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Tuesday, March 29, 2011


On the ball Scott.

I'm cool with Jose.

Didn't we more or less come to the conclusion in the last thread that Contreras for closer was for the best in terms of IP, or at the very least it was pretty much a wash between him and Madson?

UC must've been convinced as well.

I like it because it frees up Madson to come in in the 7th if need be too.

Lidge out 3-6 weeks.

Huge mistake now maddawg is def leaving
After this year. Way to go sillies

Scotch: Yeah, things worked out great the last time we tried to squeeze two innings out of Madson.

Fantasy Baseball Question, OT:

Question for anyone who plays fantasy baseball...I've just dabbled in fantasy so I'm no expert, but I've read enough that I feel I have a decent grasp of it.

I joined a league from one of the Phillies websites, and was assured it was good.

Instead, I'm getting spammed by people with completely ridiculous trade requests. Someone wants to trade relief pitching for starting pitching, and this is the typical response: "You want Heath Bell? No, Scherzer isn't enough. I need Verlander if you want Bell."

Are you people completely out of your (expletive) minds?

I could go on and on, but these people are looney tunes. Is this how all fantasy is, or have I just gotten stuck with a bad group of people?

Carson, read your Utley "interview." Hilarious!

I'm ok with Contreras for closer. I think he has it in him. (Although for insurance, Phillies should make sure his mom attends as many games as possible.) It's not like it's written in stone, should he end up stinking at it. I don't think Charlie writes in stone - or gives such a long leash - with replacements, just with regulars.

"Lidge out 3-6 weeks."

I just hope he stays out until he's 100%, whether that's 6 days or 6 months.

I don't want a repeat of the Brad Lidge "I'm totally fine but keep getting bombed because I'm secretly injured" experiment.

Madson was the 8th inning guy last year & Cholly didn't use him a single time to pitch 2 innings during the regular season. The year before, he only did it 3 times. Why would he suddenly start using him differently this year?

Hopefully, most of those 7th innings will be pitched by Halladay, Lee, Hamels, & Oswalt. When they're not, it will be mix-and-match time.

TRUCKSTOP is born.

by the way, CJ now has to agree that Contreras is right choice, since ya know, the Phillies said so.

I'm not opposed to this, but I think Madson is the better pitcher, the better reliever and would be the better closer. However, this likely means we'll get more innings... and perhaps more high leverage innings... out of the better reliever. In that sense, maybe it's the right call after all.

And I don't believe this will have any impact on Madson's future with the Phillies. I hope we figure out a way to keep him and I'm hoping he's our Closer of the Future (COTF) starting next season.

I know people still think Madson can get it done in the 9th, but he hasn't in the past, so I like the idea of keeping his mental state good in the 8th. Lets go Contreras!

lorecore: Ha! I was writing my post as you were writing yours. I think it's the wrong decision, but if it means more high leverage innings for Madson, I'm fine with that. That's NOT the reason the decision was made, but it may be a side benefit.

Madson is the better choice for closer. I'm fine with the decision, however.

I hope they pulled all the chairs out of the clubhouse before they announced this.

Gelb tweets Rizotti was outrighted to make room on the 40-man roster. I assume that's for Castillo who isn't on it, right? There was a suggestion it was for Stutes, but the Phils need a spot for Castillo, right?

FYI: To outright Rizotti, he had to clear waivers, which Gelb says he did.

More from Gelb... who's becoming my favorite Twitter beat reporter:

Lidge diagnosed with "posterior rotator cuff strain." Billy Wagner had same injury with Phillies in 2004. Missed 44 days.

I agree with Heather. Lidge needs to get fully healthy before returning; he's not effective when pitching hurt.

@Heather, it all about scarcity. Presumably your league features a Saves category. Winning your weekly Saves matchup counts for just as much as winning your Wins matchup.

Saves are a bit precious. Think about it. You can pickup a 5th starter off the waiver wire with a good matchup and get a W. But there are only a (relatively small) handful of guys right now that you know will get you saves. Heath Bell is one of those guys.

You can always find Wins, WHIP, and usually Ks on the Fantasy waiver wire. It's rare to find Saves there, thus the high price asked in trade.

In Fantasy, the Save stat is valued more than it is in real life, due to the scarcity of them.

Madson may be the better pitcher overall but he has repeatedly demonstrated he has problems pitching in the 9th inning. We could got into a lengthy debate about why but his stats in the 8th vs the 9th speak volumes:


He goes from an excellent reliever to mediocre, with a below average HR/9 rate, entirely too high for a closer. It's because of this I am much more comfortable with Contreras as a closer. Madson has demonstrated repeatedly that he doesn't handle the 9th inning well.

