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Friday, July 23, 2010



I have seen Haren pitch many times. He does NOT have great stuff. His ERA is in Moyer/Kendrick land this year. He leads the league in HR's given up, and that's in a division with San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angelas.

He is a quality pitcher. He is NOT Cliff Lee. He is NOT Roy Halladay. He is NOT Roy Oswalt. And that is what it will take to get him. A similar package that those guys would merit.

No one cares if you've seen him pitch.

Haren's ERA+ puts him in the top 15 in baseball since 2007. He's down year is pretty much an a HR/FB fluke (which pitcher's don't really control). His FIP over the last 4-5 seasons is pretty consistent, and his K9 and BB9 are right at normal, if not better than normal, levels.

He doesn't need to be Roy Halladay.

Haren's 2007-2010 numbers: 809 IP, 131 ERA+, 1.153 WHIP, 1.8 BB9, 8.5 K9.

How is it possible that this guy doesn't have great stuff?

Rosenthal is reporting that the Yanks are now the front-runners for Haren.

Old Phan: Jeez, that's pretty pessimistic of you. The Phillies haven't even taken the field yet.

Jason making some funnies, in the game thread intro.

Very good stuff.

BTW, back to the end of the last thread...

Haren has good stuff. But is he really an "elite" pitcher? Is he Lee? Is he Halladay? Is he Oswalt?

That is my main beef with this potential trade. Arizona is going to try to play it like he is in that category. Stuff-wise, he is not. His season this year, has not been all that good. He hasn't won a game in a month. The ERA. The HR totals. Not good.

And his stats in August and September are also HUGE red flags too, for any contending team trying to get him.

A good pitcher? Obviously. An "elite" guy, who should merit giving up 3 or 4 very good players in return? No way. No how.

For the money they are paying him (which isn't much) and the lack of miles on the arm, and the fact that he is a left-hander, and the fact that it would cost you NOTHING to get him, I take Happ over Haren. Money DOES play a big role in this (I am looking at it from a organizational/big picture/financial look). Giving up highly rated prospects (which Arizona would demand) in today's day and age is also a big gamble (which Stark and Kurkjian have both said repeatedly lately).

There are more to these arguments and decisions sometimes then just "who is better".

GTown, I'm just a downer like that.

denny, you completely overlook Haren's salary and age, the biggest reason along with his success that he will cost more than Oswalt. Haren is due 2/~$25M (with a third year option). That's a steal for his production. And yeah, Haren's ERA+ is 10 points higher than Oswalt's since 2007 and he's 2-3 years younger.

Haren's pitching better than his ERA indicates. He won't finish where he is now.

If there's ever a game to play Werth in CF, it's with Halladay on the mound. He is a K and GB machine. OF defense is the least of the Phils' concerns with Halladay on the mound.

Do you pronounce "GG" like "Gigi"?

"No one cares if you've seen him pitch."

And no one gives a damn about your baseball nerd stats either.

I've seen Haren. He's not elite. And that is what we are talking about. Arizona trying to make him into an "elite" guy and make a trade with someone on him being "elite".

A good, solid starter? Sure. But worth what Arizona will ask for? No way.

I hope the Yanks go get Haren. He'll be Javy Vazquez part 2 in New York City.

The trade we need to make FIRST, is Werth followed possibly by Ibanez. Then with those players and the prospects you already have, put a good package together to get a solid starting pitcher for 2010 and beyond.

Jack: You realize, of course, that by posting that thought (one w/ which I agree, by the way) the Phillies are now doomed to lose tonight's game directly because of an egregious error in the defensive play of the OF.

denny b is clueless. I know, I've seen him comment.

sifl: The name of the Phillies' Hitting Coach is pronounced "Char-lie Man-u-el".

Since 2007

Oswalt (32): 122 ERA+, 1.219 WHIP, 2.3 BB9, 7.1 K9, ~3.70 xFIP
Haren (29): 131 ERA+, 1.153 WHIP, 1.8 BB9, 8.5 K9, ~3.40 xFIP

cheaper, younger, and better. That's why it will cost more.

" OF defense is the least of the Phils' concerns with Halladay on the mound."

