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Monday, January 31, 2011

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He wont be missed.

It wouldn't shock me all that much if he made the club. Given steady at bats in s/t, the motivation that he's playing for his career at this point and the fact that he's competing with Wes Helms, I say he has a fairly decent shot at being their starting 3B before the end of the season.

I'll miss his enthusiastic hi 5s and helmet poundings off the bench on game winning hits.

I can't remember seeing a players career take such a evident nose dive due to a non injury-related event.

The DH appearence in Game 2 of the World Series ruind Greg Dobbs' baseball career to this point. I don't think I've ever seen a major league player miss by that much while swinging at pitches.

clout should love this signing.

He now gets to see what a Helms/Dobbs platoon will actually be able to accomplish. :)

Bill James 2011 projections

Dobbs - .243/.297/.370
Helms - .240/.311/.363

Should be the the premier NL East positional battle in spring training. Right up there with the thrilling Murphy/Castillo struggle for the starting 2B job with the Mets.

This is completely off-topic (Sorry, JW), but Veducci wrote another column, part of which was a discussion of the Wells' trade here,

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/tom_verducci/01/28/young.wells/index.html

with this little blip in it:

"
• That the Angels still don't have enough lefthanded power. How important was that last year? Here's a simple yardstick: Line up every team last year according to OPS by lefthanded hitters. Draw a line after a dozen teams. Eight of the top 12 teams went to the playoffs, including teams ranked 1, 2, 3, 4. All of the 18 teams below the line went home, including the Angels, who finished 15th."


Now, that surely makes one wonder whether the "left-handedness" of the Phillies lineup will really be that much of a drag on the team.


awh: does he list the teams ranked?

MG, but what are their platoon splits, and does James project those?

The real question is does Dobbs get booed here if he appears in a Marlins' uniform? Helms still routinely gets booed at CBP despite only have played a single subpar season here 3 years later.

I can understand why some people might boo JD Drew or Rolen even though that isn't my thing but what is with booing Helms yet?

awh - The Fish really need to pick up No-Hit to complete their collection of 2007 Phils' 3B. He should come real cheap.

awh: That article has a pretty good other 'off-topic' phils tidbit:

The 2010 season had the least amount of 35 year old position players post a OPS over .750 of any other season in baseball.

Scott Rolen, Ichiro, and Raul Ibanez.

Helms gets booed because we signed him to a decent sized contract, with fairly big (although, in hindsight, unrealistic) expectations, and he was just a colossal bust almost from Day 1. Dobbs, OTOH, was signed with little fanfare, and no expectations. Yet, he ended up being a part-time starter for us in 2007 & one of the game's best bench players in 2008. He was bad in 2009 & downright wretched last year, but, on balance, he deserves cheers, not jeers, for his Phillies career.

I don't think Dobbs will be booed. Helms never had a successful season here, Dobbs did. No Phillie from the '08 team should be booed, except of course Adam Eaton.

Yeah, no boos for Dobbs, regardless how bad he finshed out. BAP and Stocker nailed that.

On top of Helms being awful, he went back to being useful upon returning to the Marlins. If that's not boo-worthy, what is?

Scratch what I just said, he has stunk ever since. I thought that his first year back was pretty good. I'll blame advancing age, yeah, that's the ticket.

Dobbs gets cheered. No standing ovation but certainly cheers. He was a big part of 07 and 08. He even had big hits as late as 2010. He also also had really cool hair in his first few years on the club and has a bar on South Street named after him.

A couple of years ago a rumor spread through my town that Dobbs was eating a local restaurant. Madness ensued as dozens of people, my wife and I included, descended on the eatry to see him. I wonder if it'll be like that for him in Miami?

He was always one of my favorites, in the respect that he was always the butt of many of the inside jokes on the Phillies my wife and I came up with throughout our time together. Pat Burrell will always be the king of that category though.

