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Wednesday, April 14, 2010


to keep in tune with the last thread:
booo JW! This post sucks!

Man, JRoll's punishment for being late gets more and more extensive...

What is worse right now, Castro playing SS or Victorino having to leadoff in is current slump?

Damn. ProFootballTalk got less crap than this for erroneously reporting that Bradshaw had died.

I think Ricky Bo owes Jimmy an apology for immediately speculating on the post-game show that Rollins was being punished for showing up late. If he couldn't verify it, he shouldn't have went with it.

What happens was, he was late and Cholly was going to bench him. But when Amaro saw him in the club house, he took a bat to his leg for talking smack on him on the Dan Patrick Show. Now he's crippled and we're stuck with one of the stiffs.

Galvis facing Drabek tonight in a match-up a couple years from now when Freddy comes of age.

From my understanding, Castro is a wily veteran who has great presence in the locker room. His intangibles are solid and he has a great understanding of the game. He's also a hard worker and he has solid fundamentals.

Anyone want to bet on Vic coming out of his slump hitting in front of Polly/Utley/Howard/Werth? He's gonna get pitches to hit.

This will have the added benefit of him complaining once he's moved back to the 7 spot.

This is a blog, so JW can say anything he wants. If someone is going to make stuff up on the air and be totally wrong, they should directly apologize to Rollins.

Is Werth playing tonight?

Well, we are about to see if we really did get an upgrade from Eric Bruntlett or not.

All the off season obsession about the 25th roster spot becomes the topic of the day for at least 15 days.

Cody Ransome as the back-up to the back-up?

"From my understanding, Castro is a wily veteran who has great presence in the locker room. His intangibles are solid & he has a great understanding of the game. He's also a hard worker & he has solid fundamentals."

Paul Bako, SS?

And I'd like to see Vic moved up, too, but I don't foresee him being the type to complain about being moved back down. Shane likes to prove himself, & I fully expect he'll turn things around for himself at the bottom of the order.

Did Vic get his uniform dirty this year? He looked too clean in the 7 spot.

"From my understanding, Castro is a wily veteran who has great presence in the locker room. His intangibles are solid and he has a great understanding of the game. He's also a hard worker and he has solid fundamentals."

But, NEPP, you forgot the most important thing. Is he scrappy?

Also: THF=Tender Hand Factor?

"This will have the added benefit of him complaining once he's moved back to the 7 spot."

Plus, when Vic excels in the lead-off spot, suddenly, we get to debate who should be leading off for the rest of the year. Book it; by the all-star break just as many posts will be about whether Vic should be the regular lead-off guy as whether the Jesus Sanchez deal saved the Phils some money.

Count me among those who haven't understood the Castro signing and who would rather see Valdez replace Jimmy.

Unfortunately, as a Latino, "Scrappy" is not a descripter typically used a guy like Castro. A guy like David Eckstein is scrappy or Dustin Pedroia is scrappy. Its basically used to describe white middle infielders that succeed despite an apparent lack of athletic ability (yes, I know Pedroia has ridiculous hand/eye coordination and is a good athlete but that perception was there originally).

Is that subtle racism at play? Probably but that seems to be the case with the usage of that descripter in baseball.

I'm of the opinion that the Phillies should continue signing every player who had any connection with the Dodger organization until they get 3 duds in a row.

Que es "scrappy" en espanol?

Castro's average season has him hitting around .230. So if you expect him to do a whole lot more than that with the stick then the problem is with your expectations. I think he'll be fine defensively for a few weeks.

If it becomes an issue where J-Roll will miss a month or two than we may need to make other arrangements.

"BAP interesting point. one extra hit per start would suggest the "bad luck" component of BABIP (cue last dialogue b/n Crash Davis and Nuke Laloosh in Bull Durham). But you're right, how would one hit equal an extra run?"

PHIinBK, that's an interesting question. Actually Cole's H/9 was 7.6 in 2008, and 9.6 in 2009, so it was two more hits per game.

But what I went and looked at were his 3s with men on and RISP.

Here's what I found:

Men on Base:

2008: .241 .293 .421 .714

2009: .272 .305 .449 .754


2008: .241 .308 .434 .742

2009: .290 .332 .456 .787

I know the discussion of Cole has centered around his BABIP and whether he was just 'unlucky' in 2009, but is your question answered by the fact that that 'luck', or lack thereof, occured more when there were men on or RISP?

Is Castro 'scrappy' or just 'scrapple'?

"Ross Gload Speed"?

