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Monday, September 13, 2010


Carrying this over from the last thread... speaking of aging gracefully...

And how about this...

Let's compare Bonds' first 14 seasons (before he likely started juicing) vs. The Big Hurt's first 14 seasons:

Bonds: 423 2B, 65 3B, 445 HR, 1299 RBI, 288/409/559, 968 OPS, 163 OPS+

Thomas: 428 2B, 11 3B, 418 HR, 1390 RBI, 310/428/568, 996 OPS, 162 OPS+

That's just 1851 games for Thomas vs. 2000 games for Bonds.

Who was the greater hitter of their generation? I could make a pretty compelling case for The Big Hurt. Bonds only seems to get an edge because he decided to juice instead of going through the natural decline that Frank Thomas experienced.

I've heard it said many times that all of these strains and pulls (calf, thigh, lat, groin) are due primarily to too much off-season conditioning. I long for the days when ballplayers drank and smoked and sold used cars in the off-season.

Rollins isn't dead yet.

He started the year off at a nice clip, but it was cut short after the initial injury. Rollins came back slow from the disabled list, and right when he started to get home he injured himself again. Rollins can still be a potent player for us, but I don't think he is the driving force as he once was.

I hate "win-loss when [player] starts" because they tell you nothing at all. A hell of a lot more goes into a baseball game than one player's contributions. I also think the "Jimmy Rollins is the spark plug, as he goes the Phillies go" is one of the sillier talking-points the Philadelphia media has produced.

****Who was the greater hitter of their generation? I could make a pretty compelling case for The Big Hurt.****

If I had to pick one guy to hit for me in a critical situation, I'd go with Thomas...if I were building a team, I'd go with the OF over the 1B. As we're talking pure hitting, I'd probably lean towards Thomas and Pujols both over Bonds. Fun conversation though.

re: Thomas & Bonds

Frank Thomas's numbers are all the more impressive because he is right-handed and certainly saw more right-handed pitchers than Bonds saw left-handed pitchers.

But Rollins has got SWAG.

NEPP: We're just talking greatest hitters, right? Bonds obviously has an edge playing a pretty good OF most of his career and being a base-stealer.

I'm just saying Thomas may be the greatest hitter of his generation.

Looks like some of the biggest challenges next year will be keeping Jimmy on the field half of the time, keeping him happy at the bottom of the order, and identifying the SS of the future.

NEPP: To be honest, I was surprised at the comparison over the first 14 seasons.

Something to consider on the Rollins/Valdez conversation:

Jroll in 2010:

RISP: .956 OPS
Men On: .880 OPS
Bases Empty: .604 OPS

Why was he batting leadoff for much of the year again? If only we had another player in the heart of our lineup who was having the mirror opposite of that split...

I think we all know that Jimmy is not and hasn't been the Jimmy of 2,3,4 years ago.

I for one am hoping he can make it back by the last full week of September and get his timing down for the final push and playoffs.

Question for the group - Runners on the corners, two outs, down by a run in the 9th inning ...... you can have any Phillie up to bat with the game on the line.

Who are you going to pick? Jimmy is in my top two in that spot - no questions asked.

for the "when did bonds start juicing" debate, Game of Shadows does a pretty good job of nailing it down to the '99 season.. He didn't meet up with BALCO until a season or 2 later (I can't really remember, but I know he started of with "regular" steroids and then switched when his balls shrunk because he didnt really know what he was doing..)

its a pretty good read.. I guess its a little depressing for a sports fan (it does touch a bit on other athletes/sports) but still a good read

Interesting... if you go through Thomas' first 2000 games (like Bonds), Thomas has 12 more HRs and 100 more RBI.

****I'm just saying Thomas may be the greatest hitter of his generation.****

Yeah, we're talking purely hitting here, nothing else (defense, running, etc are not part of it).

I agree on Thomas. I think a lot of people forget just how dominating he was as a result of his age related fade in an era where all the top hitters seemed to stay productive into their late 30s.

Bay Slugga - Not in 2010.

JMARR - Against a RHP, no way. He is one of the last regulars I want to see up in that spot.

MG - I agree to disagree .... he is a red-light player if there ever was one.

