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Monday, July 25, 2011



Braves had bases loaded with one out and got nothing. 3-0 Pirates going into the 7th.

Great job by the Braves trading for Alex Gonzalez, he of the career .292 OBP. He has a (and I couldn't believe this) 4.9% walk rate (only 4% this year), a career 18.2% K rate (22.2% this year). Only saving grace is that when he makes contact, he does hit a good amount of line drives.

Still, most likely a very poor trade by the Braves. They'd really like this player on their roster:

BB%: 11.1%
K%: 11.6%
133 wRC+

This player? Yunel Escobar

I'd say Utley is closer to being considered, simply by virtue of his position. However, at the level Hamels has performed this year, I could see him getting considered for the Hall if he can keep up this kind of gaudy production.

If I were to look into a crystal ball, I think Utley hinges more on staying healthy--the more he gets injured, the less effective he's going to be--while Hamels hinges on maintaining his current level of production.

Of course, a couple more world series championships for both of them wouldn't hurt.

Utley has been arguably the best player at his position for possibly 7 years running. Utley is closer to consideration than either Howard or Rollins in my opinion.

It would be interesting to see where Utley would be, HOF wise, if he had been healthy over the last several seasons. Barring a spike in numbers, all of these guys probably need to win 2 more World Series titles to have a realistic shot.

Rollins has no chance, but both Hamels & (esp.) Howard are intriguing maybes. However, I agree w/ TheTheory & Fatalotti: Utley has the best shot of any of the "homegrown" Phillies, but whether or not he winds up accumulating the numbers required will be extremely health dependent.

Unless you're a Yankee, winning titles is pretty much irrelevant to HOF consideration.

Utley has the same problem as Howard--career started too late. Spent his age 24 and 25 seasons shuttling between AAA and a platoon role in the bigs. Didn't play a full season until age 26. Since then, of course, he's been the best 2B in the league and one of the best 5 players in baseball.

McClutchen is working hard to throw this game away.

Jack: I'm a huge Utley supporter, but I'm not sure he's ever been one of the best 5 players in baseball, let alone reaching that status on a consistent basis. Don't get me wrong - I love Utley and I'll take him on my team any day, but the fact is that he's never finished higher than 7th in MVP voting in his own league. Great player when healthy - and I agree he's been the best 2B in baseball - but I just disagree on him being one of the 5 best players in the sport.

Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino or Randall Delgado -- in exchange for Beltran

Howard could be in HOF he has just to bump up his K's....naj just joking...

Steve, MVP voting is very subjective, and really doesn't say all that much about who the best player in a league is. This si where things like WAR are very good tools. Utley has been a fantastic defender (probably the best over the past decade) at one of the most difficult positions in baseball. Beyond that, he was a 3-hole hitter (still is, of course) of one of the most potent offensive teams of his generation, a legitimat power threat and an on-base machine.

He's always been a fantastic base runner and one of the smarter players in the league. I mean, take this random stat for his career. Utley, who's never been known as a speed demon, has stolen 106 bases in his career, and has been caught a grand total of 13 times. That's an 89% stolen base rate.

For reference, Jimmy Rollins, one of the more prolific and successful base stealers of the last decade, has a fantastic stolen base rate of 83.5%. Of course, Jimmy has a lot more attempts, but 119 attempts by Utley is nothing to sneeze at.

That's just one figure.

And, of course, if you give the stat any credence (which I do), he trails only Albert Pujols in WAR since he's been a full time player.

I would say he's very arguably been a top 5 players since he started playing full time, if not the second best player in baseball.

More to the point with Utley, he's put up offensive numbers in terms of OPS+ and wRC+ that would be good numbers for a 1st baseman or LFer, two positions that are known to be good offense/poor defensive positions. That he's done it while playing 2nd base defense at an elite level; that's why he's been so valuable and such an elite player.

I just realized, I addressed my post to "Steve", even though no Steve posted on this board. I meant to address it to Drew. Sorry.


The Braves aren't trading Teheran. For anyone. Particularly a 2 month rental.

The Mets aren't going to get nearly as much as they are asking for, for Beltran.

Braves lose. No ground lost.

Thanks, the Pirates!

Much obliged Pirates

Drew: Maybe not in any given season (although in 2007, he would have won the MVP if not for an errant John Lannan fastball). But who else has consistently been great for the last six and a half seasons?

