the dominating physical tools, but actually seem to shine in high pressure situations (see: Happ, J.A.).

I'd rather have the guy that gets it done than the one who looks good trying.

awh: I don't say it's impossible. Guys like Jamie Moyer and Andy Pettitte have made a career out of pitching considerably better with 2 outs and RISP than they do in all other situations. But those guys are unusual, and there are many years of data from which to discern the trend.

Happ has excelled this year, in part, because of his extraordinary numbers with men on base. His numbers in these situations are so extraordinary that we know for a fact there is a large element of statistical chance involved. There might also be an element -- maybe even a substanial element -- of smart pitching and mental toughness. But I would need to see at least 3 or 4 years of statistical data before I'd make that leap.

With no attempt on my part to activate the BL Reverse Jinx, lost in the discussion of the Phillies' big four power hitters, is the fact that Jimmy Rollins quietly has 15 HR on the season

- the 3rd highest total of his career -

with 6 weeks to go.

I also think there's a bit of a conceptual difference between hitters who hit well with men on base & pitchers who fare well in such situations. Defensive alignments are different with men on base. So, if a hitter fares better in those situations, it's not necessarily because he's "hyper-focused" in those situations. It might just be that he tends to hit the ball to areas which are vacated with men on base.

We had this discussion last season in connection with the shift and Ryan Howard's high numbers with RISP. As I recall, though, Howard's strikeouts also tend to go down with RISP, while his homerun totals tend to go up. Those numbers wouldn't seem to have much to do with defensive alignments. So maybe there IS something to the "hyper-focus" theory, even if sabermetricians haven't come up with the statistic to demonstrate it.

bap - you're digressing. Again, my original point was this:

He seems to have gotten a lot of Ks in key situations.

That, IMO has more to do with good pitching than an unusually low BABIP has to do with getting "lucky".

Time will tell whether that "performance" is "repeatable".

what is the latest on J.C. Romero?

If the Red Sox release John Smoltz, do you think the Phils will sign him to fill in for Chan Ho Park? Or to make sure that another team doesn't sign him? Or maybe they'll pass, figuring one scrap heap project (Pedro) is enough.

bap, let's compare some Happ periferals to league averages:

NL:

WHIP - 1.386, H/9 - 8.9, HR/9 - 1.0, BB/9 - 3.5, K/9 - 7.0, K/BB - 1.97

Happ:

WHIP - 1.158, H/9 - 7.1, HR/9 - 0.9, BB/9 - 3.3, K/9 - 6.4, K/BB - 1.96


These seem to indicate that his ERA of 2.66 will "normalize" somewhere around the league average of 4.25, no?

awh: Yes, we agree. Striking out a guy in a key situation is not luck. Happ's knack for doing this may, however, be a statistical fluke -- which is not quite the same as luck. Or he may just have a knack for pitching well at big times. Or it may be a combination of both. Time will tell.

I would def sing SMoltz. The guy can still pitch effectively for one inning. The other teams mentioned who are looking at him don't seem to be a good fit.

Smoltz definitely fits the age requirement to become a Phil.

awh, I've been studying Happ's splits. Look here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?n1=happja01&year=2009&t=p

The thing I find interesting is that from the windup, Happ has an OPS against of .699. From the stretch, it's .582.

Question of the day: Is Happ better from the stretch and therefore will outperform his periferals, or is this just small sample size?

dan: are most pitchers numbers better from the windup than the stretch? I've never looked at those splits before, but makes sense.

Historically, pitchers are better from the windup, by between .50 and .100 OPS against.

uh.... guys....

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/236844-when-fans-attack-the-10-worst-fan-bases-in-sports

And guess who's number 1?

The guy says at the end that the article is a joke, but I can't tell if we're in on it.

awh: It's a bit hard to project because, if his BABIP normalizes, it's probably fair to assume that his hits and homers per 9 innings are going to go up too. But 4.25 sounds pretty close to the mark, in terms of where I would expect his ERA to wind up in a normal year. Is that really league average? I would have expected league average to be closer to 4.50 or so.

Per MLBTR: The Tigers land Aubrey Huff for a relatively unexceptional pitching prospect. Good players can still be gotten.

