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Thursday, July 21, 2011

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I was just thinking what better way to celebrate the start of the implosion of the Mets than to sign Aaron Heilman?

Thanks Aaron for the plethora of pleasing comeback thrills.

Forget where I read it, and I think it was Charlie Manuel who said it. He said Bastardo's season has everything to do with better maturity and guidance from Baez. That's gotta be the big reason he's still around.

...and he's a horrible tipper, and his mother kills kittens.

The move is puzzling, unless they're bulking up on junk relief in case of a trade that requires Kendrick to finish the season in the rotation.

One of my favorite things about Aaron Heilman was that he almost always came into a game that was within reach and would inevitably blow it.

But the best part was as it was falling apart around him he would put on his Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade face as if to say, "Reckon I just blew another one."

I thought Mick Billmeyer mentioned Baez in an interview about Bastardo's coming of age.

JW - Please lose the links within!

if Baez is in fact helping Bastardo, then he's worth the money.

Did we hire him so we can FIRE him? that would be sweet. mmmmwwwwwWWWWWWHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

I failed to mention this in the thread earlier about the Phillies trade options. One thing that I think lends some credence to a deal for Melky is that Mike Arbuckle is in the Royals front office. So if anyone has a pretty good grasp on some of the pieces in the Phillies system it would be him.

Yeah the linkWithin addition sucks. Nobody wants to read the old stuff anyway.

Everything I've read about Baez outside of pitching is nothing short of 100% positive. He's a great teammate and I've heard the story many times that he is looked upon as almost a coach from the likes of Bastardo and even Ryan Madson has uttered similar praise. There really is nothing to not like about Baez except those rare occasions where he takes the mound. Might make a fine bullpen coach someday.

Scotch Man: I'd be 100% okay with Baez retiring and being a coach if we don't have to fire anyone.

TTI, that is an excellent point.

Arbuckle for sure has a good grasp on much of the talent in the Phillies system.

awh's Wish List: Joakim Soriano.....please.

(I'd even eat Melky's contract and go over the luxury tax threshold to bring Soriano to Philly.)

Phils bullpen would look like this if Lidge comes back healthy and effective:

Soriano
Madson
Bastardo
Stutes
Lidge
Whoever
Whoever

Please lose the links

JW, not a big fan phan of those "you might also like" options. No need for them.

awh: Point taken. But it's Soria that is with the Royals.

I always sort of felt almost bad for Heilman. He was always touted as a good pitcher, and his numbers actually sometimes backed it up.

And yet, nothing made me more confident in a close Phils-Mets game than seeing Heilman come in. I just loved it.

Although our team has performed above average in runs scored since Utley and Brown have joined. I still think our team has an inherit weakness against LHP.

TTI, sorry, too much wine tonight. (literally) :)

Shawn, this doesn't tell the whole story, but it would seem to bear out your point:

Phillies 2011:

vs. LH SP: .237/.312/.344

vs. RH SP: .253/.325/.394

Last I had read, Soria had the Phillies on his "No Trade" list.

I'm sure Soria would veto a trade to Philly. No one wants to play for this organization.

Head scratching.

He's a Soria loser.

Someone mentioned it earlier, but Lenny Dykstra has a son named Cutter? Is his daughter named Change Up?

why would you talk about his stats vs the phillies. that's dumb. he's done verry well against the rest of the nl east

A Phillies fan's 4 favorite words: "Now pitching, Aaron Heilman."

Why all the angst over the more links? Is it really affecting your enjoyment of the site? Can't you just scroll past them? People complain about the weirdest things.

I've read that Soria has no problem pitching for the big-market powerhouses, he picked teams that would likely trade for him so he could use the no-trade for leverage.

Why bother putting Houston and Baltimore on your limited no-trade list - they aren't going to trade for you anyway.

OP - It ain't curve. She's built like Lenny, pre-vitamins.

CJ (and JW)- I don't like hte links but, I wouldn't complain. Less is more for me. It's clutter.

It's going to be a hot weekend in Philly. I played beer league softball tonight (and the other team took far too many pitches -another story) . It was 91 at 9PM when the game started and 93 at 10:45 when the last out was made. Based on my 'eastcoast-o-meter', it will be 100 tomorrow in HBG, RDG and PHI.

