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Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The answer is no.

Yes, yes it would. Pat was also a better defender than Raul in LF. I actually missed Pat's defense last night. Guys didn't run with impunity on The Bat's arm and their range is comparable at this point.

~always liked Burrell~

I'd really just like to see the current no. 3 hitter drive a ball every now and then. He's the key.

Here's a great indicator on the meaninglessness of early season UZR numbers:

Carl Crawford currently has a -65.2 UZR/150...good for 2nd worst in the Majors for all LFs.

I bet Charlie misses him. So Charlie says he wants more HRs from this team. Who is he directing that towards? Besides Howard, who are the consistent HR threats?
Should we now expect more pop-up outs from Vic and J Roll?
I understand what Charlie means but, I think he needs a revised strategy. Or a trade for Burrel.


I dont want HRs so much as I'd like a bunch of line drive doubles to the gaps. Granted our home park isn't built for doubles (its actually suppresses them due to its lack of OF space) but guys like Jimmy, Vic, BenFran and Chooch should be trying to drive through the ball instead of hitting HRs.

Our current "Hit 9 singles a night" offense is brutal.

Hell yeah we miss him, Ibanez is a stiff. Dude was swinging through 85mph pitches last night.

I miss Jimmy Rollins too, when is he coming back?

I don't.

If the lineup isn't producing, then dammit Charlie, tweak it. Three weeks into the season, I know this much: Jimmy Rollins is miscast as the number 3 hitter. His bat speed has been significantly reduced and he just doesn't drive the ball anymore. Put him back at leadoff and move Victorino down in the order. It's time to give Mayberry some spot starts, and more than one a week (although one, period, might be an okay start). When Brown is ready to come back, let him come back and let hi start 2-3 times a week. A full season of Francisco isn't what this team needs. If Brown isn't quite ready for the bigs, fine, he's not ready. He'll still hit a few bombs by accident and learn on the job and most importantly, give the lineup a different dimension when he's in there. Manuel has to stay on his toes and deliver some different combos in order to get the most he can out of the offense. You don't just throw the same 1 through 8 out there every night and then bemoan the fact that they don't perform.

Nepp- I agree.

But if those 9 singles were put together, we would be scoring more runs. You can score alot and win like that. BUt you have to do it right.
If JRoll comes up with 2 men on and swings for the upper deck, we pretty much know whats gonna happen.

Anyone think Andre Ethier could become available later in the year with LA broke and Ethier making $9.5 mil and on the verge of a pretty good payday.

I still think that Jimmy should have to get down do 20 ala major league whenever he makes the ugly upper cut hack when he's going after high cheesse. That's was inexcusable. I'd rather you GIDP with a level swing then take that ugly hack.

Man I feel agreeable today.
RSB - I also agree a tweak on that lineup should be done. Plus, what more than a wooden bench on your ass to motivate you a bit more to stay inside yourself and produce.


No-not at the same deal they gave Ibanez.

That said, I'm sick of Ibanez(as a player, I'm sure he's just fine as a person, etc.). His numbers may turn out ok at the end of the year, but getting there is going to be frustrating. Someone said the same thing about Francisco in last night's game chat. This OF needs help.

Rollins is a 7-hole hitter at best. He's neither a leadoff hitter or a 3-hole hitter. He's there on past performance and reputation alone.

Pat is a better player than Raul right now. He wasn't necessarily the last two seasons, but he definitely is right now.

Francisco is long as he's not playing every stinkin' day. Gload needs to start playing some against RHP.

Ibanez is long as he's not playing every stinkin' day. Mayberry needs to start playing some against LHP.

This isn't that hard people.

With Rauuuuul playing all 12 innings last night, I'd expect Mayberry to make his first start of the year tonight in LF. Odd that we are almost 3 weeks into the season and Mayberry has only 1 AB against a LH pitcher. That needs to change.

And we also need to be careful about over-exposing Valdez. A dose of Wilson is good. He is a helpful player. But with both Orr and Martinez on the roster, they need to spell him too.

I look forward to a "I hate Pat Burrell" when he goes 0-4 tonight with 3 Ks after chasing two outside sliders then looking at strike 3 after the Burrell shuffle on a fastball inside.