I hope he is cheered when he comes back. Anyone from the 2008 team is royalty in Philadelphia in my opinion, except Eaton, as others have noted.

awh: "clout should love this signing.
He now gets to see what a Helms/Dobbs platoon will actually be able to accomplish."

Alas, it comes 5 years too late. Neither will be a starter, nor should they be. The Marlins will give the job to Matt Dominguez unless he totally stinks it up in ST.

Dominguez is a 21-year-old, slick-fielding, power-hitting, low-BA righty who will improve their awful defense considerably.

He doesn't strike out a lot and his walks are OK, but he doesn't get many hits. He's considered a potential Gold Glove.

There've been some comparisons to Scott Rolen, but Dominguez isn't that fast. I think Mike Lowell is a far better comparison. If he hits .250 with 15 HRs, the Marlins would be overjoyed because the glove is so superior. He's got 25 HR potential down the road.

He's one of a bunch (Stanton, Morison, Cousins, Coghlan, Sanchez) of pretty good young position players the Marlins will play over the next 5 years.

Rolo just signed with Atlanta.

Dobbs and Helms competing for or platooning at a position seems surreal to me.

They must not have anyone in their minor league system they feel is ready to compete for that job.

That profile of Dominguez kind of makes him sound like the very same player whom the Phillies chose in lieu of the Helms/Dobbs platoon.

I'll miss Dobbs a lot more than Neyer.

Sounds to me he is one of the young guys the Marlins will end up trading in the next few years.

bap: Well played.

Clout has it pretty right on Dominguez, though he has nothing on Rolen offensively--I don't know who in the world would make that comparison. Lowell is also being generous--he was a .300 hitter in the minors, while Dominguez has hit .257, and hasn't even played at AAA yet. He does seem to be a stud defensively, though. Keith Law called him the best defensive 3B prospect since Ryan Zimmerman, and probably better at the same age. That's saying something, considering how good Zim is with the glove.

He's a nice prospect. He's no Dom Brown, though.

I agree with the above comments that Dobbs will not be missed in 2011, but he will not be booed, either, should he be fortunate enough ever to play in CBP as a visiting player.

Great guy. Definitely helped bring a parade to Philly. Will miss him at the tiki bar at bright house

Hmmmm, wild thought:

Since the Angels still don't have enough LH power, I wonder if they would entertain a swap of Wells for Ibanez, ass-u-ming both players would waive their no trade clause, and the Angels pick up the financial difference in their contracts so that the money stays the same. :)

BAP: Other than the fact that Pedro Feliz never hit 25 HRs, didn't know how to take a walk and had a worse K rate, you're right.

"and the Angels pick up the financial difference in their contracts so that the money stays the same. :)"

There aren't any possible worlds in which the Angels pay roughly 70 million for a single year of Raul Ibanez.

Say what u want about Pete Happy. I wasn't sad to see him go either. But he was arguably the MVP of the World Series for his glove and winning hit.

Nah...you dont boo Dobbs.

Clout: Has Matt Dominguez hit 25 HRs?

I think bap's point was that great defense, a .250 AVG and 15 HRs was exactly what Pedro Feliz was brought here to do (and did) when he replaced Helms/Dobbs. Now the same thing is happening in Florida. That's kind of funny, no?

clout: Well, other than the fact that Dominguez has never hit more than 18 homers in the minors, and that his superior offensive numbers were posted in A and AA, you are spot-on that his numbers are considerably better than Feliz's

clout: My point is that it's kind of funny to see you singing the praises of a low average, low OBP third baseman because of his great defense. As I recall, this was the identical argument that used to be made in defense of Pedro Feliz, to which you would invariably, and sarcastically, reply: "Yes, because 3rd base is, after all, the most important defensive position on the field."

Full disclosure: At the time of the Feliz signing, I was right there with you in saying that I'd rather have a Helms/Dobbs platoon. But, as it turned out, Feliz was better than a Dobbs/Helms platoon in 2008 & 2009 for the very same reasons that Matt Dominguez is better than a Dobbs/Helms platoon in 2011. So I was wrong. There. How hard is that to say?

