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Wednesday, February 10, 2010


MLBTR just updated the Wang story. It appears the Wang/Nationals signing isn't necessarily imminent. "One other team" is still in the picture.

Crisp article by Hoffman. Glad to see Kyle and Roy are working out together. Where's Cole? No DITHL's from Kyle this year. All Beast.

If healthy Wang's game would play nicely in CBP.

It was being in close proximity to Roy Halladay that made the Toronto starting staff the best in baseball, year in and year out.

I would love it if they picked off Wang and signed him for depth.

If he's healthy enough - and I'd bring him along slowly - to pitch effectively by June, the rotation would be tremendous.


Effectively, Happ would be the 5th starter, regardless of the order.

The bullpen, however, would be a little of a "mess" because of Moyer and Kendrick getting pushed down/out.

These 5 would be "locks":


The rest of the cast in order of probable appearance are:

Romero (when/if healthy)
Moyer (if/when healthy)

The depth, particularly guys who can some in and make spot starts - Moyer, Kendrick, Carpenter, Contreras - would probably serve the team very well.

I was hoping the Phillies would get this guy - low risk, potential very high reward.

To get Wang the Phil's would need to be creative similar to Seattle’s incentive laden contract approach with Bedard. From MLBTR Rosenthal reports the incentives in Erik Bedard's contract stating the lefty could bring in $500K each for 14, 17, 20, 23, and 26 starts, plus $600K for every 25 innings after 75.

To get Wang the Phil's would need to be creative similar to Seattle’s incentive laden contract approach with Bedard.

From MLBTR Rosenthal reports the incentives in Erik Bedard's contract stating the lefty could bring in $500K each for 14, 17, 20, 23, and 26 starts, plus $600K for every 25 innings after 75.

Somewhat off topic, but it looks very likely that Lincecum and the Giants will go to arbitration. Does anyone know, is their $5M gap (Lincecum wants 13, Giants offering 8) the largest in history of arbitration cases?

Wang to the Phillies on a 1 year deal seems like a win for both parties.

From what I understand, he is a ground ball pitcher which fits nicely in CBP with our infield defense, and an effective Wang would almost definitely be an improvement over a 47 year old starter who is coming off of multiple surgeries and appears to have very little left in the tank.

Pitching in Philadelphia for a season will give Wang the opportunity to re-establish himself and sign a high dollar contract in 2011 while at the same time giving him a very good chance at a World Series ring (as opposed to DC or the Mets).

The issue with a guy like Wang is that any day that his sinkerball isn't "sinking" properly, he's going to get destroyed.

See: his first few starts last year in New York.

I'd love for Ibanez to face Wang in Washington on a day his sinkerball isn't sinking.

The second team, incidentally, is the Dodgers from all accounts.

****Does anyone know, is their $5M gap (Lincecum wants 13, Giants offering 8) the largest in history of arbitration cases?****

I believe it is. Not 100% though.

It would be smart for Wang to go to the Dodgers.

Raul on MLBnetwork rite now, talking about UZR, wierd

Mike Sculli: Give us a summary and I'll put it in a post. Nice snow day stuff ...

Opening Day is April 5th in DC.

Think it will stop snowing by then?

Wang to the Phils wson't happen. Wishful thinking. Rube's done except for guys willing to agree to minor league deals. Let's not hold our breath.

I'd rather he go to the Dodgers than the Nats simply by the virtue that while we have more chance of seeing the Dodgers in the playoffs, we'd face him more during the 19 games we play against the Nats and that could effect our chances in the division as it might just be a bit closer with the Braves than any of us want to think about.

Raul says that he doesn't trust UZR because it is reliant on guys watching the game on tv to grade them out. He says he understands it might have a little bit of value but not for him. Says that three years of subpar d in seattle and one year of excellent d in philly (according to UZR) is just because of park factors. overall hes not a big fan of the stat.

