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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

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Utley is batting second tonight.

I am first? Can't believe it. Here is hopin git doesn't tak him long to find his groove.

Chase in the #2 spot in the lineup. Interesting.

Premature post, sorry.

Rollins SS
Utley 2B
Polanco 3B
Werth RF
Victorino CF
Sweeney 1B
Ibanez LF
Ruiz C
Oswalt P

It occurs to me the "no extra IF on the bench" argument is a bit spurious. We have no fewer IFs today than we had yesterday.

If only Dobbs had gotten more playing time...

Wonder why UC is doing Ibanez, who's been struggling, rather than Ben Fran. Interesting decision there.

Hit Utley in a nice safe spot until he gets his swing in order. A 2 hitter should see more fastballs and more stikes provided the leadoff man is on and the guys behind him are threats. Good move by the hitting guru. I predict with success he switched Utley and Polanco shortly.

Wow. He moved the 1B out of the cleanup spot. Love Utley batting #2.

I was going to guess that Ibanez has good numbers against Zito, but not. He's 8-47 with 8 K. Small sample size, so I don't really care. Surprised that Manuel is starting him though.

I'm also surprised to see Raul in the lineup and batting 7th.

Looks like Werth is back in Cholly's good graces. Werth was immediately slotted at 4 when Howard went down, then proceeded to K in 7 of his next 8 at bats, and was promptly removed, being supplanted by Mike Sweeney. Werth's recent hitting success has vaulted him back to status of 2nd Howard on the team.

If only Gdobbs was taller...

Very surprised to see Ibanez starting, as well. I figured Ben Francisco would get the start against Zito. Therefore, Raul is going to have a big night.

Two Washed Up™ LFs going head to cabeza. Should be fun.

MLB Trade Rumors has a big article up calling into question a lot of the Phillies contracts/extensions. Just head on over to mlbtraderumors.com and it is the first or second article.

Sigh.

I am a big critic of the Phils Front Office, but even I am getting a bit tired of the piling on by a lot of the sabermetrics related sites...if you read all of them it seems the organization does absolutely nothing well, which is untrue.

On a totally unrelated note, I too find it interesting Ibanez is getting the start in left. The platoon seemed to be working well.

Also...any word on Gload?

hunterfan - It isn't unreasonable to criticize handing out extra years. They could could have added Feliz (who it turned out Gillick lied out the Giants offering him a 2nd year) and Ibanez too to the list.

Yeah. Cholly is back to putting Ibanez out there everyday regardless of the matchup.

This is where his insistence on sticking with something even though the numbers clearly don't favor it are puzzling.

One thing to stick with your players & support them. Another to continue to drink milk that is past the expiration date.

Let me be the first to make the following keen observation:

In response to a lot of Chase Utley love on Beerleaguer the other day, here are two batting lines (Dobbs normalized to Utley's PAs). The first is our former MVP Gold Glove All-Star 2nd baseman. The second is an end-of-the-bench journeyman infielder thrown into the starting lineup by injuries. Utley has Dobbs beat on the OBP (40 to 23), but other than that, he should be embarrassed. Dobbs is giving nothing away to Utley in terms of defense either from what I have seen.

BB - Utley 40, Dobbs 23
2B - Utley 13, Dobbs 12
3B - Utley 2, Dobbs 0
HR - Utley 11, Dobbs 8
RBI - Utley 37, Dobbs 29

This would be a great night to start Francisco. Ibanez has been a in a small funk lately, and even though none of these pitchers is a slump-buster, at least starting him against Cain might give him the best chance to put some good swings together. Also, we are embarking on a 24 in 23 stretch, so giving Ibanez another day to rest before this stretch would be well advised.

Also, let's hope the Phillies bats break out and given oswalt some run support. Teams don't like to score for this guy this year.

Dobbs will be selfishly trying to pad his stats in Lehigh Valley.

Andy, was surprised too...until I checked.

In 48 PA against Zito, here's Raul's line:

.170 .167 .319

Contrast Ben Francisco vs Zito:

.167 .167 .167


I guess Charlie won't try out Dom Brown against Zito, but could he possibly be any worse?

Dan, it is on secret that Utley was having an off year by his standards, but the fact that you'd compare Utley to Dobbs should leave you embarrassed. Shall we take a gander at utley's career numbers? How about Utley's career UZR, or how about how Utley is oft considered the greatest baserunner in the game? How about the fact that Utley is a 30 HR/100 RBI/20 SB/.400 OBP/.295 BA terrific defensive second baseman who is also a 5 time AS starter, and hit 5 HRs in the WS last year, a feat only accomplished by one other player in major league baseball history. I'd take Utley with one of his legs amputated over Dobbs, and I really don't have anything against Dobbs.

