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Saturday, March 12, 2011


What's exactly going on with Kendrick this season? I'd assume he's the long man in the pen but does anyone wonder if he ends up in Triple-A?

The point is that the Phils already got strong starting pitching in aggregate last year and it will be much harder to incrementally improve on it this year.

Anybody who tells you that this starting staff is going to be that much notably better than last year must really think that this will be a historically great rotation. It has a chance especially with Blanton as the 5th starter instead of KK but everything needs to break their way including having all 5 guys healthy & making 30+ starts. Ain't happening. Nor is this starting staff going to have an ERA better than 3.40 either.

BAP- you actually said pretty much what I was thinking about the problem with MG's argument (two threads ago) but were able to articulate it. The starting pitching this year will log many more innings replacing Kendrick et al. with Oswalt and Lee.

So when MG is arguing that the starting rotation will 'only' be better by 15 or so runs (an almost insignificant improvement), he's leaving out the increase in IP which will factor in to the overall runs against. So adding Lee isn't as insignificant as he's probably going to bet on.

Iceman - That's another largley bogus assumption. The Phils' bullpen already pitched the least amount of IP in the NL last year at 421 IP largely because of Halladay and Hamels but also because of 2nd half Blanton & acquiring Oswalt.

Only 1 bullpen in the NL the past 10 years pitched less than 400 IP. It was the '02 DBacks (387 1/3) who had 2 absolute horses at the front of their rotation in Johnson & Schilling and 3 other starters who were pretty much staples all year (Anderson, Helling, M Batista).

If all 5 starters for the Phils stay healthy and make 30+ GS, then yeah their bullpen could give them even less than 387 IP which would be a notable decrease. My bet again is that they end up slightly north of 400 IP this year which is still pretty rare and only something a handful of NL teams have done the past 20 years.

FYI, the TV game is actually the road game

nevermind, it is the home game. has it wrong. my fault

The point is, it is another vehicle for MG to be down on something.

MG, I understand your point about the staring staff and the STATS they put up last season, but I think you're missing the big picture - and the overall effect of having Doc, Cliff, Roy, Cole and Joe take the hill once every five turns. Bap has tried to point it out, but I think you're missing it.

STATS only tell part of the story. The stats you refer to were basically the product of Halladay, Hamels and 2 months of Oswalt - who was just about as lights out for two months as a pitcher can get. The performance of the rest of the staff was marginal, unless you're of the opinion that the performances of Kendrick (4.73), Blanton (4.82) and Moyer (4.84) were so outstanding that they cannot be topped.

So let me ask for clarification:

Are you of the opinion that Blanton cannot best his performance from last season, that Lee cannot outperform Moyer and that for a full season Oswalt cannot outperform Kendrick's 2010?

MG- we will have to agree to disagree that the acquisition of Lee and a full year of Oswalt will have a miniscule effect (15~ ER, 20~ more IP) on a pitching staff that gave Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick close to 50 starts last year.

I just think that to make the bet you're making, you have to be predicting a doomsday scenario in which injuries and regression wreak havoc with the pitching staff all year long. You seem to be basing this argument on the fact that pitching staffs can't (or haven't been able to very often) put up the numbers being projected for this staff. What I see on paper is a staff built to match up with some of the greatest rotations of all time and being able to hit the marks you're saying are unreachable. We'll just have to see how it plays out.

I'm not sure how we're missing this, but just like our offense tends to disappear in 70 + games of pure awfulness, the same can be said for our pitching. It's capable of making opposing offenses absolutely DISAPPEAR in a majority of games.

Sometimes aggregating stats like a season 3.40 ERA rotation is as disingenuous as saying the Phillies offense was #2 in offense in RPG, therefore they are as proficient offensively as ever. At some point, you have to look game to game and see how competitive the TEAM will be, game to game as well.

Kendrick w/ 4IP 5H 5ER and he gave up 3 or so HRs

Wow. Madson dominated today--2 IP, 1 (bloop) hit, 6 SO's. All of his pitches looked good and he was throwing serious heat.

2012 Closer.

I'm surprised that anyone would argue that, at least on paper, that a full season of Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels isn't a major improvement over last season. Oh, wait...

Brett, your predictive qualities are right on about Madson. In 2012, Madson will be the closer and Lidge will be.....who knows, but it won't be in Philly.

