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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

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Did Joe Blanton and Brian Schneider have a suicide pact? Is that what happened to them?

The Braves are a good team, and will be there with the Phils all year most likely. But I don't get how pythagorean wins is used as a way to compare the teams. Actual wins seem far more relevant.

Surprised Shane Youman gets a deal while Floyd Youmans can't even get a look.

If the Phils are able to pry a decent RH batting outfielder away from a team here in July that will help the offense (Francoeur, Willingham, Quentin to name a few). Francisco has gone from starter wannabe to barely a serviceable 4th outfielder type. The hitch in his swing is horrible and he's done nothing to render the situation, so struggles will continue.

I'd like to see a lefty reliever become available that's better than Romero and for JC to be released. He's spent. Whether it be no more special "vitamin blend", age, injuries, or some combination he's just doesn't and hasn't been getting the job done.

It's time for the Michael Schwimer experiment to start. Stutes has proven to be worthy and now it's time to see if Schwimer can follow suit. Bye-bye Herndon or Baez, or Romero right now.

Just when I've had about enough of Beerleaguer's endless bickering, someone comes through with a Floyd Youmans reference and saves the day. That rivals the Terence Trent D'Arby reference from the other week.

I'm selling a pair of tix to Weds' afternoon start. Sec 107, Row 9, seats 5 & 6. Face is $36. This is the rescheduled rain out that I can't make. Take this wonderful opportunity to see Phuture Phils star Kyle Kendrick!
Make me an offer and go Phils. I can email tix, transact through PayPal.

The one thing I fear about the Braves is that I think they are more of a threat to make a splash at the deadline then the Phillies this year.

They've got holes in CF and SS filled by players who are in no way entrenched in their franchise(and 2B but he's not going anywhere). I would be pretty shocked is Atlanta didnt make a major push for CF and/or SS help - and with their farmhands wouldnt need to hurt the MLB team.

The Phils have their own holes, but they are less glaring and for many reasons, almost impossible to trade for. Ibanez shows signs of life just enough to keep himself in the lineup and makes too much money to trade, Brown is loaded with potential and his MLB performance so far diminshes his true trade value, and Jimmy's the face of the franchise.

If the Phils find a way to improve their team as much or more than Atlanta by a trade, then Atlanta made a huge mistake(or Ruben pulled off another miracle).

Interesting how Rube completely avoided the Roy 2.0 velocity question. Is there genuine concern there? I sure hope not.

Kyle Kendrick?!? I'll give you -$10 for each!!!

HT short piece re: Jeter's injury probably reflects the view of the majority of basball fans. I found it accurate and humorous. Don't miss proudly canadian's 9:28 AM post in the comments.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/06/14/a-nation-mourns-derek-jeters-tragic-heroic-calf-strain/

What Rube did say: "I like the balance of our line-up. (0:39 mark in the clip).

Nary a word about the bench. Tells me that is what he is working on.

"same number of pythagorean wins (38)"

Reading that makes me angry.

Interesting article about "night owls" and baseball performance night/day: Maybe it's not just a statistical anomaly?

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/06/night-owls-see-45-point-batting-average-boost-under-the-lights.ars

Kyle Kendrick starts? How much are you going to pay me to take those tickets?

Going back to the last thread, UZR has Byrd and Victorino about equal over the last 3 seasons. Given that Victorino has a great arm, if you did have both of them, you probably would use Victorino in RF and Byrd in CF.

But they're about equal in terms of defensive range in CF.

That is to say, you would use them that way if you were starting from scratch.

Obviously, given Vic's importance and place on this team, you wouldn't actually move him if you traded for Marlon Byrd. It just wouldn't be worth it.

Schneider, who is on the disabled list, was at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday for the first time in a month after a stay in Clearwater, Fla., to rehabilitate a strained left hamstring. His return was set back when he aggravated the injury.

Schneider expects to go on a minor-league rehab assignment before he is activated..

I wonder if Schneider will be able to hit above the Mendoza line when he's on his minor league assignment.

I doubt it, but we'll see.

With Strasburgh and Joba Chamberlain both with severe arm problems, let me thank the Phils management for their handling of Cole Hamels. It seems that he has established himself in terms of durability, and will likely set new highs for himself in innings pitched this year.

The FO caught a lot of flack for babying Hamels in the past, but for my money, you have a guy like him you protect him until his arm developes the maturity he needs to throw a lot of innings.

