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Thursday, March 24, 2011

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I'd call the Herndon move a success.

They won a division with him on the roster and now have some bullpen depth for the next 5 years under team control.

Bastardo hasn't had a good spring but bring a mediocrity like Zagurski north? Nah. Zagurksi is strictly a minor league organizational depth guy you call up in case Romero/Bastardo go down. If Meyer pitches well at Lehigh, my bet is that he would get the nod over Zagurski.

"can anyone explain why prevailing wisdom has Antonio Bastardo coming north while Mike Zagurski goes back to Triple-A?"

Every scout in the world could answer this question. Zagurski can not be good. Bastardo can be.

I asked yesterday if I was the only one noticing that Martinez had turned it on. Turns out, he has. He's 13 for his last 33 with 3 doubles and a home run.

I guess if we're going to say that Mayberry's numbers are falling because he's facing tougher pitching now... what are we saying about Mini Mart?

It's not like I'm pulling Zagurski out of my rear end. I mean - there's a reason he rocketed from Single A to the Show in 2007. The Phils were desperate, but still ...

Who says the Phils will head north with 2 lefty's in the pen?

Bastardo has had some brief flashes of success at the major league level. Zagurski has failed big-time every time they have tried him. But if Zagurski goes back to AAA and pitches well, he'll undoubtedly get another shot at some point this year. The chances of either Bastardo or Romero landing on the DL are about 90%.

lorecore: If Herndon can turn into a decent reliever within the next year or two, it will have been worth it. If he's just AAA depth, that hardly seems worth keeping a guy on your roster for an entire season. You can find AAA depth off the scrap heap & you don't have to keep the guy on your roster all year.

In any event, I'd argue that the last man on the bench is more important than the last guy in your bullpen. You have 7 relievers and only 4 usable bench guys. Versatility is nice, but the main job of a bench guy is to pinch hit. You can't set aside half your usable bench for players who can't hit at all.

BAP- so I take it by saying Bastardo has shown flashes of success, he reminds you of a younger Johan Santana?

For the record, in my opinion the bullpen is a much bigger concern than the offense headed into the season. Not only do I think the starting pitching will be so good the offense, even without Chase Utley, will be able to score enough for them, but I also think Rube will eventually make a trade for a bat at some point in the season. But there is no easy fix for all the question marks in the bullpen, especially if Lidge goes on the DL or is run out there time and time again when it's obvious he can't do it anymore. If they start to bleed runs, I don't think the offense is good enough to continue to make comeback after comeback as they have in the past, especially since any team can roll out a lefty-specialist in the late innings and shut down the entire middle part of our lineup.

The only sure thing in the bullpen is Madson. He's a stud. You can't count on Lidge, and I don't see how you can count on an aging Contreras to duplicate what he did last year, either. Baez is a bum- we all know that. Romero might have absolutely nothing left in the tank. And after them, you've got Bastardo, Herndon and Kendrick. It's a bunch of question marks after Madson.

I don't know how anyone can feel comfortable with who we'll be rolling out there in the 7th and 8th innings, especially if Lidge goes on the DL to start the year (a virtual guarantee).

I never understood the ire for Zagurski, either. As expected, he fared much better against LHB (45 OPS+) than RHB (143 OPS+) in his time in the MLB. My recollection is that a lot of his struggles were because he was put in to pitch an entire inning to eat innings (no pun intended) during extra inning games and/or blowouts (ergo, facing RHBs). If he's used strictly as a LOOGY, I don't see what the problem is. He's not horrendous by any stretch.

More on Nyjer Morgan. Picked by foxsports as one of the most excentric players in the game.

calls himself "Tony Plush".

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/lists/baseballs-most-eccentric-players-gallery-032311#photo-title=Nyjer%20Morgan,%20Washington%20Nationals%20&photo=29618930


WTF. Bring him in.

BAP: What was the harm in keeping Herndon on the roster? He had a 94 ERA+ and altho pitched to way too much contact, kept the ball in the park (2 HR in 52IP).

