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Friday, September 18, 2009

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Yup, that about sums it up.

****Of course they're going to be in the bottom half. Most NL teams don't score as much as AL teams - "it's the DH, stupid". :)****

Yeah and they're all of 9th out of 16 in the NL in runs scored. Hardly a juggernaut. they're a decent middle of the pack offense that can put runs up from time to time. They aren't the Padres and they aren't us but rather somewhere in the middle.

From the previous thread:

AAMOF: "as a matter of fact".


bap, since when is posting a question "analysis" that "isn't very helpful in deciding what to do"?

"If putting the pennant race out of sight and out of mind wasn’t motivation enough, the Phils could tap their inner sadist, stepping on their rivals’ throats in front of their home crowd, just as they were breathing new life."

Love it. You have officially gotten me excited for tonights game.

A comment on the last thread:

Sorry to do this, but penultimate means next to last; it does not mean best, highest, greatest, or ultimate. Greg Maddox may be the penultimate example of something, but I suspect you meant to say that we was the ultimate example that movement/control are far far more important than throwing hard.

JW, in the spirit of this thread about the Phillies getting ready to "put this baby away", and because there seem to ba a group on this board who constantly look for something to complain about, I am creating a statistic to please all.

Just as some talk of the "magic number" or the "elimination number", I am going to institute the

..........Beer*Leaguer "Whiner Elimination Number".........

Today the WEN stands at 7.


7 more losses to 95 wins.......................

and 7 more opportunities for the whiners to show their wares.

I would have expected the Bravos to have thrown in the ol' towel by now. This is a very important series, and I'm looking to the Phils to rise to the occasion.

awh, the whiners do not need a loss to whine. I would say the whiner elimination number would be this:

WEN=# of games remaining in season

Mets are 3rd worst team in NL, only infront of the Bucos and Nats.

It makes me smile.

JW, I concur with Jeff.

The Phillies are 6-9 vs. the Braves this season.

It would be sweet if they leave ATL with a .500 record against the Bravos this season, and in the process "stepping on their rivals throats" and cutting their hearts out.

Here's hoping!!!

Old Phan, LOL!

MVPTommy: Sometimes I feel bad for you and your status as Beerleaguer whipping boy. Then you post something completely asinine in an arrogant tone and I don't feel bad anymore.

You have a borderline pathological problem with certain players for some reason. You seem to have been correct about Pat Burrell having a poor year, but I'm not sure why you take such joy in seeing somebody who brought a championship to Philadelphia fail. Your constant questioning of Ryan Madson's mental toughness is puzzling. And do you really think Bobby Abreu at $6 million was a bad pickup for the Angels?

Did anyone notice that Wagner blew a hold for the Red Sox last night?

Now THERE'S a bit of schaudenfreude we all can enjoy.

****Sorry to do this, but penultimate means next to last; it does not mean best, highest, greatest, or ultimate.****

Whoops. Thanks for the correction. That's what I get for trying to use a big word.

I've also been trying to figure out MVP's vitriol aimed at PtB.

I figure he hates PtB for the same reason my cousin does...Pat likely stole his girlfriend.

mvptommyd is the Beerleaguer whipping boy because he is constantly telling people that they're arguments are so invalid that hey shouldn't even be discussed.

- Madson's closing percentage is too low, so no one can mention the fact that he's pitched better than Lidge.
- Ibanez is having a better year than Burrell, so don't bring up the possibility that his 3-year deal may be too long. Finally, my personal favorite:
- It is useless to discuss whether Jimmy Rollins will move to third base because he's too short to play the position.

It's reductive and annoying, like a dumber version of clout.

*their* arguments

JW- Good Post.

With all those division titles and that obnoxious tomahawk chop, I would feel good about putting Atlanta down for the count.

Hope that's how it works out

hh - I was going to point out exactly that late last night, but didn't want to necessarily put the reverse BL jinx on Wagner in case he pitches against us in the WS. In fact, despite the obvious drawbacks of signing the Rat, he would look particularly good in our BP right now with the injuries to Eyre and Romero and whatnot.

Hey NEPP, no worries - it's a wonderful word, and that's really the only reason I pointed it out.