Pujols. And ... Utley. A-Rod is in there. Joe Mauer. Matt Holliday. Beltran, Tex. Doc and Sabathia for pitchers.

Seriously, name the 5 best players in baseball over the last 7 years, and tell me why they're better than Utley.

OK, I'm gonna give it an honest shot. I'll admit it if I'm wrong.

PS I just opened up Rob Neyer's Top 100 Players of the Decade from the 2000s to give myself a list of players to draw from. I had forgotten how god awful this list was - he has Utley 37th, just behind Mike Cameron - and Ryan Howard didn't make the cut.

Pujols is a gimme.

Four other players, and tell me why they've been better overall since 2005. I think this is interesting. I'm sure you can make compelling arguments for a decent group of players.

Here are guys I would say have generally been better players than Chase Utley since 2004:

Pujols, A-Rod, Ichiro, Halladay, Santana, Vlad, Rivera, Sabathia, Teixeira, Mauer.

There were stretches in there where Utley was a top 5 player, but I think I'd rank those 10 guys ahead of him over the last 8 seasons. Some of those guys on my list are definitely debatable though - I'm not even sure they belong ahead of Chase, might need to think about it some more.

Denny B i wouldnt think so but the Braves have so many of these young talented arms they may part with him. Not all 3 of those mentioned but any combination of them

In my opinion, it's premature to talk about any of the current Phillies making the HOF. In the case of Hamels, it's ridiculous.

The Phillie with the best shot is Halladay, but I don't think he would get in on his accomplishments to date. The voters generally don't vote pitchers in with 181 wins (Koufax, Dizzy Dean and Addie Joss were exceptions.).

It would be best to re-visit the subject in five years. At that time, Halladay could be a lock, and Utley and Howard will have met the 10-year HOF eligibility requirement.

I think Rollins, Utley and Howard all have shots, provided they continue to do what they do best for several more years.

Rollins has been a good, but not great, defensive shortstop for several years. His advantage over Utley and Howard is that he became the regular SS at age 22. I think the argument for Rollins will be based on potentially impressive career totals in hits, doubles, triples, runs scored and stolen bases. Rollins will reach 2,000 career hits next season at age 33. He should reach 2,500; he has a chance at 3,000. Rollins should easily reach 1,500 runs, 500 doubles, and 500 SBs. He also has a chance at 600 doubles and 1,000 career extra-base hits.

Howard's one and only shot at the HOF is career homers. 600 and he's in; after 500, he becomes a maybe. Right now, he's under 300, but he should reach that level by mid-2012, when he will be 32 years old. I'd like to see how old and how productive Howard is when he reaches 400 homers before I predict his HOF chances.

Utley will get in if he compares favorably with modern second basemen who either are in the HOF (Morgan, Sandberg, Alomar) or probably will be (Jeff Kent). Although Utley's major-league career started late, he is fortunate to play a position where the offensive standards are low (That's why I, as a big Utley fan, cringe whenever I hear talk about his changing positions.). I think that Utley gets in if he gets 2000+ hits, 350 HRs and has a career OPS of .850. Right now, he has 1148 hits, 183 HRs and a .892 OPS. Obviously, Utley has a lot more work to do before he becomes a serious HOF candidate. And, obviously, he cannot continue to miss big chunks of the season and have any chance at all.

In my opinion, Utley is the best of our position players, but, if I were forced to bet, I would say that Rollins has the best chance to reach the HOF of all our position players.

Good post derek except i dont think Jimmy will come close to 3G hits. I think he will hit the 2500 mark though. Everything else is spot on though for most part. It might be a little premature for Hamels but its a good possibility. Three thousand strikes out an your almost a sure in for HOF. If he can reach 1500 by age 30 its a strong possibility. What messes up Utley chances where his late start an the fact he plays so hard an injuries. I dont see him playing past age of 35 an accumulating those numbers you posted.

Rollins, hands down is the choice for the homegrown Phillie to make the hall. Just compare his numbers to the shortstops already in the Hall and he's right there or on the cusp of having the required numbers and hardware. There was a lot of talk about the new offensive shortstop 5 years ago but A-Rod changed positions, Garciaparra fizzled out, Tejada's got steroid problems. That leaves only Jeter as a better shortstop over the life of Rollins' career. Trammell, Jeter, and Larkin will need to get in 1st, but I think all 3 are much more deserving than some recent inductees and Larkin & Jeter are locks.