Burrell was only going to get 2 years/$16M from the Phils. The more interesting question is what the Phils would have down this year this unless they would have brought back Burrell on a likely limited 1 yr deal.

Burrell's a steal this year for the Giants because they are essentially paying him very little ($1M). If is terrible through June/July, the Giants can release him without having to worry about eating much of his salary.

Agree on Mayberry. He looks good at the plate, even when he doesn't get a hit, at least he's having good at bats. Deserves a start.

This offense reminds me of those cold bland pretsels you used to get outside the Vet after the game.

MG: The Phils would be starting Dom Brown in the OF if they had signed Pat to a 2-year deal and he had walked before this season.

Would Burrell have given the Phils the '09 numbers that Ibanez did? Nope.

In '10? Yeah with Burrell having a lower AVG but a higher OBP.

Arguing for Burrell in favor of Ibanez or vice versa seems almost foolhardy. They're both deficient as everyday players, and you really wouldn't want either in your outfield more than three days a week. The Phillies do have some alternative options with talent. The '93 Phils won with P/T mix-and-matching in the corner OF positions, and I'd like to see it happen on this team, as well.

in the spirit of tossing around man-love a la the thread header:

Big Truck is the man. He should have went two innings last nite.

It's not Burrell this offense needs. There's a real dearth in savvy breaking-pitch hitters on this club, which is quite noticeable with Utley out.

Polanco is the best pure hitter on the club, and it's showing so far this year. But his single-heavy production won't do when Rollins and Victorino are busy acting like air conditioners.

I've always felt that when either Rollins or Vic are truly on their games, this team can win any game pitching allows them. If it means laying down bunts and interrupting pitchers, so be it, but I'd like to see this lineup configuration:


Of course, I'd rather see Ruiz hitting behind Howard, but that won't happen. Benny Fresh is a good hitter, but he's a sketchy No. 5 at best.

Phanatic's Brother - You mean like the cold, bland pretzels they sell now? It hilarious how the further you get from the game the lower the prices become. First guy on Sunday - $5 for a pretzel. 2nd guy - $5 for 2 pretzels. 3rd guy - $1 for $1 pretzel.

Look Cholly has to play the cards he is dealt. On that I don't fault him. Its ridiculous to 'bench Ibanez' or 'bench Francisco.'

Personally, I would start Ibanez in LF tonight vs. Wolf largely because of the 5-16 career numbers and start Mayberry in RF to give the lineup a bit of a shakeup.

Definite pass here on Burrell.

I'll go against the grain a bit, and say that I actually hope that Cholly continues to play both Ibanez and Francisco fairly regularly (to be clear, a day off here and then is fine, but no platoon), and we let Dom take his time back and build his confidence for as much as several months in the minors. We've been consistently winning twice as many games as we lose in the early going, and having some patience to let these guys get on track makes sense to me. And of the two, I'd be quicker to sit Francisco than Ibanez. I know Raul is 39, and we all can see with our eyes that his bat speed is down (sarcasm alert)'s not like he hasn't been streaky before. I would rather them experiment in RF.

I know it's so frustrating to watch our not-even-second-quintile offense, but I vote for letting the pitching carry us for a little bit, and see if we can get some folks back on track offensively. Then (hopefully) Chase is back in about a month, giving us a second-quintile offense on paper. And if we continue to struggle I am confident that RAJ will be able to find another piece via trade.

It should be interesting to see how Wolf and Narveson (two crafty lefties who throw a ton of offspeed stuff mainly in the form of curves and changeups) do against this lineup the next 2 nights.

Halladay and Lee better be on because they likely won't get much margin of error. For all of the harping though about the offense, they had a ton of guys on base last night. They just couldn't buy a hit late with RISP. Went 1 for 10 after the 1st inning. It happens.

This offense isn't as bad as people seem to be nor is a good offense either as other proclaim. It is a mediocre group that likely averages a little over 4 runs/game over an extended period which would likely put them 8-10 in the NL.

I'll say it now. Beerleaguer is much more engaging when the Phils have a gut wrenching loss. It generates a lot of discussion and most of it is pretty good banter. Usually learn something while being entertained.

