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Monday, June 21, 2010


Isn't Dobbs a candidate for the chopping block here as well?

BP postseason odds update:

Down almost 3 percent to 24 percent.

Mets' Francouer, on why the Mets lost series at Yankee stadium: Their long road trip has made them tired.

They went all the way to Baltimore, Cleveland, and then their annual lengthy journey to a different part of their home town.

Scotch: Sure, but not as much as Valdez or Castro. Two back-up shortstops that hit from the right side.

Very strange and frustrating weekend.

I heard most of the game on the radio Sunday in the car, and the tone of the broadcast made it sound like Pavano had somehow chosen yesterday to throw his best game of the year against the Phils. I was wondering if he was really that good or if the Phils were simply a bit flat after the Saturday disaster.

One of the announcing crew commented to the effect that if someone told you the Phils would score 20 runs in the first two games, then have Halladay going in the third game, and that they would lose the series,...well...

Seems three runs is the ace's typical allotment. With that in mind, this should have been a 4-3 loss. If Halladay is frustrated with his run support, the solution is clear - take more batting practice and contribute on both sides of the ball. right?

he has the 7th best era in the bigs. not sure what else you want. his typical "allotment" is less than 3 runs

The Inky says Castro has had knee woes this year.

Well, there's a good excuse to DFA him. "Well, he just wasn't healthy enough."

Also, we moved up Halladay's next tough loss to Friday, 'on the road' vs Toronto.

Sadly, Castro is statistically better now (37 OPS+) than he was in both 2007 (14 OPS+) and 2008 (36 OPS+).

Third place and 5½ games back sucks. No chance to make up ground today also sucks. I just hope the Phils aren't "stuck on stupid." Not having J-Roll really sucks and the Castro Valdez Oil Tanker is listing badly. I'm not happy.

Keeping Castro to drop Valdez is the ultimate cheap ass move by Rube. Try and defend it, Rube, just TRY!

Valdez is actually a borderline 25th/26th guy in most MLB Orgs...Castro shouldn't be starting in AAA.

To those who consistently rationalize that it's OK to have a crappy record against "...the most difficult part of the schedule..." those teams comprising said part of schedule are highly likely to be opponents in post-season play.

I'm really disillusioned right now. I can't get that bleepin' SI cover out of my head. This was the year for the Phils to dominate the NL, with Werth’s contract year; a resurgent Hamels, stronger bench and all. Too many bad baseball games are being played. WIP talking heads keep talking about complacency (something I got torched for here when I mentioned it and suggested a shakeup). The SI curse seems to be working.

This is now a mature ball club. The cast of characters have been set. Is Charlie Manual (a loyal to a fault “player’s manager”) still the best man for the job? Sure wish we had a younger Dallas Green or Paul Owens in the wings – with some real authority, just like the old days – to tell RAJ the way it is. Hard to imagine how much distance the Braves put on us if we don’t start playing winning baseball. Now. The Braves seem to “have it” once again. They like winning.

Bobby Cox may be a blazing alcoholic who beats his wife but he knows how to manage.

UC knows how to manage I dont really have a point here. I dont think its UC's fault that the offense is so inconsistent.

Would the 2007 or 2008 Phil's have allowed Carl Pavano to scatter 4 hits on 105 pitches over 9 innings? Again, WIP is WIP, but their Sunday afternoon guy was livid about each Phillie batter not working the count, in order to make a ham and egger like Pavano sweat like a stuck pig on such a hot afternoon. The old, hungry Phillies used to punish marginal starters like him, then feast on the bullpen. Halladay deserves better.

oh i've seen the 07,08 and 09 phillies not hit marginal starters plenty. plenty. it happened a lot

Saturday’s bullpen meltdown bothered me. This team’s flat, disinterested response both after the game and in their play the next day bothered me even more.

It’s getting late really early around here

I know BLers are saying Phils will keep Castro because he has guaranteed ML contract, but financial difference vs Valdez is minor as I see it. Aren't we talking simply the difference between roughly half Castro's salary at this point (375, half of 750) vs half of major league minimum for Valdez (200, half of 400).

they are 3 out in the WC, 2 in the loss column. winning the division isn't the only way to make the playoffs. I know they are battling more teams but if they start winning, they can easily take that

Pretty much Clay. THough its closer to 3/5 of the contract than 1/2. Also, Valdez goes back to a minor-league deal if he's down in Lehigh I believe. Its a minimal amount of money but it didn't stop them last time Rollins was deemed healthy. We're talking maybe $250K total here...a pittance for the Phillies.

