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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

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No, a thousand times no. Get Rollins out of the leadoff spot. Jeebus Charlie.

You guys are selling Rollins way short. I bet he had a big post-season.

Is Polly available to PH at least? That could be useful even if he can't play the field.

er, "I bet he *has* a big post-season", obviously...

SEASON = OVER

R: Don't bother... not worth it. If Beerleaguer isn't wringing their collective hands over something, they're not happy. They've decided that batting J-Roll leadoff is the worst thing in the history of baseball.

They'll also follow that up by whining about how many pitches he takes... despite the fact that he's more successful early in the count. But no reason to let facts get in the way!

uhoh. Well panic button is pushed.

So Polanco's back just flared up?

Sometimes you're reminded of just how old this team is (oldest roster in the major leagues).

Hopefully he's good to go by Friday. More worried about the loss in defense and the 8-9-1 being weak than the "situational hitting".

no he's not available to pinch hit. and rollins was not going to leadoff originally says manuel

I actually think that, between the Polanco injury and the Reds' one good starter starting, this is the Reds' best chance to win a game. A rain delay, if one occurs, would favor them, as we'd go to Blanton and they'd go to Travis Wood. I also found this, from Stark, interesting:

Since the postseason expanded into a three-round, four-week marathon 15 years ago, the team with the best record in baseball has won the World Series only three times -- in 1998 (Yankees), 2007 (Red Sox) and 2009 (Yankees).

And you know that 41-19 post-Oswalt-acquisition roll the Phillies are on heading into this tournament? Means absolutely zilcho. In the division-play era, 26 other teams have roared into the postseason by winning at least 41 of their last 60 games, too. Nearly twice as many (13) [that's half] lost in the first round as won the World Series (seven).

13-19 w-l without Polly in line-up...

Does anyone else think that a legitimate backup infielder would be a good piece for Rube to get for 2011?

Has that point been hammered down enough yet?

NEPP: What does that mean? A "legitimate backup infielder"? If they were good enough to adequately replace Polanco or Rollins, they'd be a starting infielder somewhere.

Backups are backups for a reason.

No!!!!!!!

****Backups are backups for a reason. ****

There are other options out there. Valdez has made an admirable effort but he barely gave us replaceable level offense. A Jose Lopez type player would be nice. Whoever he is, he's likely to get almost 300 ABs on a playoff contender.

I'm now more concerned that this sets up a chance for Charlie to PH Dobbs for Valdez late in the game. Please don't do it.

The loss of Polanco is huge. I'm more worried about the situational hitting though. Polanco is key out fo that 2 hole especially in the playoffs where offense can become a tight commodity. I think Valdez will be fine at third but he is not (usually) fine in the batter's box.

Well, that couldn't possibly suck more. I must ask though: what does Polanco being unavailable have to do with Rollins batting leadoff? Cholly evidently sees a connection between the 2 issues that I simply fail to see.

This couldn't be a worse start. Mark this game down as a loss.

Wow, I guess Polanco out means game=over on BL. I don't like it either, obviously, but if you read the comments from the time it was announced to now it's pretty funny.

Prediction for the 1st inning:

Rollins doubles to lead off
Vic hits a 2 run blast
Utley Ks
Howard Ks
Werth Ks

Phillies win 2-0 on a Halladay CG shutout.

My goodness... we have this discussion every year.

Who should the Phillies sign this offseason as a "legitimate" backup infielder. Like there's a bunch out there providing better than replacement level offense while also offering a competent glove at multiple positions.

What dream world do all these utility infielders exist in?

Shane in the 2-hole instead of Polanco actually reduces the chances of a double play (if Jimmy happens to get on base).

I don't really know what the "situational hitting" means, though. If you're worried about losing base hits, then you're just worried about hitting. If you're worried about sac bunts or hit-and-runs, Charlie doesn't do those anyway. What situational hitting is there really to lose? The only thing I can think of is if Jimmy hits a leadoff double, Polly is good at going the other way to move him. But Shane will be batting lefty and is a pull hitter. So it's pretty much a wash.

Wilson Valdez actually has a higher OPS+ than Orlando Cabrera. His WAR is almost identical to Polanco's (although obviously inflated by him playing most of his games at 2B or SS, rather than 3B, which has a higher replacement level). This is not a disaster.

bap: It's fairly simple... Charlie is not comfortable with Valdez at the top of the lineup and he doesn't want to adjust the middle of the lineup. If Polly is healthy, J-Roll bats 7th. I think it's pretty clear what Charlie is saying.

