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Thursday, July 22, 2010

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By the way, Howard is now hitting .303 despite the shift. Amazing, really, if you think about it. The shift makes it very hard for power-hitting lefties to maintain a batting average that high.

RH power hitters like Polanco don't have to worry about a shift because you can't throw someone out from short left field. Not that I'm suggesting that Polanco isn't the greatest hitter of our generation. I'm just sayin' is all.

Without the Shift, Howard would likely be pushing .350.

NEPP: Per Jayson Stark's article, an executive says about Arizona shopping Haren: "their timing is not great. They're trying to sell him like he's Cliff Lee. But he's not performing like Cliff Lee."

I assume Aumont and Gillies should be enough then, right?

i am hype for 10pm replay on CN8, cant wait to watch Hamels he looked dirty from pitch f/x.

Didn't see if it was mentioned earlier today, but I heard Mitch Williams interviewed this morning and he was ripping Rube's moves, including of course our favorite subject here on BL, Clifford Lee.

He said he was on record at the time of the trade as not liking it, and after the Oswalt talk yesterday, he was all fired up over the sheer salary comparison. He also unloaded on the bench & BP, or lack of any, which he claimed that he also stated early in the season as concerns.

Maybe Mitch was looking for a FO job. Heck, could he do any worse?

Re Dan Haren: He has a ridiculous BABIP (.341). His strikeouts are at a career high, but his homerun and walk totals are a bit higher than in the last couple years. Overall, he's not pitching as well as he did the last couple years, but he's still pitching way better than is reflected by his ERA. I'd way rather have Haren than Oswalt. He's a better, younger pitcher than Oswalt, with a better contract. I imagine you'd have to give up someone like Cosart to get him.

per postgame: Jamie moyer torn UCL and flexor. Likely out for season.

Out for season or done period?


Maybe this is a good sign to retire and take a coaching job?

Haren is much like Hamels - homer prone with very good stuff.

Zolecki (via Twitter): "Moyer out indefinitely. Open rotation spots this weekend will be filled internally, Amaro said."

DH Phils: If Haren isn't pitching like Cliff Lee, then Aumont & Gillies would be overpaying ... right?

It was nice to see an ex player (Polanco)coming back to haunt his old team, especially when we have to watch so many ex-Phillies come back to bite them in the ass.

Some more Howard tidbits (can you guess he's my favorite player?):

Through team's first 95 games:
2010: 303/360/545/905, 22 HR, 75 RBI, 92 Ks (95 g)
2009: 260/347/529/876, 24 HR, 72 RBI, 116 Ks (94 g)
2008: 233/324/511/835, 28 HR, 84 RBI, 128 Ks (95 g)
2007: 263/387/584/971, 25 HR, 73 RBI, 107 Ks (77 g)
2006: 286/353/595/948, 31 HR, 78 RBI, 105 Ks (92 g)

Geezer gone for the count? It's a shame. He was putting together a nice season, one of the bright spots in this dark and dismal season. I hear that Pedro won't pitch this season either, but he's not retiring. He was like....Plan D. I'm not excited about getting a quality starter. I think we need an infield bat and maybe a new outfielder more than a starting pitcher.

It was pretty clear from Amaro's flip response the other day that they did NOT plan to fill the vacancy internally until the Oswalt trade blew up in their face.

G-Town: I figured he wouldn't quite be worth giving up J.C. Ramirez.

My fav Stark tweet of the day:

"u should ask the GM. been asking the same question. @CentennialConf @jaysonst so remind me again why Phillies need more pitching,not a bat??"

CJ, I went through his batted ball data against lefties by year earlier this season. It is surprising that he can hit over .240 vs LHP with that thing (his LD rate, XBH%, and K rate are pretty much unchanged from 2006 on). The biggest difference from this year to last year at this point is that his HR/FB is back to 2007-2008 levels against LHP

06: 36
07: 25
08: 26
09: 12
10: 24

With his K% against them cut by over 10% (down to about 28% from about 40%), this means that he has a better average even with a BAbip slightly lower than his career norms against LHP.