Also, here's another fun fact: Madson's at his worst before the All Star break (April and June are his worst months). He's not bad, but he's not lights out like he is at the end of the season. So you'll have a guy who historically pitches much worse in the 9th inning, at a time in the season when statistically he's poorer.

All of which makes going with Contreras a no brainer. It's for a month and a half. We can handle that.

Clout - Indeed, he has never been able to make a major league team before. But now that he probably has made a team, it is the defending four time NL East champ. So, somehow this guy who cannot play is in the majors. And over your strenuous objections. Noted.

Can't hit a lick? Looks like he can hit a wee little bit so far this Spring. Yeah, that might be a mirage and he clearly has no power. But I'd guess that from what I've seen, he can hit just a touch.

Well, you used to say his defense was below average. Now he's up to average? Have you watched the guy this Spring? From what I've seen, he's an above average SS and second baseman, and he clearly has the arm for third as well. Didn't see him in the outfield. Admittedly, what I've seen is a small sample size, but what has your discerning scout's eye seen to make you think he can't field? In fact, Barfield is a butcher at second and Orr is clearly not average anywhere on defense.

Face it, Clout. You had your mind made up before you ever saw the kid play. He's exceeded everyone's expectations, and you still cling to your prejudgment.

I don't think he's an all star. And it's not likely he's better than Exxon. But like I said, he can hit a few singles, he can run better than advertised and he seems to field a whole lot better than advertised. He's not a starter. But he looks to me to be a major league type utility guy. I don't think that's an earth shattering conclusion based on what we've seen this Spring.
"aksmith: Mini-Mart is worse than the average UT INF because he can't hit a lick and his defense is just average. Not to mention he's never been able to to even make an MLB team before.

If he makes the team, it will be only until Utley returns or Rube makes a trade.

Posted by: clout"

Another tweet:

@mfranknba: Lidge said if everything goes well, he hopes to be back for 2nd half of the season.

CJ: So. Best-case scenario is our starting second baseman and our closer only miss half of the season?

Anyone still taking the over on 97 wins?

Lidge has "partial tear" of rotator cuff.

This will definitely be Lidge's last season in Philadelphia.

Jack: I haven't made my prediction yet. When that thread comes, you'll know how many wins I'll predict.

I actually believe not having Lidge may be a good thing. Having an ineffective Lidge for a full season would harm us more than help us.

The Phillies twitter account tweets:

Cliff Lee surprised fans at the Ring 'Em Up in Ashburn Alley.


I'm not sure there's a more fan-friendly group of players in baseball. I love these guys!

Good decision by UC...the less disruption the better. Hopefully Stutes makes the club over Herndon too.

Not surprised at all about Rizzotti.

The real question is who is on the '7th inning hot spot' and how long they stay. My answer is Baez and 4 weeks.

Thank god Rizotti cleared waivers.

Without Rizzotti clearing waivers, who would BLers whine about not getting his fair shot this year?

@Mick: I get what you are saying...saves are important. But from every ranking I have seen, Verlander is pretty much an overpay for Bell. Seems like most of the draft guides indicate that Verlander should go about 2 rounds ahead of Bell. (I think in our draft, that's about what it was.)
If I wanted Bell in that round, I would've drafted him in that round, KWIM?

Are they actually playing tonight or is the weather bad?

Verlander is a HUGE overpay for Bell. Closers on bad teams (what the Pads will be this year) simply aren't worth as much. And Verlander is great in a lot of categories, not just Saves.

Just my 2 cents.

Another data point for my Flew Too Close to the Sun (FTCS) metric.

Thing about fantasy trades is it's sometimes about need just as much as value. The season hasn't started yet so you don't know what you need. That said, Verlander seems like a steep overpay for Bell to me too.

Just as an example of trading by need, in 2006 I traded Ryan Howard for Johan Santana mid-season because I was so far ahead in HR and RBI. The other guy probably won that trade because Howard was a beast in the second half (although so was Santana), but I still won the league that year.

They said there would be some bullpen "surprises" and specualtion started when Stutes was called back to MLB camp. Is he competing for a BP spot now that Lidge is out?


Castillo is an OB specialist.

Good point, Krukker. For example, my league had an auto draft and I ended up with 3 catchers. I got Posey, McCann and Ruiz. I ended up trading Ruiz for Manny Ramirez without much concern as I really dont need 3 catchers even if 1 has eligibility at 1B like Posey.

Is the game televised tonight?

This offense is like a well-oiled machine with Castillo in the lineup.

