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Monday, March 14, 2011


The Phillies have played to a 11-7 mark, the fourth-best winning percentage in the Grapefruit League.

Still not good enough to make the playoffs.


"Is this team better off with Lidge on the DL for most of the year/entire season or an erratic Lidge who gives the Phils an up-and-down performance this year?"

MG, I'll give you my opinion:

This team is better with Madson as closer and Contreras setting up, than with Lidge as an erratic closer and Madson setting up.

Call me crazy, but I'd rather test Contreras as the closer and have Madson stay where he's at.

you're crazy!!

i'll take madson in the 9th, dithl is a myth!

Jason -- as long as he throws that filthy splitter for strikes -- or keeps batters off-balanace with a good fastball, me too.

JW: You're crazy.

I want Madson in the most high leverage situation whether it's the 8th or the 9th. He's got the sickest stuff in the pen and I believe he's ready.

CJ: Yes, that is the correct answer. However, we know that Charlie believes in the dogma of the "save situation" and will only use his closer in the 9th inning.

Looks very much like the lineup you will see Opening Day with exception of Valdez at 2B and hitting 8th.

It is time to throw Madson into the fire. Make him the closer and figure out right away if he is worth a three year deal for closer money he will probalby want this offseason. I highly doubt Lidge comes back next year.

Quick 1-2-3 first for Nelson Figueroa. We should have kept him...

Why? Madson is still an unknown in the 9th, but as a set-up guy, he's the league's best.

MG: Even Mayberry in RF?

JW - I missed that. Guess Francisco is out with that bad neck.

I also like Contreras as the closer with Madson as the setup-man instead.

Salisbury Tweet: Feisty Hamels brushes back Bill Hall. Words exchanged. Both benches warned.

MG: Hasn't Francisco played since the initial "stiff neck." I'm not sure that's an issue anymore. But I suppose it could be.

Barfield with another knock and a SB.

Phils score three runs on a Rollins walk, Victorino double, Ibanez ground out, Howard double. 3-0 lead after 2 1/2.

Bah... 3-2 is what I meant.

Baez has closing experience.

"Call me crazy, but I'd rather test Contreras as the closer and have Madson stay where he's at."

JW, I would support that as well. Either option of Madson/Contreras or Contreras/Madson would IMO be better than an erratic Lidge.

Nothing against Lidge (who I like), but I just don't think this team without Utley can afford another 1st half like 2010 - much less a repeat of 2009.

denny b.: I want to correct your slanderous comparison of Valdez to Barfield.

First, not everyone on this blog predicted failure for Valdez. Go back a look. Some of us liked the signing.

Second, Valdez had played in the major leagues the previous season. He was coming off a season in which he went .256/.326/.337, which is not bad for a superior defensive utilityman.

Barfield has not had more than 33 ABs in a major league season since 2007 and is subpar defensively.

To compare him to Valdez is an egregious personal insult to Wilson, sir, and I demand an apology!


Jason Heyward is out for teh second game in a row with age-related back stiffness.

"Jason Heyward is out for teh second game in a row with age-related back stiffness."

::sniff, sniff:: What's the smell?

Oh, it's the burning strawman who said "Only old players can have injuries!"

Could he please die this time?

Mayberry with another double off the wall on an off-speed pitch.

I agree with JW. Big Truck in the 9th!

Mr. March, John Mayberry, strikes again.

"Mayberry with another double off the wall on an off-speed pitch"

Should I be excited by this? I have been told Mayberry is a talentless organizational player, whose ceiling is AAAA.

Heather: You seem to be confusing humor with an argument. awh is well aware that injuries can happen to anyone. But he, like others, believes the age-related injury concern for the Phillies is great exaggerated, hence the highlighting of any young person getting injured.

It's official: clout is Wilson Valdez's mother.

Mayberry Jr. steals third and scores when the Stros try to throw behind Ruiz at first and the throw goes down the first base line.

CJ: Ah, I see. I didn't realize it was humor. I thought it was more of a "rub it in your nose" type thing.


Don't even joke about that!

Another bunt base hit for Rollins, perfect apparently. He's on base for the 2nd time.

Sarge suggests Juan Samuel has worked with both J-Roll and Vic on drag bunting.

Heather, IIRC I have never rubbed anything in anyone's nose on this board. I challenge you to find any instance where I have.

Having a little fun with people OTOH... :)

NEPP, I second Scotch Man:

A pox on you if you ever mention that again on this board!

A pox, I say!

Don't worry about Lidge missing time, BIG TRUCK to the rescue. Let Madson keep dominating the 8th.

Step 1: Sign Pedro
Step 2: Make him a Closer
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Profit!

"Sarge suggests Juan Samuel has worked with both J-Roll and Vic on drag bunting."

If Juan Samuel has gotten both Victorino and Rollins to bunt for hits then he's well worth the money we're paying him.

Now can we hire someone to convince Jimmy Rollins that he's not the second coming of Babe Ruth and to stop uppercutting the ball?