I think, as mentioned above, Utley & Howard got too late a start to really have a shot at it. I don't think Utley will have the career length necessary plus 2b is a position that gets overlooked a lot with Grich and Whitiker being obvious snubs. Hamels is so early in his career still and many a young starter has broken down on his way to the Hall.

In the end I do agree that Utley has an easier path to the HOF because of the position he plays.

However, on the numbers alone Howard is statistically closer to being a HOF. On the HOF monitor system Utely right now is at a 73, and Howard is at a 94. The approximate number you need to hit is 100.

None of the home-growns make the HOF, IMO, but will easily make the HOVG.
Howard will be lucky to get 500 HRs (not that that is shabby); 600 is a pipe dream. He would need 600 HRs to be considered.
Rollins just isn't good enough, Utley's career will be too short and he has been criminally underrated by the baseball writers (evidence: MVP votes).
Hamels is so far away right now that it's not worth talking about. If he's 2011 good through 2014, then let's start the discussion.

TTI: I don't know how one earns a point on the predictor, but I have a hard time beleiving that Howard is that close considering his position. If he was a catcher or shortstop, sure. But as a 1b?

Howard is going to need to do more than hit 31 HRs a season, which is what he did last year and what he's on pace for this year.

JBird: It's a system that is numbers heavy. However, it does give special consideration to a second baseman, shortstop, and catcher with similar numbers. It's a system set up by Bill James. Here are the deets:

It attempts to assess how likely (not how deserving) an active player is to make the Hall of Fame. It's rough scale- 100 means a good possibility and 130 is a virtual cinch. It isn't hard and fast, but it does a pretty good job. Here are the batting rules.

* For Batting Average, 2.5 points for each season over .300, 5.0 for over .350, 15 for over .400. Seasons are not double-counted. I require 100 games in a season to qualify for this bonus.
* For hits, 5 points for each season of 200 or more hits.
* 3 points for each season of 100 RBI's and 3 points for each season of 100 runs.
* 10 points for 50 home runs, 4 points for 40 HR, and 2 points for 30 HR.
* 2 points for 45 doubles and 1 point for 35 doubles.
* 8 points for each MVP award and 3 for each AllStar Game, and 1 point for a Rookie of the Year award.
* 2 points for a gold glove at C, SS, or 2B, and 1 point for any other gold glove.
* 6 points if they were the regular SS or C on a WS team, 5 points for 2B or CF, 3 for 3B, 2 for LF or RF, and 1 for 1B. I don't have the OF distribution, so I give 3 points for OF.
* 5 points if they were the regular SS or C on a League Championship (but not WS) team, 3 points for 2B or CF, 1 for 3B. I don't have the OF distribution, so I give 1 points for OF.
* 2 points if they were the regular SS or C on a Division Championship team (but not WS or LCS), 1 points for 2B, CF, or 3B. I don't have the OF distribution, so I give 1 points for OF.
* 6 points for leading the league in BA, 4 for HR or RBI, 3 for runs scored, 2 for hits or SB, and 1 for doubles and triples.
* 50 points for 3,500 career hits, 40 for 3,000, 15 for 2,500, and 4 for 2,000.
* 30 points for 600 career home runs, 20 for 500, 10 for 400, and 3 for 300.
* 24 points for a lifetime BA over .330, 16 if over .315, and 8 if over .300.
* For tough defensive positions, 60 for 1800 games as a catcher, 45 for 1,600 games, 30 for 1,400, and 15 for 1,200 games caught.
* 30 points for 2100 games at 2B or SS, or 15 for 1,800 games.
* 15 points for 2,000 games at 3B.
* An additional 15 points if the player has more than 2,500 games played at 2B, SS, or 3B.
* Award 15 points if the player's batting average is over .275 and they have 1,500 or more games as a 2B, SS or C.

I think Utley has a legit shot...maybe 50/50. He's far far more respected than we realize. Most people think of him as one of the elite players in all of baseball...especially as Sabermetrics become more and more respected. If he keep hitting into his mid-30s, I think he gets in.