So, basically Raul has a full understanding of UZR then. Good for him.

At least he's honest about his own defense (which was better than I expected to be honest). I assumed he'd be an older Pat Burrell.

It was an interesting interview (it was on hot stove so they will prob replay it). he was real solid out there last year, a pleasant surprize.

Raul also said the stat is weak because it doesn't take into account things like defensive positioning.

From what I could tell he has a firm grasp on the stat and its' limitations.

He was also asked about his age and the rumors that he must be using PEDs of some sort.

He spoke of his work ethic and how he was told even at the age of 30, "Don't lift so much weight - don't run so hard" and that he wastold the same thing at 33 and 35. Basically, he seemed to be saying he thinks he can have another season as good as 2009.

I sure hope so.

So do I. Raul having another solid year would be huge for this lineup. He carried us last April-June along with Utley.

Raul is a stats wonk. Who knew? Totally right about UZR with defensive positioning being yet another outside factor the stat doesn't account for. I'm guessing Raul was weighing in on this issue on yesterday's thread. Wonder what his handle is?

P.S. I'd hate to think the Nats will take our Wang.

I'll be pleasantly surprised if Raul puts together another season as good as 2009.

Go Raul! You think he could be mvptommyd?

And the positioning issue in UZR is without a doubt one of its primary limitations. I never had a chance to comment on this yesterday, but I wonder if the down UZR for Vic and Werth last year had something to do with different positioning than they used to have with Burrell out there. People often suggest that UZR loves Utley, which it does a lot, due to his great positioning; I wonder if some sort of opposite effect was impacting Vic and Werth while potentially helping Raul.

As for the offense, let's hope the hyperbaric chamber and the pumping iron can get this guy back to early 2009 form. If it can, Raul will make this team another offensive juggernaut; if not, it's going to be a long and expensive two years.

Let's see. Raul could not have been ...

I am not, nor have I ever been, Raul Ibanez.


That was a cool interview with Ibanez. I didn't know he was into haiku either or that he had real questions about Kendrick's ability to stick with the team.

That was very funny, clout.

In re: the Thread header

if the Nats sign him
they may have the biggest one
but size don't matter

God, the Wang jokes are limitless. Please, please let us get this guy for the headlines he could generate alone.

"Wang makes Mets Bats Go Limp"
"Wang Blows Another One in Tough Phils Loss"

/cabin fever making me crazy

"Go Raul! You think he could be mvptommyd?"

No way. Impossible.

There is no way Raul would post things such as:

he's too short to play 3B

or maintaining that being the pitcher of record after the 6th is the same as pitching into the 7th-9th inning.

No way.

awh: Not to mention Raul actually knows what UZR is.

hh, how about:

"Wang rises to the occasion!"

"Wang outduels Bush"

You are right, the jokes are limitless.

You know the pitching INTO the seventh thing confused me. If the point is saving your bullpen, well...not getting any outs in the seventh still means there are nine outs to record, whether you've finished the sixth or not.

But I'd rather talk about Carlos Monasterios and crashing into the right field wall then get into that again.

Dick Peter Dubee out to the mound to pull Wang.

Wang has Hard, Long Night.

Wang delivers the high hard one to Pujols.

Beltran, Wright hammer Wang at Citi

"or maintaining that being the pitcher of record after the 6th is the same as pitching into the 7th-9th inning."

Ahh, typical changing of my argument. Clout CHANGED the debate becasue he was wrong and several posters pointed it out.

That was NOT my point. The pitcher of record arugument was totally different from the statement that I originally said which was, "The Phillies top 4 pitcher's can pitch at least 6 innings each night", which is true by the way. I cited the times they did it and their average innings pitched last season.

By the way I would feel pretty good if we only needed 9 outs AT THE MOST from our bullpen on the nights that our pitcher's couldn't go further, no?