Is M Martinez going to take up a spot on the roster? 2 hits today. Is he better than Young,Barfield,others?

MG: You seem to dance around this issue with numerous qualifications but not stating clearly your opinion.

1. Do you think this pitching staff will have a lower ERA than last year's?

2. If so, how much lower?

These are pretty simple questions that you don't seem inclined to answer.

jr: No.

jr, what clout said.

When does Mayberry earn the permanent nickname "Mr. March"?

Here is where the Phils' starters ranked last year:

R/G - 3.95 (4th in NL; trailed StL at 3.59)
Wins - 70 (1st in NL)
CG - 14 (1st in NL)
SHO - 6 (1st in NL)
QS - 58% (4th in NL; trailed StL at 59%)
IP/GS - 6.4 (1st in NL)

All time best marks for any NL starting staff since 1980 (full seasons):

R/G - 3.35 ('89 Dodgers)
Wins - 82 ('93 Giants)
CG - 39 ('84 Dodgers; in last 20 year the '97 Expos at 27)
SHO - 17 ('85 Cards)
QS - 70% ('97 Braves)
IP/GS - 6.9 ('88 Mets; in the last 20 years the '97 Braves at 6.8)

Phils pitching to top all categories in 2011.


- Yes. Their ERA will be lower.

- They will have an ERA between 3.40-3.45. Their best team mark since since '83 (3.34 ERA)

Iceman - Far from predicting a 'doomsday' scenario. People seem to act like this rotation wasn't very good last year. It was.

Their 70 wins was the most since the '05 Cards. Ditto the 14 complete games (15 for the '05 Cards) and the 6.4 IP/GS (6.5 for the '05 Cards).

Yeah the Giants had a team ERA of 3.36 (home 3.07 vs. road of 3.67) and Padres had a team ERA of 3.41 (home 2.92 vs. road of 3.91) but most of those teams play in significant pitchers' parks. Phils play in a neutral park.

You move this rotation to SF or SD then yeah I do think they could have historically ridiculous stats and push a mark that is slightly north of 3 possibly.

I eagerly await clout day so I can start to take Mayberry's spring seriously.

Is till think the problem with your argument MG is that you discount the bullpen innings that will probably drop this season. Yes the innings were low already last year but they will probably drop some this year again unless we are completely ravished by injuries.

I'm not of the belief that The Four Horseman will go 8-9 innings ever time around but I think you see quite a few 7 inning outings which means you are looking at your best reliever in the 8th and then the wild card is the 9th.

On today's game. I know yesterday people talked about the Orioles line-up but I have to say that I'm impressed with the Rays line-up as well. In fact, I think the offensive numbers in the AL East this year will be other worldly.

I know Damon and Ramirez are near the end of their careers and aren't what they used to be but both are professional hitters and are very capable of working pitchers. Plus they can probably help the younger guys in that line-up. Longoria is a legit superstar. Upton is on the cusp of breaking out, if he would just cut down on the strikeouts some. Zobrist, Rodriguez, Dan Johnson, and Brignac are all capable of 15-20 home runs. That team could really be a handful for the pitching staffs in the AL.

How's this for an eye-opener...Michael Bourn has been a 4 win player for the last two years straight.

Bourn's WAR (Fangraphs):
2008: 0.1
2009: 4.4
2010: 4.2

Who would have thought that when we traded him. Good for him. Do not take this as criticism of the trade at all. It was a good trade that was critical in us winning the 08 WS. I was just scrolling through stats and was surprised to see how good Bourn has really been when you take into account his speed and defense. He'll likely smash through 200 career SB this year as he's already at 173 with 3 full seasons under his belt.

NEPP, it is pretty incredible how Bourn has developed since he left Philly.

Also, I'm sure it has been discussed, but how possible is a Mike Cameron trade? I think he'd be a great fit. From what I know, he can crush lefties.

Although I wonder if Utley's injury has turned the need for an infielder beyond that of a right-handed outfielder. This Utley injury really does suck, we can't really make any moves until the severity is known.

NEPP: So you trust Bourn's amazing defensive numbers by UZR? Interesting.

No, I trust my eyes on watching Bourn play both here and in Houston. He's a great defender...something that pretty much EVERYONE agrees upon including all of the defensive metrics, scouts and MLB managers (based on his consecutive GG wins). He's got ridiculous speed and great instincts in CF.

