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Sunday, July 24, 2011

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I love Pedroia as much as any non-Sox fan living in New England, but he's never had a single season with an fWAR over 7. Chase has had 5.

Right now, they might be equals, but Chase's career is far more impressive so far.

Maybe Valentine meant that Phillips is the best DEFENSIVE 2nd baseman of the last 10 years. That, at least, is a plausible argumnent.

Good job, Reds.

awh: What defines better is WAR.

I thought we all knew that.

OK, Fatti, here's Round 1 of Utley/Pedroia:

Home away splits:

Pedroia:

Home: .321/.389/.498, BAbip .330
Away: .287/.361/.426, BAbip .293


Utley:

Home: .305/.388/.543, BAbip .319
Away: .281/.373/.483, BAbip .306


What the above tells me is that Pedroia is a partial creation of the Green Monster, particularly the SLG.

Sure, Utley has better home splits, but no where near as pronounced.

Pedroia's very pronounced BAbip splits would seem to confiem it as well.

Conclusion: Pedroia is a very, very fine player. A healthy Chase Utley is better.

Oops, the above should say:

"Sure, Utley has better home splits as well..."


TTI taking a random shot at me, even though I said that Pedroia "may be" the best 2nd baseman in baseball, and even though I actually think Chase Utley is still the best second baseman in the game.

But TTI likes to take random, unprovoked shots at people.

And we all definitely knew that.

Still awh, even though I believe Utley is a better 2nd baseman, in the spirit of superfluous debate, I will try to construct an argument for why Pedroia is better. :)

I thought Valentine said that Marty Brenneman, the Reds play by play guy, told him that Phillips was the best 2nd baseman he had seen in his 30 whatever years with the Reds.

Fun fact of the day:
If the Phils go .500 the rest of the way in, they win 96 games this year.

For the Braves to win 96 games, they would have to go 37-25 the rest of the way (.597 winning percentage).

I don't know if it's been mentioned, but occasional whipping boy Dave Cameron has leukemia. Good article by him here: http://www.ussmariner.com/2011/07/25/when-statistics-are-not-helpful/

edmundo, thanks for pointing this out. i'm very sorry to hear about DC's medical situation. i have certainly been one to call him out on occassion, but i certainly appreciate his contribution to the baseball community.

Edmundo: Dave has actually become one of my favorite writers over the last few seasons, and this is terrible news.

while we're on Fangraphs, here's another Ryan Howard article to digest:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/ryan-howard-rbi-overvalued/

That sucks for Cameron but, that's a great post by him. Chemo's a bitch. I hope folks will do as he asks and give blood.

If Oswalt returns and is healthy, I think the Phillies, with their current players, match up well against every playoff-bound team and should be the favorite to win every playoff series. With this in mind and the trade deadline approaching, I do not think the Phils should make any major moves, except possibly a trade for a reliever. Even then, I would not recommend the Phils give up prospects like Singleton, Valle, Cosart, May and Biddle.

Looking at the playoffs, probably the toughest opponent would be the Red Sox, the most well-rounded team in baseball, with good pitching and a vaunted offense.

In a seven-games series with the Red Sox, four games would be played at CBP. That means either they lose Ortiz' bat for those games or they move Gonzalez to LF, which would adversely affect the Red Sox' defense.

In a seven-game series, assuming normal rest for all of the starters, Halladay would pitch Games 1 and 5. The Bosox would counter with either Beckett or Lester. I would expect the Phils to be slight favorites in these games because Halladay is the best in the business and because he can handle, and has experience handling, the toughest lineups. A significant advantage that Halladay has over Beckett and Lester is that he can be expected to pitch one inning more than either of those guys. Once the teams get to their bullpens, I think the two teams would be even. The Phils might have a small edge if they add a solid bullpen piece to support Madson and Bastardo.

Either Lee or Hamels would start Games 2 and 6. The Red Sox would go with Lester or Beckett. I would call these games even because each of the four pitchers can shut down the other team's offense, and the Red Sox offensive advantage likely would be neutralized.

Hamels or Lee would start Games 3 and 7. If he's healthy, the Red Sox probably go with Buchholz. Advantage Phillies.

Oswalt would start Game 4. The Red Sox probably start Wakefield, who can be a tough knuckleballer, but who is having a tough year. Again, advantage Phillies.

As I see it, the Phils would be clear favorites in three games and no worse than even money in the other four.