I thought I heard Castro has Brett Myers speed?

i'm dissapointed because rollins started off so well and i'm imagining that even when he gets healthy, it will take him some time to get back in that same zone where he was seeing pitches so well. i know reyes was out a lot longer, but i've seen the last few mets games and he is lost in the field and at the plate. of course, rollins is a lot stronger upstairs than reyes (in my opinion).

i'm encouraged because this team has done it before. utley, rollins, howard, lidge, and hamels(?) have all spent time on the dl during the last few winning seasons. plus, if you take this lineup without rollins right now it is still better than it was last year at this time because we didn't have polanco and rollins struggled so much. we'll be fine.

TTI - If he could hit even .250 and play adequate defense, the Phils could get by without JRoll for even a month.

Problem is that I bet he can't do either plus JRoll's calf will likely be a lingering issue this season now especially if he actually did tear it.

On nights where you have Schneider/Castro/P, you will have a 7-8-9 as bad as anyone in NL.

Call Valdez and have him split time with Castro until JRoll is back. It is the only & obvious move.

I just don't want to see JRoll get rushed back and try to come back too soon.

awh: With a couple beers in me, I must have spent an hour last night trying to do computations to show that Cole's higher BABIP in 2009 probably couldn't explain such a high difference in ERA. All I really needed to do the whole time was to look up the numbers you just provided, which more or less get to the point I was driving at.

jack: From the last thread . . . I'm no statistician either, but I do come from a family of statisticians so I know a little about the concepts. Given the enormous sample sizes and the strong trend for most major league pitchers to cluster around the mean BABIP of .300, I would be astounded if BABIPs in the low to mid .280s are not at least 2 standard deviations outside the mean. The odds that this could occur by chance are astronomical, and the fact that all the pitchers I listed also happen to have fantastic peripheral stats would reduce those odds to almost nil. Interestingly, while I've found plenty of HOF pitchers with very low BABIPs, I've never been able to find examples of the reverse phenomenon: lousy pitchers with unusually high career BABIPs. Perhaps it's because such pitchers don't stick around long enough for me to think of them when I'm contemplating the subject of terrible major league pitchers.

People need to keep this in perspective:

.205 .250 .319 .569 68.75 51.17

That is all that Jimmy's replacement needs to match in order to replace his offensive productivity, from April through the end of June last season. And most of those stats were produced from the lead off spot.

Injuries happen. It's a let down. But it's not like an injury to Jimmy Rollins is going to completely derail the best offense in the national league. I just wish we could make this injury retroactive to last April. Those are the 2-3 months it would have been nice if he missed.

I want to see what Valdez could do, but there is the obvious concern that he could be lost to waivers once JRoll is back.

All utility players are like tofu. They can be molded into many positions and stay there until eaten or replaced. Scrapple as you know is the Pacific rim version of tofu in the greater Philadelphia area.

"On nights where you have Schneider/Castro/P, you will have a 7-8-9 as bad as anyone in NL"

And here I was trying to enjoy the fact that we had the only 1 loss team left in baseball...

Interesting points by PHIinBK and by awh:

Something else to ask is whether or not Hamels tended to allow hits that were grouped together more in 2009 than in 2008. That would be a corollary to the RISP numbers that awh posted.

And those questions touch on the ubiquitous debate about RISP. Is a batter who tends to produce more RBI per ab simply "lucky" in that he comes to the plate with RISP more often? For example, a rather quick look at other historically notable hitters shows that Howard has a historically high rbi/ab ratio - and that does not seem to be consistent with the idea that it is simply the product of having a greater number of opportunities to get RBI.

Anyway - I think an interesting question is whether or not Hamels' had more variability in his number of hits per inning in 2009 than in 2008; something that would be lost when you average stats over 9-inning increments. If so, that could also be a matter of "luck"; Then again, it could also point to some "uncaptured" variable that changed with respect to his performance with runners on base.

With all the Hamels talk I want to add a difference i think i have seen this year. Even with the two less than stellar outings there has been a marked improvement on his AGOTMAABB. Hopefully this means he has matured into a more calm demeanor on the mount as his AGOTMAABB (Angry gestures on the mound after a bad break) hopefully will continue to follow this trend.

A question for the regulars:

Are people finding an odd delay in the time it takes to see a post you made?

I think that toddzilla has nailed it.

Hang in there BAP you'll get it and BL will be famous.

awh: yes it would. But it doesn't necessarily address why the hits occured. I am one of the many who is hesitant to accept the popular conclusion that Cole's 2009 was just bad luck. Luck as an explination is akin to saying there are evil spirits in the world.

Is the Phillies' thinking really going to be influenced by the fact that they could lose Wilson Valdez to waivers?