On Utley, his current career WAR is 49.5 and he'll likely finish the year around 52 if he keeps producing at his current level. A WAR of around 60 is pretty much the borderline level for HoF players so he's pretty damn close (maybe 2 more good years) to that level and add in a couple more average years (2-3 WAR per) and he's up into the solid consideration range. I'm not implying that most voters even look at WAR but just stating what tends to be a cutoff when you look at comparable players. He was and is the best player at his position for a solid length of time and one of the best in the game in that same period. THose are the markings of a HoF player.

Didn't Blyleven finally get into the HoF because of sabermetrics?

HOF-ers on the team right now:

Halladay - unless he's injured, and even then his peak has been so high I think he'd make it.
Hamels - He'll have to get to at least 250 wins, but I think that's likely

Utley - if he is as good as he's been this past month for anohter 3 or 4 years, yes. If the decline we saw last season is more his true ability now, no. He started so late, it will be hard.
Howard - similarly, he started so late. If his career continues like the past season and a half no way. If he gets his HR/FB% up to his pre-2010 days, he has a good chance. The stat boys hurt him by always downplaying his abilities

Rollins - Not likely. Others with better resumes haven't gotten in, and he won't either. He'll get on the ballot, but actually getting in the HOF? Sorry, JRoll.
Lee: Started too late to have a realistic chance.

The biggest wild card:
Domonic Brown - Just for laughs, what if he's the only position player on the current roster to make it?

Utley needs to stay healthy for another 3 or so seasons. I think as long as he's healthy he's going to continue to be a ~7 WAR player, but his health really limits that.

Rollins will be a strong borderline candidate. To be a GG-winning SS with the offensive numbers he has on a championship club...that earns a lot of votes. Not many defensively superior SS have MVP-caliber seasons and win titles.

Howard's candidacy will be based almost entirely on context. If he hits 500+ HRs, and that number starts to mean something again post-steroid era, he's got a good shot. The question will really be if the power numbers will always be viewed as inflated now.

And Cole is WAY too far off to even think about it. He's got to put up another 50-60 wins to even start the conversation.

For your consideration, a comparison of Sandberg, Utley, Alomar and Kent. 2 of them are HoFs, 1 will be and the other is active. Utley compares pretty damn well.

***Didn't Blyleven finally get into the HoF because of sabermetrics?***

I thought it was because he b!tched non-stop for 15 years on every forum he could find.

I disagree that Rollins is a longshot for the Hall. Despite experiencing an obvious offensive dropoff from his prime, Rollins is still more than competent with the bat and there is no real reason to think he couldn't remain so for another five years; moreover, he has given zero ground defensively, and remains one of the premier defensive shortstops of his era. That counts for a lot when you factor in the fact that Rollins is already all over the top 10 in offensive categories for an ancient franchise, and if he keeps playing here, has an excellent shot at the club record for hits. Also factor in a high degree of visibility, a great reputation with the media, an MVP, ample post-season performance, and you're ultimately looking at someone who's going to get a lot of consideration when his eligibility comes around.

***Rollins - Not likely. Others with better resumes haven't gotten in, and he won't either. He'll get on the ballot, but actually getting in the HOF? Sorry, JRoll.***

If Trammell can't make it in, neither can Rollins.

Utley definitely has HOF talent but i don't see him having the numbers. His late career start and durability will derail his shot.

Howard isn't even a top five 1B today (Pujols, Cabrera, Gonzalez, Fielder, Votto, Teixeira), and considering how unpersuasive power numbers are in today's post-steroids environment, on top of his late career start, I don't see it either.

Rollins is good, but he's never gotten the national attention that can catapolt solid numbers into HOF consideration. Jeter will create a bias that will be the standard to which this generations SS will be considered.

Hamels will have to put up some serious seasons to get the nod - at this juncture he isn't as accomplished as Lincecum, or revered as King Felix.

NEPP - and he didn't stop bitching after he was elected, either.

If Jimmy Rollins retired today, among hall of fame shortstops he would be 6th in SB and 5th in HR. The only guy close to that kind of power/speed combo is Robin Yount who played 45% of his career in the outfield. If Jimmy Rollins get 3-5 more seasons even at what he's averaged the last 3 years: 136 hits, 13 hr, 32 sb he will have all the numbers he needs.

