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Friday, May 27, 2011


Please Leave the Buster Posey Discussion On the Last Thread.

10 words:
Hobbling along to the 2nd best record in the majors.

I can summarize the Phillies with one word:


I'm very impressed the way the've been hanging together.

Bill Baer actually did a study about why the Phillies have a better record against LHSP. It turns out that their offense has hit RHSP and LHSP virtually the same, and the reason that their record is better against LHSP is that it has just worked out that the Phillies starters have happened to pitch better when opposed by a LHSP.

Since their is no reasonable explanation as to why this shoudl continue going forward, I don't think we should concluce that the Phillies will have a better chance against LHSPs going forward as opposed to RHSP.

Great pitching will produce a great regular season record. (9 words was all I needed)

"Every one in the NL sucks even more."

Tabata from the Pirates just got hurt trying to hold up at the plate so he didn't hit the catcher Hill for the Cubs. Twisted his ankle it looks like and left the game.

Already, guys trying to play soft are getting hurt.

Brown had 2 hits last night. Hopefully he builds on that.

Disappointment implies the player hasn't met expectations. I don't include injuries in that category. I don't include Dom Brown in the discussion on major disappointments.

As for the offense, first we get healthy and then we assess what we got.

10 words or less:

Pitchers carrying the load. Offense riding their backs.

EFF- I don't know that there is an AL team that's all that imposing either. Yankees have pitching problems, Red Sox have hitting problems, Rangers best hitters are all injury prone and there's no staff ace for a short series. Cleveland. . . .well. . . .I'd pick us over them. I feel the same way about Tampa or the Angels.

Great pitching and average offense. NL East five years running.

"Brown had 2 hits last night. Hopefully he builds on that."

With two lefties in this series, I doubt he gets much of a chance this weekend. Too bad.

We gonna hit, we gonna pitch, we gonna win.

Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Thank God.

I also think we need to give Brown more time before he's labelled a disappointment. Injuries are unpredictable and he has less than 100 major league at bats. I like the plate discipline he has shown so far. I kind of think Ryan Howard is a dissappointment but at the same time he's been following the same blue print of his offense his entier career. Start slow, end with balls in the bleachers.

It will be interesting to see how this team handles the next 16 games against weaker teams coming off that 10-10 rough stretch we just had.

Starting tonight the Phils will be playing the following teams:

@ Mets (3)
@ Nats (3)
@ Pirates (3)
vs. Dodgers (3)
vs. Cubbies (4)

The goal in this stretch should be 11-5 or better to be considered "successful"

Off season hype > Early season reality.

(6 words and a > sign)

Biggest surprise for me is Stutes.Not even looked at as a top tier prospect coming into this year and, small sample size admittedly, he has been impressive out of the bullpen. Tony No-dad had great minor league numbers, so I was not so surprised when he did well this year.

Biggest disappointment, probably Francisco. I keep hoping he will take advantage of the opportunity, but he may just be a solid bench guy.

10 word summary:

Pitching and defense will lead us to the World Series.

Ray Fosse FTW.

"The Philadelphia Phillies are a sleeping giant."

When healthy, which they have not been, there is not a better team in baseball; on the mound, in the batter's box, or on the field.

BL denizens know that the team has been firing on only 6 of their 8 cylinders, but the returns of Utley, Victorino, along with that of Blanton, Lidge and Schneider will make the next hundred games the team plays even better than the first 50.

Biggest, but least surprising, disappointment: Rollins

Biggest disappointment from whom I legitimately expected more: Francisco

Biggest surprise (to me): the washed up Polanco

Do the Phillies need to add a hitter or two? Yes.

Phillies in 10 words: Great starting pitching, potentially good bullpen, woeful offense, tough division.

Phillies know how to win but another hitter wouldn't hurt.

Isn't it way to early to have developed an opinion on Dom Brown either way?

The guy has 18 AB's this season and 80 AB's in his career. For all those that are ready to be done with him, don't you think you should wait a little longer?

Given his RISP success and his relief stint, isn't Wilson Valdez team MVP through May 27th?

And while BenFran has fallen far short of the gushing praise given him by the fawning posters of Beerleaguer before the season began, it's far too early to call him a flop.

clout: What Valdez did yesterday morning was amazing but I don't know if it earns him club MVP right now. His offense is atrocious, but he has a great glove and a rocket arm.

BAP, the offense is woeful?

Sure they've had some poor stretches, but I believer their runs/game average is right at the league average mark right now.

