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Saturday, March 19, 2011

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The most important thing is that the Phils not panic and deviate from their plans prematurely. Even without Utley for an extended period, the Phils' rotation and what remains of their lineup may still be strong enough to win the division or at least make the playoffs.

The Phils can start the season with the players they have and see what happens over the first half. Any moves they make now should be small, e.g., Jay for Kendrick or a AAA reliever.

The Phils should not trade Blanton, Brown or any of their top prospects, at least not right now. Especially not Blanton. He is worth at least two more wins than Kendrick or Worley.

What the Phils could use is a guy who plays 3B, 2B or OF and gives the team at least a couple more wins net. None of the players mentioned so far provides that kind of net improvement.

It would take somebody like Jayson Werth to provide that kind of improvement in the OF. Ordonez is no longer available. Dye is no more than a blast from the past and doesn't get it done.

In the infield, Young may not be better all-around than Polanco and is exorbitantly expensive in terms of both salary and what the Rangers may demand in trade. Castillo is another one of the has-beens.

Who is out there who can play either 3B or 2B and will give the Phils a net improvement of two wins? And what happens if and when Utley returns?

Orr 3B (.969), Barfield 2B (.978),

Tee-hee.

Be sure to keep splits on their numbers starting tomorrow. Cause that's when it gets serious.

Perhaps this is a bit of a pipe dream, though it was suggested by Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, but if Utley were to be out for an extended period, perhaps the phillies could target Jed Lowrie. He'd be under team control for a while I imagine, and assuming Chase's eventual return to health he could be great insurance and even perhaps leverage with regard to Rollins. Eventually he could be eased into a starting job at 2B or SS in the coming year or two as the situation dictates, and could also fill in at third. Boston really doesn't seem to be all that high on him, which I really don't understand, but I'd be glad to see the phils take him off their hands at the cost of Blanton (the Sox have serious questions regarding the effectiveness/durability of Dice-K and Beckett) and if we had to, a decent prospect or two (not Cosart, Colvin, Singleton, or Brown). The Phillies could also help it along by not requiring the Sox to eat all of Blanton's contract in favor of around 65% of it.

Am I overvaluing Lowrie or the opposite? He really seems to be a player without consensus and I would think he'd be getting a little more respect considering the numbers he put up even in a small sample size.

Barfield with a nice botched double play there. I don't want to open a can of worms but I was shocked when I realized Josh Barfield wasn't white. His name just sounded white.

Don't you remember Jesse Barfield?

Nope, in my defense I was 4 years old when he last played (according to wikipedia)

Just curious with Utley and Valdez expected to get most of his playing time do you think it is better to play Polly at 2B and Valdez at 3B or just leave Polly at 3B?

Didn't Bill Simmons do a column about that once (white athletes with black sounding names and black athletes with white sounding names)?

Leave Polly at 3B because Valdez isn't nearly as good at 3rd. Valdez is a very good 2B so leave him there.

BRS utility player Jed Lowrie would be a good pickup for the Phils if the price is not too steep. While the switch hitting Lowrie enjoys mixed reviews among fan base and media covering the BRS, his value is not underestimated by the Front Office. They view him as an insurance policy for infield problems that may occur thru injury or performance. For this reason, they will extract a heavy price, especially from the Phils. No doubt we could use a Joe Blanton type pitcher as we seem to feature guys that rely on those high octane fast balls. How about Mike Cameron or Marco Scutaro? Could you get excited about either of these guys?

Yes, well, about names. Frank White is dark-skinned (the term my kids used, all of their own thinking, when little), while Bud Black is white. Both played for the Royals in their good years (for you young 'uns out there).


Can't tell much from a name. A lot of African-American surnames came from their white slaveowners, anyway.

There is a comedian, an Indian-American, named Russell Peters.

NEPP: Manuel is on the record as saying he will leave Polly at 3B regardless of what happens with Utley.

NEPP: Simmons calls that group of guys the Reggie Cleveland All-Stars. White guys with names that made you believe they were black.

Baez jersey covered with fire ants.

If Kratz can pitch and catch, he should be able to play third base. Certainly tall enough at 6'4".

I always thought Valdez was worse at 2B than 3B.

There's a lot of guys like that. I remember thinking Khalil Green must be a black guy. Nope.

Simmons is a genious, I wish he was more of a baseball guy because most of his work is on basketball.

Don't forget the my personal favorite, Juan Tyrone Eichelberger.

Hopefully Jason's Baez jersey will arrive prior to April 1st.

Classic one for me had to be first time I went to a Sox game in '95 and heard that 'Troy O'Leary' was in LF for the Sox. Little confusion at first.

Clout: I think it depends who else is on the roster. Last year, for example, Polly played some 2B while Utley was out because they had Dobbs to play 3rd. Polly mostly stayed at 3rd, but he did start 9 games at 2nd.

This year, if Utley is out, the most likely combination is Polanco at 3rd and Valdez at 2nd. If there is no one else on the roster who can adequately play 3rd base, it will always be that way. If, however, another bench option comes available who can play 3rd base, you could see Polly make some (though certainly not the majority) starts at 2B.

