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Monday, March 22, 2010


From last thread:

Is it not fair to say that based on their careers, that Greg Dobbs is more likely to hit a home run than Ross Gload?

Dobbs and Gload each emerged during the last three seasons into the role they currently have.

During those 3 seasons, Dobbs hits a HR every 32 ABs and Gload hits a HR ever 59 ABs.

I know everyone thinks we need to extrapolate that over time, but we don't. That's a pointless exercise. Pinch hitters generally get one at bat per game and if you need a HR in that AB, who are you going to send up to the plate vs. a RHP?

wait, who will hit more home runs per at bat?

I'm not sure I've gotten it yet...


we'll see. if you remember when he was hurt in 2008 before the year and he pitched in minor league games, his velocity was the exact same and he was even worse then. it takes time. he still has 8 more outings left. I'm not going to judge him on his 2nd game of the year when his arm strength is not there yet. that's just dumb

It will be interesting to see how the bullpen shakes out over the first couple of weeks without Lidge and Romero. It's a real opportunity for some players to step up... or for the Phils to start looking hard for outside help!

I was probably the most skeptical person regarding Lidge's health on here last year but it is way too early to get that concerned. If he has another 2 weeks of rehab and Lidge is only topping out at 88-89 MPH, then there is a real reason to get concerned.

I agree with Denny to this extent: you do not need 2 left-handers on the bench. The fact that the Phillies have usually done it this way in recent years does not make it right, and it certainly doesn’t make it essential.

You do need a couple guys on the bench who can hit right-handers pretty well, since that’s mostly what our pinch hitters will be facing. But there is no magic rule which says that only a left-hander can meet this requirement. As it happens, our best pinch hitter against right-handers is Ben Francisco, whose career numbers against righties are considerably better than Ross Gload and Gregg Dobbs’ career numbers against righties.

The other substantial drawback of having 2 left-handed pinch hitters is that, with a left-handed hitting backup catcher, we are left with only one decent right-handed bat on our bench. As we saw the last couple years, that led to a lot of critical late-inning pinch-hitting appearances by Eric Bruntlett. This year, the role of Bruntlett will be played by the almost-as-horrible Juan Castro.

The issue isn’t so much about handedness. It’s about overall offensive and defensive value. If the Phillies had a right-handed bench option who could play third base & provide roughly the same production as Greg Dobbs against right-handed pitching, then you could make a strong case that this right-handed bench option would be more valuable than Dobbs, since he would also give Cholly an additional pinch-hitting option against left-handed pitchers. But Cody Ransom is most definitely not that guy. Now, if they want to keep Ransom instead of Juan Castro, I wouldn’t be terribly offended. But we all know that’s not going to happen.

It's dumb to be skeptical about a closer who was a total trainwreck last season?

is that really bap????

JW: I don't think it is dumb to be nervous about Lidge's 2010 after last year, but I think we need to give Lidge the benefit of the doubt. There is a lot of rust on that body from a season of tweaked mechanics, nagging injuries, blown saves, and an offseason of surgery. Lets reserve judgment on Lidge until he heads north.

SO CJ, explain something to me: if Greg Dobbs hits a HR every 32 ABs, does that mean that he will hit a HR exactly every 32nd time he gets up to the plate? No, you say? Then, in the course of the 125 ABs that he and Gload might get, it doesn't matter who goes up there when you need a HR. 125 ABs is too small a sample size to pick Dobbs over Gload on HR potential simply based on statistics.

JW - Not at all especially since he is coming off of not 1 but 2 major offseason surgeries. I just want to see what he looks like in another 2-3 weeks of really stretching it out.

If Lidge is still struggling with his command (and velocity) while saying he "feels great" in 3 weeks, then I call BS.

Agree that 'effectiveness' is better than 'handedness'. If Ibanez can hit lefties better than his replacement why would we need the replacement?

However, the pitcher does have some contribution to an at-bat. Some pitchers have severe splits as well. And some situations make a hitter better suited for certain spot. I am not going to complain about having two good pinch hitters, even if both are lefties.