Do my eyes deceive me? Is Halladay actually speaking to the press (Salisbury)? I wonder if WIP gets the cold shoulder from his teammates, you know, a nice sign of solidarity.

Jack: You don't think Dominguez is a better prospect than Feliz was?

Look, based on your hundreds of posts defending him in his 2 years here (despite your revisionist history now), I know he's your favorite player. But Feliz was in low A ball at age 20. Dominguez was in Double A.

Projections for him are quite a bit higher than for Feliz at the same age. BA ranks him the Marlins #1 prospect.

Would you like to bet on who has the better career?

BAP: Really? A Dobbs/Helms platoon would've been worse than Feliz's .694 OPS? And you know this how? Is there an alternate universe where there actually was such a platoon? Or are you speculating based on their stats as bench players?

Klaus, you misunderstood. You DO know this: ":)"

means I was kidding, no?

BAP: I'm wasting my breath, of course, but do you really think the 2011 version of Helms/Dobbs is the same as the 2008 version? Or that Dominguez isn't any better than Feliz?

rosebud: No doubt about it, Feliz was the MVP of the 2008 World Series. Hamels and Lidge contributed little and Feliz's .702 OPS clearly was more valuable than Chooch's 1.188 or Howard's 1.137 or Werth's 1.361.

Another brilliant observation on Beerleaguer.

Off topic, but now that the season is gearing up again, does Beerleaguer do fantasy baseball leagues?

I'm not speculating; I'm extrapolating. 200 ABs may not be the sample size we'd like to have, but it's not insignificant & it's certainly a lot more meaningful than just making up what their final numbers would have been.

I was no great fan of Pedro Feliz but, if a Dobbs/Helms platoon out-performed Feliz on offense over the 2008-2009 seasons, it would certainly not have done so by enough to offset the enormous difference in defense.

Clout: You're kind of misunderstanding the point of what BAP was saying (which was a joke, to begin with). Obviously Dominguez is a far better prospect than Feliz was. No one is debating that--I gave my opinion on Dominguez as a prospect above. He's a fantastic defensive player who they're hoping will develop with the stick. He's got age and a big frame on his side.

BAP was just noting the irony that you railed against replacing Helms/Dobbs with a poor-hitting/good-fielding 3B a couple years ago, while now celebrating the Marlins for doing the exact same thing. Obviously, beneath the surface, the situations are different (Dominguez is a prospect, Feliz was a vet, Phils were competing for a title, Marlins are rebuilding, etc.). It was just a small joke at your expense. Let it go big fella.

And actually, I doubt Dominguez even starts the year in Florida anyway. He's got less Trip-A experience than everyone's favorite "unseasoned" rookie Dom Brown (i.e., he's got none). The Marlins have no expectation of competing after dealing Uggla. They'll most likely keep him down until June or so for arbitration reasons.

Rosebud - you must be thinking of Chooch. He was the real WS MVP in 2008.

AWH: why would I do you the justice of acknowledging your smiley face when I can take your post at face value and thus score a debater's point? This is the BL, yo.

rosebud: I wouldn't call him MVP, but yes Feliz came up with the deciding hit in the World Series - huge at bat by Feliz and he should always be remembered for it. But he certainly deserves his criticism too so its really not worth trying to debate the two against each other. He was a pretty crappy player who stepped up in one of the biggest(possibly THE biggest?) at bat in Phillies Franchise history.

Not that anything out of a GM - especially Amaro's - should be taken for its word, but he told Zolecki that they have 0 offers out right now and "kind of have to go with what we got".

lorecore, I take Amaro at his word.

