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Sunday, May 22, 2011

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I really don't care about that foot, get him a walking boot and tell Ben Fran to sit.

Why do I think this is not the answer to our prayers

JW,
Who is your roster casualty for Podsednik? I assume we have no options to send down Ben Fran or Ibanez. Are you cutting one of those guys or pulling the plug on the Domonic Brown Experience (TM)?

I pray that the Michael Martinez Experiment (TM) ends with Victorino's return.

I have Darrin Erstad on the phone and I am trying to get in touch with Glenallen Hill's people. If Rube could wire them all bus tickets, we can have a team by Thursday.

Brown, and give Ibanez until the end of June.

Was nice seeing you, Dom. Maybe next time you will prove yourself by immediately hitting three home runs, thereby ensuring more playing time.

Since we're going bargain basement here, why not Jim Eisenreich and Gregg Jeffries?

I've always liked Posednik but he's the quintessential small ball player so it's kind of hard to imagine his helping a lineup that already lacks for power. On the other hand, the things that Posednik can do, he does well.

Right now, with guys like Francisco, Mayberry & Ibanez in the lineup, we're scoring 2 runs per game on a good day. With his ability to get on base, hit for average, and steal, Posednik's the kind of guy who could help turn a few 1-run offensive outputs into 2-run offensive outputs. That's not going to transform this from a bad offense to a good one but, with our starting pitching, it might be enough to help us squeeze out an extra win or 2 as compared to the status quo. That's about the most that can be said for this move.

my best guess on pods is that he gets a week or two in AAA to see if he's worthy of the big leagues, and if so, mayberry gets sent down.

Expectations for Chase, do you mean, JW?

My expectations for Chase are that he infuse some energy, since he'll be so excited to finally play ball this year; that he'll give his teammates pointers on hitting from all the video he watches; and that he'll play his normal way - all out - resulting in some good defense, better hitting (after a slow start, perhaps)than we've been getting from our fill-ins. Finally, that he'll break down again before the end of the season, unless he takes a day or two off per week...and maybe even then.

But I look forward to having him back in the lineup and on the field tomorrow, and for as long as he's able! I'll miss the beginning of the game, so you folks will have to tell me how loud an ovation he receives!

What's the over/under on everyone turning on Utley like pack of wild dogs when he comes out hitting like a guy who hasn't faced Major League pitching since last October? I'll be generous & set it at 2 games.

The Twitter world seemed down on Podsednik last night. I asked who in the OF they would rather have out there than him. Got no plausible response. I'm down with this.

As for Utley, I don't know what to expect but if it means I don't have to see Valdez batting 2nd, I'll take it. We actually have a major league looking line up all of a sudden!

AS I recall in the beginning of the year I saw some pieces about how everyone has figured out our hitters and CM even responded with we will have to adjust.
I guess our guys are through becuase they either can't adjust or won't adjust. So let's trade them because a 35 year old trying to make it back is not going to solve the Phils problems.
Of course going back to basics might:
It might be nice if someone could teach Howard the difference between pitches. WHat about our staff pitching to him he might relax after that. WHy can no one teach him to slap the ball to left field when he wants to so as to end the shift.
Teach Rollins and Victorino patience at the plate.
Stop yanking Brown and Mayberry's chain and just simply play them regularly.
Just the litle things in life.

Howard can hit hte ball the other way, he just doesn't hit it on the ground. He shouldn't change his swing so that he does hit the ball the other way on the ground as his game is hiting hte ball out of the park. Howard's bunt attempt in the 9th yesterday was a great idea, though - until he actually tried to bunt. It's fairly obvious that he has never bunted in his life.

Speaking of ugly swings and bunts, Beltre's double down the line from his knees and Gentry getting knocked on his ass on a squeeze bunt were two of the most unorthodox successful at bats I've seen in a while. Looked like high school.

I like the Podsednik signing. IF he has anything left in the tank he's better than some of our bench options.

If Podsednik sticks with the Phillies, I bet the Phillies wives' charity events become a much much hotter ticket.

