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Thursday, March 25, 2010

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If the funds were available, I'd say that now is a good time to kick the tires on Smoltz as our 2010 closer.

Assuming Lidge isn't up to the task (which I'd say is a more safe assumption than the opposite), who might be available in a trade and what who would we have to part with?

I think you doubled up some of the paragraphs, Jefe.


****Making his third rehab appearance yesterday in a Double-A game, he surrendered two runs, meaning he’s allowed runs in each of his minor league appearances. ****

So, he's at least consistent, right?

I'd like to see Lidge to start consistently retiring these scrub hitters by his 5th start. Lidge has said he needs 10 games to get ready for the season, but if he is looking like 2009 Lidge by his 8th start you can label me as concerned.

Thanks to everyone for putting Beerleaguer in the sweet 16 in The Phield. Details on the next round later.

Lidge terrifies me as a closer at this point. Madson just doesn't seem to have the cojones for it...if last year was any indication. Watching Baez yesterday brought memories of Mitch Williams...he's just too wild to be a consistent closer.

I would second the Smoltz signing. However, the rumor is that he doesnt want to be a reliever and that's a big part of why he hasn't signed with anyone (other than TBS). The backend of the bullpen seems kinda weak to me.

"I think we should all be a little worried about Raul. He hasn't hit since last June. And he is in his late 30's. And he has been dreadful this spring."


denny b, methinks thine analytical skills need a bit of sharpening.

Let me ask a few questions:

"He hasn't hit since last June."

Ummm, what happened last June? Oh, that's right, he was injured and went on the DL for almost a month, and then had to have offseason surgery because the injury was so severe.


"And he is in his late 30's."

Fair point, but I give him the benefit of the doubt until he proves he can no longer do it. I'm not sure which goes first, the ability to hit for average or the ability to hit for power, but I tried to deal with the power objection above in my response to Carson.

"And he has been dreadful this spring."

He wouldn't be the first player to be dreadful in ST, and he won't be the last. As I wrote to Carson, he does have a history of slumps from time to time.

He's had all of 37 AB to date. Do you really think that's enough of a sample size to have any significance? Ben Francisico is hitting .182, and Werth is at .222. Chooch is hitting .211.

Surfing around the league I see that Albert Pujols is hitting .208 with only 1 HR. Dan Uggla is hitting an ugly .163 this Spring for the Fish, Adrian Gonzalez is sitting exactly right on the Mendoza Line, Eric Aybar, all of 26 yrs. old, is playing his way right out of MLB because he's only hitting .083, and his teammate Bobby Abreu is proving that the Phillies got a good package from the Yankees - he's joining AGon on the Mendoza Line.

"Dreadful" performances all, no?

By your definition, shouldn't all of their teams be worried about them?

Oh, and as far as that quote on the previous thread from Francoeur is concerned, he's merely displaying his ignorance of the Phillies injury situation the last 3 seasons.

I've detailed it more than once on this site so I'm not going to do it again, but it just goes to show how much being in the media bubble in NY (and the unbalanced ESPN coverage) contributes to the ignorance of even the players on the teams.

"Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge took their lumps in yesterday’s action. Is it a cause for concern?"


NO.

I am completely unworried about Raul's bat. If anything his fielding could be a worry as that's usually the first thing to go with an older hitter. As guys like Sheffield have shown, Raul's bat shouldn't be facing a huge dropoff quite yet.

I think .265/20 HR/80 RBI is quite reasonable to expect out of him.

I can honestly say that I haven't willingly watched ESPN or used their website in months. I watched the ST game yesterday and almost had to mute it to block out their atrocious announcer team.

They sucked before they became the NY/BOS Favre network. The fact that you have to pay for anything interesting is just gravy on top of that.

Madson is tinkering with his so-so curveball again this spring? Que? Does he secretly deep down hope to return as a starter? No other reason why I would think he would need it UNLESS something is up with his 4-seem fastball & its velocity.

What has made Madson a better reliever the last 1 1/2 years has been the uptick on his 4-seem velocity and junking his mediocre curveball to become a 4-seem/changeup guy with an occasional cutter mixed in to keep hitters just a bit honest.

Not that I am all for the time working on his curve, but i'd much rather him mix that in than his awful cutter.

NEPP, a fellow voice of sanity regarding Raul is much appreciated.

