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Monday, April 26, 2010

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I've been real impressed with Herndon. The 2 games he's allowed runs, he ran into bad luck and a bad strike zone. I seriously doubt the Phils just hand him back to the Angels.

But if they keep Kendrick in the pen, where does he fit?

At one point a few weeks ago, I would have said the chances of us offering Herndon back to the Angels were at 10-20%. Now, I think its closer to 50-75% if it comes down to a roster squeeze. It looks like it will too considering Lidge and Blanton will soon be activated and Romero is now hogging up a roster spot with his dead arm as well (thus, we can't/won't send Bastardo down any time soon).

Oh, and KK sucks. He ran the balance beam for 4 innings yesterday until he finally got smashed. It was only a matter of time.

KK would look really good in Lehigh's pen. I think they can find room for him.

On Herndon, yesterday wasn't a case of bad luck but rather of not having a 2nd pitch. He's got a great sinker and he'll likely become a decent reliever in the Majors (ala Clay Condrey) but I dont see how the Phillies keep him on the 25 man at this point.

They can only carry Herndon by sending Kendrick to AAA or releasing Figueroa. Herndon got squeezed yesterday and he had one previous bad luck outing where he had 3 balls die in hte infield, which are inflating his numbers. Still, overall, his hit totals are way too high and he needs to get more outs with that hard sinker. I'd be inclined to hold him a little longer because he has good stuff. You can see why they took a flier on him.

If Herndon goes, it would simply be about the numbers not working out. Looking at the boxscore, he hasn't pitched well. Watching him pitch, he hasn't been too bad.

Here's my issue though. A winnable game (i.e. they were winning at the time), why does Baez start that second inning? Especially when his first inning wasn't so good. Then, why does Herndon (who I like in a Condrey-type role) pitch the 9th of a tie game on the road against a hot-hitting, high slugging team?

I just didn't get it. And after thinking about it, I still don't. Was the bullpen that burnt out?

I can definitely see why they took the flyer on him...but keeping him on the 25 man isn't helping him or us at this piont. Perhaps send the Angels a C level prospect and then stash him in AAA so he can work on a secondary pitch. At this point, both KK and Fig can help us more out of the bullpen than he can. Its ashame as I had really high hopes for him turning into a Condrey clone that could give us decent garbage time innings and save the rest of the pen.

I'm guessing hte Angels would just as soon have him back as take a minor prospect in trade.

Whatever they do with Kendrick, I'm hoping they work the rotation and Thursday's off-day to avoid throwing him out there again.

I don't know where the strike zone is anymore except when Halladay pitches. I wish I just had a dugout camera view of the batter and field for everyone but Roy.

kendrick will pitch this week. they aren't skipping him. they are skipping figueroa

The strike zone has been wherever the ump says it is for over a century now. And baseball players have known that for over a century. The easiest way to figure out who lost a game is to find out which side is complaining about it.

I don't wish to change the game. I've been watching pitch and catch for half a century. I just would like to have the option of a dugout camera angle and audio for entertainment value.

Just weary of trying to explain the game on a wet day in the NE in April watching the game with my 9 year old weaned on video games who wondered why a pitch that looked like a strike was called a ball.

Send Kendrick to the Angels and keep Herndon.

I love the dugout camera angle idea.

The D-Backs TV coverage has hte typical off-set angle so you can't really tell what's a strike, except by following what's being called a strike. Their crew does a particularly good job of following hte catcher's signs and the pitchers grip in the glove. A couple shots of Ruiz on Saturday were outstanding - first, him eyeballing a D-Backs batter before ordering up a Contreras brushback, then him signalling Madson with a string-pulling gesture with his fist before Madson threw the final pitch of the game. Especially nice since, after the guy fouled off two 97 MPH heaters, I was screaming for the change up.

The D-Backs "hard-hitting"? C'mon, y'all.

True, the Diamondbacks are tied for the MLB lead in HRs now with two other teams, at 26. But 8 of those came against the Phils this weekend. When this series started, the D-backs were hardly lighting up the league in offense -- they were 1 and 5 in their previous six before the Phils came to town. That first game of the series, when Cole was mowing down the lineup through the first few innings, I was thinking to myself, "This Arizone offense looks about as bad as Houston's, with nary a ML'er on here aside from Reynolds, who is a feast-or-famine guy." I'm definitely impressed with Johnson, who had 4 HRs against us in three games, but I was much, much more disappointed with Phils pitching than I was blown away by Arizona's offense. Their offense looks really weak, in fact, and our pitching made them look spectacular. Calling it like I see it, sorry.