According to Bill James' favorite toy (google it!), Halladay is likely to pitch another 4 years and end up with 266 wins, which will get him into the HOF all by itself. He has a 19% chance of getting to 300, which frankly I think understates it. Of course he may be injured, but given his healthy history, I forsee him pitching another 6 years and being the next pitcher to 300.

Utley's shot will certainly depend on whether he can stay healthy and productive for a few more years. His numbers may look more impressive if the current trend toward pitching dominance continues for a while. Would love for him to make it, but there is a good chance he will be a Grich type, always a bit underrated, and memories of how good he really is will fade away sort of quickly. Also, for as prevalent as stats are today, I'm not really sure the cognoscenti in the media (the voting ones) fully understand how good he is defensively. He isn't as "smooth" in the field as the other guys, and his arm motion seems like more of a scatter shot than that powerful, smooth snap throw like a Cano has. It's results that count, but...

I think Hamels is interesting, he needs a few seasons to really be part of the conversation, sure. But he's establishing a heckuva track record so far, and he's racking it up pretty early on.

Hope these guys can all stay healthy and productive for a few more years.

Drew: On your list, I would contest Johan, Vlad and Ichiro. Actually, I guess it's definitional. I was going from 2005-forward (when Utley first became a full-time starter). If you include 2004, then you get a CY season from Johan in there, so I think I'd buy that. From 2005 on, though? Chase by a hair, just because Johan hasn't played this year and had below 200 IP in 2009 and 2010.

Vlad could hang with Utley from 2005-2007 offensively, but since then Utley has been better, and that doesn't even start with the defensive value of Utley at 2B vs. Vlad at DH. I don't think there's any contest there. Vlad from 1997-2004 was a fantastic all-around player. But from 2005-2011, it's Utley by a mile.

Ichiro I'll contest as well. Fantastic hitter, but Utley just does more things. Both play great defense, but Utley gets on base more and hits for more power. Utley also plays the slightly more important defensive position.

From 05, I would say that Utley is the 2nd best position player in the game after Pujols.

From 05, I would say that Utley is the 2nd best position player in the game after Pujols.

Posted by: NEPP | Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 09:35 AM

I agree.

NEPP: I generally agree. I think you could make a case for Mauer (before this horrible season), Tex, A-Rod and(underrated) Matt Holliday. But yeah, I think Utley is probably the class of that group when you consider positional value. Those guys are all in the mix as the non-Pujols elite of the last 6-7 years.

Great post, RSB.

Mauer is too injury prone and inconsistent, Tex isn't quite as good either.

Holliday went from being the most overrated player (in Colorado) in baseball to the most underrated (In STL) I think. Nobody even thinks about him as he quietly year in and year out puts out elite seasons.

"Nobody even thinks about him as he quietly year in and year out puts out elite seasons."

I think some folks in Oakland think about him alot. Not fondly, though.

Without looking, I think A-Rod has pretty decent numbers 2005-2011. Is he excluded from the conversation for juicing and because nobody likes him?

Part of Rollins' problem is that, like Howard, he's never been the best at his position. Jeter and A-Rod at the beginning of his career; Tulowitzki, Hanley and arguably Reyes now.

Rollins has been a very good SS, obviously, but those down years in 2009 and 2010 may really hurt him. He's going to need a bunch more years like this year, probably even better, to have a legit chance.

Quincy: nope, he's excluded for dating Madonna

quincy, A-Rod has been very good and is certainly in the conversation for top 5 player.

are you guys forgetting about Miggy Cabrera?

he's accumulated about 40 WAR since 2004 despite losing 46 WAR to fielding and 9 WAR to baserunning. that's how good his hitting has been.

btw, it's entirely possible that i'm misinterpreting some of those WAR stats, so please feel free to correct me if i'm wrong. i still stand by miggy as a overlooked guy in this conversation, though.

I don't think you're interpretting it incorrectly. According to WAR calculations, offense for a player is more important than defense, so a great offensive player can still be very valuable, even with poor fielding.

Think Ibanez.

Fata: I'm not sure Ibanez is where my mind would have jumped when I thought of "a great offensive player can still be very valuable, even with poor fielding."

I think people are selling Utley's HOF chances short. For a 5-year period, he was, arguably, the best 2nd baseman in the history of the game. And, while he did get a late start, it's not like he's so old that he can't put up 2 or 3 more .800+ OPS seasons & maybe even another .900 OPS season or two.