Looking at his batted ball data, it may not be the shift against LHP as much as it's keeping the K down and the HR/FB up. He's just not going to have a high enough BAbip to hit for average (i.e., higher than .250) vs LHP otherwise.

Howard's overall numbers is July are pretty impressive. His best LD rate, HR/FB rate, and K rate of the season by month. His BB% is back around 5%, but when he's batting .320, his OBP is still a healthy .380.

Kendrick pitches Saturday, Happ on Sunday via Zolecki.

Shame about Jamie... If he was 27 or even 37... I'd say no big deal... but I imagine its time for him to hang it up...

Moyer will go down as one of my favorite Phillies ever. (Except for all the times I screamed at the car or at the tv when he gives up 5 runs in an inning)... :)

Outstanding job by Cole Hamels today. It's funny that all the people calling him gutless and a waste are nowhere to be seen right now. The leader of that pack is still dreaming he's a "gm" somewhere. Sine the beginning of May he has had 15 starts and pitched into the 7th inning in 12 of them, 10 of them he has gone at least 7. His ERA at the beginning of his May 4th start was 5.28. His ERA after today is 3.40.

There were two telling moments to me in the game.

1.) Every time they showed a close up of him peering over the glove you saw the same look in his eyes he had int eh 2008 post-season. He worked at his own pace and was just mowing through hitters trusting his stuff. Last year at times you saw a guy who was battling his stuff and didn't have confidence to throw certain pitches in certain counts. Today he was throwing his fastball, cutter, and change-up with confidence. When he threw his curveball as well he was in the zone with it and was getting it over. He threw it 5 times- 4 times it went for a called strike.

2.) In the 8th inning he got a few calls that didn't go his way from the home plate ump. He looked in for a second and then went back to work and got out of the inning. The continued maturity of Cole Hamels is a huge story of this season. If he keeps that up then this rotation really has two #1 guys at the top.

Jamie Moyer is Washed Up™

Didn't realize KK was available so quickly after being optioned...

Moyer injury aside, CLEARLY he's a Plan B (Oswalt was Plan A).

Today's start by Hamels was, perhaps, the most impressive start by any Phillie this season, including Doc's perfecto. I say that because I believe Hamels had significantly fewer 3 ball counts and the conditions today were brutal because of the heat.

My hat is off to Cole Hamels. He pitched his best game in recent times today, in the daytime, on the road. Go figure!

Willard Preacher: KK can only be called back up so quickly because Moyer is going on the DL. Otherwise, it wouldn't be allowed.

BAP: I would prefer Haren too based off the contract and his ability. I would imagine that to acquire him you could probably do something similar as you were trying to do with Oswalt. Trade Werth for prospects and then flip those prospects to the DBacks. Maybe include Happ to the DBacks.

Here's the comparison

yr: LD/GB/FB - BAbip -- HR/FB - K% -- BA/ISO

08: 22/40/38 - .300 -- 26 - 41 -- .224/.228
09: 22/41/37 - .299 -- 12 - 37 -- .207/.149
10: 24/38/30 - .287 -- 24 - 29 -- .258/.242

He's making more and better contact against LHP at this point.

Thats not "washed up." Thats a tough but almost inevitable end to one hell of a career.

comcast just contradicted itself and now says its just a sprained UCL not a tear... only hitting 15 Day DL now.

Haren is an elite pitcher. Top 15 ERA+ since 2007. If the Rosenthal report is accurate, the Phils aren't dealing with teams that have very good farms (Yanks, Cards, Twins, and Twins are rumored to be on his NTC list). TTI, I think he'd cost a lot more than Oswalt. But with this Zolecki tweet, I think the pitching rumors may just die out for awhile.

Also a rumor out that the Phils are interested in Phillie killer Cody Ross.

Sophist: Interestingly enough, July has been Howard's 2nd best month of his career. I think we all know what month is his best...

His OPS in June this year was 1.023 and so far in July it's 1.061.