****What dream world do all these utility infielders exist in?****

In a dream scenario, you have someone like Valdez for his glove and you get a guy like a Keppinger for his bat.

Defensively, Valdez has been terrific at 2nd base and shortstop. But he hasn't played 3rd base very often and, when he has, he has looked very unsure of himself. I'm foreseeing a critical error sometime in today's game.

So Polanco is out and you magnify the problem by putting rollins at lead-off?

Valdez was as legitimate as you can get, and he proved it.

Pardon the blasphemy, but this team can win without Polly in the lineup. Just sayin'.

We made it to the World Series last year with Feliz's bat at 3B. I think we'll be alright with Valdez for a game.

NEPP: Which player like Jeff Keppinger was a free agent that the Phils should have signed?

****NEPP: Which player like Jeff Keppinger was a free agent that the Phils should have signed?****

CJ, I'm saying for next year...not this year. Considering what's happened, a good backup might be something to invest a couple million in.

Zolecki tweets: Wilson Valdez is ready. Dyed his goatee red for playoffs.

********

Case closed.

What situational hitting is there really to lose?

The possibility of seeing maybe more than 2 pitches &, perhaps, working a Walk? And on that count I'd take Valdez over Rollins or Vic any day.

Old Phan: Totally right. Polly has been great this year, but he's behind Utley, Howard, Werth, Victorino, Ruiz and maybe even Rollins in terms of importance being in the lineup.

Forgive me for not buying the 13-19 record without him in the lineup stat.

Prediction: Exxon wins WS MVP after a remarkable 12-20, 6 HR effort to sweep the Twins.

He is promptly signed to a 5 year deal by the Mets new GM worth $75 million.

NEPP: Sorry... just can't see justifying a couple million dollars on a utility infielder. I consider that a huge waste of a budget.

I know this will sound crazy... but the Phils had the best record in baseball this season with Juan Castro and Wilson Valdez. In fact, we OVERpaid on the position this year!

you do know that both Rollins and Victorino are vastly more likely to walk than Valdez, right?

CJ: I know it sounds crazy, but we COULD bat our .302-hitting, .400 OBP catcher in the 2-hole, & bat our 2 crappiest hitters 7th & 8th.

C----L-- has loaded the bases with 1 out in the bottom of the 1st.

if they put victorino, then rollins would be #2. you guys would want that? ruiz at #2 was NEVER going to happen. be realistic please.

i wonder how long charlie knew about this. He had to know something before he submitted the roster and i wonder if releasing this info this late is him trying to play some head games w/ volquez

Well, that couldn't possibly suck more.

Seriously - I'd say that Halladay, Werth, Howard, Utley, Ibanez, Victorino, or Ruiz being no good for Game 1 would have sucked considerably more. Valdez is a perfectly capable defensive substitute, and Polanco has a 95 OPS+ and has been in a pretty serious slump over the last month.

This is eminently a non-panic-worthy development.

G-Town Dave: Polly sees fewer pitches and draws fewer walks than any of those guys.

GTown Dave: What exactly was Polly's walk rate that we're suddenly losing?

Wilson Valdez is ready. Dyed his goatee red for playoffs.

Well, that changes everything. I think I'm gonna run out right now to buy champagne for the WFC2 celebration, so as to avoid the late rush.

Probably old news, but it was just in High Cheese:
The Reds have left veteran centerfielder Jim Edmonds off the roster for this series and instead have tabbed infielder Juan Francisco. Edmonds hit 11 homers in 246 at-bats and would have supplied a bit of power off Dusty Baker’s bench, but he’s still bothered by an injured Achilles’ tendon.

If Polly does have chronic back issues...it kinda makes you wonder how much we're really gonna get from him in the final 2 years of his contract.

Before this, we could all point to the beaning/elbow injury as the excuse for his off year. Now you have to wonder if he'll simply be a really well paid backup in 2012.

bap: Fair enough.. but there are possibilities... and there are things that will never happen. No sense in wishing for things that will never happen.

Anyone know who's commentating Phils / Reds series on TBS?

yeah brian anderson and joe simpson

NEPP: Does Polly have chronic back problems? This is the first time a back issue has sidelined him this entire season... and I can't remember an issue in his past.