I understand there a ton of anal jer8offs on this blog, but how could people complain about the stale pretzels they sell outside the park? naw on one of those suckers and you'll be sober by time the subway hits city hall.

lorecore- 'Naw' is an appropriate verb. You could assault someone with one of those pretzels after the game. No mustard and requires a beer to get down. Their nasty.

denny b - Over expose or not, Valdez is better equipped to hit major league pitching on a consistent basis than either Pete the Paddle or MiniMart. More consistent on defense, too. Keep Valdez in the line-up.

I remember about 7 or 8 games into the season there was a lot of crowing about how devastating the Phils offense was. There were some voices saying, wait til a few guys cool down. Amazing how it works that some of the same people claiming there was no need to worry about offense after seven games are now complaining about it now.

Or, maybe not amazing. Try:

Honestly, ever since I saw an Action 6 newscast when I was in high school about how utterly disgusting the hygiene/sanitary practices were of street pretzel vendors, I have never eaten a pretzel again in Philly form a street vendor. All it took was the words 'fecal matter' from one of the pretzels they had tested.

lore - It's also "interesting" how those pretzels cost money on the way in, but are about a gazillion for a nickel on the way out. Evidently all the high quality stuff evaporates during a game.

I'll tell you what I miss - the Phillies offense.

Last night the first game the Phils played all year that was over 3 hours. They haven't even played a game that was over 2 hrs 50 minutes.

That's the way baseball should be played. Less than 3 hrs, pitchers' hitting, and plenty of late-inning game strategy.

if you're going after nutritional value or to satisfy any gourmet hunger needs, you have come to the wrong place (a street corner in south philadelphia).

If you need something to keep you busy and soak up the suds on your journey home, look no further. And if you're in luck, a group of "retired" strippers are handing out samples of a new energy drink to go with it. The magic of a phils game lasts well after the final out.

Marcum is actually a pretty good pitcher. I think he deserves a little credit for last night.

Jbird, agreed. People complaining about Ibanez missing on 85mph pitches from Marcum are kind of missing the point. He's really good with what he has.

Jbird: I think the offense from innings 8-12 is the bigger source of the frustration.

Yeah those are the Pretzels I was referring too!

Not aware of the hygiene of the pretzels but I wouldnt be surprised if there was sawdust in those bad boys too.

MG- I agree Charlie has to play the cards he is dealt. so back to my question why is he saying he wants more HRs?

Who is he directing that at? Howard ... and ....

I mean anyone wishes they had more HRs but the old saying you cant blood from a crappy-rocck hard pretzel applies here I think.



W-L 10 - 5...........10 - 5

LOB 121................107

Games at 3or less games:

I'm not sure all the sturm und drang is necessary yet. The differences are not all that appalling.

THat should be "3 or less runs scored"

I am pro-Burrell, pro-Rowand, pro-DeRosa and you can't tell me one of them can't be had once Cody Ross returns. We need someone with a bit of pop in their bat. They don't have to play everyday, but after an extra inning game with a Kendrick meltdown, I wouldn't mind someone who could have walked it off with a bomb last night.

In the post-Werth era it would benefit the Phils to explore those options.

MG: Dead on with your 10:20 post. The Phillies have been a pleasure to watch every game this season (not as much when they lose, though). The games have been brisk and for the most part you seen good pitching performances and tons of late inning strategy. Last night, for example, a 12 inning game lasted 4:05. When was the last time a 9 inning Yankees v. Red Sox game that was that short?

A very nice trend so far this season.

Not a fan of Charlie's "we need more HRs" comment.

What a shock! I am so disillusioned the fans weren't aware that Romero's calf was bothering him!

Phanatic - Yeah I didn't get that carping either by Cholly. If you want some more power potentially, why doesn't he start Mayberry vs. LHP?

It was kind of like how Cholly kept mentioning all though spring training that he wanted to utilize his bench and keep them in the mix. Then he goes and doesn't ever start them. Schneider's started 2 games. Gload has 1 start. Mayberry hasn't started a game yet. Mini Mart has 1 start.

"I'm not sure all the sturm und drang is necessary yet"

Really? It's not the 3rd week in September? My calendar must be all messed up.

Recorded the game on my DVR which, naturally, cut off the ending -- probably saving a few years off my life in the process. I don't know what to say about the Phillies' offense, except that Rollins in the 3 hole was the worst idea any manager has come up with since Rollins in the leadoff spot.