Signing Smoltz will definitely make Hamels a head case. We'd be going from a club with no Cy Young Award winners to a club with three in a matter of weeks. Cole will be hearing from Heidi, "Hey, Cole! I want one of those Cy Young thingies for the living room."

dlhunter: I thought the whole point of a joke is that it is supposed to be funny.

dlhunter: Your not even a philadelphia fan, right?

I am so sick of those kinds of articles. They just go in one ear and out the other at this point. Madison Square garden is bad for the rangers and knicks, shea was bad, New jersey devils games are bad, Boston is bad for the Bruins and Celtics, Yankee stadium,La Dodger crowds in upper levels and bleachers, etc, etc, etc. It is everywhere.

bap, according to b-r.com, the league average ERA is 4.25.

The average R/G is 4.55, a disparity I attribute, obviously, to errors.


http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL/2009-standard-pitching.shtml

Does anyone know how the Phils are progressing (or not) with any of their un-signed draft picks?

Isn't dlhunter the Caps troll over on the 700 Level?

By the way interesting and very worthy of a discussion.

Looking at the standings, we are only 1 loss back of the Dodgers for the best in the NL. If the playoffs started today, it would be us against the Cards and Dodgers against the Rockies. I think that since we have 3 games in hand against LA. We NEED to get the homefield advantage.

Also we are 4th best record wise in the MLB. Yankees, Angels, Dodgers than us. And look at the issues we have. Cole isn't pitching like an Ace, we have a weak overall bench and our closer issues right now. That is amazing that with those problems we are still in the mix and debatable for the best talent on any MLB roster.

Joe: Yea, that's my point. He isn't even a Philadelphia fan.

oops, that would be one "Dale Hunter", unless dl is short for Dale.

joe l: I think that guy actually goes by Dale Hunter, former Cap who broke the Flyers' hearts in 1988.

@mvptommyd
@joe l

You're kidding right? I've been posting on BL for 5 years. I've actually had back and forths with both of you.

What the hell?

And I was only pointing out how dumb the article was...

DL: My apology. There is a guy on another blog that goes by a similiar handle. He tends at times to blend in as a Philadelphia Sports Fan. Then whenever something negative happens about our sports teams he comes out of the woodwork and rubs it in our face. I do remember having 1-on-1's with you. You are a good man. Sorry for the mistaken identity.

"The 22-year-old righty made a pair of starts for the Double-A R-Phils and went 0-0 with 15 strikeouts and a 0.69 ERA"

Sheesh. 0-0 with a 0.69 ERA? talk about some bad luck (or bad offense)

@dl - brain fart on my part, too much multitasking at work. You're right, that's why I circled back and looked it up.

we're entering what is probably the softest l0 game stretch in the schedule. Time to get some starting ABs for Dobbs, Stairs, Francisco, even Gnome? Rest Jimmy, Utley, Werth, Feliz, Ibanez here and there?

The R-Phils haven't been hitting lately.

MVP - if the playoffs started today, it would be Dodgers vs Cards and Phils vs Rockies. In the first round, teams cannot play another team from the same division. Dumb rule.

hooray if the Colvin news is indeed true.

the coach hasn't talked to him, though? and reports it's a done deal. I'll start holding my breath til it's real.

huge if true, though...

wave goodbye to stewart and susac...I don't think the phils have another near-million bonus left in the draft budget.

Kutztown: ahhh, thanks. I thought they changed that rule. But guess not. That is a dumb rule.

Did anyone else see that the Rangers released Vicente Padilla?

His numbers this season are pretty close to what they were the season the Phils finally cut ties with him.

The reason this time? Jon Heyman says it's because the Rangers considered him a bad teammate. Not the first time I've heard that.

(Disclamier: None of this is designed to get clout fired up and none of this is to suggest that I have an opinion either way on this move or the move the Phils made back in 2005.)

For the record:

You *CAN* be a Washington Capitals fan and also be an Eagles and Phillies fan.

I am proof of that.

That Bleacher Report article simply confirms to me that Bleacher Report is the saddest excuse of a sports Web site. There's barely an "article" on that site worth reading.

The guy wrote: "If Philadelphia had 10 sports teams, then chances are no other city would crack this list."