HUGE difference between a back injury and chronic back problems. Let's not go overboard with the hyperbole.

Overall Walk Rate doesn't take into account situational differences. Polanco is a more choosy batter when it is called for, but also swings freely when he's able.

None of this matters since Doc is going to pitch a CGSO and Howard is going to run into a fastball.

Clifton Phiffer gets out of a jam.

NEPP: You mean a 3-year contract to a guy in his mid-30's might not be great at the end?

It's weird no one considered that at the time.

Anyway, more important is today's game. We'd be better off with Polly, but I really don't think it's a devastating loss.

**** Does Polly have chronic back problems? This is the first time a back issue has sidelined him this entire season... and I can't remember an issue in his past.

HUGE difference between a back injury and chronic back problems. Let's not go overboard with the hyperbole.
****

Speaking from experience, pretty much any back injury is a chronic injury that can reoccur at any time. Thus, it'll probably continue to affect him. Even if he first injured it this week, backs dont ever heal 100%.

Something to watch for if nothing else.

It could be far worse, Dobbs could be playing 3rd.

Cliff Lee struck out Rocco Baldelli to end the first inning with the bases loaded.

Can anyone tell me why in God's name Rocco Baldelli, with 25 plate appearances all season, is starting?

If nothing else, this development tells us this: Dobbs will be on the roster for the duration.

Some crappy pitching in Florida today.

Thanks for the info, st.

"If nothing else, this development tells us this: Dobbs will be on the roster for the duration."

That's probably the worst part of this whole thing.

bc he hit a home run in the world series in 2008

NEPP: Sorry, but that's just crazy. I've had a back injury in the past and there's been nothing chronic about it. You have no idea what kind of injury he has or how severe it is. "From experience"? Okay, doc... I'll take your word for it.

The Rangers have Jorge Cantu?

****Can anyone tell me why in God's name Rocco Baldelli, with 25 plate appearances all season, is starting? ****

Because Joe Maddon is clearly smarter than any of us.

****Sorry, but that's just crazy. I've had a back injury in the past and there's been nothing chronic about it. You have no idea what kind of injury he has or how severe it is. "From experience"? Okay, doc... I'll take your word for it.****

I'm missing 3 discs in my back...thus "from experience" of having to deal with that and talk to doctors about it for the last 7 years since my initial injury.

Announcer just said "Moron Jeff Francoeur". I agree. Oh, wait, that isn't what he meant.

"If nothing else, this development tells us this: Dobbs will be on the roster for the duration."

"That's probably the worst part of this whole thing."

It's either Dobbs, or Exxon's Red Goatee. But yeah, probably Dobbs.

Francouer and Baldelli starting on respective playoff teams.

Suddenly having to use Valdez doesnt look that bad.

Will the Yankees toss Golson out there to complete the fun?

I'm more concerned with Rollins hitting leadoff than Polanco being out.

NEPP: You think Polanco is missing three discs in his back? It's possible... and I'm just speculating... that his "experience" is very different from your "experience."

Some of you guys are acting like Halladay felt a pop in his shoulder while throwing. This is not nearly as big of a deal as you're making it out to be. If he's out for one or two games, it's not a big deal. Valdez has been a capable backup.

Not surprised to see BAP jumping ship before the teams even take BP.

I was thinking Phillies in 3, but without the hitter with the 9th best OPS on the team, I'll have to change my guess to Reds in 3.

I can't imagine a more devastating development for the Phillies than losing Placido Polanco.

Buster Olney makes a good observation: "First second-guessable moment of the playoffs:Price throws Jeff Francoeur, a dead-red hitter,a first-pitch fastball,and he crushes a double."

Francouer may be the least patient hitter in all of baseball and struggles against off-speed stuff. All of that scouting suggests a first pitch fastball is the LAST thing you should throw him.

****NEPP: You think Polanco is missing three discs in his back? It's possible... and I'm just speculating... that his "experience" is very different from your "experience."****

My only point is that once you have an injury to any disc, its pretty much permanent with a high possibility of "retweaking" it...as guys like Feliz, Rolen, Bell, Thome, etc have shown us.

Charlie quoted as mumbling: "Thank God we got Dobbsy".....

once again, polanco had an OPS in the 600's in september. it's ok for now. you want him back in there soon though

anyone actually watching the rays-rangers? did TB sell out the stadium?