I wish I could be as sure of that as you. Considering the offense of late, defense is even more important than it normally would be.

Look Sophist, I get the contract. For the type of pitcher Haren has been (which again, is a very good starter), he has a good contract for other teams.

You are a smart guy and I respect your opinions. We just don't agree on this one.

But this is not CC Sabathia. Or Roy Halladay. Or Cliff Lee. All guys who were traded mid-season lately, for big packages.

Arizona will try to make him into that. He's not that guy.

And I have serious concerns about him late in season's and in high pressure situations. There is a track record of him fading as the innings pile up and pitching in Oakland and sleepy Phoenix won't exactly get him ready for playoff baseball.

And no one gives a damn about your baseball nerd stats either.

Uh, no. Keep living in the baseball dark ages if you want.

Clout: You said on the last thread your definition of a "high-ceiling" prospect was a guy with great talent and a high probability of reaching that talent.

That, to me, is the definition of simply a very good prospect. Prospect status basically consists of those two elements-- upside and probability. To define one in terms of the other, as you are doing, is not to define one at all, but to define another thing--basically a guy's status as a prospect overall.

I'm not sure what your argument is--is it merely semantics or are you debating the substance of May as a prospect? I've seen multiple scouting reports that put May's stuff as projectable to at least a #2 starter. To me, that's a "high ceiling." His stuff is not like 80% of pitchers in the minors--it's far above-average. The issue is his command, which is why his probability of reaching that potential is not all that high. But the potential does exist, and I don't see why you're engaging in this stupid metaphysical debate to try and redefine a term when you could simply make an argument using different terms.


Good one.

Got anything big boy to bring to the table, or is that all you got?

denny b.'s eyes are to be trusted on categorizing pitchers as elite or not. He can also see Auras around people. And he can read ancient Mayan hieroglyphics. And his skin possesses an otherworldly orange hue.

No Vic tonight?

denny: Who's an elite pitcher, in your view? The guy has had an ERA+ above 138 3 years in a row, which is a lot more than Roy Oswalt can say. He's also one of the best strikeout pitchers in baseball, with among the best control in all of baseball. That's a pretty nice combination. Plus, he has a team-friendly contract & he's not even 30. Taking salary/contract issues into consideration, I'm hard-pressed to think of 3 starting pitchers in all of baseball who I'd rather have.

denny, sorry. Didn't mean to make it personal. It just frustrates me when, instead of providing facts or insight, people insight they "watch the game." Scouting doesn't trump statistics necessarily, but usually scouts tell you more than "X isn't elite. I've seen him pitch." It's hard to see how he doesn't have great stuff when he's one of the best K/BB guys out there.

You may not think he's worth the package, but considering his recent history and his contract the only more valuable pitchers out there may be guys like Felix Hernandez or Josh Johnson.

Gtown, I believe it is pronounced "Chol-Lee". You know, as opposed to "Cliff-Lee".

Old Phan: Point well taken.

Cliff Lee.

Clout: As you know, most pitchers in the minors are guys like Drew Naylor and Drew Carpenter and Vance Worley and Joe Savery and the like--guys with pedestrian stuff who get by on command and control.

Trevor May, according to almost all scouting reports, has significantly better stuff than those sorts of guys. You are being disingenuous when you claim that 80% of the pitchers in the minors have mid-90s heat and the ability to strike out guys like May does.

John Sickels, your favorite prospect guru, had this to say about May before the season: "I love the upside with this arm as demonstrated in his K/IP and H/IP ratios, but he needs to cut back on the walks. "

Additionally, BP called him a "high-ceiling high school pick" and noted that "his fastball has above-average velocity at 90-93 mph, but he will also hit 94-95 on several occasions per outing, a figure many scouts think will be more common as he gains consistency."

BAP, the only guys I can think of in terms of age/production (with some recent track record anyway, so the Strasburgs, Kershaws, and David Prices of the world aside)

King Felix
Josh Johnson

denny - If what Olney is reporting is true, that the Dbacks stated they want to move Haren before this August, I can't see them receiving the same package the Jays got for Halladay, or even what the M's got for CL3. Closer to CL1 with Cleveland. If the Yanks are indeed front runners, I would be shocked if they were starting with Montero.


