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Sunday, March 21, 2010


Hat tip to alert reader John Slocum for the links to this story.

Man, the Dodgers rotation is looking pretty weak. Kershaw is good, but they seem to have no faith in Billingsley, Kuroda is solid but not spectacular, Padilla is erratic, and then the mish-mash of unimpressive 5th starter candidates. Luckily they play in that big park, and get to pitch to the Padres and Giants a lot.

The Phillies, contrary to their drafting philosophy, seem extremely risk-adverse when it comes to staffing the big club--preferring on almost all occasions a known quantity to the untried. As such, Herndon's making the club isn't a possibility that I would bet on--although to my mind a kitchen sink approach is hardly the worst method of stocking a bullpen.

It would be kind of ironic if the only guy who ever contributes at the MLB level for the Abreu/Lidge trade does so for another team.

Klaus- I only correct you because you seem like the smartest guy on here: its risk 'averse'. I agree with your point though. Herndon should still be considered a long shot to stick around past the returns of Lidge and Romero.

Jonesman: key word "seem". Just wait until I unveil my argument for resigning Werth, irregardless of the cost.

Good for him...I hope he does great, as long as he's not playing against us.

Why didn't we protect Monasterios again?

Simply put this is one of the better articles I have seen in a while on ESPN. It does a great job of talking about Franklin Gutierrez.

Does some of the typical things you see in articles including some perspective on why Zduriencik wanted to acquire him & some quotes from Gutierrez.

What I thought it did a really nice job of doing through is blending the traditional and the saber stuff without going into too much depth to overwhelm the casual fan but providing some insights into how individual players can use some of the advanced saber stats coming out in specific situations.

I would love to see a Phils beat writer do something with Vic or with Looper on Gillies.

Interesting that Ransom getting some time at SS today.

I wonder if Castro is indeed a lock for this roster? (never liked this signing anyway)

And if they are thinking about keeping Ransom, could Dobbs be on his way out? Possibly for a LOOGY or a prospect? Again having Dobbs and Gload, is basically having the exact same player on your bench. And that's tough, when you only keep 5 extra players.

A bench of Francisco, Schneider, Ransom, Gload and Mayberry? At least it gives Cholly more then Francisco, as your ONLY RH option off the pine.

Ibanez has looked terrible this spring. In fact, he really hasn't looked very good since June of last year. Hope he is just saving some hits for the regular season.

Joe Mauer: 8 years, $184 million, Full No-Trade Clause.


Moyer's line today:

5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K against an O's lineup that had most of their regulars getting PT.

Unless Moyer gets injured, he will be named the No. 5 starter sometime next week towards the middle of the week.

denny b - Castro hasn't been that terrible and the Phils are paying him too much to just cut him loose. Ditto on Dobbs but the only difference is that Dobbs might be able to contribute as a PH option or rare option at 3B.

Ransom is filler pure and simple.


Why? This is the first real game he has pitched in all spring.

This thing will go down to the final week. They will probably still name Moyer (just because they have nothing else to do with him) and at least start the season with him.

Klaus, "irregardless"? There are some things about which one shouldn't joke, that word being one of them.

denny b - Because Moyer has pitched well enough to justify the Phils giving him the default spot at No. 5. Don't believe it was an equal competition between KK/Moyer just as I didn't last year between Happ/Park.

Chennel 6 just said that KK has the inside track on the #5 starter's job.

I agree with the other people here that it's Moyer's job to lose and he has done nothing to lose it.

Denny B: Great post. You and I are on the same page with Ransom. I'm beginning to wonder.

denny b - Castro has shown anything in camp offensively but I would imagine if they were just going to release him/put him in the minors they would still have Babock in camp. They don't. Castro will be on the Opening Day roster.

Ransom has gotten alot of playing time and isn't showing alot except for those 3 HRs. After today, he is now hovering right above .200.