As much as you say fringe releivers area a dime a dozen - i think you'd admit that he is better than any other minor league/vet minimum releivers this team has signed. Obviously not saying much but I bet he'll be there to pick up innings anytime someone goes down for the next 3-4 seasons, thats a nice option to have when your payroll is maxed out.

I've been assured by virtually every poster on Beerleaguer that Bastardo will be a star.

I'm shocked that anyone would question this.

lidge is pitching in the game today. i don't see how he's going to be on the DL unless he hurts himself again. i don't see how's that's a "virtual guarantee".

Bastardo needs a "street name" to be a star. How's about "Johnny Dart".

Leverage the redundancy in the rotation? Is this a reference to Joe B or a suggestion that it's time to consider a trade involving one of the Big Four (blasphemy!)

Tony Bastard is plenty good enough to get his name on a star.

clout: And what can you assure virtually every poster on Beerleaguer about Bastardo? That he won't make the roster? That he's worse than Zagurski? Anything other then "he wont be the next Santana"?

When I see the phrase "leverage redundancy" it usually means I am about to be fired.

Bastardo is a lock. Anyone with the nickname of "Feelthy" has got to be in the Big Show. Now if the Z-man can make his pitches zig and zag on the way to the plate, he can be a success. Unfortunately, his pitches only zag with no zig. At their best, Bastardo is better. At their worst, they are equally bad. Bastardo heads north because he has a higher ceiling in his potential.

I've been assured that Mini Mart was not going to make the roster and will be offered back to the Nats, who will not want him.

Meyer, with Morgan on the roster we'd have Tony Plush and Johnny Dart. Not bad.


clout, rather than your usual implicit casting of dispersion upon "virtually every poster on Beerleaguer" in order to ruffle feathers, I think it would be more appropriate to call out the Bastardo boosters by name.

I recall a couple, maybe even a few, people here jumping on a description (from a Stark column, IIRC) of him becoming the "next Santana", but I certainly don't recall the chorus here being from "virtually every poster on Beerleaguer".


I'm calling bullsh*t on you for that one.

As the self-appointed Chair of this board's Un-Beer*Leaguer Activities Committee, I demand you name names - or withdraw the comment.

st- not that I don't have faith in Lidge or how he claims to feel, but until he actually starts a season completely healthy and/or effective, I'm not going to believe it.

lorecore etc. etc.: Here's what I know about a guy you've been hyping under a few different screen names over the past few years: He hasn't shown consistent command at the major league level, he allows 9.6 H/9, 1.1 HR/9 and 3.8 BB/9 and a 1.49 WHIP.

He's got good stuff, but hasn't harnessed it and his stats reflect that. I have no idea if he will harness it, but he's far from a sure thing and his stuff gets him no pass from me. Show me the performance or go back to Triple A.

I think Clout was the only poster who took Stark literally with the Santana reference. He is one of the more emotional posters here, so I'm not surprised.

BedBeard: You were assured that before Utley went down. With Utley out, all manner of crap will be on the roster. What do you project Mini-Mart's slash line to be?

Yeah, your right about Bastardo. It's Mike that needs the name. Zig-Zag Zugursky.

BedBeard: I thought it was a silly comparison. You've been pimping Bastardo for awhile now, what do you project him to be?

clout: We've been assured that long after Utley went down. We've been assured that Young, Barfield, Orr, etc. are all better choices. Oh... and Castillo, too.

BedBeard, you're Bastardo's pimp? What's your cut of the action?

When have I been "pimping" Bastardo?

The last time we had "redundancy" in our pitching staff, we had just dealt for Freddy Garcia to go along with Hamels, Lieber, Myers, Eaton and Moyer.

By the time that season ended, Myers was our closer, Garcia and Lieber were on the shelf, Lohse was acquired from the Reds, and the legend of Kyle Kendrick was born (10-4, 3.87 ERA).

I know it's crazy, and we don't need any less power in the outfield, but I'd welcome Nyger Morgan on the Phils. I appreciate the guy's passion. He will not fail to entertain.

