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Thursday, June 23, 2011


If Blanton and everyone else is healthy, where does he fit in to the postseason roster (assuming the Phils make it, obviously)? Does he make it in the 'pen then?

Posted by: Willard Preacher | Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 05:12 PM

yo, nuevo hilo!

Posted by: Willard Preacher | Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 05:19 PM

Willard - On my post-season Blanton becomes the guy who sits by the keg, belches and screams incoherent obscenities at the opposing team.

Posted by: Andy | Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 05:20 PM

Preacher: If Kendrick & Worley are both healthy & effective, I don't see a place for Blanton on any potential Postseason roster.

G-town: not even the spot I have staked out for him?

I know Phils took first two in this series, but a win tonight would be nice. Apart from the Fish, the NL East teams are on a tear right now. It'd be nice for the Phils to keep their distance from the rest of the pack.

I think Kendrick was "slated" to be exactly what he is: a serviceable spot starter that can be stashed in the pen the rest of the time, and his salary reflects this idea. I'm sure the FO would have liked to sell Blanton high to the Yankees, but I doubt they banked on it. In any event, a player like Kendrick with his salary is a nice insurance policy against injuries and pitching trades. Otherwise when in a jam they need to roll the dice on minor league retreads and young guys who aren't ready.

BTW, using Kendrick as a trade piece isn't out of the question, especially if the idea might be to swap an innings-eating long man/spot starter (plus some cash) for a plus setup type guy.

I could see Blanton eating some innings if a post season game blew out early. If Kendrick and Worley are effective you'd probably want to save their arms for a higher leverage situation.

Andy, I actually would utilize your spot next to the keg for Joe.

Would just be interesting to see how it's explained if they did, indeed, keep Worley in that situation.

Raul out of the lineup vs a right-handed Carpenter? That's really surprising.

He's 1-7 (single) in his career vs Carpenter. Francisco is 0fer (0-3).

Anon: "I think Kendrick was "slated" to be exactly what he is: a serviceable spot starter that can be stashed in the pen the rest of the time."

Not to go all clout on you here, but I think you have some revisionist history mentality here. When KK signed on, he was given 5th starter duties. It was not until Lee fell into RAJ's lap that any mention of spot starter/bullpen piece came into play.

Are the Phils quietly moving Rauuuul out of the picture?

If you were going to sit him, why not sit him in Seattle on Sunday against the LHP? Then he would have gotten Sunday and Monday off.

He had actually hit Lohse well, so to sit him last night was puzzling.

Or is this the Phils trying to showcase Francisco to get him out of here. Of course the more he plays, the less chance you have of moving him.

What does Francisco actually give the Phils at this point? Not much.

Andy: He'd be out of breath & sweating profusely by the 2nd Inning, unable to continue heckling.

Correction, Lee was already in the mix. It was the inability to trade Blanton that thrust KK into the 'pen.

Anyway, who cares. I guess I'm just curious to see how the FO handles Joe, assuming he's healthy, for the balance of the season. It's pretty clear that they're just fine with him out of the picture, and as long as the checks clear, I don't think he's arguing.

Interesting that Cholly is lobbying, even publicly, for a right handed bat to help out. Then, when facing RH pitching, he throws Francisco out there over Ibanez? Puzzling, indeed.

Worley's still here, and it's not like Kendrick has been unserviceably bad as a starter. I also don't think that Worley bumped him from the role due to him being basically less flexible. I'm just not sold on the idea that Kendrick was intended to be a full time starter, especially on a team as pitching-centric as this one. I'm sure the Phillies would rather pay the guy $480k, but, compared against their total payroll, I don't think the "overpay" is really in the conversation.

denny b - It makes little sense unless Ibanez has some minor nagging injury.

Riggleman quits when DC refuses to pick up next years option

Preacher: Perhaps Charlie's taking the opportunity to both rest Ibañez & show the FO how bad his RH bench option is?

Are the Phils quietly moving Rauuuul out of the picture?

If you were going to sit him, why not sit him in Seattle on Sunday against the LHP?

Probably because the Seattle series was a "So long, and thanks for all the fish" gesture.

what's our win/loss record when the game chat pic is someone not in the lineup? or is this a first?

This has probably been talked about in other threads, but does Herndon now take over Contreras spot in the pen?

Pretty starting transformation for Herndon, who was on the Philly/Lehigh shuttle just a few weeks ago. Or does Kendrick get a shot in that role too?

Also a damning indictment of Baez.

Is Baez released if we pick up a new bullpen arm? Assuming Herndon holds up for a few more weeks it's hard to imagine shipping him back to protect a guy Manuel won't use unless there's no option other than the utility infielder. Even then...

