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Tuesday, May 03, 2011


Why is Brian Bocock on our 40 man roster with Wilson Valdez, Michael Martinez, and Pete Orr already on the 40 man?

You can never have too many defense only middle infielders.

You gotta believe that Mini Mart will be released the moment Utley is healthy...he serves no purpose whatsoever and he cant hit at all.

No word on Chooch?

Heather - in case we want to make off-color jokes.

With another 0-4 tonight, Raul can move into 3rd place for all-time consecutive futility among position players.

Kinda like watching DiMaggio go for 61, isn't it?

Andy: Like this classic from an old Simpson's episode:

Principal Skinner (talking to teacher): Times have changed. There will be no more mockery of your name Mr. Glasscock.

I am telling you, bring Bocock up, perhaps assign him the number "69" and sell 1,000,000 jerseys to local frat boys in a week.

Posted on Drexel online bulletin board (I cannot take credit for this):
"Roy Oswalt leaves the Phillies to attend to personal matters, and Osama ends up dead... Coincidence... I think not!"

Couple of notable veterans really struggling early who were really productive last year including Ordonez, Huff, Wells, and Jeter.

Speaking of crappy offseasons:

Everybody gets on the offense here which is clearly a downgrade from year's past but the Giants truly have been awful in the early going (.236/.295/.365) and now their best hitter (Sandoval) out for at least until mid-June.

Sabean sat on his hands and his big offseason move was to bring in Tejada as the everyday SS which has been a complete bust so far at the plate (.211/.245/.295 with 1 HR) and the field.

He also resigned Huff to an inflated deal and resigned Burrell and Mota to minor deals.

Sabean has been one of the worst GMs the last several years in the FA market with flop after flop in the FA market. This year doesn't like an exception.

Giants went all the way with a mediocre offense, so Sabean thought they could do it again. Huff and Burrell did earn it, though.

Phan - Burrell was only resigned to a 1 yr/$1M deal. No harm, no foul. If he really stinks, you can release him mid-season. Huff got a 3/$30M deal when he was going to be 34. It was a foolish Sabean overpay for a veteran who was likely to have a serious decline.

Huff was sort of the Giants' version of 2008 Brad Lidge. He's had an up and down career, with a few legitimately huge seasons & quite a few mediocre ones. He had one of his huge seasons last year & was a key part of their championship run but, as with Lidge in 2008, there were all sorts of reasons to expect a big drop-off this year.

Still, when all is said and done, he's probably good for a .770 to .800 OPS if he can stay healthy. That's not great production for a 1st baseman/corner outfielder and it's not great value at $11M per year. But it's not a complete disaster. I can think of at least one other contending team that wouldn't mind having a corner outfielder who posts a .770 OPS.

I'm surprised to see that not too many beerleaguers are expressing concern over the Marlins having the same "month 1" record as our beloved Phils...these guys seem legit enough to stir up some classic early panic, what gives?

MG: I believe it was 2 years, $22M for Huff.

grandpa, you gave me a good laugh.

Sabean's deal with Huff totally ignored Huff's actual demonstrated abilities. Many people were not fooled by his very good 2010. I would love to say "I told you so," to people who disagreed when I said the Giants were not a shoe-in to win the NL West, but it is still a young season. They still have a good pitching staff and may re-emerge. But their offense, with a whole bunch of guys who are streaky and iffy, has got to be considered suspect at best. Especially since Fat Panda has a size-related injury.

BAP - Your right. That isn't as bad. It has a club option for a 3rd yr. The question is Huff the guy in '08 and '10 who had very productive years or the guy who in '07 and '09 was kind of an offensive dud.

I bet that he doesn't finish north of .750 OPS and is a complete disaster in the OF especially in RF where he has been getting a fair amount of PT

$11M for a guy who will be a sub .750 OPS and is a terrible defender in the OF (he will largely play there because of the Giants' lack of alternatives & eventual return of Belt at 1B)

berger - Our pitching staff has not even begun to achieve what it's capable of. FLA does not even begin to make me nervous.