As for the Phils, I agree it's time to ratchet up the intensity and not let the Braves or Marlins have hope. But the next four pitching opponents won't make it easy: Hudson, Vasquez, Hanson, and then Johnson from the Fish. At least it'll be good prep for October baseball.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Phils have at least one game where they are "flat" this series especially tonight.

They shouldn't be that relaxed though because they still aren't that close to clinching and are playing a solid divisional rival.

" like a dumber version of clout."


J.R. - LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'd say the pitchers have a lot to play for, as the starters are trying to show they are ready for the postseason. Other than Lee and Hamels, no one knows who will start in the postseason, and where. Who is our #3? Who will get sent to the bullpen, and what role will they have? Happ, Blanton, and Pedro all will exert themselves to do their best.

re: Ibanez

Ibanez has looked better of late and I'm hoping he gets his bat going consistently in time for hopefully his first post-season appearance this millennium.

Saw this over at BR.com
Ibanez:
First 68 games: 25 HR 68 RBI .315/.374/.674 OPS: 1.048
Last 51 games: 6 HR 18 RBI .227/.314/.403 OPS: 0.717

Someone commented that Ibanez has an outlier 17.2% HR/FB ratio this year; much higher than his career 9.6%

Ibanez has been very good for the past month now...check out his "lats 28 days" split on BR. I think he'll be fine. He's back to hitting like he did in Seattle. Moderate power and good average.

The next two series will be a good test of the Phillies as FLA (1) and ATL (3) have been two of the top 3 offenses in NL since the AS break. Since the break, the Phillies pitching has had the 3rd best ERA in the NL with the Dodgers and Braves leading the way in that category. The Braves hitters in particular beat you with a bunch of singles and the timely bomb.

In looking at team batting stats, one of the things that clumps the Phillies with AL offenses is their G/FB ratio. The Phils have a .73 ratio, which is significantly 'better' than the NL ratio of .85 and comparable to the elite AL offenses.

If it rains tonight like it has the last few nights in Atlanta (60-75% chance, it says) they'll be no 'crowd' to worry about.

By the time the game started last night, there were about 500 people there.

Looking to the off-season, should the Phillies look at signing any of these pitchers, and if yes, for how much (and why)?

[Rich Harden, Ben Sheets, Erik Bedard, Brad Penny, Brett Myers, John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez]

One concern about the Braves (though VERY distant -- i don't want to whip up a lot of "you're being too whiny" retorts) is their sked. They ahve won seven in a row, and have a ton of games left against the Nats and Mets. If they continue their winning ways against us, they'll be more of a concern than Florida.

If the Phils want to trade Kendrick next year (assuming Phils keep Martinez) what can they actually get for him? I imagine Phils will keep Feliz so what is available other than relief pitching. (we also have Moyer)

The Braves are more of a concern than the Fish at this point, which is why I want to see the Phils take at least 2 out of 3. Put them away now.

TNA, the rotation appears set--Hamels, Lee, Blanton, Happ and Moyer. You can never have enough pitching, but it'd be strange to sign a pricey free-agent and ask him to compete for a rotation spot. Early season extra arms are usually value-village.

Another good reason is Chone Figgins. I'd rather they put the excess dollars into upgrading 3rd.

However I doubt they'll really spend at all.

AWH: Well, you asked a question that elicited analysis, no?

I don't see the Braves losing many of those Met/Nat games. In our last 6 Met/Nat games (not counting the Geezer start), our starting pitchers allowed just four runs, and the Braves pitching is obviously capable of the same.

I'd like to see them sign Myers again. If he'll relieve and take a home team discount that'll be fine. But if they are able to trade Moyer (pretty sure they won't re-sign Pedro) giving Brett an Eaton type deal (8 mil per season for three years) would seem fair. The team takes a bit of a risk and Brett gets to stay in Philly and will be about twice as rich as he is now.

Braves should be more of a concern than Florida anyway, being ahead of them in the standings and all.

Although the Marlins are red-hot and hungry from what I read here.

Myers is a guy I don't care if I ever see in a Phillies uni again.

aksmith - $8M/yr for three years for a late inning reliever (and most likely the 7th inning?) That would tie up a lot of money for just 3 BP pieces.