It was very telling that Charlie yanked Cole after Castro booted the grounder. Cole was due up in the bottom of the inning so it would stand to reason Charlie would want cole to finish the top half. I don't think he pulls Cole in that situation last year.

There are evil spirits in the world *shudders*

Matt Schwartz over at Baseball Prospectus examined EVERYTHING and I do mean everything on why Hamels was different in '08 and '09.

The difference really was just the amount of bleeders (singles) that he gave up last year & the number of hard hits that were outs in '08. Almost all of the other outcomes were identical. It was kind of eerie.

Stuff about Hamels giving up a big inning/huge meltdowns turned out to be popular myth & misconception.

Now Hamels did use a slightly different mixture of pitches from '08 to '09 but it was largely luck/slight tick in defensive performance behind him that really was the difference.

Have to wait & see this year but the comparisons will be a bit more difficult to compare even if the outcomes are the same because Hamels is using alot more cutters.

Todd nailed it. BL is famous. Next enigma.

In regards to Hamels last start, I would like to refer to MVPTommy's stat, HR2PA3B (Height Required To Play Average 3rd Base), and how Polanco is -6 inches in this catagory. Had he been a 0 or positive number, Marquis doesn't get that hit and Hamels is out of the inning with only 2 runs in. It's simple science.

Not good: According to Fangraphs, Jimmy's out for 1-2 months. The strain looks to be a grade 2...

"Jimmy Rollins went down with a Grade 2 calf sprain on Monday while warming up. I had to look up the extents myself, so I figured I would pass on this information from Dr. Nathan Wei. I looked at several websites and they all generally agree on extent and time frame.

Grade 1
• Stretching with some micro-tearing of muscle fibers.
• Recovery can be complete in about 2-3 weeks.

Grade 2
• Partial tearing of muscle fibers.
• Recovery can take up to 1-2 months.

Grade 3
• Complete tearing (rupture) of muscle fibers.
• Complete recovery can take more than 3 months.

If the initial reports are true, it looks like Rollins is out four to eight weeks. He under went an MRI on Tuesday to find out the exact damage. Some unsubstantiated reports say he is only going to be out 2 weeks, nothing official yet. I will post more data as it become officially available."

Even if Cole cries out "agutmob" in the heat of battle like something from "Braveheart" it will scare the begeemers out of the opposition. Even better than earplugs used by Carlton.

Well this breaks up the fun. I guess I'll do my taxes.

Tbone, excellent post.

JRoll, through June last season, played BELOW replacement level, at least offensively.

At .230 .270 .332 .602 lifetime, that's actually an IMPROVEMENT from what Jimmy did in the first half of last season.

Castro has actually had small streaks of 5 games or so where he's hit pretty well.

Some of his best such streaks:

.588 .611 .706 1.317, 0 HR, 2 RBI, Aug. 2005 (MIN) 5 GM, 17 AB

.440 .481 .640 1.121, 1 HR, 3 RBI, June 2004 (CIN), 6 GM, 25 AB

.389 .389 .611 1.000, 1HR, 3 RBI, June 2006 (CIN), 6GM, 18AB

.357 .379 .536 .915, 0 HR, 1 RBI, Aug 2001 (CIN), 7 GM, 28 AB

Hopefully he'll have one of those while he's filling in

Dan, that's circular reporting probably. Hell, I stated teh same thing on this site Monday. Without the MRI results, we know nothing.

PHinBK, could be random chance (low odds, no?), or it could any of a bunch of other reasons:

Cole got down on himself, lost confidence, started "throwing" instead of pitching, was somehow tipping pitches out of the stretch, wasn't covering the ball well enough with a guy on 2B and he could see the grip and signal the batter...

Does Castro do the little things that don't show up in the box score?

He may be off to a bad start, but Hamels is currently on pace to set the all-time Beerleaguer record for having the most posts written about him in one season.

SS of Valdez & Castro until Memorial Day possibly? Ugh.

Also, if getting the leadoff hitter on is a good indicator of whether a team will score that inning, Cole did not fare very well in 2009:

Leadoff Inn. .307 .342 .534 .876

Overall .273 .315 .440 .755

Also, something else happened in 2009 that had not occured with Hamels before - RHB started to hit him better:

vs RHB .282 .320 .447 .767, BABIP .336
vs LHB .242 .295 .416 .711, BABIP .267

vs RHB .245 .291 .409 .701, BABIP .290
vs LHB .240 .299 .425 .724, BABIP .279

That trend, though the sample too small to be significant, has continued in 2010:

vs RHB .345 .367 .655 1.022, BABIP .421
vs LHB .063 .286 .125 .411 , BABIP .267

MG: Does this mean your posts will get even more foreboding? You make me want to drink sometimes.
/sarcasm, don't hit me
//seriously, though, you're depressing

P.S. Counted the "ya knows" in Cole's post-game the other day and he's really cut down. Sign of a dominant season ahead of him? Time will tell.