Cholly just absolutely has to get off this idea that Ibanez is still an everyday player. In fact, for the time being, I'd take a page from the 93 team and run a double platoon in the OF. After a hot first week, Francisco has actually been even worse than Ibanez.

I like the idea of bringing in PtB late in the game for offensive purposes.

R. Bill: You don't think the Phillies would be helped by hitting more home runs? That's counter-intuitive. Please explain.

Thing that this bench really misses is a viable left-handed bat who can is a legit defensive option in the OF.

Why I would have loved to have seen the Phils get a guy like John Jay from the Cards this offseason even if he wasn't really available.

Cholly seems pretty dead set against platooning guys but he is going to have to start doing that a bit more. For example, it isn't that I want to see Pete Orr starting that often but starting him every now and then likely helps to keep him a bit more productive. His career numbers vs. LHP are gruesome (.239/.292/.299 in a whopping 67 ABs) but his numbers vs. RHP are about the same as Valdez (.268/.292/.343 in 463 ABs).

Neither guy BBs much both guys are capable defenders & Orr even has a little speed. Starting him once every 7 days or so vs. RHP helps to keep his timing down.

Why Cholly does this with Orr but not Mayberry/Gload I really am not sure.

You wouldn't complain about those pretzels if you lived in some other city where the street vendors only sell burnt, flavorless Super Pretzels.

Its sort of like being a Phils fan in general these days--complain all you want about a loss like last night's, but other fans would kill for those pretzels.

MG pretty much nailed it: Ibanez was the better hitter in 2009 and Burrell was the better hitter in 2010 (in the NL).

But I'd still rate Burrell's defense below Ibanez's because of the severe lack of range.

Remember when the complaint du jour was that the Philies ONLY scored runs with the long ball?

Kinda miss that.

Also, I find it surprising that others are surprised by Chollie's use of Ibanez. Veterans have to underperform ALOT worse than Ibanez is to lose their roles with this team--look no further than the incredibly long leash given to Lidge when he was essentially the worst pitcher in baseball and still used as the closer for most of the season.

Are pitcher errors and wild pitch/past balls counted as unearned or earned runs?

Of all the things I never thought I'd read on BL, it's 'I miss Pat Burrell.' Talk about a player coming full-circle.

This team definitely misses a power bat, but I'm not sure I long for the Burrell days. I loved him when he was here, but he wouldn't exactly be my first choice to improve the lineup.

"R. Bill: You don't think the Phillies would be helped by hitting more home runs? That's counter-intuitive."

I'll never understand the animus against power among the posters here. cut_fastball yesterday called for "sound baseball" instead of homeruns. In his mind the two aren't compatible -- and that's probably the meaning of R. Bill's comment. And NEPP would rather see line drives that might become doubles (if they aren't caught) rather than homeruns that guarantee a run. Why?

I have to think that the answer is moral-aesthetical: there's something gaudy/decadent/immoral about scoring large quantities of runs via power. Far more compatible with the Protestant work ethic are singles, bunts and stolen bases -- modest run totals earned by the honest sweat of labor. Striking out is pure vice.

No other coherent explanation, since higher slugging leads directly to more runs scored, and the highest scoring offenses are the typically the most powerful, and by scoring more runs you're more likely to win, and in baseball the point is to win.

an offense that features Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, and Ricky Weeks was befuddled by Joe freaking Blanton for 7 innings. They only won when they nickle and dimed our 6th pitcher out of the bullpen.

NEPP, small question on UZR: Are you saying that early UZR rating for Carl Crawford is worthless because you believe Crawford has actually played well defensively?

OR are you saying he's played crap defensively, but will surely improve?

I have no problems with HRs that aren't the byproduct of chemicals.

I can't wait until about 9:45 tonight when we can all go back to talking about how amazingly unsinkable this team is.

Although in fairness, R. Bill might mean, I don't want our current players swinging with power in mind because as a matter of talent they aren't particularly powerful and so it'd be a case of playing into a weakness. I'd agree with that.

In terms of roster selection though -- if we magically had the ability to reconstruct the roster -- there's no reason not to opt for players with power, all other things being roughly equal.

Lamenting for PtB kind of reminds me if you are going through a bit of a rut in your current relationship/marriage and you run into an ex-girlfriend with whom you had a long relationship on a particularly bad day.

