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Monday, November 09, 2009


Hey JW,

I know it's a mild typo, but I am unsure if you meant to say Michael Taylor or Domonic Brown in your second paragraph there.

Thanks for all of the hard work this past season!

Sorry, should be M. Taylor. My list goes Brown, Taylor, Drabek, d'Arnaud, May, Gose then a couple of differences from the BA list.

Can any of these guys play third?

As a life long Phillies fan, I find it bizarre to have a successful major league club and quality prospects on the farm at the same time. This isn't the team of unlovable losers I fell in love with!

Whatever happened to Joe Savery? Wasn't he Gillick's #1 pick in 2007? I don't see him on the list.

I know someone was joking last thread about Hewitt being our 3B of the future. He's been moved to the OF where his awesome athletic ability is sure to flourish into All-Star-caliber baseball skills.

Savery is in the instructional league learning to throw right handed in anticipation of a move to 3B

That's pretty funny.

On a different subject, Figgins turns out to be a Type A free agent, not Type B, as had been widely projected.

Who is Jiwan James?

Hmmm... I like chone figgins coming to the phils and moving him to the lead off spot. If this has been talked about already... I apologize.

Rando: I think that was mentioned somewhere.

Park (and Eyre) is a Type B FA. that's a plus, assuming we offer him arbitration.

Baseball America has Valle playing 3B for the Phils in 2013.

"Baseball America has Valle playing 3B for the Phils in 2013."

Those projections don't hold much weight. What happens is that BA looks at players who they can't project elsewhere and just fill some holes.

ae: I thought Eyre was retiring?

Positions: P

Full Name: Nathaniel Jiwani James
Born: Apr 11,1989 in Gainesville, Florida
Height: 6-4 Weight: 180 Bats: Both Throws: Right
High School: Williston (Williston, Florida)
College: None

Started 8 games in GCL.

I paid off my WS bet by busing tables for 3 hrs. today at Heroes Cafe in Shillington,PA. Anyone else lose an odd bet?
Jack A. I like your alias. My dad was a semi-pro LH 3B,but that was 85 yrs. ago.

goody, as I was typing that I was wondering who the last LH throwing 3B was. Your dad is on the list until someone comes up with a more recent one.

CJ: Eyre said months ago that he would consider another year, but only with the Phils.

Goody - not strange, but I owe a client of mine a 2009 Jeter world series champion jersey. they've paid me over a 100k in fees this year but it still hurts. not the $$, the act of going online to acquire said jersey. ugh.

yes, I was mentioning Eyre just as an aside. I had heard the same, that he would either retire or possibly pitch for Philadelphia.

Much as Ilove the Phils and much as I was hoping even expecting them to win it is dumb to bet on an NL team.

When is the NL going to come to terms that the DH is not going away and that it will lose talent to teh AL as well as All-Star (I think 20 in a row?), interleague (NL is at 43% wins and dropping) and WS games on a regular basis.
If there is anything this WS proved is that having a guy who bats regularly is a distinct advantage over a PH or utility player.

RK: Hopefully, never.

Goody, I'm with you on that.

Hugh, I recall seeing Don Mattingly playing in few emergency innings at 3B for the Yankers.

The official Elias rankings are out... and, as predicted, Billy Wagner is a Type A free agent.

I remembered trying to explain to clout that Wagner would be Type A, but his final word was, "CJ: Check with me on Nov. 1st."

Looks like that MLBTradeRumors prediction page is pretty solid. There were only a handful of misses, including Chone Figgins, who, as a Type A, is even less likely to be signed by the Phils.

Bonehead: Mattingly played 18 innings at third in 3 games, including 2 starts.

How on earth does the All-Star game demonstrate anything about the designated hitter rule? Are you really arguing that poor bench strength is the reason the NL loses the all-star game?

Figgins being a Type A means he likely goes back to the Angels (something likely to happen anyway). Maybe they'll put Brandon Wood on the trade block if that happens.

The DH sucks.

2 starts for Mattingly puts him on the list. I need a date if a contemporary jumps line.