Tyler Greene 2.0 has signed.

It's Clutter.

Posted by: Hugh Mulcahy | Friday, July 22, 2011 at 12:13 AM

Dykstra's son?

Not even sure where to start looking in the archives, but at least 3 yrs ago I posted something along the lines of "The 7 greatest words in the Englich language: Now pitching for the Mets, Aaron Heilman."

I will NEVER be okay with seeing him in big boy Phillies pinstripes.

Grilli had it in his contract that he had to be promoted or let go, right? Otherwise, I can't fathom this clear downgrade. Though I can certainly buy the notion that the Phils are just now formally getting around to compensating Heilman for his past "accomplishments."

Here you go, WP: http://bit.ly/r08SMQ

Shawn, this doesn't tell the whole story, but it would seem to bear out your point:

Phillies 2011:

vs. LH SP: .237/.312/.344

vs. RH SP: .253/.325/.394


approx 60 pts of OPS less than vs RHP, but 660 OPS against LHP is inviting disaster in role filled pitching matchups in the playoffs. Having a LHP masher like Johnny Gomes or a guy like Reid Johnson who specializes in hitting LHP would go a long way, especially adding depth to our bench.

Apologize: I meant Jeff Baker.

~500 PA, 315/365/539 = 904 OPS vs LHP

plays 3rd, 2nd, etc.

I seem to recall a Mets-Marlins game where a fan threw an object at Aaron Heilman.

A Mets blog comment said "That's okay, why shouldn't a fan hit Aaron Heilman. Everybody else does."

Hope those Padres bring plenty of hydration. I attended a game in SD earlier this year and had a tour of Petco. So comfortable that air conditioning is kind of a negative, people wearing light jackets in the evening, low humidity.

Going to be miserable ths weekend, but have to think the Padres will feel it a little more.

Game days>>>off days.

Let's assume the 8 playoff teams are the following:

Yankees
Red Sox
Indians
Rangers

Phillies
Braves
Brewers
Giants

The LHP on these staffs that you'd see in the playoffs are as follows (other than the Phils):

Wolf
Bumgarner
Wilson
Lester
Sabathia

Now, we can only see one of Lester/Sabathia/Wilson, and it will most likely be one of Sabathia/Lester, and those guys shut down all teams generally, whether they are proficient against LHP or not...

So our weakness against LHP is going to be exposed by which left handed starting pitcher in the playoffs?

Randy Wolf or Madison Bumgarner?

Well, Wolf has a 4.25 career ERA against the Phillies (most of that presumably coming against Vic, Howard, Utley, Rollins, Ruiz etc). Bumgarner would be tough against us.

Yes, we have a weakness against LHSP, but I don't think it's something that's going to derail our WS chances. But, it would be nice to get stronger in that regard, and since Baker can play third, he's automatically a good choice.

Fat: Let's just focus on our road to the World Series this year. what about in the later innings, where we faced a lot of our problems last year in the playoffs?

Bravos, Giants still have the nasty LHP relievers that tend to shut down the middle of our order. And those are the two teams that scare me the most in the NL, in that order.

Braves: O'Flaherty, Venters, Sherrill (LOL)
Giants: Afeldt, Lopez

I want to give our team the best chance to win this year and a small addition to our bench(starter if Polanco is done) that mitigates a weakness that can be exposed in later innings, why not?

Fats: I assume you've heard of a LOOGY before. If you've ever watched a Phillies game it's that guy who comes in around the 7th or 8th inning and strikes out Howard and Ibanez with 1 out and the bases loaded. Presumably the RH bat the Phillies may or may not acquire will also be able to hit RH pitching. Not many RH hitters make it to the bigs with the kind of platoon splits that many lefties show. Ibanez has a OPS+ of 95 against Righties, so it's not a super high bar for improvement. Pence is sporting a 156 OPS+ against RH pitching.

Shawn, I agreed with you at the end of my post. I'm just trying to point out that the issues against LH STARTING pitchers (which are the only numbers that were posted above) don't seem to me to be such a huge issue.