Yesterday when Charlie was asked about Ibanez sitting, he said this: "I think he just needs a blow. Get him off his feet for a couple of days, plug him back in and see how was it goes."

It looks to me like Charlie's original plan was to sit Raul of a couple of games.

denny b - Herndon has had the biggest turnaround in-season after a demotion that I can remember in recent memory. It's like the guy in April who couldn't throw strikes at all & was pitching with no confidence by end of April simply didn't exist.

Last night on the radio pregame show Charlie said that he planned on sitting Raul of a few day and then sending him back out when they return to Philadelphia.

MG: I'm not yet a believer. Herndon will come down to Earth, & hard. I'm grateful for his recent contributions, but the kid should be in AAA.

Dave - I am waiting for Herndon's eyes to flash red or soemthing for just a sec. Your right that he likely isn't this good but it's been uncanny.

Last reliever in-season I can think of that rebounded so strongly after a demotion was Gas Can in late Aug/Sept '07.

@gobay -- sounds like Charlie is finally look at Home/Road splits.

Benny Frank actually hits RHP better this year.


April - 10 2/3 IP and 7 BB and 3 Ks
May/June - 13 IP and 1 BB (1 HBP) and 10 Ks.

He's is going to give up his share of hits with his stuff because of his low K/9 rate. Still, he has really good command since he came back and is getting GB at 75% rate (50% in April) at a swing and miss rate of 9% (vs. 5% in April).

Not a hockey site but I am in shock over the Flyers right now.

NEPP: I like it. The Flyers weren't getting any closer to winning a Stanley Cup w/ those guys, so why not blow it up & start fresh? I, for one, won't be missing "Invisible Captain" Mike Richards one bit.

When the season began (and since) people on this board were banging on Mini Mart and Herndon as if they were the same person.

The more I see of MiniMart's swing, the less I like it. But as I've been saying about Herndon all along, the kid has a lot of upside. He is likely to be Chad Durbin for a longer time in Philly than Chad Durbin was Chad Durbin.

It's as if everyone forgot that he was throwing 95 with sink when he showed up for ST last season. That doesn't just go away. It can get lost for a while, but this kid is a solid bullpen arm, especially when he has his command, which appears is now.

I like that we finally have a legit goalie but I dont like losing Carter. He was underrated IMHO.

We got a bunch for him though.

Get back to me when Herndon has a curveball like Durbin's...

Re: Salisbury

Beat reporters told Contreras is out 4-6 weeks.

4-6 weeks...let me spool up the Phillies FO speak translater

4-6 weeks=likely won't live out the night.

NEPP - I like the upgrade in the net, but none of the guys they got back project as top-liners. They just gave up a perennial 40-goal scorer and one of the best two-way players in the game for depth and salary cap flexibility. It seems absolutely crazy to me.

But back to the Phillies...Didn't the AAA pitching coach supposedly tweak Herndon's delivery, and this has been the result? Sounds like it could be Bautista-esque! (yes that is sarcasm)

Might be time to face the inevitable and have Big Truck put down...

"So long, and thanks for all the fish" gesture."

Hope he remembers to take a towel with him.

Clearly they had major locker room issues and felt they needed a change. I'm okay with rebuilding through the draft (far easier in the NHL) and going with Giroux, Briere, Leino and van Riemsdyk for the offense. We really really needed a top goalie.

***They just gave up a perennial 40-goal scorer and one of the best two-way players in the game for depth and salary cap flexibility. It seems absolutely crazy to me.***

Schenn has a ton of upside...he could end up as a franchise center in a few years if he develops.

re: Riggleman

maybe the marlins would give him a look.

Isn't Riggleman a little young for the Marlins?

NEPP - Durbin was okay with the curveball. But he also topped out at 91 and was often in the high 80s, as well as being a bit injury prone toward the end.

I'll take a healthy kid playing for the minimum with a heavy sinker who can get it up to the mid-90s until he further develops a breaking ball.

Can Richard pitch out of the bullpen? Enough of this hockey talk, unless it's about the Caps! ;-)

Pretty light day in the way of MLB, but it looks like the NL won the only 3 played so far.

I might be way off, but it feels like the NL has absolutely dominated the AL while the Phils have been in StL. Good to see.

Speaking of that...why the hell would the 'Stros want to move to the AL? They'll get murdered in the AL West.

It'd make a hell of a lot more sense to just move the Brewers back to the AL Central and kick KC out to the AL West.

NEPP: I think it'd make more sense to add two new AL teams. I hate the idea of 1) Interleague games every day and 2) No divisions.

