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Tuesday, May 03, 2011


DH Phils: "Santana and Mayberry have little trade value, Mathieson has none"

I think "Santana has little trade value, Mayberry and Mathieson have none" is more true.

Here's a little rule of thumb I use when assessing a player's probable trade value: if the idea of trading the guy does not give me the least bit of pause, that guy almost certainly has no trade value.

The idea of trading Santana, Mayberry, and/or Mathieson does not give me the least bit of pause.

b_a_p: Interesting. Let me try ... David Herndon.

Yup. That's a solid rule of thumb.

Per Zolecki:

Charlie Manuel made his first truly significant lineup change of the season, following one run in 14 innings Sunday against the Mets.

Jimmy Rollins is back on top.

Here’s tonight’s lineup against the Nationals:

1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Shane Victorino, CF
3. Placido Polanco, 3B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Ben Francisco, RF
6. Raul Ibanez, LF
7. Pete Orr, 2B
8. Brian Schneider, C
9. Cole Hamels, P

I am glad they didn't DL Ruiz. Now 5 days he has been not been available to start. Ugh.

Why would being a "Dom believer" make anyone reluctant to acquire Pence? If Dom is the Super-Prospect almost everyone (not me) seems to think, he could easily adjust to playing left. A Brown-Victorino-Pence outfield would be very solid. Myself, I favor using Brown as hook bait to get the Astros to swallow Blanton in exchange for Pence, and going with some combination of Mayberry/Gload/Francisco in left--but then I'm not a "believer."

Pete Orr will triple.

J-Roll goes 1-4. Single, w/ 2 already Out in the Inning. Gets CS to end said Inning. Sees 10 Pitches or less all night.

It has taken Rollins more than 10 years to develop the solid leadoff skills he has displayed this year. Why would you risk messing that up by moving him to the leadoff spot?

for those wondering if ibanez is cooked, good/interesting article by eric seidman from fangraphs on espn:

Raul Ibanez appears to be at the end of his rope.

The Philadelphia Phillies left fielder has looked "done" in the past, frequently vacillating between stretches equally torrid and horrific, but his start to the 2011 season feels different.

One of the biggest traps fans and analysts fall into is prematurely declaring that a player has nothing left in the tank. A pre-formed narrative develops, a few weeks of poor play at the onset of the season fit that narrative, and assessments both quantitative and qualitative are molded to purvey the message. This idea of anchoring -- weighing performance at the start of the season more than at another point in time -- often leads to inaccurate conclusions, especially regarding older players who may be done.

For example, many deemed Carlos Delgado and David Ortiz finished during the 2008 season. Both got off to terrible starts -- Delgado hit .198/.297/.323 in April, with Big Papi following suit at .184/.294/.350. Delgado finished the season hitting .271/.353/.518, with 38 home runs, great numbers given the slow start and his age. Ortiz finished at .264/.369/.507. Comically enough, Ortiz was also written off after a 2009 campaign in which he hit .238/.332/.462. He silenced naysayers with a .270/.370/.529 showing last year. It's foolhardy to label a player as washed up, because in most cases we just don't know.

The Ibanez situation, however, appears different. While Delgado and Ortiz exhibited decent plate discipline and signs of life throughout their slow starts, Ibanez's numbers, both above and below the surface, belie a player who might actually be tapped for productivity.

He is striking out at a rate greater than at any point in his career -- and strikeout rate is one of the quickest stats to normalize, or become an indicator of true talent, early in the season. His isolated power is Ecksteinian. He is popping the ball up at his highest rate in four seasons. On the plate discipline spectrum, he is swinging at more pitches out of the strike zone than at any point since these stats were kept.

This represents a rather alarming trend when coupled with the fact he is actually being thrown more pitches out of the zone than ever before. Even more problematic is his career-worst rate of swings and misses -- his SwStr percentage is similar to those of Chris Young and Jack Cust, two notorious empty-swingers. Even when he fell into one of his patented funks, Ibanez was always able to make contact with the ball.

Now he is failing to lay off outside pitches, struggling to make contact with pitches in and out of the zone, swinging at almost everything and grounding the ball at a substantially higher rate than ever before. Ibanez has a career ground ball rate of approximately 43 percent. His rate this season is 56 percent. In other words, Ibanez is generating more ground balls than Derek Lowe.

His batting average on balls in play is plenty low at .217, but a big chunk of his struggles are attributable to making very poor contact when he does connect with the ball. Even with a hot second half last season, Ibanez amounted to nothing more than a league-average hitter, for a corner outfielder, with absolutely horrid fielding skills and a noodle arm. Add to that his ripe old age of 39, a seeming inability to catch up to fastballs and how he doesn't profile well in a platoon role, and it would actually be much tougher to make a case that he does have something left.

These are all signs that point to the end of a player's career. Ibanez will undoubtedly have a hot streak or two this season wherein Phillies fans and fantasy owners will convince themselves that he has regained his stroke. The streaks are temporary fixes, however, like using a piece of gum to plug a hole, and before we know it the Ibanez who looks his age will be back. Other players may have been prematurely written off in the past, but the same cannot be said of Ibanez. Practically everything he has shown so far this season suggests that he has reached the end of his career.

