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Monday, February 15, 2010

Comments

I would vote the Polanco signing as the riskiest deal the Phils made this offseason. Not a fan of the dollars, years, or even the performance that he brings. Yes he's better than Pedro Feliz - but that isn't enough for me to chalk it up as a good move.

More contact without a defensive downgrade. I think they got what they wanted, but I wonder if they overreached with three years. But ... it's not like the Phils are brimming with talented infielders ready to step in. I bet they'll need to convert someone like Valle to third base. Salisbury mentioned that a few days ago ...

Thought this was a good take on Ibanez from the previous thread:

"The book on Ibanez was that he had trouble going back on balls, but was good coming in on balls. We definitely saw that last year. So it makes sense that his defensive game is better suited for Citizen's Bank Park than Safeco. It is much the same way if a RH batter can pepper balls off the green monster in Fenway, he may be uniquely suited for that park. I don't see how making a generic park factor can take the individual skills of a player into account. I also agree with Ibanez' comments about judging defensive play by watching the games on TV. The television camera is focused on the pitcher/batter until the ball is in play." - Billy Mac

I find it hard to argue that the Phillies off-season was that bad. They acquired probably the best pitcher in the game, maintained defense and upgraded offense at third base, and retooled the bench with some likely upgrades. Where exactly did they go wrong, other than the obvious Cliff Lee argument.

Sherman swung and missed on this one.

Why would we regret having Madson signed for more then 1 year? He is one of the best setup men in baseball and isn't exactly closing in on the end of his career.

The bench additions were economically sound and as piss-poor as the bench production was last year (with the bench getting all of 1 hit in the post-season last year) anything has to be better. Gload could literally fall off a turnip truck and be more productive then Stairs and Schneider should be better (if he is healthy) then either Coste or Bako.

Polanco was a perfect fit, both for the lineup and for the clubhouse. He will be fine at 3rd and is a clear upgrade over Feliz.

Contreras for a million bucks, is a steal. He is this year's version of Chopper. Baez is a bit of gamble, but has been really good before in his career and has stuff to succeed at CBP.

Halladay is Halladay.

The season won't come down to the bench or off-season additions anyway. It will likely come down to Hamels and Lidge. If they both bounce back, the Phils can win it all. If only one does, the Phils probably struggle to get back to the WS. If they both falter, the Phils could struggle to make the playoffs.

Love the Halladay cover. The color palette of Beerleaguer.

I'm not familiar with Sherman. Has he shown any sort of bias in previous writings? To my untrained eye, it sure seems as if his writing may be wishful thinking more than anything.

Pitcher and catchers on Wednesday, right?

RAJ is walking a very thin line b/t winning now and staying good in the future. To do both requires spending money on players who can help now. Very few guys will sign 1-year deals. It's obvious Joel Sherman hasn't had to deal with any of this in quite some time while covering the Mets.

It must be tough for New York guys to imagine that things like budgets exist.

I would've preferred Beltre. The nitwit from NY probably failed to mention that Rube locked up Vic and Chooch as well. Those are pretty positive moves. Seems like the only positive news from the Mutts is that Santana threw pain-free. Jason Bay? Highway robbery.

phaithful, I'm not so concerned about Polanco in 2010, or even 2011. I'm also with Jason in that I don't worry about his glove. (Sherman 'knowledge' displays an amazing ignorance of recent baseball history when he questions Polly's move to 3rd. It's not as if he's never played the position before, which requires less range than 2B.) My concern with the Polly contract is more in year 2012.

But, it's not much concern at all. Why? Because 2012 is 3 seasons away and 2010 is just starting. Let's get through 2010 before we start worrying whether or not Polanco will have a bad year in 2012. Suppose his line the next 2 years look like this:

2010: .298 .345 .427 .772
2011: .311 .351 .419 .770

Will you be worried about the contract then?

Let's see what the guy does the next couple of years before we dump cold water.

denny b, I would agree.

Look at it this way:

The Phils won the division last season by 6 games with Hamels struggling, Myers giving them only 10 starts(and DL'd), Park failing as a starter, Lidge sucking (and DL'd) , Romero out, JRoll in a first-half funk that was the worst of his career, Raul missing 21 games with injury and being below average when he returned, Utley having his characteristic "fall fade", and the rest of bullpen being either mediocre or injured (Eyre, Condrey, Durbin, Park all missed time).

