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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Comments

This sorta confirms some fears about Contreras. Question is, does he come back in a few weeks rested and with the 'soreness' gone or, is he shot?

I always like adding a bullpen arm in mid-season but, I really think they need a bat to play LF. Hopefully one who can PLAY left field. Watching Ibanez, er, Francisco field the position last night was painful.

I'd really to see Michael Schwimer get called up. He's excelled at each stop along his minor league journey and it's time for him to be tested on the big stage.

Maybe a lefty reliever will become available near the trade deadline that won't command much of a return.

with this pitching staff, maybe we should just carry 18 guys on the big league roster and save a couple bucks.

Not a great sign tor truck but I'm not that concerned. Plenty of time for him to return and be his nasty self again.

Re: pitch counts - players are people not some machine. If you started yanking players a few pitches before their cgso then you would be pissing them off. They have pride in their accomplishments and win awards based off if them.

If you think Charlie would have a great clubhouse if he didn't ask players how they felt when he made decisions then you are mistaken.

Not resigning Durbin has turned out to be a good move but the other two: Contreras (2 yrs/$5.5M) and Romero (1 yr/$1.35M) have been duds.

Question with Contreras is whether he would have gotten a 2nd guaranteed year elsewhere at his advanced age and recent injury history? The answer is likely 'no' based on a few other older veterans in their late 30s this offseason who all signed 1-yr deals.

Contreras likely would have earned more money elsewhere though on a 1-yr deal. In what has become a hallmark of Amaro's tenure, he backloaded the deal a bit here by giving Contreras a 2nd guaranteed yr at $2.5M with a $500k buyout. Reap the benefits today (especially the Lee deal) and worry about the longer-term costs down the road.

Amaro gambled that Contreras would stay healthy and it didn't pan out. Still, it wasn't mishandled like the Romero signing. The Phils could have signed Choate or Sherrill for a cheaper deal than Romero got and had the 2nd veteran lefty they wanted. Instead, they tried to get a slightly cheaper option with Reyes (who failed his physical) and then had to come back to Romero after Choate/Sherill had already signed.

The Bell/Ludwick rumor makes too much sense. What would it cost to bring them over?

MG: contreras not even halfway thru his first year of a two year deal. Wtf are you talking about his contract being a dud?

Awesome hindsight on the LOOGY deals. All signs pointed to Choate being an allstar in 2011 didn't they?

"If you think Charlie would have a great clubhouse if he didn't ask players how they felt when he made decisions then you are mistaken."

There wasn't a reason for Lee to be out there last night throwing 126 pitches in the 9th inning. He had already got the W.

A manager's job is to do what is best for the team over the long haul. That means saying 'no' to guys at times even if they think they can or should be out there. Otherwise, what is the point in having a manager make those decisions? Why not just let the player decide when he is finished?

Lee is on pace now to throw 244 IP. If the Phils make another deep postseason run, he will likely throw another 35-40 IP. That's a really heavy workload on an arm that has already had 2 heavy years in 2009 (272 IP total) and 2010 (246 IP) with extended postseasons.

With as much money as the Phils have tied up in Lee long term and with what they are expecting him to do later this year, you should try to conserve him when possible. It makes little sense to push using an extremely valuable resource unnecessarily.

Bed, Padres need some ML ready talent...we don't have any of that haha (unless it is a money dump on the Pads part).

Good thing we locked up Contreras on a TWO YEAR DEAL.

Rube and his extra year strikes again!

lorecore - It wasn't awesome hindsight. I laid out the timeline a few weeks ago with Reyes/Romero/others. Other teams stayed away from Reyes with a ten-foot pole including the Cards who had no desire at all to resign him despite the need for a veteran LHP reliever.

Choate had an established record of destroying left-handed bats the past few years and is doing that exact same thing in Florida this year facing predominantly left-handed bats. It is not that surprising although his numbers accept right-handed bats have been.