I assume the Phills will keep Hamels, and I assume he won't give them any discount. But he certainly owes them a thank you for not burning his arm out when he was too young to handle it. He should have a very productive career well into his late 30s, and his sparing use in his early to mid 20s will be the reason why.

Dan: To be fair, Hamels' sparing use in his late teens and early 20's was because he spent a lot of time in the DL.

Sometimes pitchers work out. Sometimes they don't. I don't think anyone knows why, except that it's a giant crapshoot when you ask a human arm to do something it's not really supposed to do.

How about I trade you Iron Pigs tix for the Kendick nooner? Ok that sounded weird.

braves are the 3rd order wins every season. hasn't determined anything so far

Jack: Byrd is not as good defensively in CF as Vic and his range isn't as good.

Byrd's per game range factor (per BB-Ref) in the last 3 years has been league average. His UZR (per Fangraphs) in CF has been negative in 2 of the past 4 years, which averages out to about league average.

dan: good post.

For anyone following Hamels from draft day on, it made 2008 feel like even more of a miracle than it already was.

He went from hyped to super hyped after his first year in the minors, then kept incurring little set backs - both injury and character questions - here and there which gave any seasoned Phillie fan a ton of red flags. Then he got brought up in 2006 as some type of savior after only pitching a couple starts in AAA. Had all the makings of a overhyped bust... but turns out his career minor league ERA of 1.43 and 12.4 K/9 ended up being exactly what they looked liked - signs of great prospect.

Clout: Victorino's range factor and UZR say the same thing, no?

I don't usually use range factor from B-Ref, but looking at it now it has Vic below league-average in 2008 and 2009 and just above in 2010.

As I said, UZR has Byrd and Victorino basically even 2009-2011, Byrd slightly ahead, but nothing enough to say definitively.

"same number of pythagorean wins (38)"

Whoever came up with this stat really needs to find a new hobby.

Some people on this site just hate statistics.

Hamels' career milb numbers above A+ ball(19IP in AA, 23IP in AAA):

4-0 and 1 CGSO in six starts, 42IP, 1.28 ERA 11.8 K/9 .785 WHIP

good thing will schwietzer wasnt around when the phillies tried bringing Hamels up with hardly any AAA time since he was just some unproven nobody.

Old Phan: I understand not liking certain statistics. I understand thinking that certain statistics inhibit your enjoyment of the game.

What I will never understand is needing to belittle people for the way they like to watch baseball.

There is no right or wrong way to watch baseball. Some people are more analytically-minded than others - people like that might find Pythagorean W/L interesting. Fans with a pitching background might be more fascinated by a discussion of a pitcher's mechanics. Nostalgic fans might connect best with baseball's history.

There are countless things that people like about baseball. Why is it that only one of those things gets belittled by old-time baseball fans? Is it nerdy to talk about Pythagorean W/L? Probably - it's probably nerdy to comment on a baseball blog at all, or for that matter to spend several hours a day thinking about my favorite baseball team, but we all still do that.

Lots of people like baseball for different reasons. You don't have to like them, but I don't think anybody "needs to find a new hobby" if they find statistical analysis of baseball to be interesting.

Move Vic to accommodate Marlon Byrd?

I've now seen it all on Beerleaguer.

Fat: I don't actually hate the concept of Pythagorean win totals. I do have extreme contempt for the name, however. I mean, it's not like the Pythagorean win total was some kind of revolutionary scientific breakthrough; it's just a stupid formula that some guy came up with this for predicting future baseball success. To name that formula after the most important theorem in geometry, one would really have to possess a grossly inflated view of his own importance.

TTI: Did you catch this part of what I said:

"Obviously, given Vic's importance and place on this team, you wouldn't actually move him if you traded for Marlon Byrd. It just wouldn't be worth it."

?

In 2008 Hamels (age 24) was second in the league in innings pitched. I remember Sophist arguing in the spring of 09 that Hamels had been overused. Disagreed then but the hindsight of the 09 season its easy to see his point. Although I think squeezing every last ounce out of Cole was sort of necessary for the purpose of making the playoffs.

I agree with Jack, though. The Phillies might have truly babied Hamels and ended up paying for his 2010 TJ surgery nonetheless. Or they might have ridden him into the ground in 07, and watch Hamels go down in 09, and there'd be no actual connection between the two.

BAP, indeed.

BAP, I'm sure the Pythagorus family is livid that the name of their famous ancestor has been so besmirched.

Pythagorean is within the name because the formulas are similar in many regards. I'm sure Bill James doesn't equate himself with Pythagorus in any way.

bep: eh, i kinda get it.

