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Monday, March 28, 2011

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With a lot of games figuring to be something like a score of 2-2 heading into the late innings, a few pinch hits would sure come in handy. I don't see many of them sitting on that bench.

With a lot of games figuring to be something like a score of 2-2 heading into the late innings, a few pinch hits would sure come in handy. I don't see many of them sitting on that bench.

I'm good with Stutes over Herndon. He realistically could go two and is worth at least one shot. He still has all his options, too.

I have hope for Francisco. He's been a better hitter in the minors than he's ever been in the bigs. His Spring might be a maturity thing - he could be reaching his actual potential. I cannot make myself rationally believe that. But I can hope it.

In re: Castillo
If we get even .260/.325/.310 from him, it'll exceed my fears. There must be someone about to get cast off that is better. Having a decent hitting 2B playing 3B where his bat under-plays the position is a weakness.

And, lastly, Mini-Mart. He's a shrunken gnome. Regardless of his "energy," he's only making the 25 because of his rule 5 status. Maybe he'll be part of that phantom Dmitri Young deal that Patrone's buddy has let us in on.

I agree with Charlie Manuel. Spring Training is different. I mean really different. Really, really, really different. You know, it's different

It's certainly possible that Mini-Mart's career minor league stats are misleading and the scouts are wrong about him and that he really is an above-average defender and he really can hit major league pitching.

We shall see.

I still think Rube will be adding a major league INF soon, if not by Opening Day.

Yeah, but Cole? Spring training is, like, different.

clout - I hope you're right about adding a major league infielder. Because you're certainly right about being skeptical about Mini-Mart.

We talking bout practice.Not a game, not a game, not a game, we talking bout practice.

I wonder how much of this is about 3rd base. I wonder if Polanco were fully healthy if Mini Mart would still be the odds on favorite.

I also think keeping Castillo affects our bench. I'd much rather have Valdez starting at 2nd and someone like Young on the bench.

With all the angst surrounding Mini Mart (and there will be a lot... this is Beerleaguer after all...), anyone willing to make a prediction?

How many at bats will Mini Mart have in April?

CJ: Keeping Castillo puts Valdez on the bench, thereby making Martinez even more duplicative than he already was.

It's really quite insane.

CLout~ I hope you're right. And we could use some OF depth too.

***It's certainly possible that Mini-Mart's career minor league stats are misleading and the scouts are wrong about him and that he really is an above-average defender and he really can hit major league pitching.***

I actually laughed out loud there...very funny, clout.

As for a prediction, I predict that Mini-Mart will post an OPS under .580 for the season. As for ABs in April? I'll go with 25.

bap: Keeping Castillo puts Valdez on the bench, thereby making Martinez even more duplicative than he already was.

If Polanco is healthy this is absolutely correct. I suspect that Polanco's health plays into this, however. If Polanco is hurt, Valdez starts at 3B and the versatility he provides the bench is lost. This is "regained" with Martinez. If Polanco is healthy, Valdez should be on the bench, and Young should be the last guy on the bench for his bat.

Mini-mart gets 20 at bats in April all off them with 2 men on and 2 out and the game on the line.

opening Day Lineup

Rollins
Victorino
Ibanez
Howard
Francisco
Ruiz
Castillo
Valdez
Halladay

DPatrone: Disagree that we need OF depth. Between Ibanez, Victorino, Francisco, Mayberry and Gload, with Brown coming off the DL in a few weeks and presumably waiting in AAA for the call, we have more than enough adequate OFs.

So is this the opening day bench?

Gload
Mayberry
Schneider
Valdez
Martinez

I'd guess they will try and use Mayberry exclusively against LHP and Gload exclusively against RHP. They will be the main late-inning pinch-hitters from each side of the plate.

The problem of course comes, when you bring Gload up late and the opposing manager goes to a LOOGY. If you have already used Mayberry then you are stuck either staying with Gload or having to choose between Valdez and Martinez to replace Gload. Neither is a good option.

