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Monday, May 17, 2010



24yr old goes out and has one of the best playoff performances in mlb history to bring a championship to the city - piling up 260-270IP on his arm in the process. Then he regresses the next season with less effective stuff and comes back in 2010 and wins 4 out of his first 6 decisions.

Conclusion: he is a mental midget.

maybe they should trade ibanez for a bag of balls to keep both utility infielders.

They better keep Valdez. I would let Castro go.....

Two ridiculous comments. I can't tell if either or both were meant sarcastically.

thephaithful: Perhaps I'm confused (as I've certainly had the "this game feels like a loss" bug more than a few times over the past couple of decades), but when did I join in that particular chorus last evening?

I want to put in my 40% of a nickel on what the Phillies should do...

I think the Phillies should resign Jayson Werth. Let's not worry about which guy batting 235 we should keep.

NEPP - While I agree that the BoSox will focus more on the offense this offseason, they have so much money coming off the books that they could afford to sign 2 players like Lee and Werth without a problem. Drew, Ortiz, and Lowell (just to name a few)come off the books after this season, and combined those 3 alone are making almost 40 mil.

keith - I think EVERYONE agrees the Phils should re-sign Jayson Werth. The real question is if they can/will.

About the last post, Polanco has been very good so far, and has picked it back up a lot in the last week or so. He's helping the team both on offense and defense.

But to say he's been our best hitter is crazy. That title belongs, as usual, to the Phillies best player, Chase Utley. Utley is hitting .304/.421/.578, with 9 HRs, 22 RBIs, and 31 runs.

People tend to discount Utley's season so far because he seems to always start hot and finish slow. But while that may be a relevant pattern to predicting how he'll do later on, it doesn't change the fact that he's been our best hitter so far this year.

Keith, you do understand that whichever guy we keep will sit on Cholly's bench, meaning that we will have to worry daily that he is not getting enough ABs? The worries never end with these bench types.

Its definitely a whole new world out there for the Phillies fan. We lose 2 shortstops, 2 catchers, 2 starting pitchers, 2 closers. Hell it's like a Noahs Ark of injuries, yet we are still in first place. Didn't see that coming. I guess some of these secondary moves that were bitched about (i'm included)weren't so bad after all. I know a lot can happen between now and the end of the season, but if the Phillies can get healthy by late summer we could have a helluva lot of fun here.

Jack continues to attack any positive comments on Polanco, still carrying the torch for Pedro Feliz.

Really, the only people who've been consistently critical of Polly are Jack and thephaithful, who seems to have a problem with Polly's fielding. Overall I think the posts on this blog have been positive. Certainly nothing like the constant viciousness displayed toward Hamels and Moyer.

I don't get this idea that we should move Vic up to 6th. It just doesn't make sense to me.

With Howard 4th, Werth 5th and Ibanez 6th, the opposing manager must either burn three pitchers in three ABs or let Werth bat against a lefty (career OPS .966) or let Ibanez bat against a righty (career OPS .849).

But if we move Vic up, that means the manager will be more likely to bring in a RHP to face both Werth (career OPS .790) and Vic (career OPS .759).

I'm not sure how moving Vic up benefits us. And it's not like Raul is struggling. Over his last 23 games, he's hitting .273 with an .866 OPS. Vic's OPS over that same time is .882. Not a big difference... and I have a feeling by the end of the season, Raul will have a higher OPS than Vic, just like he has each of the last 4 seasons.

I agree with JW that it would be nice to have both Valdez and Castro as injury insurance. But you simply can't have both these guys on your bench, & you can't have a bench with a complete absence of right-handed pop. I'm not a big Ben Francisco fan, but he's obviously a lot better hitter than either Castro or Valdez. So one of the infielders has to go. There's just no getting around it.

They will almost certainly lose Valdez to a waivers claim but I suspect there will soon be other teams who are in the same situation as the Phillies -- that is, forced to waive a reasonably competent utility infielder due to a numbers game. The Phillies should be on the lookout & ready to grab the guy when that happens. Bocock is not an acceptable emergency plan and, if Cody Ransom's defense has deteriorated to the extent that those in the know say it has, he apparently isn't either.

