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Saturday, April 10, 2010

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It's nice to have a good start to the season no matter who we're playing.

After years of below .500 Aprils, this is a fun so far.

yea, this is weird...setting franchise records that haven't been seen since '26? I thought them Phils are supposed to blow in April, no?

Next thing you'll tell me is that JRoll's OBP is Figgins-esque...

Yeah, these teams stink, but it's still a good indicator of consistency and focus when the Phils show up and play well. It's expected that the Phils whoop these guys, and they are. Can't discount that.

Ps - it's true, Beerleaguer does look pretty great on the iPad.

David Herndon is really standing out. If I see him mow down the Braves and the Fish, I'm going to be staunchly against offering him back. Come to think of it, I already am!

Speaking of Rule 5 success stories, is there an over/under on the date that Monasterios gets offered back to the Phils.

Does Rube pay the 25 large?

Thoughts?

The heck with Monasterios. We best find a way to keep Herndon.

Never screw with a good arm. My golden rule. If that means parting with mediocrity, so be it. An obvious list comes to mind.

The Phillies paid $50K for David Herndon, knowing that they'd have to keep him on the 25-man roster for the entire year if they wanted him. What has Herndon done since then that would make the Phillies change their minds about this proposition?

There is no way in the world they will offer him back to the Angels.

Throwback uni's tonight.

yea, i'm with bap. it's elementary that they keep herndon, however necessary.

i think the line of thinking about whether they will or won't offer him back is moot.

bap: So when Blanton, Romero and Lidge are ready to come off the DL, who goes instead of Herndon?

Kendrick, Figueroa, Bastardo? We'd likely lose Figueroa to waivers, and personally, I'd like to have two lefties if possible.

Yeah, we should take him back if allowed to.

On Herndon, at worst Rube can offer a prospect back instead (maybe a C level arm that won't be missed...even someone like Worley if we really really wanted to keep him.) They'll find a way to keep a good arm like his. There's value in a solid middle reliever who is cost controlled.

Small sample size alert, but through 4 games, their lineup card looks ridiculous.

I really love what Polly brings to this lineup. I can't say that enough.

I truly believe the "hittin' weather" also has something to do with their fast offensive start.

One thing that does bother me is the amount of innings their bullpen has pitched in a stretch where they win 3 out of 4. 14 innings in 4 games I think. That's a little messed up.

Unless this Phillies team is particularly good, they'll likely go .500 more or less against other plus .500 teams. As always, it'll rack up its 90+ win total by playing close to .700 baseball against the below average teams.

Good teams don't routinely beat other good teams. That's something that only very excellent teams can do.

Jack: Well, if you're asking me what I would do, then I get to make the rules -- and my first rule is that I refuse to concede that Lidge should be brought back at all. Until he demonstrates some reasonable probability that he can be an asset to the team, he shouldn't be on the roster at the expense of someone who can.

When Blanton & Romero return, KK & Figueroa would be the ones to go. I like Figueroa too, but lt's be real about what he is: a finesse pitcher with so-so command who has been the epitome of a fringe major leaguer throughout his career. He's the type of guy you keep at AAA as your 8th or 9th reliever. If we lose him to waivers, it's not like a colossal loss. There are other guys out there just like him.

Interesting Polanco stat, noticed by a phan on another site:

BA: .579
OBP: .571

Sac fly, no walks

Another interesting Polanco stat: he has the most AB in the majors (19) without either a walk or strike out. Second is Helton with 14.

krukker: Interesting but not surprising. Polanco's one of the hardest guys in baseball to strike out and one of the hardest to walk.

Well, when you hit .579, not taking any walks is just fine. It's when you're hitting .280 that you better be drawing some walks and getting on base any way possible.

All the talk on 10 or more hits first 4 games, but no mention of 10 or more LOB. What's the record for that?

Random stuff:

First, I went to look up Herndon. This hit came back: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/player/david-herndon/758979

At first, I though "man, he looks a lot like A-Roid". Then I looked closer.

And, does Ryan Lawrence ever tweet anything positive?

Anybody else surprised that Baez is throwing so hard this early? He topped out at 97 MPH last night on the gun and averaged slightly over 95 MPH on the 10 fastballs he threw.

It is a bit of a difference from last year when the Phils really only had 2 guys (Lidge, Madson) who threw hard. Instead they mostly had bunch of guys in the bullpen who pitched to contact (Condrey, Walker, Taschner, Eyre). Park did throw pretty hard out of the pen too but that was until later in the season. In general, it was a bullpen that didn't get a ton of Ks as evidenced by their 7.63 K/9 which was only 9th in the NL.

This year, they have a bunch of guys right now out of the pen who threw hard and are regularly at 93+ MPH on their fastball including Bastardo, Herndon, Baez, Contreras, and Madson. Even Durbin's fastball velocity is up a slight bit and he is using his slider more (money pitch and really the only pitch he gets swings & misses on with any kind of consistency). Really the only guy right now who doesn't throw hard is Figueroa.

I am sure Clout will inevitably chime in here about velocity being overrated but I like having some guys for a change out of the pen who can misses bats & come in to a game to get a K if they need to a situation. Nice change from the last few years.