I am with most here...having BOTH Valdez and Martinez is redundant. Both are the same player (although Martinez can play some OF). You aren't afraid of either when they come up to the plate.

If you are keeping both Valdez and Martinez, don't you almost HAVE to keep an extra bench player (a 6th bench player)? Someone like Young, who has some pinch-hitting ability from both sides of the plate?

I see absolutely no reason for a 12th pitcher with this staff anyway. You think Halladay, Lee and Hamels are going to be coming out of many games early? Nope. You already have Kendrick to pitch multiple innings out of the pen. And with early season off-days/rainouts, you can always skip Blanton and put him in the pen too.

They need to keep a 6th bench guy with this current makeup of the squad. Otherwise, a guy like John Mayberry is going to have be counted on a lot more then first thought. Because he becomes the #2 bench bat.

I think they let Polly linger on the bench and Castillo and Mini both see the regular amount of at-bats a starter would for weeks.

Has anyone on Beerleaguer ever just called a player by his name rather than trying to make up some witty nickname as if you're some annoying bench coach?

I don't get how this team can pay upwards of 70 million dollars for their starting rotation and couldn't throw 1-2 mil at a decent utility infielder this year. Nope, instead we get Martinez whose upside is....what? Jerry Hairston? We could've gotten the real Jerry Hairston at $2 million.

Baffling.

denny b: I think you will get your 6th bench player when Brown is healthy.

At least, I should say I hope so. I happen to agree that a 7th reliever is unneccessary. I would rather see Brown added to the roster once he's healthy than see Herndon out there, never to be used.

Heather: I think Mini-Mart's upside is Pete Orr.

Ter-man,
You have a legitimate concern, there.

"Ter-man,
You have a legitimate concern, there."

I see what you did there...

Mark me down for 0 April ABs for Martinez.

I was thinking Terry-O.

The Terry-manator?

The Ter-meister

DH Phils- no way will he get zero April ABs. As the 25th man, he is now apparently the most important player on the team.

Seriously, he will probably see at least a few ABs as the Phils will probably be in at least a few lopsided games in April. As for meaningful ABs- in games that are close or tied in the 7th inning or later- I put the O/U at 0.5.

I'm very versatile. I can play 6 positions equally badly.

Iceman: I'll take the over. Very likely the Phils play an extra innings game sometime in April. Every bench player beyond the backup C usually sees time in an extra-inning game.

Iceman: I think that was DH's way of saying that he won't make the roster -- which I hope is true. But since you've already decreed that the 25th roster spot can't possibly be of any importance, why not just give that spot to Anthony Hewitt?

As far as 25th men go for April AB:

Bruntlett in 2008 - 81 PA
Bruntlett in 2009 - 20 PA
J. Castro in 2010 - 52 PA


So yeah, there's a decent possibility of it happening. That Rollins guy seems to haev an issue with April injuries leading to higher than expected PAs for our utility guy.

Hey, hey. Eric B and Rakim's Paid in Full, in Weitzel's rotation. One of the 5 best hip hop albums of all time.
If you like old school hip hop from that era, Boogie down Productions'(KRS1) Criminal Minded may be better.

Jack- yeah, I probably should've put it at 1.5. I think he'll probably be at the plate at least once with a chance to make a meaningful difference in the game. But probably no more than that.

I can't believe people aren't more appalled at the fact that Castillo is going to be the Opening Day 2nd baseman. To me, that's something worth getting p*ssed off about.

Remember when we had Adam Eaton in our rotation? Yea back in the days when we bitched about our good players? Now-a-days we bitch about someone who MIGHT be our 25th player...

Life is good...

Terry-cloth or Terry-sloth?

Can we avoid ever mentioning Adam E**** on this site ever again? Just his name makes me see red. And not the good kind of red.

Wasn't that long ago Mayberry was considered a less than stellare 25th man. Now he's #23.