I look at it this way; there needs to be some uncertainty coming out of spring training...simply for the drama aspect of the coming Phillies season. If not, we can just yawn our way through 2010 until the WS...right?

MG: Agreed. Madson was his best ever in the series. Two pitches. High 90s cheese and the change-up. Maybe he feels he can't keep that up. He's definitely racking up miles.

From last thread:

"I wasn't sure I could dislike Francoeur any more than I already did... Turns out I was wrong.

Posted by: Deutsche Phan"

I love him. He provided me with about 30 minutes of laughter when he helped put Eric Bruntlett in the Hall of Fame.

http://www.thefightins.com/meechone/top-15-moments-of-2009-number-10-eric-bruntletts-tp-4u/

His expression is the best part. It captures the essence of absolute defeat.

Francouer's comment about the Phillies perplexes me. Is he really that dumb? I wonder if he blames Bruntlett's unassisted triple play (started by a ball hit directly to Bruntlett by Francouer) on the fact that the Phillies "never" have injuries. I guess he thinks Bruntlett always plays 2nd base.

What a chowderhead.

I can't imagine Lidge will actually be back by April 10. Let's say Madson is something like 0-0, 2.25, 6 saves by the time Lidge is ready. Does Lidge still become the closer?

Brian: Probably. Charlie is very loyal to his players.

Yes...because Lidge is the Closer...duh!

Lidge will be the closer when he comes back for the reasons that Bay Slugga and NEPP have stated. Unless Lidge is on the DL, he will close for Cholly. That's just the way it is. If Cholly didn't make the change last year, we never will.

[not saying that I agree or disagree with the decision]

Should be "If Cholly didn't make the change last year, HE never will."

Maybe Moyer could close? Maybe he could even gas his fastball up to 85 if he knew he would only be pitching the 9th.

Francouer's comment about the Phillies perplexes me. Is he really that dumb? I wonder if he blames Bruntlett's unassisted triple play (started by a ball hit directly to Bruntlett by Francouer) on the fact that the Phillies "never" have injuries. I guess he thinks Bruntlett always plays 2nd base.

Bruntlett was at 2nd just to give Utley a rest, which even Cholly could figure out that you can do on day games against also-rans.

Somebody who has watched his career trajectory nosedive in the last few seasons like Frenchy should keep his big, fat mouth shut when it comes to the competition, injuries and whatnot. He's lucky to have a job.

JW- Good link in the right had colums to Whiz Kid updates .
Thanks.

EFF - Maybe the rare end-of-game replacement of Utley is what confused Francouer in the first place. Even so, his comments are really, well, dumb.

HH - It's always interesting when marginal players shoot off their mouths, isn't it? Whenever someone says something stupid, I always think about the "Bull Durham" scene when Kevin Costner teaches Tim Robbins the cliches to use in an interview to avoid saying the wrong thing. And when I hear a real interview (esp. post game), all those cliches inevitably are used. Boring, trite, and safe. Not always a bad thing.

"Now, after one of his steadiest seasons to date, he’s making adjustments at a time when fans are generally at peace with his game."
Probably because he is so easily handled in key situations by lefthanders. Keep slopping up those curves and sliders and Howard gets reduced to replacement level. (.653 OPS in 252 PAs last year)

Man, I'm not looking forward to the closer situation this season. At least last year's Lidge meltdown was, if not exactly a surprise, at least not a certainty. This year... jeez it could get ugly fast, and we all know it from the get-go.

Frenchie is terrible. That .300 avg he put up last year was the biggest fluke I've ever seen. Unless someone really thinks he's gonna maintain the ridiculous linedrive % he had in the 2nd half last year. He'll revert and again be a .270/.290 hitter with bad defense.

Am I the only person who could care less about what Myers has to today? Frankly I find it even more enjoyable to root for the Phils without him than with him.

But, NEPP, don't forget that Francouer has an extremely strong arm. And...uh...and...

I guess that's it. Carry on.

MG: Nope, I'm with you. I tried for years to "like" Myers, but it turns out that I only liked him because he was a Phillie. Take him out of a Phils uni and his antics (on and off the field) would have worn thin a long time ago.

Why is MLB.tv not carrying this game? Why is their schedule so random? Anyone have any insight?

Just read that absolutely disrespectful quote from Francouer...

What? Aren't we a little above this now? I mean, this is a non-issue.