Well Philly has four professional teams, and only two of them made the list. Forget humor, it's just poor writing.

That's the Yankees-Red Sox rule. MLB wants the most lucrative, well watched LCS.

CJ: Apparently teammates were sicking of getting beaned by the opposing team when Vicente would lose composure and plunk guys.

Colvin confirmed.

sicking = sick... sheesh...

Max Scherzer gave up 6 unearned runs in one inning today. The only error in the inning was committed by Scherzer, and a run scored on that play. He gave up a sac fly, a bases loaded walk, and a bases loaded double all after the error.


Can someone explain how this is possible?

CRD: Were it not for Scherzer's error, none of the runs would have scored (though I would argue that Ross would still have scored on Johnson's groundout to second). When compiling earned runs, an error by the pitcher is treated the same as an error by a position player.

dlhunter: Can you produce a post from Beerleaguer from 5 years ago by "dlhunter"?

Buster Olney had a couple good entries on hitting people with pitches and its effects in his blog recently.

CJ: You're only a week late on that news.

BTW, if anyone wants to bash Padilla's character, clubhouse demeanor, personal life, drinking issues, maddening inconsistency etc. you won't hear a peep of disagreement from me. My only issue is with the idiot contingent on Beerleaguer who said the Phils made a good trade. The same idiots who would think the Phils got the better of the Sandberg trade because DeJesus put them in the World Series.

so one error in an inning causes every run after that to be unearned?

Clout: Just out of curiousity, I have a question for you. Do you think any of the Phils trades have been good for the team since the Abreu-for-Stocker deal?

CRD: No. The question is this: But for that one error, how many runs would score? All others are unearned.

If that error would have been the third out it can.

FWIW, this is from the Braves writeup on MLB.com:

"Happ, who is 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA in four career starts against the Braves"

If this is true, it may be another reason they really didn't want to include Happ in a trade.

It never hurts to have a pitcher on the roster who can dominate a division rival.

J.R. King: Yes, the Phils have made some excellent trades since 1998. They've made some bad ones too. I bet you find that hard to believe.

Clout: Only you would think my question implies that I find it hard to believe they've made bad trades.

Everyone knows they've made terrible trades. Rolen, Schilling, Abreu, Von Hayes. There's not a baseball fan in the world who think the Phils' record is anywhere close to 100 percent.

Since I've never heard you praise a trade (and you've adopted a "wait and see" approach on Blanton and Lee deals), I'm curious about your thoughts.

Happ has roughly 10 starts left, maybe more maybe less, does he not? How poorly would he have to pitch in those starts to bring his ERA to the league average of 4.25? I imagine it would be pretty poorly. Does anyone see him pitching like that the rest of the way?

Signing Colvin is HUGE. That makes this a successful draft.

@clout - dlhunter is legit (my brain misfired at work today juggling everything). he's been a beerleaguer contributor for few years as far as I remember.

who knows about colvin...i'd like some info. if someone's got it.

Brody Colvin's name reminds me of Bunny Colvin from the Wire. Hopefully he has the same toughness!

Colvin throws 91-94 with decent secondary stuff. He would have been a sandwich pick without his strong commitment to LSU. Thus, he is basically our 1st round pick now. BA had him as our 8th best prospect in the system if we signed him.

From PhuturePhillies:

R7 – Brody Colvin, RHP (St Thomas Moore HS, LA) – Now we’re talking. Colvin has a lightning fast arm and a very projectable frame. He’s already got present low 90’s heat and could sit in the 93-95 range when he’s done maturing physically. He’s also got a sharp curve and the apparent aptitude to develop a changeup as well. His delivery needs a few tweaks, but he’s kind of similar in his total package to what Kyle Drabek was out of high school. Colvin is a major signability pick, as he has a very strong commitment to LSU. If the Phillies are buying him out of that, its likely going to take 7 figures. BA had him ranked 3rd in Louisiana and 43rd overall.

Yo, new thread.

Tenderness in Park's pitching elbow? I'm sure glad we used him to pitch 3 innings with a huge lead the other day. WTF? Moyer could have mopped up after Pedro with a 10-run lead. Instead Chollie airs out the bullpen's hottest pitcher for three innings.

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