"Bastardo Completes Wang's Solid Effort"

Can you imagine Wang's fan clubs? I for one would be real excited for some Wang. I'd really get up every fifth day for that. It'd be detriment to the other pitchers though. If they played catch with him too often they might go blind.


The snow at CBP is piled up to the 410 sign. April can't come soon enough.

"Not to mention Raul actually knows what UZR is"

Aww, clout. Are you upset that baseball players realize that certain stats that you reference EVERY DAY to "prove" your theories could actually not be useful in evaluating a player?

(If I remember correctly, besides Raul being left handed and his contract tied at #1, your #2 argument against was his UZR. that worked out well for you too. The only argument you COULD still be right about is his contract and even that will be proved wrong with another couple good years)

Next stats to wipe out besides UZR are VORP and WAR. Talk about 2 other ridiculous "stats".

Tommy: You realize Clout has spent the last two days arguing strongly against using UZR, correct?

mvptonmmy: Wow, you're a liar too. If your statement had been "The Phillies top 4 pitchers can pitch at least 6 innings each night" there would have been no debate. We'd both agree.

But that's not what you wrote:

And with this rotation full of guys that can pitch into the 7th-9th innings each night (except Moyer), there is no need to spend $6 million on the "top relievers" as many here wanted Rube to do.

Posted by: mvptommyd | Thursday, February 04, 2010 at 04:05 PM

You said 7th-9th, not 6. And that's what I, and others, called you out on. No need to lie. You just effed up.

Meyer: No, no. It's "Wang's effort leads to Bastardo"

Please, no more UZR!

Jack: I haven't been around to notice that. But if that is the case, I am happy to hear (read) that. Because with Raul he offered that as a reason not to sign him. Glad strides have been taken in the past year regarding seeing some stats for what they are, which is that they can not tell the whole story.

Clout: Even better, "Wangs sloppy effort leads to Bastardo."

Ewww. Cabin fever reaching dangerous levels now.

Thanks big C. I knew I was on to something. I just couldn't quite get there.

Damn these ridiculous "stats" like VORP and WAR. Let's get back to the basics, such as height for infielders.

clout: Ok i see those statements. Now this is exactly where we sPun off the topic and onto the "offically being the game" thing

But let's focus on those lines.

If you pitch "6 innings a night", doesn't that mean that you successfully completed the 6th inning (recorded 18 outs)?

I said "into the 7th-9th innings". So say for arguments sake that the statement means the guy doesn't pitch a single pitch in the 7th, didn't he still throw "6 innings" that night?

This is where we don't see eye-to-eye and I am not sure why, when we already established that you agree with the concept.

Pitching "6 innings a night" is EXACTLY the same as pitching "into the 7th" inning. Eithier way you need 9 outs from your bullpen AT MOST. Which as we just said we are totally fine with, no?

Stupid "stats" say that a guy like Michael Taylor is a better baseball player than John Mayberry, Jr. That can't be right!!

mvptommyd: Since I'm not a fan of UZR, I never would've have used it to say it's a reason not to sign Ibanez. You're either confusing me with another poster or lying again.

You can whack me for being concerned about all the lefties in the lineup with Raul, however. That's a fair shot.

Yeah HH. THAT'S why we're here this afternoon.

mvptommyd: "Pitching "6 innings a night" is EXACTLY the same as pitching into the 7th inning."

Well, no, actually it isn't.

"such as height for infielders."

Ahh, there is 25" of snow outside my front door, what the heck lets clear everything up today.

When I said that, it was based on the concept as I have said months ago that 3rd base is usually 1.) a power spot for guys like A-Rod and Zimmerman and 2.) a position where bigger guys have success defensively as well for numerous reasons.

Since Figgins and others are exceptions to the generalization of players that play 3rd base, it has all of a sudden turned into "Oh is he tall enough to play 3rd?", which is a complete manipulation of what I stated here months ago.