@the_berger: They are getting better and better every year and Josh Johnson is the hands down Cy Young front runner in the NL but the Marlins do seem to fall apart as the season goes on due to age related injuries. I expect the same this year but granted, they look very formidable right now.

Fish have gotten out to a hot start but they have really healthy too. With the exception of Morrison's injury, they really haven't had a notable injury that has forced someone on the 15-day DL.

See what happens when they have some inevitable injuries.

Phils bullpen has only thrown 74 1/3 IP in 24 G. Only bullpen that has thrown less is TB at 69 IP in 26 G.

People in the bullpen have gotten the job done but the starters averaging 6.46 IP/GS (which leads MLB by a notable margin over the A's, Angels, and Braves) is a big reason why the likes of KK, Baez, and Herndon haven't been exposed.

Reason they lead MLB in IP/GS is Halladay. He is at a ridiculous 7.72 IP/GS so far through 6 G. No one else on the Phils' staff is even close to 7 IP/GS.

As long as the Phils can keep winning, I'm rooting for Ibanez to break the all-time hitless streak. That way Manuel is less likely to play him when Dom Brown is ready to be activated.

Forget the injury argument with the Fish. Just tell me who will be getting hits for them in the second part of the season. Currently three of the top six team members in SLG are Greg Dobbs, Javier Vasquez and Brian Sanches.

It certainly is possible that Morrison and Stanton will rock. I find it hard to conclusively predict that after, like, 125 games each.

Oh, MG- I do believe Herndon has been exposed. Exposed to be not of MLB talent. Man has bad control and is extremely hittable.

Carson - You don't want to jinx a streak like that.

Andy - You doubt the greatness of a Helms/Dobbs combo at 3B which had to be one of the biggest topic website drivers here well through out '07.

By the way, did you get my little "Oh, MG"/"OMG" funny there?

With another 0-4 tonight, Raul can move into 3rd place for all-time consecutive futility among position players.

Kinda like watching DiMaggio go for 61, isn't it?

Posted by: denny b. | Tuesday, May 03, 2011 at 10:09 AM

denny - you meant Maris right?

Good news of late though: With the Brewers dropping 2 games under .500 and the Braves reaching .500 along with the Nats, our record against teams with .500 or better records just got a lot better: 6-3!

Carson-- I've been screaming (mostly at my wife) that Herndon needs to be cut NOW since we couldn't do it last year. I DO like Stutes as a replacement and maybe use one less pitcher when Dominator comes up.

Starting Pitching and Offense is never the Marlins problem.

Bullpen and defense always keep them from consistently winning over 162 games. So far this year their bullpen has been very good, Dunn and Choate have been lights out from the left side and Nunez looks to be settling in after last year struggles.

Their defense is still pretty bad tho, and that will def cost them some close games. But how long does Hanley Rameriz bat under the Mendoza line? Not long I predict...which means even mroe trouble for their opponents.

"Josh Johnson is the hands down Cy Young front runner in the NL"

May 3 is a little early to be talking about front-runners but I would certainly expect Johnson to be right there in contention all year, if he can stay off the DL. That, however, is a huge caveat, considering that he has made more than 30 starts only once in his career.

Even last year, you could make a very strong case that, over the 183.2 innings that he was in there, Johnson actually out-pitched Halladay. But when two guys are close to equal, you just can't ignore the fact that one guy gave his team 67 additional innings.

Old Phan: Apparently our GM thought we could win it all with a mediocre offense as well.

We need to sweep the Nats this series. The schedule gets a LOT tougher starting this weekend.

I would say Doc is still right up there with Johnson and is the better pitcher since he goes way deeper into games. If Doc only ever went 6 or 7 innings, I bet his ERA+ would be ridiculous too...especially if you told him he's only going 6 innings so he could go max effort.

Get back to me when JJ is leading the league in CG, IP, etc.

Andy: Did you really just try to cite Brian Sanches' 1.000 SLG as the Marlins best slugger this year becase he's 1-1 with a single?

I must admit, I was surprised to see that the futility record for an everyday player is only 0 for 46. I was kind of expecting something considerably longer than that. Of course, if I check back two weeks from now, the record might be more in line with what I would have expected.