I don't get it. People here are like vultures on Luis Castillo for confusion over a hotel room reservation- and yet we're willing to pick up known nutcase Nyjer Morgan because he's got 'passion'? The guy is a LOON and has never apologized for any of the 'incidents' he's caused. And what, we can overlook that because he can steal a few bags off the bench and fill in for Vic every now and then?

me: "And what can you assure virtually every poster on Beerleaguer about Bastardo?"

clout: "He's got good stuff, but hasn't harnessed it and his stats reflect that. I have no idea if he will harness it"

We agree - you have no idea. For a guy who "has no idea" you are pretty good at telling everyone else they're wrong.

Ruben admits Utley will start the season on the DL.

"When have I been "pimping" Bastardo"

I just had the strangest vision involving high heels and a cocktail dress.

I agree with lorecore about Herndon. He is even more valuable since the Phillies haven't had much luck with bullpen guys from their farm system. Hopefully that will soon change with guys like Bastardo and Stutes.

Bastardo is better than Zagurski by a good margin. Bastardo was actually a pretty good LOOGY last year.

Although it is very difficult for a closer to be effective without a +fastball, Lidge did it last season. In 2010 he really caught fire in August and didn't cool off for the rest of the year. Post 8/1, he had only 1 BS and allowed only 2 ER.

As I remember, during that period, his fastball velocity was hovering around 90 mph, and he couldn't locate the pitch to save his life. He threw maybe one or two fastballs per AB and they weren't going for strikes. His fastball became merely a change of pace pitch. He used the "get me over" slider when he was looking for a called strike or was behind in the count, and relied on the nasty slider as his swing and miss/out pitch. He was very effective pitching like this. I didn't think he could make it last through October, but he did. I think he proved lat year that he doesn't need to have a great fastball to be an effective closer.

I am not sure what to expect out of him this year, but I did hear that he corected a mechanical flaw was able to locate an 86-87 mph in his recent MiL appearence. He said that he expects his velocity to increase a few mph in regular season game situations.

I'm a little confused.

Kyle Kendrick's 2010 ERA+ was 85. His strikeout:walk ratio was 1.71. His WHIP was 1.373. And his BAA was .283. Yet, if anyone dare suggest that he's not a legitimate major league pitcher, it's 100% certain that clout is going to take him to task.

Antonio Bastardo's 2010 ERA+ was 95. His strikeout:walk ratio was 2.89. His WHIP was 1.50. And his BAA was .253. Yet, if anyone dare suggeset that he IS a major league pitcher, it's 100% certain that clout is going to take him to task.

Can we just platoon Samuel and Sanberg at 2nd for a month or so? Seems like we'd be leveraging our organizational redundancy.

It worked out ok and you never know what his career will be like (so it's a win I'd say), but the whole Herndon experience was kinda weird for a WS contender to deal with. What could the Angels have wanted for him?

You know it's funny, I had the LOOGY battle between Zagurski and Bastardo as an even draw until earlier in the week when Antonio had a really nasty outing. Zagurski is just as capable of getting smacked around too I suppose but he's been the healthy one all Spring. I think they should ride that and his successful Spring up north.

As for the trade to watch out for, I read I think from Stark that the Nats are looking to practically give away Nyjer Morgan. Could this happen? I'm not a fan personally but if the Phils are in the hunt for an outfielder who can play center, he would appear in the mix along with Rowand who the Giants seem to be thinking of releasing.

What's wrong with Tony Plush stealing a few bases and running wild in the outfield? To be honest, I use up my cheering for future knee and hip replacement candidates every morning while shaving in front of the mirror.

Great BP comment on Herndon (who they dont even give a full writeup on)

"It's unclear why a player like Herndon, who lacks both stuff and results, was allowed to soak up a roster spot while Scott Mathieson labored in Triple-A."

Ouch.

Though I dont agree that Mathieson is really much of an improvement on Herndon.

"leveraging our organizational redundancy"

Any chance this becomes a meme on here? It certainly has the potential.