Luis Castillo is a professional hitter.

Can anyone recommend a good place in the city to go and watch the game on Friday? Provided it isn't rained/snowed out.

Remember that link someone posted a few days ago about how 60% of the players whose ST slugging pct. exceeds their career slugging pct. by .200 or more pts, end up having breakout seasons? I have 2 words: Ben Francisco.

Not to warm up the "I am glad Lidge is on the DL" semantics debate but I am glad he has been declared injured now instead of trying to pitch through it and hiding his injury de jour.
I just wonder if Contreras does well if you go ahead and sign him to hang on as the closer at his advanced age when Lidge leaves in the off-season.Do they anticipate keeping Madson as the 8th inning guy forever? Could they possibly sign him again after his "life changing" discussion with his agent which made him believe he can be a closer?

Honestly, after the THIRD straight year that Lidge tried to hide an injury/pitch through it....I cant wait for his damn contract to be finished.

The Phillies are hitting Ross Ohlendorf pretty hard. And that's a good sign because, if you can hit Ross Ohlendorf, you can hit anyone.

I'm happy when the Phillies hit anyone on the Pirates hard. Normally, they make the Pirates look like the '29 Yankees.

Is this the same pitcher who beat the Pirates in arbitration with one win to his name last year or something along those lines?

rauls grandpa: That's right.

Anyone who has seen the way the Phillies play at PNC Park would not be surprised to hear which team he beat.

"I just wonder if Contreras does well if you go ahead and sign him to hang on as the closer at his advanced age when Lidge leaves in the off-season"

Well, I believe he's already signed to one more year with the Phils after this one.

Jack- I thought this team could win 100 or more with what they had coming in to Spring Training. Replacing Utley with Luis Castillo obviously costs the team wins. If Lidge is out more than 3-6 weeks, I think that won't have nearly the effect of losing a position player, but the cumulative effect on the bullpen might cost them a few wins (if you assume Lidge wouldn't cost the team wins on his own).

If Utley doesn't play a game (and isn't replaced with someone more palatable than Castillo) and Lidge's arm is shot, they won't win 95 and will be in a dogfight for the division. If Utley is replaced with someone like Kelly Johnson mid-season, I think they'll win around 95 and put away the division with a week or so to play. And if a Utley comes back by June/July, and Lidge does manage to heal up, I'd take the over on 97 games. But like you, I'll wait until the 'prediction thread' to make an actual guess.

I'm not sure why you continue to ask the 97 win question every few days, though, as if your skepticism since December is somehow validated by events that no one could have possibly predicted. It's like you're rooting for these injuries to happen.

Castillo with another two hits tonight and two runs... even an RBI and a stolen base.

Since he started 0-8, he's been very good at the plate (no slugging, obviously, but what did you expect?). There haven't been any obvious mistakes in the field.

If he can man his position moderately well and do at least as much at the plate as he's done in the last 5 games, he won't be terrible for us.

And that's me praising Luis Castillo.

If Chase can tend bar, he can play 2nd base.

No score for Castillo on the meter tonight... wasn't home to track it. I'll try to get it going with the start of the ML season.

Speaking of professional at bats... Rollins hitting third again with runners on 1st and 3rd, no outs, and he hit a ground ball that scored the run and moved Victorino to 2nd.

J-Roll *will* bat third when this season starts. I'm sure of that. Polanco, and his gimpy elbow, will be lower in the order. Vic, Luis, J-Roll.

CJ, did hell just freeze over? You praised Castillo?

FWIW, I agree with you.

Chase the barkeep:(hands beer to customer) Bud F--king Lite

NEPP: Damning praise, at best.

I wonder what kind of odds Vegas would give me if I bet on Luis Castillo to win the National League homerun title.

bap: Fairly certain attempting to make that bet would result on immediate entry into Gambling Anonymous.

Rollins is a much better 3 hitter than he is leadoff guy. He has enough power to make up for his not so great OBP.

Its a walk year for him so maybe he plays his ass off in Chase's absence.

Is anyone else worried that both Oswalt and Hamels have had terrible springs and Lee was pretty mediocre?

I'm not but is anyone else concerned at all?

Chase & Joe mixing drinks

Castillo has a .396 OBP this spring. You could peel 50 points off that and I'd still be happy if that's what we get from him in the regular season.

He's also batting .280 now.

NEPP: There are people on here who are concerned with concession revenue, so the answer is probably yes to concern about ST pitching stats. I'm not worried, myself.

NEPP: Are those his stats just with the Phillies or overall this spring?

Overall, krukker.