Well, I thought I had the answer to which one we should keep using my favorite BL way to measure...height. But, alas, both Valdez and Castro are 5' 11'', so I am stumped on which one is more valuable.

Does anyone know which one has a higher vertical jump? I think that would be the tiebreaker, no?

Listening to WFAN, talking about the empty seats at Yankees games.

"It's not the expensive seats that aren't selling. It's the $250 dollar seats."

keith - the tiebreaker with Cholly is always age. Castro wins hands down.

I really don't understand the hatred for Cole. The negativity toward Moyer seems to me more like a tentative support, because everyone WANTS Grampa to do well, but is just waiting for him to pitch like everyone expects a 47 year old should. I really don't think anyone hates Moyer.

Hamels, on the other hand, I don't get it. It's like McNabb. The collective fanbase gets it in their head that they don't like the player for stupid reasons. McNabb was a great QB but even he had that "couldn't win big games" stigma. Fine. They ran him out of town, and I have a feeling the Eagles will become a .500 team (or worse) for the next few seasons.

Cole, unlike McNabb even, has proven to be a big game pitcher. There's literally nothing more that he could have done in 2008 to prove his worth and upside when he's right. It's like just because he doesn't have the right personality, his achievements on the field are somehow worthless. We've seen how good he can be, so why not root for him to get himself back to that point? I don't get it.

Cole was a hero in 2008, and he will forever be a Phillies hero, no matter what. That should be all that needs to be said about him.

keith: After height, the next tie-breaker is pedigree. Maybe one of them has a great uncle who played AAA ball or something.

I can't get myself worked up about whether we should keep Valdez or Castro. The only edge Valdez seems to have is that when he plays for J-Roll, it gives us the chance of a ZZZ Bottom lineup.

If either goes and ends up somewhere else, that's no big deal. The chance of us needing our 3rd shortstop again for a extended period of time is very slim.

Also... Hoover heads back down the moment Schneider is healthy. It's been nice and all to see him get a few hits, but Schneider is the better long term choice at backup catcher.

"It's not the expensive seats that aren't selling. It's the $250 dollar seats."

What a disgrace.

We will survive losing Valdez on waivers. If anything, his appearance was reminiscent of Tad Iguchi's, only briefer. Yes, he stepped up and performed more than adequately for a "third string" shortstop when his team really needed it. He played good defense and had a couple nice hits that are more memorable than the double-plays he grounded into. The skill sets between him and Juan Castro are just about moot, and hopefully neither will be needed for an extended period again this season anyway.

BAP- All star second baseman Joe Morgan said on TV last night that Valdez was a major league SS.
Is that pedigree enough?

"It's not the expensive seats that aren't selling. It's the $250 dollar seats."

And New Yorkers can't understand why people don't like them ...

curt - While this has been fun and it made me laugh at work today, I honestly think Cholly will pick Juan even though Valdez should be the pick. I could also see the Philles trading Juan and GDobbs to Houston for Oswalt. Never underestimate Ed Wade to help us out.

Bubba: That's Hall of Fame Second Baseman Joe Morgan! ESPN would fire your a** for making such an egregious error!

Bubba:Thats Hall of Fame second baseman to you buster. God it really pisses me off when people don't give the Great Man his due. What an outrage!

You tell him Gtown.

I think the Phils should combine Wilson & Castro into a single, backup Super SS: Juan Valdez. Profits from the associated coffee bean empire can be funneled into the Bearded Piggy bank.

Mea culpa, mea culpa

I can't remember... where did Hall of Fame Second Baseman Joe Morgan's daughter go to school... don't think it's ever been mentioned...

Interesting thought on replacing Francisco with Mayberry - I could see it happening but it won't solve this question.

Sorry if the Valdez vs. Castro debate is boring for some but we need a little break from the Werth discussion that will go on for the next 7 months or so.

I think she went to Faber College,CJ. What a tool.

****NEPP - While I agree that the BoSox will focus more on the offense this offseason, they have so much money coming off the books that they could afford to sign 2 players like Lee and Werth without a problem****

You're definitely right...I didn't realize just how much money they're freeing up this winter. They could easily sign both and might have to to compete in the AL East.

