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Sunday, July 24, 2011


Truth be told, the last word on Michael Martinez has yet to be writ.

Hopefully Doc has a bounce back game like Hamels just had. Padres are really bad though offensively. I wonder if a team has ever finished last in the MLB in just about every offensive category AND lead the MLB in steals? Has to be unprecedented what they are doing and not in a good way..

"Chase Utley, who homered twice, is another reason the Phillies have climbed to seventh in the league in R/G (4.30)."

JW, you don't think you're burying the lede here?

When does Michael Martinez lose his Mini-Mart nickname and become just his name? Does BL have a consensus on this occurrence?

Jack's love for Utley and hatred for Howard is almost bordering on a Twilight teen fan-girl. He's got his "TEAM UTLEY" shirt on for the game today.

Iceman: Where did I say anything about Howard?

I just found it surprising that the guy going 3 for 3 with 2 HRs and 4 RBIS would be the lead story when you're talking about a great offensive performance. So I asked JW about it.

Headed to the game but I have to admit I would rather see Hamels today than Halladay. Guess like preferring one filet over another. Neither is exactly ground chuck.

Surprising thing about Martinez has been his defense at 3B. Its been really good so far and worthy of a real call out. Yeah its been a short time period but Martinez has looked better at 3B than Polanco especially on plays to his right/deep in the hole because of his strong arm.

Clearly miscast in CF where he simply looked out of place but his infield defense has been solid at 2B/3B/SS. Certainly better than Valdez especially at 2B/3B. Defensively, he is good enough to stick at the MLB level. Just a question whether he shows enough offense because no team keeps a utility infielder who hits ~.200 with a ~.550 OPS.

Unfortunately, I'll miss today's game. But let the record reflect that, if the Phillies are held scoreless through the first 4 innings, I would have written, "This feels like a loss."

Martinez will always be Mini this point, its not an insult.

Kudos to him for becoming a decent utility IF this year. Very happy to be wrong on him so far.

MG, I agree on his D at 3B...very very impressive there. Easily his best position. He's decent at SS and 2B, terrible in CF but very good at 3B.

"Chase Utley, who homered twice, is another reason the Phillies have climbed to seventh in the league in R/G (4.30)."

JW, you don't think you're burying the lede here?"

Jack makes a good point.

Who in the world would have predicted that Utley replacing Orr/Valdez/Martinez in the lineup would raise their offensive rankings?

I like the Mini Mart name. Now that he's hitting, Mini Mart is a a one stop shop, smaller than your big box outlets, where you can get everything: hitting, fielding and speed.

The state of the corners:

.241/.285/.410, 88 wRC+: Ibanez
.224/.329/.357, 89 wRC+: Francisco
.247/.337/.398, 104 wRC+: Brown
.233/.314/.426, 106 wRC+: Mayberry

I don't know why we at least don't platoon Mayberry and Ibanez. If you can't leave him on the bench permanently because he's an experienced (read: expensive) veteran, surely you can argue giving him days off against lefties to get a right handed bat and Mayberry's defense in the lineup.

I like the Mini Mart name. Now that he's hitting, Mini Mart is a a one stop shop, smaller than your big box outlets, where you can get everything: hitting, fielding and speed.

Posted by: Lake Fred | Sunday, July 24, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Minus bunting?

***Who in the world would have predicted that Utley replacing Orr/Valdez/Martinez in the lineup would raise their offensive rankings?***

I, for one, am SHOCKED that the best 2B of the last 20 years has improved our offense upon his return. SHOCKED.

I'm also SHOCKED that giving Mayberry and Brown more ABs at the corners has improved the offense. NOBODY guessed any of that.

Still, Howard has been dreadful of late and massively disappointing this season. Even a late season surge will leave him with disappointing numbers overall on the year. And that 5 year extension finally kicks in NEXT YEAR.

NEPP: Howard is still leading or close to the lead in RBI's (too lazy to look it up). He's been awful lately but still managing to score people somehow.

I just wish he had an OPS over .800. That's a pretty fair request for a 1B.