I agree with 'The Theory' about He Who Shall Not Be Named. Just remembering him at the Ring ceremony makes me want to break things...and his asinine comments about being a big part of the 08 run. Jackass wouldn't even go to Clearwater to stay sharp in case of a playoff injury.

As I recall, the horrible Juan Castro managed to play in 54 games and make 134 PAs last year, despite being with us for only half a season. And Greg Dobbs managed to play 88 games, and make 176 PAs for us, despite never getting his average above .210 after May 7. Then there was So Taguchi, the quintessential "buried man" on the bench, who still managed to play 88 games and make 103 PAs for us in 2008.

The idea that the 25th man never plays is simply Beerleaguer mythology. We've won 4 straight divisions with one very bad player on our bench; hence, it follows that the 25th man on the roster can't possibly matter. In fact, let's try to find the worst one that we possibly can just to irritate all those Debbie Downers & get a few laughs.

"I can't believe people aren't more appalled at the fact that Castillo is going to be the Opening Day 2nd baseman. To me, that's something worth getting p*ssed off about."

The only reason I'm not appalled is because I have hope that one of the following two things will happen:

1. Utley will return or
2. We will trade for someone to play second base who does not completely suck OR
3. (The unlikeliest scenario) Castillo will somehow not totally suck and will channel the Castillo of 5 years ago.

I'm betting on number 2 as the likeliest scenario. But yeah, if we have sucky Castillo as our 2nd baseman throughout the whole season, I'm getting out my pitchfork.

Termite!

It could be worse...Freddy Garcia is the Yankees 5th starter.

Terry Terry Bo Berry, Banana Fana Fo Ferry Me My Mo Merry...TERRY!

Moving on...

So Taguchi - 103 PA
Eric Bruntlett - 238 PA
Adam Eaton - 19 GS, 21 G
Pedro Feliz - 463 PA
Geoff Jenkins - 322 PA
Mike Cervenak - 13 PA
TJ Bohn - 5 PA
Brad Harman - 11 PA
Greg Golson - 6 PA
Les Walrond - 6 G, 10.1 IP
RJ Swindle - 3 G, 4.2 IP


are just some of the names that graced the roster in teh year of the WFC.

I think we should reacquire Tad Iguchi from the Chiba Lotte Marines for Kyle Kendrick. He hit .294 with 17 homeruns and a .888 OPS last year.

donc. you win the prize with "Termite", though I would spell it "Ter-mite".

JBird: Iguchi looked pretty cooked when last he played in the major leagues but, if he posted that stat line in Japan, then Tad Iguchi III is not the craziest idea in the world.

You know, I always liked Taguchi. He was a solid 4th OF for the Cards for years and then just fell apart for us both defensively and offensively. Tough break for him.

Feliz was solid in 08 so listing him is a bit unfair.

"JBird: Iguchi looked pretty cooked when last he played in the major leagues but, if he posted that stat line in Japan, then Tad Iguchi III is not the craziest idea in the world."

Semi-related bit of spit-balling...I wonder how many older players look "cooked" over here when if given a less onerous schedule would look average.

NEPP, Garcia has posted a 4.54 ERA for the last 3 seasons(4.64 in 2010), within the range of a number 3 starter in the AL (4.58 avg)according to Sackman's calcualtions. In 2010 his WHIP was 1.376 vs. a league averge of 1.326.

If the Yankees get that out of him they'll be very, very happy.

BAP- I was kinda kidding, but really how much worse than Castillo could he be? Although, I'm having a hard time finding UZR stats for the Japanese leagues. Just goes to show you, they may dominate our school kids in math and science but when it comes to actually using it make 25th man decisions, we may be the unquestioned world leader.

awh- if he only hits his 3 year average for innings (76), they probably won't be too thrilled.