Thing I question isn't Rollins' skill at the plate but his ability to stay healthy. And, really, that's probably the more important thing. If Rollins can just play 150+ games a year, he should finish his career here and would be worth the probable contract they'll offer him (because of his defense and where league average production at SS is).

If he can stay healthy I'd bet he's something much more than a .700 OPS hitter as well. Next year is obviously pivotal.

MG, I think there's some truth to the idea that Rollins "throws AB away." His general plate approach has always been questioned, even in his best years. I think he takes his game up a notch in big spots.

His RISP numbers this year and in his career bear that out. Most players are slightly better w RISP over long careers. Rollins is better by a large margin. career .860 OPS w RISP / career .727 OPS w bases empty.

.290/.373/.487 vs .263/.313/.414

League wide OPS increase is 60 points this year in the NL.

JMARR: I'd take Chooch, Polanco & Howard first. J-Roll & Ibañez are my 4th & 5th choices (exact position dependent on the pitcher they're facing).

All of the negatives listed in JW's writeup are also reasons why the Phillies were premature in picking up Rollins' option for next season. Valdez has performed well -- or at least better than expected -- but he is not an acceptable replacement for an everyday SS. Much as w/ Feliz last year, the Phillies are going to have to decide how much they value Defense over Offense. Jimmy comes w/ the added issues of being increasingly injury-prone, & the veteran face of the ball club.

Personally, I feel SS is a need the Phillies should have addressed a couple of seasons ago, & now MUST address this coming off season ... Even so, it has reached a point where there are no easy answers. I don't envy r00b this situation.

Agree with JMARR. Check the stats - even this year. Rollins numbers with RISP are off the charts. I said so on the air with WIP and it won me tix to the first game of the FLA double-header.

RISP: .338/.418/.538
RISP with 2 outs: .389/.418/.538

He is the Anti-Werth!

Line vs RHP

.222/.306/.360 in 225 ABs

Just not a guy I want to see up there late vs. a good RHP reliever or starter given the other options on this team.

if only thomas had been doing his hurtin' here. just how did that trade go down?

GTown - no offense, but I wouldn't want Howard anywhere near that spot - Utley, you bet, JRoll, Polanco ....

Jimmy makes it look easy, but it doesn't look as easy as it has in the past. For a guy who plays like Rollings does, and by that I mean he plays at 78 rpm vs 45 rpm, the wear and tear takes its toll. I'd still take him over any of the other SS's in the league, but his ability to play at 78 every day just isn't in the cards going forward. It's hard to watch, but obviously harder on Jimmy to go through. Old age is a bitch.

JMARR: None taken. It's a question w/out any definite answer, & we're all gonna have our opinions on the matter. *shrugs*

Dave - I don't think the Phils were 'premature' in picking up JRoll's option for next year. The much more difficult question is does Amaro give him say a 3-yr deal after next year at what will be still likely be moderate dollars.

Dave - If the Phils hadn't picked up that option, what would they do differently right now?

Even given his year, they still pick up that option. And they still should find a more capable backup just in case.

Do you think if they hadn't exercised the option they wouldn't now?

"A couple seasons ago" Rollins had a 103 OPS+ playing 137 games of his usual SS defense. Phils also won a WS that year. That's above average production at SS offensively. Rollins' 2009 ISO was higher than 2008. His BB% and his BAbip were down.

If I'm the Phils I pick up that option and see what happens next year. If Rollins stays healthy with the same defense a reasonable 3 year deal would not be a hard decision. There is no one to replace him in the system *or* in FA.

In a totally unmeasurable way, Jimmy seems to come through in those spots when I've already given up. The team's most desperate times. I'm assuming the game is over and they've lost(like NLCS last year).

Polly, Chooch, Howard and Utley come through too - but for me it is when I'm sure we are going to win anyway.

Gotta follow my reverse logic, but if you can, it makes sense.

I wonder what would happen if the Phillies hadn't picked up his option? What would they be thinking all through this year. In light of his frailty they might just low ball him. That could've gotten real ugly.

MG: Rollins is the type of player who is not going to age gracefully, & will still think he can be an everyday guy long after he isn't. Reduced money & a reduced role aren't his style. Besides which, I don't envision Jimmy playing more than ~100-125 games next season, anyway, so I doubt that will be an issue.