Looking forward to the 1965 throwbacks tonight. Coming to a Majestic store near you.

Again, I wasn't that impressed by Happ last night. He had a more liberal strike zone to work with than Hamels the other night including getting the inside corner from the get go. Even then, Happ only threw first-pitch strikes to slightly less than half of the hitters he faced.

Astros just couldn't buy a hit with RISP and went 0-10. Maybe Happ does have some kind of knack to make pitchers with runners on base especially with RISP.

You have to think though at some point though that will come back to catch up with him over the course of this season though. He isn't going to strand 85% of the runners who get on nor have one of the 3 lowest BAA with RISP again this season.

He is more than adequate for your 4th starter. I don't wonder how much longer Happ can continue to walk the tightrope he has and not come back to the pack a bit more (~4.50 ERA).

I prefer the old script "Phillies" to the new one, which has an amateur, Comic San-ish feel to it.

re: J A Happ...There were no men thrown out at the plate, no Phillies fielders robbing Astros of hits with men on base that kept the Stros from scoring. In fact there were a couple of big K's from Happ and easy outs. The first two hits off Happ were also lucky infield hits. He seemed solidly in control of his game for the five innings he was out there despite lacking pinpoint control. That's Happ and I'm glad he's in the Phillies rotation and dude gets to finally pitch for the Phillies with some stability in his role on the club.

joe l, agreed. too close to a Hannah Barbara, beanie babies font to me.

Sophist - The picture is helped by the model.

In re: Monasterios
The only way we shouldn't take him back, if offered, is if they'll give us Matt Smith instead.

Bafflingly, when Feliz was getting on base at a .280 clip and batting .250, Jack (and flipper) rose to his defense any time someone criticized him. Now he's ready to jump on Polanco?

Strange.

MG: You're absolutely right, as you've been asserting for years, velocity is everything. When a pitcher struggles it is always because his velocity is down. It couldn't possibly be anything else. I totally agree.

That's why it's so strange that 75% of the pitchers in the minor leagues can hit 93 mph and yet never make The Show. Must be a conspiracy. Baseball execs secretly love junkballers.

Strange? No.

Interesting.

Polanco looks great when other guys are getting on base. That 'contact' (and lack of walks) can move runners, get hit&run base hits, and knock in guys. However, if Rollins OBP drops then Polanco is not as good with nobody on.

Unless Herndon gets promoted to high leverage situations it will be tough to keep him on the ML roster. Both Kendrick and Bastardo would need to be sent down (Figueroa released). I'd offer the Angels Mike Cisco who projects as a Carpenter type but dominated low minors and pitched in AFL.

Clout - 75% of minor league pitchers can regularly hit 93+ MPH?

FYI, the "Jey-Hey Kid" went 0-5 last night with a walk and 4 Ks. Good thing he's contributing up in Atlanta instead of AAA. And think! This is the kind of production (for 2 months) they are getting in exchange for an entire year of this age 26 production!!!

PhxPhilly: Excellent point about J-Roll's impact on Polly's value.

BTW, this site: http://www.baseballmusings.com/cgi-bin/LineupAnalysis.py

is a lot of fun. It's a lineup analysis tool based on sabremetric research. For most teams, batting the pitcher 8th will generate more runs than batting him 9th, although it depends on the personnel. I ran the 2009 Phillies (subbing Polly's stats for Feliz's) thru it and the lineup that scored the most runs was this one:
Utley
Howard
Vic
Ibanez
Werth
Rollins
Polanco
Pitcher
Ruiz

Because of Ruiz' high OB, Uts & Howard still had decent RBI chances. Werth also was in the great spot with high OB guys like Howard and Vic just 2 spots ahead of him.

The tool also lists the worst possible lineups. In virtually every case, the worst lineup had either Rollins or the pitcher leading off. The difference between the best and worst lineups was an average of .7 runs per game.

When Heyward is 26, he will be on the Braves. There's no exchange, In any case, it's just one night.

PhxPhilly, Polanco and Granderson's OBP generally followed the last few years.

MG: Nah, that was hyperbole to make a point. But, as you certainly know, most 93 mph minor leaguers never make it. I do think most minor leaguers can hit 90, though. That's what the scouts look for.

RE: Heyward

Remember back when ESPN, Fox, etc. were ready to induct Jay Bruce into the HoF after his first week in the Majors? His career BA to date now stands at a lusty .237 ... I'll wait to get excited about "Jey-Hey" until if/when he actually does something.

Clout: So you're saying that Polanco isn't the ideal 2-hole hitter? Crazy.

And stop acting as if I'm jumping all over Polanco. He's a good player, and a much better hitter than Feliz. It's only in your imagination that people don't believe that. I was merely saying that he could stand to draw some more walks, especially in the 2-hole. Last year we got close to a .360 OBP from the 2-hole with Shane. Polanco would need to hit close to .330 to get that. I hope he does.

And I've never defended Feliz's offense. It was his defense that we disagreed about.

To any BL's in NYC I will be at Woogies at 39 Greenwich Avenue New York, NY 10014-2751 tomorrow to watch the game. I hope to see someone else there.

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