Yet, Sherman labeled the Phils losers even though they IMPROVED their team.

Boy, such is the price of success when expectations are so high after back-to-back WS appearances, and a WFC.

awh: considering Polanco is coming off a 2009 slashline of .285/.331/.396 (.717) and a career .303/.348/.414 (.761) who is 34yr old, those numbers don't look too bad.

Polanco's value goes way beyond his "numbers".

As good as Vic was (and is), he is not a true #2 hitter. He should be much better, being able to use his speed (2nd leadoff hitter), and power/RBI ability, lower in the order.

Polanco will be so valuable in that 2 hole. He will move runners, to get Utley and Howard more RBI chances. He will put the ball in play and not strikeout. He will see a lot of pitches.

Those sorts of things cannot be found in numbers alone.

This team didn't need another RBI guy or free swinger. They needed a Polanco.

I am a believer that polanco's approach to the plate will be very helpful to the lineup, but I am just skeptical that his approach along with league-average performance over his career will really generate better opportunities than a less disciplined #2 hitter with an overall more talented skill set, especially in the case of speed and extra base hits.

Few posts:

- People wouldn't be nearly as riled up if some sportswriter from KC or Cleveland ranked the Phils as #9. In fact, I doubt they would care much.

- This list is incredibly subjective. No real rhyme or reason to it.

- It is pretty hard (at least on paper) to say the Phils didn't improve a bit this offseason.

- Sherman did make make some points that were a stretch but he is dead on about a couple including the chance of Halladay winning a championship having greatly improved (weaker league and gets out of the AL East where the Jays were long shots at best to win).

- Amaro did backload the contracts but not by that much. The salaries of Baez, Gload, Schneider, and Polanco only increase by about $1.7M total next year. Again, not really a big deal. These are also positions (with maybe the exception of Baez) where the Phils don't have prospects remotely ready to take over anyways next year at cheap dollars.

- Sherman is right that the Phils may regret having Ibanez tied up over $12.1M but that die was already cast. It likely may well be one of the main reasons that Werth isn't back but can't do anything about that now. Same on his point about getting adequate backup in case if Lidge fails. Phils already made a huge investment in Lidge unfortunately ($12M this year alone) that they are stuck with at this point. They just have to hope he rebounds and is really healthy & productive.

- If Sherman wanted to criticize the Polano signing, it should really be more about his offense. There were reports last year that his bat speed had slowed a bit. That could be an issue here because the Phils are counting on him to be a high AVG hitter (.300+). If Polanco hits .270 or .275, he is pretty useless offensively as he is a low walk guy, with below average power at 3B, and below average speed. Basically a glorified utility INF. A 1/2 of JRoll and Polanco could be pretty brutal from an OBP perspective if that is the case.

denny b: Your last post is dead on.

"There were reports last year that his bat speed had slowed a bit."


His batspeed might have slowed as the season wore on. He played in 153 games. Maybe at 34 years old, in a middle infield spot where you can't "rest", that was too much. He has such a short swing, that bat speed isn't truly as important as it would be with a Werth or a Howard, for example.

Maybe Cholly keeps Polanco around 120 games this year at 3B. Dobbs could be used to play 3B in his spot. Maybe Polanco gets 5-10 starts at 2B, to keep Utley from wearing down late in August and September.

I thought Cholly used up Ibanez and Utley too much last year. He needs to use Francisco and Dobbs, much more this year, to keep those key guys fresh for the stretch.

I honestly think Polanco will be huge for our lineup and I doubt his defense will be that bad for a couple reasons:

1. A gold-glover at 2B will probably transition well to 3B as fielding a ground ball is fielding a ground ball regardless of which infield position you're at.

2. He's played 3B before and has the arm for it.

3. His bat far outweighs Feliz in many many ways from plate discipline to situational hitting to batting average. Polanco is replacing Vic as the #2 and that means Vic is replacing Feliz in the lineup...huge upgrade to the bottom 3rd of our lineup.

Few misnomers about Polanco:

1. He is a patient hitter. (No way. For all of the crap that JRoll takes about not taking enough pitches he is a much more patient hitter than Polanco by comparison. In fact, Polanco only saw 3.50 P/AB last year. JRoll saw 3.82 P/AB. It would be the lowest among the Phils' current starting 9. He also walked at a 5.3% rate last year. Again, this would be the lowest among the Phils' current starting 9. Polanco is not a patient hitter. He just isn't a hacker who swings and misses alot).