Can they just chop off Valdez's arm and graft it onto Castro's body?

So, Height, Pedigree, Age...anything else?

I think Juan is a distant cousin to Fidel...does that count?

Anyone else excited that Orel Hersheiser is bound to replace Morgan sooner rather than later. I mean, that's why they're doing this 3-man booth, right? Gotta ease Morgan out of there. Orel is MUCH better at the kind of analysis that actually means something.

Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan. Not you CJ.

She played/plays Lacrosse at Stanford...on a scholarship. I dont recall where the other daughter goes...USC I think.

donc: Bwahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!

keith: I also use number of letters in a last name as a tiebreaker, shorter being preferable as it's easier on my scorebook. Unfortunately Castro & Wilson are a push in this category, too.

Unfortunately, both are Latino so their Scrapiness Factor evens out.

I have most post bitching about the selection of _____________ over ________________ all typed up. Just waiting to learn which name to fill in where.

"Castro or Valdez?" may well be the most difficult personnel choice in franchise history.

Did you know that Joe Morgan was the only guy on the Big Red Machine to win his MVP trophy the same year as a WS ring? He's never mentioned that fact during a broadcast.

Soon to be followed by the post bitching that it is about time _______________ get a start so he can stay "sharp."

re: valdez/castro

I dont think the decision is any different than it was at the start of the season. Both Valdez and Castro had the same kind of impact, a few timely hits and a few above average defensive plays. If the decision makers picked Castro back then, I can't imagine them changing their mind now.

I just noticed that Juan Valdez(I like this, we shall combine them from here on out) only has 2 walks in 29 games. Rollins has 7 walks in 7 games. Going to be nice to have Jroll back regardless of whomever gets sent down/shipped to another team.

NEPP: Do tell! :-o

Okay. I'm thinking maybe we could sign Hall of Fame Second Baseman and MVP winner former Phillie Joe Morgan as a utility guy and get rid of both of these relatively short scrappy guys Wilson and Valdez I think their names are. I know he has been out of the game for a bit, but he is a professional ball player with a ton of experience and would probably be able to do both sides of a post game interview.

They should put Castro on the DL to buy some time.

The Phillies are not resigning Jayson Werth.

clout: so far I think a lot of hard hit balls have gotten thru polly's corner of the infield that shouldn't.

However, the ability to make plays and throws on balls in front of him or slower balls to either side is much better than I originally expected - so far overall he has probably proved me wrong in the field. And again, his bat is plenty enough to make up for whatever defensive shortcomings i think i see.

Do you think somewhere in this country there are people that think HOFer JM is a good broadcaster? I'm being serious. He's the Matt Millen of broadcasters. Do his bosses really think he does a good job? It literally keeps me up at night. It's like saying Adam Eaton is a good pitcher or Chris Wheeler has a good rug. It simply can't be a point of debate. That chatterbox had my ears bleeding last night.

I'm sure there are plenty of deaf baseball fans that think Joe Morgan is a fantastic broadcaster.

Is scrappy > gritty?

I would think he's twice as boring in closed caption.

I would pick HoF Joe Morgan over TMac every day of the week - even considering Morgan's complete lack of knowledge of the home team.

TMacs sugary and sappy delivery is unbearable to me. His most important calls of the game are when hes trying to tie in the upcoming promotion schedule and a camera shot of random people in the stands into a introduction of the upcoming inning. Everything else, like the actual game, is secondary to him.

Joe Morgan and our own T-Mac appeal to a corporate broadcasting ideal that there never be any dead air. To the corparte mindset, silence is a bad thing. Thus, the greater the chitter-chatter the happier they are. This is a mindset that works for regular programing... but in live sports programing it is too easier for the talking to be counterproductive. Still, I don't think we'll ever see a trend away from banal chatter during sports any time soon--American audeinces are too ingrained in the practice now for corporations to consider switching.

Morgan is somewhat more interesting now that Hershiser is there to needle him. I am amused when Orel tries to introduce some levity into the broadcast & Joe takes it very seriously, even to the point of irritation.