Also, here are the splits for each of those pitchers this year (RHB OPS against/LHB OPS against):

Venters: .476/.422
O'Flaherty: .642/.481
Sherrill: .646/.736

Lopez: .329/.678
Affeldt: .453/.227

Sherrill has reverse splits, and O'Flaherty and Lopez may have fairly significant platoon splits, but they are still neutering RHBs pretty well.

I agree that it would be nice to get better against LHP, and a guy like Baker would be a nice addition, espeically with Polly's health concerns, but I don't think the concern is all that great. The Phillies fate will rest on the shoulders of their big three and Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, along with our bullpen.

"Fats: I assume you've heard of a LOOGY before."

Read my post before you start talking down to me, please.

My posts is explicity about LH starting pitching. I never mentioned LOOGY's and I was only responded to the numbers posted about which refer to LHSPs specifically.

Fats: my point beyond the LOOGY comment is a lot of RH bats hit RH pitching better than Ibanez does right now.

So, giving Heilman a minor league deal was a kind of a thank you by the Phillies, no?

Fat: word, I know you're agreeing, I just wanted to add on some extra info.

Good point on the reverse splits.

Here's where I'll disagree with you though. I'm skeptical that we will be successful in the postseason if our offense relies on Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. That's never really been true, and its absolutely not true now. They are vital cogs, yes, but we need 8 players that are capable of doing something offensively because they just can't carry the weight.

When it comes down to it, if we're down 2 runs in the 6th, 7th, 8th, we need extra power. Our team isn't constructed on making late inning comebacks. Counting on multiple singles and walks against LHP seems like its not gonna happen. We need some juice there.

I think Jack spoke to this in one of the threads recently. I just wanted to point out how pronounced our lack of power is against LHP. its a serious problem in my book.

Very true, jbird. Pence or Beltran would be a huge boon in that regard.

But as long as Victorino is hitting behind Howard, the Phillies already have a guy who can break up the lefties really well. Vic is murdering LHP this year.

Still, a Baker or a Pence in the lineup would help.

Our outfield is so terrible defensively too, who will be our late inning replacement of Ibanez? (I'm not being snarky, I actually don't know who it'd be)

Is there anyway to ascertain how the Phillies have fared against LH Relief pitchers this year?

Just anecdotally, I can remember them getting to Sherrill this year, Sean Marshall, the dude from the Mets, but obviously the actual numbers would tell a better story than my faulty memory.

Shawn, there will be no defensive replacement for Ibanez. There hasn't been one in 2.5 years, and I don't know why Cholly would start now.

The problem with getting a righty power bat for the bench is that Charlie has shown no inclination to use that bat to pinch-hit for Ibanez. Obviously he won't pinch-hit for Utley or Howard against a tough lefty. If he's not going to pinch-hit for Ibanez, either, then what is the point of having a right-handed hitter with pop on the bench?

"Someone mentioned it earlier, but Lenny Dykstra has a son named Cutter? Is his daughter named Change Up?"

I think her name is Splitter.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/split.cgi?t=b&team=PHI&year=2011

Fat, check out "Times facing an opponent pitcher" and "By Inning"

I'm not sure I could read much into that though.

I'm not saying we should kidnap ibanez and hide him in an unmarked cabin, but i'm not, NOT saying we should do that.

Charlie's refusal to hit for Ibanez or replace him in the field is baffling considering the guy is likely one of the 5-10 worst everyday players in the major leagues.

Our big problem against LHP lies in these three players:

Howard OPS against LHP: .637
Utley OPS against LHP: .676
Ibanez OPS against LHP: .636

Now, Utley actually has NO platoon split for his career. He has a .886 OPS against LHP and an .891 OPS against RHP for his career. I expect him to perform nearer his career averages going forward, at least relative to the handedness of the pitcher.

Howard has really struggled this year against lefties, but he's never been this bad, so I also expect that to go up a bit. And since these guys aren't going anywhere, we're just going to have to hope they get the job done.

By the way:

Victorino OPS against LHP this year: 1.224

!

Ibanez HR: 13
BenFran HR: 6

in your face!

If we move Worley for Pence, a gassed Big 3 (Big 4 with Little Roy?) and bullpen is highly likely:

Phillies Notes: More bad news for Phillies' injured Blanton

Boy, oh boy, if we don't get Little Roy up and running, trouble. Kyle Kendrick and Andrew Carpenter as your #4 and #5 starters, anyone?