2. Polanco makes contact. (Yes he is a very good contact as evidenced by the 93.2% contact rate when he swings which is among the best in MLB. I say so what. He also hits a ton of ground balls to 3B/SS and produces alot of GDP. In fact, my bet is that he leads the team in GDP this year with at least 15 and possibly even 18-19 if JRoll gets on more this year. That's alot and he likely will beat even Ibanez this year. Maybe he has some more Sac Flies but making alot of contact on the ground with a slower runner is not an ideal thing by any stretch.)

3. Polanco hit will hit 10 HRs. (Maybe if he plays a ton but his ISO is below average and it has taken him about 550 ABs to average 8-10 HRs. This is slightly below average for a 2B and even more so at 3B.)

If he gives the Phils a line of say .300/.340/.420, then he will have been an offensive upgrade over Feliz. If he gives the Phils a line of say .275/.320/.390, he won't really have been an upgrade offensively especially if he hits a bunch in the 2 hole.

I'm sure that Uncle Cholly won't do it, but Vic is much better suited for leadoff, with Polanco #2, and JRoll hitting 6 or 7.

totally off-topic...there have been a few posts today so this may have been mentioned previously

does anyone watch amazing race??? former phils 3B coach steve smith and his daughter are on the show...season premier was last night.

anyone goin down to Clearwater? got my tickets for 3/21 + 3/22...last year was my first time going and it was an absolutely blast.


JRoll is fine to leadoff if his AVG is around .280 and he is closer to his historical walk rate slightly north of 7%.

If he continues to try his little Big Man act and be "30 HR" JRoll by swinging at more crap out of the zone and trying to hit the ball in the air, then yeah he likely is better suited to in the 7th hole because he won't hit for a high enough AVG or BB walk enough out of the leadoff spot.

joe: That's exactly right. But Charlie won't drop Jimmy from the leadoff spot.

TrueGrit - Did Smith wave his daughter around to try to make a bus/train only to have the door shut well in her face before she got there?

MG: Polanco won't lead the team in GIDP this year, because Rollins won't be on base enough.

Last year, the leaders in DPs for the Phillies were Howard and Ibanez. Not surprisingly, the guys in front of them were on base the most of anyone on the team (Utley and Werth). The combo of high OBP guy in front, and slow runner = lots of DPs. Polanco isn't a great runner, but Jimmy isn't on first base enough to get him that many DPs.

BP has a DP% stat, which adjusts for the number of opportunities guys have to hit into DPs. The worst offender on the Phils last year was Ibanez, who hit into DPs 15.4% of the time he had the chance to. (league-average is about 11%).

Surprisingly enough, Pedro Feliz was just about average, at 10%. I would've thought he would've been much higher (I guess it just seemed like he was a DP machine).

The Phils' best hitter at avoiding DPs, with a tiny 3.7%? Well, that would be the Phillies best player: Chase Utley.

Nice one.

He actually did lead her into the wrong house for this painting task they were supposed to do. But they survived the first leg of the race. His daughter is pretty cute, actually.

Oh, and Polanco was at 12.5% last year, 10.5% in 2008, and 8.2% in 2007. So he's been getting worse as he's gotten older (what you would expect), but he isn't a terrible offender.

MG, I'm not saying GDP is a good thing, but I don't look at it as an isolated or even meaningful stat that condemns a hitter.

Do you know who the top 5 players were in GDP in 2009?

Here they are, along with their other stats:

Tejada - 29, .313 .340 .455 .795
YMolina - 27, .293 .366 .383 .749
Longoria - 27, .281 .364 .526 .889
Jose Lopez - 25, .272 .303 .463 .766
Kouzmanoff - 25, .255 .302 .420 .722
Pence - 25, .282 .346 .472 .818
Lowell - 24, .290 .337 .474 .811
Pujols - 23, .327 .443 .658 1.101
AGonzalez - 23, .277 .407 .551 .958
OCabrera - 22, .289 .313 .430 .742

(Some other notables: Jeter - 18, MiggyCabrera - 22, Ethier - 19, Pedroia - 19, Tulowitzki - 20, Zimmerman - 22, and many more.)