Pavano has been better than a marginal starter this year. He is among the league leaders in BB/9 and has the best defense in the MLB behind it. It showed on a few plays yesterday especially on the Kubel catch.

Got ahead of hitters consistently yesterday and had a really good changeup/sinker combo. Yeah the Phils didn't make a lot of good contact but it wasn't like Pavano didn't have very good location all day either.

Normally a 25th man on your roster doesn't matter that much as the Phils have showed by employing arugably the worst positional player in the NL the past 2 seasons with Taguchi/Bruntlett. They have had a real knack for finding them.

Since May 1st, Castro is the 4th worst hitter in MLB with a line of .172/.210/.224 in 58 ABs. He has also been a dud in the field & hampered by hamstring/knee injuries. Maybe Amaro will realize that signing so many players in their late 30s/early 40s isn't such a great idea generally.

Given that the Phils don't know how healthy JRoll will be the rest of the season, this is one of the few times that a 25th man who is your middle utility INF does matter.

Can Valdez still be optioned back to the minors? If so, he's a lock to do so. With Jimmy's injury described as 'nagging' it would probably help out that we have more than just 1 backup for the rest of the year.

although i guess anything is better than Castro so who really cares.

"Since May 1st, Castro is the 4th worst hitter in MLB"

Dobbs in that top #5?

Pavano did look good yesterday. The Twins have to be pleased they signed him for this year.

I don't want to overstate the import of decisions regarding the futility infielder but, Amaro's decisions when Rollins returns should be telling. Valdez has clearly distinguished himself in the field, where the backup must be most competent. The two homers in two days are great but, as long as he fields his position as he has, he can keep putting those bleeders and bloops to play on this team.

If Castro is dinged up, they may be able to stash him on the DL instead of letting him go via waivers (if anyone will take him) and seeing if he'll take a AAA slot.

What's the future of Mayberry and will Domo Brown get to AAA this summer?

I don't know that he'd solve any of the Phillies problems, but I read where Akinori Iwamura was designated for assignment by the Buccos after hitting .182/.292/.267. He may not be healthy following knee surgery, but he's got some versatile defensive tools and hit .290/.355/.390 a year ago. Interesting player. Worth talking about at least.

DL Castro for 15 days when Jimmie returns to let him get some time to be settled back into his every day routine ( and stay recurrence free).Maybe play SS for the 2 of the NL rules games and DH for 1 or 2 of the AL rules games to ease him back.
If he is good to go after 15 days then decide on Exxon or Fidel.

Yeah, Pavano has stopped walking people, which means he's throwing strikes, which means the guys are gonna swing and not work long ABs.

That said, the Phillies certainly don't seem to work pitchers quite like they used to. Team OBP:

2005: .348
2006: .347
2007: .354 (!)
2008: .332
2009: .334
2010: .328

I couldn't find reliable team stats for P/PA, but it wouldn't surprise me to see that the Phillies have declined in that as well. It just appears we aren't working pitchers and counts the way we used to.

Dregs on the bench:

- Dobbs 382nd player by OPS in MLB so far. Castro is slightly at 370 (out of 390 players with at least 50 ABs this season).

Dobbs has the stellar line of .133/.204/.156 since May 1st in 45 ABs.

Dobbs is the 2nd worst hitter in MLB over that stretch. Castro is 5th. So yeah, the Phils have had 2 of the worst bench players in MLB baseball this year so far.

Dregs indeed.

JW: I've never seen Iwamura play SS, so he'd be a utility infielder who can't play short. As bad as Dobbs has been, if we're going to keep an infielder who can't play SS on the bench, I'd rather it be Dobbs, who theoretically has some pop in his bat, than Iwamura.

Players as bad/worse offensively than Castro & Dobbs have either been getting sent back down to the minors, DFA, or retired.

Mather & Hester were sent back down to T-AAA. Matthews Jr & Matsui were DFA. Griffey Jr. retired.

Really don't want to here Amaro say he is 'satisfied' with the way the bench has played. He has put together the worst bench in baseball because Castro has been awful, Schneider has been mediocre, and Gload has done nothing expect though 2 PH HRs.