"who it turned out Gillick lied out the Giants offering him a 2nd year)"

GAG.

Oh, and Ben Fran's #s are in 6 PA. Also had 3 K in same 6 PA.

Raul has 8 K against Zito in those 48 PA, along with 1 HR and 9 RBI.

As much as it seems counterintuitive, Charlie may have made the right choice.

How about we normalize some rather more important stats to Utley's PAs:

BA: Dobbs .191 Utley .277
OBP: Dobbs .250 Utley .383
Slg: Dobbs .319 Utley .466

If your point was that Chase Utley was not posting Chase Utley-type numbers before he was injured, you are correct. If your point was that Utley is only a marginal upgrade from Dobbs, you might be on the shakiest ground in Beerleaguer history.

"Yeah. Cholly is back to putting Ibanez out there everyday regardless of the matchup.

This is where his insistence on sticking with something even though the numbers clearly don't favor it are puzzling. "


MG, based on Ben and Raul's track records against Zito, please explain you post.

Ibanez had a miserable series against the Mets, but he had been on fire before that, against both lefties & righties. And the entire Phillies' lineup stunk at Citi, so you could easily write that series off as an anomaly. Ibanez is a much better hitter than Francisco, so it's worth giving him another shot to get himself hitting again, even if it's against a left-hander.

I have no idea what there doing with Dom Brown. Either play him or send him back down to let him get some at-bats.

I'm not the biggest sabremetrics guy mainly because how people misread things. You can take a ton of players and line up numbers and say the difference is marginal or so and so is over paid because he isn't $8mil better than so and so, but the gap between success and failure in baseball is minute. You know that poolhall scene in Bull Durham? The one where Crash says "you know what the difference between .250 and .300 is? ...one ground ball with eyes a week." That's why everyone's numbers look "close". Rollins is hardly better than Valdez and Utley a marginal improvement over Dobbs and Howard just beats out Gload. Still Rollins, Utley and Howard get rings while the other bunch would lose 100 games. What gives?

Pretty sure Dan was kidding.

Don't worry, Dan in Philly, I got your joke.

I thought it was clever.

gobaystars - Dan's post was nonsense, and I think he knows it. No "sabremetrics guy" (sabermetrics, really) would support a comparison of those kinds of numbers.

I think there's a factual middle ground between Dan, who thinks Utley's fielding has been as bad as Dobbs this season, and Fatalotti, who thinks Utley's fielding has been Gold Glove caliber this season.

It didn't read like the post of someone who was kidding. But maybe I'm wrong.

looks like dan hit a touchy subject for BAP

I thought Dan's post was oddly reminiscent of a recent post regarding Rollins v. Valdez. In fact, The Rollins v. Valdez debate was based off of a comment that said Rollins "should be embarrassed," much like Dan's post.

That's why I thought it was a joke.

Billingsly: Ah, got it. I'm relieved to hear that he was joking.

I had an interesting thought since we are all reminiscing about former Phillies and their 2008 contributions to winning the WFC here on BL.

With PtB leading the teary eyed trip down the memory lane parade, how will the again DFA'd Greg Dobb's be received by the CBP crowd, if in fact he has seen his last game as a Phillie upon his return in a different uniform?

Would it be:
A. Complete Indifference
B. Polite Applause
C. Standing O
D. Scattered boos and applause
E. Loud jeering, including such fan favorites as, "You suck Dobbs!!" or "Pop up another one for us you loser!".
F. Add your own scenario...

Mack, I think I'll have to go with either A or B. Most folks won't know who he is (the casual fan) and the folks who do will give him the golf clap.

awh - Because Ibanez has seen a ton of Zito and done squat against him:

47 ABs with a line of .170/.167/.319

Francisco is only 1-6.

Coupled with that Ibanez really hasn't hit LHP all season and is coming off a cold series, playing Francisco in LF is the easy call tonight.

Fair enough, likely a joke. I still stand by my premise. I think some fans like to play Billy Beane and miss out on how close winning is to losing in baseball. The guys who perform ever so slightly better over 600 PAs are the difference makers.

A. Complete indifference

"Coupled with that Ibanez really hasn't hit LHP all season and is coming off a cold series, playing Francisco in LF is the easy call tonight."

If this is clearly the only reasonable choice, does that make our manager dumb for not making it?

hunterfan - Dumb no but it is probably isn't the best utilizaton of his resources. Ibanez can't hit Zito and had a rough series.

Burrell batting clean up tonight...

