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Monday, March 08, 2010

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The game is on the MLB network too!

6 starters to fill 5 slots is a good thing to start the season, somewhere along the line both Jamie and Kyle will get time in the rotation with injuries and workload taking their toll over the season.

Assuming Moyer wants to pitch until he's 65, one of these years he will need to go to the bullpen for at least some of the time.

And I think KK will be happy if he is in the big leagues, no matter the role he plays.

Spring Training = Rose Colored Glasses.

J-Roll takes Vasquez deep on the first pitch!

rollins likes the first pitch against the yanks. Crushes one into the seats off of vazquez

J Roll goes yard first pitch!

Not sure what happened there in the bottom of the 1st. My eyes must be deceiving me. Just saw Kendrick get a couple of lefties out including Nick Johnson and Mark Teixeira.

No way that actually happened...

KK with a very sharp 1st inning.

He faced 3 lefties. Got the first two to fly weakly to CF, off-balance on changeups and then mixed pitches well with Teixiera, jamming him a bit on a inside fastball, after throwing 2 good changes to him.

Threw about 5 changes, a few sinkers and a couple of inside (Maddux-esque) fastballs.

In the words of Stephenie Lagrossa:

KK's pitches look SICK!

Vasquez has looked VERY sharp since that first pitch to Rollins. I'm so glad he's no longer on the Braves.

KK is the greatest pitcher in the history of baseball.

The list is as follows:

1. Kyle Kendrick
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2. Sandy Koufax
3. Cy Young

****Threw about 5 changes, a few sinkers and a couple of inside (Maddux-esque) fastballs. ****

Anticipates clout's response:

So you're saying KK is as good as Greg Maddux?

Interesting.

Solid outing for KK. Faced 7 batters, 6 from the left side, and only gave up an opposite field double to Cano. Struck out the only righty he faced.

KK seems to have picked up a couple of MPH on his fastball.

Was clocked at 91 and 92, in the 2nd inning. Which is what Vazquez has been clocked at today.

Threw a couple of really good sliders/cutters to Thames.

CJ - Me neither. Braves were 3-2 in the 5 games Vasquez started against the Phils last year and should easily have been 4-1 if the Braves didn't have an epic bullpen meltdown in that early April series.

If the Braves had kept Vasquez, it would have made the NL East race this year likely a bit more interesting. As good as the Phils' starting pitch was after they got Lee and put Pedro in the rotation, the Braves were even better.

Mayberry with a line-drive/atom ball to LF.

If he could have gotten some elevation, that baby was headed deep into the night.

Great bunt single by J-Roll. Something a lead-off hitter does, apparently... I hadn't realized that.

KK used to hit 93 on occasion when he regularly started...though it was typically when he started overthrowing and he fastball would flatten out.

To hit 91-92 regularly this early in the Spring (with movement from your reports) is a nice indicator.

Really good AB there by Francisco. Fought a lot of pitches off with 2 strikes then drilled one into the gap. He's a pretty solid 4th OF, but I think dealing 4 prospects for him was a bit much.

Mayberry putting some good swings on hanging breaking balls.

**** He's a pretty solid 4th OF, but I think dealing 4 prospects for him was a bit much.****

Well, we got them to throw in that LOOGY as a post-season rental too.

Real control issues for Contreras today got him in trouble.

Buster Olney's blog this morning suggested the DBacks may be interested in starting pitching. I wonder if that is a possibility for Moyer (assuming the Phils pick up some of his salary). If I were him, I would love the idea of AZ:
1. Lots of retirees there
2. Between the Giants and the Pads lineup, he'd put up some decent numbers and probably help his chances of getting that next contract he seems to be looking for.

Trading Moyer is a huge mistake...6 legit starters is about 2 fewer than a healthy team needs for a full season. At worst, he's still a servicable insurance policy...at best, he's a decent 5th starter.

Let's not Paulino him just yet.

Francisco is not ideal in CF.

