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« Game chat: Baseball's best team seeks sweep | Main | Phils lose Contreras to DL, summon Stutes from AAA »

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I wonder how many 4 game sweeps there will be this year... particularly by a road team... particularly by one travelling across country.

The 55 year-old Cuban to the DL w/ shoulder pain. Where's Joe Table???

Phils: Best team of last decade, or best team of all-time?


Jack: Better go w/ all-time, unless you enjoy being a "wet blanket".

***If Madson goes down, we're in a world of hurt.

NEPP, isn't that true with most teams? How many teams can afford to lose their closer and their 8th inning guy? ***

Of course its true of most teams...and it would be of us. You can't plan for losing the top 3 guys of your bullpen. We've lost 2 of them so far and given our now closer days off twice this week under somewhat odd circumstances. We're at the point where we can't afford another BP injury.

I take a perverse pleasure in seeing people get called on their nonsense and then getting all defensive about it instead of just saying, "You got me" and letting it die.

the offense needs to step up so we can start using the Baez's, Herdon's, and KK of the world late in games.

Big Truckt to DL? Sh8t!

They better start hitting goddammit

Phillies need to see what their young relievers can do. Obviously, nobody wants injuries but in this case it may force Charlie to use some of the young guys to see what they can do. Better to know that know than trying to guess this offseason on limited time in possible Sept callups.

Of course, the reason Contreras is probably hurt is that he was overused. Madson is having the same issue. Now Bastardo is likely to be used too often.

I hope Stutes is put into the 7th inning mix ahead of Baez and Herndon. Herndon should be replaced by Mathieson anyway. Zagurski should be used for lefties. Kendrick for righties. Baez or Stutes for a strikeout. Bastardo for 8th. Madson for 9th.

Contreras is overused, Madson is overused, Baez and Herndon pitch too much and the starting pitchers throw too many pitches. What's wrong with this picture?

Yeah, Baez and his 5 K/9 is who I'm going to go to when I need a strikeout.

Seriously though, the Phillies can survive a couple weeks without Contreras. What they can't survive is an entire season with only three relievers. If Stutes can show that he's able to succeed at the ML level, then this injury might be viewed as a blessing (assuming Contreras comes back fully healthy).

The Phillies need some pieces in their bullpen who have a reasonable chance of success in a late and close situation. Hopefully Lidge can return and be effective, Stutes can be a good middle reliever and Contreras comes back healthy. If those things happen, the bullpen is a strength. If not, let's hope Lee, Doc, Hamels and Oswalt start going 8 and 9 more often than not.

Old Phan: If the Offense pulled their weight once in awhile, none of the above would be necessary?

Three relievers to the DL and Mathieson still isn't good enough to make the big team. I guess his BB/9 of 8.0 in AAA wasn't impressive enough.

Mathieson has smelled up the pig-pen so far this season.

Big Truck with a flat? Lucky to see him back by June 1st.

Regardless of his real age, it isn't surprising in the least. He's had injury issues every year for the last several years. He had arm issues last year in June but was able to pitch through them. Amaro had to know it was a big risk resigning Contreras & him avoiding the DL again this year.

Best case scenario, he misses 4-5 weeks and it saves some wear & tear on his arm that allows him to finish the year strong.

Everyone is going to advocate they call up Stutes because of his spring training & strong start. It would surprise me at all though if they call up Grilli.

When the Phils get back to Philly, I would like to see them call up Grilli & Stutes though and send Herndon down.

GTown, how would that change? You're not pulling Doc out of a game early unless he's getting shelled. Otherwise, it's not asking a lot of starters to go at least 7. Then you have Madson and Very Old Guy to close. In other scenarios, of course you're going to have to use middle relief.
I don't see how the starting 5 has been working too hard. I'm sure they would all like a 6 run cushion every game, but it ain't going to happen.

***Everyone is going to advocate they call up Stutes because of his spring training & strong start. It would surprise me at all though if they call up Grilli. ***

They already said it was Stutes.

Chances of a Mathieson callup? 0%. Rightly so. He hasn't been able to throw strikes at all either. Phils already have one of those guys in Herndon. Don't need another.

This bullpen though is really suspect though and I am not looking for a repeat of '07 when Cholly makes alot of 'gut' calls with his bullpen. His starting staff is great but they can't go 7-8 innings every night.

***and given our now closer days off twice this week under somewhat odd circumstances.**

Do you think the reason they didn't use Madson today is because they knew they were losing Truck and were gonna need a fresh Madson.

Jose Contreras hurt? That is such a non-issue. Our best reliever is Ryan Madson; heck, if you go by K/9 it's Bastardo.

Who care about Contreras -- especially with all of the questions arising from his actual age. I could care less that he's gone for the sole reason he might just be a RH Jamie Moyer with stuff. 40+ YO guys bread down all the time.