She looks frisky, you have a little spark maybe even a little flirting, and start to be both retrospective & and even do a little 'what-if' thinking almost simultaneously. You both soon part ways though because you have several other things you need to do.

At the end of the day though, you realize why you broke up after an extended relationship with your ex. She could be sullen/moody at times, drank & partied a little too much, and went through periods where she just drove you batshit crazy with her antics even though the abbreviated 'highs' were pretty damn intoxicating.

klaus- I think the argument is not that we dont want HRs ( we all love them. even to the point that we are having dullusions of PtB in red pinstripes again) the argument is more that this club doesn't "seem" to have legit HR hitters (beside Howard) so we should stop wishing for something thats not there and play a different brand of baseball perhaps?

I think that is that a fair argument?

MG: We have the same ex?

MG- been there done that

baystar: 9:45pm? Thats some egregious disrespect to the Doc. I'll go with some 9:20pm.

It would be nice to not be giving up power at 3 traditional power spots (rf, lf, 3b). But, I don't think the sky is falling. . . yet.

I think the Phils should continue to put up with its scuffling offense for the next two and a half months, enjoy the great pitching, and wait for the calvary to arrive in the second half in the form of Utley and Domonic Brown.

Last thought: since we (or at least I) don't know to what extent players alter their swings with certain objects in mind, and if they do, to what extent said alterations are effective, discussions about what the current line-up should do (hit for power?) are pretty moot. When Howard swings and pops up, or hits a double, could he just as well have hit a home run, by the same swing, given different variables (pitch speed/trajectory)? I can't say.

Jack: To answer your question of 10:43:

For a team that has been having trouble making solid contact for, oh say, the entire season, swinging for the fences at the request of their homer-happy manager is not going to help this offense. This is not the '06-'09 Phils' team. They don't have a legit power threat in 6 of the 8 starting spots like they did in those years.

Hitting homeruns would definitely benefit the team because runs would go on the board instead of standing on 2nd base. But telling guys to change their approach to try and hit more homeruns would seem, on its face, to do more harm than good with the current lineup. I fear that's what would happen if they listen to Charlie's "we need to hit more HRs" comment. Whether that's what he meant or not, I don't like it.

I'm sure that Charlie meant, "wanna see more line drives." He obviously misspoke. Nothing to see here.

Sorry, that's "cavalry", not Calvary.

Are the first place Phillies in so much trouble that Dom Brown could be considered the cavalry?

With the left-handed Wolf on the mound tonight, I'll bet we finally see Mayberry make a start in LF. I'll also bet that, after he goes 0 for 4, his legend as the offense's savior will start to diminish a bit.

Instead of limiting our deja vous to only Pat the Bat, why not ....

An outfield of Burrell- Victorino- Werth , our current rotation, Lidge back to lights out form, Utley back from the DL.
Add Harry & Whitey to the broadcast booth.

All you need is free beer and the Phillies to win every game.

Now back to KK throwing a dud of a 12th and our sputterring offense.

I'm not worried about the Phils, nor do I think any of us really are, deep down. They pitch, they win. It's really that simple. They are going to lose games like this throughout the season. I don't have a problem with last night's game. It's frustrating to lose games like that, but in the long run, it's not a big deal. They're not going to be in the top of the league in runs scored like they have been accustomed, but they're still going to win more ballgames than the Braves, Marlins, Nats and Mets. And as everyone knows, in the playoffs, pitching is key

"the argument is that...this club doesn't "seem" to have legit HR hitters (beside Howard) so we should stop wishing for something that's not there and play a different brand of baseball perhaps?"

I partly agree (as I noted above). Only, why treat HRs or power as beyond the ken of our line-up, but not this different brand of baseball? If the former's unlikely as a matter of talent, why not the latter? Isn't the ability to discern pitches and take a walk, like power, mostly inherent?

We can say, blandly, that the players should strive to improve. But it seems futile to ask that improvement should go in one direction or the other.

BAP: I don't think Mayberry is, and will ever be, and offensive savior for the Phils, or anyone for that matter. But, giving Ibanez a day off here and there against tough lefties and giving Mayberry a few ABs can't be a bad thing for either player.

The same holds true for Franciscio/Gload.

