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Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Pheels like the longest spring training ever...

Ex-Mets need not apply. He just got dumped by a team that has a shot to lose 100 games. I can't believe he's got much left in the tank. It's been quite a while since he's been any good.

Phils have three players with most popular jerseys sold in 2010: Hallday 3rd, Utley 4th, Lee 5th. Howard is 18th. No other team in baseball has 4 players in the top 20.

Phils ranked 4th in MLB in overall licensing in 2010.

Information from various beat reporter tweets.

Conservative prediction for Castillo's day:

5 for 5, 5 singles including 3 IFH.

Castillo keeps up a decent OBP, which is something this lineup could use sans Utley

CJ - JW will boost Baez 2011 sales to #782 from #784 with his impending purchase.

Sam: Except for the .337 OBP last year. And projections have him around .350 this year... which is fine, but not quite earth-shattering.

Congrats to you JW on a job well done. And thank for letting all of us who post here share our thoughts on our beloved Phightin's (even me). I wish you nothing but the best. You've sent a message to the reat of the country on how this is done.

Now let's hope our Phils show it once again on the field also.

CJ: A .350 OBP is better than Rollins, Victorino, Polanco, Ibanez and Francisco all had last year.

Jack: Like I said, it would be fine, but not earth-shattering. What if he puts up another .337 OBP?

Difference is: those players know how to make proper reservations.

I can't wait for Castillo's first at bat. One side or the other will be able to make a bold proclamation. Sample sizes be damned!

Three fifths of the Astros rotation is comprised of former Phillies.

#1 Myers
#3 Happ
#5 Figueroa

If we only would have kept Figueroa, WFC Part II. Plus, we'd still have Happ if we hadn't have dealt Lee to Seattle!!!!

From an offensive standpoint, it's going to be hard to draw any conclusions from a sample size where a difference of 2 hits will be the difference between a really good average & a really bad one. So, unless he hits really well or really poorly over these 8 games, it's hard to imagine how anything the Phillies see on offense can really lend any clarity to their decision.

Mostly, they'll probably be looking at how he plays defense & whether he can still run at all.

Cool, the Phils are back on today!

I prefer the title "WMFC" to "WFC Part II". More elegant, don't you agree?

bap: Bah... I'll be making my declaration after a sample size of 1 PA (unless he gets on base, then a sample size of 4 PAs, unless he gets on base again, etc.).

CJ: A .337 OBP is still significantly better than what Wilson Valdez will put up.

Gelb tweets:

I think Charlie is picking up on all your death jokes. When asked about Ruiz being hit by a pitch, he joked: "He's going to die."

Jack: Agreed, yet Valdez will slug better and play much better defense.

hi guys,i'm new here,but love talkin phils...

Speaking of Happ, his spring training stats (based on only 13 IP) are as follows:

Walks per 9 innings: 7.08
WHIP: 1.62
ERA: 2.08

I know there is a segment of Beerleaguer which believes that Happ possesses a magical ability to escape from the jams he creates and, hence, can continue to post these low ERAs while walking 4.5 to 5 batters per 9 innings. But I'm gonna venture a guess that if that walk rate stays as high as it was last year, his ERA is going to encounter some serious reversion to norms -- probably somewhere in the 4.4-ish range, if not worse.

still happ is a good young pitcher,who i was sad to let go.....

that should say,sad to see go....

Thanks to dlhunter for linking on the last thread to the Aug. 30, 2007 win over the Mets, which he proclaimed the best game chat ever. It was fun looking back.

In addition to a running feud with RSB and making fun of Jack's love for Adam Dunn on that that thread, I also chastized MG for being too negative:

"MG: I'm probably the only poster on Beerleaguer who doesn't think the Mets are gods. But you're right, no one could've predicted our mediocre starters digging down and throwing the kind of games they have. Everyone else says the Mets are just not playing well, or as you say, just lucky breaks for us. I happen to think the Phillies deserve some credit.

Posted by: clout | Thursday, August 30, 2007 at 02:02 PM"

Some things never change.

Bah... it's the Rays broadcast. Do I watch the Rays broadcast or listen to the Phils? Guess I watch the Rays.

BAP: "Mostly, they'll probably be looking at how he plays defense & whether he can still run at all."

Exactly right.

does anyone else here think that ben fran can give us 20-25 hr 80 rbi's as i do?

Castillo just swung at the first pitch.


Jay: I'll take the under across the board on that line.

If we gave him 650 ABs, he'd probably hit 20 HR.