Sherrill was a crap shoot who has performed nice for the Braves. I still would have rather seen him signed here than Romero.

Amaro misplayed the whole 'veteran lefty reliever' marked and would up paying slightly more for a guy who turned out to be ineffective. There really isn't much to argue to the contrary.

Contreras hasn't been a dud yet but they are saying now that he won't be back until after the ASB at the earliest. He hasn't throw an IP since early May. Maybe I am wrong and he is able to put together a solid 4-6 week period in the 2nd half but he has a bad elbow & is going back on the DL for the 2nd time with the same problem. He's quickly entering Lidge territory on 'great if we get anything out of him' in 2011.

Late May was last time Contreras pitched. He has had elbow issues since late April. Anyways the signs with Contreras aren't good even if you are an optimist. Hopefully the Phils just get something out of him or Lidge in the 2nd half but I still think they are going to have to end up trading for a veteran RHP reliever now.

I would give Contreras a say 40%-50% chance of contributing in a meaningful way in the 2nd half/postseason. Lidge at 20% maybe.

I would definitely try and pry Ludwick/Bell from the Padres. Not because I necessarily want Madson to stop closing (and Bell can set up too I suppose) but in the event that Madson goes down, this team is screwed. I would almost say that a back end bullpen arm is more important than a righty bat right now.

These numbers scare me...

ERA+ for a select set of pitchers on the Phillies:

Doc: 154
Cole: 154
Lee: 134
Oswalt: 114
Worley: 114
KK: 124
Madson: 191
Stutes: 164
Bastardo: 404 (!!!!)

Wow.

Also, we finally have a guy slugging over .500 on the team. Welcome back Ryno.

Howard's OPS+: 135
Victorino's OPS+: 138
Utley's OPS+: 125

Those guys, along with Rollins lately, have been carrying this team offensively, while Ibanez, Brown and Polly continue to sleep.

lorecore: Careful, reliever posts are an MG wet dream.


noname: I'm not buying that the Phils can't get those guys. Every year, people overrate the deadline deals.

I love it when keyboard GMs explain how the Phillies should have gotten better players for less money. The amazing thing is that those keyboard GMs are never wrong, always seem to know which players would have performed better, and could always have gotten those great players to sign for low money.

I mean, it's like they're 100% right all the time. How do they do that?

MG, what are Dom's #s with 2 strikes, and how much do they differ from MLB avgs?

Posted by: awh | Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 01:43 AM

Awh- I would need to look. He just seems like he is really pressing especially with 2 strikes.

Posted by: MG | Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 01:46 AM
___________________________________________________________________

MG, I just checked. Take these numbers with caution because where Brown in concerned the sample size is small:


NL Averages:

0 - 2: .145/.154/.202

1 - 2: .158/.165/.230

2 - 2: .188/.191/.282

3 - 2: .203/.441/.309

Two strikes: .174/.241/.256


Brown 2011:

0 - 2: .286/.286/.857

1 - 2: .000/.000/.000

2 - 2: .176/.176/.294

3 - 2: .167/.545/.667

Two strikes: .140/.229/.349

So now we've seen Charlie criticized for leaving his starters in too long, for using his better relievers too often, and for putting his lower quality relievers into high leverage situations.

One thing we know for sure - no matter what Charlie does, BLers know what would have been better.

MG, your timeline regarding Sherrill is not correct. The Phillies tried to sign him before he signed with the Braves, but he wanted to be within driving distance of his father.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/03/olney-on-chipper-sherrill-torre.html

Natinals are making quite the run - back at .500 ball and won are 9-1 in their last 10.

Albert Ross, how about we all just say silent, don't voice our opinions, and watch the games without even thinking about the moves that Charlie makes. Would that make you happy?

Listen everyone, don't post your opinions about the Phillies have done, what they are doing, what they may do, because there are other posters on here who just find that to be really annoying, ok?