No problem. I just don't like it when some of our opinions (and most of what we read here are just one person's opinion, filtered in hopefully with some fact and knowledge of the game) are quickly dismissed just because they are different from someone else's.

The #1 thing I don't like about Haren (and for the record, I DO think he is and has been a very good starting pitcher) are the following numbers:


Those are Haren's post all-star ERA's the past 4 years (see, I can give baseball nerd stats too!). That is a red flag for me.

Because for any contending team that is trading for Haren, they are going to NEED for him to be really good in August, September and October. And in the last 4 years, he has been far from good in those months.

Otherwise, what is the point of getting him if he is going to pitch like Kyle Kendrick in the games that matter most?

I thought Worley had an above average fastball?

He had an ERA Plus of a zillion!!!! OOOOH, look at the pretty numbers.

Then why the heck can't he get hitters out this year? Because he stepped on his babip and now he has ERActile dysfunction?

Do you guys actually watch games or are you too busy tacking off to some stat site to realize that real porn is actually better and healthier for you?

Sophist - I realize I'm really going against the grain here, but I have seen Haren in person a couple of times in the last year and on TV (computer, actually, in HD) a number of times, and I am totally unimpressed with him. And Jayson Stark said today that scouts have told him Haren's stuff is looking flat and that's why he's not getting the results he got in the past.

Numbers are fine. And I'm sure you have the really cool HP programmable calculator and all. But holy moley, there is actually a game that's played on a field and it's played by people, not robots. Sheesh.

Doing what I can to help Denny B., this is A.K.Smith signing off.

denny does have a point about Haren's late-season numbers. He has a pretty consistent track record of pitching much worse as the season wears on, & it's reasonable to wonder if he tends to wear down over the season. That still wouldn't stop me from going after him, but it's certainly something the Phillies should be aware of & take into consideration.

Chuck LaMar just said on the radio that Singleton projects as a DH. I took that to mean that he will be traded

LaMar is a dope. The reports on Singleton over on Phuture Phillies is that he's a good enough first baseman who is athletic enough to play the outfield (likely left field.)

And I agree. This must mean he's being included in an Oswalt or Haren or Myers deal. Yeah, I threw Myers in the mix. See what I did there?

Cliff Lee

The Phillies should do the exact opposite of ANYTHING Chuck LaMar thinks advisable. If Amaro is the stuffed shirt out front, Chuck is the astounding lack of baseball brains mucking things up in the back ... the b00b behind the r00b, if you will.

sophist: Lincecum? Maybe Cain. Off your list, definitely Felix & Greinke and maybe Johnson, though I'm concerned about his injury history.

Ok, there's probably more than 3. But I can't say for sure because I haven't looked at any of these guys' contract specifics. What I like about Haren is that you'd get him for 3 1/2 more years at a very reasonable price for an elite pitcher.

That aksmith came to denny b's defense is just about all you need to know.

And, yes, denny b., that's all I have. And it's enough.

****Chuck LaMar just said on the radio that Singleton projects as a DH. I took that to mean that he will be traded****

Is he TRYING to hurt his value?

What an idiot. I'll throw up if they trade Singleton like that.

denny, I don't dismiss opinions because they are different. It is in fact true that scouts have been a bit down on him. Dave Cameron did a "trade values" column in which Haren didn't make the top 50, and here's why:

The other name pitcher who didn’t make the cut was Dan Haren. While his ERA is higher than usual this year, his underlying performance shows that he’s still one of the better pitchers in the game, and he’s proven to be a durable workhorse. However, when I talked with folks in MLB about him, the reaction to what they’d give up for him was surprisingly lukewarm.

The main issue that was brought up is that he’s a guy whose best skill is command and has achieved most of his success in the National League. There’s a good amount of skepticism about NL arms without top-shelf stuff, and Haren was lumped into that category. Combine that with his escalating salaries (he’s due $40 million over the next three seasons), and I just couldn’t get anyone in the game to get very excited about giving up premium talent to acquire him.

