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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

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Oswalt apparently left the stadium without talking to reporters.

Wouldn't surprise me if he went on the DL.

Oswalt is not right. He looked stiff on a couple of swinging bunts coming off the mound(which Mitch and Bowa pointed out immediately) in San Diego.

He had nothing tonight. Maybe he was due for a bad game, but him leaving as early as he did tells you what you need to know.

Might be time to head to the DL to get this stiff back some rest for a couple of weeks.

Kendrick would go back into the rotation and Worley would likely take his spot as the long man. Kendrick would probably make 2 starts while Oswalt rests the back.

As for the final game of the road trip, at least we see a lefty on the mound. That means we won't have to see Ibanez until Friday. These 2 days of rest might be good for him.

Time to salvage a game in the desert and get back home and start anew.

I'm gonna have to call the roofers tomorrow to fix my roof, since THE SKY IS FALLING!!

Or if Roy O goes down for 15 days, I wonder if they just put Worley into the rotation (since he's streched out) and leave Kendrick (who isn't) in the pen?

I actually prefer Worley as a starter right now and Kendrick in a expanded bullpen role. Oswalt's next scheduled start would be against Washington next week. And we all know that Kendrick has had major problems with the Nats over the years.

Hope we don't have to find out. But we might.

denny b: I think that is precisely what they would do.

Ah, Zagurski and Herndon come up small again.

As for the final game of the road trip, at least we see a lefty on the mound. That means we won't have to see Ibañez until Friday.

Woohoo! :-)

Except ... John Fisher (via Twitter): "No guarantee that Ibañez sits Wednesday ... He's 8-for-23 with 2 HR in his career against Joe Saunders."

D'oh! :-(

BTW, did you hear Franzke's stat nugget tonight?

The last time the Phils went 14 straight games without scoring at least 4 runs in a game, it was 1984 and they went 1-13.

This year they did it and went 9-5.

What's the point of Herndon?

We can't start Kyle Kendrick because he's a terrible pitcher. I know this because I read it here on Beerleaguer, in just the last 2 days. The fact that he again pitched 2 scoreless innings yesterday means absolutely nothing; he's just getting lucky that his fly balls are staying inside the park.

"The fact that he again pitched 2 scoreless innings yesterday means absolutely nothing"

Sarcasm or not, you hit the nail on the head.

If we're being generous, Kendrick is the 7th or 8th best pitcher on the 40 man roster with experience as a starter.

Last year the Phils went to Arizona in late April having only lost one series previously, lost 2 of 3 and a couple days later dropped into 2nd place.

After the road trip they returned home to take 2 of 3 from the Mets to return to first place.

And last year they lost to Kris F. Benson.

On Ibanez: At what point do you ignore a previously good hitter's prior splits when making a decision? The guy that went 8 for 23 versus Joe Saunders isnt the same guy hobbling around LF for the Phillies this year.

If Oswalt hits the DL as you guys say, I'd definitely go with Worley over KK.

I have been a big Ibanez booster but will concede he is done. He must have a dead arm as he is being taken advantage regularly by baserunners.
The poor arms in right and left are glaring. Francisco looked a little out of kilter going after Hudson's ball that dropped for a double.

krukker: love it!!

G-town Dave: At some point doesn't Ibanez's career numbers against certain starters begin to lose it's meaning? Like when he's 39 years old?

It's not panic to recognize--yes, even after a sss of 15% of the season--that both Ibanez and Rollins are at the end of two very good careers. That, coupled with a platoon-type guy in right and a bench-type guys at 2b (both maybe for only another nmonth or two) yields these kinds of results.

I'm not ready to hit the panic button for the offense quite yet. It's still only April. But, I have to get something off my chest. At the risk of being called a Zagurski apologist or any other such name:

I've written it before on BL, and I'll probably write it again, that Zagurski has gotten a raw deal with this team. Last night, as per usual, he was put in to complete an entire inning. Guess what? He gave up a HR to a RH batter. He's not the next Mariano Rivera, so please try not to misrepresent what I'm saying. He is a LOOGY. Always was. Always will be.