Brown and Utley both coming back healthy within the next month would really help.

Not surprisingly, I have a somewhat skeptical feeling about the next month or so, with the tougher schedule, inevitable regression from Polanco, and the potential that the bullpen injuries finally start to cost us some winnable games.

It is amazing how like Seinfeld, Hagen can write column after column about nothing.

There is next to zero insight in this article in a topic I would really like to know more about (Phils approach to Latin America). How did it change under the Carpenters from the current regime? What about the differences between Thomas vs. Wade. vs. Gillick/Amaro?

Contrast Hagen's turd with an article like this one on Reiner (who really opened the Venezuela market to MLB talent) and his efforts in Brazil with the Devil Rays to develop players there. Also gives some insights into baseball in Brazil.

Jack: I'm of the opinion that lack of Offense will cost the Phillies at least as many winnable games as the bullpen. In fact, it already has.

MG: Some people are surprised that newspapers are dying, others are sad. Me? I'm relieved.

I guess I was a little hard on Hagen. I like when he is on DSL. Seems like he generally he something to say of merit but way too many of his columns seem like they are they are crappy no-fat snacks. They are mostly just filler and still leave you wanting more.

Dave - Newspapers matter because the word of microcontent on the Web is still a mess and not a viable business model. At least not if you are a publicly-traded company.

Newspapers are going the same way as buggy whip factories did in the early 20th century. Progress with it. The easiest solution is to go fully electronic or to team up with regional & national news networks. Only major "papers" will survive like the Washington Post and NY Times. The DN/Inquirer could easily do this if they were smart. Their biggest current problem is their union contracts. If they were able to break those, they could go to maybe 3 days a week papers and full electronic. I am friends with a former advertiser exec from the DN and we were talking about this once. He moved on 5 years ago because he saw the writing on the wall. Why pay for the DN/Inquirer when I get better Phillies news from Beerleaguer for free?

I want one of two things from Polanco:

1. To continue to go 0fer, to really and truly convince the FO and Charlie Manuel that he's cooked

2. To go on a hot streak that lasts the rest of the season and OPS above .800

Either one of those outcomes I would satisfied with. Instead, what will probably happen is:

3. Ibanez will show just enough signs of life that the FO and UC can convince themselves he's turning it around, and ends up getting regular playing time in route to finishing the year as one of the 5 worst corner outfielders in baseball.

Why pay for the DN/Inquirer when I get better Phillies news from Beerleaguer for free?

Exactly. If you're a savvy consumer, the internet at large provides better info from an exponentially larger pool of "reporters", & far more rapidly, to boot. Old-fashioned newspaper columns can be -- & frequently are -- an entertaining source of great prose, but so far as being a conduit for timely & useful information? Dead.

I do like that Brown appears to have gone back to having his hands in his natural position.

I thought "fixing" his swing was a massive overreaction to a bad 60 ABs at the major-league level. He had done nothing but hit throughout his career. I would've given him a LOT more rope than simply 60 ABs in part-time duty in his first look at major-league pitching before "fixing" his swing.

Re: comparing JJ and Halladay.

I posted a couple days ago, that since the beginning of the 2010 season, JJ has pitched 224.2 IP of 2.04 ERA ball, over 34 starts.

Doc has pitched 297 IP of 2.39 ERA ball, over 39 starts. So, with Doc you're getting more starts, but maybe that can be chalked up to injuries and the fact that JJ had less starts, and not too predictive of future trends.

The nail in the coffin is the following:

JJ, over those 34 starts, averaged 6.61 IP/GS. Doc, over his 39 starts, averaged 7.61 IP/GS. Doc is giving you an extra inning per game, every game.

The next question is, does Doc giving you that extra inning every game make him more valuable then JJ, since there is a notable difference in the ERAs between the two pitchers?

Let's assume that Doc pitched to his average IP/GS every time out, and assume the same for JJ. That would mean that every game out, Doc would get you 2 outs into the 8th inning, and JJ, every time out, would get you 2 outs into the 7th inning.

To equal the production that Doc has given the Phillies since the beginning of 2010, you would need JJ and then a reliever, posting a 3.48 ERA to get you the last out of the 7th and the first two outs of the 8th.