No need for Mini Mart. Mayberry has become a better option for defense, and is obviously a bigger threat offensively than Martinez. An outfield of Ibanez/Podsednik when he's ready), Victorino/Mayberry and Brown/Ben Fran/Gload should be sufficient to get through the year.

If Posednik gets called up the roster math becomes that much more difficult. I don't know if Bob is suggesting that they'll carry 7 or 8 OFs but, I'd be surprised if they do. It's disgusting to think that they'll favor Martinez over Mayberry and Brown in the event Posednik gets the call and when Victorino comes back but, given their inscrutable and decisions with regard to him so far, I won't be surprised.

My quesstion is: what's bellliard doing @ LV and should he replace Valdez? This team lacks hitting, not versatility.

They will though. Mini Mart will be on the roster all season long. They showed that with the Orr demotion over him. Martinez may be an absolutely brutal defensive CF (and he really is terrible) but the fact that he has played there makes him versatile. SO what if he has zero power, hits the ball on the ground 90% of the time and can't break the Mendoza line or even post a .450 OPS...he's Versatile. Even better, as a result of this ridiculousness, they will give him an inside track at a roster spot in 2012 because he's so darn versatile.

"They showed that with the Orr demotion over him. Martinez may be an absolutely brutal defensive CF (and he really is terrible) but the fact that he has played there makes him versatile. "

Sad and true. Sort of like a little league roster decision. "Well, little Billy says he can play CF, so we'll put him out there." I wish RAJ will get put on the record about Mini Mart/Rule V

If it makes anyone feel better this is what the ESPN affiliated Capitol Avenue Club (Braves blog)had to say about the Braves hitting: "Contending teams shouldn't be letting Tyler Chatwood go 7-5-1-2-6. Also, Nate McLouth injured himself during his first plate appearance and had to leave the game, resulting in a Prado-Mather-Hinske OF alignment with Diory Hernandez at 3B (it was Chipper's day off). There's no point in discussing the pitching staff if the team is never going to score runs. It's a shame this good of a staff is being totally wasted."

Mini Mart is Versatile and is High Energy.

The Phillies' redundancy (back-up) in case of injuries is has failed. Mini Mart was supposed to provide value because of the redundancy he provided. However, he's not a good enough jack of all trades to be a master of none. Especially with Belliard and now a hopefully healthy Podsednik waiting in the wings.

If it wasn't mentioned before, the Phillies are dead last in runs scored in the NL East. Hopefully, the counterweight to this dearth of run-scoring happens in October. But who's to say that this isn't the norm?

Nepp, don' forget they'll have to offer Mini Mart back to the Nats if they want to send him down. God forbid...

Please, please offer him back to teh Nats. I'll bet you $25,000 they won't take him.

Yeah, we might lost a great "young" prospect...mind you he's a career AAA guy who's 28 but still, cant lose a talent like that.

"What's the over/under on everyone turning on Utley like pack of wild dogs when he comes out hitting like a guy who hasn't faced Major League pitching since last October?"

Saint Utley will get considerable time before he's ripped apart by the pack - especially since he's returning from injury.

Well, with the exception of that mad dog G-town, the Cujo of Beerleaguer, who will probably rip into Utley after his first AB, and Cholly and RAJ for destroying this first place team.

2 on, 0 outs, 1st pitch fastball driven out to right field by Chase Utley and world ends from the earthquake started at CBP

2 of the Phillies wives have appeared in Playboy...Thats pretty sweet

Different Steve -
I think the earthquake would start if Chase drives in any run that leads to more than 3 runs for the Phillies.

I wonder if the general Phillies crowd is sophisticated enough to give the Phillies a standing ovation the first time they score more than 3 runs...although it's only been 10 days since they put up 5 against an injured Beachy and the Braves.

Lineup guesses for tonight vs Arroyo?

Rollins
Polanco
Utley
Howard
Ibanez
Mayberry
DOM
Ruiz
Hamels

Should I coach my little league team or take the offer for a ticket in a box tonight? It's tough being a grown-up.

Steve - I know what you mean, but Podsednik isn't a Phillie. Yet.

I think it's going to take a while for Utley to adjust to ML pitching night after night, defense may be a bit shaky at first as well. Do not think he's going to come in raking like the Utley we all remember.