It wouldn't necessary surprise me if the Phils tried to move Dobbs this spring but I wonder if he has any trade value given his contract ($1.35M) and his limited defensive positions.

Dobbs got a bum rap last year. He was used in such a limited role, that Boston GW-HR would have really made a difference.

So ... did anyone see Jamie today? I see his line ... meh. 6 strikeouts seems reasonable for a team that hasn't ever seen him before--Doesn't it also mean he had some mojo today? What about the five hits? Pitch count?

Also: Any MN fans here have a take on their new park? I betcha it plays like a freakin' tundra in April.

While irregardless is bad, how about disirregardless.


I like Dobbs. I wouldn't want to see him go, in a perfect world. He's proven to be a damn good hitter. But there are several factors working against him in 2010:

1. Gload is not going anywhere. And Gload is another version of Dobbs. On a team that seems hellbent on only having 5 bench players, having 2 that basically do the exact same thing and hit from the same side of the plate, doesn't give you the versatility you really need.

2. If you keep both Gload and Dobbs, you are painfully lean on the bench with right-handed hitters. Then when Francisco starts in LF, you will be down to just Castro/Ransom (assuming Mayberry doesn't make the team). That is extremely poor.

3. Dobbs is making 1.3 million dollars, on a team with some budget concerns. That isn't a huge amount, but replacing Dobbs with either Mayberry or Ransom, does save some money.

I think Dobbs has enough value out there, to get something in return in trade. Probably to a AL team.

Is trading Dobbs to Anaheim for Herndon too much? Possibly. I guess it depends how strongly they feel about Herndon and if they really want to keep him. I am sure lots of teams would like a Greg Dobbs on their bench though.

denny b - Not denying that Gload/Dobbs are essentially the same player although I don't know if Gload can play 3B.

I wish the Phils would go with a 6-man bench instead of a 5-man bench for several reasons but it isn't likely.

Going to be interesting to see if they move Dobbs and open the season with a bench of Francisco, Castro, Ransom, Schneider, and Gload. That is a pretty mediocre bench with 3 guys who are pretty limited PH options.

Ransom is just a filler guy and will most likely get sent to the minors. However, it definitely is interesting that he was getting some time at short today. He also looked very good there and made some tough plays.

Much like denny b. I kind of thought something may be up with him playing there.

I can't see them dumping Dobbs yet though. Him and Gload are similar but I think Dobbs is being looked at as the power guy from the left side. If it's a game where the Phillies are down 2 with a man on- Dobbs will be the pinch hitter. He crushes fastballs and they would be looking for him to run into one. Gload is a bit more of a contact type hitter.

Interesting quote from Stark from the link posted above:

"What's the last team to start a non-knuckleballer older than Moyer more than once in a season? Any season? And the answer to that is: You can't find one. Ever."

denny b: I mentioned this the other day, but you must've missed it. The Phillies have carried 2 LH (or LH-SW) pinch-hitters for each of the past 3 seasons. Why you and other posters think they won't do it again this season is baffling. And if you think Schneider is the second LH PH, then you really don't pay attntion.

Re: Monasterios. Spring training is the only time of year a guy like that gets noticed. He's doing well, looks good, the weather is getting nice and none of the games count.

The fact that his stuff is medicore at best or that he's pitched only a couple innings in AA at age 24 can be ignored.

It is time to be optimistic.

But color me shocked and amazed if he has anything resembling a major league career.

Jonesman: "Man, the Dodgers rotation is looking pretty weak. Kershaw is good, but they seem to have no faith in Billingsley, Kuroda is solid but not spectacular."

Career ERA+
Billingsley 119
Kershaw 120
Kuroda 109

Yep, pretty weak pitching. Gonna be a tough year for the Dodgers.

MG: Gload has never played an inning at 3B. Furthermore, he's only hit 28 HR in 1432 ABs. So whoever said that Dobbs and Gload are the same player is badly misinformed.


Yes, I know that. And I have never been a big fan (especially last year), how weak the bench was for Cholly from the right side.