More likely that Myers goes to a team that is willing to make him a frontline starter for frontline starter dollars ($10+ M) or a closer for closer dollars ($8+ M). On the Phillies, he would be stacked behind Lee and Hamels as a starter and behind Lidge and Madson as a closer.

Besides, I get the sense that the front office is looking to jettison him to allow someone like Happ to grow into a more prominent role in the rotation.

I'm not a Myers basher, but it would make really no sense to sign him. Where does he pitch?

Will somebody please explain to me why everybody is so sure the Phils won't sign Pedro Martinez for another year? He's been superb, and I imagine he'll remain fairly inexpensive...

I could also live without Myers on the staff.

1) There is a 0% chance the Phillies resign Myers. Like Burrell, he won't even be offered arbitration.

2) The Braves are a lot better than the Marlins.

3) The Braves are a better version of the Giants.

4) The Rockies are winning the Wild Card, the Braves are playing golf in October again.

4.5) I'd love to have Shone Figgins at 3B and batting leadoff.

5) Cole Hamels wants another car.

VOR, schedule aside, please see my post on the previous thread:

If the Phillies go 8-9 their last 17 games, the Braves need to go 15-1 and the Fish need to go 15-0 JUST TO TIE.

Even if the Philes do flounder in at 8-9, the chance of either or both of those teams going a combined 30-1 and both tying the Phillies is impossible, as they play each other for 3 games.

If the Phils go 9-8, they cannot be caught by the Fish - they simply don't have enough games left to get to 94 wins - and the Braves would have to go 16-0 ti TIE.

Individually, the chance of either team going 15-0, or 15-1 is also very slim - one team is going to lose at least 2 out of 3 when they play 9/28 - 9/30.

IMHO, the only way either of them has a chance to overtake the Phillies is to sweep the head-to-head matchup the rest of the season, and for the Phillies to limp in at maybe 5-12 (like the 2007 Mets), which is possible, but not likely.

A collapse of that magnitude so late in the season has only happened a couple of times that I can think of in 120+ seasons of MLB - 1964 and 2007.

IMO, both the Fish and Bravos are playing for the WC, and have to hope the Rocks lose a few.

" I'm not sure why you take such joy in seeing somebody who brought a championship to Philadelphia fail."

I don't want to see "The Babe" fail. I just prefer Ibanez. That is all. And for the record, I have hung out in social settings with Pat. He is a very nice and hilariously funny guy. Personally love him, baseball wise Ibanez is better.

"Your constant questioning of Ryan Madson's mental toughness is puzzling."

Which part exactly is puzzling? The word "Can't" or "Close".

"And do you really think Bobby Abreu at $6 million was a bad pickup for the Angels? "

Considering their options, No.

Compared to Jayson Werth's $3 million this year? Well let's compare numbers.

Werth: 34 HR, 88 RBI's, 91 runs, 140 hits, .272/.374/.525/.899

Abreu: 13 HR, 96 RBI's,89 runs, 154 hits, .300/.398/.436/.834

PLUS Werth is soooo much better defensively it isn't even close. Werth has 10 assists and 4 errors. Abreu has 9 assists and 8 errors.

I rather have Werth than Abreu.

Interesting USA Today article on momentum heading into the postseason, with Manuel's comment from about a week ago reflecting how a team with a divisional lead should NOT be thinking towards the end of September. There's also this gem about LaRussa and the Cards:

"Cardinals manager Tony La Russa's team has the biggest division lead in baseball, but don't get caught telling him his team is pretty good.

"The baseball gods are waiting to see if any part of the ballclub disrespects them," La Russa told news reporters before a three-game series with the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates. "And if we do, they'll slap us hard."

La Russa, who has managed more seasons (31) than any other active manager, has a simple policy concerning his squad's bloated NL Central lead: Mention it, and you've just sinned.

The repentance? A fine, a repercussion longtime Cardinals Albert Pujols and Chris Carpenter swear has never been tested.

"Our main focus is to try to be humble and to try to stay within ourselves, and I think it starts with our leader (La Russa)," Pujols says. "I don't think that (players getting complacent) is ever going to happen. It hasn't happened in the nine years that I've been here."