We have Stutes, Scott Mathieson and Worley queued up. Although I personally hate flipping starters to relievers, Worley could be a world-class 7th inning guy; Stutes or Bastardo in the 8th and Madson slams the door. Mathieson deserves a shot over Herndon. Send Herndon down.

NEPP - Then I would like to see a Grilli callup too to replace Herndon. Sadly I don't think you will see that.

Hopefully Cholly will start to use KK as a situational RHP. He doesn't strike anyone out but I would much rather see KK right now facing RH bats than Herndon.

Watching Cholly handle this bullpen is going to be painful at times when he is only able to get 6 IP out of his starter.

Losing Contreras hurts us far more in the 6th/7th than it does the 9th...but it still really hurts.

UC doesnt like using rookies in key spots so he'll end up going with KK, Herndon and Baez until he HAS to try Stutes. Also, Stutes isn't that good. He's not going to replace Contreras ability wise. Mathieson is probably the single most overrated player in the history of Beerleaguer.

These are Mathieson numbers so far:

6 G, 8 1/3 IP, 6.48 ERA, 2.16 WHIP, 8 BB, 10 K

Mathieson has down nothing to deserve a callup. He has 3 outings already where he basically couldn't throw a strike.

We are going to find out that 'replacement level' relievers in AAA can just fill-in at the MLB is largely bunk just as it was a few years ago.

I don't even know who this Grilli character is.

But I think a lot of people would be worthwhile replacements for Herndon. Worley would be the best, but it looks like they want him stretched out as a starter in case they need a spot start from someone.

"Mathieson is probably the single most overrated player in the history of Beerleaguer."

Careful, NEPP. there have been a lot of them.

When does hittin' season start?

No...we've been listening to people sing his praises for 3 years straight now. He's at the top of the list for "If only this guy was called up" players.

NL East meets NL West, goes 12-1. NL West=Big Ten.

Old Phan: I believe it would help the overall health & well-being of the bullpen to enter into a game in which their team has a lead of at least 4 Runs (that is, not a Save situation) more frequently. Then one might use road kill such as Herndon & Baez w/out abject fear. Unfortunately, the Phillies have experienced exactly 1 such game since 10 April.

Grilli has gotten off to an okay start at Lehigh:

7 G, 6 2/3 IP, 1.35 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, 4 BB, 7 K

He's your classic 4-seem fastball/slider middle reliever. He still throws pretty hard (92-93 MPH this spring) and has a really good slider when he's on. Just has control issues at times.

Got invited to the Indians camp last year & was looking good until he blew out his knee. Wound up missing the rest of the year.

Worley just pitched today anyway so he's not a great guy to callup as he'd need 2-3 days before he could even think about being used.

Listen... Mathieson throws a 95 MPH fastball. I've been assured that means ML success.

guys,look for the bats to wake up vs the d-back pitching!!!

Moving Worley to a reliever spot sounds great in theory but bad in reality. They need as a starter in case one of their guys goes down.

If it turns out Contreras will be out months instead of weeks, moving Worley to the pen & calling him up bares more serious consideration.


- Madson
- Bastardo
- Baez
- KK
- Herndon
- Stutes
- Zagurski

That bullpen is as bad as the cast of characters they had in front of Myers in '07. Waiting for the inevitable Kane Davis or Yoel Hernandez callup.

JC Ramirez update (I know, I know... he's a non-prospect because he was part of the Cliff Lee trade):

3-0, 1.33 ERA, 0.738 WHIP, 20.1 IP, 3 ER, 1 HR, 11 H, 4 BB, 5 K

Pitched a 7 inning shutout on Saturday.

good thing our starters go 7-8 innings every time out.........

Only 5 Ks in 20.1 IP in AA?

Color me unexcited.

I noticed that Jonathan Pettibone has had a great start in Clearwater. 1 earned run in 4 starts - 24 innings.

NEPP: Yeah, the lack of Ks are troubling, but he's a GB pitcher and he had pretty good K/BB numbers last season, so I'm willing to give him some time.

But yeah, if he doesn't miss more bats, he's not as much of a prospect. His stuff would play up in the bullpen so you'd see a jump if they moved him, but as a starter, he needs better K/BB numbers.

Clout, of course, will project him to be a future ace like Kyle Kendrick, because everyone knows low K pitchers are the best prospects to have.

Pettibone has a great sinker...he generates a TON of groundball outs.

NEPP: Like I said, he's a non-prospect by virtue of being received for Cliff Lee.

When you put all of your eggs in the starter's basket, then don't whine when other parts of the club suffer. We are going as far as the 4 starters take us. That's how Rube built the club.

Mathieson DESERVED to get called up last year, when he was lights out last summer in AAA. He never got a legit shot.