For the record, the DiTHL stat, I take full credit for to this day and stand behind. The 2010 Phillies early leader in that category right now at the odds of 3:1 is Antonio Bastardo. Stay tuned throughout the spring for up to date odds.

Yeah, I only like stats that tell the whole story myself.

Jack: Talk to me when Taylor is in the big leagues, then we can compare the two. From what I hear Taylor may win a roster spot on the A's coming out of the spring.

clout: How is it not, if in BOTH cases you need 9 outs AT MOST from you rbullpen?

Tommy: Please talk to me when Mayberry holds a spot in the big leagues. He's 26 and will be in Triple-A again this year.

He has 12 hits in his big-league career. What a star!

Phillies Red: Yup. That is why there are stats such as OPS+, OPS, ERA and ERA+. They tell you basically alot of the story on pitchers and hitters. Also, that is why baseball invented scouting.

WAR is bogus because the "computer" generates how many games a certain player won if he would have replaced by that player. Really? So the computer knows exactly how each game would have gone if the other player was in the game, interesting. Last I checked each guy stands a different way and reacts differently to different situation that can not be taken into account by a computer.

And my favorite, VORP. Like I need a computer to tell me that Halladay is better than Lee or that Schneider is better than Bako, seriously?

Tommy: Maybe you should look at a stat like WPA, which takes into account leverage situation and how guys do in clutch situations. Might be more your style.

Jack: Ouch. Well Taylor has ZERO big league hits, will be in Triple A this year as well. Can't see your point to this pissing contest thus far?

Taylor is a great player in the minors, no doubt. But the MLB is a whole different beast, as numerous other great Phillie "prospects" found out.

Also, what is to say that Mayberry won't be on the bench for stretches this season?

Mayberry may just be on the bench permanently starting in 2011 as the 4th OFer. Oh wow, can't wait for some posters here to grasp that one next offseason. As they won't want to have Brown ride the bench all of 2011.

Totally, computers are clearly stupid. WAR doesn't use any meaningful stats like obp or slg. And of course, everyone knows you are not allowed to use SABR stats and scouting at the same time.

But I'm not sure why VORP is your favorite. I mean, WAR is like VORP on steroids, or to put a finer point on it, like VORP on UZR. Seems like WAR should be your favorite.

Tommy: A 27-year old bench player? What a star!!!

Seriously, I love how you say stats in the minors mean nothing, a guy has to prove it at the MLB level. Mayberry has been in the majors for 57 ABs and has hit .211. HE'S DONE NOTHING. Seriously, if Taylor hit .211 for any stretch in the majors, even as a 24-year old (not a 25-year old), you'd say he sucks.

Of course, you did try to make the argument that Mayberry doesn't hit for AVG, so you can't hold that against him. As if hitting .211 wasn't a bad thing.

Phillies Red: Ahh, all this ridiculous stat talk is giving me a headache. It is like Billy Beane and Bill James have both invaded BLer using the same handle at the same time.

By the way, how has Billy Beane's team been doing recently?

Every time I hear about him he is getting guys (i.e. Sheets) just to trade them away for more prospects that are supposed to build him a playoff team. Yea, thats going well.

Jack: Well it's true, Mayberry doesn't hit for AVE. Out of those 12 hits, you refuse to acknowledge that 4 were HR's. Including 1 game winner I believe.

Tommy: The Phils lost 3 of the 4 games in which Mayberry homered, and the game they won was a 10-1 win. So no game-winning HR.

I believe he tied a game against the Braves with a HR, but we went on to lose the game.

Either way, a guy who hit .211/.250/.474 in 60 PAs at age 25 has basically established nothing. So about the exact same as Michael Taylor, who had far better minor-league numbers and is widely considered a much better baseball player.


(keep it simple, guys:)

Mets Whack Wang

John Mayberry Jr. is red meat to major league pitchers. It may have been only 20 at bats or so, but, I don't recall him even putting a ball in play against a right hander. I'm not a big stats guy, nor am I a professional scout. But, from what I saw, Mayberry looked like a ball player right up until the time a right hander threw him a pitch. If he makes it as a pinch hitter / defensive reserve for a few years, good for him. At best, he's going to get some splinters in the pros.