Jack - Some of it is a combo of guys who are taking less BBs this season (Howard, Vic), guys who are pretty much automatic outs (Castro, Valdez), and other guys who never take a BB (Polanco).

****What's the future of Mayberry and will Domo Brown get to AAA this summer?****

Possible 5th OF next year and Dom will likely be in AAA after the AA All-Star break.

Iwamura was putrid at the plate and in the field for Pittsburgh. Not easy for the league's worst franchise to release its highest paid position player (!!) after 2 months of the season. He appeared to be damaged goods or, at least not fully healthy. His range was non-existent and his bat feeble. He'll land somewhere but, he looked like a guy who could use some time on the shelf.

If they do bring back Iwamura everyone has to call him Tad Iguchi and yell "Goooooch" when he comes up to bat.

Francisco would go to arbitration next year, right? If they like Mayberry, presumably they would non-tender Francisco, and just hope to get as much production from Mayberry as Francisco for about 1/3 the price.

Stealin' money:

Feliz has a line of .221/.246/.296, a complete dud in the field, and has lost his job to Chris Johnson (a marginal prospect in the Astros' system). $4.5M for a guy who arguably be lucky to be making $1M if Wade wasn't a GM.

Hey, does anyone remember when Halladay was 6-0 and 25 wins wasn't out of the question?

Good points by MG and Hugh. It does seem like teams have been making many adjustments. Time for the Phils to do the same.

I am old enough to remember Chris Short and Jim Bunning and of course Steve Carlton and Curt Schilling. It doesn't seem like Halladay is in that same class of what I picture when I think of an ace. Except for the PG he seems to labor every game.
He certainly isnt an upgrade over Cliff Lee. I am just hoping he doesn't have a whiff of Lance Parrish about him.

Halladay, like Hamels and even Moyer at times hasnt gotten great run support every time out, but he has gotten hammered a times and he doesnt seem like he can rare back and blow away three guys when he needs to like the guys you mentioned.

Why is Victorino the only guy I see quotes from in game articles, day after day?

I know some obvious answers: he's the most approachable and talkative guy on the team, at least while Rollins isn't around. But still.

i've seen quotes from ibanez and howard

Even when the Phillies were really bad it seems like they would replace an underachiever like Dobbs during the season.
I have a feeling its all about the benjamins with Amaro-- under directions of ownership of course.

BillM: sounds like a rookie mistake from an old timer.

I agree, the notion of Moyer leading the team in wins is just absurd. Why, if you compare him to the pitcher who's led the team in wins the past two seasons, you'd have to be crazy, nevermind.

Due to guaranteed contracts, payroll budget, dearth of prospects/MLB-ready minor leaguers, dearth of trading chips, the Phils' roster is, for all intents and purposes, locked in.

Maybe a couple of moves can be made at the edges; e.g., Castro, Dobbs, bottom of the bullpen. But that's about it.

Dave: I would pay closer attention. Halladay gets the K when he needs it as good as any pitcher in the league.

Dave: I would pay closer attention. Halladay gets the K when he needs it as good as any pitcher in the league.

Dave: I would pay closer attention. Halladay gets the K when he needs it as good as any pitcher in the league.

Halladay has been less than dominating, of late. He managed to cover 8 innings yesterday while surrendering 11 hits. Four runs may be one too many to expect victory but, it definitely kept them in the game. I never saw Bunning or Short but, Carlton had a handful of games per year just like that - he didn't have his best stuff, he got hit, but he didn't get knocked out of the game. On the whole, I think he has pitched very ace-like. I expect him to win alot of games in July, August and September.

The fact that Moyer leads the team in wins is an indictment of using wins to judge a pitcher.

This is not a knock on Moyer, who has been fantastic this year and seems to set new records every start--but anyone with half a brain would recognize that Halladay and Hamels have both been better pitchers this year (as they're getting paid to be). If you have three pitchers, and the worst of the three is leading in a metric, that says more about the metric than it does the pitchers.

I'm sorry, Moyer doesn't lead the team in wins--he's one behind Halladay. The point remains valid, though.

You can use 2008 as an example if you'd like--Moyer was very good that year, but Hamels was quite obviously a better pitcher, and Moyer had more wins. What this says to me is that wins are not what we should be using to judge pitchers.

Short, Bunning, Carlton, et al are now fond memories and only their strengths remain in our minds.
Halladay will get that status someday, but for now he is merely a pitcher who has less than perfect games , some bad games even.
HoF pitcher - Carlton had 244 losses to go with his wins.