I'm not saying he's underappreciated... but...

I don't know about anyone else, but I've seen Haren pitch enough to know I don't want him. Were he given to the team for free, I'd obviously say sure. But to trade Happ for Haren? I'd rather have Happ and his manageable salary for the next few years. Their results aren't likely to be too different over that time. At least not different enough to warrant the money difference. In fact, Haren seems very inefficient when I've seen him. Saw him in AZ against the Phils last season and even though they didn't kick him around, he was gone after five because he built up a huge pitch count.

I don't see him as a dominating starter worth trading a quality arm (Happ) and/or some good minor league pieces for.

I see the Moyer haters now want Jamie to quit.

I'd actually like to get Cody Ross in a buy low scenario. He's not really hitting for much power this season, but he'd be fine as Werth's replacement in right or Ibanez' in left and can play some center. And he's not nearly the incomplete player that Bennie Fran is.

I imagine Moyer COULD find employment in some team's starting rotation next year. Whether he'd want to is another question. My dream scenario: Moyer accepts a job as pitching coach for Reading, where all of our brightest pitching prospects figure to pitch within the next year or two. He can do that for a couple years & then replace Dubee.

Give me Haren over Happ anyday.

In Cole Hamels' last 15 starts, he has an ERA of 2.80 in 96.1 innings.

Moyer is very wealthy and has a relatively young family and a beautiful wife. And they don't live in Philly or anywhere near Reading. My guess is that if he can no longer pitch, he'll run as fast as he can to Florida, where I believe he now lives, and enjoy retired life with all his tens of millions.

That's sure what I'd do.

Here's a dirty secret: a sprain *is* a tear.


Sophist - Yeah, I'd take Haren if the money was right. Were he making Blanton money or less, I'd take him. But he's making 11/year for the next four years. If the Phillies are really knocking up against that salary cap of theirs, give me Happ and whatever else in the minors they'd be trading for him. God forbid it's a Colvin or Cosart or Singleton because one or two of those three is very possibly a game changer in three years.

Comparison since 2007

Haren: 121 starts, 809 IP, 1.153 WHIP (1.8 BB9), 8.5 K9, 131 ERA+
Santana: 112 starts, 755 IP, 1.148 WHIP (2.4 BB9), 8.0 K9, 142 ERA+

Haren has thrown over 215 IP in each of the last 5 years. Doesn't really strike me as inefficient.

Cody Ross screams mediocrity to me. He's fine as a backup or a platoon player. But if he's your everyday replacement for Jayson Werth, that's an enormous downgrade.

Haren >> Happ.

I almost gave him three >, but maybe it's just two. I'm a Happ fan, but it remains to be seen just what he'll bring to the table moving forward. Haren has a much better track record.

AFish is correct. A sprain is a tear. It all depends on the degree of the sprain. For instance, Chase Utley had a fourth degree SPRAIN of his thumb ligament.

Moyer's career has been prematurely declared over many times before (as long as 15 years ago).

I've seen him in person a couple of times and have not been impressed by Haren. But the numbers are what they are. Sure, he's better than Happ even up. But what are we giving up for him and how does Rube fit him into the budget?

BAP is even dreaming Moyer will quit. Of course BAP's been wrong about Moyer for 3 years running, not to mention just about everything else baseball-related.

Interesting side note:

Finally caught up with the CMO (Chief Medical Officer) where I worked today at lunch. Billy Beane spoke at a corporate event for the company recently and he was asked what Beane thought the next great advantage in baseball with be

It wasn't defense. It wasn't pitch counts.

Health. The team that figures out a more sound and repeatable method to keep their players on the field even 10% more than expected.

Said that for as much money as teams invest in their players (especially on signing players), the level of sophisicated and coordinated medical care is not what you would expect for almost every professional baseball team especially at the really low levels of baseball.