Who do people think presents the biggest threat to the Phils winning the NL this year?

Rockies, Cardinals, Dodgers, Braves...? Anyone else?

Personally, I vote for the Cardinals and Rockies. Cards have Holliday, Pujols, Carpenter, and Wainwright. They could put out a bunch of scrubs (which they largely have) and still win 90 games with those four. Rasmus could develop into a very good player this year as well. Could have bullpen issues and back-end rotation problems losing Piniero.

Rockies showed us last year they could be a very competitive team, especially as young guys like Fowler and Gonzalez develop. Tulo is obviously a star. Should be interesting to see what they do with their pitching though--Jimenez is very good, but a lot of average or worse behind him. Getting Jeff Francis back and effective would be a huge addition for them.

This from Olney yesterday:

Here was Olney's list: 1. Red Sox 2. Yankees 3. White Sox 4. Angels 5. Cardinals 5A. Phillies

But this is what really surprised me (beyondboxscore):

Here are the top 5 rotations for 2010 according to CHONE WAR projections: 1. Yankees 2. Red Sox 3. Phillies 4. White Sox 5. Mariners

MVPTommyd, sorry for the use of WAR.

Anyway, I think it's a great sign that this projection system is so high on the Phils. We know the offense will be there, but this suggests the pitching will also be there. I thought the rotation would be top heavy, meaning that they'd likely fall somewhere in the middle of the pack according to projections. Either they are so top heavy that they're better than average (projection wise, of course) or they're not as weak at the bottom. Both are fine with me.

Braves made a 1-year offer to Damon. Tigers are also interested in him, reportedly.

I'd rather he go to the Tigers, obviously.

U.C. yanking Wang: "Gawl Dang Wang your sinker didn't sank"

Some people like it when Wang doesn't sink.

Maybeery is 3/20 off righties, with a homerun, a walk and only eleven strikeouts.

So in 21 PAs he's put the ball in play, um, 9 times. His babip is a robust .250 (2 non-homers out of 8 ABs). His OPS vs. RHP is a stunningly Gnome-like .527. (Bruntlett's career OPS vs. RHP: .561).

Michael Taylor will have a heckuva time matching those kinda numbers.

Phillies Red: Have you ever gone back checked on how reliable CHONE projections are?

It isn't hard to see Franske/LA laughing like schoolboys at some point in a Phils/Nats game this year because of Wang.

Clout, funny you should ask. I was just reading about this yesterday here:

I believe that the analysis was for hitters only, but CHONE did okay to good compared to the other projection systems. I thought I saw a clearer analysis somewhere else. Let me see if I can find that.

clout - Vegas Watch has evaluated how correct CHONE and other competitors were at predicting season win totals.

CHONE only started doing it since '06 and they have been the most accurate among the major competitors since then.

mvp is still arguing that Mayberry has an edge over Taylor? Wonder if he tries to bring up Lidge and how he should have stayed the closer all last year.

MG: My cursory reading over the years is that CHONE and the others aren't too bad on win projections, just OK on individual hitting projections and terrible on pitching projections.

What did CHONE predict for the Phillies rotation before the 2009 season? What did it predict for Lidge?

Funny thread. I'm not touching any of that Wang stuff.

Earlier in the thread, AWH printed his five BP locks, but left out Bastardo. I think Bastardo is a lock. Rube has a man crush on him because of his stellar winter stats.

Well, what MG linked to is better than whatever I was going to come up with, or have read.

Clout, why does it matter what any projection system projects for a player? Obviously things happen during a season: injuries, terrible slumps, a bouts of just sucking. I'm certainly not suggesting - or didn't mean to at least - that this is how the Phils will perform. But it's heartening to see that our rotation is in good company, and better company than I thought.