Frenchy said nothing that could reasonably be construed as a slight to the Phillies' ability. I think that he was merely referring to the toils of a long baseball season and how that atrition can really put a dent in your capacity to compete consistently.

THat's really it.

NEPP: You lost me on the bad defense.

Curt Schilling has a ridiculous quote in today's Sports Illustrated:

"I can remember sitting on the bench in 1993 with John Vukovich watching Joe Carter hit that home run. I was obviously devastated, but not initially. My first though was, 'Oh, my God! I just witnessed one of the greatest moments in the history of the game. How cool? Oh, my God, we just lost.' I love this game."

So, your team loses the World Series after being two outs away from forcing Game 7 and you think "How cool?" Are you kidding me?

clout, Frenchie is a terrible defender...he has a good arm and nothing else. His range is non-existent at this point.

MLB.tv only has games that one of the teams are broadcasting locally (or espn has) in ST. Since neither the Phils, Stros, or ESPN decided this game was exciting enough to televise, there is no mlb.tv for this one.

bigmyc: You're reading my mind. Who gives a damn what FranKouer thinks? He's on a weak team that is at a competitive disadvantage. He's trying to rationalize. Not at all unusual when one expects to be looking up in the standings all year. Not disrespectful at all.

KK involved in funky/goofy inning according to Wheels. Castro error and some bloop hits.

I can't say I'm really rooting for Myers, I just don't really care. However, with Burrell, that's another story; I hope he does well unless it negatively impacts the Phils.

2-2 in the bottom of the fourth. Both announcers are talking about Kendrick's greater poise this year as opposed to last. Last year an inning like the one with the bloopers and an error could have made the wheels come off, whereas this year he just dug in, minimized the damage, and got out of the inning.

3-2 after 4. Vic is 3-3 with an RBI and an SB.

Cholly won't miss having to count on Myers being a frontline starter and instead get mediocrity & foolish machismo instead.

I am willing to bet that alot of Myers' teammates won't miss having him around either especially since they have Roy Halladay instead. Especially Hamels and KK (who was the victim selected by Myers to be the guy they pranked 2 years ago about being traded).

Disclaimer: I admit that Myers was my least favorite Phils' player of the last 10 years hands down.

BTY - Myers has struggled mightily with his control this spring especially with his fastball. A guy who walks a bunch and is prone to giving up HRs in a HR-park?

My bet is that this is the last year of the 'Brett Myers as a starter' phase and that he ends up as a converted middle reliever somewhere next year.

Apparently, KK and Myers have been jawing at each other quite a bit today. Wonder if it's just all in good fun or if there's any animosity at all from KK there underneath? I did hear him admit in an interview that at the time of the prank he did not think it was cool at all.

Castro boots Myers' grounder for his second error of the game.

And the reason Castro is is a shoo in for a roster spot is ?????

"MG: Disclaimer: I admit that Myers was my least favorite Phils' player of the last 10 years hands down. "

Amen.

Nice outing for KK. Pitched around some bad defense and fluky hits.

NEPP: Let me guess, his range is terrible because his UZR was bad last year, right?

Sort of a lame prank when I think back on it. Nothing wrong with a little hazing of the rookies, but I dimly remember thinking it went a little far.

Myers line. 3 runs on seven hits in 5 and 1/3. Not exactly "sticking it" to the Phils.

He just left the game, and the announcers said he "looked like he may have hurt himself" covering first, and was walked off the field by the training staff. Not a big fan but hope h's OK.

No, because he runs like he's in quicksand from all the 20-30 games I saw him in last year.

And his UZR was terrible two years in a row now to confirm that anecdotal evidence...and other scouting reports also agree with that. Great arm, no range.

What exactly did Frenchy say? I can't find it anywhere...

Is it just me or has Brian Schneider sucked defensively this spring? Every time i look at a box score there is another SB against him, has he thrown anyone out? I thought he was brought in for his defensive abilities.

**** I thought he was brought in for his defensive abilities.****

He was...just like Bako last year.

The Dodgers just announced Vicente Padilla as their opening day starter.

Thank Doc we have God.

Ouch...that brings back memories of the Robert Person/Jon Lieber Opening Day starter era.

The Braves announced that Derek Lowe will be their opening day starter weeks ago, even with 4 others who are better.