Albert Ross, this is a baseball blog, dedicated to talking baseball. If someone says something you don't agree with, you have a couple options: ignore it, dispute it with a solid rational argument, or do what you keep doing and add nothing to the conversation, by just pissing and moaning that people are doing what people do on blogs, namely, voicing their opinions in anonymity.

My take on the numbers above:

a) No one in the NL is a "good" hitter with 2 strikes.

b) Dom Brwon is not a good hitter with 2 strikes.

c) Brown appears to have decent strikezone judgement when he hits with a full count.

d) Brown's sample size - 48 PA with two strikes - is hardly meaningful

Brown is gonig through some growing pains right now, and he'll have to adjust, just like every other major leaguer, to get out of his funk. I hope he can do it, and if he can, this team will be much better off for it.

The placement of his hands still seem to be a problem, and that's the main adjustment he's going to have to make. I'd like to see him lay off the low outside stuff, and be more willing to serve it to left field. Seemed like he tried to pull a couple of those last night, and just hit lazy fly balls pops up to the left side.

Brown is stinking up the joint, true, but his BABIP, it should be noted, is only .202, which means either he's totally overmatched or he's been unbelievably unlucky. He's got a decent K% of 13%, and an ok BB rate of 9.5%, which shows me he's maintaining a good approach despite his lack of success.

His ISO is actually better than Utley's currently at .191, in fact he has the 3rd highest ISO on the team.

Put it all together and I just see a rookie with a good approach, good pop, and not quite putting it together. If he can bring that BABIP up to ML norms, he'll be an above average LF, so let's hope it happens for him. It seems to me that it will.

Whoops, fruedian slip, he's our current RF, not LF :)

It took the Twins trading Wilson Ramos to pry Matt Capps off of the Nats hands last year. If these trends continue I'd hate to see what it'd take to get Bell from the Padres.

Even at the time, everyone thought the Twins ridiculously overpaid.

I know the Pads were toying with the idea of shipping Bell last season too, so I don't think they would exactly play hard ball in dealing him (and they have this kid Mike Adams who might be ready to close), but I just can't imagine the Phillies have players that the Pads are interested in, save our minor league talent, which Ruben has already depleted enough as it is.

It makes me nervous that we're turning into a high payroll team that's focused more on blockbuster trades and FA signings than bringing up solid prospects through a great farm system. We are not the Yankees or the Red Sox, and I just don't know how this team will be able to sustain success over the long haul without prospects to replenish aging players. That's how we overcame years of mediocrity in the late 90's to become a good team.

"Brown is stinking up the joint, true, but his BABIP, it should be noted, is only .202, which means either he's totally overmatched or he's been unbelievably unlucky. He's got a decent K% of 13%, and an ok BB rate of 9.5%, which shows me he's maintaining a good approach despite his lack of success."

Actually, no. While pitchers have little to no control over BABIP, hitters have a lot of control over their BABIP. To truly examine whether or not Brown has been unlucky with his BABIP result, we need to examine his GB, FB, and LD percentages

Scratch, I thought that I had made that clear with my post, as I said he hasn't quite put it all together yet, but otherwise his periphs were good. If he can put his BABIP together, he should be quite good, but we'll see.

My apologies. I just frequently see the misconception among people that both pitchers and batters have little control over BABIP, and you made no statements about the types of balls Brown is hitting. A hitter could have good K and BB rates, but still have lousy BABIP if they have a lousy LD%. I think those were the key periphs that ought to have been mentioned.

Fatalotti: Isn't Shane slugging over .500 as well?

Brown's batted ball splits:

LD: 12.2%
GB: 47.6%
FB: 40.2%

Gotta bring up that LD% or he's going to continue to struggle.

Jack, you're right, it is. Missed that. Sorry.

Scratch: True, but it also depends on a player's talent level.

If Ryan Howard or Chase Utley had a really low BABIP, and we're only hitting only 10% Line Drives, their BABIP would techincally be justified, but we would still expect it to go up because very good major-league hitters like those are going to start hitting line drives, right? So you could say the BABIP wasn't a fluke, but we both know that those guys would be just having a slump and that they would hit more line drives going forward.