Ryne Sandberg made the Hall, and it wasn't because he posted glittering career totals, reached milestone numbers, or had an unusually long prime. He made it because he was the best 2nd baseman of his generation & one of the best players in baseball over a 10-year period. With a few more good years, the same would be true of Utley. Barring injuries, I think he'll be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Jack, agreed. It's just the first name that popped into my head.

RSB, you are right. Good fielding good hitting shortstops are rare. If JRoll can manage to stay with the Phillies and add to his career totals, which represents longevity and durability; he may have an easier path than we realize to the HOF.

Just ballparking his expected career numbers Rollins is going to finish his career well inside the top 10 shortstops in career homeruns and stolen bases and top 20 in hits.

Obviously, the biggest thing for Jimmy is going to be staying healthy. He's 32, which gives him time for a few more good years, but he's also had nagging injuries before turning 32, which is not a great sign for longevity.

The odds are not great that Rollins will be able to play long enough to accumulate the counting stats which will put him into the HOF, and his peak wasn't good enough to get him there, and he was never considered the best player at his position, nor the best player in the game, even his MVP year was more due to intangibles than having an actual better year than Utley or Howard.

Put it all together and you have a really good player who will not get into the HOF.

Good Morning.

I did not know Trammell is not HOF. Hmm.

As for the current discussion...I don't think any of them will make it, unfortunately, but I am frequently wrong and hope I am this time, too.

Cole is already in my own personal Hall of Fecklessness.

I am so looking forward to Worley and Lincecum this evening.

I think Rollins will be helped by the the steroids era. There will be a lot of guys that "should" get in, but won't because of steroid suspicion. Those votes are going to go somewhere and it wouldn't surprise me if they go to Rollins, a guy with a squeaky-clean rep and good relationship with writers.

As for Hamels, he's certainly on a good pace. Its funny how people are saying its too early to discuss him, but then cite Howard and Utley as getting a late start (which they almost certainly did). I could easily see Hamels with 100 wins by then end of next season (28 years old). If he can get to 200 by age 34 (which is ahead of Halladay's pace) I could see Hamels getting in.

I would say from this group Rollins is most likely to get in, then hamels, howard and utley (Sadly, I don't see Utley playing much longer.)

For Rollins, his HOF chances require him to stay healthy and avoid the Edgar Renteria career path. At age 31, Renteria seemed to be on a possible HOF career path, with above average offense for a shortstop, combined with Gold Glove defense. But, by age 32, he was an average shorstop, and by 34, he was a utility infielder. Unfortunately, Rollins' recent career path shows a similar trajectory although, to his credit, he seems to be altering that trajectory this year. But let's see what his numbers look like at season's end.

I think Will Schweitzer just called into MLB Radio.

This guy called in and said the Phillies should trade Dom Brown because he has no baseball sense. He has cost us 4 games this year and he is a guy who will never amount to anything.

Wow, I must admit I prefer Mayberry to Brown, but that seems a little harsh.

Baseball chat is a great way to get one's recommended daily allowance of hyperbole.

That was the best part about the caller's comments. We should keep Mayberry because he went to Stanford and is thus a smarter baseball player.

People need to realize that when they prefer Mayberry to Brown, they are talking about a 28 year old OF with 4 years of experience at AAA vs. A 23 year old with less than 4 MONTHS of AAA experience.

Mayberry is basically at his absolute peak, and won't get better. The other is still reaching it.

Please please please remember that.

I have to be honest, Mayberry's had a good year. He's been better than the rest of the bench and indeed, any outfielder whose name doesn't end in -ictorino. They shouldn't not send him back down when Polanco comes back.

Honestly, what he really should be doing is starting every game against a LH pitcher and playing from the 7th inning onward in LF, but that's not going to happen either.

If, like Jack, you believe the walk is the greatest thing a batter can do and that HRs and RBI are pretty irrelevant, then Utley is one of the best players in baseball and a slam dunk for the Hall of Fame.

I think he's a great player, certainly top 5 at his position, but, benighted fool that I am, I think HRs and RBI actually have value. I also think guys who annually generate 40+ HRs and 140 RBI are more rare than guys that generate a high OB.

On that basis, I would probably disagree that Utley is one of the 5 best players in baseball, as Jack suggests.