By nature many pinch hit appearances come during important times during the game. But all the 'regulars' have chances as well and like all hitters in baseball it is more common to 'fail' than succeed.

spitz: I know that Beerleaguer is sometimes like Alice in Wonderland, but CJ's point is pretty clear. Who is more likely to hit a HR, Dobbs or Gload? And if your answer isn't Dobbs, please explain without changing the question.


awh: when Dobbs hit at Kaufman Stadium he got the pleasure of teeing off on a Royals pitching staff. Most (not all) of Gload's came against the rest of the AL...wait a minute, why am I dignifying that...seriously, you'r going to attack me based on 8 plate appearences? And Dobbs never hits against Lefties. Gload has 3 times as many at bats against Lefties. And as usual you didn't read my entire post before attacking, because I ended with "Dobbs is probably the better player". Frankly, I'd like to see what he could do if given the opportunity to start. I just disagree with Clout that he's proven himself to leaps and bounds better based on past statistical performance.

Also, Gload has a career ops+ of 92 and Dobbs has an ops+ of 91. I still think Dobbs is the better player, he just hasn't gone out and proved it yet...

BAP: "As it happens, our best pinch hitter against right-handers is Ben Francisco."

Well, yes and no. Francisco has a huge edge in SLG and is more likely to hit a HR than either Dobbs or Gload. But the guys who say we don't need 2 LH PH also say the HR issue is irrelevant. And when you compare AVG and OB, here's what you get:

Gload .279 .330
Dobbs .271 .316
Francisco .263 .324

So you can't have it both ways. Either HRs are important for a PH or if they're not, then Francisco is not a good substitute for a LH PH.

Clout, yes Dobbs is more likely to hit a HR than Gload, but the difference in their HR rate, when viewed through a random kalidescope of 125 PH ABs in a season, is not at all meaningful.

In a course of 125 ABs, Dobbs is likley to hit an average of 3.9 with a distribution of 2-6 HRs lets say. In the course of 125 ABs, Gload is likely to hit 2 HRs, with a distrubtion of 0-4 HRs lets say. Since there is signficant, significant overlap in those distributions, the HR in a given AB or season (in the PH role) are meaningless. Now, if you are talking about Dobbs vs. Gload over a couple of seasons - of course Dobbs is more likely to hit more HRs.

Does that help, boss?

Jbird: Your reading comprehension is extremely poor. Neither I nor anyone else has said that Dobbs is better than Gload. What we said is that Dobbs is more likely to hit a HR than Gload.

Spitz: No, I agree with you. Two more pinch hit HRs a season is meaningless. I can't imagine them being significant.

Clout: "But the guys who say we don't need 2 LH PH also say the HR issue is irrelevant."

Not true! I say the HR issue is irrelevant but we need to LH pinch hitters.

Here's the final thing I will bore you with on my opinion of the HR issue: if you are hoping for a HR off the bench, you are hoping to get lucky. Nothing less, nothign more. Yes, Matt Stairs in the 2008 NLCS happens once in a while, but thats because he ran into a fastball and got lucky, nothing else. Hoping to get HRs out of a bench player is silly - better to have a bench that gets the bat on the ball and drives it with consitancy.

awh et al

Gload Career OPS+ - 92
Dobbs Career OPS+ - 91

See, I can look up numbers too and mine are more meaningfull because they came in more than 8 plate appearences. So, Clout, if you are going to send a pinch hitter to the plate looking for production, who's it going to be?

I still think Dobbs is going to be better, however, I agree with Thphaithful (?) that having too many similarly limited players on a short bench is probably wasteful. Hey, speaking of small sample sizes, you know who has hit a homerun once every 15 plate appearence in the bigs? Mayberry. and he's 1hr per 20 at bats against righties...numbers are fun

JBird - Gload's higher OPS+ tells me that he is much more likely to get the GWRBI in Game 7 of the WS!

clout: the original argument is that Dobbs has significant more power. That is false. In a season, he normally would need 350ABs to hit an extra 3HR. That "extra" power does not separate Dobbs and Gload at all, which is what all started this mess. that i am not bothering posting on anymore.

And for the record, I am predicting Ross Gload hits more HR in a Phils uni in 2010 than Dobbs.

Clout: your manners are extremely poor, but I generally choose to overlook that flaw so I do hope that you will, in kind, forgive my inability to decifer the fatuous points you try to make by hounding someone over 4 threads in an attempt to be right in the assertion that a player who will hit 14 homeruns given a full season of at bats has way more power than a player who will hit 9. In my estimation, neither has proven to have much power, unless they can also shortstop though as a fan, I hope that they both will exceed past performance this season.