I was pretty surprised, honestly. He started out in the 30s on my original list, but by the end of the weekend, he just missed the cut. The sense that I got in Anaheim was that guys like us like him more than major league teams do.

I quickly counter eye-ball opinions with facts because - really - why should we trust eyeball opinions off the bat that are so contrary to fact? It's mostly a pushback because if you want to tell everyone that Haren doesn't have good stuff despite the almost unrivaled K/BB ratio, you're going to have to do more than tell us that you've seen him pitch. That just seems right.

aksmith - Uh, okay.

Haren may not be a Top 5 in the game pitcher but he's pretty damn good. He'd be our #2.

Actually, if you pushed Haren ahead of Hamels to our #2, you'd be mistaken. He's be the Phillies' number 3.

CJ - Bite it. Dope.

And Sophist, it seems that the scouts have seen exactly what I've seen. They must all be a bunch of incompetent idiots. Please go and straighten them out.

Sophist, put down the slide rule and the crack pipe.

CJ - Pick up the crack pipe, again.

But, really, that tells me that a smart GM would go right after Haren.

denny, when talking about unpopular opinions, just remember that I"m the guy that's been defending Ibanez all year.

BAP - Lincecum worries me.

If Roy Halladay gives up his average of 1.87 earned runs at CBP tonight, what are the odds he wins the game?

Sophist, what worries you about Lincecum? His insane windup and motion or his slightly diminutive frame?

Well, I'd put Hamels in the 2 hole to split the RHP but Haren a legit #2.

He's one of those guys like Lee where he doesn't have one great pitch but 4 good pitches that he can locate.

All the same things people said about Lee are said about him when it comes to Stuff.

aksmith: I'd say ~20%

And that's being generous.

His girlie hairstyle?

I wouldn't touch Lincecum with a 10 foot stick. He's hurt...his velocity has dropped off big time.

What I find odd is that LaMar comments on minor league players when he is supposedly the head of professional scouting. I thought the minor league evaluation & administration were supposed to lie with Proefrock and Looper.

GTown - I think you're right on the money. Hopefully that's the reverse black cat the Phillies need.

I know velocity isn't everything but that's a troubling trend.

Can't fault for AZ trying to pimp one of biggest names at the trading deadline in the same breath as previous deadline names. Since, any team that's in "buy" mode only has a subset of product to purchase, it's pretty inevitable that the top of that subset will be especially glorified, regardless of where they fall versus ALL players on ALL teams. Haren is good, but because Lee has been traded and ouside of Oswalt he's the biggest name, you'll see nothing but everyone making him out to be a lot better than he really is.

Oh, and just to play devil's advocate, the Phils aren't the only team who tries to buy low and sell high. Just sayin'.

His velocity's down a bit. He could be injured. But the guy's won a couple of Cy Youngs and he's only 26. I'd happily take my chances.

G-Town: Greg Gross is worth at least 2 extra runs a game, maybe more. puts the over/under of Phillies run scored at 4.5 today. Pretty optimistic?

Hell, I'd take Lincecum on the Phils in a heartbeat.

Rollins must have one of those funny injuries that only affects his hitting but not his defense.

If there's one thing I can't stand -- & let's face it, there's a whole lot more than one -- it's a pitcher who fails to cover 1B. (Yeah, Tom Gordon! I'm talkin' 'bout YOU, fool!) Roy is right on top of stuff like that, & as a fan I appreciate it greatly.

BAP, Utley gets those injuries, too.

Hell, Pat the Bat was battling one of those for the better part of his career in Philly, assuming you have very low expectations for his defense.

b_a_p: Yup. It's called "James Calvin Rollins Syndrome".

Dont get me wrong, I'd love to have Lincecum on the Phillies...I'd just hate to pay full price (in prospects) for him.

Regarding LaMar's comments about Singleton...

Why would anyone in a NL organization come out and say something like that (regardless if it was the truth or not)?

How will this kid feel, when he sees that a organizational guy thinks his future in major league baseball is as a DH (which I don't think is a part of the NL game)?