Four pitches:

Slapped foul
Called strike
Called ball
Weak grounder to first

And that is Luis Castillo! ;-)

Jay: I like him too. His stuff is very deceptive & hard to hit. But he's not good enough to keep posting ERAs in the low 3s, without a substantial dose of good fortune.

Jay: 15 HR, 65-70 RBI would be a tremendous season for Benny Frank.

Shields gets out of the first easily... J-Roll weak grounder to short, Castillo weak grounder to first, Ibanez strike out.

The P.A. announcer will say, "Batting second, the projected opening day starting second baseman, Luis Castillo!"

ben when given the chance has played well,i'm looking for a good season from him,as well as howard getting back to 40+ hr's...

***Four pitches:***

So he displayed more patience at the plate than Valdez (who likely would have had a 1 pitch AB).


Castillo shows his range! Moved three feet to his left to snag a ground ball!

Clean fielding too?

Could this be his Gold Glove year???

Wanna know how bad things are for the Wilpons? I just got an email from the Phillies ticket office.

This is only anecdotal, but I have been a season tix holder since 2006. I have NEVER received an email from the FO promoting tickets in other cities. They must be doing this at the behest of Bud and the MLB office. Reports are that Mets' tix sales are anemic.

Here's the email:

See your Phillies
in New York!

Tickets on sale now!


Promotions Tickets

Friday, May 27 7:10 PM ET
Buy Tickets

Saturday, May 28 7:10 PM ET
Buy Tickets

Sunday, May 29 1:10 PM ET
Buy Tickets

Friday, July 15 7:10 PM ET
Buy Tickets

Saturday, July 16 4:10 PM ET
Buy Tickets

Sunday, July 17 1:10 PM ET
Buy Tickets

Friday, September 23 7:10 PM ET
Buy Tickets

Saturday, September 24 1:10 PM ET
Buy Tickets

Sunday, September 25 1:10 PM ET
Buy Tickets

It must also indicate that the Phillies are pretty close to selling out every game again this season - if they're promoting tix in other teams' ballparks. IIRC the visiting team gets 40% of the gate, so I guess they have an incentive to do it.

Still, anecdotally, the Wilpons must be in worse trouble than we think.

Its win win for us to get those tickets sold.

I agree on it being worse than anyone thinks. I say they default on their loans by the AS break...if not sooner. Sucks to be Bobby Bonilla as any type of default kinda screws his annuity payments (which go through 2035) as they'd have no cash to make payments like that. If it was any other owner, MLB would have forced a sale by now.

Bloop double for Damon in the first. Good piece of hitting to slap it over the 3rd baseman's head and having it land just fair.

clout, did you read the last thread? I pointed out that very negativity from MG using another one of your posts.

Classic! :)

***Bloop double for Damon in the first. Good piece of hitting to slap it over the 3rd baseman's head and having it land just fair.***

A taller 3B would have made that play.

"CJ: A .337 OBP is still significantly better than what Wilson Valdez will put up.

Posted by: Jack"

Jack, true, but based on 450 PA, that's only being on base 14 more times in a season. Because the Phillies scored about 31.8% or their baserunners last season who didn't hit a HR (the NL average was 30.1%), it means Castillos would score about 4.4 more runs than Valdez.

Do you think Valdez on defense is capable of saving 4 or more runs than Castillo?

awh: I don't know if this has been posted already, but there's an article in Forbes that makes the Mets financial situation sound pretty bleak.

CJ: Regarding your argument that Castillo's better than Valdez at getting on base but Valdez is a better slugger . . . It's true, but it seems to me that it's a somewhat immaterial point when you're talking about 2 terrible sluggers. It would be like arguing that Adrian Gonzalez has a higher OBP than Ryan Howard, but Ryan Howard steals more bases. It's true, but it's not terribly relevant since neither one of them is going to win you many games with their base stealing. Ditto with Wilson Valdez's slugging.

man phillies fans travel well even in spring

Good piece of hitting by Manny as well, slaps a ball down the first base line for a double, knocking in Damon. Oswalt is making some good pitches, but Phils still trail 1-0.

didn't donald trump say he is interested in buying a piece of the muts?

bap: My point is much more simple. Valdez's OPS will be about the same as Castillo... but his defense will be significantly better. I really don't understand why suddenly the other half of OPS doesn't matter. It's like people are trying to fit stats into a particular argument... I mean, that never happens on Beerleaguer!