The Phils won 3 games in a row, were 1 inning away from making it 4 in a row until a bullpen meltdown and lost yesterday to a good pitching performance. The worst thing you can say right now is that the Braves are hot. Fidel and Exxon are not major problems at the moment (and yes, they should keep Exxon)

You shouldn't use wins to judge a pitcher, but it's a good judge of a pitcher/team combination of far as win expectation goes. I bring it up only because he had a spectacular record two years ago, but in 2008, Cliff Lee was 22-3.

Sure, Cliff has some no-decisions, but what that record tells me is that when he pitched well or just simply went deep into a game (hence, he most likely got a decision), his team won 88% of the time. This year, when Halladay gets a decision, this team wins 57% of the time. Now, that's not necessarily an indictment of Halladay (he's had a couple clunkers, but overall has pitched well to really well), but for whatever reason, this team has only won 57% of his decisions.

Now, it's a small sample size, and at one point they'd won 100% of his STARTS(6-0), but since then, they've only won 25% of his decisions, and sprinkled in a loss or two when he didn't get a dicision.

Disconcerting, to say the least.

Its clear that the team hates playing behind Halladay and is doing everything they can to sabotage him in the hopes that Rube reverses the Lee/Halladay trade.

Posted in the previous thread but Halladay is 4-3 in his starts in which the Phils lost the previous game. Hamels is just 2-4. Neither guy has been a real 'stopper' this year if you use that definition. Yeah it is due to run support but Halladay has also been pretty mediocre in 2 of those loses too.

Halladay though the past month hasn't posted great stats. He has been clearly outpitched by Hamels since the slide with this team began on May 18th. Even KK has been just as good.

Most interesting thing though has been that Halladay has utterly dominated the NL this year (8-3, 1.78 ERA in 14 GS) while just stinking it up against the AL (0-3, 6.73 ERA in 3 GS).

After watching Halladay now, I am really impressed at how he approaches hitters and the assortment of pitches he brings to the table. His raw stuff isn't overpowering and he doesn't have a single pitch that he really uses to finish hitters off with. He just has ridiculous ability to locate and 4 plus pitches that he can throw.

He has been as good as advertised though. If he had adequate run support, he would have 10 or 11 wins by now which in mid-June would be pretty damn impressive. He still should be in the running to make the All-Star team although there are a bunch of starters in the NL have outstanding years though tooo.

Maybe he'll finish the year like Carlton did in 1972.

Final 19 starts: 15-4, 17 CG, 5 SHO, 170 IP, 1.27 ERA, .525 OPS, 0.941 WHIP.

Phils still went 4-5 on their Interleague stretch and have won just 2 of their last 11 series.

It is a little better than I thought (3-6) but they are the 5-6 GB I thought they would be at this time (5.5 GB).

You can take it any way you like but this has been a before average ball now for 5 weeks. The period of 'bad' Phils has been nearly as much as the team that opened the season 23-14.

Willing to see what they do over the next 20 games before the ASB but if they continue to struggle to play .500 I find it hard to believe that this current cast (barring any major moves) can play the ~.600 ball necessary to make the playoffs after the ASB.

Cholly made a comment the other night that this team knows how to win and turn it on. Yeah that's true because they have played nearly .600 baseball the past 3 years after the ASB but they also acquired multiple important pieces each year who gave them a major lift.

Now maybe Amaro does make a move at the trading deadline but I doubt it will be a major one this year given the lack of prospects in the minor league system or a real clear outstanding need at this point.

Respective seasons (as of June 21st)

Carlton '72: 16 GS, 126.1 IP, 7-6, 2.85 ERA, .585 OPS, 1.063 WHIP

Halladay '10: 15 GS, 115 IP, 8-6, 2.43 ERA, .637 OPS, 1.078 WHIP

"Cholly made a comment the other night that this team knows how to win and turn it on. Yeah that's true because they have played nearly .600 baseball the past 3 years after the ASB but they also acquired multiple important pieces each year who gave them a major lift."