NEPP: Nope, way too much to ask for. Come on. You have a problem with a guy putting the same OPS as Carlos Pena and Daniel Murphy?

I expect the Mets to give Murphy a $100M extension any day now.

Sick em Clout!

Yea, the guy leading the league in those silly, meaningless run scoring hits is "awful". Good to know.

Not awful but disappointing. If you think he's having a great year because of a bunch of RBIs, that's just stupid.

He's having an off year in every other aspect of his game other than RBI production.

I await clout to twist my words beyond recognition.

"Iceman: Where did I say anything about Howard?"

If this is you trying to be funny, kudos, because I laughed.

Among players with 200 PA or more, Ryan Howard is 29th in OBI% (meaning the percentage of runners on base who he has driven in), behind such legendary hitters as Ben Zobrist, Jonathan Lucroy, and Justin Turner.

He's 2nd, of course, in runners on base during his plate appearances (behind only Adrian Gonzalez, who leads MLB in RBIs, and tied with Prince Fielder).

Clout apparently is not home from church yet. That's the only excuse I can see delaying his Pavlovian response to Jack's scathing assault on RyHo.

Updates on Phillies offense for the season and since May 23rd, by popular demand...well not popular or demanded, but whatever:

-For the season, the Phillies are 14th in the majors in runs/game at 4.30 (major league average is 4.20) and 7th in the NL (NL average is 4.12)

The top 5 teams in terms of offense in the NL:

1. STL: 4.71
2. CIN: 4.65
3. COL: 4.54
4. ARI: 4.43
5. NYM: 4.42
7. PHI: 4.30
8. ATL: 4.12

-Since May 23rd, the Phils are 6th in the majors at 4.63 runs/game (major league average is 4.23 since May 23rd) and are 2nd in the NL (NL average is 4.11 since May 23rd)

The top 5 teams since May 23rd in terms of offense in the NL:

1. NYM: 4.71
2. PHI: 4.63
3. COL: 4.57
4. MIL: 4.57
5. STL: 4.47
8. ATL: 4.21

If the Phillies had kept the offensive production since Utley and Brown came into the fold up all year, they'd be the 3rd best offense in the NL for the season. That's how much better they've been since May 23rd.

**If the Brewers can get their pitching to perform up to expectations, they'd definitely be a tough team to beat in the playoffs (if they make it).**

To add the pitching element to the equation, the Phillis have, as stated above, given up the least runs/game at 3.32.

Here are the top 5 NL teams in terms of run prevention:

1. PHI: 3.32
2. SFG: 3.46
3. ATL: 3.62
4. SDP: 3.70
5. PIT: 3.83

Should be noted here that of these teams, the Phillies have been the best offensive team of the bunch, and BY FAR the best offensive team since May 23rd.

Lastly, run differential per game: The Phillies are 3rd in the majors behind the Yanks and the Red Sox (again, this is due to Yanks and Red Sox offenses).

Top 5 NL teams in run diff/game:

1. PHI: .98
2. ATL: .50
3. STL: .37
4. CIN: .35
5. SFG: .18

Do the Phillies really "need" a trade?

No. No they do not.

Howard is spectacular at motivating the hitters in front of him to get on base...there's great value in such a skill.

NEPP: Polanco goes down, and Mini-Mart steps into the #2 spot in the lineup ... and Howard inspires Martinez to have a .339 OBP in July.

Howard sure is amazing in getting these guys on base in front of him. Like clockwork.

What's the purpose of today's attack on Ryno? Did he single handedly lose the game yesterday? No, I don't think so. did he lose the game today? No, it hasn't started yet. Did he s$$t in someone's breakfast this morning? That seems like the best possibility.

I'm not attacking Ryno really...just pointing out he's been off this year and that has disappointed me.

I forgot we're not allowed to talk about anything even remotely negative.

I am praising Howard in this thread. Being the 29th best player in baseball at driving runners in is quite good.

I think you need to ask Terry. He's the one who loves mini-mart as well as all other nicknames on BL.