Dave - Don't necessary know about that. He likely is going to have reevaluate how he trains this offseason and realize that his days of hitting 20+ HRs are over.

I do agree though that reduced money/role aren't his style. He will likely balk at not being the leadoff hitter next year out of spring training. I also don't see him taking a pay cut to stay here. My bet is that we will take whoever gives him the most years/ dollars.

MG, Rollins overall line against RHP this year is no good, but once again (and sample size problems are obvious):


bases empty: .629 (171 PA)
RISP: .894 (52)

Tiny sample, but consistent with the rest of what's posted.

I wonder where this thought process comes in that the Phils will "have" to pick up J-Roll after next year. It's not something I am ascribing to a particular person; rather it's just a general thought from some writers and bloggers that J-Roll "has" to finish his career as a Phillie.

Why? J-Roll was paid, and paid well, to do a job. He was treated well by the organization, and in return he did a stellar job. However, if he becomes a liability in terms of play, durability, and money, why does he "have" to stay a Phillie?

I love the Phillies far more tha I love any of the individual players. I want the Phillies to do whatever will make the team get more wins. If that's continuing to sign him, fine. If that's letting him go, fine.

If Jimmy continues to be our best option, I'm all for him. But I would hate for him to be signed because the ownership or FO thinks the we "have" to keep J-Roll in a Phils uniform until he hangs up his cleats.

"There is no one to replace him in the system *or* in FA."

That's the real bitch of this issue, isn't it? In an increasingly typical Phillies way, the FO seems to have bet on an aging player & left themselves no real recourse should he fail.

"He likely is going to have reevaluate how he trains this offseason and realize that his days of hitting 20+ HRs are over."

Ha! He can't even bring himself to reevaluate consistently having 2-3 pitch ABs in the leadoff spot. Otherwise, I agree w/ your assessment of the matter: Jimmy will finish his career in a uniform other than red pinstripes.

I am Heather's ice cold ruthlessness.

I actually dont see the attitude problem that has always been branded on Jimmy that may have been there ealier in his career. I see a guy who realizes he is not the player he once was and is pretty resigned to it. There hasn't been a peep from him with Shane leading off. I thought he always had a bad rap on him anyway with the knock on his attitude. He was no Scott Rolen.

Jimmy comes to play in big spots. No question. But the difference in routine situations (ex. two outs, nobody on, 4th inning) is actually visible disinterest.

"Rollins is the type of player who is not going to age gracefully"

Not entirely true. "Young skills" players age better than "old skills" players, because power endures longer and OBP and plate discipline can be acquired. Rollins had power in 2009 and his BB% has increased in 2010.

Rollins will see a decrease in his singles and doubles before his HR. Rollins' .173 ISO in 2009 was the third highest of his career and higher than any of his pre-2006 seasons. His 2010 BB% is 3 points above his career norms. Those are positive developments. If he can stay healthy, keep up some level of his defense, and make that plate discipline more permanent, he'll be a very valuable player.

A 2-4.5 WAR player in modern parlance. Even this year, an injury-riddled year, he's a 2+ win player according to fangraphs and a 1.6 win player according to

Not to say that Rollins won't regress, but even an aging SS with his skills are valuable. He just has to stay healthy. If he has another year where he can't play 100 games, that's when things get difficult.

curt: Good point from the last thread regarding the Bonilla deferred money, that most people seem to be missing - that the year 2000 value of the owed money to Bonilla is exactly equal to the value of the contract if they paid him right away.

I wonder, though, if the Wilpons deferred that money at 8% interest because they had money invested at a risk-free 15-20% rate of return. (

Awesome... its Bash Jimmy Rollins Day. Wonder if this will surpass Bash Kyle Kendrick Day.

I'm still puzzling over this from NEPP:

"UZR doesnt like (Valdes) all that much (positive at SS, slightly negative at 2B) but he's been more than solid."

So less than a full season of UZR ISN'T an debate-ender for Valdes like you said it was for Utley?

Also, how many total chances for Valdes at 2B is that UZR based on? Why even mention it? Do you assume any poster on here, besides you, would put credence in a partial season of UZR for a backup infielder? Or even an everyday player?

Something I've always wondered...