I was hoping Kyle would have reared back and thrown a MO buzz saw cutter to one of the lefties shattering the wood and revealing whatever else the D-backs had packed in those bats.

VoR, ARI was 4th in SLG last year as well. They can hit for power.

Seems like the Phils are brushing back more often this year. I like it.

VOR: DBacks are def a legitimate offense. They were cold coming into the series, but that shouldnt take away from their potential. Their average age in the lineup is something like 26 years old. LaRoche is their oldest starter at 30, and hes been hitting ever since he came into the league. And Justin Upton is the real deal i think - will be among the greats in the league pretty soon.

It did seem like the DBacks really benefited too from the roof being open all series. The ball their carries as much as it does at CBP if not more in the LF gap towards CF.

Doubt if at least 2 of Johnson's HRs this series (one yesterday vs. KK in the 4th and the one against Hamels) go out if the roof was closed.

Phils just weren't generally able to take advantage of that because some of their main power guys are slumping right now (Utley/Howard).

That field, that weather, the fans, the D-back team all seemed fake like a Baseball Game off Main Street USA at an amusement park. Even the dirt didn't get the uniforms dirty. At least San Francisco will have a little character.

A lot of little things added up to that loss. One thing is clear, though. It makes you appreciate how good this defense is when all 8 starters are in the game. They can really catch the ball. There was a huge difference b/t the defense yesterday and the one that threw the leather at the Braves.

If only they opened the roof for our ABs too...seems a bit unfair.

And it seems like a bunch of Bobby Cox BS whining to be honest. Our lineup is power based too and it didnt show up other than Werth.

Meyer- Agreed about AZ , the series seemed flat , what I saw of it. The dugout shots and bulpen shots showed guys sittin' around , lethargic. Didn't see the intensity.
A lot of Phils and almost all D-backs seemed to not run things out .
Werth looked like the exception- he was hustling - even his fielding error ( scored a hit) on the fly ball in CF was not for lack of effort.

I see the Strasburg Show is heading to Reading. Nats just need to play .500 ball until his arrival soon. I think the Nats and Cubs series might be a battle.

It's frustrating that they lost a game yesterday that they were winning. However, when you start several guys out of position, are missing your main offensive spark, have Kendrick as your SP, and go to battle with only half the bullpen available, the result isn't all that surprising.

Right now, it looks like the effects of several bad things - namely, the injuries and the lack of quality pitching depth those injuries (aside from Rollis') have exposed - are interacting to create a pretty serious drag on the team. Without two or three of the big bats on fire at the same time, it's going to be a struggle for them to consistently overcome that. I wouldn't be surprised if they scuffle along at least until Blanton is back.

Two things have struck me about Herndon so far:

- For a guy who throws pretty hard and has a good sinker, he doesn't miss any bats at or get many Ks.

- He was supposed to be a guy who had pretty good command but can't seem to throw a strike with consistency when he needs to.

The Phils don't have a ton of options right now at AA/AAA to potentially bring up in the bullpen but Herndon just isn't a guy who can help this pen right now. After yesterday's performance, he will almost certainly pitch only if the Phils don't have another option or if they are up/down by 4+ runs.

Means he pitches once a week max and potentially even less if the Phils have some off days.

as a supporter for KK, I cant wait until he's back in the minors. He can't throw a f'n strike to save his life right now. No excuses.

Bench didn't get much love but Gload, Dobbs, and Valdez all contributed offensively in a meaningful way putting up some key hits and driving in runs.

Defensively it was generally a positive too as Valdez's relay-throw in the 8th outweighed the ball that Gload lost in the sun.

I know it is hard to start Gload because he is a defensive liability at every position except 1st but I would mind seeing Dobbs start ~1/week at 3B to keep Polanco fresh and give him the day off against the occasional RHP.

The Phillies might want to consider tossing Romero back on the 15 day DL for now. It'd really only be for 12 days as he last pitched Friday. He was clearly not even close to being ready and that leaves us with a 5 man bullpen with Herndon as also not a real option at this point.

Re: D-Backs offense. Sorry, i just don't buy the fact that Arizona has a dominant offense.