Don't you people listen? I didn't say Cole was a bad pitcher by any stretch. A couple starts ago, a guy runs out onto the field, Cole lost his focus, that's understandable. Last night, with the lead, loads the bases, a GS is nearly hit, but Cole's out of the inning. Then, gives up back-to-back HR's late, which tuns a 3-0 lead into a tight game. That again is losing your focus. In my opinion that's what happening. That's it end of story. Doesn't take away from ANYTHING else he's done either or in the past or this year as well.

I tell you, it'll be tough but I'll manage to live if Wilson Valdez is hitting into double plays on another team. He had a nice weekend and I thank him for his services. But Jimmy Rollins is alright and I suppose Castro is too. So, why even ask? He was signed for this purpose alone and it was a good signing. Now see ya!

can't we put Castro on the DL to buy a little more time? it wouldn't be retroactive to back a few days anyways so he'd only be out 10 days or so and by that time maybe rollins isn't 100% and goes down again or so someone else does

I'm waiting for Joe and Orel to kill each other in the booth...its clear they can't stand each other.

I thought Hershiser was gonna rip his face off when they started talking about Saves last night.

I agree Gtown. Hershiser is terrific. When he tries to mess with him it's almost cruel. Like making fun of the slow kid in school. I honestly don't think that Morgan even listens to himself when he talks. And I completely agree with whoever said they couldn't wait for just Hershiser. He is really good. Morgan should be sitting on a porch somewhere with a note pinned to his sweater and a cat named Marmelade on his lap.

As for Dobbs, I'm ready to say au'revoire to him as well. Talk about a guy who is virtually useless. His defense is HORRIFIC and his ABs rarely yield a good result. The guy was great in '07 and '08 but it's painful how streaky he really is. Time to go!

The other thing that I think is a mistake is that 3 guys in the booth thing. It ensures that guys will be vomiting all over one another. It doesn't matter who it is. Maybe the Theory is on to something. A very distressing trend.

Did anyone subject themselves to the audio of this week's Saturday game? Fox's pairing of the always-unprepared, cliche-spewing Mark Grace w/ hyperactive ass clown Tom McCarthy was a new low in broadcasting history.

Grace: Look at that Valdez! Manuel loves the kid, & he's been tearing it up since Rollins went on the DL!

TMac: Ha! Ha! Ha! Off-speed pitch!

Grace: Of course anyone in baseball can hit 40 home runs in Philly's park ...

TMac: Oppo Boppo! Ha! Ha!

Grace: ... What a bandbox!

TMac: Ha! Ha! Sarge & Wheels! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Gtown: Crushed that I missed it. Mark Grace was one of my favorite non Phillies ever. I couldn't wait for him to get to the booth. I was positive he'd be great. Wow. How wrong can one be? Just wretched.

Some posters here don't think that the other teams try very hard or employ capable major league players. Like DPatrone, who thinks that giving up back to back HRs to the high scoring Brewers is some evidence of ADD.

donc: Completely agree RE: the 3 man booth. It's overkill, & when you add in the ubiquitous (& equally unnecessary) "field reporter", there's far too much yappin' & not nearly enough baseball.

Rollins hitting third tonight.

With Rollins hitting third I'm Jerry Manuel our manager tonight?

No Utley?

DPatrone: Um... huh?

Is it your opinion that any time a pitcher gives up a run it's a lack of concentration? Or is it any hit at all? Or just home runs?

Perhaps you weren't watching Hersheiser's great breakdown of those two home runs. It's possible that Cole did exactly what he was suppose to do. He threw the pitch in the exact same spot as the pitch that struck out those same batters in a previous at bat.

Perhaps the blame should go to the catcher for calling the same "out" pitch in a similar count to the same batter. I suppose Cole could have shaken him off, but you can hardly call it lack of concentration.

I mean... you *can* call that... if you just want to make up facts.

I liked Joe Morgan saying that he doesn't believe in run differential, although he does think that since the 27 Yankees had the best one ever and the Rays lead in it this year that it means something in those specific cases.

Salisbury tweets Utley out with flulike symptoms.

Tonights line up via Murphy:


Clout: I wasn't being critical at all of Polanco. He's been very good--great defensively and pretty good offensively. A very productive player so far. I have absolutely no complaints with him as of right now.