Stutes biggest surprise,saw him twice at Reading last year and he showed NO signs of being major league ready.
J.C. and MiniMart can go.

When this team gets healthy,WATCH OUT!!!!

Matt Gelb reports Wilson Valdez's hat from the 19-inning game is headed to Cooperstown.

Wilson Valdez in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

If that's not the biggest surprise, I don't know what is.

Fat: If you believe the Phillies runs per game average is an accurate gauge of their day-to-day performance, then you must also believe the same about Danys Baez's stellar 115 ERA+.

"Wilson Valdez in the Baseball Hall of Fame."

Where he'll join other immortals like Eric Bruntlett . . .

Fatalotti: I'd argue that, for a team which is supposed to be a legit championship contender, found it necessary to fire their Hitting Coach last season & has a supposed "Hitting Guru" at the helm, "Average" = "Woeful".

In happier news:

Nationals’ Jayson Werth Needs To Think Before He Talks

Wow. A whole .205 now, is it?

Gelb also tweets about this column in the Washington Post that goes after Jayson Werth.

BAP, Polanco's washed up??

Or did I misread sarcasm?

BAP, I'm not saying that offense isn't without its issues. But woeful seems to be a rather superlative descriptor, that's all.

The offense is the weak point of this team, when judging the four major categories: Starting Pitching, bullpen, defense and offense.

Still, I think, going forward, this will be a league average offense (~4.1 runs per game), and you know what...that's good enough for us to win the division, hell maybe even 100 games.

Halladay might be having his best season ever:

"What a terrifying thought for the National League. Roy Halladay, a 34-year-old pitcher with a history of utter dominance, is beginning 2011 with the best numbers of his career, and by a wide margin. Forget the two Cy Young seasons. Forget the seven All-Star games. Roy Halladay has taken a massive leap forward in 2011, and the result is a trail of destruction blazed straight through the National League."

Mike: I said Polanco was the biggest surprise to this point. Over the last 2 seasons, he certainly looked to be -- well, not exactly washed up, but in substantial decline. Of course, let's see where his final numbers end up. I still have considerable doubts that he can even hit .300, let alone what he's hitting right now.

OK, I get it now.

Biggest surprise:

Stutes/Bastardo. Could very well be this year's Venters/Kimbrel. Madson has been electric too.

As far as a disappointment, I haven't seen enough of Domonic Brown to rule him as one. He seems like a bat that could get hot. Ben Francisco by far though. He has been brutal for the most part this season.

Wow, I see JRoll is getting poked at again.

I don't understand all the Rollins disappointment. Really. I've never expected him to repeat 2007.

Actually, on April 26th, JRoll sported this line:

.264/.343/.308 with no HR, and 2 RBI in 102 PA; .304 BAbip

Since then he's done this:

.264 .339 .409 with 3 HR and 13 RBI in 124 PA; .268 BAbip

So....he's improved his SLG by 100 points and seems to have been somewhat unlucky with regard to balls in play.

Will he improve if his Babip normalizes? If his OBP does improve and he can hold the SLG where it is, we could be looking a a SS with an OPS in the .800 range.

Whare would that put him relative to the rest of the SS in MLB, and which ones who are better hitters could have made some of the plays that JRoll made in the early morning on Thursday?

Wow, just a scathing story on Werth in the Washington Post.

One example:

"Problem is, a team that has the third-worst on-base percentage in Major League Baseball doesn’t need a $126 million player on its roster. It would have made more sense for Rizzo to spread it around, signing a few players to bolster the offense and bench.

At the time of the deal, it was highly questionable whether the signing made sense. Now, it looks downright ridiculous, especially considering Werth’s lack of leadership with his thinly veiled comments."

Biggest disappointment personally is Ben Francisco. Fantasy baseball-wise, I bought into his spring and some people predicting a breakout season, so I dropped Polanco to get him, gave up on him, then dropped Matt Joyce to get him again. Joyce has turned into Babe Ruth since.

My biggest disappointment for the team is the continued employment of JC Romero.

10 words: Great pitching as advertised, nerve-grinding offensive team to watch.

LOllie, it looks like Werth is running out his welcome in DC after only 50 games. Ouch.

Well, I have a source (who has a source directly in the Phillies clubhouse) who has told me that Werth wasn't all that well liked.

Tolerated? yes. Respected? Yes.

Liked by his teammates? From what I've heard no one misses him in the locker room.

The big contract for Werth makes as little sense for the player as it does for ownership. So much of baseball is a mental game, and the pressure of the big contract is a huge impediment to performance. Nice to have the money I suppose, but far better to have a little less and feel better about yourself.