The guy at #3 is a bum. I would hate to have him playing 3B for the Phils. Also, the #8 and 9 guys on that list suck. I would hate to see them at 1B for the Phils. Those guys ground into way too many double plays. Whey would lead the team if they were brought in. :)

MG: I'm trying to understand why it is bad to have a contact hitter who doesn't strike out or walk as your number 2 hitter. I don't have time to look it up, but maybe someone can find out where Polly ranks in terms of moving a runner on 1st into scoring position.

Heyman over at si.com has a little different take on the Phils:

""8. What might have been

The Phillies did a superb job turning one year of Cliff Lee into four years of Roy Halladay. But the question persists: How great would things have been for the Phillies if they had just made the Halladay deal, and not the accompanying trade for Lee? They would have been the story of the offseason. Looking back, a lot of baseball people think they should have done that. But it's hard to criticize the Phillies, a team that works smart and goes for the gusto year after year. Their $140-million payroll is higher than that of the megamarket Mets, and about $40 million higher than the Cardinals, who have almost identical revenues to Philly.""

Read More:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/jon_heyman/02/15/heyman.scoop/index.html?eref=writers#ixzz0fdfRI3Q2

awh: You're starting to start that up again, aren't you? Do you recall how many threads that ate?

reads like an MG post!

Clout: Because having a guy who makes less outs overall is more important than having a guy who makes "productive" outs. A gb out which moves a runner over is less productive than a walk (or a hit), because you've squandered an out.

I'd take a .370 OBP guy who K's more (but also walks more) in the 2 hole over a .340 OBP contact hitter.

clout, c'mon...I was just posting Heyman's complimentary commentary about the job Rube and the FO did.

FWIW, I'm not complaining at all about Polanco as the 2-hitter. As long as he hits .285 or above, he'll be just fine there.

I was just answering in general why a "contact" hitter in and of itself is not sufficient to being a good #2 hitter. No matter what spot in the lineup (but particularly before the 3 and 4 hitters), you want a guy who makes less outs. That's the single best attribute a hitter can have in any position in the lineup.

Hey JW, this thread got a shout out from Neyer, though he did imply Goyne is more that a guest columnist:

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/2373/monday-mendozas-41

awh: Please, I am begging you. No more of "should of kept Lee too" discussions.

"Sherman and the rest of the national media have been banging the “Why not have both” drum for months, ignoring the Phillies’ hard budget cap, the need for bullpen, third base and bench improvements and the fact that they tried to trade Joe Blanton at the Winter Meetings."

Hmm. Sounds like some BLers as well complaining about the same thing and refusing to acknowledge those same points.

Also, our own clout still believes that the Phillies and Rube didn't try to trade Blanton. Which I am still trying to grasp why he believes that when the edvidence says otherwise?

Really like the Mets upcoming blend of young and old players unlike Amaro who just likes the oldies but goodies and has little young talent in the pipline for the foreseeable future. Right fielder Fernando Martinez who was just voted the MVP in the Caribbean Series and first baseman Ike Davis who hit .341 in the AFL compared to the Phils top prospect Domonic Brown's .229 in the same league are examples of the Mets of the future to go with Wright,Reyes and Bay and Beltran. With the exception of Antonio Bastardo the Phils future based on recent numbers put up by its prospects is lacking.

The only part of the Heyman article I found interesting? The part where he talks about the fact that the Phils have about the same revenue stream as the STL Cards, but have a payroll more than 40 million higher.

Do people still want to call the Phils cheap?

Jack: Then you'd say Vic should remain the #2 hitter, no?

Jack - I bet that JRoll bounces back to to an OBP of .335 or so so Polanco will have more chances.

I still bet that Polanco leads the team in GDP although it likely will be neck-and-neck with Ibanez all season.

awh - My point was more that Polanco's 'contact' is somewhat overrated and that course over the course of a season his propensity to hit a bunch of GDP kind of washes out his ability to move runners over, etc.

It isn't like this team uses a ton of sacs by positional players or hit-and-run much either and rightly so. No sense giving up an out most times if JRoll gets on and you have Utley/Howard/Werth coming up.

I am just not that excited but what Polanco brings to the table offensively at this point in his career especially out of the 2 -hole. Players in their mid-30s have a way of hitting the skids at any time and besides that contact & potential .300 AVG, Polanco doesn't bring that much to the table offensively. Below average power (especially at 3B) and below average speed.

He also isn't a patient hitter either. Don't understand how that keeps getting brought up by the media. Just because he makes contact doesn't mean he is a patient hitter at all. In fact, it is pretty easy to argue he is the least patient hitter in this lineup.