Rough outing for Contreras. Interesting that Charlie is leaving him out there to finish up the inning.

So much for that... another double and Jose gets the hook. He gave up 6 runs in 1 2/3 IP and is responsible for the two guys left on base. His control was off and then he just left them hanging as he tired.

CJ -- is it? Remember that the object of spring training exhibitions is not to win games.

B/c Moyer is 47 he'll be interested in living with a bunch of people who are 65+?

bake: I thought it was interesting because he was clearly tiring... not because it was affecting our ability to win the game. The score is pretty meaningless. I'm not sure there's much for Charlie to learn about a veteran Contreras by leaving him on the mound this early in spring training.

Bed's Beard - I think it was a joke.

Well, that makes sense, CJ. Maybe he was just trying to get him to make a few more pitches to get his arm strength up?

BedBeard, that was a joke.

NEPP - In a perfect world, I would love KK as the 5th starter and Moyer as insurance. Unfortunatley, this is not a perfect world and I doubt we will get that outcome. Instead, we'll get a stuggling Moyer are our 5th starter and KK in a little used pen role or the minors. That's why I was suggesting AZ as a Moyer destination.

NEPP: I have heard repeatedly from you, Jack, Andy, CJ and numerous other experts that KK can't possibly have a big league career because of his low K/9, so I pay no attention to what he does on the field.

Watching MLB Network and being forced to watch the YES feed makes me appreciate even Chris Wheeler. The better NY announcing team sadly works for the Mets.

Spitz: Good one. BL has been a little...weird this offseason, so I thought maybe it was real. I tip my cap to you.

My "guess" is that Kendrick will start the year off as our #1 starter...in Lehigh.

How much would a 'Free JC' t-shirt that Romero is wearing in that picture go for now on EBay? I say $2 with a possibility of even $2.50 or $3.

My "guess" is that Kendrick starts off the year in Philly.

Thoughts on today's game...

-KK was sharp as a tack. Kept NY's lefties off balance and used both sides of the plate. Had good velocity and had a particularly good slider, that he used to get inside on lefties (it was also the pitch that Cano inside-outed for a 2B down the LF line). Very encouraging first couple of outings in ST.

-Contreras looked like he usually does, when he struggles. Was falling behind and nibbling with hitters and got hammered, when he was in hitters counts. Still has a good fastball and good stuff though.

-Mathieson threw mostly fastballs, mostly at 93-94 MPH. Didn't seem to have that little extra life, yet. Still early in ST, for hard-throwers. Had pretty good command though.

-Mayberry hit 3 rockets, in his first 3 AB's (all against RHP). All were on hanging curveballs. His swing looks good and he is a very good defensive OF'er. Has pretty good speed too (which he showed on the SB, where he got a very average jump).

-Wise still looks like he can play. Still a very good defensive OF'er. Probably auditioning for a job with someone else.

-Brown still has a ways to go in the field. Has a good level swing though and has a hose for an arm. Hopefully he gets better tracking balls and taking better routes on flyballs/linedrives.

-Howard is lean. Really looks good physically. Werth needs to ditch the Grizzly Adams stuff and look like a ballplayer again.

clout wrote: "NEPP: I have heard repeatedly from you, Jack, Andy, CJ and numerous other experts that KK can't possibly have a big league career because of his low K/9, so I pay no attention to what he does on the field."

Are you kidding me!??!?!?!?!

I'm not sure there is a bigger KK backer on this list. I'm a HUGE Kyle Kendrick fan and have always defended him.

You seem to have a real problem with facts, clout.

doubleh:

As much as it pains me to say it, I actually enjoy the Mets broadcast team. I get the chance to watch many Mets' games during the season. It's nice to be able to flip to our rivals while the Phils are between innings or have the night off. It's a shame that Cohen, Darling, and Hernandez have to call Mets' games. I think they do a good job.

Well... had my first disappointment of the spring.