Scutaro and Cameron are both on the trade block supposedly. One or the other would be worth looking into.

***So you trust Bourn's amazing defensive numbers by UZR? Interesting.***

Also, FWIW, likes him too...albeit not quite as much: WAR values
2009: 2.6
2010: 4.3

I was @ game in clearwater .KK was the old inconsistent KK

The offense was nearly non existent & the phl 1/2 of the crowd was lulled to sleep or just to leave
Marines looked pretty good at2nd base

I hope the team starts playing like the champs we hope they are

Correction. Martinez not marines

Watching Kendrick get hit around like a pinata yesterday, I totally understand how replacing his 30 starts with 30 starts from Lee will be a barely noticeable upgrade in the rotation.

From Stark's most recent column:

With Brad Lidge still topping out at 88 miles per hour this spring -- with a slider that's puttering along at 79-80 -- one scout says: "Madson has got better stuff than Lidge right now. Lidge has the experience, and he still has pretty good confidence he can handle the ninth inning… . But if I were the Phillies, I'd be worried. He's having a tough time getting his arm strength this spring."

MG: "- They will have an ERA between 3.40-3.45. Their best team mark since since '83 (3.34 ERA)"

A very reasonable prediction and an improvement of about 8% over last season. That being the case, why all the hand wringing?

NEPP, Jack: You believe Bourn is more valuable than Howard?

If WAR says so, it must be true.

SHO's in 10'

Oswalt had 4 ShutOuts after being acquired by the Phils. Why is it so hard to assume having him in the rotation for a full season is an improvement?
Or Lee for that matter? (space must be infinite because the sky's been falling for weeks now)

Don't look now, but Mayberry might just beat Ben outright for the everyday RF spot.

Worley >>> Baez and Herndon

Clout: How many runs saved over the course of a season is the difference between a 3.53 ERA and a 3.45 ERA?

Given that you've said the offense will score fewer runs, do you think those saved runs in the pitching make up for the lost offense? Or will the Phillies have a worse run differential than last year?

once again, lidge always has velocity issues in spring training or preseason rehab games. this is not new. it's like writers don't do any homework. lidge has said himself that the adrenaline of the season and save opportunity bump his fastball up. now, it'll never be 94 mph again but he'll get it up to 91 or thereabouts

st - Good point although Lidge has been struggling with his command again this spring though including his slider.

If Francisco is the 'Average RF Guy' then Lidge is the 'Enigma.' I bet the Phils including Cholly and Amaro have no idea what to expect from his once the season actually starts.

"How many runs saved over the course of a season is the difference between a 3.53 ERA and a 3.45 ERA?"

The mathematically correct answer is: it cannot be determined without more information. But if you assume 7 innings per game from your starters, it would mean 1134 IP over 162 games. Over 1134 innings, the difference would be just 10 runs.

However, I still think there are some major flaws in just going by the collective ERA of your 5 starters. I've already laid out those flaws in prior posts -- namely, that you're not taking into account all those extra innings which will be pitched by Cliff Lee & Roy Oswalt instead of some middling reliever. All these extra IP by our starters should also mean a greater percentage of relief innings pitched by Madson, Lidge & Contreras (as opposed to the other riff-raff which makes up our pen). That, in turn, should mean that our bullpen's overall ERA will be better than would otherwise be the case. Of course, all bets are off if 2009 Brad Lidge shows up.

bap - If 2009 Lidge shows up, this team won't win the East and a moderate chance they won't go the playoffs. Just can't have a historically terrible closer this year who has double digit blown saves.

he didn't even throw his slider the last outing. 20 pitches, 19 fastballs

st - Just saying. He has notable control issues again this spring including his fastball and slider.

MG: I'm going to make a leap of faith: if 2009 Lidge shows up, Madson will be the closer by the All Star break.

Jack: I was taking the lower end of MG's ERA projection: 3.40, which is an 8% improvement.

Given the downward trend in scoring I expect the Phils to score fewer runs and it wouldn't surprise me if the RS/RA gap is slightly smaller. It also wouldn't surpirse me if the Phillies win more games.

BAP: " if 2009 Lidge shows up, Madson will be the closer by the All Star break."

Exactly right.

yo, new thread

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