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Tuesday, February 16, 2010



Ahem,um... sorry for the outburst.

its OK. october is chooch's month, not february.

BB: My thoughts exactly. Only about 16 days away from the first game, 44 days until the "On-Deck Series", and 47 days until "Opening Day"!

I would also like to take this time to say thank you to all the "regulars" that made this off-season enjoyable and fast.

Although we tend to argue, in the end we are all great baseball fans and I truely believe are the most knowledgable and "in touch" baseball fans in the city (and throughout the country of Phillies fans).

Hard to believe, Harry, Hard to believe!

Opening Day can't come soon enough. My favorite tweet of the day:

@ScottLauber: Chase Utley already taking BP. #phillies

They don't need Chooch. The Hoov will be down there.

Those tweets (or whatever the kids call them) are getting me very excited. Spring Training has begun! I love this time of year. It's always full of optimism...except on Beerleaguer.

Utley is a machine. He's got to drive his wife crazy in the off-season.

loqiel: It's a small price to pay for being married to greatness.

Really. Hoover shoulda been a shortstop.

...though it occurs to me you could shout things like:
"What's that ump got a brush for...can't he see the Hoover right in front of him?"

Can't believe it's here already. Can't believe he's taking bp already. Nice.

LIkewise, I suppose, anytime he strikes out some guy full of beer behind the screen is gonna yell, "Yeah, Hoover! You suck!"

Andy are you Farkes?

Once Wang gets healthy, probably midseason, the Nats could be interesting.


CL: Capps/Bruney
7-8: Clippard/Burnett
Mid: Walker/Guardado/Batista

Morgan CF
Guzman SS
Zimmerman 3B
Dunn 1B
Willingham LF
Dukes RF
Rodriguez C
Kennedy 2B

"Interesting" if you're using the word as you normally do (i.e., "colossally stupid"), but otherwise, no chance that team challenges .500.

Unikruk: I don't know about that. Their lineup isn't perfect, but will score runs, especially with Dunn and Zimmerman. Pudge might help them a bit, too, coming over from the AL. Rotation overall might be better than the Mets, provided Wang is healthy and Strasburg lives up to the hype.

Clout: They'd be even better if they started Jesus Flores over Pudge. Pudge's defense has declined enough that you can't justify starting him every day, especially when you've got a 25-year old like Flores who could be at least league-average offensively.

Pudge is a HOFer, of course, but he's been under .300 OBP 3 of the last 5 years, and under .400 SLG the last two, and he ain't getting any younger. Flores should be the starting catcher in Washington.

That said, I do understand bringing in Pudge as a mentor to Strasburg and the other young pitchers there, as well as maybe to help Flores on his defense. It can't hurt to have one of the best ever in the dugout.

But it would be a mistake to start him every day, especially since they're not gonna contend anyway. Why not see if you can develop something legitimate in Flores?

Phils fans will be able to study the Nats lineup changes first hand again in Washington from very good seats.

The one thing that has been a constant during the Phils' run is that the Nats have been their whipping boys:

09: 15-3
08: 12-6
07: 12-6

39-15 or .722 winning pct. Phils success against any other team during that timespan isn't even close.

Nats might be better (say 74-75 wins) but I still expect the Phils to win 11 or 12 games against them.

Ryan Lawrence has a nice write-up on Halladay's interview with TSN.

The link is on the left, but here it is also:

Unikruk: Care to make that interesting? The unbalanced schedule, plus that lineup, plus the potential emergence of Strasburg to go with Marquis and Lannon could make that team very dangerous.

We'll see how Strasburg does as an unproven rookie. I think he'll have a bit of a rough go of it in 2010 as he learns how to pitch to professional hitters. MLB level baseball is a huge step up from NCAA.

Jack: Agree 100% on Flores. I didn't list him because he's expected to miss most of spring training as he recovers from a shoulder injury, but since Wang won't be back before mid-season I probably should've listed Flores too.

NEPP: Sure, but I am still willing to bet that they will finish better than .490 this season.

I could see the Nats at 75 wins this year. I could see the Mets in the low 80s, the Braves pushing 90 (if everything falls in for them) and I could see us in the high 90s. Its gonna be a tougher division for us I think.

unikruk: If their veterans come close to the top years they've had in the past and Strasburg and Wang come through, it's not hard at all to imagine them being above .500. Of course, that's a ton of "ifs" but there are 2 or 3 surprise teams every season.

I wouldn't be surprised if Strasburg spends most of the year in the minors.

I also wouldn't be surprised if their other 1st round pick RHP Drew Storen is in their bullpen for a good portion of the year.

NEPP: I expect Strasburg to open in the minors and be recalled around the time Wang is ready, maybe late June.

I'm sure there are others, but Dick Ruthven is the only guy I can think of who went directly from the NCAA to the majors and played a full season. Jack McDowell and Darren Dreifort went directly from college but both wound up spending part of their rookie years in the minors. It's a huge leap, no doubt about it.

NEPP: Depends on how he's pitching in the minors. The Nats are certainly paying him enough, and, if the A's experiences with college pitching suggests, you are probably maximizing the value of a college arm by riding them while they are hot in the Majors if they can hold their own in the minors.