The DH seems to correlate to an advantage in World Series games in a short series. Still, my sense is the AL simply has managed to collect more talent over the last decade or so. A correction is in order. Regardless, if it is a systemic advantage, I still think NL baseball is real baseball. A ballplayer plays ball. pinch hitting 4 times a game is not playing ball.

Put the Yankees in the NL and we're talking about the "huge advantage the NL has over the AL" blah blah blah. A couple rich teams have disproportionately tilting things to the AL in recent years. That is all.

I feel like the advantage in the ASG comes more in the way of relief pitching more than anything else, and is probably a correlation to the DH in that relief pitchers have been be better than average in order to retire lineups in the AL. DH isn't so much an issue in the ASG because if the NL can use Manny Ramirez as a PH off of the bench, well...that's better than your average NL bench player.

In the WS, the DH and RP is a distinct advantage. I do no want the NL to adopt the DH. In a perfect world, the AL would drop it, but that will never happen.

Mattingly last played third base on August 31, 1986. Interestingly, it looks like he was also the last left handed thrower to play second base in 1983.

Jason - I haven't posted in a while but wanted to get on the record as thanking you for your great work all season. You are my #1 source for Phils info and have been for a few years now.

I lost a bet to a friend of mine with whom I worked in Taipei, Taiwan (he's still there). He's a lifer Yank$ fan who saw Don Larsen's WS PG among other great games. I bet him cheesesteaks and soft pretzels. His offer was dried squid on a stick and stinky tofu.

Though he had an awful year I have a feeling the Phils go after Garrett Atkins.

Ozark: so you won the bet even though the Phillies lost?

Can RK be banned for suggesting the NL adopt the low brow DH rule?

ozark, sounds like a lose-lose bet. were you drunk?

CJ: Turns out you were right. I've never ever seen Elias award a Type A or a Type anything to someone who pitched only 15 innings in a season. Normally guys like that aren't even on the list.

RK: It's actually 11 in a row (and 1 tie). But how would the DH have anything to do with that? The NL gets to use a DH too.

I DO think the AL has a distinct advantage in interleague play though, because AL teams actually plan their rosters around the DH. There aren't many NL teams who have a bench player that can hit like David Ortiz or Hideki Matsui or Jason Kubel or other typical American League DHs. And, when the games switch to the NL park, the advantage -- if any -- is pretty marginal, since most NL pitchers don't hit any better than most AL pitchers.

If the NL ever won an All-Star game, its World Series representative would only have to play three games with the DH. Would that help?

But I agree with NEPP that the Yankees (and the Bosox these days) are the reason the AL is better than the NL. Because they spend so much (and, in recent years, relatively wisely), other AL teams must excel to have any hope. The NL, thanks to the Mets and Dodgers spending not-so-wisely, is more wide open.

Come on guys why ban me or anyone because you don't agree with me?
The facts are as they are (yes the AL has won the last 12 not 20 all star games).
The reality is what counts. How can you argue with the data.
I think the Phils went cold in the WS but irrespective of that, is the fact that we had nothing on the bench and they had a guy who bats daily and is paid to swat and so do the other AL teams.

The fact of the matter is that when the bases are loaded the last person you want up at the plate is the pitcher (except if Gruntlett is batitng or it's the other team's pitcher).

I am not happy to go 162 games only to face a team that has an intrinsic advantage. And by the way how many games did we win against the AL in the last two years? I think if we just won half the games we played with AL this year we would have been over 100 wins!

I was trying to find the last NL bench player to make a contribution as a DH when I came across this random fact: In Game 7 of the 2002 World Series (San Francisco Giants vs. Anaheim Angels), the Giants used Pedro Feliz as their DH while David Bell played third.

RK: The Phillies' bench was especially craptastic this year, particularly for a pennant-winner. It didn't seem like much of a drawback last year, when Dobbs and Stairs were both hitting. It is not a permanent condition.

Since the current World Series rule was adopted for 1986, the AL has won 14, the NL 9. Given that the junior circuit's dominance covers much of the same period, this doesn't seem like the automatic handicap some are claiming.

re: banning - RK's sarcasm detector needs to be installed

I hate the DH. Makes me sick to my stomach. But it sure seems plausible that it leads to AL teams having an extra stick on the roster who is very likely to perform the best hitter off most NL benches. And in a seven game series, that sort of advantage can be one of the things that tips the scales toward the AL squad, if everything else is more-or-less equal.