So you're in your 30s and baseball (or football, basketball, whatever) is all you've ever done. You know that there's no way you'll do any better moneywise but you still have more money than you know what to do with (or at least you think). Maybe you still like parts of the game, but all in all your heart isn't into it any longer. Maybe that's where Rollins is now (and maybe has been since getting the ring).

"Visible disinterest," JW? That's pretty harsh. I don't see it.

Roy Oswalt since the Phillies picked him up: 6-1 in 9 starts, 1.98 ERA, 0.927 WHIP

Cliff Lee since the Rangers picked him up: 3-5 in 12 starts, 4.36 ERA, 1.083 WHIP

Just saying...

There's only one player on the team that displays "visible disinterest" both at the plate and in the field, and it's not Jimmy.

I actually posted that just to see if clout would jump on it...too predictable.

Out of everything else in all the threads, he jumped on that one post. Its not even difficult to get him anymore.

If the Phillies were run by the people who run the Eagles, Rollins would have been gone some time ago.

Tray - absolutely right, and we wouldn't have a WFC either ....

Tray: Unless he liked to torture dogs and did time in the big house. Then he's a keeper.

Finding a viable (not that Valdez isn't, but I think there are a lot of Wilson Valdez's out there) option that can play 2B, SS and 3B next year (to spell Polly, Rollins and Utley either to rest them or replace them when they are hurt) should be a priority in the off-season.

Guys like Polly and Rollins especially, are going to be prone to injury at their advancing age.

A Bill Hall type, should be a MUST for Rube (if they can spin it financially). Dumping some dead wood (Francisco, Dobbs, etc...) should free up some cash to make that happen.

You just can't realistically expect these older players, to last for 155 games a year. And Cholly cannot run them out there every day anymore either, in May, June and July. Same deal with Ibanez in LF.

Looking at the pitching probables for the rest of the week.....if games were played on paper....

at Marlins

MON- Blanton vs Miller
TUES- Hamels vs Mendez
WED- Halladay vs Sanabia


FRI- Oswalt vs Marquis
SAT- Kendrick/Worley vs Zimmermann
SUN- Blanton vs Maya

5 out of 6, looks real doable and should be the goal. A 2 game lead or more going into the Braves series, would be enormous. Especially, with Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt going in those 3 against ATL.

The other prediction, is the Padres will go from 1st place to 3rd place in the West, by Thursday.

Hamm, I think the KK Bash is much deeper for BLers than a JRoll Bash. We love JRoll, but, we recognize that he is in his declining years. KK? We see that he is past decline into the abyss.

I enjoyed the Braves losing last night. I also enjoyed the Cowpokes losing, too!

NEPP: Of course I'd jump on it. It's the most idiotic post on the last 3 threads.

yeah, i don't see visible disinterest by rollins at all. in fact, i've seen frustration a ton by him with some of his ab's recently.

Joe Cowley: The Great White Hope didn't do so good yesterday, though, did he?

Not sure I'd get too carried away with the disinterest theory as the reason for his struggles these last 2 years. Based on counting stats he had an outside shot at a HOF career with a strong career into his 30s

Comparison of age 22-29 with Jeter

Jeter: 1534 hits, 235 2B, 40 4B, 127 HR, 178 SB (75%)
Rollins: 1444 hits, 306 2B, 89 3B, 125 HR, 292 SB (83%)

Jeter is obviously the superior offensive player and a HOF, but this is just to say that Rollins had plenty to encourage him to keep performing. But maybe not. Who knows. We'll see what happens.

denny b.: "I think there are a lot of Wilson Valdez's out there."

You may be right but this team doesn't seem to find them. Please compare the stats of the last 3 Phillies UT INF (Perez, Nunez, Bruntlett) to Valdes' numbers this year.

It's not close.

I'm rooting for neither of them. That organization is the anti-Phillie entity in this town and until the Phils season is over (and probably beyond) not worth a minute of interest.

he's really off his game this year, werth that is. really late on pitches, taking strikes, swinging at balls, bailing at the plate. he's even late on fastballs that aren't fast. weird

Rollins' defense is still excellent, but it does seem to have slipped a tad this year. And, yes, he's still an excellent clutch hitter & he still brings a lot to the table with his speed & base-running smarts. But, as for his overall hitting . . . he'll have one more year to show the Phillies that he can still: (a) stay reasonably healthy over the course of a season; and (b) hit better than .250. If he can't demonstrate that he can do both of these things, I flat-out reject the idea that we can't do better or that loyalty demands we resign him.