This is a great point, MG. Its not as if the players made Cliff Lee appear last year out of positive mental energy and veteran know-how. He was part of the kind of big trade that the Phillies no longer have the prospects to make.

really, who would you want them to trade for? The starting pitching has been good, at most maybe you look for a #3 starter. Neither Oswalt nor Lee is coming to Philly maybe a Joe Blanton type axquisition. More bullpen help, maybe, but you don't want to trade a top prospect for that anyway, unless KC puts Soria on the market. Which position player would you want to upgrade? Everyone is locked in by virtue of performance or contract. Bench help? sure, but again, not giving up top prospects. This team is what it is. The only changes at this year's deadline are going to be around the edges.

Jack: You're right. I can't imagine a stat less important to a team than wins.

Something in the Bay Area air?

PtB's line in SF:

.341/.404/.634 with 3 HRs in 41 ABs

Amazing how streaky he has been over the past 5 years.

MG: maybe the difference between the AL & NL is wider than everyone thought.

JBird - I would say SS possibly because I don't know if JRoll is going to be stay healthy. Castro/Valdez are the worst SS combo in the NL right now.

Good thing is that in another 6 weeks or so they should have a number of principal questions answered including:

- Do they need another starter? They will know where they stand with Happ and have enough of a read on Moyer/KK to know if they can keep them in the rotation the rest of the season.

- Does JRoll stay healthy? Who knows but my bet is 'no' which would be a real big hit for this team's playoff chances.

- Do they need a bullpen arm? They will know what they can expect out of Lidge/Romero and have a better indication on Madson's potential return.

I agree though they will largely just tinker this year though unless they have a major injury like JRoll that forces their hand a bit.

Sorry, Halladay looks very hittable to me.
I think Cole has pitched better despite his tendency to give up one solo home runs.

Old Phan I always enjoy reading your upbeat and humerous posts please keep it up. To the poster who said Doc is not a legit ace pull your head out of you ace. Never saw Bunning or Short but I do remember Carlton and Schilling and Doc is in the same class. I can only remember 1 game he did not give his team a legit shot to win this year. Thats the definition of an ace. I am as bummed as all of you but I feel like these Phils are setting us up for something special again.

Honestly, if the Phils drop a few more and the Braves continue on with their hot streak, I don't necessarily know that I would expect the Phils to make any moves. Sure, a 7+ game deficit after the All Star break is definitely possible to make up, but I don't know if it's likely enough to make up that you go and drop a bundle on the market.

I mean, fans have a "never say die" attitude, but I don't know if the front office does, or even if they should.

"Championing the Valdez cause just isn't a fight worth fighting."

It is if for no other reason than this is a situation in which the Phillies have often chosen to be penny wise & pound foolish. By my (admittedly rough) estimates, it would cost approx. $767K to DFA Dobbs before the start of the Toronto series, or $448K to DFA Castro (that includes his buyout for '11). I'd go w/ the former, as Dobbs can't hit ANYBODY, which makes what side of the plate he's standing on during his 1-to-2-pitch-&-out ABs utterly irrelevant. Also, Castro can & has played 3B (Perfect Game, anyone?), & the suggestion that he might be injured means there's a chance, however remote, that he might not be so awful once healthier. At any rate, the Phillies could easily divest themselves of his crapitude for the paltry sum of $50K once the season ends, if they so chose.

I have no particular love for Exxon, as a quick glance at my posting history will confirm. What I dislike even more, however, is the suggestion that the Phillies should forgo putting the best available players on the field (granted, that isn't saying much w/ this bunch, but it is what it is) over a lousy few hundred grand. To me, this type of decision lies at the very heart of what Monty, et. al. consider a higher priority: saving a few bucks, or winning ball games.

If Castro is injured...then just DL him. Why is that even a hard decision? If he's healthy, then it should be him gone instead of Valdez.

Oh, and Dobbs sucks.

Heather - I just don't think there's that much to improve on other than the bench and/or the 7th inning bullpen arm. I mean, Ibanez is struggling, but I don't expect them to trade for an all star level left fielder to replace him. Not many major league teams would. We just nee the guys that are here to play like they are supposed to.

I would buy that Castro is a better defensive 3B than Dobbs.

However, if Polanco went down for an extended period of time, I would rather have Dobbs as my everyday than Castro. Yes Dobbs has been awful, but his track record shows room for improvement, while Castro has been exactly what is he to date.

There is something stale about this team. Can't quite put my finger on it but it seems like a lot of people are going through the motions. There's enough talent to dazzle us sometimes and win games but it's hard to have confidence at this point that they'll even make the playoffs. Enough of the season has been played to set a pattern that I find disturbing. Hope they prove me wrong.

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