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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Comments

Honest question here. If Utley has "set a tentative goal to be back by the All-Star break," why wouldn't you put him on the 60 day DL? Are there implications with the 60 day DL with which I am unfamiliar?

To answer Heather's question from the previous thread on steroids: Yes, players can take steroids if they get a medical exemption by the League and Chase likely got one for any treatment on his knee if that was determined to be needed. Its the same when guys get exemptions for ADD drugs as they are on the banned list too without a doctor's note. Shockingly, a far larger percentage of MLB players apparently have attention disorders than the general public.

"Shockingly, a far larger percentage of MLB players apparently have attention disorders than the general public."

I am shocked, *shocked*, by this revelation. :-)

Thanks for answering the question about steroids. I mean, I have no idea if Chase needs them or anything, more just curious if you could take PEDs as part of a medical treatment.

No one is worried about the SI cover jinx?

i am/am not worried.

Heather, severe asthmatics have to take steroids quite frequently to keep airways loose. The dosage isn't high, but it's enough to show up in tests. I remember hearing of a few cases of this in MLB, but I can't recall how pervasive it is. It's the other injuries / rehab that is probably your question, and it's unclear how many allowances baseball gives for PED usage in these cases. Given the league's proclivity to allow ADD drugs as NEPP suggests, or body armor for batters, I wonder how stringent the rules are.

Didn't they cover Roy Halladay last year?

Blanton is on the cover to hedge the bets

This is why I don't understand the league coming down on Manny so hard. Lots of people have difficulty getting pregnant. I thought he should have been treated with more respect considering.

So was it ever decided who was going to work the 9th while Lidge is out?

re: 2nd base prospect quetions from last thread

I think the consensus is:

Harold Garcia - Reading
Cesar Hernandez - Lakewood
Jeremy Barnes - Clearwater

I've seen Garcia and Hernandez ranked either ahead or behind one another a few times, but both are probably in the mid teens in overall phillies ranks, with Barnes being a healthy drop from the first two.

Garcia got a lot of pub for his hit streak last year in clearwater and moved up to reading.

Hernandez was an international signing and came thru the Venezuelan league -had a solid year for Williamsport with a .390OBP, 32/6 SB/CS last year and will start at Lakewood.

Barnes had a good year for Lakewood but is a Notre Dame grad and is playing much younger competition. He will be 24 and just now getting to Clearwater.

I think Hernandez might have the best upside in the system at 2B, but none of the guys are really studs - upsides are traditional high OBP single hitters, while Hernandez has highest rated speed.

JBird - No formal announcement but I get the impression that Big Truck will get the majority of the opportunities in the early going.

The key with the drug use is asking beforehand. You cant use it as an excuse after the fact even if it was legitimate. That was an attempted defense a couple times when they first started doing the tests. I think it has to be signed off by a legitimate team doctor as well as reviewed by the league. You cant just have your dentist prescribe HGH to you over the phone like Rick Ankiel did.

Its not his fault, some dentists are so meddlesome. You gotta see how ripped his teeth are now.

I'm with MG - doesnt sound like anything is in stone but i think the 9th inning will be TruckStop time come reg season.

The bad news: Utley is out until the All Star break.

The good news: Once he gets back, he'll be hitting homreruns like never before.

FWIW, Tony Abreu placed on waivers by D'backs. Another Quad-A INF, good glove, not much of a hitter, although his PCL-inflated stats look good.

lorecore: BA has Hernandez 19 and Garcia 22 on their Top 30 list. Sickels also ranks Hernandez higher, although neither are ranked as high-quality prospects.

Barnes is organizational filler.

Any relation to local all-star....Camden Riversharks Wilton Abreu?

I think unofficially that Contreras is the closer. Honestly, he's the better option.

clout: good point i should have said high teens - at best.

I checked for any younger 2B to watch. Geancarlos Mendez will be at williamsport this year, altho he bounces between 2B and 1B, so he's probably a poor defender. Led GCL in RBIs last year, with a minor league career 96/79 BB/K ratio.

lorecore - Cesar is also good defensively. (He is about MiniMart's size, meaning he'll have a ready made BL nickname - Little Cesar - if he finally makes it.) Sickels placed him well above Garcia. I believe that's because of his strike zone recognition and age.

Baron Von Hayes:

You're confusing corticosteroids, which are anti-inflammatory drugs like cortisone for joints and albuterol for breathing with

anabolic steroids which are used for increasing muscle mass and bone density...