And, I'd rather go with the same pitcher to get that production than have to rely on two pitchers (more variance) to get that kind of production. That's just me, though.

Great to hear Oswalt will be back Saturday or Sunday. Who would you rather see pitch? Oswalt or Lee?

Herndon amd Mini-Mart are not Major-League talents. We should kept Durbin and sent Herndon to the Minors and we never should claimed Mini-Mart in the Rule 5 draft.

Couple those with some possible moves we coulda/shoulda made and we might be a little better off right now.

Now we are going to get an impact bat and hopefully soon. Chase Utley. He'll bat 3rd, Jimmy will lead off and Vic will be moved down. The line-up at that point will be improved.

I can see wanting to have Borwn in RF and Benny Fran in left, but what will happen with Raul? At his $$ they won't release him, and he won't sit on the bench. Because Mayberry hits RH, Brown may just be optioned.

As for yesterday's report linking Scutaro to the Phils, please I hope they pass.

@bap: Is it bad to wish for an opposing to go down to injury? In Johnson's case that's a dream with a very good chance of coming true.

Tim, yes. Josh Johnson is a special kind of talent, and I hope he excels. It's good for baseball when great players play greatly. It's bad for baseball when they go down with injury.

Damn you Fat and your nuggets of baseball wisdom!

Sorry Tim...


It's cool, Rube will trade Rizzoti, Bocock, Galvis, and Aumont for Johnson in a month or two anyways.

Tim, excellent idea.


Livan Hernandez got caught laundering money for Puerto Rican druglord El Buster....and no im not making this up.

Beerleaguer, it's your time to shine! Rank in order from most to least reprehensible: anti-gay comments on the field towards fans with children around, drunk drag racing, and money laundering for a drug ring. Bonus points if you can quote your college GPA as support for your intellect!

Regarding baseball: Fatalotti, I agree that Pence would be a great pickup, better than Scutaro, and would more directly fill a position of need. My issue is with the proposed trade (Cosart, Santana, Mathieson, and Mayberry). If the Phillies could get Pence for that package, they should do it, no question. I'm skeptical that Houston would agree to trade a young, cost-controlled star for a top A-ball prospect with arm problems, a lottery ticket 17-year-old, and two AAAA players.

"Chi Chi! Get the yayo!"

lorecore: I don't wish ill will on anyone, but if that investigation puts Livan out of commission for any period of time, that would be great for the Phils.

Now if we could only connect Chris Young as a mole in the Madoff scandal, that would take care of two thorns in our side...

"I'm skeptical that Houston would agree to trade a young, cost-controlled star for a top A-ball prospect with arm problems, a lottery ticket 17-year-old, and two AAAA players."

Who here thought Houston would trade their #1 pitcher, one of the top 20 pitchers in the game, who had 1.5 years left, as well as an option year to Philadelphia for a pu-pu platter of a #4-5 starter, a toolsy outfielder, and a decent young infield propsect. Oh yeah, and pick up half the ace pitcher's salary in the process?

If Ed Wade isn't fired by the trade deadline,I don't see how he doesn't take it, as the proposed deal for Pence is actually much better than the one they got for Oswalt.

DH: Pence is only under team control for 1 more year, and is already making $7M - likely near $10M next season.

You're trading your best pitching prospect for 1 year of a 116 OPS+ corner OF who will make ~$10M next season?

oh damn, nevermind - Pence under control in 2013 as well - misread it.

Heather: If you can't see the difference between paying huge bucks for a 33-year-old SP and paying lesser bucks for 28-year-old position player who happens to be one of the best in the league at his position, then you are even more clueless than your posts suggest.

The biggest laugh I had today were on the suggested trades linked by Fatalotti:
1. Hunter Pence for Jarred Cosart, Domingo Santana, Scott Mathieson, and Mayberry
2. Pence and Wesley Wright for Cosart, Bastardo, Leandro Castro, and Mayberry
3. Pence for Cosart, Michael Stutes, Santana, and Travis Mattair

I understand, however, that Rube has recently signed two prospects, Kash Konsiderations and Sum Doodz, who Beerleaguer posters will surely think can get a player of Pence's quality in a trade.

lorecore: This is Ed Wade we're talking about. The Phillies could probably get Pence for Ibañez & Baez, but only if r00b agreed to let the Astros pay all of their remaining salary. Eddie's shrewd like that.