I completely and utterly agree, CJ. I dont like the no divisions thing at all. Baseball is a game of tradition...division rivalries mean more in baseball than any other sport. Its the reason the unbalanced schedule is so successful. Getting rid of that is really stupid.

I also completely hate interleague play so I'd be very happy if they got rid of it but now we'll have it in September...which is just stupid.

I'd much rather they move both Florida & Milwaukee to the AL and then moved the Pirates back to the NL East.

No divisions is the dumbest component of that proposal.

Who the hell wants the NBA model where you're playing to be in the top 6 or whatever?

They don't exactly fly pennants that say "2000 NL 3rd Place" ya know?

If there aren't divisional leaders, the whole thing will lose a lot of the luster that baseball has.

And I don't buy the argument that the "talent is already too diluted." Whatever. There's plenty of talent around. And talent levels have varied throughout time. I'm sure baseball would do just fine. It's about finding the right communities to support the teams, and I'm sure they're out there.

"Hurry and get your tickets to see Arizona battle your San Francisco Giants for 4th place in the NL!"

I agree, Willard. The no divisions thing is a terrible idea and it will piss off a lot of fans.

CJ, I dont think expansion is gonna happen right now. Hell, there are several teams that desperately need to be moved anyway as their current situations are likely untenable...Oakland and Tampa spring to mind as clubs that could easily be relocated without too much fuss. Florida WOULD have been too had their idiot community not just sprung for a stadium (why Miami did that is beyond me in this economic climate). Moving the Fish out of Florida to a AL west club and kicking the Pirates to the NL East would be an optimal solution.

GTown: Your posts are the most consistently clueless on the site, but I like your humor and enthusiasm.

I promised philwynk that I would do more praising of posters so wanted to give you a shoutout.

aksmith: Are you backing away from your forecast that Mini-Mart would hit at least .250 and be as good as the average utilityman?

clout: Thanks. I'm always happy to be of service.

NEPP: "Baseball is a game of tradition...division rivalries mean more in baseball than any other sport."

Yes a division tradition that dates all the way back to 1969!

Of course, for the first 100 years the tradition was slightly different.

Cities that could probably handle an MLB franchise but dont have one right now:

1. San Jose (easy move for Oakland once the Giants are paid off)

2. Brooklyn (never happen as the other 2 NY teams would scream bloody murder but NY could handle 3 clubs easily and still be top earners

3. Charlotte or Raleigh-Durham - baseball is pretty big down evidenced by all the minor-league clubs and they're both up and coming areas.

4. Portland - 23rd largest market in the US...right between Cincy and Pittsburgh actually.

5. Vancouver (baseball works in Toronto...why not try in another Canadian city?)...nearly identical to Portland, Cincy and Pittsburgh in market size

6. San Antonio - about the same size as KC and slightly smaller than Cleveland. It'd be a mid-sized market.

Although in true BL hypocritical double standard fashion this was never mentioned, Durbin's numbers vs. LH hitters was almost as bad as KK's.

I agree with aksmith that Herndon has been better than Durbin since he came back from the minors and has more upside, although that upside ain't great.

40+ years of rivalries dont mean anything, clout?

Many of the current teams werent even around for that first 100 years you speak of and neither were many fans...most fans grew up with and know divisional play.

Herndon has been very good since returning...hopefully its for real.

NEPP: Not disagreeing with you, just making fun of your notion of "tradition." Baseball could do something really stupid right now and in 20 years posters like you would be talking about what a great tradition it is.

Divisions or no, if each league has 8 playoff teams, the 162-game season becomes meaningless.

i agree with c***t, baseball playoffs need to be kept exclusive to justify the long season. Look how awful the NBA season is.

I'd put Chooch in the 2 hole, Vic in the 5 hole, Dom 6th, Polly 7th and BenFran 8th.

My observation on Dom: He still can't handle anything in on his hands. But he's shown good plate discipline and an ability to hit mistakes. The hands thing is going to have to be solved or he'll end up a .240-.250, 15 HR kind of guy.

I agree on the 8 playoff teams per league comment, clout. We already get enough BS teams making it/winning the WS as a result of the wild card.

I suppose I can settle for having the 8th best team in all of MLB catch lightning in a bottle and win a WS, but yeah, having the 16th best team in a position to do that is utterly indefensible, especially if said team isn't even at .500.

162 games is a long and beautiful season. It would be a waste for it to turn into a "tread-water-fest" if no real advantages afforded to the best teams. And MLB thinks it has an attendance problem now!!

Even though the divisional format didn't exist until 1969, I do think it has done a good job at fostering rivalries & that something would be lost if MLB got rid of it

Personally, I liked the format of 2 divisions, 4 playoff teams, and no wild cards. But I realize that, once the "wild card" can of worms has been opened, there's no going back.