Hamels 2010 BABIP vs. LHP is: .077

Pete Happy: On that account, you need not worry. Castro has a career LTDSB ("little things that don't show up in the box score") of 123.

And Hamels is 2-0 with an all-positive personality. What if?

awh: JW mentioned pig in the header, so scrapple fits.

For the stat guys, if a starter only averages 6IP, 1 extra run ups his ERA 1.5

Hugh: Amanda Stoudt, Millmont, Southwest, Reading High.

The silver lining to the injury dark cloud is that we get to see how Vic as the lead off hitter works out in real games.

Not sure about the soft hands/ no hit reputation of Castro either- he botched a routine play and got a key double in our 1 game view of him as a Phil.

Unlike the back up QB , no body is chanting for the back up SS to take over.

Hamels will have to top Rod Barjas to achieve the "most posts written about" honor.

****Not sure about the soft hands/ no hit reputation of Castro either- he botched a routine play and got a key double in our 1 game view of him as a Phil. ****

That is why they play the game...and that is also why baseball is the greatest sport in the world.

En espagnol la palabra "scrappy" es "deshilvanado."

Quien es muy deshilvanado? Castro o Vasquez?

pjb: "I want to see what Valdez could do, but there is the obvious concern that he could be lost to waivers once JRoll is back."

Not a concern. For one, he's Wilson Valdez. For two, what's the point of having a guy at AAA if you're never going to use him?

I know it doesn't involve stats, but Hamels seems to have lost command of his fastball and his change. His curve is pretty bad. And his cutter actually looks okay most of the time.

His fastball has always been a bit iffy, but he seems to throw it up in the zone or right down the middle more often than before. Maybe it only seems that way because his change is less effective. He seems to have lost his amazing touch on that pitch. Watch how many of his changes end up being up in the zone or just hittable. That rarely used to happen.

Maybe it's been talked about before, but it may be that his curve has eaten his change up. I know it sometimes happen, although don't know why. But when pitchers start throwing a curve, their change tends to go away.

I'd like to see Hamels scrap the curve and go to fastball, change and cutter. Those three pitches should be enough to make him a very good number two pitcher.

On the plus side, he sure does seem to be throwing with good consistent velocity, which he wasn't always doing last year.

Also, I think it's been noted, but his delivery is different. It's a lot smoother. That was something I always thought he had to work on, but now that he's done it, maybe it's allowing batters to see his pitches better. Maybe he needs to go back to his old, more deliberate delivery?

Stats are fun to discuss. But looking at Cole's mechanics and the movement on his pitches seems worthwhile. Don't much like fantasy baseball. Real baseball involves actually looking at the players.

Cole: It's two days after my last start and the discussion on BL is roughly half devoted to analyzing what's wrong with me and half on who is going to replace JRoll in the lineup while he heals.

Heidi: Cole, you swing a pretty mean bat; can you play shortstop? It may prolong your career!

Brian G,

I actually agree with you, but I would not be surprised if we see Bocock for that reason.

For example, a rather quick look at other historically notable hitters shows that Howard has a historically high rbi/ab ratio - and that does not seem to be consistent with the idea that it is simply the product of having a greater number of opportunities to get RBI.

How are these things not consistent? If there's a RISP more often in a Howard AB, then of course he's going to have a higher ratio. All he needs is a single. Howard had 30 more PA with RISP than Pujols last year, which is why he had more RBI despite having fewer singles, 2B, HR and despite hitting about 60 points lower with RISP. Pujols hit a ridiculous .361/.556/.697 with RISP.

In what world is Hamels' batting average against, is ability to miss bats, the results of his pitches generally not "real" baseball.

Tbone- Good post and you are correct that those numbers help keep things in perspective. Although I am not sure that the fact that the Phillies were able to compensate for the decreased production from a slumping Rollins last year guarantees that they will be able to do the same this year. As NEPP said though "That is why they play the game...and that is also why baseball is the greatest sport in the world."

If he is out more than ~15 days I think there is room for concern about the impact it has on the lineup.

If Jroll is out for 2 months I would like to see Freddy Galvis get the call. If we aren't going to have a decent offensive player out there I want the best defensive player. Then keep Castro as the backup.

Rev- we should know soon enough, but I feel like Ransom will get called up - 1 offensive back-up & 1 defensive back-up.