Someone at BL suggested that the Phils try to pick up Thome for pinch-hitting duties. I would favor an inexpensive move like this, which would give the Phils their best bat off the bench and bolster the offense in the three games played at Fenway.

derek, good analysis. I heard on the radio this morning the most easily available commodity for trade this year is RH outfielders. We don't have to trade away Dom to get one, we can even wait until after 7/31 without losing any sleep.

Re: fangraphs

WE GET IT!

They really need to calm down about Howard.

-Padres must be hating life right now, and getting ready to board their plane. Three straight losses in heinous playing conditions, another humid night, and Cliff Lee on the mound. Get us back to the cool breezes of San Diego!

-Would love to see the "Chase is done" posts of sometime last week next to the more recent ones of this weekend. Props to clout among anothers, for putting some common sense (mini-slump vs. 'the guy is through') on the table amid the terminal hand wringing.

I first saw Utley in person a number of years ago against the Padres, his first year. Coincidentally, there was a throw to first down the line and Utley came flying across the field, backing up the base, diving to catch the ball, and saving a run. I remember some applause, and a bunch of murmering among the fans, including myself - "Whoa, this guy is a ballplayer." Didn't know then about his potential talent level, but it sure caught my attention.

And not a bad couple of games at the plate this weekend for Ryno, either. Hope those bats stay awake, this is fun to watch.

DIP, good stuff, except that the Braves do not have 62 games left. They only have 60, which makes it even tougher for them to make up ground.

Personally, I feel the Phils ought to win at least 35 of their remaining 62 games. 35 - 27 = .565; that would mean 99 wins.

Bravos would need to go 40 - 20 [.667] to tie the Phillies.

Can they do it? Sure. The Phillies are 30 - 13 [.698] in their last 43 games (since Utley's return).

But the Braves have won 26 of their last 43 [.605], and 32 of their last 52 [.615] since May 23rd (Utley’s return), so they ceratinly are capable of getting a little better.

But despite playing 20 games over .500 since May 23rd, the Braves are twice as far back in the division as they were then, having dropped from 3 games back to 6 back.

That has to be a bit frustrating, playing .615 and still losing ground.

Then again, perhaps that’s how good this Phillies team really is with Utley in the lineup.

AWH: Is he back on the market? He was only traded to Detroit 5 days ago.

awh: He was traded only days ago. He would have been a good addition, though.

The bottom line of the Fangraph's article on Howard is that he makes the most money of other 1B players.

Howard makes $25 Million, but poor Adrian Gonzalez and Mark Texeira only make $22 and $22½ million. Boo hoo for them. FoxSports says that Miguel Cabrera make $20 million. I cry for him, too.

37 year old Todd Helton makes $15.7 Million, but the last time he hit 30 HRs was 2004 and his last 100 RBI season was 2003. Why is he even on the Fangraph list?

Pujols at $14.3 Million and Fielder at $15.5 Million are looking at big paydays next year.

That leaves Joey Votto. He's only had one season with 30 HRs and 100 RBIs....last year. Howard has done that and some for the last five years. Votto makes $12.7 Million and should be glad he makes that.

It seems like this argument is all based on salary and how you did last year, or in Helton's case, this year. Players do get paid for what they did in the past. It's not like the IRS deducts a portion of my salary and gives it to Ryan Howard (although, the IRS does give my money to a bunch of people that I don't know). You guys need to lighten up on Howard.

If I learned anything from the Fangraph's article, I learned that Howard is a pretty good clutch hitter. Werth should emulate that.


Noah, oops, I missed that.

That's what I get for working too much.

YNT!

awh: Well, I wouldn't expect them to keep playing .698 baseball. Only 14 teams in MLB history have played .700 baseball or better for a season.

But I do think the Phils have given themselves a pretty sufficient cushion over the Braves, and certainly for a playoff spot. It would now take a collapse of epic (almost Mets-level) proportions for the Phillies to miss the playoffs.

If I were forced to pick a number, I would bet the Phils win 32 of their final 62 games, finishing with 96 wins. I would expect them, just on law of averages, to hit some sort of rough patch/cold streak in the next couple months. It happens to every team. Also, we should be resting guys the last week of the season.

NL CY Young race starting to take soem shape in the 2nd half.

Its probably neck and neck with Hamels and Halladay right now(i'd lean towards doc). Jurrijens has taken a step back after giving up 10 ER in his last 11 IP.

Aside from Cliff Lee, it looks like Clayton Kershaw is coming on strong to make his case. Kershaw had taken over the league lead in strikesout and is currently on a 23 IP scoreless streak spanning his last 3 starts.

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