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Thursday, June 16, 2011


From the last thread:

I think the difference between Howard and Brown is that if teams start to shift Brown, he will lay a bunt down the left field line and trot to second base.

Any shift on Brown would have to keep the third baseman at home.

Goes without saying perhaps, but I expect the difference between Ruiz and Martinez in turning the lineup over will be noticeable.

Vic's been the best hitter on the Phils so far this year, without doubt. Of course, Utley missing so much time has something to do with that, as he has far outperformed Vic when actually playing.

And any of our top 3 pitchers have contributed as much or more WAR than Vic.

can i get a ruling on something? i brought this up during yesterday's (day) game chat.

how is BABIP pronounced? the guys on the MLB network were calling it buh-bip. i always assumes bah-bip, but i don't know that i had ever heard anyone but myself say it before.

It is undeniable that Vic is the best 50,000 dollar investment the Phils have made in decades.

Vic is the best overall player the Phils have including his defensive ability. Only legit GG contender on this team right now. Utley has made some nice defensive plays lately but a lot of his throws are adventures at this point.

I hate these lineups this season where Cholly just plugs in 'Valdez/Mini Mart' in the 2-hole. Simply no reason.

Baa - Bip would be my guess. But "who cares" would be the real answer.

More important question about MLB Network. When did Dan Plesac become Dick Vitale? He has become absolutely unlistenable.

MG- look at the lineup again. Vic is in the 2-hole. Mini-Mart is 8th, though I think he should be batting 10th personally.

aksmith - who is the guy on MLB who does Intentional Talk? i can't stand him. is it Millar?

conshy matt: I'd always just spelled it out B-A-B-I-P, or the full "batting average on balls in play." To try to turn the letters into a pronounceable word feels so fake that it is like devaluing the stat. Then again, I don't like the "ribby" pronunciation of RBI either, so take that for what it's worth.

"though I think he should be batting 10th personally."

So you think Mini-Mart should be the first hitter off the bench? Interesting.

MG: You don't think Ibanez is a Gold Glove contender?

Actually, with all the time that Zimmerman has missed, you could make a case that Polanco is a GG contender.

BAP is right on Polanco. Zimmerman is by far the best 3rd baseman in the league, but right now, the award could go to Polly because of Zim's missed time.

However, by the end of the season, I would imagine Zim would rightfully have earned the award, assuming he doesn't miss more time.

Iceman - Nevermind. No big deal with playing Mini Mart today and hitting him #8 is exactly where he should be.

BAP - As much as Francisco has struggled this year offensively, I wish the Phils would go with a strict platoon in LF for the forseeable future. Somehow Ibanez has much better splits this year so far vs LHP even though it seems like every AB he has vs. a decent LHP pitcher is a mismatch.

Polanco isn't playing a GG-caliber 3B because of the issues with his throws to 1B so far this year.

Chooch is hitting 6th.

This is good.

Conshy - Yes, it's Millar. Don't watch the show, so don't have an opinion on him. But Plesac is just awful. They've decided, or he's decided, that he'll be the clown and he's simply terrible.

MG: He doesn't have the strongest throwing arm, but I wouldn't exactly call it an issue. He made the one egregious throwing error to lose that game against the Cubs. But how many throwing errors has he made for the season? It can't be very many, since he only has 6 errors overall.

I've always said -- in my head, because no with whom I usually converse is at all interested in baseball to this degree -- B-A-B-I-P. Some sounds are simply too ludicrous to emit, "bah-bip" being one of them.

I, too, say B-A-B-I-P. I also say O-P-S... even though I heard, for the first time ever, someone on sports talk radio call it "Ops." Weird.

Klaus, agreed. If I ever heard anyone utter "bah-bip", I'd probably just walk away from them.

aksmith - my recommendation - don't start. it's gawdawful.

i don't know why these things get to me, but they apparantly do. same guy w/ the buh-bip thing also called Prado "pruh-doe".

BAP - He has made 4 throwing errors already this year. He made 2 all of last year. Polanco has been throwing balls low/bouncing them all season to 1B.