Strasburg is making $2 million this year in the SECOND year of his 4 year MLB contract.

MPN: And he's probably worth that money in revenues if he makes a single start. His first start will probably be their only sellout of the year (unless Phils fans buy enough tickets for Opening Day to watch Halladay).

Clout: I knew Flores was hurt last year, but didn't realize he'd miss time this year as well. I hope the Phils continue to dominate them, but I wouldn't mind a competitive Nats team.

I had to refresh my memory on how a draft pick signing an MLB contract works, his service time for arbitration and Free Agency doesn't start until he makes the Show, but his cost basically means the team will push him to the Majors. Strasberg makes $2.5 million in `11 and $3 million in `12.

Friend who is a Nats' season ticket holder and he said it pretty apparent they are desperate to try and move tickets. They are using Zimmerman and Strasburg in their ads but hard to generate much interest in a team that won 59 games 2-straight years, has a mediocre farm system, ownership group that isn't well-liked, and plays in one of the 'so-so' newer stadiums.

They make maybe an improved team that even win 70-72 games but my bet is that they struggle to draw even 1.5M fans this year and race the Bucs/Fish for lowest attendance award.

Clout: Not sure if you noticed, but while BP wasn't that high on Bastardo, they had him ranked as the #13 prospect, while Savery wasn't listed.

So that's now BA, BP, Sickels, and Law which all have Bastardo ranked above Savery, even with the knowledge that Bastardo is likely to be a full-time reliever. For the record, BA had Bastardo at #9 (before the Halladay/Lee deals), Law had him at #9 (after deals), and Sickels had him at #10 (after). Savery was not ranked by any of them.

Do you still think Savery is the better prospect?

Thank god Spring Training is here. SOO excited for the season to begin. I will be there in Washington for opening day(Roy's debut).
After a seemingly endless offseason debating baseball minutiae (ie UZR, WAR, VORP, what is the sixth/seventh innings, Lee/halladay, and everything else that has kept me entertained for the last few months), we finally have baseball.
I think it is pretty appararent that we are an improved ballclub, Polanco>Feliz, 2009 bench>2008 bench, Halladay>Lee. I am also real excited to see which of our prospects step up. I am expecting big things from Cosart, Colvin, Gillies, Singleton, and Santana.

It's certainly possible that the Nats push .500, but nowhere near probable. Actually, I'm interested in their chances of overtaking the Mets.

And even if they can't, in reminding Mets fans that this is suddenly how the world works.

Didn't Incaviglia go straight from college to the major leagues? I'm not sure if he lasted a full season, however.

Jack: You apparently didn't read my post in the previous thread about Savery, which shows my views have changed since last year due to concern about his loss of velocity.

Also, you may not recall my view on Bastardo. Unlike you, I didn't think much of him as a starting pitcher. I also didn't agree with the comparsion to Johann Santana. He's fine in middle relief, however, with potential upside higher if he improves his command. That, of course, is a big if. As such, last year I did indeed like Savery better simply because back-end starters are more important than 1 inning relievers, in my opinion. And, unlike you, I'm not ready to declare Savery a failed prospect, particularly if his loss of velocity is due to injury.

Let's see what shakes out. Don't forget, LHP often take longer to develop than RHP. A full year at LV should give us a much clearer picture.

BedBeard: I was only thinking about pitchers (in relation to Strasburg) but a number of position players have gone directly to the majors. It was quite common in the 1950s when rules forced teams to do it if they signed players for a high bonus.

Inky is one guy who did it and never spent a day in the minors until near the end of his career. Al Kaline went directly from HS to the majors and never played a day in the minors. I suspect there are more position players who did this than pitchers.

clout: What is your full time profession? I get the sense you would of made a good lawyer...

Anyone know what Nats single games tickets go on sale? Need to get my opening day ticket to see Roy pitch.


CY: March 2nd @ 10 AM

MVP - thanks

Wonder why they wait so long? More time to sell season tickets?

"I suspect there are more position players who did this than pitchers."

Ehh, I am not so sure clout. Common baseball sense would say that you are correct because the transition from playing the field in college to the pros is less than the transition and learning how to pitch in the big leagues.

But doing a little digging just among HOF'ers suggests it is about 50/50. I know the sample size isn't that large, but it still tell some of the picture. There are 14 players in the HOF that never played a game in the minors. 8 Pitchers and 6 position players, there are as follows:

Sandy Koufax
Bob Feller
Catfish Hunter
Walter Johnson
Ted Lyons
Chief Bender
Eppa Rixey
Eddie Plank

Frankie Frisch
George Sisler
Mel Ott
Dave Winfield
Al Kaline
Robin Yount

In any event, it is prety rare for this to take place. Especially to guys that have played 10+ years in the majors.

" Al Kaline went directly from HS to the majors and never played a day in the minors."

Dating myself, I remember watching him play at the end of his career.

The talent that enabled him to succeed as a 19 yr. old in MLB is the same talent that propelled him into the HOF.

He was a fun player to watch!

yo, new thread!

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