Opening day starters are basically irrelevant. Plus, he'll be facing Charlie Morton of the Pirates....most likely, so it's not a big deal at all.

I find it pretty interesting, considering Padilla would probably be the number 4 on our staff. Most teams aren't sending out their number 4 on opening day. Just makes me appreciate our starting pitching a bit more.

"The Dodgers just announced Vicente Padilla as their opening day starter.

Thank Doc we have God"

Cue Clout in 4.3.2.1....

Offical statement on Myers is left groin strain.

Good to see he came into ST with that usual awesome physique and great training regimen. Meh.

Is anyone at all concerned that KK has posted a K/9 ratio of 3.32 so far this Spring (including today's effort)?

And he's also not inducing that many groundouts either. I just dont see him maintaining his current spring training success when it starts counting.

The only thing that has saved him so far has been a similarly low walk rate (4 BB/7 SO in 19 IP)

I dont miss Myers one bit.

"NEPP: Ouch...that brings back memories of the Robert Person/Jon Lieber Opening Day starter era."

Don't forget Myers as well.

Supposedly Brett Myers flexed his biceps muscle and pointed to the Phils' dugout after his 50-foot 'base-hit?'

What a d!ck. There is a difference between just goofing around and clearly making an a$$ out of yourself. Myers just either doesn't get that/care or a combination of the two.

"Thank Doc we have God" is pretty funny.

Pirates opening day starter is Zach Duke, not Morton, for whomever speculated otehrwise.

NEPP - that's surprisingly low, if true. I haven't seen anything reported this Spring that changes my assumption that Moyer will be in the rotation and Kendrick in Allentown.

Hugh: I think DL stints for both Lidge and Romero make it likely for Kendrick to at least have a bullpen spot if Moyer is in the rotation to start the season.

NEPP: Well, if UZR says he has no range it must be true. After all, Victorino's UZR last year was -4.1 and we know how bad his range is.

I'll file this away with your pronouncement that KK can't possibly be successful because of his low K rate.

I don't know if I would put Kawakami ahead of Lowe quite yet, he was not quite as good as his ERA suggests last year. But Lowe is at best their 4th best starter.

Meanwhile Raul's average drops to a nice round .100.
At what point do the regulars flip the switch and get ready for the real season?
If it's clout day , Raul didn't get the memo.

speaking of DL: If Herndon was to make the team and then hit the DL later on in the season, does that affect his Rule 5 status? Is there a certain amount of time he must remain on the 2010 roster or at anytime this season can he be demoted and therefore forced to be sent back/waivered?

Ah yes, I can tell the season is near. I'm getting sick of Hunter Pence and we aren't even out of ST.

Apparently Hugh and NEPP were hibernating in 2007 when KK went 10-4, 3.87 with a WHIP of 1.27 and a K/9 of 3.6 in 121 IP.

We all know that couldn't possibly have happened.

thephaithful: Herndon cannot be sent down at any time this season without being offered back to the Angels first.

Clout: You seem to be dancing around it, but do you honestly think Francoeur is a good outfielder?

Let me rephrase: Do you think Francoeur is an above-average defensive MLB outfielder?

I happen to think no (other than his arm), but my reasoning would mirror NEPP's, so I won't bore you with repetition. I'm interested to see your thoughts.

Bob: My husband goes into violent fits of rage whenever he sees Hunter Pence step to the plate. He has a deep-seeded irrational hatred for him. Something about "overrated" and some such nonsense. They sure do love them some him on the 4-letter network.

Phaithful: from wikipedia: 'To prevent the abuse of the rule 5 draft, the rule also states that the draftee must be active for at least 90 days. This keeps teams from drafting players, then "hiding" them on the disabled list for the majority of the season. For example, if a rule 5 draftee was only active for 67 days in his first season with his new club, he must be active for an additional 23 days in his second season to satisfy the rule 5 requirements.'

Clout: UZR and +/- both have Francoeur as a pretty mediocre fielder at best the last couple years (though he was better when he first came up). Combine that with regular perception that he just isn't that great out there (except for his arm, of course), and I'll buy that he doesn't play great defense..

+/- also looks at arm/throwing skills for an outfielder. Francouer has consistently been one of the best in the league at that, which matches up with our perception. I'll also trust the combination of UZR, +/-, and my eyes in saying that he has mediocre range at best.

