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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

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clout, whoever the Phillies SS is in 2012, it would sure make sense for the FO to make sure the guy can actaully play above average defense.

Otherwise, what's the point of building a team around pitching?

I look at the list above and I don't see one name on it of whom I can say "he's absolutely better defensively the Jimmy Rollins".

That being the case, if it's not Jimmy, whoever they bring in better be a clear upgrade offensively to make up for any dropoff in the field.

Wow, Jesse Biddle's been getting knocked around a bit in Lakewood?

Learning curve.

I agree with you, awh.

For Chooch, can't we take Halladay's Chooch doll and do some good voodoo on it to heal his back faster? Or does that require sacrificing a chicken?

GBF, no animal sacrifices necessary, just prayers.

Interestingly, I'm not esp. disturbed by the loss of Chooch. Providing NEPP's speculation proves near the mark -- & I currently have no reason to believe it won't -- a couple of weeks off might not be the worst thing in the world for our favorite Panamanian. It's a long season, & lingering back issues won't help his already flagging offense. Besides which, Schneider hasn't completely sucked as a backup, providing both much-needed (occasional) power & a welcome dose of maturity (witness his handling of human clusterfuck David Herndon yesterday night). Of all the options for Phillies-related panic I have available to me right now, this is rather low on the totem pole.

I can do that, awh.

And I'm ok with a few weeks without Chooch, too, GTown. But just a few. He was out a while last year, too, I remember.

One thing the Phils have proven is that they can function without various and sundry members of their starting lineup. Still, I want Chooch in there. He's a very important cog in the ol' wheel.

Old Phan: Wet. Blanket.

clout/awh: I'm supposed to know a year ahead of time who would play SS if we didn't resign Rollins?

I said, IF Rollins plays to his 2009/2010 numbers, it would be foolish to give him the type of multi-million dollar long-term contract that he will likely want. That statement stands irrespective of who his short or long-term replacement would be. Teams let players go all the time without having a pre-ordained replacement lined up. You scramble & find one. Sometimes he won't be as good as the guy you just let go (See, e.g., Ben Francisco for Jayson Werth). That doesn't mean you made a mistake by not resigning the old guy to an excessively long & expensive contract.

I'll jump in the dryer and go for a spin.

Who is the next catcher, if Choocher goes on the DL?

Is it Kratz? I seriously don't know.

BAP (from the last thread), I had no issue with Madson being used today. He hadn't pitched in a while. It was a good time to get him in there. I just have issue with using a closer in a non-save situation after he's pitched in 3 games in 4 days, or 5 games in 7 days. We see that way too often with Cholly.

Seems like we have seen this play before, haven't we? These injuries seem to be mounting just like 2010. Just hope most of them aren't long-winded ones.

Good display of offense today. Got some hits. Some long balls. Took some walks. Those are good signs.

I like seeing this team play against LHP now. Not only does it turn Victorino around to his better side, but the lineup now sans Howard (when RFD starts) is all right-handed. Plus it keeps Ibanez out of the lineup (which right now is best for everyone).

Ibanez usually hammers the Mets, so if he can't get a couple of knocks this weekend, I don't know what to say. Pelfrey is a guy he should be able to get some good rips against. And I think they face Dickey, who won't be able to overpower him with heat (and just about anyone's heat is too much for Raul right now).

IF Ruiz is in a day-to-day situation, it would put the Phillies in a bit of a bind, since you don't really want to be playing with only 1 catcher on your roster. I guess one way to solve it would be to demote Herndon, call up Sardinha or (more likely) Kratz, & go with a 6-man pen for a week or so. Of course, that would shorten the bench to only 4 players, one of whom is the backup catcher & the other of whom is Mini-Mart. If it looks like Ruiz will miss as much as a week, it would almost be better to just make it 2 & put him on the DL.

Utley injured. Bullpen decimated by injury. #3 and #4 hitters underperforming. Ibanez.

=

First place in the NL East
Second best record in baseball.

For all the gushing the media has been doing as of late about the Mets and Braves, if the Phillies have managed to go 16-8 despite all the elements working against them, how dominant will this team be when it's firing on all cylinders?