Projections are just that, projections. Usually they are based on data and historical performance with some adjustment for age and some regression to the mean. These are the exact types of things you always exhort us to think about when evaluating players. Why would you bother to hate on CHONE, or any other system?

Tommy: You would command more respect if you admitted how spectacularly wrong you were about Mayberry, who was completely overmatched last year against ML pitching.

Even in AAA, you'd like to see better than a .788 OPS for a corner outfielder, especially one repeating the level. Mayberry is almost a prototype AAAA player.

Yeah, you might even consider him *gasp* replacement level! Isn't there some kind of poetic justice in there? Can we get a haiku about that?

Lake Fred, on my list I forgot to include Villarreal. He should be on the second list of BP relievers, somewhere between Herndon and Escalona.

And the reason I listed then the way I did is that Romero and Moyer will likely open the season on the DL, which means Kendrick and Bastardo likely have the inside track to breaking camp with the team.

Clout - Don't have a subscription to CHONE and not ensure if they have the previous season's projections out there.

It would be interesting to come up with a "Meta Saber" site that combined all of the projections and evaluated them in a more systematic fashion. It would probably just take way too much damn time though.

tommy: I honestly can't believe you still don't understand why you are wrong on your, "into the 7th inning" argument. Let me try to help you.

There are a few definitions of "into." Two sort of fit our purpose here. One definition is, "used as a function word to indicate a period of time or an extent of space part of which is passed or occupied."
Another is, "used as a function word to indicate entry, introduction, insertion, superposition, or inclusion."

So- for one to pitch into the 7th or, "gain entry" to the 7th, they must actually throw a pitch in said inning. If a guy records 18 outs and then leaves the game he has pitched 6 innings. He has not pitched, or introduced himself to the 7th inning. Why is this concept so hard for you to understand? I'm fairly certain I could explain this to a 5 year old.

On the topic at hand: The Nationals are not going to compete for the division, but if they add Wang they will have done a decent job of upgrading the team this year. With Marquis and Wang (eventually) at the top of the rotation with Zimmerman at 3 they have a fairly solid rotation. Their offense will be solid too. They won't necessarily be pushovers in the division.

TTI: Yeah, if they push Strasbourg up, too, they could be very reminiscent of some of the peskier, low expectations Marlins teams. The NL East and its unbalanced schedule will be tougher for the Phils than some expect.

"Pitching "6 innings a night" is EXACTLY the same as pitching "into the 7th" inning."

This is vacuous nonsense.

leviculus tomas preur has reared his ugly head again.

and tommy, tommy, tommy, let me enlighted you a little in your debate with Jack about Mayberry v. Taylor:

From Bill James 1988 Abstract(i.e. it's been accepted wisdon for over 20 yrs.):

Primer #1:

Minor league batting statistics will predict major league batting performance with essentially the same reliability as previous major league statistics.

Yo is everyone else pumped about the 1000 Ways to Die - Manswers double shot tonight on Spike? Starts at 10.

Metsblog, tell me how my ass taste.

Go Phils.

Too bad the Phils aren't likely to sign Wang. I was really looking forward to all those headlines.

Phils win behind Wang.

Wang goes nine. (Or six, which is apparently just as good.)

And of course, Mets Can't Beat Wang.

Maybe Tommy is just a huge Hendrix fan.

Just got my "yo new thread" shirt. Very nice! The text looks gently pre-washed, giving it a surprisingly mellow feel for a white tee-shirt.

Looking forward to the knowing smiles and vigorous high fives out here in the suburbs of San Fran!

gotta love how the clout still knows all after all these years of us not knowing S*&*!

Good to see things never change.

I suppose it's time for someone to point out that Wang is pronounced "Wong" as in dong.

Or how about Wang pulled after blown lead. This is my favorite "Wang spanked and pulled in the 5th inning!" I love happy endings.

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