****Jeter is obviously the superior offensive player and a HOF, but this is just to say that Rollins had plenty to encourage him to keep performing. But maybe not. Who knows. We'll see what happens. ****

Jeter will obviously make it but Jimmy will be hanging out with Alan Trammell.

i don't know man. that play he made last week on that dive and flip DP was ridiculous. i don't think valdez makes that play at all because he wouldn't get to that ball. he has much worse range than rollins or utley but has a much stronger arm than both

denny, what they need is a guy like Jamey Carroll. Jamey Carroll probably isn't that guy, but for a sub-$2M salary, he's played 67 games at SS and 42 games at 2B for the Dodgers and hit .290/.380/.341 (101 OPS+).

@bap -- you forget to add your caveat that "rollins is my favorite player"...

Valdez will make the play on pretty much every ball he gets to...that's a huge plus out of a backup. His range is average at best but his arm is ridiculous.

st: "he's really off his game this year, werth that is."

And yet the stats show he's having the best year of his career.

Werth is not "off his game" this year, he's hitting .289/.380/.505. Only Ruiz has a better OBP than him. He leads the team in OPS. I've had enough of the media taking a dump on him for no reason, and the fans that have regrettably lapped that story line up.

It's funny when it comes to bashing Jimmy there's plenty of firepower, but say one negative thing about Werth and you're out of line.....

Joe, Rollins' OPS is under .700. Firepower is right there. If Rollins were any other player (besides Utley) we'd be running him out of town.

maybe the Phils need to look into getting a new trainer who can stretch these guys better.

****nd yet the stats show he's having the best year of his career. ****

Yeah, if no one is on base.

Joe Cowley: You can say anything about Werth you want, but if it's demonstrably wrong, it will be corrected. Folks here tend not to let idiotic posts go uncorrected.

Raise your hand if you feel confident with Werth batting with RISP...or any clutch situation.

Kendrick better not start against the Nats, he has sucked against them this year worse than any other team.

Rollins struggles seem to be mostly due to the years played taking their toll, not him being mentally detached from the game or making bonehead plays. He made one of the best scoring slides you'll see a player make on one leg the game he went out. Twinkle Toes couldnt even get down to score. I understand Jimmy's numbers are brutal but not for lack of trying. And his fielding is still among the tops in the game.

what about that slide in san diego to win the game? that certainly wasn't disengaging

Clout: It's only corrected based on numbers, which is all anybody seems to focus on. If you base it on that then of course you can't compare both players, Werth comes out ahead in a big way. But there's more to a player then numbers, there's attitude and awareness on the field, agressiveness and a will to win. Jimmy still has those and Werth doesn't. Unfortunately Jimmy's skills overall have declined. I feel no better with Werth at the plate in a big spot then Jimmy, and that says something...about Werth

I do agree with Heather on this one. As much as I like Jimmy and love his defense, he cannot leadoff, he is not a table setter and his "wasted at bat" status continues to grow with age. If he can be had inexpensively enough, I say sign him to another three years as a barely mendoza hitting all-star defensive SS and let him bat 8th. If not, move on.

Werth is up there with Valdez on who I'd want hitting in a clutch RISP situation right now.

RISP in 2010
Valdez: .721 OPS
Werth: .608 OPS

Joe Cowley: You don't feel good about Werth at the plate in a big spot? I assume you didn't watch the last 2 World Series. (.351/.500/.676)

Sorry for focusing on numbers. I guess he did his damage in the unimportant World Series games.

In terms of career offensive production, Perez, Nunez, Bruntlett, and Valdez are remarkably similar. As a Phillie, Perez was noticeably superior overall, though we got him younger and had him longer, but his last two years were typical of what we've come to expect from our utility infielders. Valdez stands out offensively, however, in that he manages (so far) an OPS+ over 60 at age 32 when each of his predecessors couldn't break that at 30-31. Bruntlett was the worst at 44 over a two year span. Given Valdez's notably better defense over all but possibly Perez, he's definitely worth another shot unless we have reason to believe some "diamond in the rough" type now exists that has evaded us since the early 2000s.