Quietly, this is changing but you just haven't read that much about it.

aksmith - The concern over Haren's price is really over the trade price (as you suggest). His contract is a steal. He's under contract for 2011 and 2012 ($25.5M combined) and 2013 is an option for $15.5M with a $3.5M buyout. So it would be whatever's left of his $8.5M this year and two more guaranteed years at a big discount.

MG, Will Carroll at BP.com has been shouting that from the rooftops in the last coupla-three years as well.

DH Phils: Understood. For some reason I always forget about the third guy ... you know, the one what turned my frown upside down w/ regard to the Lee trade.

------------

So, Kendrick vs. Ubaldez on Saturday afternoon? Well, at least I don't have tickets to that mess ...

*checks season plan*

Awww, crap. Well, at least it's not gonna be miserable hot in S. Philly ...

*checks forecast*

Awww, crap.

Well, at least I won't have to be in the same Ballpark w/ whatever doucheass crew Fox is assigning to whatever their Game of the Week happens to be ...

*checks TV listings*

*craps*

------------

MG: That's interesting, & kind of surprising. I wonder how MLB stacks up to other major sports leagues in that regard, the NFL in particular?

Other thing I didn't know about Moneyball:

Lewis was very coy about making Moneyball into a book. He hung around for 10 days with the A's instead of just an afternoon as he had originally explained to Beane.

In the end, he gave Beane just 5 business days to see the proofs for the entire book before the final copy went to the publisher.

I expect Moyer to attempt a comeback. He loves / thrives on a challenge.

clout: I've gotta hand it to you. It's not everyone who can take the statement, "I'd like Jamie Moyer to become our AA pitching coach," & parse it into a basis for insult. It's a rare skill.

Wow I can't wait for Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Kyle Kendrick! That's going to be a duel!

BAP: You're one of the leading Moyer haters for years on this blog. Now you claim innocence? Too late.

BTW, despite rumors to the contrary that Clout is Bill Conlin today it was proven that Clout is actually Rich Hoffman.

Evidence:
1) Clout praised Rich Hoffman as the best writer in the market (a few months back)

2) In today's column, Hoffman calls for Dom Brown to be brought up as Clout did two weeks ago (OK, they aren't the only ones)

3) And most tellingly, Hoffman wrote in his column on Dom Brown this morning: "unless the whole reversion-to-the-mean thing has been repealed for everybody wearing red pinstripes in 2010"

REVERSION TO THE MEAN = CLOUT = HOFFMAN
I rest my case

My favorite part of "Moneyball" was the part where, after the A's had won 19 games in a row, Billy Beane was sitting in his VIP booth, cursing a blue streak as he watched his team squander an 11-0 3rd inning lead. Then, later, when they came back to win the game in dramatic fashion -- setting an AL record for most wins in a row -- Beane was totally nonchalant, saying something like, "What's the big deal? It's just another win."

That story really spoke to me.

If health is really the next frontier for ballplayers, shouldn't these geniuses running major league teams head for Dr. Mike Marshall's pitching mechanics school? No doubt pitchers will always get injured, but the way he teaches mechanics is by far the best I've seen.

You've got me there clout. I've never met Moyer in my life. All I know is that he's had a successful 25-year major league career, he was the second-best starting pitcher on the Phillies' 2008 championship team, he has spent countless hours raising money for distressed children, & he has personally donated tens of thousands of his own dollars to children's charities. What an as*hole. Obviously, my personal hatred for the man has colored any opinion I ever expressed about his viability as a major league starter.

Jimenez vs. Kendrick?

I'll take KK.

ERA last 5 starts:

Jimenez: 6.39
Kendrick: 5.81

Advantage KK!

is there a consensus here that Raul Ibanez is washed up? Sophist was providing some evidence that maybe his numbers were just skewed by a bad April, but it seems too far into the season to make that argument any longer. What do people think?