Side A is runs scored, Side B is runs allowed and their differential creates side C, leaving the size of Side C to determine win totals.

altho i admit i dont think I'll ever utter the words 'most important theorem in geometry' - so i guess i dont take it as serious as you.

Jinkies. All this talk about Hamels' health has me very nervous for tonight.

I think Pythagoras, himself, invented that statistic, b_a_p, in trying to predict playoff position in the Ionian League.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagorean_expectation

"The term is derived from the formula's resemblance to the Pythagorean theorem." Seems like an obvious reason for the name, which is anyway likely not taken too seriously.

It's not at all clear how that would lead someone to say this: "To name that formula after the most important theorem in geometry, one would really have to possess a grossly inflated view of his own importance."

Nice work, Dan in Philly--you've basically guaranteed that Cole will get injured in his next start.

lore: I dunno. It has just always rubbed me the wrong way. Some geek comes up with a newfangled baseball formula & he names it after the definitive theorem in geometry. It would be kind of like calling a pitcher's WHIP his "Shakespeare Quotient" or an outfielder's UZR his "Martin Luther King defensive metric."

I like statistics. Certainly not as much as many on here but, they're part of the fabric of the game. I like the expansion and invention of new statistics. I don't much like this pythagorean theory. Seems it just gives you a ballpark of expected outcomes above and beyond the basic knowledge that teams that score more runs than they allow will have a winning record and, teams that have a wide differential will have the best records. But, saying a team is exceeding or underrunning that predicted total doesn't seem to reflect very much more than the inherent variation in actual results. That doesn't stop people from using it to support arguments with it like, X manager is costing his team games. Just by way of example, an A's fan will tell you that the A's negative pythagorean of that team under Bob Geren statistically supports his termination. Lots of things support his termination. That ain't in the top 10 for sure, and I haven't seen any compelling argument that it's even probative of his performance.

BAP, were you and Pythagorus close friends? Did you fight in a war together? Lovers?

ALso, I think if Pi were on this blog, he'd object to your calling the Pythagorean theorem the most important gemoetric disocvery of all time. I'm not who I'd side with, but just be careful if he shows up. He can be very obtuse (now, that pun just makes no sense).

R: Well . . . alright. Maybe I'm taking this a little too seriously.

it's worth noting that the Pythag. expectation is just a rough approximation. It pretends to be nothing else. It's more relevant for teams with winning records, but who are being outscored overall. Those teams are likely to regress, hard.

timr - lol

R: A few weeks ago, the Marlins had a better record than the Braves, but a much worse run differential (and therefore pythagorean win expectation).

A betting man could have predicted the Marlins would fade while the Braves would pass them. Lo and behold!

Also, about a 98% chance Hamels gets hurt tonight.

Pythagorean Wins or Actual Wins, the Braves are only 2 GB, have nearly identical team offensive and pitching stats, and are 5-4 vs. Phils. Been very evenly matched so far.

Biggest difference this year? Phils' defensive advantage I thought they had going into the season over the Braves is really that big of a deal because of the Phils' overall lack of range.

72% of all statistics are made up on the spot (look it up!)

oh wow hamels starts tonight doesnt he? Dammit, can JW please erase this comment section?

oh wow hamels starts tonight doesnt he? Dammit, can JW please erase this comment section?

ALso, I think if Pi were on this blog, he'd object to your calling the Pythagorean theorem the most important gemoetric disocvery of all time. I'm not who I'd side with, but just be careful if he shows up.

He'll break your radius!

“Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything. 14% of people know
that.”

--Homer Simpson

Pythagoras of Samos was a piker. Now Euclid of Alexandria, that guy knew his baseball.

What the Braves/Phils have in common is how heavily they have leaned on their pitching staffs while having average/below average performances offensively & defensively. Neither team is exactly great on the basepaths either or has a good bench. Eeiry how similiar they have been this season.

I will say this too - Phils' have the better manager in Cholly. Still surprised at how much of a free pass and even the general praise that Fredi gets in national broadcasts.

How can we have a serious discussion of the great mathematical geniuses of all time and not mention Archimedes? The dude had an OPS of 1.025 in his peak!!

Dan in Philly, that's great and all, but Euler led the league in RBIs every year in his peak!

Will Schweitzer line?

Brown hasn't hit a lick on this homestand and is 2-22. He is now at .235/.312/.397 (.709 OPS) with 2 HRs in 68 ABs.