Corticosteroids are OK, Anabolic Steroids are not

I have to go to Chicago today. Should I bring some type of offering to the new sister site?

NEPP: Please explain why Contreras is the better option.

If it's because you think Madson should just be left in the role where he is most comfortable, I suppose I can grant that, though we have no idea of knowing what that's worth or if it even succeeds (you can't prove the counter-factual of what would've happened had you switched them).

If you think it's because Contreras is the better pitcher or has better "closer" stuff or mentality, I just don't get that at all. Madson is a dominant reliever, and has been for a few years now.

****NEPP: Please explain why Contreras is the better option.

If it's because you think Madson should just be left in the role where he is most comfortable, I suppose I can grant that,
****

Its exactly that. Contreras has filled in before to avoid moving Madson and honestly, the less closing Madson has, the better deal we can get when we attempt to resign him. Setup men simply do not make as much as closers regardless of what Scott Boras will tell us. But the comfort factor was what I was thinking of.

PhillyJoe, thanks for clarification. I did think there were some cases (like ephedrine usage?) where the lines got blurred, but I don't confess to be an expert. And just I read where in Sydney Olympics, the athletes were all using asthma medication at something like 16x the percentage of normal populations. Anyway, my 16 month old daughter just had a run-in with pnuemonia/RSV and may be developing severe asthma, so it's been a topic of discussion around the house.

But my comment was more meant to convey that it seems like MLB gives a ton of exceptions to it's rules. They banned body armor, but the Yankees seem to have a lot of elbow problems throughout their lineup. They banned performance enhancers, but NEPP referenced that a lot of players claim to have ADD....

In re: Closer

Y'all are missing the obvious choice. On days that Halladay pitches, there's no need for a closer, since he'll shut out the opposition as long as necessary. On the other days I'm sure he won't mind stepping in to throw 9 pitches in the ninth to strike out the side.

Yeah i dont know if I can call Contreras a "better option" purely based on numbers, but as you alluded to I like Madson to dominate in the 8th as he has been.

The baseball fan in me likes to see a huge old angry man closing out games.

And hey.. maybe keeping Madson's save totals down keeps his FA price down?

If the Phillies make their decision on who will close games in Lidge's absence based upon its impact on free agency in 2012, I'll be disgusted. I think you give both guys a chance to do it and try to ride the one who shows the most success early.

hugh: so who goes first? Do you let someone close until they blow a save and flip them?

As much as we like to focus on numbers, these are people. Unecessary mind-f'ing to an athlete if everytime he pitches he thinks his job is on the line.

I doubt they'll take it into consideration Hugh but its just a fringe benefit if that happens. Contreras has the stuff and attitude to be a closer. If he sucks then you can still use Madson.

Hugh: That's kind of my thought. Personally, I think Madson is the better pitcher, and thus should be the closer.

That said, I'm also of the belief that your best pitcher doesn't have to be used strictly as a "closer". So if leaving Madson in the 8th inning means he ends up pitching in plenty of the highest-leverage situations anyway, then fine by me as well.

On a different note, this upcoming weather really sucks for those of us with tickets to Opening Day. Looks like rain all day Friday and potentially Saturday too. Could push back the first game until Sunday.

Crappy way to start the season. Hope it's not an omen.

worst opening day weather ever: 2006 vs Cards.

mid 30s with a drizzling freezing rain. Had upperdeck foul pole seats. Jon Lieber got pist on. Phils trailed by 6-8 runs all game.

Pujols hit farthest ball i've seen with my own two eyes - it hit the scoreboard porch while its trajectory was still going up.

Only cheer of the day after the first pitch: Rollins was on his carried over hit streak from year before. He was hitless coming into his last at-bat, he went 3-0 count.... and on the 4th pitch he swung at a ball over his head and tomahawked it down the line for a double to perserve the streak. Yay..

While I don't subscribe to the MVPTommy view that Madson is somehow hardwired to pitch in only the 8th, and not the 9th, you really can't deny that Madson has failed miserably every time he has been asked to close for a few games. Statistical fluke? Maybe. But it has happened 3 or 4 times now.

Pitching is pitching, no matter what inning it's in. But there's more pressure in the 9th, in no small part because of artificial, made-up concepts about "closing" and "save situations." But, even if the concepts are made up, the pressure isn't & Madson certainly hasn't handled it well in the past. Doesn't mean he can't learn to handle it in the future, but it does make me a little leary about making him the closer when we would seem to have another viable option in Contreras.

Chinks in the armor?