"hi guys,i'm new here,but love talkin phils...

Posted by: jay"

jay, welcome.

Short advice: Don't be afraid to ask questions about things you know little about (I ask about MiL players a lot), keep it reasonably clean and be prepared to back up your opinions with facts and evidence supporting them.

Otherwise you'll have a rough time of it.

But, you'll also learn a lot.

i agree valdez d will be much better.....

Agree with whomever said Castillo's tryout is all about whether he can play 2B. USA Today sports page had an article on Utley, and a blurb about Castillo reporting today. They already have Castillo in the Phils' 'projected opening day lineup'.

F**k spring training. I'm ready for Opening Day.

ty for the heads up awh!

"Jay: 15 HR, 65-70 RBI would be a tremendous season for Benny Frank."

Nah especially not if Francisco is pretty much the full-time starter in RF who gets 450-500 ABs this season getting his share of chances to hit in the middle of the lineup (3/5/6 slots).

I would say something like 22-23 HR/80-85 RBIs would be a tremendous season.

CJ: Well, first, because OBP is more important than SLG. Every advanced stat (wOBA, RC, etc) weighs OBP more than SLG. SLG matters, but OBP matters more.

Second, and more importantly, you're generally right that if offense is equal, Valdez should get the nod because he's a better defender. But the Phillies are doing absolutely the right thing in seeing what Castillo has left in the tank. If he has something left in the tank, he's a better offensive player, and by a decent amount.

I'm skeptical as to whether he has anything left in the tank (offensively or defensively), but they're right to give it a shot.

CJ: Well, my point is, the other half of OPS really DOESN'T matter all that much when the players in question are Luis Castillo & Wilson Valdez.

OPS is a handy index of a player's overall offensive value, but it is not the universal argument-ender that many posters make it out to be. I'd rather have a hitter who is actually good at one component of the OPS equation than a hitter who is good at neither of them.

i agree mg,i said if he gets pretty much all the ab's i think he will hit 20-25 hr's

That Forbes article paints a pretty grim picture. The thing that really struck me was the comment concerning the $65 million in players salary coming off the books after 2011. It basically states that NONE of it will be replaced. The Mets will go from being a $145 million payroll team to a $80 million payroll. Ouch.

NEPP, true, but will they really field a worse team with that much less payroll?

The real losers in the Mets mess are the players. One of the big market, big spending franchises is on life support for the forseeable future.

Oswalt strikes out the side in the 2nd. Despite the two hits he's allowed, he's looked pretty sharp.

Very nice inning for roy#2!

bap: Let's have this talk the next time Ryan Howard gets criticized for his OBP.

MG: I don't think Francisco gets that many ABs, especially once Brown gets healthy. That's why I think those numbers would be a great season for him.

Jack: Even if OBP does matter more... I don't think the difference will be great enough to make up for the other advantages Valdez will have. That's all.

These Rays hitters are altering their swings out of fear of hitting the ball to 2nd base. Hence, all the strikeouts.

Two teams on life support if you count the Dodgers. Both are marquee clubs and both are gonna act like the Padres on the Free Agency market for the forseeable future.

Great news for us though as the only club in the division that could theoretically outspend us has basically shot itself in the face.

From Metsblog comments section:

"Just think if Chris Young and Chris Capuano, two Former No. 1/2 starters for other teams come together and go out and win 10-15 games a piece. What if Pelf/Niese go out and do the same....then what if Johan comes back after the all star break and we have 5 healthy damn good pitchers throwing strikes? What if Beltran/Reyes/Bay/Davis/Wright/Pagan have career or top 3 best of career years? I think oddly enough our bullpen is going to be a strength this year. Plus we have depth for the bullpen down in AAA and for our utility guys. If the stars align for the Mets and we stay HEALTHY this year. I see no reason we don't have a 90 win season. Optimistic? No not really. Just with talent ALONE we have a SHOT. I'm not saying it WILL happen, but if every piece is HEALTHY, I have no doubt in my mind that we are better than Phillies, IF we stay healthy. And that is a BIG IF. But no way this team loses 90+ games. No WAY. "

I cant tell if this is facetious or just some serious denial.

Schneider walks then Barfield with a tailor-made double play ball to short.

Mini Mart with the Phils first hit of the day. Ground ball into the hole between 1st and 2nd.

J-Roll follows with a double to the gap. It didn't get past Damon, but Damon throws like a girl, so J-Roll slid into second ahead of the throw.