Clout - I would bat Vic leadoff, Polanco 2nd, and JRoll 7th but the chances or that are slim to none.

I just don't want Cholly to be such a damn blockhead this year and insist that JRoll stays in the leadoff spot or that Polanco stays in the 2-hole until well into June if they struggle again. Odds are that will happen largely regardless of how either guy produces.

mvptommy: You either missed the original post on that topic or (more likely) chose to ignore it as you choose to ignore virtually every post made in response to you.

My post on Blanton was prompted by a report from one of the ESPN columnists quoting a major league official with another team saying he would've been happy to discuss a Blanton deal but never got the chance.

In any event, your premise that they would've kept Lee had they been able to deal Blanton is a load of crap.

MG: So would I.

clout: And after you quoted that ESPN piece from the league official, you came here and were saying "See guys, they didn't try to trade Blanton". Your the one full of crap.

Also, AS I HAVE SAID FROM THE BEGINNING, since they tendered Blanton and didn't get any good offers for him, they didn't trade him. IF they did trade Blanton, yes they would have kept Lee. You know why? Because both Lee and Blanton would have made basically the same salary in 2010 you knucklehead.

Rube's goal was to 1.) Shed around $9 million and 2.) Get good prospects in return for Blanton/Lee.

Now clout don't try to change the argument like you did with the whole pitchers/innings debate.

I caught you trying to change your stance now. Just admit your wrong and let's move on, ok?

Dull, prospects are exactly that: prospects.

If you want to compare the Phils and Mets, go ahead, but you'll have to use more than prospects to do it.

The Phillies are better than the Mets at every position except 3B and CF, and LF is a push (Reyes has to prove he can come back from the surgery before I'll grant him parity with Rollins).

The Phillies also have the core of their team signed for the next 2 years. Jayson Werth, assuming he moves on to more lucrative pastures, is the only major component to the lineup that may not be there after 2010.

Then...there is the pitching.

The Mets no longer have the advantage of having a stud ace at the top of their rotation. Even assuming Santana and Halladay are equal, Doc erases a big advantage the Mets had when Santana was pitching. So, that begs the question, who are the Mets' 2-5 starters?

Hamels and Blanton, the Phils' 2 and 3, are far more accomplished than Pelfrey and Maine, and I could make the argument that J.A. Happ is, even at this point, more consistent than Ollie Perez. The #5 is a question in both camps this spring.

In short, the Mets have bigger questions with the depth of their rotation than the Phillies do, and no longer do they have a clearly superior #1 in Santana.

The one advantage the Mets have on the pitching staff is at closer, though if Lidge is healthy and puts up career norms prior to 2009 (3.10 ERA, 1.201 WHIP) that advantage gets diminished considerably.

So, given that the Phils have their core locked up for a couple more seasons, the need to have talent available to percolate up is somewhat lessened.

BTW, while Davis is supposed to be an up-and-comer, do you think the short-season, small sample size AFL is enough to compare Brown and Davis? Brown had better numbers in the FSL where there sample sizes are much larger.

It will be interesting to see who eventually has the better career.

Weasel word alert! Weasel word alert!

clout used "In any event" to try to defelct the fact that he is wrong....

That sould say: "their sample sizes".

Jimmy will be the leadoff hitter till he's either on another team or UC retires/fired.

If he hits like he did in the 2nd half, he's fine as a leadoff guy. If not, well then we've got issues.

Last thing on Polanco and #2 hole:

Here is what the Phils have gotten at the #2 hole the past 4 years when the offense has either been the best (scoring runs) or among the top 2-3:

2009: .306/.376/.483 (#1 in OPS)
Vic & Utley
2008: .270/.347/.441 (#4 in OPS)
Vic & Utley & Werth
2007: .293/.358/.451 (#4 in OPS)
Vic & Utley & Iguchi!?
2006: .332/.396/.524 (#1 in OPS)
Utley & Vic

Here are the league NL averages for the #2 hole:

2009: .273/.337/.405
2008: .275/.330/.399
2007: .277/.339/.422
2006: .282/.345/.427

Phils have had one of the best offenses the last 4 years and it is no small part because of the production they got out of the #2 hole which mainly has been due to Vic and a significant minority of ABs by Utley.