I'm glad I don't have to make these decisions. Because the Phillies seem to prefer vets, I don't see Michael Martinez heading north. Hard for me to reconcile putting a guy on the team the Nats never put on their 40 man.

At this point in their respective careers, I'd bet that Morgan is the better defensive CF. Though Rowand is clearly the better clubhouse guy.

Maybe Morgan could lace em up for the Flyers too. I recently read a Hockey News interview with Morgan, and apparently he was a decent hockey player. He payed for the Regina Pats of the Wester Hockey League. The WHL is a major junior level league that often renders a number NHL draft picks.

NEPP: Ouch is right. The Herndon situation struck me as a last vestige of the Phils old cheap instincts.

lorecore: It's easy to say, in hindsight, that there was no harm in keeping Herndon on the roster. But, viewed at the time, we were in a dog fight for the division title (one which we were losing for most of the year), we had a thin bullpen & we were hamstrung to make a move because we had to accommodate a guy who would be pitching at AAA if he played for any other team in the league.

So, yeah, you can say, "We won the Division. No harm done." But the point is: it could have done harm & it's not a template that I'd like to repeat -- especially for a guy like Michael Martinez, with no discernible long-term upside.

Phil- the first two paragraphs I am completely with you on. If there was a guarantee that he could throw his fastball with the velocity he did at the end of last year, I'd have a lot more confidence that he could get by. Unlike most commenters on here, I do not believe his success after Aug. 1 of last year was completely based on luck.

The problem is I can't believe a word Lidge says at this point regarding how healthy he is. I don't believe him when he says he will gain a few MPH on his fastball when the season starts. And while velocity isn't everything, 1) Losing 3-4 MPH in a few months time leads me to believe, based on history, that he's injured again, and 2) When you start topping out in the mid-80s with your fastball, you are forcing yourself to be a more deceptive pitcher and slow down your secondary pitch(es) as well. Lidge's slider is sick, but I don't have confidence he can be so deceptive with it as to fool major league hitters with an 87 MPH fastball.

I think keeping Herndon up was stupid. We should have made a trade to allow us to keep him and sent him to AAA. He was terrible.

Keeping Herndon all season may not have helped Durbin's value in the open market.

I don't want to be responsible when people ridicule virtually the entire blog for being Herndon lovers when he doesnt make the all star team - so i'll stop my Herndon praise here:

Lidge: $11.5M
Madson: $4.5M
B truck: $2.5M
Contreras: $2.75M
Kendrick: $2.45M

Thats a lot of $$ on RH releivers. Adding Herndon as depth thru Rule V was a pretty smart financial move to me. I'm praising Ruben moreso than Herndon.

Bastardo has a quality MLB-caliber offspeed pitch if he can get it over with enough consistency (his slider) and Zagurski doesn't. Frankly if Meyer hasn't been so awful in spring training he likely would get the nod to the first lefty reliever they bring up when Romero/Bastarod inevitably goes on the DL this year.

AS for Lidge, I was kind of perplexed on why he adjusted his pitching mechanics this spring. Rather odd for a veteran like him to admit that. Maybe he was doing something the staff that placed undue strain on his arm & contributed to his biceps injury.

I am willing to see what he looks like though over the next week or so. If he still hitting only 85-86 on the gun/topping out at 88, then the likelihood is that he is still injured with a trip to the 15-day DL despite whatever pronouncements Lidge makes himself about being '100% healthy.'

I also am probably one of the only people who actually think Baez will actually be a tolerable contributor this year (ERA around 4.30-4.40) because his curveball has supposedly look better this spring.

That is Baez's money pitch. If he has a flat curveball, he just isn't going to be an effective reliever and all too often that was the case last year. Nothing being able to throw strikes really hurt either.

I am not worried that Contreras can repeat what he did last year. Not at all. The question is can he avoid the DL. That I am much less certain of. He went through a dead arm period in June but was able to avoid the DL.

We have plenty of young RH arms coming up in the system. Is Herndon really better than Stutes or Schwimer? Or DeFratus? All of these guys could probably give us what Herndon is giving us. RH relievers are a dime a dozen.