Going into the season with Francisco (who will likely be used as a defensive replacement/pinch runner for Ibanez in many late-inning situations) and Juan "Mendoza" Castro as your RH bench options, makes it very easy to mix and match late in games for opposing managers.

Either Gload or Dobbs will see a lot of LOOGY's in late inning pressure situations, because Cholly will be stuck.

That is why I think a guy like Mayberry, if there is a way, should be on this team heading north. HE can be the "pinch-runner/defensive replacement" for Ibanez on most nights, saving Francisco for the #1 RH pinch-hitting spot. Either that, or Ibanez will have to stay in most games and play defense (which hurts your defense in close games).

You aren't going to pinch-hit for your 8 everyday players most nights anyway. But there will be nights, that the bench will be needed and needed to win games.

My "perfect world" bench for this particular team heading north (if 5 is the number we have to go with) would be:

LH- Gload (can play corner OF spots and 1B and be #1 LH pinch-hitter)

LH- Schneider (won't be used to PH much, unless he is the last option)

RH- Castro/Ransom (utility guy that can play 3B/SS/2B if needed; not sure which guy wins the job)

RH- Mayberry (can play all 3 OF spots and will be primary pinch-runner/late inning power bat.)

RH- Francisco (can play all 3 OF spots and will be #1 RH pinch-hitter; while getting starts in both LF and CF)

Now this bench looks light on LH hitting. But with the everyday lineup so LH dominated to begin with, there is a lesser need for LH hitters on the bench. Plus Francisco is a good enough and expereinced hitter to hit RHP or LHP in late inning situations.

The key will be picking the right spots for Gload, where he will more times then not, be forced to face RHP. Likely in the pitchers spot, between RH Ruiz, SH Rollins and RH Polanco. Managers aren't likely going to waste a LOOGY on Gload, when Utley and Howard are lurking.

All of this being said, I still expect Dobbs to be with the big club and Mayberry in Lehigh Valley (waiting until there is an injury or the DH is needed in May). But I just don't think that configuration makes for the best and most balanced bench for this particular team.

Denny you dont know what you're talking about.

Clout- you did see what happened to Billingsley in the 2nd half of last year right? How Torre did not even give him a start in the playoffs? And the Dodgers compete with the Phils, who have Halladay (133 career ERA+), Hamels (121), and Happ (133), all better than the Dodgers' top 3 on your stat of choice.

To support clout's point:

Phillies Leaders in Pinch-Hit ABs, by Year:

2005: Endy Chavez (L) 43, Tomas Perez (S) 43, Jose Offerman (S) 28
2006: David Dellucci (L) 60, Abraham Nunez (S) 39, Shane Victorino (S) 38
2007: Greg Dobbs (L) 48, Wes Helms (R) 32, Abraham Nunez (S) 23
2008: Greg Dobbs (L) 62, So Taguchi (R) 33, Chris Coste (R) 21
2009: Matt Stairs (L) 62, Greg Dobbs (L) 54, Eric Bruntlett (R) 28

A large portion of Charlie's PH ABs have gone to LH hitters during his time in Philadelphia - it is no coincidence that the Phillies signed Gload while having Dobbs under contract. I would be very surprised to see Dobbs traded to make room for a RH hitter on the bench, when the Phillies already have a competent one in Francisco. As last year demonstrated, there are plenty of PH ABs for 2 lefties.

My personal preference would be to drop the last man from the bullpen and keep Mayberry, so as to have 2 pinch hit threats from each side of the plate, as well as to have someone who can play the outfield for Ibanez (denny b: I think Francisco is too valuable as a hitter to be used strictly as an Ibanez defensive sub). However, there is no evidence from the Manuel era that suggests an 11 man pitching staff is likely, so if we're going to have a 5 man bench, I think having 2 lefthanded pinch hitters with 1 righthander is preferable to having it the other way around.