I see it as a mid to long term improvement over time. Also has to give the team some positive energy/vibes/whatever. Simply knowing that this spot in the lineup has a possibility of producing an extra base hit, or God forbid, a homerun, from time to time has to be huge.

Still worried about a season ending injury, but what can you do? He's rehabbed faithfully and the team needs him badly.

Chase will not get ripped, regardless of how he performs. In the past, Chase has gotten more leeway than any other player with regard to his performance. When he struggles, it's brushed aside. If slumps, it's ok. God forbid Howard doesn't hit 2 HRs a game, he gets killed. But not St. Utley.

Especially since coming off an injury. The guy could go 0-25 to start out, but what he brings to the team in terms of intangibles will make him immune from criticism. Hell, it's already started on BL. He'll "help hitters with their swings because he's been watching film and watching their swing form the dugout", he'll "inject some energy", and he'll make this lineup "look like a major league lineup".

Don't get me wrong, I love Utley and am glad to have him back. 50% Utley is better than 100% Valdez/Martinez/Orr, etc. I would be surprised if he performs well out of the box. Not because of his work ethic or anything like that, but because the transition from a few Single A games to MLB should take some time. Especially since he had essentially no spring training.

But, to answer the question, he will not be criticized at all. At any point. Regardless of how he does.

A-train-
As a grown up, you should forgo your seat and take both little league teams to the bleacher seats. And then feed them as many Schmitters as they can eat.

Best way to generate power from Podsednik? Let him take some BP off of Lidge circa Game 2 of the 2005 World Series...

"Should I coach my little league team or take the offer for a ticket in a box tonight? It's tough being a grown-up."

Take the ticket and ditch little league. It'll help temper the spectacular narcissism of today's youngins.

RBill, while there's a grain of truth to your point that Utley doesn't get criticized while other great players do, there's also very good reasons for it. Utley, for 5 years here, was a player without a real hole in his game.

He could hit lefties and righties about equally well, he hit for average and power. He walked a lot, got on base a lot, didn't strike out that much, played great defense, could steal you a good amount of bases, knocked in runs, hit homeruns, understood the game, and didn't commit many HUHAs.

At his peak, he really was about as much as you could possibly ask from your 2nd baseman/3 hole hitter: this translates into less criticism. Maybe he deserved more than he got, maybe he got the right amount, who knows? What I do know is that, of all the Phillies players over this great run, save Roy Halladay, he has been the on deserving of the least criticism by a large margin.

This doesn't absolve those who wrongfully criticize Howard or Hamels or (name your player here), but it does make sense that he'd get the least criticism.

It has got to be Gload. Unless Rube has a change of heart about mini mart....Unfortunately Gload isn't fast, doesn't have a defensive position, and is only used sparingly by CM, so he has to be on the chopping block...

It's not going to hurt us by getting another great prospect. If he doesn't contribute to the Majors right away it will surely help our minor league teams like the Lakewood BlueClaws, Clearwater, and Lehigh.

"It's not going to hurt us by getting another great prospect"

Who are you talking about? I know it's not Mini Mart. Mini Mart and "great prospect" don't belong in the same sentence.

Can we all calm down about the new life saver:
.279 .342 .432 .775
.272 .329 .433 .762
.279 .340 .381 .721
These are the career numbers for JRoll, Vic and our brand new minted 35 year old. Of course for all these are on teh decline so I don't see the upside here.

I gotta think Brown is here to stay. Ruben basically said that he doesn't want to jerk him back and forth. I seem to recall early in the year both he and Charlie making it clear that when Dom comes up it will be for good. Then again, Ruben has been known to "change his mind".

If Scotty Pods is anywhere close to what he did last season, Raold is going to be on the hot seat when Victorino comes back.

I believe the theory is more like this:

OPS
Mini-Mart: .431
Podsednik: .721

Which would you rather have on the bench or in CF?