Rubes formula: Superior rotation, good infield defense, good backend bullpen. (10 words)

Zolecki (via Twitter): "Tonight's Lineup @ NYM: Rollins SS, Utley 2B, Polanco 3B, Howard 1B, Francisco RF, Ibañez LF, Ruiz C, Mayberry CF, Oswalt P."

awh: We're going on 3 seasons now that you've been gerrymandering Rollins' numbers into isolated chunks, throwing out the chunks that don't support your argument, and then claiming that his offense is as good as ever.

I am confused why "consistent-but-not-spectacular defense." anyone would write that? I know UZR is what is used here on BL and I myself do not fully understand UZR enough to use it as a tool in a discussion, but I got to think having the least amount of errors and the best fielding percentage would account for something other than just solid?

AS for summing up the 2011 Phillies, I would go with "We're NOT snakebitten, baby"

Imagine if I had told you 5 years ago that these statement would be true, what would you say?

Wilson Valdez and Eric Bruntlett in Hall of Fame.

I am taking the kids to see the game tonight, although based on my track record maybe we should stay home.

Biggest Surprise: The Bullpen in general. Madson, Contreras, Bastardo, Stutes, Kendrick (for the most part) ... even Worley, who has been about as good as anyone can expect an emergency call-up to be. Hell, everyone -- even Baez & Herndon -- save for Romero has had a moment or two to shine, as particularly evidenced in their 11 IP, 1 ER allowed performance vs. Cincinnati the other night/morning. Think about it. Eleven Innings. One Run. That. Was. AWESOME.

Biggest Disappointment: Ben Francisco. He stinks. At the plate. In the field. On the base paths. Flat stinks. I never cared for BenFran & I really didn't think he'd do much this year, but I allowed the excitement of the local beat writers over whatever it is they saw during Spring Training to temper my low expectations to the point that merely reading the man's name now fills me w/ disgust.

Keith: The Phillies defense makes just about all the plays they can get to, with little exception. Their range, however, has been in question this season. In fact, the Phils are among the worst teams in baseball in converting batted balls into outs. This often suggests a lack of range.

So why is that? Valdez likely doesn't have as much range Utley. J-Roll's range is less as he gets up in years. Polanco's range is less as he gets up in years. Howard's never had good range. Ibanez has always had bad range. Francisco's defense in RF has been, um, curious at times. And Vic's been hurt some of the time.

My vote for the best 10-words-or-less so far:

"Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Thank God."

"When healthy, which they have not been, there is not a better team in baseball; on the mound, in the batter's box, or on the field."

I think you want to use a conjunctive sentence there (and) instead of a disjunctive (or). Certainly you aren't saying that the Phillies are the best team in baseball in the batter's box, right?

They may be the best team overall, when you combine those things. And I could buy the best team in baseball on the mound. But certainly not in the batter's box, and I don't think close in the field, although someone will inevtiable cite fielding percentage to tell me they are.

"Worley, who has been about as good as anyone can expect an emergency call-up to be. "

No, he's been far better than an emergency call-up ought to be.

My 10-words-or-less:

So you think it's already NEPP day?


10 words or less:

Pitching good as advertised. Need Oswalt healthy. Offense predictably struggling.

"Each game feels like a loss. Season feels like a win."

I know that's eleven words, but I think it sums up the season pretty well.

10 words or less, they are: Confident, no matter what ails them.

CJ: Did you see Chooch haul ass down to the tarp the other morning? Dude's got mad range.

'11 Phils In 10 Words Or Less:

Even SEAL Team 6 Can't Find "Hitting Season".

good thing valdez wasn't wearing his hof-bound hat when he got pie-ed.

Beerleaguer is World Headquarters for the double standard, and it is worth noting that J-Roll is among the prime victims even though players like Kendrick, Moyer and Howard are more often mentioned when the topic of double standard comes up.

Clout: I'm confused as to the double standard. Presumably you mean there's some standard we are applying to Rollins that we don't apply to other players? What are those standards?

Your sentence on its own doesn't really mean anything without some context.

Beat reporters are tweeting that Brad Lidge will be throwing in extended spring training tomorrow.

That's a pretty important step which means we should know sooner rather than later if Lidge will be a factor this year.

CJ: I look forward to reading about Lidge's simulated blown save.

are stolen bases simulated as well?

Biggest surprise for me has been BenFran. I really thought he was better than he has shown so far.