To repeat a statement I said during Spring Training, the 2011 Phillies are not and will not be an offensive threat. They don't have to be.

Phils do have some guys who probably can step in for a few weeks at the backup but no one is concerned about Schneider starting for say 3-4 weeks? I would argue he has looked even worse than Ibanez and he hasn't even faced LHP. Just looks slow and behind on fastballs. He can still hit a mistake out but that is about it. I am just glad when he BBs. Best outcome.

Defensively he isn't nearly the player he used to be even though the Dback announcers were praising him today. He isn't terrible. Just average at best. His arm though has fallen off though and smart teams like the Mets who know is arm is weak run alot on him. With the Phils lack of emphasis of holding runners on, I expect teams to rum alot on Schneider.

Oops. Scratch that 2nd to last sentence in my 12:16 post. If Ruiz is on the roster but unavailable, a 6-man bullpen would still mean a 5-man bench, not a 4-man bench.

Small sample, but Sardinha is sitting at .088/.225/.118 in 41 PA, while Kratz is .333/.467/.750 in 30 PA, including 3 HR.

Interesting to note that Lehigh Valley only has 5 guys on the roster without MLB experience. I know a lot of clubs fill their AAA team with veteran retreads, but that seems ridiculous to me.

MG: I know Schneider is hardly ideal, but in fairness he threw out as many potential base stealers last night as Chooch has all season.

Dave - I don't think Ruiz has a good arm either. He's average and smarter teams run against the Phils when they get the chance. If Kratz gets called, you will see a catcher with a strong arm.

Sardinha sort of became a cult hero last year but, when you get past that, the guy is just an outrageously bad hitter. I mean, his career minor league OPS -- over 3,100 PAs -- is .20 points lower than Brian Bocock's and I've heard Bocock referred to as the worst offensive player to play in the majors in the last 20 years. Eric Kratz looks like Mickey Cochrane compared to this guy.

The only issue is defense. Sardinha's is pretty decent. I'm not so sure about Kratz. I do remember his looking really good in a couple spring training games, but it could have been a misleading snippet. If his defense is even passable, I would imagine he'd be ahead of Sardinha on the depth chat.

Not only is Polanco hitting for average, but he is also on a personal-record-setting pace for walks with 10 already. Normally, he ends up in the 30s for an entire season.

If this keeps up and if Utley returns, I would not be opposed to a lineup beginning with -
1. Polanco
2. Utley
3. Rollins
4. Howard.

(As the Lineup Optimizer shows, the team's best hitter should not bat No. 3. Having Rollins bat No. 3 is better than having him lead off.)

MG: Hasn't Schneider put a charge into a few balls? He looks livelier than Imhotep to me.

With all the injuries Oswalt leaving we are still in first place. However this is a little disturbing so early in the year. We need Chooch in there do you not remember all the clutch hits he had last year. He was looking like the Chooch from last year the first 12 games or so. I hope he can continue this more now than ever with Ibanez struggling an Werth gone. I think the Garcia kid was Rollins replacement. Unfortunately he will be out for the year an will push his development a year back. There will be some personnel changes i suspect by the end of May.

One more comment we had this problem with been short on catchers. The Phils did next to nothing to address this only the Bum Kratz. Do you really want to see Kratz a Schneider combo for any long period of time.

On Rollins replacement if not signed for 2012: at this point it is Valdez with Galvis (a terrible hitter but good fielder) trying to take that spot. Either would compete for worst hitting SS starter the majors.

Ruiz should be DL'd. Get him treated now. Phillies are in 1st and he is hitting poorly right now. Many teams have bad backup and AAA catchers. Kratz has been a good AAA hitter so call him up and see what he can do. Without Lidge to bury sliders in the dirt Ruiz is less critical on defense.

Rollins will be back, I think the contract he gets will be determined by this year. But, he'll be back. There aren't a lot of great alternatives.

Really excited to see this team when Brown and Utley come back.

Derk, I would go with:

Vic
Utley
Polly
Howard
Rollins
Benny
Ibanez/Brown
Chooch
Pitcher

Garcia is a 2B, not a SS. He wouldn't replace Jimmy.