I know results don't matter, but Dom Brown was up with 2 outs in the 9th and the tying runs on first and second. He worked the count full, but got jammed a little on a fastball and popped out to right field.

I would have loved for him to get a big hit in that spot. Phils lose 7-5.

That's it. I'm done with Domonic Brown! Bust! Bust! Bust!

Isn't the best outcome that both Moyer and Kendrick perform very well this spring, and tie goes to Moyer because of his stature, track record, lack of relative flexibility, and salary.

One outcome of this could be to market Moyer for a move. But as the JW points to in the header, we might not be able to get anything, let alone anything commensurate for his value. And with the Lieber example fairly recent of thinking we had more starting pitching depth than we did, wouldn't it as someone posted above just make sense to keep the 6 pitchers and groom Kendrick to assume the 5th starter for next year.

If that's how it works out, is Kendrick's preparation for first replacement starter in 2010 and 5th starter in 2011 better suited to starting every fifth day in Lehigh or working long out of the bullpen.

JJG: "If that's how it works out, is Kendrick's preparation for first replacement starter in 2010 and 5th starter in 2011 better suited to starting every fifth day in Lehigh or working long out of the bullpen."

That's the million dollar question. KK pitched fairly well out of the bullpen at the end of last season. And it's certainly not that unusual to carry a starting pitching prospect in the bullpen.

Two schools of thought: 1) Learn more by facing ML batters out of the bullpen 2) Learn more by starting in the minors every 5 days.

I know I've said this before, but I just have to reiterate that I think Twitter is one of the worst inventions of all time. Even Facebook and MySpace require more thought and preparation before people spew their thoughts like verbal diarrhea. The Yankees and Phillies fans tweets on a ST game just further prove that it should be a restricted technology...or there should be some sort of rules set forth.

CJ: Sorry to have lumped you in with the others. There was quite a large contigent who said KK's K/9 wouldn't allow him to be successful, but I guess you missed it.

HH: I find twitter to be a useful tool if you navigate directly to a specific twitter page. I check Scott Lauber's and Zolecki's often, and I find it to be a nice resource. If you are navigating to your own twitter feed and seeing all the tweets from PhilsPhan08 and BronxB0mBer23 I can see where a problem can develop.

doubleh - I used to think that and now realize I was dead wrong. Twitter is actually an incredibly useful technology if you know how to use it for intelligence monitoring and gathering purposes.

Question is how they eventually monetize it eventually because its current format is pretty damn limited. Need to wrap it around a compelling value add series of services.

doubleh: I love Twitter. I think it's an amazing means of communication, especially for the media. It's not meant to replace other forms of media, simply supplement them!

clout: "CJ: Sorry to have lumped you in with the others. There was quite a large contigent who said KK's K/9 wouldn't allow him to be successful, but I guess you missed it."

I saw it, but I was never a part of it. I'm just not sure why you feel the need to lump people into categories without actually knowing their opinion.

I think KK has the potential to be a solid back-end of the rotation starter for us for a couple of years... and at a much lower price than Moyer costs us this year!

I am cautiously optimistic that both Moyer and Kendrick are effective this spring. IF they are, I expect Moyer to be the 5th starter and, if he is, I strongly prefer that Kendrick go north with the team. He won't get nearly the number of innings but, I expect the exposure to the Phillies staff and to major league hitting will be more valuable to his development (and the Phillies' evaluation) than another month or year in AAA. Sink or swim.

..." Son, let me tell you...all Kyle Kendrick does is win Major League games. Mark my words..."

Hugh - I think KK is pretty much a 'lock' to go north with the club at this point even if Lidge is ready to go Opening Day.

As for Moyer, if he gives them an ERA around 5 and can average close to 6 IP/S, then he will be tolerable as a 5th starter. I just don't know if he will be able to do that. Then again, I had pretty much written him off already this spring training and figured he would almost certainly end up spending a few weeks in Florida at 'extended spring training.'