Clout: I blame the author

clout: My point is simply that there's a cost to keeping 2 left-handed pinch hitters on our bench. The cost is that, if there's a left-handed pitcher in the game & Francisco has been used up, we're going to have Juan Castro pinch hitting in important late-game situations, just as we had Eric Bruntlett pinch-hitting in those situations last year.

Since we signed Gload to a 2-year deal, I think everyone is pretty much stipulating that he's going to stay. Dobbs has more power than Gload, and I don't think anyone's saying that power is unimportant in a pinch hitter. But the issue is how great the difference really is, and whether the drop-off in left-handed bench power that you would suffer by trading Dobbs would be justified by the addition of an extra right handed bat on your bench. The answer to that is: it depends on who that extra right-handed bat is. If that extra right-handed bat were Ben Francisco's identical twin brother (who also happened to play third base), it would more than make up for what you'd lose by trading Dobbs. If the extra right-handed bat were Cody Random or John Mayberry, Jr. or anyone else presently a member of the Phillies organization, that doesn't sound like such a great idea.

clout- Your original argument may have been to stress that Dobbs has more power than Gload(which has been proven to be true however marginally), but this slavish devotion to hr per ab is silly. Gload was a better pinch hitter than Dobbs last year and probably will be this year. I'm not entirely sure what this is all about but it should stop, mvp is not here and people are making cogent insightful and stats based arguments against your point. Dobbs power is almost statistically insignificant over the plate appearances they both will acrue over the year.

Boy I'm not sure how to handle this. Maybe I'll give this a try:

"In a more realistic 150ABs, they would be at (Gload)3HR and (Dobbs)4.3HR - maybe awh can take his own advice and check before he posts "2-3HR".

Posted by: thephaithful | Monday, March 22, 2010 at 06:33 PM"

Ummm, phaithful, you need to go back and read the thread and try to COMPREHEND a little.

I was not the one who posted "2-3 HR". It was Jbird. I was responding to him.

The once dead horse is now an undeciperable bloody mass.

Gload got it there in 50 swings
It only took Dobbs 48

Two things:

1.) Dobbs is clearly more of a threat to hit a home run off the bench than Gload. Dobbs is most likely going to play the Matt Stairs role this season as the guy to try and tie the game with one swing.

2.) I've seen it mentioned a few times about Gload playing third base or that he and Dobbs are the same player since they can step in there. Didn't know this was such a huge secret but Gload throws left-handed. Now while I'm sure seeing a lefty play third would have some novelty value for- I don't know, maybe a play- I'd rather we didn't go that route on any kind of consistent basis. Let the Royals or something try it.

Jbird, keep your shirt on, dude.

"Attacking" you, I was not. Pointing out that the statistics, however small, do not support your argument, I was.

BTW, I qualifies my post by pointing out the sampling size problem. You also make a good point in pointing out the pitchers Dobbs might have been facing in Kauffman, but frankly I don't think it makes any difference - the sample size (Dobbs @ Kauffman) is too small to mean anything, IMO. He hasn't even had 10 PA. The stats at Pro Player are more significant. I'll let you argue how much. I really don't care.

Oh, and as to the topic of this thread, I'm with MG:

Lidge is coming off of two surgeries. Imight no be concerned if he's still throwing 86-89 in another month. As long as he's healthy and pitching effectively at full velocity by the middle of the summer that should be sufficient.

I've posted before that this team is good enough to contend for a couple of months without him and Romero.

They proved that last season.

TTI: My dad was a LH 3B back in the 20's-30's.

Here is really what the bench needs....a switch-hitting utility guy, who can actually hit the ball out of the infield every-now-and-then.

If they had that, you could live with Ross Dobbs taking up 2 bench spots, to do the exact same thing and have exactly the same weaknesses. You could live with Francisco being your only right-handed hitter on the bench.

The real issue is continuing to trot out these no-hit, no nothing guys as your utility player. Abe Nunez, Eric Bruntlett and Juan Castro don't cut it. Not on a team that is so thin on right handed hitting for late game pinch-hitting opportunities.