I didn't know who Troy O'Leary was, so I googled, and this was one of the first pages that came up: (I LOL'd)

http://deadspin.com/#!5331073/ex+mlb-wife-offering-the-girlfriend-experience

I quote from the article: "The ex-wife of ex-major leaguer Troy O'Leary, has allegedly been outed as an escort. Now I don't know if you're as well-versed as I am in these matters, but that doesn't mean she's escorting gentlemen to fancy balls. It mean she a ho."

MLBTR report Texas is willing to eat 1/2 of Young's contract. I wonder now if Blanton and a propect will be moved for Young. The Phils seem to be the best fit for him. I hear he will come here.

Great link Heather.

Funniest line:

Her (now-defunct) website advertised something called "girlfriend experience" for $450 an hour, which seems excessive for what I can only assume consists of nagging you for not calling more and wondering why you're out so late.

Does JW have to put BAEZ on the back or can he leave it blank? Just use the number? This may have been discussed but it needs the name for retro factor.

I hope schwietzer does not read these comments.

***NEPP: Manuel is on the record as saying he will leave Polly at 3B regardless of what happens with Utley.***

Yes, I recall him saying the same thing last year too. And then I remember watching Polly start at 2B for 2 weeks.

If they are willing to eat half of the money on Young's contract it's a wash with Blanton's (for the next 2 years anyway) So Rube compromise on a prospect get him to Philly.

I don't know if it's the Philly in me or what but my feeling is Chase is done for the year. He'll either have surgery and be done or he'll try and gut it out only to end up hurting more or realize he just can't play through it, that's my prediction

The Phils might be able to eke out a couple more wins by going with platoons in both LF and RF. If they are thinking along these lines, Jon Jay could be a good pick-up.

The platoons could be Ibanez and Francisco in LF and Jay and Mayberry in RF.

Gload would continue in his current role. Brown can be kept in AAA until he starts swinging the bat with authority again and learns some of the nuances of playing RF.

Michael young is not that good at baseball.

Ben Francisco is the real deal.

/Happy Clout Day!

Not sure where to put today's results in my ST clout splits. Does what happens exactly on the 20th count or not? Is the cut off mid game maybe? Like the first 4.3 innings don't, but the last 4.3 do? Do they count for hitters but not pitchers?

Or maybe in the great BL tradition, they only count if I need them to count to make my argument...

That must be it.

Thoughts:
*I still don't like the idea of KK in the bullpen. He just doesn't seem well equipped for that role, unless it's multi-inning mop-up duty. Keep him stretched out in Triple A in case of injury. Both he and Worley will compete for 6th starter then.

*Lidge, Madson, Romero, Contreras, Baez, Bastardo, and Mathieson is the bullpen I'd go with. If Manuel is really concerned about a 2 inning pitcher with Durbin gone, add Herndon instead of Mathieson then.

*Luis Castillo is a better option than Orr or Barfield in my opinion. Utley and Brown are starting on the DL. The puts Valdez and Francisco in starting roles. Meaning the bench is Schneider, Gload, Mayberry, and probably Young. Get Castillo and if he sucks just release him. A roster decision doesn't have to be made on him until Utley or Brown return from the DL

Responses:
*I don't like the idea of KK pitching against LHBs, but he is what he is, which is sort of experienced. And he's been able to keep his ERA down to acceptable levels despite giving up a gazillion baserunners. He's been paid for major league duty, too; so they'll probably keep him up anyway. But I kinda agree. He and Worley would be of most value stretched out for the inevitable injury and doubleheader duty.

*I don't want to check right now, but my recollection is that Herndon tended to get smacked around mostly in his second inning of work. I'd rather have him spend significant time at AAA seeing if he can develop into a real GB pitcher. If Mathieson actually has a splitter I'd start the year with him. Why not? At some point it's either sink or swim.

*I do not view Luis Castillo as an exciting option. But you're exactly right. He'll be cheap enough to dump if he doesn't perform. Granted he'll be little better than a stake in the ground at 2B, but at least he still knows how to bat in the majors. Not sure Pete or Jesse ever learned that, despite the gaudy ST numbers.


Well, like most subjective observations, mine was, um, "limited." Err..."not fully accurate." (Read: "wrong.")

Herndon (small sample size alert) actually seems to have pitched better the longer he was in. (By pitch count on B-Ref.) Maybe he IS the two inning guy. Figuring you mainly need a two inning guy when your starter has exited early, he might do.

Still, at age 24, I'd like to see him get a lot more work at AAA to kinda sharpen his stuff. (If it's sharpenable.)

***I don't know if it's the Philly in me or what but my feeling is Chase is done for the year. He'll either have surgery and be done or he'll try and gut it out only to end up hurting more or realize he just can't play through it, that's my prediction***

I dumped him off my FBB draft board. I just dont see him contributing this year.