CJ, MG, BS: I see where you're coming from and it CAN be useful (operative word there is "can"), but I just find it to mainly be another passive form of communication for the masses to shout: "but look at MEEEEEE."

When it's used by actual media members it's cool. For the most part, it's celebrities and losers tweeting nonsense they think is fact. It does not add to, but rather prevents real conversation. We just continue to create more social retards in this country with every technological invention.

****I have heard repeatedly from you, Jack, Andy, CJ and numerous other experts that KK can't possibly have a big league career because of his low K/9, so I pay no attention to what he does on the field.****

And I guarantee that if he's successful, his K/9 rate will be higher than 3.9...he'll probably be up around 5. So we'll both be right.

if Moyer gets a big enough strike zone from umpires i think he could still be very effective. it's not like he knows less than he did two years ago, and he always relied on outwitting guys rather than overpowering them anyway. people have an (understandable) tendency to want to call his career over because of his age and the fact he had a bad year, but it's a new season. let's reserve judgment for a little bit at least.

NEPP: What was KK's K/9 in 2007 when he went 10-4 with an ERA+ of 118 in 121 IP?

Clout: His K rate that year was 3.64. His BABIP was also .279 and his LOB% (strand rate) was 77.9%, absurdly high for a guy who doesn't strike guys out.

Some of us looked at that low a K rate and those other numbers and said "hmmm, he looks like he kinda got lucky last year, I'll bet his numbers go way down next year." Lo and behold, they did! What are the chances? He went from an ERA+ of 118 in 2007 to an ERA+ of 80 in 2008.

NEPP is correct that if he pitches better this year, it will be because he strikes more guys out. In which case, I suppose, we will both argue that we were proven right.

A very flukish 3.6 K/9...and then it was a whopping 3.9 K/9 when he got hammered the next season (after hitters realized it was either sinker and/or sinker).

It was 5.1 K/9 last year when he seemed to improve a bit.

But you're right, his one good season is better evidence than the 120 years of baseball statistics that show that low K/9 equals low probability of success as a pitcher.

Oh, and FWIW, here's his FIP for the last 3 years:

2007: 4.94
2008: 5.55
2009: 3.59

Hmm..its almost like he got lucky in 2007, reverted to his true level in 2008 and possibly improved (in a small sample size) last year after expanding his pitch selection.

I can't believe we're doing this again...

KK succeeded in 2007 with a K/9 of 3.64. So it's stupid for anyone to say he can't be successful unless his K/9 goes up.

What we can say is that he has a better chance of succeeding if his K/9 goes up.

He also has a chance of failing no matter what.

But, please, let's not do this again!

CJ, what was his FIP in 2007 again? (Feel free to reference by last post)

HE GOT LUCKY IN 2007. He outperformed his peripherals and got great defense behind him as well as great run support.

This is a classic example of narrow-mindedness. Because the metrics say something, that makes it an inviolable fact, even when reality says something different.

Yes, K/9 is a great marker for projecting future success. But it is less useful in projecting sinkerballers and pitch-to-contact guys. And there are enough exceptions to make an open-minded person acknowledge that, hey, maybe this stat isn't the end-all, be-all.

He also has a better chance of succeeding if he holds lefties under .9 OPS and if he generates some groundballs. OTOH he could survive with his amazing elevated BABIP with men on base that he showed is his career norm during 2007. Someday he'll revert to that. Probably. Maybe. You know, in clout's bloated mind.

Which is my way of saying "stop misinterpreting what I said."

If KK can keep flashing that changeup and slider like he has, I like his chances to be an adequate starter.

doubleh - From what I have heard, Twitter is "90/10" meaning that 90% of the tweets are generated by only 10% of the users. Most users sign up and never even add a single tweet.

What is interesting building some really clue BI tools that look at the unstructured data on a large scope.

The simple issue with KK is that it is a real possibility that with an adequate changeup/slider, he simply might increase his K/9 rate slightly to the 4.5-5 K/9 rate. Not great but certainly whether plenty of other starters have succeeded.