I also think his glove is very good, but not great as the prevailing opinion on BL holds.

Pat's back in town, all is right again.

Worley v Lincecum should be interesting. I've said it before, if Worley wins this convincingly he'll start to get serious discussion for early ROY. Is Vogelsong a rookie? If so it might be a lost cause for VW. Of course when Oswalt and Blanton are healthy what do you do with Vance? Especially if he continues to get outs with smoke and mirrors. Ideally I like the idea of Oswalt possibly coming out of the 'pen to minimize his innings and have him ready as a 4 for the playoffs. Blanton could be a 6-7th inning guy if Worley continues to shine. Obviously it's something they'd have to juggle, attitudes included.

I so want to crush The Beard somehow this series. Guy needs his 15 minutes of fame to end so he can start his lifetime of shame.

That is funny! I did not know Stanford had actual baseball coursework.

Math 320: Advanced Sabremetrics
PSYCH 210: Reading the Pitcher
Philosophy 320: Existentialism and the cutoff man

I think Brown definitely has potential. Right now I'd rather see Mayberry.


I had the same sense as you did, but some of these posts by some very knowledgeable fans give me hope.

Worley/Lincecum should be great if they are both on their games. As much as we spout the old "every game is equally important in the standings, this one isn't more meaningful really than the fourth Padres game" line - I don't really feel that way.

And nothing for nothing, but I thought you had worked your way past the "Cole is feckless and immature" meme earlier this year and were giving him another chance.

*shouldn't send him down

Gold Gloves
Rollins - 3
Trammell - 4

MVP Top 5s
Rollins - 1 (1st)
Trammell - 1 (2nd)

Silver Sluggers
Rollins - 1
Trammell - 3

All Star Appearances
Rollins - 3
Trammell - 6

Career OPS+
Rollins - 97
Trammell - 110

Career WAR (
Rollins - 33.3
Trammell - 66.9

Just to keep in mind...Trammell is considered a fringe HoF candidate and he's lightyears ahead of Rollins overall.

I just heard Giambi might go on DL unless Rube decides to trade for him and just let him sit on the bench for three weeks and then DL him retroactively so they can waste a spot on the roster.

clout, just as a talking point, these are the 162 game averages for Chase Utley and Ryan Howard during their full season (Utley: 2005-present, Howard: 2006-present).

Utley: 24 HR, 105 RBI, 93 R, .296/.387/.518 (132 OPS+)

Howard: 41 HR, 126 RBI, 91 R, .275/.371/.561 (139 OPS+)

Putting runs and RBI together, Howard has accounted for 19 more runs per 162 games. Their OPS+ for those periods are very similar. The only place HOward has Utley licked is in homeruns, but Utley plays (by all relevant measures) sparkling defense at one of the most important positions on the diamond, and runs the bases extremely well (89% stolen base percentage), not to mention the eyeball test which shows that he takes extra bases very often (I think he's the smartest baserunner this team has had since Rolen...maybe Rollins, too).

Utley just provides a lot more value to the team than does Howard, and that's with HOward having been a great player on this team since he got here.

Sucks on Giambi...he would have been a great piece. He'll never clear waivers to us in August so that boat has probably sailed.

Bob, I gave him another chance. And he did the ostentatious "WTF?!?" thing on the field, again (when Utley and Howard allowed the ball to drop between them).

I was absolutely having the same reaction in my own living room, but I just don't think that's cool to do on the field. Try to imagine Halladay acting like that- I sure can't.

Bleh. He's just not my flavor.

We should trade Domonic Brown because it's so easy to find 23 year old lefty outfielders who can hit .250/.338/.405 with a cannon for an arm. We should trade out all of his salary controlled years because re-signing Hamels is not a priority to us. We should compare him to 26 and 28 year old outfielders. Above all, we should not recognize his .410 OBP over the last 30 days as proof that he's put things together.

Time to move on from the Domonic Brown experiement. Let's trade him for a 6th inning right handed reliever.

From MLBTradeRumors:

The Phillies are about $3MM shy of the luxury tax threshold of $178MM, report Matt Gelb and Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Team president David Montgomery is willing to pass that threshold for the right opportunity, he told the reporters. No National League team has paid the luxury tax since it came into effect in 2003.