Hitting a ton of weak ground balls to the right-side and still consistently getting jammed an awful lot on inside fastballs. He's has pretty good plate disclipline and coverage which is improved over last year. Doesn't look overmatched like he did last year.

Just struggling to handle that inside fastball & still chasing that away pitch too much trying to pull it while making weak contact.

Gorgias proved that:
1) RBI do not exist
2)Even if they do exist, nothing can be known about them, and
3) Even if something could be known about RBI, knowledge about it can't be communicated to others.

how the hell is Brandon Phillip's .737 OPS going to dethrone Utley's allstar streak?

MG should be tarred and feathered for considering the Phillies and Braves "similar." He is a libelous traitor.

Pythagorean wins are nice. It's good to be reminded that real world results aren't always perfect representations of the pure baseball being played in platonic baseball heaven. That's the whole point of sabermetrics, I think, to better gauge "real" ability.

I certainly wouldn't treat Pythagoean wins as definitive expressions of true team talent. Both variables -- runs scored/runs allowed -- are themselves subject to noise. A 93 pythagorean win team isn't meaningfully better than a 91 win team. But the idea is sound -- a team that scores substantially more runs than it allows is probably at the very least "good", and if its real world record doesn't reflect that, so much the worse for the record.

Klaus, the term "Platonic Baseball Heaven" is a great one that I haven't heard before. Someone should start a new baseball website with that name. Awesome turn of phrase.

Jack: It wasn't you that said moving Byrd to accommodate Vic would be a good move. Guilty conscience, or just a need to jump to conclusions?

Also on the run differential thing. The Braves could've also passed the MArlins since the Fish went into the toilet. A 1-10 home stand will do that to you.

Who gives Fredi praise in the national broadcasts? Please provide examples of that with sound so we can actually here them say it.

TTI: If you had to bet on two teams' performance going forward, and they had equal records but significantly different run differentials, which one would you bet on?

This isn't rocket science, people. It's basic common sense. Teams that outscore other teams by a lot of runs are usually better than teams that don't. How on earth do people disagree with that basic sentiment? That's all it is.

This is a pretty funny article:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/734317-philadelphia-philliess-need-a-better-horse-in-the-stable-heath-bell

"Now the Phils are relying on the fastball-changeup (with a ‘new’ cut-fastball) combo of Ryan Madson. Watching Madson try to close games last year in the absence of Lidge was an adventure to say the least."

Madson's cutter is new? Only a pitch he has used on a regular basis since the failed starter conversion in early '07.

"I don’t believe that Contreras and Madson are the answer either. Both can be tremendous set-up men, but neither has the stuff to be a lock-down closer.

Contreras can be rather wild at times and is known to put guys on base via walks. Madson relies too heavily on two pitches. No one since Eric Gagne has survived in the closer’s role with just a fastball and a changeup.

Nowadays, a closer tends to need a mid-90s fastball along with a late-breaking cutter or a sharp, diving breaking-ball."

Last part was pretty funny. I could name a number of closers who are really successful with either a mid-90s fastball and/or a cutter/slider.

It also helps that Madson simply has one of the best changeups in the game too. Frankly I have been glad this year that he has started to use this cutter less.

You need to have a good feel for your offspeed stuff to throw a cutter. Madson at times comes out too amped like he did Sunday in the closer's role. Ruiz wisely recognized that fact & just called for the gas. Only mistake was a cutter he called to Soto who almost yanked a crushing 2-HR down the line.

Dan: it occurred to me in 08 just before the NLCS, when a Dodgers fan explained to me why, record aside, the Dodgers were just oh so much better than the Phillies -- peripherals and what not. And I thought, f8ckin' platonist!

TTI - My most example was the Braves vs. Reds game I was watching a little of on Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN 2 weeks ago. Fredi has his share of compliments.

Klaus, well, I officially nominate it for phrase of the year. It summarizes to a T the fristrations I have with the saber crowd who think their tools are just so awesome that when they conflict with reality, it must be reality which is at fault.

Do announcers in a national game typically blast managers during a broadcast?

A closer relying extremely heavily on a fastball/changeup combo: where have I heard this before?

Oh, that's right, Trevor Hoffman.

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/06/the-pitching-technique-thats-threatening-baseballs-young-phenoms/240351/

Interesting article if you are bored on the 'Inverted W' throwing motion which our own Mike Stutes is allegedly a 'victim' of in the article. Not sure if I agree with the sentiment in the article that teams are forcing it on their prospects, but worth a look.