****Francouer may be the least patient hitter in all of baseball and struggles against off-speed stuff. All of that scouting suggests a first pitch fastball is the LAST thing you should throw him.****

Shot in the dark: Maddon probably realized that about Francouer but then also realized that if he realized it then Francouer realized it too and would not be expecting a fastball because it was too obvious and would thus be looking to take on a breaking ball away...so logically it makes sense to throw the fastball down the middle because it would freeze him.

Right?

NEPP: And my point is that you have no idea if it's a disc problem.

price at 43 pitches after two innings

NEPP, agreed, but it's difficult to hide a back injury for very long, so unless he was in a secret car accident or something, seems doubtful that it's that serious.

***8NEPP, agreed, but it's difficult to hide a back injury for very long, so unless he was in a secret car accident or something, seems doubtful that it's that serious.****

I hope so...yeah, I overreacted.

1 hr, 40 min till I cut out of work...go Phillies!

NEPP - CJ is correct. There are literally hundreds of different things that can be wrong with backs, and some of them are very limited in duration and never recur.

I don't recall Polly ever having a back problem before, so hopefully this is just a strain of some kind with no portent of further problems.

And where is Cody Ransom when we need him? I'd actually take him over Dobbs as the backup because of all the lefties in the Cincy pen. And he can actually run into a pitch every now and then. Dobbs, not so much.

Charlie said at the pre game conference today Polly can't bend over or turn left or right, other than that he feels fine.

From D. Murphy:

"Manager Charlie Manuel said Polanco told him yesterday that he had a stiff back and that it got worse overnight. Polanco told him today that he could not bend over or move side to side, Manuel said.

As for a prognosis for Friday's Game 2, the Phillies are hopeful, but Manuel said they would just have to wait and see."

The truth is, since the All Star break, Polanco has been every bit as bad a hitter as Pedro Feliz was in 2008 & 2009. The offensive downgrade from Polanco to Valdez is less damaging to the lineup than the trickle-down effect of having Rollins leading off. And, of course, the defensive downgrade from Polanco to Valdez is considerable.

Ryan Lawrence (via Twitter): "Phillies regulars taking infield practice. Obviously no Polly at third. Just Valdez and Dobbs."

I hear the Official Scorer is practicing along w/, & has already perfected an 'E' worthy of the most renowned medieval rubricators.

If I seem like I'm in a bad mood today... or especially prickly... sorry... I'm working on our News Department budget today and it's the least enjoyable part of my job... by a long shot!

CJ - Especially prickly? What the L?

wasn't polly out for all 7 games the phils played the reds this season? that turned out just fine. it sucks, but it's not the end of the world

"Polanco originally suffered the back soreness when getting out of his car Monday."

I think Brett Myers pushed him out.

Doc will make us forget whos playing 3rd today anyway, except when Valdez makes a diving snare of a Votto line drive to preserve a no hitter into the 8th inning...

I believe Polly was watching the Dukes of Hazzard marathon on CMT over the weekend and was trying to exit his car through the window.

"Polanco originally suffered the back soreness when getting out of his car Monday."

F*cking Fortwos.

So we lose the guy who is the best at on our team at hitting the ball the other way and moving runners along. To counter-act that we move Vic up to the 2 hole and put Valdez into the line-up.

That is considered a "wash" to Jack. Makes total sense.

GTown, no way Polly drives a Fortwo. His head won't fit.

NEPP wrote: "Speaking from experience, pretty much any back injury is a chronic injury that can reoccur at any time."

This just isn't true. The chronic ones are related to disc problems in the spine, and it's true that a weakened disc is likely to cause problems on and off. But a muscular strain due to awkward motion or related to the hips being out of alignment, or something like that, is temporary, and there's no reason why a healthy man in his 30s shouldn't recover.

And I've had plenty of back issues myself. Both chronic and not.

I think Polly has slightly better range at third than Valdez. Other than that, his bat has been pretty much in decline over the last part of the season. It's a loss, but I wouldn't oversell it.

Forcing JRoll into leading off may be the biggest loss due to Polly's injury.

And if he did it getting out of his car, it shouldn't be that tough to fix. The problem is that most doctors and trainers have limited knowledge of the probable mechanism and don't know the very simple maneuvers to fix it.

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