Fatalotti: I don't disagree with your point at all. I like Utley and everything he has done for his team. He has absolutely earned the right to garner less criticism than a lot of other players on the team. But, a slump is a slump, a bone-headed play is a bone-headed play, a bad AB is a bad AB. Those things are often overlooked because he is Chase Utley. The man is not infallible. It is not bashing a player to say things like "that was a bad AB," or "he has to make that play" or "he made a mental mistake." Utley gets that on ocassion, but is it is never turned into: "he sucks," "time to trade him", "he doesn't work hard," "he's mentally weak," and so on and so forth like it is with other players. It just doesn't happen to him, nor should it. And I can't see it happening now.

Well, at least we're not the Mets.


Fred Wilpon just did an interview with New Yorker in which he trashed his own players, saying that:

"[Jose Reyes]thinks he’s going to get Carl Crawford money. He’s had everything wrong with him. He won’t get it."

"[David Wright is] a really good kid. A very good player. Not a superstar."

On Carlos Beltran: "We had some dummy in New York," Wilpon says, referring to himself, “who paid him based on that one series. He’s 65 to 70 percent of what he was."

And I thought the Phillies were bad at PR.

Full article: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/05/30/110530fa_fact_toobin?currentPage=all

I keep thinking that Mini Mart has be offered back to the Nationals at some point. But, it never happens. The Phils' fascination with Rule 5 picks is bizarre. He doesn't really bring anything to the table. Versatility? Who cares. What this team needs is some offense, not versatility.

Heather: Thanks for the link. Wilpon does need to learn about PR.

However, he's honest. And he's absolutely correct.

I don't know why we keep playing the Rule 5 game. I thought it was an error to keep Herndon over Figueroa. I think it's an error to keep Martinez over Orr (then again, it's not like we're squabbling over anything special). I'm not even sure the Nats take him back. I'd much rather they work out a trade for him so I don't have to deal with him on the 25 man right now. He looked exactly like Steve Jeltz in the powder blue the other day.

Rollins- Polanco-Utley- Howard....

Well at least the first half of the order will be set for a while. I expect that we will see some time go by before they are all hitting well at the same time, but I do expect Utley at 80% to be better than Orr/Valdez at 100%.

Just hope the DL has taken its toll for the year. I would really enjoy watching some high energy baseball from the fightin's.

Here's my review of the latest player movements.

Victorino on the DL - a minus.
The demotion of Scott Mathieson - a plus. Domonic Brown called up - a plus.
David Herndon called up - a minus.
Joe Blanton on the DL - neutral.
Vance Worley recalled - a plus.
The Podsednik signing - a minor plus.
Chase coming back - a big plus.

Overall this appears to bring some improvement, but who knows what will actually happen?

I'm thinking Utley gets close to 100% pretty quickly in the batters box - which is what this team is dying for - but will probably take a decent amount longer to take form in the field and could see Valdez still get a few starts sprinkled in for the next week or so.

Really hate the thought of Gload going down. The guy can actually pinch hit. We went all of last season without such a guy on the roster and now we have that guy and we're going to drop him to keep MiniMart? Crazy.

They aren't going to go back that brutal 3-4-5 of Utley, Howard and Ibanez are they?

The grouping thatopposing managers and LOOGY's just salivate over.

Tonight's lineup for my sake:

1. Rollins
2. Brown
3. Polanco
4. Howard
5. Utley
6. Mayberry
7. Ibanez
8. Ruiz
9. Hamels

Or, they could go...

1. Rollins
2. Brown
3. Utley
4. Howard
5. Polanco
6. Ibanez
7. Mayberry
8. Ruiz
9. Hamels

Gload was on the roster last year.

Don't compare Jeltz to Mini-Mart. He couldn't even carry Jeltz"s glove.

denny: How is brown-utley-howard any better than utley-howard-ibanez in terms of handedness?

My expectations for Utley? Better than Valdez/Orr lol

denny b. - Utley's numbers against lefties the last couple years have been significantly better than his numbers against right handers so, batting him and Howard back-to-back doesn't really give opposing managers an advantage. As for grouping the two of them with Ibanez, Manuel has been departing from that plan this year - as recently as Friday. Ibanez was hitting 6th. Ibanez looked okay against the lefty yesterday. Results didn't show but, he hit some line drives.