Jay - Yeah. I really like Francisco's chances to hit 20 HRs this year especially if he gets 500 ABs. He hit 15 HRs with the Indians in 447 ABs in '08 and 15 HRs with Indians/Phils in '09 in only 407 ABs.

25 HRs would be tremendous and a real breakout season. To get that mark, Francisco would have to have a great season but more importantly be in the lineup every single day & end up playing in 155-160 game getting 550-600 ABs. His career high is only 126 games in '09. Wonder if Francisco is a guy who might not wear down a bit if he is used everyday.

trump says he has 6 billion in the bank and would gladly burn 600 mil in a prez run. he'd be better off buying the mets. but could he get the hair under a cap?

nice job rollins.....

Castillo with runners on 2nd and 3rd, 2 outs. He sees 6 pitches, but lines out softly to second.

I would say that most girls throw better than Damon. It is really pathetic that a professional baseball player has that weak of an arm.

So, that's 10 pitches in 2 ABs...great plate discipline by our future starting 2B.

CJ: Jack might differ with me, but I'd say Howard's a perfect example of why OPS isn't a one-size-fits-all index. Howard's OBP certainly isn't on a par with elite 1st basemen, but his power numbers are so much better as to, arguably, offset that.

Nontheless, since Howard is being paid $25M to play an offense-oriented position, I think it's a fair critique to point out that his OBP ain't the greatest. OTOH, I think it sort of misses the boat to argue that one light hitting utility infielder is better than another because he slugged a whopping .360 last year.

thanks for the great play-by-play, CJ.

By the way, this game would be tied had Barfield not grounded into a double play.

Howard's only making $25 million this year. His extension doesnt kick in until next year.

That should say "$20 million"...he's only making $20 million right now.

bap: If .360 is light hitting... can't wait to hear how you describe Castillo's .267 slugging. Historically bad is a good place to start.

i agree 100% MG,As far as wearing down who knows,like you said he never really had the chance....

There are several ownership groups who could easily purchase the Mets and fully fund the organization if Selig and the "old boy network" surrounding the Wilpons let the team go for the real value of the team and not try to hold out for inflated pre-crash values.

Howard makes a nice play on a bad hop grounder to first.

Oswalt makes a nice play on a swinging bunt.

Damon strikes out.

Another really good inning for Roy.

Very nice play by howard !!

Congrat that to Ibanez who had 561 ABs last year and only hit 16 HRs. Basically a HR ever ~35 ABs. Not impressive especially for a corner OF. Last year in MLB, the average LF hit a HR every ~32 ABs.

Even last year when Francisco had modest playing time and power number, he hit a HR every ~30 ABs which was below his career numbers in ~28 ABs.

NEPP: They need some glimmer of hope don't they?

CJ: Um, I don't recall trying to argue that Castillo was a good slugger. I argued that comparing these 2 guys based on slugging is sorta silly. It's like saying, "Rosie O'Donnell is a more interesting dinner guest than Rosanne Barr, but that's offset by the fact that Rosanne Barr is hotter."

Rays announcer makes a great point how the Rays' starting staff is very similiar to the Phils' and that it used to be back in '07 that the Rays had Kazmir, Fossum, and then a bunch of question marks.

bap: That's fine. I tend to think almost 100 points in slugging does matter. Perhaps I'm alone in that.

Where is everybody watching the game? I don't see it on the FIOS guide until 4 here in NJ.

rauls: I watch online. I have to subscribe because the Phils are rarely on TV in Indiana.

Longoria goes deep on a 1-2 pitch. 2-0 Rays. In fact, all three hits against Oswalt have been on 2 strike pitches.

i'm watching on

BAP: If what you said were true regarding Howard, I would absolutely agree.

But Howard's power numbers are NOT "so much better" than every other 1B. Even going back to include his 2006, here's where Howard ranks among top 1Bs in SLG, 2006-2010:

Pujols: .628
Howard: .573
Cabrera: .567
Votto: .557
Fielder: .536

That's pretty damn good, in the top tier, no question. But it's pretty much on par with the other top guys, at least in a similar range. It's not so far and away better as to ignore that he's far behind those guys in terms of OBP.

And if you remove 2006, Howard's SLG drops down to .551.

Jack, did you see my question? I'm interested in knowing what you think.

Again, "Do you think Valdez on defense is capable of saving 4 or more runs than Castillo?"

Longoria takes Oswalt deep on what looked like a hanging change-up. Oswalt had been dealing to that point.

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