Or maybe Mike Schmidt could just follow Jimmy around 24/7 till he gets the message....

(Or maybe I'm the only one who is amused by how Schmidt has an almost Pavlovian response to even the mention of Jimmy Rollins.....)

CJ, maybe Jimmy is starting to realize that his tenure a the leadoff hitter will be directly related to his ability to get on base?

Maybe he realizes that any contract extension will be directly related to his ability to get on base?

Has someone said something to him?

AWH, I apologize for thinking it was sarcasm. Now that the humor has been explained, I can kinda see that now. Didn't pick up on that initially on the interwebs.

Two run HR by Chris Johnson off of Hamels makes this a 5-4 game.

It is sad, but Lidge on the DL could indeed be a good thing for this team. And it is all because Charlie would have been stubborn with his use of Lidge. Sink or swim mentality has hurt the Phils in the past. And we know that the Front office is horrible disguising injuries. Downplaying an injury means a serious injury.

"Sarge suggests Juan Samuel has worked with both J-Roll and Vic on drag bunting."

And who better to teach such skills? Samuel, after all, was one of the all-time greats when it came to executing the fundamentals.

Another HR ties the game. Jason Michaels this time. That's 3 home runs by the Stros today.

CJ - Is the Astros' bullpen coach using binoculars today?

MG: I think so. At least that's the read I get listening on the radio. It *sounds* like they're using binoculars.

***Samuel, after all, was one of the all-time greats when it came to executing the fundamentals.***

I almost fell out of my chair at work.

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Biggest surprise in today's game: appearances by Bill Hall, Brett Wallace, and Clint Barmes and, somehow or other, no cat-fight between clout and Jack.

Disagree completely about Lidge going on the DL being a good thing. Maybe the closer role itself won't suffer with Madson/Contreras filling in, but the problem is that everyone else in the bullpen has their role shifted up as well. The domino effect could be Baez seeing meaningful innings in the 7th, which is never a good thing.

If Lidge starts the season on the DL, the bullpen would likely look like this:

Madson, Contreras, Romero, Baez, Bastardo, Kendrick, Herndon

This injury doesn't really change anything when it comes to Stutes.

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The best scenario is an effective Lidge in the 9th, with Madson and Contreras doing their thing in the previous inning(s). That will allow Charlie to use Romero and Bastardo almost exclusively as LOOGYs.

Every time I hear or see Mathieson pitch, he's throwing the ball 150 mph and it's getting hit hard.

And then Mathieson strikes out Bill Hall with two fastballs that Hall can't catch up to and then a good splitter.

from earlier in the thread. yes, MG, Francisco i think played on Saturday and definitely yesterday

Another solid outing from Mathieson.

2 K's, 2 weakly hit balls for outs and good command.

The fact that he is using the splitter some to wipe guys out is a good sign.

CJ: Baez & Herndon are sort of duplicative of each other. Both are right-handed extreme ground ball pitchers, who don't strike anyone out & can't get lefties out. If Lidge is on the DL, I'd rather give the last spot to someone with strikeout ability -- ideally Mathieson, if he can keep pitching as he has. He has actually impressed me this spring.

Tied for the Spring Training lead in hits for the Phillies? Wilson Valdez and John Mayberry Jr.

denny b.: Radio made it sound like the one out was a hard hit ball followed by a ripped line drive for a single. But it is very good to see him strike out 2 in 1.1 IP and walk none.

bap: That's true... is Mathieson ready? Few more weeks to prove it.

Mayberry also now has 44 plate appearances in the spring, and only 4 K's.

francisco is actually playing right now

Francisco enters the game... so I guess there's no neck issue.

Herndon is greeted by a double off the wall.

mlbtr posted a list yoday of players on every team who were out of options.

They listed no one for the Phils.

I thought Mathieson was out of options. Did I miss something?

CJ, Its also even better to see him strikeout Hall on the splitter.

That is what Rube and Dubee want to see. Will only make the 97 MPH gas, better.

Mathieson is out of that would mean the Phils would have to expose him to waivers to get him to AAA, correct?

Do we think no one would claim him? Am I misunderstanding this process?

If he has looked good here and is just starting to figure things out, it would be a shame to lose him.

Mathieson is not out of options

Heather: MLB Trade Rumors is apparently wrong (if that's where you got it from). Beat writers tweet he's not out of options.

Matt Gelb tweets:

BTW, this is incorrect. Mathieson has an option remaining. RT @mlbtraderumors: Out Of Options 2011 #mlb

He's not out of options, but he's subject to some special procedural rule, which I posted about the other day, because more than 3 years have passed since his major league debut.

It's academic though. You only use an option when you send a guy from the 25-man roster to AAA. You don't need to use an option to send a guy to from spring training camp to AAA.

MLBTR is where I got my info that Mathieson was out of options (I looked at it yesterday and it clearly said Mathieson was out for the Phils...maybe they've updated it since then.)

I apologize if I was misinformed and I was spreading misinformation.