CJ - OPS just flows right, but spelling out B-A-B-I-P sounds like part of a rap song.

(channelling my inner Snoop Dogg "B-A-B-I-double P you see")

Through 69 games, the Phils have scored 25 more runs than the "scary" Braves offense while allowing just 1 more run.

Howard has saved Polanco (as well as Jimmy and Chase) on a number of poor throws in the dirt this year.

In fact, if Howard does not have to make any throws for the rest of the year, he could be in contention for a GG.

He has been great scooping balls out of the dirt this year.

Speaking of runs scored, the Phils are now up to 6th in the NL in runs scored. There are plenty who doubted they'd be anywhere close to the top 5 this season and, in fact, many predicted they'd be below average.

This is a different offense with Chase Utley and Dom Brown in it.

Honestly, the worst things that could've happened to this offense this year was losing Chase Utley and Shane Victorino for any extended period of time. Those are the two best offensive players on this team, and their absence was devastating to the offense.

Zimmerman had 13 throwing errors in 2009 (his GG year) and 11 in 2010. I wouldn't say 4 through 70 games is high enough to exclude Polanco from GG discussion. His defense has been sparkling overall.

Life is good if we are discussing the pronunciation of stats instead of reasons why season = over.

conshy matt, i'm curious about what insight you thought you would get today regarding the matter of BABIP pronunciation that you did not get earlier in the week when you posited the same important question?

You've got to just love the way Polanco plays the game. It took about 2 games for me to fall in love with his game all over again. He's pretty easy to overlook when thinking of stars on the Phillies, but damn is he an important cog. And his teammates adore him wherever he goes.

Do you all think the Phillies snubbed Curt Schilling by putting Kruk on the Wall of Fame?

MG: Well, an error's an error. If he has made 4 throwing errors, it means he has made only 2 errors at fielding batted balls -- which is a phenomenally low total for a 3rd baseman. He has also made more than his fair share of highlight-reel plays.

Because of his arm, Zimmerman is a better all-around defensive player than Polanco. David Wright? Possibly. But both those guys have lost substantial time to injury this year. I'm not sure who's left that has been better than Polanco up to this point. Of course, if Zimmerman stays healthy for the rest of the year, he'll probably win the Gold Glove.

I'm more interested in a universal calculation for BABIP than I am for it's pronunciation.

I've seen it calculated a few ways, with the largest distinction being whether or not you qualify a Home Run as "in play."

I like Dom Brown but just don't understand why people are linking him to a 'resurgence in the offense'

His line this month is .152/.264/.370 (.634 OPS) with 3 HRs in 46 ABs.

He has had better plate coverage/patience this year but I still see him hitting weak grounder after weak grounder to the right-side of the INF on inside pitches and is generally overmatched by any LHP who has a good offspeed pitch.

Still very much a learning process this year (and likely through out next year) but he simply hasn't improved the offense that much over what they were getting out of Francisco in RF.

Both guys game them some BBs and some modest power but overall struggled offensively.

"Vic is the best overall player the Phils have including his defensive ability"

huh, never saw that before. If you take 2011 alone, then I guess I agree. But Vic doesnt do anything exceptionally well, just everything pretty good, so i think his overall value isnt quite that high. THe premium for power in baseball nowadays leaves Vic trailing a healthy Utley or a full season of Ryan Howard(not his April-Jun splits).

f4f: conshy would only have to post the question once every other second for the next five years to approach the redundancy level of many of BLs favorite topics. By the way, what's your opinion of the Abreu trade?

"reeling Fish" = awesome

B-A-B-I-P is five syllables. "Ba-bip" is two. That's why I might pronounce it that way rather than spell it out, with somebody who's familiar enough with sabremetrics to recognize the stat. With anybody else, I guess I'd say "batting average on balls in play," and also explain why anybody cares about it.

Throwing errors are somewhat of a red herring (as most errors are). A guy who gets to more balls than other players will inevitably have a higher total of errors.