Old Phan: Someone who is going to be earning $125mm should be playing at a higher caliber than he is, excluding this little slump he's been in. I welcome every single RBI and HR he has, and cheer for him to do well, but watching him at the plate is painful as of late.

Hopefully that homer yesterday clicked the August hot streak on for him.

And he didn't get an opportunity to lose us the game yesterday because he was benched for playing poorly.

JC Romero has pitched 13.2 innings for the SW Yankees and has a 1.32 ERA. I guess they have used him strictly as a LOOGY? Anyone else frustrated by the fact that Carpenter and Herndon are still on the Phillies roster, and that Charlie frequently insisted on using Romero against right handed batters...?

No, can't say I miss Romero one bit.

Colorado Joe: Carpenter is the long man in the pen. He'd not be here if the SP injury situation was better. In a few weeks when Oswalt returns, he will be sent back to AAA, Worley becomes #5, Kendrick becomes long man again. That one move rights so many things.

If Contreras were to get healthy and return, who would he push out, if we get another reliever? Herndon would get pushed out by reliever X at the trade, who's left?

Fat - They could use another bullpen arm because right now they have reliable options (Bastardo/Madson). Another one would go a long way. One of the thing that stands out to me right now is that the Braves/Giants both have better and deeper pens than the Phils.

Polanco is supposed to be back this week after a rehab assignment. Phils just have to role the dice with him.

CO Joe: Yes, but I still don't miss Romero. Charlie was never going to utilize him properly, so there was no point in keeping him around. Removing the option to misuse him only helps the team.

Saying Howard has been disappointing is an understatement. Should he have twenty homers in his bat and a lot of game winning hits down the stretch, and a great run through the playoffs, then I guess we'll have to reconsider. But living up to his new contract is going to be a tough slog. It was ill thought out on Rube's part. He got snookered in any sense of the word. He's been a really good GM as far as acquiring players. And the deals he gave Doc and Lee, and likely the one he gives Cole, were very appropriate and not well above market. But the deal he gave Howard may become his biggest mistake as a GM.

Howard at 15 mil per might be a really good deal. Howard at 18-20 mil for the next five years may be a bit of a stretch. But Howard at 125 mil over the next five years was predictably a poor deal on the day it was signed.

That being said, if it's the only bad contract the Phillies do over the next five years, it won't be crippling. I do long for the good old days when Pat Burrell at 50 mil over 5 years was an excruciating deal. Seems like such an old timey notion now.

Contreras had a 'plasma injection' into his forearm to speed his recovery and Phils gave no indication when he would start throwing again. Lost cause this season? I would think so.

MG, agreed. A trade would certainly be nice to shore up the bullpen, but, in general I was responding to the notion (not shared by many on here) that the Phillies NEED to make a trade because, well, they had better be in "win now" mode. Truth is, everytime they step on the field, they're in "win now" mode.

Hope to get a chance to see Lidge pitch today.

Heat isn't unbearable here at CBP but it is very hazy and humid.

It could be worse. r00b might have chosen to throw a pile of money at Jayson Werth.

MG - Platelet rich plasma is the biggest "new" thing going now. Tendinitis, tendinosis, really almost any type of tendon damage except for a frank tear is a good bet to get this therapy. It really is quite elegant and maybe the best example of the body healing itself since the invention of the white blood cell.

No, he's not likely to get better in a few weeks. But the season may not be lost. I think PRP is going to save a lot of careers and I'm even considering getting the tendinosis in my old pitching shoulder treated with it. Much better than a tendon transplant, which would have been the only alternative before.

I can understand when peole get upset that posters are "bashing" Howard. I can see where the "bashers" have a point, but I can understand that a guy like Howard getting bashed could be troublesome to others.