If Polanco plays at No. 2, at best you likely have more league average production out of the No 2. The interesting counter argument though is that by moving Vic to the No. 7 hole you get a big lift on a position where the Phils have generally gotten below average league production the last 2 years mainly because of Feliz's below average production.

Last time #7 hole gave them good production was in 2007 with a combo of Werth and Helms?!

Tommy, is it really necessary to start a pissing contest in every thread? This was a good one till about an hour ago.

Doohickey, I was thinking the same thing myself. clout shows up and he and tommy get each others panties in a wad. Ugh.

Doohickey and AWH: My apologies. Just part of my day that I really enjoy is calling clout out for a.) Changing his stance on topics and b.) Being a weasel.

When I have the opportunity to accomplish both at one time, I can't help but jump at it.

Tommy - You can help it. You choose not to.

I don't know if it's been discussed on BL, but wouldn't it have been great to have both Lee and Halladay?

AkSmith: Your right, I chose not to. Because clout is such a little child and treats everyone around here like they are imbeciles and he is the creator of baseball.

Now,Yea it would have been terrific to have both.

One word. Budget. It's a real thing, it does exist.

I don't know why you along with others can't be happy with what we do have?

Best pitcher in baseball, great offense, great defense, great ballpark, great management (now). We are in the golden age of baseball here AKsmith. Relax man, enjoy it.

I am actually happy and excited to have season tickets to watch a WS contender, unlike other years when I knew I was going down the ballpark everyday to watch 70-80 win teams (depending on the year).

The only thing I am not happy about now from a season ticket holder point of view is the rumors through the grapevine that season ticket holders will only be receiving tickets for 2 of the 3 series (if we go to the playoffs). Which is total bull if true. It is all due to winning though. It breeds a million 16 plan holders, corporate sponsors, fair weather fans and StubHub.

Also, it will be the first time I have ever heard of such a thing for full season ticket holders to be locked out of playoff games.

Off-topic.....

Who do you Phillies fans think will start opening day at Citizens Bank Park?

Will Halladay open the season as the number 1? If that is the case, then Halladay will start his first game as a Phillie IN PHILLY on Saturday April 17th...

Do you all agree?

Question about Phils pitching rotation....

Who's going to start opening day at Citizens Bank Park on April 12?

If it's Halladay, that menas he's the number 2 man in the rotation given that the Phils open the season on the road in DC - meaning Hamels will open up the season...

If Halladay opens the season on opening day in DC as the number 1 man, that means his turn in the rotation doesn't come up until Saturday the 17th of April against the Marlins...

What do you guys think?

I think you buys your tickets and you takes your chances.

And, Tommy. Holy cow, I was kidding. Are you a fish? Because you sure do snap up any bait out there.

As numerous posters have pointed out, mvptommy is a troll. He should be ignored. I will do so from here on.

Sorry for the waste of bandwidth on him.

aksmith: Sorry, at this point, it is almost a reflex for me when it is mentioned. This Lee-Halladay thing has definitely surpassed the Ibanez signing and Abreu trade as most controversial topic in BLer history.

clout: Great. Terrific, why don't you do us all a favor and ignore everyone. Just talk to yourself from here on out.

By the way you have yet to tell me your occupation (that you asked me for first, by the way) and why you changed you stance on the Phillies trying to trade Blanton.

I will be waiting on both.

Sherman gets kicked in the nads once for each win Halladay records over 16.

Since it is slow and instead of arguing with clout. I have assembled some over/under's.

Howard 43.5 HR
Hamels 14.5 Wins
Lidge 5.5 Blown saves
Halladay 19.5 Wins
Halladay 220.5 IP
Ibanez 26.5 HR

Any thoughts?

Howard 43.5 HR - OVER

Hamels 14.5 Wins - OVER

Lidge 5.5 Blown saves - OVER

Halladay 19.5 Wins - UNDER

Halladay 220.5 IP - UNDER

Ibanez 26.5 HR - UNDER

NEPP: Wow really? What do you think goes wrong with Halladay?

I think Lidge is the closest, I think he either has 5 or 6 blown saves. I agree with Ibanez, he will have 24-26 HR's.

Obviously, I agree with Howard and Hamels being "OVER".

tommie - Did you pull these off a Bookie's website:

Howard - Over

Hamels - Under

Lidge - Over! (This is a fascinating bet because it assumes that Lidge will be healthy for most of the season)

Halladay - Under but 18.5 would be a tough number.