But do you think he's been a better hitter so far than Utley? Of course not. That was just my point.

Utley out with flu-like symptoms. J-Roll hitting third. Ruiz back in the lineup hitting 8th.

Forgot to mention... Dobbs is playing 3rd and hitting 7th.

CF Vic
2B Polly
SS J-Roll
1B Howard
RF Werth
LF Rauuuuul
3B Dobbs
CA Ruiz

CJ, concentration is measured by a complex formula, much like DITHL. I don't have the time to explain it right now, but anytime a greater than 2 base hit is followed by a greater than 1 base hit, the concentration formula dips into negative numbers. Thats when we have a problem.

Well, I think it's safe to say none of us saw that lineup coming.

I don't know if the lineup for tonight really matters much. It's supposed to rain. Not sure they're getting this one in.

I always wonder if "flu-like symptoms" just means he has a cold and saying just he's "out with a cold" sounds too much like he stayed home from elementary school.

Howard hits PH homeruns after being hospitalized last season, so one can only expect Chase to have a go ahead hit tonight and then pitch the top of the 9th for his first career save.

Spitz: Ah... I understand now. I take back all I said. So does KK demonstrate a reverse split on this since in his career he's done better with runners on base? At least he did his rookie season.

Dukes: "Flu-like symptoms" can mean anything from the common cold to stomach problems to being too hungover to play. It seems to be used when anything other than a real injury is at play.

Utley is obviously deeply distressed at the loss of his most recent DP partner.

Jack: Are you implying that Chase doesn't want to play tonight? I doubt that very much. Is it even remotely possible that he simply doesn't feel well and Charlie told him to sit?

somebody get ed wade on the phone. He'd jump all over a Dobbs and Kendrick for Oswalt offer

CRD says Ruiz is hitting 9th??

all i know is.. I've had this "cold" er... flu-like symptoms for a week now... and i'm heading down to the game tonight. Man Up Utley... on the other hand... must be pretty rough to keep Utz out of the lineup...

Late to the Hamels discussion, but IMO, not a stellar game, but overall, the guy did what he had to do. The replays of the homerun pitches looked to me as if one was pretty much right in the guy's wheelhouse. The other one, however, looked to me to be over the very lowest point of the inside part of the plate. An inch or two either lower or further inside would have been a ball. Maybe not a "filthy" pitch, but not anything like a meatball either. These guys are major league hitters and will pound good pitches from time to time.

Not saying the 2008 WS MVP is back, better then ever; but he's 4-2, and was able to get a W out of last night's game without killing the bullpen. Not chopped liver.

joncoctosten:Just put Jayson Werth on Underhill's tab.

Bay Slugga: No. Knowing Utley, he probably is sick and Charlie is forcing him to take the night off.

I was just saying that "flu-like symptoms" can mean that scenario (sick), or that a guy is too hungover to play. It's been used for those and everything in between. With Utley, it's probably more likely the former. My point was just that it's classic sports catch-all for anytime a guy isn't playing and it's not a specific physical injury.

Hugh: Chooch is hitting 8th in the lineup I saw tweeted from the beat reporters. Not sure why someone said he was hitting 9th.

Jack: I agree with you.

Thanks CJ. I thought maybe Charlie Manuel had a stroke and Mackanin was doing hte lineup.

Ha, ha, ha, ha. Some of the posters here are so much sharper than Ed Wade. Hell, look how bad we ripped him off in the Lidge deal. Wade got NOTHING of value in that....oh, wait.

I'm guessing Jimmy is not hitting leadoff for 2 reasons: 1) Shane is hot right now and 2) Jimmy can be expected to be rusty. So, if conventional wisdom dictates that your best pure hitter be your #3, why would you put the rusty guy just off the DL in that spot? Just wondering. I would kinda think Werth would be better suited to hit 3rd, myself, and put Jimmy at #7 or #8 for now.

KK should probably IBB mccutchen for lefty garret jones anytime there is men on, the rest of this lineup is putrid.

Iwamura was there big free agent signing... and he has a OPS under .500!

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