Losing Chooch is a big blow. Didn't we go into a slump last year when we lost him?

On Kratz versus Sardinha: Kratz was a really good hitter the last 2 years in AAA for Pittsburg too. Of course that tells me that if he had even average defense, he'd be an MLB backup.

Galvis is hitting well in the early going in Reading but tehre is no way in hell he'll be on an MLB roster next season regardless of Jimmy staying or going. They'd likely go with Valdez and/or another FA signing if they dont retain Jimmy. Galvis is still very young (just 21 this year) and his bat is suspect even if it actually pans out to his projected ceiling (which is that of a Valdez/John McDonald type player).

His glove is fantastic...and fantastic might be small praise considering just how amazing a defender he is but even Rey Ordonez couldn't keep an MLB roster spot with a slick glove.

Re: Chooch: Hope it's a short rest that does not draw out. Chooch has not been hitting well, so for a short period of time we may not notice his absence all that much. Schneider has hit a couple of bombs during a time period when there haven't been many, and he just threw out a couple of baserunners, so having him in there doesn't seem like a huge dropoff. However, over the longer term, quality will out.

I remember when Valdez replaced Chase last year. His defense was solid, and he had a few key hits, so as I recall, over the short term it really didn't seem ALL that bad.

No disrespect for Pete Orr or Wilson Valdez, they are doing their jobs about as well as can be expected. But after less than a month of them at second, anyone miss Chase yet?

Even if Chase Utley is cleared to play at some point, it's my guess he can no longer play every day. Based on that unfounded assumption, could this 1 - 5 wrecking crew carry us to 100 wins?
• Victorino
• Polanco
• Rollins
• Howard
• Francisco

More starts by Mayberry and more appearences by Gload could certainly be a factor, but Charlie seems to have found a comfort zone with Francisco, or am I imagining things? I'm writing off Ibanez and Schneider as anything other than occasional contributors; at least until they both hit .200+.

Another depressing anecdote, this from philly.com sports:

…Wilson Valdez was 0 for 4. In his last 24 plate appearances, he has failed to hit a ball out of the infield…

I suppose old Exxon is not “The Natural” after all.

Posted by Bob Thursday April 28, 2011: anyone miss Chase yet?


That was a rhetorical question, right?

I think it's crazy to suggest that Chase won't be the every day starter once he comes back. He'll need more days off, to be sure, but he'll play in roughly 85% of the games if he's healthy. If he's not healthy, he's not coming back.

***I suppose old Exxon is not “The Natural” after all.***

I, for one, am shocked. Never would have guessed that our 33 year old journeyman utility guy would not be a great hitter.

Yo new thing.

BenFran is basically producing EXACTLY at the level we thought he would going into the season. He currently has a .781 OPS with sometimes interesting defense in RF. He's exactly in line with his career numbers for every offensive category but with a very slight uptick in power (small enough to be statistically insignificant). He's also on pace to hit 24 HRs if he gets 600 ABs (a possibility that looks very strong right now).

I recall getting laughed at early this spring for predicting he would get at least 450 ABs.

It is unreasonable to expect Polanco to get a hit every time up? I mean, for the love of God, that guy doesn't do anything but get hits. It's quite refreshing.

That should read "Is it unreasonable..."

Fat -

Ordinarily, I would agree with batting Victorino first instead of Polanco. Their career OBPs are comparable and Vic has much better speed. This year, though, may be one of those years where Polanco has a very high average (like 2005 and 2007); in addition, he may have finally developed an ability, late in life, to take a walk. These two factors together would give Polanco a much higher OBP than Vic this year.

Although Polanco is not a perfect lead-off guy, a high OBP trumps speed in the No.1 spot; if Polanco can produce a .380+ OBP (He's done it twice before.), I think he should bat No. 1.

I also would agree that Rollins should bat lower in the order. I just think that Charley coddles Jimmy a little too much and wouldn't slide him down that far. It took an emergency for Charley to switch Rollins to No. 3 (Even though Charley has always said that JRoll is his lead-off hitter, I don't really believe that he thinks Rollins is a good lead-off man. I think it's just part of Charley's way of managing people and maintaining a positive working atmosphere in the clubhouse and on the field.).

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