As far as I can tell, the last NL bench player to make a significant contribution in the World Series (either as a DH or as a position player who was added to the line-up because a starter was used as a DH) was Erubiel Durazo who went 4-for-11 (.364) with three walks as the DH for the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2002 World Series against the Yankees.

You can point to Matsui and say the DH played a large role in the Phils' loss in the Series. That has some validity - history shows again and again how nature points up the folly of man. I thought the biggest difference was the consistency and effectiveness of Yankees pitching. I don't think that was the result of any intrinsic advantage due to the designated hitter rule. But, it was the dispositive advantage in teh series.

Two more random NL-using-a-DH facts found on Baseball Reference:

1.) In Game 1 of the 2000 "Subway Series," the Mets used Mike Piazza as DH and started Todd Pratt at catcher. Pratt had five plate appearances with 2 strikeouts, 1 walk, and 2 hit-by-pitches. First of all, how does a guy get a .600 OBP without putting the ball in play? Secondly, what did Pratt do to make the Yankees angry?

2.) In the 1997 World Series. the Marlins DH Jim Eisenreich went 4-for-8 with a home run and 3 walks. I think we found the Phillies bench solution. Bring back Jim Eisenreich!

Coincidentally, I have repeatedly opined that htey need to bring back Jim Eisenreich and Mariano Duncan.

Guys anecdotal information will not do. Long term data is better. Here are the facts. In the AL teams hire an extra bat to replace the pitcher and improve their odds in producing runs. In the NL there is no such hire instead teams hire something else. None of this matters when AL plays the AL or NL plays the NL because the hires neutralize each other.
On the other hand when teh AL faces teh NL the big stick wins. As the data over time shows.

I got some of my ideas form other papers this one does a good job of explaining this issue:

But the bottom like is clear 15 to 9 lead in WS , 12-0 lead in All Star and 55% wins in interleague.

If the economy gets any worse, maybe the AL owners will realize that they could save millions each by eliminating the DH.

I was under the impression we were talking about World Series advantages. Sorry, but a 14-9 advantage (not 15-9) is a pretty small sample size to extrapolate into the certainty you're claiming. The problem is that you can't separate out the DH effect from all the other variables that enter the equation. And the All-Star data illustrates AL superiority, but I can't see any obvious correlation to the DH. The game is an exhibition in which pitchers rarely bat, and each team has about 10 extra bats on the bench.

I'd be interested to know the AL's winning percentage in home interleague games vs. road interleague games. That might (or might not) give us something more to work with, but it's late and I couldn't find a ready source for the data. Anybody else know where to find it?

I met RK the other week at a bar. My chief memories are: 1) he's a really nice guy; 2) for about an hour he had me confused for Clout; and 3) he argued for the DH.

What he fails to consider is that purely practical arguments, competitiveness, etc., are beside the point. The (moral) fact is that the DH is a perversion of the sport, and that American League-style baseball is nothing but a simulacrum. A barge is in many respects a practical improvement on the schooner, but it's a distasteful type of vessel none the less.

There's a saying to the effect that it's better to be right than to win. That's apropos. has an item on the Phillies picking up talks again for Roy Halladay and going for broke to win. With Cole Hamels falling out of favor what does everyone think of Hamels for Halladay? Phils get an upgrade, but Toronto gets a potential ace with a decent contract for the next couple of years. I don't know if I'd even do it, but it's fun to think about. I would try to keep the elite prospects like Brown, Taylor and Drabek at this point with the core getting older and some guys getting closer to free agency. We could be a great team for a long time if these guys reach their potential and mix in with the veterans.

I saw that bit about Hamels this morning myself. It seems crazy, but that's only because I have more faith in Hamels' ability to bounce back than I do in Happ's prospects going forward.

It's time to scrap the DH completely from MLB. While we're at it we can do away with interleague play.

Just saw the list of free agents at (

Two names caught my eye for backup catcher:
Josh Bard: Previously Tim Wakefield's personal catcher; his past experience should prove excellent at blocking balls in the dirt.