He's 14 of 50 with 7 BB in 18 games played this spring. Only 1 XBH (a double) though as he has zero power.

aksmith: Your burning manlove for Mini-Mart is impressive, but you still haven't come up with a slash line for him. Tell me what you think he'll do with the Phillies.

I think it'll be something along these lines:


That's not close to Wilson Valdez and would be worse than most utility INF when you consider his defense is mediocre at best. He looks good only when compared to Juan Castro.

Hey, I hope you're right and the scouting reports and his minor league stats are wrong. He's very perky and God knows, the Phils will need all the offense they can find.

Sorry, that's a .368 OBP, not .396. Entered it wrong in my calculator.

Oswalt always has a crappy spring doesn't he? Working on stuff, taking it easy. Their just cruising right now. When the games mean something and the intensity is turned up they oughtta be the aces we expect.

How is it possible that Matt Rizzotti passed through waivers? Isn't he one of the Top 10 prospects in baseball?

Clearly the 29 other teams were too intimidated by his greatness to clear a spot on their 40 man roster for him...THEIR 40 MAN ROSTERS!

I'm kinda surprised that zero AL teams didn't at least give him a shot as a minor-league DH role but he's honestly nothing special. I won't be surprised at all when he's completely average this year and last year turns out to just be one of those lucky years by a minor-leaguer.

Nepp - My only concern with Lee is that he didn't pitch that many innings into a game and he lost his last start yesterday because it happened to be against the team he will face on Saturday.
Hamels always seems to be a slow starter.
I'm happy Oswalt was able to get out there tonight and pitch a few good innings after nearly getting decapitated in his last appearance.

"How is it possible that Matt Rizzotti passed through waivers? Isn't he one of the Top 10 prospects in baseball?"

Why do people like to make fun of Rizzotti? It's not like he's an obnoxious jerk, and he's overperformed the organization's expectations.

Heather, they're/we're not making fun of Rizzotti...we're making fun of the people that keep clamoring for him like he's the next Jason Heyward.

Heather: No offense intended whatsoever toward Rizzotti. Just to those who've overhyped him.

Actually, the Phillies could've cleared roster space by placing Lidge on the 60-day disabled list, thus omitted him from the 40-man.

I doubt they want to put Lidge on the 60 man DL as he'll be back in "3 to 6 weeks". Which means July if I have my Phillies FO Translator tool working correctly. Just like when Utley said earlier in the week that he was aiming for a mid-May return and then suddenly its "Hopefully by the AS Break".

Aren't the Phillies going to need at least one 40 man roster spot if they keep Castillo (Lidge to the 60 day DL) and another one if they keep Stutes? (I don't know in that case who gets dropped).

Drew Naylor is still on the 40 man. He would likely clear waivers and even if he didn't, he's terrible anyway.

It's so nice to see some Phils in a bar not dancing on a table.

PhilliesDude: My only concern with Lee is that he didn't pitch that many innings into a game and he lost his last start yesterday because it happened to be against the team he will face on Saturday.

Lee didn't pitch against the Astros for exactly this reason. The Astros did the same with their pitchers. Lee was supposed to pitch in a minor league game but he pitched an intrasquad game instead because the other team didn't show up. Presumably these innings aren't in the spring stats.

The real reason nobody picked up Rizzoti was their fear that he would simply light up MLB pitching and they would be stuck with angry fans when they could not afford an Earth-shattering contract extension for him in a few years.

Clout: My man love for Mini Mart? Wow.

I think he'll be league average for utility guys. I also think you're an average poster, so there's all kinds of man love in the air, eh? What color is the sky on your planet? I said he'll be average. That is turned by you into man love. Hard to believe, Harry.

Again, what have you seen in his fielding that makes you think he's mediocre? He's looked very good in the field all Spring. And since you've never seen him before, and neither have I, exactly what in your scouting repertoire tells you he sucks in the field?

Interesting that Stutes got the 9th tonight.

There is absolutely nothing in Mini-Mart's minor league history to suggest that he would post average numbers for a utility player.

If he gets at least 100 ABs, I'd guess something along the lines of .210/.275/.335.

Yo, new thread.

The Phils def really like Mike Stutes - both as a player and a person. They used him at least once during the off-season to speak to the press about their minor league organization from a player's perspective and Charlie has gone on the record at least twice of praising his stuff and poise. Don't think he'll be on the 25 man roster with Herndon pitching well tonight but if Herndon had faltered, I think he would have been.

Well, it’s amazing. The miracle has been done. Hat’s off. Well done, as we know that “hard work always pays off”, after a long struggle with sincere effort it’s done.
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