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Wednesday, February 03, 2010


If if this season is anything like last, maybe Mazone will get another crack at an emergency start! Especially that 5th spot!

Mazone is awful, he couldn't hack it in AAA to save his life last year

Agreed. Depending on how rosters shake out, Mazone could be in Double-A.

caught some TV before work this morning - saw the interview with Charlie and how he dropped a bunch of pounds this offseason. One quote that got my attention was that Charlie said he got really amped up to get back to baseball when Chase Utley took all the young players aside during a team meeting and spoke to them about the upcoming season. Might have been the first time I heard Utley referenced as a vocal leader.

Continuing from the previous thread, the thing about Castro is that unlike Bruntlett, or even a guy like Dobbs, is that he was a starting player at one time in this league at a premium position. Not saying he was worthy of it, but it's a fact that will certainly motivate Charlie's decisions.

Charlie likes veterans. I'm sure Castro is someone Charlie has discussed with lots of people and has been given positive reports. I talked to Charlie at the Winter Tour and you could tell Bruntlett was a big problem for him last season. I think he's eager to start using his bench a little more.

JW - it's worth following you on twitter just for that RT that you sent Cerrone at Metsblog. That was classic.

I really wanted Mazone to get that start. However, at this piont, I really dont want to see the injuries it would take to get him another chance at a spot start.

Interesting tidbit at the end of the Inquirer article yesterday on Amaro (and thanks to whoever left the Sports section in the 4th floor mens' room). How much more weight can he lose? Are we looking at double digit steals this season?

First baseman Ryan Howard is already in Clearwater, Fla., working out with third-base coach Sam Perlozzo. Amaro said Howard lost more weight during the off-season, and Perlozzo's first report via text message was, "Ryan's looking real good."

Brian Marzone lives (for another season at Reading/Allentown)!

Guzman might serve as our poor man's Michael Bourn role before we traded him for Lidge. Maza might be our Bruntlett or no Hit Nunez of the future on the cheap. Mazone and Gordon project to be Iron Piggy filler.

"If I had my druthers" is along the same line as "what not" for me...the degradation of the english language.

JW, fair insight into our svelte manager. Whatever the reason, I'm hoping for more rest for all middle infielders, and I'm hoping that leads to more productivity later in the season. I think the bench will be decent this year, though I have to admit that Castro does not really inspire me.

An interesting tidbit from fangraphs today:

"Would it surprise you to find out that in 2009, the average number of different lineups used was one hundred and twenty-two?...Amazingly, the team with the fewest different batting orders used, Philadelphia, is almost 3.5 standard deviations away from the mean, and a far cry removed from any other team in baseball. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel utilized only 68 different batting orders, 29 fewer than the second fewest Florida." Crazy, uh?

The Fightins has a post on how Cole Hamels stats last season were better than his 2008 stats except for his inflated BABIP. I assume this has been discussed at length here concluding that his 2009 season was more an unlucky anamoly rather than an indication of a declining future.

Color me an old school evaluator but i wonder if his increased BABIP isn't a product of "bad luck" but truely hitters catching up to him. It seemed to me that batters were simplying trying to foul off the changeup in wait for the fastball or a substandard changeup. Since Cole does have good stuff it explains to me why the eventual contact resulted in so many cheap hits but hits none the less.

I expect a third pitch, or even an uptick in velocity will reap huge dividends for him and turn Doc and Hollywood into the best 1-2 punch in the NL if not baseball.

BLers were always screaming for Cholly to trot out different lineups. Cholly's excuse was that a regular lineup let's the players get comfortable with their roles. Cholly is sometimes sly like a fox, as his "comfortable" players produced a bunch of wins and another NL pennant and WS appearance.

Interesting, but not surprising.

How many different ways can you switch up our lineup? Everyone has their own role/niche in the lineup.

The rare way the lineup changes is if Charlie gives a guy the day off. A majority of those offdays were used by Chooch and Raul.

LF: Exactly. Not need to switch lineups a lot. The reason for most teams to have high lineup counts is mostly due to injury. Thankfully, besides Raul, the Phillies were pretty lucky in that department last season.

Hamels BABIP was also higher because batters weren't chasing his stuff outside the zone:

O-Swing % (outside zone)
2007 - 30.1%
2008 - 30.8%
2009 - 26.8%

They were waiting for him to throw strikes and thus got better pitches with which to make contact...helping to raise his BABIP.

It was partly a luck thing but the predictability came into it as well.

Interesting column today from Donnellon on the Phillies strategy to focus on "can't miss" prospects as opposed to bird-in-hand.

Larry Bowa on 610 now:

Highlights from interview:

- Loves Halladay. Says he will dominate in the NL(due to mainly the weak bottom of order). On most nights you won't need your bullpen. And at worst he will let up 3 runs.

- Says he understands the Lee trade. The economics of the game are tough to work around. And you are need to keep guys in the system.

- Bowa saw Lidge's command was off last season (due from injury). Said his velocity and breaking stuff was still there, in his opinion.

- Larry is confident in Polanco @ 3rd. But thinks it may take a little time to adjust. But offensively, he will be good.

Not Phillies related.

- Bowa thinks the Dodgers will be fine if their pitching does well. But you can tell he isn't confident that they can go far.

Yo, new thread.

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