With guys like Brown, when there's questions about his readiness, and marginal guys who you aren't sure are major-league quality hitters, then you wonder about whether we can expect them to hit more line drives.

Scratch: Not saying I don't believe you, but can you explain why batters have control over BABIP and pitchers don't?

It is interesting to watch how the same posters who complain daily about how bad Ibanez is also offer excuses daily for Brown's performance thus far - which has been pretty much consistently bad whenever he's faced major league pitching (this year, last year, off season).

Ibanez went through a historically bad, statistically freakish, bad stretch earlier in the year. Replace that stretch with a run of the mill bad stretch (where at least a few bloopers fell in for hits) and his numbers for the year would be better than they are.

Brown, we were told, proved that he was "major-league ready" after one week of solid hitting. Now, after weeks of consistently pathetic hitting, we read that he's just "unlucky."


That's not to offer excuses for Ibanez - he has performed poorly. But the double-standard regarding his performance as compared to Brown's (thus far) is a classic example of how Beerleaguer commenters, for all their smug confidence about how much more knowledgeable they are than the "average fan," and for all their supposed statistical insight into the true nature of the game, are just fans just like everyone else.

Phlipper: Both have performed very badly.

One is on the upside of his career (meaning we can assume he will likely get better), the other is on the downside (meaning he may only get worse). One is probably our starting RF for at least the next 5 years. The other will be off the team and likely out of baseball in 6 months.

You see why people would view them differently?

Yeah, what Jack said. Fairly obvious difference, but the onus is on Brown to show improvement, where the onus is on Ibanez to show something.

I assume Bell will cost more than Ludwick. I could see Ludwick commanding a far away B- or C+ prospect. Bell will probably cost a closer in guy or a really good far away guy because relievers are always over valued at the deadline. Plus, Bell comes with 2 compensation picks if you offer him arbitration.

"You see why people would view them differently?"

Indeed I do - because they're reacting emotionally like all fans do. I thought I already addressed that question.

Comatose: Different hitters have diffent approaches to hitting, and their different approaches will tend to turn them into differnt styles of hitters, from HR mashers, LD types, and guys who hit a lot of GBs and use their speed to get on. You can generally classify most hitters into a group, and their ability to maximize the tool(s) they are good at will tell you how good they are.

Pitchers actually have some control over opponent's BABIP, in that extreme GB pitchers (such as Halladay) will give up more hits than extreme FB pitchers, but the FB pitchers will give up more HRs and extra base hits. At any rate, most pitchers don't really control the hitter's BABIP to much of a degree past that (though you could argue Jamie Moyer did), and compared to K/BB/HR rate, any ability to control BABIP is much less important.

I don't know if this answered your question, but that's the latest thinking on the subject. There's so much we still don't really know, it's a good area for speculation.

Phlipper:

Dom's K%: 13.8, BB%: 9.5, LD%: 12.2

Ibanez's K%: 21.7, BB%: 6.6, LD%: 14.8

Dom isn't hitting enough line drives, but his strikeout and walk numbers are solid, if not unspectacular.

Ibanez is just terrible across the board.

So, there is a very rational non-emotional reason to view them differently.

Both are struggling, but Brown has shown better strike zone judgment, and, given his younger age, he's simply a more promising player right now than a 39 year old on the downside of his career who's slowly falling off the cliff.

Phlliper- even an impassive computer model would factor in age as an important factor in predicting future performance.

"...than a 39 year old on the downside of his career who's slowly falling off the cliff."

Fatalotti, not to be part of the grammar police, but your use of the present progressive tense here is clearly in error, when you should be using the perfect.

comatose: Some batters have high averages on balls in play. Some have low ones. League-wide average, however, tends to settle in between .290 and .300 -- which is precisely the BABIP that most (not all) pitchers tend to pitch to, irrespective of ability.