I love the idea of Kyle Kendrick in the bullpen. It means I don't have to deal with the idea of him in the starting rotation. I'd love the idea of his contact being terminated even more. Baby steps.

lorecore: Valdez has only started 7 games in his career at 3B. His best position is SS, with 2B a close second. That said, he's not terrible at 3B, but given his quality glove, he's far more valuable at SS and 2B.

KK is great 5th starter insurance and most teams would love to have him in that role. Albeit at a slightly steep pricetag at this point. Still, its good to ahve a couple legit starters in a backup role (KK, Worley).

I always thought Khalil Greene was an Arab. Like Sammy Khalifa.

***That said, he's not terrible at 3B, but given his quality glove, he's far more valuable at SS and 2B.***

Exactly. While he's a true utility player (who can be average to very above average depending on the position), his best position is SS then 2B. He's a better SS due to his cannon of an arm. Rangewise, he's the same at both SS & 2B but as we all know by Utley's, ahem, "interesting" arm, range means more at 2B than a strong arm.

I thought Khalil Greene was a crappy overrated SS with mental issues.

While a moron like mike77phillies, whose steady stream of ignorant posts add spice to the BL soup, doesn't think so, a 5th starter who eats innings and posts a better than league average ERA for 5th starters, actually has value.

If Utley is indeed out for the season, KK's value could be as one of the trade pieces for a starter-quality secondbaseman.

Herndon needs half a season at Trip A. Those who are clamoring for him need to review his stats from last season.

On a lot of teams, KK ends up as a #4 starter.

I really really hope that Utley is only out the 1st half and not the whole year.


I agree on Herndon completely...he needs to go to AAA.

Kendrick actually has a good chance to put up good numbers as a bull-pen piece. He is a decent pitcher against mediocre-average RH hitters. In the bull-pen they can keep him away from LH hitters, and he would only have to face the top of a lineup once.

Durbin had similar K/BB numbers as a starter and suddenly turned into a strikeout guy out of the pen as his stuff played up.

It does happen. I think KK would be a good long-reliever in 2-3 inning stints simply because he always seemed to get hammered as the game went on. I'm very happy we tendered him a contract and I'm happy to have him on the 25 man this year.

Chad Durbin
Starter: 4.8 K/9, 1.31 K/BB
Reliever: 7.4 K/9 1.71 K/BB

Chan Ho Park
Starter: 7.6 K/9, 1.85 K/BB
Reliever: 8.4 K/9, 2.16 K/BB

Ryan Madson
Starter: 6.0 K/9, 1.61 K/BB
Reliever: 8.0 K/9, 3.09 K/BB

Even mediocre starters usually make good relievers.


Prediction: The 2nd Baseman who will start the majority of games for this team is not currently on the roster.

Since its clout day, can we take Mayberry's Spring Training 1.119 OPS seriously?

4 2B, 5 HR, 11 RBI so far in 47 ABs?

1 HR per every 9.4 ABs.

Official clout day 25-man roster prediction (assuming Utley starts on the DL):

Starting lineup:
SS Rollins
3B Polanco
LF Ibanez
1B Howard
CF Victorino
RF Francisco
C Ruiz
2B Valdez
P

Bench:
Schneider
Gload
Mayberry
Young*
Martinez**

Rotation:
#1 Halladay
#2 Lee
#3 Oswalt
#4 Hamels
#5 Blanton

Bullpen:
Lidge-9
Madson-8
Contreras-6/7
Baez-6/7
Romero-LOOGY
Bastardo-LOOGY
Kendrick-long man

* - Young is currently hitting an empty .298. He has big league experience and has the ability to play both IF and OF. He's not much better than Barfield, Orr, and Martinez, but he is better.

** - I still feel like this last bench spot will be someone we don't have right now. Based on who we have now, Martinez gets the nod over Barfield due to defensive versatility. Also maybe Washington declines to pay the 25K to take him back and we can put him in AAA.

Other thoughts...
Based on his spring, Mayberry has been one of the biggest surprises and has opened eyes. He's leading the team in HR, RBI, SLG, and he's even tied with Vic for most BB. Is he "Mr. March" as some have called him, or did the light finally come on? He's the guy on the roster with the largest range of possible outcomes. Hopefully he can translate some of his spring training success.

I would start this lineup every day, and not platoon unless performance dictates a change. The exception is I would try to sit Ibanez for Mayberry about once a week or against a tough lefty. If Francisco struggles or Mayberry is hot, give Mayberry some of Francisco's starts in RF.

With Francisco starting, Mayberry becomes the primary RH PH option, with Gload the primary LH option.

When Utley comes back, Martinez would go. When Brown comes back, I think the decision who will go depends on performance. If Mayberry is struggling, I probably send him down. Otherwise it would be Young.

On the pitching front, I give KK the long man job and first crack at the rotation in the event of a Blanton trade or injury in the rotation. Worley is the first callup for a starter, with no obvious second choice (Stutes? Carpenter?). If there's a bullpen injury, Mathieson gets the call with Herndon second on the list.

If Mayberry finally figured it out, it would be HUGE for our season. He can punish LHP when he's on.

Its a huge IF though but its one that likely won him a roster spot so far.

Yo, new thread

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