Hofmann is a God.

clout how was bap wrong about moyer in 2009? he got kicked out of the rotation for ineffectiveness.

sifl: im trying to stay on sophist's side about raul, but its getting pretty damn hard.

aksmith: Good point about Marshall. As I recall, he's skeptical about pitch counts and 4-days rest having any bearing on whether a pitcher gets hurt or not. He's also a big fan of pitchers throwing everyday, assuming they use the correct mechanics. He may also be the first guy to talk about the inverted W mechanical flaw that seems to be linked ultimately with arm injury.

jason/phaithful: Getting removed from the rotation means your career is over and you can't pitch at the major league level? Especially when you later return to the rotation and have success?

You're bizarre.

sifl - even the arguments I make don't improve his HR/FB. His deflated BAbip aside, the best he could hit this year is .265/.355/.430 or so. His HR/FB and BAbip on LD are either down because he's aging and lost, because he didn't have his full off-season training program, or because he hasn't "gotten hot" yet.

I lean towards a combination of 1 and 2.

aksmith: "I don't know about anyone else, but I've seen Haren pitch enough to know I don't want him."
"I've seen him in person a couple of times and have not been impressed by Haren."

Disregard the other 206 starts in Dan Haren's career. He hasn't impressed aksmith in the 2 starts he attended.

The "down April" argument was stronger earlier in the Spring

April 5 - April 18: .171/.294/.244
April 20 - May 28: .284/.377/.477

I think around Memorial Day it was a fair argument to make. He had an 18% LD rate (but a BAbip under .260) in April and a 24% LD in May (and his BAbip over .280 on the month).

But then

May 29 - July 1: .213/.277/.352

A 10% LD rate in June.

He's playing much better lately, though. .308/.368/.423 in his last 14 games coming into today. 19% LD rate. But like I said, not all the slow start anymore considering the 30 game skid in June. Considering his track record, he's probably good for this solid production for another 2-3 weeks.

BAP,
How did that excerpt from Moneyball speak to you so profoundly? It said to me that Beane hates losing more than he loves winning. He wouldn't be the only competitor who feels that way.

Moyer's sprained UCL and strained flexor tendon (same combo as Volquez) is bad. How bad? Possible TJ. Not sure how bad the sprain is.

http://twitter.com/injuryexpert/status/19289628334

This was in Stark's piece today:

"[The D'Backs are] starting to get more reasonable," the official said. "Before, they were asking for two starting pitchers off your major league roster. Now they're talking prospects, so I think they've gotten realistic. I definitely think he's moving now."

So maybe the market will be a little better to pick up Haren.

Also- the Angels apparently picked up Alberto Callaspo from the Royals today. Would've been nice to get him to fill the hole we had at second. They gave up Sean O'Sullivan and Will Smith. (No word if DJ Jazzy Jeff comes along in the deal)

My take on Rube saying he will fill the 2 rotation spots internally: = "Sorry to get everyone thinking that I was going to make a big trade. I really just wanted to find out what the people on B'Leaguer were saying about it".

Werth will be traded for nothing, and absolutely nothing else will get done.

Dpatrone wheres your inside connections you usually come in here with? Hes not with Phillies anymore?

Sad thing for Jamie. What a class act. He always done whatever was neccesary. I hope hangs them up because he has nothing left to prove. But more than that, I hope the Phils hire him as the new pitching coach.

I'd settle for us hiring him as our new hitting coach.

fljerry: I have a friend who works with the Phillies and he e-mailed me some news. I can't reveal his name because it would ruin him with the team. This is what he told me:

The Phillies may or may not trade for Oswalt. If they can't work a deal there they may or may not trade for Dan Haren. If they can't do either of them they may or may not trade for Ben Sheets. If all three of those fail they may not add anyone before the ASB.

Can we put him in the booth?

clout: Is it crazy, unreasonable, or Moyer-hating to suggest that a 47 year old pitcher with a season-ending and possibly TJ-requiring elbow injury might be at the end of his career? Don't you think there's some doubt as to whether Moyer can recover from potential TJ surgery, from which he'd likely be returning in 2012 at age 49?

Truth - DPadrone has the connections - at least he used to come in and state that he had connections, and gave all the trade rumors.