Sick rotation, solid bullpen. Some old blokes hittin' just enough.

***Fantasy baseball-wise, I bought into his spring and some people predicting a breakout season, so I dropped Polanco to get him, gave up on him, then dropped Matt Joyce to get him again. Joyce has turned into Babe Ruth since.***

So you play FBB for money and if so, can I be in your league next year?

~has Joyce as a FA pickup and is loving it~

bap: At least only simulated poodles will be baked in the process. Or will the poodles be real and the baking simulated?

I wish the Phillies were allowed to pay Lidge in simulated money. Schrute Bucks, perhaps.

CJ: I hear they bring in real poodles, so as to make the simulation more realistic.

"awh: We're going on 3 seasons now that you've been gerrymandering Rollins' numbers into isolated chunks, throwing out the chunks that don't support your argument, and then claiming that his offense is as good as ever.

Posted by: bay_area_phan"

bap, I went back and checked, and see that you were the one disappointed in JRoll.

Sorry, dude, but I wasn't really directing my comment at you personally (I didn't address you directly), though it seems by your pissy-pants response that you took it that way.

I say this to you in response: If you are disappointed in JRoll it's because your expectations are probably unrealistic. He had one fantastic year, 2007, and the rest of his career has fluctuated up and down.

I'm not disappointed in him because I don't expect more than a .260 - .280 BA, a .330 to .340 OBP, and a SLG that's in the low .400 range.

I posted the numbers above because they spoke for themselves:

His BA and OBP are virtually the same as they were a month ago and his SLG has gone up considerably.

Also, if you consider that the average NL SS has a line of .256/.312/.362 in 3,446 PA so far this season, it seems the Phillies have a SS who is above average defensively and slightly above average offensively - and who may be able to improve offensively if his BAbip improves. The counter to that is if he's purposely swinging for more power right now it could be increasing his SLG but suppressing his BAbip (all those pop-ups, you know) and no BAbip improvement will be forthcoming.

But I'll say this to you directly:

If you are disappointed in Jimmy Rollins offensive performance this season I suggest to you that you have unrealisitic expectations that are clouded by a career year he had 4 years ago. Take 2007 out of the mix and his performance this season, particularly the last month, is not much different from his career averages.

Your problem with Jimmy Rollins lies in you, not with Jimmy Rollins.

awh: Before Rollins' offense fell off the cliff in 2009, he'd had 5 straight seasons with an OPS of .786 or better. In what alternate universe is a .704 OPS in line with those numbers?

As for my expectations being unrealistic . . . not at all. After 2 straight seasons with an OPS of .719 or lower, my expectation was that he'd have an OPS of .719 or lower. It was 90% of Beerleaguer who assured me that he would bounce back to 2009-type numbers.

Like I said in my original post, I am disappointed that -- at least to this point --Rollins has not played to the expectations held by 90% of Beerleaguer. But, unfortuantely, he has played to my expectations.

Is Lidge going to be throwing to a catcher or firstbaseman?

bap, was his OPS .786 or better every year in his career?

You are being disingenuous and hypocritical.

You accused me of "gerrymandering Rollins' numbers into isolated chunks", but then try to use and isolated chunk - his peak "5 straight seasons with an OPS of .786 or better" - ignoring the rest of his career.

WTF? In bap-world does the rest of his career not count?

What I wrote:

"Take 2007 out of the mix and his performance this season, particularly the last month, is not much different from his career averages."

Well, my disingenuous, hypocritical friend, go do the numbers. If you remove 2007 from his numbers, it ain't that much different.

Again, you have urealistic expectations, hence your disappointment.

awh: He had 5 straight years with OPS ranging from .786 to .875, and you're trying to tell me that we should set our expectations by what he did 6 to 10 years ago? That's one of the more bizarre arguments that has ever been advanced on Beerleaguer.

For those of you in the previous thread stating Posey knew what he got himself into, he knew he wasn't in the greatest position, etc, here's his latest comment:

"A play like that is something that's gotta be looked at by MLB and the MLBPA a catcher you're left in a very exposed position when you catch the ball and have a guy bearing down on you as hard as he can. I'm fortunate I didn't come away with a neck or a spinal injury."

Certainly sound like he thinks it's unfair, unreasonable, and he wants it to never happen again.

I'm about ready to call him a WHAAAmbulance, but I figured I see what others thought, since I never played catcher, and even though it sounds like sour grapes, maybe it's not.

bap, I only see 4 years @ .786 or better. Is there a phantom year I don't see?

awh: Um, make that 5 years of .770 or better. But the same point applies and I think you know that.