So Jack wants to trade Vic to the Cubs for Marlon Byrd straight up...


Interesting.

I'm not going to go back and check to see what kind of discussion was had on Willingham, but he does not appear to actually be a RF. His major league time spent there has gotten him 2 errors and no assists. (i.e. He has spent enough innings to get himself 2 errors but still has not been able to throw anyone out.) (Maybe they're not "running on him" but I doubt it.)

My more interesting observation when I looked at his stats, though, is that his .738 OPS generates a 104 OPS+. Hitting really, really, really, truly stinks this year. Really. Truly. Stinks. Big time. How can a .738 OPS be above average? (Well, I know how actually: Hitting stinks this year.)

Klaus: Of course, in 2008, the Phillies had a +119 run differential and the Dodgers were +52. So the Dodgers fan was wrong, anyway. Not surprising.

Willingham is ok, but the guy i really want is Quentin. don't the Sox owe us one?

They gave us Tad Iguchi to make up for the whole Garcia fiasco.

Remember?

Jack: I want you to really think about your argument of run differential and then recall some of the arguments you've made on here about the Phillies run scoring and then you tell me why there are questions about the validity of solely using that statistic to prove what you want it to prove. That shouldn't be that hard for you to do. No tricks from me and don't try to deflect the question. My problem with your statement is that you are working backwards from the result to prove your point. Logical arguments don't flow like that.

And really, the Marlins just had a bad 10 game stretch. It doesn't mean anything going forward because they could very easily get hot again and

BB - No. They just went out of their way to praise Fredi compared to Baker.

Nice find on the anti-Madson post, MG. I certainly did my fair share of snorting as I read through it.

So far the author is getting drubbed in the comments section....and rightly so.

Oh come on BAP, the Pythagorean is named for it's resemblance to the original theory. Not randomly because of some inflated sense of ego.

Your examples are completely unrelated. There is no link between WHIP and Shakespeare so of course it would be absurd to name it that.

However, if someone developed a formula which rated a prospect's future potential at secondbase (2B or not 2B) then why shouldn't that be called his Shakespeare number?

There are plenty of things in baseball named after what they resemble, are you in favor of changing them all? No one lives at home plate, it's named because it looks like a little house. Maybe should start calling it original base? Or first base, and rename all the others.

I'd rather we didn't.

jack just got CLOUTED

I think home plate should be called Hopefully Last Base.

Jack: yeah, looking through the BR.com 2008 Dodgers page it's hard to see at first glance just what sort of case would be made. I don't really recall what he said, although I remember being disconcerted.

Their bullpen that year, admittedly, was other-worldly. Plug in Manny and Furcal (in the place of Juan Pierre and Angel Berroa) and the lineup looks more impressive.

"However, if someone developed a formula which rated a prospect's future potential at secondbase (2B or not 2B) then why shouldn't that be called his Shakespeare number?"

Very clever. But, wouldn't it be more specific to call it the "Hamlet Number" or the "Most Famous and Oft Overquoted Soliloquy Number"?

Anybody quoting, or writing for the Bleacher Report should be exiled from Beerleaguer.

MG gets a pass on this occasion b/c he posted it in a mocking way.

@Wes Chamberlain - I heard Mini Mart calls home plate "Hotel California" because he never leaves it.

@Fatalotti - Ha. Yes. Fun fact: Hamlet is fictional, and yet is still a better hitting Dane than Sardinha.

There are plenty of great sites on the Internet that do a great job of gathering a common group of diverse people around a particular topic and generating valuable original content & great commentary.

BleacherReport is none of these of things.

I've never heard of BleacherReport before...but based on that article, it is worthy of scorn.

Lincoln: See my 11:16 post.

I was tricked into clicking on a few BleacherReport items when they first started appearing on Philly.com. Uncommonly brainless stuff. I'm not sure what King Kaufman was thinking in taking on the editorship there. About his bank account, I guess.

I like BleacherReport's hard hitting photo journalism pieces on the state of female athletes as well as player WAGS.

I like the reallignment idea but I would rather see the Nats become an AL team and since everything is new and artificial down there anyway they should create some BS rivalry with the O's who could use it.

http://crashburnalley.com/2011/06/14/josh-willingham-proceed-with-caution/

Good article on whether or not the Phillies should pursue Willingham.

Raul's gramps-
I think the Mets should be traded to the AL.
Two reasons: 1- I hate the Mets.
2- It would eliminate any possibility of another WS "subway series".
My second choice would be the Braves.

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