TI - 8:00 - my vote for post of the day.

he doesn't have a connection. He just reads what is on the rumor sites and then rephrases it to everyone.

I have a friend who told me that he has a friend who read a rumor on a blog of reliable sources that the Phils are close to signing Roy Halladay, but you didn't hear that from me.
crap. I meant to post that last year.

Fantastic game and one that the Phils absolutely deserve to win.
2nd best performance of the season by a Phils pitcher.
Heading back home, now they can start a winning streak.
Don't ever count Young Jamie out. I think we already know that.

Stop the presses, the Phils have signed Timo Perez to a minor league deal.

I'v e been unfair to DPat over time, but the little nuggets he tends to give us from his "friend" seem reliable enough.

There's your OF help!

How do you say "Timo, we don't really need you and we don't really know why we're signing you?" You sign a former major league outfielder named Timo Perez and assign him to AA Reading. Could have been worse though, there's a Venezuelan Summer League team currently playing for the Phillies.

JJG: I was sort of joking (emphasis on sort of). It spoke to me because it's exactly the way I act during Phillies games. I'm absolutely aghast when they do badly & rarely impressed when they do well. So I was amused to see a respected baseball executive acting exactly the same way.

I thought TTI's 8:00 post was amusing too, although I'm pretty sure he's told that exact same joke before. Nonetheless, a good joke can be funny more than once.

Was looking at The Iron Pigs' boxscore & I noticed that Aki Iwamura was playing for the opposing team. My first thought was that it was an injury rehab, but it isn't; he was apparently designated for assignment awhile back & optioned to AAA.

Seems to me he would have been an absolutely ideal stop-gap until Utley comes back. He can hit a little, isn't very old, is an excellent defender, can play both 2nd & 3rd, &, even though he's left-handed, he hits lefties better than righties. I guess the Phillies aren't interested, though.

How many championships has Beane won based on his philosophy?

"I have a friend who told me that he has a friend who read a rumor on a blog of reliable sources that the Phils are close to signing Roy Halladay, but you didn't hear that from me.
crap. I meant to post that last year.

Posted by: Old Phan | Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 08:26 PM" **


** best post of the nite

'Stop the presses, the Phils have signed Timo Perez to a minor league deal.

Posted by: Sophist | Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 08:32 PM'

On a similar note-
' the Mets and free-agent relief pitcher Chad Cordero have agreed on a minor-league deal which will be made final today.

Cordero, now 28, had labrum surgery at the end of the 2008 season and he missed all of 2009.'

CJ

"RH power hitters like Polanco....."

Huh?

Pujols, maybe?

who's place is he taking on Reading's roster? Does anyone care?

Iwamura hit .182/.292/.267 in about 200 PA this year for the Pirates, although he's hitting .303/.465/.424 in AAA for the Pirates.

He underwent knee surgery and may have just lost his speed and some of his defensive abilities. Apparently a lot of his average came from IF hits. The surgery, a move from an astro-surface to natural grass, or bad luck may explain how awful he was for PIT.

May have been a possibility at one time, but I bet Amaro goes nowhere near him and I don't really blame him.

BB: His big gem in the last thread was that his buddy told him the deal may not be dead (something reported everywhere). The Astros may need to kick in some money (there were reports this morning that the Cardinals want the money to be kicked in by the Astros).

Yesterday his buddy said there is a rumor that Werth and Utley's wife were having sex and Utley is possibly filing for divorce. The first rumor has been out there for 3 weeks now. The latter has not been reported by anyone anywhere. So basically he took a rumor out there and added another layer to it.

BTW- This rumor is the same one that the Flyers dealt with in December. It's a variation of the rumor surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA playoffs. Other big sports cities have had similar rumors pop up over the past 12-18 months. This is because the Internet is overrun by dopes who can pull the wool over gullible people's eyes for a period of time.

One thing I find odd about this rumor is that it always fails to mention something: Werth is married with two kids. Now that doesn't mean it didn't happen, but it's odd that this fact is never mentioned.

http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=150029

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