Halladay - Over

Ibanez - Under

MG: No, just my own that I have been thinking over for the past couple days and thought now before ST starts would be as good a time as ever to post them.

On Lidge:

"Lidge (elbow, knee) has not yet thrown from a mound and said he will enter spring training a couple of weeks behind schedule, the Delaware News Journal reports."

Pretty likely that Lidge would be doing much until at least March 1 in terms of actual throwing and I would be surprised to see him in any action the first 2 weeks of games in March. Would imagine this makes Lidge a long shot for Opening Day.

Frankly I am fine with them taking precaution with Lidge. If he doesn't come back until the end of April because he needs extra time to get his arm strength built up again during extended spring training in April early, that's fine.

MG: Rube, Monty and Lidge all stated on various radio interviews that he (lidge) along with Romero would NOT be ready for Opening Day and are targeting a couple weeks after to make their season debuts.

I agree, end of April is fine with me as well.

Howard 43.5 HR over! 52!!
Hamels 14.5 Wins over! 18!!
Lidge 5.5 Blown saves! under! "Perfect Season II Lidge Lives"
Halladay 19.5 Wins over! 23!!
Halladay 220.5 IP Over! all of them!
Ibanez 26.5 HR even! He hits a walk off to win the division and doesn't make it around the bases!

Best season ever!

Spring training can't get here fast enough.

mvp - That report was in yesterday's Delco Times and from team's sources.

anyway, on mlbtraderumors.com there is a team by team list of guys who are out of options with less than 5 years of service time, and the phillies don't have any. what to make of this? does it mean the team is all establish players and a few very young guys who still have options? does it mean the team is too old? does it mean anything? is it just good luck and one less thing to worry about?

Wow, I 'm going to be the optimist here?:

Howard 43.5 HR - OVER

Hamels 14.5 Wins - OVER

Lidge 5.5 Blown saves - under

Halladay 19.5 Wins - OVER (you heard it here first)

Halladay 220.5 IP - OVER

Ibanez 26.5 HR - OVER


And the caveat: predictions? predictions? awh don't make no stinkin' predictions.

MG, actually - and I have posted this before - this team is good enough to stay in contention even if Romero and Lidge are out until the beginning of June.

Just look at last season's first 2 months:

JRoll - bad, Lidge - bad...then DL'd, Romero - absent.

There is enough other talent to carry the team until then.

The team should take their time and let tham get healthy. No rush.

****NEPP: Wow really? What do you think goes wrong with Halladay?****

Nothing really. I just wouldn't be stunned if he has at least 1 15 day DL trip and that he ends up with something like 19-6, 2.50 ERA, 217 IP. Still a great year but not otherworldly.

That's if I were putting money on it. As a fan, I'm a bit more hopeful of a 250 IP, 27-3, 1.89 ERA type year.

yeah, NEPP, that would be awesome. I tend to agree with you that a 18-9 year with a 2.79 ERA would be spectacularly good, too.

Always take the under on 19.5 wins, no matter who the pitcher is. Wins are so reliant on the offense, bullpen, and injuries that betting on any pitcher to win 20 games in a single season is a bad idea.

Last year, no pitcher reached 20 wins. Halladay pitched the most innings (therefore leaving less to the bullpen) and still only had 17. Beckett had 17 wins despite a 3.86 ERA, while Greinke had 16 with a 2.17 ERA.

Obviously the Phils offense should help Halladay, not hurt him, but we don't know what the bullpen (cough, Lidge, cough) will do, and he might just run into some bad luck with run support, even with a good offense.

A more interesting O/U would be ERA: 2.75

i totally disagree a 27-3, 1.89 era season would be at the low end of my expectations. I'm looking for a 35-0, 0.00 era 400 strikeout season, this would be acceptable. It's Roy Halladay after all.

todd, I agree. You're right!!!

"Just part of my day that I really enjoy is calling clout out for a.) Changing his stance on topics and b.) Being a weasel."


Tommy: Find a hobby man.

On the over/under- I'd go under on Halladay and Lidge blown saves (barely on Lidge- I'll say 5 blown saves.) and Ibanez is probably going under either.

Over on the rest. In fact, I'll start another topic by giving a fearless prediction.

Hamels wins as many games as Halladay this year.

Who's next with one?