Hence, hitters have big individual variations in BABIP; pitchers do not. So, when a pitcher is pitching to a .347 BABIP, it's probably fair to conclude that he's having some bad luck. When a hitter is hitting to a .265 BABIP, it's fair to conclude absolutely nothing. Now, if that same hitter also has a career BABIP of .295, and his line drive percentage for the season is in line with his career norms, then you can probably say that he is having bad luck. But his BABIP, in and of itself, means nothing.

Fatty - Dom's career slash line:

.208/.270/.377/.647

Ibanez's slash line for 2011:

.240/.290/.395/.686

Which include the aforementioned statistically highly improbable bad stretch.


They are driving in runs at an almost identical rate.


I'm hopeful about Brown's potential as well - but your need to put lipstick on the pig of Brown's performance so far is based purely in emotion.

Phlipper- if you really think their ages don't matter in an objective evaluation of their relative expected future performances, you're being intentionally obtuse.

Uh oh, this is could have been a potentially devastating injury for the Phillies:

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20110623_ap_philliephanatichitbyfoulballinallentown.html

Here's why I'm not too excited about Ryan Ludwick:

2011 OPS against LHP: .677
2010 OPS against LHP: .609
Career OPS against LHP: .743 (compared to .830 against RHP)

He may be right-handed but, for whatever reason, he can't hit LHP. That makes him a lousy platoon partner, lousy protection for Howard, and a lousy disincentive for the opposing manager to bring in a LOOGY. No thanks.

Chris, I've never said anything remotely similar to your strawman. I've been talking about the different standards being used to compare Ibanez's and Brown's performances thus far this year.

DIP: How should it have been written? You've lost me.

Phlipper, no lipstick here. Brown has kind of stunk this year. But he has one aspect of his game that he needs to really improve: hitting line drives. His strikeout and walk rates are pretty good, especially for his limited experience.

Ibanez has several things to work: striking out less, walking more, hitting more line drives.

You see what i'm driving at here?

The player with more holes in their game is necessarily going to be the one to suffer more in the future. Brown has not really proven himself yet, but based on his performance this year, he has more upside than Ibanez the rest of the year.

And that's without getting into base running and defensive abilities, where, even a less than stellar fielder in Brown take Ibanez to the woodshed. Brown has a better arm by a mile and he could literally run circles around statue Ibanez out there.

Shoudl I continue on all the rational reasons why Brown should be viewed differently than Ibanez.

I think Dan's explanation is pretty good, but I kind of like my own version.

It's not luck whether a batter is weakly hitting grounders as opposed to smacking line drives. Obviously, someone hitting line drives is likely to have a higher BABIP, so when guys are seeing the ball well, they will actually push their BABIP higher without it being "lucky." So we say he has control over it.

Pitchers, on the other hand, tend to be less streaky, and you can find peripheral numbers that support that. GB or FB rates, K/BB rates, etc. So we say that for the most part, they tend to get hit the same, but BABIP might tell you that for the same hitting, less people are making outs. That's bad luck.

I tried.

Got it. Thanks, guys. Now explain xFIP, dERA, and PECOTA.

(kidding)

Fat: I think he meant that, instead of "who's slowly falling off the cliff," it should have said, "who has slowly fallen off the cliff." Meaning that it has already happened.

In other news, the Phanatic was hit in the head at an Iron Pigs game in Allentown last night. He was treated in a local emergency room, hen released.

Is he on the DL?

Fatty - are you predicting that Brown will perform better than Ibanez of the course of the rest of the year?

Brown has not distinguished himself with his defensive play so far this year. Not in the least. I can recall two particularly bad and important plays - when he failed to call off Utley when a runner was tagging from third, and when he got a horrible jump on a ball that turned into a key triple.

Brown's speed on the basepaths has had an impact - but his limited OBP has diminished that aspect of his contribution.

Once again - when you compare their slash lines, which are an actual measure of their performance, Ibanez is ahead in each metric. You can talk walk% and k% all you want - but the metrics of their actual performance is what it is.