Did Cholly forget the 4 errors this spring that Martinez made in really limited time? Cholly also praised Castro's defensive ability too last year in spring. Take this with a grain of salt. He is just trying to give a boost to a player who is going to make this Opening Day roster. That's all.

The bigger issue is Martinez makes the Opening Day roster I imagine he is going to be there for a lengthy period of time.

Shocking that UC is boosting a player after being told by the FO that said player will be on the roster for the entire year so we can "snatch" this 28 years young wonderkind utility player.

Jack~ It was written last week that the Phils were looking for a young CF'der.

Heather~ Yes we should have spent some money for the bench. We didn't and we probably won't. What you see is what we've got. As I keep saying. I'm disappointed. RAJ did a great job bringing in Lee and then nothing to back it up. His grade this off-season: C IMHO

"HighCheese Here is a quick run-down on the Utley situation. Making progress. It sounds like goal is return sometime in May."

Thank you, Base'Baal!

Sometime in May=AS Break in reality.

Sometime in May in Utley time = Opening day.

More of Murphy's stuff on Chase:

"1) He says he believes setting a timetable would be counterproductive. I assume that means setting a public timetable. Because you know darn well the first thing he has asked every doctor he has spoken with is, "When can I get back?"

2) There are indications that both Utley and the Phillies are targeting a May return. Neither side will say anything approaching specific with regards to the plan. But Ruben Amaro Jr. said yesterday that Utley is not a candidate for the 60-day disabled list because there is a realistic chance that Utley returns in less than 60 days. Amaro also said he has not been preparing for the possibility of Utley missing the whole season.

"I don't think we've thought that far ahead," he said.

3) Utley has began to take groundballs. He still isn't running, which is the primary activity that aggravates his right knee, which has been diagnosed as being afflicted with bone bruising, chondromalacia and patellar tendinitis. But he is making progress, moreso than he was at the beginning of camp.

4) All in all, if you are a Phillies fan, there is more reason to be encouraged now about Utley's situation than there was a month or so ago. But it still sounds like he has a long way to go. Best case scenario sounds like an early-May return. And again, that's just me reading between the lines. But as long as surgery remains a possibility -- which Utley says he is determined to avoid -- it's tough to tell exactly when to expect a return."

Sounds like the stool/lawn chair had its contract terminated.

I'd be shocked if Utley plays a game in May.

If Utley plays in May, there is no need to make any moves at all. Just stand pat. The Phillies can easily survive 8 weeks without Chase.

So Chase will showcase his DH potential. Win-Win.

"If Utley plays in May, there is no need to make any moves at all. Just stand pat. The Phillies can easily survive 8 weeks without Chase."

Yeah, but I can see Chase keep being "close" to coming back where it's the all star break+ and no improvements have been made to the likely weak Castillo/Valdez/Martinez three headed monster.

JBird: I always thought that the whole purpose of getting a math degree is so that you can invent new baseball stats.

Hey, I think I've hit upon the only thing in the world that can make me love the idea of Jimmy Rollins in the leadoff spot: Placido Polanco in the leadoff spot.

Very enjoyable thread to read... my favorite is how everyone responded to Terry's "Has anyone on Beerleaguer ever just called a player by his name rather than trying to make up some witty nickname as if you're some annoying bench coach?"

Awesome stuff.

NEPP - Agreed. Phils can get by without Utley before Memorial Day. I bet he really has no idea when (and if) he will be back and neither do the Phils. Something that is going to play out over the next few weeks.

Placido "the elbow" Polanco, Jimmy "gastrocnemius" Rollins, Shane "oblique" Victorino

R.J. Swindle is the proof of clout's hypothesis that velocity means nothing. Without any velocity at all he was part of a WFC team.

Polanco saw 5 pitches in his leadoff at bat before flying out. With the new "Luis Castillo-standard," that was as successful at bat.

"The Phillies can easily survive 8 weeks without Chase."

They can survive just fine without the Chase of 2010. Why assume the 2009 version?