Hope he remembers to take a towel with him.

He would if he knew where it was.

David Hale had these couple of tidbits on Philled In:

"– Apparently Domonic Brown has been working with Greg Gross lately and is widening his stance at the plate in an effort to help him maintain his balance better. So we can retire the #HandsTooHigh hash tag and begin using the #WidenYourBase hash tag."

"– Looper on Scott Mathieson as potentially remaining as a starting pitcher with the Iron Pigs: “We hope so. That’s what he wants. For him to develop the curveball, slider, split – this will give him an opportunity to work on that.”"

"– Charlie on Cliff Lee’s career-high 126 pitches last night: “I wanted to give him every opportunity. I wanted him to throw a shutout if he could. I had a plan for when I was going to get him, but at the same time, he didn’t let me enforce my plan.”"

why the hell would the 'Stros want to move to the AL?

To get that lucrative "subway series" money. Same reason Pirates want back in the NL East.

I suppose I can settle for having the 8th best team in all of MLB catch lightning in a bottle and win a WS

Strictly speaking, couldn't it be the 16th best team in baseball? At that point we'd be getting into NFL territory where 1 game over .500 puts you into the playoffs.

I should have read the next sentence before quoting.

Divisions or no, if each league has 8 playoff teams, the 162-game season becomes meaningless.

Absolutely correct.

Glad the Iron Pigs are going to appease Mathieson and move him to starter to work on 3 separate pitches in addition to his fastball. Nice of them to essentially trot out a charity start/experiment every few days. I'm sure Scott M is a nice guy, but I think he can remove his Philly-area real estate agent from his speed dial.

Isn't a bit disconcerting that Brown keeps tweaking his stance so much? At least the 3rd time in less than a year now that it has been mentioned including spring training.

MG: Agreed. I think the "gurus" should back off & let him hit for awhile.

rictly speaking, couldn't it be the 16th best team in baseball? At that point we'd be getting into NFL territory where 1 game over .500 puts you into the playoffs.

Posted by: Anonymous | Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 08:05 PM

The NBA and NHL are the worst culprits at this, where the regular season has become essentially meaningless. Especially in hockey, where no one even starts watching until the playoffs begin because any of 16 teams has a chance to win the Cup.

For every extra team you allow in the playoffs in any given league, you make the regular season that much less important.

Statistically speaking, you wouldn't even need to be a winning team with 16 slots and 30 teams. 75-76 wins might actually do the job! The inflated number of teams would also (drastically) increase the number of tie breaker pre-playoff games. The season would be over somewhere around November 20.

There is a very Blanton-esque quality about Oswalt right now.

damn Publius

If there were 8 teams per league in the playoffs the top two in each league should automatically go to the second round as reward for most wins in the long season. For those top two it would be like it is now. A playoff between six teams.

I'm wrong there of course b/c its only 4 teams now. Still a good idea though.

So those top 2 get the joy of being super rusty and get quickly eliminated? What a reward.

They look like they just want to get on the bus and go home.

If they score that a triple, it will be a ridiculous.

Francisco kinda looked like he was loafing as he rounded the bases. That might have been an inside-the-park homerun.

You could look at that way NEPP. Never thought of that. There is no way to make every fan happy. Just leave it the way it is now. Phuck Selig!

To be fair to the NHL playoff system. It's probably the most exciting playoffs in sports. And I say that as someone whose love of baseball knows no bounds.

The NHL playoffs are fantastic...their regular season is pretty much meaningless though as a result.

This is what happens when you're not missing at bats and getting strike outs. Balls that are hit will eventually turn into hits. Can't field everything.

So, Oswalt kinda sucks right now.

Better still NEPP. The top to get to play in the 1st round to not be rusty but get a second chance if they lose as reward for being tops during season. If they win 1st round they automatically jump to the 3rd round as reward. But of course then they might get rusty during the 2nd round. So once again. Phuck Selig!!

Brown is flying to an airport in the midwest to work with Sen. Craig, he is the master of the wide stance.

Oswalt still doesn't look 100%...which begs the question of "why not DL him to rest his back?"

Oh yeah, Ben Fran was coasting from home to 1B assuming that it would be caught. Cost himself a HR.

In case you were wondering...his velocity is way down this year.

"Francisco kinda looked like he was loafing as he rounded the bases. That might have been an inside-the-park homerun."

Yes, I was like what the hell is he doing? He never did look like he was running hard.

Oswalt has nothing out there.

BenFran is guaranteed at least 1 boneheaded play every time he starts...its the big reason that UC never likes using him. He's just a terrible fundamental ballplayer.

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