Yesterday the Phillies reportedly cooled on the best hitter available, Carlos Beltran. Beltran is the trade target most likely to push the team over the luxury tax threshold.

NEPP likey likey this news.

Also, clout, I would say 2nd baseman with the offensive prowess of Chase Utley are just as rare (if not more so) than 40/140 guys.

Also, realized my numbers were off, should be:

Utley: 30 HR, 105 RBI, 116 R (221 R + RBI), .296/.387/.518 (132 OPS+)

Howard: 47 HR, 142 RBI, 103 R (245 R + RBI), .275/.371/.561 (139 OPS+)

DIP: I was with you until you said that Brown's .410 OBP over the last 30 days is "proof" that he has put things together.

What happens over any particular 30-day period isn't "proof" of anything.

phargo, Cole is the best pitcher on the team right now.

"Utley just provides a lot more value to the team than does Howard"
I think their value to the team has been pretty much equal overall, although offensively Howard has the edge.

Ooops, I heard the fubar popup on the radio but didn't see it and didn't realize he had a Cole moment.

FWIW, the article about Chooch in Sports Illustrated indicated Cole was still the most temperamental of the aces, but was improving.

And no, cannot even conceive of Halladay reacting like that. If someone loafed or dropped an easy popup and let in a key run he MIGHT grimace a bit or do that quick glove snap thing when the ball got back to him.

BAP, give me a break, man. I had a great bombast going there, don't spoil it...

Certainly not proof, but the fact that the kid nearly has the same amount of walks as strikeouts if very encouraging. Once the power shows up, he should be a very nice player.

His defense, on the other hand....

***We should trade Domonic Brown because it's so easy to find 23 year old lefty outfielders who can hit .250/.338/.405 with a cannon for an arm. ***

But but but, Hunter Pence is so much better because he didn't even make it to the Majors until Age 24 (while Dom made it at Age 22).

Brown is a very good young player. He's raw but we all knew that. His BB/K ratio is fantastic for a young hitter. He's only going to get better.

Booing Bouchy:

Is anyone else think it is pretty dumb to boo Bochy tonight for the ASG? I do although I am sure he will be booed.

Yes- the quick glove snap thing! Funny, I guess everyone has a "tell".

"Cole is the best pitcher on the team right now." No argument here. He is an excellent pitcher.

DIP: My apologies. I would hate to spoil a good run of bombast. Bombast on.

(Does "bombast" have a verb form? If it doesn't, it's a serious structural flaw in the English language)

Since Brown started playing regularly and Utley came back the offensive numbers have told a story.

But going beyond the stats, there is observation and the sense you get from watching the games. We watched Ben Fran get a shot earlier this year and I was one of those who thought he had a chance for a nice year. It's just not there. I was wrong.

But watching Dom... The triple and the near triple the past couple of days and the raw speed, and the arm. He's scuffing in the field, but I think the tools are there to improve. His head seems to be in the right place. And again, moving past the stats, when he comes up to bat, it's fun to watch. You might see something really good happen at any time, and I think those moments will continue to accumulate.

Old Phan, Howard has been very valuable, but as a slugging first baseman, I would expect him to have the offensive edge over Utley (though, the gap isn't all that great).

I just don't the edge that Howard has in offense equals the edge that Utley has in defense and baserunning (where he blows Howard out of the water).

That's just my opinion.

***Once the power shows up, he should be a very nice player.***

Brown's ST injury is well known to sap power for almost a full year so hopefully that's all it is. If he even keeps his SLG over .400, I'll be happy. He's got a good approach at the plate and that's the most important thing right now. The power should come. He's probably a 20-25 HR guy in his prime.

"It’s impossible to predict the future, but humans can’t help themselves. From the economy to the presidency to the Super Bowl, educated and intelligent people promise insight and repeatedly fail by wide margins. These mistakes and misses go unpunished, both publicly and in our brain, which has become trained to ignore the record of those who make them."

A podcast worth a listen to:

30,000 foot comparisons of Halladay's and Hamels' demeanor/personality will be more interesting to me when and if Halladay wins a World Series MVP or, in fact, appears in a World Series.

Dom Brown looks like a beast in the making at the plate. Who HAS to stay here and be very good because the team's financial trajectory is unsustainable. It'll be a lot cheaper for the team to hire him a fielding coach than to trade him.

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EST. 2005

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