Just like the Phils have had some real setbacks this spring, the Red Sox have had some too especially with their pitching staff. Beckett has had health-related issues and has looked horrible this spring. DiceK has been up and down. Ditto Lackey. Buchholz is ripe for reversion in his ERA. Phils' starting staff is vastly superior to this group with better depth too.

Speaking of troubled closers, a diehard Sox fan/friend thinks that Papelbon will be horrible this year. Lost his velocity on his fastball (throwing 3-4 MPH before his normal 94-95) and has had massive control problems with it. Simply can't throw it for a strike this spring. Says Jenks/Bard will be the closer by May.

My attitude is most similar to Jack's. If I was manager, I would go with my best pitcher in the most crucial spot. The best pitcher in that bullpen is Madson. I know he's lost some leads when given the ball in the 9th but, I'd give him the ball this year, too.

This was an interesting discussion I had this morning?

Who plays in more games for the Phils this year, Utley or Lidge? I am going Utley arthritic knee and all. Lidge's shoulder is fried and I am waiting for the inevitable surgery sometime in April that likely keeps him out for the year.

Reyes or Romero?

I go with Reyes although I am very interested if see if Cholly is going to use Romero as a non-situational guy in the early going at times too.

I don't have good feelings about either injury, but I wouldn't be surprised if Lidge's season is over, with or without surgery. I can see Utley giving it a go at least. So, it could be:

Utley 1G
Lidge 0G

*I hope both are healthy and can play at some point.

bap: Yeah, I know Madson has struggled, but I really find it hard to believe that someone who has successfully pitched out of jams in the 8th inning in NLCS and WS games somehow gets overwhelmed by the "pressure" of the 9th inning in Pittsburgh in May, you know?

BB - Yeah I kind of feel the same way. Phils can get by more without Lidge especially with this starting staff. Really will need 3 bullpen pitchers and as long as Contreras holds up they have 2.

"If I was manager, I would go with my best pitcher in the most crucial spot."

I agree with that completely. Thing is, though, that's not how closers are used.
The current Handbook for Managing decrees that your closer must pitch if it's a save situation. But many save situations are not the "most crucial spot" at all. A goodly number of them occur when your team has a 3-run lead, with only one inning left, & the opposing team has no one on base. On the other hand, a goodly number of crucial situations arise in the earlier innings, when you've got a 2-run lead & the opposing team gets a few men on base with its best hitter coming up. But, when this happens, Cholly is forced to choose between the likes of David Herndon, JC Romero, and Kyle Kendrick, because the Handbook for Managing says that, if it's not the 8th or 9th inning, your best relievers can't come in yet.

So, in an odd-ball kind of way, it's actually sort of a benefit to have your best reliever in a non-closing role, as it unburdens the manager from having to save the guy for the 9th inning.

Eckstein:

Scrappiness = '100'

Beloved Baseball Family Gives To Live
http://www.thepostgame.com/features/201103/beloved-baseball-family-gives-live

Jack: Truth be known, I have a hard time believing it too. But, just because we don't really understand something doesn't mean it isn't real. And it's kind of undeniable that Madson has repeatedly struggled when asked to close. So, since we have another viable option, I'd just as soon keep Madson in a role where he has succeeded.

Besides, as noted in my 12:33 post, I'm not all that beholden to the idea that your best guy absolutely has to pitch the 9th inning.

BB: The point made in that article -- that you can't earn a save before the 9th innings but you can blow one -- is one which I repeatedly tried to make to MVPTommy every time he'd bust out Madson's "save percentage" to show that he can't close. I don't think he ever got it, though.

For the record, my concerns about Madson as a closer are in no part based on saves he blew in a setup role. They're based on his body of work in true closing situations. I don't have the numbers handy, but I know his save percentage in those situations is fairly abysmal.

"you really can't deny that Madson has failed miserably every time he has been asked to close for a few games"


I deny it. It's a patently ignorant and false statement.

Then again, bap, I'm not surprised you would make it, and that Jack would agree with you.

What "save percentage in those situations is fairly abysmal", bap?

And, what percentage would make you think he was a success?

can we just get rid of the "save" statistic? Give whoever doesn't blow it in the ninth a "hold" just like any other reliever.

For all degenerates/scalawags/etc.

Win totals

Phils win total has now moved down to 96 1/2 (opened at 97) and the under is at -130 (opened at -115).

Braves are now at 88 wins (opened at 87 1/2) and the over total is at -115 (opened at even).

NL East

Braves opened the season to win the NL East at +475. Now +375.

Phils opened at -425 and are now -325.