Brian Schneider: Long time pest doesn't have what he used to, but may be a nice bench player to spell Chooch or even get a few games at first when Howard needs a break(although Dobbs fills that role currently)

Hugh.. Just had to say that I loved the Blue Oyster Cult reference (Godzilla!) As for the DH, it is why I never watch an AL game and I believe the lack of strategy makes their brand of baseball inferior, no matter WHAT the talent level is.

If the American League suddenly adopted aluminum bats, would anyone be pressuring the NL to do the same?

If the DH helps the AL team vs an NL team, wouldn't the noDH hinder the AL team(losing one of their best bats) just the same?

Has anyone looked at interleague splits? Such as, the win% of the home team?

"This will be a long offseason indeed."

Great line Jason, I feel your pain. I am in Phillies withdrawal right now. I feel like a vampire who recoils from the sun or a crucifix, except instead of the crucifix, its the NY Yankees logo and instead of the sun its these commercials that pop up with the Yankees. It's tough to even have an interest in reading all the BL comments. I know I'm sick and I know that I will recover.

To Conshy Matt, but your Jeter jersey from one of those Chinese unlicensed ripoff places where the colors just aren't right and you can't tell what the right size is.

The Bucks County Courier seems to think Phils are gunning for DeRosa. Says they'd need a favorable report on his wrist. He might be my second choice. I'd rather have Beltre. I guess DeRosa hitting 44 HR in last 2 yr. makes him look like a power option plus versatility will save a super utility player contract.

True I met Klaus and he is right asbout sall thast he says--especially that I am a nice guy. But he is wroing about the DH. I am not for it . I am for it only becuase the AL has it and they ar enot going to disband it.

I don't know whether it hinders the AL team w/o a DH, but it certainly would affect a manager's decision when the pitcher is due to bat. Would Mariano have had a 6-out save opportunity if he was due to bat?

Well put Klaus.

I meant to type:

"To Conshy Matt, buy your Jeter jersey from one of those Chinese unlicensed ripoff places where the colors just aren't right and you can't tell what the right size is."

Having a bat on the bench is not nearly as harmful as having a cold pinch hitter in the starting lineup when you're opponent has a guy who has been hitting (and just hitting) regularly. The only disadvantage to AL teams is having managers (at least those who have never spent time in the NL) try to figure out when to double switch, and having to decide if its worth having a DH pinch hit if he then has to find a glove and take the field.

Back to the monor leagues, what do yo uproject for Michael Taylor next year? Does he spend have a year in AAA then come up if there's an injury or in August? If he comes up, would you take one start away from each of Werth/Victorino/Ibanez each week? Get those guys rested and get Taylor tuned to the show? How does Francisco fit in here?

Mark DeRosa would be my third option in free agency, but there are two distinct advantages with signing DeRosa over Beltre or Figgins:

1) Losing DeRosa would hurt the Cardinals even more offensively, especially since they risk losing Matt Holliday to a higher-paying club.

2) DeRosa's wife would fit in nicely with the stable of young, attractive players' wives we've been building the last few years.

However, Heidi DeRosa might upset the chemistry if Heidi Hamels protests the addition of another Heidi in the clubhouse. Naturally, we'll be forced to trade the Hamels Family for... Roy Halladay.

If it were me, I wouldn't even do a 1 for 1 deal of Hamels of Halladay. We'd be trading 3 years of Cole Hamels for 1 year of Roy Halladay and losing any payroll flexibility we'd have. The Payroll would be at $119 million if we did an even swap of the two pitchers. That's before arbitration raises to Blanton, Vic, and Ruiz. Before signing a 3B, bench help and bullpen pieces.

I didn't see Mayberry in that list. I guess his prospect days are over. He has a big stick that would be good coming off the bench in a pinch hitting role. He also can spell some of our outfielders in the field from time to time. Is RFD destined for Matt Stair's role this year? Do we keep Stairs for another year, or was this year his payback for the big homer in the NLCS in L.A. last year?

NEPP: I completely agree with your last post. I say give Hamels time to get out of his funk.

Cliff: Just googled Heidi DeRosa, wow. I think she is better looking than Heidi Hamels.

Don't like Derosa mostly because of his age. Expecting a 35 year old to maintain his production is a risky bet. He already had a decline this year from his couple years before that. I think you're taking a huge risk that he doesn't fall off even more.