What I don't understand is when posters get mad at other posters for praising Utley. That just flies right past me. These are the Phillies WAR leaders since 2005. (Fan graphs WAR/b-ref WAR)

1. Utley: 47.3/34.3)
2. Rollins: 30.5/23.2
3. Howard: 21.9/20.6
4. Hamels: 22.6/21.2 (didn't play in 2005)
5. Victorino: 22/17.2
6. Werth: 18.7/13.9 (didn't play '06 or '11)
6: Ruiz: 10.6/9.6 (didn't play in 2005)

He's been BY FAR the Phillies best player over the last 7 years. I just don't get it.

Ruiz should obviously have a 7 next to his name. Also, I didn't do exhaustive research on this, just went with the name that were most likely to be in the top 10. If I missed anyone, let me know.

Fatalotti: I agree wholeheartedly w/ your statement RE: Utley being the best Phillies player of the past 5 years. I also feel WAR is the single most ignorant & useless stat currently cited in any discussion of baseball.

MG. I understand your point that they are better without Romero because Charlie would have continued to misuse him. That makes sense, I just wish we had a second lefty out of the pen who is an effective LOOGY.

And to the others, I don't miss Romero's walks and performance against right handed batters, I just wish we had an effective 2nd lefty out of the pen, which Romero could have been if he had been used properly.

There's not much sadder than the "Lets Go Mets" chants all Miami.

Am I the only one who thought of Steve Blass during Bastardo's meltdown? I also wondered if the absence of his mentor--Baez--had him shaken up.

Colorado Joe - What town do you live in? I went to HS in Longmont.

Andrew - It's semantics, but I bet it was decided that Howard should get a rest yesterday because he's struggling. Not so much a punishment as a mental break.

I think we have higher expectations for him because he's Ryan Howard and gained a reputation early in his career for pounding balls out of the ballpark. I think our minds trick us into expecting that to happen all the time, so it's easy to feel he's disappointing when he does NOT knock in the runners with a double or HR.

That being said, I often feel disappointed in him, too.

Fat - The startling thing is that Howard should be arguably 5th on that list of WAR. But the fact that he's being paid more than anyone on the team starting next season, even if he were the third or fourth best player would be a bit silly.

Once again, it's not Howard himself. He seems like a great kid and he does clearly work hard at his game. He's in the best shape of his life and his fielding has improved tremendously. It's the disparity between paycheck and production. He's nowhere close to the best first baseman in the NL and it's so bizarre that St. Louis actually has two first basemen on its roster who are better than Howard. How does that guy get 25 million?

GBrett, Howard was rested yesterday because he was something like 0-8 against Lators with 8 strikeouts. Howard probably worse facing Latos than any batter I've ever seen.

Also, Howard does not get ripped because we expect him to hit more homeruns than he does, or something like that.

He's getting ripped hthis year because he's making $20 M and has an OPS of .798 and an OPS+ of 119.

A guy making that much should have better numbers than that. I expect him to go on a tear soon, because he's generally a second half player.

aksmith, I just realized that I ordered my list incorrectly. You're right; should look like this:

1. Utley: 47.3/34.3)
2. Rollins: 30.5/23.2
3. Hamels: 22.6/21.2 (didn't play in 2005)
4. Howard: 21.9/20.6
5. Victorino: 22/17.2
6. Werth: 18.7/13.9 (didn't play '06 or '11)
7: Ruiz: 10.6/9.6 (didn't play in 2005)

If anyone is watching the MLB Hall of Fame ceremony, my favorite part is now. They are introducing all the HOFers that have been previously inducted but there in person. Truely awesome to see all the names that come back for the present HOF ceremony.

Halladay's gassed. Pull him.

Maybin is having a nice season. Terrible trade for the Marlins, giving up on a young talent like that for relievers.

mvp: Agreed. I've only been to one HoF Induction Day, but seeing all of those guys up there at the same time was pretty awe-inspiring.

Wow, that was as terrible a throw from RF as I've seen in a long time.

So much for The Hose.

Raul playing RF today?

feels like a loss /s

Is Raul giving Dom throwing lessons?

Well, doesn't really matter now.

mini mart leads the team in fake bunts.

Money line on the Mariners is +143 with Pineda on the mound tonight. Really good bet.