Flip Rollins & Chooch in the lineup, & start platooning IbaƱez w/ Mayberry depending on the opposing SP.

Maybe that doesn't fix anything, but at this point Charlie would be hard pressed to make a change that actually worsened the offense.

It is Easter week after all, so waiting for the Calvary may be appropriate. People have been waiting a couple thousand years for that arrival, though. I'd say statistically speaking the odds are long, unless you consider Dom Brown the second coming...

I too have always liked Burrell. Would I want him here now? Hard to say.

What I see now is that our #3, #5, and #6 hitters aren't hitting. Vic is in consistant for the leadoff spot. Howard's trying and Polanco's on fire. The biggest problem is that they're taking to many hitable pitches for strikes. I don't know how they're going to fix what's wrong. But it all comes down to what I've always said. If we hit, we win.

Also KK's performance last night night just reminds me of a pitcher who should not be in the Majors.

Also, Schlitter was retuned the the Cubs. Maybe KK should take his spot.

2011 A.D. (Anno Domonator!)

"KK's performance last night night just reminds me of a pitcher who should not be in the Majors."

It reminded me of a pitcher who had a lousy outing. That was about it.

side note: I dont know if anyone mentioned this but yesterday's BL post about the Phills not making many erros or miscues seemed to put a major jinx on last nights Kendrick performance.
That along with the Werth photo the day he went 3 for 4 is a little unsettling. I hope the comcast affiliation to BL has little or nothing to do with this "phenomena"

Maybe I can attempt to explain the 'anti-power animus'. It's not that home runs aren't good, obviously. The problem lies with the offense *relying* on home runs, on swinging from the heels instead of making contact (particularly from players who are better suited to a contact hitting approach), on being uncreative, passive, not playing alert, intelligent baseball which tends to involve working the count, hitting balls where they're pitched, etc. The problem with the home run mentality that Manuel is preaching is that it results in an inordinate disproportion of wild swings, poor at-bats, pop-ups and rolled-over ground balls to actual homers. Given the present personnel, this team is better off focusing on contact and getting on base than power, and frankly shame on Manuel for suggesting otherwise.

If i had a nickle for everytime the phils lost on a leadoff walk, bunt error, sac fly, hit by pitch, passed ball, intent walk, sac fly, intent walk, rbi single, runner thrown out at home 12th inning.... well i'd be half way to a dime right about now.

I don't think anybody can really be certain of Mayberry's future. You can point to his slow advancement through the system but that's only conventional guessing at work. No two major leaguers have exactly the same development rate. He certainly has the pedigree. He has "the tools." The rest is on the job training at the major league level...maybe he'll tap into his inner student.

***NEPP, small question on UZR: Are you saying that early UZR rating for Carl Crawford is worthless because you believe Crawford has actually played well defensively? ***

I'm saying that we all know that Crawford is a fantastic defender so that number is likely just a statistical anomoly brought on my an extremely small sample size...thus, that type of advanced defensive metric is pretty worthless without a ton more raw data.

OP~ KK's W-L record is a product of the fact they've scored a lot of for him. He rarely has a good outing. He's not a good ML pitcher.

Does anyone else think Charlie is a fool for lamenting the lack of hitting and then not giving Ross Gload more starts? Those two long fly-outs of his in the Marlins game would have been homers on a less windy night, and his amazing slide into the wall should put some of this "Gload is a defensive liability in the outfield" crap to rest. At least he hasn't almost squashed Victorino out there...

Ibanez and BenFran are brutal defenders.

KK's performance last night night just reminds me of a pitcher who should not be in the Majors."

It reminded me of a pitcher who had a lousy outing."

I find myself leaning towards the DPat position.

Mayberry: While I'd like to see him get some more ABs against lefties/occasional start, I think his "slow advancement through the system" (ours and Texas') is indicative of his talent level.

Billingsly: I completely agree that Mayberry should start against left-handed pitching. I'm just trying to temper expectations that replacing Ibanez with Mayberry would make a huge difference to our offense. Unless Mayberry has suddenly taken that quantum step forward that we've all been hoping for, but never seems to happen, a LF platoon will not make a big difference to our lineup. It should, however, make a small positive difference.

b_a_p: At the very least it would give us a new target for our collective ire.

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