Would much rather try and buy low on Beltre, who, at only 30, has a much better chance of keeping up or improving his production. To put Beltre in perspective, he's only 8 months older than Ryan Howard.

Jack: I agree. For the price he would cost and the fact that I have read and heard stories of how hard of a worker he is, I want him #1. Also, I am sure Gillick and Ibanez will endorse the guy. I think at CBP he will flurish, just like Raul has thus far.

I think Figgins is a pipe dream because of the attention he is generating. And I think DeRosa will cost too much for what he has to offer considering his age grouped with his offensive and defensive liabilities. Also, still don't count out Feliz to come back for a couple million cheaper.

With all that taken into account I would prefer the order of 3rd baseman to be Beltre, Feliz, Figgins, DeRosa. Again now judging the order solely on talent. I am taking the money into account as well.

My guess is Maybery will either go back to AAA (is there any development left?) or be the 5th outfielder/RH power pinch hitter/pinch runner

I think Taylor spends a good bit of the year in AAA but comes up to spell Ibanez during a mid season groin pull and stays to fill in for Victorino after he runs through a wall. Then he goes back to AAA until Sept. and possibly makes the post season roster instead of Mayberry.

Today in BP Matt Swartz revisits his "Cole was unlucky" article, responding to some of the objections issued by Andy Martino. Of particular interest is this:

"Martino: Even on days when his pitches were working, he responded poorly to adverse circumstances, and allowed bad innings to snowball. He admits this, and his manager, GM, and coach agree. It is also obvious from watching his body language.

Swartz: Hamels clearly does not like giving up runs, but I do not believe bad innings snowballed in general. In 2008, he allowed a 627 OPS with bases empty and 714 OPS with men on. In 2009, he allowed a 756 OPS with bases empty and 754 OPS with men on. It appears that Hamels was actually relatively better at stepping up his performance with men on in 2009 rather than allowing them to snowball."

Yet another blow to the theories postulated by the Beerleaguer Psychiatric Association, whose accusations of mental midgetry, as Swartz points out, fail also to jibe with the fact that Hamels' walk and strikeout rates remained almost perfectly steady.

Admittedly, Swartz offers no answer to Hamels' more sophisticated critics, who observe that a nasally voice and high cheeckbones are a permanent impediment to baseball success. Until he does, essentialist questions about Hamels' metaphysical make-up will continue to linger.

I agree MVPTommyd. Beltre is likely to be the most cost effective. Figgins is gonna have too many teams chasing him there's a bit of a winner's curse there. DeRosa's too old and will also have several teams in on him. Has anyone else been linked to Beltre besides Philadelphia?

JBird: The only team I read besides here for him were the Twins.

A friend told me that a Philly reporter was on 610 this AM saying the Phils Mgmt are already tired of Hamels' shenanigans. Anyone else hear that/who was the reporter?

I'm all for giving Mayberry another shot, but I hope they aren't counting on him for a major role this year*. His power was impressive, but that's about it.

If it was said on 610, IT MUST BE TRUE!

By the way, Mayberry is playing winter ball in Mexico and has apparently been having some pretty solid success.

That said, his ceiling is likely as a 4th or 5th outfielder. But I've been wrong before. Speaking of which:

clout: "CJ: Turns out you were right."

As much as I enjoy reading that... I wasn't technically right. The guy who reverse-engineered the Elias rankings seems to have a pretty solid grasp on it.

The twins? I'm sure Boras will give them a number that will make Pohland throw up in his mouth. So essentially, if the Phillies want him they can get him.

I like what Amaro had to say at the GM meetings about the availability of 3rd basement vis a vis teams that need a 3b. I'm not sure I'll ever get used to competent management.

JBird: I think has the Twins linked to Beltre, too.

Here's the link to MSNBC's hot stove report:

It includes a report (summarized from the Inky) that the Phils are pursuing Halladay.

Are the Phils turning into the Yanks/Red Sox of the National League and willing to spend?

(Incidentally, there's also info that the Mets are being a bit more economical this year.)

NEPP: simple question about who the report was-he likely has good sources.