Phils are at -200 and Braves at +160.

Braves vs. Phils (who will win more games in the season series)

Phils are at -200 and Braves at +160.

Mets vs. Phils

Phils are at -300 and Mets at +200.

My favorite bet I have saw is the 'Canadian Special' where you bet where the Jays finish in the AL East. 3/4/5 are at +150-200 but 1st is +1600 (16:1) and 2nd is (8:1)

Clout asked for Mini-Mart's slash line in the last thread when I had the temerity to suggest that the guy could be a league average utility guy. (Should we also ingore the Cloutian fact that Mini-Mart will never make this team? Yes, we should, I guess.)

Sorry, Clout. I don't make up numbers then make believe they have some meaning. And yeah, you're a genius because you can look up scouting reports and numbers from the minor leagues. I don't know how you do it. Is is a special gift from god? Or just some natural ability given to you by the fates. Because no mere mortal could look up such things.

I'm going to admit this right now. I don't pay for any scouting reports on minor leaguers because I'm more interested in saving my money for stuff like trips to Hawaii and buying the occasional toy for my grandkids. But hey, you can play make believe scout any time and I'll just label it what it is: nonsense.

Want a slashline for Mini-Mart? Take what I actually said, which is he could be a league average utility guy. Then take all the utility guys, divide their stats by the number of them that there are, and that's the league average slash line. It's simple math. Oh, and it also seems he'll hit with no power. But he appears to be a little faster than the scouting reports advertised, so there's that.

When it comes to picking talent for the team, I don't always agree with Rube, but in this case, I think I'll take Rubius Maximus' opinion over "I Cloutius."

so Vegas thinks Phils are a lock to win the NL East? Wow, thanks for the uplifting news MG.

re: Crashburn alley article

Why the hell did Bill Baer do all of that work without posting the most important stat of all?

9th save % ?! HE posted every other save% stat in the world except for that only real important one(well, important as far as saves are concerned).

About Madson being the closer, I remember way back in the young years of BL, there was an interview with Madson where he spoke of the difficulty mentally that he was having going back and forth from being a starter to being a reliever. I believe that Madson has mentally become comfortable in his role as the 8th inning setup guy. He may be the best in baseball in that role. When Cholly asks him to close a game, despite his great "stuff", his mentality has trouble adjusting to the closer role. Due to my belief that this is the true reason Madson looks great as an 8th inning pitcher but pedestrian as a closer, my vote goes to Contreras as the closer.

awh: Boy, you sure debunked my argument by calling me names and citing exactly zero facts to make your point. If my statement is "patently false," then surely you can point me to a statistic to prove it, rather than engaging in your usual histrionics.

I would consider anything less than 80% to be an unacceptable save rate for a closer. I would consider anything less than 70% to be abysmal, and I think pretty much any knowledgeable baseball fan would agree with me. If you have some statistic that tells me that I'm mistaken about Madson's 9th inning save rate, that statistic will do a much better job convincing me of your case than calling me names and citing no facts to back up your argument. But I am almost positive that his 9th inning save rate is somewhere between 50 & 70%. So the only ignorant and "patently false" statement here is your ignorant, patently false statement that I am wrong.

Wasnt the MLB average in the low 90s for save rate?

awh: Uh, I think Madson is fine as the closer. I think we agree. Why are you attacking me?

Jack: If awh bothered to read the posts, he would see that you and I weren't even agreeing with each other on this issue. I think he just sees our names and goes in search of something to hyperventilate about.

I vote for Contreras in the ninth for no reason other than it's better to change one person's role (Big Truck from 7th to 9th) than two roles (Truck 7th to 8th and Madson 8th to 9th).

NEPP: I think it in the low-mid 80's actually, but thats just off top of my head. I feel like the low 90s would be too good.

I always think of 85% as sort of the benchmark for a decent closer. But, since the difference between around 80 & 85% usually comes down to around 1 save, I tend to use 80% as my cutoff point.

Maybe I'm thinking of 3 run lead save scenarios

Ryan Madson is our best reliever. I think he should close in Lidge's absence. I'd prefer Madson be used in the highest leverage 8th or 9th inning situation, but Charlie prefers specific roles, so I'd prefer Madson in the 9th.

I think Contreras will be the Opening Day closer.

NEPP - 69% last year.

2009 - 67%
2008 - 64%
2007 - 67%
2006 - 66%
2005 - 68%
2004 - 66%
2003 - 68%
2002 - 68%
2001 - 67%

MG: Are you sure that's 9th inning saves? Or does that include "blown saves" in the 8th inning which wouldn't have been counted as actual saves?