Torres CF
Posey C
Huff 1B
Burrell LF
Sandoval 3B
Guillen RF
Uribe SS
Fontenot 2B
Zito P

gobaystars - In what universe is the difference between Utley and Dobbs "ever so slight"? You have to cook up either useless numbers or numbers out of context to make it look close. It's not.

MG - "One thing to stick with your players & support them. Another to continue to drink milk that is past the expiration date." Classic.

Since his consecutive game hitting streak ended, how many hits DOES Raul have? I think it my only be one or two. UC likes to allow his regular players to find their stroke again. That's why PtB was inserted in the line up even during some of his major slumps...of course only to be pulled for defensive purposes in the late innings.

had to switch to a new Blackberry. Anyone know where I can easily replace my Kalas ringtone from 2008 Series? I'm willing to pay the 2.99 for good quality

A PtB prediction - 2 for 4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 1K, 1 catchable ball falling for a hit while in LF

If Dobbs returns with another team he will get polite applause. People remember what he contributed a few years ago, he was on the team for a while and he was on the 08 team. I don't think anyone has any huge issue with him. He got old and isn't very good anymore. He isn't stealing money or blocking any real talent. The fact that he stayed up as long as he did is more Ruben's failing than his. It happens.

I agree. Shoulda sent down Dom for more ABs and bring him up in 2 weeks.

Mr. Mack - Ibanez has played alot recently and will have more than ample opportunity to over the next 3 weeks.

Maybe Francisco wouldn't do much tonight but the odds that Ibanez does anything against Zito are pretty slim. I bet he takes an 0fer tonight against Zito with maybe a BB.

Why is Brown still here?

He's not going to play.

Let him go down to LV for 2 weeks and get 4 AB's a night and then bring him back.

He is basically going to go one full month with no AB's. That is a waste for a 21 or 22 year old kid.

Big game tonite - almost has that sweet smell of playoff air about it.
Huge also with the return of Pat the Bat. Pat Burrell totally has Phillies red pinstripe cred. He's going to get a resounding standing O - just hope he doesn't take it to mean that he's to hit a homerun like we used to cheer him on to do.
Some posters on here questioned his work ethic. Charley Manuel always said he's one of the hardest workers on the team. In today's Inky, the sf manager said the same thing. Doubt if he'd be close buds with Chase Utley if he dogged it.
Welcome back to Philly - Pat the Bat! ... and Go Phils!!

Raul got hot, because he wasn't playing as much against LHP. Cholly started (finally) getting him out of the lineup and it seemed to rejuvenate him.

Now that he has played everyday again, he is in a 0 for 20 streak.

Coincidence?

I looked the either night and half, if not most, of Ibanez recent AB have been against LHP. Too early to say he's in a 20-30 game funk, of course, but tonight was a good night to sit him.

Manuel knows things we don't, though.

Wouldn't put much stock in 47 AB in any case.

Not for nothing, and I know we all expect each spot in the lineup to produce in every game, but is it possible that tonight, we just don't get any production out of that positiion? It's quite possible (and, IMHO probable) that we get enough production from most of the other line-up spots to help lead to a win...

denny b - It certainly didn't hurt. Ibanez will be 0-24 streak after tonight because I doubt he gets a hit against Zito & a tough Giants' pen with some decent lefty options.

MG-

Unless Affeldt came back today, the Giants only had one lefty reliever (Lopez) last week.

Only thing I can think of is that Cholly doesn't want to get stuck with Valdez as the only RH hitter on the bench, if Benny starts.

denny b: Bit of a puzzle to me too. Sitting Dom for 2 weeks makes no sense. I thought sure he'd go and Dobbs would stay or if Dobbs went another INF would replace him and Utley would replace Brown.

Now, Valdez can't be used as a PH or the team has no backup at 3 positions. Few teams carry 6 OF and only 1 backup INF.

I like slotting a cold Ibanez between Vic-Sweeney and Ruiz-P. There's a reasonable chance Vic or Sweeney could get on base and I think Ruiz gets enough respect that Ibanez will see some decent pitches if there are runners on.

Re Brown v. Dobbs: I think it's as simple as this. The Phillies badly need to win games & this means putting their best 25 men out there. Despite their similar OPS, Brown is surely a more dangerous pinch-hitting threat than Dobbs. He also has the versatility to pinch run, whereas Dobbs does not.

My feeling is if Valdez were playing tonight, we might also have seen Ben Fran playing. I could be wrong of course, but Cholly might be going off of a hunch, which he has been known to do on occasion.

Agree with BAP a million percent. It would be silly to carry a pinch runner for the season or sit a prospect for the season, but in a race where every game will be huge it makes sense to do it for a few weeks.