Kutztown: Nah...we'll leave him on the bench to rest for 10 days.

Got it BAP. So my grammar was fine, but my content was in error.

Phlipper - Evaluating their performances thus far should objectively be done in the same light...Brown can be expected to get better, and his current performance reflects that he's still "learning on the job." Ibanez can only be expected to get worse, and his current performance suggests that his career is likely over. Why shouldn't there be a double standard in evaluating what they've done so far?

Instead of calling up the IronPig mascot, the FO will have the Phanatic sit on the bench for a few days before running some tests. I fully expect it will take a week before any decision is made on a DL stint and we'll be wasting a mascot spot on the roster.

SLO - I thought so. Standard operational procedure.

BTW - great discussion in this thread re: Brown

Here's a good article on BABIP/LD% correlation: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/if-line-drives-could-speak/

Take a player's LD% and add .120, and you'll get a rough approximation for what his BABIP should be. Considering Brown has a LD% of .138, we can expect his BABIP to be about .258, which indicates that he's been both bad and unlucky. If his BABIP actually did improve to .258, he'd be much more productive that he currently is.

Naturally, this formula is quite rough and ready, so take it with a grain or two of your favorite seasoning. For something more sophisticated, read this: http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2009/11/10/1124792/a-new-xbabip-calculator

Phlipper, if we want to take butcher jobs in the OF, how about the game that Halladay pitched against the Marlins last week. Yeah, Ibanez really showed off his defensive prowess in that game. Brown, just simply because of his youth and advanced speed is inherently a better fielder than Ibanez. The only thing that would even it out is if Brown went completely blind out in the field.

And let's not even get into the differences in arm strength.

BUt you obviously have no interest in looking at peripherals, so no point in arguing with you anymore.

Would you rather acquire Bell or Ludwick, assuming they cost the same in return

SLO Phan: I heard he can't walk through the stands and he can't motor around on the 4-wheeler but he can still stand on top of the dugout and put the whammy on opposing pitchers.

" Why shouldn't there be a double standard in evaluating what they've done so far?"

???? I fail to understand what you're saying. To judge their performance so far, you use a benchmark and evaluate their metrics accordingly. Ibanez has outperformed (by a small margin) in each metric of the slash line, yet we have been told (by Jack as I recall) that Brown has outperformed Ibanez by a wide margin. We've also witnessed people making excuses for Brown's pathetic performance (thus far).

I have never said their shouldn't be a double-standard used to evaluate their potential for future performance.

I will also remind you that similar pronouncements were made about Ibanez at about this time last year, and he had a productive second-half of the season.

"so no point in arguing with you anymore." How many times do we hear that on here and then the debate rages on for days? But Fats, I trust you to be true to your word.

Phlipper: well, that's a Cloutian dodge.

Fatty - there difference in arm strength is only a potential difference and not a measure of their relative performance so far this year.

To measure how their arm strength factors into performance so far this year, you have to look at what's actually happened. I have seen them both challenged, and I can't recall a notable difference in their performance w.r.t. making effective throws that cut down runners or prevented runners from taking extra bases.

If you have some examples of such, where Brown has actually outperformed Ibanez, I stand corrected.

Again, Fatty - you are allowing your feelings about their potential going forward to influence your assessment of their relative performance thus far. No problem, that's what fans do, but you can at least acknowledge that's what you're doing.

I was looking at the Phillies team stats, and by my calculations, the bullpen has a collective record of 12-7 (including Valdez's win). Does anyone have an easy way to find this for all teams?

I would guess that the 7 losses are the fewest losses in the majors or close to it, and the .632 winning percentage is close to the top as well. For reference, the starters' winning percentage is .625.

As awesome as the starters have been, the bullpen has been pretty damn good too. What an awesome staff we have top to bottom.

Man - you really know how to hurt a guy, Jbird.

Which dodge were you referring to?