Here are some splits:

vs. LHB: .226/.300/.302 (.602OPS), 3.22K/BB
vs. RHB: .354/.463/.646 (1.109OPS), 1.5K/BB

I know we needed to eat some innings last night, but this is an all too common occurrence. I didn't read all of the game thread, so if this was mentioned already, I apologize.

And don't get me started on why Herndon is still with the big club.

I was told that with this rotation they would never lose 2 straight. What's going on here?

Just wait till May when they play good teams.

Zagurski is a fringe LOOGY at best. He isn't a guy that a good team should ever rely on long-term for outs.

R Billingsly: You've kinda convinced me Zagurski got a raw deal. He's a LOOGY and the club is trying to use him as a "regular" 1 inning reliever with predictably bad results.

The problem is the LOOGY is the guy on your staff that should come trotting out when the killer lefty on the other team comes up. I'm still not confident when I see him coming in against Prince Fielder. And if you don't trust him against the killer lefties, he has no use for the big club.

Has Francisco ever produced with a runner on third and one out? He killed them with that last NLCS in Game 6, and he's failed at least six or seven times this year.

In addition to the awful route he took on Hudson's two-run double and the throw to the plate on the previous play that got stuck in the grass just past the mound.

Beginning to understand why Manuel has always seemed down on him.

Again, this is a lull...all teams go through them and we will too. The offense isn't as good as it was that first week or as bad as it has been these last couple weeks.

However, more and more its looking like Raul is simply finished. He's down to a .171 AVG and .484 OPS.

At least Jimmy has a relatively robust .264 AVG/.343 OBP/.651 OPS with still stellar defense. There's value in that type of player even if that's his final season line (something I still doubt despite his detractors here). I'm willing to bet he ends up in the .700-.750 OPS range by the end of it.

We're 15-8...the sky isn't falling.

Also, on a technical note here to the BL staff...what's up with the photo in the thread header being all distorted? Its been like that for me for the last week or so on all the threads.

NEPP: Right. That's my point. He isn't great, but he is atrocious when left in to face RHB. And, unfortunately, Cholly and Co. keep running him out there for RHBs.

Where we seem to disagree, however, is that I feel that if used correctly, he could be a serviceable LOOGY.

Heather: THANK YOU! I've been posting for years and I finally convinced someone of something.

I'm marking this date down on my calendar!

Look, I'm not a big Francisco fan. But he is not a high contact guy at the plate. He's definitely not the guy you send in just to make contact with the ball (which is why I thought sending him in in the NLCS instead of Sweeney was ludicrous.)

What does Francisco do? He whiffs a lot, and gets a decent amount of hits, and has a little pop in his bat.

His defense is not terrible now that he's settled into the job. The route he took last night was horrible, but overall I've seen much worse in RF. And he does cocntinue to improve now that he gets regular playing time.

I wish to heck we had a great RF but I just can't find myself hating on Francisco. He is what he is, and that's a semi-decent regular or a good 4th outfielder. I wouldn't be suprised if he was worth 2 WAR by the end of the year. Not great, but not terrible.

Please return Herndon to whomever they rule 5'd him from, perhaps they still have the receipt in a pair of pants somewhere.

It's hard for me to accept that he can't occasionally hit a fly ball or even a slow roller in that one-out, man on third situation. But you're probably right.

Here's part of why I'm not all that worried about Jimmy yet. His numbers look bad overall but one good night could radically improve them. Say he goes 2-4 with 2 HRs tonight.

That would take his current line of:

.264 AVG/.343 OBP/.651 OPS

and turn it into this:

.274 AVG/.349 OBP/.728 OPS

Basically, the point if this is that its far too early to say a guy is finished. We're barely at 100 PA. That's not a useful sample size at all.