I hear Jessie Biddle has a lively fastball -- bring him up? Problem is, he's barely 19 years old.

dh phils - again you miss the point. soria doesnt want to pitch for those teams! that's why they're on his no trade clause! learn baseball buddy you're a real treat to read and laugh at

Could it be time to put less weight in career stats and more on the past one or two years? It seems like the game has change pretty significantly with regard to run scoring.

Victorino batting fifth is good in theory, but anecdotally, it seems like every time he comes up in that "man on third, one out" type situation, he impatiently hits a weak grounder or pops up. Someone more reliable in terms of making solid contact would be ideal. Not to mention the arguments for Victorino batting second or even 6th/7th.

As I stated above, anecdotal evidence is a poor form of evidence. They showed the numbers for Vic, and he is slightly above average relative to the NL in terms of runner on 3rd with less than 2 outs.

Is Matt Kemp and Phillie yet?

Also, Vic is by far the best bat in our lineup this year. Batting him 6th or 7th would be a very bad idea. Batting him 5th still lessens his PAs per game, and that's a legit argument against it, but it also maximisez his late innings chances to face LHP being behind Howard.

Batting him 2nd is an argument I'm willing to consider.

Should be: Is Matt Kemp A Phillie yet?

crotch: Vic has converted 9 of 16(56%) runners on 3rd with less than 2 outs.

Thats right about league average. Considering Vic is much better than league average in 2011, I would agree with you that he has failed moreso in those situation than he should have, but only by a few extra times.

16 PAs is an awfully small sample size to draw any conclusions.

Vic just doesn't strike me as a good I feel good about hitting a sac fly in that situation, but I stand corrected after seeing the numbers.

yeah, not advocating that he needs to be removed from 5 hole(especially based a rare occruance like that) - but just saying up to this point, Vic has disappointed in that situation by a couple ABs.

Rollins S
Utley L
Vic S
Howard L
Polanco R
Ibanez L
Ruiz R
Brown L


Keeps the lefties separated, keeps Vic closer to the top, we maximize Utley's present value (high OBP, good but not great SLG).

Polanco at 5 hurts, so maybe switch him and Chooch, but I don't see it happening.

Vic has been pretty much our best hitter for a couple years now. Does he not belong in the #3 spot?

I've alwasy liked Victorino, but have always made sure to call him a pretty 'dumb' ball player. I dont think thats really changed - his talent far outweighs his stupid mistakes - but there are plenty of times when he makes a puzzling decision on the basepaths/plate/field that you wish he wouldn't.

You hear it much less because his talent has continued to rise, but i was one of many who criticized him years ago when the difference in his abilities and decision making weren't that far apart.

kswiss: sometimes players put the hi revenue teams on a no-trade list because they are the most likely destinations and the players want to be bought out of their no-trade agreements by having options picked up, contracts renegotiated, or just straight cash.

" soria doesnt want to pitch for those teams! that's why they're on his no trade clause!"

Or this alternative explanation: they're on his no trade clause because he knows that the Phillies and other big-market contending teams are precisely the teams who would be most likely to trade for him, and he wants to have leverage to negotiate an extension or pay increase out of the trade, the way Oswalt did. That was exactly DH's point, although it evidently flew right past you.

that post has already made me feel dirty - i sounded like Heather(which is never a good thing) - thinking that baseball is some math problem.

get me some insta-bl bankruptcy on that one.

Ahh, the ol' reverse psychology ploy. That Soria is devious!

That's exactly the problem with vitriol and mockery on this site. kswiss's point is obviously wrong, but if he posts it humbly and just as his opinion, and doesn't resort ot mockery, scorn and other premature techniques, people would politely explain to him the reasons why Soria would place high-profile teams on his NTC.

Instead, he acts like a petulent child and will gets laughed at, ridiculed and lose lots of credibility going forward.

RE: Soria. I think BAP is correct. It's leverage, not location.

In talking about Soria, it's probably also useful to mention that his K/9 numbers have gone:

2009: 11.7
2010: 9.7
2011: 7.5

while his BB/9 numbers have remained nearly the same.