David Murphy: "The Phillies are 2-3 against teams with winning records and 13-3 against everyone else. 10 of 21 games have been against last-place teams."

"By the end of next weekend, 16 of Phillies' 27 games will have come against teams who finished today in last place in their division."

What a wet blanket.

Losing Contreras is definitely a big deal. Our pen only had 3 decent guys to begin with and now we're down to 2. While Stutes has shown improved command early this year, the odds that he's going to step right in & be a solid major league reliever are fairly remote.

GTown Dave: I cannot believe that Murphy didn't qualify that statement with "Of course, the Phillies are the greatest team of all-time, so take this with a giant grain of salt."

They really should've known that a 39 year old should not have pitched that much in only a few days. But, since he was the "closer," he had to "close."

Yet another reason why the "closer" designation is stupid.
And yes, Madson and Bastardo are both arguably better, but you need more than two good relievers. I'm not 100% convinced that the players they have in AAA are better than the 3rd best reliever on the Phillies right now.

Jack: I know! You'd expect wet blankets such as myself to be thinking, "But if the Phillies can't even score against the dregs of MLB, how are they gonna score vs. actual competition?", but not professional sportswriters like David Murphy! He ought to be doing a piece on pitching staff nicknames or possible changes to the WFC parade route or something!

The Phils have played 3 teams so far that are thus far considered "contenders:" ATL, FLA and MIL. I'm not sure FLA will be a contender come the end of the season, but they're playing great now. The Phils are 4-4 in those games.

The Phils have played 13 games against bad teams and are 11-2 in those games (.846 win percentage).

Philly plays the Nats, Mets, Stros, Bucs, Pads and D-Backs 49 more times as well as 6 interleague games against Seattle and Toronto. That's 55 games that would be 46 wins if that win percentage persists for 61 wins.

That leaves 88 more games against teams that may be considered "contenders." Winning just half of those would then give us 105 wins.

Just sayin.

***They really should've known that a 39 year old should not have pitched that much in only a few days. But, since he was the "closer," he had to "close."***

It doesn't matter if he was designated as the "closer" or not, he would have pitched that much anyway, because he and Madson (until the recent emergence of Bastardo) were the only BP guys that were effective. So if Contreras was not "closing" he would have been pitching in the 8th.

The Phils have at least 2 guys in their pen who have no business being in the major leagues (Herndon & Zags), a third guy who probably doesn't either & is basically just a hail Mary (Stutes), and another who's coming off a season in which he had an ERA+ of 74 and a .301 BAA. Suddenly, the much (and often deservedly) maligned Kyle Kendrick is the third best guy in our bullpen.

I like what you're sayin CJ.

CJ: Wanna bet that the Phillies don't maintain an .846 winning percentage against those bad teams?

It's OK, b_a_p, w/ these Phillies starters a mere 2.8 Runs/Game is more than enough to guarantee another World Series victory. They don't even NEED a bullpen. Just a waste of clubhouse space.

Look around...The Phils bullpen is not much different now then most bullpens in the majors. There is crap in every bullpen in baseball.

Cholly is just going to have to buck up and throw these guys in there, whether he likes it or not. The starters can't throw 180 pitches every night because Cholly doesn't have faith in the pen.

I think Stutes will get thrown right into the fire. They envision him as a possible closer anyway. Might as well use him in some 7th and 8th inning situations now.

The other thing this does is make Romero's return even more important. He HAS to come back and be an effective late inning guy again (against both lefty's and righty's). He should be back soon, right?

I wonder if the Phillies offense will get better when their best offensive player returns from injury.

Probably not, the self-proclaimed doctors on Beerleaguer have declared that Utley will never be the same again.

Contreras was not being abused. If pitching two days or three days in a row leads to the DL, that's crazy.

"The Phils bullpen is not much different now then most bullpens in the majors."

That is a bit of an overstatement. Neither Zags nor Herndon would be good enough to make the bullpen on any other contending team in baseball. In fact, I'm not sure they'd be able to make the bullpen on any other team, period.

Murphy can't be considered a total wet blanket since he failed to mention that beating "bad" teams doesn't count in a team's W-L record, so he was really sugar coating it.

As much the Phils are struggling offensively hitting .201 the past 12 games coming into today, they were actually well under that mark with RISP over the same stretch.

Just as they were finders a ton of holes early in the season with RISP and had a notably higher AVG than RISP than their overall team AVG, they won't hit 30-40 pts lower either with RISP than AVG either for the next 2-3 weeks.

It should help the anemic run production of late a bit as they get at least a few more hits over the next week or so with RISP.

Tweet from Randy Miller:

RandyJMiller Charlie Manuel lied after saturday's game saying Contreras would be available today.

Hey Randy - Get over it.