How does the photo look now? I'm not seeing the distortion.

NEPP: Maybe it's your computer? My thread pic seems to be just fine. Firefox on a Mac.

NEPP:
I suppose you're right. Even with another year like last one, Rollins is fine as a good-fielding shortstop...who bats 7th. Not first, and not third.

***Maybe it's your computer? My thread pic seems to be just fine. Firefox on a Mac.***

Probably right. I only notice it at work with a wide screen monitor so its probably my PC. Maybe the IT guys did some sort of update.

***How does the photo look now? I'm not seeing the distortion.***

No distortion now. It was stretched all the way across the post but now its right justified with the words wrapped around it as it normally is. Thanks!

Yea IE7 was doing the same to the pics for the past few days as well.

"NEPP:
I suppose you're right. Even with another year like last one, Rollins is fine as a good-fielding shortstop...who bats 7th. Not first, and not third."

The problem I'm already thinking about is what the heck happens next year if his offense never recovers. Does anyone realistically think Jimmy's going to accept a deal that accurately reflects his decline? At least from the Phillies?

The fact that Raul has been THIS bad kind of still gives me hope that he's just in some awful slump that can't possibly go much longer.... right? please? pretty please?

Character builders...character builders..that's all these stretches are.

It'll just strengthen this team's resolve in the long run.

Heather:
He might take a one year deal and his market rate. If he doesn't, prepare for your leadoff guy and shortstop...Jose Reyes.

"The fact that Raul has been THIS bad kind of still gives me hope that he's just in some awful slump that can't possibly go much longer.... right? please? pretty please?"

Outside of the steroid era, the track record of non-HOF caliber outfielders continuing to produce at a high level in their 38+ seasons is pretty miniscule. That's why I'm not getting my hopes up. Seems like the evidence points the other direction. That being said, I'll be pleasantly suprised if he turns it around.

"He might take a one year deal and his market rate. If he doesn't, prepare for your leadoff guy and shortstop...Jose Reyes."

I honestly don't have a big problem with Jose Reyes. At this point, I think he's the better player.

::ducks::

Of course he's a better player.
(stay down)

Cole Hamels + afternoon start = doomed

Good Morning.

Yep, definitely not watching for a while.

I guess I'm the only one who thinks Ibanez will come out of this slump. He put good wood on the ball yesterday and he showed a patient at bat vs. that sidearm lefty out of the pen. I bet you he's hitting above .250 by the end of the week.

I don't have a problem with Jose Reyes anymore. If you watch the Mets (which I do often) he has really matured in the last two seasons. He's not showboating and he's playing better "team baseball". I give credit to Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins. They got rid of some alleged bad seeds and seemed to change the culture in the clubhouse.

I never liked Reyes' antics on the field and always thought that he was wasting is potential. One thing is for certain, he is uber-talented.

Heather,

Good post on Francisco. Was thinking some of the same things. I'm pulling for the guy and hoping he continues to improve. Frustrating at times, but it could be a lot worse.

3 years, $18-20 million is pretty fair for Jimmy. That's probably his open market value...based on the deals last winter to Juan Uribe (3 years, $21 million) and Orlando Hudson (2 years, $11.5 million). If he thinks he's gonna get a Jeter esque deal because of his past ability, he won't be back in Philly.

Note: The vaunted Jeter is currently carrying a .606 OPS with terrible defense in the first year of his 4 year, $56 million extension. Jeter looks all the world like he's limping sadly towards 3,000 hits Craig Biggio style...in the first year of his 4 year extension. What a terrible contract even for the Yankees.

"What a terrible contract even for the Yankees"

I think Cash would've told Jeter to pound sand, but I think he got orders from higher up to get the deal done. Just my $.02.

Also, based on the Howard deal, I'm not entirely confident of our FO's ability to play hardball with "face of the franchise" players.