For the sake of humility myself, I'm also guilty of resorting to such childish techniques too often.

Apparently the concept of a NTC needs to be explained literally every time it becomes relevant, so I'll take a stab at it, if y'all don't mind...
Soria putting teams like the Yanks, Sawx, and Phils on his NTC list is purely a leverage move. If a team like those listed above came to the Royals and said "We'd like Joakim Soaria, here's Player A, B, etc" the Royals would (presumably) say "Sure thing, looks great, go talk to Joakim." At that point, the team would say "Joakim, c'mon and lets go win us a ring" Joakim would then say "Sure thing, you guys only need me to do it, and I'll totally waive this pesky NTC, if you pay me X amount of dollars for Y amount of years."
This is what's known as LEVERAGE in a BARGAINING AGREEMENT. Who in their right mind would say "Forget that, I'm not playing in the biggest markets in baseball right now, showcasing my talent for an even bigger contract down the road, and fulfilling a lifelong goal of winning a championship. I'd like to either stay in KC or see if a trade can be worked out with, say, Oakland, where I'd have nothing to play for but a solid job opportunity..." The playing-time argument doesn't exactly work either, since any team in for Soria knows they aren't trading for a long reliever out of the pen, but a back-end option to close teams out.
Exaggerated use of quotes? Maybe. Over-long and simplistic? Maybe. But Idiot-proof? Eh...doubtful, as I'm sure will be proven.

Damn, took too long and the Soria point is made redundant. Gotta be quicker on the draw I guess...

Call Me Ishmael....miss you man.

How's life in the desert?

Fat: The lesson is, if you're going to throw vitriol & mockery into your posts, you'd better make sure that your overall point is right.

Or this alternative explanation: they're on his no trade clause because he knows ... big-market contending teams are precisely the teams who would be most likely to trade for him, and he wants to have leverage to negotiate trade...

Isn't BAP's explanation of a NTC pretty much common knowledge? I figured that was the main reason to have a NTC: leverage. Anything is waiveable. For the right price, a player would waive the NTC and come to a team. That's the point -- it all but guarantees the player more money.

Ishmael: Me too, apparently.

It makes me smile when people argue that "Player X has a FNTC, so he won't be traded to Team Y."

Fata - Soon to be over, thankfully. A brisk 110 here today, but I gather I have no point in complaining, since Philly isn't much better, and closely resembles a tropical rainforest about now. Grassroots support for building a base in the Caribbean is slow getting off the ground, but I'll keep on fighting...

Well, thanks for doing what you do.

Will you be back in the states for the Phils stretch/playoff run?

Of course, some players may realistically not want to be traded to a crap team in a crap city.

I'll be back by August, and in the Philly area by September, hopefully. Definitive plans are not something I've come to know in the past few years, but I'll at least be in the States, and look forward to the run to October. Thanks!

Bed Beard: Absolutely. But generally speaking, when players put big market teams in their list, it is to try to squeeze out more money. I don't think NY, BOS and PHI are "crap teams in crap cities," and I don't think MLB players think that either.

R Bill: Yes, and I have said that point on this and other threads recently. Just wanted to make a point that some players also don't want to go to certain teams. Not in Soria's case with BOS, NYY, PHI.

He prolly takes Grilli's spot that is why they signed him i think

just stopped by BL Whitesox.

crickets churping or tumbleweed blowing comes to mind. average comments per post is about 1. surprised it hasn't gotten off the ground.

conshy - I've seen that as well. Maybe it takes a while to get this off the ground. If you look back at BL archives for the Phils, you'll see very little activity at the outset. Maybe they're tracking hits to the website and seeing something positive. Also helps to have a first place team.

BL White Sox needs a clout doppelganger to stir up controversy and get people riled up enough to comment. Of course, if the issue is lack of page views, then I suppose it wouldn't help so much...

It's too bad that the White Sox were the team that got the second BL, and not a team more closely related to the Phils. Could you imagine the kinds of overlap if another NL east team got the second BL? There would be a friendly (or maybe not so friendly) rivalry among BL sites because of the team rivalry, but it would certainly give readers of this site reason to go there. The Phils are about as far removed from the White Sox as could be.

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