Reynolds is a feast-or-famine guy who had an impressive series, going 5 for 13. Tip your cap to him, certainly. And to Kelly Johnson, who went 4 for 11 in the series, all 4 hits being homers -- that's not going to happen often, but stranger things can happen.

But as for the rest: Upton does indeed seem like he has great potential, but came into the series batting just .186.

And some of these other guys don't exactly make your knees start quaking, and we made them look like world beaters. Chris Johnson is now a career .236 hitter. That is after he went 7 for 12 against us in this series.

Back-up catcher John Hester is a .286 career hitter, and he went 2 for 3 against us.

Drew also has potential, but he wasn't even much of a factor, going 2 for 11.

LaRoche is a decent hitter, but his homer against us was just his first of the year.

Catcher Snyder went 2 for 6, and his homer against us was just his second of the year.

Gerardo Parra came into this series batting .226 and he goes 4 for 9 against us.

Position by position, there isn't a guy I'd prefer over our current line-up, with the possible exception of third base (while I'd still take Polly over Reynolds, to be fair that's only because we already HAVE our share of free-swinging feast-or-famine homerun guys on this lineup).

Anyway, point is I don't fear the D-Backs lineup the way I do even, say, Atlanta's, though we dominated them. I'd take Chipper, McCann, Heyward, McLouth, Prado, Escobar, and Glaus in a heartbeat over Arizona's offense. Ditto the Dodgers, ditto Florida, ditto even the Mutts.

Bullpen is somewhat naturally handicapped right now by having a guy the Phils say is not ready to pitch (Romero) on their roster and 2 guys that Cholly just won't use because they are rookies (Herndon, Bastardo).

That leaves a bullpen of just 4 guys - Madson, Baez, Contreras, and Durbin that Cholly will willingly use and it doesn't leave them with a natural long man either.

Compounded by the fact that you have 3 starters right now (KK, Moyer, Figueroa) who are much likely to give you 5 IP or less a start than take you into the 7th.

It adds up to an overworked and under resourced bullpen. Phils hit this point last year in May with the pen but it was more due to the injuries they had to a couple of guys.

Given the pitching they have right now and a pretty tough schedule until mid-May, it is hard to see this team much better than .500 or so over the next 3 weeks.

If JC is not ready to pitch, why did the team take him off the DL?

If they made a mistake, why not face up to it and put him back on for 15 days?

These are simple questions , Rube and Charley.

I don't understand some of the panic you hear about the bullpen though. It is way too early to know what they have & what they don't have. Maybe even with Herndon too. Plus, the injuries to the pen have pushed KK & Figueroa into the rotation.

If they can finish the month at say 13-9, that is just fine especially since no one else in the NL East has gotten out to a really strong start. Frankly, I had them pegged at 12-10 and would have been fine with that.

VOR: well going off of current year's stats, its pretty easy to write off a lot of teams as having bad offense or great offenses.

My main point was that their lineup is full of players coming into their prime or in the middle of it.

I bet you a penny that ARI ends up with more runs scored at the end of year than all the teams you mentioned - with the Marlins being the best chance to prove me wrong.

When did the Giants earn the right to be called a playoff team?

All pitching and no hitting is just as bad as the other way around in the regular season.

Ryan Howard five year extension?

Just got a text from a friend. Ryan Howard signing a 5 year 125 million dollar extension. Anybody else hear that?

Per WIP and Salisbury, Phis sign Howard through 2016.

via twitter phils sign howard to 125 million 5 year extension

I'd say in light of this news (as if we didn't know already) Werth is better than gone this offseason.

I'm stunned by this deal.

Wow.

I'm predicting a new thread in about..oh 17 seconds or so.

yeah, I think that's "new thread" worthy.

Wow. Not sure how I feel about this right now.

yo, new...just kidding. where's JW??

i'm a bit shocked. i was thinking there was a chance that howard would be traded and jwerth signed, but that's out the window now.

Really? You thought Howard would be traded? No way they trade one of the faces of the franchise. Werth is a great player, but Ryan Howard is a superstar (flaws and all). Phillies still have to sell tickets should the team start to tank.

I never thought for a second Werth would be signed over Howard.

Yo, newer thread already

This popped my eyes wide open. Wow! Wonder what Werth is thinking right now.

Waiting for Beerleaguer's gurus to put it all in perspective.

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