Those two were actually signed by Gillick.

You look like a leezard!

clout: "one of the best in the league at his position"

Id rather have -

Jason Heyward
Andre Ethier
Jayson Werth
Justin Upton
Jay Bruce
Mike Stanton

over Pence - so that puts him right about the middle of the pack of NL RF doesn't it?

"Heather: If you can't see the difference between paying huge bucks for a 33-year-old SP and paying lesser bucks for 28-year-old position player who happens to be one of the best in the league at his position, then you are even more clueless than your posts suggest."

Clout, there's plenty of room for disagreement on this board. Why the gratiutious ad hominem attacks? Do you feel they help you drive your point home better?

I do think Pence is a slightly better value than Oswalt which is reflected in the package.

Why do you feel the difference between Oswalt and Pence is so gaping the packages are ludicrous? You spend plenty of time bashing others as well as the proposal, but how about using numbers (like WAR, adjusted $ for win, stuff like that) to explain why?

I'm not sure if Ed Wade is rebuilding or trying to win now. The roster looks like a rebuilding project but, when you're in your 4th year on the job without a playoff appearance, and an ownership change looks imminent, you'd better be trying to win as many games as possible this year if you hope to keep your job. Under either scenario, however, it is difficult for me to see any reason why they'd trade Hunter Pence.

DH Phils: I would rank them in reverse order of your listing, but then again, my GPA was only 1.97, so I am twice as dumb as others on here.

lorecore: That was exactly my point. (Sanches.) When one of your best hitters is a relief pitcher, you know that it is a) early in the season, and b) to soon to infer that the team is strong enough to maintain its position atop the leader board. Brian Sanches has more hits than Chase Utley. FLA does not concern me.

Particularly when we sign Hunter Pence for Rizzotti, Mattair, Mathiesson, Overbeck and some dudes.

"I'm not sure if Ed Wade is rebuilding or trying to win now."

The problem with the Astros is that I don't think Ed Wade knows if Ed Wade is rebuilding or trying to win now.

(Or perhaps more charitably, maybe he's getting mixed signals from ownership asking him to do the impossible...rebuild, but win games doing it, etc.)

"FLA does not concern me"

I'm ok with that, they do not concern much either for 1st place in the division, but doubting their offense isn't a very safe bet.

Morrison and Stanton are legitimate prospects, not some out-of-nowhere players who are just having a good start. The only players they have that are way over their heads right now is Greg Dobbs and that is evened out with Hanley playing so poorly.

lorecore: Cosart has ace potential but he's at least 3 years away and had to be shut down last year with elbow problems. I'd trade him for an established above-average major league OF under control for 2.5 years without hesitation.

Santana and Mayberry have little trade value, Mathieson has none.

I would do any of the proposed trades, no question, but I doubt Houston would be interested in any of them.

Phillies have about a 5 year window (Halladay for 3 yr, Lee for 5 more, Hamels for about 6-7 years)

i'd keep the prospects and not go all in because as our team ages, polanco, utley, rollins, victorino, (core) die out in pasture, we'll need a healthy 6 - 10 more players to back them up within the next 3 years. Prospects are the easiest way of getting those numbers, and the best chance we have to keep our team full of solid players. Free Agency is our best friend, not trades at this point. If our talent is in the Lakewood stage, isn't that the perfect type of wave of talent we need for the singletons and cosarts to start making contributions in 2013, 2014 when our core starts dying off?

Well, if lorecore says think Pence is no better than middle of the pack, it must be true.

Look, I've been reading this blog long enough to know the mindset: All Phillies prospects are great and all players not in pinstripes are mediocre.

But I pretty much try to go by reality, as reflected in stats and scouting reports etc.

The notion that you can acquire Hunter Pence in exchange for Cosart and 3 never-will-bes is beyond laughable. And the fact that posters like Heather and lorecore take such a thing seriously pretty much says it all.