Also, Victorino does have average range. Just because he runs fast does not mean he's a great defensive CF. He's never been a graceful route runner, and his strides are so short he doesn't cover as much ground as you think he does. He's got decent range for CF and a great arm.

clout: "Apparently Hugh and NEPP were hibernating in 2007 when KK went 10-4, 3.87 with a WHIP of 1.27 and a K/9 of 3.6 in 121 IP.

We all know that couldn't possibly have happened."

You're nothing if not predictable. My only point is that the reports have been that he's getting some K's this Spring. I suppose they remain rare enough for him that each one is notable and reported. I'm in your camp - his problem has been that he's meat for lefties. I'm not hung up on his K rate.

Pinch hit by Greg Dobbs wins it 8-7! And the fans go wild.

doubleh,

Your husband is obviously a very discerning guy with good taste.

KK's WHIP this spring is .64. 3rd best in the spring this far.

Billingsly: Here's exactly what I think: Francoeur is a league-average outfielder with an above average arm. He's not Adam Dunn or Pat Burrell.

What is KK's BABIP this spring? Is it unsustainably low?

Cipper: Irrelevant. KK can only be judged by his K rate. I learned that on Beerleaguer.

Fair enough, clout. I can get behind that. He is definitely no Dunn or Burrell.

A week ago the Pirates manager stated that he's leading toward giving Morton the opening day gig, which is why I assumed he'd get the nod. Has it been confirmed that it is indeed, Duke? Not that it matters....

And yeah, I shouldn't rank Kawakami a head of Lowe just yet......I just can't help it. He was downright awful last year and I see no indication that he'll be much better this year(although he did have some noticeable mechanic flaws that he's seemed to have worked out).

Even so, the Braves are set in their rotation assuming Hudson stays healthy(which he should). Hudson, Hanson, Jurrjens, Lowe, and Kawakami. If any of them go down, Kris Medlen is a very serviceable fill-in.

It's gonna be fun to watch the Braves and Phillies duke it out this year.

Clout, K/9 is a key statistic for pitchers. Sinkerballers like Kendrick who can't amass enough have to rely on inducing grounders instead, which comes and goes, and when it goes, things like Kyle's 2008 happens. Of further concern should be that he had 1 K and 2 BB in 5 2/3rds today, while only 5 of his 17 balls in play were grounders.

corkscrew - I agree it's not important but, Russell tapped Duke on Tuesday, according to yesterday's paper. FWIW, he said it was between Duke, Maholm and Ohlendorff.

Phylan: Well then, he's almost certainly washed up.

Well you're just a treat, aren't you.

As you probably did (or at least should have) realized, my point was that, given his lack of strikeouts and the types of outs he's getting, his spring training performance doesn't bode as well for the regular season as his ERA would indicate.

Phylan: Sorry for being flip. Your a newbie around here. Posters have been predicting doom for KK on Beerleaguer for 4 years. But if your point is that he won't have a WHIP of 0.37 and an ERA of 1.75 in the regular season, I wholeheartedly agree.

clout, what are you saying?

KK "won't have a WHIP of 0.37 and an ERA of 1.75 in the regular season"?

You mean he can't keep it up all year?

Dude, you just ruined my afternoon.

I REALLY wish that Dobbs' pinch-hit was a homerun...

Phylan, one of the things we have learned on B*L is that despite the evidence to the contrary (lists posted of pitchers who have been successful at the MLB level despite low K/9), there are posters here who insist that KK is headed for AAAA purgatory in Allentown.

Undocorkscrew, the Frenchy statement is posted at the end of the last thread.

Here it is again.


"Jeff Francoeur on the Phillies:

“The Phillies have done great, I understand. But, God, they have not had the injury bug. Not one guy has been out the last two years. Bless them, I’m not praying for them to be hurt, that’s great. But you feel it’s got to kick up sometime.”

Posted by: EastFallowfield | Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 08:15 AM

So supposedly is the first time where Cholly has really talked about Lidge being the season on the DL and missing the first week. Seems more and more likely that Lidge is going to alot more time than that. Say end of April. That's fine because the Phils can get by for a month without Lidge especially if it is going to be anywhere close to the '09 version of Lidge.

nah, he didn't pitch in a grapefruit league game in 08 and only missed a week. you're overestimating his time being out. just because he doesn't pitch in a grapefruit league game, doesn't mean he isn't pitching

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