Swartz also has a response to what is probably the most cogent non-luck explanation for Hamels' performance--tiredness. (I hope it isn't poor form to quote such a large chunk--apologies to Swartz if so.)

"Martino: Though his velocity was as good as last year, he has to overthrow to get his fastball in the low 90s. That sometimes resulted in poor location and home runs allowed.

Swartz: This suggestion was particularly intriguing to me, and it’s the one that I went into the most detail to test. Here’s what we do know: Hamels threw 53.1 percent of his pitches in the zone in 2008, and 52.5 percent of them in the strike zone in 2009. He threw 32.6 percent of pitches for balls in 2008, and 32.7 percent of them for balls in 2009. Clearly, Hamels was not missing the strike zone much more frequently at all. I also used the excellent PITCHf/x baseball website, and copied data from each of Hamels’ starts for 2008 and 2009. has a statistic that is called "Nibbleness," which they define as "the arithmetic mean of the distance of each pitch, in inches, from the edge of a normalized strike zone. Lower indicates 'more nibbly.'" This seems like the statistic to check. I weighted both fastballs and changeups by the number of pitches thrown and found that his 2008 average Nibbleness was 5.3; in 2009, it was 5.5. It is very hard to believe that a fifth of an inch explains a sixty-point swing in BABIP that caused many more singles, but that many more doubles and triples, and actually led to fewer home runs in 2009.

This is similar to the claim that Hamels’ changeup was more hittable with respect to movement in 2009, rather than in location. FanGraphs’ listed horizontal/vertical movements on his changeups in the last three years are as follows:

2007: 7.5/7.7
2008: 6.2/7.9
2009: 7.5/8.2

Although I am no PITCHf/x expert, it certainly does not seem to be a good claim either. Instead, what we have is the same two primary pitches with similar velocities, movements, and locations in consecutive years."

To my eyes it did appear that Hamels was throwing an undue number of meatballs, particularly in deep counts. But he's always been a strike thrower, with low aggregate pitch counts. And he pitches by changing speeds, not by dropping balls out of the zone (a la a slider or curve). Like Moyer, his stuff has always seemed, to the naked eye, easy to hit: graceful, straight strikes. Only, in '09, a greater percentage of the balls hit fell for hits.

Re: Hamels Has anyone explored the notion that he had one great yr and one below avg year therefore we really don't KNOW if he is a great pitcher or somewhat less. The stats will give you a good headache. I just feel that he's young and has pitched for 2 years with somewhat bipolar results. That doesn't guarantee a trade nor does it mean he'll be back to ace status again.Patience is a virtue, especially with lefties. The old axiom says that they tend to be beter from late 20's on.

My goodness... will Cole Hamels join the long list of talented Phillies athletes run out of town because of unfair criticims? We're all a bunch of idiots.

Yo, new thread.

CJ: Our idiots are simply louder than your garden-variety idiot.

Do high cheekbones correlate negativity with success? How much taller would Hamels have to be to compensate for his high cheekbones?

I can remember when Myers was our best pitcher, our potential "ace". Then King Colbert took over that role. I used to think Cole would win a Cy Young award or two. Now, I don't think so. I think what we saw this year is what we will see next year from Hamels. Cliff Lee is our "ace", and he already has a Cy Young Award. He'll have a great year in 2010.

Amen robby j.

CJ: Keep in mind, my theory on why the 2010 Phillies can't have Cole Hamels on the roster is based completely on a potential Heidi vs. Heidi feud. NOT because I'm an idiot.

I understand we root for a NL team, but why all this love of the pitcher hitting? Maybe it's the sense of the 1930s; but pitchers haven't been trained to hit the ball for decades. Players are specialized these days. Pitchers are paid to throw the ball, not hit it, therefore they receive very minimal focus on their hitting skills. The specialization is so extensive, to DHers and to all the situational lefties coming out of the bullpen, for example, that it seems ludicrous to give the other team an automatic out every third inning - even in NL games. Let's face it...pitchers don't hit and it annoys me to all hell that when the bottom of the lineup rolls around the teeth comes out of our offense. There were a number of instances in just this postseason where if we had an actual offensive player playing offense when the number nine spot came up, we might've scored some runs.

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EST. 2005

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