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Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Before anyone crucifies Brown, remember that the AFL is a training league and he could very well be working on a specific issue (like hitting for contact, not power or taking strikes or going the other way, etc etc). From all scouting reports, he has been very impressive otherwise.

poor Troy Hanzawa.

nice K rate for Mathieson, but the walk rate not so much.

Michael Schwimer's K/9 and BB/9 look good. At what age/experience level do you give a relief pitcher a tryout with the big club?

Remember control is the last thing to come back after TJ surgery...that's probably a big thing for Mathieson's walk-rate. His career minor-league BB/9 rate is 2.9 so its likely just that or an anomoly.

Mathieson had only 4 walks through his first 8 2/3 innings in the AFL. He had one bad outing where he gave up a bomb or 2 and another scoreless inning where he walked 2 batters. Overall, he's done quite well since he came back. I'm wondering if rest would be more beneficial at this point.

Michael Taylor is rocking down in the Mexican league...294/351/471 (822OPS)and is CRUSHING LHP going 455/571/818 (1.390OPS)

These guys are probably running on fumes right now.

"Before anyone crucifies Brown"

NEPP, I don't know why you feel you even need to defend him. Especially after having seen JRoll have a "career year slump" the first half of 2009, and then rebound from July onward.

Brown had 108 AB.

Can you say small sample size?

Anyone who criticizes him based on his AFL stats is a fool and should cease and desist from even coming to this site in the future.

For point of reference (using the Brown criteria posted above), I offer a little quiz:

1) What player, from 5/2/2006 to 5/28/2006 hit .218 .292 .386, with 4 HR and 16 RBI in 101 AB?

2) What player, from 5/30/2006 to 6/28/2006 hit .218 .292 .386 with 5 HR and 13 RBI in 107 AB?

3) What player, from 6/21/2006 to 7/27/2006 hit .243 .310 .374 with 2 HR and 8 RBI in 115 AB?

4) What player, from 08/03/2007 to 09/19/2007 hit .255 .357 .349 with 1 HR and 10 RBI in 106 AB?

[Answers upon request.]


5) Would you say that these guys stink and you wouldn't want them on your team?

EFF, I see the bottom 4 payrolls are NL (Nats, Pirates, Padres, Fish), but the rest of the "bottom 10" are all AL on the list I'm looking at.

What's interesting is that the Marlins are able to be competitive with a payroll of $100 mil. less than the Phils. They spend $30 mil. less than the Royals! So there may be something to that Sox-Yanks theory in the article. I think the article is very interesting - the combination of Sox-Yanks driving up the competition and the DH empowering the lineup - and an emphasis on offense v. defense, which was also a point of the article - I think all this together is what the author is positing to have tipped the scales in favor of the AL.

As far as the WS goes, looking at the last 15 WS, there are 9 AL winners and 6 NL winners. But the Damn Yankees account for 5 of them, and the BoSox for 2. - All that needs to happen is for the PHillies to win the next 3 WS to even the record! :)

I do think it likely that someday the NL will adopt the DH. I love the more complicated strategy involved in NL baseball, plus the fact that not having a DH is traditional through the game's history. (Heck, in my son's leagues, the pitchers are also the best hitters.) But I agree the DH is here to stay, and it will probably, sadly, pull the NL to a similar change - esp. if the inequality btwn. leagues does end up affecting the NL's ability to draw talent, which the article seemed to be saying might be starting to happen.

I think NEPP was just trying to ward off the "Maybe Brown isn't that good" or "Trade Brown fro Halladay NOW!!!" posts, which are inevitable.

awh: NEPP, I don't know why you feel you even need to defend him. Especially after having seen JRoll have a "career year slump" the first half of 2009, and then rebound from July onward.

Basically what Bedrosian's Beard stated. I didn't want to have an entire day of posts along those lines as its such a small sample size and as the AFL is essentially an instructional league its unfair to judge someone off their AFL numbers.

NEPP, I understand, but I was just emphasizing the point.

BTW, the stats for player # 2 are incorrect. The HR and RBI are correct, but the stat line should read: .224 .282 .402 .

2nd BTW, I tried to use a 100 AB slump by Albert Pujols in one of the questions.

Problem: I couldn't find one bad enough to use as an example (Discl.: I didn't do a complete search.)

Pujols is amazing.

In every 100+ AB period I looked at where his BA dropped 'significantly', I really couldn't characterize it as a "slump" for a normal player (yes, I believe he's abnormal).

He's had 50+ AB slumps that have been sub .250, but I could not find a 100+ AB period where he hit less that .279.

Color me astounded.

I love Ryan Howard, and I love having him on the Phillies, but if the Cards can't get Pujols to sign an extension, I'd explore a Pujols/Howard based trade in an instant if I were the Phillies.

Though, what Pujols and Howard BOTH are going to ask for may exceed what the Phils and Cards are able/willing to pay.

Howard is already a $20MM player, or will be the last year of his contract.

BTW, Murphy has a good writeup on his High Cheese blog about the available bullpen arms.

The link is on the left.

Pujols is that once in a generation type player. No one is as good as him.