I miss the days when the Phillies had an offense...I love that they have good pitching,however,that makes the game alt less entertaining to watch. As soon as they get baserunners on base regardless of how many outs, you just know at the bottom of your gut that they are not going to score.

What ever happened to taking pitches, working counts and taking a WALK!! They are getting too predictable, and I hate it.

Has Herndon been used enough lately that I won't have to worry about seeing him today? Zags is being misused with match ups, but Herndon is misused just by sending him to the mound in a non-groundskeeping capacity.

At this point, I don't want to read anything about an extension for JRoll. He needs to prove he can be healthy and this is just a slump and not the real JRoll. I cringe when I see people mention 3 or 4 years for him.

If these losses are character builders than color me worried. The body language and attitudes scare me. If never seen so much grumbling and thrown equipment after every at-bat. No one seems to be trying to make any adjustments. They're just going up there swinging with their eyes closed hoping to make contact.

*I've never seen

The good news is that today's game will be over at a decent hour. The bad news is everything else.

NEPP: But I've been told for years now that Cap'n Jetes would eclipse Rose as the all-time hit king.

As for Reyes, I'd rather the Phillies spend their money on adding some power to the lineup in rightfield or left (whichever one Brown doesn't occupy).

NEPP, no offense, but O-dog and Uribe can still hit. Jimmy is going to be strictly glove next year forward. I love that glove but the bat is dead. He is worth maybe 4 mil a year and he should already be hitting 8th. They need to find a young, rangy, singles machine to play left and leadoff or bat second.

On the other hand, this has me rolling:

The Tom McCarthy Huffing Game

Steve,

The grumbling and the thrown equipment doesn't bug me. I've seen guys throw equipment but the next time they're up, they adjust to the ump's strike zone and work a walk, or bunt down the third base line. They steal second. Etc etc.

Instead I see, as you have stated, this team grumbling but continue to do the same things over and over again.

The lack of offense, but with awesome pitching(for the most part) is the 2011 version of "We're getting Halladay, but trading Lee?!"

"At this point, I don't want to read anything about an extension for JRoll. He needs to prove he can be healthy and this is just a slump and not the real JRoll. I cringe when I see people mention 3 or 4 years for him."

I can almost guarntee you that while this is the fan's perspective, it's not the Phillies FO perspective. I fully expect an overpay to retain Rollins' services. I'm just hoping it's not too much of an overpay.

The Fightins is back? Wow.

'The lack of offense, but with awesome pitching(for the most part) is the 2011 version of "We're getting Halladay, but trading Lee?!"'

The thing that really baffles me is that Jimmy especially and Ryan and Utley to a lesser degree have been in a steady decline for a few years. And they're not that old! Is 31 the new 40?

"Is 31 the new 40?"
Without chemical enhancements, it is.

"The thing that really baffles me is that Jimmy especially and Ryan and Utley to a lesser degree have been in a steady decline for a few years. And they're not that old! Is 31 the new 40?"
Middle infielders falling off the cliff in their early 30s is not unheard of. Remember how we all had a heartly laugh when Roberto Alomar did that with the Mets? (Karma, anyone?)
Lots of heavy sluggers also didn't age well. Mo Vaughn is a highly publicized recent victim.
It may not be all doom and gloom but it could be.

Mo Vaughn fell off a cliff because he ate himself out of the game. Howard is not even close to that body type.

Mo Vaughn was a helluva hitter, though. Career .300, I think

I still don't get these comparisons between Ryno and Mo Vaughn.

black first basemen are clearly all the same, and should only be compared with each other. Just like how white first basemen with brain/head injuries can only be compared to John Olerud.

Ok. Richie Sexson, then, according to BR

Why is it that when the Phils lose consecutive games, the talk immediately goes to Howard's terrible contract and why he's comparable to some fat slob that was laughed out of the league over a decade ago?

If there is a ray of hope, it's that we're dealing with a team full of 2nd half hitters. Most everyone on the team doesn't really hit well in April.