Instead of paying Gload for 2 years, a REAL utility man should have been signed. A guy that actually could step in and play 2B or SS, if needed and be able to hit his weight and play defense. Then you could have also kept another true OF (one that has some speed, plays good defense and has some power) instead of sending him down to AAA for another useless year of minor league ball. You know that guy who probably projects to be a 4th or 5th OF in the majors but seemingly will never get the chance to play in Philly.

Instead we are going to be likely stuck watching Juan Castro bouncing out to 2nd base in the 10th inning with the winning run on 2nd for a few months this year. Or maybe watching Joe Blanton taking hellacious cuts in the 10th, when you are already out of extra players.

Of course then, some will tell us that having a well constructed and solid bench really means very little with this team.....until they get all of 1 hit in the entire post-season again.

Maybe we should get an update when Lidge doesn't give up a run in an outing?

Maybe the guy's last great day as a big leaguer was under that pile in 2008?

I wish I had more confidence in Lidge bouncing back and being an effective and fairly consistant big league closer again. Unfortunately, I don't have much faith in that.

yeah, goody, and Jim Abbott pitched with one arm.

According to Zolecki, Lidge said that his goal in the game was to pitch inside. He acknowledged that his 4-seamer was only between 86-89 at this point and when they hit it, he went to his sinker- a third pitch that is new- and started generating swings and misses. This is still very early in spring training for him and he is coming off of elbow surgery- so let's give him some time and let him work on what he has to work on at his own pace.

"Here is really what the bench needs....a switch-hitting utility guy, who can actually hit the ball out of the infield every-now-and-then."

denny b, this is true except it is little unrealistic:

If such a player is available, and can actually field the middle infield positions, he would likely have a strting job somewhere.

" let's give him some time and let him work on what he has to work on at his own pace."

MLL, that is so 'un-Beer*Leaguer' that it's completely unrealistic.

I'm waiting for someone here to post:

"Lidge gave up a run. Season = Over."

I read this thread so late last night I missed this:

""Mike Zagurski, who has pitched sparingly and did not look sharp yesterday,""

Hmmm, "pitched sparingly" and didn't "look sharp".

I wonder if those two are somehow related?

Uh oh, "***Polanco Naysayer Alert***".

This from Murphy this morning:

"...third baseman Placido Polanco went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and made a nifty diving stop of a hard-hit ground ball in the second inning."

bay_area_phan is back. Order is restored to the world of BL. The new season is about to unfold and the game threads are soon to begin.

Seriously, someone yesterday mentioned that due to your prolonged absence, they were afraid something bad had happened to you, and I'm very glad that is not the case. Welcome back!

dennyb I've been saying the exact same thing for three years. Why do the Phillies insist on employing one dimensional players who can't carry a stick? I'm pretty sure everyone is in agreement that Bruntlett sucked, and that the Phillies bench came up short. So why is it no big deal that they replaced one crappy player with another?

Looks like ex-Reading Phillie Randy Ruiz is going to make the Blue Jays at age 32. He's tearing it up this spring.

Clout: I meant to post on that. He could always hit, and to me he was the most impressive hitter in the Caribbean Series (which isn't saying much).

Has Pujuols ever played a full season completely healthy? I feel like he always has some lingering problem, and still manages to be absurdly dominate.

I know this horse has been beaten to death, but here is one more take on the Dobbs/Gload debate. Since the argument has been who is more likely to hit a PINCH HIT homerun, here are their AB/HR stats as pinch hitters:

2009 52/1. Or 1 HR every 52 AB

2007-09 168/5. Or 1 HR every 33.6 AB

2009 66/2 or 1 HR every 33 AB

2007-09 77/3 or 1 HR every 25.7 AB

As Gload has only had one season as a full time pinch hitter, the sample size is not a perfect comparison, but I think these numbers do provide some insight into the argument. Use them as you wish.

awh -
"If such a player is available, and can actually field the middle infield positions, he would likely have a strting job somewhere."

Felipe Lopez was available until the beginning of March and signed for 1.75 mil, a much better investment than Gload/Castro. That is exactly the type of player the Phils needed.

****Has Pujuols ever played a full season completely healthy? I feel like he always has some lingering problem, and still manages to be absurdly dominate. ****

Well, he averages something like 155 games a year so he's doing okay.