The only other piece that makes sense right now is Durbin, and he's reportedly still seeking a multi-year deal with a raise form his 2010 comp. They probably feel they can't afford it. Besides, at some point they need to see if the youg guys can do it. Also, with R2C2, ass-u-ming they're healthy all year, the need for middle relief is sharply reduced.

And...if they don't trade Blanton, he's capable of pitching 200 innings, so you could very well have the SP on the Phillies pitch 1,050 of the potential 1,458+ innings available. If one of the SP goes on the DL, then KK is waiting in the wings to eat 80% - 85% of the IP by that starter.

In short, middle relief 'should' be a lot less important in 2012, especially if Blanton isn't traded.

lorecore, one caveat: If Jermaine Dye approached Amaro and said he would sign for $1MM and accept a limited role, I think Amaro would seriously consider it.

Let week I read our own heap of crap Garcia wanted to pitch for the Yanks. Today I find out he "willed" himself onto the team. Why did he suck so bad here and why does he keep getting signed? Are the Yanks that depressed about the pitching market or are they afraid of being stuck in a corner?

raul - Because Garcia was about a league average AL starter last year who likely will come real cheap (low base with incentive potential).

Yanks desperately need backend starting pitching and it can't hurt to take a flyer on a guy for a few million ($2-$3M) max. That's what they are paying Soriano this year for 2 months to set up.

On Dobbs resume after his career is over, where would Wes Helms' insurance policy rank? Right between caddying at Bushwood freshmen year and grease trap guy at Burger King?

awh: We discussed it a bit a month or so ago. 1050 innings sounds really high for your 5 starters, no matter who they are. That's 150 starts (virtually no starts missed by any of them)@7 innings per start. I think a good over under would be around 950 or so.

stocker - Eaton should not be booed either.


He should be pelted with rotten eggs and spoiled tomatoes, and have his feet encased in concrete and be tossed in the Schuylkill.

But never booed. Philly's not that kind of town.

donc, I beg to differ.

In 2010, the Phillies lost Blanton, Happ, and Moyer to the DL for very significant periods of time.

As a result, 9 different pitchers started at least one game for the Phillies:

Halladay
Hamels
Blanton
Moyer
Happ
Kendrick
Oswalt
Figueroa
Worley

Those 9 pitchers tossed 1,037.1 innings as starters.

I don't think it's a stretch to say that the 2011 rotation, even if KK/Worley have to step in, could toss 13 more innings.

Could they have serious injuries to 3/5 of the rotation as they did in 2010, where Happ (2 months), Blanton (1 month) and Moyer (2.5) months went down for long periods? Sure.

What do you think is the likelyhood of lightning striking twice?

I'll wager that Phillies SP (any and all) toss at least 1,050 innings in 2011.

philliesflow has done a nice series of post that look at the impact of adding Lee to the rotation for next year.

awh: I hope you are right about that. If the top 5 start 150 games or more I would definitely expect them to throw 1050. I just think it is very optimistic to think that they will only miss 12 starts between them. I do think of them as a hearty bunch that keeps themselves in great condition, but things do happen during the course of a season.

Furthermore, the injury risk of Lee is lower than Moyer...

awh: I should have read your post more carefully. I thought you were prediciting 1050 innings for the 5 pitchers in the rotation. 1050 innings by any and all starters should be a piece of cake. That's only 6.5 innings per start. Sorry for the confusion.

Didn't Carpenter start a game too?

donc, you're missing my point, I think.

EVEN IF they have injuries to the rotation (for the record, I expect it, though not to the degree of last season), I believe there is enough depth in the rotation, and the top 5 (R2C2 & JB) have proven as individuals that they have the ability to toss 200 innings, and KK and Worley have to jump in, I STILL think 1,050 IP is not only achievable but likely.

Lee missed almost as much time as Blanton last year and STILL tossed 212 innings. How much of an upgrade from Moyer is he?

Oswalt, despite a balky back and missing some time, has averaged 203 IP the last 3 years.

Blanton, missing a month in 2010, has averaged 190 IP since 2008.