Howard is actually beating his career OPS for April by a decent margin.

"Most everyone on the team doesn't really hit well in April."

When does that start to reflect badly on the player in question due to a lack of preparation? Sure, the weather gets hotter in June and July and the ball flies a little farther, but it shouldn't depress your April scores by 25-33%.

Texiera said he was sick of how he consistently sucked in April, worked extra hard in the offseason, and now this April is hitting a lot better. Coincidence?

Ryan Howard OPS+ through age 30: 140
Mo Vaughn OPS+ through age 30: 138

Phils now 9th in the NL in runs.

Billingsly/Heather: Here is why Zagurski is NOT getting any kind of raw deal: there is no such thing as a "pure" LOOGY who only faces left-handed hitters. Sometimes they have to face right-handers too. All LOOGYs do this, including Romero.

Not to mention that Montero, a lefty, deposited one deep in the seats off Zagurski last night, except that it hooked just foul at the last moment.

Personally, I love all the Ryan Howard/Mo Vaughn comparisons because they inevitably devolve into discussions comparing the relative fatness of Ryan Howard vs. Mo Vaughn.

"But no, Mo Vaughn was not just fat, he REALLY fat!"

"Ryan Howard isn't fat, just big boned!"

Etc Etc. Funny stuff.

BAP, is there really no such thing as LOOGYs, or has our manager never seen a LOOGY but he felt he could stretch for a full inning?

"black first basemen are clearly all the same, and should only be compared with each other. Just like how white first basemen with brain/head injuries can only be compared to John Olerud. "

Fine, Jim Gentile, Boog Powell, Ted Klusewski, Kent Hrbek. All fell off a cliff between 31 and 33. Cecil Fielder does fall into the eat their way off the cliff group. There's enough of these guys who were 1B only because they were not athletic enough to play elsewhere who faded fast and early. There are counter examples but the track record is long enough to be concerned.

Heather - Much like many of the Phils, Teixeira exploded out of the gate but his numbers are pretty normal in the past couple weeks, and his overall good numbers reflect more on his start. I heard him discuss his change in routine when he was flying high -- it wasn't that he worked harder, but he limited the strength training because he felt it slowed his bat speed. I'd like to hear him explain now why the numbers are down given the changes.

I don't know of anyone on the Phils' roster who we might say did not work hard in preparing notwithstanding the results we're seeing lately.

BAP: I disagree. How many times over the last few years have other teams brought in a reliever simply to face Utley and Howard, only to immediately pull him when Werth comes to the plate?

Quite often.

Heather - every single one of your posts always derive from your viewpoint that everything is simple as 'trying' to do something. Constantly acting like Players/coaches are wrong because they choose to be and you are always dumbfounded and asking "why dont they fix it?"


Player-to-player comps are probably the single silliest, most illogical, argument that manages to find traction on Beerleaguer. If you look at Ryan Howard's 10 most similar players through age 30, you've got some guys who flamed out early (Vaughn, Sexson, Fielder) & some guys who were good into their late 30s (Delgado, McCovey, McGriff, Delgado). There is absolutely no way to know which model Ryan Howard is going to follow.

And that's but one example. Other player-to-player comps are equally illogical.

"I don't know of anyone on the Phils' roster who we might say did not work hard in preparing notwithstanding the results we're seeing lately."

You're right, I can't specifically accuse any of the Phillies of not working hard because I don't know what they did and did not do in the offseason.

All I am saying is that at some point, consistently bad April starts by a majority of the team would seem to reflect negatively on the players in question and/or the training staff.

Howard has an .850 OPS right now and we're complaining? That's pretty good for him in April. He's also on pace to drive in 140 guys.

Howard isn't really the issue.

Howard's OPS on Apr 27th

2010: .757
2009: .885
2008: .666
2007: .824
2006: .970

Seems to be nothing out of character for him...its his 3rd best start ever.