Heather, I don't want to get back into it but, I don't see how keeping that kind of play in the game outweighs the risk he's talking about. He's qualified to comment on the rules. It takes alot of guts to make the play Posey made knowing he's going to get clocked. He risks the same kind of injury he suffered whether he is exposed to a flying tackle or not and his comments reflect that.

bap, what's bizarre is that you've been on BL this long and still don't understand the concept of peak years.

btw, I guess you tacitly agree with my pointing out your hypocricy, as you didn't attempt to refute it.

Heather: Jayson Stark has a pretty good column where he talks to two former catchers, both of whom say the rules shouldn't change. You can read it here.

Here's a quote from Brad Ausmus:

"If this happened to a backup catcher, who was just called up from Triple-A, do you think we'd be having this discussion?" he wondered. "I don't know that we would."

Stark also points this out:

Asked Thursday if he could ever remember any baseball officials talking about this issue in any setting -- GM meetings, winter meetings, etc. -- before Posey got hurt, one longtime executive told us: "Nope. We've never had [conversations about] this one. But I think people will talk about it now."

Heather, I tend to agree with your assessment of Posey

awh: You and others have spent the last 2 and a half years finding reasons to explain away Rollins' drop in offense. Now, two and a half years into your argument, you're asserting that there has been no drop at all. This is the most egregious form of sophistry I have ever encountered on Beerleaguer -- or anywhere, for that matter.

Heather: It annoys me when people call for changes in the rules simply because a popular player happened to get hurt. Posey's injury is unfortunate, no more & no less. MLB should not even consider changing its rules as a result. Here's a good column on the matter:

Contact At Home Plate Is Part Of The Game

If MLB wants to address an actual safety issue, they might pay more than lip service to the frequent occurrence of exploding maple bats, which not only pose a very real danger to players, but to fans as well.

How do you spell Posey?:



Matt Gelb (via Twitter): "It doesn't sound like Domonic Brown is going down when Shane Victorino returns in a week"

Relevant quote:

"First of all, we brought Domonic up here and he's going to get a chance to play," Manuel said. "We're going to get a look at him. Yeah, he has to hold his own and stuff like that. But I would never, ever send him a message that we're going to send him down, or that we're thinking about sending him down. Because I'm not thinking that way at all."

what's next? speed limits on pitches to reduce strain on elbows?these guys all know the risks associated with performing their trade. sack up, posey.

bap, nice diversionary tactic. Very left coast of you! :)

10 words are not creative:
Great pitching keeps every game close despite poor hitting.

Biggest Disappointment: Blanton
Biggest Disappointment (to significant player non-inured): Francisco (Ibanez last week though)
Biggest Disappointment (low impact): Romero

Biggest Surprise: Stutes
Biggest Surprise (significant player): Bastardo
Biggest Surprise (low impact): Worley

All based on my expectations. I really thought Blanton would have any many wins as any of the ‘aces’ and have better than league average numbers. He pitched poorly and is injured. Do have to give him some credit for pitching okay while still injured. Appears Phillies rushed him back.
I figured Francisco would be near his career norms and Ibanez would benefit from the top of the order and be .270/.330/.450. Ibanez makes a ton more money so that clouds my judgment even though I do not expect that much from him. With all the injuries there are not many choices despite the offensive lull.
Though Romero is being used improperly I still unreasonably expected a better from him. Many of the fill in guys have been exposed but my expectations were very low. Only Gload I liked.

Stutes has become the co-setup guy with Bastardo. Given how important the bullpen has been both of these guys are surprises. I really did not expect Stutes to continue his ST-type numbers. I thought he would come crashing down to earth.
I expected Bastardo to be good but not better than Madson, and Madson has been awesome.
I thought Worley’s excellent work last season in the majors was a mirage and he would be Carpenter like. I had slightly higher expectations for Worley than Stutes but Worley has looked great also.

My big news of the day. I drove from Pennsauken to Quakertown on business and I gotta say it sucked. Never take the non-PA turnpike way (Street Road and whatever to 313).

I am not disappointed in Blanton because I had no expectations. In fact, I expected him to be traded awhile ago.

Since we're a small-ball team now, does that mean CitiField won't sap our offense?

CJ: Ugh. I had forgotten how much I hate this field.

I blame Citi Field for 3 Ks in the top of the first.

Could be a long game...

Looks like one of those "lunge futilely at slop" nights

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