Hamels? Despite a crappy 2009 he's averaged 210 IP the last 3 years.

Halladay? If anything, the acquisition of Lee and Oswalt should allow Charlie to lean less heavily on him during the year (every time he pitches it won't be a "must" win.)

So, if I just take their averages the last 3 years:

Halladay - 245
Lee - 222
Hamels - 210
Oswalt - 203
Blanton - 190

Total: 1,070

And that's with Blanton and Lee missing a month, and Oswalt missing 3 starts in 2009.

As I posted above, even if some of them miss some time, KK (and Worley if it comes to that) will be able to eat some innings.

Look at it this way: The falloff from Oswalt to KK in IP/start is from 6.88 IP/start to 5.82 IP/start (2010 averages).

So, if Oswalt misses 10 starts (2 months) the expected dropoff is approximately 11 IP.

IMHO the Phillies' starters, whoever they are, will pitch 1,050 innings.

Cipper, Carpenter?

according to b-r.com he pitched 3 innings in releif in 2010.

donc, I didn't see your second post before mine above.

We're cool!

My point to lorecore was that IF the Phils' SP do average 6.5 IP/start, then expensive middle relief (Durbin) becomes less of a necessity and more of a luxury.

awh - Except that they'll probably be engaged in more of those 1 - 0 games that go, like, 13 innings before anyone scores.

awh: Agreed on Durbin. I guess I'd rather have him than not, if money were no option. But it seems as if the bullpen is the likely place to try to save a few bucks at this point. As others have pointed out, it isn't the worst idea in the world to kick the tires on some of the kids either. With the rotation looking like it does, I would think the last 2 spots in the pen might not see too much action anyway. No need to throw too much money at them. At least that's the thory.

Not this is an endorsement for Durbin specifically, but here is one possible concern. Say a team has a couple significant injuries to starting pitchers early in Spring Training and gets desperate and makes a ridiculous trade offer for Blanton. We're happy of course and we make the move. This pushes KK or Worley into the 5th starter spot, and the other presumably becomes the long man. Great, and no problem.

What happens if we have our own injury? Let's say Blanton gets traded and one of R2C2 lands on the DL. We get both KK and Worley in the rotation. Who is our long man in case of a rain delay or starter getting rocked? It might fall to a guy like Nate Bump or Carpenter or something and that's what scares me.

I'm not saying we need to spend 5mil on Durbin for 2 more years, but I do think there is something to be said for his ability to pitch multiple innings. Madson and Lidge are back end guys, and Romero and Bastardo are one inning at the most guys. Maybe Contreras or Baez can fill the role and pitch multiple innings, but call me skeptical.

I expect zip from Baez this year. He's a sunk cost and I hope the Phillies treat him as such. I doubt they will but that's my hope. The way it looks now, KK starts in the pen. I don't think he'll be much help there but that's the way it's looking. If Kendrick is in the pen, Worley almost has to be in LV. He's got to be starting. Somebody has to be stretched out when the inevitable injuries hit. I'd like to see KK stashed in AAA too for the same reason, but at his salary that aint gonna happen.

krukker: If injuries forced both KK & Worley into the rotation, then the long man would probably be the same guy it was last year: Herndon. If this scenario were to happen later in the season, and JC Ramirez has had a decent year up to that point, he would be another possibility.

How do you send a starter with a lifetime record of 35 - 24 and an ERA well under 5 "to the pen"? All Kendrick does is pitch to a winning record and maintain what appears to be a fine attitude and resolve (heck, I'd get up at 4:30 AM to train with Doc, too!).

KK is fit and durable also -- more than we can say about KY Joe at this point, no? I really wish KK stays stretched out as our #5. Maybe there are calls for Blanton from other clubs early this season, especially if we get a cold April and a bunch of pitchers go down at other teams.

krukker: that'd be a legit argument if you were trying to 162-0, but they're not. They're just trying to win 2/3rd of their games - at best.