Jim Salisbury (via Twitter): "Jimmy Rollins leading off tonite. Vic second. Polanco hits third. Ibañez is in lineup."

My disgust knows no bounds.

Orr & Schneider are also in the lineup (7-8). Phillies lose, 2-0.

GTown, if Jimmy doesn't change his approach, i.e., keeps walking at the same clip he's been walking all year, I don't mind it. If he starts hacking, we're in trouble!!

Fatalotti: I expect him to revert immediately.

Rollins 3-4 with 2RBI.

i do like polly batting 3rd.....

Andy: It is Sum Doodz. He is half-Taiwanese and tore it up last season for the Taipei City Brother Elephants. Teammate Kash Konsiderashuns (an American import) broke the consecutive game hit record. These are great signings for the Phils.

Fatalotti is exactly right: J-Roll has been a great leadoff hitter in the 3 hole.

If I'm Houston and I'm trading Pence, I want a little more of a sure thing than Cosart leading the package. The attrition rate on pitchers that far from the bigs is atrocious. I'd probably push for Singleton & Cosart. All those proposals listed on that other blog seemed a little light. But, what do I know. Teams inexplicably (soopitly?) trade off good players for magic beans all the time.

clout: Cash Kansidrasian, a cousin of the Kardashians.

If Charlie wants a bad fielding LH OF in the line-up, why doesn't he hammer Gloade's stake into the grass out there?

They owe Livan one. Light his butt up!

"Well, if lorecore says think Pence is no better than middle of the pack, it must be true."

I made a specific list of NL Rf'ers that I think are better than Hunter Pence now and in the near future. I came up with 6 - did you disagree with any of those 6? If so, let me know. If not, you think consider 7th best = one of the best.

Cholly stuck with Brad Lidge as closer through 11 blown saves, 8 losses, a 1.81 WHIP, and a 7.21 ERA season. Raul would probably have to go hitless over his next 250 ABs before Cholly would even think of giving him a day off against a RHP.

clout: "one of the best in the league at his position"

Id rather have -

Jason Heyward
Andre Ethier
Jayson Werth
Justin Upton
Jay Bruce
Mike Stanton

over Pence - so that puts him right about the middle of the pack of NL RF doesn't it?

Posted by: lorecore | Tuesday, May 03, 2011 at 02:17 PM

If I may put my two cents in. Heyward seems like the stud of that group. I wouldn't get too high on Stanton yet, as he has to prove how good he is over a long period of time, and while he was good last year, he's started this year off slowly. Andre Ethier isn't a huge upgrade over Pence offensively, though he is an upgrade. But he's a fairly significant downgrade defensively. Werth is 4 years older than Pence. Uptoon is probably a good deal better and Bruce is probably a slight upgrade.

But among those names, Pence is the best combination for the Phillies. He'd be under their control for 2.5 years, he's not ridiculously expensive, and he's well rounded. You gain on defense and offense, whereas a few of those players only offer one or the other. He's not the best RF, but he'd definitely be a big upgrade...once we got over his weird, quirky movements.

fat: would agree with everything you said(except mabye the level of offensive upgrade Ethier is).

If I were trying to trade for a RF, Pence would be my #1 target based on age/money/availablity/etc.

I was just replying to the assertion the he's 'one of the best in the league at his position'. I dont view him that highly.

"If I'm Houston and I'm trading Pence, I want a little more of a sure thing than Cosart leading the package. The attrition rate on pitchers that far from the bigs is atrocious. I'd probably push for Singleton & Cosart"

I would do that if we could have bargaining rights with Pence pre-trade and signed him to a reasonable extension paying him a decent amount for an additional 2 (or more) FA years.

I don't think there's any way that happens....but that would be the only way I'd trade away our two best prospects for Pence.

Lorecore: I agree with your list as well. I think Pence should be the #1 target for the Phillies in the league in terms of price/performance/availability, but that's quite different from #1 RF.

We will not trade for Pence.

And I am a DOM believer, so the need for RF help is much less a priority to me - so my opinion of trading prospects for Pence is much more conservative anyway.

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