Stop the presses! Brad Lidge pitched a scoreless inning against Single A hitters today.

A leadoff walk, followed by a caught stealing (imagine that). Then strikeouts to the next 2 hitters. I expect he'll be on the major league roster by tomorrow.

My thought is moving Galvis up would be stupid. He's finally having a little offensive life. Calling him up now will likely stunt his growth. Let him continue in AA/AAA.

The Galvisometer has started. Drabek tonight in Reading. The Phillies need to be careful when they bring him because he will demand to be the boss in the infield. Napoleonic more than scrappy.

BAP - Is it me or does it seem like guys have been trying to run against Lidge as much as possible if he gives up a single/walk in his minor league appearances?

Rev, the problem with Galvis, though right now he is thought to be defensively better than some guys that actually start in MLB, is that he has not proven that he can hit consistently, even in the minors.

That said, what you could be looking at, if he did get the call, is a 2009 Bruntlett like performance of .171 .224 .238 .462.

That is below replacement level.

"Is it me or does it seem like guys have been trying to run against Lidge as much as possible if he gives up a single/walk in his minor league appearances?"

How is that different than last year?

Meyer - evidently Galvis is not scrappy but deshilvanado.

High Cheese update

Charlie Manuel said on a national radio show today that Jimmy Rollins has "between a Grade 2 and 1" calf injury that will sideline him for the forseeable future.

The Phillies are expected to place Rollins on the disabled list this afternoon.

"He's definitely going to be out some time," Manuel told Jim Duquette and Kevin Kennedy on Sirius XM radio. "How much, I don't know, but he's hurt pretty bad."

Murphy has a new update:

"Manuel on Rollins: "He's hurt pretty bad" "

Sophist - Looking at numbers is fine. But looking at why the numbers happen is more important. Hamels is throwing fastballs up in the zone and changes more up in the zone than usual. His curve stinks. Who the heck needs numbers to see that?

What also can be seen with the naked eye and doesn't need stats is that he's throwing easily with good velocity this year. Maybe that means he's more healthy than last season. I consider that a good sign.

All I would suggest is that he scrap the curve and concentrate on three pitches that he can throw. And if he can't get the sink needed on his change, he needs to try his old, less compact delivery.

Do you really need fancy stats to see he's missing fewer bats?

I would never say stats don't have a place in baseball. But all that's really needed to see the difference in Cole is to watch him throw the ball.

As for the dilemma of losing Valdez? I'd bring him up and let him play short. When Rollins comes back, Castro goes. And Ransom or Bocock can be brought up as necessary with little chance they'll be claimed when sent back down.

Well, that sucks.

between a grade 1 and grade 2 calf strain which is the same thing as a partial tear, is about a 3 to 6 week injury, or there abouts

Vic needs to lead off. Christ, I would take 2009 Jimmy Rollins right now over Juan bleeping Castro.

Amaro just said 2 to 4 weeks

3-6 weeks=Valdez, not Bocock.

That's optimistic...I'll figure on 4 most mid-to-late May.

Wilson Valdez to replace Rollins via Zolecki tweet.

15 Day DL

aksmith: The problem is that the naked eye is pretty subjective, and we can't all be baseball scouts. Many of us love baseball and cannot break down a swing or a pitcher as well as someone who is lucky enough to watch for years and years can. Stats do not ruin the scouts' appreciation for the game, but it has opened up the game a lot for those of us who cannot devote that kind of time to watching it.

One of the fallacies that those who disparage stats use is the either/or fallacy. You contend that you can tell what's wrong with Chase without the use of stats. I'm glad, and I'm impressed. Should we have to choose between stats and eye evaluation? Can we not have both? Isn't it even better when what the stats tell the numbers guys confirms what the scouts are telling us? Doesn't the synthesis of both enhance the understanding for everyone?

Seriously, if the prognosis says 2 to 4 weeks, just make it 6. The absolutely last thing that the Phillies need is for Rollins to come back too soon and end up being hampered by this thing for the rest of the sesaon. I'm not happy about having Juan Castro as our SS but I think the Phillies have enough other bats in their lineup to muddle through it.

Damn, EF you're fast. Two minutes faster, to be exact, though in some activities that is lloked upon as detrimental. :)

In all honestly, Valdez is probably better than Castro in just about every facet of the game. He's younger, faster, and might well play better defense at this phase of their careers. And, for the most part, he has actually hit pretty well in the minors in recent years. Admittedly, those numbers must be taken with a grain of salt, since they happened in the PCL. But, if we're looking for a guy who can hit .250 for us while Rollins is gone, I'd definitely put my money on Valdez over Castro.


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