According to Fangraphs' data, Zimmerman made 159 plays in 2009-2010 that were "out of zone," meaning outside the zone where a league-average 3B makes most of the plays. That was by far the most in baseball over that span. The average for qualified 3B was in the 80s. If he threw 10 of them away, I think the Nats would still take him getting to the other 70 balls that most 3B don't get.

lorecore - Meant this season so far.

As for the Polanco lovers, his numbers since May 1st have been weak:

.244/.292/.300 with 2 HRs.

He really is miscast as a #3/#5 hitter. Wish they would put him in the #2 spot and just leave him there.

People around me were getting on JRoll last night because he had a few ABs where he was out after 1/2 pitches yet you never hear about when Polanco does that (which happens more often than people think).

Love what we're seeing from Dom Brown so far. The average isn't great, but everything else has been terrific. That walk last night was a thing of beauty.

"I like Dom Brown but just don't understand why people are linking him to a 'resurgence in the offense'

His line this month is .152/.264/.370 (.634 OPS) with 3 HRs in 46 ABs."

MG, how about what you wrote?:

"3 HRs in 46 ABs."

That's a huge change, no?

John - He worked a BB against Webb and that was a quality AB. Rest of the night he hit a bunch of stuff weakly to the right-side.

At this point, I can see why they want Brown in the everyday lineup because the other options aren't producing either. Cholly is sitting him occasionally vs. a tough LHP pitcher for Francisco which is a pretty good idea.

klaus: abreu was clearly a cancer and a lazy one at that. but then again, he a great OBP. but he wouldn't run into a wall. oh, so better he should be a tough guy and hurt himself? either way, he wasn't clutch. but there's no such thing as clutch hitting. says who? bill james. bill james! i watch baseball with my heart, not a calculator.

i think that about sums it up.

f4f - I asked during the game chat yesterday but only had a couple of responses. I was still wondering. Ok?

thanks for having my back Klaus.

Clout is in his mom's basement making an f4f voodoo doll.

MG: I know you'd NEVER slice up samples to prove a point, so I'm not going to say that's what you're doing.

Dom Brown:
.754 OPS, 104 OPS+, 1 HR every 19.5 AB
Ben Francisco:
.705 OPS, 94 OPS+, 1 HR every 27.8 AB

Phils sign Tim Redding to minor league deal? Wasn't he a former Phillies killer?

conshy: i'm not sure klaus was defending you. think he was making joke about BL in general.

CJ, no fair using numbers in context...

Holy cow! Phils made it through the first inning without giving up a run. Feels like a win?

SLO, not possible, Lee's one of the most overrated players in baseball, according to Anon II's favorite website...

Steal 2nd, Vic...

Double steal coming up...

terrible job early by the home plate ump.

Was that an IBB, or unintentional?

Ahhh...yes. Not scoring with a guy on third and less than 2 outs. I never get tired of seeing that.

Sure glad I got to see a replay of Vic goofing off with T-Mac yukking it up instead of a 1-2 pitch with the bases loaded.

Iceman, you should know by know, the broadcast isn't about the game! Enjoy TBag, excessive shots of the Phanatic and inside jokes about the broadcasters golf games and like it!

That's three straight ABs by Howard with a runner on third and less than 2 outs that he failed to get the runner home (2 Ks, 1 GB). That's uncharacteristic from a guy known for RBIs. It's also unacceptable.

I'm trying to figure out some reason why a manager would want Jose Lopez batting ahead of Mike Stanton. So far, I'm coming up empty.

It's unacceptable? We're DFA'ing Ryan Howard, or just benching him?

Re Polanco: I wouldn't put him down for his fielding. He's bounced 4 in the dirt because his elbow is probably held together with dental floss right now and it's hard for him to make that throw across the diamond sometimes. Let's hope he avoids a DL stint and or surgery.

EFF: Yes, that's exactly what I was saying. I think we should bring up Mayberry Jr. to play first.

bap: Alphabetical?