Castillo also sees 5 at bats and takes a walk, which is even more successful on the "Luis Castillo-standard."

Luis Castillo success meter (each of these outcomes are a "success" for Luis Castillo):

10-Saw lots of pitches and got an XBH
9-Saw few pitches and got an XBH
8-Saw lots of pitches and got a single
7-Saw few pitches and got a single
6-Walked
5-HBP
4-Reached on an error
3-Reached on catcher interference
2-Saw lots of pitches and made an out
1-Saw lots of pitches and struck out

CJ: You may make fun of him but, with that walk, Castillo's Phillies OPS is now above .500 -- the definitive threshold for offensive excellence.

Vic rips a ball past the 1B in RF scores Castillo from 2nd (who walked) and then Ibanez scores from 1st (walk) after the RF lets the ball go past him (error).

CJ: I definitely think he gets a 2-point bonus if he reaches base on anything other than a fielder's choice, and later comes around to score a run. So he had an 8-point inning. Maybe more. The inning isn't over yet.

This patient batting order is going to make pitchers work. I can't wait until they play against injured players who are put on pitch counts. They will lose 3-0, 2-0,3-0 every week.

bap: Ha! We should totally score people on the "Castillo meter." I'm going to use it for Castillo, Mini Mart and Valdez. I like the 2-point bonus.

I actually don't hate Castillo. It's not his fault he got old and Omar Minaya signed him to a crazy contract. We're paying him the major league minimum, so anything he produces is gravy....and he still has SOME value. I imagine he would produce positive WAR this year, which for his price tag, is perfectly acceptable.

I do find it fascinating how he can take a walk almost at will.

Luis "walk the talk" Castillo

As I un-muted my Phillies coverage, I heard Wheels say, "...and that's what pitching is."

Perhaps we should have a contest to guess how he started that statement.

CJ: You forgot catching a routine popup on your success meter.

CJ: I think Wheels was talking about a Slurve.

And our weak-fielding CF just gunned out a runner at home. Lucky, I'm sure.

I'm hoping for a "Castillo Slam" where he hits the ball over the head of the drawn in outfielder for a double.

Gelb tweets:
"Pirates minor leaguers didn't show up. So Lee is throwing in an intrasquad game."

I don't know why Lee didn't throw in the major league game today. Why was it preferable to throw against minor leaguers as opposed to a spring training game that has a mix of major/minor leaguers?

CJ: I think Castillo would prefer to reach on an error or through catcher interference than be hit by a pitch.

Watch it CJ- using the term 'gunned' leads me to believe you think Vic has a great arm. I can't let a comment like skate by. You will not get away with praising a player on the team like that.

Vic has a good arm, not a great arm. Take it easy you homer.

Rosenthal's preseason picks are up. He has the Phils winning the division, but losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Rockies. He has the Red Sox beating the Braves in the World Series. And he has Cole Hamels winning the NL Cy Young.

CJ and Iceman: Victorino has a top-notch arm. No one ever questioned that.


Rosenthal picks Phils to win division, but cites uncertainty of injuries to Utley, Lidge Polanco.

CYA: Cole

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/2011-MLB-baseball-season-predictions-world-series-mvp-cy-young-032811

Heather- I'm with you. The only bright side I can see in keeping Castillo on the roster is that they really do expect Utley to come back in the first half of the season. I just can't bring myself to imagine that the FO views Castillo as a long-term solution at second. I'm hoping they brought him in to keep Valdez available off the bench/as a fill-in if Polly goes down.

If Castillo is still starting at second for this team after 6 weeks or so, it will make me physically ill.

OMG!!!!!!

Castillo just racked up 9 points on a first pitch double!

Rosenthal is an idiot. The fact that he picks someone other than the Phillies is encouraging. The Braves in the WS? Yeh, right!

(Caveat... line drive was played horribly by the LFer... maybe should have been caught.)

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