No predictions, but in case no one else has posted them, BP has the PECOTA projections out for the Phillies. Right now the content is free:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/dc/index.php?tm=phi

In case they restrict it, the lineup looks line this:

Rollins .286 .345 .475
Polanco .305 .355 .425 19/66/30 (HR/RBI/SB)
Polanco .305 .355 .425 9/58/7
Utley .301 .405 .535 27/88/15
Howard .268 .370 .543 37/111/3
Werth .268 .379 .491 28/78/15
Ibanez .277 .349 .466 17/65/1
Victorino .293 .358 .456 12/49/24
Ruiz .265 .362 .409 9/45/3

Dobbs .275 .328 .450
Gload .281 .336 .410
Francisco .275 .349 .461
Castro .231 .271 .308
Schneider .262 .356 .385

Pecota=garbage
These numbers are absurd. They have the Phillies offense dropping off like crazy for no good reason. I'm not looking things up, but if memory serves they have victorino driving less than 2/3 of what Feliz drove in from the same spot in the lineup?

According to PECOTA projections, the Phils be the top seed in the NL with 89 wins, StL and Colorado in a tie (88 wins) with the winner of the tiebreaker playing the Braves (86 wins) and the loser playing the Phillies.

Utley and Howard's projections look low because it looks like playing time is capped at 85% (applied to Werth and Vic as well).

Looks like Benny Frank will have the dual role of 1) best defensive outfield substitute; and 2) best bat off the bench.

why do tehy cap it at 85%? to hedge thier bets?
it kind of makes the predictions useless from day one.

Has anyone checked BP's projections and predictions over the last 5-10 years to judge their accuracy? I have about four years of the BP annual on hand, but maybe someone else has done this historical analysis.

No, never judged it. From memory, it seems that sometimes they are dead-on, sometimes they are completely off. I still buy it every year as its fun to read. Though their player comments have gotten a bit more serious in the more recent years. It used to be quite funny to read and now its once in a while funny.

May Beerleaguer always remain more than once in a while funny.

gobaystars: Most projections are laughable, although no one here ever bothers to go back and see what PECOTA predicted at the start of 2009.

If you add up the RBI, PECOTA is predicting a huge dropoff in runs scored, although given the underlying numbers (BA/OB/SLG) I don't know why.

For the Phils to match their 2009 run total under PECOTA's projections, the bench and the pitchers would have to drive in 260 runs.

Thoughts?

TNA: I didn't realize that. So they assume each hitter will miss 15% of the games. Interesting.

In any event, even if you add 15% to the projected RBI total, it is still well short (176 runs) of last year's run total. Each bench player would have to drive in 35 runs to make it match 2009. The highest RBI total for a bench player last season was 20 (Dobbs). The pitchers drove in 12 runs.

Any way you slice PECOTA projects a big fall off in runs for no apparent reason.

Yeah. Whomever gets on base in front of Polanco, Howard and Ibanez will be erased by the inning killer double play.

Halladay's a big ole boy. Can he hit?

Obviously, RBI doesn't equal runs, but the difference is small (last year 32 more runs than RBI). Let's also add the runs scored by the bench (86), realizing that some of those runs are being double counted. Even adding the bench and the RBI/RUN difference AND the 15% to the total PECOTA, you come up 58 runs short of last year. In fact, that total (762) would be the lowest run total for a Phillies team since the below .500 2002 team.

Matt - Halladay will open the season up in DC. If they go with a 5th starter then he will pitch the 17th for the first time in CBP. If they do not / have weather conditions all this could change. He may pitch 2 days before that.

Will be a fluid situation. I did get tickets for the 17th though, so hope he goes that day. Best bet is to go dow to Washington opening day (which I also plan to do).

Don't use PECOTA for counting stats (HRs, RBIs, Rs). For whatever reason (hedging on injuries, playing time caps, whatever) they always have lower raw numbers than you would expect.

Their rate stat projections, however (BA/OBP/SLG), look very promising for the Phillies. According to their projections, we wouldn't have a single player with an OBP lower than .345, and they see big bounce-back years for Rollins and Polanco. I would sign up for those numbers right now, no question.

When I get some time this morning, I'll put together the 2009 projections and see how far off they were.

****Thoughts?****

Prediction on Roy's first NL season at the plate:

35 GS, 108 AB (he'll be pitching deep into all his starts I assume) 78 H, 21 2B, 2 3B, 17 HR, 47 RBI, 9 BB, .722 AVG, .744 OBP, 1.426 SLG, 2.170 OPS.

That's my conservative guess on his year.

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