Ahh I forgot about Herndon. He's probably the first injury callup (unless Worley starts in AAA).

I think the Phillies will move Blanton either right before Spring Training or during it. Mainly for salary to give themselves wiggle room, perhaps to get a few prospects for a possible trade deadline acquisition. But most likely for an RH outfield bat.

Thing is, I'm don't anyone they could get with Blanton would be much better than Ben Francisco. He's actually a slightly above average outfielder offensively. And they'd need someone with a lot of power. I don't see them getting such a bat with Joe Blanton unless they package a prospect with it. And that's assuming they can find a trade partner who a) wants a 3-4 starter and b) is willing to part with a RH power bat for it.

I think that's why the "Amaro is happy to keep Blanton" stories have been spreading in the paper. Phils aren't going to accept nothing for him, because he's actually a decent starter. He's a consistent innings eater with about average stats in the National League, and that puts him squarely in the middle of the rotation for most teams.

lore: You cannot plan to win a specified number of games. All you can do is build the best team possible within the given budget. If the budget allows the Phillies to sign another reliever, are you proposing that RAJ should decline to do so because the team is already as good as it needs to be?

I heard that Philly.com is gonna become a Pay-for-content site in the near future. What's up with that? Are they trying to kill themselves as a business?

BAP: agreed, you win as many games as you can - my point was that krukker's scenario of the phils vulernablity during rain delay games while there are two starters injured is probably not really a concern the Phillies should be worried about filling with $$$.

http://www.philliesflow.com/2011/01/06/how-low-can-you-go/

Basically, the Phils' bullpen last year already threw the least amount of IP in the NL at 421.

The least amount of innings an NL bullpen has thrown the last 10 years is the '02 DBacks at 387 1/3 which makes sense because they had 2 horses at the front of the rotation who threw over 250 IP that year (Johnson at 260 & Schilling at 259 1/3) and had 3 other healthy veteran starters who all made 30 GS (Batista, Helling, B. Anderson). All together they threw 1035 2/3 IP that year.

Even the great Braves' staff never had 5 starters threw 1050 IP. The closest they got was in '98 when Maddux, Glavine, Neagle, Smoltz, and Millwood threw 1032 2/3. The Braves' rotation often had 4 very good starters but lacked a solid 5th starter who would give him 28-30 GS.

Could a rotation of Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Oswalt, and Blanton throw 1050 IP this year? Possibly but I would definitely bet against it due to the possibility of injuries and the likelihood the starting staff would be rested a bit if the Phils' clinched a bit early in Sept.

My bet is that the Phils' bullpen throw less IP this year if the Phils do indeed keep Blanton but that the figure will be somewhere around 395-400 IP which is still pretty amazing.

And to your exact question about available reliever in the budget:

I don't believe there is a such a thing at this point. First off I believe almost all their payroll is spoken for and secondly I believe any low leverage opportunities that may arise this season should be handled by minor leaguers who likely wont be much worse/better than any of the available relievers available.

lore: Got it. The budget is finite and you can't plan for every plausible scenario that might arise. Agreed. Remember, though, we did sign Matt Anderson. So we're probably covered in the event that there's an injury to 3 of our pitchers, plus all 3 of their replacements, plus all 3 of the replacements to the replacements.

And when Matt Anderson goes down in a double rain delay extra inning game, The self proclaimed Italian Stallion Jason Grilli will be there to pick the peices up.

Yo, new thread

bap/lore: Agree with you both. The Phils have shown in the past that if such a horrible scenario were to happen, they would react with in season moves. That's probably better to do anyway, rather than planning for contingencies without having specific needs.

I expect Raul to have a 30 dollar sign which reads "Baez's BBQ" and just have him sign an agreement to host the stand as a way of cutting the cost of the Bull.

The Paul Hoover Era officially ends. He's signed on with the Red Sox.

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