Vazquez is having trouble finding the plate. Hopefully Martinez leaves the bat on his shoulder.

one of my pet peeves in almost any broadcast: the guest in the booth.

basically, the action on the field is completely secondary for the entire time.

Cliff Lee neck and neck in the team BA standings.

wiht Martinez, I mean.

interested to find out more about this bird and where it's building materials are obtained.

We've been banging on the Phils TV broadcasters for years, but to be perfectly honest, what passes for Comcast's coverage of a Phils game truly has become a joke, and it goes beyond TBag and Wheeler.

Used to be you could at least mute the TV and listen to the radio broadcast. Even if you had them perfectly synched right now, you'd wonder if it was the same event with all of the extra b.s. the TV broadcast puts on. It's not about the game with them and it's a shame. I'm sure GG and Krukker are great to talk to, but isn't that what pre and post-game time is for???

At least we have the radio broadcast to turn to, even if it does feel very "1960's" or whatever.

CJ: That's as good an explanation as any.

Phils sign Tim Redding to a minor league deal per Zolecki.

Lee dealing..Now if our potent offense can get him some runs.

just to focus on the "guest in the booth" - it would still bad, but at least tolerable, if they could steer the interview towards the game, the team, the players...something relevant (which they are doing at this moment).

but spending five minutes talking about the picture kruk's 6-year-old drew before the game? i mean, come the f on.

I like the radio broadcast

did kruker just say that brown can't hit fastballs?

The Big 4 at the plate:

Cole: 242/265/303, 1 sac bunt
Cliff: 226/235/290, 2 sac bunts
Roy: 111/158/111, 5 sac bunts
Doc: 057/083/057, 8 sac bunts

Brian Gordon has held the Rangers scoreless through 3. 2 hits and only 30 pitches so far.

I think this is the Yankees getting the Phils back for the Cliff Lee signing.

"Lee dealing..Now if our potent offense can get him some runs."

Apparently BAP and G-Town have a love child and his name is SLO Phan.

Who has linked Dom Brown to a resurgence in the offense? Or is that just another weird MG conversation starter?

Also we were told yesterday Kruk doesn't belong on the Wall of Fame because he WAR wasn't very good. Just felt like that stupid comment needed repeating.

Here's a beat tweet:

Phillippe Aumont, Justin DeFratus and Ryan Edell promoted from Reading to LV. Justin Friend and Joe Savery from A to AA.

Redding is organizational depth. He replaced Brian Gordon (who, incidentally, is shutting out Texas through 3). If we ever need a 7th starter, I guess he might be it, but he hasn't pitched in the majors since 2009.

CJ, according to Fangraphs, Howard has been the most clutch batter in all of baseball this season, so I think we'll have to leave your three-AB sample aside and keep Howard at 1B.

"Apparently BAP and G-Town have a love child."

That is kind of a sick thought, in more ways than one.

The Perils - Fangraphs has a stat for that? do tell.

TTI: I mentioned something about our offense finally being whole with Utley and Brown while showing we were now 6th in the NL in runs. That clearly meant I was saying Brown's remarkable offensive production was the sole reason we've been scoring runs.

Sorry BAP. It was meant metaphorically. Still, when it comes to sick thoughts, I'm your man.

Somebody should tell Raul to use a smaller/lighter bat, well on second thought maybe nothing could speed up his swing enough...

The Perils: If we don't cut ties with Ryan Howard today and replace him with Ross Gload, it will prove Ruben Amaro Jr. is clueless. That's what that 3 AB sample tells me.

By the way, Ryan Howard would say his last 3 ABs with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs were unacceptable.

Matt: Here's the glossary entry:

...and here's their rankings:

I don't know if that second link will take you to exactly the right spot, but it's under the Win Probability tab...

Is this another one of their sleep walk games?

Just because Howard says it doesn't make it mean any more sense...

CJ, some people just don't get the concept that some times "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts". (Kind of like the Beatles.)

Or, as a normal person would put that: Just because Howards says it doesn't mean it makes any more sense.

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