The only problem I have with that is if we're following a 'best 25 men' philosophy, Herndon doesn't fit the description.
But that has already been beaten to death.

denny b./bap – “Best 25”? Why is Herndon here and not used (very often) or better yet, why don't the owners take the Blue Jay series' revenue and eat Baez' contract? Why is the sky blue? (/sarcasm).

I'm bamboozled why the Fightin' Phils cling to 2 practically unused relievers. It must really frost RAJ to have his nose rubbed in Baez' 2-year deal everytime the 'pen flops. It has to be ownership demanding "value" from the signed Baez, no? Regarding Herndon, does he really project to Dennis Eckersley? If not, oh the heck with it....

Rube said Brown would only come up from AAA to "play". He wasn't coming up to sit.

Now he's still here, and he's not playing. And won't, unless there is an injury.

He should have been sent out. He needs to play.

Prado activated. playing 3b.

Prado is only 6'1". Braves are screwed.

denny: Brown has already shown that he can rake against AAA pitching. You can make a case that he's better served getting pinch hitting & spot duty in the majors than he would be getting 4 PAs a game at AAA. And the Phillies are certainly better served by having his bat on the bench, as opposed to Dobbs' bat.

I like that Dom's getting the chance to be on the big league bench/PH/PR now, being part of a contender. Could he use regular ABs? Sure. Would I like to see him sent down? Nah. Do I ask questions and answer them myself? Yes.

WAHHHHH omg... dom brown is going to miss 45 to 50 PA in AAA wahhhh...

that could be the difference between a HOF career or Jeff Stone...

wahhhhhhhhhhh...

any bets on who has a better stretch run after coming off the DL - Utley or Prado?

Prado was already having a better season and he hasn't been gone as long. My money is on Prado. However, I say "money" advisedly. I would never bet against Chase Utley.

ak, If your money is on Prado, you are betting against Utley, no?

The position of 3B should also be known as "Tallstop"

"Tallstop" - HA!!!!

Damn

The LV Piggies have been eliminated from playoff contention,

Nothing for Dobbs to play for

Ibanez is probably playing because of the day off yesterday. UC probably just thought he needed a breather and he got that with the already scheduled day off. It's amazing how fast the Beerleaguer faithful turn on people. We want Ben Fran in the lineup over Ibanez? Seriously?

Also surprised to see Ibanez as opposed to Benny-Fran. My only guess is that he figured Ibanez had a day off. Personally, I thought it worked pretty well with the platoon.

Sorry Dukes. Honestly, I didn't see your post before I put up my comment.

Francisco should be starting, no question.

Prado was not having a better season than Utley--if anything, they were about equal.

Prado is a good player, and any team would be happy to have him back. But if Utley is healthy, he's the bigger addition, and the better baseball player.

Dukes: Against a lefty that Raul has consistently struggled against, yes, Ben Fran should be in the lineup. You might have seen the positive results the platoon got in July.

I know Raul was hot and so he started playing everyday again, but since then he's gone dead cold again. A platoon was the right answer in June and July, and it's still the right answer now.

Phlipper: Great minds.

Jack: I hear ya...I just think one bad series does not a platoon make. Let's see how he does against Zito and Sanchez and then maybe change things. Difference of opinion, that's all.

bap has it right regarding Brown/Dobbs. The Phillies are trying to win now. Brown is a better, more versatile player right now (he can pinch-run, play both corner OF spots, and despite his early struggles, showed in the minors he can hit lefties as well as righties).

It's as simple as that. Best 25 guys. Brown is one of them. So he's here. Done.

Dukes: It's not one bad series that makes a platoon. It's a season where he's hitting .223/.269/.347 against lefties.

Jack...when a guy was as hot as Ibanez, you can't look at the whole season.

Totally agree with BAP on Dom - keep him for fielding, pinch-running and a bat off the bench and spell Vic if needed since he has been awful against Lefties. We need every game and 2 weeks at LHV isn't a big deal. Maybe we send him down when The Big Piece is back for 7-10 days.

Dukes: Ok, difference of opinion, I guess. I would absolutely look at the full season. Otherwise, you've now discounted both one bad series, and a full season? So the only time that has any relevance is the length of Raul's hot streak?

I guess my point is that if a guy can get as hot as Raul was, he can also get as cold as that. He hasn't hit lefties very well overall this season. He did for a little while, which was only like 50 ABs against lefties. Now he's struggling again against everyone. Why not rest him against good lefties? Let him get his stroke back against righties, who he's obviously hit well against this season.

It's just more likely to me that the season-long struggles against lefties are more indicative of what Raul does going forward than the 4 hot weeks where he was decent against them.

Jack: I'll admit, I'm getting convinced. But don't tell anyone.

Dukes: Also, Ben Fran has played well recently.

Yo, New Thing.

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