Jack - Just raw % SV. I don't have 9th inning only saves but I do think it was in the high 80s (like 88-89) last year.

Baer's article puts Madson's number of real. 9th inning blown saves at 7 in his career. He has 20 career saves. Assuming Baer is right, that puts him at 74% for his career.

I still like Contreras just because its less disruptive to move one guy.

Last 2 years: 15 saves, 6 real BS (71%)

It feels like more than 6 because a few of them were really awful (the game against Baltimore in 09 where Howard came back from the hospital to hit a 3 run HR and the Phillies were in the middle of an awful interleague run, and he gave up a HR to Brian Roberts; the game against ATL last year when Kendrick pitched 8 shutout innings and Madson pulled a Lidge by giving up 2 HRs with 2 outs to blow a 3 run lead; the chair kicking game in SF, etc.)

***Speaking of troubled closers, a diehard Sox fan/friend thinks that Papelbon will be horrible this year. Lost his velocity on his fastball (throwing 3-4 MPH before his normal 94-95) . . . ***

So, your friend thinks you need velocity to close. Interesting.

So low 70s. Not low enough to eliminate the possibility of sample size error. Not high enough to pretend that he has been successful.

How about we pretend he's been a great reliever for the past 3 years, one of the best in the game?

That's what I'm going to pretend.

If Madson is 74% and 71% last two years, thats pretty bad.

MG: thats gotta be all inning saves - with such low %s since u can blow a save but not earn a save in earlier innings.

DH PHils: That game was when Howard had a reported 104ºF fever in the dugout, and came into to PH and blasted a bomb into the bullpen. (Was it vs. baez?! i think it might have been).

lorecore - It is but I remember seeing almost identical numbers for just 9th inning saves too. Basically get 3 outs in the 9th inning is pretty easy and I think it was something ridiculous like 98% when it was 3 runs.

I am a stats junkie but loathe the save. Even quality start has more use.

Hanging curve ball, just like BAEZ is gonna throw this year.

BAP the difference between DH Phils' numbers and your 80% cutoff is 2 saves. We're talking 21 games. it's sample size.

Clay's right. Just move one guy.

"So, your friend thinks you need velocity to close. Interesting."

Jamie Moyer for 2012 closer!

If he's only pitching about 40 innings a year, I think we can pencil him in for AT LEAST another 10 years.

JBird: Except that my 80% figure is already an accommodation for sample size error, since my real figure is actually 85% (see my 1:50 post).

But, no matter. My point was simply that you can interpret his numbers to be a product of sample size error, but you can't interpret them to say that he has done well in the closer's role.

For the record, I think Madson can close & I would have no problem if Cholly chose him as the closer. But he clearly hasn't done well when asked to close and, since we have another guy with closer's stuff, I have a slight preference for leaving Madson be.

Cholly and the bullpen:

Given how it is almost a certain lock to get a save or close out the 9th when your team is up 3 runs or more, I really hope that Cholly keeps his use of Contreras/Madson in these spots to a real minimum.

Madson has about 75-80 IP. Contreras probably has about 60 IP max. Cholly does have to think long-term a bit about how many bullets he has with both of those guys.

"Given how it is almost a certain lock to get a save or close out the 9th when your team is up 3 runs or more, I really hope that Cholly keeps his use of Contreras/Madson in these spots to a real minimum."

You're setting yourself up for disappointment. If it's a save situation, whether 1 run or 3 runs, Cholly will trot out the closer like it's a religion.

Bap, for one, I didn’t call you names, I wrote that your statement was “patently ignorant and false”. There is a distinction, but perhaps you don’t ‘get it’.

But I’m not surprised you would misrepresent what I wrote, you did it the other day, and then, when I called you on it, you tried your “lawyer tricks” (as Iceman terms it) and tried to obfuscate and make other false claims. Finally, when it became apparent what you had done [even to you] you tried to turn it around and play the victim as though my calling “BS” on your misrepresentation of what I wrote somehow made you the victim.

Look, if you want to get all whiny like a pissy-pants little 4 year-old who’s mommy came into the kitchen and found you on the counter with your hand in the cookie jar while your brother watched from the floor (“It’s not my fault, Mommy, he MADE me do it”) go play somewhere else.

If you want to stick with the facts at hand – you made a statement and I called it false – then I’m happy to engage.

I’ll provide answers for you in the next post.