So now with Baez, Kendrick, Herndon and Perez, we'll have 4 guys in the pen who will never pitch?

More great roster management from our FO.

I don't think Brown deserves a free pass, but his growing pains (we hope that's what they are) were expected. Ibanez looks old and horrible. I hope they both improve, but at this point, I'd rather see the young guy given the regular chance, than Ibanez.

Phlipped I remembered specifically one situation where Brown made a throw home that caused the runner to be held up at third. I also remember another where he gunned down a runner at home, only to have Sardinha fail to block the plate AND drop the ball.

Also, I'm not being emotional about anything. Brown has been an offensively poor player this year, and has contributed, dare I say, less than Ibanez this year, since he was called up. I'm no fool.

I'm just pointing out that Brown's struggle appear to be due to inexperience and youth, while Ibanez's struggles appear to be due to finally losing his ability to be an effective major league hitter. It happens. That's why the two should be judged and evaluated differently.

Just my two cents.

donc, I'm sorry, couldn't resist. But I will not bring up peripherals anymore, since Phlipper just shrugs them off. Good enough?

"Phlipper: well, that's a Cloutian dodge.

Posted by: Jbird | Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 10:55 AM "

Only on Beerleaguer. The classid Cloutian dodge, debated among the ancient Athenians for its usefulness as a rhetorical tactic...

Philipper: The I'm not talking about X, even though that's what everyone else is arguing. I'm talking about Y, which is just ever so slightly different though it seems connected. Brown's present numbers escapes the same evaluation and harsh criticism as Ibanez's because it is expected that his future performance will be better while most are not as hopeful concerning Ibanez's future improvement. But yes, you are right. Both are currently performing at unacceptable levels for a corner outfielder.

krukker:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL/2011-reliever-pitching.shtml

The Phillies have the fewest Relief Losses, w/ 7, but the Giants have a more Relief Wins & a better Relief Winning Percentage (17-8, .680).

And here's a scary stat: Milwaukee has a whopping 17 Relief Losses, a total only topped by the Marlins' 18 Relief Losses. If the Brewers had any bullpen whatsoever, they'd be tearin' it up.

I know Brown's sample size is growing but its still pretty small. If he get's two hits a game for the next 3 or 4 games all this hand wringing will cease. Then if he goes hitless for a couple of games, everybody will start pissing and moaning again. He has tremendous tools. His speed has, as yet, not translated into being a good outfielder. The howitzer masquerading as his left arm mitigates that to a large degree. He shows good plate discipline which really stands out on this team and his commendable in a player of his age. His swing is too long and is filled with holes thogh. He will need to make adjustments to be a good major leaguer. Maybe he will, maybe he won't. Only time will tell, but a little patience (yes I know who I am talking to) is needed. A good few games, and all will be forgotten.

"I fail to understand what you're saying"

as usual, that about covers it, Phlipper

Could the fact that the Cardinals are desperste for left handed relief have anything to do with a possible showcasing of Perez, followed by a quick change of clubhouses? I guess then the Phillies will call up Zagurski or Schwimer, which would have been more rational moves.

Fats: No sweat. We just can't help ourselves sometimes. I even waded in and I almost never do that.

If Brown goes 4 for 4 with 4 HRs tonight, his line will be back up to .238 AVG/.315 OBP/.830 OPS

In the long run, of course Brown will be more productive over the course of his career than Ibanez will. I'm not sure it follows from that that Brown will be better over the remainder of this year than Ibanez will.

Ibanez, April 1-May 1:

.161/.247/.218/.466

May 2-present:

.285/.319/.494/.813

That's actually pretty good, and even with that awful stretch his numbers are considerably better than Brown's in every offensive category.

Brown, so far this year:

.208/.270/.377/.647

It is certainly possible that Ibanez might refer to the sustained futility we saw in April - he's a streaky player and always has his ups and downs. But given that, with more than 1/3 of his season composed of just about the worst month of full time play that any starting outfielder will ever have, he still has better numbers than Brown at this point in the season.