Denny, you started with "Either Gload or Dobbs will see a lot of LOOGY's in late inning pressure situations, because Cholly will be stuck." You ended with "Managers aren't likely going to waste a LOOGY on Gload, when Utley and Howard are lurking." Which one is it?

What percent of NL relievers throw from the right side? My gut feel says ~75%. Of course the bench should have 2 legit LH options!

Even though I thought Dontrelle Willis was over rated for years, what do you guys think about picking him up from the waiver wire?

We could use another lefty and I don't mind having starting depth. Hell we can send him to the minors, and he would be the best pitching prospect we have above AA.

I like both Dobbs and Gload on the team. If Dobbs is injury prone again this year, Ransom will be a decent fill-in at 3B-backup, with Schneider being used more as a LHB PH option.

If the FA market is any indication, utility (3B/2B/SS) players who are decent offensively can command more money than a guy like Castro. If the Phillies are looking to upgrade, they'll have to get lucky in uncovering/trading for a guy who is young and somewhat unproven -- kind of like Dobbs circa 2008.

I'll be very surprised if the Phillies don't carry two lefthanded bench players (plus Schneider). 25% sounds like a high figure for the number of lefty relievers in the NL. If a team has 2 lefties out of 7 guys, they're happy. Sometimes, teams are left with one such option. With Howard in this lineup, and Utley and Ibanez around him, teams just aren't likely to be burning their lefties against our bench pinch hitting in the 8 and 9 hole and, I think htat's how Manuel looks at it.

DH Phils and spitz hit the nail on the head. There's a good reason the Phils (and virtually every other team) carry 2 LH PH.

Jonesman: Nice try at changing what you wrote. Had your post said "The Phils have a better rotation than the Dodgers," you wouldn't have heard a peep from me.

But this is what you wrote: "Man, the Dodgers rotation is looking pretty weak."

And, as I demonstrated, that's just plain stupid.

Clout- starting staffs are generally 5 pitchers not 3, and one of your 3 was benched last year for ineffectiveness. And my statement that they are looking pretty weak is in comparison to what they were last year and other contenders this year. Do you think the Dodgers would be satisfied to outpitch the Nats? Or should they be setting their sights a little higher? And how confident are you in Billingsley?

Jonesman: I'm as confident in Billingsley as I am in Hamels, who also had a down year.

BTW, you didn't qualify your statement at all. Again, go back and read your original post. That is what I was objecting to.

As for the Dodgers pitching overall, it will finish in the upper third of the NL in ERA.

I'll take Chad Billingsley, who consumed slightly more innings than our own innings eater Joe Blanton last season. Billingsley is only 25 and, and like Hamels, posted an ERA+ of 98 last year without his peripherals changing drastically. This probably says more about his ability to get batters out in deep counts than his inability as a starter.

Fair enough Clout, I thought the context the Dodgers are working within was self-evident. Next time I will be more explicit. And I actually like Billingsley too, you just have to wonder why Torre bailed on him so quickly.

****Is trading Dobbs to Anaheim for Herndon too much?****

Yes...way too much. Herndon is nothing special. His upside is Clay Condrey.

Surprised no one pointed out to denny that the majority of people, other than pitchers, for whom Chollie will put in a PH are righties. He's never gonna PH for Utley or Howard, almost never (if ever) for Ibanez. But he might ph for Chooch.

And, as I look at this year's line-up I don't see a lot of PHing anyway. Really, other than pitchers, who will Chollie bat someone for? Barring an injury, I'm betting we have fewer PH PAs this year than last.

Question, since I'm trying to brush up on all these stats you guys use... but is RZR the same as UZR? And is there a certain site that is best at informing on these stats? thanks.

"His upside is Clay Condrey."

Well, NEPP, considering that what Condrey has done since joining the Phillies:

189 IP, 3.65 ERA, 1.455 WHIP, 1.76 K/BB (the last 2 not great)and an ERA+ of 122,

if that's all Herndon delivers than he was worth the $50,000, no?


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