________________________________________________________________

Jack, you wrote “bap: Yeah, I know Madson has struggled,…” and I focused on that. After reading the rest of your post and thinking about the context I can see that I was wrong to include you. I apologize.

awh: "I’ll provide answers for you in the next post."

No need, we collectively took care of that while you spent time writing that last post - which did more of exactly what BAP accused you of and still didnt have any facts.

In Cholly I Trust

lorecore, if you had bothered reading the comments to the Carshburn article, you wouldn't have posted what you posted at 1:30. I dealt with the facts there a few days ago.

A simple cut and paste job was what I had in mind, but DH Phils took care of it.

BAP - so you'd feel better if Madson were 17.85 for 21 instead of 15 for 21? For the record, I think they can both get the job done. Contreras has the better nickname, so maybe he should get 1st shot.

Maybe it was mentioned already, but when the Nationals packed off Nyjer Morgan they got back Lenny Dykstra's kid, Cutter.

MG: It will help that we have at least 2 starters that can throw many complete games.......

That is if everything goes according to plan.

Heather - Yup and if he pushes the throttle too hard on Contreras the first 2 months, I seriously wonder how effective he will be later in the season.

Madson has shown he gets worn too a bit but I am not worried about Cholly using him for 75-80 IP which is about where he will end up.

awh: Yeah, that gross misrepresentation that I made the other day was that I claimed you said "If Lubanski could provide what so-and-so provides" when, in reality, you said "If Lubanski could provide you ALMOST what so-and-so provides." How horrific of me. I apologize a million times. You were absolutely right to call me a liar.

By the way, while you were away, DH Phils posted the real numbers on Madson, which didn't exactly prove it "patently false" to say that Madson hasn't done a good job when asked to close.

"BAP - so you'd feel better if Madson were 17.85 for 21 instead of 15 for 21?"

Absolutely! My feeling is this. If you actually called in a stats professor to crunch the numbers, he/she would probably tell us that a huge number of any team's day-to-day assessments are based on an insufficient sample size to support the assessment. So you make the assessments based upon the data that you have & you do your best.

I do think Madson can close, but he hasn't proved it & I'd be lying if I said that those 6 blown saves in 21 chances don't give me some concern. That's all.

Madson hasn't done a good job of 'closing' by various metrics but he really hasn't had an extended opportunity to do so. Frankly it is really overkill. I feel fine with Madson closing or with Contreras.

Much more important is the 6th/7th and how Cholly matchups with the likes of a bunch of mediocre relievers who generally have control issues (Baez, Romero, Bastardo, KK, and Stutes). Tough task for any manager.

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.

JBird: Madson blew 6 nine inning saves last two years. If he blew 50% less of them(difference between 15 and 18) then yes I probably would feel better.

But yeah all in all - i'm fine with both. I already stated my nonsense reason of Contreras being a huge old angry man for being my choice.

I must say, of all the things we could possibly argue about on Beerleaguer, Chris Lubanski is not one I would've guessed.

Let's be clear here...

We're sold on Contreras being "successful" because he's had a whopping four 9th inning save opportunities and blew none of those chances.

I don't want to cry small sample size... but this one kinda screams it.

"Heather - Yup and if he pushes the throttle too hard on Contreras the first 2 months, I seriously wonder how effective he will be later in the season. "

That's why I think it *might* almost be better if Contreras is the closer if he is used exclusively for the closing role. A quick look of Rivera, Soria, Bell, and Wagner (last year) indicate they all got between 60-70 IP on average. I think Contreras could handle that workload especially if Manuel nursed him a little bit (not saving 3 run leads if he's already saved a few games that week.)

Madson, OTOH, got 53 IP last year (even with the DL stint), 77.1 IP in 2009, and 82.2 IP in 2008.

Apitballing here, it seems to make more sense to use Madson in the role that will lead to more IP, since we do not want Contreras to hit a wall.

Heather makes a good point... the high-leverage setup guy often gets more innings than the closer, particularly the way Madson has been used in the past. And Madson's arm is likely more able to handle that load than Contreras who is prime for an age-related injury.

"We're sold on Contreras being "successful" because he's had a whopping four 9th inning save opportunities and blew none of those chances."

I'm sold on Contreras because his nickname is "Big Truck." "Big Truck" is very similar to "Big Train", and we all know Walter Johnson was one of the best pitchers who ever lived. Therefore, Jose Contreras is also one of the best pitchers who ever lived, and he should close for the 2011 Philadelphia Phillies.

Q.E.D.

I'm glad I could solve this argument.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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