Billingsly: Yes, managers (including Cholly) sometimes bring in LOOGYs to face one batter. In fact, it happens quite often. But it does not follow that these guys never have to face right-handed batters.

I welcome both you and Heather to look up the lefty/righty splits of every LOOGY you can think of. You will not only find that they sometimes face righties, but that they do so quite often. With only 7 arms in a major league bullpen, no manager has the luxury of having a left-hander who can never face right-handed hitters.

'Heather - every single one of your posts always derive from your viewpoint that everything is simple as 'trying' to do something. Constantly acting like Players/coaches are wrong because they choose to be and you are always dumbfounded and asking "why dont they fix it?"'

I guess it derives from my life perspective. I firmly believe there's nothing one can't do if one simply sacrifices anything and everything to accomplish it. At the point that you're either dead, passed out, or bones are sticking out of your skin, then you can say you tried your hardest and there's simply nothing more you can do.

Guys like Zagurski should automatically tithe 10% of their salary to Tony LaRussa. Without his obsession with bullpen roles and that obsession being adopted by the rest of MLB, Zagurski would never have seen an MLB uniform.

Feels like a sweep.

Howard is also posting a .901 OPS against LHPs this season. So far, that aspect of his transition has carried over from last year.

Phillies Web Site now shows only two probable pitchers: Hamels today and Blanton Friday. Apparently Halladay is not yet "probable" for Saturday. I don't remember ever seeing only two probables listed. Perhaps 130 pitches w a s too much?

Well, im happy for your life perpsective, but it makes you type some bogus reasoning of why players/coaches aren't always successful.

"With only 7 arms in a major league bullpen, no manager has the luxury of having a left-hander who can never face right-handed hitters."

Just wanted to point out how crazy it is that we consider a bullpen to "only" have 7 relievers in it. Up until like the late 90s, it was unheard of to carry 7 relievers. Now some teams even carry 8. It's absurd.

Actually, yesterday's game was a classic example of why LOOGYs sometimes have to pitch to right-handers.

You're down by 2 runs with an offense that hasn't hit in weeks. You're not out of the game but you're probably going to lose. You'd be crazy to burn Madson or Bastardo in a game like that. Stutes had pitched the previous day and, I believe, the day before that in AAA. KK had just pitched 2 innings before being removed for a pinch hitter. There are 3 innings left in the game & your choices are Baez, Zags, or Herndon. Arizona has 4 batters coming up & 3 are left-handed; only the 2nd hitter is right-handed. What should Cholly have done? Brought in Zags to face Montero, then removed him for one batter & brought in Herndon or Baez, then brought Bastardo back in to face the 2 lefties? Or should he have just used Zags & taken his chances that the one right-handed batter wouldn't kill him?

NEPP: Yes a good sign. I still am holding on to the belief that Howard is temporarily fixing his flaws at the expenses of his strengths to be come a more complete player - in effort to be able to combine both moving forward to become a better player for the longhaul.

Jack: Well, I agree with you there. I have some rather significant disagreements with the way many relievers are used in today's game. But, even with a 7-man bullpen, you're going to run out of relievers pretty quickly if you play the mix & match game every other hitter, as Heather & Billingsly seem to be proposing.

BAP: I understand your point. I do. I don't expect that a LOOGY will never face RHBs. In fact, they will often.

My only point is that Mike Zagurski (I mention no one else) is getting a raw deal. He is not being utilized in a way which would allow him to succeed, nor has he ever. He is not the only lefty in the 'pen, therefore, majority of his appearances should be against LHPs.

For lack of a better term, he is still "getting his feel wet" in MLB. I would imagine that a guy like him, at this point in his career, should be set up for success, not failure. He's not your set-up man, your 7th inning guy, mop-up guy or anything else. He's a second lefty brought in to counter LHBs. Why should he be used as anything else?

Howard's ISO and BB rate down so far again this season.

He seems to be consistently sacrificing power and walks for more contact and less strikeouts.

That's a bad trade.

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