30 years from now, we'll be saying, "Ruth, DiMaggio, Mays, Pujols..."

Funny statistic: Despite having 9 straight 100+ RBI seasons, Pujols has never led the league in that stat...including the 4 years he's had over 125 RBIs.

Interestingly enough, he's only won the Silver Slugger award 5 times out of 9 seasons.

random question - how do they pick the Hank Aaron award? If it's really to commemerate the best hitter in each league then the selections are baffling

Off the general topic but since Chad Durbin wasn't non-tendered along with Bruntlett & Co, is it safe to say he'll be offered a contract for 2010? We'd be looking at a minimum of $1.65-$2.00 million for a guy that is league average at best.

NEPP: Exactly right. That is why you have to hope one of your young arms can come in during the spring and earn his spot. IMO, the ONLY bullpen guy from last years team that you want to offer that kind of money to is Chan Ho. Throw $1.5 million to Eyre, $2.5 to Chopper and then hope Escalona/Mathieson/Carpenter can fill Durbin's role. Also, resign Condrey for 1 year.

That is around $7 million dedicated to retool the bullpen.

Rube needs to ask himself this question: What does Chad Durbin give us that Clay Condrey doesn't?

I can't answer it and I bet Rube couldn't either. Thus, Durbin should be gone.

NEPP: You talk common sense. Hope Rube checks into BLer today.

Rube's a pretty smart guy and he has done a pretty good job as GM so far. I think he will figure it out regardless of his time on BL.

My bet is that Mathieson will play a big part in 2010...more so than even Drabek who will spend much of the year in AA/AAA working on getting LHB out.

NEPP: Exactly, I think Mathieson has a great shot to come out of ST with a spot in the pen. I also don't expect to see Drabek until late July/early August to relieve Moyer in order to give him some late season rest.

I agree that durbin's regular season wasn't great at all, although his playoffs were pretty good, and maybe it was a sign that he wasn't totally healthy throughout the year and was just beginning to round into form.

Probably stretching, IDK

They can still non-tender Durbin later, right? They haven't made any commitment to him until a contract is signed. Rube's just keeping his options open.

December 12th is baseball's non-tender deadline. Durbin may still be a goner. NEPP, I agree with your assessement. Really no room for a guy that has problems finding the strike zone who is league average.


2009 Payrolls:

Bottom 10:


"What does Chad Durbin give us that Clay Condrey doesn't?"

Well, for one thing, Durbin is a much better strikeout pitcher & is much tougher to hit. He's also 2 years younger and, hence, less likely to start losing it.

When Durbin's on, he's a considerably better reliever than Condrey. He may not be worth what the Phillies would have to pay him, but if Chad Durbin's would-be innings turn into Clay Condrey's innings next year, that will be a considerable downgrade.

NEPP: Condrey is arb eligible. Is Durbin?

Yes clout, he is. He'll made about $1.6 million in 2009 and will get a raise through arbitation in 2010 if we keep him. That's the entire issue. 2010 is his final year of arbitration.

Last year, he asked for $1.95 million and the Phillies offered $1.35 million. They managed to avoid arbitration by meeting in the middle.

NEPP: In that case Durbin will be non-tendered. Neither pitcher is worth what they'd make in arbitration. There are a flood of FA relievers on the market soon to be joined by more.

1) I think Durbin is the better pitcher (vs. Condrey). His problem this year was clearly control, but his walk issues seem to be outside the norm for him. There hasn't been a trend upwards. I wonder how much health-related factors played into it.

2) I think both get non-tendered. Relief pitchers are notoriously hard to project which means offering more money rarely pays off.

EF, thanks. The list I saw (published in the spring) featured the same worst 7 teams, but had BAL (instead of CIN), TEX (instead of ARI) and KC (instead of COL) as the next worst.

GBrettfan: Payrolls are generally released in April, but those rarely tell us how much a team is actually going to spend. The April "payroll" only tells us what each player is contracted to make. Most teams change significantly by either adding or subtracting players throughout the season.

Zach Greinke won the AL Cy Young. Deservedly so.

Great comeback for Greinke. This is a guy that almost lost his career due to emotional issues.

Phillies tweet:

The Phils added OF Quintin Berry, LHP Yohan Flande and RHP Jesus Sanchez to 40-man roster. Phils now have 30 players on 40-man roster.

I would be shocked if Durbin is tendered. He will sign a 1-yr deal somewhere for slightly less on his base with some incentive total. If some team can sing Durbin to a $1.2-1.25M deal with incentive-upside of maybe $300-$400, I bet they get some decent value of out of it.

"but if Chad Durbin's would-be innings turn into Clay Condrey's innings next year, that will be a considerable downgrade."

bap, based on what?

And just for the heck of it, I'll criticize Brown a little. I think the kid is going to be a monster. But he's not a good fielder. If he's working on anything in the AFL, I would hope it's his fielding. With his speed and arm, there should be no reason he can't cover center field, much less corner outfield. But from all reports, he takes poor routes to the ball and doesn't tend to get a good jump.

Repetition leads to better recognition. He either needs to learn it in the AFL or he needs to take the Garry Maddox masters class in playing the outfield.

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