***Herndon is greeted by a double off the wall.***

Just bad luck is all. He's a fantastic reliever from what I've been told.

bap: That's not true, I don't believe. If you're on the 40-man roster, you use an option to go down to the minor leagues. That's why JW wrote this post:

"Brian Bass, Eddie Bonine, Andrew Carpenter, Ryan Feierabend, Michael Schwimer, Joel Naughton, Tagg Bozied and Matt Miller were assigned to minor league camp. Among 40-man roster prospects, Justin De Fratus, Drew Naylor, J.C. Ramirez, Harold Garcia, Cesar Hernandez, Carlos Rivero and Matt Rizzotti were optioned down."

"You seem to be confusing humor with an argument."

Doesn't it have to be funny to be considered humor?

Jack: Hmm. Well, maybe that's right. I always thought that you only use an option when you actually move a guy between the 25-man roster and the minor leagues. But I could be wrong.

Will Schweitzer calling the kettle black.

murray, relax.....Will S, defamer extraordinaire, apparently still has me stuck in his craw. :)

bap, I think Jack's right, it's the 40-man not the 25. In any event, I made my original post because we had discussed it here before, and I thought it was "use or lose" Mathieson.

I'm happy that's not the case, because maybe he'll be able to contribute at some point.

BAP: Thank God Sammy isn't working with them on strike zone judgment.

CJ: "Tied for the Spring Training lead in hits for the Phillies? Wilson Valdez and John Mayberry Jr."

And that's why there's a Clout Day.

"BAP: Thank God Sammy isn't working with them on strike zone judgment."

Isn't the 3rd base coach responsible for coaching infield defense? Or is that the 1st base coach? Imagine Sammy giving defensive tips to Rollins & Polanco.

Not sure what the traditional assignment to infield defense is, but Perlozzo was apparently brought on as an infield defense guru, so I'm prtty srue he'll keep those duties even if he moves from 3rd to 1st base coach.

"Imagine Sammy giving defensive tips to Rollins & Polanco."

Oddly enough, I can't imagine it's that much different than Milt Thompson (and his career .708 OPS) giving anyone tips on how to hit...

I guess it's one of those "do as I say, and not as I've done over many years of extreme mediocrity" kinda things.

Tyson Brummett stating his case to be closer!

WP: Good point. Maybe I should quit my day job & start traveling around the country giving inspirational speeches on the importance of having an optimistic outlook.

WP - True. Thompson got unfairly blamed for the offensive woes last year but it wasn't some great travesty that he was fired either. With the exceptions of selective examples, I have never really heard that a batting coach makes that much of a systematic difference anyways.

JW mentioned Valdez, Francisco and Mayberry as the primary CF options to spell Vic.

What happens at the beginning of the season, though, when Valdez is needed for 2B, and BenFran is our primary RF?

I suppose an occasional day off for Vic, leading to Ibanez, Mayberry, BenFran is alright, but sure doesn't inspire much confidence. God forbid Vic needed more than a day off here or there...

The Grapefruit League pennant race is getting hot!

My schedule for March 25 is full of meetings. Apparently my employer is unaware of Clout Day. Should I file a grievance with the NLRB?

Kutz, I believe that you can actually file your grievance directly with clout. He'll be happy to talk to your employer. Do they prefer to go by "idiot" or "moron?"

WP: You could also put Young in at 2nd and put Valdez in CF. Or Young in RF and move Francisco to CF. There's flexibility with the bench to move pieces around.

Yeah, I guess there's a little flexibility there.

Really leans toward Brown coming back to the big league team, just for BenFran flexibility, based on how long Valdez is needed at 2B.

Clout's posts for today seem downright jovial, so I want him to wait until he gets cranky to deal with my Clout Day dilemma. But to answer your question, WP, the HR dept at work has plenty of idiots and morons.

BAP - Indeed especially with that game-ending DP.

Speaking of obscure bullpen pitchers, has there been a Matt Anderson sighting lately or has he gone back into the Journeyman Protection Program?

Right, let's make Jose the closer and leave Madson in the 8th.

- He is dominant there
- generally, your 8th inning guy faces tougher competiton

- He is up for a contract at the end of the year.
- If he has a good year he could recieve attention from other teams looking to make him a closer

IF Lidge can't pitch why not make Madson the closer? When it comes time to replace Lidge next year at least the team will now if Madson is worth the closer money another team might offer him and will likely be required to keep him!

Other obscure bullpen pitchers:

- Meyer pitched poorly again today as he has through out camp. He wasn't going to make this roster anyways as long as Bastardo was healthy but I wonder if Zagurski hasn't pulled ahead of on the Lehigh LOOGY depth chart.

Anybody complaining about Hamels outing today:

- Who really cares. Same with the hitting stats that a regular in the lineup like Howard. Only care if they are coming off a significant offseason surgery or an earlier injury in camp.

MG: Did anyone complain about Hamels? I haven't seen a single post that even mentioned his outing except to report the stat line.

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