The Cardinals know about close division races, too. They nearly blew a seven-game NL Central lead with 12 games to play in September 2006, then took the division and went on to win the World Series.

"The guys here know that you don't take anything for granted," Carpenter says. "You don't even have those guys (who would get complacent) in here. It's the same as 2006, it's the same as '05, it's the same as '04. You don't have guys in here doing that. That's the Cardinal way and the type of player that plays in this clubhouse. If you're not, you're not playing here." "

LA Jeff, agree on the Braves/Giants comparison.

AAMOF, I don't fear any team currently in the lead for a playoff spot - not the Rocks, Cards or Dodgers.

However, based on their pitching and the head-to-head against the Phils this season, if the Braves somehow snuck in, it would concern me a little.

And I agree...I think Heidi may have blown the tranny in last year's prize, so Cole wants another one for her and their soon to be young one.

1) The Phils will NOT re-sign Brett Myers. That ship has sailed.
2) The Phils will NOT re-sign Pedro Martinez. He's been a gem for us, but he'll be allowed to move on.
3) The Phils rotation next year will be Hamels, Lee, Blanton, Happ, Moyer... even though Moyer is "officially washed up" (tm). (That tm stands for trademark)

mvptommyd: Why would anyone compare Jayson Werth and Bobby Abreu concerning salary? One was a free agent and the other wasn't. That makes no sense. No other team had the option of signing Jayson Werth except the Phillies.

Fangraphs puts Abreu at 2.7 wins above replacement right now for a "value" of $12.1M, a number that will only go up. I think everyone would agree that the Angels got a great value in Abreu.

CJ: Agreed on all accounts.

According to Coolstandings.com's numbers, if the Phillies were to miss the playoffs, it would be the 3rd worst September collapse in history, topped by only the 2007 Mets and the 1934 New York Giants.

I fail to see how Pedro would be an "inexpensive" option. He has "proven" himself to be healthy and able to perform at a relatively high level. If anything, he'll be overpriced when the risk is factored in. One of the only reasons he took the small salary he did from us is that no one else thought he was healthy or capable anymore. That isn't the case this time around.

"I rather have Werth than Abreu."

tommy, I suspect everyone here agrees with that comment.

Werth is younger and simply a better all around player.

Anecdote:

Last night, the Nats had the opportunity to run on Werth, one was a FB to RF where Willingham stayed put at 3rd - and the other was on a single to RF where a runner might have challenged a weaker defender by trying to take 2B.

They didn't challenge him. Period.

Never mind the fact that he gets to a lot of FB that others don't.

I asked a question several days ago:

Is Jason Werth the best RF in baseball?

The answer I got was that Justin Upton was better. After looking as Upton's fielding percentage, I'd still probably rather have Upton, but it's very, very close.

I'd say Ichiro is a better RF than Werth. But the point that Werth is an elite RF is well made (and well-discussed at least here on BL).

NEPP, I agree. Pedro will get paid this offseason.

Not as much as he might if he were 30 yrs old, but he will get paid.

Actually, Chone Figgins may not be a very wise investment either, depending on the years--an upgrade over Feliz but a career sub-100 OPS+ player (98). His high OBP is largely attributable to his unprecedented BB rate. His game is speed and he's 31. He leads the league in Caught Stealing and his defense is about average.

A 3 year deal is the longest I'd be inclined to give him, and I doubt that 3 years is the most he'd fetch.

I assume Myers is a FA next yr.I wouldnt want Myers or Moyer if that were possible. Moyer's contract is an albatross. I'd consider Myers injury-prone anyway. I'd still see if I could unload Moyer for some dudes and sign Rich Harden. A pipe dream I'm sure.

I'd like to see Harden pitch in Philly but, would want to pay him by the inning. Talk about injury prone. The guy may have had one healthy season before this year reports are he'll miss his next start or two due to "fatigue". The 141 IP this year have caught up wiht him, apparently.

anybody remember the last time Werth stole a base? I bet it's been months. Think Phils are wasting that part of his game. Especially with Feliz so often up behind him.