My bet is that KK does finish the season with a notably increased K/9 rate and ends up a fixture on his team whether as a long-reliever or starter.

Andy you hit the nail on the head:

"He also has a better chance of succeeding if he holds lefties under .9 OPS."

Instead of obsessing about K/9, you and the resident "experts" here should focus on his performance vs. LH. If he can't figure out a way to get them to bite on his sinker or changeup, he's a ROOGY at best.

Seriously. I would love it if KK developed into even an average ML starter. But I need someone like clout to explain to me why there's always this reference back to a year in which he posted a .216 BABIP with RISP and indicate that somehow this shows he was other than lucky.

.216

Promise me that he will post that number ever again. Because when he does I keep Halladay as the number one and bump EVERYONE down a slot. 'Cause even Hamels, in his best year allowed .270 BABIP with RISP.

I can hope and pray, as a faithful fan, and as someone who wants Kyle to succeed, that Doc is the major guru of pitching. It will take a mirculous and bizarre change for him to acheive to the extent some of his BL elite supporters indicate.

****Instead of obsessing about K/9, you and the resident "experts" here should focus on his performance vs. LH. If he can't figure out a way to get them to bite on his sinker or changeup, he's a ROOGY at best.****

Did it ever occur to you that the two are related? If he does better against LHB, his K/9 ratio will inevitably improve.

I'd rather argue about twitter than yet another KK argument.

I signed up to get tweets from Phils' outlets, along with other areas of interest. Rarely tweet, but it does alert you to news faster than anything else.

As we speak Kyle, Cole and the fams are eating bulldog burgers at Roy's.

"When it's used by actual media members it's cool."

I think you concede too much. Most of what they post, too, is nonsense. Or, more accurately, nothing much--just empty eruptions along the endless circle jerk in the aether, each person referencing the other.

"Clout talking about being open minded on beerleaguer" should be a tweet received by all

If we end up able to keep Herndon because of injuries in the pen, and then Angels dont take him back once we drop him, where would he fit into our depth?

I sm not famliiar with his level of talent at all. Would he be above Andrew Carpetner, who is probably our "next in line" starter even though he doesnt promise much.

If the 5th starter race between KK and Jamie Moyer goes down to the wire we could see a classic case of Costanza's "worlds collide" theory play out in clout. To wit, If KK clout walks through this door, he will Kill Jamie Moyer clout! A clout, divided
against itself, cannot Stand!

Another vitriolic argument over nuance? I don't think anyone is saying KK can't succeed, just that he has a few holes in his game that are holding him back and that if he fixes those holes (and everyone hopes he does) that he'll be successful. What's the argument about?

What's the difference between Clout and a troll?

JW: I don’t get it “what happens if Jamie Moyer loses the fifth starter battle?” This is a problem only Phillies fans in Philly have, there rest of us or some of us who are in New York simply reply: “He is getting the money anyway do we really have to pitch him if he doesn’t do well?” We should simply field the best team possible. If Kendrick does better why would we pitch Moyer? If Moyer doesn’t want to pitch out of the bullpen (not his strength anyway) then we tell him he will come in when it suits us. A start when we need it and a long opportunity. And as long as Kendrick does well that will be Moyer's role and frankly if he wins us a couple of games in that role we should be pleased and so should he. His job more and more will be to help the newbies.

I have a feeling Moyer will be Moyer this year. But, if Moyer can't be competitive, he goes. He may get a month or two of fair/poor results to prove it because he's a fixture on this team but, he'll get released if he isn't able to help the team. The team will eat money to win. Even the Pirates released Matt Morris and he was a 'really good guy', too.

"What's the difference between Clout and a troll?"

I won't list all the reasons but, No. 3ish is: Seniority.

Okay, that answer should simply have been "seniority".
Now, I need to list two more prominent differences. They would be:

1. clout has far fewer warts than classic troll.
2. clout lives in mother's basement; not under a bridge,

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