The last 2 world series were in 2008 and 2009. If we focused on the past then Pat Burrell would still be patrolling left and Milt Thompson would be hitting coach. The time is now and what has he done for us lately?

Joe: Well, we can have a guy on the field who has the right attitude, aggressiveness and awareness and produces a .690 OPS or we can have a guy on the field who shows none of that, but produces an OPS of .885.

Which guy is likely to produce more wins?

Are other people having problems with the beerleaguer site? My screen freezes on several computers.

I am getting paranoid that CM is trying to keep me out!

***You don't feel good about Werth at the plate in a big spot? I assume you didn't watch the last 2 World Series. (.351/.500/.676)***

Talk about sample size issues. How's he doing on the year with RISP again (feel free to reference my previous post)

Joe: Which would you say is more likely to recur next year: Jimmy Rollins' .250-ish batting average or Jayson Werth's .158 average with RISP?

I'm with you Joe, I believe in the merit of intangibles. Many other beerleaguers....not so much.

Clout: I agree, but it's safer to say neither Werth nor Jimmy has produced many wins at all for us this season, and Jimmy seems to have more of an excuse then Werth does. As far as I know Werth has played healthy all season and is following up a terrific offensive season. Rollins' excuse is from the neck down as his body is giving up on him. Werth's problem is from the neck up.

RK: I've been having the same exact problem for at least a week now. I don't think it's my computer, since this is the only site where it happens.

How is defending Werth's season ignoring intangibles? Werth may be the least valuable 130+ OPS+ player in MLB but he's still having a great year.

NEPP, you're going to use the sample size argument in favor of his RISP problems? Werth had a .918 OPS w RISP just last year.

Bay Area: More likley is that we wont have to worry about Werth's RISP numbers next year because he wont be here, but again we're trying to win in 2010 last I heard. So far I've heard arguments about the last 2 world series and what will happen next year. Call me nuts but I'll try to focus on a ring this year.

Joe, the predictive value of Werth's 2010 RISP numbers for his remaining AB? Pretty much zero.

What is it about Philly right fielders anyway? I remember reading nearly the exact same posts about Bobby Abreu when he was traded 4 years ago- reportedly not a clubhouse guy.

Look how that turned out. Oh wait, the Phillies went to the playoffs in every full season since then, won the world series and returned to the big game the next year.

****NEPP, you're going to use the sample size argument in favor of his RISP problems? Werth had a .918 OPS w RISP just last year. ****

I'm saying that this year, with RISP, Werth sucks and he has all year. You can see it in his approach every time he has such an AB. He tries to hit the ball 700 ft. Its in his head at this point. Next year will likely be a different story...hell, the playoffs could be a different story but for the past 6 months he's sucked with RISP...that's a pretty decent sample. Do you disagree on his approach in those ABs? It cant simply be a fluke at this point.

clubhouse loves werth. that's not the issue

sophist: Exactly right. OPS is a stat that produces wild swings from year to year. To use a single season of it to sum up a player's offense is as ridiculous as using a single season of UZR to sum up a player's defense. I can't imagine anyone on here dumb enough to do that.

"Joe, the predictive value of Werth's 2010 RISP numbers for his remaining AB? Pretty much zero."

Do we know that? Because his .160 average with RISP seems to do a pretty great job of predicting what he does every time he comes to the plate with RISP. If it weren't a good predictor (or, to be fair, just happening to predict well), that average would be rising; he'd be returning to career RISP norms.

Clout: you said "You may be right but this team doesn't seem to find them. Please compare the stats of the last 3 Phillies UT INF (Perez, Nunez, Bruntlett) to Valdes' numbers this year."

Don't forget Castro and his sub-Mendoza line average. It seems the utility guys are always sub .200, so in my mind Valdez and his .240ish, strong defense, great attitude, excellent bunting skills and some more than occasional timely hitting and base running has been a god send. I'm fine with Valdez another year.

Werth's strikeout late in Saturday's loss was an embarassment. He reminds me of when football or basketball players take swings in a celebrity game. And of course, men on base.

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