Oh, and thanks Roy for a well pitched game although it wasn't a complete game shutout.

Now Charlie is a liar. What's next? Stutes did pitch Saturday night so maybe there wasn't total certainty.

Now all the morons who have wished for Lidge to be injured and stay injured can be outed as the morons they are. ANY injury to the back end of the bullpen is bad because everyone else in the bullpen is shifted up in the pecking order. Now that there's another injury, everyone else shifts up again. Madson closes now... ok, fine... but who is the setup guy? Who is the new 7th inning guy? Where do Baez and Herndon fall? Their ineptitude has done little for the team, but now the injury means their roles become more important. The fact is we need Lidge (and Contreras obviously) back asap, even if he's not the closer.

I like when people just throw up the list of bullpen names and just call them slop. Let's be fair about things. Yes all of those guys have been suspect at times but currently many of them are pitching well right now.

Other than the implosion the other night KK has been fine out of the pen. Bastardo has been lights out so far. Baez has been good as well. Tag them along with Madson and you have 4 guys that are pitching very well out of the bullpen right now.

Herndon has his moments but he is far from a sure thing. Zagurski and Stutes are guys you can probably assume as being bad.

So for this season you have 4 guys pitching very well right now. I wouldn't call that slop. Now if the argument is that they could all revert to their norms that is another argument, but that is not what was said.

The Braves have Jairo Ascencio, Cory Gearrin and Christian Martinez in their pen.

The Marlins have Randy Choate and Brian Sanches.

The Giants have Ryan Vogelsong, Dan Runzler and Ramon Ramirez.

The Rocks have Clayton Mortensen, Esmil Rogers and Felipe Paulino.

The Brewers have Marco Estrada, Sergio Mitre and Brandon Kintzler.

The Cardinals have Fernando Salas, Miguel Batista and Eduardo Sanchez.

The Phils now have Mike Zagurski, Dave Herndon and Mike Stutes.

Sure, its not ideal. Sure there are much better pens out there. Could the pen be a issue in the coming weeks? Sure. But to think now that the Phils are now throwing out crap and most other teams are not, is not being realistic.

Guess what? We still have Hamels, Halladay, Oswalt and Lee. Nobody else does. That hasn't changed.

I'm looking forward to seeing what Zagurski and Stutes will add. This team has a phobia of breaking in new relievers (except rule 5 selections). I'd say that Bastardo has been one of the highlights of the season so far.

Cop this......Miguel Batista could end up closing some games in St Louis. They have big problems.

All teams have to deal with losing key members of the team. We will probably lose one of our 4 starters this year for some time. This stuff happens. The Phillies have taken as much advantage of the early schedule as could be hoped, and are at 15-6 right now. They're going to have to find a way to survive losing Contreras, but this team overcame a lot more last year, and they can do it again.

This is why you have to prepare yourself for all the pitfalls of a 162 game season.

Baez and KK pitching well? Haha. That's a good one. Herndon's been one of the first 10 worst relievers in MLB so far. If they didn't have the issue problems right now, I am sure he would be sent down in short order.

Comparing this bullpen to the Fish, Braves, Giants, Rockies, or Cards (sans Franklin) is pretty funny too. All of those bullpens are much better right now than the Phils.

They have two guys right now - Madson and Bastardo. That's it. On nights where they can get 7 innings out of their starter and they don't do extra innings, they should be alright most nights. 6 innings or less out of their starter or extra innings? Problems.

If Contreras and Romero can come back by Memorial Day, they will be okay too. Just need to wait to see what the MRI reveals on Contreras' strain.

This is a crummy bullpen any way you slice it now.

Time to resurrect the old 'LAB' stat from '07: Losses Attributable to the Bullpen.

Yo, new thread

"We're Trucked" Thread ==>

It cracks me up, when guys continue to complain that Mathieson 'DESERVED' to make the team last year. He had the same straight fastball with no secondary pitches last year. He's not good now, and he wasn't good then.

... Meanwhile, the Phils come off a four-game sweep and head to Arizona with Lee, Oswalt and Hamels taking the mound.

Isn't life grand?

With the way our political institutions are now being designed, with the way the CPDM elections machinations remain unbeaten, that much expected change in Cameroon will take decades to come.

The hope is in a major opposition reconciliation conference. This conference should hold immediately and should be facilitated by Cameroonians in the Diaspora. Such an oposition come-together must come out with a blue print for a new main opposition party, agreeable to the civil society,and go beyond ethnic and tribal consideration. It must also lay down clear and unequivocal conditions for its presidential candidate, assure reliable sources of funding, then challenge the entrenched system.

I find your expectations of a major opposition reconciliation conference in Cameroon wildly optimistic, Womans Petite.

You really expect such an agglomeration of disparate opposing elements setting aside tribal and ethnic considerations?


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