J-Roll will go 2-4 with a run scored and a stolen base.

Playing Strat-O-Matic using J-Roll's stats from 2007 doesn't count, Old Phan.

Werth says he'll "always remember Charlie Manuel and what he meant to me and my career and who he is. He's the best, I love Charlie Manuel",

Jay: He'll probably sober up as the game progresses & forget ever saying that.

Utley pleased w way knee feels in ramped up workouts. 'What we're doing has been working.' Could head to Fla for more intense work soon..

MG: Regarding Ruiz, has it really hurt the Phillies that he's on the bench instead of the DL? It's not like the bench is short. They're down a pitcher in the bullpen and NOT having Zagurski is probably a good thing.

lorecore: Stanton's a butcher. His bat has great promise, but at the moment,Pence is the better player. Same for Ethier.

But you are not addressing my original point: You're ridiculous for believing that one of those trades would get it done.

GTown, spoil sport.

How about...




I mean, 5 is better than 2, right?

NEPP: You'd have to throw in Cody Overbeck to get that done and I'm just not willing to go that far.

In any event, Heather would never approve that deal. Giving up way too much.

Clout: Astros probably aren't going to trade Pence, and I doubt we would trade for him.

But a year ago you would have lambasted anyone who suggested Anthony Gose, Jonathan Villar and J.A. Happ would be able to get Roy Oswalt with half his salary paid.

Two years ago you would lambasted anyone who suggested Jason Knapp, Lou Marson, Jason Donald and Carlos Carrasco was enough to get Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco.

You think every Phillies prospect sucks and has no trade value whatsoever for veteran players.

And I agree people on other sites (like PP) wildly overrate Phillies prospects.

But you wildly underrate the desire of non-contending teams to trade their veteran players for something. It happens every year, and every year you act surprised.

MLB Network just caught Jayson Werth pretending to spit in his hand before shaking Ruben Amaro's hand..

clout: Swap out Ethier for Kemp and I'm sold!

CJ - It hurt them the other night vs. Mets when they went extra innings and it likely will again tonight if they go extra frames.

And that reminds me, as much as we love to make fun of Hewitt as the poster child for the Phillies obsession with good-looking toolsy prospects who can't play baseball -- and nobody loves that as much as I do -- our man is sporting a .789 OPS in his second try at Lakewood so far this season.

It is the first sign of life he's shown in 4 years.

Jack: Actually I wouldn't have lambasted that at all, particularly the Gose for Wallace piece. Oswalt didn't have much left on his contract and the 'Stros were going nowhere.

Instead of fantasizing about what I might've posted why don't you look it up?

Clout: Check out Hewitt's K/BB numbers.

He's done. Not a prospect. Has no chance of ever becoming one.

I usually am pretty generous to "prospects." I'm sure he's a great guy and a hard worker and all of that.

But he isn't a baseball player.

clout: Well, you tend to like Phillies' prospects a lot better after they have been traded elsewhere. I definitely do not recall your singing the praises of Jonathan Villar when he was still with the Phillies.

MG: I don't believe for a second that Zagurski would have had a positive impact on that game. Had Chooch not had the back issues, we wouldn't have sent Zagurski down for an extra bat. So we weren't short-handed for hitters (other than Gload being away for personal reasons).

In fairness, clout's basic point is right: most of these guys are overhyped on Beerleaguer & will never pan out.

The thing about prospects, though, is that beauty is sometimes in the eye of the beholder. Obviously, there are certain blue chip prospects on whom pretty much all scouts will agree. But once you get past that very shortl list, there is a much longer list of prospects whom some scouts may really like and others may not like at all. Jonathan Villar & Anthony Gose both fit into that category, as did most of the guys in the Phillies' 2 Cliff Lee trades.

Not all GMs evaluate prospects simply by looking at Sickels' or BA's top 30 lists.

CJ - I see you point. I agree that Zagurski didn't make a difference. Just hurts with having MiniMart on the bench and playing with essentially a 4-man bench. That's another issue.

Hewitt was one of the few times I think I can remember when a pick was almost universally panned by the fans, media, and scouting experts.

MG: Correct, that is another issue. One that may be solved as players get healthy (I hope).

Jack: I happen to agree on Hewitt, but it is nice to finally see some glimmer of talent.

Also, you offend me, sir, with regard to Phils prospects. There are many I like and have said so on this blog. I was a big fan of Happ and like everyone else, love Brown and Singleton. I just didn't agree with your views, nine months and counting, that Brown is ready to be an every day Major League player. I think he will be someday and hope this year. But it's no slam dunk.

And don't forget our bet about Tyson Gillies and J.C. Ramirez.

Hewitt reminded me of the classic Andy Reid pick. Reaches for LJ Smith in the second round and says, "This guy is otherworldly. He's going to stretch the field." While Witten is still on the board and everyone in the world except for Reid knows is the best TE in the draft.

Years later, Witten is still lighting it up for the Cowgirls and LJ is just a bad memory. In a few years Hewitt and Jeff Jackson will be answers to a trivia question. And hopefully, the Phillies will stop buying lottery tickets in the first round. They properly belong in the later rounds, such as Domonic Brown, Cosart and Colvin, etc.

Yo, new game chat.

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