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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Comments

JW,

Valid concerns indeed. More questions than answers from the lineup at this point. But I have to admit, I'm quite bullish about Francisco and Ruiz pulling their weight from the right side of the plate. If JRoll can NOT suck, then we should be OK until Utley gets back.

Doom and gloom, baby. Doom and gloom.

Best pitching staff perhaps in the last 40 years of baseball.

Doom and gloom. Ya' just gotta love Phillies fans.

One wonders how many more games we'll see where the pitching keeps us in the game until the end and we still can't get a W. Many of Cole Hamels starts come to mind. Beat rotation in years will keep you in th game and give the team the opportunity to win. It is a team croft to win and that involves defense and OFFENSE too.

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

Worst case scenario for Utley:

- That is not just something that really can be simply fixed via a surgical procedure and in fact the patella tendinitis is really a sign of the beginning of arthritis in his knees. Can really only treatment the symptoms if that is the case.

Either way if there is no wold that he has improved by tomorrow, then the cortisone shot obviously didn't work and he is headed for surgery soon. Just a question of what kind and how long he will be out.

MG,

Ugh, glad I had finished breakfast before reading. I was also thinking there should be some kind of word soon.

Didn't you guys hear Jimmy's interview? He's batting 1st, he doesn't need to change anything and he's going to be the spark. No problem.

We already knew that Rollins, Victorino, Polanco and Ibanez are imperfect offensive players. Yet, this team, with these imperfect offensive players, along with the Big Four, was destined to have the NL's best record in 2011.

The only thing that's changed since the start of ST is that we have become aware that Utley is not healthy right now. Utley's health is the only thing I am concerned about right now. Since he is the Phils' best regular, it is a big concern.

I am not worried about these other guys. I'm also not all that concerned about Brown's injury in terms of its impact on the 2011 season. I was only anticipating a WAR of 2.0 from whoever plays RF this year.

The Big Four diminish the impact of the Phils' offensive flaws. Until we receive the true story on Utley's health, I am anxious, but no more.

Chooch for leadoff

Re: Chase Utley. I' sure this is annoying to most here, but isn't this a trend that you could attribute to a player in decline?

* 2008: .292/.380/.535
* 2009: .282/.397/.508
* 2010: .275/.387/.445

Aside from his magnificent power display in the 2009 WS and a fiery resolve to win, are we already living in the “post-Chase” era? Not to dredge up the age-related injury issue again (yuck), but an older player heals more slowly.

Because of this tendency, some of Chase’s more endearing qualities – the “fiery resolve to win” -- have a real downside. Examples:

* Less risk adverse at the plate yielding >>HBP totals. Is the upward tweak in OBP worth the risk to a chronically brittle body?
* Aggressive style on the base paths gets him a torn thumb... uggh.

I’m already counting his production as minimal in ‘11. No improvement after a cortisone shot means trouble. I’d love to believe a surgical procedure could get him 3 more years of hard play. Why haven’t we heard?

cut: Of course it is, unless one's head is in BL sand.

If you're going to look at Utley's stats, look at all his stats since he became a regular in 2005:

Year OPS OPS+

2005 .915 132
2006 .906 125
2007 .976 146
2008 .915 135
2009 .905 137
2010 .832 124

Career .894 129

When I look at these stats, I don't see a declining Utley. What I see is a guy who had an off-year in 2010 because of injury. I see a guy who may have had a career year in 2007 that he may not repeat again (That happens with a lot of top players. Just because they don't repeat their career years, it doesn't mean they are in decline.).

Otherwise, when I look at these stats, I see a guy who was fairly consistent in his early years as a regular (2005 and 2006) as well as in his later years (2008 and 2009). If I'm not mistaken, Utley's career OPS through 2009 was about .902, right about where he performed in these four years.

If you want to argue that Utley's performance will decline in 2011 and thereafter, we'll have to wait and see. If you want to argue that Utley's been going downhill for the last three years, a more thorough examination of the stats says you are wrong.

More Utley stats from FanGraphs:

Year wOBA

2005 .392
2006 .389
2007 .420
2008 .391
2009 .402
2010 .373

Career .388

Excellent numbers. Very consistent through 2009. Injuries hit hard in 2010. Will injuries continue to plague him?

Yo, newer threads

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