Keep those bags ready, son. You obviously won't be long for this org.

aksmith - yeah, the scouts are a little confused. In fact, Haren pitched for the A's, in the AL, just a few years ago and he was just as good then.

I wonder if the workload is having an effect on Lincecum. He could be having a 2010 like Hamels' 2009.

There's a reason LaMar was fired from his last job.

The correct statement would be "We feel Singleton is athletic enough to play LF"

That's how you keep his value high...not by saying "We have no position for this great hitting prospect".

Interesting article about Andre Dawson. Man, did I hate that guy.

Of particular interest for those who think that OBP is the most relevant metric for evaluating power hitters. According to that criterion, there's no way that Dawson makes the HOF.

Just curious: Is this the game chat or am I in the wrong place. If I'm not mistaken, there hasn't been one post about the game yet.

Just a bunch of ninnies arguing about who's smarter.

If MLBN is going to interrupt the Phillies game to show us A-Rod's at-bat just incase he hits number 600, the least they can do if provide decent coverage.

Not a single mention of what PED(s) he is currently using. That's just shoddy reporting. Inquiring minds want to know.

Hawk was a HoF. He was a beast.

phlipper: This feels like a loss.


ARod apologized...good enough for me.

I mean, if you can't trust an apology after someone is caught...what can you trust.

Sophist - I'd expect an extreme fly ball pitcher to do well in Oakland.

"Not a single mention of what PED(s) he is currently using."

Lincoln. Come on man, he's not CURRENTLY using any PED's. He only used PED's for the first 550 or so. The last 50 are legit, so we should celebrate him.

There is a reason the Phils aren't scoring except for HRs. This is a lineup that is loaded with easy outs right now up & down.

No excpetion tonight. JRoll, Ibanez, Gload, and Valdez.

Raul Ibanez:

Too slow on fastballs
Chases breaking balls away.

And gets a nice hit as I type that...good work Raul. PLEASE HEAT UP!

Crap. I thought that was gonna make it out. Crap, crap, crap.

Good catch by Smith there. It would be nice to see a Phils' LF make that kind of catch more often.

The change at Hitting Coach is failing miserably. Greg Gross needs to be fired. Again.

He made that look harder than it was by overrunning it...good catch though.

On Ibanez, I cant make myself hate the guy. As bad as he's been, he doesnt seem like he's slacking out there. He's just old is all.

I don't put too much stock into hits the other direction on a player where the argument is whether or not his bat speed has slowed down.

Prove me wrong, Raul.

Gross is batting .250 so far.

Just not good enough.

You both make good points. I'm starting to fall in love with him as much as he loves kissing his own reflection in the mirror.

There's a game tonight? Oh, right.

I think Colorado has a plan there on Raul. They know he has to get his bat started early so he's likely to pull a guy like Cook. Lucky for him it wasn't his usual grounder to the right side.

And the ball should really carry tonight. Howard hit that to the wall way off the end of the bat.

Plus, NEPP, the Phillies haven't successfully executed ONE sacrifice bunt since Gross has been the hitting coach.

Is the wind blowing out?

I agree, Howard should have bunted Raul over there. Stupid Ryno.

Since Raul is old, could they make an exception to the rules and let him stand further back to give him more time on the pitch? Seems fair to me.

If Ibanez's salary were around $1.5M per year, he'd be a tremendous guy to have on our bench, both this year & next.

I'd love to see Ryno lay down a drag bunt on the first base line. It would be jaw dropping.

Already spoiled by how efficient Halladay is. Been to 6 games this year and still have yet to see him start. At least I have got to see Blanton though 3 times.

They should make Olivo wear sleeves on his uni. Where does he hold his cigarettes otherwise?

I agree bap...damn shame we're giving him another $10 million per in "fun money".

Everytime they play the shift on him, Ryno should bunt it to 3B. He'd be hitting .600 until they gave up on the shift.

So, did we ever figure out why Milt was fired if our problem is really starting pitching?

Werth will be the Greg Gross litmus test.

BTW, is Hawk going in as an Expo or a Cub? I would think Expo but he did win his MVP on the Cubs.

And Gross's job is safe for another 6 years...

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