I'm all for trading Kyle Kendrick. If Amaro can somehow play up Kendrick's two 11-Win seasons and dupe some GM into giving him something in return that will help us in 2011, I'm on board.

Kendrick will NEVER be a quality starter. His K/9 is the worst among qualifiers (per Baseball Prospectus). And he pitches in the NL where he gets some cheap K's vs. the opposing pitcher.

If I were Amaro, Kendrick is the bait I'd dangle.

I would imagine that the scout that convinced Ruben to grab Herndon had a fire ant twitch after August 1st last year.

BAP/NEPP: I will concede that losing Figueroa because of holding on to Herndon's roster spot looks like the wrong move right now. I didn't think of that until now.

I'd have much rather kept Figgy...and I said that at the time repeatedly despite many objections. Figgy is a legitimate 5th starter/swingman. He's what we HOPE Herndon can become and he's just as cheap.

Lou - KK just doesn't have that much trade value. I am sure that if Amaro could get one of the things he is supposedly shopping around for (OF who can play CF, infield help) he would trade KK without any hesitation especially if it saved the Phils a few bucks.

BAP: So Kendrick isn't a major league pitcher, but Bastardo is?

Interesting.

NEPP: "RH relievers are a dime a dozen"

So why - besides Ryan Madson - have the Phillies been unable to product a worthy RH reliever from the farm?

I had to go back 8 years to find 3 pitchers the Phillies minor leagues have produced a useful RH reliever.

Ryan Madson
Geoff Geary
Carlos Silva

And im giving you Geoff Geary!

It's like Lou Orlando was created just to bait clout.

lorecore: Anyway, whatever the merits of the David Herndon experience, I don't want to repeat the cycle with Martinez. Whether we were right or wrong to keep Herndon is water under the bridge at this point. But since this is Beerleaguer, I expect we'll still be debating it 5 years from now.

As for Herndon, he clogged up a roster spot last year that was unused. Last year's team essentially ran with a 24 man roster plus Herndon. Herndon just took up space.

clout: That's not exactly what I said, nor was it my point. My point is: if Kyle Kendrick represents the theshold for major league legitimacy, how can Antonio Bastardo not have stated a case for his major league legitimacy? His numbers are better than KK's pretty much across the board.

CJ: Actually, I don't have a problem with Lou's post. If you define "quality" as a #1-2 or 3 starter, he's right. KK is a very good #5, but his stuff is ordinary. There's a lot of guys in the NL like him.

And if RAJ can trade him for starting RF or 2B, I'd be all for it.

bap: hah, alright. Agreed on Martinez. End of story from me, moving on....

Delwyn Young apprently is the best batting practice hitter on the team.

"Kendrick will NEVER be a quality starter."

Lou Orlando, when you make a comment like that, and you are a new poster on this board (at least under that screen name), it would be helpful to the rest of us if you would provide your definition of a "quality starter", as it is on its' face an ambiguous term.

Thank you in advance.

Still the phils should have taken a gamble
On manram he looks abosolutly in shape
And has something to prove

Not a big KK phan as all of you know. If RAJ can get something for him he should go for it.

Norgan: he's a CF who can fly. Why not?

Still need a big RH bat though. That's a real sticking point with me.

BAP: If K/9 trumps WHIP, HR/9 and BB/9, I suppose you're right.

My only point about Bastardo is that he has not yet proven that he can succeed in the major leagues, despite what you think and what one reads on Beerleaguer.

Nelson Figueroa!??!

We're still pining for Nelson Figueroa?

Talk about dime a dozen... the only difference is he makes twice the dimes.

i think NEPP may have meant "marginal RH relievers are a dime a dozen".

KK may not be pleased about being in the bullpen to start the year but he has to enjoy that fact that he won't be a lightening rod for public/media criticism either:

My rankings on the 'Angstometer':

1. Castillo (or whoever starts at 2B and won't be Utley)
2. Francisco
3. Lidge
4. Howard
5. JRoll
6. Baez
7. Ibanez
8. Vic
9. Romero
10. Hamels

Dark horse - Cliff Lee especially if he struggles for a period and doesn't live up to his hype/contract

Twins get a infield hit to lead off the game... then Casilla gets picked off, but Hamels throws low and Howard doesn't have time to throw him out at 2nd. Runner on 2nd, no outs.