Rob J: I'm not sure there was another team that would have signed Old Man Moyer to the contract he got... but I'm 100% positive that there's not a team in baseball that would trade anything for him.

If Harden has a viable, long-term future, it's probably in the bullpen. He is an absolutely terrific pitcher, but his body clearly can't take the wear and tear of a full season as a starting pitcher.

Any pre game guess's as to Bobby's excuse for losing this evening?

Klaus: You're one of Beerleaguer's most reliably strong posters, but I would strongly disagree with your analysis on Figgins.

OPS isn't very meaningful when you're talking about a leadoff hitter, since power isn't so important for a leadoff hitter. What matters is his OBP. For his career, Figgins has a .363 OBP and, over the last 3 years, it's considerably higher than that.

It's true that his 92 walks are way up from past years but he has always been good at drawing walks (just not THIS good) and walks are one offensive category where a sharp upward spike usually represents a lasting change, as opposed to a one-year anomaly. This is probably even more true for a non-power hitter, who truly has to work for every walk he gets (as opposed to, say, Prince Fielder and Adrian Gonzalez, who are often just being pitched around).

You're right about his not being a great base stealer in terms of percentage. But he nonetheless steals a ton of bases and Davey Lopes has had remarkable success at turning fast guys (and even not-so-fast guys )into much better base stealers.

To me, Figgins would be almost the perfect fit for the Phillies' lineup. I've thought that for years -- even back when he wasn't really the sexy name that he is now.

Why is anyone talking about signing someone to be a leadoff hitter? It's not gonna happen. We have a leadoff hitter. There's not a player in baseball who'd displace J-Roll atop the lineup.

Why is anyone talking about signing someone to be a leadoff hitter? It's not gonna happen. We have a leadoff hitter. There's not a player in baseball who'd displace J-Roll atop the lineup.

Figgins strikes me as exactly the type of guy who you love to have on your team when he's time and cost controlled, but gets overpaid for his decline years. No thanks on the speed guy who will be 32 when he starts his next season.
But I have to say that I find it incredible that a guy sluggling under .400 leads the majors in walks.

I would love it if they signed Chone Figgins. We often talk about the string of lefties mid-lineup, but the righties at the bottom of the lineup makes it easy on other managers too. A switch-hitting high-OB/contact guy batting 7th in this lineup would be great. To me this would be a much better allocation of resources than any of the starting pitchers being discussed(just start the year with Moyer and replace him with Drabek at some point). Anyone have a guess how much Figgins might fetch on the open market?

CJ: So you're satisfied with a .291 OBP from your leadoff hitter? Surprising.

CJ: So you're satisfied with a .291 OBP from your leadoff hitter? Surprising.

And by the way, the switch hitter batting 7th could also be Vic or J-Roll if they decided Figgins should be at or near the top of the lineup.

I would guess he will end up around 3 years, 30 million. So 5 million more than Pedro next year is not a huge deal, but those other two years might give the Phillies pause. Considering they should be getting some cheap production from Drabek, Happ, and Taylor by 2011, with Moyer and probably Werth and Lee off the books, I say go for it Phils!

Figgins will not get $30mil. No way.

If Figgins were added to their line-up, Jimmy Rollins would be the Phils' No. 7 hitter. That would be bad ass.

Feliz will cost the team an additional $4.5 next year ($5M buyout less the $0.5M sunk cost from the buyout). So signing a free agent third baseman isn't all that expensive when you figure it will already cost them 4.5M to stand pat.

But I suspect we'll see the exact same line-up and rotation next year, with some additions to the bullpen.

BAP: An astute analysis. As I said, I'd like to acquire the guy but I'm wary of the kind of contract he's likely to pull. You're right: walking is a learned skill, unlikely to fluctuate. But he's a free agent without pop--in this line-up he'll see pitches, and when his hitting skills decline he becomes a totally anemic offensive presence. Of course, he has a few good years left, which brings me back to my main point: it comes down to a question of years. For me, that's 3 max.

Also, as CJ implies, it's unlikely they'll move Rollins from the lead-off. Of course, in response to CJ, when we're having these kinds of conversations, we need to make clear what universe we're speaking of--the real one, or the rational one, where a .291 OBP is totally unacceptable.

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