Fata - Thanks for info re: Howard v. Latos.

I don't disagree that expectations for Howard were raised by his signing of that fat contract extension. But I remember him getting ripped even when he had great production, for any time that he failed, say struck out in a key AB. Not by all, of course. But I've been musing about it, and I think once someone gets a reputation for being terrific, a fan's instinct is to expect great things of that player almost every AB. Clearly not a scientific or research-based argument, just something I've been contemplating.

BTW, I liked BAP's comment last week: "Someone needs to remind Howard that he's a 2nd half player, and it's the 2nd half."

It's spelled "failed."

And Dom's throw was truly awful.

Nice work by Howard getting Utley to walk in front of him there.

Good one Jack.

Quick note on Jair Jurjjens, after getting beat up a little in yesterday's game.

He's had an ERA of 3.59 since June 14th, which is still good, but nearer his true talent level as far as I'm concerned.

Also, earlier in the season, he was sporting a very unsustainable LOB% near 90%. That number has predictably regressed towards his career average of 74.7% and is currently 81.4%. He's now 3rd in the NL in ERA, and his xFIP of 3.77 falls in line with his numbers over the last month or so.

Still a good pitcher, but certainly not the dynamo that we were seeing over the first 2.5 months.

Hmm, so of the 13 pitches Stauffer has thrown, only 1 has been in the strike zone according to Gameday.

I predict 7 innings and 9 strikeouts, 1 ER.

Shift: Eaten.

He is a great singles hitter.

Fata: Exactly right on Jurrjens. Hanson is their best pitcher, not JJ.

Just a thought: When will they start reading guys SABR stats when introducing them in the HOF? Ever? 5 or 10 years?

Great AB by Shane.

There we go, Shane.

fat man - it's amazing how easy it was to look deeper into Jurgens numbers and see that his sub 2.00 era was unsustainable. of course, the traditionalists would claim that they knew it all along too.

7 more pitches to Howard, all slop. He can forget about fastballs this series.

Nice work by Raul. What a horrible 0-2 pitch from Stauffer.

nice 2 out rally here. cmon DOM!

Okay, is gameday showing pitches outside the zone that aren't, or is this ump Stauffer's father? This is the most generous zone I've seen all year.

conshy, true. I mean, most sub 2 ERAs are probably unsustainable, but his LOB% was just preposterously high, to go along with a pretty low BAbip (still at .263).

Jurjjen is a good pitcher, but, at least in my mind, a below average strikeout pitcher, an average groundball pitcher and average at limiting walks. I just don't consider that to be a top flight pitcher.

Corner OF defense does not appear to be a strength of the team this year.

Doc not getting the corners that Stauffer was getting.

fat man, by this time of the year these things are starting to even out. looking under the hood the the ML era leaders, only a couple of guys stand out with low era's and high/higher FIP or xFIP.


that's really about it. others are close, but nothing egrigious.

I'm not sure how many people realize that Ruiz has the 2nd best OBP among Phillies' regulars.

conshy, I should look into those two and tear them down. :)

I have lived in Denver since summer 2008. I left Philly in fall 2004. I'm originally from Pennsauken and usually make 2 Phils games every summer when I'm back east visiting family. I have read BL for awhile but rarely ever post.

I'm looking forward to the Phils being here in Colorado August 1st-3rd.

Come on Rollins, let's get Chooch home!

it's already been done on fangraphs, i'm sure, but have at it. especially since we face Voglesong soon, i think.

does anyone know where i can see all of the players billboard photos from 80's night? crossing broad has a few chase (terminator), howard (cosby show), jimmy (prince), and jmj (love boat)but i'd like to see the rest

Colorado Joe, I too am from Pennsauken.

You're going to see that more and more : walking Marinez to get to Utley.

Chooch was Tatoo from Fantasy Island.

Stouffers probably doesn't go too deep into today's game. ~50 pitches through 2 innings. Phillies just need to keep the patient approach.

Wow, that's a good question for the Stump the Fans trivia question. Just looked up the answer, and was a bit of a shocker.

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