CJ, on second thought, Lou Orlando probably IS clout.

I guess he needed a reason to jump on the board and modify the man-crush he has on KK.

Hamels gets a ground ball back to the mound and catches Casilla in a rundown. He's tagged out. Hitter stays at first despite an apparent mishandling of the rundown that would have allowed him to advance.

One comment on Utley:

Does one have to be Stanford grad (RAJ) to figure out he was going to the DL. I think not. Enough of Castillo already.

Another weak grounder, but too slow to get the DP. Force out at 2nd, 2 outs. Thome comes to the plate to a warm response from the Phils crowd.

And Thome responds by hitting one to deep center off the wall. Shockingly, Delmon Young (not to be confused with Delwyn), stops at third instead of scoring.

And Hamels ends the inning by striking out Cuddyer.

thanks for the play-by-play, CJ.

I love how Rube continuously gets ripped for going to Stanford, as if it's some kind of a character flaw. Some insecure people here.

MG- is your Angst-o-Meter what people are worried about now or what you think people will worry about once the season starts? It's the former I wouldn't put Howard anywhere on the list, though I agree with your #1. Lidge would be my #1A.

Castillo AB:

Ball outside
Foul bunt
Called strike
Ball low
Foul ball
Ball outside
Called strike 3

DPatrone has an unhealthy hatred of RAJ. He has demonstrated that in the past.

***i think NEPP may have meant "marginal RH relievers are a dime a dozen". ***

That would be more accurate.

Another long AB for Castillo? Great patience there.

Or maybe he realizes that even if he got everything behind a swing, it still wouldn't clear the infield.

You are goooood CJ, thanks.

Angstometer translateion: "Everyone".

"translateion" translates into "translation" in BedBeard.

Yeah thanks for the play by play CJ. Makes sitting at my desk much more enjoyable.

thehook - Yup. I really like Manny's chances of becoming the 'AL Comeback Player of the Year.' My bet is that he destroys the Red Sox this year especially at Fenway. For whatever reason, he always seemed to have a bit of grudge when the Sox played the Indians & hit well against them.

Indians treated Manny very well though. Can only imagine how Manny views the Sox even if most of the slights he feels were largely induced by his behavior on/off the field over the years.

Know for a fact from a friend who worked for the Sox that they literally had someone whose job it was to deal with looking & cleaning up for the various messes/incidents he created especially on the road. He was a real pain in the ass for the traveling 'secretary' who dealt with road issues for team.

Manny also wasn't that well-liked by his teammates because was a notorious cheap bastard who would stiff his teammates for meals/drinks not even paying his share.

Never questioned his ability to hit or his preparation when it came to hitting & training though. Actually, Manny had some really good insights regarding hitting when I lived in Boston where he explained how he had studied a pitcher & would approach a various AB against him.

Just seemed that the fans/media wanted him promoted as a general child/goof instead of a guy who actually trained hard & prepared a fair amount.

Hamels goes pop fly, pop up (caught by Luis Castillo) and great play by J-Roll with a shot to the hole. Quick inning.

MG - wasn't the incident that drove Manny out of Boston a dustup with a traveling secretary?

Iceman - Over the course of the season. I don't think it would be that hard to come up with an actual 'Angstometer' reading by selecting a few various electronic sources and tabulating the responses.

There are a bunch of business intelligence applications that already monitor the Internet for this exact purpose for marketing/PR purposes. The problem is classifying free text as 'positive' or 'negative' about a subject and being able to largely automate the process without requiring human intervention or an actual person to look at every response.

Some of my play-by-play will be intermittent since I'm at work... and actually have to pretend to work at times.

Phils get 2 hits in the 2nd from Gload and Ruiz, but Mini Mart and Hamels leave 'em on base.

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