I'm not sure the thought behind hitting Brown 2d. With Utley back in teh lineup I'd be very surprised if Brown didn't hit 7th.

Polly went 5-12 in the Rangers series - bringing his May OPS all the way up to .548 - ouch.

There is absolutely no chance of Gload being sent down or cut.

Barring injury, there is zero chance that Ross Gload will not finish the season with the Phillies.

BAP & Wes: Nuh uh... what about when he gets traded straight up for Hunter Pence?

I think Polly could use a break from the 3 hole

Gload at least gives you a professional AB off the bench. Something that is sorely needed with this team.

Mini-Mart's value becomes higher with Utley up, too many fragile players and injuries right now.

I think his new nickname should be DI - disability insurance. Looks necessary on paper and for that slim chance it is needed it is still not enough but you are grateful you have it.

Otherwise a big waste of money and time.

"Utley's numbers against lefties the last couple years have been significantly better than his numbers against right handers so, batting him and Howard back-to-back doesn't really give opposing managers an advantage"

Not sure I agree with this. There are different sub-species of left-handed pitchers. One sub-species is the one which has been genetically engineered to completely baffle left-handed hitters and, often, only left-handed hitters. Unfortunately, every bullpen in baseball has at least one of these guys & some have two. I don't think there's any kind of stat out there which breaks down a hitter's numbers specifically against LOOGYs, but I'd be surprised if Utley fares as well against this type of pitcher as he does against right-handed relievers.

Maybe RAJ sees a little of himself in Mini Mart and is grooming him for the front office...

my expectations of utley - he'll be a lot better than this:

"Phillies second basemen are hitting a collective .225/.269/.270. The Astros starting pitchers are hitting .226/.261/.262." - from fangraphs

If Scotty Pods is anywhere close to what he did last season, Raold is going to be on the hot seat when Victorino comes back. Posted by: Scotch Man | Monday, May 2

I know he was awful in April, but do you know that Ibanez line for May is. .324/.352/.544

credit the skipper for staying patient with one raul ibanez. i, for one, was in the group who thought him cooked. check out some of his may numbers:

wOBA - .394
SLG - .544
OPS - .896

he's streaking the right way right now.

Baseball is such a synergistic game. The great starting pitching has made the bullpen much more effective. The incredibly poor offense from some AAAA players has hurt any real production attempts from the few regulars we have actually contributing, by reducing their RBI opportinuties, contributing to a lack of protection, etc.

IMHO if Utley is just ok, not even the all-star he was, and if Brown/Francisco platoon can produce a league average RF, and if Vic returns, the offense will start to return to actual respectible production, above league average.

All in all, the future is very bright. The only fly in the ointment is more possible injuries, so we'll see.

Tell me Ross Gload's value on the bench, BAP and Wes....Can he be a defensive replacement? No Can he be a pinch runner? No Is his bat anymore powerful than a healthy Scotty Pods? No Is he right handed? No

If scotty pods is to join the big club, it will be at Ross Gloads expense. My opinion would be to chop mini mart, but I am just trying to think logically knowing Raj's track record.

.

i wonder if scotty pods was the reason Amaro didn't want to call up Brown. perhaps he knew it was in the weeds but couldn't share that info w/ charlie (b/c it wasn't a done deal or whatever). that might explain their debate on whether to call up the kid or not.

nonamePHame - Forget whatever you're thinking. Gload is the only bat Charlie will use in a high leverage situation. In fact, Charlie considers his pinch hitting so important that he often saves him or situations that never happen. That sounds crazy but it's absolutely true.

They will not cut, demote, trade or in any other way mess with Ross Gload. There are five players on the roster at minimum who would be gone before Gload.

BAP, at some point last year, on the Phillies broadcast, they mentioned that Utley has hit ~.280 against LHP out of the bullpen. They didn't give anymore than just his BA, but the idea was that he's fared pretty well against LOOGYs. I'd bet that his numbers are better against right handed starters and left handed starters and right handed relievers, but I think he does pretty well against LOOGYs.

So far, I managed to go though only some of posts you discuss here, but I find them really interesting and informative. Just want say thank you for the information you have shared. Regards .

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