While Brown is important for the future of the franchise, I don't see any particular evidence that he will be considerably better than Ibanez over the remainder of this year.

If Howard goes 5 for 5 with 5 HRs, he leads the league in HR and RBI...

NEPP: That's what I'm saying. No reason he can't do that. In fact I will go out on a limb and predict it.

RE: Ibañez & Brown

My view is that Brown was brought up to get MLB experience, & that he'd go through struggles such as he has was pretty much a given.

Raul, on the other hand, is a veteran starter, & as such was expected to be a steady contributor, both Offensively & Defensively. He has done neither.

That Ibañez is the highest paid OF on the team by a significant margin, & will make more money than any Phillies' position player other than Howard & Utley, only amplifies his continued failures.

Over the past 30 days:

Brown .221/.299/.419 with a WAR of 0.0
Ibanez .240/.281/.413 with a WAR of -0.6 (worst on the team).

It is easy to say that based on the past month, Brown has outperformed Ibanez, and given their respective ages, it's quite easy to say that Brown will likely be a 1-2 game better player than Ibanez.

Lots of prospects struggle in the early going...its called growing pains.

We have the best record in baseball and a 4.5 game lead in our division...I think we can survive him learning on the job.

Given their comparable line drive numbers and the fact that Brown has much superior strikeout and walk numbers, it's a very good bet that Brown has a better season going forward than Ibanez. And I really do expect that LD% for Brown to increase, whereas I don't expect it to increase for Ibanez.

Poll: if you were in a cage match to the death with any of the regular posters here on BL, which would it be and why?

How 'bout we compare apples to apples for a change?

Dom Brown has 108 PA in '11, in which he has gone

.206 BA/.278 OBP/.392 SLG/.670 OPS w/ 11 R, 6 2B, 4 HR, 10 XBH, 11 RBI, 10 BB, 13 SO, 2 SB, 1 CS & 0 GIDP.

By contrast, Ibañez's first 109 PA of '11 yielded a line of

.192 BA/.266 OBP/.293 SLG/.559 OPS w/ 12 R, 4 2B, 2 HR, 6 XBH, 12 RBI, 9 BB, 27 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS & 1 GIDP.

That looks like a push to me, & considering Brown's age, lack of experience & the fact that the Phillies aren't spending $11.5 Million for such shoddy results, I'd say Dom has it all over Raul thus far.

What is stupid is the suggestion that there *shouldn't* be a double standard in regards to Brown and Ibanez.

There absolutely IS a double standard and there should be a double standard. These two players are judged on absolutely different standards.

Any suggestion to the contrary is just plain idiotic. And I'm sure there's not a person on here who fails to recognize that... it's just some people enjoy picking a fight. I call them trolls. You may have another name for them.

awh - Yeah there isn't enough ABs about Brown to really get a feel on how he handles 2-strike counts. Hell, my bet is that statistically superior hitters with 2-strikes compared to their overall performance are clear outliers compared to all MLB hitters.

GSS - Didn't realize the Phils tried to sign Sherrill. It makes sense then. They really didn't have a lot of other options then in the '2nd-tier' of veteran lefty relievers other than Choate, Romero, and Ohman.

"Tom: Could the fact that the Cardinals are desperste for left handed relief have anything to do with a possible showcasing of Perez, followed by a quick change of clubhouses? I guess then the Phillies will call up Zagurski or Schwimer, which would have been more rational moves."

Perez has no trade value. He's a journeyman minor league reliever. The Cardinals also have a young lefty in the minors likely to get called up. Raul Valdes was recently converted from a starter (where he pitched poorly) to a reliever (where he's been absolutely dominating, particularly against lefties). Valdes will likely get the call soon for the Cardinals.

So they wont give us Rasmus for Perez straight up? We might have to throw in Rizzotti AND Mathieson to close the deal?

somewhere, Will Schweitzer is smiling.

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