Does any player play an entire season without at least a minor nagging injury? I think he just gets more notice as he's the greatest hitter of the past 40 years.

NEPP: Thats probably why, but I feel every year he's getting MRI's and injections... Wasn't it last year they were talking about his elbow possibly needing surgery?

Any interest in Mike MacDougal in the 8th and Madson in the 9th?

Cipper: Thats probably why, but I feel every year he's getting MRI's and injections... Wasn't it last year they were talking about his elbow possibly needing surgery?

Yeah...there was talk for a few years that he might need TJ surgery at some point. I believe they cleaned his elbow off in the 08/09 off-season though to help alleviate that.

I'm betting that Bruntlett will hit more dink roller RBI singles than Castro, because over the course of their careers, Bruntlett has averaged...

Oh, wait. Um...Lidge.

Barring an improvement in the next few days, Lidge's "progress" kinda lends credence to the concept that it's not normally worth throwing money at a relief pitcher. Kinda depressing, really. Especially because it's now post-clout day, so it counts.

1) I would not let Lidge come back until he gets his fastball back up to speed. If he can't hit mid 90's with his fastball, he's DONE. His fastball used to set up batters to swing and miss at the slider. Let him play in AAA until it comes back, if ever.

2) The Bench: If I could have a perfect bench, it would look like this:

A - backup catcher - the most important bench position to fill as every ballclub needs a ML capable backup and they are hard to find. Priority on defense and how they call a game behind the plate.

B - utility player - plays all non-pitcher positions. Defense is priority, with hitting and speed next. Ideally, he's crafted this way in the minors. (Pick a kid that can shag flies and grounders well then teach them all positions. Grow them yourself.)

C - contact pinch hitter - contact hitting priority, speed secondary. Likely filled by a veteran at the end of his career.

D - power pinch hitter - a-la Stairs. Power, then contact. Possible platoon player.

E - pinch runner - a young speedster (you can't teach speed) that hopefully can shag flies well. Grow these in your farm and teach them how to bunt, for sac and hit.

And ideally you have at least one left bat, one right bat, and maybe a switch hitter in there somehow. Also coverage for extra outfield (usually E) and extra infield, beyond the utility player.

From what I gather, the Phillies are going to break camp with an A and a handful of Ds?? I guess they do what they can since B's are quite rare and I'm the only one that believes in the need for E.

Cipper - No that is the odd part and he never has had a prolonged slump in his career either where he goes 6-8 weeks with really below average numbers.

Still, Pujols has had issues with his back for a few years now and you have to wonder if that some point they don't begin to become a bit more serious now as he is starting to keep up a bit in age. People always assume Howard will age worse than Pujols but would I want to give a guy with back issues a 7 year/$140+ million deal?

How is Dobbs not considered a contact pinch hitter (C)?

****No that is the odd part and he never has had a prolonged slump in his career either where he goes 6-8 weeks with really below average numbers. ****

That's a big part of why he's the best hitter since Ted Williams.

He has no weaknesses. He hits LHP, he hits RHP, he hits for power against both, he hits for high average. He takes a walk, he never strikes out. He's probably gonna end up as one of the Top 10-20 position players of all time when he's done.

It doesn't matter if Dobbs is better than Gload in every way, that doesn't make the two redundant. Charlie often uses 3 or 4 pinch hitters per game and likes two left-handed bats on his bench.

Ben Francisco is our best pinch hitting option against LHP, and perhaps RHB, but he'll often be saved for the later innings. If we want productive at bats out of our pinch hitters, we need more than two of them.

Also, with our only 1B prospect about 5 years away from the majors, we have virtually no depth at the position. Gload fits two needs and hopefully should be a useful bench player. I don't see why we're having this discussion.

If you can get something decent for Greg Dobbs, fine, but he's still very useful and therefore important, being a relatively cheap player who can hit and play a lot of positions. I certainly wouldn't trade him without getting something useful in return...

Makes me wonder about Joe Savery. He was selected in the 1st round because he showed top 5 stuff before his injury. As a 1b, he probably could've been a comp/2nd round pick. He doesn't seem like he'll ever regain the mid 90s fastball and good command he had as a freshman, but he was one of the best contact hitters in the NCAA. His performance this season will determine his future, but he could ultimately have more value as a hitter.

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